Sunday, July 24, 2011

associated content: the decisions your heart makes

I've never really thought about why I think the way I do.
It for me. It may not work for everyone.

I miss melbourne and I had met a bloke who came from a different part of Australia. Knowing as I do that most people from that part of the country 'hate' Melbourne ("eurgh I don't know why Singaporeans love that place") I asked gingerly, tentatively, if he liked Melbourne, expecting him to say no. To my surprise, he said he loved it, in a manner that echoed in my heart - full of conviction and ... knowing the place enough to know what you like about it.

As usual, he is one of the many people whom I meet in my life and only meet once or twice. I do like meeting people but sometimes it is rather unsettling especially when you do want some of them to stay a little longer.

We, rightly or wrongly, make snap judgements of people.
For me, those who buy me a large cup of starbucks hazelnut latte scores highly in my book...
It's quite amazing about the little things we notice. I met a GM who opened up his 'typical black folder' and... hey! Inside there was a red moleskin and I felt this instant connection - I use a red moleskin too! I kept smiling at him from my heart after that, I guess he wondered why because I never did tell him. Subconsciously, I want to help people who reminds me of ... well, me. There are some people who we just remember on the phone because their voice reminds us of a good friend we love. And we tend to talk a wee bit longer to them and smile internally. On the other hand, people with weak eye contact and nervous behavior coupled with a bad handshake just does not help them go far and I really feel bad for them because it's all learned behavior.

It's a pleasant surprise to me to meet someone who really understands what I'm going through right now, and uses the right words to hit the right spots in my heart. Honestly, there are opportunities I should consider really soon. And there are no strong reasons why I should not consider them. As I remain half-hearted, someone told me with no mincing of words that the 'really brilliant ones' would do the same. And gave me some words of conviction for the issue. This person will be someone with a high level of influence in my life because he bothered to have a high level of understanding. For so many times we have been trying to meet, but we have had respective spontaneous pressing work demands that made it difficult. And we both understood the special requirements of our work that sometimes meant we couldn't keep to our promises. But if I had not bothered to understand, I would have just wrote him off and be very disappointed and maybe think badly of his character. Knowing him I just thought that this essence or what you call it, a curious mind that seeks to understand mine, is very appealing indeed. We all are so busy, so engaged with others yet we still seek to observe and understand others, well, at least the ones that has captured our minds as well.

This week I just needed that, that someone who wants to know what's going on in my mind.
It would be nice if he's the one in my mind too. The next time round this trait will feature highly. Someone who will see beyond the physical and find the spirited force of life within.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

associated content part one

One of those 'social night outs' I had (distinguished from the usual 'hermit' nights) , I was in a taxi with a male friend whom I had just met. We had, with our puppy eyes, influenced the driver to make a last trip for the day and bring us to Dempsey to end the evening.

Friend: 'Where do you live?'

Me 'Serangoon, you?'

Friend 'Bukit Batok.'

Me 'Oh, that's rather far...'

Taxi Uncle 'Eh I live in Jurong, if you all don't mind, I drop both of you at Bukit Batok.'

Both 'Umm... buttttt, we want to go Dempsey...'

Taxi Uncle 'Go Bukit Batok lah! Already so late still go Dempsey. I drive you all to Bukit Batok then I go home'

Me 'Eh Uncle you very open minded...'

Anyway, we finally ended up at Dempsey, though he was rather insistent.

Lately the people in my life have all been trying to dispense love advice. I think that when your hairdresser does it, it is still okay. But when your doctor stops writing about your cold and swivels facing you, taking out his spectacles, and asking 'how is your love life', it is a bit too much!

I can see (it is so obvious sometimes) how one person likes the other, that sort of hopeful look, the way it is written so clearly, that this person is on her mind. In the snapshots of her heart. I've seen it recently. I tell the hapless dude, she is really yours, no? She really has a thing for you. Then oblivious blind as a bat dude will say, non, non, we are friends, that is all.

So maybe they see the same thing in me. The youthful idealism of a perfect romantic notion.

Hairdresser (while I am lying prone getting the dye washed out, a vulnerable situation) began chirping excitedly and said I had to be proactive. Proactive works! That's how she snagged her local husband (she's a foreign talent, they all are) by hanging out at the cafe where he works. I almost sniggered but thought it dangerous since she was sudding my hair. You have to let him know you are thinking of him, but not so obvious. Just sms - what are your plans this weekend. That you wanted to watch this new movie, or explore this new mall.

Doctor after prescribing me medication, said I had to give them a chance. Don't just meet once or twice. Don't intimidate them. Go out more! Less hermitlike. Hmm, how did he know that...maybe he reads my blog too...?

Even my new boss (I really like this bloke) gets in on the action. As busy as he is, he said that I should show some initiative, in fact, put up signposts. (In my mind I saw myself carrying a wooden sign that said.... "Be mine!".) Boss said I had to do something (and even gave me some examples of which I said vehemently I am not going to do that)...if not, nothing's going to happen, ever. Really? I thought his countrymen were more... initiated.

Well... I'm rather reticent and I think... the sweetness has to last on its own, if not, if it's engineered, how can it be credible?

Of course, I recognize that I do need to show some 'open doors'. I am wary of sharing my woes, or needing help, but when I do, I am always pleasantly surprised by the fortitude of those males in my life who step up to the plate.

I started out wanting to write about 'associations', but I am pleasantly intrigued by the people who can see that 'something' in my eyes, maybe, and I feel they are propelling me along this strange, almost magical journey that I just had to write about them. I will not forget their kindness and I also will be kind to those who might end up like me.

After all these episodes, I am learning, to just be myself, and show my true self to the ones who will love me for a long, long time.

Monday, July 11, 2011

my little squirrel

Fell asleep.

Exploring the world
Sebastian and Samantha...

Their mom was murdered by school authorities, one of which was Dad. The murderer took the orphans home. In a prestigious boys' school, squirrels running into classrooms to steal breadcrumbs would be frowned upon and terminated. That was how their mom came to her end.

And that was how we ended up with 2 baby squirrels, trying our best to take care of them for these crucial months before re-releasing them into the wild. They did nothing but sleep and gingerly explore around. One of them, the smaller, male one, seemed particularly attached to me. I named him Sebastian after the most recent guy I met (also seemed apt as it started with 's'). He somehow recognizes his name when I squeal 'sebastiannnnn!' at him, and would be very excited to come to me. But he doesn't seem to eat well lately and is quite scrawny compared to the other one, now round like a ball. I hope he survives, but like most wild animals they often don't. Sobs.

Today, a guy asked me out on a date. Unexpectedly.

I should move on. It's for the best.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

snippets in a social week

I was rather spontaneous and came out of my hermit-mode, lately.

On the previous Saturday, was invited by 2 Americans, two of them working here, to go on a touristy walk with one of their visiting friends who's in the US Peace Corps in S.Korea. We had a nice afternoon walk around and I brought a facebook friend who is a Singaporean working in S.Korea and it was his second last day here before he returned. He told us about the '100 day ring' concept in Korea, where a Korean dates a girl for maybe 3 times, and then she is like... confirmed -want-to-marry-him, and on the 100th day, she wears a ring similar to an engagement ring, on her ring finger as a sign. So if you go to Korea you will see many girls wearing this ring. None of us could understand why would she want to commit so fast and ward off other guys so soon.

Saturday evening, the Americans and I went to board game night at a South African lady's place. I invited the Belgianese and he brought a work-mate lady. We had fun learning how to play bananagram, a scrabble-like game, for the first time and he made these words 'sexy youtuber' and everyone wanted to 'document' it because it was so urbanly geeky. For some moments we stood at the window and looked at the city skyline, those sublime moments in comfortable silence watching the night view, as if we had known each other a long time, though we are only acquainted for a few days. This type of feeling always fascinates me. Why some people we meet, instantly seem so much like kindred spirits, others we have known for so long, still seem so strange.

On Monday, drank a bottle of wine with an uncle. He ended up recommending me to his colleagues and I got a deal signed very unexpectedly. And got to meet his Korean colleague later in the week. I don't really need deals in my fulfillment role, but it did feel good to tell my beloved boss about it and hear him say 'well done'.

On Tuesday, caught up with a foreign candidate and introduced him to my kampung. We shared some thoughts over wine, pasta, dessert, a walk. I told him about the thoughts in my heart and he shared his opinion and encouraged me. He too has someone in his heart. But it's on-off and no one knows what the future may bring. We mirrored the look in our eyes, that silly, suffering, wistful, feeling. He's going back to his country, 3 weeks' later - south of ----, where she is, also, but, he will not be meeting her as he told me, as their country is too big. I do hope that they meet, somehow. Love will find a way, when you least expect it. He liked my company so much that he wanted to show me to all his single guy friends, later showing me his photo-roll in his iphone of all the 'foreign talent' guys he knows. This guy is half-English, this guy is Dutch, this guy is German. Which one do you like? I smiled and shook my head at him.

On Thursday, attended my friend's networking event just to catch up with him since I had not seen him since I started work. There were 30 people there and some looked dodgy, some were trying to sell stuff, as usual. But the first chap who talked to me seemed the most interesting, so I asked him to accompany me to my Friday session with Monday Uncle. He agreed. He's from Penang as I later found out, and taught at my school previously.

On Friday, saw Red again at brekkie. The egg mayo sandwiches at the coffee cafe below my building is really nice so many people eat there. He was reading an old novel and I was so so curious to see the title of it that I kept peering at him. Sometime in between 8:35 and 8:45 am, he fell asleep. Either the novel was very boring or he was dead tired. He shut his eyes and nodded off and I was wondering if I should wake him - what if he slept there for hours and was late for work? Lucky for him, he awoke, and sauntered off like nothing happened but I think he was rather embarassed. I sniggered all through brekkie.

Then, went to meet Monday Uncle to thank him for the deal. I was taught to have 6 to 8 touch points for every person I meet, so this is Number Three. Got introduced to a Korean. Who was so excited to meet me and called his friends to tell them about me! Penang chap was rather happy to talk with them and we told them about this event we were going to, to my surprise both of them wanted to follow us. I met a Greek, an American, and 2 Japanese. (Where are all the local blokes?) Was rather impressed by Penang chap who introduced his social enterprise idea and talked rather captivatingly. Later, we went to meet his friends at Dempsey, Selangor chap and Taiwanese chap. All were lengchai... and once again, totally unexpected to have such an evening out.

On Saturday, one of the guys whom I've previously went on dates early this year whatsapped me. He asked me to consider him, to my surprise. He said I was the nicest girl he had ever met. Sigh. But he was looking for a wife, and I was looking for love. He said, who knows, in the future, we might end up together. But I said it was impossible. Honestly I feel nothing for him. And as tactfully as I could, said that there was someone in my heart, a foreign talent. Japanese or Korean? He guessed. I said I was trying to forget, but I cannot, as yet. This guy is not half-bad, a cheerful and simple person who also supported my opposition party. (Plus points, thank you for your vote.) I'm sure he will be able to find a decent lady soon.

On Sunday, I bravely wrote a letter. Finally, coming to terms with what I've always wanted to tell him. As we are friends of some sort, I think it's okay to just say what I feel, for once, and not wanting any 'closure' or any 'call to action', just wanting, I guess, to be able to get out of my reserve and release such thoughts from my heart.

When you fall off a horse, Tuesday candidate said, the best way to recover is to immediately get on another one. (Some gallop faster, some go slower... he continued. I'm not sure if this refers to any innuendos...)

Tell him how you feel. Put up signposts. Many well-meaning people who looked into my eyes and saw the wistfulness in my heart told me, what I needed to hear. I strengthened my resolve and thus, a very surprised guy will receive my innermost thoughts soon. How he will take it, I do not know.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

that aww moment just makes me go nuts.


Someone told me that the 'barley' drink ubiquitious in our country tastes like 'liquefied wheaties' (the breakfast cereal).

Now whenever I drink barley I will be reminded of that!

It's funny how meeting different people changes perspectives on simple, common, everyday life, things you never, ever, thought about. I always enjoy spending an evening listening to people talking (not complaining) about the stuff in their lives and the little bit of sunshine you get inside when you hear about the sweet schtuff.

Uncle Mike, as of the recent past, only an online friend, throughout Election Fever and beyond; finally caught up with me for a meal. I'm trying to be more social this week after completely blue periods of totally not meeting a single soul. I had asked him to bring over a magazine for me, not realizing he had to specially buy it from an obscure bookstore, for me!!! (When interrogated, he said he had bought two copies, awshucks!) And I was overwhelmed with warm feelings for that kind act. The magazine wasn't cheap, and we probably spent 2 weeks trying to set up a meetup so he had carried it around in his geek bag for that time frame, trying not to crush it (as he said!). Awwww.

Of course, it made me happy, only - just only, for a wee, little while. But. I think I will always think of him fondly just for that. And it got me thinking how I could maybe spread a little bit of sunshine in that undercover way, despite the blue-ness. Maybe text someone I've not met for sometime and ask them about their lives. Secretly getting the bill when your dining partner goes to the loo. Taking photos of the squirrels in my life and sending them to super-stressed friends, hopefully, they will go 'awwww...' looking at baby animals sleeping soundly on my tummy.

I'm encouraged to meet the people I meet; more than once or twice, which is the usual for me, always leaving me a bit unsettled because after that, I do feel slightly out-of-place to ask them out again. And I've been told I'm quite intimidating too. Demanding, maybe! Two blokes I sweetly asked for a meal got an entirely wrong idea when I asked to 'have dessert'.

I'm blushing at their imagination and I hope the next time I wanna 'have dessert' no one will get any ideas!

Always, I've realized that on the second time or more, I've got an entirely different read of who they really are. Those who I thought were boring were actually quite nice, unbelievably so. (Sorry!) Those who I thought were 'scary players' were also quite nice. And decent, in fact, unbelievably so!!!

So many people fit into stereotypes, I can think of so many, that we make snap judgements, that we fail to see beyond their physicality, their job title, who they really are, if they bother to tell you and if you want to listen.

And after having some small drops of sunshine upon my blue hectic workaholic life, I think, I will try to take it easy, at least this week, and not be afraid to embrace meeting new people, and just invite myself, or them. After all, its those little cheerful moments that makes my deadpan morning commute expression just that little more lively, thinking of what had transpired for me, with us, over the days that makes up our dreadful lives.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

puppy-like creature observes secret invasion

They are here, and they are getting younger and younger.

I'm talking about the Europeans who are here in Singapore to work. Well, I see it as a good thing, we can learn so much from their culture and habits - most of them are really intelligent and work really hard - the average Singaporean laid-back dude though, should be worried, because they really work very hard, and in 3-5 years later they will be so much more advanced in work than their local counterparts, who would be lacking in basic skills and still thinking working the minimum hours required will get him forward. As the fall of the euro beckons, people from diverse places and countries contact me and tell me why they want to come here. I'm sure that those who really want to come here will find a way. It's almost like a secret invasion (I'm glad, because I get my cheese and chips) no one knows about yet. I've met really talented people who got into management at a really young age so now in their 30s they are in senior management (GM and director) levels, and they are really... well, fascinating to talk to and I'm thankful to have this opportunity to spend time with them. Just 20 minutes blows my mind. They tell me they are really impressed with me too, but I really don't agree. Sometimes, I think I'm flaky.

It's hard for a girl to survive in this man's world because we don't play drinking games.

And being social with men, seems a little unsettling, let's just put it that there's a fine, tricky line to tread in this area. Being over-social could backfire, but too many of us try not to be outstanding and blend too much into the wallpaper. Especially if you are young, slim, fair, and single. They will treat you like a little, cute puppy like creature (Yes I can see the soft look in their eyes), and only through sheer hard work and results, then can you prove worthy of being in the boys' club. For me, I see those wallflower girls not really making ripples but then not really being noticed either. Maybe after one year in The Office, no one will remember their name. (Yes, everyone knows my name, after only a few months, but I don't know how come!!!)

I don't aim to be noticed for the sake of it, but I am intelligent too and sometimes my opinion counts for something, I enjoy making positive changes to the status quo. I never was inclined to venture into this corporate jungle but since I'm here, I might as well try to make the best of my remaining youthful years ahead. It has to count for something, hopefully...? After all, I told myself, I can always go back to what I've been doing and it would be a nice retirement job/hobby...

Sometimes I am lonesome, and tired, and I had a nice moment last evening when during games night, my new friend - someone I had just met over the events of the past week - brought me aside, and told me to look at the view. From the balcony of the condo we were in, we could see the shophouses, and the lights, and the blocks beyond. It's just like any other city view, I found myself saying. Almost similar to the view from my block. He liked it, he said. He loved living in this city. The largest city in his country only had 1 million people. He loved being in crowds like this. For those minutes we just looked out in silence, comfortable silence reminiscent of the midnight rides with Chester.

Encouragement comes in strange ways; at the beginning of the week I was having a really tough day; I couldn't walk properly due to overworked hamstrings, plus it was super sunny and I was quite miserable. How was your day, the new friend had asked. I'm upset 'cuz each step I took was painful, I said, actually amazing myself with my sheer honesty because rarely do I admit my upset-ness to anyone, ever. He patted my shoulder as if I were a puppy and later whilst talking about the weather, he said, he loved the sunshine. It reminded him of happy childhood days. I think most of us locals would not have shared his ideology... He said that he came from a dark and cold country, and each time he saw the sun in Singapore, he would smile. And his eyes lighted up, and there was this childlike innocence on his flawless face.

It really made my day so much better, and I smiled to myself on the taxi ride homeward bound.