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February 24, 2007

Moving Out Of This Place

In about 2 hours from now, I'll be leaving my current flat and move in temporarily to my co-worker's HDB flat. The owner of this flat has decided to close the place. Actually, this and the other blocks of flats that comprise this area is under sale (or has been sold already apparently, as 90% I think have already given up and sold to a multi-billionaire buyer their property).

I have already packed most of the things - clothing, gadgets, books, mini-stuffs - in every bag I can get hold of. No box to enclose some of my things and let some movers do their job. I've decided to carry each one personally. Some I'll take with me today. The rest I'll pick up tomorrow.

It's amazing (or should I say stupidly incredible) that I've accumulated so much unnecessary things during my 11 month stay here in Singapore. The purchasing power that I've never had before back in my country had really influenced me to buy such things I really do not need to survive. Before I pick up and insert an item in the bag, I would think twice or more (categorizing an item between two groups: group A will be the basics and the essentials and group B the unnecessary, simply decorations or add-ons). Looking at each item, I could now clearly see which are true investments and which are otherwise wasteful expenses.

I suddenly remember the black comedy horror novel Needful Things by Stephen King. Passing thought, really.

I honestly feel sad and stressed out whenever I see an item I thought I could have used for a long time would now end up in the trash bin. I've become like the citizens here who, just before the eve of Chinese New Year, would pile up old stuffs like furniture and other house appliances. Still some of these things look reusable and appear unbroken at all. The notion that these are simply old (two or even a year old) makes these labeled as trash already. Now I'm looking at an unopened bag of dried slice mushroom which I'm still thinking of whether I'll bring it with me or throw it in the trash.

It's been months already since I bought it (yeah, I'm one of those who binge buy).

February 20, 2007


Some changes for this blog. Ongoing reconstruction. So bear with me.

February 18, 2007

Gong Xi Fa Cai

Enlightened Pink Pig

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Gong Xi Fa Cai! Congratulations and be prosperous (or so the saying goes). Wishing all a warm greeting of Happy Chinese New Year (Year of the Pig) here from Singapore.

I'm used to back in the Philippines being greeted by my Chinese-Filipino friends and my Binondo raised classmates in college with Kung Hei Fat Choi (using Fookien or Cantonese dialect). Mandarin is mainly used here in Singapore, thus people greet one another "Gong Xi Fa Cai!" while presenting hong bao red envelopes (I assume filled with goodies such as money or gift checks). Whatever.

Hoping for a better year. Or better yet, praying and doing something positive and productive in order this year to be a better one.

February 05, 2007

The Bus Ride

I considered my last Saturday bus ride to work (uh, yes, I had to work during weekends to finish some tasks) truly extraordinary, since I know most of my Singapore bus rides are too quiet and mundane. Why out of the ordinary? Here's what happened:

Rewind back to early Saturday afternoon. I remember our bus stopped at Bedok station and some school children entered. Along with them was a scruffy looking old woman who suddenly sat on top of those counters which I would call the "baggage counter" (I call it this way because I see most locals place their things - bags, packs or shopping bags - on top of this counter) and nonchalantly crossed her leg and placed her feet on top of those seats facing backwards. Most of the people boarding caught sight of her position. Even those who were concentrating on sending / reading SMS (ok text) messages on their cell phones suddenly glanced at her astonishingly.

The bus moved on to the next two bus stations. The school children in front of me (I was sitting at the third row from the driver) were noisily chatting and laughing when suddenly the old lady became noisy and started shouting towards the kids (she was speaking in Mandarin, I think, the local language of most Singaporeans here which I would never understand at all). The last thing I knew was she threw her dirty slipper towards one of the girls. Everyone was surprised by her act. She started to talk madly in all I can say babble talk (Babel, yeah, that movie still haunts me emotionally). A minute later, her burst of anger was vented towards a school boy one seat in front of me. I think I misheard the boy saying something to the old lady only to be embarrassingly replied with a slipper aimed towards his head. I tried to look away and be unmindful of the commotion, but I can't. At the corner of my left eye, I could see the slipper hurtling towards the boy. I stirred from my seat out of reflex, thinking that slipper would be hitting me instead. My emotions heightened at the moment (I'm a dragon - the fire dragon person) thinking I could smack this person but I just stayed at my seat like a stiff statue, still mindful of the next dangerous action from this crazy person. The school children decided to move and occupy the back seats. The old lady just stared madly at them. With crossed arms, she stayed sitting in her position.

The bus stopped at the next station. Three young ladies boarded and unluckily took the front seats where the school children had previously occupied. The ladies were happily chatting with each other when suddenly (yup, again) the old lady shouted at them and seemed to reprimanded one of the ladies (for being too loud or whatever). This time she stepped down from the counter, took hold of slipper and without warning smacked hard one of ladies' leg. Next thing I knew was she spitted at the young lady (I think at the lady's leg again) to everyone's horror. What astonished me was that everyone seemed to be frozen in their seat and seemed helpless in stopping the old lady's actions. Even the bus driver could not do anything but stopped the bus for a moment and simply chided the crazy woman. The three ladies were already (I think) begging the driver to do something but amazingly nothing was done to permanently stop the ongoing commotion.

The shouting match went on between the old lady and the three women. I really could not understand Mandarin so I could not deduce what both parties were telling each other. What everyone got squirming in their seats was when the old lady slid off both of her slippers and began licking the soles. She looked at the ladies while licking her slippers, as if mocking them in a twisted way. Worse was when she began to slap her face with her slippers, sobbing and feeling for something (I would think) she had done bad in the past, and pulling up her dress to reveal her breasts.

She quickly left the bus at the Changi Hospital station, crying in her departure. She sat down beneath the waiting shed's benches. The local nurse who had just boarded the bus looked surprised and confused when she heard of the tales coming from the three ladies and their encounter with the old lady. Everyone began talking of the ordeal.

Extraordinaringly, hellavaride, nakakapanibagong bus ride ito.

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Known to be the webmaster of the defunct Taym Matsing website (well, that's old news now...)