Year 2011 – Year of Living in the Mountain

Year 2011 was one of the worst years in my life. It was a year of isolation that I hardly met up with anyone. Most friends were busy with their own lives and work, and all the outing that some of my ex colleagues had promised to organise vanished with time. I was, in fact, too busy to meet up with old friends individually. One of the ex polytechnic class outing turned out to be disaster when all, except Wenchang, dropped out at the tick of the clock. The lack of communication with people offline made me a duller guy. There was no romance like the previous year, which marked another two years of single life for me. I was not really in a hurry to get a girlfriend since I was not financially stable yet. Sometimes I did turn lonely but work had kept me well occupied. I also knew well that my time was too tight, but on another note, a girl could actually spice up my life and make me push myself harder in my work, which could be a positive effect. It was all about fate after all. I was physically weakened for the minimal number workout sessions I had. I went back to ITE College West for volleyball for about twice and hardly did any jogging. The most tedious workout I did was when I went to Fitness First with Gilbert, but just for at most once per week, and I was mostly lazing about there. There were times when we skipped the outing for more than a month. All gym sessions were accompanied by big feast. I was very annoyed by numerous major incidents that happened in Singapore. The unfairness and deception caused by the greed of rich people were unbearable. There were plentiful of sad news such as public transportation prices were raised to make the rich people richer, while the trains and tracks were discovered to be unmaintained for ten years, only after major breakdown incidents with the service provider taking inhuman actions and responses. I realised I had to live with the great injustice in this society because there was nothing much I could do when I could not even fend for my own life. My family got into a major conflict once when things started to explode between my younger brother and my elder brother’s girlfriend after years of toleration. When everyone started to speak up, there were great improvements although many friends still felt sorry for the house owner and two brothers had to squeeze inside a bedroom so as to allow the elder brother to have a bedroom with his girlfriend who stayed overnight regularly in the same house. By then, my elder brother’s girlfriend had grown fonder of our dog and bought him more food and goodies than she bought for the rest of us, and thus my elder brother’s life got better. However, I found it a great insult when his girlfriend banned me from using her pillow whenever I went over to that bedroom, even though the dog was using it like nobody’s business every day. It reminded me of Bruce Lee’s movies that “Chinese and dogs are not allowed into the foreigners’ restaurant”, but I was worse than a dog. Things were still going well after all, in fact, it was much better. My mum’s super ultimate regular visits to the hospital and polyclinic for check-ups and follow-ups caused great problems as she expected companion. Each trip would waste two to four hours of time because of the inefficient system that required patients to wait for long. I hated the idea of my mum expecting us to foot the bill for her because it was totally unnecessary at the moment and that any excess money with her could be cheated off easily. The time wasted could help me to relax at home. I did not join my mum and younger brother for their overseas trips. Even though there was once when my mum’s friend’s husband had things on, I did not take up the free ticket. Apart from being thrifty, my work did not allow me to have any holiday. Work would only pile up. Finance was sustainable for me somehow although I only started earning my first cent from my tuition agency in February. However, I soon started to feel frustrated when the amount of effort and hard work I put in did not produce good results for me. I was in fact earning much lesser than I was working in ITE as a lecturer. The increasingly pressure on the expenses for both family and business caused frustration in me. Overall, after striving hard for a year, I was not rich but at least I did not starve. My elder brother was jobless most of the time, which added weights to my brain since I had to pay for most of the stuffs together with my younger brother, partly due to my mum’s constant nagging in front of me. I spent quite a sum of money on a double decker bed frame with a pull-out bed at the bottom to house my younger brother, my mum and I inside the small bedroom. It was due to my mum’s complaints of not able to get up from the mattress we initially placed on the floor easily and that she often knocked her head onto the old bed frame due to the height. Next was the changing of lighting in my house as to reduce electricity bill, which did not show results due to the increasing electricity cost. The old lighting had two tubes of round light-bulb each and the inner smaller light-bulb’s electricity consume alone was crazy enough. The third expensive item I had bought was a Fujifilm camera recommended by my elder brother due to his read-up of internet reviews during the IT show, which turned out to be a total waste of money. We lost trust in forum’s reviews. Anyway, I knew I should have spent more money to get a cheap DSLR camera instead, which I had wished for donkey years, even though my younger brother preferred a more compact one. Besides not able to catch up with friends, I was dealt deadly blows twice in this very lousy year. I was initially into planning with Tze Khit’s friends for a new business venture when I was already too tight with my tuition agency. I decided to drop out in the end and somehow, someone backstabbed me, which caused Andrew to confront me. As I thought things were fine, I realised I had lost a good friend when I was deleted away from his Facebook friends list. The lost of a friend, including the fact that I was being falsely accused, dwelled in my brain for months. I began the year in Mike’s office as a freeloader to work on my own business. I was too greedy as a perfectionist but I set my priority quite right to increase credibility and efficiency of coordinators by adding and editing useful features. I started from scratch without any knowledge of the business, whereby it required real life experience to further explore, and thus I had to make changes to the website’s features very often. Nobody could understand the amount of work I had put in when I was the sole person in charge of the researching, designing, coding, debugging, content writing, internet marketing and administrating etc. I had to choose between less prioritised tasks that would require more effort if I did not finish them earlier and important tasks that were more critical but could be more tedious. There were immediate tasks, such as to approve tutors’ profile, verifying of their documents and SEO, which was extremely time-consuming, leaving little energy for me to work on other tasks. There were also times, which I had to help the coordinators to even “debug” Gmail or bugless feature on my website. It could be a very good business many years ago but it was already too saturated and that the levy was actually very low. I learned many tricks regarding Search Engine Optimization from Mike. However, he got impatient with the progress of my work as a mentor. He expected more results from me even though he could not understand clearly the thousands of problems I was facing for operating a partially offline business without experience in business – both online and offline. Every month, he would also raise issues and talk to me in a very irritated tone. The pressure on me started driving me crazy and massacring my confidence when everything I did with my greatest effort seemed to be wrong. I became moody like a zombie with my existing struggles with everything and had phobia going to the office. There was a major communication breakdown somehow and I started to fear talking to him. I could not live up to his expectation even as a normal human as I became weary of everything, not knowing how to show him any slight of appreciation while I was almost breaking down mentally. In the end, he told me he had observed me for over ten months and that I had failed him, and we would revert back to good friends instead of mentor-student status. The thing that hurt me most was my misunderstanding that we had always trusted each other fully since the army days and that was why he had been guiding me along. I ended the last few months of the year with worsened sleepless nights tossing around my bed. I hated myself for not being capable enough to prove my worth so that many things would not have happened and refusing to become a person who could suck up to people. I could have borrowed some of his time from his girlfriend to give him a treat or get him a present even though I was suffering from fatigue all the while to even think of these. Year 2011 was yet another scar in my life.

Stress and More Stress

I become more stress whenever my younger brother goes overseas for holidays. Yes, “more” stress because I am already very stress. There are various projects I need to accomplish and there are boring daily tasks that I have to finish without much delay. I am battling against time everyday. The worst thing is the weakening drive that is slowing down my pace. From the beginning until business has started to pick up, I am losing time increasingly to work on my initial areas of interest. When everyone is thinking that it is perfect, I can see tiny holes all over, including major security issues. It has been proven that my effort can make things so much better but it is often beyond normal eyes to judge. I am a person who can dedicate endless time to a task. When more things pile up, sacrifices offer insufficient help to perfection. Things are all left hanging around while I try to babysit them one by one and bit by bit, and I am beginning to lose confidence due to my incapability. Friends who are more aware of my situation may be admiring my determination for I have managed to persist for so long. I am already stressed to the extent that I can be agitated easily. I am losing patience for people who do not follow proper procedure and thus causing problems. My brother’s departure for holidays always put additional workload on me. Although checking of account does not take up too much time, but it is definitely distracting and often kills my momentum. When friends ask me to take a break and have a short trip overseas to relax, I know it is almost impossible, at least not at the moment. I do not want to risk getting more enquiries and for sure, my daily work will only pile up, leaving important tasks pending longer. I do not want to risk the brand’s name. Nobody is ready to take a break when many things have not settled down. My younger brother has endless trips from Thailand to Pulau Ubin and Sentosa, and currently Bali. Just when I am getting used to abandon tasks during this peak period, he drops a bomb to inform me that half of his body is getting numbness. I am left helpless as I know little about other countries, having staying in a rather safe country throughout my life. I am feeling very lost.

It is just Me

I was totally taken aback to meet someone who could use excuses to create numerous opportunities for himself in a single day. I could see through everything clearly but I was not sure if others did find them obvious. Perhaps, it was simply none of their concerns. I am never a competitive person in many events. I dislike using schemes or doing anything that may seem hypocrite. It depends totally on individuals to judge and feel my sincerity. However, things often do not turn out well for me. I am trying to restrain myself for being a busybody but you can probably be pulled away by me before reaching the death door. Most of the time, I do things quietly or in a way that you will not realise there is a difference. Even when I am saying something to help you, I will put it in a way that you will feel being teased. I feel more appreciated if someone can appreciate me by discovering little things that I have done and great things that I will do. Alas, we have to face reality that most people are too busy to give a glance to a quiet worker. I have to admit that I am a total loser in both friendship and relationship.

How Many Ten-Years Do We Have In Our Lives?

One of my favourite Chinese drama shows, which had just ended recently, was Rosy Business. I was quite surprised that Gilbert did catch it as well. The story was based on the olden days of China during the Qing dynasty and I expected not many people would be interested in it. It was mainly about the family of the major rice seller in Wuxi, China. To them, it was not only about profit but the essential of lives of the people, and thus they had to fight against thugs and their evil family members to keep the business going and the price of rice low. I first caught it when I happened to have my dinner at home instead of dining out on a weekend. My curiosity was spiked by the great plot. It was a pity that I had missed out some of the exciting parts where the main characters applied intelligence to overcome problems. The show was not anything like “Huang Fei Hong” or Tom Cruise in “mission impossible”. The hero was not a saint; he made big mistakes and grew mature over times. His loyalty, courage and intelligence were impressive. The usual quote by the hero was “how many ten-years do we have in our lives?” and it clearly reminded everyone not to waste our lives. I know I have been ill-treating myself for the past twenty-plus years. Though I have not produced much result, I have clearly spent most of my entire life racing. I’m been trained not to have lust on food or travelling. I’m losing myself as days go by and soon becoming a zombie. I’m not a smart worker and I’m definitely bad at priority management. I have clearly disappointed many people. I’m never in need of money not because my family is rich but I rarely spend on myself. I’m used to mess around with hunger since polytechnic days. My dad’s last payslip wrote around $1300 before he passed away and my mum spent quite a sum of my dad’s leftovers (CPF and insurance) on renovation of the rundown house, insurance plans that she could not afford, crappy health magnetic mattresses and she even lent a big portion of it to her boss who had been abusing her verbally. One year before I went to the army for national service, I had to start skipping meals after volleyball games. Nobody can understand how much I have been through and thus no one is in the position to judge me. I have to work extra hard because I’m neither a genius nor apple-polisher. There are also some risks that I’m not able to take. I need to do something for my next ten years of life if I can live on.

Best Christmas Without Celebration

Ten years ago, my festival celebration usually routed around with my volleyball team. We met up and celebrated via karaoke sessions or dinner. Sometimes, we even stayed overnight at public places like Merlion Park. It seemed that we could no longer return to the fun times when everyone started to have more commitments. I had strayed further away from them since the location of volleyball game shifted. I stayed furthest among them who were all in the west side. Moreover, they knew my interest quite well that I was not into most of the common entertainments – movie, pool, KTV and mahjong etc. The worst thing was that I was not even into appreciation of food. For the past few Christmas, I had been home alone, either spending my time working or being a little kind to myself by playing some games. My younger brother had many good friends while my elder brother stick closely with his girlfriend. My mum had some activities sometimes, otherwise, she would sleep at home. Christmas 2011’s night was a peaceful night for me like usual. I began rewarding myself by uploading some outdated photos into Facebook. I had a surprise when a net friend messaged me in Facebook regarding embedding copyright text on my photos. We began chatting and she suggested calling me through Skype. I was entirely melted by her sweet voice. The thing I enjoyed most was her appreciation for me. In fact, she sounded too nice to be true and I had perhaps met many weird people online to believe that I was lucky. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the one hour of Skype chat. “I wondered if that voice was real; no doubt it was the greatest present ever. The clock ticked as the countdown ended without me knowing for the best Christmas. There was no celebration, except for a wishing – a simple wishing that weighed more than anything and could melt anyone.”

Singapore MRT Breakdown – People trapped in underground

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84CePpU9C7E

I’m deeply disturbed by the video above. I do not care about how many people are saying “this is just a disruption of the services, give them time to fix it”, because it is not the main point. If you are trapped inside the train some depth below the human race living level, how would you feel? I assume most people are quite sympathetic towards others because human beings are born with kind nature. If you are thinking that this is just nothing, imagine your love ones are being stuck inside the trains. If you think that is not the worst scenario, visualise your grandparents then. I have come across some comments that the train has backup power that allows up to 45 minutes of ventilation during power failure. Even a kid would know that maximum battery lives would decrease over time – your mobile phone tells you that and your laptop has proven you that as well. What is the capacity of people for the 45 minutes of ventilation being measured? Some creative people may think that this is a once-in-a-fifty-years rare thrilling experience but I think differently. Before you attend Halloween night parties, you know you would be scared. Even if you are going for the roller-coaster ride, you should expect some breathless excitements. You know you will be fine after all. On the other hand, if the train has stopped for some time inside the tunnel and you realise it is getting stuffy with many passengers inside, you do not know if you can live for how more. If you think it can be forever safe in Singapore, the government will not be conducting emergency drills “Northstar”. Singaporeans are already warned about terrorism and scenes will flash through their minds during the lock-down during the train breakdown. You call for help and you receive none, you do not know what is going to happen next and when it is going to end. Most passengers seem to be fine except for around two who have fainted. Still, I expect quite a handful of victims could have developed some phobia after being mentally tortured for hours. All it takes is for the train officers to calm the passengers down and open the doors for ventilation. This society is being drawn a big thick line in between the very rich and the rest of the people. The rich people are managing everyone and they do not understand the rest of the people’s needs. They do not understand the basic needs for survival and the slightest integrity that even the poor people need. We are often powerless to do anything.

The Most Attractive Doctor Ever

Last Thursday, I went to the National Skin Centre for my appointment. Since the nurse at the registration counter told me I would have to wait for at least 45 minutes, I did not fully pay attention to the electrical board. I was reading news on my phone when I heard my name being called. I quickly rushed to the room and was taken aback. The girl sitting at the doctor’s seat was the prettiest doctor I had ever visited. What stunned me most was her body movement for I had not seen such an energetic doctor before. She spoke with accent and swept my soul right and left. I supposed she had just graduated from overseas. I did not even have three hours of sleep but that was probably not the main reason I could not catch her questions sometimes – my English was really bad. My bouncing heart had most likely made things worse. I felt embarrassed that I could not communicate well with her. This illustrates clearly why I cannot get a girlfriend. I like Asian girls who are westernized and hyperactive but I’m very weak in my English language and I have since long ago trained to be very dull due to poor family background. I also crack very cold jokes, which very few people would appreciate. Even though I have been ranting about “chiobu” almost every day, I’m definitely not looking for models as my girlfriend. I focus more on the actions, reactions and elegance of the girl. It is challenging enough for any normal girl to take notice of me. I dare not dream. Though I need someone to take care of me badly right now, I’m more worried about my work.

Not a Good Time for Birthday

It was a different birthday from the past twenty plus years. There was nothing special except that it happened to be a down period.

I am never good at expressing myself verbally nor physically; but it does not mean I do not care. Friends who know well enough should understand that I am much more emotional than most people. Little things can easily affect me a lot and forbid me from dozing off. I have been trying to kick my bad habit but many friends have somehow aided the devil within me. I am failing badly.

I have been doing self-reflecting more than usual – and in fact it is my daily habit. If you were to use my horoscope to describe me as stubborn, this is perhaps the best example because I am not good at apple-polishing and not want to pick it up. But come to think of it – who is never stubborn in certain aspects or things that he or she strongly believes? If you have been insisting in things being done in your way or expecting your analysis to be perfect, does it show that you are more stubborn than any Scorpion?

If you have a certain opinion on someone, have you ever look back at yourself to check if you are actually far ahead in the same attribute? If someone has not done something that you think is necessary, which by not doing so will not cause any harm to anyone, will you pass a certain judgement on him without considering what have been stopping him?

I am extremely lack of skill to even take care of myself to anticipate what others may need. For me, I always try to keep things simple. I will not try to get or do things that are non-essential. I also do not wish to be tied down by anything. If you are judging me based on the lack of these, you probably do not know me well enough to even judge.

Perhaps, I can see how much I have changed over the past year – my self-esteem has been totally wiped off. I guess that is worse than the lost of my creativity and smiles. I am being drained off of everything.

I do not hope for much, except that nobody will put more unnecessary pressure on me due to imaginative. I need more time to sort things out and get essential things done before I can sit down to think of how to become a better person in all aspects such that nobody will ever feel being neglected by me.

This birthday has received fewer wishes than the previous one, which describes how I have been distancing away from friends. If I have a choice, will I not choose to be everyone’s best friend?

It is NOT as Simple as What You Are Seeing

Human beings tend to look at things from their own angles and believe solely in their own points of view. In my experience, some things may seem simple to some people but it can be difficult to many others – different people have different abilities and experiences. Things may seem straightforward but there can be many little details in order to accomplish them. For example, to open the casing of a mobile phone, an experienced user may just tell someone to pull it apart. However, some phones may require you to press certain part to unlock first. Many things are actually more complicated. I’m struggling hard but nobody can see the direction that I’m heading towards. It is a huge market that I’m exploring but I’m also entering a trade that is heavily congressed. There are many people who have stepped in more than ten years ahead of me and I’m very sure they have maximised their manpower, resources and experiences to think of creative marketing strategies – which I have seen none. My brothers and I have been thinking of ideas but nothing magnificent seems to be workable and thus, it appears to outsiders that none of us has made any effort to do any planning. I try to comfort myself by thinking that all the older companies have run out of ideas as well – at least, some people do believe in this – that I’m just finding excuses. I’m not good in prioritising tasks but at least I know what are required. I have never planned to reach for the sky before taking care of crucial things on the ground that few people can see. I do restructure my system often but it is not that I have not planned enough in the beginning stage; I’m totally new to the trade and almost greenhorn to the extent of coding. I’m proud that I have come out with ideas that have outshone most others. But my task is not all about coding a website just for clients to log in and it is also beyond online marketing can help. I have to take care of different groups of users and their interaction, and I also have to solve problems created by many humans. Things would be very different if I were working on just a blog that mainly earns through advertisement banners. But since I have started something, I’m not going to give it up. I design, I code, I write, I market, I administrate and I entertain confused people. If anyone says I should have done more, I can only smile. If anyone insists that it is easy, go and try starting an agency in Singapore such as maid agency or job agency.

I’m Not Ready

When I answered the auntie next to my office that I did not have a girlfriend, she asked if I were not interested in girls. For once I did not have any interest to joke and immediately denied her. There are too many reasons why I’m not hurrying to get one. To sound really bad, it is simply because no girl is interested in me. On a more positive note, most people should be able to tell that I’m not ready yet. I have been struggling with work for very long and I can hardly spend enough time to accompany anyone. I’m realistic and know well I’m not able to give a girl a good life in my current situation. The cost of living in Singapore is ridiculous. Somehow, something is hindering me from fantasizing about beautiful stories. The phobia is dreadful. So far, no one has the power to make me overcome it. I may drool over a girl but I’m not moving at all and there can never be a chance.