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Tuesday, 23 December 2014

All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (Part 8)



"When you are the source of misery at the workplace, it is always good to be humble and apologise with something like "I'm sorry you didn't bother to read my email"; or "I'm sorry you are the only one who couldn't understand my simple step-by-step guide". If you find yourself apologising frequently, it's time to dig up your CV. And you can thank me for that."

*****
"We always wear a mask at work whether we like it or not. I'm so glad to finally found someone who knows her way around the company whom I can confide in. I poured my heart out to her while she listened attentively without interrupting. And when I finished my piece, she whispered "meow", licked her paw and darted into the drain."
 ***** 

"I'm paid to be a spin doctor and I'm loving it! Maybe I'll go to hell for that. And if that's the case, I'll submit my CV to Satan and help reverse the bad press that Hell has been getting for millennia, and I'm pretty sure I'll see some familiar faces."


***** 
"I forgave the new flamboyant department honcho who totally ignored my presence and my friendly smile when I bumped into him, since his gaze was fixated at my pretty female colleague walking next to me. I would also ignore all fat nerds on the streets and look at their companions in envy or sympathy."

***** 

"My colleague's car freshener scent smell exactly like the office toilet. Now whenever I'm in his car, I feel like peeing."

*****  


Click here for more 'All in a day's work in Singapore'

 

 

Sunday, 30 November 2014

An unscientific look at Singapore hawker stall signboards



Singapore is without a doubt, a food paradise offering all kinds of cuisine to suit your palate. And our hawker centres are a good source for meals and snacks at affordable prices...at least for now.
Rather than joining the battalion of food bloggers and critique on the dishes, let me instead discuss the various types of stall signboards for a change. Needless to say, these signboards have absolutely no bearings to the food they serve, nor should you draw any conclusion for that matter.



Click to read more

Friday, 21 November 2014

This Singapore nerd's musings on himself (part 5)

I was conned into buying five work shirts during my recent trip to Seoul but I was too embarrassed to admit. The swindlers were so smooth that I was sold even without them speaking a word! Hey people! Don't be like me. Remember that clothes worn by the mannequins will definitely look 10 times better than you can ever pull off.
*****

Seven years can be a long time and I'm at the fork of the road to either continue with what I'm having or ditch the old and embrace the new. Hence I decided to step out and look at what the market has to offer and bought a new bolster.
*****

The Missus kept complaining that mine is too short and she would much prefer a longer one which will give her more joy. After many heated quarrels from me arguing that size doesn't matter, I finally bought a longer micro USB cable for better mobility for her device while charging.
*****

As I approach my big Four-Oh, I recall how this miserable wreck's life was transformed after I met my soul-mate some 14 years ago. Though it wasn't love at first sight, I've grown to be ever dependent as we became inseparable. Even in public places, I just couldn't stop myself cuddling and retreating into our own little world. There were days she would throw tantrums and become unresponsive. I just had to press the right buttons and her face would light up again. I know I'm getting mushy here but it is true that I just can't live without you. My dear mobile phone, you complete me.
*****

We shouldn't judge a person based on their looks be it a resting niceface, bitchface or a pokerface. The Missus and I used to tease one fatface a lot even though we know he's quite a nice guy underneath the blubber. The wife promised to stop teasing me if I slimmed down.

More musings on myself. 

 

 

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Words of Wisdom (Part 3)



Here are my lines for today.
Why do I bother standing in line every morning at the train station to reach my workstation just to clear my projects before my deadline? Why am I asked to think out of the box but never to cross the line? Am I destined to be stuck in this production line in my life until I reach my finishing line? I tried calling the helpline for answers but it was offline. The bottom line is that I'm gonna get lines around my eyes and forehead sooner than later. I might as well acquire laugh lines along the way.

*****
Instagrope:
the act by your friend to forcefully take your mobile phone so that she can add her Instagram account to your followed list. Eg- I was instagroped during a gathering and was persuaded to like my friend's latest shots.

*****
 Pee
Casual chit-chat at the urinals should be banned since no man can multitask. If we start talking while holding on to our family jewel, we wouldn't be able to aim straight and we will wet ourselves. And if we have eye-contact with the other guy, we will inadvertently glance downwards at their package and compare with ours. Nobody fancy talking to their boss with their pants down right?

*****
Guru
There's no need to buy any self-help books or pay to listen to a life guru sprouting words of wisdom when they are staring at us all the time. For the procrastinators: Just Do It; the defeatists: Impossible is Nothing; the marketeers: Think Different; for the workaholics: Have a Break, Have a Kit Kat. Life's Great with these caring companies and I'm Lovin' It!

 *****
Happy Birthday
Come to think of it, we shouldn't just hope to have a 'happy birthday' which is at a pathetic 0.3% return rate a year. We should all wish for a 'Happy Everyday' and have a blast all year round.

*****
Usual locations of common items arranged from the nearest to the furthest:
Info - at your fingertips
Your nemesis - under your skin
Ballpark figure - top of your head
Your well-conceived plan - down the drain
That thing you are looking for - last place you'd look
That email you sent your boss last week - black hole


More Words of Wisdom


Master post - Words of Wisdom





Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1


Monday, 13 October 2014

This Singapore nerd's musings on himself (part 4)

 
Too proud to beg,
Too dumb to steal,
Too shy to ask,
Too stiff to learn,
Too meek to reject,
Too smart to admit any of that

*****
 
I don't go into discussions about whether I see my proverbial cup as half-empty or half-full. Because I always make sure my cup is overflowing at all times...with ice-cold beer. When I'm at play, it will be quench my thirst. When I'm at work, it will be dumped on those idiots who step on my toes, which I constantly need refilling!

***** 

A senior and longtime middle-aged female colleague had this weird notion that I'm still single and wanted to intro a 'sweet girl with inner beauty' to me. While the identity of this girl will forever be a mystery, it is a bigger puzzle why my colleague thinks I make a good partner when my wife has been trying hard to seek a refund for this product that has grown bigger and softer. She should know that returned goods can only be accepted in its original state and unused.

***** 

A good colleague used the 'F- word' on me today in front of others. I couldn't believe my ears that she would use such obscene language. But after my initial outrage subsided, I have to agree that I've grown fat.

***** 

Planned obsolescence is a despicable strategy employed by tech giants to force you to 'upgrade' to their latest gadgets after only a few good years of usage. I discovered this practice has infiltrated the fashion industry as well, since my pants bought within the last two years all shrank at the same time now!

More musings on myself. 

 

 

Thursday, 2 October 2014

9 things I learnt in Seoul after 6 days or how I 'start to stop the keeping warm jar'


I think Japanese are friendlier.

1. Despite the plethora of skin-care boutiques, not all Koreans are blessed with glowing complexion, and it makes you wonder about the effectiveness of those face masks.

2. Real Koreans have single eyelid. Those with double eyelids are happy customers from the dozens of cosmetic surgery clinics that lined the boulevards.

3. There are few eye candies that caught my eyes. The cosmetically enhanced ones are already in K-Pop bands, TV dramas and movies. Tourists can see the real Koreans by visiting the country.

4. Major shopping districts will have multiple shops from the same brand. So it is highly encouraged to have a 30mins cooling-off period and you can make the actual purchases in the next branch within 100m away.

5. Shops here are using K-stars on billboards and blasting K-Pop tunes just like any other countries around the world. Hence even though I'm at the K-Wave country of origin, it doesn't make it any magical or special.

6. There are more coffee houses than traffic lights. Apparently, the country is addicted to caffeine.


7. Based on my totally unscientific findings from my interactions with the Koreans, their level of English proficiency has flat-lined or taken a dip since I was here 9 years ago. And the amount of typos and nonsensical English on t-shirts and ads have risen.


I'm still trying to decode what 'Start to stop the keeping warm jar' means and what's in the jar.


8. Almost all TV and display screens in shopping malls and subway stations are in glorious HD, which made even inane gameshows and commercials a joy to watch. And quite a few TV addicts even fixed an antenna to their mobile phones to watch TV on the go.

9. Though Korea has emerged from the shadow of its coloniser in economy and soft power, their service standard still pale in comparison to Japan by leaps and bounds.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm Syndrome perfectly describes how fans of a certain fruit company ignored the superb offerings from rival plantations for years and willingly forgive this company when it finally listens to their pleas and gives them a bigger fruit today. I'll not take a bite from this fruit since I have the entire orchard to choose from.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

This Singapore nerd's musings on himself (part 3)


While guys like me approaching the big Four-Oh aspire to be a 'hunkle' (Hunky uncle), most likely I'll just turn out to be a 'funkle' (fatty uncle). But since I don't have any nephews or nieces, technically I wouldn't get to be a bona fide uncle, so I'll just go straight from being a nerd to Dirty Old Man.
*****

I know that Facebook/personal blog can be a depressing place where you hate-read your friend's updates on their perfect life and their even more perfect meal. Allow me to reveal some nasty things about myself so you will feel better about yourself. I'm a bad liar, a horrible MCP and I'm a big failure in mastering any of those seven sins.
*****

I belong to a minority group that I keep a low profile to maintain harmony amongst my fellow Singaporeans. Should they become aware of what I believe in, they would treat me like a pariah, or worse, try to convert me into their brethren. But till the day I die, I'd still believe that you don't need to put chilli in every Singaporean cuisine!
*****

The government knows my identity card number and my blood type; my telco tracks my surfing habits and the places I go, and my credit card keeps a record of my purchases and my salary. The entity that knows all that info will have you eating out of its hand. Take heed from this victim and secure your data from your wife.
*****

I can always rely on my bros to circulate juicy pics and vids of women that form my wildest dreams and send my heart pounding. And I have to thank my wonderful wife for sending queasy stuffs from the other end of the spectrum beyond my worst nightmare and send my libido crashing.
*****

In most days, I'm having a ball of a time at work. But on occasions when someone doesn't play ball and drop the ball, am I supposed to pick it up and keep the ball rolling? Most likely, I'll end up as the ball being kicked around and invariably find myself in my own goal-post, having scored an own goal in the process.


More musings on myself. 

 

Master post: This Singapore nerd's musings on himself




Looks like a good idea to house all my musings on myself in one neat package here.

Part 12 (photo journal)

Part 11 (photo journal)

Part 10 (photo journal)

Part 9

Part 8

Part 7

 Part 6 (photo journal)

 Part 5

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

 Part 1

Monday, 25 August 2014

All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (Part 7)

"Work can never be finished. We should always complete what we set out to do. Though both sayings are contradictory, they can be resolved by a third saying: Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life." 
*****

"Two pleasant-looking female colleagues were debating the various interpretations of an internal company-wide contest and concluded that the rules are confusing OR they are bimbos. I'm happy to say that they are wrong. The correct conjunction used should be 'AND', not 'OR'."
*****

"Today, I need to cramp two days' work into one. If I can't deliver, it means that I'm inefficient and lack time-management skills. If I somehow make it, then it only gives the impression that I've been slacking all these years. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. Or maybe I should just call in sick? Then I'll be labelled as a weakling. Damned again!"
*****

"Common sense dictates that we should always clear the most important or urgent emails, but I always enjoy replying immediately to those without common sense."
*****

"It is the sign of changing times when the first thing my foreign business visitors asked after shaking my hand was not for my name-card, but for the right visitor Wi-Fi network to log in."
*****

" My Untried and Untested Office Survival tips when the Boss is on leave"

1. Email all projects that need your boss's approval and you will be effectively free for the rest of the day, unless if your boss happened to be on-the-ball and replies emails, in which case, you will need to repeat this step until he gets fed-up/ impressed by your 'hard work'.

2. Plan dept or inter-dept lunches so that there will be at least one common gossip agenda item.

3. Make [Alt+Tab] your best friend to switch screen should some idiots turn up at your cubicle and disrupt your full-time Facebooking or doing holiday research. Said idiots are most likely not your colleagues since they will be as busy as you doing the same thing.

4. Learn the delay/scheduled email sending function to give the illusion of your omnipresence at your desk where in fact, you are out for extended brunch cum lunch or gone for the day to catch the 6pm movie.


"My tried and tested tips on surviving happily in the office"

1. While you can steal a peek at your colleagues' screen, don't be a busybody and comment whatever is on their screen, unless initiated by the colleague.


2. If your colleague buy snacks or cheapsake souvenirs from overseas, accept them graciously even if you are faking it.


3. If you are leaving your computer for extended period of time and can't be bothered to lock your screen, at least show your desktop or email programme and not face-palm sites like Facebook or travel sites researching for your next holiday.


4. If you are goofing during working hours by watching YouTube videos or playing online games, don't be an idiot and announce to the whole dept by blasting your speakers.


5. Don't compare salary or working hours. Life is unfair, get over it. You win some, you lose some.


6. Make common enemy from other departments amongst your colleagues, great for bonding.



Click here for more 'All in a day's work in Singapore'

 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

HACKED!!!!

I finally managed to hack this Winston blog account using password ChickMagnet. Now I can write any nonsense I want and nobody can stop me! But after reading his posts I think he has written much worse than anything I can think of. And maybe I should return the only thing in the world that he has control.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Words of wisdom (Part 2)



Senses

Best Taste – Anything cooked with love from your kitchen.
Best Sight – Your spouse drooling on the pillow while sleeping.
Best Sound – Your mum’s voice on the overseas call reminding you to wear and eat more.
Best Touch – Soothing tummy rub for your cat/dog (Non-pet-owners to replace pets with kids)
Best Smell – Your blanket after more than 3 months of daily usage. (6 months and above for best effect)

 :)

To have a frown-free day ahead, you don't need to wear your power-suit or your most alluring perfume. You just need to wear a smile. However, the most effortless item one can have with them is often left behind at home before they go to work each morning, and only realised what they have forgotten when they saw it on the faces of others.

Shopping

Why do women like shopping so much?
Isn't shopping a waste of time and energy?
What is there to gain from all these shopping?
For clueless men who don't know how women think, just replace "shopping" with "football" and everything will be clear. This comes from someone who has attained enlightenment after years of undergoing retail-therapy.


Pirates

We are used to looking at online piracy from the viewpoint of the downloaders. We should shine the spotlight on the magnanimous uploaders instead. They provide a buffet spread of content like movies, TV shows, books, software and songs online for everyone to download for FREE and asking neither fame nor fortune in return. They should be hailed, not jailed.

Life

If we want peace and love in our lives, we have to take the effort to make them, preferably on a daily basis ;P
 *****

I know of someone who likes to meddle in everything but no one appreciates. I would recommend everyone to take sometime to do absolutely nothing which your body and mind would certainly appreciate.

*****

I've learnt that when you have your loved ones by your side, no matter where in the world or what you are doing, it is never a waste of time.


More Words of Wisdom


Thursday, 7 August 2014

Why Seven Deadly Sins are considered sins ONLY if you don't practice them

Lust

If great men didn't fall at the feet of beauties like Cleopatra and Marilyn Monroe, history would be so boring and we wouldn't have tomes and movies on their steamy sexploits.

Gluttony

Life would be meaningless if we eat to live and not live to eat. Prisoners on death row don't ask for a chance to read 50 Shades of Grey or listen to Pharrell Williams' Happy. They want their last meal to be out of this world before they go out of this world.

Greed

Modern civilisation as we know it wouldn't exist if one person don't desire to have just a bit more than the next. New York with its cathedrals of capitalism would only be a figment of our imagination.

Sloth

All work and no play makes Jake a dead man at his desk without anyone realising it for days, thinking that he was the most hardworking chap to arrive the earliest and the last to leave. We should all stop and smell the roses and live an enchanted life.

Wrath

We owe a huge gratitude to a raving mad whistle-blower Edward Snowden to sound the death knell that echoes across the world, reminding us that we are living in a paranoid world gone mad.

Envy

An envious JFK succeeded in landing a man safely on the moon and back. And a bunch of green-eyed Chinese tycoons will ensure that the world's tallest buildings continue to sprout at their own backyards, pushing civil engineering to its limit, and Dubai out of the way.

Pride

Without it, we will be swimming in a sea of mediocrity not knowing the limits of human capabilities in achieving the highest, fastest or the strongest with trailblazers like Issac Newton, Usain Bolt and Steve Jobs being superheroes that exist only in our wildest dreams.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (Part 6)

"I was having lunch at my neighbourhood coffee-shop and had an interesting time observing the congregation of elderly folks seated at the next table. The loudest ones dominated the conversation, and they would repeat their lines a few times to the rest who were either zoned out or playing with their phones. Hey, this is exactly like my weekly department meetings!"



"After witnessing quite a few major changes in my department in recent months under new leadership, I'm beginning to see myself as a character in Game of Thrones, trying hard to survive the cloak and dagger intrigue and the office skullduggery. While I'm contemplating forging alliances, I'm also wary of going to meetings behind closed doors or getting invitation to lunches in unfamiliar territories. I just hope my character survives in the next season!"
*****

"For buying afternoon tea snack for the department for no special reason - $10. For realising that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach - priceless. For my new Lady Boss mentioned above in her first month at the helm - I am your loyal servant till the end of time."

"First my new Lady Boss bought the bunch of us tea snacks and breakfast. Next, she was the only one today who voiced that my new CK polo tee was nice. Though she is still on official probation, to me, she has excelled beautifully in becoming my next BFF. Comparatively, my girlfriend turned wife needed more than a year. Tsk tsk tsk."
*****

"I've decided to stop grumbling about the lack of work ethics from my Gen Y intern. You know how some old arcade games will stop calculating points after it hit a ceiling and just show 999,999 points? My intern has reached that limit... with a 'minus' sign in front."
*****

"I was commiserating with a male colleague on how a mutual female colleague has touched us in places nobody has touched before. A pain in the ass is much worse than a kick in the groin."
*****

"I realised that there's such a thing as 'Old Man colours' when it comes to work shirts. And I have to thank my pastel-loving male colleagues in my department for being my fashion consultants in leading by example on colours that I shouldn't touch."
*****

Not bad for my neighbourhood coffee shop to have a waterfall feature...but only during torrential downpour like now.  I'll expect delays for the morning commuters who will utter this to their bosses "Blame it on the rain", which is also the title of a song by Milli Vanilli a quarter of a century ago. Nope, never heard of it as it is before my time. Girl you know it's true. 























Click here for more 'All in a day's work in Singapore'


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Train rides are fun (part 2)

 
When official signage (as opposed to ads) start to appear on the ground, it is not in response to an ageing society of crooked backs and low eye level. It is to cater to a new generation of screen addicts (低头族) who have forgotten the colour of the sky.



The civic-minded train passengers like me will queue up diligently at the platform by the side of the door. But there are always those sneaky ones who will cut queue and rush in when the door opens. Years of watching soccer has taught me defensive manoeuvres and man-marking tactics to ensure that I don't let in an early goal without a fight! 

*****

Our bodies pressed against each other, while she breathed on my chest. Her perfume lingered even at the end of the day. I'm blushing just starring at her. How I HATE squeezing into a packed train at rush hour like sardines on my way home, standing next to an old woman with pungent perfume and bad breath! 
*****

A pint-sized granny sat next to me on the train today and immediately assumed the self-appointed role of 'Life Guru' scrutinising the fellow commuters around her. She pointed to one lad's 'improper way' of holding the hand strap which could lead to 'dislocation of the wrist', and discreetly to another girl to inform her of her peeking bra strap. By then I had immediately sucked in my gut, half-expecting her to poke her finger into my love handles and proclaimed to the train "Ah boy, too fat!". Luckily I've arrived at my stop.
*****

My rush hour commute in a packed train is like visiting a Chinese temple where rows upon rows of imposing and immobile buddhas, deities and door gods materialise around me. And when I need to exit, I have to squeeze past them with whispers of "excuse me" or "sorry" to get their blessings. And you'll be cursed for life if you ever bump or step on them. Maybe I should have an incense stick on hand to pay my respect the next time, and the statues will give me a wide berth on my way out of the train. 
*****

I observed with much amusement at the train ticket office lady counting her stack of ten $5 notes a whopping five times. Two times is being meticulous with three pushing it, and five times is just plain OCD. Same as the guy who counted in his mind five times with the lady in order to make this observation. 

Train Rides are fun (Part 1) 

 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

10 things I learnt in New York

 
This being a humour blog, I'm putting my most hilarious photo that I took during my trip. This is it.


1. Almost all major apparel brands have their global flagship stores here. Even the Japanese casual wear Uniqlo.

2. Security at Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building are on par, if not stricter than the JFK airport. 


3. All American set meal portions are as large as the US continent. For an Asian like me living in a little red dot, one set is good for two.


4. Patience is not a virtue found in any drivers in Manhattan. Once the green light is on, so does the honking. 


5. If you get homesick in New York and crave for that familiar taste of home, just look out for the Golden Arches.


6. It pays to change your greenbacks from legitimate money-changers. All my crisp new $100 bills were subjected to scrutiny by the cashiers who would mark them with a special pen to determine whether that Benjamin Franklin is the real deal or a doppelganger.

7. Police officers are useless in pointing clueless tourists to the right directions. Street-vendors are often friendlier and more knowledgeable.

8. McDonald's and sandwich shop Pret A Manger restricted me from taking pictures of their food preparation and display areas respectively. Are they worried that I'd report their poor hygiene practice to the authority or steal their secret recipe?

9. An apologetic smile goes a long way in defusing any awkward or embarrassing situations that NY first-timers find themselves in. Works every time.


10. On the morning when I was in front of my workstation after more than 10 days away on holiday, I momentarily forgot my log-in password. That put a smile on my face knowing that the money was well-spent. In life, we often forget that there are things not worth remembering.


 More on my New York trip:
(Mis)adventures in New York:

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Final musings on World Cup before the final match

 
My neighbourhood coffee shop is a lifelong Argentina supporter as seen from their uniform's colour combination. Luckily it wasn't green & yellow

 
The best World Cup teams in each continent are Germany (Europe), Japan (Asia) and Mexico (Americas)... which are judged purely on the design of their cool jerseys decked on toned torsos under the sweltering heat. The matches have evolved into a 90min catwalk for me looking at the next jersey to buy while the legions of female fans would wait for the jerseys to come off at the end of the match for the real show to begin.

 *****
At least one advantage of being jet lagged is that I have no trouble waking up at 4am to catch the World Cup match since my body has no trouble thinking it is 4pm.

 *****

Please be more forgiving on the train if a fellow passenger is dozing on your shoulder. Most likely this person is holding a temporary month-long contract work as a World Cup fanatic which will end on Monday. Those fresh-faced people without dark eye bags are either not soccer fans, or supporters of England or Spain.
 ***** 

Semi-final match Netherlands vs Argentina
First time I'm disappointed at a World Cup result. Penalty shootout is such a cruel 'anti-soccer' gesture and should be abolished. Might as well do a coin toss to save the time and trouble. The Beautiful Game should be played until there's a result no matter how long it takes, even if a player decides to score an own-goal to end the nonsense.
  ***** 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

(Mis)adventures in New York

 
Here's the most famous woman in the world - Lady Liberty from the inside -  where you can see the eyes and nose.

Isn't it ironic that for my New York trip:

- I did more research than anything I've done in office.
- I had muscle ache and sunburn within one day more than I ever would in one year in tropical Singapore.
- I was more exhausted in one week here than my month-long company teamwork event that I organised.
It begs the question whether I'd be better off working than holidaying.

*****

Dear New Yorkers,

I speak with a different accent doesn't mean I know less English than you. I come from a foreign land doesn't mean I know less pop culture and current affairs than you. I carry a camera and map doesn't mean I am gullible and easily conned by you. Having said that, though I'm Asian, it doesn't mean I'm smarter than you.

*****

Soundtrack of Manhattan streets

Car drivers' impatient prolonged honking; siren from police car, ambulance and fire engine- all feature different tone and rhythm; and chatter from a dozen different languages. Glad I can temporarily mute this soundtrack at 20 floor above street level in my hotel room and get some peace and quiet from this loud metropolis. NY, please be gentle to this first-timer.
*****

Subway

Managed to commit all the mistakes on the massive and massively confusing Manhattan subway system on the first day here despite having made detailed pre-planning. We attempted to pass through the same toll gate twice by mistake, missed our stop, and entered the wrong direction platform. My tip for first-timers like me: Only a true-blue New Yorker can navigate the maze. For the rest of us, just treat the detours as part of the fun and enjoy the ride!
*****

Spending the entire 24/7 with another person on holiday can be a helluva experience. Here's our typical conversation:
Me: You shop too much!
Wife: You shoot too much!
Me: You spend too much!
Wife: You speak too much!
Me: sigh...

 *****

Surprised to find my suitcase lock code at position 000 which could only mean one thing: it has been violated. This slip of paper found inside my suitcase proved I was right. I'm glad to buy a TSA-approved suitcase for my trip since I don't want to take the gamble in having my non-TSA suitcase forcefully pried open. I'm so 'lucky' to get this final gesture in my Great American Experience.

 *****
It was a pity I wasn't able to meet my family in New York who were in the Chan Bros My Star Guide tour with Elvin Ng. However our truckloads of chocolates bought separately are able to meet at our house. Right now, they are having an emergency meeting to determine the Sequence Ranking of Consumption prior to the family's 2-day weekend feasting. Reese's peanut butter cup looks worried.


More on my New York trip:
10 Things I Learnt in New York

Monday, 23 June 2014

Off to the Big Apple



This Singapore nerd is going for a 10-day Manhattan walkabout on 25 June. Hence I'm consolidating all my replies here to my friends to save time rather than replying individually. Please read only the one that I'm writing to you and ignore the rest:
- luv u♥
- f**k u!
- let's get down and work on the proposal
- let's get down and dirty!
- so sorry for delaying your deadline
- you better be sorry or you're dead!
- is this the best that you can do?
- keep in touch, all the best.

I'm so hot!

(Work-in-progress post)

Living in this little red dot in summertime, there are few two words that will strike fear in the hearts of the common folks, like "train down", "economy down" , and most recently "TV down" for the World Cup-crazy nation. But everyone will agree that my recent suffering in office was literally hell on earth when it was "air-con down".
 *****

It is so hot these days, that the ice-cream I'm eating feels warm. The country would be even hotter if not for the Singapore icy service level that sends a chill down everyone's spine.
 *****

 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

More on World Cup



This ad featuring World Cup hot favourites is fast becoming outdated just 10 days into this amazing tournament even before you can say 'tiki-taka'. Half of the teams here are on their early flight home. History will really be made if the eventual winner is not any of those teams which already have at least one star above their crests. Go Oranje!

Looking at the heroics of the World Cup teams, it make me wanna join them on the pitch and bring a smile to the millions of fans around the world. As a good sprinter, I can be a medic or physio rushing to where I'm needed, but I think my best option is to be a streaker.
*****
With the last 16 teams emerging at the World Cup Finals, we have now entered what I'd call the Game Of Thrones stage. This is where the hot fan favourite 'House' which survived all previous battles will fall at the last minute by a single controversial goal scored by an unmarked assassin. And it is anybody's guess which House will sit on the Iron Throne since there's no guarantee of a happy ending. The excitement and suspense are what make this The Beautiful Game.
*****



Monday, 16 June 2014

On World Cup (soccer, not football)

The World Cup opening animation sequence is rather amusing. While I can accept that these people were watching an old school 4:3 TV in 2014 without any power cable, this guy came and knocked over the poor TV set and nobody noticed it. Since it is a magical TV, I'm sure it will be fine.


After watching all the World Cup teams in action, I'm now a fan of this great outfit that commands respect and strikes fear on the pitch. Though they are most often older than the other players, they have superb stamina and are shrewd enough to see past the theatrics of play-acting. So why can't I find a single referee jersey in the stores to show my support?
  *****

It surely is a visual treat this World Cup season with an explosion of colours and hues on the pitch and I'm not talking about the players' jersey. While the sky is the limit on any creative design, each country is compel to use only their official colours since time immemorial for fear of incurring the wrath of their rabid supporters. Ironically, it is now the referee's time to shed their drab black uniform and embrace the rainbow like a kid in a candy shop.
  *****

For the World Cup Final, I can predict with confidence that it will be a fight between these two juggernauts yet again: adidas and Nike, with the former having home ground advantage being the official sponsor. And the winner will be....FIFA! Laughing all the way to the bank.
 *****
 
Watching a World Cup match is tedious trying to fix my eyes on the smallest round object on the screen which is constantly moving. Instead, I subliminally wants to fly Emirates to Brazil so that I can drive a Hyundai to buy a Sony 4K TV and watch soccer while drinking Budweiser beer. And of course I'll go all in or nothing and pay using my Visa. I'm lovin' it!
*****

I admire my Dad's blasé attitude to watching repeat telecast of World Cup matches. Despite knowing the scoreline, he would cheer and jeer as if it is a live match, and in most cases, managed to hoodwink my non-fan Mum into believing so. Feigned ignorance is bliss.
*****

(Previously published)

This World Cup season is perhaps the only time we wouldn't be labelled as unpatriotic fools donning other countries' colours with matching face-paint, especially where there are money to be made in betting the right team. We would just be called fools waking up at 3am (Singapore time) watching millionaires prancing at half-completed stadiums in a third-world country. The only legitimate thing to do at 3am is to pee, then go back to sleep.
*****

I would like to join a non-government, non-profit organisation that will have global impact with their wealth of history and enrich my life. The closest I can find is soccer body FIFA. Rather than a wealth of history, it has a wealth of $1billion in reserve; and rather than enrich my life, it sure can enrich my bank account since countries will clamour to wine and dine me to clinch their rights to host the next World Cup. And it definitely has global impact milking from the millions who made Soccer their religion. The Beautiful Game is played by men in suits at boardrooms and corridors of power, with the winners determined even before the ball is kicked on the pitch. Where do I sign up?



More musings on World Cup:
http://winstonchongsingapore.blogspot.sg/2014/06/more-on-world-cup_22.html 

More musings on soccer:

Thursday, 12 June 2014

On World Cup and Reunions


World Cup


This World Cup season is perhaps the only time we wouldn't be labelled as unpatriotic fools donning other countries' colours with matching face-paint, especially where there are money to be made in betting the right team. We would just be called fools waking up at 3am (Singapore time) watching millionaires prancing at half-completed stadiums in a third-world country. The only legitimate thing to do at 3am is to pee, then go back to sleep.
*****

I would like to join a non-government, non-profit organisation that will have global impact with their wealth of history and enrich my life. The closest I can find is soccer body FIFA. Rather than a wealth of history, it has a wealth of $1billion in reserve; and rather than enrich my life, it sure can enrich my bank account since countries will clamour to wine and dine me to clinch their rights to host the next World Cup. And it definitely has global impact milking from the millions who made Soccer their religion. The Beautiful Game is played by men in suits at boardrooms and corridors of power, with the winners determined even before the ball is kicked on the pitch. Where do I sign up?

More musings on soccer:
http://winstonchongsingapore.blogspot.sg/2014/02/musings-on-soccer-english-game-not.html

 

Reunions


It was great to meet up with my ex-colleagues for tea where most of the alumni brought their kids along. I don't think I'm ready to be a father when one mother used the same words to her toddler as how my wife would to me: "Sit properly!", "Don't talk with your mouth full!", "Stop crying!"
*****

A balloon is cute and cheery and yet an former university classmate whom I've not met in 10 years inflicted me with much pain and sorrow by using it as a verb on me. So now I've resolved not to attend anymore school reunions. And if you are one of those who have lost touch, yes, that was NOT me that you saw on the street the other day. And yes, now I hate balloons.
 *****


Muffin is one of the most-loved pastry and I would be delighted to be associated with any words related to it like stud-muffin. So naturally I'm ecstatic when someone mentioned that I'm a great muffin top since it s the tastiest part with the crunchy crust and toppings.
 *****

A close colleague mentioned that at a ripe old age of 40, I'm no longer a spring chicken. While I agree I may not possess the heaven-may-care youthful exuberance, I hope that this old rooster would have gained much worldliness and perseverance that rival the proverbial cockroach that refuse to die.



Monday, 9 June 2014

All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (Part 5)

"I'm bemused by my CEO's choice of a bat as his Line profile picture. Does he wish to have good fortune as how this creature symbolises in Chinese culture? Or is he running the company like Wayne Enterprises, fighting evil forces? If so, maybe I should change my profile pic to a robin so that he will get the hint."
*****

"The marvel of the telephone allows people across vast distance to touch each other. So far yet so near. But for my two co-workers seated a mere 5 metres apart, rather than a friendly shout or a face-to-face chat, the use of a phone-call exposes the wide gulf between the two, So near yet so far."
*****

"I've tried to arrange for a meeting with a Gen-Y colleague via email, Lync, SMS, Whatsapp and Line for an entire week and received the Silent Treatment without even a simple "will reply you". The ONLY situation you can give a co-worker the Silent Treatment is when you are dead. If not, once I get my hands on you, you'd wish you were."
*****

"Initially I thought my Gen-Y intern is more smart-alec than smart, which can still be a virtue in the creative industry. But after much observation, I discovered that there's more than meets the eye. I'll just call him Alec from now on."
 *****

"While it is true that you are only as strong as the weakest link in your team and as fast as the slowest member in your department, it is entirely up to you to make the best or worst of your time spent in the company."
 *****

"Let's face it. In a working environment, you don't need to kowtow to your f**kface boss or your obnoxious colleague with the in-your-face attitude. Give face to each other and resolve all misunderstandings face-to-face so nobody need to lose face. Most importantly, don't wash your office dirty laundry on Facebook!"


Click here for more 'All in a day's work in Singapore'


Saturday, 31 May 2014

This nerd's musings on himself (part 2)


Just watched two recent summer blockbusters X-Men Days of Future Past and Edge of Tomorrow which feature time travel that will mess up your head with the various paradoxes that it create. I too, can time travel into the future. If you wanna know what happens 1 hour from now, I'll tell you in 60mins time. Wanna travel back in time? Just look into my wardrobe.
 *****

With my idol Ryan Giggs retiring from professional soccer from my beloved Manchester United, I have no more sporting heroes left for me to worship. I need a new team that exude great teamwork, grace and colourful characters with great physique. The Russian Women Synchronised Swimming team fits the bill...swimmingly.
*****

I am ashamed to say that I have been unfaithful recently. I was bored with my life so I tried something new and exotic. But after I gave in to my primal lust, it didn't last long to realise that they were just flings and didn't excite me like my true love who is able to keep me up all night. So no more English Breakfast Tea or Chai Latte, my heart belongs to Earl Grey.
*****

Someone has threatened to upload lewd picture of me online but I think I can resolve this peacefully. Hence I've decided not to teach my mum how to set up a Facebook account so that my toddler photo of me peeing at Chinese Garden will never see the light of day.
*****

Should you ever be jolted wide awake screaming your lungs out early morning by a lizard, please forgive it for being a dumb creature looking for food at all the weird places like the toilet and shoe cabinet. They were not allowed to venture in the kitchen as agreed in the negotiation meeting with the Cockroaches which I attended as Observer.
*****

The award-winning theme song from the award-winning animation Frozen is a great inspirational song for all occasions. Especially now during my troubled time sitting alone on my throne when things don't go smoothly. I just sing in my head "Let it go, let it go, Can't hold it back anymore".


More musings on myself. 



Tuesday, 27 May 2014

All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (master post)




 Part 9

Part 8

Part 7

Part 6

Part 5

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1



All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (Part 4)


I organised a morning workshop for 35 male students aged 15-16, who descended upon the tea snack area like ravenous locusts and left nothing behind. Even though I have ordered extra portions, filling the stomachs of growing teenagers is a futile exercise nobody should ever attempt.


Saw the dagger clipped to the calendar next to the rear-view mirror of my company bus which is also used for ferrying actors and crew to filming locations. Pretty sure the weapon is not for self-defence for the driver against stressed-out violent directors. Most likely it is a handy tool for prima donna actresses to back-stab one another.

Definitions:

Meeting:
"shorthand reply to answer inquisitive cleaning ladies should you ever go to work earlier than usual for whatever reasons. This "meeting" will be understood immediately and you can be on your way to whatever stupid shit work that require you to wake up so damn early."

Work-Life Balance:
"As long as you finished all the work assigned to you on time, your boss' life will be balanced."
****

Actual conversations in meetings somewhere in Singapore:



(Looking at the yearly expenditure report)
Boss: what do these freelancers do?
Admin staff: Freelancing


(Proposal on new facilities)
Boss: what's the purpose of this Relaxation Corner?
Staff: For employees to relax.

****

"After years of working in the same company, I discover that the top 3 tips to a long and successful career are still: location, location, and location. Once you are summoned, it is important that you arrive as quickly as possible to prevent any aggravation from impatient and unreasonable forces that will put a dampener to the rest of your day even if you arrive just one minute late. Hence I'm happy my cubicle is situated less than 10 metres to the restroom, so when nature calls, I would gladly answer without delay!"

 ****

"Just had a chat with a pretty English newscaster and realised she doesn't know what a powerbank is and I didn't have the heart to tell her I have three pieces. Does this mean I'm overqualified to be a newscaster?"


****
"During a discussion on an upcoming team-building event, a nervous team leader hopes that the members would be pleasing to the eye, but I caution that 'good to see' would not be 'good to eat' - according to a well-known Chinese phrase 好看不好吃. I'm sorry, I shouldn't stereotype. There are also those lousy workers who are aesthetically-challenged."

****




Click here for more 'All in a day's work in Singapore'




Sunday, 11 May 2014

A Singapore nerd's musings on himself (Part 1)


 Savvy manufacturers give their health drink bottles a svelte hourglass look to con impressionable consumers into believing that they would spot the same silhouette after downing litres of their products. I'm more rational in thinking that my shape will remain like the bottle at the extreme right.

When I was young, my mum told me I'm destined for greatness. In later years, I did achieve a larger-than-life stature, but only in my mid-section.
#####

 I’m at the stage of my life where I might be hit with a Mid-Life Crisis and the proverbial 7-yr itch. But now I’m more concerned about my Mid-Section Crisis and how to lose that 7-kg bitch! 
#####

I don't believe in fairies, karma, superstition and reincarnation. Wow! I'm so boring! Hope I'll be a swashbuckler in my next life fighting sea monsters and saving damsels in distress and live happily ever after. 
#####

Life is a theatre: I act tough when my boss is around; act innocent when I'm caught 'stumbling' onto an adult website; and act cute in front of my wife. We should just stop our acts altogether and live true to ourselves. It's easy for me, I'll just act blur from now on. 

#####

Whether I'm at work or at home like today clearing my leave, my morning routine of drinking my white coffee while staring at my computer screen remains the same. The only difference is the amount of clothes I'm wearing.

#####

Those who know my family would know that my sister and I look alike. So I guess I'll know how I look like with make-up and how my sis will look like without.

 #####


I had the most amazing police escape dream that featured the best clichés from Hollywood flicks. 1) Why the protagonist(that's me) is a wanted man is not important. 2) How the hero is able escape the multiple police traps and pursuits is beyond logic, and yet still managed to rendezvous with the girl. 3) Badly edited jump cuts and glaring plot holes. 4)The hero is saved by the alarm bell during the cliffhanger, which means there will be a sequel.

#####


I was driving the car and someone farted. I wanted to scold but I was trying hard to hold my breath. Since only the stuffed bear was in the car with me, it had to be the culprit. And because the furry bugger is so cute, I've forgiven him. 

#####

Blue: How I'm feeling this week
Black: The colour of my face
Blue-black: My present to those who piss me off this week
Just kidding! I'll give my present to all my friends. I shouldn't discriminate.

#####

More musings on myself. 



 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (part 3)



"When the boss addresses you as "friend" at the beginning of a conversation, what follows is usually not friendly."
****
"Feel like working in a farm in my company. I can never bring the horse to the water, the cows refused to come home, and my stubborn colleague insisted on putting all the eggs in one basket. I think Old MacDonald had a better life."
****

Public holiday on a Friday

"I can never understand the rationale for calling a 4-day work week like this week 'short', which is a mere 20% reduction from a normal 5-day week. Rather than spreading that 20% across the remaining 4 days to cover a week's worth of work, most will in fact, bring forward their lazy Friday mentality to Thursday, making it a 3-day work week. It is indeed a short week. Now I get it."

Working with government

"Working with government agencies can be an exasperating exercise not for the faint-hearted. For a mass public education project, this agency is insisting on cramping the messages in all 4 official languages in a tiny A4-sized poster. Perhaps they are thinking that ‘A4’ means ‘All-4’ languages? For their naivety, I’m giving them ‘A1’."

Working with intern

"I've yet to meet a Generation Y intern who has bowled me over in my company. On most cases, I look at them as the Gen 'Why'- as in 'why can't they deliver?' After a while, I just think 'Why bother'. It is sad that most lacked the 'X-factor' which was in greater supply in the previous Generation denoted by the same alphabet."
****
"First time ever that an intern sang at the end of his first day in my dept! (It was 'Singin' In The Rain' since there was a downpour). Either he was on drugs, in which case I shall ask for some tomorrow. Or he knows Someone High Up which means nobody can touch him, in which case I shall be his BFF from tomorrow onwards."

Click here for more 'All in a day's work in Singapore'

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Words of Wisdom (part 1)




Since the dawn of time, we wield the sword, only to find the pen to be mightier in dealing with our adversary. But both are no match to the most powerful tool one can hold in our hands to end all conflicts- an olive branch. 
*****
Those desire a wardrobe of plunging neckline and a raising hemline shouldn't match them with an expanding waistline.
*****
Everything can be found online. If you can't find it now, it is either removed and will be back online in the future, or you are just not tech-savvy enough to find your way around in cyberspace.
*****

The success of a complaint email invariably lies not who the email is attention TO. The Sender just need to put the recipient's worst nightmares in the CC. 
  *****

Those who said "No hard feelings" to you are usually the ones who have wronged you and wanted to extend an olive branch. Someone said that to me today and so I'm trying very hard not to have any feelings towards this person.


More Words of Wisdom

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Big announcement!!

I finally clinched my first stand-up comedy gig!! It will be in a local comedy festival in June. Though details are still being firmed up, I'll do a 30min talk set which I'll draw materials from my humour blog and write some new stuffs. I'm so happy, nervous and excited!! I just hope I don't make a fool of myself on that day. I have some free passes to my gig to give away to my fans. Please click here for details. Hurry! Limited stocks. http://bit.ly/1lzapPI

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (part 2)



"I've not spoken to my colleague for a month. Not that we are having a cold war, just that my Mum reminded me it is rude to interrupt."
****
"Not speaking doesn't mean mute; not looking doesn't mean blind; not hearing doesn't mean deaf. Knowing the difference will separate the smart ones from the smart alecs."
 ****
"One's true colours will show after they leave the organisation and stop being your colleague. Either you gain a Best Friend Forever or you award that person with a Best Acting Award."
 ****

Weirdos 

"In my course of work, I come into contact with lots of weirdos and their outrageous email requests. And if I fail to deliver, they will threaten to bring the matter to higher authority. I often pity the company that employ them. In which case, I blame my HR dept for not opening their eyes big enough during the interview sessions."

Small talk

"Don't ever try to make small talk in the toilet. Having a conversation with your co-worker accompanied with a background music soundtrack of farts and pee tinkle with your fly open or your pants down doesn't look professional. Moreover, it is in a location where you try to limit your breathing to as little as humanly possible. No need to open your mouth, a simple smile or a nod would suffice."

Irate caller


Had a rough day at work and the last thing I needed was a phone call from an irate caller who managed to get my direct line and complained about the bad TV shows and launched into a personal attack that I'm as "lousy" as the TV station that I'm working in. Maintaining my utmost professionalism, I replied to this elderly lady that I'll convey her feedback to my CEO. And I ended the conversation by saying "Yes, I'll be back for dinner tonight Mum."


Click here for more 'All in a day's work in Singapore'

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

My sick blog post




It is on days like today when I'm sickly pale and green when I think that it is actually not a bad idea for men to have the ability to add some colours with blusher and lipstick to brighten up the mood. Maybe it is just my drowsy medicine talking.
***

Turning up for work today armed with a medical certificate is like having the proverbial 免死金牌 Death Exemption Medallion. Nobody will dare to give you any work and you can finish the necessary tasks on hand and leave in peace. Though I can't be accused of passing the buck, I'll be passing my germs around to spread the luuuve.
 ***

After a week's suffering of blocked nose and not able to fully savour the food I ate, I realised I'm on the road to recovery when I took a deep breath in the packed toilet in my company this morning.
  ***

I'm quite embarrassed to note that during the period that I was sick, whenever I looked down, I can see how tiny it has shrunk. No amount of sensual coaxing from my wife was able to excite it and make it large like it usually is. Don't worry tummy, I'm sure my voracious appetite will be back in no time.  

 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Read newspaper for your daily serendipity



The best formula for digital natives and immigrants to lead a life most enchanted

If you are reading this on newsprint with ink-smudged fingers, give yourself a pat on the back. For those staring at the words on a screen, stop taking the blue pill for today and leave the ‘blissful ignorance of illusion’.In the seminal 1999 science-fiction movie The Matrix where humans are living in a simulated reality, hero Neo swallowed the red pill instead of the blue one, and faced the ‘painful truth of reality’.

I would argue that unlike the deceived people in the film, we willingly put on our rose-tinted glasses and live our lives in a cocoon of our fabricated reality aided by our highly personalised media consumption.

With cable TV offering 24-hour niche programming to online curated sites, social media and forums, it is a very tantalising thought of only consuming the content that appeal to you like entertainment or sports for example. Who wouldn’t want to be submerged in the seductive world of K-pop or the adrenaline rush of English premier league soccer day in day out if it makes them happy?

When like-minded folks congregate, tribes are formed both in the real world and online. They in turn create echo chambers which reinforce their mentality and behaviour, much to the detrimental to their personal growth and the advancement of society. While one may be deemed an expert with deep knowledge in his/her field, without broad understanding of other disciplines, actions and decisions made would often be flawed.

Whether we like it or not, that is how our media have evolved in order to attract our eyeballs and stickiness by overwhelming us with as much as what we desire and none of those we dislike. That includes all media except newspaper.

The inability for the oldest medium to offer much personalisation like how its younger brethren: radio, TV and Internet have done so marvellously well, is perhaps the only reason why it excels in preserving the one quality none of the latter offers – serendipity.