Monday, December 21, 2009
The sumptuous vegetarian set ordered by Jane
Attractive Jane Tan with son Eugene, an ex-student of ACS
The lovely ambiance at Inagiku at Fairmont Hotel
Despite its huge price, the restaurant is quite well patronised!
What a pleasant surprise when my client Jane called to say she wanted to give me a belated birthday treat as well as a get-together with her son to celebrate a happy and successful year in 2009. Eugene is a property agent but now he has to go back to college. I met Eugene when he first called me up regarding a property which I advertised in Mirage Tower. I liked the way he talked, and asked if he was from ACS (Independent).
"How do you know?"? Eugene asked, surprised.
"I can detect an ACS boy when I speak to him", I replied. There is something very special about the way my ex-students in ACS speak and carry themselves. They have a certain style and maturity about them. Most of them are exuberant, knowledgeable and some even very street wise, and most importantly, most of them are spontaneous and entertaining.
Despite Eugene's youth, I was pleasantly surprised by his analysis of properties and wealth management. His mother Jane later confirmed that Eugene is a very intense young man...when something catches his interest, he will go all out for it.
He has been pouring over his computer to learn about properties, stocks and shares.
Kudos to Jane for being a wonderful mother. As a very successful investment banker, Jane must have been a great influence on her young son's entrepreneurial inclination.
Is this why many have been chanting this popular three liners?
RI (Raffles Institution) boys rule the nation;
ACS (Anglo Chinese School) boys own the nation;
St. Andrews go underground!
For the benefit of my readers from overseas, most of the politicians in Singapore come from RI. Many enterprises and businesses are owned by ex-ACS boys. The man who was always associated with our MRT system in the early days was Michael Fam, an ex-student from St. Andrews. Singaporeans are indeed unique people with a sense of humour!
During the course of lunch, we found out that Eugene and I would be attending the same seminar on T3B the following two and a half days. Jane was absolutely delighted because as a wonderful mother, she was worried about whether Eugene was doing the right thing. I shared with Jane that it was my neighbour, Michael, who introduced me to the Seminar, and since I know little about stocks and shares, it is advisable for me to learn from the masters. I am extremely frugal with expenditure and time, but I felt that attending the seminar would be a good investment of money and time.
Wow! The ambiance at Inagiku, a cosy and posh Japanese restaurant at Fairmont Hotel is lovely. The various set lunches are also as posh! Jane ordered a vegetarian set, while I ordered a Business set lunch as I like unagi, the popular Japanese eel. Eugene loves steak and it is interesting how the food is so attractively put in different dishes. The Japanese are such artistic people. I greeted the waitress in Japanese and was surprised she could not utter a word of Japanese. Jane laughed because she said she was was always entertained by the various languages that I could use to break the ice.
Later I went with Jane and her son to look at their lovely home which looks even better now with new wallpapers and furniture. Happiness is when you see your clients enjoying their lovely home and knowing that they have made the right choice. Happiness is when you see others doing even better than you, and you can also bask in their success and wishing they would do even better in the future. I know Jane will continue to shine as she takes good care of her clients' investments. How true when successful people say that if we enjoy what we are doing, and work with sincerity and integrity, wealth will be added!
I wish Jane and Eugene all the very best for the New Year, and may 2010 be an even happier and better year for everyone!
Posted by The Oriental Express at 8:26 am
Friday, December 18, 2009
Diary given by pretty Delia Wong
Calendar given by AIA Changi Toastmasters' Club
When I read an article in the Press that now companies are giving out fewer gifts in the form of diaries and calendars, I was extremely happy. Firstly, it made sense,
because more trees could be saved; secondly I realised that I am indeed very fortunate because paradoxically, this time I have a bumper harvest of diaries and calendars.! In the past, I hardly received or bothered to buy diaries.
Let's count my blessings and name them one by one!
Firstly, when I went to the AIA Changi Toastmasters' Club for their Christmas celebration, I was surprised to receive a calendar and pen when I signed in my name in the guest book. Kudos to AIA Changi TMC for the club is always so generous to their guests with not only provision of sumptuous food but gifts too!
I was even more pleasantly surprised, when Delia Wong, the IPP, asked me to choose a diary ranging from pocket size to medium size to large size. I chose the A4 size, because it is big and could fit in just nicely in my tote bag, whereas the medium sized diary was a little bulkier. Also, sometime last month I passed by a booth manned by the SPCA, and bought 2 medium sized diaries from the Society so as to help the SPCA raise some funds. I gave a diary to my violin teacher, Mr. Yan.
I also gave the AIA calendar to the couple who sell Laksa and Prawn Noodles at Tekka Food Centre nearby. They always charge me 50 cents less for my Laksa, as I only ask for vegetables and no prawns or fish cakes.
I was pleasantly surprised when I received a calendar featuring some animals from my stockbroker, Mr. Lim Eng Tiam. I love everything that has something in connection with animals. I decided to give my new agent, Jack Sheo, a copy of the calendar featuring animals as well as a T-Shirt that reminds us to save the whales for Jack is also an animal lover. To my pleasant surprise, Jack gave me a lovely calendar featuring a host of cute puppies! He also gave me a key chain as he had just returned from his short vacation in Malaysia! What a blessing! I feel so privileged and blessed especially when I realise that now calendars are not distributed so freely in the market.
I studied the diary that Delia had given me. It also featured the various holidays throughout the world. I learnt that the countries with the most public holidays are Japan and Malaysia with 15 days, while in Singapore, we have 11 public holidays. The people in the United Kingdom have the least public holidays - only 7 days! Singapore has only 2 days of public holidays for Chinese New Year, while Vietnam has 4 days but the country only has a total of 8 public holidays. Hongkong, China and Taiwan have 3 public holidays for Chinese New Year, which is just nice, but then they don't have public holidays for Deepavali or Hari Raya Puasa unlike Singapore and Malaysia.
The countries in Europe have many public holidays which we do not have in Asia which is understandable because there are many Christians in Europe. They celebrate Whit Monday, Corpus Christi, Assumption Day, All Saints' Day, Thanksgiving Day, Immaculate Conception, General Prayer Day, Ascension Day, Pentecoast Monday, St. Stephen's Day, and Boxing Day! When I have time, I will google for all these public holidays. I remember when I first went to Canada, I was surprised that 26th December is known as Boxing Day and is a grand day of celebration. Immediately I thought of Mohammad Ali at the boxing ring and wondered if I too had to buy a pair of gloves for boxing.! I laughed when I realised it simply meant gathering around the Christmas tree after a sumptuous breakfast or brunch (for those who wake up late). Family members enjoyed chitchatting and opening up their boxes of Christmas gifts! I remember the Canadian family I stayed with were appalled by my small appetite at breakfast table. I was quite stunned whey I saw them relishing the eggs, sausages, fruits, bacon and ham, buns and bread and a whole assortment of cheese, nuts and yoghurt at breakfast table. Until today, I can never eat breakfast like a king! My appetite is best around noon.
The AIA diary features 28 countries and their public holidays. All these countries are unanimous on one date - ie. 1st January is a public holiday for every of the 28 countries. Can I assume that perhaps throughout the world, everyone celebrates on the 1st day of the New Year with joy and expectation that things would be better than in the previous year?
I wish all my dear readers a Blessed Christmas and a very Happy and Blessed New Year in 2010! I will choose to be happy and thankful, for I am reminded by Paul the Apostel, "In everything, give thanks."
Posted by The Oriental Express at 8:59 am
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Geok Cheng enjoying Dr. Clive's piano solo.
A pleasant surprise from my ex-student from River Valley High School, lawyer Alyssa Lee, who sent me a basket of flowers with chocolates for my birthday and Christmas celebration.
My first time at Subway with Dr. Clive and Geok Cheng who was the lady with the camera!
Geok Cheng's gift of a pot of lovely plants grown by her!
It has been a long time since I have friends a-visiting my home for a time of
music entertainment. Geok Cheng has always been asking me to play the violin for her, but I told her she would enjoy herself more if I could have someone accompanying me on the piano. Hence, I invited my ex-lecturer from the Institute of Education, Dr. Clive S., to play the piano. I mailed him the music for the piano accompaniment about three weeks before our meeting.
Wow Dr. Clive played so well.! Now that he has retired, he has more time to play the piano. Geok Cheng also enjoyed discussing with him on many issues pertaining to education since she is also with the Ministry of Education, and is currently lecturing part time. I enjoyed listening to the animated exchange between the two exuberant and learned guests.
I had a pleasant surprise, when a florist came a-knocking with a basket of flowers and chocolates from my ex-student, Alyssa, who wished me a belated happy birthday and good tidings for Christmas and New Year. Alyssa is currently practising law,
and runs her own law firm.
Geok Cheng had brought with her a lovely pot of plants which she had grown. Dr. Clive was surprised that I have so many plants growing along the wide corridor. I told him that my neighbour, Irin, only enjoys keeping dogs, and hence has also given me her corridor space to grow my plants and flowers. Aunty Helen, who lives two apartments away on the same level, had mentioned that if she were my immediate neighbour on my right, she too would give me her space as she loves flowers but has no time for gardening. I guess when I have run out of space, I will grow plants along Aunty Helen's apartment too. After all, most of the plants I grow are herbs, and neighbours can help themselves to the herbs when necessary.
I had wanted to take my guests for lunch at Lerk Thai, but Dr. Clive was afraid that
the food would be too spicy for him. Hence, we decided to have some sandwiches at Subway. I had often seen our current District 80 Governor, DTM Edward Ma, having Subway sandwiches whenever he attended meetings in the evenings, but I had never tried food from Subway before, but I reckoned they must be good to have survived so long in business. Hence I told Geok Cheng, I was game to try sandwiches from Subway. To our pleasant surprise, Subway was having a one-day promotion - buy one get one free! Hence, I was able to take home the extra packet of sandwiches to share with a neighbour in my block.
Wow! The food was delicious.! Geok Cheng and I specially love Subway's signature bread! I am sure, I will visit Subway again in future.....especially when it is having a promotion!
At about five in the evening, I decided to walk to Beach Road to collect my bus ticket to Penang. It was cool and windy and I enjoyed observing the office workers as they made their way home. As the traffic looked somewhat heavy, I decided to walk back instead of taking the bus or taxi. What a great way to exercise! In all, it had taken me an hour of brisk walking! I had walked very fast because I wanted to be on time to watch my favourite Korean serial, "Cruel Temptation" on television.
In the late evening, I was watering my plants when Aunty Helen returned from work.
She gave me a bunch of delicious grapes. They came in handy as I had not bothered to take dinner, especially when I had a heavy lunch in the day. Just two days ago, Irin had come a-knocking and she gave me three lovely housecoats for my birthday. Irin told me she had been looking for me the past three days but I had been out most of the times, and hence she had to wish me a belated birthday!
What a great and happy day.! I have learnt that happiness can be found in even seemingly mundane activities as eating sandwiches with friends who are of the same hearts and minds. Happiness can also be found in walking along the roads, and observing the different models of cars on the roads, and wondering how blessed we are in Singapore. Happiness is enjoying succulent grapes even if you are eating them alone, because happiness is in the mind, and comes from enjoying the perfect peace that God has given you, and knowing that He cares for you by giving you wonderful friends.
Posted by The Oriental Express at 1:48 am
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I always like to wish my friends and associates a roaring good day!
Not just a good day, but one that roars! Subconsciously in my mind,
I am thinking of the lion, being an animal lover and a fan of Animal
Planet and National Geographic. Hence, I have written this simple poem
which I will share with my readers.
ROARING WITH LAUGHTER
Let us have a roaring good day,
because we are Singa - poreans!
Happiness is a decision,
A happy life is our mission!
Come, what may,
We will enjoy each day,
Whether it rains or shines,
It's all in our minds!
Before we complain we have no shoes,
Let's remember the men with no feet!
Let's count our blessings, name them one by one,
Let's fill our life with great joy and fun!
Never too busy to help and care,
Never too poor to give and share!
We will laugh, and we will roar!
because we are Singa - poreans!
It is my prayer that we will all be able to find happiness in simple things and become known as people with joy and laughter. We will no longer be known as people who are full of the five "K"s - kiasu, (afraid to lose), kiasi (afraid to die), kia tia (afraid of pain), kia bo lui (afraid of poverty), kia cheng hu (afraid of government). Let us learn to speak what is really in our heart, instead of speaking behind the back of our associates and government. Let us learn to speak up on issues that bother us, believing that the government will entertain our thoughts and opinions. Let us dispel the German writer's view that Singaporeans complain a lot about the government, yet each time, they vote the same government back to power.!
Do you realise that there are many, many people who are rich, yet feel they are poor? These people have the spirit of poverty, and they cling tightly to their possessions, forgetting that they cannot carry them when they leave the world.!
Let us be happy people who give and not hoard; let us share our knowledge and possessions, and rejoice when someone more deserving than us wins a prize or begins to shine.
Happiness is in our mind, and no one can rob it from us, when it is deeply etched in our cells! Let us increase not only our economic index, but our happiness index too!
Posted by The Oriental Express at 9:58 am
Monday, December 14, 2009
After lunch with Ning, I was walking to the City Hall Mrt station, when I passed by some eye-catching exhibits!
Wow! What a lovely display of Barbie's clothes.! The exact clothes worn by Barbie were enlarged and worn by mannequins!
There was also a huge model of Barbie's three-storey home and Barbie's airplane. Indeed, kids of today are really very fortunate.
During our childhood, we made our own little dolls. The most simple ones would be made of cloths. The more fanciful ones would have faces made from coconut shells, sea shells, rafia strings, etc. We never bothered our parents to buy us expensive toys. Though we did not have dolls as beautiful as Barbie, nevertheless we had a very wonderful imagination, and our imagination was made even more fertile because we had to be resourceful to find our own fertilisers!
I like to admire dolls in shopping malls, but strangely, now I do not like to have any dolls in my home. Maybe it was after watching some horror films concerning dolls, that I began to dislike having figurines in the home, no matter how attractive they look.
Posted by The Oriental Express at 11:41 pm
Friday, December 11, 2009
How winsome and adorable!
The lucky people who work with pandas!
These pandas are so huggable!
Ever since the announcement of the gifts of two pandas by the Chinese Government, I have been looking forward to the time when the two furry ambassadors will finally touch the shores of Singapore!
Tomorrow I will be celebrating my 56th birthday! Wow! I can't believe I would have lived on earth for 19,936 days! By God's grace, my heart has been beating steadily for 478,464 hours, or 28,707,840 minutes, or in terms of seconds, about seventeen and a quarter billion seconds! Wow! Indeed, I feel like a billionaire! It is overwhelming, especially when we realise that the line between life and death is only a very, very thin line! This is why I live like as if each day were my last on earth!
Frankly, I am the type who does not bother about celebrating birthdays! I feel that when one is hopelessly optimistic and contented, everyday is a celebration! My dear friend, Geok Cheng, recently took me out for a sumptuous lunch at Lerk Thai at the Verge as a birthday treat! It was just wonderful, eating and talking about everything under the sun!
Somehow this time, I have managed to get my eldest brother Kee Yong and eldest sister Lee Lee interested in giving names to the pandas that will be arriving soon. Of course, I will not yet reveal to my readers the names we have chosen. After the pandas have been named, I will share with readers the names we have selected. For those who have yet to participate, quickly send in your choice of names. The more, the merrier, and let us confound the judges with our creativity. Hopefully, no one has chosen the names of Pinnochio or Rumplestiltskin! The names would become distorted due to different pronunciation, and may end up sounding like "piano kio" (piano and eggplant) or "Lubber tick skin."!! Choose names that are meaningful and easy to pronounce and remember!
I once read an article advocating that we should try and participate in contests as much as time permits. It helps us to look forward to the future. I enjoy contests for it helps me to get a little more excited and it gets my adrenalin pumping! It is like internally massaging our organs. Whether it is a lucky draw, toastmaster's speech contest, short-story writing, marathons, etc. contests keep us on our toes.! Yet I am also one of those happy and contented losers! As long as I have tried my best, and even if I do not win, I will rejoice with those who deserve to win! Remember, in life, there are always people lesser or better than us! It is vital for us to be comfortable in our own skin!
It is my prayer that by God's grace, when I reach 60, I will still have the strength
to be a volunteer at the panda reserves in Chengdu! There, I will be able to carry the panda cubs and hug them like soft toys!
Frankly, if you take a moment to analyse a panda, you will realise that it looks quite odd and perhaps does not even look good. The eyes look like they have been boxed and turned blue black! Or it looks like as if the pandas have not slept well, and hence have black rings around the eyes! The white and black fur are too defined, and the pandas look like as if they were wearing black jackets! Yet, overall, the pandas look so ooooo ooooooo cute, charming and cuddly! It would be just as wonderful if we could all try to look at people in this manner. We could see the inner beauty and charm of everyone when we look at the whole sum of the person!
It is the overall personality that we remember at the end of the day! Isn't it true.? If I were to ask you to describe someone, will you really remember exactly how his nose looks like or whether his ears are too protruding? No, right? Hence, everyone of us has been uniquely created, and there is no necessity for us to look like another model or celebrity!
Thank you Lord for all your awesome and magnificent manifestation of life! Help us to always find joy and beauty in everything.
Let us live life to the fullest for your glory!
Posted by The Oriental Express at 6:16 am
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Gosh, I must have received numerous emails from friends and even strangers, telling me that I should watch this U-tube video. I have tried to click it, but I always cannot see anything. Hence now when I receive a mail with this title as a subject.
I will just delete it.
I am still playing trial and error with my computer. I have picked up some computer knowledge from friends, relatives and colleagues, here and there. If I were lucky, I did things right, but if I were not so lucky, things did not work out! Sigh!
Nevertheless, I love the computer, and now cannot live without it! I enjoy emailing without having to go to the post office to buy stamps to send my letters. I enjoying finding out facts and information by googling. Hence, it means I don't have to buy so many books or magazines.! I also enjoy listening to music and songs on u-tube, and watch video tapes of movies with the computer. I do not like chatting on the net though, because I think and write very fast, and hence am not so patient with this media of communication. Worse if we can see each other through the camera, because I am always dressed in pyjamas whenever I am at home, and I would have to dress up if I were to chat.
My siblings often phone me from overseas, and I wish they could write me emails or chat on the computer. As my ears are prone to pain and problems, I would prefer to write than to speak on the phone. Morever, emails don't cost a cent and phone charges, though cheaper now, still cost money! I also yearn for my siblings, especially, 2nd brother Kee Seng, to read my blog articles. Whenever I go back to Penang, I try to print out some of my articles for him to read, but I have over 1,300 articles now!
Recently, my tenant, Jasmin, taught me how to use internet banking on the computer.
I would encourage everyone, especially, elderly folks to learn to use the computer.
Try to gradually overcome your phobia. If Choo can handle it, so can you!
Posted by The Oriental Express at 10:57 am
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Recently I watched the Golden Horse Awards Ceremony held in Banciao, Taipei County on Channel U. The stars were so immaculately and attractively groomed.
I watched the whole program, and at the end, it suddenly dawned upon me, that of late, I have been able to watch Chinese programs without English subtitles!
When I first came to Singapore, some 26 years ago, I would only watch Chinese programs which had English subtitles, because my Mandarin was limited for me to fully comprehend what was spoken. I had never studied Chinese in school. I had often been mistaken to be a Malay because of my dark complexion. Once I spoke Mandarin to the fruit vendor in my estate. Suddenly he said, "You can speak Mandarin?"
"Of course, I am Chinese!", I smiled. For three years I had been speaking to him mainly in English, and hence he was under the mistaken impression. Hence, after
that incident I always tried to speak Mandarin at the market and shopping malls. I
was not afraid to make mistakes and sometimes laughed at myself.
I am glad that after years of watching Chinese programs with English subtitles, I had actually subconsciously improved in my Mandarin.
I would speak Mandarin and Hokkien with people who cannot speak English, eg. some food vendors, sales personnel, taxi and bus drivers. If the taxi driver were a Malay man, I would converse with him in Bahasa Malaysia, which is my second language. Hence, I would not lose touch with my second language.
Happiness is living in cosmopolitan Singapore, where so many languages are being spoken! I hope that with my constant watching of Korean and Hindi movies, I would
be able to improve in my conversational Korean and Hindi. Indeed happiness is breaking the ice when we speak to someone in his native language. I love languages for the various sounds and rhythm in languages is like music to my ears!
Posted by The Oriental Express at 9:47 am
Monday, December 07, 2009
Ning, feeling jubilant as she reaches the finishing line!
A sense of joy and contentment, after a very long distance of 42km!
Robert, one of the sprightly senior citizens who has been running 42km marathons!
It was one of those days when I had forgotten to bring my mobile with me. Hence when I came back, I saw that there were 8 missed calls. I called my nephew-in-law, and he told me that Ning had arrived in Singapore and that I was going to take photos of her at the Standard Chartered Bank 42km run. Gosh! I didn't even know
anything about the marathon and that I had been appointed camera lady!
Frankly, I dislike crowds, but since I have been given the honour, I should fulfill my role. It took me only 15 minutes to arrive at the Padang, but nearly 50 minutes
to find where the finishing point was located. It was a good thing that Ning was going to take longer than she had expected; hence I found the viewing gallery in time for me to wave to the runners to plod them on! I was given a styrofoam banner,
shaped like a big palm, with the words, "You Can Do It!"
Since it was crowded, I smsed Ning to look out for a sweet orange umbrella with polka dots when she was getting close to the finishing point. We spotted each other
without much trouble, and I quickly snapped her photos. Suddenly I heard the commentator announcing in a thunderous voice, "Here comes Kam Ning, 20009, and her mum taking her photos." I looked up at him, and he must have guessed from my body language and quickly said, "Ah, maybe it's the aunty! Hi aunty! Great support! The aunty has been here since 9a.m.!" I smiled, and it dawned upon me that in life, we look out for others; and there are others also looking out for us!
As Ning went to collect her medal and belongings, I waited at one of the tents and found three lovely volunteers giving out bottles of 100 plus drinks. I dared not ask for any as I was not a participant, but one of the girls was so sweet and gave me a bottle. She must have noticed I was flustered and tired.
I took the opportunity to talk to them and some participants. I came across this sprightly looking runner, a 69 year old senior citizen by the name of Robert. I was
inspired and impressed that he has been running marathons year after year! Wow! My longest distance is 21 km and I have stopped running after some backbone problems. Maybe after the backbones have been put in place, I should try and put on my running shoes again.
When I met up with Ning, she told me that she loves Singapore, and that things have been so efficiently organised. The marathon is probably one of the best she has participated.
I wanted to take Ning for some buffet lunch, but she was somewhat too exhausted to
have a heavy meal. Hence we settled for some Japanese food at Soba So Good!
Posted by The Oriental Express at 10:10 am
Thursday, December 03, 2009
My three beloved dogs, from left to right: Kambobo, Kam Xiao Bai and Kamlette
Xiao Bai looked more like a huggable bear!
Hero, the little Shi Tzu which is not so heroic.
Chelsea, an affectionate cocker spaniel.
"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:" Eccl:3:1 How true! Yet I also realise that the season and time for everybody sometimes may not be quite the same.
For eg. the 92 year old grandmother who danced the salsa so beautifully with her grandson of 29 years of age.! While some elderly ladies are already bed-ridden in their seventies, this 92 year old grandmother is still so sprightly and nimble! Or the grandmother who picked up learning guitar at the age of 60 and now plays lead guitar with a band. As for me, I have to admit that when I was younger I did not learn to appreciate music as I do now, and have even picked up learning the violin just a year ago!
Warren Buffet bought his first stocks when he was 11, and regretted he did not start earlier! I had never known what stocks were all about until the age of 32 when I was asked to get some shares in order that I could buy a monthly bus package! It was the time of the stock crash, and happily I bought one lot of SBS shares without realising the excitement, anxiety and depression that had been created by the stock crash. As a teacher, I was more interested in literature and languages, and not commerce. When I sold my shares two years later, the price had almost tripled, and it dawned upon me what stocks investments were all about!
Irin, my neighbour, coerced me to adopt one or two of Bibi's puppies. However, I told her that the season of keeping pets for me is over. Although we always had dogs and cats at home in Penang, I merely tolerated them, and like an obedient daughter, helped to bathe and feed them, well....almost perfunctorily. It was only when I adopted my first puppy, Kamlette, at the age of 35, that I began to really love dogs and animals. The more I read books and watch documentaries on animals, the more I became fascinated with living creatures, big and small.
I bought Bobo because his owner could not find a suitable animal lover, and also because his owner was desperate as he and his family had to downgrade from a landed property to a smaller hdb flat. Then Xiaobai was given to me as a pleasant surprise. When I put Kamlette to sleep because of her kidney problem, she still looked very pretty with her beautiful eyes and lovely fur. After the demise of all my three pets, I decided I have enjoyed keeping pets, and I would not want to own any pet. I would not mind dog-sitting occasionally. Someone had read my blog and asked if I would take his dog, Hero. Poor Hero was a timid little dog. It took me a few days to win over his confidence. I had told Hero's owner that after a week or two, when his daughter and family miss the dog, they could take Hero back. A week later, his daughter was crying for the dog, and after promising her parents that she would look after the dog well, Hero was returned to them.
I had looked after Chelsea and Toby, the cute little pug and these two are my favourite. Chelsea passed away earlier this year, and I am glad that her owner, Shahnaz had adopted another dog from the SPCA, a mixed breed named Guinness. Shahnaz wanted me to look after Guiness in December around Christmas time, but I would be back in Penang and hence could not oblige her.
I thank God for the opportunity of having 3 pets. Parents should not be too concerned if their children are not what they wish their children to be. Encourage and motivate, but give them some space to explore, discover and realise. Now I laugh for it was such a chore for me to practise the piano for even an hour. Yet today, I can practise 6 to 7 hours on the violin!
When I was in school, I often had reports from my teachers that I was inclined to be talkative. Now, I prefer to listen and am happier if I don't have to speak. I find joy in expressing myself in my blog and articles, or when I play the piano and violin. I will be joining the Singapore Writers' Society as a member so that I can learn more about the art of writing. I find movies and television serials quite interesting. Hence, I hope to learn how to write television and movie scripts. The season for toastmasters' speeches is almost over.....it is taken over by writing and music.
It is now payback time! Now I enjoy volunteering as a Language Evaluator in toastmasters' meetings or at speech crafts at Changi Prison. When time permits, I enjoy going on short mission trips to Nepal, Thailand, Myammar, Japan, and China.
I will be going to Myammar to help out at the Orphanage after Chinese New Year.
Funny how I detested cooking lessons in school; now I enjoy cooking and entertaining.
Hence whenever parents are worried over their children, I always urge them not to be unduly worried and let the children grow up and discover for themselves, for there is a time and season for everything....
Posted by The Oriental Express at 7:41 am
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Can you spot the flower that looks like a bird?
The "tail" of the bird has bloomed into a bushy strand of white "feathers"!
Unique creation of the awesome Creator!
What a pleasant surprise I had.! Irin came over to check that I was in my apartment, and she excitedly brought me a pot of flowers as a gift. She pointed out to the little birdlike flowers on the plants. Irin had also put a little nest of 2 birds on the plants. She told me that the vendor had instructed that the plants need little water but lots of sunlight.
Irin had given me two pots of plants before - a dongdong fruit plant and a chilli plant three years ago. Happiness is when someone goes the extra mile to give you something she knows you will definitely like. I took the opportunity to share with Irin the awesomeness of God. It is just a little flower, and yet the Creator has taken the trouble to make it so uniquely beautiful! It is easier to believe that all the wonderful things in this world are made by one omnipotent and omnipresent Creator who loves us enough to create a lovely world for us to enjoy. Yet so many people are caught up with the rat race that they have no time to smell the flowers! Ironically some have worked extremely hard to build themselves big houses where the maids are the ones who are actually enjoying their lovely stay and work in the houses. We rush and rush everyday, with little time to reflect and ponder.
The flowers are almost the same colour as the leaves. They would be even more conspicuous if the flowers are red or yellow in colour. I guess, the Creator wants the flowers to be camouflaged, for they would not have the chance to bloom if they are too conspicuous. Other reptiles, insects or birds might think they are really little birds and eat them up!
My neighbours Helen and her daughter, Joanne, also love the plants and show their friends the unique flowers when they come avisiting.
I feel happy, contented and peaceful just by looking at the unique and unusual flowers.
Posted by The Oriental Express at 9:42 am