Juggling work and night classes

Ahh Wednesday, the middle of the week and just a few days more to go till the weekends. Time passes by so fast doesn’t it? It feels like it was just yesterday that it was the new year and it’s already the end of March and nearly the start of April already.

I feel like I’m procrastinating somehow. There are still a lot of things that I haven’t completed yet.

  • I haven’t completed the new webpage for rinaz.net yet! Yikes
  • I haven’t finished my motorcycle course yet! (Cut date is May, I’ve got about a month to go)
  • I haven’t planned the lesson syllabus yet! Oh dear.
  • I haven’t started on the photography portfolio yet! Argh!

I could go on and on about the things that I haven’t done yet, but I really want to be more reactive about it instead of just whining about it. Maybe a good way to tackle it is to take it step by step instead of being overwhelmed by the sheer weight of it all. I have a bad tendency to procrastinate. Leaving things to the last minute and then looking back and regret at how better I could have done the first time. I know that I work best when things are at the last minute. Having an adrenaline rush is a motivating partner. However, I think slow and steady should be my new mantra.

Briefly mentioning about mantras and New Year, I tend not to make resolutions. I believe that resolutions should not be something one promises to do during the new year but something one promises to oneself whenever they see the need to improve themselves.

It is similar to Valentines day or Mother’s day or Teacher’s day. One should not just appreciate them only on these days, but every day.

I’m resting at home right now after spending an entire day (and night) at work and having night classes. It’s kind of tiring to be teaching in the afternoon and then rush over to Newton (about another hour of bus journey from West Spring)

I was faintly familiar with the location since I was usually there while I was in secondary school. As a Girl Guide, we would usually go to the old guild house during the weekends to train for our camping skills, rope typing skills, and other survival skills (which I can barely remember).

The guide house isn’t there any more and is now replaced with a kindergarten. The place where I was taking my night classes was around the vicinity. I stepped in there for the first time on Monday and saw many other students pretty much like me. Many of them were working adults, there were several teenagers (or teenage looking). I’d deduce that they were like me, all wanting to improve themselves.

I looked at the whiteboard to see the placement of my General Paper class and walked to my new class. I plonked the nearest empty seat which was between a lady and a guy. An interesting self observation, I don’t like to sit alone now as compared to back in maybe Jurong Institute, I’d rather be a loner, and sit by myself and keep quiet and try not to interact with people, if possible.

I quickly made friends with the lady (Cecelia) and the Guy (George) and prepared to have our first lesson there. I was impressed by the quality of the teacher that I had for the past two days. They were more than competent, knowledgeable and engaging. I was also surprised by the level of students that attended there. Many of them sounded intelligent and had high level thinking and speech.

I’d understand the reasoning behind it. Since many were adults, we are (supposed) to be more mature, being more exposed to life already. Maybe it could be a factor for motivation for them since goals are more defined now.

I really enjoy my lessons so far. I miss having stimulating discussions about general topics and literature (though its been many years since I actually last did literature!)

I was amazed that there was not more awareness about this night time class. Truth be told, I wasn’t even aware of it if my cousin Hizam didn’t tell me about it. What I liked about it is that it was definitely more affordable as compared to other private institutions. YMCA in comparison, is conducting A level course for about 300 (or was it 800) per subject. It was a bit much for me. So I’m surprised that not more people stepped forward to enjoy education at this lower fee. Being Malay, I also only needed to pay half of the original fee since it was in the constitution for Malay Muslims. Some people might believe that it is a discrimination. But one needs to understand that since Malays make up one of the lowest income earners, more over is a minority, hence they need all the help they could get.

I wished more people would have signed up and I’m wondering why the reason, it was not so popular. Was it the lack of advertisement? Or was it because of the stigma of the word “ITE“?

Many people have the perception that the ITE would be the area where only the hopeless and the “gone case” would be since they are not strong academically. But I don’t think I ever had that type of perception. I’ve never understood why there is a need for segregation because of of a perception of intelligence back as a teenager and I still don’t understand it now.

My opinion about it became stronger ever since I’ve started to teach in West Spring, teaching the normal technical classes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They are not stupid and should not be branded as that. I only wish that they were more motivated and responsive. But such behaviour isn’t just to be left by educators since nurturing environment at home also plays a huge part in a person’s development.

But coming back to ITE. Does it really have such a bad name? Many people seem to think that way. Attending to some of the talks and activities conducted there for the past year has made my positive opinion about ITE even more concrete. It was a professional institution with many of its students being responsive and helpful. I could compare it with a local top school even, with their mannerisms. I was pretty impressed.

I hope that local people here would be a little more open minded and not put a bogeyman at something that they did not understand.

Anyway, my classes are conducted by Junior college lecturers, with the ITE was just being of a bridge and coordinator which I thought was really wonderful.

(steps off her preachy soap box)

Preachy. I must be inheriting it from my mother. She tends to start with her religious views even when I have an innocent encounter with her.

For example, when I join her for breakfast. She’d start about Nazry calling us on Sunday, saying that he missed us. And then she’d continue to talk about how busy he was in camp. Then she’d say that he doesn’t even have time to pray.

Prayers are important she said. It makes you remember what is wrong and what is right. And let you know the important of time. You pray 5 times a day. You’ll know that when time passes by, it’ll never come back again and learn to appreciate the value of time.

Dont you know the value of God’s riches? God loves you. You should appreciate what he’s given you. Look at the house we are living in. If you dont pay the bills, what happens. The lights get cut off right? The water will now come out anymore, right?

But God, always makes the sun rise and the water flow. He does not expect you to pay him a bill. But he only would like to see his masses to pray … Bla Bla Bla Bla …

I slowly began to tune off. I love my mother, and respect her. However, overzealous preaching can really turn me off. I heavily believe that love is nurtured and not forced on. I don’t like being told what to do. Let a person make their own decisions if they are mature enough to handle it.

(stop with the preaching already! Okay? Okay … moving on)

Juli’s going to KL this friday since it will be good friday then and she’d have 3 days of fun. She asked me to join her and Redzuan there. Man I’d love to join her. KL is such a happening spot. In fact, I’ve always thought about working there. The Information Technology market there is definitely booming and now is a very good time to start working there. Compared to the Singapore market which is quite saturated and pretty much waning. I need a new scene anyways. Working here has made me a little jaded with many of the systems. I’d be able to earn more than what I have currently, even though the Malaysian currency is lower. I’m prepared to leave the things that I’m familliar with here just to taste the chance of greener pastures …

I’m sure Juli will have a great time, I’d liked to have seen Times Square and soak around in Sunway Lagoon, looking at the view from The Petronas towers. And the food there totally rocks. I’m drooling just thinking of Naan bread, Chendol and Teh Tarik.

But I can’t join her as I have to stick to my budget. And my priority right now is the camera. Regardless, I hope she’ll have fun 🙂

yick

I dont understand it. Why is it that in some restaurants waiters are always so enthusiastic in clearing your table while you’re still at the table? I was having dinner with Juli yesterday at Seoul Garden. I was just done placing my meat strips on the hot plate and a waiter just took away the plate. Eh?

Then I finished my plate of sushi. And then zoom! The plate was gone in less than 6 seconds. I blinked again.

I took a helping from the plate of bbq’ed meat Juli and I cooked and a waiter came up. “May I clear your plate for you?” Uh .. no … we’re still eating. And the same thing happened again in another 10 minutes.

Overzealous much?

Same thing happened while I was eating at Swensens with Geri in Chinatown on wednesday. I was just halfway done with my Chicken Menuire (please somebody tell me its not pronounced as manure)and this waitress extended her hand on my plate and asked if she could clear my plate.

Allo! I’m still eating! *still munching on my chicken*

Oh my goodness! Similar things happened before in different places. And I’m not sure if its just me, or it has happened to other people too. Is there a secret code that waiters and waitresses have? I used to be a waitress to, but I would always wait for the guest to finish eating and leave the table and then clear the table.

So, thats sort of puzzling to me.

Anyhow, I had a relatively good dinner. I felt completely stuffed, like a turkey on thanksgiving eve having stuffed myself at the buffet. I have one major qualm about Seoul Garden though. They would advertise their food as $16.99 for dinner ($12.99 for lunch) but dont be fooled. I saw that the total bill amounted to roughly $45 dollars for the two of us. Thats the most cut throat restaurant I’ve ever seen.

Lets see, the bill was broken down to:

Buffet – $16.99 (times 2)
Table – $5.00
Drinks – $3.00 (times 2)
Wet Wipe – $1.00 (times 2)

For that price, I’d rather eat at Cafe Vienna
. High tea at a nice posh place with ambience. I dont think I want to eat at Seoul Garden again. Dont you think its a heartache?

The only reason I went anyways was that Juli was nice enough to coax and pay for the +++ I very nearly wanted to leave because I wanted to try the new Salad KFC was having. (Nazry said it was good when he was working there, and I saw this guy through the glass window in the restaurant looking really in his own elements while eating it)

Anyhow, during dinner Juli asked me how ‘The Face Shop’ products were working for me. I replied that it felt really good. It made my face feel smooth and soft. Juli smirked.

Whats wrong? Do I sound like a commercial? Yeah, she said. So I turned my head to an imaginary video camera. Lifted my left hand and cupped an imaginary moisturizer and pointed with my right hand to it.

“The face shop. It makes my skin soft and smoothhhhhh”

That kind of reminded me of the different tacky advertisments that Singapore has (and is still running on the airs)

Advertisment for a weight loss center:

Scene of a pretty slim malay girl, next to an old picture of herself
“My boyfriend used to call me a hippo”

A few seconds later, a scene of a slim chinese woman, next to an old picture
“My husband says that I am fat”

Oh. My. Goodness! How could the director ever allow such monstrosity of this advertisment ever be played?

Number one: What kind of a boyfriend would ever call his girlfriend a hippo? I’m so gonna kill anyone who calls his girlfriend that. If I was in a relationship where my boyfriend would ever call me names, I’m going to slap his face, kick his butt and be so violent to him that he’ll totally think twice about running his mouth like that ever again. Of course, by that time, I think he’d probably be to scared to be in any future relationship. He’d probably be a eunuch … or a priest …

Number two: Why should anyone lose weight because a guy asked you to? Doing practically anything should come from the heart. For example, I want to lose weight so that I will have more confident. I want to lose weight because I will feel healthier. Doing something because a male asking you to do it is just going to end in trouble.

Another low class tacky commercial that I’ve seen on telley would be the breast enhancement one by a beauty salon. Picture this:

A mom, wearing a red sleeveless, low plunged V shirt is fetching her son at the playground. She has carefully applied makeup – bright eyeshadow, red lips and extremely coiffured hair (I salute any housewives with young kids who has the time to actually do all this)

And this housewife seeing her son at the slides, opened her arms to bend down and embrace her son.

Guess what?

Camera angles and zooms in to her ample bosoms which was happily jiggling up and down. Every one of the other housewives were putting on this fake gasp. With one hand covering their mouth (every single one of them!)

For goodness sakes …

How my eyes burns …

Is taking vitamin supplements good for you?

I have a confession to make. I’m not very proud of it. Would you like to hear it?

Ready?

Okay here goes.

I am a habitual pill popper. Yes, thats right. I’m a pill junkie. I would pop pills 3 times a day. Every day.

Observe :

  • Breakfast with 500mg Evening Primrose Oil, Jamu
  • Lunch with Sesamin extract
  • Dinner with EPO, Jamu and Acidophilus.

It started back when I was a teen of 15. There was a studies camp conducted by an external family and child, mind development institution called the Nury Institute. It could be from here where I got my casual interest in mind development. It was my first time being introduced to mind mapping, creative expression and memory recall as well as others. I supposed the camp worked well for me since I did not study for the O levels and I was able to have 6 O Level Credits with a B average

Mum eventually got interested in the retelling of the things that happened while I was in camp to check the institute out. At the time, she just had Diana, my sister and already was trying out the Glenn Doman method for my sister.

Anyhow, in one of the Nury Sessions, there was a chapter on how supplements help in the development of the physical and mental health. That was when mum started to buy supplements and made us eat them.

She’d sprinkle vitamin C on my food and coaxed me to eat the evening primrose oil and then made me eat the multivitamins. I remember thinking of how troublesome it was. It was just a small pill. What could it do? I was sceptical. But I still took it daily anyway.

It happened gradually. So gradual that I did not even realise it. I noticed that I never got sick even though it was the flu season. It was strange to me since when in my entire class would have the flu, I’d be fine, without even the least bit of a sniffle.

I was amazed that I never had monthly stomach cramps any more. That usually plagued me to bits. So slowly, I became a convert to the Faith of Vitamin Pills.

However while in Jurong Institute, my faith was swayed when my language teacher talked about how unnecessary it was to consume vitamin supplements. She insisted that the food that we consume would be more than enough to cover all of our daily necessities. I pondered about this for a while and thought that I should stop for a while. It made sense to me. It’s a vitamin supplement, meant to supplement and not replace.

I felt fine and dandy. For a while. And then I started to have my horrible stomach cramps again. I disliked the taste of panadols or any random over the counter pain killer. I’d rather endure the pain than to eating those chemicals.

I then did some research and found out that there was nothing wrong with consuming vitamin pills and that it was actually not enough to rely on food alone for the daily vitamin necessity. This was because of the fact that due to modern ways of rearing and growing food, there are lesser vitamins from it. A cup of leafy vegetable now would have less vitamins compared to one say, 30 years ago.

I’d rather take the vitamin pills. Still concerned about over consumption though. There is only so much that the body could consume while excess will be flushed away by the liver. So, there could be a wastage of money to over consume.

I went out with Juli again yesterday to discuss about our business plan. She showed me some pictures of a makeover she did for her friends and we both realised that what you see with your natural eye would look different in photos. Juli told me that the make-up she did for her friends looked nice to the eye but turned out very faint in the photos. We quickly realised that thicker make-up was needed for photography shoots.

I took Juli to Sim Lim Square to do a quick survey of the cameras that was sold there. Besides computers, Sim Lim square was famous for selling cameras at a cheaper price. Juli quipped that the camera that she just bought was about 200 dollars cheaper here compared to the one at Harvey Norman.

I went to a shop and enquired about a camera. The salesman showed me a camera. I fell in love almost immediately. It was light. The grip was wonderful. And the features was complete for what a dream camera would be.

Isn’t this gorgeous?

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

It has got nice features in it like 8.0 mega-pixels and 3 frames per second. Fast! More information from this site here.

I asked the price of the camera and the sales man said that it costs 1.6k. Is that your best price? I can give it to you for 1.5k he said. Do you have installment plans? Yes, but you need to have a visa credit card to use it.

I arched my eyebrow and told him I’ll think about it and left.

We asked about the price at other shops. Most quoted a 1.8k price. (First shop was better) And all of them had the same response. Installments only by visa credit card.

Now I don’t have a credit card with me. Only a debit card. So I only had the option of paying in full or going somewhere else to purchase it. So I told Juli, that I might try to go to courts to see if they had the same brand to be sold.

Later on Juli and I walked over to Parco Bugis Junction to do a quick make-up survey. We poured over the different make up. Since I was extremely bad at make-up, it was an educational experience for me. I heard words of wisdom from Juli.

“To tell for quality makeup, it should have a good texture”
“The trick to makeup, is blend, blend, blend”
“A good foundation is the base for good makeup”

Now, I am the type of person who’s just slap on make-up and dab it any how. I couldn’t care less how I looked. However, I did feel responsible at that it would  not be professional when they see my uncombed lion mane and panda eyes. So this year, I’m *trying* to be just a leeeeeetle bit more groomed.

I find it of a hassle having to do the morning rituals though.

– Wash
– tone
– moisturise
– medicated blemish gel
– eye gel
– sunscreen
– concealer
– powder
– eye-liner
– lip balm

And that’s the minimum steps! I could go on to eye-shadow, blush and all the other rubbish. I haven’t even started about eye contouring. Oh dear. All those steps above would be about 30 minutes if I hurry. So much hassle! It’s so annoying. But for the sakes of looking more presentable. Anyways, weekends would be my day where I can look like a lion if I wanted to since I won the right to do so 🙂

We then had dinner at Juli’s old workplace. The place was called Terracafe. I really enjoyed eating the pasta there. The Marinara was really lovely there. That’s the thing I’d usually order when I was at terracafe.

I met Juli’s good friend Ridzuan. I met him for the first time early 2000. It was a horrible experience for me then since the location that we met, and the time when we met was totally wrong. I wasn’t a night person. I was happy to sleep early before midnight and I disliked pubs with a vengeance. I felt very left out since I was the odd one out in the people of 4 since the other 3 knew each other already. They didn’t talk to me much and after a while, I decided to not mingle at all and just kept quiet.

So yes, I have a phobia of blind dates. Cart thinks that I should give these people a chance. But I feel that the situation shouldn’t feel like a “date date” I’d rather get to know a person while doing something together like canoeing, or fairs or bullying someone else. Having to try to impress someone that I don’t know with nice clothes, oh so charming manners, gorgeous hair is just nerve wrecking to me. I really disliked the whole idea.

Anyhow, this didn’t feel like a “date date” this time, and felt more like a casual outing so I didn’t mind when Juli asked her friend to join us for dinner this time. Anyhow, we’ve been talking on msn for a little and I thought that he was funny and eccentric.

Ridzuan turned up in a white tee, belted jeans, black tennis bracelets, and had a beard. He looked quite similar the same way the first time I saw him.

He also was wearing shades! It was already night time!

I commented on how cool his ipod shuffle was. And observed how he and Juli would tease each other. It made me chuckle to see how they would bully each other with catty remarks. Some of which cant be said on this family oriented blog.

But what struck me was how witty Ridzuan was. He was soft spoken, genteel even but words that came out of his mouth was a fluttery riot. One of the first things he said that I could remember

Ridz : I’m going to make a portal for all the ugly people to get together. Show them that they are not alone. There are other ugly people too. The website will be called www.u.g.l.y.com
Me : Cool, sounds interesting. But isn’t there a similar portal already?
Juli: Sorry ridz. I think you’re too late. We already have a www.s.d.u.com
Ridz : No, I will make it accessible enough that even the most antisocial, the types of people who just visit the void deck to get a keropok would know of it. And I could use your expertise to help me make these people over and feel good about themselves
Juli : So typical Malay. Always using other people.
Ridz : Shut up you (censored)
Juli : You male (censored)

Anyhow after dinner, we went to the Apollo Building for a round of karaoke. Turns out that Juli and Ridzuan loved to karaoke. It was a good way to relieve stress. Singing one’s heart out. However, I shuddered at many cat’s wailing in one of the rooms.

But I had fun. It was good company I was in so it was nice. It felt nice and relaxed. We laughed at the weird karaoke location shoot. One love song vid clip was in an aquarium.

I really had to control myself from bursting. Imagine singing Celine Dion’s “All by myself”

All by myself ….(scene of a crab)
Don’t wanna live….(scene of a sea fish)
When I was young … I never needed anyone (scene of a clam)

There was other silly scenes also, making me wish that I had a camera to take the silly singing scenes, those are just priceless.

– couples dancing off tempo
– crucifixes (in a love song!)
– dogs running on the beaches (for the entire clip!)
– a girl wearing high heels and long sleeved shirt (while walking on the beach!)

Suffice to say, it just didn’t go with the theme of the song. Too funny.

My brother’s going to start his BMT

My brother left for National Slavery yesterday. I’m going to miss that little bugger. He’d always be the one I’d moan to when I’m feeling off.

Of course, he’d could be moody and insensitive at times, and I can be really horrible to him. But I think we’re quite close and confide in each other in a lot of things. Since young, my brother has always tagged around me and I felt the need to share and show him things that I liked to do, like a good big sister should.

I spent the last few days talking to him and we reminised about the days when we were kids. He’d still think that I was eccentric. Oh yeah? I asked him to name one instance that showed my wierdness.

Remember the time when you made me bury my 50 cent coin? That was my entire life savings then and I thought that we could have a money tree then using the 50 cent. I was looking forward to having alot of money to buy stuff.

Memories …

He can be a pain in the neck sometimes, but there are times when he’d be surprisingly nice. Nazry worked in Kentucky Fried Chicken after he left polytechnic. I kept bugging him to steal something from work (Hey everyone does it!) He kept refusing, insisting that he was sick of chicken and won’t bring it home.

I pestered him for days and days and eventually gave up about that. Some morning after, I had a rather surprising message on my phone. It said:

“If it makes you happy, look in the fridge when you wake up this morning”

Lo and behold! A whole boxful of delicious, crispy, fattening sunshiny (stolen) fried chicken from KFC. Mmm!!

So yeah, he is really nice most of the times. I enjoy talking to the little bugger. Mum says that he’s got the heart of a sentimental person.

So anyways, we left for Pulau Tekong early morning and took the ferry there since the island was only accessible by sea. Mum reminisced since she used to live in Pulau Tekong all her life till she became a young adult. I remember it since mum took me there as a little girl. I loved the island life. So slow, and idyllic and natural.

My grandparents owned a farm there with loads of chickens at the back of the house. I’d help out to shower (more like drown) the chickens, sometimes help to shell the coconuts or help out in the provision shop. But most of the times, I’d roam around the island, exploring things, jumping in the sea, bathing in the cool well water, making tents out of things I could find around the house, just being a mischievious little girl.

My grandparents had a neighbour next door who reared crocodiles. Every now and then, I’d sneak in and sit down to observe the crocodiles. They had such shiny, yellow jewel like eyes when they were lying there, basking in the sun, grinning at me.

The crocodiles were in an empty swimming pool, and there were no gates or nets as far as I could remember. I could just sit and dangle my legs at the edge of the pool.

I’m amazed why no one ever scolded me to never go to the crocodile farm even to this day. But, it was really an amazing. I doubt many people had the same experience as I had before.

I could imagine mum thinking about her past life there too as we approached the island.

Security was quite tight there. We had to scan our identity cards every time we reached the gantry and there were soldiers in full army regalia brandishing guns every now and then.

We had a tour of the bunks, the parade grounds, the training grounds and the mess hall. It didn’t look bad, it looked pretty decent actually, if compared to the camp ground that I went to last year (I shiver at the thought of the numerous people using the unwashed bedsheets previously)

I love camp. I’ve always appreciated the outdoors because I was in the uniformed groups: In Primary school, I was in the Brownies, then joined the Girl Guides in my teens. I would have carried on to become a Ranger but for some reason, they never answered to my queries and I sort of lost the desire to join after that.

Outward Bound School was a real wonderful experience for me. It was tough being in the jungle, trying to work out the compass without any help from the guides, hiking for many kilometres in a terrain not familiar to us. Using our skills to spend the night in the jungle comfortably. It’s the little things that makes one appreciate what comforts we have back home.

So, I didn’t worry too much about Nazry’s well being. It’ll just feel different, since our family has always (more or less) been the 6 of us every night. Now it will be only 5. I won’t see him sprawled, sleeping on the couch. I won’t be able to kick him to wake up in time any more.

Anyhow, later in the afternoon, we spent lunch together as a family before we say goodbye to each other. We gave each other huge hugs. That bugger almost broke my back on purpose! Diana’s beautiful straight combed hair was totally messed up when he did his famous nookie. Only a bottle of conditioner could help her hair now. Mum had some tears in her eyes. Even father looked a little less stoic.

Bwah!!! Who am I going to rant and rave to now? Who??

Anyways, I’ll end my blog here for the moment, I should get ready to meet up with Juli, we’re going to Bugis to do some material research for our business. Should be fun, I love that place, its so rustic.

Terms that every Singaporean should know

Singaporeans are an interesting lot.

Having a country as a melting pot of different types of race and cultures, would eventually create an interesting dish of a custom. Sometimes it’s so intertwined that it’s even hard to tell, which is an Indian, Chinese or a Malay custom.

The way we talk also is an amalgam of the different languages that we’ve come to call it affectionately – Singlish.

For example :

“Aiyo! Why lidat? Eber-itaim arrow and sabo me. Heng ah!”

Foreigners might scratch their heads trying to catch heads and tails of what a native would say here – but let me try to make it easier for you to understand :

Here is a list of phrases commonly said by a Singaporean

Lah:

Commonly used as an expression at the end of some sentences.

1.”Why are you so like that lah?”
2. “I dont know, lah!”

With “lah”, it gives a boost to a statement. Rather than just saying, “I don’t know”, adding a lah at the end will make an emphasis that the speaker really doesn’t know.

Wah lau:

An expression of “oh my goodness” or “wow” or “damn” depending on the tone of voice used.

1. “Wah lau. Simple like this also you cock up.”
2. “How can you do this to me? Wah lau”

Take note that in Singlish, semantics and grammar are not important and sentences are usually shortened as much as possible.

Abothen:

An equivalent of “of couse!” “duh!” A sarcastic response to an obvious statement or question

1.”Wah, see you got wear so swee-swee… confirm you tonight go pak tor, lor!”

Buat bodoh:

To feign ignorance or to play dumb

Buaya :

Malay for crocodile. Used to describe a wolf or a sleazy pick up artist.

Dao :

Arrogant and haughty

Gerek:

Malay, used to describe a situation that is cool or groovy.

1. “Did you see Ahmad’s new motorcycle? So gerek!

Jambu:

Used to describe a beautiful woman. Derived from a name of a local juicy fruit

1. “Check out that minah! Jambu!”

Kan Cheong:

A Cantonese and Hokkien term meaning nervous, harried or uptight.

1.”Your exam in June, now only March, you kan-cheong for what?”

The exam’s in June and now it’s only March. What are you getting so nervous about? Kan cheong can be further boosted by saying, “Kan Cheong Spider”

Kepo / Kaypoh:

A busybody or nosey parker. Can also be used as an adjective or verb.

1. 1A is so kepo! Everything also want to see.

Translated as : 1A is such a busybody! He wants to poke his nose into everything he sees!

Mafan:

Mandarin for “bother” or “bothersome”; used either as a verb or adjective.

Shack:

To be extremely tired

1. “After taking care of all the monkeys in the zoo today, I feel so shack man”

Shiok:

Originally a Malay exclamation, but now a universal Singaporean expression denoting extreme pleasure or the highest quality.

1. This Hor Fun is so delicious man! Eat the noodle until shiok!

Siam:

Hokkien term for “get out of the way”. You can use this word by itself to shoo people away, or in the sense of making oneself scarce or dodging a task.

Sian:

A wonderfully concise Hokkien adjective which conveys boredom, weariness, frustration and emptiness.

Siao:

Hokkien for “mad” or “crazy”

Some kids from 1A were reading my blog today. I’ve *no* idea how they chanced to my address. Its’ a good thing that I never put in anything really secretive!

By the way, to all the 1A students reading this, you’re ALL going to detention. I’ve got all your IP addresses!

I’m watching you!

My experience at a Face Shop opening at Plaza Singapura

What a nice day today was. Spent the day with my good friend Juli and we spent the day practically doing vain and girly things.

Juli took me to a make up shop in Plaza Singapura called “The Face Shop“. I think I almost went crazy with the things there. The moment you step in the shop, you’ll be greeted by all these lovely smells. I felt like I was stepping in a garden, barefooted, prancing in the fields with the sunshine streaming on my face.

Juli and I had a blast trying out the make up, and me, opening the bottles of cream and fragrances and dabbing it around. It’s not for us! Juli insisted. It is the products that we will be using when we start our business in june. I nodded my head vehemently in agreement.

I looked at the eyeshadows there and a nice lady went up to help me with it. She dabbed my eyes with some green and then later, purple colours and then topped it off with some shimmery stick. I was so in love!

I chatted with the lady for a bit and found out that her name was Doreen. She was also the owner of the branch there. Doreen was talking to me about the techniques of the application of eyeshadow. Base all over with light colour, then the crease with a darker colour and then edge of the lids with an even darker colour. One could top it out with an “eye brightener”

It was all very fascinating to me, even if I thought that doing all those steps were a tad troublesome for daily use. Maybe for special occasions instead. Regardless, I didn’t have to fuss about applying eye shadow since Doreen already carefully applied it for me .. hehehe.

Doreen later talked about the importance of a good skin care regimen. I really liked the fact that only flora and natural ingredients were used. It smelled soooo goood .. I could just eat them on the spot.

So I got me some items there. I couldn’t help myself. Such lovely products, and at such a nice price too. Doreen mentioned that the products, although affordable, is comparable to the higher classed brands like Clarins, Bobby Brown, Prescriptives. The reason why it was comparably cheaper is because it was produced by the Koreans. Korean ladies, she explained are very vain people. And they need to have very good quality facial care and cosmetics at a good price. Thus there were many competition in this area, making the price cheaper.

I’m the proud owner of:

1. Lavender Powder Cleanser (smells so heavenly!)

2. Dewy Flower Fresh Toner (With different white flowers and plant extract!)

3. Dewy Flower Moisturizer (Controls your oil sebum! Retains your moisture!)

Anyhow, I left the place with a spring in my step. Clutching my precious new options with me.

Juli and I later walked to Suntec City where there were a health and beauty convention going on. It was exciting to step in the place. We saw many things being displayed there. Hair styling products, Spa accessories, Exercise equipments … basically everything you’ll see in the health and beauty industry.

I was transfixed in the eyebrow tattooing display. It started out with a lady with practically very little eyebrows. She sat on a chair and had her eyebrow being vibrated with a hand held device. Every few seconds, the beautician would have to wipe away the eyebrow. (I assume it was for the ink or the blood … I couldn’t understand the Chinese language that well)

And some while later, presto! The lady has lovely, more defined, natural looking eyebrows. Everybody oooh’ed and ahhh’ed. I could only grimace since it looked really painful.

There was also a display which I found interesting – medicinal leech used for skin care product. Leeches has been recognized in medicine for its healing properties. One of the leech enzymes it seems, has a natural anti-coagulant properties. The brand decided to manufacture this principal to create skin care that stimulates the cell metabolism.

I asked, “so how many leeches go in a bottle of moisturiser?”

The consultant looked at me wide eyed for a full 5 seconds. As interesting as the product was, I didn’t have the desire to have leech juice over my face or body.

Juli pointed out that the wedding fair was just one level up so we decided to stop by there too. I have more ideas now for the different angles and location for the outdoor photography shots. Juli poured over the way the makeup and accessories were used. And we both ooh’ed at the gorgeous dresses.

We got hungry later on but unfortunately couldn’t decide on what to eat. I wasn’t really fussy on what to eat as long as it wasn’t expensive. Hawker center food would do. Juli wanted to eat Thai food. We walked round and round Suntec city basement. And then went to Millenia shopping centre, and then the esplanade. My feet were getting sore by then. Then we hopped on a bus to Orchard road to go to a Thai restaurant in Far East Plaza.

I was grateful for a seat. And all that walking really gave me an appetite! We both had a hearty dinner together.

Yesterday night was such a cool night. There was a chingay parade very near where I lived. At 6.30 pm the place was transformed with lights and full of people. I saw road blocks while I was jogging along the way with policemen at the edge of the road. Must be real important. So I thought I’d drop down and have a look see. I brought my sister Diana along.

It started out a little late. I took my sister to have a drink first in the nearby shops and came back just in time to see the floats and street performances. It was really festive! I really loved the atmosphere. It felt so alive! Some West Spring kids were there too to give support to the marching band. They were really good coincidentally. After the hours and hours of training in school – they gave a wonderful performance 🙂

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the foresight to bring my camera along, since it was dark and I knew my camera cant handle dark very well, even with flash, so I don’t have any pictures to show.

The grand finale was so cool, with 40 dragon dances performing simultaneously. And that made it to the Guinness world record for the most amount of dragon dances performing together. There were gold and silver confetti shooting out and seriously, I felt like I was in New York, during the New year countdown, the night air breeze blowing in making the place look like a snowy wonderland.

It was nice to see the adults and children alike, playing with the confetti. Makes one forget temporarily that these are the same people who keep pushing you to he train station, jostle for seats, trip you at the bus stops … cuts in queues …

It was a lovely night indeed – I really hope for the same thing to happen again next time – Taman Jurong won’t be such a boring town any more 🙂

Of papers and books

28th February – The graduating students from the past year comes back to school again after 3 months of holiday to receive their O level results. There were some faces which was relieved, there were some who looked sad when they looked at their slip of paper. I felt sorry for some of them, having since going through the same thing many years ago.

It was inevitable that I did, since I’ve been with the school since mid 2003 and was with these kids for quite a while now. Jason, one of the most responsible student I’ve ever come across did not manage to go to his choice college that he wanted to go to since his points was a little off. He tells me that he would go to a centralised institute instead. I adviced him to consider making an appeal since I thought that he was a model student.


Albert, Jason (with the vid cam) and me at the National Junior Robotics Competition

Jason really helped out in a lot while in the club, that I was really grateful in what he did. I’m amazed that there is a student that actually took alot of initiatives. There was a time when he actually brought Yu Sheng (a type of dish the chinese eat during chinese new year to bring prosperity and luck) to school!

Well, suffice to say, I’m mightily impressed. And I wish you all the best in your future endevors Jason 🙂

In recent weeks, I realised that I havent been able to remember my dreams anymore. I remember dreaming, but it would disintegrate immediately as I wake up. I’m not sure if its a cause of concern since I’ve always prided on dreaming everyday (in colour! Wide screen! THX surround sound!)

These days its nada, zip, zilch, nothing. The interesting thing about dreams is that I truely believe that it unlocks alot of hidden messages in oneself. Either it could be a message to reflect, or a message to solve a problem. Sometimes it could be a message of the future.

I’m sure many have experienced dreams where by they dismiss and then suddenly one fine day BOOM! They look around their surroundings and realised that it was a scene that they actually dreamed some while back. That type of dream is categorized as a “Deja Vous”

I believe that humans are still evolving, and that our forms at the moment are not the final stages. Who knows, perhaps we could communicate with each other through our thoughts and could have an insta-deja vous at will. Pretty much similar to John Wyndham – the chrysalids which I enjoyed reading tremendously

Speaking of books, there are couple of books which I’ve been *trying* to complete reading. Some of them, I havent even read in a span of a few years! Terrible isnt it?

One of them would be:

and

Heaven knows how absent minded I can be. Alot of times I’d be raring to do something and when I start, I’d completely forget what I wanted to do initially.

Tony Buzan is a man I look up to (even though I dont really practise his steps faithfully lol)

One of the method of remembering Tony teaches is memory pegs which I found facinating. He converts numbers to codes.

0 = s,z, soft c
1 = d, t, th
2 = n
3 = m
4 = r
5 = l
6 = j, sh, soft ch, dg, soft g
7 = k, hard g, hard c, hard ch, ng qu
8 = f,v
9 = b, p

For example, if I wanted to memorize a phone number, for example the number 2665431

I could break it up as 26 (niche) 65 (cello) 43 (ram) 1 (day)

Making a picture of a huge, gigantic niche playing a solid brown cellow but always gets disturbed by a black wooly ram, every sunny day. I havent really gotten to memorizing the list that I’m supposed to though. Although I really like the idea of memorizing all of the phone number list of my friends. And remembering important dates without having to use my diary.

A friend lend me this book when she asked me on the phone what the audio I was listening to was (I was hearing rich dad, poor dad at the time on internet streaming) and she lend me the book to read. The book was an interesting read. Although I have to admit that I havent gotten past half the book. I keep falling asleep while reading … (yes thats horrible of me! LOL) And its been at least 4 or 5 months since I’ve been keeping that book.

I bought this one about 2 years ago while on a trip to Malaysia. 55 petua orang berjaya means “55 advice for being sucessful” Its an interesting reading full of simple to follow and logical advice that makes you think “why didnt I think of this before” And no, I havent completed reading that one either. For goodness sakes ..lol

Speaking of books and novels, I stumbled across this link which I found hillarious. Click and be prepared to chuckle : Alternative Romance Novel Covers

Thats all for the moment. I’ve got to do something else now … but I just cant remember what … let me try to recall …

Registered for A Level Night Classes at the ITE

Just thought I’d post real quick about what has been going on lately. Yesterday, I registered to retake my A Levels again. I don’t know why it took me so long to have the initiative to do it again. I guess, when I started working, my entire perspective changed and wasn’t able to give my whole attention to it.

But the stigma of living in a country where the paper is more revered compared to experiences, really makes one feel the sting. I hated the fact that the paperless were labelled as having of a lower intelligence and such. But anyways, I asked around for recommendations about for flexible and affordable part time courses (having had bad experiences at private schools)

Hizam, my cousin recommended that I register at the ITE since he has taken the course there for some months. Coincidentally, he’s a proud father of a baby girl now. So congratulations to you Zam! 🙂

Anyhow, I chose the following subjects

  • Economics
  • Geography
  • General Paper
  • Literature
  • Malay

I studied sciences back in Jurong Institute, which was probably a mistake since I was not very good at these subjects but was just too strong willed at that time to consider taking the subjects that I was good at. I reasoned that I could have more choices when I was done with it. Little did I know that I would do so badly in them that I couldn’t proceed any more.

But thats the past. I’m really looking forward to starting the classes again – Wish me all the luck 🙂

A story of the princess (part 1)

Once upon a time, there was a princess. The princess was graceful and beautiful. She had fair, soft skin and long shiny black hair that flowed like the night sky. Everyone would smile at her whenever she passed them. She radiated a beautful soft aura around her. Everyday, she would play around in the kingdom – not a care in the world.

The as beautiful as the princess was, she was also very clever. She lapped up all of her studies with such ease that she was easily admired by her classmates.

Unfortunately, times were bad in the kingdom. A black magic surrounded the kingdom. People became poorer and suffered. The royal family was hit the most. The princess suddenly found out that she had to live like the common people. She could not do much of the things that she used to do. To earn some money to support herself, she decided to sell some of her wonderful cakes. The princess was a talented baker and walked around the kingdom to sell them.

“Buy my cakes! Come buy my delicious cakes!” She called out every now and then on the path. But there wasnt anyone to buy them … the forest was still and quiet.

The princess sat down on the pathway, looking dejected and longed for the old days when she would play all day, be with her friends in class…She remembered a conversation with her father a few days ago…

Father, I implore you! Please let me stay in school! I am so happy there, father, please! Father, please dont do this … Father … No …

Alas her pleads did not budge the king. The black magic was too strong.

No my child, you must take care of your mother and me. Be a good girl and do not disobey me.

Hot tears flowed down on the princess’s cheeks. How she longed for past! With her eyes blurred with her tears, she slowly walked down the path