I was on the MRT to work this morning, when I suddenly noticed the digital sign declaring ‘NS27 Marina Bay’, heard the sound system announced ‘City Hall’ next, and then the train pulled into Dhoby Ghaut station. For a moment I thought I had found myself in the Twilight Zone……
Archive for the 'c'est la vie' Category
Was at Lau Pa Sat one evening back in April. To my absolute horror, I found that their toilet was in a completely deplorable condition. Had been intending to provide the management with feedback, but kept putting it off. Today, I finally emailed them, and also sent a copy to the National Environment Agency:
Subject: Feedback on toilet in Lau Pa Sat
On 23 April 2015 just past 9 pm, I visited Lau Pa Sat for a late dinner. Before eating, I went to use the ladies, and what a sight greeted me! It was nothing short of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Filthy to the point of disgrace. The stuff of nightmares. I did not take any photos (too nauseating), but I’m sure you can imagine.
Somehow, I had the feeling that this was not a once-off occurrence. I hope the management of Lau Pa Sat will take the cleanliness of the toilets seriously, for both the patrons and workers of this eating place. Thank you.
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
Half a year is done, and it’s July already……!
My friend Gabriel posted this question on Facebook:
Why do I have 3 tubes of Colgate toothpaste in my toilet?
Responses I really liked:
– ‘Asexual reproduction’
– ‘Life will find a way. / No wait…’
– ‘There were 4 and someone took one?’
And this was mine: ‘there are more toothbrushes on our toothbrush rack than there are people at home. best thing is, some of my family members keep their brushes elsewhere… :/’ Curious, indeed!
“There’s a spot of light, Mr. Morris, when we’re born, and it’s a little bit of God,” he told him. “It grows as you become a good son, neighbor, husband, parent and friend and it grows more each time you do a good deed, each time you listen with an open heart.”
My father nodded. The white room had become a kind of tent of spiritual revival.
“I want you to imagine your whole life now, Mr. Morris,” the rabbi said as he took his hand. “And for each time you did something good, imagine it as a little glow you left behind that lights a dark road stretching back in time. It’s a long, long road of lights now, isn’t it?”
My father nodded again. Then he smiled. Through my tears I could see his spots of light, shining for all his acts of kindness — taking in strangers for dinner, sending postcards to lonely neighbors, doing free legal work, handing out old tennis rackets and sneakers to kids in municipal parks, showing respect for anyone he met, telling me over and over how proud of me he was. He wasn’t perfect, and he wasn’t the most responsible husband or father. But he did the best he could. His trail of lights was glowing pearly as it receded into the dark. When the rabbi got up to go, Dad startled us by clearing his throat.
“That was beautiful, Rabbi,” he said.
A touching article that moved me to tears – click here to read ‘Directing the Final Scene’.
Started my next adventure at a tech startup located in a warehouse in Toa Payoh. I didn’t know what to expect at first. The whole team is small, super young, and dresses really casually. (I wore heels today and shall be opting for flat shoes come next week!) And they’re usually all guys, but are having four females out of five interns for the next few months – three undergrads from the National University of Singapore (one is male) and two MBA candidates from the University of Oslo. Their office (really just one large room) is a confluence of organized chaos. There’s really a lot to learn, and I really feel like a fish out of water…… I hope I can make magic here!!! :D
So how did I spend today, my very first day (technically second, since I went back to the office yesterday to do a final cleanup) after leaving my job? Sleeping, of course! Zzzzzz…..
So this morning I made my way to work as usual, even though my last day was yesterday, to finish clearing up my desk. (Last week, when my colleague S was on medical leave once again, I was trying to pack my table, my boss told me to stop and cover S’s work instead. Her exact words: ‘Clearing of workstation should be done during lunch or after work.’ Like what? What kind of boss says that? Now you know one of the major reasons for my departure.)
Finished my great decluttering operation around noon. The junk I discarded completely filled one black trash bag. Decided not to go for lunch and composed beautifully phrased farewell messages to over 200 writers I had worked with in the past 2.5 years, my editorial board, and my colleagues.
Finally, at close to 5 pm, I called for a taxi, said by goodbyes to everyone in the office, and went home with 12 bags of stuff (not including the two more that I had brought home yesterday).
To my next great adventure!
It was my official last day of work today! My colleagues gave me a card and a pen, which I shall use to write the next chapter of my life! :D
My notice period was actually two months, but with close to 20 days’ of annual leave, I managed to reduce it to one month instead. Which meant I didn’t have much time to tie up all loose ends and I am going back tomorrow to finish clearing out my workstation! :P
This morning I tendered my resignation to my biggest boss M. Before I entered his office, I thought that I could coolly pass the letter to him and then just walk out. Turns out, I couldn’t…… I started tearing the moment I sat down. 顿时百感交集: relief, joy, sadness and a multitude of emotions washed over me. It was exactly like a phrase I had once used in my primary school Chinese compos: ‘打翻五味瓶’……
My letter was a simple announcement of my resignation, and the rationale I gave was: “As a female teacher from Henan, China, recently wrote in her resignation note of just ten words: ‘世界那么大，我想去看看’!” My boss accepted the document, and finally the deed was done.
PS I wonder why resigning is also known as ‘throwing letter’ in local parlance, which strikes me as being rather negative. Is it because it is nearly always carried out in unhappiness, when the employee is at the end of their tether?
It’s 1.33 am, pouring heavily outside, and I yearn greatly for piping hot dim sum to chase the cold away…..
After six days of mourning, Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral was held today. And even the heavens wept for him…… 永别了，阿公！您安息吧! 一路走好！
This morning, I woke up and turned my phone on around 7.40 am. One of my Whatsapp groups buzzed. Daphne had sent a message at 5.23 am: ‘Lky passed away le / So sad’. Sze Yong shared a link to a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office, which announced that Mr Lee Kuan Yew had passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital this morning at 3.18 am.
Quickly turned on the TV to Channel NewsAsia. At 8 am, Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation in a live telecast. He spoke in Malay, Mandarin and finally English.
Although we all knew that the old man had been hospitalized for over a month and didn’t seem to be getting better, the news still came as a bolt from the blue. Still can’t believe that ‘first of our founding fathers’, as PM Lee had put it, has gone. It’s the end of an era……
The massive downpour this morning made me think of this poem by Song Dynasty female poet Li Qingzhao:
I think that this is a nice English translation. Incidentally, while the poem notes strong winds (‘风骤’), the rain mentioned in the poem is actually light (‘雨疏’). So it was probably completely unlike the deluge I experienced!