Archive for the 'c'est la vie' Category

50 shades of grey

The haze is horrific today! During daylight, you could see that everything outside was tinged with a mist of grey. Closing the windows helps a little, but the foul air is still able to seep in through cracks…… It’s 8.30 pm now, and as of 8 pm the PSI reading for the entire island ranged from 215 to 263……


About five more days to Polling Day. I don’t remember the hustings in past years being this intense – the amount of vitriol spilled everywhere is simply TOO DAMN HIGH!

going to the polls

Still can’t believe our little island will be voting on 11 September! I was hoping that the General Election would be held next year. For now we’ll all have to endure the requisite name calling, mud slinging and shade throwing among the parties and populace till then, extinguishing the last vestiges of goodwill generated by the recent SG50 birthday bash.

the gods must be crazy

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……

nea replied!

So I wrote to Kopitiam and the National Environment Agency (NEA) about Lau Pa Sat’s toilets on Tuesday, and the latter responded to me yesterday!!! Hope to see the washrooms in a much better condition should I go back in future!!!

Subject: Feedback on toilet in Lau Pa Sat

Dear Ms (my surname)

We refer to your feedback on the above matter and apologize for your unpleasant experience.

Our officers have sternly warned the management to step up on their cleaning and maintenance regime so as to ensure that the toilets are kept clean and in good working order at all times.

The technicians are already starting work on the affected toilets.

We will conduct surprise checks to ensure compliance and take summary action for any violation of our regulations.

For further queries or clarifications, you may call us at 1800-CALL NEA, use the feedback form available in myENV mobile application or NEA website at

Thank you for your feedback.

Yours sincerely

(name of NEA staff) (Mr)
for Director
Environmental Health Department
National Environment Agency

a post-apocalyptic wasteland

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

Dear Sir/Mdm

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.

(my name)

time flies

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

Half a year is done, and it’s July already……!

toothbrushes and toothpaste

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?’
– ‘42

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!

directing the final scene

“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’.

a new chapter

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

after freedom was regained

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…..

one last hurrah

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!

Continue reading ‘one last hurrah’

last day of work

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

throwing letter

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?

a dark and stormy night

It’s 1.33 am, pouring heavily outside, and I yearn greatly for piping hot dim sum to chase the cold away…..

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