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Quotes from k-drama 'Personal Taste'

Do you know what's great about a one-sided love?

You don't have to spend money for starters. Exchanging gifts as a couple can be very expensive, so you end up spending a lot. Also, a lot of freedom and no promises. You don't need to be constantly worried about the other person so there's no hassle in it. Viewing the person from a far allows you not to expect anything from them. And you can end the entire thing whenever you want it to.

Sometimes I think that when people say that having a one-sided love is fine, it just means that they don't have the courage they need to love the person. Perhaps it's not that the person you love doesn't love you back.

I always wondered about people who are good in Math. Wouldn't love be an easy problem for them to solve too if love had an equation and they knew the solution, maybe people wouldn't hurt each other, maybe people wouldn't misunderstand each other, and maybe we could just love. Don't you think?

For Lisa

As some of you may already know, my neighbour's 22 year old daughter jumped off our block today morning. My mother was standing about three metres away and witnessed it (she was outside getting ready for morning prayers). The ten year old youngest sister witnessed it from the door. She was following her elder sister when she saw her carry a chair out of the house.

My mother was visibly in shock, but she managed to call the police. Later on, she was calm enough to give her statement. We were all still pretty shocked by it, as you can imagine. This is the first time for me to have someone I know, who was young, passed away so suddenly.

My mother used to look after her two younger sisters a few years back. The two girls come to my house very frequently to play with the cats. The deceased was a sunshine most of the time, despite having had a difficult life. I haven't seen a lot of her lately as she sometimes moved to her grandma's, but whenever she saw me, she always said hello.

My mother went over to check on the girls. They kept asking my mother why the ambulance wasn't here yet. But the ambulance wasn't coming. She died on the spot. It was heartbreaking.

My orange cat has been hiding behind the furniture for the entire day. He knows, I think.

We tried to get flowers, but all florists were still closed for CNY. So we went to Cold Storage instead and bought some cut flowers to wrap two bouquets ourselves -- one from us, and one for the younger sisters to give their elder sister at the funeral. They then told my mother they wanted to buy some of their late sister's favourite food and drinks. They have hongbao money, they said. So we went downstairs and bought some.

It made me wonder -- as I was wrapping the flowers -- if I have been kind enough to her, nice enough to her, and if I have ever done anything in the past years that I have known her,  which had made her smile. I hope I have.

I remember her smile. And the way she laughed. I hope wherever she goes from here, she continue to smile and laugh the way she did.

Everyone loves my life! :D

Because it is good! Maybe until end February when the time-table kicks in full-force. But heck, I'll enjoy it while it lasts! Two day week!

My 2010 has turned out majorly positive so far, with the joining of a new gym (because my previous gym sucks! yay to all-women gyms!), taking up yoga again, on top of pilates and some cool grooves of dancing at gym classes. Running 3km three times a week. Taking up IT courses in school to learn how to do the cool animation thingy. I've also miraculously started having -- and loving -- boiled organic wholegrain oats for breakfast. No coffee. No tea. At least I try not to have them for breakfast. I think it's a classic sign of growing older. I'm eating all the yucky stuff I used to shun.

So onwards! To a healthier and smarter me!

What happened to my holidays?

It came and went. I almost couldn't hold my tears and I bid it goodbye.

"COME BACK SOON!" I said to it.

"OK!" it replied.


I got my time-table for the first half of this year. For the lack of a better word, it sucks. Majorly.

There was an overwhelming sense of the jitters as I navigated the premise with trepidation. It ain't big, but it ain't my territory. May take a bit of getting used to. But one thing for sure, it is a beautiful campus. More so than NUS.

Made a group of new friends at orientation run-about-the-island hunting for Sir Stamford Raffles among other things. That was great fun. And no, I ain't being sarcastic. It really was fun. New people seem great too. For now, at least.

Also managed to bump into a lot of old people. As in people of the past -- school, or work. Fantabulous. It was about six people from teacher preparatory program (whom I met September last year, yay we all made it! out of a class of 40! go us!), one former schoolmate (ex-faculty-captain of my JC), one ex-colleague from my first job, and who knows who else I will see come next week when everyone is back on campus. Yay for new life!


In my line of work, I often hear a lot of complaints from teachers about a lot of things -- students, unreasonable parents, unfair management decisions, workload, being burnt out, students. The magnitude of which often equates to no less than doomsday oh woe is me, just kill me! I therefore also often wonder what kept these teachers going when the going gets so tough the tough's gonna break down too into molecules and atoms. I think I found my answer during the Secondary Four Graduation Ceremony.

It is hard to put into words the soar of emotions one feel during such an occasion. I didn't think much of it, as I have no graduating students to speak of (though I did at some point in time, relief some of these upper secondary classes when their teachers are on MC aka Need-A-Break-Or-Break-Something). What I didn't expect surprised me.

It was a relatively simple graduation. I didn't have any proper sort of graduation myself where I came from, but if I were to have one, I want one like this. Class by class, photo collages, video clips from teachers, their final kind words before saying goodbye to their students, one by one the students went on stage to collect their memorabilia, friends cheering, storming their feet on the wooden floor of the school hall, students playing a fool on stage, slow-run to the Principal. Switching his hand to not-shake, and then switch his hand back to shake the Principal's hand, earning him a slap (a light and motherly one) in turn on his arm for being so playful amidst an important ceremony. And then after all have had their names read out, the video played again, this time of students cheering, roaring, with all their young explosive energy, their words of thanks, their heartfelt apologies for their prankstership all added up, their goodbyes to where they had spent the better of their four or five years getting in and out of trouble (full-time) and working on their grades (part-time). Some of their funny antics, acting out their teachers in jest, were telling, a hint of what they will always remember of their teachers in years to come. And it repeats, with variation, customised by each own's special memories with their teachers, and then, of course, it all ended in tears.

What surprised me even more was, after all these times of shouting and screaming on both sides of the line, one accusing the other of being unfair -- for teachers, why must you be so rude to me? why must you make me so angry? for students, why is it always me? what about him?! After all the finger-pointing, all the hard times add together wherein any one of those times may have pushed the teacher over the edge and called it quits, it has come to this. Students and teachers hugging together, crying, taking pictures, remembering each other with no less than fondness and affection.

Like a parent-child relationship, after all's been said and done, they always remember each other as nothing less than the better versions of themselves. And the beauty of it is, it works both ways. The child forgets the moments where the adults have punished him, scolded him, reined him in; he chose to remember, instead, of lessons taught, of strong words that were, on hindsight, wise advice. And the adult forgets the moments where the child was defiant, rude, and hurtful; and he instead chose to remember the times where the child was sweet, had shown effort, stretched his potential, and was grateful in turn.

Being able to see each other as better versions of themselves, minus the bad moments, like selective amnesia. Is that some kind of faith? Faith -- unspoken in the worst of times -- when one is nearing break-down and tearing their hair out -- but instead, seated deeply in the mind, that it's a process, a journey, where at the end of it all, it would have been worth it?

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

-- Emily Dickinson

In the spirit of ressurection, I have decided to forgo the faux pas of multiple entries a day (which is just something an adult shouldn't do; leave that to raging adolescents) and to write something, something that documents a new start. In the same spirit, you may also have noticed that this blog is pink with pinkiness (I nearly wrote pinked, which would have been cool except it isn't right). Take this as a metaphorical and literal extension of my happiness, if you must (pink with happiness, get it!). This is also to go with my new pink netbook, new pink mouse, and new pink self (metaphorically, of course). The only thing that isn't really all that pink is my wardrobe. I am, however, half-contemplating a new pink mobile phone.

And to close the gap between my long-ago and now, which is really just four months, be informed that the following has taken place:
  1. New Job. Entirely out of this world. And the mind still boggles. Especially when it has gone unexpectedly well, in the exceptional sort of way.
  2. New Lifestyle. Of which there is a lot less alcohol and a lot more healthy things like reading, retreating home early, and relishing the enjoyment of Time and how much you can do with it when there is a lot more of it than before.
  3. New Perspective in Life. Of which I returned to my original love for books and writing and intellectual discussions of the very nerdy kind with the people at work; rediscover the lure of television programmes; afternoon naps (when I get to go home early, like at 3pm?); evening runs (when I wake up from afternoon naps); simplicity of happiness in the form of my kitties and their ever-evolving antics; kimchi, as the new way of life. Onward, longevity!
  4. New Experiences. Where I inform you that I am kicking some serious asses invigilating the national examinations.
And a penny for your thoughts. O levels Social Studies Paper, source-based question on Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, of which one source is a drawing that says, "Hitler is back" with cute tankers decor. A student, at the end of the examination, exclaimed to his friend.
"Wah lau. What the hell is Hitler?"

Penny for your thoughts.

Something I Realise Part II

As a tribute of sorts to my previous post, I have decided to meta-self-entry and mirror.

Since I started my current (new) job --
  1. I have not touched resurrected my cutesy pinky camera once, for my grandma's birthday dim sum breakfast.
  2. I have not updated (resurrected, more like) this blog for what seems like a long time.
  3. I have not stopped being ill. I swear I am the only trainee teacher who hasn't taken sick leave at all.
  4. I have not read, conquered, the following books for leisure --
  • The Graveyard Book (TGB), Neil Gaimen (which I have had with me since it first launched here and only managed to finish recently)
  • Angels and Demons, Dan Brown (which I bought shortly after TGB, and which suffered the same fate)
  • Coraline, Neil Gaimen (which I consumed with gusto, right after TGB)
Still in progress, is Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. Not to mention, I also am a new owner of seven Terry Prachett's Discworld novels, courtesy of my new colleague's garage sales over the weekend.

Like I've said (or rather, asked) : Either there is something about The Job, or there is something about me, that've changed. And as far as I can tell for now, it is a good change. :)

Something I realise

Since I started my current job --
  1. I have not touched my cutesy pinky camera once.
  2. I have not updated this blog for a long time.
  3. I have not stopped being ill.
  4. I have not read books for leisure.
Either there is something wrong with The Job, or there is something wrong with me.


*blow dust off blog*

My gawd. Time flies. Training since January was a whirlwind through February, and as I was still trying to make sense of things, I was shooed into the office proper in March.

Needless to say, the reason why this blog has been so neglected was because there was simply very little time for leisure. So much so that I found myself overcompensating myself by packing every Friday and Saturday back to back with social activities. I'm not sure if it's a good thing, but I'm kinda enjoying the new lifestyle, and as the saying goes, you are only young once. So might as well. :D

In between all the massive (but very moderate, I assure you) drinking at Paulanders/Harris/Boiler/Lunar/Dragonfly/BelliniGrande/ButterFactory/Balaclava, I managed to make new friends and collected bite-size amusement stories to entertain people at the next party. Remember to ask, and it shall be delivered.

Otherwise, I have nothing else interesting to say.

New job, and new beginnings

So far, so good.

I am most impressed with how organised the training is. The HR definitely put in a lot of work!

And they brought us to Jack's Place for lunch for our first day. All 18 of us! We were so happy.

The first two days were tough initially. Mainly 'cos I couldn't tune back to work-mode. I dragged myself to work in the morning, and developed splitting headaches throughout training.

I thought today would be the same. I dreaded it so. And was so worried. How to work liddat? 

Luckily, today, for some reason, I woke up at 6am, without the alarm clock. I didn't feel tired despite turning in late, and I was bubbly throughout class. Some say it's the Friday effect. I think I've merely managed to tune back to WORK MODE. Which is GOOD.

I got on well with everyone, especially with one of my teammates (teammates as in, we report to same boss; there are 3 of us). We first met at HR when we signed the contract together. Initially I didn't think we would click, because he's quite a bit older than I am, and is a family man with 2 young children. And me is young new bird. Sekali, after 2 days training, we are like woohoo, we are teammates, we rock! :D

And today, on the way to lunch, he turned to me and made a comment like a public announcement to everyone.

Ed: "You know, I realise something about you?"
Me: *blinkblink*
Ed: "You are really funny!"

Hee! My teammate shares my sense of humour! Which he described as sardonic in a strangely light-hearted, nobody-gets-hurt kinda way. He likes my evil.

It's a relief to me that we get along well. Because on the first day, I was struck with (once again) the culture shock that I am the youngest in the batch. Which caused me some anxiety because as I found out, among the offshore RMs, I am definitely considered a bit young and inexperienced for the position. Most of them have at least 3-4 years banking experience, and have previously been in offshore banking. Ed is considered industry veteran with 6 years experience, including 3 years in offshore. And here I am, 1.5 years in banking, and no offshore experienc at all. -__-;;

But Ed was very kind. He reassured me that boss must have his reasons for picking me. And there's nothing you can't learn along the way.