June 21, 2006 5 Comments
Independence has forced me to change my old lifestyle. This is not the first time I am staying alone… When my parents moved out of my old flat back in 2000.. I had about 2 years of independence before my marriage.
Having a mum who takes care of everything (ironing, cooking, mopping etc) kinda spoilt me. Unknowingly, I lived like a guest, never see the little details in life…like stocking up toilet rolls, scrubbing the toilet tiles, ironing my own clothes etc. It was only when I was alone, I started to appreciate the presence of my mum.. (haaa.. not that I am a brat… but I guess I am more concerned about my studies and BGR then..)
Surprisingly, I had a complete change of lifestyle when I am staying alone. I become a tidier person…more systematic, cleaner &…..er….that’s about it. I dun know if I enjoy it but I do see myself stepping up doing all the chores, making sure things aren’t messy and set a discipline in me. (Oh gosh, I know my wife is going to use this reference against me in the near future)… Come on, at least I know I am not the "messy" kinda guy.
So, I was looking at this new "den" of mine and smiling at myself – Mm…What a clean place you have kept, Joe! Yes, I am proud… I am setting a system here… and it is working… Man, my mum and wife should come and take a look.. I am good…
I began to start stocking up my fridge with lots of stuffs… fruits, hotdogs, vegetables, mushrooms, milk, ice-cream, chocolate, soft-drinks, beers, Yakult, noodles, eggs…I was telling myself – it is time to move up to the 2nd level of house-keeping – be my own chef!
So, on Sunday, I am ready to cook a nice dinner for myself… The food is ready, the stove is working and I even bought a new blender for my "ice milk shake"… Guess what, the unbelievable happened! There is no cooking pot or frying pan in my house! Shit! Ok…relax Joe.. it is only 2 items.. so I took off to the supermarket opposit my place to get these items…
"Your super nice maggi mee will be ready by 1pm" I told myself that.
When I came back home with the items.. I realised I missed out MORE items! Gosh…how am I going to cook without the frying fork and stiring spoon (i dun even know what are those)…. and the best joke of the day was.. WHERE IS THE F**KING COOKING OIL???
Before I embarked on another silly shopping trip.. I sat down, took a notebook and started listing down things… I CAN’T BELIEVE IT… I have missed out so many things – I realised my home is only 50% completed – I have no salt & pepper, soya sauce, kitchen knife, ice-cude tray, kitchen trash bags etc…!!!
By 3pm, I made up my mind. I can settle for a nice pack of LAYS for Sun lunch. Less washing, save money, save time… Eventually, my hunger overwrite my ego… I called Echo and Francis and asked them out for dinner. At the same time… "Er Echo, I need to buy cooking oil…can we go do grocery after dinner?"
Man, I am still not independent yet.
June 17, 2006 3 Comments
2 weeks ago, when I was informed by Nick that I need to fly over to Hong Kong to present a proposal to a group of "key figures".. I was worried about the outcome of the presentation. And when I was told of the date of the presentation, I was laughing to myself… It is going to be my best birthday or worst one.
I was warned "it is either I made it or I screwed it big time"…there is no room for in between.. One shot, 30 minutes and be back with the good news. It will be my debut and this will be a good chance for me to strike a good impression with those key stakeholders. Afterall, the first impression is vital…and I better not screw this up.
With all the good voodoos + blessings I gathered from Singapore and Shanghai, I arrived in Hong Kong at 10:30pm, 14th June. Working until 3am, this is indeed the most unique birthday I ever have… It was my third birthday overseas (17 in Tiomen, 27 in Perth, 31 in Hong Kong).. but it was also the quietest one. No cake and no birthday song… I was too dreadful to play that "Happy Birthday to Me" by Landy Lan.
I received a couple of birthday sms on my Shanghai mobile before my presentation. It is nice to know that my friends and loved ones are thinking of me.. Putting on my confidence and aggressiveness, I went in the board room and delivered that goal that I was expected to score. Yes, I scored!!
Was it a good birthday? Yes… a fruitful one (for work). But I miss my friends + gifts back home. Guess my friends over-did themselves last year with over supply of surprise, gifts and love! So, I guess it kinda made up for this year… (I did bought myself a birthday gift – a JBL speaker for my apartment)
Man, one year passed… things looked so different back then… I still can remember having Joanne, Tracy, Elkan and Felicia sleeping over in my hotel last June. Who could have guessed and predicted that I will be spending my birthday in such manner this year? (Dinner was great..I had a very nice steak dinner at Lan Gui Fang)
Who knows what happen next year? Mm…where would I be next year this time? What I really want:
1) My friends and family here in Shanghai with me
2) Perth-Sidney backpacking with my loved ones
3) Elkan singing "Happy Birthday" to me
4) Cutting cake with a group of FHM girls in bikini at pool side
Well, time will tell.. Let’s see and compare the above with next year happenings.
Looking closer, perhaps Brazil can lift the world cup again.
June 11, 2006 Leave a comment
I have been away from my "blog" for exactly 2 weeks. Hardly have time for blogging.. To be honest, I have no "great tale" to share with anyone… With my official driver, Francis and Echo back in Singapore, I left with little "kakis" to go out with.
Some may differ and debate with me.. Cos’ Shanghai is indeed a big paradise for both women and men. Women can shop all day.. and men can shop all night. Good news is – I am not a shopaholic…so you would not find me sitting at Xin Tian Di at night fishing for babes. Mmm…wrong analogy…it should be – You won’t find me being fished at Xin Tian Di by the sexy fishermen.
This could be the most exciting weekend I had since Feli’s departure. I spent the last 2 days packing and moving house…Yes, you heard me.. I am finally moving out of that 5-star cell…into a rented 2-bedroom apartment. I didn’t realised I have so much things to move….Can you imagine me making 4 taxi trips…transporting my boxes to and fro my hotel. It was a damn tiring Sat… Good thing was I secretly got the hotel bell-boy to accompany me…and I tipped him RMB$150. (Cos the mover-company charged me RMB$600!)
I spent the whole of Sat night, trying to connect my wireless router, my IP phone and cleaning up the place. Wow..it is still bare but I am sure ALL OF YOU are coming to warm my new place…. Will there be another Joe-Birthday Surprise Trip? (like KL 2005?) I dun know… But I can be for sure there will be none cos’ I will be in Hong Kong on my birthday – 15th (sigh…for a presentation with the client).
I went for my 1st hair-cut in Shanghai… I have heard a couple of "hair-cutting horror tales" from my friends here… Clearly, we foreigners do not know how to communicate with the hair-stylists. On a fair note, I must say the local hair-stylists are averagely good. But I was warned not to say common phase like "cut short" to them…cos’ it may just ended up "bota". (I have already seen 2 accidental botas …so it is not funny). Most of them advised me to go Hong Kong for my haircut.
Still, I took the courage and made the decision to try. Of course, not alone… My new friend, Binbin brought me to his most-trusted salon..and boy, they gave me a 5-star treatment. While waiting for my turn, I was given free massage…from head to shoulders, arms to fingers… It was really relaxing and comfortable. When it was time for the cutting…my account manager stood beside me…translating my instruction to the stylist.. I guess everyone in the shop looked at me like some freako… Guess what, after 15 minutes of cutting, I stopped the stylist and told him that it was done. He looked puzzled and told me he wasn’t done. I told him…"YES, this is exactly what I want! The 80% Armani HairCut!"
Phew… i survived through my first hair-cut in Shanghai without any accident.
Had a super fruitful Sunday… I started my day sourcing for new items for my apartment…getting ironing board, comforter, bedsheets, pillows etc.. Funny thing.. I can never find bloster over here in China. (Wonder if bloster is a Southeast Asia’s thingy?) Mmm… I can’t sleep without a bloster… maybe everyone in China has "human-bloster" to hug…mmm…
My new friends, Darren + Alicia invited me to his house for lunch.. Darren cooked and served me my 1st Laksa … it tasted wonderful! 95% close….What’s missing in the 5%? Haa.. I dun know.. But I love the thick laksa gravy.. Better than Katong Laksa..
We were supposed to have mahjong…but I had to return to office for work… Yes..working on Sunday.
At about 8-9pm…I knock off and rushed over to IKEA and spent RMB$500 there..(getting my plates, spoon, fork, dustbin, glasses, towels etc)… And then, I rushed like mad to Carrefour and bought some groceries (drinks, tibits, bread, cereal, peanut butter, electric iron etc)… Man, it is expensive to settle down like that.
Reached home at 11pm. Took 30 minutes to unload, make my bed (that was the hardest thing to do..I have never do up my own comforter before..and it was really tiring!)…
Wow…what a weekend… Guess I have written to much liao… gotta save it for tomorrow…