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?

hey, how about a meet up?

Inspired to write this entry rant after I saw a friend’s post on Facebook about a guy who met up with all his Facebook friends and took a photo of each meet up…or so I think. (I admit that I didn’t read the article. Was judging by the title of the article.)

Talk about friends and meet ups. I wonder if all my friends would turn up if I asked them out. I seriously doubt it. I’ve seen people come and go. I’ve even given up on some of them. I’m resigned to the fact that some people are just meant to be acquaintances.

I do not mind that people occasionally say hello or want to catch up, but I really hate it when people approach me out of the blue to:

  • Ask of me a favour and then proceed to ignore me after getting an answer.
  • Talk to me because they are bored…then proceed to ignore me until the next time they can’t find someone else to talk to.

I do only frequently chat with a couple of people, which makes it all the more obvious when such people of the above scenarios approach me.

To prove my point, here are two scenarios that happened to me:

Scenario #1
This happened quite a long time ago when I still using MSN (an IM tool). I’m not using the exact words as I don’t really remember but it went something like this.

S: Hello.
Me: Hello. Yes, what do you want?
S: Why?
Me: You’re bored right? People who suddenly talk to me are either very bored or they want something from me.
S: Wah…don’t say until like that leh.

(I was obviously spot on in my guess.)

Scenario #2
This happened pretty recently on Facebook Messenger.

B: Hi. Do you know anyone from XX company? I am thinking of doing this event which requires approval for use of the XX venue.

(My parents used to work at XX company.)

Me: Meh…can ask my mum but my parents have retired from XX company for some time so not sure they can help. Do you have any contact from XX company?

(Conversation continues on for some time…)

B: I still remember the last time we met at XX venue.
Me: Haha…we should meet up…again.
B: Sure.

(Conversation continues on for some time…)

Me: Let me know when you’re free for lunch or dinner ok?

A few days later, I text B.

Me: 大老板,几时有空吃饭?(Big boss, when are you free to have a meal?)
B: Hi. Sorry…I’m not well these few days.
Me: Orh. Take care!

About a month later I text B again…

Me: 老板,when wanna meet up?

*silence*

I’m not saying that people should not approach me at all even after we haven’t talked in a long while or that people cannot ask me for help, but please do things with sincerity. I’m fully aware that I’m an introvert and am not the most sociable person to begin with. However, that does not mean that I don’t enjoy catching up with folks. If you really mean to catch up with me, then do so with sincerity and not leave me hanging high and dry until the next time you need my help.

uncovering the memories

I’ve decided to slowly archive my blog entries from 2004-2005. I have them on Notepad, so I’m really just transferring them here.

I laugh at my style of writing then. My blog was pretty much an account of the day-to-day happenings. But it’s the details that bring back great memories…the good and the bad.

About the bad, there are just some things that never got resolved. It still hurts me till today. As much as I tell myself to “let it go”, I don’t think I ever will properly do so…because it does not just involve me.

carry that weight

My friends were sharing this story on Facebook and when I read it, I knew I had to share it too.

Columbia Spectator
TIME Magazine

You can also learn of Emma’s story and her project from this video:

I think Emma is very brave to share about her traumatic experience using such a method. I agree with her that our bedroom/bed is our comfort zone and should be the safest place. I admire her guts to display her mattress. It’s like laying yourself bare for the whole world to see. I also hope that the people who chose to look the other way when she reached out to them for help, would reflect on their actions.

Her story got me thinking about what schools did when students report of rape. In particular, what would my college, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign do?

I remember in my freshman year, students had to attend a compulsory discussion group where we talked about sexual assault on campus and the hotline to call. I also remember that there was this male student in my discussion group who was being a total asshole. If I remember correctly, our student facilitors had posed us the question of what we would do if a female friend came to us for help and said she had been raped. This male student kept suggesting that the female friend might be lying or might have dressed provocatively and hence it was her fault that she got raped. The student facilitators tried very hard to steer the discussion back to the main issue of what should be done instead of who we should be dishing out blame to, but the male student was adamant on his view. He finally walked out of the classroom much to everyone’s relief.

We as humans are quick to judge. Yes, the female friend might have dressed provocatively but that does not mean she asked to be raped. If she had asked, that would be called “consensual sex” and not “rape”. Please know the difference. I am not saying that girls should prance around in their underwear on the streets, but her dressing should not be the main reason that guys use their dick and not their brains to think. Likewise, girls, please consider your dressing, audience, and environment, and think about the consequences before you make a decision to wear something.