Monday, October 31, 2005

some days

Some days
It feels like everyone wants a piece of me
Messages to reply, meetings to attend
Time for all except for moi
I wish I can clone myself

Some days
It feels like no one knows I exist
People passing by, going about their business
Happily chatting in their own groups
I wish they'd stop and say hi

On other days
It feels just right
Not too much, none too little
Some for others, some for me and plenty left for God
I wish there were more of these days

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

the eye of the storm

The storm has passed, I hope. It has been a rocky journey these past couple of weeks, hence the lack of a proper post in the blog. Noticed how I had to expand on the previous post, that too I thought lacked imagination.

I try to refrain from posting things about the office. I'm not exactly anonymous here, my face is plastered for all to see. Besides, blogging is sorta like an escape from the dreariness of the work place.

Granted, it has always been quite bad here. Just that it reached a peak just last Friday. A colleague whom I've gotten close to was "asked to resign". Without going into details, we both thought the situation in the office has just reached ridiculously preposterous levels.

Because of the unique background of the company, we have not had to deal with just office politics, but nepotism and cronyism as well. Now I understand why my colleagues who've been slaving here for donkey years are still execs, whilst the bosses' friends and family members are all sitting in big plush office rooms with carpeting and custom-made cupboards.

And I've not begun to dwell on the insane cost-cutting policies we have here, whereby we were asked to share PC's and use OpenOffice. I wonder if it has anything to do with the bosses' spending weeks away on holidays, golf trips and birthday parties on whose account I shan't disclose here.

Can I just add also that my boss have this habit of not defending us in front of other bosses, but that she somehow claims credit for her subordinate's ideas? Hmm, I better not. Can't risk an early resignation when my time's not up yet.

In any case I'll keep this short. Amidst all these hanky pankyness, I am reminded again that life is not a bed of roses for Christians. Nor does He guarantee that it will be smooth sailing. But I'm rest assured that whatever happens, His hand is there to guide me. And of course, loving friends who have rallied around me in prayer, have made this journey a little bit more bearable.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

this and that

I've just had one month's worth of Japanese lessons. We've started on basic greetings, everyday words, common questions, numerals and family members. Hiragana is also part of the lessons - we have drills every week!

Japanese grammar can be quite confusing, so we're asked to not translate directly. Not only that, for our version of "this" and "that", the Japanese have 12 words - depending on what "this" and "that" points to, on the order of the sentence and whether a polite version of the word is used. So far, this is what I've learnt :

kono, sono, ano
kore, sore, are
koko, soko, asoko
kochira, sochira, achira

Updates - 14th Oct 2005
The first word in the 1st two rows refer to an object very near to the speaker, whereas the 2nd refers to something not so near and the 3rd to something far away.

For example :
Kono(Sono) hon wa Kim-san no desu = This(That) book belongs to Kim
Kore(Sore) wa Kim-san no hon desu = This(That) is Kim's book

The first word in the last 2 rows refer to a place very near to the speaker, and ditto for the rest. Both rows are similar except that the last row is a polite version of the 3rd.

For example :
Koko wa uketsuke desu = Kochira wa uketsuke desu = This is a reception desk

When asked about the differences, our sense asked us to just oboeteikudasai!

Oh boy, I love Nihon-go :p

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

a prayer for my boss

Dear Lord,

Thank you for giving my boss amnesia. She scolded me for something which she herself approved. When I answered her back, she kept quiet. She must've remembered that she's suffering from this illness. So it's good that she has amnesia.

Thank you for giving my boss a baby to adopt. She's recently become quite a nicer person to talk to. She even told me her husband wanted to name the baby Sarah. I thought it was a pretty sweet name - princess. But she said she would think of me if she's scolding her daughter next time. Now her baby's name is Ashley. I conveniently forgot to tell her, that's also the name of my colleague's dog.

Thank you Lord for giving me such an interesting boss. I try hard not to laugh when I think about her. I should continue praying for her.


Friday, October 07, 2005

iB camp 2005

Must do my bit to promote this year's iBridge camp.

Date : 3-6 November (all public hols, no need to take leave)
Fees : RM120 (very affordable)
Venue : SUFES Campsite, Tapah, Perak (just at the foot of Cameron Highlands)
Topic : 1) The Christian mindset (for old senior grads haha) 2) Transition (for fresh grads)

I'm going to do the usual promotions :

Had a superfantabulous time for the past 2 iB camps. Met babes n hunks in Christ from various denominations, and was good experience seeing people from different backgrounds coming together. The highlight of these camps is not so much of the speakers or their eloquent messages (no doubt, very good), but the sharing by the campers - transition period from students to graduates to young working adults, struggles and difficulties in church, family, relationship, finance, peer pressure, etc., being a living testimony in the "real world", basically - the comforting knowledge that you're not alone in this walk, and that there are people who will encourage and walk with you in this journey, that we all face similar temptations and trials in life.

I don't know how else to share how much these camps, and the iB ministry, has blessed me. It's really something you have to experience for yourself. If you want to read more, feel free to surf their website for more information. If you email me, I will try my best to help :D

Thursday, October 06, 2005

singapore getaway 4

mama n i
Shared a cable car with 3 other ang mohs. We passed a cruise ship which was just leaving the port. Kit saw the same ship docking when he visited Sentosa a few weeks back.

cruise ship
While we were on top of the ship, we could actually hear a quartet playing from the deck area near the swimming pool. Wonder what's it like to live and work in a ship for months...

fort siloso exhibition
Paid S$8 to get into Fort Siloso, Singapore's only preserved coastal fort. They did a good job with the audio visual displays, interactive exhibits and even authentic aromas - a poignant reminder of the war years.

actors at the fort
This was a special act depicting the various reactions and thoughts of young Singaporeans towards the war years. Only available for a limited period to commemorate 60 years of WWII.

japanese side
The signing ceremony which saw the Japanese surrendering at the end of the WWII. Notice the life-sized replicas complete with facial expressions.

british side
The bloodiest war in history concluded with a short simple ceremony, and for obvious reasons was an extensively photographed occasion. For some reason, I did not take that particular photo, but I knew this was some other signing ceremony as well. :D

The biggest replica of Singapore's most enduring symbol - The Merlion. Did not go all the way up to the top of the half-lion, half-fish creature for a glimpse of their animation feature.

off into the sunset
It was late afternoon when we decided we had enough walking for the day. Singaporeans must be healthy people - walk from HDB flats to MRT, walk from MRT to workplace/shopping complex/wherever, and walk back again. Repeat for everyday. Maybe we Malaysians can learn something from our southern neighbour.

singapore river
Woke up early to catch the Aeroline bus back to PJ. Took some shots at the back of the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel. Neat, green and clean - that's how I'd describe Singapore in 3 words. Needless to say, I found the greenery a salve for tired eyes. Mmm... :)

Monday, October 03, 2005

singapore getaway 3

Not realising that the Night Safari wasn't as near as going to the Jurong BirdPark, we ended up reaching there later than expected.

Mama, Kit and I had a light dinner at the Bongo Burger, an al fresco fast food restaurant near the entrance. A note of caution to those who're thinking of trying their food, you might want to share as their portions are L-A-R-G-E! The fish fillets were huge, the potato chips were fat and they serve their drinks in jam jar-like glasses. Well, value for your money, heh.

bornean tribal performers
Watching the Bornean Tribal performers from the Bongo Burger

We took the tram for a 45-min ride around the zoo. The lady giving the commentary had to repeatedly tell those who were using flash photography off. There was even once she had the driver stop in the middle of the route and the lights of that particular carriage switched on before we could proceed with the journey.

It was really educational going through the the Himalayan Foothills, Nepalese River Valley, Indian Subcontinent, Equatorial Africa, Indo-Malayan Region, Asian Riverine Forest, South American Pampas and the Burmese Hillside, and watching the various nocturnal animals up close.

the noctural tiger
This tiger knew we were taking photographs, she actually moved about and lay in different poses

Kit said they must've put all the food near to the route so that we could have a close glimpse at these animals. How else would you have herds of the barasingha and babirusa eating so peacefully, whatwith the excitement emanating from the trams?

graceful giraffe
Too dark to see the animal in the LCD screen, hence the awkward result - the headless giraffe!

At the end of the journey, Kit and I left Mama at the gift shop and went off straight for the trails. The Fishing Cat Trail, Leopard Trail and Forest Giant Trail were separate from but intersected with the tram route at several points. We took our time gazing at the animals and trying to make out the moving silhouettes in the dark.

resting midway through the trails
Taking a breather midway at the start of the Leopard Trail

The Night Safari is quite cleverly designed, I must say. The trees, the fauna, the smells and even the mosquitoes - there were times I felt like I was in the middle of a jungle. No wonder then that the Safari won the Best Leisure Attraction Experience Year 2004 award, among many others. Definitely a recommended place for all to visit :)

posing with the python
Feeling squirmish at first, Kit soon warmed up to the reptile around his neck

Too bad we couldn't stay longer. Would've missed the bus if we did. Oh well, there's the Sentosa Island for the next day. And that, ladies and gentlemen, will be a story for another day :)