Saturday, March 31, 2007
Late in the evening, 3 adventurers made their way across the island to the hallowed arena, struggling through the obstacles imposed upon them to arrive on time, ready for the ultimate showdown. Or at least, 2 of them did. One tried, really hard.
The 4 of us set down our stakes, flexed our fingers, patted each other on the shoulders, and got down to real serious business.
The affair lasted from 11 to 7, a long-fought battle against time, fatigue, and Benedict. We endured the his barrage of "diao2 zhng1" up to at least 5 consecutive times while maintaining a cool composure and a facade of serenity when he, irritatingly, can win just by 1 fan through one of the auspicious animals of the pack.
Nonetheless, it was pretty fun that night, it felt almost as if we were still mugging for exams and finding the next excuse to pull the wool over teachers' eyes on why tutorials were unfinished. I'm pretty sure theres a *dark* side of each of us that we can only unveil to the other 3 only during such sessions! I had fun letting my inner child run, figuratively, naked around the room while playing mahjong...and I hope I speak for the rest of the other 3 as well!
Nevertheless, we seek your forgiveness and extend our heartfelt apologies on the lack of photos for this monumental gathering, simply because we were too busy reducing our losses to Benedict, whom nonetheless won a grand total of 28$$ from the 3 of us, and due to the fact that we were all too lazy to stand up and take a picture. Nevertheless, allow me to paint a mental image of us giving Benedict a good whooping. Yes, that would summarize our night very succintly.
jiaho rocking off at 10:12 PM
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Goodness..a few months I don't check back and I see posts and essays flying everywhere! Well, considering how hard lj's trying to illicit a post from me by truly complimenting me on my brilliant time at Shitibank, I suppose I would have to oblige with a tidbit of my very own life update.
First things first, a big hello to th and simultaneously, a even bigger *toot* to you for trying to impose a "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I got here first!" type of post on all of us true country-serving patriots. Yup, agree with LJ on that. The going was tough, the life was harsh, but hey, at least its something that shapes us and moulds all of us to be better..I hope, right lj? *wink* Maybe immediately utilizing the brain after A's to go on to uni would be strategically sound, but nonetheless I have had a memorable experience being immersed in situations I had never dreamt of being in. When I mention this, I do not mention situations starting with the letter "s", and ending with "hit".
Anyways, on to my current daily routine. I am STILL a corporate loanshark, albeit of a senior one since I've been slogging at the same post for 4 months. 2 of my permanent staffs just resigned so my boss signed me on for yet another month before I head off into the sunset/HongKong with my colleagues! So...there goes my dream of evolving to a lifeform of higher purpose as well as being able to earn a much more respectable keep.
Nonetheless, I've encountered a few really fantastic moments during my course of dunning *this means, to call people to ask for payment!*. Everyone knows my main objective here would be to demand payment from those nasty debtors who scream/cry/curse/swear into the phone in all different languages and dialects, and while trying to maintain a facade of "Customer Service", we try to be friendly and listen to their life stories, whether its their birthdays or they're in labour or whatsoever before popping the holy question: "When are you going to pay up?"
Anyways, time for my riposte to lj. Instead of being as lucky as lj, being blessed with such wonderful male colleagues to learn his skills of the trade from, I'm seemingly laden and stuck in a department full of ladies amidst the paperwork. They don't really seem to be as fun as lj's soccer-loving colleagues, and they always crack jokes about the better sex. Sigh, such is the lifestyle of being the only boy stuck in an office of pretty women! *Seriously, lj, I envy you.* My neighbour never fails to fish for compliments everyday, or goes to great lengths to illustrate how many suitors she has while simultaneously, and successfully camouflaging it as an attempt to teach me how to woo girls. With the imbalance of ying and yang in the workplace, compounded by the swearing and cussing by our sincere customers on the phone and as a temporary staff, a new portfolio to handle, I find it apt to describe my mental state as a ming vase in a rodeo of bulls.
So happens that I thought I would be leaving the company for good. I promptly called up these few "loyal" customers, people who refuse to liaise with any other officer but me simply because I've heard their life stories more than 4 times. I had to inform them other officers would follow up with their whining/delaying, when one of them actually asked me out for tea!! Another actually asked me for my email so we could "keep in contact as friends" after I left..while another managed to dig up where I'm going afterwards, whereby upon revealing that I'm only a temp staff, goes on about wanting to meet up and thank me in person!
Oh my goodness, these people really believe I was listening to them as a friend! I am utterly ashamed of my personal development into a lifeless, emotionless pen-pusher. Somebody, anybody, save me!!
over to you, alew.
jiaho rocking off at 7:35 PM
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Hee, errm started off just a tag, but then realised it's far too long, then just post lah.
Congrats TH for being able to graduate in 1 yr and I am sure you are happy with all your enriching experiences.
But i have to say I agree that NS is an impt part of life (a guy's life) and it sure is memorable. It is also the sole thing that can bond Sporean guys together, regardless of their age and I admire that.
I go to a party with Mr Goh and I would have to try hard to strike up conversation with other strangers and try and get a good conversation going. Depending on their interests and mine, sometimes it is not so smooth. But oh, just watch the men.... They just need to group together, and once talk veers to NS and what they did or which section they are from ( I dunno the terms lah...).. but it's just amazing how they click.. and they can be young as 18, older like Mr Goh at 32, or even 60.
The other thing I realise that is good about that, is the extra knowledge gained about weapons and warfare. You know how little boys love that? Well my sons are super interested when they spot an aircraft in the air, be it a helicopter or airplane. Or lets say they are watching NDP or they saw a rifle on TV, they are soooo excited and have tons of Qs abt that. I am unable to answer anything. So enter Mr Goh, who will tell my son what kind of airplane that is, what rifle, and how it is used. And sometimes it happens to be something he had used himself during NS, so he can tell his story (his glorious moments of the past). Well, I have to say, I like witnessing those father-son bonding moments!
And oh ya, when he has to return for reservist, it is very sian for me, that's a minus... But then I have to understand he has a duty to the country and he actually enjoys meeting all his old friends again, and they usually have a blast of a time catching up.
I guess, the tax rebates he and I get (for being NSmen's wife) also compensate, plus the extra increment he gets when he started working, else I'd be having higher pay than him, haha.
Ok, thus ends my National Education post, haha.
Aiyah, it is to give hope and encouragement to all those doing NS now lah. Take heart!
Tianhan, I am going to Boston in June, prob late June, any chance to meet up? At New York? I prob don't have the time to drive to Michigan... too far north... :-)
tjmummy rocking off at 3:12 AM
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
TH you *toot*.. :p Haha.. My first instinct was to agree with you and start ranting about how far behind time we are but on second thoughts i'm not gonna give you the privilege of getting the last laugh.. haha.. There were a lot of enjoyable times in the army, life changing experiences (albeit a little overstated in our short lives so far) that we will never be able to go through later on in our lives. And for that I have to disagree with you. Yes, we are behind in terms of getting a headstart in our career, but looking back, I wouldn't regret going through the army again. (Well, if i were a clerk/storeman/driver, then that would be a different story altogether :p) For me, I would rather have 2-3 years less of the corporate world which will be rather insignificant in our long working "shelflife" as compared to a significant experience.
Well, but the fact remains that, haha.. we are dying in our current jobs and for that I would lament our lag behind you. I'm a data entry clerk, alex is an admin clerk and jh is a corporate loanshark (as of "typing" time). Congrats to him this coming friday 30th March when he is finally released from his agony, either plunging to further depths in another similar job or elevated to a higher lifeform doing something more productive.
Life is mundane and boring; our intellect is put to waste and our body is deteriorating from the lack of exercise, which at least we got from the army. But such is the reality of life, and partly because of this I do not feel that I have lost much if I were able to start working earlier. Of course after graduating many more opportunities and choices will be open to us, and I look forward to that day coming.
Haha.. Now it's my turn to laugh at ben, alex and jh. At least I get to fiddle with Bloomberg news and I've got fun colleagues (male, fyi..) to hang out with. We chat about soccer news and maybe sometimes crack jokes about the fairer sex. But such is the lifestyle of bachelor boys. Oh, the male colleagues that I was talking about, one is an Australia-educated Malaysian Indian at 36yrs (lets call him JD) with a Japanese girlfriend and the other is a cool Australia-educated Singaporean Malay (call him AJ) at 35. The other is my army friend that I brought in to work with me. (lets not care about him. He's insignificant in this story but in order to continue my narration his name is KH. lol..) I tell you JD and AJ are really cool man. Both are Tottenham Spurs supporters (fyi only. but they are cool NOT because of that. Who supports Tottenham?!)
Over a few drinks one friday night at 5.30pm at Harry's pub (yes, fortunately we were early enough to beat the ang moh's to a seat) at Clark Quay branch, KH and I chatted with JD. He used to work with Bloomberg as a reporter, getting financial news from all over the world but quit when he reached editor level and had no where else to go up the ladder. He worked in many Asian countries, including a stint in Japan where he met (I was going to use the word hooked, but.. haha..) his Jap gf. Now she's shuttling in and out of Singapore and Japan every month while awaiting her work permit. Poor him.. She's 32, working as an equities trader which she totally hates but has no choice but to stay employed for the work permit, just to be with him in SG, and the pressure's on him to get married for obvious reasons.. "Work's always the excuse not to get married" he laughs it off when I first asked him why he doesn't want to get married. "I don't smoke, gamble, take drugs or fool around, I only drink" he says and it is evident that this bachelor boy is living life as a single to its fullest.
AJ on the other hand is a suave joker. One of the few that I've met (or maybe the only one so far) that can really think on his toes. He is the ultimate professional in picking up girls. I always thought that I was good with girls (pls agree to boost my ego, girls!), but clearly, I pale in comparison to him, THE man. He can really melt the ice with female strangers at the click of his fingers not by his looks, but by the things he says. For example he met this stunning lady in red once and her hands were filled with files and the other a cup of coffee she just bought. Clearly she had trouble going out of the door of Spinelli's holding so many things, and who should come by but the meister AJ. The conversation goes sth like this:
AJ: Here, allow me (and he opens the door for her)
Lady in red (LIR) : Oh thank you.
If he were me, I would just open the door for her and say a meek welcome after she thanks me, and, normally, a conversation would end by this point after she leaves the door. but it just so happens that he was wearing a red tie, and since she was in a red dress and because of his quick thinking...
AJ: Well, red's the colour of the brave. (indicating to his tie, but obviously referring to her sexy outfit)
(And she gives him, THE look ie the are-you-trying-to-be-funny-but-obviously-flattered look)
AJ: haha.. no pun intended.. Well you certainly look like you need help with your coffee
LIR: haha, thanks but I can manage (as she struggles out of the door)
AJ: no, i meant that I could help you finish it if you want.
(and she turns and smiles)
Ok, I'm really not good with this narrative. I'm certainly not doing justice to him but all I can remember was that KH and I were laughing on hearing him narrate his story to us.
Well with colleagues like these, what more can I complain? That was why I sealed my fate for another 3 months by signing a contract with this company till end June..
Oh by the way, it certainly does help that I'm working the relatively short hours of 9am-5.30pm and i just asked for and got a pay increment.. ( :p to the guys!)
Till Friday night mahjong at my house guys..
03S73 rocking off at 6:45 PM
Wow, look at the date below the post. Time really flies and its already been 2 years + a few weeks since we collected our A level certs. 2 years, 10% of our life so far, haha, passed so quickly, made me think about stuff we always hear when we are young, about how time passes and waits for no one. Once time passes, its never coming back.
(time travel is impossible thanx to a quantum physics class i am taking now. omg, i so have to complain! i totally HATE physics, excuse me to all those of you who took physics but physics sucks big time and that's why I did not do physics in A levels, but I have to put up with all this stuff in Uni, freaking 3 physics class and all the quantum counter intuitive BS! argg ............................ -_-")
Anyways, yup, sadly, our childhood, our fun sec sch and jc days are way far behind us now, we can only relive it through memories and pictures and oh yes, entries from this blog. Haha. I am really glad we still bothered to keep this blog after 2 years. 2 years and all of you deserve a huge pat on the shoulder for the effort. Yeah, cheers. Hope this'll continue for a long long time. It will just be totally impressive if I visit this blog in 5 or 10 years and see the LONG LONG list of archives. Fantastico!
Okay, back to study, yes, the usual night b4 exam last minute hugging and kissing budda legs studying. Haha. Only thing that keeps me all pumped up is that I am gonna graduate in 1 year! woohoo, haha. Dick, lj, aliew you all can bite my dust..wahhahhhahhah!
Han rocking off at 11:52 AM
Thursday, March 22, 2007
BACK!!! From a well-deserved break.
After reading about so many escapades from so many of you all, I think it's about time I made some contributions... and gladly I'll, considering I haven't travelled for years... and to celebrate this newfound freedom. Lol.
And serving up the entrée: it's the teeny island hotly coveted by its gigantic neighbour, standing at the border of clashing ideologies.... Taiwan!
It's a 7-day trip, with my family, main destinations being Taipei and Hualian. My sis managed to get a 1 for 1 promotion on Jetstar so it was like S$260/pax (incld. all misc. charges)... shiok.
Touchdown! As I stepped out of the airport (ard 7pm, they have same GMT as us) I was momentarily stunned. It isn't as modern as it's famous in computer technology... roads are old, buildings look worn and traffic kind of chaotic. It was ard 13-15˚C, so was kinda chilly.
After settling down in our hotel, first destination: Shilin Night Market!!! Food. YaY.
甜不辣 and 蚝煎
I gathered some guts and tried their 臭豆腐... bleah.
Gettin ard is pretty convenient in Taipei... they've have a MRT system very similiar to ours, even uses EZ-Link cards. And it's fast, cheap and clean. People there are very 'auto'. They dun rush into trains, they give way on escalators, and they queue very obediently. Otherwise, there's the bus system, which is even cheaper (NT15 for intracity= 75cents), but less comfy...
Air in Taipei isn't too good; due to heavy traffic, pollution is bad, and vegetation along roads aren't common.
To look for fresher air, head upwards: Yangminshan National Park! It's a nature reserve of a cluster of a few mountains at the outskirts of Taipei. Cool chilly weather gives the air a slight fogginess, plus fresh air, great view and blossoming flowers...
Need to take 1 hour MRT ride then change bus tho... but it's worth it.
Public hotspring bath-houses, at one of the peaks (冷水坑）. Full of naked people (both genders. Separate ones, duh). I prefer to stay outside at the footbaths. Heh.
Random pics I took while walking along some of the paths.
One of the areas with a lot of plantations growing these flowers. Hai3 Yu4? Dunno what they're called in english.
The same night we made our way to Hualian 花莲 via train.3-hour ride. Very comfy... even more comfy than Jetstar... haha...
We stayed in a 民宿 instead of a hotel this time; besides being cheaper, it's also a very different experience. The family just stays one floor below... and breakfast home-cooked by the mum. She's a good cook I must say. They've got a beautiful house, and 3 real cute kids... we talked to the dad and he brought his whole family here from Taipei. His dream is to settle down in Hualian, and run the 民宿 till the kids grow up. Wow.
The next morning - Taroke Gorge. It's also a national park, and one of the main attractions in Hualian... another heaven on earth... and also an evidence that humans are insignificant to the beauty and power of nature.
The river is the one that runs through the gorge. Crystal clear! Sadly this season water levels are lower; in summer waterfalls are abundant, and sunlight fills the valleys.
The pic to the left is of a bridge improved on an ancient pathway used by the 原住民 to navigate through the mountains. There are some even more impressive ones, higher up but covered up by the fog, and pathways circling around mountain tops.
03S73 rocking off at 9:40 PM
Monday, March 12, 2007
hello everybody!!! i've unofficially became the official digicam-bring-er and the upload-pics-on-class-blog girl! ahhaa.. :P anw, here's an update for LJ'S 21ST!!! welcome to the club bro! :)
a picture tog with the wine! many of you must be wondering where's benedict.. well, he was outside playing mahjong with lj's cousins.. ALL GIRLS! i dun need to explain further la har.. :P
anw, HAPPIE BIRTHDAY LJ!!!! :)
jay rocking off at 11:41 PM
Hwa Chong Junior College