My Primary School Frens!!!

November 2, 2007

reunion.jpg

Last Saturday, my Primary school friends organised a 20yr reunion, sadly I couldn’t be there… But how nostalgic and priceless is the pic of 2 of my absolute favourite teachers (Mr Gryta &Β  Mrs Lissiman) andΒ  my dearestΒ  friends from my childhood days….

Although only a third of the class is represented in the pic, there’s been a good flow of emails coming through with pictures, updates of who’s married, got kids, what occupations they are currently holding.

Whilst I could recognise most of my classmates, I did have some difficulty recognising 2 – oops, wellll 20yrs flew past you know!!! But it’s funny and surreal, cos flashback 20yrs or more – I think back of the silly squabbles, the silly pranks, playing hide & seek, the fear of some of my teachers, the classmates I hated, the classmates I had secret crushes on, hehe… and now we’re all grown up – well maybe I haven’t height wise – but I’d hope maturity wise πŸ™‚

Top Friends, Best Friends, Situational Friends, Lost Friends…..

October 27, 2007

pl_studs_oct.jpg
Mrs Ong with her ex students

Today was one of those crazy days, I bumped into Doreen (church fren), Lee Yan (ex colleague from Christ Church Sec – whom I’ve not seen in 7yrs), my Art students (from PL) and Andrea (my gym buddy – I’ve not seen in a yr)…

So aside from bumping into old friends in the ‘real’ world, this Facebook has allowed me to rekindle friendships from as way back as 20yrs!!!!!! It’s just amazing… Fancy reuniting with primary school buds, highschool buds or old workmates from those part-time jobs at the ease of a simple search or spotting them on existing friends lists…

To be able to peek into your lost friends past, present… their pics, their family life, their worklife, to make contact with them, to be able to chat with them via the ‘wall’ or via ‘messaging.’ Amazzzzzzzing…..

Of course, there’s always skeptics who may question the ‘authenticity’ of the friendships added to Facebook (FB), Friendster or any online community for that matter. I recently posed this question to my students, “Those of you with 555 ‘friends’ on your Friendster – are you inviting all 555 of them to your wedding when the time comes?” Obviously they sniggered and retorted no!!! And if you thought the Friend ‘counter’ is already a farce, how about the FB applications – ‘Top Friends’ or ‘Circles’ and ‘Fave Peeps’ ?? Initially, I added the ‘Top Friends’ – clicking friends who I ‘deem’ my best friends, close friends, basically ‘select’ people whom I see very very regularly or whom I can talk about anything under the sun. However, the problem arises though when this ‘title’ is not reciprocated, haha – what does it infer? And then what happens when you have newly-added-FB-friends and you forget to update the ‘Top Friends’ list – mannnnn… the ‘innuendos’!!!! Sigh…

So here are a few thoughts from the so-called ‘Friend of the World’ (coined by Ands):

  1. Sometimes friendships takes effort to nurture ie. a few meals/outings here and there… and through the compounded dates viola – you guys become super close!!!
  2. As much as you may value friendships, sometimes they are ‘merely‘ situational. For instance – for that period of time that you schooled or worked together you may have been super close, but then somehow you may move on…. and keep that once-valued-friendship as a ‘mere’ memory.
  3. Instant chemistry = besties for life. Rare tho!
  4. Some friendships are ‘golden’ no matter where you are, how looooooong ago you last spoke or met up, you switch to ‘auto-pilot’ mode and take off from where you last left. Natalie Armstrong and Jenmie are classic examples!
  5. Msn can fuel friendships! Yep, think about the acquaintances who have been promoted to close friends!!! My gym friends come to mind haha!!
  6. Quash those ‘bitchy-judgemental-first-impressions’ you have of people!!! Count the number of best friends you swore you’d never befriend!!!
  7. Ensure you have a few circles, it’s healthy! Dun stick to just one circle of friends – we all need a bit of variety. I’m ever grateful for my church buds, gym buds, ex-colleagues and of course the miscallaneous!
  8. Friction? Leave em? We all face a bit of friction in our friendships mainly due to miscom. (me thinks!) so do we jus call it quits? Well, ask yourself is it worth keeping/quitting? Will you regret it either way?
  9. Friendships can be likened to clothes (I recently shared this concept with Ols) you have some clothes you wear occasionally, you have some clothes you rarely wear, then you have some clothes you wear to death! Go figure πŸ˜›
  10. Lastly, love em hate em, we just cant live with out em – we all do need our friends/buds/mates whatever you wish to call em’! They spur us on, they correct us, they laugh and tear with us, they basically help to define us!!!

Switching careers, the risks, the gains….

October 23, 2007

Siya has been bugging me to update, Ands remarked that I dun update no more, hehehe, its facebook I tell ya – I’m almost convinced it will supersede my need to blog… πŸ˜›

Today marks about a year since I made a decision that would steer a new chapter of my life πŸ™‚ hee hee… Yup, 2007 has been a really good year…. January/February – I took the opportunity to chill in Sg – gym, meet frens – lead the dream tai-tai life, as well as spend a good month back in Perth/Melbourne. March did a few Lit/Art workshops and in April started part-time lecturing at SP.

So let’s just pause here…. I was asking myself after I quit teaching, shall I try something different? Shall I dabble with marketing/PR do the career switch thingy? The hubs been the gd shrink he is to me, asked me whether I was willing to start ground zero again.. salary wise and competing with all the fresh graduates…. I did ponder actually and as much as I was tempted to try something completely new and challenging – it seemed to make sense to capitalise on my teaching experience and perhaps work part-time and get paid decently πŸ™‚ So yea… it was a good move.. I do enjoy teaching co-ed again, and tertiary level – it’s more relaxed, less marking and I enjoy the maturer students and the great variety of backgrounds, interestingly though – i’ve bumped into several exPLites and even taught one last semester – fancy that yea teaching your student both in Secondary school, then Tertiary!! haha…

May I add, part-time work status allows for more free time! Hee hee, yups plenty of time to step-rpm-pump-af-balance annnd meet with frens, try new eats… and even do some housecleaning…

Whilst it all sounds rosy and ideal… I gotta tell you there were moments where I did feel insecure, especially at the beginning of the year, when the sec school term started, I felt a bit lost… and depressed when my bank funds decreased rapidly instead of increase every 12th of the month… then the harmless yet harmful concerns of friends, relatives – so when do you start work? or what will you do? I tell you the stress imposed!!! Then the actual job hunting… circling your dream jobs in the classifieds, narrowing the options, preparing the resume, gearing yourself for the interview… oh man… then the rejections, then the jubilations when you get an offer! πŸ™‚

So moral of the story… hmmm… I think being 30 something gives one good reason to seriously think about career switching.. I’ve read countless articles in magazines/newspapers with testimonies of happy 30 somethings who went with their gut feeling and took the risk/pay cut and discovered time/life πŸ™‚

Will I go back to fulltime work? At this stage, I reckon this part-time worklife suits me fine – the pay is good, I get to gym, socialise more, smile more, I still get to travel here and there. Yuppers, no looking back!!!!!

Best Friends for a year :)

September 30, 2007

blog_marc-jacobs.jpg
Picture Perfect. Daisy Marc Jacob Poster Girls

Hey peeps! Apologies for the blog hiatus, I’ve been busy facebooking – i’m a self-confessed addict!!! I’ve also been busy chi-chi-ing @ overrated, bloody expensive eateries & hanging out with my fave people. Forgiven???

Anyways, yesterday after W’s RPM @ Paragon, G, Y, E & myself headed towards the carpark and we happened to walk past the Marc Jacob’s Daisy Perfume roadshow. We happened to have a sniff at the scent samples, when the pretty emcee announced on the mike – I think I’ve found my 2 candidates (or something to that effect) the girl in the green Adidas jacket & her friend.. Haha….

So E & I went on the mini stage and she said we looked liked best friends and asked how long we’d known each other for. She then proceeded to the ‘guessing’ game. Basically E had to guess what my favourite colour was and I had to guess what E finds physically attractive in men. Well stupid me wrote down green – hinting to her by pointing to my fringe, so she guessed wrongly cos she missed my cue, but – I guessed correctly ‘eyes’ cos I recall she’s a fetish for small-eyed men, hehe…

Was a fun spontaneous encounter, we got to pose & have our shots taken – as you can see in the pic above πŸ™‚

Love ya E!!! πŸ™‚

1_marcj.jpg
Randomly selected for the Marc Jacobs Road Show

2_marcj.jpg
My fave colours green – well not really!

3_marcj.jpg
Pose 1- hugs

4_marcj.jpg
Pose 2- kisses for A

Siem Reap .07 (part 1)

September 12, 2007

aw_sunrise.jpg
Angkor Wat Sunrise

I was suppose to explore Cambodia with the sis Christmas 2002…. It didn’t eventuate, cos fate would have it that my sis was struck with chicken pox on the eve of departure…. So <5yrs later I finally make it there with Joh, my new work bud.. It’s crazy-cool cos we barely know each other for a month and we’re already travelling buds – but I knew I was in good hands – the woman worked in Cambs for a year as a teacher πŸ™‚

aiport.jpg
A taste of the swanky Siem Reap hotel airport

Only a 2hr Jetstar flight away, we arrived 4th Sept Tues morning in Siem Reap. I was awed by the resort/boutique-like design of the Siem Reap airport.. It’s so tastefully put together – the artisan touches, the use of darkwood, the suspended gold mirror ball – I was so-so-so impressed, trust me I’ve travelelled manyyyyyy airports, but this one takes the cake!!!! But as Joh remarked, all non-Khmers need to pay $25US departure tax and entry to the Angkor Wat is min. $20US, so there’s a big pool of revenue, hulllo!!!!

ag_jo_oldmarkt.jpg
Happy lassies – our first meal @ the Old Market, Psar Chaa

On my food checklist were specifically 2 things – hairy-fried-spiders & baguettes. Whilst I succeeded only in devouring the latter, I was generally v v pleased with the Khmer cusine and the Western/fusion food…

The yummies…

baguette_oldmarket.jpg
Baguettes (as is) or with some pork, lettuce etc (so/so – definitely not as good as Vietnam’s savory baguette) @ the Old Market, Psar Chaa

kuey_teo.jpg
Kuey teoooo – the Khmer version of Vietnamese Pho – difference is the noodle, Khmers use a silky beehoon which kinda melts in the mouth!!!@ the Old Market

dessert_ps_char.jpg
An array of warm desserts @ the Old Market

frogs.jpg
Battered frogs accompanied with salt & pepper @ the Old Market

crab.jpg
Sucking the vinegar drenched crab fr. the Old Market

ag_jo_abacus.jpg
Me & Joh @ Abacus

seared_tuna.jpg
Seared tuna with potato/pumpkin mash @ Abacus

cremebrul.jpg
Creme brulee @ Abacus

blu_pumpk.jpg
Hanging out @ Blue Pumpkin

nikolaus.jpg
Nickoluas with his indulgent chocolate mousse @ Blue Pumpkin

amok_pasta.jpg
My fave meal – Amok ravioli @ Blue Pumpkin

………………

Basically there’s a few places for food I strongly recommend if you’re visiting Siem Reap

  1. Psar Chaa (old market) – the facade may appear touristy with all the baskets, souvenirs etc – but deep inside the wet market area it’s swarming with locals & a few brave tourists.. Aside from fresh produce, in between you’ll find local delights like the baguettes, kuey teoooo, the sweet desserts & of course fried frogs & marinated crabs!!!!
  2. Abacus Cafe – A reasonably priced bar/restaurant (French owned) which serves French/Asian food..
  3. Blue Pumpkin – If only they had an outlet in Singapore!!!!!! Fusion food, fantastic desserts, comfy/zenish (without being OTT) and free wireless access..

Through the grace of God, I am uplifted.

August 27, 2007

blog_boats_sand.jpg

Grace

Through the grace of God, I am uplifted.

When I have given my best and seem to be making no progress,
there is no need for me to struggle. I take refuge in the grace of
God. Gently, I pray: “I surrender all concerns to You, God, and I open myself to
Your guidance and provision.”

In a quiet time, I imagine myself in a visible situation that
illustrates the invisible uplifting power of God’s grace. I am in a
kayak that is stuck in the reeds along a shallow bank. Though I push the paddle
with all my might, the boat will not budge. Just as I stop struggling and
rest, a gentle rainfall washes over me and raises the water level just enough to
free my boat. The rain ceases, and I am able to journey forward again.

This simple image helps me to remember the power of God’s
grace and to trust that it will uplift me and carry me on my way.

“But each of us was given grace according to the measure of
Christ’s gift.”–Ephesians 4:7

Taken from Dailyword.comΒ 

I love the Village Kids!!!

August 23, 2007

kiss_kids2.jpg
Dini let me plant ya a kisssssssy!!!

kids_hm.jpg
Peace ya’ all!!!

team.jpg
The mission team of 12 lads/lasses

boyswork.jpg
The lads dividing the rice portions

girlswork.jpg
The lasses preparing the art & crafts

ag_teachg1.jpg
Mrs Ong instructing the kiddies

girl_cut.jpg
Cutting up the turtle – so diligent!

infront_school.jpg
Us gals with the village kids

keylong.jpg
The serenity of the keylong spirit….

fish.jpg
Ever seen fish so neatly arranged??!

catforsale.jpg
Cat for sale πŸ˜›

…………..

Dear Janice smsed me 2 months back asking me if I was keen on joining her for a lil’ mission trip to Bintan, Tanjung Pinang (TP) to be exact. She asked me to plan some art/craft sessions for the village women & kids, which I thought would be a great outlet for me, esp since I currently don’t teach art..

So anyways, last weekend 14 of us (mainly Janice’s bible college class mates) took a ferry out to TP in the morning…. The team’s objective was basically to visit a small fishing village an hour way from the city area and interact with the community, distribute rice & condense milk as well as teach some art/craft to the kids/women.

Indeed we achieved all this pretty much in the first day – as you can see above in the pics. One of the churches from Singapore have established a very strong relationship with the headman & woman with this particular village, and without fail each month some representatives will visit and both interact and give whatever necessary resources the people need.

It was really nice to be a part of this ‘community’ project. I fell in love with the village kids, they were really well behaved, diligently colouring away the colour-sheets I designed. Aside from colouring in, we also played around with the chenille wires creating accessories and crazy critters with eyes, whilst Janice and the other gals helped make brooches out of felt for the kids.

The first day, we actually taught in the small little wooden classroom sans lights. The second day, Janice thought it would be nice to teach on the keylong – indeed it was lovely teaching with the backdrop of the water, smell and breeze of the salty air – gives teaching ‘outside of the classroom’ a literal translation πŸ˜›

Aside from visiting the kampong, we had a chance to explore the TP city area where we stayed. We ate chicken rice, KFC, Padang dishes (which comprises mainly of fish), prata, mee soto, explored the wet market… I even managed to squeeze in an ultra-cheap Indonesian cum Thai massage for only $10sg!!!! And it was REALLLLLLLY good..

….

Twas really good having the opportunity to teach Art to the village kids in TP; to smell the sea again; to meet some new friends (not to mention converse in Mandarin with a Chinese National & Taiwanese) as well as hangout & laugh with Janice πŸ™‚

Thanks again dear for the opportunity! And thankyou God, for the timely trip and refreshing πŸ™‚

Happy 42nd B’day Singapore!!!

August 16, 2007

fireworks1.jpg
I juz lurrrrrv fireworks!!!!

han_jas.jpg
Dear Hans, getting a bird’s eye view thanks to Jas!

………..

cooks.jpg
Cat & Eileen cooking up a storm

spread.jpg
Our spread of Nat day delights!

girls.jpg
Painting the town red & white! Oh & notice we all sport bobs?

tatoos.jpg
Tattoos sponsored by SP, hehe – thanks Cat!

taboo.jpg
At least I can play Taboo well πŸ˜›

grp_shot.jpg
Singapore Sling mocktails – ker-chiNK!

………..

Celebrations are always tiring yea? But heaps of fun too πŸ™‚ This Nat day was a rather bz one….

  1. Spent the eve of National Day with Char @ Coffee club talkin’ ’bout frocks, make-up, Bkk among other things. Then Tini calls asking me to meet her @ Esplanade as her hubs was performing for the countdown.
  2. Nat day – Viv, Jas, Joey, Hans & I met @ Lau Pa Sat, then head over to near ORQ to check out the fireworks!!!
  3. Sat nite – gym buds came over for a Nat day party. The dresscode was red & white and the gang were so obliging – Cat looked cute in her cheerleader-like outfit, Ferns wore her pretty r/w skirt and r/w bauble chain & W wore a white T with red trimmings & tartan r/wΒ  shorts. Eil & I decided last minute to cook instead of ordering pizza, ironically, even though we cooked, someone ordered pizza anyways!!! hmphhh.. Eil was incharge of the rojak, onde onde & popiah, whilst I cooked the fried rice & wantons. We had lotsa fun preparing the food/eating, playing taboo/uno & watching the Ring. However, ‘certain’ criticisms about my fried rice, led me to loose my cool during the game of uno – oooPPPPPPS. hehehe..

Oh ya Happy B’day Singapore!!! May you continue to be a prosperous, safe & trail blazer nation!!!

    Dempseyed.

    August 9, 2007

    blog_prime.jpg
    Dedicated to the upper cut…..

    blog_prime_bar.jpg
    Funky bar

    envelope.jpg
    Cutlery flown airmail!

    blog_house_grills.jpg
    the funky new hangout – House

    Milly & I ventured over to the happening Dempsey Road last Sat nite, with the intention of dining at Margharitas… Well, silly me didn’t book ahead, so we wandered over to the Prime Society for some Prime dining. We weren’t disappointed πŸ™‚ Steaks, pastas, salads & drinks in Prime ambience at a Prime price, well Milly’s going off soon, so we only have less than a month to live it up!

    After a good meal, we went for walkies and checked out House restaurant/bar/spa – nice place to chill, worth checking out!

    Sixties Nite @ ORQ

    August 3, 2007

    orq_grp.jpg
    The Aquarians aka AF gang

    w-gals.jpg
    W & the well-coordinated ah go-go gals

    w_gals.jpg
    W getting attended to by the uncle & ah mahs

    ah-go-go-gals.jpg
    ah go-go goes ah pole-pole

    ag_samsui1.jpg
    me & the sweet samsui gals

    shoes.jpg
    check out e shoes!!!

    ………………………

    Last Saturday night was a Sixties Nite at ORQ, orgaised by FF. It was a members party cum opportunity to checkout the NDP fireworks. E, Lily & I decided to dress up ah go-go style and had fun searching the net for 60’s fashion & makeup tips as well as dressing up for the actual night. I wore my new dress from Bangkok and E’s long suede boots which I fell in love with – so sassy & comfy!!!

    It was a barrel of laughs getting into the cab, we probably looked like a trio setting out to work πŸ˜›

    Gary & his AF gang won best dressed and rightly so. They actually got their ah mah/samsui tops tailored and even got fake plaits, the grandma mary janes & umbrellas. W dressed as a sarong party boy – hehe.

    We had lotsa fun snapping piccys… The fireworks, well we didn’t really get to see it very clearly as the guests kinda crowded the windows ah well… After the event we headed to Asia Bar, boogying the night away πŸ™‚