Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Last week, I wailed about how I left my lunch on the dining table at home. I brought it in the next day and had it since my mother-in-law was nice enough to pop over and pop it into the fridge before it went off.

Today, I did remember to bring my lunch into school. I just had it. And I did forget something else. Today's lunch was a healthy mix of brown rice, chicken breast, broccoli, a boiled egg and some other veg. Yes, it sounds disgustinly healthy. Made worse by me though.

On first bite, I was trying to figure out why the taste was slightly strange. It wasn't bad. It was just different. Then it hit me. I forgot the all important need for taste! No salt. At all!

So, I had a totally salt free lunch. On the bright side, I won't feel bloated or retain water later. On the not so bright side, I might get cramps from not having enough salt in my body. So, I had better balance that out and go eat something totally unhealthy and full of taste right now.

After all, one must take care of one's body. =)

Ondine tossed this thought in at 10:56

0 thoughts...

Monday, September 26, 2005

7 by 7

Having been tagged by wahj and totally being reluctant about actually finishing my work, I'll do this. Perhaps, after this, I'll get my work done, but I doubt it. It's one of those mornings.

7 things that scare me:
1. Lizards. I scream bloody murder everytime I see them.
2. Scary movies- no Japanese, Korean horror flicks for me. Even the Hollywood ones give me nightmares.
3. Losing people that I love to death.
4. Drowning even though I used to swim competitively.
5. Not having enough money.
6. Not being able to have children.
7. Not doing my PhD.

7 things that I like the most:

1. Standing by the beach and staring out at sea and holding my husband's hand.
2. Being in love and being loved.
3. Our apartment.
4. A nice slow Saturday or Sunday morning where we can wake up late, have a leisurely breakfast and read the paper.
5. High Teas and Iced lemon tea that I don't drink now.
6. Barbequed Chicken Wings and Fish Balls
7. Being in a temperate country with Packrat.

7 important things in my room:
(This is hard because my room is techinically 2 rooms, the study and our bed room are separated by a shophouse door but I'll attempt the bedroom part of our room.)
1. My Bambi pillow.
2. The Bible beside my bed
3. The photos of us, in Melbourne over our bed in little Ikea frames.
4. The stereo that demands I get out of the bed in the morning by blaring the national anthem and forcing me to jump out of bed and head to the bathroom just to avoid the rest of it.
5. My precious, precious Kate Spade, Ipa-nima and Prada bags.
6. A little corner of wedding memorobilia on our shelf, complete with the garter belt, the cork from the champagne bottle and Packrat's dried corsage.
7. Our little television that allows me to watch television in bed and fall asleep to it. My favourite way of falling asleep.

7 random facts about me:
1. I can bang dents into the fridge door with my head.
2. I grind my teeth in my sleep and will have no molars left when I'm forty, also not helped by me crunching on the cartilage of chicken bones.
3. I wanted to name my daughters Darjeeling Tan Oo Long and Tanisha Tan Ting Tong.
4. I used to eat 4 hashbrown sandwiches for breakfast. That meant, 8 slices of bread and 4 slices of hash browns. Way before low-carb was the fad.
5. Out of the 4 boyfriends I've had, 3 were from ACS and one from SJI. Talk about incurring the wrath of the older brothers.
6. I can run but I cannot walk.
7. I sing in my sleep

7 things I plan to do before I die:
1. Do my PhD.
2. Have some kids.
3. Live in a foreogn land, again.
4. Be my own boss- enough of this indentured servitude,
5. Be a non-mahjong playing tai tai
6. Fly First Class.
7. Get this marking done.

7 things I can do:
1. Eat 8 pieces of fried chicken and a mountain of fries. Or, eat 0.75 kg of rump steak in one sitting.
2. Dance on pointe without any big toe nails.
3. Do front splits and put my chest on the ground beside the front leg.
4. Drink 3 litres of water a day.
5. Procrastinate. It's 10 am and I haven't started on my work yet.
6. Shop and buy half the Mango store during a sale.
7. Do a thesis on English-Chinese bilingualism without a rudimentary sense of Chinese.

7 things I can't do:
1. Sit and chill and not do anything.
2. Eat seafood.
3. Be snarky to someone in their face.
4. Not obsess about my weight.
5. Accept that some things are out of my control.
6. Drink milk.
7. Understand why Packrat and the whole group of boys have to make widows (read comments as well) of their wives everyweek.

7 things I say the most:
1. Sleepy.
2. Sian.
3. Huh?
4. Crap
5. Right.
6. Cor-rek (Read: Correct)
7. Fat!

7 celebrity crushes:
1. George Clooney (Right from E.R days)
2. Brad Pitt
3. Scott Patterson (Luke in Gilmore Girls)
4. David Boreanaz (before he got his own show and got fat)
5. Johnny Depp
6. Chow Yun Fatt (token Asian).
7. Chad Michael Murray (even when he was a brat on Gilmore Girls)
(Hm, they're almost all white.)

7 people who could do this:
1. Char
2. Gaya (becauseI know you read this and you need a life)
3. Threez
4. JNet (because you're now on the government's payroll and you ought to be doing something useful)
5. Dat (because you're in ORD mood)
6. Spook (because I know you have a blog account and it's high time you started using it)
7. Plentyfish (because this really isn't seditious and you have some time to kill in the next six months.)

I really need to get to work like, now.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:37

0 thoughts...

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Chicken Soup From the Mother

Earlier in the week, my mom made Packrat and I some chicken soup. Actually, it was home made chicken essence, double-boiled and all. Hearty homemade goodness!

Anyway, in an SMS conversation with her this morning, I told her we had had the chicken soup and it had made us very hot. Try drinking double boiled chicken essence on a hot, barmy evening. I guarantee the same response.

But my mother chose to interpret it different and her response to that was "So, it made you very hot, hot in bed too? Do I get a reward for the chicken soup?"

To which, my eyes bugged, bugged big big. I am not used to this woman, who spent half her life and most of mine nagging at me that sex was something I COULD NOT have and I WAS NOT to be an evil temptress and lead Packrat down the road of debauchery (this was when we were still dating, by the way!), tease ME about sex! Cannot. Cognitive dissonance. Message cannot be processed.

Just too weird.

So what ranks second to being grossed out about your parents actually having sex? Being teased by your mother about your sex life. Totally. I suspect, during moments of true insanity and absurdity like this, it could actually knock the former off its roost and take first place.

My head still cannot wrap itself round the idea of my mother, MY mother, teasing me about sex. It was funny, but way too incongruous and too too weird.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 18:45

1 thoughts...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

My Inheritance

Tengkat *
Originally uploaded by thelanguishingcat.
My maternal grandmother passed away about 5 years ago and I remember her far more clearly than I remember my Dad's mum. Possibly because I lived with Mama as a teenager and that wasn't too long ago. I remember her as a lady always dressed in a sarong, speaking a rojak** of English and Malay and cooking the most divine of dishes.

I remember tales of how she would pawn her jewellery just so that my mother could have a sweet 16 cake and I remember how she extracted all her teeth so that they would never bother her again.

She was one cool lady. Even when she became ill and threw tantrums when asked to take her medication. Much of it landed on the grass outside my window. I think my dogs had very thin blood from the aspirin after a bit. She also took to declaring days durian days, where she ate nothing but durian for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

I miss Mama very much and when Mom asked me yesterday if I wanted her Peranakan Tiffin carriers, I jumped at the opportunity. After all, I have little to remember her by and I have little to celebrate my ethnicity by.

They are my Peranakan heirlooms, to be passed onto my even less Peranakan children. After all, I did not marry a Peranakan boy.

*Tengkat- Colloquial Malay Term for Tiffin Carrier.
**Rojak- mishmash of anything.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 21:20

3 thoughts...

You are That Guy

Inspired by Mr Brown who was inspired by Mercer Machine who inspired a whole lot of bloggers.

You are the boy who spent your school fees on $10 worth of chicken wings thereupon getting a spanking from your mother.

You are the boy who grew up to play games every week with fellow boys.

You are the boy who got a Playstation 2 as an engagement present.

You are the boy who would eat like a boy if you lived alone, living on potato chips and Pepsi.

You are the boy who would like it very much if he didn't have to grow up.

But you are a boy who is also a guy.

You are that guy that she met at the pre-departure talk, who insulted her baby blue mobile phone in an attempt to get her phone number.

You are the guy that commented on how she stood like a dancer with her feet turned flat out.

You are that guy that apparently dedicated music to her over the radio and staked out the uni just hoping you catched a glimpse of her.

You are the guy that got lucky when you bumped into her at the traffic just outside uni on the first day of school.

You are the guy that repeated her phone number all the way home just in case you forgot it and missed the chance again.

You are the guy that she out ate on your first date.

You are the guy that had to bear all the crap when she couldn't decide who she liked better, you or some other guy back home.

You are the guy that won her heart by buying her gummi bears and walking her home from ballet in the cold.

You are the guy that she impressed by eating through half a bucket of fried chicken and then sat back and asked what's for desert.

You are the guy that had to be taught what relationships were and in turn taught her how to work hard in a relationship.

You are the guy that put your thesis on the back burner while she wigged out about her own thesis through the year.

You are the guy who proposed to her on the plane back to Melbourne and made her dizzy.

You are the guy that wanted to wear Bata shoes to the wedding and refused to be put into ill-fitting Kenneth Coles.

You are the one who got up there during your wedding and sang to your bride.

You are the guy that endured the pillows hurled at you in her sleep.

You are the guy who will go out there and look for yak's milk from Yemen if she ever demanded it.

You are the guy that buys her flowers and burns her cds just to make her smile.

You are the guy that believes, trusts and prays even when she has given up hope.

You are the guy of her dreams and her greatest fear is to live without you.

Who are you? You are that guy and I am that girl.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:51

7 thoughts...

The Many Sides of Me

Inspired by Mr Brown who was inspired by Mercer Machine who inspired a whole lot of bloggers.

i. I am the baby.

I am the baby that refused rather rudely to be breast fed, revealing a fussy food nature froom Day 1.

I am the baby who almost died of liver failure because she got fed so much carrot and papaya that her whole body turned orange and her liver went into overdrive.

ii. I am the toddler

I am the toddler who talked to birds and could tell the maid to bring in the clothes because the birds had told her that it was going to rain. And true enough, it did.

I am the toddler who sat and watched in wonder as a giant python slid past her, not three feet away while everyone ran around in panic.

I am the toddler that could not figure out what the fuss was about when her brothers were running around trying to catch a frog with a paper cup; who proved that bare hands grab frogs better than paper cups and could ask rather nonchalantly where to put the wriggling frog in the palm of her hand.

I am the toddler who tried to feed the dog, but in turn got bitten right above the eye by the dog, once again, sending everyone into a frenzy while she screamed her little lungs out.

iii. I am the child

I am the child who preferred to go home with the Nanny on the weekend than to stay and hang out with her parents. I am also the same child that had nightmares about her Nanny being on a plane with no seats when she went to China. I am also the same child who held on to the leg of her Nanny at the airport to prevent her from leaving.

I am the child who had no school to go to in Primary One because she was the third child and at that time, those born 3rd in line were given absolutely no benefits. I am also the child who obediently knelt by the window, as instructed by her mother, and prayed for a place in primary school and became a true testament of God answering the prayers of little children.

I am the child who cried bitterly when she thought she had disappointed her parents with less than sterling exam results, swearing never to do that again and eventually succeeding by getting first class honours only to realise there's really no pleasing parents when her father's only response to that was "at least it wasn't money wasted".

iv. I am the sister

I am the sister who could not stand being left out and tried to do everything you did.

I am the sister that wanted a blue and white uniform because you wore one and wanted to go to Saint Andrews because you went there.

I am the sister who got terribly miffed when she realised the school song you sang could not possibly include her when the chorus was a resounding "Up Boys!"

I am the sister that you did not take with you on those midnight jaunts through the cemetery who only now understood that the mother would have killed you had you.

I am the sister that feared going on holiday for a while because she thought she might come back to more news that you were sick.

I am the sister that sat outside ICU fearing that you would never call her Toots! again.

I am the sister that you lived with in Melbourne, whose boyfriend destroyed your perfect insurance no claim bonus by backing the jeep over a little car that could in no way be seen from up there.

v. I am the athlete

I am the athlete who did not know how to run on the balls of her feet but ended up breaking many records especially the one for the most number of injuries on a 16 years old.

I am the athlete who was not allowed to do PE, or anything physical outside of training, for I am the athlete who can trip over herself and tree roots just by going near them.

I am the athlete who ran with torn muscles, dislocated joints and chicken pox.

vi. I am the dancer

I am the dancer who started dancing at 19 despite being flat-footed and having absolutely no sense of rhythm.

I am the dancer who learnt the pas de trois in Swan Lake by heart and eventually found her soul in the music.

I am the dancer who used to do a thousand stomach exercises every day.

I am the dancer who lost toenails at every ballet exam.

I am the dancer who no longer dances because she does not want to lose the love for dance ever.

vii. I am the teacher

I am the teacher who apparently does not repeat her clothes and shoes in a year.

I am the teacher that swore at her class before sweeping out of the class.

I am the teacher who is not sure whether she is teaching her kids anything useful.

I am the teacher whose heart bleeds for her students who have more than they bargained for on their plates.

I am the teacher who is supposed to be hard at work grading papers but is too distracted and writing memes.

I am the teacher who will now end all this meme-ing and get back to work.

I am me.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 08:37

1 thoughts...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Apparently all that sleep yesterday didn't help at all. The lunch I made and was looking forward to, now sits forlornly on my dining room table. I'm hoping someone can go over, rescue it and put it back in the fridge, or I'm going to sit here and fret all day about it. Why, why do I have to work so far away from home??

Grumpy. Totally forgetful and still sleepy.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:25

1 thoughts...

Monday, September 19, 2005

I Had A Plan

Plan for today.

Leave school at half two.

Pick husband up at ten to three.

Get home and rest.

Grade 5 essays by quarter to six.

Take the train to watch Brothers Grimm at half six.

Get home by ten and get some more scripts done.

Bed by midnight.

Good plan.

What actually happened.

Left school at twenty to three.

Picked husband up at about three.

Went to get lunch. Husband looked pooped.

Sent him off to bed after lunch.

Washed up and read the paper.

Dozed off at four.

Up at five to ask the husband whether he wanted to see the movie.

Mumbled in the negative at five minutes past.

Had strange dreams involving using bar stools as ballet barres and knocking over hundreds of bottles of orange juice.

Reluctantly woke at eight.

Made husband Mexican dinner at nine.

Made lunch for tomorrow and cleaned up kitchen at ten.

Started work at half ten.

Dozed off at quarter to eleven.

Attempted to complete one paper.

Dozed off again after Friends started.

Woke to try to complete second paper.

Staggered off couch to take a shower at half eleven.

Sitting here, extremely sleepy at quarter to twelve.

Going back to bed. A four hour nap wasn't enough and I have a headache from having wind in my head.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:34

0 thoughts...

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by thelanguishingcat.
In an effort to maintain some sort of fairness across the scripts I grade, I pencil in the marks first. After I'm done, I'll do a little bit of standardisation of my own. Sometimes, I decide to up or drop the mark and have to go in search of an eraser, something I do not often use.

While rummaging, in a house I have lived in for barely 3 years, I found an eraser from the past. They used to give us little gifts on such occasion and this eraser was a National Day gift in 1984 to be exact. How fortitous to have found it. And yet at the same time, how portentous, in this seditious time.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 16:23

0 thoughts...

New Shoes

Every runner I know dislikes new shoes. There's something about the pristine white condition of the shoe that irks the heck out of us. White shoes are a sign of a poser. Someone who doesn't go out there and rough it out.

Every runner I know dislikes new shoes. It's like having to make a new friend. It's awkward and uncomfortable and you don't know how it'll treat you. There's a period of trial while either it hurts you, or you hurt it. On the very lucky occasion, both go away unscathed and become the best of friends.

So this morning was the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope on Sentosa Island. It was the perfect morning to sleep in. Huge storm, gail like winds. But we decided to go anyway and it cleared sufficiently for us to run. We'd signed up for the 8km run with various types of gradients round Sentosa but they cancelled that one on account of the run making the roads slippery and dangerous. So we improvised and created our own routes.

The good thing about the weather was that it created huge puddles and muddy, soggy grass patches that I had to splash through to cut ahead. So that took care of the new shoes that looked too obscenely clean. I actually tried to get a dog to put its paws on it yesterday, but the dog was too polite.

The not so good thing, breaking in a pair of shoes on a longer, faster run is really not a good idea. And yes, running shoes DO need to be broken into! I have a big blister now on the inner part of my biggest toe and it's tender to walk on.

The conclusion is that the shoes have been suitably broken into. They've been dirtied enough for me not to look like a poseur and I think I'll like my purple new friends just well enough.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 14:11

0 thoughts...

Friday, September 16, 2005

A good Shell-ing

We have a fuel card with a limit of $500. It's the card with the lowest credit limit but we don't drive a tank of any sort so we've never expected to need more than a $500 limit.

Until the dumb war in Iraq. Until Hurricane Katrina and the war in Iraq. Fuel now is so costly that the card wouldn't allow us to buy fuel last night. And my bank pays the bill only later in the month.
I call up the service centre and they tell me that I've hit my limit but I can't pay the bill now because it will screw up the standard payment instructions. So, then I ask, How? I walk to school? I don't drive until you unfreeze my account? Or I pay cash? He couldn't give me an answer. He was stumped. He just kept repeating that my limit had been reach.

Indeed it had. So, I told him, rather snarkily, the reason why I've hit my limit, in every sense of the word was not because I'd been taking long drives to KL (then, I'd just buy cheaper fuel across the Causeway), but because their fuel was so !@#$ing expensive.

To which, he chuckles sheepishly.

Then, I ask him about the elite programme they have. Apparently, if you spend more than $750 in 3 months, you get upgraded to that programme. So, I enquire and he comments, "Ya ah, your petrol bill very high ah? Donno why don't have elite programme. I check....... (*he puts me on hold to check)... Wah!!!! You spend very high in the last 3 months. I put you on programme"

No shit. Talk about stating the obvious.

I wish I could walk to school. I wish I was back in Melly and could walk to uni and the supermarket and to the city. Life would be much cheaper and I wouldn't have to deal with such dimwits.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:21

1 thoughts...


Question: What happens when you wake up early 3 mornings in a row to work?

Answer: You lose all sense of coordination. You end up spilling half a bottle of perfume on the floor. You end up putting a cup on top of the microwave oven and a bottle of vitamins into the sink to be washed.

Question: What happens when you are once again asked to stand in to invigilate because some other teacher called in sick?

Answer: Wish you called in sick so that you could work at home, in peace.

Question: What happens when you need to break in a new pair of running shoes in a hurry?

Answer: Bite it. According to me at least. Packrat was incredulous.

Question: What happens when you get a Saturday morning off for the first time since June?

Answer: Try to arrange to go somewhere nice for breakfast.

I think I like the last one best.

Such is the time that is now.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 09:37

5 thoughts...

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Q and A

Qn: What happens when a teacher invigilates an exam and is bored?
Ans: She looks at the paper and her eyes glaze over.

Qn: What happens when an English teacher invigilates a Chemistry paper?
Ans: Her eyes glaze over and she begins to think up answers to the questions.


Qn: Name and describe a test you would do to make sure there was protein in an egg
Ans: Eat many eggs and see if you grow bigger after that.

Qn: Suggest why a healthy diet should contain protein from different sources.
Ans: Because just eating tofu can bore the heck out of everyone. And if you only ate meat, you'd constipate. If you ate too many nuts, you get nut breath and if you drank just milk and nothing else, you'd get fat.

Qn: When meat or potatoes are baked, why do the edges turn brown?
Ans: Because the oven is hot.

Qn: Explain why frozen vegetables have a higher nutritional value than fresh vegetables
Ans: Really? Ok, hmm, let's see, because all the fresh goodness has been sealed in and cannot vapourise into the air. If you stand near fresh vegetables for long enough, you would have breathed in the vitamins and that's why fresh vegetables go limp after a while.

Qn: Explain why vegetables frozen rapidly will retain their texture better than when they freeze slowly.
Ans: You freeze them fast by zapping them with a freeze ray and that happens in a split second so there's no time for the texture to react. When you freeze them slowly, you're basically sucking the life out of them.

Qn: Explain why cooking oil is fortified with Vitamin E
Ans: So that everyone will have beautiful skin and will not feel so lethargic easily.


Sure fail one, that's why I teach English and not Chemistry.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 15:23

6 thoughts...

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Tales from an Amateur Wedding Planner

There has been much talk about me launching a second career. One, not as noble, as in I will not be shaping young minds nor moulding the future of our nation but infinitely challenging and just as out there, with the people.

For the past week, I have done nothing but help plan K's wedding. Right down to the rose petals that should get strewn in the bathtub right about now. And it's been almost has exhausting as getting married itself.

The furor actually started on Thursday. There was the picking up of the stickers to place on the presents, the ribbons for the presents that had to be tied and attached and then K needed to be taught how to walk down the aisle. Step, sweep, step, step, sweep, step... more ribbons, more stickers, more presents, then it was Friday where there was the customary- for the bride to relax- spa which inadvertently stresses the bride out because there's too much to do to actually relax and do nothing for an hour and a half, followed by the picking up of the wedding gown and the traditional-stare at the designer in incredulity when he suggests you try on the gown since whether or not it fits, it is far too late to alter- look is used to the max.

The day had only just begun.

There was also nails to be done at LMD's place which was actually quite good until I heard that she had 19 hamsters and was looking for people to adopt them. I am almost as fearful of hamsters as much as I am of lizards. This is a bizarre turnaround seeing that I did have hamsters when I was younger. I seem to recall my first hamster was an albino one named Hafetry and it ran away and was probably eaten by the numerous cats that roamed our estate.

Anyway, there was also the rehearsal dinner, the most upmarket chilli crab/pepper crab dinner I have sat through under a marquee at One Fullerton's Palm Beach. As with other seafood based meals, I sat there and ate garnishing and vegetables, occasionally dipping bread in chilli crab gravy. What left me slightly slack-jawed was how these Americans were ordering bottles of Remy Martin's XO as if they were iced lemon tea. It seemed like it was the groom's delayed stag night with the amount of toasts that he had to drink to. Packrat and I tried to discreetly switch his glass of XO with Chinese tea, but these Yankee friends of his were quite sharp despite the fact that they probably weren't going to be able to walk in a straight line if their lives depended on it.

The wedding itself was beautiful with the bride being as flustered as she is supposed to be, but turning into a picture of calm while waiting for the doors of the church to open on her. I spent most of the time stressing about the speech that I had to give. I realised that an occupational hazard was that I speak at my best when I'm pacing and I couldn't pace up and down the stage lecturing the wedding guests on how great K was. Anyway, I had learnt from YM that, a) you should have a copy of the speech somewhere because you won't remember it later and b) "When I got married, insert name of bride had the easy job..." was a cheesy line that I had to use just for the heck of it. Thankfully, it went well. Someone said I should hire out my services as a speech giver at weddings and I put it down to her being quite drunk from all the wine at lunch.

I did like the fact that it was a lunch instead of a dinner, people seemed more alive and animated. I did also like the fact that there was a bubble machine and a live band that anglo-fied a Chinese 8 course meal.

Being K's body man/woman, I was bridesmaid, wedding planner and errand girl. She had forgotten an essential bit of her honeymoon trousseau. So in my floor length, bridesmaid gown and hair held together by half a can of hairspray and 4 fresh flowers, I swept into a near by mall, much to the amusement of onlookers to buy something in 10 seconds that cost $320. The salesgirl must have been quite pleased-can close shop for the day, commission for the day settled in a 10 second purchase.

By then, it was 5 in the evening and my feet hurt. I knew that I still had a long evening ahead of me because I had to remove the pins that held together the beehive that was my hair and all the hairspray. I think hair dressers, not industry people are the most environmentally unfriendly people around! My head was, in all seriousness, bullet proof. It took 4 washes to get out all the hairspray and half a head of hair came out with that.

Conclusion. How do I do this for a living? Dan says get help, don't go it alone. I might end up slapping the bridezillas. I am also intolerant of well meaning friends who fuss around the bride just before she walks into the church and fuel her insecurities telling her that they do not like the way the gown looks or that there's too much fat hanging out in unsightly places. Not something you tell a bride, any bride is insecure enough the moment before she steps into a congregation of 500 eyes looking her way. Also very slap-worthy. So no, I can't do those bits. I will lose business.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 20:34

3 thoughts...

Friday, September 09, 2005

CSI: Singapore

The day of crime in Singapore started with a robbery in the heartlands. Witnesses saw the burglar climb out of the window facing the common corridor. The burglar was described as on the plump side, wearing brown shorts, a pale blue polo shirt and slippers. I heard this news in the car and turned to look at the driver who was wearing a pair of brown shorts, a pale blue polo shirt and slippers. I wondered silently to myself, where was Packrat at 10.35 am this morning while I was at the spa? Did he have an alibi?

From petty crime we move on to a traffic pile up in the city. A car, a motorbike and a pedestrian were involved in an accident along the narrowest lanes of the city causing a tail back that took an hour to clear. Who was the imbecile that caused all that delay? The pedestrian who jaywalked, the bike that swerved or the car that was driving too fast to avoid the jaywalking pedestrian who was trying to get out of the way of the speeding bike?

Later on in the day, many tourists who thought Singapore was crime free were treated to a gruesome and gory discovery right in the middle of the city where the shopping belt lay. There was police tape all around and white sheets that were used to cover dead people on the ground. There was a woma's head in a bag and some arms and legs a little ways up in another bag. Was it there to make a statement? No one goes shopping carrying a head and some arms and legs in their back pack only to have the back pack spring a leak and create a Hansel and Gretel trail that would rival the macabre of the Brothers Grimm. Could it be a crime of passion? Unlikely since the parts were in the open for all to see. Most who kill in a sudden moment of spontaneity tend to try to hide what they've done. This was far too obvious. Was it copycat of the body parts murder sometime ago? Possibly. Seeing that we have the torso found in a different part of Singapore.

Rumour in the evening. Notable public figure whose been in the news much has CID detectives swarming his house. Could they be related?Did the woman come from this VIP's house? Did the burglar do it? Was the murderer trying to get away when he got into an accident in the middle of Orchard Road? Who was the woman? How was it no one discovered she was missing?

Headway must be made.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:53

2 thoughts...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Accidental Tourist

I found myself in Chinatown today. Normally, I'd never go to Chinatown. The number of times I've been there in the last ten years can be counted on one hand.

It was a somewhat surreal experience. We were on our way to a spa in the middle of Chinatown. Ok, it isn't as dodge as it sounds. Anyhow, KW were an hour early. This meant a great deal of time for us to wander.

For someone whose nearest shopping mall is indeed Orchard Road, this couldn't be further from my definition of a likely shopping spot. Instead of seeing a coffee/cafe place every ten steps, there was a medicinal hall, selling herbs that frankly, to me, just looked like dried weeds. And a cafe was not a good thing to not be able to find because we had walked into Chinatown from our lunch at Brewerkz, and it was hot.

The solution? A wise man once said, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, I walked into a chinese medicinal hall and bought a bottle of something. If you walk past any of these medicinal halls, you will notice that not only do they sell dried weeds, they sell essence of dried weed in bottles. They are meant to quench thirst, 'cool' your body (in both eastern and western terms), reduce coughs and a whole host of other minor ailments. They range from the awful tasting to the-laced with so much rock sugar- ants from Malaysia would find you- types. The bottle of something I bought was chrysanthemum and ginseng. KW, the expert with herbs thought it was a concoction that couldn't go wrong and was ideal for a hot day.

Yes it was. But it was also very genuine and very good for me. Read: Really really bitter!

Only in Chinatown.

KW opted for the more conventional thirst quencher that I'm desperately trying to stay away from. So we sat al fresco at the McDonalds. Which in itself was once again bizarre. The music blaring was Chinese music. And most of the men sitting outside McDs were old men, weather worn, gnarly old men. Even they seemed to have globalised a little. Of course, the majority of them were still hanging out drinking kopi at the coffeeshop, but there was this group that drank coffee at Macs. To make it even more strange, there was an old man, sitting inside, enjoying the airconditioning by virtue of not smoking. And this man was sitting on his own, reading. Totally oblivious of the two girls gawking at him and trying to get the title of his book. All we could gather was he was old, he drank coffee, he read English novels and he got them from the library. Not of CSI standard but good enough.

If the day ended there, I could already claim it to be strange as blue ice-cream (not including artificial colouring). It didn't. At some point, I turned around and there was a cab, illegally parked with a little girl in the front seat. She had attached a note onto the window. " Daddy, baby sit me. Welcome!". Most unusual and slightly disturbing. We were a little concerned that the girl had been left there to bake in the car and were about to call the cops when the dad came back with many bags of junk food from the big M.

Perhaps I had seen too much C.S.I, but I seriously thought that the father had left her there to die. Obviously untrue, but my mind's been made susceptible to subliminal and liminal messages sent across the the airwaves. T'was a good thing I hadn't called the cops yet. But then again, we don't live in the Nevada desert with scorching temperatures.

One thing I realised, there were VERY few young people who were just hanging out in Chinatown. The ones that looked relatively young, they were tourists, doing the touristy things like taking photographs of the gaudy pagoda that stood in the middle of the street like a road divider.

KW and I tried to be as native as possible and decided to try to buy some stuff from the medicinal halls claiming very loudly, perhaps more for our sake than anyone elses, that we needed to stock up. Stock up for what? I really don't know . Unfortunately, our education never extended that far and we were clearly, perhaps, one rung, only one rung above the tourists whose only knowledge of these shops were they sold bizarre things like tiger penises.

Thank goodness our hour was up and we had to make our way to the spa. Territory that was infinitely more familiar. Hello, scent of lemongrass and ylang ylang! Goodbye scent of dried mushrooms and ginseng!

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:37

1 thoughts...

Monday, September 05, 2005

From Days of Yore

I was clearing out the folder in My Documents labelled Misc.

And I found this blog post that I wrote on Word. I suspect blogger must have been down at that point. The post I suspect was written circa May 2004 and judging from the events and posts of that time, I can narrow it down to somewhere between May 5th 2004 and May 19th 2004. And judging from the lucidity, I think I was really ill at that point.

Some of it is still largely relevant. Some of it isn't. But I figured, since I wrote it, I might as well post it.


It's supposed to be cooler in the house because well, you're not directly under the sun. But the heat we're experiencing today, there's no where to hide unless we're willing to up the airconditioning bill again.

That which I am not too keen on doing seeing that I've been to the doctor twice in 5 days and have spent close to $80 on medication that my brother thinks could have been replaced by honey and lemon. Strange how locally trained doctors differ from foreign trained ones.

Flu in Singapore- pile on the antibiotics

Flu in Melbourne- Lemsip (available at any supermarket)

Urinary Tract Infection in Singapore- pile on the antibiotics

UTI in Melbourne- a crate of Cranberry juice

Sore Throat or Throat Infection in Singapore- More antibiotics

Same affliction in Melbourne- Hot lemon and honey minus the tea

Rash from antibiotics in Singapore- More antibiotics, enough to kill a cow.

Rash from antibiotics in Melbourne- Eat yoghurt, balance the bacteria levels in your body again.

I sense a pattern here.

The difference was Australian doctors did not sell you the drugs. You got them from a chemist. All they did was prescribe so they don't profit at all from pushing one drug over another for a cut of the commission. I suspect that was why my cuckoo doctor actually insisted on prescribing me with folic acid. He gets a cut from the Pfizer type pharmaaceutical giant in Singapore. Heh.

On other news, a while back, I wrote about some lizards whose lives' ambitions were to scare the beejeezus out of me. And since my last entry, they've been laying low. Until today. Today! The day of all days when I had absolutely no ability to scream, they choose to appear, in the cupboard where we keep all the condiments and spices. It's akin to the episode in Buffy the Vampire Slayer where the Gentlemen steal all the town's voices so that no one can scream when they rip hearts out-also known as the creepiest episode in Buffy- Hush. Same thing. Wait till I can't scream to terrorise me. Bah!

Something I found very bizarre today while aimlessly surfing. Singapore Brides is a local portal with a huge forum page. Normally, I don't visit such sites because I hate the way they butcher the English language and make serious of flippant issues. Anyway, since I found out that my best friend might be pregnant, I've been looking around- these are the best places to get information about anything and no surprise, I manage to track down comments on the shortlisted list of doctors with helpful attached comments. Whilst doing this, I discovered a thread entitled "abortion, anyone?"

This was puzzling seeing that it was a Brides Forum page. To my surprise, it was started by a 17 year old who wanted to know where to get an abortion done. To my greater surprise, there were many suggestions, including one that went along the lines of "the clinic is near an MRT station, beside a seafood restaurant and has a swing outside of it". That sounded one step above the backstreet butchers I read about in novels about 1950's America. All we needed was a Chinatown and a greasy guy in a blood stained white coat. I digress. It amazed me because it REALLY was a place that people could get information from and at the end of it, I think this girl was spoilt for choice.

What was a little bit more of a put off for me was how some inquisitive little snoop was going round asking people how many abortions they had had and how they had managed to glean such precise and detailed information about clinics that performed them. This little weasel, despite being chastised by the moderator continued to harrass those who were posting. Some posts went along the lines of "here's some help for you. Good luck... please be careful..." and others shared their own experiences- all this anonymous and perhaps cathartic interaction and sharing marred by one squirreling rug rat.

I know the web is a public domain and it's a free for all- the First Amendment supporter's wet dream. But to delve and to barrack at others, clearly that's a violation of the same freedom as well. Your right infringing on someone else's? For your own pleasure? Nope, I don't think so. I feel personally about this because of the mutiple trollers I seem to attract and I tell my students the same thing when they comment on blogs.

Argue and disagree with the content, that's fine. It's not fine when you make it personal. It's not fine when you attack the person just because the view pisses you off. But some seem to not understand such fundamental etiquette. That's unfortunate I'm afraid and perhaps, that uncontrollable urge to make personal attacks or accusations at a person is why some politicians in our region are extremely well off.

*Postscript - 5 September 2005- The lizard situation hasn't improved in the last year and a third. I had to move my rubberbands because every morning, I'd walk into the kitchen to see the kitchen counter strewn with rubberbands even though the night before, they were neatly hanging off the cupboard knob. There is also STILL a lizard living in the spice and condiment cupboard and I think it's the resident lizard. It's black and fat!

Ondine tossed this thought in at 23:03

1 thoughts...

Friday, September 02, 2005


I am no Sam Seaborn.

And this morning, I stopped procrastinating and wrote out my speech for K's wedding. I didn't know how long a 5 minute speech would look on paper so I asked Tym since she has more experience with these things than I do. And her initial reply scared the hell out of me.

Apparently, a para with 4 or 5 sentences will take an hour.

I thought to myself, gee, I must speak far too fast in class. No wonder no one understands me.

Apparently it was a mistake. She meant a para a minute.

That's more like it.

So, I try and recall what was said at my wedding. I can picture the speech makers very clearly, but I cannot for the life of me remember what they said. Of course, that gave me consolation, that no one would remember what I say anyway. But then again, she's one of my best friends so I should do a good job.

I thought of so many things that I wanted to say. Everyone told me that it was supposed to be something different. Is it supposed to be about her? Is it supposed to be about my friendship with her? Is it supposed to be my wishes for her? Or some wise sagely advice that only a married friend could offer?

I decided to play safe and tried to fit ALL of that into five minutes. Not everything I wanted to go in. I wanted desperately to narrate Packrat's Tao of Ice Cream story. I wanted to tell of their engagement. I wanted to do little marriage wise-isms.

I settled for I Corinthians 13:4. It is I think under rated advice. I think it's become such a cliche that people forget the true meaning of it. Of what love is. We have it engraved on our rings and even then, we are guilty of forgetting. It's the mother of all advice. Obey this and everything else falls into place.

Just as 1 Corinthians defined for me what love was, I wanted to talk about what marriage was about. Bishop Jeremy Taylor put it most succintly and most realistically.

Marriage has in it less of beauty, but more of safety, than the single life;
it hath more merry and more sad;
it is fuller of sorrows and fuller of joys;
it lies under more burdens but is supported by all the strengths of love and charity;
And those burdens are delightful.

How true. The numerous times when I succumb to those evil fairy tale expectations, I'm drawn back into reality by it. A few weeks ago, I talked to a student who found out the guy she liked was actually playing her for a fool and I was mad enough at him on her behalf that I offered to fail him. It was then I realised that what the proverbial they say about marriage was true. It is more of safety- sure you have your aberrations, but on the whole, it is true. It is more merry- I have never been happier and had so much fun with one person. It is more sad- I will never fall in love again or ever experience a first kiss ever again. It is fuller of sorrows- one day, I will talk about this, just not now. And it is fuller of joys- having someone to love with and love at is God's greatest blessing! But is supported by all the strengths of love and charity- I married a wonderful guy who buys me fishballs when I'm depressed and will stay up with me when I hve papers to grade. I have to remember that more often. And those burdens are delightful- I wouldn't trade it for the world!

A colleague remarked how exciting weddings were. Yes, they are. And they make me a tad wistful as well. Not because I want to get married again or anything. But looking at a couple on their wedding day, you are hit being how young and innocent they are. How full of hopes and dreams they are. And that's when you wipe away a little tear, whisper a little prayer and send them on their way.

I guess that's what my speech will be about.

Ondine tossed this thought in at 11:19

1 thoughts...

" Far in the stillness, a cat languishes loudly"