Going to school, Primary One and PSLE

Going to school, Primary One and PSLE

Dear boys,

I don’t know what the fuss is all about. On hindsight, I think we were ‘lucky’ in a way, because when we enrolled your 大哥 into Horizon Primary School, the school was new and there were slots. We choose Horizon Primary School, not because it is well know, in fact it is a new school, it is unknown. There are ‘better known’ schools in the neighbourhood and they are all over subscribed, people are fighting tooth and nail just to get in. We chose Horizon, simply because it is nearer, in fact, nearest. 

Primary One

It was no frills affair for us, since the school is under subscribed, we do not have to ballot for anything. When it is time for the little brother to go to Primary One, he just have to follow the elder brother. Wayne, please thank your brother for getting you into a school without having to ballot. That’s the beauty of having siblings, okay? So stop, getting on your elder brother’s nerve!

Anyway, I’ve been telling you boys from day one; in any school work, test, whatever, you boys write? Your own name. You don’t write my name. Well our Indian friends do often have names like “ABC s/o CDF” the s/o typically means ‘Son of’ even that the Indian child still puts his name, not his parent’s name. The point is whatever results you get, they bear your effort, or the lack of it. I have nothing of it. You do well, it is your glory.

…as a stressed up parent will transfer the stress to the child. 

It is not the biggest milestone of your life

I’ve read in so many social media posts that going to primary one is the biggest milestone of so and so’s life. This is typically a comment made by the parent, children as far as I can see, couldn’t care less. Both you boys didn’t cry during your early days in Primary One, and adjusted to the changes like fish to water. How did we do it? We didn’t stress ourselves firstly, as a stressed up parent will transfer the stress to the child. We showed you the school, told you how exciting it will be, becoming a ‘big boy’. There was nothing to fear as we are always there for you, our confidence perhaps rubbed off some on the both of you.

We didn’t make a hyperbole out of it. It was an easy affair, we knew that school life need adjusting to, so we didn’t want to make it such an exaggeration, to further stress you boys. Primary one is to be spent adjusting, going to do things yourself and learning to be independent, and also adapt to a new social ecosystem as well. The school will usually the Primary One babies cruise, and this takes the entire year. Primary Two is where things picks up pace. Then again, it is still not a problem, yet.

PSLE

This year, the 大哥 is taking the PSLE, which seems to be so dreaded, children and parents kill themselves over it. I know there are stress we cannot avoid, the school has already started piling work since last year. But we still let you, Ian, take it all in, the best you can. 

There are time you got so bogged down with studies you barely have time to take a breather, that is normal. We let you be you, without us coming over to pester you on things. So far, you’ve been motivated on your own. Sure there are some slack, and you took it well, and responded when we urge you to keep pace. We can still see the Ian in you, come home, still find time to play with your 弟, and do all the silly things. That is great, life has to go on, PSLE or no PSLE. 

No Tuition

The both of you have no tuition, except for Chinese. Which is even a weak subject for your parents; but your mum is learning quickly, she is picking up the curriculum, the best she can, so that Wayne can be helped with in this subject. the rest of EMS (English, Maths, Science), no tuition. You boys go to your mum, when you need help, she’s great.

I think it helps that knowledge is just the next room or the kitchen, since going to tuition takes up a lot of time, and money. You need to get dressed, travel to the tuition centre, sit there, wait for teachers, while your classmates play. While we are willing to pay, tuition centres does not guarantee 100% absorption, they always promise results, but none of them promise learning. It depends also on the teacher’s chemistry with students, there are questions perhaps Ian would like to ask but couldn’t and hence didn’t ask, and miss an opportunity for learning. The pace of the tuition might not suit individual students as well, the teacher will not slow down for slower students. Having your mum at home, teaching the both of you, she can speed up and slow down. She can go deep into a specific subject so that the both of you can fully understand the topic. She knows the both of you and so she can adjust her method accordingly.

Having your mum as the teacher also helps to build the bond, I’d rather you bond with your mum than to bond with the tuition teacher. It has always been the case for our family, we are always internally resourceful.

Open to face the challenges

Personally, I wouldn’t consider the PSLE a major challenge or milestone as well. As always we want you boys to put in your best, the results, really don’t matter much. As long as the both of you tried, and fail, we can live with it, but what aches us is when we know that the both of you, being clever, could have done better, and didn’t.

So PSLE is just that, a “Primary School Leaving Examination”. The examination you take when you leave your primary school, it is not SAS selection, it is not the Navy SEALs BUD/S course. It is just a paper exam and where you go in your secondary school, is dependent on the marks. That said PSLE, good or bad results does not prohibits learning, you will learn something not getting the results you wanted, you will also learn something if you do well.  Whatever happens you boys will still go to a secondary school perhaps not of your choice, and continue your learning path. The Government encourages life long learning, it didn’t sanction focus on examinations, so we as your parents, hopefully gotten this right for the both of you.

Have fun

At the end of the day, I still want the both of you to have fun in school I know that Ian, in Primary Six, there is a whole new level of evolution in social norms and how students treat each other. While every one is feeling their way around building their identity, don’t let that distracts you, the ultimate goal is still to have fun, learn and tackle your PSLE as it comes, do your best, don’t let it stress you.

Links:

http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/psle-still-necessary-checkpoint-students-study

http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/arts/dont-let-test-scores-rule-your-life

http://www.seab.gov.sg/pages/nationalExaminations/PSLE/general_information.asp

I bought flowers

I bought flowers

Dear boys,

I seldom buy flowers for your mum. I don’t buy flowers for her any of our wedding, ROM, her birthday, anniversaries. Valentine’s Day is absolutely out, those bloody thirsty florists, making a killing out of poor blokes buying perishables for dames.

The last time I checked, I bought your mum this bouquet, back in Dec 2014, thanks to google photo, I managed to have this picture in my file.

She likes sunflower for the bright, big cheery colours, who wouldn’t agree with that?

As much as she likes sunflowers, she wouldn’t want me to spend money on such frivolous things. I wouldn’t too.

But there is a reason why I buy flowers.

Simply because I love your mum.

And she is the only woman I allow myself to buy flowers for; my Wife, your Mother. I cannot see myself spending, or wasting money buying flowers for other members of the opposite gender, no matter how close we get. Not even for female relatives. This deed, I only reserve solely for your mum.

I think it is nice to buy your mum a bouquet or two every now and then, although flowers have no pragmatic purpose whatsoever, it does, helps make her feel appreciated, makes her know that the flower is for her, and her only.

Having a relationship is not just about pragmatic, purposeful bonding. when things between spouse gets too functional, the love is diminished. We must not stop doing silly little things for each other, to make each other feel appreciated, and delighted.

Bright, Glorious Sunflowers!

So recently, recently I bought another stalk of Sunflower, three long years after the last one. I bought this from an ‘auntie’ florist near my office. There were 4 stalks of these beautiful glorious flowers that caught my attention across the road. I had to get one for your mum.DSC_0134

Flowers have their own psychic powers to make a person feel good. It is not only for my wife to feel good receiving it, it is also for The Husband, to feel good, giving her nice wonderful, albeit slightly non-practical gifts. These kind of spontaneous gesture helps as smooth out a life long relationship, so always remember never hesitate to get nice things for people you love, as and when you feel like, not necessarily, nor out of schedule. Never hold back, never reserve your feelings of expression. Life is short.

$6!

The girls in my office saw this stalk, and overcame with curiosity Siew Ting couldn’t help but ask me, what is the occasion. To which I told her, there is none. And to Dorothy’s shock, the single, poorly wrapped stalk costs me S$6, while she didn’t say it was freaking expensive, her expression, is like a MasterCard’s advertisement, priceless. $6 is probably a good decent lunch for any hungry person. For Liting, she’d say if she gets flowers from her boyfriend, she’d take the bouquet and beat her beau with it. Well, if her beau gets beaten by her with the flower, then I guess the flower’s sacrifice is well worth it. Die flowers! Die for love!

Let’s be frank, to which I asked them back, which of them would mind it, if their partners, buy them flowers? Would any of the girls say no? Would any girl mind, random expression of love using flowers? That is the power of flowers, notwithstanding that Liting would use the flower as a bludgeon. Well, as the Chinese saying goes “打是疼,骂是爱”. The demise of the flower will be worth it, well worth it.

My Black Belt

My Black Belt

I got my black belt status like everybody else, when I got my 2nd Kyu, that allows me to wear a black belt, but not a hakama, which will be one more grade away.

It was a bummer because I was wearing a Brown (obviously!); and I was young, who could see the need to spend money getting a black belt. In the spirit of being ‘eco-friendly’ ( truth is, I was quite poor then), I wanted to dye the brown belt black, and bought some colour dyes, it wasn’t very successful, due to my inexperience. I don’t know how the conversation came about, but I told Steven about it, and we promptly headed down to Liang Seng to get a Black Belt. Steven bought me my Black Belt.

Since it was a gift, I didn’t choose the thickest, most expensive one. I choose an Adidas brand, a thinner, cheaper one. I was thinking that I might get another one a better one, with my name stitched in gold or yellow, maybe sometime later.

There are many black belts worn by people who spend money getting their names and other fancy words stitched to their belts. I took out the Adidas logo and got my wife to hand stitch a simple ‘林’ on it, and because ‘林’ can be read from both sides, it saves us the trouble of hiding the stitches on the wrong side. And because 林 can be read from both sides, one side of it pays homage to the person who got me my belt, Steven Lim, and of course, the other side, is the surname of the owner, moi. Incidentally, Steven shares the same surname as me, and for his generosity, the ‘林’ will stay with my belt.

My belt is purely pragmatic in existence. The hand stitching is not so much to make this belt unique to me, it serves as a form of identification, as I’ve been to hombu dojo, and seen Gis, belts and hakamas placed all over the changing room. Without a name to your person item, someone might mistakenly take yours and that wouldn’t be a very gracious thing to have happen in Hombu. Hence there is a need for identification. Albeit a simple one for me.

I never got to buying another belt, as this one serves me really well. Although it is thinner, and sometimes, it doesn’t hold the hakama up as well as I’d wanted to, there is still no need for me to get another black belt. I rarely wash it, so it still looked almost the same as the day I bought it. The black is a little faded, the strings coming off in places here and there, but it still serves its purpose, hold the gi together, and let me wear my hakama.

Some people out there will put their belt to wash, not for the purpose of cleanliness, they want to age the belt, so that it look old and seasoned. I never see a need for that, and it has never occurred to me to have a belt that looked aged. It is all there for a practical reason, and I’ll wear it until it falls apart, and only then will there be a need to replace it, and that only after I’ve mend it until it cannot be mended.

I think I’ve been wearing this belt for almost ten years now, and I don’t think I’d be replacing it anytime soon. This is a gift to me and I am reminded of the kindness that was shown to me, every time I put it on.

A**hole!

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the road to hell is always paved with a unhealthy does of good intentions

Dear Ian,

Your friend ‘K’ called you an asshole.

All I can say is that, sometimes; a particular word gets stuck in our head and we keep on using it like it was vogue. So he could have been stuck with this word and thinks that it is cool to use it. But you know better.

What I told you to do is, think of this friend during the days of happiness. Nobody is nasty 24/7/365. We are nice by default, there are no evil babies.

People do all sorts of things thinking that it is in the best interest, but people are most of the time, self centred, selfish and they couldn’t see beyond the halo of the ego they created for themselves. So don’t fall into that trap, since the road to hell is always paved with a unhealthy does of good intentions.

So this K friend had been nice to you before, he has helped you brought your homework back when you were ill. He did stood by you (not often though). So he did somethings that sometimes qualifies him as your occasional friends.

So I told you to tell him ‘I like you better, when you were nicer to me.’

It is true, since everyone has a nice side and nasty side, even when we are nasty, we often didn’t know we were being assholes. So you know better than to do tit for tat.He called you an asshole, that doesn’t mean you have to make his wish comes true. You can define the ‘asshole-ness’ in the word ‘asshole’, always remember never play the game by other people’s terms. He want to get his desired attention from you, to allow him to do that will mean that you are playing by his game. You are much better than that, you don’t have to play his game, you don’t have to acknowledge that K is K. Treat him with equanimity, you have plenty of friends, and he has to queue like everybody else, when he jumped the queue, by calling you an asshole, you have to put him at his place, back in the queue. Treat him normal, never accord him the attention he wanted calling you callous names. People do all sorts of things to get you attention, and when they becomes too obnoxious, you have every right to put them at the last of the queue, or take them out of the equation totally.

Plain K

I’m glad you did what as I advise, and the last I heard from you, K did some other obnoxious things to you, you didn’t even bat an eye lid, you just treated him like he was him, plain, normal, nothing new, nothing fantastic. That’s good, because when you are able to control your feelings and deny negativity and nasty people to dwell in your mind space, your life will start to align with the great things in life.

 

Friends are like Drugs

Friends are like Drugs

Dear Ian,

Your mum told me one day you made this remark: “Friends are like drugs, some are good for you when you are not feeling well, but having too much of that will be bad, and makes you addicted to them.

I think you’ve hit the nail right spot on the head.

This applies to many things in life, but for you I know where you are coming from. Friends and the social life are a big melting pot for you in school. You get to work with people you like, and don’t like. Sometimes, the teachers will assign you to a team where there are ‘enemies’. You don’t always get the sunny side of the deal.

Drugs are good when you need them, and you have to stop taking them when you no longer need to consume them, and instead keep them handy in the event that you have to take them again. If you continue to use them longer than necessary, you grow dependent on these drugs. They will have an influence over your life, and soon after that, you will grow to depend on them, whether you like it or not.

And drugs changes you, and if you are not careful, you’ll turn into someone you don’t like.

Friends: Boon or Bane?

In my formative years, friends are a boon, as I do not have a strong family base. I started working young and depended a lot on my colleagues, who turned into friends for support. Friends taught me a lot, and I was thankful I mixed a a good bunch of guys. I owe a lot to who I am to the friends I know.

For your mum, she was the opposite, the family bond was strong, even until now. She has no allegiance to friends or groups, she is still very close to her parents, and there is always a time for family gathering and parties. These are precedence and priorities that I sometimes are at odds with.

Friends fade way

People always have their own agenda. We taught you this early, as we have been through many of these ‘cycles’. From young, we have a group of fun friends, close and tight. Good people whom we thought will be great to age along with. Truth to be told, everybody grows up, grows old, and grows away. Those who stays are families. That is for me; your mum, you, and your little brother.

Your friends

As you are now in your final years in Primary School, most of the friends you know now will go into separate Secondary Schools next year. All of you will go forth and pursue the calling and destiny of your choice.

It is good to stay close, but being close to a certain level where you have a void, is no good. There are friends toxic to you right now, will also part. Fighting them, dealing with them now, only to face the reality that they will too go their own ways, leaves you with a kind of withdrawal symptoms.

I’m glad you have a metaphor like that, at this age. You’ll learn to distance yourself and have a healthy perspective over things. Never get too engrossed ‘fighting’ that undesirable character in school. I know you have a certain classmate, who is constantly at odds with you, picking on you. He irritates you, but he too will go his way. And when that happens? What happens to your epic ‘Me against Him’ story?

More important thing in life

Drugs are important too, for our lives, you know that. So use them well, and learn about their properties, their side effects. When to take them, what kind of ailments specific drugs can fix.

Friends are like that too, you need to learn about them and be useful to them, and make sure they are useful to you. Have an independent mind, at the same time, use friends to give you the right support and opinion. But never get too dependent on those opinions.

 

Toilets are not Gender Neutral

Toilets are not Gender Neutral

Dear boys,

I think I’ve caused quite a ruckus at my office. You see, the place I worked is in a kind of Service Office, that means a lot of people uses a lot of shared resources. Think of it as a hostel, and you have to share the kitchen, toilet, office equipment and chairs.

Toilets.

That is where I think I became infamous.

Our office unit is located just outside the female toilet. and from where I’m seated, I can see who is going in and out of the ladies. Well, it is not that I want to, but the toilet entrance, is in my line of sight.

So I was on the phone one day and I caught a glimpse of a man, who made a quick knock on the ladies toilet sliding door, opened it and went right it. He wasn’t the office cleaner, he was, at that point in time, unidentified. And for me, an intruder.

My lady colleague also saw from the corner of her eye, and since she wasn’t on the phone, she went in to check it out; and at the same time, had the audacity to use one of the 2 cubicles there. That person, a man, no doubt was in the other cubicle.

The man got out of the toilet, before my colleague was done with her business, and before I was done with my phone call. He was just a about 10 seconds off. I hung up and went after him.

Face off with the Perpetrator 

I caught up with him at the office reception, and first asked him, then told him.

Asked: “Did you use the female toilet?”

Told: ” You are not supposed to use the ladies!”

One of the Service Office staff manager came over and clarified what happened. (I felt it was more like in the perpetrator’s defence.)

The Perp explained that the male toilet’s 2 cubicles are both occupied….

Told: “Please use the toilets in nearby shopping centre! I faced this problem many times, and I always head for a shopping centre toilet a bare 3 minutes walk! You are not allowed to use the female toilet!”

I was instinctively pissed, the Perp actually have a reason AND excuse for using the ladies.

My female colleague caught up and asked him the same thing, that was right after I stomped off, making that scene. I wouldn’t want to tell her account, but what I got from her was the Perp wasn’t apologetic at all.

That was the story for the day.

I went back home unsettled and decided to pursue the matter on the Service Office’s Facebook private group page:

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Post is sanitized for obvious reasons

The Perp, after being confronted, wrote me an email:

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Post is sanitised to protect certain information and also the identity of the perp, duh.

I wouldn’t want to tell you much about the response I got from the Facebook group, but one lady, who is the staff of the Service Office, admitted that she also used the Male toilet ‘in a rush’. Well, that is certainly a ‘WOW’. That is certainly new age, hippie, uber feminism!

Scathing in my reply, I challenged her to use the Gents when she is out at the food centre, shopping arcade, and perhaps she ought to do a social experiment and get guys to use public Ladies toilet, and time how soon the police can get to the scene and arrest that man.

Female toilet is for the female.

Boys, remember this. Under no circumstances should you wander into the ladies. You boys are no longer ‘babies’. There are legal consequences if you do that. Granted that even if you have a ‘medical condition‘, you both shouldn’t even consider using the Ladies, when there is always a choice to do your business somewhere else. And in Singapore, you can always do your business in the right gender segregated toilet.

What “pisses” (pun intended) me off

Of course I reflected on the matter, and wondered what made me got up in arms over the whole matter, without deliberation. I guess I was brought up in a place that really is meritocratic. I don’t care who the hell you are, even if you are the Pope, you still use the Gents. Rules are rules, when the rules are broken, I will speak up, and face whoever breaks the rules.

Like I said, the female toilet is for the ladies. Call me a Gentleman, or a Chauvinist Pig, the ladies stays in the ladies, the men, in the Gents. For that Perp to use the Ladies, he has effectively hijacked the ENTIRE ladies for his own self-centred use. That means while he is in there, would the ladies be comfortable? My lady colleague who went is, is sure as hell not comfortable, but knowing her temperament, she went in to make a point. Unfortunately, her point was well received at all.

What pissed me off was also the ‘self entitled’ mentality. The explanation, and behavior suggests that the Perp thought nothing wrong about it. He can even justified with a ‘medical detail’ which wasn’t even detail to begin with. A simple, empathetic, genuine ‘Sorry‘ would have been great. But what I got was a weak excuse and a nonchalant attitude.

You’re wrong, you’re wrong. When I’m wrong, tell me, I say ‘sorry’, period.

He probably would have gotten away with it, and thought it was ‘no big deal’ until he was confronted by a short, angry Chinese man.

Nevermind

Alright, perhaps, it wasn’t even my problem to begin with, but as I age, I grew into a pretty much don’t give a rat’s ass attitude about who the ‘bleep’ you are. You’re wrong, you’re wrong. When I’m wrong, tell me, I say ‘sorry’, period. Is this the start of civic mindedness for me? I don’t think so, I just do not like people to get away with wanton disregard for gender sensitive signage.

Consequences

Well, if a guy uses the Ladies, and not longer after that, a hidden camera is found in the ladies, where will the finger naturally point? As a matter of decency and privacy, if the man using the Ladies, made some ‘noise‘ while there are ladies in there, how would the ladies feel? And vice versa? If the ladies adjust her undergarment at the toilet sink and the man walks out of the cubicle, wouldn’t that be embarrassing for the modesty of the ladies? So boys, please don’t be stupid. Next time, when you both grow up, got into a very senior position in business or even in your community, please respect the sign. It is there for a reason.

 

Asian Civilisation Museum- no more!

Asian Civilisation Museum- no more!

Dear boys,

I’m no longer a big fan of visiting museum. Especially the Asian Civilisation Museum.

This happened during my days working at Raffles Place and I would like to have some time to stroll during lunch and since Museum gives free entry for Singaporeans, why not? Free air-con, cultural experience and hey, get to know history a bit better. Why not? Yes, I’m a cheapskate.

So I went, and armed with my Canon camera, I decided to take some pictures during my multiple visits.

Well like most museums, the place has lighting and climate control, as those really old old stuffs are quite fragile, worn down by the continuum of time. Too much UV, and the ink will fade. Too much heat, the fabric will tear. So everything in the place was a little dark, cool and quiet.

I didn’t think about it much.

Faces

I remembered back then, I wanted to take pictures, mostly focused on’Faces’. There are plenty of ‘faces’ in the museum, and at that point of time, there was a lot of statues and artifacts about the Buddha, some hailing directly from India, and these are really old stuffs.

Other ‘faces’ I took picture of are some other Balinese, Indonesians statues and figurines. As with all testament of our violent past, there are weapons of war, such as Kris, the traditional wavy swords, very popular with Javanese and Indonesians, there are also bows, arrows and some old, old flintlock muskets and other stuffs.

Bad vibes

I visited the place a few more times, I think in total 3 times? There nothing obvious about it, but the feeling grew. The place has somehow affected me, or infected me with a kind of dark,. somber mood. I couldn’t put my finger to it, thinking that it’s probably my own dark nature, which I sometimes have. I’m a Piscean, sometimes happy and cheery, sometimes, dark and sinister.

This time it was different.

I think it was after the 3 or fourth visit, I had a dream, one night. It is not so vivid now, but the feeling remains, heavy, dark and deathly. I dreamt of death, not in a good way, but in a bad manner, which I woke up feeling very disturbed. I couldn’t yet understand why I was feeling this way, I trusted my instinct and questioned my feelings.

Eventually, as I look by in retrospection, I came to a conclusion, my visits to ASM!

I don’t really know how I came to that answer, but it did dawn to me, that there is a dark energy in that place that has overpowered me. I’m usually not affect by such things, I have my policy in dealing with the spiritual, esoteric and stuffs that ghosts, spirits and other stuffs. I’m quite sensitive to such things, and they usually don’t affect me much. This time it did, and it did in a way I never expected. The dark energy crept up on me and changed my psyche.

Bad vibes, good side.

I’ve never been intimidated by such an experience and this left me puzzled. The fear is very deep seated, and it does still send shivers up my spine, when I think of the whole thing. The good thing is that my instincts prevailed and got me the answer I was looking for.

There is away a good sense in me that I’ll usually find the answers, as long as I settle my feelings and let intuition take over. The voice in me, most of the time, the wiser one, will prevail and lead me to the right conclusion. I don’t know how this is done, but when I have the answer, I heed it, unquestionable.

So I came some and deleted all the photos I took from the museum. No more faces.

No explanations

I think at the end of the day, I’d probably will not step into ASM for a very very long time to come. How did I get such a feeling from that place? What is so creepy about it? I really don’t know, as what I felt was highly subjective and personal. Perhaps that is a gold mine for a historian or academic studying culture and civilization. For me, it is a place that collects a lot of old, old stuffs, and when things are that old, it could have collect an energy source that gives out vibes. And when you put enough of these things together in one place, these energies will concentrate and perhaps that is what overwhelmed me.

So is there some truth to the movie series, Night at the Museum? Well, I’m not waiting to find out!

The melancholy man @ 41

The melancholy man @ 41
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It is quite a challenge finding 41 pictures of me to do this montage!

Dear Boys,

I’m forty one this year, and unlike your mum, I was never a big fan of celebrating birthdays.

It is not as if your mum has big birthday celebrations, but the least was she has it, every year, her family would celebrate her birthday, even the lunar one. Me? The only birthday I vividly remembers was my 12th birthday, that’s it.

While I grew older and earned my own money (I started working when I was fifteen), birthday, as I know it is a significant day, especially when it’s mine. There is something special about me, on that day, but I couldn’t figure out what. So I started taking leave from work on my birthday, not to celebrate with cakes and parties, but to spend time with myself. That was until I met your mum. She usually fuss over my birthday, not me.

Until now I still cannot understand what birthdays is all about.

Birthdays depresses me

In fact, as the years pass, I get more depressed.

Depressed that at my age, I hadn’t accomplished anything ‘big’, nor did the things my peers are doing. Yes, keep up with the Jones to get to me sometimes. Of course the consolation is, that I lived a mediocre life, free from worries, debts, major diseases, war, poverty, and all those things. I should be lucky, contented and happy!

I am not, and I can’t figure out why.

So what’s the surprise?  

I don’t see the need to figure it out, so what if I do figure my life out? I’d never be able to get out of it alive! So what if I created a solution that save the world? I’ll still die?

Legacy? What’s that?

At the most selfish level, nothing I can ever do, can save me from death. Death is certain. but people are busy celebrating ‘birthday’ and not too concerned with deathday. Well, death is the ultimate storm on anyone’s parade, huh. We’d all rather looked at the happy, dandy side. Focus on the birth-day, nevermind that death is on the opposite side of the same coin.

It is at this juncture, I get stuck. Even in writing as of now. Death kills my writing…

Death kills everything I can possible think of. It is over before I can even think about the beginning. I simply don’t have the upbeat optimism good vibes to overcome death, no one can, I guess. So why even try so hard?

And yet, I cannot reconcile with the reality that I am put on earth to just convert Oxygen to Carbon Dioxide. I am made for something more, I just don’t know what. Hell, I’m such a genius.

I live for you

One thing for sure, I think I am here for the both of you boys, and your mum. Other than the three of you, there is no one else. No one else who knows that I really existed, whom I really matters in their lives. It is the three of you whom, if I for one reason, disappears, dies or get kidnapped by alien, will grieve for me, worry for me, thinks of me, and cares about me. And for I play a key important role.

I’m always grateful for your mother’s love. She has been the most incredible woman, at the same time, dumbest to follow this melancholy man. I guess that is what love is all about, she believes in me  more than I believes in myself, and she takes my shit, all the time, dust herself off and continue to love me. I cannot be here if it is not for her. Sometimes, I let her celebrate my birthday, not because I am important, but it is because I am important to her. And my birthday is an important day to her, much more than it is an important day to me.

So the big Four-One is upon me, and I’m still here, doing what I am doing, everything looks the same, for me. The only thing changing is the both of you boys, growing up, while your dad is growing old. I hope us celebrating your birthdays year on year will give the both of you some meaning. This is what is blog is all about, a dad’s introverted hope that you can make better sense of your lives, and use my life and folly to make sense of yours.

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Which Cinema? (Ghost Story)

Which Cinema? (Ghost Story)

Dear boys,

We have a cinema multi-plex near our home in Punggol, and sometimes watching movies at cinemas during off peak has its virtues, you might have the feeling of having the whole cinema to yourself, enjoying a super wide screen, and superb sound system. Not to mention, that it is also cheaper!

During one of these days, we spoken to a Cinema Usher and chatted for a while since it is off peak, and the uncle was quite free. We told him the advantages and he did snickered a bit.

“You think the cinema is really empty?”

He said that sometimes, some of these cinemas, were build into a shopping centre’s basement, so there are some deep excavation works involved, and in the process of these digging, those spirits can be disturbed.

And with a spanking new, bring, often loud shopping centre taking over the space of those spirits disturbed, where can they go to seek solace? In the deep, dark, cool confines of a Cinema hall, which sometimes lacks that human traffic.

He claimed that his colleagues do have some of these encounters sometimes. Especially when the show has ended and everyone has left, the ushers have to go in and clean up the rubbish the patrons left behind. And being in a theater with the same door being the entrance and exit, the ushers will know who is still in the theater and ‘who’ is not.

Sometimes, the usher caught from the corner of their eye, a couple of ‘people’ in their seats, when the theater was supposed to be empty, with only one way out, those people would have to pass by the ushers on their way out, but when the ushers looked up the people are no longer there. It is as if they vanished.

Sometimes, their trash bag will also tip over for no reasons, and they get bumped, by an unseen shoulder.

The usher uncle also told us, that if you happen to be in a cinema, with a privilege of being totally ‘alone’, he advised us to put our bags, next to the empty seat next to ours, to keep it ‘occupied’, in the event that it is not.

Oh, we did ask him which cinema is the one which is the dirtiest? He told us it was hall….

Another Ghost Story! The Pedestrian

Another Ghost Story! The Pedestrian

Dear Boys,

Here is another ghost story that your dad’s friend told him some time ago. It appears to be a true story as it is personally told to me by my friend, Sam.

He was serving his in-camp training, and when he got a nights off, he went out for a drink with his friend, who had a motorcycle. On their way back to camp after their drink, while riding down this road, back to camp; Sam as the pillion rider, told his friend over his shoulder to look out for the lady in front.

His friend tilted his head back, and gave him a weird look, but said nothing, and continue the journey until they were safely back in camp.

It was only then his friend asked him ‘What lady?!’

Sam said there was a lady crossing the road ahead just now, and he told his friend to slow down and be careful.

His friend said that there was no one on the road.

Sam came to the realisation…

And fell sick with fever for the next 2 weeks.

He told me he was quite shock as he could clearly see the lady crossing the road; and he was having a few light drinks with his friend, he justified, nothing too much to impair his sense. He claim that he can hold his alcohol. (This I believed him as he is a known drinker, he stocks his fridge at home with beer.) He also said that he meant well, and came with a good intent, so that his friend notice the ‘pedestrian’ and not knock her down.

Anyway, this is a REAL story, told to me by your dad’s friend, the thing about it which I do not understand, is many times when you listen to a ghost story, many of these human ‘victims’ of such sightings will typically succumb to a long bout of ailment, as with the case of Sam, he was ill for about 2 weeks. which makes me wonder if there is any truths to such myth, and of course there’s no way for us to find out!

(Speaking of myths, do look out for my next post, boys, where I will list a few parenting myths and taboos my friends shared with me, some of which are quite original!)

My other ghost story:

https://thisisyourfather.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/ghost-story/

First published: Dec 15, 2015 @ 00:00