Birthdays and Obligations

Sometimes, we feel obliged to do things. Do you get the same feeling too?

Everytime Facebook reminds you who are the friends having their birthday, do you feel obliged to send a “Happy Birthday” message?

If you chose not to send it, do you feel guilty after that? It’s like.. “Facebook has reminded me and threw the reminder onto my face. Cannot don’t send leh.. but if I send, the friend also won’t think I’m sincere since Facebook sent the reminders.”

But if you sent it, have you done it willingly? Do you sincerely wish the person has a happy birthday?

This question on obligations was asked during a class last week, when we were on the topic of Social Interactions. There are no rights and wrongs, it’s about how humans react when situations happen.

Since we’re on the topic on birthdays, I wonder how many of us actually remembers our friends’ birthdays.

So I did an experiment – to see who are the friends who really remembers my birthday. Judging from previous years’ experience, on average there were about 100~150 wishes via Facebook.

Last year, I hid my birthday info a day before the actual day. Other than the few close(r) friends who texted me via whatsapp, there were only a handful who sent me wishes via Facebook.

This year, I did the same experiment again – hiding the info a day before the actual day. On the day itself, 1 message came in via Facebook and a few via whatsapp. When I set the info visible a day after the actual day, that’s when more messages came in.

No, I don’t feel sad about it at all. I don’t feel like I’ve been forgotten. When one gets older, priorities change. Plus the fact that we have become so reliant on technology, we tend to forget things that we used to be able to recall with the snap of our fingers.

Back to the topic on obligations. I’ve also not been sending birthday wishes on Facebook the past months. I don’t want to seen as “aiya confirm is Facebook remind one..”.

That reminds me of an exchange student in my class who said I’m rude and that I should at least pretend to say hi when I see him along the corridors – but then why should I when I’m not sincere and when he wasn’t in my field of sight? Should I yell across the corridor if I do see him at the other end then?

I digressed. Happy belated birthday to myself! And happy birthday to everyone whose birthday falls on the 365/366 days of the year!

Age is catching up

Feeling discouraged. Some minor events that happened recently are hitting me quite badly. Lost the confidence of doing things right.

Anyway, I sat by the laptop wanting to do some readings for the assignment, but ended up doing my own administrative work (legit admin work! need to sort out finance stuff).

Looking back, blogging feels so yester-years. I feel old to be writing this post now. Maybe it’s time to look at the closure of the blog.

One of those days

One of those days you wish you’re not alone. You wish you have someone to share your thoughts with. You wish you have someone by your side. 

Cab woes

2 weeks ago, I had an unhappy encounter with a cab driver.

I booked a cab and had to wait 10 minutes for the cab to arrive. When I went downstairs 10 minutes later (I saw from the app that the driver was reaching), the cab has already reached and was waiting at where my lift lobby is.

Usually I’ll just walk down the stairs from the lift lobby to carpark, but that day the workers were doing painting works to my block and they cordoned up the stairway, so I had to walk to the other end of the block which wasn’t cordoned before I could walk to the cab. It would have just taken me probably an extra 1minute. But just as I reached the end of the block and entered the carpark, I saw the driver driving away. Thinking he might be driving around the carpark trying to search for me, I didn’t give it much thought and attempted to walk faster.

Sadly, the cab exited the carpark. I ran. And called the driver. But he/she didn’t pick up. (Could have been my fault as I didn’t call using the number I used to make the booking.)

Being the good tempered me, I was waiting for the driver to cancel my booking (which most drivers do by indicating a no-show). Interestingly, there was no booking cancellation but a valid taxi ride showed up instead. I was charged for a 0km ride. I thought.. “hmm ok. at least the driver indicated payment was by cash. if it had been charged to my credit card (which was indicated as payment method when I booked the cab), I’ll definitely lodge a complain!”

So I booked another cab again. To my horror, I couldn’t use my regular promo code! Turned out that the code can only be used once a day and my quote had been used up by the previous driver who “charged” me for the 0km ride.

I managed to book another cab – without the promo code. And it was another 10mins of wait.

Feeling indignant in paying the $3.30 which I could have saved, I wrote in to the cab provider telling them my encounter (but didn’t specifically ask for the waiver). Had not received reply from them for 2 weeks, I’d long forgotten about the encounter. Finally received a reply email today, informing me my incident has been recorded in his service records.

While they didn’t offer to waive the $3.30, I can only remind myself that not everything will go as planned. You always need to have a give-and-take attitude, a mindset that helps to keep you in a happier mood.

The Singapore Landscape

Night Landscape of Singapore

Sometime in December last year, we brought the APG Boccia international referees out to discover some parts of Singapore.

While we were sending them back to their hotel, I couldn’t help but to stop and admire our beautiful landscape.

Welcoming the 2016 year of the Monkey

January 2016 came and gone in a flash.

Work was busy with the Future of Us Exhibition, and.. there seems to be nothing else worth mentioning. Doesn’t sound like a good sign, but well life still goes on.

I was contemplating a resolution post a while back, but I’ve come to realise that I’ve never fulfilled any from those that I’ve made in the past years.

Nevertheless, after a year of delay, I’m finally taking my guitar LCM Grade 3 practical exam this April! Feeling excited coz it’s my first time taking music exam!

When life has reached some form of stability, one needs to constantly find things to look forward to. Time to relook at priorities and possibly shift the focus somewhere?

Looking back at 2015, I’m glad there were no major hiccups. Counting the blessings that I had been having at work. Seriously can’t wish for more, it’s more than what I have asked for.

The year of Monkey will be good, if not better. It’s only 2 days away!

This year I decided to DIY some decorative items.

Red lantern for the office
Tangerines for the tv console at home

8th ASEAN Para Games Singapore 2015

Sometime early last year, I was approached by the Boccia coach to be part of the ASEAN Para Games (APG) that was to be held in Singapore. Being the typical me who wants to be a part of anything and everything, I jumped at the chance! Now that it is over, I can tell you I have no regrets being part of it!

I am blessed to have very supportive bosses at work. They allowed me the luxury of 100% concentration on the Games by approving my 9 days leave (Or maybe because I was too defiant that they decided to let me go ahead hehe).

It had been a very tiring week. The smart me had appointments at night even though the reporting time was as early as 8am the next day. The lack of water (because I kept forgetting to drink) and sleep from the day before the Games officially started on 5th for Boccia made the day very tough to be survived. But I made it anyway!

Being with the sport Boccia for a few years now, this year I ventured into an area that I’m not familiar with – competition format. Interestingly, even though I’ve been helping out at the National Disability League (NDL) all these years, I knew nuts about how the competition format works – why and how should different formats be used. I have to say that I’ve learnt a fair bit during this APG. Hopefully I can put this new knowledge to good use in NDL next year!

I’m missing the Boccia family. Time to re-look into how I can contribute more.

XM Week

Before I left house for my walk just now, I had things that I wanted to blog about. But now that I’m back home, sitting by the laptop, I had to think hard what exactly did I want to write about. Somehow that “feeling” to write disappeared with that 200 calories from the walk. 😉

So, I went to watch 7 letters last night. Consisting of short films by 7 local film writers, all the short stories talked about racial harmony and reminiscing the olden days. Such artistic films are not meant for everyone I’d say. Gets quite boring after a while. But in one of the short stories, there was an invisible ninja cutting onions beside me. 😛

This week had been an “XM” week. Met CF for dinner on Mon, Carolyn S for dinner + movie on Tues, Bee for lunch today. Now I’m thinking who to meet tomorrow. Hehe..

XM Family Reunion

Been a while since I updated this blog. Procrastination got the better of me for the past few months, plus there wasn’t any interesting stories to be shared.

August had been a good month – it’s always good when finances are cleared. Can finally heave a sigh of relief! Many people had been telling me that financial planning is important, but I kept ignoring it as instant cash deems more important to me. So two months back, I decided to take the plunge. Now I am finger crossing everything will work out smoothly in the years to come.

And (financial) luck had been good this month too! Been a while since I last striked Toto and 4D. Hehe 🙂

On a random note, if you’ve been a friend of mine for years, you might know the reason why I rejoined XM in 2007. There were several factors of course, but the main factor was that I had such a good time during my short 3 months stint with them in 2003. The culture and the environment XM had was something that I wanted then.

So you can imagine my happiness when the then-CFO initiated an XM Reunion! Initially I was skeptical, for there were many people whom I do not know since I was only there for a short while. I almost “abandoned” the meet-up for a JB-durian trip with the colleagues (which we abandoned the plan because we didn’t have enough sign-ups), and am so glad I didn’t!

It was so good catching up with the ex-XMers after so long! Some of whom I’ve not seen when I left in 2003 (and they had left when I rejoined in 2007).

It is indeed rare for co-workers to have such bonds! I feel so blessed to have been part of it.

So good to see everyone again! I’m now looking forward to the next XM Reunion!

XM Family Reunion 2015
XM Family Reunion 2015

Rest well, Mr Lee Kuan Yew

I have never met you in real life – you’re a figure I’ve read only in my Social Studies & History textbooks.

When news was out that you have been hospitalised since February 5, speculations on whether you were leaving us were flying around. When the Prime Minister’s Office started giving updates on a daily basis, we knew that time is nearing.

We knew that you will leave us sooner or later – death is part & parcel of life. Yet when news broke on March 23 that you passed away peacefully, we were all saddened.

Every year during the national day parade, I’d always look forward to your arrival. This year’s celebration will be different without you.

Throughout the week, I cried. Especially when articles about the other side of you were being shared on the social media platforms – a side that was unknown to many of us. Especially when articles on how strongly you fought for us ever since you took office in 1959 were shared.

“I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There’s nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.” – Lee Kuan Yew

No words can describe my gratitude for the sacrifices you have made for us. I’ll never have the chance to thank you in person, for allowing me to reap the rewards that you have sowed.

“My definition of an educated man is a man who never stops learning and wants to learn.” – Lee Kuan Yew

One of your many quotes in your speech in February 1977 on education. It’s also a quote that I’ve been following – 活到老学到老 (translate – learn as you age). I’ll continue to stand by it for as long as I can.

Rest well Mr Lee. It is somehow a relief that you are now reunited with Mrs Lee, the love of your life. Don’t worry about leaving us behind, we’ll continue to stay united and become the Singapore that you have visioned.

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while queueing at the padang to pay our last respects
while queueing at the padang to pay our last respects
one of the beautiful sights part of his creation
one of the beautiful sights part of his creation

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after 7hrs in an orderly queue
after 7hrs in an orderly queue, we’re finally at the Parliament House