Monthly Archives: December 2008

Going Home, Christmas and Intelligence

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Its been some time…… I have been really busy with my exchange stuff, which is almost done but then again until I land in Hungary I dn’t think this work is gonna really finish.

So I went home at last a few weeks ago. When I mean home, I dn’t mean where I was born but rather where I feel the most safe and comfort, where I am happy and feel so free… yeah for me that’s Raffles Place. I went down to get the visa application stuff done and I got that feeling I have missed so much.I just can’t wait to get out of college and start working there…. 19 more months….

Intelligence, the capacity to deal flexibly and effectively with practical and theoretical problems. Something that college is responsible to build and develop in students. The exams are suppose to provide a good gauge of ones intelligence and rank students accordingly. However, I just feel the exams over here and just not doing that. I know…. the people who raise this argument are the ones who dn’t do good at exams. Even though I don’t fall into this category and actually do quite well in exams, I do believe we need to reevaluate our examination process.

Finally, Christmas in Singapore = Orchard Road decorations. That’s the best Singapore has to offer for Christmas. So we headed out last Friday and definitely it was worth the visit. Some picture are below for everyone’s viewing pleasure.

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Work & Stress

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Sometimes we get caught up in the problems of life so much that we really lose perspective of what we are really trying to solve.

The best analogy would be by looking at an assortment of cups – some porcelain, some in plastic, some in glass, some plain looking and some looked rather expensive and exquisite.

If each one of us is given randomly a cup with water, at some point all the nice looking, expensive cups would be taken up,  leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal that you only want the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. What all you wanted was water, not the cup, but we unconsciously go for the better cups.

Just like in life, if Life is Water, then the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold/maintain Life, but  the quality of Life doesn’t change. If we only concentrate on the cup, we won’t have time to enjoy/taste the water in it.

Locals Vs ‘Us’

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The most common symptom of a recession is unemployment. The positive correlation of output and unemployment is straightforward for anyone with some basic economics. As output falls, employment fall since firms need less workers to produce goods due to falling demand for domestically produced goods. Currently, Singapore is going through such a patch. Hence, the competition arises between the locals and foreigners for the limited job vacancies. As usual, the locals are crying for help given their motto ‘when in trouble ask the government’. Fortunately, the erudite government knows its economics unlike most governments around the world.

Cutting down on foreigner workers to accommodate locals would just worsen this problem we are facing:

  1. Remember that locals and foreigners DO NOT compete for the same jobs. Over 70% of the foreigners work in the manufacturing & construction sector, which pays on average less than S$600 per month. Jobs which NO local would want to do, which is exactly why the foreigners were brought here in the first place. A country where people have to be reminded to clear their food trays and trash are anything but prepared to be the people who actually end up cleaning it.
  2. Even if some locals were to say that before they had better jobs but now they would settle for even these jobs. These industry jobs require intensive training, a cost which most firms cannot incur now. Further training and recruitment costs are the last thing firms need as they are trying to cutting down their costs.
  3. Simple economics, foreign labor is cheap, freaking cheap actually. The only reason certain firms are still a going concern is because a majority of their cost savings are from employing foreign labor. If we get rid of foreign labor, firms’ costs would increase and the end result more firms would shut down.
  4. For the ignorant few, Singapore government has certain policies that requires firms to employ locals for every XX number of foreigners. Hence, in the above point if firms close down due to the increasing costs, the locals who were hired to meet this statutory requirement would also lose their jobs.

Not YET or Maybe NOW

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“Love has the power to rescue us and not let go, otherwise it isn’t love” — Garrison Keillor

The Original Story and Post was by Brian Berns, I have adopted some or all of the contents while making my own amendments.

In the 2003, I fell in love with a girl. We had an intense platonic relationship all through High School and several years into college. Unrequited love may be cliche, but it was the most painful experience of my life.

After our “relationship” finally ended, the memories continued to torment me. Even so, I treasured them, collected them, replayed them mentally. I didn’t want to forget what had happened to me, even if it meant further suffering. Forgetting would force me to accept that the entire experience was pointless, so I preferred instead to wallow in the memories, trying to gain some insight with time and distance.

I hoped that perhaps some explanation for the unexplainable would eventually emerge. It was pathetic, but I didn’t care how it looked to other people. As far as I was concerned, keeping the flame alive was part of the noblest thing I ever did. I was broken and bitter…..

I tried to move away, nearly eight years after my first love and I met, my life is happy and stable. Recently, I’ve noticed that my memories of her are fading on their own. I can’t quite remember who she was with when we first met. I have mixed feelings about letting these memories go, but it’s not really a choice. The time has come to gather up what’s left of the experience in one place and say goodbye. It no longer feels like a self-betrayal to do so.

During quiet times as a growing up adult, my thoughts dwelt constantly on our relationship. I’d be lucky to go five minutes without thinking about her. Then the ugly reality of my predicament would hit me again, making my stomach lurch. When I would awake in the morning and stumble to the shower, I’d usually have a few minutes of blissful peace. Then the memories would slowly tumble back in and I would lean my head against the wall of the shower in agony. Those first few minutes of ignorance were always wonderful, but of course I could only enjoy them in retrospect.

Nowadays, I go several days at a time without thinking painfully of my past love. Perhaps it’s usually a month or so. Keeping track of my thoughts on the matter doesn’t seem as important as it used to. She still appears occasionally in my dreams and I do savor the visits, but I know that the girl behind the dream is long gone.

My involvement with this girl was of some concern to our mutual friends and family at the time. I heard many theories about what was really going on. Most of them thought I was delusional or least very confused. She did her best to keep herself private from my friends, which contributed further to the impression that I was inventing a relationship where nothing really existed.

So that’s why I am writing this: To give a grand sendoff to my memories. To provide them a dignified final resting place. To wipe my hands of their dust and turn away from true love at long last.

I have tried so hard and now I know I am not as strong as you. To cut myself from every memory and every thought of us may seem stupid and foolish but I am running out of options.

Waitin’ Fears

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So today, I was watching the first and only interview done by Lo Hwei Yen’s husband. As expected, it was definitely an emotional interview, he said certain things about their life, which really took me by surprise. The feeling I got from what he said was that he knew exactly how important she was in his life while they were together. So it got me thinking about an old saying

You don’t know what you have until you lose it

  • But honestly after listening to him, I get the feeling it is not like that. You always know what you have, you just never thought you would lose it……..Sometimes no matter how much you miss someone it’s still wiser not to have that person… back again.
  • Hearts are easily torn but can also be sown together by someone who cares…… Though the scars won’t fade, the stitches will always be there to remind you that someone loves you enough to keep you whole again.
  • Goodbyes make you think…… They make you realize what you’ve had, what you’ve lost and what you’ve taken for granted. They make you realize that sometimes, there are no next times, no time outs and no second chances….. Makes you reflect about the time you skipped dinner with your gf/wife to watch soccer with the guys cos you knew you would always have dinner with her tmrw…..
  • It’s okay to cry as hard and as long as you want to. Just make sure that when you stop crying, you won’t cry for the same reason anymore.
  • It’s not easy letting go of someone you’ve put everything into. But it’s harder to realize later on that you’ve been holding on to something that wasn’t there… anymore.

Moving on my usual emotional issues:

  • How can we love people who don’t seem to make things worth at all? Why do we become so numb caring for people whom at times don’t even think of us in a day or two? Why do we let ourselves hurt and continue hoping for a love that makes us defenseless?
  • And why do we prioritize these people who only choose us as options? Are these the reasons why sometimes in love we end up losing ourselves? Sad but true…
  • Pain is when you can’t breathe even if your chest still rises and falls……Sadness is when you look out the window and think the rain are your tears……. Loneliness is when you still feel a hand touching yours even if there’s none…… Desperation is when you wait for a message that will never come…. Then love is merely when you experience all those things and still open your heart to that someone.
  • Don’t be bitter and full of hatred when the one you love doesn’t love you the way you love her/him or worst yet lose the one you love…… Ask, listen and let go. Don’t force yourself to understand when you can’t, to fight hard when obviously it’s over and to play deaf to the nagging truth that what you’ve had doesn’t work and won’t work anymore. Instead, say: “I have loved you more than you think I would, but I feel sorry that you’ve lost your chance to be loved more than you would ever feel in your life after this…”
  • In life, we always search for answers because we want to prove ourselves that we had the right decisions but the truth is we can’t search for what is not there……. Things happen because it is meant to happen. That’s why we forgive people even if they hurt us, we love people who don’t love us and we smile despite every painful crash in our hearts……. At the end of the day, the lesson you get are the answers to your decisions.
  • When something is over, don’t always think that it can start again. When it’s broken, you can’t always put back all the pieces… life is not the way you want it to be, when you know that someone is hurting you so much, just stop! It hurts a lot, but you must learn to let go. Don’t’ push yourself too hard, just remember that in every ending, there’s such a thing that we call… beginning.
  • Sometimes you need to set things free even though it’s hard. Things may not be the same but soon you’ll see that what you did is far better than before.