Wednesday, December 27, 2006
One said it was better last time, lesser electronic gadgets, more time for family. One said it was better then; one can spit all they want.
Another comment that made me felt like writing back to comment was “I think Singaporean should learn about queuing up. I had this bad experience boarding the bus when the adult pushed the kid through me and…..”
Well, what can I say? I honestly think this fella, forgotten if it was he/she should make a trip to China, be it Guangzhou, Wuxi or Shanghai. Let him/her experience what is seriously “no manners” or seriously needed some civic education. Then, he/she will learn what is jumping queue.
Had really bad experience in the custom clearance line in the airport in Guangzhou, where the Chinese women didn’t know what personal space is. I hated it when people practically sticked on my back and kept pushing though obviously, the people in front were still queuing, for goodness sake!
Then the 2 morning Mc’D breakfast in Shanghai as I have shared earlier in my blog. Sigh, Singaporean…..
Monday, December 25, 2006
Saturday, 23rd Dec’06
Waking up at 9 plus on Sat morning, I left for Mc’D to work, together with Auntie Serene, invited her to join me for breakfast. Didn’t receive many emails probably because customers have already left for their long holiday, some of which wouldn’t be back till after 2nd Jan’07.
I went to my first facial in AMK, didn’t really want to meet bro and gf so they won’t be able to ask too many questions. Ended up asking HIM if HE was free for a drink. So, took a bus from AMK all the way to Harbourfront, but way too early on time, so, I wandered around the newly opened Vivo City. Heck, Singaporean have nothing to do other than shopping is it. The “city” was full house, with long queues at restaurants.
I “tumbled” upon a bookshop, quite big, named PageOne. Bought a book by Linda Francis Lee titled “The Wedding Diaries”. Bought a small cup of Chunkey Monkey, banana flavoured ice-cream with walnut and chocholate. :-) It was good… haha.. eating while walking in such a big crowd.. shiok…! Reminded me of when we were in Shanghai, eating ice-cream in Nanjing East Rd.
We went to East Coast, had a bottle of vodka each while sitting facing the fierce waves washing off the shore. Confided in HIM, cried and cried on HIS shoulder. Then we went to the pub named BFD for another few round of drinks, till I was tipsy all over. Well, there goes, I have rashes all over my neck again. :-(
Sunday, 24th Dec’06
Woken up by a sms from HIM, asking if I want coffee. Meaning breakfast, well, HE said he would arrive in 30 mins, so, up I went, to take bath (didn’t take bath before I turned in last night because of drunk, slightly drunk).
Came back home to read Sat’s paper but received a phone call from an ex-staff complaining about her bad days at work, for 2.5 hours straight, my ear was painful. Lending ears to people is not an easy task ya.
B left X’mas gifts at the front door, a pair of thermal gloves for my overseas trip in winter and a bottle of Ralph Lauren perfume.
Met B for X’mas dinner, but knew things have changed. We went to formerly called “Marche” now called “Village” for my favorite lobster. We chatted casually, until almost end of the dinner, started to talk seriously about our relationship.
Well, true as it is, he wasn’t ready to get married, that was why he dragged and put off marriage discussion for the past year. And too bad, even now, I can’t bring myself to trust that he really love me so much to the extent he is not able to let go. I guess the fear of failure plays a part. His super natural instinct to lie in everything makes me lose confidence yet again. Let’s just take this opportunity to think of what we really want.
For now, I would be grateful if we could move on with our lives, then see if our paths can ever intersect again.
15 minutes to Christmas… Merry X’mas again everyone!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Yesterday when I left office, shouted at my colleagues and bosses, “bye everyone! Have a Merry X’mas!”, it sounded so good and so merry and so happy. From young, I have loved X’mas, to the max. Of all the festival, I feel much more for X’mas as compared to the others, CNY doesn’t come even close.
I have a habit of wishing “Happy New Year” to the elderly during CNY, that once, an uncle told me “we are Chinese, we should say Gong Xi Fa Cai”. Not in English. :-(
Somehow feel I am so English or Western inside, I feel good whenever I wished “Merry X’mas!”. It sounds joyful and again, happy.
But am I happy? As soon as I left office, I hummed the song by don’t know who, but it was a Chinese song “lonely, lonely x’mas… merry, merry x’mas….” Ya, celebrating X’mas alone this year.
Still remember last year, while having X’mas eve dinner with B, I was called by my Japanese boss to be back to office. Well, reaching office, was told that mold will be tested past midnight. So, I went back home, slept till they call me at 2 in the morning, went back to the office and worked till 12 the next day. What a memorable X’mas.
Bought a set of bathing foam for Auntie Serene, hope she likes them. Everyone like to pamper themselves a little, am I right? ;-)
Monday, December 18, 2006
Opened my eyes at 7 plus, to realize that it was my first Sat in Auntie Serene’s house. Well, no harm sleeping in a little late on a Sat. When I woke up at 9 plus, I asked Auntie Serene to show me the direction to Mc’Donalds, I gotta check my emails.
Mc’D is just walking distance from home. It is opposite Paya Lebar Kovan CC. Funny, when CJ asked me, which Mc’D I was in, I was like… er… I was not sure. Then tried my very best to describe the surroundings and road. Well, guess it is CJ’s territory after all.
I would like to share my experience in this Mc’D. Gosh, I was there for the breakfast, as usual. Was talking to mom when I placed order, and the cashier said “sorry miss, we do not serve $2 breakfast on weekends, only on weekdays”.
“I meant sausage mc’muffin set?”
“Oh, you meant the set, sorry, what drink do you want?”
Well, it was not a good thing, but I was grateful that no one jumped into my queue like last week when I was in Shanghai. Not even when I was busy talking on the phone with my mom.
Breakfast time in Singapore’s Mc’D ends at 11am, while Shanghai’s ends at 10am. Goodness, how do people wake up so early to catch breakfast in Shanghai. Anyway, I got my breakfast, with coffee of course, and went to log on to the wireless, starting working and chatting with CJ.
At about 10 plus, nearly 11, I finished my cup of coffee and wanted to refill, badly. Oh ya, refill is free of charge by the way. Well, what to do, I am all alone in the Mc’D, I couldn’t leave my laptop and my handphones on the table unattended, and I couldn’t keep everything into the bag and lugged it to refill my cup of coffee.
Well, as usual, at 11 sharp, breakfast time was over. There came one of the staff holding a kettle of coffee, if you would like to refill for the last time. Of course, I had my cup refilled. After that, I realized, I used up my sugar and creamer and my tray was kept away. Just when I turned to look at the counter, the same staff came smiling at me, with packets of sugar and tubes of creamer. I was amazed. Then I realized I have got another problem, my stirrer was in the tray!
Left with no choice, I decided to just shake my cup of coffee to stir. Guess what, the same staff came again, holding a stirrer for me! God, was I amazed, impressed by her attentiveness and thoughtfulness. I didn’t even open my mouth, asking for anything and yet, there she was, being there for me whenever I needed something. I will definitely go back to the Mc’D again to have my weekly breakfast. (And for your additional info, she is slightly handicapped, I didn’t pay too much attention on what her problem was, if she was deaf or dumb, could be either or both? God is fair……..)
This incident reminded me of the book CJ lent me for flight back from Shanghai, Broken Windows, Broken Business, by Michael Levine. The book teaches you that every single thing in the business counts, especially how you make you customers feel. I definitely feel good in this case and wouldn’t mind walking for 15 minutes for my weekly breakfast. :-)
Later in the afternoon, I went back to old house to pick up my mails, then met up with Julia and Choi Wee for dinner. Well, as usual caught up with each other. Julia met her new bf at new work. I hope this relationship works for her, and the guy is sincere towards her, unlike her ex fiancé.
That was all for Saturday… pretty much boring in my own way.
Sun, 17th Dec’06
It was raining when I woke up this morning, thus, decided to sleep in real late. My real late was 11 plus. Today’s plan was to Bugis to pray in the temple. Made my way out soon after even though it was raining.
Got this lot from the temple:
Heart and mind must be pure, be not selfish. Observe the precepts for Buddha never lied when he talked of Kama.
Do not be selfish lest you be prosecuted. Only goodwill follow you if you are good to others and your career.
Well, I am not so sure of what does that mean, but I am quite sure I am good to everyone. Hello, I pray for everyone’s goodwill each time ok?
Anyway, after praying, I went to the cinema, bought myself ticket for The Holiday show before went to the temple. Well, the movie was so-so, though the plot could be interesting. Perhaps too much talking, but nevertheless, I enjoyed myself, and I heard myself and a few girls laughed heartily. Was I awkward that I watched romance story by myself? No, not at all. Guess what, there was this guy, fell asleep in the cinema. How did I know? He snored!! Hmm… still, I salute him for accompanying his better half into the cinema, though obviously, he wasn’t the least interested!
It was interesting to know there is this thing called “home rental”. Meaning, you exchange your home with another person, for 2 weeks vacation. Well, Cameron Diaz, in LA, USA and Kate Winslet in Surrey, England exchanged home. One from her posh mansion, and the other from her cosy cottage. I like both, so to the extreme. :-)
After the show, I went to V8 for my favorite lamb chop. Didn’t even bother to look at the menu, I placed my order immediately after seated. The chop was good today, tender and simply good, but fattening, coz I had 2 meals in 4 hours. So, no dinner for me tonight.
I’ve got slight headache, probably due to the rain. Gotta turn in earlier tonight… nite nite….
Saturday, December 16, 2006
YM’s kid already grow…..
YY’s kids already grow……
YC already given birth last month….
JT’s baby due on 22nd….
KW’s wife delivering early next year…..
Christina’s Elly is 9 months old now… and she’s carrying the 2nd child, 4 months into pregnancy…
JL’s carrying almost 2 months into pregnancy
Malaysia population is increasing…
Thursday, December 14, 2006
After few minutes of waiting, 151 came, but too packed to board, driver didn’t even bother to stop. Well, no choice, I gotta take any bus that comes along, else I’ll be late to work.
Hopped on 25 with a great relief, but stressed. God, I couldn’t recognize which bus stop I gotta alight. So, seeing “Singtel” building, I hopped down. Shit, wrong bus stop. It took me a few minutes to hop onto another bus, 87.
Dare not go into the rear of the bus, my eyes fixed at the buildings along the road. Which bus stop should I alight at?
Ok, I thought I was dreaming when I heard someone calling. I turned around, to see Singh smiling at me asking me “What happened?”
Phew, I was so relieved to see Singh, coz this means I did not have to look out for which bus stop to alight, I can just follow him.
What a start of the day.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
First time taking train in China, I was a bit uneasy with the crowds. JJ assured me that the crowds were nothing as compared to the time she goes back to hometown during CNY. I guess China have just too many people. Train journey was delayed, reaching Shanghai almost 1 hour 45 minutes later. We met up with CJ at the North Exit. My God, was there cold in Shanghai. Who says it’s warmer in Shanghai?
CJ brought us to the apartment to unload my luggage bag, and we head to Xin Tian Di. It was drizzling and windy but we were excited to start exploring night life in Shanghai. It was the “heart” of Shanghai at night. Well, don’t think any of us were party animal, in fact CJ & I are coffee lover, thus we settled down in the Coffee Bean. Gosh, were the drinks there pricey. The brew of the day costs as much as RMB 25. Sure, we are earning SGD, thus RMB 25 is just SGD 5, but imagine if you are earning RMB 2K and you are to spend on a cup of Coffee Bean coffee at RMB 25. Gosh!
We had a nice chat over hot chocolates, cheese cake and sandwiches. Something I enjoyed doing, but no longer doing for so long. We went to the Bund for night view, to discover most skyscrapers’ lights were turned off past midnight. Determined to go again the next night, that was it for Night 1.
The next day, we made our way to Jing-an shi temple (trust me, I tried very hard to remember the Chinese name of the temple, but still need CJ's help to tell me). All I remember was CJ was followed by an Aunt who offered to tell his fortune. Anyway, being the nice CJ, CJ was too kind to push her away, letting her followed down the streets, with JJ, L and I giggling when he said “ok la, it’s quite far already”.
We made our way to a place named “Chen Huang Miao”. Forgive me if the name is not right. I have difficulty remembering this one as well. Phew, there were so many people there but I guess we enjoyed ourselves being next to the Chinese culture. And for me, of course, I enjoyed the cold weather very much.
Late afternoon, we made our way to Nanjing East Rd. I remember this road because I saw the English name. By the time we reached the road, we have already walked for more than 5 hours straight. It was crowded, just like every part in China. Having Mc’Donalds’ sundae cone in the weather less than 10 degC was like in paradise. Shiok!! Wish to do it again.
Supposedly last stop for the day, the Bund. Wow, the night scenery was breathtaking. Surely it looks almost like scenery in Singapore, when you look across Merlion. But the cold weather and the feeling were different. All sort of photo taking sessions and practically jumping up and down from cold weather, we made our way to Xin Tian Di again. Taxi driver told us that there is nothing much to do in Shanghai at night except at Xin Tian Di. True?
Last but not least, before we left Shanghai, we went to the Garden. (again, don’t remember what the name was). Anyway, we rented a boat for a ride in the Garden. Was that a good experience. We took turn to take over the wheel and it was fun.
CJ sent me to airport via train, transfer to the Maglev train. I call it a "super bullet train". See, this is the Power of Physics. :-) Goodnes, i have seen how fast it was when I travelled in the car from Pudong airport to Wuxi. One blink, and the train is gone. Well, that was it. So excited about the experience, my eyes was almost locked to the speed indicator, 100km/h, 220km/hr, 300km/hr up to 430km/hr in 4 mins or so, then down again, reaching Pudong airport in about 7mins 15secs. Amazing! Again, thanks to CJ... :-)
Overall, I enjoyed myself very much this trip to Shanghai. The companies were so great that we shared so much laughter in 2 days. Even Joe laughed out loud.
But then, I guess there are much more work to be done in China, especially in teaching them not to spit practically everywhere and queue when there is a line. Got irritated a few times, when the Chinese just pretend to cut into the line. But then, my fuse is always short…. It was just shorter these few weeks.
Thank you CJ for his hospitability, without him, I couldn’t have been to Shanghai. And without him, JJ and L wouldn’t have been to Shanghai too. Adios….
Monday, December 11, 2006
Just came back from Dongguan. Other than the weather, I love the place because of the Cantonese speaking people! :-)
Went there on Monday, on SQ, but not many choices on Movies On Demand, chose to watch Me, You & Dupree on the way there.
Took a cab that cost us RMB 400 from airport to the hotel. The meeting was at night, over dinner. Visited a supplier yesterday and was impressed by how well the "China" factories were doing. Heard that the employees grew from 2,000 people in Year 2003 to 10,200 people today. The processes are fast and accurate. Good work there, making me feel so inferior. :-(
Luckily, there were more choices on the way back. Watched The Lake House and Click on the way back last night, my kind of shows. :-)
I am tired today, due to all the stairs climbing. The weather is bad here. :-(
Supposed published on 8th Nov'06
Attended the SQI graduation ceremony last night in Furama Riverfront Hotel, surprised to find out that I passed with Merit. (This tells you that we didn't know there is ranking in our results)
When the "guide" asked who is Merit, I was like "what has the cert to do with us being married or not?"
2nd prize was a S$40 BORDERS prepaid card. :-)
For more pics: http://www.flickr.com/photos/colleen_clm
Should be published on 7th Nov'06
Dad complained that a guy friend of mine called the home phone and asked for my number in Sg, RUDELY. Well, whoever it is, please call and talk nicely to my parents. I have tons of friends, so, you replying that you are a friend is like.......
I missed SILAI very much, tried calling her yesterday on her mobile phone but she didn't pick up. What the heck, scared the hell out of me. It has been quite some time since she talked to me online. So, I smsed her hubby in Pg and asked if everything is OK. In the meantime, I got her Sbg home phone number from Fiona and tried calling. Thank God, she answered the phone but sounded out of breath. Then, my blood boiled, she was mopping the floor when no one was at home! Me, being protective as usual, surely not happy. In fact, I was kind of angry. She said it is easier to mop the floor when no on is at home, so they won't complain the floor is wet. Hello, who in the world mop the floor without water???
Fiona said pregnant woman should move more for easy labor. I understand but... still boiling... SILAI then smsed me asked me not to be too anxious, she's fine and she thought of me too. She thought I avoided her coz I forgot to get her the grapes. I didn't keep my words, AGAIN. She said I was supposed to be back during Raya, but I didn't take the long weekend coz flew back to Sg only on Deepavali.
Actually, I am really proud of SILAI. She's a real independent woman. Hubby not by her side all the time. Each time, I try to be protective, overly protective, coz she's always the SILAI I know in high school, the gentle demure pretty girl I spent years with. I really wish to see her growing tummy and be there with her, for her during the pregnancy. :-)