Category Archives: heart

Gratitute List

2015 Jan – 2016 June

  1. Affordable Air tix for SIN-SYD for 4pax (Flying SQ woohoo…)
  2. Able to get one month leaves for Dev’s Wedding in Dec 2015
  3. Have enough, more than enough to spend to during one month in Sydney
  4. Able to meet my high school buddy in Melbourne for a few days, good catch up after 9years
  5. Met Wongfu Productions in Sydney
  6. Pay raise
  7. Completed Cisco course although has not yet taken the certification
  8. Enrolled in a Japanese course, taught by a dedicated せんせい & nice classmates
  9. Was offered a job internally before it was posted on internal job board
  10. Got the job with a relatively good package
  11. New colleagues are nice, helpful and knowledgeable
  12. New Manager is manageable so far
  13. The capacity to help Melan’s sponsorship to study in Sydney
  14. BBTC & Agape
  15. Given a house near MRT, amenities, at affordable rate, with reasonable housemates, easy going and manageable roommate
  16. Direct Bus from Sengkang Interchange to Office
  17. Sengkang Park within 15mins walk, conveniently available for walk/jog after work
  18. Reasonable bus journey from house-BBTC (SBS 109 + 168 takes about 45mins – 1hr)
  19. Got a Macbook Pro at a discounted price (thank you Brendan)
  20. Dad and siblings in good health
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if I were born here

I was having a conversation with two Singaporean colleagues; quite obviously they are pro opposition. One was vocal and enthusiastic on the topic of government, while the other suggest him to stop so as not poison me with his ideology of an ideal government; to which I unhesitatingly replied “I won’t be influenced with your political view”. With that, they kind of read that I am pro government. I told them, you can say what you say because you haven’t see what the world outside (of Singapore) is like.

Later today I was having late dinner at People’s Park Complex, after meeting my dad. To my surprise, I found myself listening to a group of senior folks talking  (in Teochew) about the same topic of the Lee family, I always thought that it is the younger generation who are not so in tune with the governmet, but here are the senior generations who saw how Singapore has transformed from third to first world country, singing to the same tunes as the youngsters. They even argue about the prominent success Singapore has isn’t even Lee Kuan Yew’s idea; i.e. the CPF system was already in place during the British Colony’s era, perhaps life could have been better if British still rule Singapore til this day and about the water that they drink is the result of PUB engineers, it has nothing to do with the Lees.  I was reminded of the statement I made to my colleagues earlier today,  I wish I could tell them the same.

Having came from a thirld world country and travelled to different parts of the world, I still think Singapore is a nice place to be. If I were born here, I wonder if I would have an entirely different appreciation of what Singapore once was and now is, just like my colleagues and the senior folks. I hope I won’t.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom…

I skipped church today, unknown to me if I did it to run away from the emotion that would outpour during the Mother’s Day segment. Nonetheless, I went to sit by the Esplanade Outdoor Theatre in the evening. True enough there is a celebration by local musicians, free gig for all, with songs honoring all mothers. 

Mom has always like stage performance as long as I can remember, looking at all the old photos of her in events and performances tells me just that. Singapore has with it many trails I walked with mom, places we’ve been together, scenic areas and tourist spots with her in the photos. Every time I pass by those places, I will recall the moments where we once were, just like déjà vu. Every time I watch a stage performance, I will remember how she loved stage performance, and that has made me watch with double the enthusiasm, double the excitement simply because I want to watch it on her behalf. I don’t know since when, but I have had this idea for a while now, after she passed on, to watch on her behalf.

Many songs were sang tonight at the Esplanade, but I only manage to record two, due to my flat battery. So here’s Ode to my Family and Have I Told You Lately dedicated to my irreplaceable Mother. I love you and I miss you…

Typical Asian Family doesn’t really express feelings and appreciations openly and verbally, my family is certainly one of this kind. My siblings and I did not grow up celebrating the many “days” of Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or Birthday. Those “days” were foreign to me during my younger years. Until I was probably 18 or so, they were introduced to me through people who celebrate them and the commercials of course, I felt somewhat alienated at times. This trend however has slowly creeps its way into the lives of today’s Asian Families. Looking at the flood of Mother’s Day posts on social media, one would agree with me on this. And earlier tonight, I witnessed how Asian kids wrote real heartfelt dedication notes to their mothers being read out loud on stage by David, one of the performer. Alas, had I become more verbal, expressive in addressing my feelings and less of an ignoramus oblivious perhaps oh perhaps could I have had the chance to observe Mother’s Day together with Mom at least once in her lifetime, and mine.

The girls and I love you and miss you… Mom. Always. Happy Mother’s Day ❤️❤️❤️❤️

to act or not to act

Today I went to one of the panel clinic for some medical needs, as I was waiting for my turn, I noticed a boy who is also waiting for his turn to be called in. He looks really really sick, could hardly stand.  I have a strong feeling of speaking up for him, i.e. approaching the clinic staff and request that the boy be seen first.  But in the end I didn’t, I cowarded. Fortunately, there was a man, another patient who did. I am glad that he did and the boy was called soon after he talked to the clinic staff. I blamed myself, had I not been selfishly coward, the boy could’ve gone to see the doctor even earlier and perhaps gone home with his medicine and rested. This thought, this scene of me not doing anything when I felt the urge inside, oh I hate it, I hate myself for not speaking up for others, for not having enough courage, for being late to realize which is of more important (hesitancy vs people’s life) 

Now as the day is coming to end, I still think about this incident. I have switched off the light and ready for bed. But as soon as I lay myself down, the episode in the clinic flashes in again, so I decided to post an entry about it.

I promise to be more courageous and bold than today when I encounter similar scenarios in the future, I am sure there will be many, for the tomorrows that yet to come.

My Dad

I called dad tonight. Actually I missed his call, and then I called him back. For the first time in my life, I felt he is not stingy anymore. He has been stingy all his life, towards mom and us his children. But tonight he told me he wants me to encourage my sister to complete her degree and he will pay for it if she doesn’t have enough. I felt so comforted, even though the offer was not addressed to me, but I am glad that he has turned into a generous man.

In the middle of our conversation, he mentioned about the amount that he and mom paid for my degree 8 years ago. Come to think of it, he was not that stingy after all, he supported me all the way from kindergarten through university, athough the initiative was strongly coming from mom for me to go to uni and get that super expensive degree. Whenever I think about how much my parent saved, sacrificed and gave in to “earn” that stupi* degree, I felt so underachieve, with my current state of life and financial status. I should be getting more than I am getting and help pay my siblings education. But how much is enough? What is enough?

And he asked me how am I doing with post-surgical recovery and advised me not to walk too much. He wasn’t that caring before, in fact he hated sick people, and scolded people like crazy, I still remember how he scolded my sister who got stung by centipede when she was little. He is different now. Thank You God that my dad is a changed man now. Whatever You did to him (or his heart), I thank You for my dad, for who he was and is now. I am praying for his utmost salvation, have mercy on him God, have mercy…

Remembering my late mother

I just finished my chinese class, walking down the NTU Alumni’s narrow path heading to the train station. It’s 10pm in the evening, my body almost zonk out, my mind quickly thought of getting a cab home. As I was thinking in my head, why did I even want to get myself into this; offering my Tuesdays and Thursdays to a three hours class after a long day work, every week, and taking an hour plus journey and got home almost midnight, I suddenly think of my mother, of her fighting spirit and sacrificial love for us her children. When she was my age, just how many countless ship rides, boat rides, bus rides (poor condition and non-airconditioning) and inconvenient walks under rain and shine she has been through. I stopped the grumbling within and continued my walk to the train station. And the overwhelming thoughts and memories of her just kept flowing. I have been missing my mom since last week. I am not saying that I did not miss her other than last week. In fact I remember her all the time. But sometimes I just do not have the courage to respond to my feelings, to contemplate on my thoughts and to pen down the emotions at the times they came.

Those ships rides from Pemangkat-Serasan, Pemangkat-Pulau, Pemangkat-Subi and some other routes that I never know of were awful. It was 10 or more hours rides. The only memory I could remember out of those long rides were my anticipation of going home to see mom, once a year during school break. But compare to mom, my total ship rides would not even amount to 5% of what she performed.

Those small boat rides were the least safe rides imaginable, not few people got drown and died due to sinking boats and minimum rescue assistance. And it was during this small boat rides that I usually threw out, the engine smoke and smell itself was enough to make you feel sick, plus the seasick, it was always a journey of torture, it took about 3-4hours rides depending on the weather and sea condition. But the expectation of seeing mom was my motivation to endure all those long haul torturing rides.
Again compare to mom, these small boat rides, I don’t even dare to estimate how many percent would mine make up to, as she travels to other small islands like Subi, Midai, Serasan, Batu Berlian, Tarempa, Sematan (Malaysia) and countless others.

The bus rides, poor condition bus, without aircond, with two kenets (not sure how to pronoun this) hanging on each doors, the bus doors were never closed in fact, growing up riding countless bus/minibus to school, I could testify to just how much inconvenience my mother had to endure during her travels.

We did not own a house or any motor cycle or any car in West Kalimantan, not until my parent bought a house in early 2000 or so, and until today we only own one motor cycle, so mom either walk or took the public transport back then. I can still vividly recall my memory of childhood walking with mom, across streets and alleys to buy stuffs to be resell at our shop in pulau (pulau panjang). Through rains and shines we walked, she walked I shall say. When things got too handful, she will pay for a trishaw ride (by human power).
Those were the days when we stayed over at mom’s relatives at Singkawang and friends at Pemangkat.

I just reached home, I was typing this along my train ride from Buona Vista station-Bedok Station and Bus ride from Bedok Station-my rented place, all with vehicle of good condition, safe and air-conditioned.
Remembering mom made me realize that I should be grateful and appreciative of my current condition. I am not saying that we should not take cab at all, but really to take time and pause for a little, to count what we have that our parents or previous generation did not have or consider a luxury.

Remebering mom, writing all these definitely bring tears to my eyes. But also joy of being reminded how blessed and fortunate I am to have a mother like her. Missing you mom, always…