Tuesday, January 22

Draw me a line

I am very bad at drawing lines. The line between being understanding and asserting your discontent. The line between being good friends and trusting people with secrets. Between bitching/ venting and hating.
Give me a ruler and a pencil and I’d screw that up too.

Saturday, January 19

Comedy & Tragedy

One of the many sculptures at the Greek Sculptures Exhibition at the National Museum of Singapore - on loan from Louvre!

Monday, January 14

Full Circle

On some Mondays, I come in with high spirits, my invincibility cloak and a plan to conquer the world. More often than not, Xonifer or some half baked moron manages to destroy it. But considering it’s only 945 am and Xonifer is not in – it’s too early for him to have done anything. Yet, the spirits are dwindling…many plans to make and many variables that are having fun at my expense.

Over the weekend, half a dozen people asked me when I plan to get married! It may have something to do with the fact that we were around a friend who’s getting married in 7 months, or that I had gone a few thousand miles to meet the boy. It doesn’t help that the mom’s arriving in less than one month and this inevitable question will be asked. It’s not that she wants me to get married tomorrow, or this year – but more like she wants to know “when.” She comes up with many permutations and combinations of how it can happen “sooner” rather than later! Marry and then study, study a shorter course, live separated for sometime and then together (given that I’m bound to Singapore for a couple of more years), etc. I tell her I can’t because studying would be a top priority, which opens a whole new can of worms (as if this in itself wasn’t bad enough)

MBA? Finance? Economics? What to study? Whether to study in 2 years or 3 is no longer a question because just the mention of “extending” results in the parents flipping out! How to prepare? When to start? GMAT! CIMA! When to study! How to find more than 24 hours in a day!

Before I can even start to plan these, there is the new role. I am rotating to a new role, which is commonly known as Hell in the company. Grueling hours, immense pressure and the lack of life are the USP of this job – but I took it nonetheless because my current job was getting stale. The new role also means great exposure and limelight – which is both scary and motivating! HOWEVER – the new boss (TNB) has very matter of fact-ly told me that I’m gonna have no time for anything in this role. Xonifer, when saying goodbye before the holidays had also told me “To tell the boyfriend not to worry, you won’t have time to cheat on him in your new role.” Not sure what’s more disturbing – that I won’t have time or that I am apparently cheating on him currently! Anyhoo, I digress. Problem at hand is – how to study for these exams if I’ll “have no time” for the next 18 months. Cannot extend because of the flipping out of parents – and marriage – and…you see how everything’s connected.

So, how is one supposed to figure out all of these and conquer the darned world at the same time?

Wednesday, January 9

Dinner with my younger days

He said “Man, you really have changed – you’ve grown up so much.”

She laughed and said “Yes, I have become ruthlessly practical – I can be like a guy. It’s just convenient.”

Sunday, January 6

London Bridge is Falling Down...

On my flight back from London, I wasn’t sure if I should cry because it was over, or if I should be happy – I was going “home.” This was the first major treat to self since I got a job – and has got to be the best holiday ever. Meeting the boy was better than expected – nothing had changed. It’s like resuming from paused – play. Yes, the city was cold and gray but it was a welcome change from the bright or rainy Singapore! What I loved about London was its imperfections and its history – the rickety Tube, the beautiful low rise buildings, the super expensive EVERYTHING, Thames, the tourist attractions, the not-so attractive places, the trains, the ales, the cold – everything! I clicked pictures like an Asian tourist and then gave up because the camera wasn’t enough. I tried to shut as much as I could in my eyes, to relive later.

I walked the streets, heard the carolers, held the warm chocolate, hugged the boy, learnt to read maps, and say Cheers, drank everyday (to stay warm, no DUH), and smiled till my jaws hurt. For the first 3-4 days, it seemed surreal – that a plan made over 10 seconds had materialized. I loved London, I can see myself there, living in and loving it, which is more that what I can say about Singapore.

But what I truly fell for was Oxford. It really was love at first sight, the mist, the paved roads, the old buildings and the numerous stories they told. It is the perfect place to get lost in and be inspired by. The gray steel and glass structures of my university inspired me enough to ditch my major at first instance – and the cathedrals and towers of this university-town made me re-think my plans and wonder what it’ll take to study there. I’m working on it already!

Then came the unexpected treat – a group of friends so warm and loving that you’d think we’ve known each other forever – except it was over a few hours. Giggles hosted me at her place and the next forty eight hours were a non stop party with amazing food, juvenile games and lots of warmth. It was enough to make this cynic shed her cloak and be loving again. On my way back, I bring back more than just souveniers and photographs – I bring back a dozen invites and the belief that yes people can be friendly with no hidden motives.

So old friends and new, they say. Next was the old friends – at Scotland, which I shall save for another post.

Yes, I may sound infatuated and I am raving on n on – but it’s one hell of an excuse to be smiling non-stop – don’t you think?

8 out of 10

It’s slightly late for a year end post I know, but I was laptop-less for the past 2 weeks! I love this time of the year – not because of the festivities but because I like the feeling of closing off a year and everything bad that happened with it – and start the new year with a lot of energy n determination. And no, I don’t lose it all within the first few days. 2007 wasn’t an exception year – since nothing life changing, ground-breaking or earth shattering happened. Well, almost.

Things with family went well – only one major fight, successful negotiations on the “future plans” front and 2 weeks of mom staying with me and me still staying sane! Work was same old, although the team was churned entirely with all new faces and me being the most senior – except for Xonifer. A steady relationship with the Boy, who then decided to pack up his bags and leave. Still steady, touch wood. Including a short stay with the family, ahem. (His, not mine!)

Travels were few – but memorable. I touched down at China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand (many many times), Malaysia, Indonesia, England and Scotland. It’s a start I’d say!

More friends – most of them lovable *wink*. A great new gang in London who I love to bits, colleagues to friends, and girl friends!

Lessons learnt – not to trust all property agents, it could cost you a few grands. Lower expectations from the chosen few, it makes it easier to get along. Stay brutally frank with others - it helps both of you. Keep it superficial, sometimes.

Two 10 km runs – that challenge you to do the 21km next time, and make you believe that you can.

A new-found attraction towards married men, ahem. The less said – the better. Although what is with that?? Whatever happened to the young, single men?!?!

I’d give it an 8 on 10
(The boy leaving and the real estate agent lose 2 points)

With big plans to conquer the world, excel at my new role, travel more, be less mean and materialistic, get healthier, contribute, love lots – I start the new year, and wish the very best for everyone!

Sunday, December 16

Happy Holidays!

After many unfinished, unpublished posts, I hope to write a completed one tonight.

I am going off in 3 days time and I can’t wait! I finally managed to get a parka, a few sweaters and gave away a significant portion of my paycheck to the retailers! And late x-mas shopping means not all the gifts are thoughtful! I am so excited about the trip – and also a wee bit guilty. I hate it every time my parents bring it up because they don’t know all the reasons why I am going. But hey, I just finished paying my student loan as of this Friday – and that’s a good enough to counter the guilt! Yes – it is done and over with. 4 years of undergraduate paid for in 18 months. On my own. It’s a darned good feeling – even though the heart sinks every time it sees the bank balance. So I am penniless but loan free!!!

Other than that, I have had not one, but two off-sites in the past month. That’s two 3-day holidays paid for by the dear company! Many games were played and much booze was consumed! and many men were *ahem* objectified! The men I work with were made to catwalk on the stage and “show us their stuff” – every one of them. And then the winner was chosen by the applause and hoots they got! It was borderline politically incorrect and very very funny! The last session was a 2 hour spa session before we headed back to Singapore – and the only thing better than a spa treatment is a free spa treatment! It’s on days like this that you love your employer! The timing for the two off sites was perfect because it puts one in the holiday mood – a prelude to the BIG vacation coming up! I expect it to be a good mix of sight seeing, cultural stuff, romance, shopping, reuniting with old friends, reuniting with loved colleagues who moved, road trip, drinking, and freezing!

The thoughtless x-mas shopping for the team includes a pair of shot glasses from Hard Rock CafĂ© from a previous trip – for the boss (yes, and he will love them. This boss thing is strange, yes.) A copy of “Memory Keeper’s Daughter” for the favorite team mate, two boring coffee mugs for people they would suit, and one set of aroma therapy candles. Apart from the coffee mugs, I think they’d be appreciated. Oh well – you can’t please ‘em all!

The other day it dawned upon me that it’s my parents 25th wedding anniversary in 6 months time! Need to plan a fancy-shmancy present for them and magically grow the $$ for it too! Any suggestions? For both the present and the $$ plan!

Monday, November 19

I believe...

So things did fall in place finally…

When were they not in place? – for a whole of 3 weeks when my visa for my “holiday” was pending at a high comm., who refused to return it or even tell me when I could have it back. N all this time I thought I had the right to my own passport! N this was sort of getting in the way of my fancy shmancy BKK trip for which I had been preparing for over a month. There were going to be global visitors in town and I had to “earn” my trip there by doing a project with a “WOW” factor! So imagine my frustration when on a Monday at 1pm, I am staring at my air ticket for a 230 pm flight and STILL NO PASSPORT.

But like I said, things did fall in place.

The passport came at 530 pm, and my dear admin managed to put me on the 830 pm flight that night! (note – I hadn’t packed or called my parents abt the trip)

So I got here – I did a wizbang presentation, WOW’d a whole lot of people, and had a pretty good week. I am typing this in the car on the way home for the weekend and I think we’ve moved about 100 meters in the past 15 minutes. But I’m still smiling. After all, it’s the traffic in this country that taught me how to be patient…to an extent.

It’s strange being limited to the hotel and the office in a city where you spent your restless teens constantly moving from one mall to another. It’s been 5 years since I “lived” here. Over time, the visits have became shorter and less frequent and limited to time spent at home. but unlike other friendships, Bangkok and I have stayed as strong as ever. It delights me every time with it’s newfound chaos and order, making sure the shine never dulls away.

I indulged in a spa treatment or foot reflexology every day for the past 4 days and convinced myself that I deserve pampering myself. Top that up with authentic thai food everyday – and I was one happy camper – even if it meant working crazy hours instead of going shopping! The boss’s treat to us – an excellent dinner at Mezzaluna followed by drinks at the gorgeous Sirocco! Somewhere between the kiwi sorbet and the carnaroli risotto cooked in champagne, I think I thanked god for this light at the end of the tunnel!

I will soon lose my zen if this traffic doesn’t clear up – I need to get home now…have a yum home-cooked meal, watch some TV, and not have to care about chores and errands, or emails and conference calls.