Monday, June 28, 2010

Withered affinity...

Recently some friends asked me.."Lian, why did you not get married, have kids and let someone's shoulders be a sanctuary." I know for a long time that I will remain single not because I am a gay but people are speculating. Some friends said "You deserve a nice man." I just smiled and said nothing. Being single is a choice, not a must.

Nice men are plentiful but of what that interest me or they are interested in me that makes the different. Not all nice man remains nice because you never know until you live with him. This category is vague. I supposed she meant someone who loves me and adores me and kowtow to me, at my back and call, only have eye for me, listen only to what she had. I will not consider a puppet. I believe love is not like that.

Many were all lovey dovey and oblivious to people around them. The bliss and happiness then were all washed down after years of struggling to keep a family, make things work and the killing factors are lack of communication, understanding, give and take and keep the anger. The shoulder turned into rock when one looses jobs, with bills to meet, mortgage to service, car to upkeep and all the fees for the kids to attend to all kinds of activities and not to mention some pocket monies for both sides parents.

I realized that the tolerance of my parents era are gone. To them marriage was made to keep - today marriage is for convenient - happy stay together, not happy "call it a day". Reputation was the utmost importance then but today, being a Divorcee is nothing. No one will call you names, throw stones at you and brand you a taboo. You can continue to marry until you find the right guy.

Most girls love to be loved, pampered, marry Prince Charming and live happily ever after. The facts in reality is not like that. It is human to be dissatisfied. We may be loved, pampered and marry our Prince but after years of toils, can the love stand the test? Therefore I will only marry if I will die without that person...such person is hardly to be found on earth.

How can I make it possible
to meet you
when my life is at its full bloom of youth
beautiful and tender
Because of this I prayed to the Buddha
I prayed for 500 years
"Please Buddha, please let me
meet this special person"
For my wishes,
Buddha turned me into a tree
I grew along the path
that you strolled every morning
Under warm sunshine
I started to flower
The sweet scent filled the path
so that it enhances the way
and you will notice me
To fill your sight with my fresh blooms
and rustling of my leaves in the wind
whispering to you when you walk by
I prayed for your attention
you strolled pass
not looking at the beautiful blooms
nor did you hear my whisper
your indifference turned
my heart cold
So cold until it died
As the wind blew my withered
flower petals and leaves
around your feet
you walked on it and you
walked on
my bleeding heart....

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Class of its own..Columbarium

When Cindy was talking about robot solemnizing a marriage, it is indeed distinctive. However people always love to do things their own style. People jumped from plane and got married in the sky; people dived into the ocean and declared their undying love; hopefully the robot one day turned human and said “Hey! I married you guys".

In Singapore, I now talk about de
ath and resting in style. I am a bit slow but I still learnt that buying a niche when one dies to put ones ashes is getting very expensive. A normal niche will cost at least S$3,000 or more. Those that consider 'good place' , meaning eye level where you can easily see one's ancestors without squatting or need a ladder to climb to the top is consider good place.

Now, things are getting so advance that you can have a Rock Concert service for the dead. Imagine all friends come to a attend an ashe
s retrieving ceremony with a Bon Jovi Style Theme and the song "It's my Life" comes blasting from all the speakers, with friends hanging around with a bottle of Vodka, chewing peanuts. Cool!

NO!, of course not. I stumbled upon this privatized "six-star" columbarium (talking about being ill-informed). It is really dying in style. This is 'the' special resting place - Nirvana in Singapore. Look at all the designs - from floor to ceiling, what do you say? This is far more modern, clean, stylish, bright and colorful. It really is Nirvana. Not only the dead rest here, I am sure the 'alive' will also find solace in such a peaceful place. Unlike those in the temples whereby it is dark and ashes are stacks all the way up the wall ceiling

Looking at
the prices, it is not that expensive. A normal niche is around S$2,000.00 and it goes up to S$30,000 and more for a family niche. A family niche as it indicates can take 30 nos of ashes I find the family one a little lavish. For me I will not buy a family niche. I do not know how many of my family members will remain Buddhist and whether they want to be buried with me. Paying up front is too much when it cannot be guaranteed that it will be fully utilized. However this is good for people with enough extras monies and wanted privacy, not that they need to place 30 nos of urns into the niche. This place is too far and for those without a car can be a hassle. To take a cab is costly and to take a bus takes ages to reach destination.

Dying is a private affair. During my grandpa's time, it is prestige to die with many friends, family members, business associates paying respect. This shows the person's status in the society. This particular place boost of a stylish Dinning Hall, big meet Hall, private lounges, Reception area and well lighted walkways and carpark.

The Six-Star columbarium don't even need monks to do chanting and prayers, no need to light incense and all the ceremonial offerings? So away with all the superstitious that incense is food to the dead, all the food offered are eaten by the dead and all the paper monies, paper accessories and clothes, big houses are needed. Although some called themselves Buddhist but they still go with the Chinese culture of respecting the dead with all these and Nirvana do not need all these. Once one passed away into Amitaba's Pureland, one will never be short of anything.

We come alone and when we leave the earth, we walk alone as well. No amount of money, power, authority, richness can we take with us. You cannot take your mansion, your Lexus, your fat Bank account, your powerful influential friends and whatever to prep yourself so that you are well received on the other side. The only thing you can take with you is your merits -both good and bad.

All pictures here are credited back to Nirvana Memorial Garden, Singapore.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sounds familiar...tat's a woman

Credit goes to the cartoonist who knows women so well. Walau!, I saw myself in this sketch.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Great Men of Singapore…

When everyone was at it, I decided to pay my tribute at my own time.

“Thank you Dr Goh, for everything you have done for Singapore. “ I believed many said the same line. Actually a simple ‘thank you’ meant a lot and it contained all those unsaid.

The Late Dr Goh to me is an example. As a person, I saw a man who is not after name or fame and least of all acknowledgment and credits. He did so much for Singapore and he faded into the background around 1984. Whether Singapore knows him or not, thank him or not, give due credit to him or not, it is immaterial. If a CREDIT is there, nothing can erase them.

“He is a rare person”, my brother said. “During my army days, we all respected Dr Goh”. I never heard him said anything like that. It is difficult when you are in politic to really called for such respect. There will be unpopular decisions and not all were well accepted but yet the respect was there.

I respected MM Lee and all his old guards. They have done so much for Singapore. The road to where we are today is not an easy path. I recalled seeing the separation from Malaysia, how helpless and how to go from there….? I saw the tears and we should be proud of what we are today. Like I said, a credit due is a credit, no matter how…these are/ were Great Men. Will we have another MM Lee, Dr Goh , Mr Rajaratnam and all?

Some of my Malaysia and Indonesia friends said…” if we have your Mr Lee KY as our leader, our country will be different today”. Did Singapore see it? I think most did, the old timers. The young and educated…? If it is not the guts and strong leaderships of these Great Men, where will this tiny dot be in the World?

Singapore, My Country, My Home and where my heart is…may you be well, be strong, be harmonious, be safe and always have good government, good people…my wish, this year for 2010 National Day in advance.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cries of the dolphins...

Did you ever thought for once when you were at Ocean World, Aquarium World and all the aqua shows around the world that the cute dolphins acrobatic for your amusement barely escape the butchers knives?

When the people in the world are shouting for Green, protect the environment, protect the animals, protect Mother Gaia...there are equal or even more damages done than we ever care to admit.

These pictures sicken me and my heart ached painfully. When we killed for food, it is to keep us alive. We long know that eating vegetables are healthy and we won't die from it BUT meat tasted better, isn't it? Animals killed only when they are hungry, Human killed for all kind of absurd reasons. Look at this sea of blood. I am not going to hide it...the country is Denmark! This is Dolphins Killing Festival. The purpose, the Killers are young men and they have to kill dolphins to prove that they have come of age. What a way to come of show that one is grown up, the first lesson is to learn how to kill. Start by killing animals...and later human. What is the Denmark Government doing? If this is a tradition, why can't they do it some other way?

Did you hear the dolphins cries? These are the intelligent Calderon Dolphins' fate...or you may say it is their Karma...that they had to die for some human proof of manhood. How ironical.

I bet you, the people who have fun now...will cry later. What goes around comes around and he who laugh last, laugh best! I have given up sashimi for sure. Ohm Mani Padme Hum!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What rubbish...

I read with concern on the remark passed by Dr M about Malays in Singapore. What utter rubbish was he talking about "Malays in Singapore is not supported by the Government". No wonder Malaysia is chaotic in the sense of politics.

I think Dr M should keep his mouth shut if he had nothing better to do. If I want to comment, I think our Singapore Malays are smarter and hard working. Look at their education, so many now are intelligent and hold high positions in various private sectors and even in government - not that they are Bumis. They are there at their own credits. They live in better homes and are opened to various ethnic groups around them. I have neighbors' children that play along the corridor with others and they speak Mandarin. These Malay children are one up against other children because others do not speak Malay. Parents are more open and the Singapore Malays got STYLE.

Our Government works so hard to achieve racial harmony and here is someone who should be retired and happily ''grand-fathering'' to shoot his mouth without thinking what he spewed carelessly can cause uneasiness among others. Dr M, you should go sit in the backyard, smoke a pipe, watch your grand children ran around, eat your favorite nasi, watch TV and now World Cup is on and enjoy life while you still have it.

POWER...POWER...POWER... once one enter the grave, what power? By the way, not everyone is power crazy. It is all these unhealthy careless remarks and fanning of disharmony that's where all the terrorists started. People think that they are victimized and others used religion and dissatisfaction and a group of people run amok, loosing their minds and judgement.

I have watch our Government and I really think that our leaders are GENTLEMEN! Many issues from railway station, to water to whatever insults hurled at Singapore, we lied low. No one bother to retaliate except for me here and maybe some more because we felt the itch bitten by a mite and need to scratch.

Chinese or whatever ethnic groups have Malay neighbors and friends in Singapore and Malaysia. We never think that we need to be more powerful than our Malay counterparts. If there is anything to do with politics, leave it to the people who are interested in politics...please don't go around shooting at large and generalized everyone.

I do not mean to be disrespectful to an elderly man. Respect is earned and not commanded!

God bless you, Dr M!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Driving and Safety...

A friend send me this clip and the message "Lian, if anyone wants to die, they should go to China." I think the people in China do not know what is "watch where you are driving". The people are not taught safety on the road, both to cars, cyclists and pedestrians. This is a common problem in Singapore too, people stand around the corner of a road, oblivious that they are putting their life in danger. After finishing the video, I am amused, shocked and wondering whether traffic lights will help. Fortunately we do not have so many bicycles on the road, unlike China. Enjoy and have a good laugh and bit your finger nails as well.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rude Singaporean

Today while I was scanning through the newspaper, something strikes me and I broke out in boisterous laughter. I cannot help and I cannot stop. Well, this is because of a news report from an Australian writer about the rudeness of Singaporean and about ethics on MRT Train. I had no complaint when I am referred to as a ‘chin chin’ by Australian, meaning small eye, yellow skin Chinese.

First of all KUDOS to the guy with a good sense of humor. The MRT in Singapore has nothing by the name of Tuen Mun Station, and when I read the reply that Mong Kok Station is one station before Tanah Merah, my chuckle was even louder ( I am still laughing while typing this).

I wonder whether we all Chinese looks alike to Westerners and Australian. Probably we are all ‘chin chin’ and maybe even got all the countries mixed up. Is Singapore and Hong Kong alike? Geographically we are not at the same location, therefore Tuen Mun and Tanah Merah are ways....ways apart and no connections at all.

It is so easy to pull spider webs over the eyes of ignorant, but than before a reporter reports, don’t she needs to get all her facts right? I agree Singaporean can be rude but there are rude people everywhere. Are Australian exception? Do you expect all culture are the same and behave the same way? Blast the people who invented hand phones, make it so easy to be connected and obsession in connecting from voice to everything multi-media. Wait for the World Cup Football to start, it will even be worst.

Singapore now is made up of more foreigners. We have given so many countries the rights to come here and we have a flux of Chinese from Mainland China whose behaviors even we Singaporean cannot take it. They came here prostituting themselves with the pretext that they are here for school. You just have to walk around Geylang and those that drives around there swear under their breath. Their couldn’t careless attitude and that the roads belongs to them, test your patience and driving skills. The way they talk and behave… I wonder BUT we have to be nice, that’s what the government wants us to do, accept them into our society since they were given citizenship. There goes our reputations as well.

The next lots of people are from India. As this group of people are more workers, Little India will see these people crossing the roads by ‘dashing’ here and there. I was told by a friend that is why they are called ‘Blangadash’. However these are nice people and I admired them for hard work. Some of the boys work extra at night by washing cars at multi-storey carpark. We have a few boys that took care of the flats around our area by sweeping the place, washing the walkway and they always said “good morning, madam”. Not for the Chinese.

Singapore of course is an affluent country. Thanks to the government we are well taken care off until we forget how to be polite. From the sales girls in the shops, to even Singapore girls…what’s wrong with us? The worst are the drivers on the roads…I sometime wonder is the Traffic Police around. See the way people drive, they are blind to filtering lights, they never give way and they are oblivious to the facts that you need a parking space while they sit and chitchat…even in eating place.

Well after so many years or hard work, our lion toy Singa is dead. I do not know what it implicates – means we are so good manners that we don’t need Singa anymore; or it is pointless to have a Singa because it never works, or Singa makes way for the lion mascot for YOG. Whatever!

Thank you Australian for criticizing us “Singaporean”. I will not be too defensive about such issue. Will it makes us better or it will be gone with the wind is left to be seen. Don’t worry we will still visit Australia, although my last visit, one of my boy friend nearly got strips down to his brief…talking about rudeness. When we asked is he a suspect, they said it is random. Ha.a.a.a.a…..

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Wonder EGG....

Yes, my favorite food. I am an egg idiot and my family and friends all knew about it.

1) I love egg and consumed it fresh from the chicken "backside" when it is laid and still warm.

2) I love it hard boiled. The egg smells yummy when you peel off the shell. I like to do it when it is hot, burnt my fingers and felt the sting. However, people put hard boiled eggs straight away into ice water and when they peel the shell, the egg is perfect, white and inviting.

3) Poach egg in clear soup when the yolk is soft and yellowy. Yumm…m.m..m.m. This is a good way to eat an egg too. You have to make sure the water is boiling before you crack the egg into the pot or it will stick to the bottom. This needs a bit of skill or the egg white will not contain together and spread all over the soup.

4) Steam egg is good for lunch, dinner and supper. You crack as many eggs as you like, beat it up by adding some water and salt until the white and yolk blend together. The longer you beat the eggs, you will see the color turns from yellow to off white or light yellow.

I love steam egg with minced meat in it. It is a wonder dish to have on the table for both the young, old and aged because it is soft and nutritious, most people love it.

I also love steaming three types of eggs together….fresh eggs, salted eggs and century eggs. You beat up 3 fresh eggs, one salted egg and cut up the egg yolk into 3 sections and add 1 century egg by cutting it up. Mixed the 3 types of eggs together and steam it…hum.m.m.m… I am hungry!

Here is a medicinal formula from my Mum. Many tried it and it works wonder. If you are coughing badly or burping badly, take an egg, beat it, take a piece of ginger, crush it, squeeze the juice and add it into the beaten egg, add in rock sugar, depending how sweet you want it to be and steam the egg until it is custard in form. Eat it hot before you got to bed. NO food or water after eating the egg custard so that it have time to take effect in your stomach. Well, whether it works for you but it has no harm even if it did not cure your symptom instantly because Chinese also eat this before they sleep as a supper/ dessert to warm their lungs and keep their skin subtle.

5) Sunny side up is a breakfast dish? No, it is not…it is lunch and dinner and anytime when you are hungry and do not want a too heavy meal. I am very fussy over such egg. If it is badly fried with the yolk broken, I will scream and make a fuss.

We all know that International Buffet Breakfast serves sunny side up and so does American Breakfast. Add a dash of table salt and pepper on the egg and it brings out the fragrant of the egg white and yolk. You grow fat with the sausage, mash potatoes, tomato, bacon, and french toasts on the plate.

When we were young, Mum used to fry a sunny side up and put it on top of white steamed rice, add a dash of black soya sauce and light soya sauce and we were the happiest kids in the World. It is a meal and a healthy one too and saved Mum the trouble of cracking her head as to what is for lunch or dinner.

6) Egg Omelets come in different style. Westerners fried it in a pancake form and add ham bits, capsicum bits, tomato bits and cheese. Chinese fried it and break it up into pieces of different sizes. This is a good dish to have for both lunch and dinner. You can also add it into your morning breakfast breads and you have an egg sandwich, Chinese style. This dish can also go with plain congee. Eat it with light soya sauce and add green onion bits…you will love it.

I used to ask for egg white omelets for my breakfast when I travel. It is nice and healthy and taste good too BUT who is going to eat all the yolks? I never asked but probably it ended up in the pastry chef table and turned into cakes.

After talking so much about this wonder Egg, do you know how to tell…

a) A fresh egg from a stale egg? Crack it up and the pungent smell tells you that you have a bad egg. Another easy way is to take a cup of water, fill it to the brim and drop the egg gently into it. If the egg floats, you better throw it away…you can still eat it if you want and you can taste the stale smell and get food poisoning. However if it is fresh, the egg will sink to the bottom. If the egg sink to the bottom and bop a little, it is about a few weeks old.

b) How to preserve eggs. I know some people are health and cleanliness conscious but please do not wash your eggs before putting them into the fridge. There is a membrane that protects the egg and the shell is pores. Washing will damaged the life span of the eggs. Another thing you should know is to check the date of the eggs. Mostly no one will bother, they just buy but if the eggs has been around for a long time, it means you need to consume it sooner or it will stale. You can check on the side of the eggs holder, there should be a date indicated somewhere. However remember eggs are perishable items and you should not eat or buy cracked egg because of bacteria and you will surely have a ‘bad stomach’.

c) I used to see different colors eggs in the market and wonder what is the different….Do you know? White eggs are laid by white feathers chicken and brown eggs are laid by brown feathers chicken. There are also green shell eggs and blue shell eggs which are uncommon in Asia. The color of the shell is actually due to genetic and pigmentation. They are the same…an egg is an egg. I wonder whether I can stomach a ‘green’ or ‘blue’ egg?

d) Do you know how to tell a Hen from a Rooster? Well they tell us that males are vain and they want to attract, so for a Rooster you will tell it by the bigger comb on top of its head, the brighter color of the feathers and of course bigger in size. If you keep a chicken and if it did not lay an egg at all, it is definitely a Male!

e) Talking about that eggs are evil, well everything should be taken moderately. Eating an egg or two a few times a week won’t kill. Eggs contain protein and unsaturated fat…so what so evil about it? The body takes care of the cholesterol and produces lesser if there is intake to balance up.

So much for beloved EGG…and the evil myth!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Work until die…

It was in the newspapers and TV of a man committing suicide due to work pressure. Is this new? We are lucky in Singapore that we work by the law. There are so many hours of work, so many hours of rest, public holidays, shift work, part-time work, contract work and in between all the perks. However we still have people who collapsed at work of heart failure and died. You can say that the person deserved to die because she strives so hard but again, the pressure comes from the Management.

It was unfortunate to end one’s life by jumping off the roof. I believe the man had no choice. He wrote a last message to his parents apologizing for such action. When he was pressurized, who can he turns to…do Human Resource listens? NO! HR is for the Management…not worker nor staff. I was told this by Management. I was invited to sit on 'THE' HR chair if I get rid of this person subtly. The Management wanted him out and yet save their face and so I was asked to do it. Yes, I am to do it but with one condition attached… "if he walks in and say that it is either you or him, I am sorry it will have to be you" to leave. So you see how politic this is and I will be the scarifying lamb or the hero. I decided I do not want the job. I do not see why I need to do all these ugly things.

This factory in China owned by a rich and famous Taiwanese tycoon, is in the limelight for the wrong reason recently and the saga is not over yet. People grow their businesses so big, employed monkeys by paying them peanuts and let them loose. Main interest of a business man is to make money, the more the merrier because he can stand as social elite, have money to party, buy women around him, got power…and how those money break up with blood, they are blind to it. The tycoon stood up and say that he is not running an inhumane operations. He has to face the media and the public and probably because he is sitting on the fire now.

It is sad. I know production have time schedule to meet but human is human after all. Our body and mind have their limits. Some people are stronger and the stress thresholds are stronger but some are timid. Someone told me "In this world, if you do not work faster, work smarter, be with the right people, or join the gang…you are a gone-na". It is ever so true. I saw this with my own eyes. If you do not suck up to those who are the 'little people' in the company, all the worst and dirty jobs are done by you. Whether you like it or not, you perform, keep your mouth shut or you get the ‘boot’. The most mystifying thing…."Management believe in all these 'little people' and no matter how hard working you are, you will never get any where". The next most mystifying thing…”Management believes that anyone who holds a Degree, a Masters, a PHD are the brains”. These are the people that draw that highest pay, get the best benefits…does the least work…and get all the CREDITS! One reason…”because they have the gift of gap”. At a lower level we saw the effectiveness of these people, ONLY the Management are blind. Don’t jump the gun, I am talking about the people I know and not everyone is like that. Anyway Management never admit their faults…how can they admit they employed the wrong person? Loosing face is the utmost disgrace and after all it is not their company or it is public money, lose money just blame it on everything but themselves.

If there were 13 people committing suicides within a year or two, how can the Management be so numb that they did not realized something is not right? This happened in China’s Apple’s IPod factory . The Chinese are shouting not to support Apple IPod. Too bad Apple contracted their productions to such unscrupulous people. Yesterday in the news, the factory caught fire. I was wondering did this happened to redirect people’s attention…talk about the fire and not suicides?

Anyway, we are all out to make a decent living. Owner or Management just have to provide a decent job, decent pay, decent work hour, decent break time, decent housing, decent food canteen, decent recreation and decent overtime that we make money for them. I just wonder why anyone can be so proud of themselves, that they are better educated, holds a higher position, live in a bigger house, drive a bigger car and treated people who made money for them like dirt? Is this world logical?

Do we blame it on the people, no we blame it on the society. It is how to stand apart and be the elite.