rude relatives and relations

Rude relatives and relations, oh what would you do without them? They criticise every damn thing about you and all you can do is pretend that it doesn’t get to you.

The closest one to me has already said that I can’t do household chores and cook. She proclaims that I know nuts about fashion, make up, investment, etc. She even told me I’m too kiddy to be a mother. (Basically, she thinks she’s the guru to everything.)

Just this weekend, another close one commented that I’m fat (or rather, my butt is big). Why, thank you very much. As if I didn’t know that I have put on weight since Secondary school, you just had to say it out loud point blank and laugh about it. Someone related, but not by blood, jumped to my defense at that statement.

Why is it that someone NOT RELATED BY BLOOD is so much nicer? Yes, she tells me when I’ve put on weight, but she does it gently and out of concern. Not to poke fun or say it just to feel like she’s above everyone.

I have my armour to protect myself, but even the thickest of walls is vulnerable to damage over time.

keeping yourself covered adequately

Some time last month, I wrote an entry about taking care of your health and keeping yourself covered with medical insurance. I cannot stress how important it is to make sure that you and your loved ones (especially if you have ageing parents) are adequately covered.

Up until the day I moved out of the family home, my dad has been the one buying the necessary insurance and managing the family’s coverage. His hope was that one day his children would take over the responsibility of managing their own insurance matters. The day is here, but I guess it is regrettably a bit late. After seeing how hospital bills can add up to the five-figure range with my father-in-law and managing his insurance claims, I resolved to make sure my own parents were well covered. I found out that my mum was only covered under the Basic Medishield plan, while my sister was covered under an integrated shield plan for up to government-restructured hospital A ward. My mum has always been adamant about going to a private hospital and staying in A ward. Therefore, with their current plans, it didn’t seem enough. However (much to my dismay), my mum and sister’s plans cannot be upgraded due to their medical conditions. My mum is diabetic and my sister is undergoing treatment for depression. My insurance agent told me that underwriting for medical insurance is very strict.

So what’s my point of writing this entry? Yes, while most Singaporeans are covered under Basic Medishield (unless they opt out), the coverage is only up to government-restructured hospital B2 or C wards. I’m not saying that everyone should buy an integrated shield plan as supplement, but depending on your income level and lifestyle, it may be a good idea to look into it. Do it while you’re healthy…and especially while your parents are healthy. As age catches up, so do health problems.

The other part of my entry is more to whine a little about how unfair it is that people who are not born healthy, have to be excluded in getting themselves covered. While my mum insists that she is not born a diabetic, we all know that her side of the family has a history with diabetes and for the longest time, I’ve known her to be a diabetic. My grandparents were diabetic and so is my aunt. Even if she wasn’t born with that condition, it is more likely to be passed down genetically. From a business point of view, I can understand why insurance companies do not want to cover unhealthy people. They are a liability (so to speak) anyway as their risk of getting hospitalised or seeking treatment is higher. But from a human point of view, I just can’t get my head round the idea that people not born healthy have to be excluded just like that. Hellooooo, they didn’t ask to my born unhealthy. The hubby tried explaining it from another angle which helped me accept a little (if not fully) this rule. He said that if these people were included and they really had to be make more claims, the premiums for everyone would go up (since it’s based on shared risk) and the healthy ones (like me) would not like that right? Sigh, I guess he has a point.

Anyway, friends or anyone else reading this, if you have no clue about this insurance stuff and want some help, I’ll be happy to share what I know. Yup, this has been my job since I became a homemaker. Reading up on and understanding insurance and investment related matters.

karma will teach you

Karma will teach you not to laugh at people.

A primary school friend recently posted her primary school class photo on Facebook. Amid all the excited chatter about our memories, I couldn’t help but notice a few people on my friend list — from primary school and beyond. There are the misfits and the people who stuck out like sore thumbs back when I first knew them. Back then, we would bitch about and laugh at them, make silly comments about their weird behaviour. Well, just look at where they are now. Teachers, managers, etc. All successful people in the career paths they have chosen.

Just look at me. I went to college, got my degree, was in a good job, quit and am now a full-time homemaker. No one knows what the future holds. So before you pass judgement on other people, do reflect on your life.

smoker partners

I’m not a smoker, but I have smoker friends. I’m ok with them smoking (their life anyway), but my partner will not be one. Yup, that’s how I see it.

If someone’s going to have an expensive, pointless hobby, I’d rather it was skiing. Or better still, buying me expensive, pointless things.

— Belle de Jour

Exactly.

beauty blogger wannabe maybe

I actually wrote this as an add-on to the ‘about’ page of my product review blog, VERY BEAUTY, but decided that it’s a bit too personal to post it there afterall. So, I moved it here.

I will not lie; I love receiving freebies and samples. As much as I would like to join the ranks of beauty bloggers (or whatever fancy name professional bloggers get these days), I know that is not possible because:

  1. I’m painfully aware that I’m not model material. I’m certainly not stick thin and how many times do I have to say that I have fats in places you can’t see? It’s VERY annoying that blog shop clothing is made for skinny people. Even if the chest area fits, the waist doesn’t. Like WTH. And don’t even get me started on the ridiculous prices I have to pay for clothes that end up not fitting well.
  2. My fashion sense is well…I just wear what I want. I can’t walk in heels. I just prefer wearing footwear that I can run in. Heels do not fall in that category. *sigh* Ok, I will try.
  3. My make up skills are mediocre and I hardly put on make up on a regular basis (even worse when I stopped working). Le husband prefers my au naturel face…actually it’s just an excuse for being lazy.  Well, the excuse is somewhat true. But anyway, I do try now and then to up my make up skills.
  4. Excuse me but which beauty blogger wears glasses? Unless by some mysterious power, wearing glasses becomes the in-thing (real ones and not some fake black-rimmed oversized ones), yup… I’m just not comfortable and confident to go without my glasses as I have 大小眼 (one eye big, one eye small). Recently, I examined my eyes very very carefully in the mirror and realised the reason for this is the difference in the way my eyelids crease/fold. My right eye is hooded, which means the fold is close to the lash line. This makes my eye look smaller and god forbid, my eyeliner disappears beneath the fold. Yes, this is absolutely frustrating when I line my eyes. Glasses hide the imperfection or at least draw attention away from my eyes.

But so what if I can’t join the ranks? I will write just because I fancy it. A girl can hope right, whether it eventually leads me somewhere or not.

On a separate issue, it seems that the title ‘blogger’ is reserved for people who actually earn a living off writing on the internet. I beg to differ. I would call such people ‘professional bloggers’. Me? I’m just a blogger. Like I said earlier, I write because I like to and want to…even if half the time I feel like I’m talking to myself.

let it go

That was what my friend told me.

It took some courage to let her know what was bothering me all this time. Yes, it was something that happened 10 years ago and one should “forgive and forget”, but I never received proper closure for it. Although I laughed and casually said that I was 年少无知 whenever I mentioned my Polytechnic time, the hurt and pain never went away. Haha, I am a negative person after all.

But what she said made sense. Let it go because it was something that happened so long ago. Not many would remember the details anyway. Let it go because it is alright that not everyone is cut out to be your close friend. Maybe it is fated that we were meant to be friends only for a short while. What mattered is that I still have my close group of friends; those are the ones who will be my strength and support.

It was a two hour lunch and chat, but I walked away feeling a whole lot better. Perhaps with her words, I will really let it go.

Thank you, my friend.

quality of healthcare

As most Singaporeans would know, there are different classes of rooms in hospitals which vary in price. Of course, the price for a night’s stay in a single room is more dear than a shared room. Besides the difference in price, what other things do people expect to be different for each class of room? What do you expect if you paid more for a higher class room?

For me, I think that the biggest and most obvious difference would be personal space. Noise level and exclusive use of amenities (e.g. wash basin, loo, etc.) comes hand in hand with personal space. Less people sharing the room = less noise and more exclusive use of amenities. Quite logical right? Oh, and if I paid more, food choice for meals might be better?

However, there’s one thing I think should not differ no matter the class of room a patient is staying in. That is the quality of service and care from healthcare givers.

I am able to accept that the level of attention could be different because the healthcare giver to patient ratio might be different for each class, but I cannot understand when the service quality is also different. Don’t doctors and nurses take an oath to give the best care they can to patients? Why then should the quality of care be different?

I ask this because a relative of mine was hospitalised and the attitude of the nurses was very different while he stayed in different classes of rooms. He initially opted for a two-bedder as it is cheaper than a single room.

Two incidents to note while he was in the two-bedder room:

  1. Nurses only dispensed medicine after taking his temperature.
  2. Doctor required a stool sample from him and said that nurses would assist to collect the sample. One of the nurses later “reminded” the relative’s wife that either she or the patient would have to collect the sample when the patient had to do the big one.

The second point is RIDICULOUS! How can the patient collect the sample on his own when he is feeling weak and at times can hardly stand without keeling over? If I was there and heard this, I wouldn’t hesitate to give that nurse a piece of my mind. First, the doctor clearly said that the nurses would assist to collect the sample. Second, yes, it is not the most glamorous of things to do when collecting a stool sample, but this is part and parcel of a healthcare giver’s job. Why would the hospital even hire you as a nurse if you’re unwilling to do such things?

My relative changed his mind and decided he wanted to stay in a single room after someone moved into the room. (Initially, he was the only patient in the room.) He needed the peace and quiet as he had to bear the discomfort of a pounding headache that came with his high temperature. The quality of service and care was noticeably different while he was in the single room.

  1. Nurses not only dispensed medicine after taking his temperature, they rushed to get ice packs to try and bring down his temperature.
  2. He only had the urge to do the big one while in the single room. Nurses assisted to collect the stool sample.

One could argue that the difference in attitude to assist in collecting the stool sample had nothing to do with the difference in class of room the patient was staying. It could be that the problem was just the attitude of THAT nurse. The other nurses would have assisted anyway. But how do you explain the first point?

Why? Just because he paid more for this room so he could have access to better care? Please…how much do ice packs cost? Why discriminate when ice packs don’t cost that much? Are you saying that the life and well-being of a patient staying in a single room is worth more than one who is staying in a shared room?

A life is a life. It is important no matter whether the patient is rich or poor. That’s how I see it.

blogshops

Welcome to the blogshop era where a new shop pops up online every few months…or even weeks. Well and good for people like me who enjoy shopping in the comfort of my home. Online shopping is so fast and easy. A few clicks of the mouse and I can get almost anything I want. Plenty of blogshops means more variety of clothing to choose from.

Aha! That’s where the trouble begins. Since there’s more demand than supply, blogshop owners start pricing their wares higher. A dress can easily cost $30-$50. That’s fine for something made of good quality material, but that’s not always the case. I have been blogshopping a lot and I seriously doubt the quality of half the stuff I have gotten. It’s obvious the clothing come from some wholesale factory in China so they probably cost a lot less than what they are priced for. Really, why should I be paying $30 for a dress made of filmsy material?

To make things worse, some of the items I get do not fit me well so I have to try to resell them. If you’ve been following my Carouhell Carousell posts, you’ll know that I cannot possibly resell the items at what I got them for. Not shifting the blame to blogshop owners but I really wish they would relook the prices of their items.

cheapskates and more

If you haven’t seen this yet, you have to. It’s about Carouhell Carousell, a mobile app where Singaporeans can easily sell their stuff. It started off as a nifty idea, at least that’s what I thought so. Tired of uploading pictures to my computer, this app provided the ease to just click, snap and post whatever I needed to sell off, all with my mobile phone. Except, now it has become “Singapore’s #1 breeding ground for inarticulate cheapos”. I totally agree with that statement. In fact, it’s not only a breeding ground for cheapskates, there are also people with really bad manners hanging around.

First, let me address the cheapskate bit. I mainly put up brand new clothing — ones that unfortunately don’t fit me well — to sell. I was incredibly happy when I got a couple of “likes”. After all, I thought the “like” feature was bookmarking items you might consider purchasing. I was wrong. Perhaps the “like” button took on a different meaning, one that increased the visibility of a user. There is even a thing called “like for likes” in Carousell. (Imagine that!) So what you do is go around randomly liking people’s stuff and they’ll like your stuff back. I kinda understand the rationale behind this but I don’t think I really like this idea. I don’t want to bookmark a ton of useless items! Oh but I digressed. The way I priced my items was so I could get back more or less what I paid for for them. Nope. Not gonna happen. Nobody was buying my stuff. So I lowered the prices by a quarter. Some got sold off, but still not many. Then I noticed the trend. Things that are priced between $1-$15 get sold off pretty fast. Well, that price range is ok for some things, but some dresses are worth way more than that! So there you have it, Carousell, the breeding ground for cheapskates.

Another blogger’s opinion on the matter is that items should be priced low (even if they are brand new) as you’re trying to get rid of them fast. I don’t quite agree to that view. Yes, some items even if brand new can be priced low based on their quality. Gonna digress here…some blogshops do sell clothing at $25-$40 a piece when the quality is not that great. But, how about better quality items like a gown for example? You don’t expect me to price a gown at $8-$10 right? It’s insane! Besides, some bloggers do get sponsored items so they are already profiting from the sale. Unfortunately, I am not some famous blogger so I don’t get sponsored items always. Which also means that I’m already selling my brand new items at a loss.

Here comes my shaming post of undesirable characters lurking in the far corners of Carousell:

  1. The “Traders”
    Why the quotation marks you ask? These people put the real traders to shame. Similar to the people who have a compulsive disorder to “like” every single item on Carousell, these people go around dropping “trade” comments quite loosely. I like to think that they are cheapskates in disguise. Had one asking to trade for a $10 blouse of mine. Took a look at what she was selling and selected two blouses priced at $5 each. Fair trade right since the value matched up? She dropped the trade request after that. Erm…ok. I’ll just give her the benefit of the doubt; maybe she really changed her mind. Not so with this other person. The conversation went cold after I enquired about her items.
  2. The Negotiators
    If the traders weren’t bad enough, the negotiators are worse. Another cheapskate in disguise. They ask if the price is negotiable for an item. When I ask in return what price are they offering, they stop responding. What were you expecting? That I would suddenly drop the price of an item to like really low? If you’re looking for a cheap sale, please try the pasar malam. This one person really took the cake. Was “interested” in more than one item of mine, but totally went dead on me after my response.
     
  3. Miss I’m-in-a-hurry
    This one irritated me quite a bit. She wanted something of mine, I suppose for a dinner that night. Unfortunately, she caught me while I was in transit in an airport. I only got to see her response after I landed at my destination. No response from her after that.

Seriously, what is wrong with these people? Can’t they have the decency to reply even if they are not interested to deal anymore?