While everyone is (probably) enjoying their Deepavali public holiday, I am here at FCPs working on the lesson plans that I've been putting off for as long as I could... Deadline is on Friday so I've decided to barge in on him and plant myself in front of his computer. Seeing that he's off for the rest of the week, he's launched himself into a spring cleaning frenzy... Now much as I would love to give him a hand (I find cleaning very therapeutic) I have to forgoe that little pleasure and be content to just listen to the hum of the vacuum cleaner in the background and enjoy the cold mug of Kahlua he so generously offered me... hehehehe Anyway, it's 2300hrs and unlike FCP, I gotta get my ass out of bed at 0630hrs tomorrow. Bleh... Anyway, Happy Deepavali to everyone celebrating the Festival of Lights and don't forget to keep those invitation coming!!! Any chance to feast of Indian cooking is most welcome...
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Monday, October 31, 2005
I realise that I have an obsession with ordering and categorising, to the point that I would put other more important tasks on hold until I've finished with whatever irrelevant project I've decided to embark upon. Someone once likened me to a mild version of Monica Gellar. Here are a few examples:
1. I'm particularly picky about how the cutlery are placed in the little 2 compartment holder I have (whatever the hell it's called) to dry after they're washed. Forks and spoons HAVE to go into the first compartment, stems down so you'll know which is which, and chopsticks and knives MUST go into the second compartment, blades down (for safety purposes of course). It bugs me when I see them placed otherwise. Plates have to be ordered from the biggest at the back to the smallest. I don't care about bowls and cups :p
2. Laundry when hung out to dry, have to be hung in order of length. Doesn't matter in which direction, as long as they're in order. Same goes for the clothes in my closet.
3. Clothes are grouped according to: 'Dresses' - Short / long; 'Skirts' - Short / long; 'Trousers' - casual / formal / semi-formal; 'Shorts' - for Home / for going out; 'Tops' - Casual / Formal / Semi-formal; 'T-shirts' - for Home / for going out, 'Sleepwear' - cotton / others; 'Socks, swimwear and sportswear go together. I don't care about my shoes.
4. MP3s are categorised into folders and sub-folders, each named as such:
Artist - Album name - Track no. - Title of song
Name of Soundtrack - Track no. - Title of song - Artist
(If album consists of more than 1 CD, then CD number is added after Album name or Name of Soundtrack.)
5. I don't own a CD rack so right now my CDs are stacked on top of my player but it's an eye-sore for me. Now if I DID have a rack, they'd be arranged according to genre and then within the genres, alphabetically.
6. Books - Arranged according to height. Arranging them in any other way would just make it appear too hapharzard and hence become visually distracting to me.
There are porbably a million other things which I'm anal about but these are the most common and the ones I'm aware of :p With that said, I'm terrible when it comes to organising my thoughts onto paper or when trying to make a point... go figure
at 3:59:00 pm
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I'm so excited! Throwing a little get-together on Sat for the hell of it, but because it's not really the norm to have a party for no reason at all here, I've decided to turn it into a Halloween thingy and everyone has to dress up. For the sole reason as to avoid people asking me what the occassion is... ANnway, happy to say that my guests are all game and are actually making the effort to buy/borrow/make a costume. As far as I know, I should be expecting a viking, a fairy and a she-devil. The rest just refuse to tell me what they're gonna turn up as. Yours truly has decided to be unoriginal and dress as a Vampire. Just bought my teeth and blood and am dying (no pun intended) to try them on! Anyway, will post pictures!! Happy Halloween!!!
at 7:10:00 pm
Saturday, October 22, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
It was a sad and disappointing day yesterday for many of us at work. A colleague of mine had her iPod stolen from right out of her bag which she had left in the Teachers' Room during our rehersal. She's understandably upset and not really because of the item, but at the very thought that someone among us could actually stoop so low. Prior to this, we never thought twice about leaving our belongings unattended at our desks, and it was all down to the common trust and respect we had for each other and our belongings. Yes, we should be more careful and not tempt fate, but due to the small number of staff, we've always been like a great big family, and this incident has affected all of us pretty badly. It's like finding out your brother stole from you... just horrible. Sigh...
at 7:11:00 pm
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Well what started out as a pretty easy week has taken a rather sour turn... sour as in half-digested milk; sour as in mucus and phlegm... Not mine mind you, but that of a little 2.9 yr-old boy who cried so desperately for his daddy when he was dropped off that he decided to punish the person who so lovingly (and patiently!!!) carried him into class. Despite putting on a clean T-shirt, I can still smell the remnants of his breakfast on my left shoulder. This isn't the first time it's happened, but I just thought I'd like to share an example of the 'dilemmas' I'm faced with at work.
I've had to deal with children who deemed it absolutely necessary to relinquish the control of their bladders at the worst time possible (i.e when I already have 2 of them bawling their eyes out and clinging on to me as though the sky's gonna drop); made to stand while a 2.6 year-old proudly displayed the products of his nasal exploration; not to mention the WWE rehersals they insist on putting on, complete with eye gouging, asphyxiation by lying on opponents face, head butting, swatting, etc... It can be a warzone in there... They're even worse after a birthday party! Which is why I've wised up and now keep the cake and candy feasts till the last half hour of class... let the parents deal with their hyperactive-sugar-high kids.
But every job has it's 'ugly' side... if you can live through those, the joy and satisfaction you receive just watching those precious little one grow and develop right in front of your eyes is amazing. The rewards are enormous and for that I wouldn't mind going home smelling of puke :P
at 7:10:00 pm
Thursday, October 06, 2005
I'm pleased to say that I have finally dug myself out of the rut I'd been in all this while and am willingly opening myself up to new endeavours and re-discovering all the little past times I'd forsaken. Among them are:
1. I'm in a children's Christmas performance which will be staged sometime in the last week of November - Thursday was the first rehersal and fitting! I'm so excited!
2. I've been personally invited to be a part of the theatre
prodcution of an adaptation of Eve Ensler's 'Vagina
Monologues'. - I've never read the book but am very
interested to see how I will interpret and play out my
role (if successful) :) This is targeted to open at the
end of next year.
3. I'm in the midst of planning my first ever backpacking
trip!!! And it's gonna be in Spain! I still don't have the
slightest clue as to how I'm gonna do this, considering
the fact that I'll be on an extremely tight budget and
it's gonna be freakin winter when I go! But it's something
for me to work towards.
4. I'm going for my first Rock-Climbing adventure coming Sat with a bunch of good friends. (No not the real thing, just a wall :p)
5. Thinking of taking my PADI license before the end of the year but it IS the monsoon season so it might not be such a great idea.
5. I treated myself to a HUGE (and expensive) Brazilian Churrascaria dinner last night at Carnivore... a very apt name considering the hunks of meat that the Pasadoras (I think that's what they're called) kept slicing into my plate... complete with two Caipirinhas. Oh it was heaven! How could I have neglected my fav past-time... eating!
6. Allowing myself to meet up with old friends and just have a good time. I'm ashamed to say that I'd been a scrooge eversince Jochen moved back to Germany. Been trying to save up for the trips I knew I'd be taking to go see him...
7. Lazy beach day again coming Sunday (really working on my tan.)
8. Barbecue the following Sunday (more eating!!!)
And THAT ladies and gentlemen is what I've been up to (or will be up to). I don't know how many of my future plans will actually work out but it doesn't really matter... I'm happy and I have lots to look forward to!
at 11:27:00 am
Sunday, September 25, 2005
I have lovely friends! That's all I have to say. Seeing that I've recently been re-introduced to singlehood, my amigos are determined to see that I have a whale of a time by insisting I join them for this, that and the other... A gesture I'm truly grateful for and am accepting with great enthusiasm. (one even has someone in mind to set me up with... don't think I'm gonna take him up on his offer though). This afternoon, for example found me at the beach soaking up the rays, enjoying the cool cool water and tossing a frisbee around, instead of sitting in front of the computer. I had a blast! But old habits die hard, and I'm actually back at work, with my ill-disguised bikini still on. I do have a dinner to look forward to with 2 very good friends (one whom can actually get away with making comments about my weight without me killing him.) So I think I'm gonna have a pretty good Sunday :)
at 6:09:00 pm
Saturday, September 24, 2005
I'm sitting here at work, listening to Aerosmith's 'Girls of Summer' and I realised that no matter how open I am to different genres of music, I find myself enjoying rock and alternative music the most... oh and punk! There are still many who raise their eyebrows in surprise when I make known my preference. Apparently I don't seem the type :p Whatever...
I was quite a tom-boy when I was growing up. I climbed trees, dug for earthworms, roughhoused with the boys and had Saber Rider and Transformers for toys. All the Barbie and Candy dolls I received for birthdays and Christmas went to my little sister. It was so much more fun to build space stations and construct headquarters for the Autobots, and after probably a month, I figured it would be even cooler to open up Optimus Prime to see what made the lights flash and his body parts move. That was of course the end of my toy's life. Never really could put the pieces back together again :p
My facination with the world of robots was apparent in the Cartoons I watched too. Ahh... those cartoons... Let's see, my all time favourite featured 5 mechanical lions, each lying 'dormant' in 5 different parts of the world until danger reared its ugly head and they were summoned to protect mankind from the evil forces that threatened to take over the world (as always). Voltron: The Defenders of the Universe! Nothing could tear me away from the TV when it was on. Coming in a close second would be Transformers. Autobots vs Decepticons. I had the videos (which I watched repeatedly) as well as the action figures, and spent many an evening orchestrating 'wars' in the garden. (Barbie inadvertently got involved somehow). And then there were the rest; Thunder Cats, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, He-Man & She-Ra, M.A.S.K, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, Ghostbusters, The Ninja Turtles, Spider Man, Mighty Mouse, Danger Mouse etc... Of course I made time for The Smurfs, Jem, Strawberry Shortcake, Glo-Friends... But they weren't as exciting.
But no matter how tempted I am these days to take a trip back down memorylane and revisit my childhood cartoons, I stubbornly dig my heels in and avoid it. There are lots of very fond memories but those shows are meant to be watched when you're 8 and then left when you grow up. I made the mistake of watching He-Man 3 years ago and I thought, "Oh my God, how lame and predictable!!! Did I really enjoy watching this??" So now I stick to the likes of 24, 6 feet Under and Sex and the City (Hey I'm a girl). That goes the same for TV shows like MacGyver (I was in LOVE with Richard Dean Anderson - thought he was so cool. I mean he he could make ANYTHING out of ANYTHING), Airwolf (was in love with Jan-Michael Vincent too. And that helicopter!! My favourite scene would be the opening credits when that Bell 222 would rise up from the crater where the hidden headquarters lay), V (thought it was awesome that they could take their eyeballs out whenever they wanted), Knight Rider (Michael with his super remote-controlled, talking car Kitt) and of coure The A-Team!! But I know that the magic these shows had for me wouldn't shine as brightly now as they used to.
I could probably go on and on about the stuff I used to do when I was a kid, but I'll stop here. Maybe I'll share a little more next time when the mood strikes me. Would love to hear what you guys out there in digital-land used to watch as kids! Would be nice to know if anyone else thought MacGyver was THE MAN. hahahaha...
Note: Found this fantastic site that features clips of cartoons and TV series from the 70s to the 90s. I had a blast checking out all the stuff I grew up watching. :)
at 7:30:00 pm
Friday, September 23, 2005
Whenever I have to make a choice, my heart and mind will be at loggerheads. I'm the sort of person who prefers the tried and tested path; it's safe, (and sometimes boring) and to me, it's logical, so my mind almost always wins... Coupled with the fact that the consequences have always been pretty good (i.e kept me out of trouble), I'm more inclined to trust my head, eventhough it would be so much more fun to do the opposite. My heart, on the otherhand, makes me take risks I wouldn't normally take, throw caution to the wind... but it's oh so much more exciting! The consequences can also hurt.
My 'safe' and 'fun' sides had a little showdown recently... twice... and both within days of each other. Decision No. One was pretty easy; an opportunity opened up for me to move to Shanghai for the next two years and it was something I simply could not say no to. I mean after all my ranting about leaving here in exchange for new cultural experiences, I'd be stupid to pass this up. (eventhough there's a possiblity that I'll be earning less.) So I obviously followed my heart, and if all goes well, I'll leave next June. (woo-hoo!)
The other however is costing me a great amount of sleep. My head won this round and my heart is paying for it dearly. It's somehow linked to Decision No. One, and because of the uncertainty of our futures, I had to, very painfully, let someone very important to me go. It was the 'logical' thing to do. The only comfort I have right now is in the fact that I strongly believe there's a reason for everything. Someone said to me yesterday, "There's a time to be together, and there's a time to be away"... it's a quote taken from the Bible, and despite my not being a practicing Catholic, I find great solace in those words.
But that's life I guess and there are always lessons to be learnt from a relationship, be it personal or professional... and whatever will not break me will only make me stronger... and hopefully wiser :) With that said, I'm looking forward to the day I step onto Chinese soil and make it my home... until Wanderlust comes a-knocking again :)
at 8:16:00 am
Monday, September 12, 2005
Landed at Doha International Airport an hour late but it wasn't really a problem. It brought my transit time down to 3 hours, which was tough enough get through as it was. (I hate transits). Stepped off the plane and was greeted by moist, heavy, stifling heat that just pressed down, like fingers wrapping themselves around your body and sucking your energy out. (OK I'm exaggerating but it was HOT and HUMID nonetheless - 37oC!!) Was glad it lasted for only the few minutes it took me to get from the plane to the feeder bus. The airport itself was a war zone... seriously! You could scarcely make out where one line ended and the other began, let alone which line you're supposed to be in! And even if you didn't WANT to be in the queue you HAD to, just so you could inch your way across to the other side. With that said, all transiting passengers were offered a meal voucher which could be redeemed by presenting your boarding pass at the cafeteria. I decided to pass, prefering instead to throw myself in a seat and wait till we were called to board. (I did redeem it on my return flight. I guess my hoping for the burgers and fries was a little too optimistic.)
I must say I enjoyed my flight aboard Qatar Airways. Wide selection of movies and entertainment, staff were very friendly and attentive (not to mention attractive! Those male stewards!... oops I mean Flight Attendants, to be politically correct. Someone enlighten me on this one please!)
Anyway, I got to talking to a very nice French bloke who was sitting next to me, in the last 2 or 3 hours of the flight. Alain is 25, lives in Toulouse and after spending 9 months in Kuala Lumpur and Manila (I think) doing volunteer work with orphans, he was on his way back to his country to start work with a bank. He didn't sound very thrilled about it. Hahahaha. I'm glad we talked. After all the warnings I got about French people being stuffy and 'cold' as Alain puts it, his easy-going way helped ease whatever apprehensions I had. We exchanged contacts and I can now officially say 'I know someone in France'... (The last I heard he'd been hospitalised with dengue, poor kid.)
Paris was bliss. Managed to spend 2 whole days with Jochen, which included a trip to the Eifel Tower (but of course!), until I had to lose him to classes and had to traipse around Paris by myself for the rest the week... guide book with map in hand, and my barely-nothing French, which included "Bonjour", "Au revoir", "Merci beaucoup", "S'il vous plaît", Excusez-moi", and my all time favourite: "Je suis désolée, je ne parle pas Français. Parlez vous Anglais?". After awhile I got straight to the point with 'Parlez vous Anglais'. Of course I picked up a few other words along the way, namely "d'accord", "derien" and "pardon" which I'm proud to say I could use quite easily... hahaha... Oh and very importantly, SORTIE... for when I'm lost in the terribly confusing Chatlet-les-Halle Metro station.
Seeing that I had limited funds (limited is an understatement), I decided to give museums and the rest of the 'paid' sights a miss. But I still had alot of fun. (will put up a separate post with pics!) My 7.5 days in Paris were worth the money and reprimanding I'm gonna recieve for returning to work a day later than I was supposed to. Hey, everyone needs a break. I'm just sorry I have to have such expensive ones, and so often too :p
at 6:44:00 pm
Friday, September 02, 2005
I'm writting this while waiting to board the plane to Paris, which should be in about 10 mins. Seeing that I have a week's break, I decided it would be swell to throw some money away and take a short (8-day) holiday to see Jochen, whom, incidentally, has just started his crash course in French at the Paris campus of his University. Now while I'm excited and all about the prospect of finally stepping foot in the much-talked about city, I'm wrought with worry because I just found out (well not really 'just') that I'm supposed to be back at work on Saturday, 10th of September, for orientations. I'm only flying in on Sunday! :p So I figured, it's not that big a deal, I'll just change my return date. Hah!! There aren't any flights out of Paris on the 9th, nor the 8th! So what do I do? Return on the 7th, which is a HUGE waste of time and not to mention money? Or return on the 11th and get the shelling of my life. My only consolation is that my co-teacher is also meant to be present at the orientation so I'm hoping she'd be ok with running the whole thing by herself. I've still not decided on what to do... This sucks...
at 6:44:00 pm
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
I'm up to Week 6 of my 'Speak Spanish in 3 Months' book, and I'm nowhere closer to speaking the language. I've studied the rules of verb conjugation for the present tense, present participle, past participle and perfect tense, how to use the possesive adjectives and pronouns, interrogative and relative pronouns, among others, and revised them often enough, but even after all that, I find I can read and understand passages much ealily as compared to trying to form sentences by myself. It frustrates me to no end! And now in my current Week, I am stuck with reflexive verbs. I just don't get it! Aarrgghhh!!
With that said, Soc.com 705, aka. the social committee here at work, is putting up a BINGO Night every Wednesdays to raise funds for up-coming social gatherings. I'm quite sure there are loads of people out there who would balk at the idea of spending an evening with colleagues after a whole day of seeing them, but I feel that possibly due to the size of the company and the nature of our jobs, most, if not all of us are pretty relaxed and fun-loving and we get along quite well, so this get-together has actually sparked a pretty positive interest... Ok, BINGO's about to begin. I better go buy my lucky cards hehehehe...
at 6:52:00 pm
Friday, July 22, 2005
Sheila came back to work all bronzy and full of smiles... why?? She'd been to Spain! Arrghhhh!! I could kill her. Showed me photographs of aquamarine waters and Spanish Villas perched at the tip of cliffs overlooking the crashing waves. She tried to 'defend' herself by saying it was unplanned and that they (fiancé and her) were meant to fly to Italy to meet his parents, but had to 'settle' for Spain coz mama and papa had already made other plans. BAH!!!
at 9:36:00 pm
Monday, July 18, 2005
at 6:55:00 pm
Friday, July 15, 2005
Received photos of the much anticipated wedding I attended in July. I can't help looking at them over and over again... mainly because most of my school friends whom I've not seen in ages, some for more than 10 years (and miss very much), were there. It was a reunion to remember. I was struck by how easily we were able to fall back into that familiarity we had with each other when we were 12/13 year olds... it felt like we had just picked up where we left off after all these years. My only gripe would be that not everyone was able to make it back... especially my dearest friend, who was stuck in Melbourne with whatever it is Medic students do :p I still have this pact that all of us (i think there were more than 20 of us) signed when we were about 15, to meet up again in 10 years, even if we were half way across the globe. And be it coincidence or fate, most of us actually managed to! It was a trully beautiful reuinion made even more special because 2 of us found the person they knew they wanted to be with for the rest of their lives. Congratulations, Mich and Ngeow! I love you guys!
The happy couple...
... and the crazy bunch
at 8:56:00 pm
Thursday, June 30, 2005
My nights will no longer be spent down at Cuscaden Patio, my chill out place for the past 3 months and more. I used to grace them with my presence at about 1700hrs and will reluctantly depart at around 0100hrs. Not many people can understand what I find in that little hole in the wall, apart from the cheap beers which I rarely consume. It's almost always ginger tea and a plate of friend rice with 2 bull's eyes to top it off. But yes, for the lack of anything more interesting to do on my weekday nights, I either worke on crossword puzzles with Gerry for hours on end or jam to oldies on the lone classical guitar standing forlornly in the corner. Anyway, as I was saying, that will no longer be for I have signed up for salsa classes!! Woo hoo!!! Finally after more than 2 years since my dance partner left me for his home town Down Under I can finally get back into the groove... and not only that, I'm also seriously considering taking Spanish classes to suppplement my (somewhat questionable) self-studies. Eventhough it DOES hurt to know that I'm about to spend $275 just so I can practice my conversational skills :p Heard that the lecturer is from Colombia and takes a very fun approach to teaching the language; using games and videos and drama to engage his students. I'm quite glad really coz I for one, find it bloody difficult to sit for long periods of time. Hopefully i'll be able to scrape together enough money before the next intake, which incidentally is on the 29th of this month.
Ok, writing about fried rice and bull's eyes has made me hungry. Guess I'll go pay a visit to Patio again.
at 9:33:00 pm
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
My sis has been scanning the pages on eBay religiously eversince she first typed in her information on the registration page in February, and to date is the proud owner of more than 25 books and $455 poorer. Apparently she got so hooked onto bidding that she very nearly spent US$200 on 'The Lord of the Rings:The Rough Guide to Middle Earth' or something like that. Despite her addiction to 'submitting' her hard earned dough to a stranger half-way around the world, I must say she has managed to procure a large variety of hardcovers for a fraction of the price she would pay if she'd bought them from Borders. With that said, I have now joined the ever growing family of bidders and am currently trying to decide what exactly it is I would like to waste my money on.
at 5:13:00 pm
Friday, June 24, 2005
"We are seeing a religious wave rising in almost all of Europe, a wave of religious need and despair, a searching and a profound malaise, and many are speaking of... a new religion to come....Europe is beginning to sense... that the overblown one-sidedness of its intellectual culture (most clearly expressed in scientific specialisation) is in need of a correction, a revitalisation coming from the opposite pole. This widespread yearning is not for a new ethics or a new way of thinking, but for a culture of spiritaul function that our intellectual approach to life has not been able to provide. This is a general yearning not so much for a Buddha or a Laotze but for a yogic capability. We have learned that humanity can cultivate its intellect to an astonishing level of accomplishment without becoming master of its soul."
Hermann Hesse, 1920
Siddhartha is a book about a journey in search of spirituality, of hope and of promise, all of which according to Hesse, is what the human soul is yearning for, to quell the growing restlessness and dissatisfaction we seem to feel, time and time again, a restlessness that no amount of "affirmation of self and enjoyment of sensuality and the possession of the materialistic" be able to soothe.
After almost a year of my casting aside Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha, unfinished, back onto my bookshelf, I picked it up again this morning, determined to try again, determined to really read it. Of course I had to start again from the very beginning, but this time round, unlike my first attempt, it took me an hour just to get through the 12 pages that were the Translator's Preface and the Introduction. For within those 12 pages, a disturbing image of my life began to take form... and what I saw both scared and saddened me.
Are my feelings of wanderlust really the desire to explore new places and live a different culture? or a desperate attempt to suppress and control the feelings of restlessness and fill in the hollowness I feel deep inside? Am I suffering from spiritual loss? If I am, then I'm afraid that I will spend the rest of my life never truly happy, never completely satisfied; always having to fight off the beckoning finger of wanderlust, knowing that it would only be a matter of time before I give in, and start life anew in a place that promises a new and exciting beginning... knowing even then that wanderlust hasn't really gone away, but is lying dormant, waiting...
at 1:33:00 pm
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
'Tis the season to be jolly... fa la la la la la la la la'
Now if my brain was working, I'd do a parody of the song but they're not so... Friday the 27th of May 2005 was the official end to the second school term. So the young, hip n happening bunch of teachers (moi included) decided that it was a good enough excuse for a girly night out that weekend. So at 11.30pm Saturday night, 4 lovely ladies, all dressed to the nines with purses loaded, sashayed into New Asia Bar, stilletoes a-blazing.
The night started fairly slowly, for me at least, 'coz R&B was spewing out of the speakers. (I'm sure you can tell that R&B ain't my thing). But it got more tolerable when the witching hour dawned upon us and brought with it... Happy Hour! 50% off beers and housepours! But only for a miserable hour so we had to think (drink?) fast. Lychee Martinis were the favourite of the night, interspersed with shots of Detox - an innocent looking, pale ruby red fireball of a shot which came in trays of 10. (Nah I'm exagerating. It tasted like antibiotics and at only $3 a pop, the alcohol content must've been miniscule). Unfortunately, somewhere in between my third Detox and second Lycheetini, the walls and ceiling decided to mess with me and thought it would be funny to do a little jig. And that was when I had to regrettably inform the lovely Italian gentleman, who'd been regaling me with his traveling plans of Europe, that I was terribly sorry but if he could be so kind as to excuse my hasty departure for I had to sit down... NOW! My night basically ended there. The sofa belonged to me and me alone for the next 2 hours, until the club closed and Sharon hauled me into a cab.
Now before anyone judges me, lemme say this. I am a good drinker and I've had way more than the 5 I had that night, and still be able to make it home by myself in one piece. Hence my premature withdrawal from the bar confused me and had me convinced that something else must've happened 'coz there's no way in hell I'd gotten drunk so quickly! And I was right! Apprently the exact same thing happened to a colleague's brother after having only ONE mug of beer... ONE MUG!! And this is a guy who has two decades worth of guzzling experience under his belt and drinks like a fish! AHA! Interesting... He seems to think that my blood pressure had dropped and took a while to go back up to normal. Hence the dizzines and the need to lie down. Which makes sense to me! Why? Because first of all, I do have a history of being plagued with dizzy spells once in awhile, second, i was well aware of what was going on around me and was perfectly capable of carrying on a proper conversation as long as I had my head down, and third, if i was indeed drunk, lying down would have only made me feel worse and feel like throwing up, when instead, i felt sooooo much better! So there!
Now you must be wondering why in the world did I write this post... Well I wrote it in my defence 'coz i'd gotten hell from Jochen about not being a responsible drinker and making him sick with worry, and to reassure myself that my alcohol tolerance is still above average. (at least I think it is...) I AM a responsible drinker, much better than I was in University anyway, and it really isn't any fun getting sloshed. You feel sick, you miss all your favourite dance music, your night is ruined, not to mention that of your friends' (Village Boy can attest to that), and you'll wake up in the morning wishing you were dead. So where's the fun!? I don't drink to get smashed, I just drink to have a good time with my buddies... And I just realised that I'd gotten so carried away that I've forgotten why I started this post... :p
at 3:58:00 pm
Monday, May 30, 2005
Things to do/buy/get:
2 orders of various wursts
1 carton Marlboro Lights (duty free)
1 bottle Schnapps
1 order of 'anything pretty' (that's alot of help...)
1 deck of playing cards from Thai International Airways (Don't ask..)
Update my blog regularly (hehehehe...)
Photographs of pretty girls (rolling my eyes)
5 pax Myojo Chicken flavoured instant noodles & 1 pax Instant pancake Mix (these to be brought over... three guesses who these are for)
All the above, by the way, are requests from my beloved friends and family. I will therefore try my utmost best not to disappoint any of you.
at 11:44:00 am
Saturday, May 28, 2005
With only 6 days remaining till I board flight TG920 to Frankfurt, I am antsy as hell... My tickets are tucked away safely in my desk drawer, together with my passport and my to do/buy list, and not to mention, my German phrase book (seeing that I'll be moving around on my own, I might as well equip myself with some basic German). All my earlier plans have gone down the drain 'coz Jochen will be working while I'm there, and can't get any days off. So I'll have to be content with discovering Frankfurt am Main and its neighbourhoods instead of canoeing and swimming in Lake Constance. :(
So I did a little research to see what the financial metropolis has to offer (besides the 400 banking institutions scattered around the city) and found a wealth of museums (with a significant number lining the River Main), palaces, churches and gallaries to wander through, a flea market that opens every Saturday (Oh help!!!), the zoo and a 20 acre Botanical garden. The nightlife and shopping are supposed to be one of the highlights of the city, with the Zeil being hailed as Germany’s equivalent to New York’s Fifth Avenue. Unfortunately from what I hear, Frankfurt is frightfully expensive and shopping really isn't my thing... except maybe picking up stuff from the flea market... :) The city's also known for its numerous festivals and open-air events that it hosts regularly. Looking forward to catching the Wilhelmstrassenfest Theatrium, one of the country's most exclusive street festivals, and the Sommerfest, which features on a week-long feast for gourmands.
Altstadt (Old Town) is said to be the 'hauntingly beautiful medieval quarter' of Frankfurt, with Gothic buildings that include historic landmarks such as the Imperial Hall, Romerberg Square and the old Jewish Quarter.
A little away from the hustle and bustle is the Frankfurter Stadtwald where one can enjoy a little bit of Mother Nature with a stroll through the forest and then end it off with a beer at the huge beer garden; and the Lohrberg, a 1935ft high hill that provides a great opportunity for a breathtaking panoramic view of the Frankfurt skyline and the entire Rhine-Main region.
Well, I suppose I have enough to keep me occupied. And if I don't I still have Heidelberg and Hanau, which are less than an hour away.
at 1:00:00 pm
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Just received a panicked e-mail from Jochen regarding his interview. HE MISSED IT!!! And you know why?? Because he was HERE surprising ME! Oh my God, how is it possible for things to get this screwed?? Apparently the school had been trying to CALL him, and even sent him a letter regarding the interview, but since he was out of the damn country they obviously weren't able to reach him. What I don't get is why they hadn't tried to get in touch via e-mail. That was the mode used in all prior correspondence. The interview was held on the 10th of May. Anyway, the director of the MBA programme added that they would re-schedule interview just for him (they made that very clear) and that he should contact the school immediately. Geeez! I don't know if I should scream or pray... I think I'll do both. AAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!
Update: Everything's confirmed, interview resceduled for Monday 23rd. Whew...
at 4:19:00 pm
Monday, May 16, 2005
Man i didn't realise how long it's been since I've posted anything!!! Almost a month! I have a VERY good reason for that, though :) My baby flew in from Germany and surprised me!!! I was totally bowled over and just stood in the corner staring at him, speechless, mainly because I was trying to swallow my tears of joy. I had the best two weeks ever! And now I'm counting down the days till we see each other again. ( He left last night). Lemme just give a not-so-brief rundown on what happened :D
A week before he arrived, he told me that he had mailed me a package and that I should receive it on Sat. He refused to elaborate further on the contents, save for hints like "... it would be advantageous if you had strawberries with you when you receive your surprise" and "... don't wake up with a hang-over on Sat". How mysterious!!! I was killing myself trying to guess. But it was like trying to squeeze water from a rock! Anyway, Saturday morning saw me begging my sister to stay home so that there'd be someone around when Mr. Postman came-a-knocking. Unfortunately, she had to go to work, but not before very confidently assuring me that my parcel would be waiting for me by the time I get home. I was not at all convinced and with a heavy heart, left for school. Thinking I would have to wait till Tuesday to pick up my little surprise from the Post Office, I decided to attend a company BBQ instead of rushing home as I'd planned to earlier in the morning. Just as I was about to leave school, Jochen sent me an SMS asking me if I was home. I told him my plans and his reply literally froze me to my chair. "Come home, honey... Trust me." I didn't know what to think at that point. Could it be possible that he was waiting for me at home??? Or did I miss him so much that I was willing to believe that he would actually come down! I decided to test him by sending an SMS asking if I should still get the strawberries even if I hadn't received my parcel. His incoming message read, "Forget the strawberries and go home! I'm so excited I can't wait!". That was it, I dropped everything, and in my haste, coulnd't seem to locate my damn shoes, so I went home barefoot.
The taxi ride seemed to take forever! My heart was racing, my palms were sweaty and a thousand thoughts were racing through my head. What if he wasn't there? I would be so crushed! The few minutes it took me to walk from my front door to the bathroom door (to wash my filthy feet) were the most agonising of all! I was so excited and nervous at the same time, I was almost hyperventilating. I walked past my bedroom and felt the air-conditioning from under the closed door. OH MY GOD!!! *Breathe breathe* I kept telling myself. I'd managed to force myself into the act of washing my feet, (why i did that i dunno) when I heard a knock on the half-open bathroom door. My gaze darted to the mirror hanging over the sink and an all too familiar arm greeted me in the reflection. I had the weirdest reaction ever, I think. Instead of throwing myself at him in embrace, I moved backward and pressed myself into the corner of the bathroom, as though I was afraid that if I got too close he would shatter into a million pieces and he would've been nothing but an illusion. He looked a little taken aback and kinda worried... poor guy. Of course after I'd sufficiently convinced myself that he really WAS there, i just held on to him for dear life! Of course after that, it was 2 weeks of pampering and bliss, and I was the happiest gal alive.
And THAT'S why I've not blogged in almost a month :D
at 4:17:00 pm
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
I received a piece of very exciting news today! Not related to me, but still, good news is good news no matter who it's meant for... My baby just received an invitation to an interview with ESCP-EAP (European School of Management) to do his MBA!! He's really hoping and praying to get in to this particular institution, not so much for the course that's offered, but more for the fact that it would allow him to study in both Paris and Madrid over the 2 years. He's pretty big on experiencing different cultures and picking up new languages so this would be a dream come true if he's accepted. He'd be able to finally brush up on his French, and learn Spanish. (He's gonna be speaking like a native waaaaaaaaay before I even get past my tenses and conjugations, eventhough I started trying to teach myself Spanish first!) :p I'm still terribly thrilled for him nonetheless, things are starting to look up a little!
With that said, it's suddenly starting to seem as though it's gonna take more than 2 years before we can be confident enough to even start to consider living in the same country. The thought is a little discouraging. 4 years apart from my sweetheart is gonna be pretty tough, and meeting twice a year isn't gonna help very much either... need lots of faith, courage and... determination?
at 11:48:00 am
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Buddy quoted this to me the other day:
"A good friend is one who would bail you out of jail, but a great friend is one who would be sitting next to you in jail, asking 'how the hell did we end up in here?'"
Apparently, he feels that we'd be cell mates... Awwwwwwwwwwww!! Thank you sweets!!
at 10:56:00 pm
Continuing from my previous post. I'm getting increasingly nervous about this strong desire to move away so quickly. What if I make irrational decisions that will cost me dearly in the future? Right now I'm faced with a slight problem of making a little more money (current pay sucks) so that I can save up and get a higher teaching qualification, and hence be able to get into an international school, where of course the pay's better. (I'm sorry but I've never really believed that money wasn't an issue). So now I'm seriously thinking about quitting teaching for awhile and apply for this job that pays twice as much AND allows me to relocate. I would have to sign a 3 year contract though, which would mean that by the time I actually get my Graduate Diploma in Education, I would be 31/32 years old, and STILL not settled. *shudder*
To help me overcome my indecision about jumping ship before finishing the remainder of my bond, Hiddenson brought up a good point. I'm from a country that has just as much adventure and culture to offer as other countries, so why don't I explore my homeland first before running off into the sunset in search of greener pastures? Makes sense. Why do the damn skies always have to be bluer on the otherside??
at 9:42:00 pm
Saturday, April 16, 2005
It's back, that restless feeling of wanderlust. This time bad enough to make me seriously consider moving away from teaching (temporarily), if that would help me get out of here. I have a suspicious feeling that holidays around the world is not enough to quench this urge to travel. The 5 years I've been here is starting to get to me. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to pack up and leave ASAP, it'll be at least another year or so before I can set any sort of plan into motion. My current situation with the government demands it. I wonder if they would realise that I bailed out on them 1 year too early if I decide to leave next month... Anyway, Dubai seems tempting all of a sudden...
at 10:33:00 pm
Sunday, April 10, 2005
I've finally managed to work around my problem of uploading photos (thanks to Lola and Village Boy) so here are a few of my favourite pictures from my trip to Germany in Dec last year.
It was my first time there, and that coupled with the fact that I was gonna see my baby again left me with butterflies and ladybugs playing catch in my tummy. Anyway, I touched down at about 0530hrs on the 10th after a 13 hour flight, to cold cold weather, and sat through a four hour drive to Herbertingen, a beautiful little village, south of Stuttgart, where my sweetie puts up.
It was foggy with very little sun there, due to its close proximity to the Danube, but still very very pretty for everything was blanketed by frost.
The rest of this post I'll divide in sections based on the places I've been. It's gonna be pretty photo-heavy but I hope you'll enjoy them all the same...
MUNICH - 11th to 13th DEC
My first little adventure was to Munich to catch the Stuttgart-Bayern Munich game. A very important one apparently because my sweetie is a huge Stuttgart fan and absolutely detests Bayern-Munich... The train we took was a specially commissioned one to ferry the hardcore Stuttgart supporters to the battlegrounds. Celebrations were well underway by the time we got on board. Beer cans and vodka bottles were at an abundance, with a loud cacophony of 'singing' to accompany them. We chose not to sit in the cabins. Wasn't prepared to get drenched with beer...
Over-enthusiastic fans leaning out of the train at almost every station chanting and singing. Very amusing.
Munich station. It was jammed with bodies and security was tight. Yet, some drunk bugger figured it would be fun to throw a smoke bomb. Sad to say he didn't make it to the game once the police got to him.
My first experience at a football match in a stadium. The atmosphere was so contagious it wasn't long before I was chanting along (or trying to at least) with the Stuttgart fans.
Goal to Stuttgart!! Jochen (L) and Simon looked like little kids who'd just been told they could eat candy all day...
After sitting for almost 2 hours in -3oC temperatures, (I swear I was frozen!!) it was time to treat ourselves to some Feuerzangen - a type of mulled wine - to defrost ourselves.
The next couple of days were spent walking around the city and taking in the sights. I was also introduced to a typical Bavarian breakfast, consisting of Weiswürst (white sausages), pretzels and weisbier. (I stuck to camomile tea btw... i needed all the warmth i could get!)
ULM - 14th DEC
Ulm is a small town about an hour away from Herbertingen by train, also the birth place of Albert Einstein, and home to the tallest church steeple in the world. Unfortunately we weren't able to climb to the top due to ice on the steps. Was quite diappointed.
Standing at 528 ft, visitors are allowed to ascend up to the 3rd gallery (469ft), after climbing a total of 768 steps.
My 2 favourite pictures of Ulm, the Danube running through the town, and cobblestoned streets, lending a very romantic air to the place.
BERLIN - 15th to 18th DEC
We bunked in with Jochen's best friend, Adam and his Colombian girlfriend, Carina. It was really nice of them to take us in for those 4 days.
Carina busy in the kitchen preparing dinner.
We spent the next few days just walking and visiting the major touristy spots. Our feet were sore and ready to fall off after the 3rd day. Jochen felt it the most since he'd not only been out with me in the days, but spent the nights out with Adam as well. Poor baby...
The Dom zum Berlin resplendent in the rays of the evening sun.
I was strongly requested to have this picture taken :)
Not bad for an amateur...
One of the many WeihnachtsMarkt (Christmas markets) I found myself braving the cold for. There was just so much to see, and the lights literally transformed the place into a fairyland making it so difficult to leave. What can I say, I'm a sucker for the right ambience... Jochen, bless his heart, followed me wherever my fancies beckoned and never once complained...
Schneeball!! These were gorgeous cookie-like munchies the size of large grapefruits. They came in an assortment of flavours, ranging from plain, to ones laden with amaretto. Yum! They also cost €3 each!
I was hell bent on seeing snow before I came back to Singapore, and up to the 18th, there was absoulutely no inkling of any snow whatsoever. I was starting to get a little worried. And then it happened. The day we were set to leave Berlin, the 4 of us were sitting in McDonalds (coz we missed our train home) when Jochen grabbed my arm and pointed outside. Falling gently from the sky, looking beautiful, soft and fluffy, were millions of snowflakes. It looked so magical, I was almost in awe... I just had to run outside and feel them on my face...
The little village of Herbertingen, looking like something straight out of a Christmas story picture book...
The field seen from his kitchen window at sunset.
My baby whipping us up a couple of unhealthy packets of instant noodles!
A get-together of most of Jochen's good friends at his place.
The remainder of the days were spent doing day-trips to nearby towns. We made a couple more visits to Ulm for Christmas presents, and 1 to Augsberg for a swim at the swimming club. Then as Christmas approached we stayed home more often. Christmas was lovely, as expected, and I particularly enjoyed watching his younger siblings tear open their presents and exclaim in excitement over each new item they received.
Well that's a snippet of my little holiday. Can't wait to see what it would be like in June!
at 2:13:00 pm
Friday, April 08, 2005
Ok, on a more positive note, I'll be going home in July!!! Only for a couple of days though, to attend the wedding of two good friends. It's gonna be on Saturday the 2nd, but I'll be arriving Friday night. What I'm really excited about this whole trip is the fact that my dearest dearest friend, whom I love to bits and would do anything for, promised to pick me up at the station and whisk me straight to the pubs to do what we used to do so often before I left... drink and have a bloody good time! Seeing that my stay would be extrememly short, he figured it would make perfect sense not to waste even a single minute of it... (Good thinking, man!) I have to say he's one of the reasons why I miss home so much. No matter how short my trip home would be, we would always squeeze in the time to meet up, even if it was only for a 30 minute drive around town or a 'teh tarik' down at the mamak. He's got the sweetest of hearts but the cheekiest of dispositions, and he can brighten the gloomiest of days. I swear, you just gotta love the guy. I am so looking forward to July!
at 6:30:00 pm
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
I feel terrible. I don't know why. I want the earth to open up and swallow me just so i wouldn't have to think about it. It's 2243hours and i really should be getting home but I can't bring myself to leave work. It's depressing to walk into an empty house. Well not really empty, my housemate and her boyfriend would be around, asleep, but this feeling of loneliness descends and seems to engulf me the minute I step foot into the place. I' ve spent an hour IM-ing a friend who's all the way in Australia, and the last 47 minutes reading old e-mails, some dating back to the year 2000. So now I've made things worse. I not only feel terrible, i'm also nostalgic and missing the days of yore. The days where nothing was complicated, you kept in touch with friends wherever they were in the world and the future was about which set of songs we'd be jamming next week, and getting through our finals. If only it were possible to just close my eyes and wish myself back 4 years. I'm not sure if I was happiest then but it sure as hell seems like it right now. How is it possible to have so many friends and yet feel so desperately lonely? Does everyone feel that way? When you move away from your country, from your childhood friends, will you ever feel at home again? I never felt homesick upon moving here, probably because I was never that far away to start with, and I was happy. But I'm beginning to feel like I don't belong anymore. I don't feel anchored. What if I'll never as happy as I want to be in a foreign country that I'm willing to leave everything else for and start over?
I can't think anymore. I think I better go home now...
at 10:42:00 pm
Monday, April 04, 2005
A colleague of mine walks into the teacher's room, face all aglow with a badly played nonchalance air about her. I eye her suspiciously... What is she up to? She casually sits beside me and says,
"I'm slowly breaking the news to everyone, ok."
Uh-oh.. what's up?
"George* proposed to me."
Sorry, what? Run that by me again? My brain had a little trouble comprehending. This from the guy who said he didn't wanna think about marriage for another 10 years? I turned and stared at her (picture: jaw dropped, eyes wide open, hands undecided if they should cover mouth or grab friend and shake her). I finally settle on two clenched fists in front of my mouth and a very high-pitched screech. Followed by a very resounding "Oh my GOD!!!!" Lots of hugging and hand squeezing and "oh my gods" later, we finally calm down enough to get down to the nitty gritty... How did he propose!!! (Why is this so important again??) It was then we were joined by another colleague, 6 months into her marriage, and very excited to share advice on the ABCs of choosing THE dress and THE ring. What entails is about 30 mins of gushing and sighing and excited hand clapping, after which Karen* and I actually try to persuade the now overwhelmed bride to be to go across the road and try on several dresses, "just so you'll have a rough idea". Our euphoria is dampened a little though, by Sheryl* pronouncing both of us mad and delirious, and then saying how terrified she feels about the whole thing. Awwwwww... The poor dear. Of course we start up again 2 seconds later, this time with WHERE the wedding should be held. We're all gunning for an Italian fare, since he hails from the country that gave the world pasta and gelato. And that's when I find out that a typical Western wedding would probably only involve between 55-70 guests, whereas a typical Asian wedding would see anything between 200 - 500 guests, or more depending on your culture. I guess Asians tend to ensure that everyone even remotely related to you are invited. Out of respect...
Anyway, there's excitement in the air (mostly due to the women folk) and I bet you every other single female, will be surfing the net at one point or other to "check out a dress" or "wonder which ring would look nice on me".
Nevertheless, congratulations Cheryl! We're all thrilled for you. Don't worry about the hen party, it'll all be taken care of!
*names have been changed. Part of the deal if I wanted to post this :p
at 6:23:00 pm
I just realised something... I need to talk to people. I've always enjoyed a good natter with someone about anything under the sun... as long as it involved an exchange of ideas and opinions. It helps get my mind away and working on things other than 'Elmer and Friends' and 'The Rainbow Fish'. Unfortunately, all my running around sorting things out and settling new children has left me with absolutely no time to sit down and have a decent conversation with anyone. And hence, I feel as though my mind's running on empty. God what a scary thought! Of course there are other ways of challenging the mind... reading for example. But that's so one-way. It's just me and my thoughts, unless I can find someone who is reading or has read the book, then it would probably be a great avenue for a discussion. Besides, unlike a novel that I can usually devour in about 2-3 days if allowed the luxury of time, stuff like, 'Wild Swans', and 'Siddharta' don't generally allow for such easy reading... So i turn to humankind to get the cogs turning.
A couple of weeks back, I found myself and 3 others, in the middle of a somewhat 'fierce' debate between two colleagues on whether Perception equaled Reality. It was pretty interesting. Interesting in the sense that both parties used various fields of study to argue their point... from philosophy and religion, to physics and biology, which in turn prompted more questions, so much so that the whole discussion was in danger of coagulating into one huge and complicated mess had our 'moderator' not made sure we stayed on track. Yes, we tend to get carried away sometimes... But it's all in the spirit of fun and your brain does get a mini workout at the same time :)
Conclusion: I NEED TO TALK TO PEOPLE!!! I'm going outta my mind here!!
at 11:27:00 am
Thursday, March 31, 2005
I can't think... My next post is gonna take awhile... working on it right now... sigh.
Am attending the launching of a new book in half an hour. I do not know the author, nor do I know the title of the book. I think I should make the effort to find out a little bit about them... I'd owe him that much after all the wine I'm about to consume, which is on him...
update: I spent the whole of 30mins at that book launch. I was too sick to mingle and initiate any form of small talk and so I sat in a corner and nursed a tall glass of cranberry juice. BLEH!!!
at 5:40:00 pm
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Monday, March 21, 2005
I am sitting at the computer of, I would say a pretty good friend from university, while he is in the kitchen preparing dinner. I know, HE is in the kitchen preparing dinner. Now I have to say, that is a luxury we women are rarely treated to these days. Finding a guy who can dance is difficult enough, but one who can cook!? (Everything's instant btw, but what the hell... he's still IN THE KITCHEN). No offence to the minority who can whip up an 8 course dinner in a blink of an eye (eg. Village Boy - I've had the privelge several times and I must say every single time was culinary heaven).
OK gotta cut this short... chef's just announced that dinner is ready... I can't wait :)
at 10:01:00 pm
Just a quick note about Wanderlust 2. My baby read it and commented on the fact that it's fine to have my little slice of apple pie (I prefer it to cake), but I probably wouldn't be able to eat it as well. So hoping that I can run around the world infusing myself with culture and wonderment, not have any backup reserves, and then getting hitched to someone sensible and settled with a career (i.e rich banker), is simply not a fair thing to hope for... I hope no one got the impression that that was my intention. Definitely not. If I've enjoyed myself but have very little or no savings then it's something I am gonna have to live with and work at.
OK, on to something I read today...
The Educated New Village Boy sent me a link to one of thurpentyne's postings, and in it, a friend of his says this...
"We have 30 -40 years to build our career. If you can't do shit in 30 -40 years, you just have to accept the fact that you are simply not cut to do it. BUT we only have 5-6 years in our 20's when we wake up and realise we need to do something and actually go about doing it"
That alone renewed my convictions to pack up and head out into the world. But I have to admit, I do have my reservations. I have never been the impulsive, spontaneous sort. In fact I used to be master organiser, mistress planner... i had to know everything that was going to happen way beforehand. I hated being caught off guard as that made me feel vulnerable, out of control... and that always scared me. I've come a long way since leaving home 5 years ago. I've become much much more tolerant and accepting of sudden changes, and I can now adapt fairly well to new situations. But I know I will never be able to totally leave things in the hands of fate. I still need to hold on to the reins of my life.
Hiddenson commented that if I can afford my job financially then i should keep it. The problem is, I can't. Not if I want to travel. Whoever says that money's not an issue is lying. It's always an issue. You need it for literally everything. Nothing comes for free anymmore. And if I don't wanna get stuck rummaging through garbage cans in Spain because I spent my last euro on last night's dinner, I'm gonna have to give myself options to tackle these monetary issues. Village Boy suggested buying the lottery; Thurpentyne mentioned doing odd jobs to save up, but I guess he's speaking from the point of a university student. Physically, I wouldn't be able to cope with a full-time job and a part-time one on weekends. So my solution... get my TESOL and teach English while I travel. Not that bad an idea I think, if I ignore the fact that there are probably thousands of like minded people out there doing the same thing. It's worth a shot though. I'll be $4000 short but a step closer to getting out. I'm scheduled to start in July. Part-time, twice a week, 3 hours a day in the evenings.
I'm very glad for my parents' support. They were very accepting of my career of choice, even if they were a little disappointed I didn't continue in the field I studied. But I know that they're happy knowing that I'm happy. I still want to get my degree in Education sometime in the next year or so, and am hoping to do it in Germany. That in itself poses another challenge. I'd have to speak a pretty decent German if I wanna survive university there. One option would be to attend German classes here, the other, and I must say, more appealing one for a number of reasons, would be to live a year in Germany, just studying the language, and then enrolling in a state university. My mum's very excited. So am I :)
at 4:22:00 pm
Friday, March 18, 2005
I have another 2 full days before work gets back into full swing, till then I'll keep posting. This is surprisingly very therapeutic. I am currently planning my next trip to Germany to see my sweetheart. The last time I was there it was winter and my first time experiencing snow. It was a magical 3 weeks and I wished I didn't have to come back. But now I'm looking forward to seeing Germany in the summer! In exactly 11 weeks and 3 days, I will be on board the plane headed for Deutschland. I'm limited to only 2 weeks this time so I'm gonna spend that time solely in Baden-Wurttemburg, in the south-west of Germany. And since I'll have the luxury of the sun, we're planning to see the sights by bike, and do a spot of camping. Nothing as adventurous as camping in the forests or anything, apparently you're not allowed to... So I've managed to find this little family run camping and caravan park in Black Forest where we could do some 'civilised' camping. We're aiming to check out Freiburg, Baden-Baden, Freudenstadt where we can go hiking and if time permits, Heidelberg. From there we'll travel South to Lake Constance, on the border of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where the towns Meersburg and Uberlingen, are said to be simply breath taking. So yeah, I'm terribly excited and just can't wait!
Will post pictures when I get back :)
11 weeks 3 days and counting down...
at 7:30:00 pm
For those of you who don't already know, I am a preschool teacher. I love children, I love being around them and hence, I love my job. Unfortunately, there are many out there, especially here on our little island paradise, who don't see the importance and respectability of being a teacher. For most, it's a back-up for when they can't land a job in the field they graduated in or if they just can't land a job.
I am a Science graduate with a major in Biology, but for the longest time I all i wanted to do was work with children. So immediately after graduating, I skipped past all the laboratory openings and zoned in on teaching positions. By sheer luck I came across an ad stating the need for:
'a young, vibrant, energetic individual, who is comfortable around young children. Creative and musically inclined. Ability to play the keyboard or the guitar an advantage.'
The words just lept out at me. And I thought. That's it! That's me! I called the school that same day, got myself an interview, and a week later, i had a job! Of course with no qualifications in Education I had to start from the bottom, assisting teachers, doing the donkey work and learning the ropes. I then went for night classes, three times a week to get qualified.
This is where I expect to be asked, incredulously i might add, 'A qualification??'
Yes! A qualification! You need to have some knowledge of what you're doing! Preschool is the most important time in a child's life. Screw it up and they're f***ed for good. What irks me the most is the mentality people have about the profession. They think they can wake up one day and decide, 'I don't want to be an architect anymore. I need a career change. What should I do? I know! I'll be a teacher!' and hey presto! They have their own class of 4 year-olds. Easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. How hard can it be? Sing some songs, tell a few stories, let them play a little then when the bell goes, send them home! Well sorry to break it to you, but that's not how it is...
A very real example: A friend sends me an IM asking me if I know of any schools that were hiring.
"Why, what's up?"
"Well i was thinking of teaching part-time, since I don't have anything to do in the day."(She's involved with the European market, some stock market thing I think, so she works nights.)
"Oh, what qualification do you have?"
"Errr... none. Do I need one?"
I lost interest in the conversation after that.
Being a preschool teacher is actually pretty tiring, it's stretching it a little to say you'll teach in the day and then toddle of later at night, fresh as a daisy to do your 'real' job. Plus there's quite a bit of prep work involved. Given the age group of 2 to 6, with 12 in a class, you not only have to be lively and animated and have a whole lot of tricks up your sleeve to hold their attention, but you also have to be creative and spontaneous to pique their interest. Well lively and animated for the 2-3 year olds at least. You have to understand their development, decide on what you want the children to acheive, and from there plan lessons appropriate to their level. In the classroom, you're the leader, the commander, the best friend, the mummy, the daddy, the big sister, the big brother... you clean them when they puke, you clean them when they poop... so if you're willing to be and do all that, you have my blessings...
Despite how biased this whole thing sounds, I am not saying that I have a horribly difficult job and that the lives of young children are in my hands. Far from it. All I'm saying is that a teacher's work is challenging and demanding in it's own way. Don't underestimate it. Respect it.
So if you're teaching, or thinking about teaching just to ride out a streak of rotten luck or waiting for the economy to pick up... DON'T! Go find something else to do.
Children are like a huge white pristine piece of paper waiting to be touched by the colour of love, knowledge and life. And as a teacher, you have a huge influence on what colours find their way onto that piece of paper. Because if the wrong ones go on, no amount of erasing is gonna get it all out. There'll always be a stain.
at 6:52:00 pm
Going back to my cousin's comment of keeping one's head screwed on a little tighter and saving up for the future, I know of one success story, where a 19-year-old packed up, moved to UK, set up her own pub with her boyfriend, had a falling out, sold the pub, moved to Holland where she rolled joints at night to make ends meet, got bored, went to South America for what was supposed to be a 9 month travel-adventure, met a hot Latino hunk instead and ended up staying for 2 years, broke up, moved to Japan where she ran a landscaping firm, sold that, and did a 180 degree switch to teaching preschoolers for several years, and somehow or other, managed to garner 2 degrees. And now that she's almost 30, I would say she's pretty satisfied with all that she's seen and experienced and has absolutely no regrets. She has no savings but it doesn't bother her. (well I did fail to mention that she wound up marrying the VP of some department of some bank, so i guess that doesn't quite count now does it...) But still, it's the risk you gotta take. Who knows, if I did what she did I'd either be happy with no money or happy and married to a rich banker. Either way, I'd be happy...
at 5:10:00 pm
It's 1311hrs on a Friday and I'd just stepped into the office... I scoot past the front desk, dodge the bosses office, scurry into my torture tower... and I was greeted with.... silence... no raised eyebrows, no 'Do-you-know-what-time-it-is?' flung across the room, in fact there was no one! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we are all on a week's break! And while everyone is probably either at home vegeing out devouring DVD after DVD or away on some mini-holiday, I... just stepped into the office. Not that I'm complaining... Much to the bemusement of my fellow colleagues, i'm here whether I'm expected to be or not. There really isn't much to do when you're on a break and everyone else is chained to their cubicles... so I come back to work and give myself something to do. (I bet there are lots of people out there dying to hire me right now).
Don't get me wrong.. it's not like I don't have a life or anything, in fact, i think used up a month's worth of entertainment in the last 5 days. It's just that in some twisted, masochistic sort of way, i actually LOVE what i'm doing. And what makes it even more enjoyable, is the fact that my work is done by 1430hrs. After that I can do whatever I choose to do. Take a 3 hour lunch break if I want to, go for a swim at the gym, do some window shopping, catch a movie... and NO ONE will get on my case for it. HAH!! Therefore, due to these 'benefits' I voluntarily pay my 'torture tower' a visit on my off-days. Does this make any sense whatsoever? I'm still trying to figure myself out...
at 1:11:00 pm
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
by Anton Szandor Lavey © 1967
Courtesy of my supervisor... She's probably just as bored as I am, if not more.
at 9:03:00 pm
A term I was introduced to by Tasslehoff Burrfoot the Kender, who due to his susceptibility to it, found that he was constantly landing himself into ‘trouble’, as the more ‘serious and responsible’ would say. But I think he would have preferred the terms ‘adventure’ and excitement. Think about it, you lose yourself in a strange land where you know no one and speak not the language. It’s enough to make your palms go sweaty, your heart race and your skin crawl… I mean come on, that’s got to be a good thing! After all, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t those symptoms remind you of a certain past time we humans love to indulge ourselves in from time to time?
Anyway, I suffer the same torment Mr. Burrfoot did, almost every hour. I knew from a very young age that I was destined for foreign lands… across mountains and valleys, rivers and seas… but when exactly that would be I have yet to find out. I’m still stuck on a smidgen of an island a mile away from my country of birth, and to add insult to injury, the number of foreign lands I’ve had the privilege to frolic in (excluding my current smidgen of an island), are a pathetic 3! Them being the United Kingdom (of which I’ve been to 3 times… why, I don’t know), Germany and Indonesia (or more precisely, Bintan and Batam). I am therefore either much much more resistant to this awful affliction called Wanderlust, or I’m just financially strapped. (Anyone care to make a guess?)
Now, I had a mini discussion with a dear cousin of mine, who at 35, has settled down, is ‘serious and responsible’. Seeing that he was born and bred in Europe, being ‘serious and responsible’ probably wouldn’t come close to what that would mean if applied to Asians. He has an awesome sense of adventure, is willing to take risks, and lives by the moment! And then… deng deng deng… He turned out to be worse than a 70-year-old who had mortgages by the dozen, 10 mouths to feed (still??), and good for nothing children who wouldn’t contribute a cent to pay for his stay at the Peace Lodge Home for the Aged. He basically crushed and ground to a fine powder, my plans to succumb to the call of the wild (i.e country-hop every two years or so in order to experience the rest of good ol’ Mother Earth). His reasons? Sorry REASON?
‘Think about your pension!! You won’t get one if you don’t stay put in one place? You have to think about your future!’
‘But, but, but… I’m young! With years and years ahead of me! If I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it! And I AM thinking about my future, thank you very much!’
I protested. (pouted more like). How dare he? This is my life! I shall do with it as I please!
I didn’t argue my point for long though. I was afraid he might drop some reality check bomb on me and I’ll be transformed into the ‘serious and responsible’. But the damage has been done. The seed of doubt has been planted and it’s growing ever so slowly but surely… sucking dry my ambitions and dreams as the days go by. (Oh I hate you Ian!!) I just know that at this point I’m still trying various brands of herbicides on that damn sprout… the battle has just begun…
at 8:27:00 pm