29 October 2007

No Sex Please...On SIA's A380

After reading this article, I can't help musing about all the possibilities and questions SIA may need to fend off...

"Eh! Why I cannot have sex har? Double bed there and privacy maintained right?"

"Erm, sorry sir, Singapore is still a conservative society that values the conventional family unit AND place for sex. Sex at 30000 feet above the air is 'unconservative'. SIA, being Singapore's national air carrier would like to followsuit. Thus, I regret to inform you that the rules are still no sex in the A380"

"But we're doing it in private, right? Not that we'll keep banging against the door or what!?! So why ban it? You won't really know if we're doing it in the first place!"

"What you REALLY do in private, we don't really want to know. Our aircrew will not intrude into your privacy."

"So is it can or cannot? Your rules say cannot and then you don't really want to enforce?"

"It is better to accept the untidiness and ambiguity. We shall see how this matter evolve eventually."

"Ok lar...anything you say lar. Anyway, I'm booking a ticket for myself and my partner. You have my details here in my passport. My partner's name is John Smith..."

"... ... ... ..."

(All names and conversational exchanges are purely fictional)

Personal Ethics On Blogging

Something happened recently that force me to reflect on some ethical issues about this blog.

My Sec 1 niece, B, managed to hunt me down and found my blog. It is natural that it will only be matter of time when all the other nieces and nephews and even my own children will come to read my blog... provided this blog did not bore her to death first. In other words, what is written here is no longer the views and opinions of a stranger but that of someone she knows.

Of course mature adults who read my blog can differentiate between "sensibilities" and "silly nonsense"... although there might be some adults who still can't do it. Of course, there are children who can't form the distinction but at least they can still go to their mommies and daddies to ask... and I hope they do - "Pa! There's this orang utan who can blog and say something I don't quite understand, please explain!"

"Oh...this fella is full of nonsense! My child, don't believe a single word he says!"

It is a different matter when my niece,who knows me in person (or at least the kind of person I project to her) reads my blog. What if all along she look towards me as that serious-no-nonsense-unable-too-lie role model (I doubt she regards me as such but just what if) She may regard everything I say here as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! And this will worry me a lot! I would imagine she mimic some of the expletives I use here, got a scolding from her mommy and with tears rolling down her cheeks, she defended "But Uncle Ape says that also what! To the whole world!" Gosh! Am I in serious trouble! Before I go any further, let me address some family issues...

To my niece, B (and niece R, nephew D, D, J... the whole lot of you!) whatever impression I cast on you in person, know that it will depend a lot on your age. There are things about me that I will never show you or talk to you... at least not while you're still young. However, do note that what I write in this blog goes out to all sorts of people. My assumptions are that most of these readers are adults and know when I'm joking, making sense, silly, sprouting nonsense etc and children who reads my blog are under parental guidance. So, if you do come across something that I write here, things where Ah Ma or Po Po will say "Aiyoh! This is so evil!", please don't be confused as to who is right or wrong... just ask me in person. I will most likely tell you Ah Ma or Po Po is correct.

Know this also, whatever impression you may have about me, know that whatever I say here CAN be wrong, silly or full of nonsense.

Back to everyone...hmmm... I forgot what I want to say :p Or ya, about blogging. There are many things I would normally not say directly to any person in particular but in blogging, where the audience covers a lot more people, there is a slight different in that issues are no longer "personal" but more open.

For example, we take the case of a certain school teacher who announces his sexuality in his blog. Would he have said the exact same things in class to his male students? I doubt so. His "walking out of the closet" was addressed to people in general and the message I receive was "Do not hide your full potential just because you are not entirely normal".

Or taking an example from my own experience, there are certain friends who might feel very strongly about his religion. I may have my own believes and reservations about his religion but knowing how he would react, I will never discuss my views on his religion with him. However, that doesn't mean that I will not talk about his religion with anyone else.

... ... ...

I lost myself again... what was I trying to say? (another sign of old age?)... ya, ok. My point is, when you read a blog, please don't take it too personally... unless of course the blogger names you, shames you and made you look silly in front of the whole world.

26 October 2007

Memory Snapshots of Early Childhood

I better get started about my life story before Ras starts throwing Char Kway Teow or Chai Tau Kuay at me...whatever that means :p

Have you ever wondered how much do you remember about your early childhood? And how early or what is the first memory? At 4 years old? At 3 or 2 or even 1? I can only remember vividly of events in kindergarten 1, i.e. 5 years old onwards. I can also recall quite a number of events that happened when I was 4. Anything before that? I can only think of 3 "snapshots". I had no idea what they meant until my family and relatives filled me in when I'm older.

What are these 3 snapshots? The first is me looking over my shoulder at the corridor of my grandma's flat. My older brother was standing there, waving, pointing and shouting at me.

The second snapshot is one where I see the door of the private clinic below my grandma's flat opened and it seemed that someone was carrying me into the clinic.

The third is more like a 2 part short video clip. Part 1 - Grandma told me to stay and wait while she entered a bank. I turned around immediately to examine the fishes swimming in the water-landscape pond. Part 2 - I observed that the water line is right in front of me...and one of my slippers is floating right in front of me at eye level. A man was reaching out to grab my hand.

So what really happened? It's not difficult to guess the third scenario. Grandma and I went to the bank. Bank was crowded with a long queue (so are banks now) so I was told to wait outside. Right outside this bank was a small, simple, artificial landscape with a small little waterfall and a small little pond with small little fishes. And this small little ape was very excited about the small little fishes, inched out to took a closer look and fell into the pond :p

I remembered the bank was UOB because I visited that place many times after that as I grow older. And everytime I passed that place since that incident, I kept wondering why they have filled up the pond with cement? I missed those small little fishes.

What about the 2nd snapshot - clinic door? One of my uncles carried me into the clinic. Why? I fainted. Why? He caned me. Why? I wasn't paying attention when he was trying to coach me on some simple word recognition. I was to learn later that the doctor and my mum wanted to report him to the police but didn't do so eventually. FYI, that uncle of mine is not a child abuser. He was young then. I must have pissed him off terribly. I do not harbour any bad feelings about him, even after I came to be aware of what happened. I know he is truly sorry for what he did because all these years since then, I can sense that he is particularly nice to me amongst all his nieces and nephews. Maybe it was that particular incident that made me smarter (academically only) among my siblings and cousins :p

The first snapshot. Even without anyone telling me as I reflected on the first snapshot when I was older, I could tell that I was either in the carpark infront of my grandma's flat, at the bus stop or on the road. How old was I? What was I doing there? What was my brother shouting about?

Here's what my brother told me. He came out of my grandma's flat on the 3rd storey and stood at the corridor, looking across the road and into the school and the market opposite the flat. He saw a toddler, barely able to walk, making his way across the road! Hmmm...this child looks familiar, in fact, he looks like :O ?!?!?!?! So you know why he was shouting, pointing and waving. No one knew how I managed to sneak out of the house, walk down the stairs from the 3rd storey, past the coffeeshop directly below grandma's flat, cross the single lane carpark, crossed the bus stop (I must cross the bus stop because there was a drain between the carpark and the road and the bus stop was the only access to the road) and arrived in the middle of the road...undetected by anyone! Singaporeans really bochap?

Here goes the exciting part. At that moment, a public bus was coming my way (service 240 or 246?) The driver saw me, jammed on his brakes and brought the bus to a nasty stop. At about the same time, my brother managed to alert some of the adults (my uncles and grandma?) and they dashed towards the road only to find me...of course not dead la! Died how to write story here? They found me under the bus, safe and sound.

Many years after that, my father told me the road used to be served by Service 246. Because of that incident, SBS pantang (superstitious) and shifted 246 to run on another road. Service 240 replaced the route taken by 246. In anycase, if the uncle who drove that bus is reading this, please accept my sincere apologies...I was young and rash and have never intended to cause you any distress.

25 October 2007

It's Better To Accept The Legal Untidiness And The Ambiguity

HELP! HELP! Can someone explain to me what is PM Lee trying to say? Can someone tell me that I have read wrongly or misunderstood his statement?

Our current Prime Minister, who's father has always maintained that the integrity of the Government and the Singapore Law must never be undermined, said that it is better to accept the legal untidiness and the ambiguity with regards to Section 377A! (see here, here, here and here). He further went on to say that since it (I suppose he meant S377A) works, don't disturb it.


Have you heard of this saying? "If it ain't broken, don't fix it!" I have been told countless times that such thinking is backward, old school of thought, reactive etc. I have been told countless times that we should actively seek areas for improvement, take some risks if necessary, don't sit and wait for the machine to fail before you act on it.

More About S377A and Gays

Sorry folks, I thought I want to stop ranting about this issue but the last parliament session made me want to cow peh some more. When I read the parliament speeches, it become obvious where the "poles" build their foundation.

Repeal 377A approaches it from "Clarity in Law Making".
Retain 377A approaches the topic from "Moral"

For sometime now, I have been looking at this issue on one side of the fence-the Repeal 377A side. I stand on the Repeal 377A side to listen to what BOTH sides have to say. The information I obtained from Repeal is loud and clear - Strength 5! The information I received from Retain 377A was like unreadable and noisy - Strength 1. There were too much clutter and interference for me to make out any sound reasonings.

So for the past few days, I move myself into the Retain 377A camp with the hope that the clutter and noise can be reduced so that I can obtained a less attenuated information from the Retain 377A camp.. True enough, I managed to filter out all the noise and found something intelligible there. Allow me to share my understanding here.

It is obvious to me that NMP Thio does not discriminate gays - she is merely objecting to the act of MSM (male to male sex). To put it simply in the way I understood (and I hope you understand too) is that it is fine if you acknowledge that you (male) are sexually attracted to another male. You can run around shouting "I am a gay! I am sexually attracted to another male!" and the police will not arrest you for that under S377A, although I think the police can arrest you for committing public nuisance under S268.

However, according to S377A, it is a crime if you (male) engage in sexual activity with another man. This means that gays are not criminals as long as they do not have sex with another male. To put it another way, a very direct and blunt way is this - if you (male) cannot have sex with a woman, don't have sex. :( Gays are not criminals as long as they remain celibate.

Still standing in the camp of Retain 377A, I turn my receiver back to the Repeal 377A side and I pick out this message "I do not choose to be a gay! I am like that! I was not influenced or made like that in any way!" I believe and acknowledge that these guys do not have a choice on their sexual preference. However I do believe that they have a choice on whether they want to have sex.

Another piece of intelligible information I obtained from NMP Thio is that S377A covers a heterosexual male experimenting with male sodomy. How I understood her reasoning is this. If a guy, a young teenage guy perhaps, probably still unsure about himself and his sexual preference, believe that the best way to proof his sexual preference it is to try it :O, probably S377A is the only defence he has before he says "Damn! Tak shiok and hurts like hell! I think I still prefer woman"

If I were to draw a two column table and place Retain 377A on one side and Repeal 377A on the other and list down the reasons for each column, "to deter males from experimenting with male sodomy" will be the only reason I can think of under Retain 377A.

So where do I stand now? Sidetrack abit first :P

Through my working life, I have been given opportunities to draft Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Technical Orders or processes and procedures. To me, all such "guides" have to be clear, concise and easily understood. For every single statement, I always ask myself "can this be done?" and "does this serve any purpose?". When it comes to more serious "guides" such as Technical Orders, I take extra effort to eliminate ambiguities. Technical Orders are technical procedures that MUST be followed. Non-conformance to such orders would invite some form of reprisal. In other words, someone will get into trouble if he misunderstood what I wrote.

I look at the Penal Code and still feel that S377A has to be changed. It clearly include consensual sex between 2 male in private and yet gahmen says law enforcers will not bother them. Hello! People up there? If you want to keep it, do it and tell all gays to remain celibate. If you do not intend to arrest 2 males engaging in consensual sex in private, change the damn S377A such that a very specific case is excluded. Take a stand, a firm and clear stand because we are talking about the Penal Code. It is not just about making the Repeal 377A or Retain 377A camp happy, it is also about making the law enforcers happy, happy to know that exactly what has to and need not be enforced.

Please take sometime to read the parliament speeches by NCMP Sylvia Lim, NMP Siew Kum Hong, NMP Thio Li-Ann and MP Hri Kumar. I read their speeches from The Online Citizen but I'm sure you can find it elsewhere including Singapore Parliament Webiste.

For the sake of protecting the integrity of the Penal Code - Singapore's law, please amend S377A instead of simply retaining or repealing it.

22 October 2007

Introduction - Evolution of Kin Jio Leaf

It's time for evolution. If you notice, the Singapore Short Stories series has stopped. Until I get more creative again, I guess know it's time to move on and evolve The Kin Jio Leaf.

Like I mentioned earlier (here) I will move on to talk more about growing up in this tiny red dot call Singapore. If you are looking for a very critical and acute analysis, well, sorry to disappoint you. I'm a simple person talking about mundane affairs and most often, issues where the gahmen will have very little interest.

19 October 2007

Of Penal Code - Section 377A And Gays

Much has been said about Section 377A of the Penal Code, with strong support and rebuttal, from those who are for or against, the repealing of S377A.

You can probably guess how I view this matter (and probably which side of the fence I'm leaning towards) by following the links in the right bar I have in this blog. And I'm sure SingapuraDailyMakan did not mention anything about S377A...let me check...ya, nothing mentioned about s377A.

I do not wish to repeat the argument and views that can be found in the news papers or internet. However, I would like to share with you my personal experience when discussing this issue with my friends.

Anecdotal evidence, i.e. coffeeshop / teabreak chats with my friends, revealed that Singaporeans are still conservative in general. Most took the stand of "I'm not gay, I don't know any gay so it doesn't bother me AND it is better to leave S377A the way it is" In other words, they echoed the explanation given by PM Lee (here). I consider these people "neutral" towards S377A and gays.

There is also a few of my friends (3 actually) who do not sit on the fence. It is very easy to understand the position they take. The two who think S377A should be repealed are gays... at least I know for certain one of them is. The one who insists that S377A should stay, sad to say, has a misguided view about gays. By misguided, I mean he claims that gays are pedophiles, gays want to befriend you for the sole reason of engaging "act of gross indecency" with you, gays are like vampires - they've got "bitten" so now they want to spread the "gay virus" to you etc.

So what's my personal views about gays and S377A? I intend to share my views on these issues separately - 1) my personal views about gays, and 2) my personal views about s377A.

Prior to all these buzz on s377A and gays, I do not know any gays and has very little knowledge about what a gay is. My impression was that being gay is a choice and a heterosexual can be influenced to become a gay if he always mix around with ku-niangs (feminine males) or narcissist body builders or some "bad childhood". In other words, I thought a homosexual can be corrected. In any case, my stand was (and still is) very clear - be a gay all you want, just don't influence me or my family or people dear to me, to be one. You have your sexual preference, I have mine. Let's agree to not impose our sexual preference onto each other.

Now, having read more from the internet, I realised gays are as such not by choice nor influence...they simply are like that (Yawning Bread has 20 Questions that could perhaps share some light for those of you who have not set your perceptions in stone about gays). Of course one could argue that gays claim themselves to be born like that and not by choice or influence, just to serve their own cause. I'll leave it to you to decide for yourselves.

What's my view about Section 377A? Let us have a look at it first:-
"Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years."

If the decision is rest solely for me to decide, I will not repeal it. Instead, I will amend it to be like this:-
S377A - Any male person who, in public or private, abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years. (Note that "commits, or" has been deleted)


S377B - Any male person who, in public, commits any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years. (Note that "or private" and ", or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of," has been deleted)
I'm not trained in legal matters and have absolutely no idea how the statements would sound legally. I assume that by amending S377A as such, a male should not encourage another male to engage in homosexual activities through persuasion or monetary rewards. And by adding S377B as such, I assume that it means-do what you want in private and out of the sight of public.

But of course I am in no position to amend the Penal Code and certainly no one can amend the Penal Code without considering the impact it has on the general public.

So, as of the current state of affairs, where do I stand with regards to the S377A? Did I sign the Online Petition? Did I sign the Parliament Petition? Well, I signed the online petition...after much thoughts. I was reluctant initially because it was to repeal S377A. The entire S377A will be removed if the petition is successful. I don't think that is a good idea. To be honest with you, like gays who choose to be honest with their sexual preference... on S377A, I stand on the same side with PM Lee, with particular consideration to the last statement he made...

"As of today, my judgement is: the society is comfortable with our position. Leave the clause (alone). What people do in private is their own business; in public, certain norms apply." (here again, bold inserted by me, that is the "bold" not the words in bold :p)

11 October 2007

Little Things To Keep Marriage Alive

Been married for 7 years...do I get the 7 years itch? Well, the politically and sound answer would be - no. The truth is...still no. How do couples keep their marriage alive? Well, I dunno how other couples do it...but here's how we do it - do things we enjoy together! (wa lau! so cliche) :p

Ok, ok, I know it is difficult, especially when both of us have to work and after work, we're dead tired. A bit fortunate for us is that we're weekend parents but still, there's a fair bit of domestic affairs we have to take care of. So, on a day to day basis, we devote a bit of time to have fun - like play on-line games. Here's a picture of us. We were actually travelling from Victoria Island to Orbis, on a giant bird. I'm a magician/cleric, can heal you know. Wifey is a warrior/spearwoman...see that fierce looking spear she carries? Dun pray pray...
We enjoyed this game cos there's no blood and gore (wimps!) which means when our children are older, we can play with them also. Besides that, the monsters that we're supposed to kill aren't fierce and evil looking and it's kinda cute when they got hit...tears actually came out of their eyes...awwww.
The game is fairly simple to play and there's loads of fun there. Most importantly, it's not strenuous physically or mentally playing this game. So it's definitely an activity we can both enjoy doing together after a hard days work.

Gotta go now...wifey's waiting for me to start some fun...

10 October 2007

Plan Before You Buy

I was reading the 10 Oct issue of my paper (Wo bao) where my paper reporter Christine Li conducted an exclusive interview with National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan with regards to residential properties, mainly HDB.

(tried to find the article in the internet so that you can read in full details but couldn't...the closest i got to was this)

The reporter posted 6 questions to the Minister. The first question was this (if you trust my translation skills),

"Will public housing (HDB flats) become very expensive? Are the younger people be able to afford them?"

The Minister's response was,

"In the latest sale of Coral Spring, a 4 room flat cost between $188,000 and $252,000. Taking $250,000 as reference, assuming the buyer paid 10% deposit, the remaining 90% (i.e. $225,000) on a concessionary loan rate of 2.6% interest with HDB for 30 years, the monthly installment will be $900 which can be paid using CPF Ordinary Account (OA). In general, the OA is 23% of monthly income. If a couple has a total household income of $4000, their OA should have $920 a month. Thus, there is no need to fork up any additional cash to furnish the loan. As to the initial $25,000, the couple's OA would be enough if they worked for about 2 years.... ...they do not need to fork out additional cash... ...70% of HDB applicants do not need to fork out additional cash..."

There are 5 other questions that talk about the $8,000 limit, not enough HDB flats, smaller HDB flats and competition with private residential developers.

I just want to focus on the first question here. Should anyone jump to the conclusion that they are ready to purchase a HDB flat base on the scenario given by the Minister...don't. Please spare a few moment to consider a bit more. The scenario provided by the Minister is not flawed... as long as everything turns out smoothly as planned.

Consider the following, assuming you and your spouse are earning a total of $4,000 since 2 years ago. You would not have any problems purchasing a $250,000 flat, right? At least, you don't have to pay the 10% deposit (or do you call it downpayment?) with cash since your OA should have enough.

Ask yourself this - will you (both) continue to draw the same pay, no more, no less, for the next 30 years? Assuming the answer is yes...how much will you have to meet the CPF minimum sum? Most likely your pay may change over 30 years and more likely it will increase..but what if it doesn't? Or suay suay one of you loose the job and remained unemployed for months or even years? Can anyone guarantee the worse case scenario will not happen?

Ask yourself also this, what if the concessionary loan rate changes, say downwards? Everyone happy :) but what if it changes upwards? Do you have enough savings/cash to top it up? Can anyone guarantee the worse case scenario will not happpen?

Finally ask yourself this - what if the 23% contribution to OA changes...downwards? Do you think when such a case happens you will be able to take the difference in cash? How do you cope with your loan now? Can anyone guarantee the worse case scenario will not happpen?

And the final bit of his answer...70% do not need to fork out additional cash. Are all of them able to meet the minimum sum later? What about the remaining 30%? Did they commit to a huge loan, lost their job or suffered pay cut later such that they need to top up with cash? Perhaps they wanted to have more in their CPF OA to meet the minimum sum?

My point is THINK - Don't take everything on face value. PLAN ahead, such that you won't need to suffer later.

09 October 2007

Silly Short Stories - Kena Slapped?

During the Year 2003 National Day Rally, the then PM Goh mentioned about a story involving a certain Minister slapping a fellow Minister. PM Goh said "I must be suffering from amnesia. I just cannot remember this incident!" Well, I don't think he is suffering from amnesia because the incident didn't happen...
According to the records in The Kin Jio Leaf, the ministers gathered for their regular afternoon meetings. Now, normally in the meeting the coffee boy called Koh Pee Buoy would prepare the drinks (be it coffee, kopi, teh, teh susu etc) for all of them. On that particular day, Pee Buoy was on medical leave.

"What! For the last 30 years he has never reported sick!"

"What's going to happen to my Kopi Oh?"

"and my Teh Susu?"

"I will not be able to think without my Earl Grey..."

Everyone started to panic...well almost everyone except the wisest among them all.
"Gentlemen, the world will laugh at us if we cannot get things done just because we're going to miss our afternoon tea... just get another fella"

And so, they proceeded with their meeting while someone went to get someone to make prepare the drinks. That someone's someone was Poon Lar Par. After being told what the ministers normally like to drink, he went to prepare and serve them. At this point, there was a heated argument over a certain policy where a certain young minister argued with 2 older ministers. Well, arguments in meetings are normal but Poon Lar Par was a bit buay song because he always thought that old people must be respected...how can the young upstart talk back to the elderlies like that? Boh tua boh suay! After serving all the ministers, Lar Par left for the canteen for his own tea break. He met his colleague who's also his trusted childhood friend, Soh Tong and started to tell! "Wah you know har...that young minister! How can he? He think he work so long and can talk back like that!" Lar Par ranted.

"Young minister? Long? Who?" Soh Tong asked.

"Ya la! Who he think he is? He long, people longer! Kena lan!"

"Who? Did you mean Loong or Hu? And who is Lan?"

"Aiyoh! Are you listening or not...that young chap talk back like that. His father never teach ah? Should be slapped man!"

"Who slapped who?!?!..."

"Ya la! The way he talk har, it's like a slap in the old men's face you know...eh, I gotta go, I think the meeting is over. I have to clear up...if not Pee Buoy come back tomorrow I sure kena slap by him"

That night, Soh Tong went out with his neighbour, Poh Sim Boon, to the nearby kopitiam for some kopi and smoke. Well, their wife don't allow them to smoke in the house so they went to the kopitiam to smoke lor...moreover kopitiam got Tiger Show mah...Ya la, Aunty Show who serves Tiger beer.

"So,Tong, how's it like working in the midst of all these big people?"

"Like that lor, I do my work, they do theirs"

"Any juicy stories, huh? Must have la! Heard anything or not..eh I heard they wanna ban smoking in kopitiam, really ah?"

"Huh? Wat? I wasn't listening...I was thinking about wat my friend told me this afternoon"

"What what! Say leh!"

"Well, Lar Par told me something about someone kena slap"

"Who? Who kena slap? By who? What? Where? When? Why? How?"

"I dunno...he said something about a young minister slap old minister..dunno wat long and who and lan...aiyah! I dunno la, don't tell har...wait I kena sack"

"I know already! The young minister must be Loong, who slapped Dhanabalan who sided with R. Hu!"

"How you know?"

"Who else got name containing Loong, Lan or Hu!"

"Oi! I never say that hor. No la, no la...I also dunno what happened! Dun anyhow say hor, som par, som par!"

"Donch worry, I WILL NEVER TELL ONE, I, POH SIM BOON, swear that if I anyhow tell, I'll never get to see my CPF!"
Well, so you see, that was how the rumours got started...to quote the words from PM Goh's speech - "
Now you know how creative Singaporeans are!"

04 October 2007

Some Interesting Links

Got the following from Flo (Thanks, Flo). It's for those who lives through and remembers the 60s. Most of it relating to America, and some were international news... sit back and enjoy the music, if not the visuals


This other made me laugh non-stop. Actually, there's more, like Samurai and Moscow. I first saw it in Mr Brown's blog. Those who put in the subtitles must be damn eng or very creative!

My loony bun is fine Benny Lava

02 October 2007

Happy Birthday, Trixie!

Today's my 4 years old daughter's birthday. So I've decided to dedicate today's blog to her....

Mommy and papa had not planned to be parents...we did not want to have any children initially. Not that we wanted more time and enjoyment for ourselves. Just that, firstly, we're not those going all mushy over children. We don't go "oooh...isn't she cute...coo-chee-coo-chee-cooo" or "oorrrr, look at this handsome young boy, give me a big big hug...oorrr, you'll grow up to be a fine young man". No, we're not like that but that doesn't mean we hate kids. Considering the ever rising living cost in Singapore and the fact that we don't go head-over-heels over children, we questioned ourselves if we can be reasonably good parents (I'm not even thinking about GREAT, just reasonably good). We thought about this question before we got married. We thought about this question after we got married. However, we did not come to a conclusion until about a year before our dear daughter is born. It may surprise you but our conclusion was not to have any children...but we did...because, like I said, rising cost of living made condoms and birth control pills expensive :p so...

When wifey got signs that she might be pregnant (if you dun know what the signs are, it means you're still a minor...run along, go suck on a chupa chups or do what kids normally do...), we went to the gynae for confirmation. We were apprehensive and kept asking ourselves what if? skarly? how then? but all the uncertainties left my mind the moment I saw the tiny beating heart on the screen of the ultrasound machine... I beamed with a broad smile, brighter than the sunflower, bubbling with joy that I almost want to burst. IT'S A LIFE! I shouted in my heart like Dr Frankenstein when he awaken his Frankenstein .

Before anyone gets any funny ideas about Trixie, here's a picture of her and she's no Frankenstein. Orrrh...isn't she cute...coo-chee-coo-chee-cooo...I was sold that very moment to my daughter. The what if? skarly? how then? were still hanging over mommy's head. I had to stand up straight and give her all the assurance that even if the sky drop, I'll shoulder it. Well, with those kind of assurance, we cast all doubts away and focus on bringing a great life into this world (Come to think of it now, I think wifey has no doubts that she too was sold the moment she saw the ultrasound image but I think she pretended to be uncertain so that she'll get an edge over me :p)

Like all first time parents, we were all excited over the first pregnancy. We read any books we could find, we asked any relatives and friends on all that needs to be known, we consulted the gynae and even sought some spiritual guidance. It was particular challenging to both of us because we were doing part time courses (remember? we decided not to have and thus went to upgrade ourselves? or rather, I was oreadi doing my part time degree, wifey took on more courses). We had to juggle time between workplace, school and clinic. In a way, it was fortunate that I was doing my final year for my degree and one of the subjects was biology...naturally, I was very attentive on topics about pregnancy.

Everytime we visit the gynae, we asked about the progress of the fetal development "Doc, er, is the baby healthy? good? normal? everything ok?"... and everytime, the doc would reply "huh? you want to know the sex ah? girl la...oh?! Ok la, healthy lor, good lor, normal la" Well, we dun mind knowing the gender and we dun mind if we have a boy or a girl...most importantly, she's healthy and happy. As we're nearing to her delivery date, everything seemed to move a lot faster... we had to get a cot, milk bottles, strollers, steamers, baby clothes, powder, shampoo, bath foam, bath tub, diapers,blankets etc on top of juggling between work, school and clinic. The one most important task though, is getting the name. It has to sound nice, in all forms of dialect, looks nice, means nice...and eventually, we settled with Trixie which means Bringer of Joy... (in case you are wondering, you live up to your name, Trix!)

My wife completed her part time studies before the due date but papa had to carry on with assignments and prepare for exams during the expected delivery date. Unfortunately I was down with shingles about a week before delivery date :( Shingles meant that I won't be able to enter the delivery room and I won't be able to carry my Trixie when she is born :( Trixie's expected due date was 1st Oct and doc advised that if by the 5th she's not ready to be out yet, we may have to go for a C-Section or induce labour-Trixie was getting too big for wifey to handled afterall. That very night after we consulted doc, wifey and I went to catch a night movie, Infernal Affairs Part 3, I think. Returned home, bathed and sleep, as usual. It was about 2a.m. when wifey woke me up and told me her bag burst :o !!! So, we called our doctor and took a cab to the hospital. It wasn't until 3 am when the delivery room was prepared. Since I was not allowed to enter the delivery room (shingles, remember?), wifey decided to go for C-Section. She was worried about not being able to go through natural birth without me by her side...what if the pain was more than she can bear and she need to hit/bite/slap someone? She can't possibly do those on the medical team, right? She can only do that on her husband, right? She can't do that if I'm not there, right?

BTW, for those of you who do not know what's a C-section (Caesarean Section), it's delivery via surgical incision on the abdomen and uterus to bring the baby out. BTW, I've watched a video clip somewhere in the internet where they video record the entire process and another that shows natural delivery :| both have the same effect of making me loose appetite and skip meals. For this reason, I did not put the link here...go search the internet yourself.

All I could do was to sit in the waiting room and...wait...hello?!?! Waiting Room! Well, indeed I waited...and waited...and waited... "Mr Ape, you can go in now!" the mi-si (nurse) informed me.
"Baby's out? Where?"
"No, you can go into the temporary ward, while we prepare the operating theatre. Go talk to your wife"
"... ... ..."

It has not even started yet and I had waited for just 10 minutes. So I went to talk to wifey and did what men would do in such situation - behave like a duck, that is, appear calm on the surface but paddle like hell. The temporary ward (I think there's a more proper description but I can't recall) is where all very-soon-mothers-to-be wait for the most appropriate time to be shipped into the delivery room and start that "push! push! puuuuush!" routine. In the case of wifey, wait for the operating theatre to be prepared for the C-section.

Finally, when everything had been prepared, I was made to go into the waiting room again and waited. I think it was about half an hour later, mi-si came to me and told me I can see my daughter. After being assured of the health of both mother and child, I proceeded inside to introduce myself to our daughter. Trixie's a beauty and my only regret was that I could not carry her (shingles, shingles! damn!). If it wasn't for the shingles, I would have held her up and kissed her. Surprisingly, I didn't hear her cries. She was just staring back at me, perhaps trying to figure out who's this guy. I spoke to her softly, introducing myself, explained the theory of evolution, the philosophy of Socrates, history of China... (don't tell me you believe all these).

Mi-si returned by the time I just completed the History of Kin Jio Leaf. She took some measurement such as head circumference but was faced with stiff resistance from Trixie. Trix actually managed to grasp the measuring tape and engage in a tug-of-war with the mi-si...spirited eh? When she lost to mi-si, she cried, a very sounding cry but only for a short while. That was the first time I hear her voice.

Shortly after, Trix was sent to the nursery while wifey to the ward where I met her there. She's tired, certainly. So was I. Good thing was, there was a couch beside her bed so I rested there till about 6 a.m. when I was chased out by another mi-si. Kissed my wife and went home to prepare for the new life!