Saturday, March 25, 2006

Travelling Plans

Plans for the holidays are more or less settled. Jane Doe and I have booked our accommodation for Bali! My boss has given me the green light for my trip. My flights to Zurich have been settled and I'll head to Spain to meet up with Monty after the conference. Waha...from the cold of Zurich to the sun, sand, and beaches of southern spain!

Sweet sweet victory

When the going gets tough, it gets bloody tough. There are many times I contemplated of giving it all up: thinking to myself, what the hell am I doing slogging my ass off. For the past two weeks, it was just pure work. I sleep during unearthly hours, giving myself undue stress and trying to meet tight deadlines. My worried mum, as usual, said You can opt for an easier life. There is no need for you to work so hard as you can do the business if you want.

You see, it's not about having the so called "easier life". Who doesn't want to travel round the world, read plenty of books, indulge in frequent socialising? Who doesn't want to follow a success formula that your parents have created for you? It's tempting but the point is, if I start doing this now and when I turn grey, I'll know I'll have a void when there was no purpose in my life. Seriously, at this moment, there are four things I wanna concentrate: a) helping people b) work c) love d) education to myself. Hah...all seem ambiguous, but hopefully I know what i'm doing.

Anyhow, the hard work has paid off. My two projects will soon be coming to a close. My clients have been satisfied with our work. This sense of gratification is rewarding and somewhat addictive. In a way, it can be frightening, coz it pushes you to do better. I guess at the end, it's important to know what your priorities are and work towards it. Definitely, being a cow means sacrificing much of many other things. This pertains to love as well.

"Alberto Giacometti said that sometimes just to paint a head, you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you're limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realise that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky. My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father and to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world."
- The History Of Love by Nicole Krauss

Very sweet.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Dream a little dream...

Gonna treat myself with a nice long sleep....been sleeping 4-5 hours each night the past week. =)

Yeah Baby!

Won myself a trip to Switzerland! I'm sooo looking forward to it. And the good news is, I can take this opportunity to spend time with Monty again! Haha.. And Michael, a good o'le friend whom I knew from Switzerland too, will be at this conference. One and a half more months to go.....But first, Bali with Jane Doe.

The picture above is taken in the conference two years ago. I look so serious and bored.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Life's Basic Building Block: FREEDOM

White saw Little One at the children's home today. White returned home, feeling troubled. Tried taking a nap and White couldn't. In some ways, White reprimmanded herself for neglecting them. She should have seen it coming when the Big One asked her for money the last time.

Little one was glad to see White. The smile on his face was priceless.

"So how are you?"
"I'm okay."
"Heard from Rati that you cried the first night. Have you adapted well?"
"Yes. The kids and I talk every night before we sleep. It's only the breakfast that I am not used to. They serve oats and we have to wake up at 5 am every morning."
"So you should have plenty of friends here?"
"Nopes. They are not my good friends."
"But don't create trouble. Are you hungry? I brought you some biscuits and sweets."
"You better not let all the other kids see this. They will want a piece of it."
"You can share with them."
"No. One of them keeps asking me for money. Luckily, I kept my money in the locked drawers."
"You have enough money with you?"
"Two dollars. But they give me a dollar everyday."

White shoved ten dollars to Little One.
"Use it slowly. You never know when you need it."
Little One folded the note and kept it between his trousers and abdomen. He looked around, afraid that someone might steal it.

"Why didn't you call me? I kept calling your home for the past week."
"I didn't have your number with me. Can you write it behind this?"
Little One showed White a passpart size photo which he had taken recently.

"Don't I look good in there? See how my hair falls into place."
White scribbled her number.

"What happened to your mum?"
"She's in Woodbridge hospital because of depression. She'll be there for two months. She visited me the other day when I was in the hospital. She wrote a letter to get permission to see me."
"What happened to you?"
"It all started with a sore throat and I didn't want to see a doctor. Then it escalated and I became feverish. I couldn't withstand the pain and I called one of the church members to bring me to the hospital."

"Hold on a second. I wanna keep the biscuits somewhere safe."

When Little One left, White felt ashamed of herself. It was apparent that White's problems were minute. They seemed insignificant. There White was, preoccupied with work and fumed about the inadequateness and monotony of corporate life. There stood a young boy stripped away from life's basic building block: FREEDOM. No control over his direction, no resources to achieve his dream, and an ailing body.
If only there was a hole for White to bury in ignominy.....
Picture from adamsillustration.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Next Trip to Bali

La la la...yeps. Jane Doe and I have booked tickets to Bali next month.=) Can't wait to relax!! Haha....finally.

Anybody interested in going to Cambodia with me in May?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Future Developments in Marina Bay

I had lunch at Maxwell Road today and had some spare time to check out a little exhibition called "Singapore City Gallery" in the URA building. Well, the most interesting part of the exhibition was its showcase on the future developments of Marina Bay. It's gonna be a mesh of unique features of world cities...
  1. The World's First Helix Structure bridge (pictures above). You see famous bridges in major cities, Toyko has one, New York has one...we never fail to be competitive. Heh.
  2. The Sail (one of the tallest residential building in the world with city and bay views). Just gotta compete with Dubai.
  3. Extension of the Financial Hub.
  4. Gardens by the bay (90 hectare of greenary). I smell Central Park.
  5. Marina Barrage (An area for water sports activities). Canary Wharf...
  6. Integrated Resort. Let's roll in Vegas.
  7. Waterfront Promenade. California Dreamin...
  8. Singapore's Flyer. Eye see London.

Picture source: URA Website

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Welcome to the Corporate World!

My dad has a fascination for ants. His purpose of buying a telescope was not to look at stars, but to examine ant behaviour on street lamps. I know. Pretty queer. Occasionally, he hovers in the garden and feeds pieces of chicken to his little friends.

In some ways, our society mimics the bureaucratic structure of the ant world: governed by rules and hierarchy, characterized by standard procedures and all serving the "queen". In my short span of time working, this is what I experienced and observed.
  • Similar Terms, One Size Fits All. In the past, I was more familiar with terms such as sample size, independent variable, dependent variable, literature review, heteroscedasticity, correlation, causation etc. Now I'm bombarded with terms such as terms of reference, board minutes, memorandum of association, reconciliations, standard of procedures, whistle-blowing, round tripping, window-dressing, SAP, Basel II, circulars, annual reports...Oh man.
  • Hierarachical. Currently, there are four levels to the "queen", me being at the bottom. I have no control and everything is dictated at the top. It's really interesting to see how these four levels interact. Everyone behaves quite similarly when one reports to another at a higher level (Yes..the typical "saka-ism"). If there are tight datelines, all work loads and stress trickle down to the bottom (Hah..that's me!).
  • Certifications still count. Be it CFA, or CPA, or FRM....there is still much emphasis on these certifications.
  • Employ good looking people. As horrible as it may sound, this is the bare fact, or rather, what I observe. (This may not apply to all industries).
  • Typical Conversational Topics (yawn...). All the "ants" seem to be interested in common material subjects such as: CARS, PROPERTIES, GOLF, EX-COLLEAGUES, BOSSES, STOCKS, BONUS, MONEY etc. What happened to engaging topics such as ART, MUSIC, HISTORY, CULTURE, PHILOSOPHY, GEOGRAPHY, NATURE, REAL WORLD ISSUES? Have they been forgotten? Are they are too engrossed in accummulating food or in serving the "queen"?

Perhaps I should buy the book "Sophie's World" and recommend them to all "ants".

Painting above: The Average Bureaucrat By Salvador Dali.

Friday, March 03, 2006


Just when your workload becomes lesser and you wanna go out and chill, all your friends are BUSY....aahhhh...So here I am on a Friday night, sitting here and wondering what I can do.

Well, I am definitely not touching my work after slogging for the past week. I could pop in my DVD collection and sulk in front of the TV. SNOOZE (which is so lame on a friday night). DAYDREAM of where to go for my next holiday. READ. I just wanna hang out with some GALFRIENDS and most of them are either BUSY with work or in the company of their BOYFRIENDS. Yes I am B.O.R.E.D. and I am B.I.T.C.H.I.N.G.....Hah

Anyway, I received two boxes of namecards today. It freaked me out. My name card reads:

(The first line is okay.)
IT Consulting
( oh man, look at this second line!!! I am going to have so much explaining to do! Information technology? Since when? The thing is, yes, I am in that department, but I do not handle anything IT.)

I have not been visiting my tuition kid. Just gotten the news that he is still in the hospital............