Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I feel like it is a necessity to pay some tribute to the important people in my life, halfway round the globe, 8 time zones away (+1 daylight saving hour = 7 time zone at the moment), who relentlessly put up with my must-try-to-talk-for-one-hour-more-worth-it rants about my life, going non stop and most of the time boring and/or confusing. Yes, you.

I’m sorry I don’t do emails anymore. I really hardly have time for it.

Anyway, don’t think your effort is going unnoticed. I love you for that, for always being ready to talk to me, asleep or awake, boyfriend or no boyfriend. And if you are always ready to hear me out, I’m always here for you. Just a text message and your phone will be ringing. You don’t even need to call me.

I don’t suppose this is trying too hard to stay connected to home. Too hard is too harsh, in it?

Anyway, I love you I love you I love you for that.

And to finish off this warm and fuzzy entry, here is some light hearted tales from the new friends I’ve made so far:

Asians? Oriental?

See the last time I recall, Singapore IS part of South East Asia. Besides calling ourselves Singaporeans or Chinese, we can also call ourselves Asians. But here, Asian is generally reserved for people from the Middle East and maybe from India. Well, mainly (pardon me for not being exactly very politically correct) the darker ones. Chinese, Japanese and perhaps Koreans (who I have started to detest because they are really annoying) are more affectionally known as Orientals.

Pants? Trousers?

Basically, pants IS underpants. Underwear. Knickers. Panties. Anything that covers your legs, no matter what material it is made of, ranging from corduroy to denim to leather to nylon to latex, it is trousers. It also doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman or in between.

Tights? Stockings? Leggings?

Singaporean understanding of stockings are well, stockings. Here, they call it tights. What we think are tights (like bicycle tights) are known as leggings.

The banning of the chewing gum

Nobody seem to understand why chewing gum is banned. Whilst I tend to agree that it does indeed sound like the stupidest thing on Earth to ban (and it seems like we are the only country in the world who does that), I look at the walkways of the streets of London with all the chewing gum stuck and turned black like failed patterns on the ground on what should have been beautiful stone pavements, I convince myself that there is some truth in the ban (nodding my head silently at the excellence of our government, spitting the gum on the pavement, leaving my permanent mark on the street).

Crime rate is zero in Singapore

Some ridiculous bloke asked me if it is true, that there are no crimes at all in Singapore? Then, rumours has it that people who are so so restrained from these laws kind of exploded with rage and formed gangs who chop people up into pieces (which must then mean, that it cannot be zero crime rate, right?)

Capital punishment and drugs

The death penalty is such a debatable topic. Some wished England (and Ireland) has such laws, some couldn’t believe at this day and age there is still the death penalty. And when I mentioned how if you traffic drugs it’s the death penalty, they just shook their heads with a mixed look of surprise and disgust.

My comments? I think having such strict controls may be stifling, and fact is if you have never been through experience, you wouldn’t know what innocence is. Perhaps you can say if you have never lived in a country where freedom of speech is so highly regarded that they do not ID the people who lives in this country (there is no such thing as an ID card, or IC in our local context, apart from driving licenses), where binge drinking is number one in Europe, where drugs are almost legal, you probably wouldn’t think of what you have had your whole life is stifling. When there is nothing to be compared with, you wouldn’t know. Which also means don’t know anything about the world at all.

I have met people who started taking drugs at 15, sold them illegally to make money to take more drugs, got busted by parents who raid their rooms and found packs of Es, and that makes me wonder if this is the kind of lifestyle you want your kids to grow up in. Not that these people I’m talking about are now scums of the society who lives on benefits – they managed to get a decent Bachelor and some are onto their Masters and earning at least thirty thousand a year – and if I may say, contributing quite a bit of tax to the scums of the society – although still drinking and getting drunk every other day of the week.

And at the end of the day, you still get doctors and lawyers and engineers and architects and policemen and firefighters from this crazy city. The society does work (even though their food sucks). The square mile I am working in is still the richest square mile in the entire world; London is still a place many people want to live and work and visit.

So there, welcome to England.


effy misses you too. don't smoke so much lah

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Moments of reflection

10th of June was the day I arrived in London. It is now some 3 months since I’m here and it only seems the right thing to have a moment of reflection of some sort.

So it all started with staying at my cousin’s place. Having a relative to look out for must be the biggest pain on Earth. Except that I was the pain. I must have caused him so much trouble I feel bad. I can even imagine him complaining to his mother my auntie (here they say auntie too, not aunt, like the Yankees) about it but blood is thicker than water. One day I will tell him how sorry I am.

Then there was this other Singaporean who was a friend’s friend who I waited for to find a place to live together. Turned out she back out last minute and is the main cause of why I am staying where I am. But I guess it is a blessing in disguise because we wouldn’t have been the best of friends anywhere – we probably wouldn’t get along that well, especially the staggering home on Fridays wouldn’t go so well with her. Besides, I love the privacy of having my own room now and wouldn’t give it up for anything.

The bulk of my life so far is work and I know I have said this a million times but I really really think that I have been so fortunate to land in a job like this. Perhaps this is just how all offices in Central London are like, but I doubt every office brings 30 twenty-something smart and fun people together at the same time. Just last Saturday when I was out with my mates having what I think has been the best night so far since I’ve been here in London, (I don’t even want to call them colleagues because they are so much more than that), we were ranting about how fantastic it has been. More often than not you’re lucky to get 1 good friend at work – but here I can name at least 10 people I really love, people I wish I lived with, people I will stay in touch with and go out frequently after we leave this job, people I will go visit at their home countries, (mainly Aussies and Kiwis if they are not English) people to bitch and gossip with, people to bitch and gossip about, people who I am more than happy to throw my hugs around, for these people are my family away from home, people who have seen me drunk and silly and love me for that, people who goes as drunk and act as silly as I am and I love them for that, people who loves me as a little China doll and thinks I am so small I needs to be taken care of all the time and always, always on the lookout for me, people who knows exactly what I am going through right now, who are as stressed and as busy and as no life as I am because of the workload, people who can go out at 8pm to get a pint of beer after seeing each other for 11 hours just to rant about work. It’s incredible how much I have grown to love them – and yet retain a certain level of detachment at the same time.

I’ve also came up with a sort of vague plan for the rest of the months. I reckon I will soon get bored of London especially with the fact that my next job will be nowhere as fun as the one I am having now, and the fact that the harsh infamous weather is coming – sun now no longer sets at 9pm but starts to get dark at about 7pm. Soon it will be about 4pm. It’d be too cold to get around and depressing – I can anticipate that. So I decided I’d probably go to Canada to look for my other family and be a pain again for Christmas and New Year, then perhaps head to California again if I find it too cold and stay there for a while if I like it (this colleague of mine stayed in Hollywood for 11 months and loved it – so I might go check it out and see if I’d like it too), come home at some point before May for a visit, then head back to London for the next season at the same place I’m working, doing a big one or two month Europe trip in May-June or something if I have sufficient funds at that point, or else, do it in October after the season ends. But I’m definitely going to come back to Europe. I have not yet seen it at all, and it is quite stupid of me not to I know, and go transatlantic but then again, I’ve considered this hard and long and I sort of think that this is the best plan yet.

And maybe, I may bring one or more inspired souls along from Singapore with me next year. Who knows?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I am sorry I have not been updating. I actually wrote a draft out but it's in my thumb drive and I keep forgetting to bring it along to work.

Anyway, At this moment, at 6.55pm and still a lot of work to do, and hungry like siao, I just want to have beef noodle soup. Not noodle, but tang hoon.

The gu bah mee from BKK.

I'm going to go home and try to remake the magic. Apparently the raw beef are from eye of steak cut. TMD ex, but in thin slices, so maybe I'd try to buy 1 piece of steak and eat it for the next 3 days.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The highlight of next week is....

The Phantom of the Opera

I am so sure it will be worth all of my £35, even though I am more than happy to pay more and sit at the stall but my colleagues don't want to. I'm sure I will watch it in the front few rows at least once in my life - at nowhere else but THE BROADWAY.

I am so going to cry when I watch it. My dream is coming true! Phantom at West end!