Friday, March 30, 2007

Siem Reap . Ho Chi Minh

I realised I have not sat on a plane with someone I know that is going on the same trip as I am for more than a year, despite the fact that I have been travelling quite a bit.

The last time was probably to Bangkok. Like, in late 2005. It's freaking lonely to be on the plane alone, although I have learned the tricks of the trade and have gotten used to it, having flown about a hundred and six hours alone in 2006 and 2007.

So this time, I am actually quite excited. Somemore, travelling with the love of your life is definitely a different experience. Imagine the sunrise and sunset at Angkor Wat, braving the mosquitoes and flies and touts and beggars (I actually remember vowing not to return to Cambodia for 2 years because I was so traumatised by the amount of poor and handicapped people, despite the fact I enjoyed myself thoroughly), trying out Happy Pizza together (I'm so looking forward to that) and just hanging out, eating at not-that-cheap restaurants just because I am no longer POOR (hmm, poor yes, just not flat broke. But then, I've never been flat broke).

The biggest plus points are that
1. I am no longer a poor exchange student who has a poor boyfriend;
2. I will be stay in Le Meridien Angkor for FREE, (because shit jobs comes with perks I have to take advantage of) which looks like this:

3. I am finally going to Ho Chi Minh. I always wanted to go to Vietnam, despite the fact that HCM isn't the top choice, and this is just such a touch and go holiday which I hate (I'd love to spend a lot of time hanging out and experiencing the local culture), but given the fact that we are now 2 working professionals (me, still no money) with very limited holidays,

what more can I ask for?

19 days till the cow comes home, and 22 days to the "big" S.E.A trip


Monday, March 26, 2007


I absolutely appreciate the kind words. And I do agree, because yes, it's not like I don't want to be able to enjoy the finer things in life. And as proud as it sound, I do not stop to wonder at any point that I would not be able to.

I think I just know I will get there. Have that salary that nice home the 2 holidays per year that sound system that LCD tv everything that measures and shows off your wealth the husband the 7 seater car that 2 kids that condo the swimming lessons piano lessons ballet lessons. I don't think I will be able to escape if I decide to live here.

Eventually. Just not now. Not yet.

Please try to understand that there is no fixed definition or measurement of success. It's not like what you think is wrong. But it is not all right either. Just because I have graduated in 05, doesn't mean I am not successful because by now today, I have not yet gone into some management programme, nor have already been in a company for 1.5 years waiting to get my promotion (again) and pay rise (to match the SMU statistics of an average pay of $2,8k (and I should get even more than that because I graduated 1.5 yrs ago), nor am in some very niche financial sector and smiles on Straits Times and say, nah, I absolutely do not mind not having a life, work 15 hour a day, 6 days a week because I am a xxx of xxx and I am a success story your dad will show you and tell you, girl ah, next time must go SMU, see, like this jiejie lidat, can become xxx of xxx and make xx,xxx a year leh!

Of course, there'd be people who read this who will be thinking. Geez, sour grapes. Well, think what you want.

The wealth of my knowledge and the depth of my perspective in life is nothing you can match. Even though you have something fancy tagged to your name on your namecard, and I, I am just helping my ex boss work temporarily while waiting to go back to London to try to find a living, most likely also without anything fancy I can tag my name to, but I can tell you I am better off than you.

Because by the time I am back and start what you did 2 years earlier than I do, I have equipped myself with survival skills, having worked and lived in foreign land (shit job or otherwise), threw myself out in the open and forced myself to make friends with people who already have a very strong typecast about you because of the colour of your skin, (and perhaps even harder than being at school, for people at school tend to - correct me if I'm wrong - be a little more open about multi racial friends, and there is still the association that you all are in the same school) be more open about risk, and probably even having a different definition of risk than most of you. Because to most of you, risk is how much return you can get for that amount of money invested. Sure it means the same to me. But it also mean being able to survive in foreign land without any security. Meaningless risk, some people will say. For what? I can always go travel around Europe in luxury when I am filthy rich.

Of course you can. I will do that too, next time. But whether the risk I am taking is meaningless or not - is up to me. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I honestly like to listen to everyone because the differences in perspective about life is what makes us human beings unique and if you like, interesting. It's a touchy topic, almost as bad as trying to get money back from people.

The funniest thing is, if I tell that to an Australian or a Kiwi (half the population flocked to England to work in a ski resort/ wait tables for a year) or even an English (half the population flocked to Australia to live as a beach boy/ surfer for a year), they'd just shrug their shoulders and say,

oh c'mon there, you're not that special. this is no big deal, a lot of people here do this.

So, don't kick such a big fuss out of this. Just because Singaporeans typically don't do that, doesn't mean it's out of this world. People from other places do do that. It's normal. I mean, I'd come back. I have at least 30 years of working years to catch up with you. By then, I hope I can in my head (because I think it's nice to be humble) say I TOLD YOU SO.

Money cannot buy experience. I am happy to not make the XX,XXX you are making now. Because I eventually will.

I feel different. I feel better. I feel more alive. I feel more conscious about living. And I know that there is someone out there who will appreciate this difference in me. I think I have found him. Hopefully.

And seriously, that is all that matters to me.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Singapore, a very dangerous place

I have to write to my Aunt in Canada that I finally felt what she told me. The moment you get back to Singapore, it's simply too easy to fall right back into the Singapore mould.


I have been convinced, till just a few days ago that perhaps everyone is quite right that I should just live with the fact that the fun is over and that I should, since I am now 25, be settled and with the job market looking so well now, be able to get a pretty good job with a decent pay. So why go back and risk not getting a job, not getting enough money to live? And I went, hmm, yah hor.

Plus, I have met someone. Someone my friends and family likes far more than any other boyfriends I had. And I like far more than any others too. Takes a lot for me to say this, for I have almost given up hope with boys at home. But he is my kinda guy and I am his kinda girl - where to find? So why go back and risk this failing? (To be honest, this is still my biggest fear)

Yet so many too many things have been going in my head. There is just a very annoying buzz that is lingering because I did not leave London thinking I was leaving for good. I left my stuff there, I did not say good bye properly - I said, see you next summer. I made 3 fantastic girlfriends from downunder who is there on the same dream as me, who stuck by me throughout my highs and lows in Zurich, who has been telling me they can understand if I don't come back, but will be really disappointed (in me?). And there is also Cui who I love and wants to go back to play with.

Singapore is a dangerous place where ideals get suppressed. How many boys have dreamt of being a footballer/ bballer/ sportsmen but gave it up? How many people dreamt of being a pop/ rock star but gave it up? Not because they are not good. How many people tried, and get boo-ed by their own fellowmen (aiya this one sure cannot make it big one lah)

I still love this place. It may not be perfect living, but at least it's interesting.

But for now, I think, I still need to go. The free spirit that allowed me to stand out even at the miserable height of 1.61m cannot be suppressed. For that is what makes me different, and while this differences is relative - I find this difference beautiful and strong.

Let me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Playstation what?

I like the fact that I benefit from somebody else's girlfriend's generosity. So after Shaun announced the groundbreaking news that a PS3 is now part of the deco of his room (together with his Bose system and High Definition TV), the natural assumption that me, being one of his best galfriend and the only galfriend who loves gaming almost has much as he does, will inherit the lousier, lower grade of a PS2. And it should BELONG TO ME FOREVER!

But it's not. It's only on loan till Dec 2007, subjected to negotiation. I tried to use my Westin heavenly pillow as a bait. But he doesn't buy it.

But still, 9 months is a long time. :))

In any case, I LOVE YOU SHAUN! Which other guyfriend in this world will come pick me up from my drinking session, send me home, fix up the PS2, before driving home again?


So, in view of my new found freedom, and the lack of cash, I will devote my one month (while he chiong sua in the jungle) to spend a lot more time at home:
  • Cleaning up my room
  • Redecorating my room with my newly acquired poster (which my host from New York sent to meeeeeeee!!!!!) and postcards from abroad
  • Playing Final Fantasy XII
  • Meeting up with my friends that I neglected in the past month
  • Losing the 2kg I put on because of the incredible amount of food I have been eating
  • Plan and design my new painting

Monday, March 19, 2007

Growing old

This is so out of the blue but in the midst of my very busy working life that is not entirely satisfying (it isn't a full time job anyways), my mind wandered off and instead of planning whether I should head back to the British Isles or stay here and be blissfully loved, suddenly I was thinking of who I would like to be with till the end of time.

So first I think of who I want: then pictures of friends flash through my head and I do a yes, no, hmm i'm not sure in my head.

Next filter comes not just who I'd like to be with, but who I think will make it with me. Who will bother to put in the effort. Then second round of filter.

Some people are pretty random. Never meet up frequently. But it warms my heart just thinking of them. Some just gives me the shudder. Some are just disappointing, that I know will not be there. Some do not deserve to be in the picture.

So finally, I have a comfortable number of friends that I conclude will be there. And that makes me happy.

Are you one?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Monday, March 12, 2007


I need some for my brain. Can't believe I studied so much to do such dumb dumb job.

But yah, just the brain will do.

Monday, March 05, 2007

How did you do it, hui?

How did you, in London, manage to go out every other day during the busiest period in the season, drink so much booze because it is so cheap and because you are so stressed you don't want to go back to that miserable room you call home and rather chill out and complain with your colleagues, then stagger home and tip toe into the house, most of the time alone, collapse into bed with make up, contact lens, work clothes all on, then wake up on time at 7-ish the next day, shower, go to work, and still manage to go to the gym during lunch time and run for half an hour? And then after work go out and drink so much booze just because.

But yet now, at a job that requires that much less brain power to function (ahh, perhaps that is the reason) and less workload less stress, with MSN, email and every website you want to surf available at your fingertips, plus unlimited supply of good Starbucks coffee, still be so restless so tired?

What happened to the bubble of energy hui? Who burst it?

Anyhoo, this is my first (real) attempt at being a responsible back end support. I've always been in the front line, lalala with the clients, wax lyrical on the phone while twirling the telephone cord, and then throw the work at my operations and wait for the results. But now, I have to be the one doing the proposal. I need to be meticulous, sharp, and most of all, organised.

What a challenge (no sacarsm intended) it is. Being organised is never one of the strengths I dare boast about at interviews, and I have, in quite a few interviews, admitted that administrative work isn't one of my strong points.

And yet now.

But it's actually pretty cool. Having already build rapport with my boss (and taking advantage of it) I tend to be able to get away with small things. Like drinking beer in the office at 5pm. And sitting at the manager's office and shake leg. Or walk around the office bare footed. Or delibrately forgetting to lift the toilet seat up. But all of the sudden, I realised, hui isn't hui anymore. The hui who used to like to try to siam and get away with everything suddenly want to prove her worth to herself. So many things I have no idea how the f I can get around doing it? I don't even ask. I try to find out myself. Even though it takes me 20 mins, once I get it, I sibei song leh.

Aiyo, I think I'm all grown up.

What I stare at, everyday. This (and the person in the picture below) brings a smile to my face every day.