Archive for April, 2013

mr taxi

Looking back, I guess I was a pretty good university student…… I never skipped any lectures, although admittedly I was often late for many morning classes. :P

Once in the first semester of my first year (late 2006), I was late for a 10 am tutorial, so I decided to cab from Clementi MRT and ended up taking a taxi with an equally tardy schoolmate, a tall Chinese guy. The very first time I shared a cab with a complete stranger!

During the ride we didn’t talk at all, but I noticed he was reading some Geog level 3000 notes. As we were reaching our destination, the AS3 building at Arts, I wondered how to broach the topic of payment. At that point, he coughed, so I looked at him, and he dropped two $1 coins into my hand, which was half the fare.  Somehow, I found his actions rather amusing, and can still remember clearly what he did, although I can no longer recall what he looked like at all.

NB Title of this entry was of course named for the catchy Girls’ Generation song Mr Taxi – you can watch the music video here!


back from vietnam

So glad to be home!

And unpacking is just as bad as packing!

leaving on a jet plane

When I was younger I loved getting window seats in airplanes so that I could look out whenever I wanted and enjoy the scenery. Now that I am older, I prefer aisle seats so that I can get in and get out easily. :)

However one thing hasn’t changed – my love for airplane food. As long as it is not too inedible, I’ll finish everything! ;)

Oh and I’m leaving for Vietnam tomorrow morning for work. Will be back on Sunday evening! :D

instant millionaire

Just went to a money changer to change $150 into Vietnamese currency, and the uncle gave me 2 430 000 dong. Yes, that’s 2.43 million dong. Instant millionaire! :D

5.30 am

Daphne Whatsapped me at exactly 5.30 am this morning, which I assume was when she woke up for school, and that she didn’t stay up till then instead. :P

When I was in junior college, I woke up at 5.30 am to get to school by 7.30 am every day. Sometimes, when I passed a certain neighbouring block on my way to the MRT around 6 am daily, I would see this little boy sitting at the void deck, presumably waiting for the school bus. He looked like he was in lower primary, and judging from his uniform, he was probably studying in Nanyang Primary or Pei Chun Public.

It just so happens that neither school (two of the ‘better’ primary schools in Singapore) is anywhere near my estate. So whenever I spotted him, I always felt a frisson of sympathy. He should have been still in bed at that hour, even if only for a little while more! I chose my school, and getting up early was par for the course, so I couldn’t complain. But I was quite sure that he didn’t choose his!

That was nine years ago, so the little boy is probably in secondary school or even in a tertiary institution now. Occasionally I wonder how he turned out. Hopefully well. Am I the only one, or does anyone else think about the people they encounter, even for a fleeting moment – how are they now?

in the name of god, do your duty

“And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to ‘feel sorry’ for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people’s. I need not remind you of their appearance and conduct on the stand—you saw them for yourselves. The witnesses for the state, with the exception of the sheriff of Maycomb County, have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court, in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption—the evil assumption—that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption one associates with minds of their caliber.

“Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black as Tom Robinson’s skin, a lie I do not have to point out to you. You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women—black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire.”

Atticus paused and took out his handkerchief. Then he took off his glasses and wiped them, and we saw another “first”: we had never seen him sweat—he was one of those men whose faces never perspired, but now it was shining tan.

Continue reading ‘in the name of god, do your duty’

punctuality problem

Early this afternoon, I was on the MRT rushing to Chinatown to meet Karen, and posted a message on a thread in a local online forum I frequent, asking how to be more punctual for appointments. :P

Some time later fellow user Tortoise79 replied:

Postpone your appointment to the estimated time you will reach. For example, you make an appointment at 3pm and when you are on the way to meet your friend, text them that appointment has been change to 4pm. You reach there at 3.45pm and you are early.

Saturday afternoon teaser… don’t ever try.

To be honest, that is quite a good idea actually! :P


And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.

Roald Dahl, The Minpins

outwit outplay outlast

Recently read somewhere that the 26th and latest season of US reality TV series Survivor is called Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs Favorites. (Oh yes, the Caramoan Islands are in the Philippines – you learn something new every day!)

The first season of Survivor premiered on 31 May 2000, and the series went on to humungous success. 13 years and 26 seasons later, I still haven’t watched a single episode of the entire series – not even five minutes of it. Don’t ask me how or why. It just never happened. :P

candy crush saga

Whatever is Candy Crush Saga about? Everyone’s playing it, even the auntie sitting next to me on the MRT. That is, everyone except me! Read reports that describe it as similar to Bejeweled, but I’ve never played that before either! Whatever is Bejeweled about?

I’m currently playing Tetris now (don’t roll your eyes!), but I think I’ll still end up playing Candy Crush eventually, when its popularity is on the wane, just like what I did with Draw Something.

Such is the life of a quasi-Luddite. :P

finally an adult

A very happy birthday to my little brother who turns 21 today! It seems like it was just yesterday that the parents brought him home from the hospital! Yes, how time flies! :)

how to let go

let go

from here

inside the mind of the octopus

I had always longed to meet an octopus. Now was my chance: senior aquarist Scott Dowd arranged an introduction. In a back room, he would open the top of Athena’s tank. If she consented, I could touch her. The heavy lid covering her tank separated our two worlds. One world was mine and yours, the reality of air and land, where we lumber through life governed by a backbone and constrained by jointed limbs and gravity. The other world was hers, the reality of a nearly gelatinous being breathing water and moving weightlessly through it. We think of our world as the “real” one, but Athena’s is realer still: after all, most of the world is ocean, and most animals live there. Regardless of whether they live on land or water, more than 95 percent of all animals are invertebrates, like Athena.

Click to read Sy Montgomery’s article about several meetings with an octopus called Athena. (Somehow, I find ‘[w]e think of our world as the “real” one, but Athena’s is realer still’ particularly melodious.) A lovely article with a surprisingly moving ending……

advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young
Mary Schmich

Inside every adult lurks a graduation speaker dying to get out, some world-weary pundit eager to pontificate on life to young people who’d rather be Rollerblading. Most of us, alas, will never be invited to sow our words of wisdom among an audience of caps and gowns, but there’s no reason we can’t entertain ourselves by composing a Guide to Life for Graduates.

I encourage anyone over 26 to try this and thank you for indulging my attempt. Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

Continue reading ‘advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young’

toilet stories

Was at VivoCity yesterday afternoon when I felt an urgent call of nature and immediately rushed headlong down a corridor into a toilet. The moment I stepped inside, I stopped short: it was full of men! I had gone to the gents by accident! There had been an uncle behind me in the corridor who kept calling out, but I didn’t realize that he had been calling me! Naturally, I beat a hasty retreat and went to the right toilet this time.

This amusing toilet story reminded me of another amusing toilet story which happened when I was very young:

Once, when my family and I were at a library, my late paternal grandma took me the the toilet. Somehow, she carried me up to urinate into this tiny toilet bowl fixed high up on the wall. This incident puzzled me for quite some time as I didn’t understand why the toilet bowl was so oddly positioned and also because I never encountered a toilet with such fixtures ever again. It was only until very much later that I realized that the odd toilet bowl was a urinal and my grandma must’ve brought me to the male toilet! She was illiterate so she had probably been unable to read the sign at its entrance.

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