30 June 2005

Ground Zero vs Ant Farm

"Ground Zero", a phrase coined by MaidOrderBride on her blog but I call mine the "Ant Farm".

Today is payday for a factory of 600 workers and everytime on this day of the month, security is on full alert as we pay our workers in cash. Yup, cold hard cash. Heck many of them never even seen an ATM card or worse, a bank passbook. There was a breach in security last month when a section leader walked away with his entire section's salary. About RMB 15,000 in all. He is still at large and I hope this arsehole choked to death on the money.

This month's turnover is 42, close to 1½ resignations a day. Most of them were newbies who couldn't settle down properly while the rest were given the boot as we felt that they weren't earning the dollar that we are paying them. In other words, these are the jiak liao bee category. The brighter news is that my two junior secretaries got their confirmation this month and there is an extra few hundred dollars in there for each of them. I am also tempted to throw in the mobile phone subsidy as well but on second thought, let's see how they do in July first.

When I return on Monday, I will be expecting a few more resignations on my desk in the morning. Nothing surprising, it is pretty routine by now. These resignations will come from those idiots who go around comparing their pay with everybody else. If they are better paid, they will act all smug and superior about the whole deal while they rub their payslips into their rival's face. If they are worse off, these morons will go around airing their grievances to the whole world as to how the company has short-changed them. How despite their unwavering loyalty to this company, he were mistreated with pittance of a pay... blah blah blah. drama queen rama ... I usually accept these resignations without hesitation and give them the boot before lunch time. Trying scam off a last meal from me? Not a chance! Out you go and go find your own lunch.

"Why such pettiness?", as many would ask. I don't blame them for it is understandable, given the environment that they are in. In Ch1na where the population accounts for a third of the world's and growing at a rate of one Australia a year. These folks were thrust into a competitive environment as early as the day that they were born. It is a case of every man/woman for him/herself.

Back home, where you have staff working under you, we would do our best to share our experience and wisdom with them in the hope of them, performing better and would pull off a better result as a team. At the end of the day, everybody gets rewarded.

However, it is not the case in Ch1na. A supervisor with specialised skill will never share his experience with his underlings for fear that once the latter come up to speed, he would be replaced by them. The distrust among them is really unbelievable. Shortsightedness is by far their greatest weakness. They fail to understand that only by grooming somebody up to take over their position, would management be able to take them out of there and move them up.

Whenever a colleague screwed up, the other guy would be silently rejoicing in glee over the colleague's misfortune. It will never occur to them that by putting out a helping hand and getting the problem resolved will not only do the company good but would also looked upon favourable by the management. But noooo...... it's "I hope you die so that I can look lagi competent for being the other guy who didn't screw up."

Will we ever see a change in these folks mentality? I would say yes but not in our lifetime.

Anyway, to MaidOrderBride who will be heading up to her GroundZero, here's all the good luck that I can wish and hope that your headaches will not be as terok as mine.

* Disclaimer: What I describe here is merely my own observation. It may not be totally accurate but it is just what I perceive the things in front of me. As such, the observations do not represent all of Ch1na and that my views are also not representative of everybody's as well.

- Voxeros

1. DeEk left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 12:38 am
Jay, your factory staff sounds like some civil servants I know. Especially in the not chipping in to help department. Sigh.....
2. vandice left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 12:45 am
This is happening in Singapore schools as well...just a lesser degree, tt's all. Kids nowadays super competitive cos parents say must do well, go to uni, get at least a masters...Every man for himself...& they're starting younger and younger... I don't wanna know how they will turn out...
3. anna left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 12:53 am
The blue-collar job situation in China is so sad. It reminds me of the pugilistic world, where skills are not passed on to someone else. This is so different from the West, where they believe that new ideas should be shared. I suppose, that's why even though there are brilliant pple in China, China doesn't advance as fast as the Western Countries.
4. jaschocolate left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 1:17 am ::
Everywhere is like that.. it's a man-eating world out there.. Man, i'm not even really in the society yet and i'm already scared..
5. JayWalk left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 1:51 am ::
deek: In a way yes lah... but at least back home, even the most selfish arsehole will help you when you ask (threaten) them nicely.

vandice: Not in my school during my time. The whole class all parkat during chinese tests one. hahaha
anna: An extremem example was when I was in ZhuHai and we were lost. So we pull over and ask a motorcycle cabbie for directions and he demanded money first. We spoke in perfect cantonese that we won't pay and warned him not to screw with us since we are "not foreigners".

So he grudgingly gave us the directions, which we later realised was completely wrong. CCB!!!!

jaschocolate: You are safe as long as you are in the sheltered world of Singapore. Step out of it and they will have you for lunch.

Solution? Have them for lunch first before they do you. You have to be ruthless at times.
6. jaschocolate left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 11:59 am ::
Like you, right? You have one man for lunch everyday hor..
7. Sheena left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 9:37 pm
You bluff me! You say you got a small factory when actually it's SO HUGE!!!
(Hee hee hee... I picked the right sugar daddy for myself. *rubs hands in glee*)
8. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 2 July 2005 6:21 am :: 
jaschocolate: Please tell me that did not come out right!! Eat a man a day... that would be Sheena. No?

Sheena: Oh ye of myopic perspective. 600 IS small. The average size factory employed about 3000 workers. I am only 1/5 of the average here.

The biggest I know is a shoe manufacturer with a worker population of 12,000. They have their own postal code.
9. ei|een left...
Saturday, 2 July 2005 2:52 pm ::
i tend to agree with you on their mentality. of course, not all are bad, but enough of them are around to convince me that it is by far the norm in their society to behave this way.
i have had experience working with them in the past as well, and many a time i felt like either taking a plane over there and shooting them in anger or banging my head against the wall in sheer frustration.

which is why i protested with all my might when my boss wanted to send me over there for work. NONONONONO! i don't want! too scary for me. new environments are fine. but i've seen enough for me to realise that i will not be able to adapt to their way of living / business. not if i want to keep sane.
10. AKK left...
Sunday, 3 July 2005 2:01 am
I dun blame them for acting like that. Actually on the singapore front, or at least in research environment, the newbies from China also tend to have this mentality. they are also less hygienic, which can be dangerous in a biological institute. However, most of them become nicer after the initial culture shock and are able to adapt to our life more readily.

OTOH, the locals also learnt that the stereotype doesn't hold after time has passed, so actually, i think that while China itself cannot change the ppl's mentality, their ppl have to be mobile to change themselves. :)
11. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 3 July 2005 6:29 pm ::
ei|een: While the stint may do you wonders in your career track record, it may be too much, for some, to stomach.

Which cities was your Boss originally intended to send you to?

AKK: I agree that some Ch1nese learn to adapt but there are also the few who don't. Can be quite exasperating at times.

Ch1na and its people will be able to change their mentality eventually, just not in our lifetime due to the sheer size of their population.
12. ei|een left...
Sunday, 3 July 2005 7:05 pm ::
beijing, and maybe shanghai.

i accept that these 2 cities are more urbanised and probably more suitable for singaporeans to work in (most alike singapore, so i've heard) as compared to other more rural areas.

but still, i just cannot tahan lah. think i should just stick to singapore. or maybe australia! heh. :)
13. JayWalk left...
Monday, 4 July 2005 9:07 am :: 
ei|een: Aiyoh, Beijing and ShangHai are sooo modernised that you won't even feel uncomfortable there. The expat community is very large in those places and sometimes, that helps a lot when it comes to settling down proper.

Wait till you end up in ulu places like where I am (lone ranger some more...).
14. Meepok left...
Monday, 4 July 2005 10:01 am
Jay - I totally agree with your assessment about the small mindedness of the production workers. In my previous job, I managed a few engineers in Shanghai. For 500RMB more, they'd quit and move to the firm down the road. My management motto in China: "Expect no loyalty. They will screw you if they can." Hence your observation about supervisors not sharing skills with workers. As the Chinese say, if sifu knows 10 strokes, teach padawan 9. One is left to kill the padawan if necessary.
15. JayWalk left...
Monday, 4 July 2005 7:28 pm :: 
Meepok: RMB 500 and they jump not bad liao. I have workers who jumped for RMB 20 only! 

Here's what I don't get. If sifu has 10 and teaches padawan only 9. Then when padawan teaches his own student, the student will get 8... see where I am going with this? At the end of the day, Ch1na will end up with zero if this mentality don't change.

29 June 2005

34 Years Single Malt Premium Reserve

--> You know you are really getting on in age when you dozed off at around 10pm while trying to wait till midnight to update your blog's banner from "33 Years Single Malt Premium Reserve" to "34". sigh.....

The only consolation is that everybody around me is also agar agar the same as I have been getting birthday greets from as early as a couple of days ago. Memory is fading for them as well. Everybody is starting to get the dates wrong but then hor, can still remember not bad already lah. double sigh...

--> You know that you are really getting on in age when Mambo reminded you of the good old days. When all drinking hell break loose at the stroke of Midnight Madness. When before Phuture even existed, the space was just a modest MTV bar with a pool table at the end. When Long Island Hooch tarik with Southern Comfort Seven was the poison of choice. Ask anybody else today about Mambo and they will reminisce about the good ol' "last Wednesday". triple sigh...

--> You know that you are really getting on in age when you can't get up at 7am to get to work after getting home at 5.30am from last night's partying. You ended up getting up at 7pm instead, realising that your day was already over and you decided to sleep in till the next morning, which you still woke up late for work. quadruple sigh...

--> You know that you are really getting on in age when the smile on your kids' faces are worth more than anything else in the world. Even more than the air ticket that you won in the golf tournament. pentuple sigh...

--> You know that you are really getting on in age when you start to think about the type and model of car that you are going to get. Not for yourself, but for Faith when she gets her driving license. hextuple sigh...

"... Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be..." - Robert Browning

- Voxeros

1. Leapin_Toufu left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 11:43 am
Happy birthday voxeros!
Here are my contribution from one of my LJ entries few years back...
You know you are getting fat...

1. The new pants you bought now need two pegs on each end to hold it in place on a hanger.

2. The new pants you bought which is the same size as your previous favourite, now can't seem to fit well. You brought it back to the shop and complained loudly that you've bought a tailoring defect...then to be pointed out by the harried sales assistant that your size 33 is the same measurement as other size 33 in the entire clothing industry.

3. When you run to catch the departing don't seem to be as fast & agile as before. The word i'm thinking of is...waddle.

4. When you ask your mate whether if there is any remote possibility that a leather belt can shrink...cos you're beginning to find buckling up on to that familiar second belt hole more & more resembling a contortionist act in the morning.

Rgds, your friend from SPUG
2. zeenie left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 5:08 pm
Happy birthday! Not getting old lah, it's the people around becoming younger. =)
3. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 9:43 pm
toufu: Hey thanks! Nice of you to drop by!

zeenie: thanks thanks. Can the rest of you guys stop being younger and younger? STOP IT!!!
4. lancerlord left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 10:27 pm ::
Hapi birthday. I not far behind you. Did you receive my birthday wishes in your comment page yesterday night? I can't remember which post I commented. Should be the latest.
5. vandice left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 10:34 pm
Happy birthday Jaywalk... It's tough spending birthday away from friends and family hor? But I guess hearing your kid wish you over the phone/Skype is really hearwarming... Enjoy, and may the coming better the going. Mebbe next year can celebrate as a family...
6. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 10:41 pm :: 
lancerlord: Bor leh... my birthday only today. How would you be able to send birthday greet the day before? I think you also old man liao lah. hahahaha
So, when is your birthday?

vanice: Yes, it's tough. Didn't get to see them over the webcam today coz not in the office. My little Faith is going to blow candle and cut my birthday cake over the webcam. Will post pictures tomorrow. Akan datang!
7. Meepok left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 11:30 pm
Jay - We are not old .... just nocturnally challenged. I can't cheong past 3 am now. In fact, anything past 12 is a stretch. By the way, I'm having lunch with "Einstein" tmrw.
8. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 12:03 am :: 
MeePok: Nocturnally challenge. hahaha... Take a picture of Einstein. Wonder how he is nowadays.
9. lady jac left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 12:56 am
Happy Birthday! Here's wishing you good health and all the best in all your future endeavours!
p/s: u and my mum share the same birth date. lol
10. anna left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 4:48 am
Happy Birthday Forever-Young Dude! 34 is nothing... and I'm not far away from it.
11. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 8:21 am :: 
lady jac: Come to the dark side... I am your mudder... *breathe* *breathe* ... ok ok, I have got to stop all this Star Wars mania!

Anyway, thanks for the birthday wish.

anna: You know we are no longer spring chickens when we are able to create a sentence with an Alphaville song title in it.
12. AKK left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 4:27 pm
ahahah....happy birthday!

here was i reading about the beauty of your life, the old days,winning the tournament, your darling kids, plans for the future of your kids...why are you sighing, man?! dun sigh! Laugh!...ehehe..

I have none of these but i'm extremely happy that someone has. :) very nice to read happy stuffs!
13. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 4:59 pm :: 
AKK: I sigh because all of those are exactly 1592 miles away. Then again, looking on the bright side, at least I am only sighing and not wheezing..
While most of my stuff are happy stuff, there are times where the sun ain't bright. That's life.

C'est la vie.

p.s. But I will try my best to keep thing cheery ok? (",)
14. ei|een left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 5:59 pm ::
1. memory fading - CHECK 2. old days mambo/zouk - CHECK 3. need more sleep - CHECK
die lah! i am getting OLD also. boohoohoo! :(

oh well, with age comes wisdom and knowledge (right? haha) every chapter in life is a new blank page to fill up!

so here's wishing you a very very happy birthday!

p/s : don't worry lah. nowadays, 30s is still considered "young". age is all in the mind, after all! :)
15. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 6:18 pm :: 
Ei|een: You sure or not you getting old? You should be what? 10 years younger than me?
Unless you meant to tell me that you started to cheong Mambo when you were still in your pinafore?

Anyway, you reminded me of my tuition student (also Pinafore Toa Payoh) who lied to me that she was sick and had to cancel tuition. Suay suay, kena spotted in Fire Disco. Wow, that must have been more than 12 years ago when I was still in NS.

Hmm... the youngest I ever encountered were two 13-yr olds trying to bum a cigarette from me at Madam Wong.

I refused naturally but fell short of giving them a lecture to go home. Minutes later, there they were huddled in a corner sharing a single stick of cigarette (from somebody else). Pathetic!
16. jaschocolate left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 10:16 pm ::
U dont want sweet uncle can... i change to sweet yandao, if i can get a new laptop or something.. haha... :p
17. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 30 June 2005 10:47 pm :: 
jaschocolate: Wah lau eh... you all one gang one is it? Sheena wants iPod, Belle wants car and you want laptop...

Harlow, you all think I "Mr Mustapha" izzit?
18. anna left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 12:48 am
haha, sounds like you've found yet another sugar babe!
19. jaschocolate left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 1:14 am ::
you dont know all women are one gang meh? We can be united when we want to.. haha.. so how, sugar daddy.. :p haha
20. JayWalk left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 1:43 am :: 
anna: Suddenly they all come... wah... must be the new fragance that I am wearing?

jaschocolate: Aiyoh... you also want to be sugar babe ah.... I think I need to start a registrar of sugar daughters liao. hahahaha...
21. milktea left...
Friday, 1 July 2005 9:03 am
i clearly remember i left a comment in here greeting you a happy birthday.
22. ei|een left...
Saturday, 2 July 2005 2:46 pm ::
haha! your student really reminds me of myself when i was younger! oh, the foolishness of youth, when all is carefree and the only thing that truly matters to one then is fun fun and fun! heh.

i may not be very old in age, but i feel damn old in mind and spirit, and also body. too much alcohol and late nights. too much partying and life. sigh. i started pretty young lah. i guess you could say that i was already clubbin during my pinafore days.

eh, those were the days when age checks weren't the norm. and we had paper bus passes which were easy to, er, "correct". haha. oops. :p

the kids are starting even younger nowadays, like your 13 yr olds. tsk tsk. want cigarettes, at least find a way to buy them yourself lah! bumming off strangers is forgivable only when you're pissed drunk, or trying to pick up someone. heh.

i look at them and i think to myself "my god! was i ever like that when i was their age?! i hope not!" i prefer to delude myself that i was a much "classier" teen. bwahahaha! ;)
23. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 3 July 2005 6:23 pm :: 
milktea: Aiyoh, you also another one with failing memory.

ei|een: Whoa, you also quite the happening one har? My student is 6 years younger than I which make her 28. Would have you known her in school?

As for the two 13-yr-olds, I would have looked the other way as far as them partying is concerned, but seriously, I question the need to smoke if they were unable to. I mean, don't smoke, don't smoke lor? Why must go bum off strangers?

Then again, bumming cigarettes off people really isn't that big a deal, but it just looked so weird coming from a pair of 13-yr-olds.
24. ei|een left...
Sunday, 3 July 2005 7:08 pm ::
heh. i agree about the smoking issue. i wouldn't give ciggies to young kids, even though i have been down that path before. if they were 17/18 yrs old, its not so bad. 13 is just too young.

dunno if i would have known your student. if she's 28, then she would have been in sec 3 or sec 4 when i was in sec 1. didn't really mingle much with the upper sec when i started school. still innocent then! haha :p
25. JayWalk left...
Monday, 4 July 2005 9:03 am :: 
ei|leen: Still innocent then? ~LOL

27 June 2005

What a Girl Wants II

As some of you may be aware, I just returned for a golfing tournament weekend. However, rather than to bore you how the game went (which by the way, I sucked), I would like to talk about an interesting observation that I have made over last couple of days. This is perhaps a continuation to my earlier blog with the only difference that I am talking about the local girls (instead of those back home) here.

First stop, let me just clear something up just so that you get the right picture. Maybe the word "tournament" sounded a little too big a word here as some of you may start associating with those mega-scaled PGA tournaments. Here, the tournament refers to a group of people, from the business community, getting together in the form of a monthly golf tournament. So wipe off the images of those big big cardboard cheques that says "US$ 1,000,000.00" on the front of it. Over here small small only lah with a proportionately-sized trophy to boot as well. A tournament consists of roughly 60 to 100 people each and many, likely myself, are members, straddling across a few of them. By the way, most of us sucked at the game, which made it so fun to begin with.

Anyway, coming back to this last tournament. It was a 2D1N thing, out of town, as a fresh novel break away from the usual courses in the vicinity. Being a very informal setting, we have some fellow members bringing their wives and kids along as a family outing and there are other members who brought along their girlfriends.

Here's the thing that intrigued me. The girlfriends. These are the young local girls that some of the guys bring along for the weekend. No surprises that they are all young (18?) and pretty. And yes, some of these guys are married men. Back in the early days, there were still whispers and finger waggings behind their backs but now, it is very much a "no-big-deal" kind of attitude towards it. These days, showing up with a young girl in tow doesn't bother anybody anymore. We are all somehow numbed to it already.

This time round, there were about 6 such couples out of 65 people who went in 2 buses. All but one of these young girls were new faces to me. The odd one, I've met a few months before and thankfully, it was with the same guy too.

As we reached the golf course and alighted to proceed to get ready to start the tournament, the ladies would make a beeline for the lobby together to have tea and chat. I am sure these girls have never met each other before but you can't really tell at first glance as they seemed to be chatting like they have been friends for many years. I would think that their "common denominator" bonded them instantly?

So there I was, at the dinner of the final day, sharing a table with two of the couples. Both girls are probably 20 years old, give and take a year. Interesting to note is that both girls behaved very differently. Girl A was girlfriend to a guy in his early 40s while Girl B was with an older man around the age of 50+. Girl A, whom I guessed to be around 19 years of age, was obviously very new to this as she stayed silent througout the dinner with the occasional cordial smiles in between. Girl B, whom I think is about a year older, was a very different person altogether. She was confident and very chatty. You could tell that she was no stranger to this and could look you right in the eye as opposed to the quiet quiet sheepish types that tend to shirk into a quiet corner. At the dinner, I was quietly blogging this in my head. I wondered if they knew what I was thinking during dinner.

Point to note here is that I don't mean, in any way, that they are below us and that they don't belong. On contrary, I personally feel that we should welcome anyone who has taken the time to join us for our activities. I firmly believe that a guest, after all, is a guest. Regardless.

Is it morally wrong? It is not for me to judge. Like my favourite hokkien phrase, "Bor wah eh tai jee". I mean if the guy is willing to face the consequences of being involved in an affair, then why do I care? After all, I am just a bloke drinking his own beer, who just happened to be sharing a table at dinner.

I wonder if I would meet them again during the next tournament or will there be fresh introductions of new girfriends all over again?

p.s. Owing to the nature of the topic and the people in it, I wonder if it warrants a password protection? I am more inclined to think otherwise, coz all parties are protected and I am just a bystander.
- Voxeros

1. milktea left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 10:33 am
as a girl, i would personally feel bad for the wives and i wouldn't want to be friends with girls like them as judgemental as it may sound.
2. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 12:35 pm :: 
milktea: I know where you are coming from but for me, I tend to stay away and not get involved.

However, if they talk to you, it is kinda rude to ignore them lor.
3. whateverstreet left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 2:24 pm ::
dunno leh, i dislike them for their money-grubbing ways. yet,actually feel kind of sorry for them cos it's one of their society's ills.

conflicting emotions regarding this.
4. ei|een left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 5:00 pm ::
hmm. i agree that this "phenomenon" is becoming more and more prevalent nowadays. especially in certain cultures. one of the (side) effects of increasing affluency in modern society? perhaps.

i think the "not my problem" attitude, to a certain extent, is probably the safest route to take, albeit it may or may not be morally "correct". morals differ for everyone. we can only speak for ourselves and aspire to live up to our own morals and principals.

that said, the other side of the argument is - is being "bo chup" morally, or ethically "correct"? of course, this issue can be argued to hell and back, and people will still argue it.
and as much as i try not to judge people, and as much as i try to respect other people's thinkings and morals, no matter how "wrong" they seem to me, i inevitably DO end up doing it at times. but at the end of the day, i always try to calm down and tell myself that its their life, not mine.

the dilemma, i suppose, comes in when you know both parties involved and on a close personal level. ie. you know both the husband, and the wife. and either party is "flinging" on the side. what do you do then? tell, or don't tell. again, this issue has been argued forever.

personally, as a female, and as someone that has been on ALL sides of the fence (third party and been cheated on) - i have reached a point where i simply hate to be caught in between. so when such things happen, i only say something if i truly care too deeply for my friend and i know he/she can accept what i say.

but i always tell my friends, my advice is just words. whatever you wanna do, just do it. because i know that sometimes, it is hard to follow advice when your heart tells you to just go full steam ahead. and i tell them i won't blame you, because i understand how it feels. no matter what happens, i will always be here, good or bad. its your life. YOU live it. i am purely support staff. i can NEVER live your life for you, nor should i EVER make your decisions for you. no one else can, except YOU.

oh, and personally, after everything i've experienced, i absolutely detest unfaithfulness. but i accept it as a facet of life. it won't go away. so i just have to choose not to condone it and not to practise it. i cannot change the world's mindsets.

my goodness! this is only damn long comment! i'm sorry, jay! just that i feel pretty strongly about this issue.

thanks for writing about this and giving me a chance to air my thoughts. i really needed to "unburden" myself, so this is just in the nick of time! :)
5. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 5:57 pm :: 
whateverstreet: I cite to you the example of Rahab from the Old Testament. She was a prostitute whom God eventually forgave . What that tells us is that we are all equal udner God. So I tell myself not to judge other people, regardless.

My take on the situation is to stay out of the way and let God sort them out at the end of the day.

E|leen: Please don't apologise as I am more than delighted to get such a long comment. The length of it is just you putting quite a bit of thought into it.

You are right in the sense that we, more often than not, have our hands tied behind our backs, so ironically the best way to handle this is to do nothing.

I have gotten myself into situations where I was trying to be helpful by getting myself involved only to be branded as a busybody who aggravated the situation more. Getting in between a crossfire is a stupid thing. Volunteer to get in between a crossfire is a stupid person.

p.s. Like I said was really glad to hear from you. I got total silence with the occasional cricket chirps when I hit the publish button for this blog. I was thinking "oh dear", if I had just written something too heavy. Glad to hear from you.
6. AKK left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 6:25 pm
I tend to take your stand on this. that is, to be a bystander, because seriously when i try to help or advise, ppl might take it badly. afterall, they already know they are doing something wrong. Since they did it, they obviously will not take kindly to criticism or uppity advice. on the other hand, if they are my good frens or my good frens are the one being cheated...i've got to do something...
7. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 7:00 pm :: 
AKK: It's true when those who are involved and caught inside will never be able (or even want *la la la la la*) to hear what we, on the outside, with a clearer perspective, have to say.

As friends, the most we can do is to just be there to help pick up the pieces when they fall back down on the ground.
8. anna left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 12:35 am
Yeah, first impression, we would usually think of them as money-grubbing, but given the poverty they once were in, it's no surprises why this behaviour. It's sad of course. But I would say, since there is demand (all those men), why not supply? Well, not that I would provide any.
9. vandice left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 2:57 am
They're human too. It's the guys we should look down on lah (I mean those married ones). How can they do this to their loved ones, esp. the wife? Can they look their wives in the eye and say "I'm not fooling around?" Girls wise, I dunno if its bcos they're gullible (cos they're very young), forced by circumstances (financially), amoral/immoral (today's cash is king mentality) or just out for some fun/thrill. That said, it's still wrong to do so. For me, one is more than enough woman for me to handle. Tiring ok, PMS, mood swings and all...
10. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 29 June 2005 7:16 am ::
anna: There is actually 2 ways of looking at this. I agree that most of these girls come from very poor backgrounds and that they often need to send a big portion of their earnings back to support their family back home. 

However, I see 2 types of them. Those who earn an honest living like the caddies, waitresses, factory workers etc.. And then there are the ones who want the easy way of fast cash. 

You are right, this is a two-way street of supply and demand. 

vandice: I need to pull you back a little here before all the blame gets dumped onto the guys. Like I said earlier to anna, it takes two hands to clap. 

Girls-wise, let me continue from where I left off earlier. From my observation, the majority of them are in there for the fast money. What the factory girl earn in a month, they can earn in a day. So imagine working 21 days (less big auntie) per month, the girl essentially earns almost 2 years' of pay in a single month. 

However, you think that they will stop after that? No, money is an addiction, they will continue to crave for more as their lifestyle changed. They start to have latent needs of luxury stuff which means that they want to keep doing this to keep up their comfortable lifestyle. 

It's a case of once you have tasted the "good stuff", you never want to give it up and go back.

24 June 2005

Movie Baton

INCOMING!!! TAKE COVER!!! Oh wait..... it's just a movie baton thrown into my backyard by WonkyTong.

"...Do, or do not..." - Yoda

Of course do lah. WonkyTong throw one leh... mai siao siao hor!

Total Number of films I own on DVD/Video:
Just two. I have bought quite a fair amount of DVDs but mostly as gifts to friends and families. Then of course, there is me sneaking the disc into the DVD player for a good once-thru before handing it over. (I need to test the DVD to make sure not faulty, mah!)

In my humble collection, I have only Happy Gilmore and Se7en which I will cover more about them below. As for the Star Wars collection, I am waiting for Episodes VII, VIII & IX to come up before taking the entire collection in one swoop. Hopefully, that would happen within my lifetime.

The Last Film I Bought:

Rice Rhapsody - Starring Sylvia Chang and Martin Yan.

It's good with a nice story line and I was quite amazed by Sylvia's command of Singlish. Wah piang eh. Si beh hor leh! As for Martin Yan? Well, let's just say that he tried his best liao.

Five Films I Watch A Lot/Mean a Lot to Me

1. Se7en - Starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey and Gwyneth Paltrow.

This is my ALL TIME favourite in the Thriller/Mystery Category as well as Overall Favourite. Like I said in my earlier blog, this was one of the rare movies where the bad guy won at the end of the show. While I believe the act of murder is wrong, but I just can't help but in awe of the way John Doe planned and executed (no pun intended) the murders. They were simply brilliant. Yes people, there is art even in the worst of things.

2. Happy Gilmore - Starring Adam Sandler

This is my favourite in the Sports Category. A must-see for all golfers. You can't be a real golfer until you see this movie. There is a cameo by Ben Stiller in the movie as well. Happy, who aspired to be a ice-hockey player but sucked at it, decided to try his hand at golf in his effort to raise enough money to save his grandma's home. I liked it the way Happy brought the often regarded snooty game of the rich down to earth, where all sports should be.

3. Spaceballs - Starring Rick Moranis, Mel Brooks and John Candy.

Winners of JayWalk's favourite Sci-Fi and Comedy categories. I am a big fan of Mel Brooks who also brought us Robin Hood : Men In Tights, Dracula : Dead And Loving It as well as the TV series, Get Smart. Mel Brooks style of coming is very much like the amazing writing/producing trio of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (who brought us The Kentucky Fried Movie, Airplane!, Top Secret!, Hot Shots!, Naked Gun and the TV series, Police Squad!). Judging from the list of movies, I would say that it is quite obvious what kind of movies tickle my funny bone the most. Yup, it's the parodies.

One thing about parodies is that you have to be "in the know" in order to catch the hidden jokes. Granted that those movies are funny on their on, catching the "easter eggs" will make you one of the "elite few" who caught what the rest of the world had missed.

4. Monsters Inc. - Featuring the voices of John Goodman and Billy Crystal.

I have been a animation addict since I was a little kid. Monsters Inc. wins my Favourite Animated Feature award. The beauty of these computer animated features are the attention to details. How the single strand of hair move, how the single drop of water fall, etc. Other computer animated features that deserve honourable mention are Toy Story, and the recent Madagascar. The rest like The Incredibles, A Bug's Life, Antz, Shrek and Finding Nemo are also pretty enjoyable, though I can't say the same for Shark Tale and Robots as I find thzzzzzzzzzz..........

5. A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 & 4 - Starring er.... I have no idea.

I sure you are all wondering what and how the heck did these two make it to my Top 5. The category doesn't specify that I have to like the movie right? Anyway, I have watched these 2 movies in the cinemas a LOT of times. I have never liked Freddy movies but somehow, I did blow a big chunk of my pocket money on the movie tickets.

Alright, I confess. I was there making-out. I remembered when cinemas were huge compared to the present day cineplexes. The old dames like Odeon, Capitol, Lido, Clementi, Queenstown were often than not empty in the afternoons (those 3pm showtimes). When it came to crappy movies like Freddy, the whole place was lagi empty, even the Ah Peks with the umbrellas would also go elsewhere "more happening" (like YangTze?). Under the cover of the theatre's darkness, we would sneaked all the way to the back of the circle seats, making out like crazy, in the comfort of aircon on a sweltering afternoon. Heh heh... those crazy teenage years.....

So now you know.

Oh yes, one more thing. I still don't know what the movies were all about coz I never did have a chance to actually watch them. *sheepish*

Five people to whom I'm passing the baton:

Image Credit:;;

- Voxeros

1. vandice left...
Friday, 24 June 2005 10:00 pm
Make-out king! I presume tt's you and yer wife dating issit? How else will you have the 'courage' to blog abt this huh?
2. anna left...
Friday, 24 June 2005 11:01 pm
Making out? Gosh! So you were one of those fiends who "wet the seats" at the cinemas... I'm shocked!
3. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 25 June 2005 12:30 am :: 
anna: Fiend you head lah! This type of thing takes two hands to clap one hor! Don't pretend pretend hor? I am sure you also done it before right? :P

vandice: Er.... acherly hor, it's not my wife. I met my wife only much later.
Read The Queen & I - Part I then follow the link onto Part II.
4. AKK left...
Sunday, 26 June 2005 11:28 pm
wah lau! such a juicy bit of detail you left it till the end? ahahaha....oh no, my imagination is running wild...on the floor or the seats?did the popcorn bits bother you?

hehehe....anyway, I'm a fan of Adam sandler but i like Ben Stiller more...esp in zoolander.:)
5. JayWalk left...
Monday, 27 June 2005 8:56 am ::
AKK: Floor? Popcorn bits??!!! Wah lao eh! Just making out only lah... no need to do on the floor one lah... besides, the floor is sooo disgusting back in the 80s. Last time no carpet one and the floor is sticky sticky from all the spilled soda. 

Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller were from the same stable of the Saturday Night Live shows. I like them both although Sandler's role tend to be limited to those characters with anger management problems.

23 June 2005

What A Girl Wants

This conversation came up when I was with BioMan at Balaclava on the night that I just touched down in Singapore.

He was pouring his problems out to me. When it comes to guy talk, problems only come in 2 categories. Money and Women. Well, BioMan is a rich guy and it wasn't surprising to learn that it was a problem of the latter nature. I can tell you, this guy is cursed. He attracts everybody and everything to him like a super-charged electro-magnet on overdrive. From aunties to JC girls with the occasional Joe (!). Single, married, divorced, widowed, underage, colleague, client, supplier, you name it! Like a moth to an open flame. Like a girl-friday to a Mango sale. Like a chee-ko-pek to the naked blog. Like a kopi-soh to the Toto station... ok ok... you get the picture.

Before you guys start going bonkers with your imagination, he is a good husband, a good father, a good boyfriend friend to many. He was just getting exhausted from having to shoo the unwanted attraction away everyday.

So I asked what is the "thing" that got them all fluttering to him. While he said that he doesn't really know about the older (read: working already) ones, he was dead sure that the younger ones are attracted to the smell of money. Other advantages of nabbing an older guy is that he is more mature and knows how to treat the girlfriend better. However, the fundamental base of this older-guy-pyramid is that he is more financially stable i.e. able to cater to her material desires. Lose that base and everything above it just won't stand. So ultimately, it is still about money.

I couldn't believe what I heard but when he said it with such a dead-pan expression, I believed he was serious about his remark. Well, before every lady (and the occasional Joe) goes all up-in-arms over his statement, I would think that he didn't make that remark as a sweeping statement to all the girls. I believed, he was only refering to a small segment of the female population which incidentally is getting more and more prevalent these days.

"... They are in abundance and very easy to get one...." - Identity Withheld.

Sheena concurred with that theory when I asked her about this topic. She said that she sees a lot of them in NUS and that it is pretty much out in the open these days. She said that it is a win-win deal for both. The younger lass gets all the doting from the guy and the guy has a sweet young "trophy girlfriend" in return.

Bear in mind, that I offer no judgement if this is right or wrong as I feel that we should have the freedom to do what we want to do. I strongly opposed to judging a person based on the "social norms".

However, the burning question here is:

Has it been like that all these while or do I just happened to be the last one to find out?

Tell me.

P.S. Why Sheena keeps advertising me as her "sugar daddy". I'll never know. *groan*
P.P.S. Belle, don't you even think about it. grr......
P.P.P.S Somebody's mom actually warned my friend against me coz "married men only wants one thing". *face palm*

Image Credit:;;
- Voxeros

1. barffie left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 4:08 pm
There is no hope for the human race. Haha. It's kinda true, I've seen girls flock to a guy, no matter how old and ugly he is, as long as he is rich, anything goes. The poor, nice dudes can only watch.
2. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 4:15 pm ::
barffie: Ok... so the score now is 1 and 0 (Agree vs Disagree).

I am sure this is not new coz I have friends, during my Uni days, who got involved with much older guys. One of the guys was even married!

Let me ask you this. Would you agree that there is a sudden surge in number of such cases i.e. is it starting to be a common thing these days?
3. Pam left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 5:10 pm
not just an sg phenomenon.... it's all around... !i don't think there's a sudden surge, i think it's an increasing phenomenon tho. and we are probably more aware of it because we are 'richer', we are 'married' and we are the 'targets' (or spouses/friends of targets). you think?
4. aGentX left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 5:12 pm ::
Wealth is an aphrodisiac to many people...i think it has been there for ages.... :)
5. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 5:22 pm :: 
Pam: I think the "we are targets" is probably why all of a sudden, I start noticing these things.

Strangely, Kelly Wannabe always pop into my mind when writing this. Alas the lass has to be classified under my "older" category. Ouch.

aGentX: So have you been targeted lately? ;)
6. AKK left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 8:55 pm
I think you've been hanging in the right crowd if you don't know about this phenomenon. It's a clue you can keep all the friends you have, eheheh.... My own friends and I are all poor like beggars...we say we like to dream of having a rich bf/gf, but seriously, the single rich ones, regardless of age, are mostly bratty becos they know they're rich...which leaves us going for the poor nice ones instead. it's a vicious economic cycle...we shall remain poor the rest of our lives...:)
7. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 10:27 pm :: 
AKK: Rich is a subjective term lah... However, I find your blanket statement on all rich guys are bratty a bit disagreeable for I do know a lot of "rich guys" who are humble and very nice people. The BioMan in the blog is one fine example.

Have a bit more faith, ok?
8. Anna left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 11:11 pm
I don't go specifically for guys with money and wealth, whether young or old. I also don't go for older men. Most of them are married...
9. JayWalk left...
Friday, 24 June 2005 12:02 am ::
Anna: I think I better pull the brakes here before everybody starts concluding that all rich guys are bad and evil...

Some of them *ahem* are good people what??!! No?
10. Sheena left...
Friday, 24 June 2005 12:47 am
Honey, the answer is, you are the last one to find out. Girls have been attracted to the smell of money since they decided to choose only the strongest cavemen because the strong ones could hunt better for food! Same principle applies nowadays, just that civilisation has changed from hunting deer and elephants to making money.

And there's nothing wrong in you being my sugar daddy, damn, it's something I'm proud of! You think every girl want sugar daddy can have ah? Some more my sugar daddy got standard one ok (both looks and money)!

And you also win hor, you get a beautiful young thing like me on your arm each time we go out. See? It's beneficial for both parties!
11. aGentX left...
Friday, 24 June 2005 2:23 am ::
i'm not a suitable candidate for this...would rather think it because of my charm and nice hands than anything...heheh...
12. 9 left...
Friday, 24 June 2005 1:30 pm ::
let me win 10 mill toto...and i will find out the answer and tell u. :)
13. Akk left...
Friday, 24 June 2005 3:54 pm
haiyah....i just know i'd be slammed for being prejudiced...actually i am lah. must change...bad habit siah, but good to know you've got great frens! :)
14. JayWalk left...
Friday, 24 June 2005 6:18 pm ::
Sheena: Man... you sure buttering up hiong hiong for the iPod har... Help! Andy! Save me! Go buy her an iPod! Please!!

aGentX: So what you been doing with your charm and nice hands lately? ;)
Ah 9: Here's wishing you the bestest of luck so that you can faster hurry tell me your findings! :)

AKK: Not slamming you lah. Just asking for you to give chance to those who "accidentally" stumbled into the income bracket lah..
15. airhole left...
Sunday, 26 June 2005 1:20 pm
Not all rich guys are evil... but most guys in general are... so how?
point being, girls are evil as well...

boy i think i am going down with this statement.. haha
16. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 26 June 2005 9:17 pm :
airhole: You sure are setting yourself up for this one. ~LOL.

22 June 2005

Summer Storms In Hong Kong

Just my luck to be going down to Hong Kong yesterday, only to walk right into Amber Rainstorm and Thunderstorm warning alerts. NB.....

Had it been a trip of leisure, I wouldn't have bitched as much. But I was in Hong Kong for business. NB... I have 3 bank meetings lined up back-to-back. I swear I will scream if I see so much as a glimpse of another banker this week.

As I don't have a car that allowed to drive into Hong Kong, I always travel south on foot i.e. buses, trains, subways. For some strange reasons, I don't like to take cabs in Hong Kong. Always prefer to walk and to take in the sights at the same time.

Walking in the storm reminds me of the time where I braved the GaleForce 8 and Black Storm alerts just so that I can buy a Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt for a friend as I was scheduled to fly home the day after.

It was 22nd August 1999. I was in Kowloon walking in the direction of Marco Polo Hotel where HRC was on its right-hand-side about 100m away. The TV was flashing the Black Rainstorm and GaleForce 8 alerts as Typhoon Sam was approaching. Stupid me, being not exactly very familiar with all these alerts then, decided to brave the rain to go fulfill my promise to a friend.

The rain was pretty heavy and the umbrella that I bought from a nearby 7-11 store proved to be pretty useless. Here's the kick-in-the-nuts news. HRC was closed due to the weather alerts. NAH BEH!!!!! So I trodded back to my hotel, all drenched and empty handed sans 01 x 7-11 umbrella. Si beh doo lan.....

It wasn't until I watched the news on the telly that I realised how bad the weather was. A China Airlines MD-11 Flight 642 went belly-up as it tried to land in the gusty conditions. If I recalled correctly from the computer animated re-enactment of the plane's attempt to land, it went like this:

1) Plane descends as it approaches the runway.
2) Cross-wind blow from the side causing the plane to tilt.
3) Right wing of the plane caught the tarmac of the runway and broke off.
4) Plane flipped over as a result.
5) Plane lands on its belly with the topside of the plane screeching along the lenght of the runway and eventually veering off to the grass patch to a halt.
6) Plane finally stops with wheels sticking in the air.

I went to the airport to catch my flight home the next morning and there was a big commotion going on there. Long lines of people were forming at the China Airlines counters trying to cancel their flights and making arrangements to fly via another. Luckily, my check-in was smooth as I was flying Cathay Pacific that day. As my plane was taxiing out towards the runway, I could see the belly-up plane up close as our plane passed it by. It was quite a sight and we silently prayed for a safe trip on our own flight.

As I had heard, because of the fact that the plane was in one piece (body-wise) there was no way of moving the wreckage. It took quite a few weeks for the recovery teams to hack up the plane into 3 portions before being able to remove the plane, one piece at a time.

In case anyone is interested to know, I gave HRC t-shirt friend the 7-11 umbrella instead.

Coming back to the present day, MeePok just SMSed me today saying that he was in Hong Kong and was asking if can meet up for lunch. Alamak early don't say! I would have come down a day later to meet you. Bladdy tah pai kar lim peh ump kong... si nong kia...

Anyway Meepok should be considered lucky for missing the storm yesterday. While amber rainstorm is regarded as mild in my books, I can't say it would be the same for him. After all, he flew in from sunny Singapore.

Have a safe trip back, bro. Hope it is not China Airlines you're taking.

Image Credit:;
- Voxeros

1. Meepok left...
Wednesday, 22 June 2005 10:15 pm
Bro Jay, this posting provides me a lot of comfort. I'm heading to HK this Friday. Thanks a lot man.

Hey, don't shy lah ... come to HK on Fri night. We'll go party, party.
2. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 22 June 2005 10:19 pm ::
Buay sai leh. I got tournament in HuiZhou on Sat/Sunday.
3. anna left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 3:09 am
What's amber rainstorm? Never heard of it. The rain is yellow in color? Or it comes in a flash, just like the amber light.
4. Meepok left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 8:26 am
Nin a hia ..... I could be booked on China Airlines. Let me check with my sec .... wah... heng ah .... it's Coffee, Tea or me (SQ). Good luck for your tournament on Sat. I'll assume it's golf (no further explanation from you needed).
5. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 23 June 2005 9:01 am :: 
anna: It's a warning system machiam like traffic lights i.e. green, amber, red, black (fuse blown).
Click on the links provided at the "amber alert" to get a more detail description. 

MeePok: Check this out -->Ch1na Airlines Crash Record
Of course golf lah... what else can it be that is in the form of a tournament?

21 June 2005

Happy Father's Day +1

Got this very funny and clever ad from MeePokTah, who in turn got it from his friend Gazy-Boy.

Initially, I wanted to post this blog on Sunday to coincide with Father's Day but alas a friend passed away the day before and therefore his event shall take a precedence over mine.

While most kids celebrate Father's Day with their fathers, this particular family had to spend it without. Ahh.. such is the irony in life where the dad's funeral had to be on Father's Day. Cruel fate isn't it?

Ok, that's enough of death for now. Go back to my previous blog if you want more of that. Otherwise, it is on to happier things.

I thought this Durex ad was brilliantly witty. Had me in chuckles. Actually the brand durex reminded me of my University days where I wanted to invite them to sponsor our matriculation maze. In return for their sponsorship to our orientation events, I was agreeable to have their samples in the Freshman Goodie Packs as well as to fly a giant helium balloon in the shape of the prophylactic for an entire week. Too bad the Students' Affairs Office frown on it so much that the whole sponsorship deal went flaccid (no pun intended). Our budget shriveled by a few thousand dollars prematurely. Damn.

Anyway, coming back to Father's Day, guess what? I got my first ever Father's Day present! Faith made this thingie in school which I have no idea what is really is but I really don't care lah.... the important thing is that she made it for me. *beams* Going to find a place for it, in the mean time. The thing is that Faith and my Father's Day prezzie is in Singapore while I am stuck in Ch1na. I guess a digital photograph of it, taken by the wifey, will do for now until I get back in September (hopefully!).

Speaking of my two kids, here another picture (below) of the two of them sleeping soundly together. I like the picture very much as it brought out the peace and serenity in me as I see them sleeping. It was also a funny picture and both Big sister and little brother sleeps alike with respect to their "poses" . I wonder if the wife and I sleeps that way too... hmm...

Image Credit:

- Voxeros

1. Sheena left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 1:40 pm
Gosh, Faith and Gabe look sooooooooo cute together! And it's so funny how they sleep in identical poses! *ROFL*

I think Faith's got quite a bit of artistic talent too. I think that thingy she made for you is something like a self-made photo frame. A rather ingenious idea from a 3 year old girl.

And yikes, Gabe still looks like you. Why couldn't he have inherited your wife's good looks instead? =p
2. Lexandria left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 1:56 pm
They are so adorable!

Guess your heart melted when you saw that gift digitally.

Happy (belated) Daddy's Day To You Then.
3. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 9:19 pm ::
Sheena: Actually she is only 2. I think she had a bit of help from the teacher but I am just going to pretend I didn't know that. haha.

Lexandria: Thanks for the greet. Actually seeing the picture of the gift was a mixed bag of emotions.
On one hand, it was fantastic as it was my first Father's Day gift ever. Hand-made some more... mai siao siao hor!

On the other hand, it was really painful to see it as it reminded me of the distance of our separation. Till September, I hope.
4. anna left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 10:51 pm
That was a wonderful father's day gift. (Well, don't mean the card, but the star ornament made by Faith.) I'm impressed! Oh yes, the two of them sleeping together is so adorable. They look alike. Hmmmm, they probably look more like your wife.
5. vandice left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 11:00 pm
Ooh! So CUUUUUUUUUUUTE... Jay, I sympathize with you. Can see cannot hold. Can hear cannot touch. Quick, go home quick. Or bring them over. They grow up veli fast one...
6. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 11:00 pm :: 
anna: Basket... you all ah, all one by one give me all the backhanded compliment.... grrr.....
7. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 11:06 pm ::
vandice: Yah lor... hor kuar bor hor jiak. Machiam geh tio siah.... 

Can't go home so soon yet leh coz daddy have to work in order to afford goo nee hoon. 

Probably bring them over next spring when the little one finish all his jabs and the weather not so cold up here.

19 June 2005


I just returned from a funeral today. A fellow member from my golf team passed away on Friday night. He was only 37 when his heart gave up on him. The news came to us as a shock as we were among the younger ones in the expat community over here.

There were no doubt that there will be friends and family who will helping to take care of the wife and kids in their time of grief but what is going to happen to his business? As a fellow business owner, this had certainly struck me deep in the heart (no pun intended). It was not a question of an altruistic nature. I am not asking what would happen to the livelhood of the staff and their family. It was more of a selfish nature as I wonder how all the fruits of his labour going to come back to the family? It is out there in a foreign land and I wondered how this can be returned. How do we take it back home?

As I entered the hall to pay my last respect, I was handed a pair of joss sticks. I felt this wasn't the time nor place to be arguing over the differences of our faiths and so I took the joss sticks and said a silent prayer for a friend. Even if the joss sticks were irrelevant to me, I am sure he would have appreciated it anyway. You should have seen the little daugther bawling her eyes out. It was heartwrenching.

When I stepped out of the hall, I looked up at the sky and pondered at my own life. It seemed only yesterday that we were celebrating each other's 21st birthday, each other's graduation, each other's first pay check, weddings, baby showers and today, our walk of life and enter a new stage as we start to bid farewell to our friends who are beginning to leave us. I guess this is where my moniker for this blog come from. JayWalk.

Other than the usual thoughts about our own mortality, it got me thinking about our links to our friends. Immediate friends and family would have known about the passing via word of mouth from one person to the other. What about those who are known only to the deceased himself? How would they know? I am thinking about my own friends on the net. Many of them whom I have never met. Ever since I started blogging a few years ago, I have made friends from the blogosphere. Our usual modes of communication are the usual instant messengers, emails and each other's blogs. Then come that one day when all of a sudden, the communication stops. How would they know what had happened?

I was chatting online with a friend just a few days ago about the lost of contact. I must say that in this time and age of modern technology, losing contact is quite unlikely, except perhaps the event of death itself. I remembered it was more common to lose contact with our friends from far away before we had the internet. The usual scenario would be the case where the letters just stopped on the part of our laziness. Be it a penpal, an ex-classmate who had gone overseas to study or a friend who had migrated. The letters were frequent in the initial months but they would start to dwindle as we get distracted by our separate new lives. I remembered my first penpal when I was just 10 years old. She was an Australian girl from Tasmania by the name of Belinda Gobel. I wonder if any of you actually seen or even know what an aerogramme was? We corresponded for a few years before we got lazy and let that link fade into oblivion. I also remembered an ex-girlfriend who was my JC school-mate. She left for Australia to further her studies after our A-Levels. We were just friends then and we wrote regularly with the occasional audio tape along with it. It was a good 3 years before she returned and we got together as a couple but only briefly. When she left for Australia for good the second time, we had emails and ICQ by then. We went through her subsequent marriage, divorce, second marriage and recently the birth of her first child. We maintained the link all this while although I must admit, I am starting to slack off again. Perhaps, it's a good time now to drop her a note to see how she is doing.

Perhaps this is a wake up call for me not to take my friends for granted and should actively keep in touch with them for once the link is lost, it is pretty hard to get it back.

So to Belinda, if you are reading this. Drop me a mail will ya? Would love to hear from you again after more than 20 years.

To Shirley, email me your cellphone number as a backup. Frank-ly, it would be a pity to lose a dear friend this way.

Perhaps also, I should write a note for my family, in the event of my demise. It won't be a will but a letter of instruction and a list of people to inform, instead of leaving them in silent limbo.

So to all my friends and good buddies, from the ones that I grew up with to the ones that I only recently gotten to know on the net and everybody else in between.

I love you all.

Image Credit:
- Voxeros

1. Merenwen left...
Sunday, 19 June 2005 7:36 pm
Gosh, my condolences. Don't be so morbid yeah? And as for whatever referring to yourself... CHOI!!!

2. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 19 June 2005 8:42 pm ::
Sheena: Nothing's going to happen to me lah. Don't worry about that. It's just that I tend to think quite far ahead.

Just like doing this blog in the hope that I may compile it into a book for my grandchildren.
How's that for thinking far?

3. AKK left...
Sunday, 19 June 2005 10:18 pm
hey, I am sorry to hear about your friend. I've got a classmate who suddenly dies after jogging in school.... it's a shock to us because he was a long dist. runner and very healthy.

4. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 19 June 2005 11:01 pm :: 
AKK: The people at the funeral were speculating what happened. Some said it was the smoking, others said it was the pressure from the business and yet some stoopid jokers said that the chubby guy died due to lack of cardio exercise because he doesn't womanise like the rest of them. *face palm*

Here's my take of the situation in just 4 words. His time was up.

5. CiN left...
Sunday, 19 June 2005 11:33 pm
oh dear. my condolences. i'm also reminded of a Girls' Brigade junior who committed suicide w/o anyone of us knowing at all. she was only sec 1 :(! it was just so sudden cuz she was still smiling widely to all of us on the exact same day when she committed suicide. sighs. you're absolutely right about treasuring all the relationships and friendships. after crying buckets that day, i decide to treat every single one that i come across with care and love :). (omg this is sooo orbiang la! oh well.) i'm really glad that technology has helped us soo much! anw, dun be too upset over it k :).

6. jaschocolate left...
Sunday, 19 June 2005 11:54 pm
Yeah.. i agree... his time is up.. Nobody knows when we will die or not... That's the scary part but also the wonderful part, as we will learn to cherish our present lives more..

7. Meepok left...
Monday, 20 June 2005 8:15 am
I love you too.

Weath and material stuff are transient. To me, at the end of the day, relationships are all that matter. Hence I'm working on being a good and filial son, loving hubby and a loyal friend (note: good boss and subordinate not included in the list).

Hey, thanks for being a friend after all these years.

8. JayWalk left...
Monday, 20 June 2005 9:12 am :: 
CiN: Suicide? Oh dear. I know of a friend who attempted suicide when back in the Uni but fortunately she survived.

jaschocolate: Yah lor.... you may be a perfectly healthy specimen and still die from a falling piano. Carpé Diem!

Meepok: Ok.... we are starting to sound very gay here. -_-"

Say, how long have we know each other? 21 years? Ahh.. the good ol' chatek days....

9. aGentX left...
Monday, 20 June 2005 2:41 pm ::
sorry to read about your friend.

yes, mortality is something that we have taken for granted.

serve all, love's hard rock cafe motto! but along that similar lines, lah...

time to catch up with old/new friends here too...thanks.

10. Sheena left...
Monday, 20 June 2005 2:48 pm
Hey thought you might like this. Check out Andy's views on XX vs SPG at

For once, he actually writes well (minus the grammar and spelling mistakes, heh). I'm so proud of him. One more for the Anti-Bandung Vader troops!

11. JayWalk left...
Monday, 20 June 2005 3:20 pm :: 
aGentX: Hard Rock Café... ahhh. The memories from a long time ago when we were young a foolish.

Sheena: Went over to Andy's blog. Buay pai leh! Granted there are the typos and grammar boo boos but let's us not be anal here. heh heh... More importantly, is that I get what he said. Hear Hear!
Adding him to my blogroll. *click*

12. anna left...
Monday, 20 June 2005 11:13 pm
Sorry to hear about your friend. He was young. The first thing I thought of was his family, and how they cope with it.

However, like you said, his time was up. I suppose, the most impt thing for many of us is, to live meaningfully and not take things for granted.

13. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 12:31 am ::
anna: He was a good guy when he was alive and naturally, a lot of good friends stepped up and offered to help.

In fact, the 6 golf teams (of which I am in 2 of them) are planning to raised half a million RMB for the children as their education endowment fund. We pray that money will not be an obstacle in future for the 2 bright young kids to receive a good education.

Such is the unity and friendship of the expat community here. Golf just happened to be our common language here.

14. barffie left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 10:40 am
Life is full of changes. And there's nothing we can do about such things. Healthy people may drop dead suddenly, and hardcore smokers might live to a ripe old age. It's the irony that keeps us amazed at this thing called "life" isn't it? Death is a part of life, and all we can do is, indeed, treasure everyone and love everyone as if it's your last day.

15. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 11:02 pm :: 
barffie the Empire Slayer: Well said indeed. So let bring out the booze and hoon kees!!!
... and in the mean time look out above regularly for falling pianos.

17 June 2005

Looking In From The Outside

Now that $traits Times is off-limits to the rest of us poor people... I have no choice but to turn to TodayOnline for my daily fix of home news.

Petrol Price War

The first article that caught my eye was about the fierce competition between the petrol companies that is starting to get out of hand. With one company trying to do one up on the other's discount. So much so that they are starting to look a bit foolish. But hey, got discount leh!

Too bad, I am away from Singapore and had sold my car since. Otherwise I would have loads of fun playing Scavenger Car Rally for the bestest petrol deal. Say, how much does a litre of petrol cost these days anyway? S$1.50 for Octane 98? So if the discount is 23% off then it should work out to be around S$1.12. Right?

Forgive me for asking a stupid question here. Why can't they just drop the bladdy price to S$1.12 instead of having to jack up to such a high number and then bringing it down again? Very fun is it? Or is there some kind of a law that prevents them from doing so? If yes, then is it me or do I smell price fixing here?

For a country that prides itself in efficiency. This is certainly quite contradicting, isn't it? How about this for a suggestion. Why don't the petrol companies scrap all these discount schemes and just sell them at whatever the eventual target price was supposed to be? Let's lose the marketing advertisements, signboards and what nots as well, then pass on the savings to the consumers? I bet there is another 10 cents for all of us from there. No? Then lose the marketing people, since we don't need anymore of their hare-brained ideas, then perhaps Yes?

Then again, what do I know? I am just a simple bloke and I don't even own a car.

Sports vs God

It warms my heart to learn that we have discovered not one but a pair of sports prodigies. Young athletes with the potential of greatness in the triathlon event. It's being quite a while since we last had anyone new to fly the Singapore flag proudly in the international sport arena. Yes, I think we have continuity.

Then we learned that there is a snag in the training schedule. No cycling training for them on Sunday coz it's the church day with the family, which may be potentially fatal to their sports careers.

"... It's a shame because both Araunah and Ornan possess the natural talent to be excellent triathletes... It's disheartening when athletes can't sacrifice for their sport..." - Stephen Lee (Honorary Secretary, Triathlon Association of Singapore)

The quotes by Stephen Lee kind of made me sit up and re-read it again. The word "shame" jumped out at me and initially I was up in arms questioning where is the "shame" in putting God and family ahead of everything else? Then it dawned on me that the "shame" refers to Lee's disappointment. Silly me.

Still it is a touchy subject when he said the word "sacrifice". It is kinda hard to make a call here. On the one hand, how do you sacrifice God? On the other hand, is Sunday the only day that we worship God?

I am sure something can be worked out between both parties. TAS has a valid point regarding the traffic condition on Sundays while I also think that church is something that doesn't take up the whole day. Surely, there is a way to fit both schedules into the Sunday? I certainly hope so.

Image credit:
- Voxeros

1. anna left...
Saturday, 18 June 2005 1:23 am
The petrol price wage is new to me. Is that really Singapore? And what's the thing with 23% discount?

They expect every Singaporean to carry around a calculator....
2. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 18 June 2005 7:24 am ::
Well, we all know that the petrol prices has been shooting up (no thanks to Bush) over the years.

With the war more or less over and life back to normal, pertrol companies, for some strange reasons, just "couldn't" revise the prices down. Instead they started throwing all sorts of discounts to acheive that. Almost like making two wrongs to get that one right.

I believe some petrol stations requires you to go the cashier to pay in order to get the discounts. So if you swipe the credit card at the pump itself, you pay the full price. Really stoopid, if you ask me.
3. kryx left...
Saturday, 18 June 2005 4:32 pm
I don't think you know much much about market economics. If things were so simple like you say, we don't need economists and accountants.

The normal price is the optimal price. They can give small discounts to attract customers but at 26% discount, they are losing money. It won't last.

In fact today, many stations have already gone back to the small discounts. I think in a few days times the discount war will end. It happened before but not at such a big discount.

You don't have to cuculate yourself. The computer at the casheir will do it automatically. Don't worry - no cheating, no dishonesty.
4. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 18 June 2005 4:55 pm :: 
kyyx: You are certainly very perceptive in your deduction that (a) I know not much of market economics and (b) I am a simple person.

Perhaps I should add an extension to my blog here.

I was thinking out loud why Singapore can't do it like other some other countries e.g. UK and US where the prices are daily rated?

I don't mean to say that there are dishonesty in the calculations in the discounts because I agree with you that it would probably be taken care of by the cashier's machine.

What I thought wrong is why jack up the pricing so high and then advertise a "big discount" machiam they are doing us such a BIG favour?

I rather they (the petrol companies) just give it to us straight i.e. if they want to sell us at $1.20 then just sell it to us at $1.20 instead of going the roundabout way of offering to take $0.30 off the $1.50 price. Then if the next day, they want to sell us at $1.25 then just sell it to us at $1.25. Quit beating the around the bladdy bush!

You follow me?

5. CiN left...
Saturday, 18 June 2005 10:26 pm
regarding the athlete thing, seriously i think the association should put the trainings on Saturdays instead. or any other day but Sunday. this isn't the first case of athletes giving up their sports cuz of church. i already heard of a few in my own church, and i felt that they could have been more sensitive lo. this is how it is if they want to preserve the talents right? must it only be Sunday? no other days MEH. hahaha.
6. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 18 June 2005 10:59 pm ::
CiN: It would have been feasible it was some other event that they were training for. In their case, it's cycling. The second leg of the triathlon where it has to be done on the open road.
What not Saturday? Coz it has more traffic that Sunday which in turn poses a danger to the athletes when they are training.

This is the exact reason why I fell short of jumping down Stephen Lee's throat when he made those comments. I could see it from his point of view even though by right (for me, at least), God should come first before everything else. However, if everybody were to put their heads together, I am sure there will be a mutually agreeable solution to this.
7. Meepok left...
Sunday, 19 June 2005 2:40 pm
Jay - Greetings from Melbourne. Hey, the petrol industry in S'pore is an oligopoly. All par-kart one. If one offers discount, the rest will do so in 10 min. The reason why they'd offer discounts rather than price reductions is because price reductions are more sticky. Once you give it, harder to take back than discounts. This is in marketing 101.

Re posting prices at entrances of kiosk, I wrote to ST Forum. They published my letter. But NB, none of the oily boys responded. NB.
8. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 19 June 2005 3:29 pm :: 
MeePok: Well, yes and no. You may be right about price reduction being more sticky but that is only if the people are not used to seeing prices fluctuating. However, when people eventually get used to the idea of a daily rated pricing, then it won't be sticky anymore. It is all about expectation and perception of the consumers. This is marketing 102.

Monopoly, duopoly, oligopoly if I am not wrong are price fixing of a collusive nature. Aren't they supposed to be illegal?

Isn't that why Bill Gates kena jialat jialat antitrust lawsuit over the bundling of Internet Explorer and the Windows OS?
9. barffie left...
Monday, 20 June 2005 12:11 pm
Damn man. Was trying to go around looking for cheaper petrol. Don't have leh! Borrring!
10. JayWalk left...
Monday, 20 June 2005 1:22 pm :: 
barffie: What? You went on a Cheapest Petrol Scavenger Car Rally?? Bor jio!! But then again hor, I not in Singapore. heh heh.
11. kelawar left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 1:43 pm
Its a very strange public remark made by the Hon-Sec. I wonder what was he thinking of when he said those words; trying to put public pressure on the family?
12. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 28 June 2005 6:37 pm ::
kelawar: Then again, I can actually understand where he is coming from with that remark. Problem is that he could have articulated it better.
Perhaps the SSC needs somebody qualified to help with their PR spin?