Spread the Love – February 2015

Weitat had always played a role more than good friend. I tried not to repeat the same type of kindness too often but he was making me feel guilty. On the first day of February 2015, we had our usual Sunday beach volleyball game. Instead of going to nearby places like Vivocity or even Queensway for dinner, we went to Jurong West for Mookata. After that, he sent me home from the West to Central even though he was staying in Clementi. I guessed everyone was already tired after the volleyball game and he was going to be more exhausted since he needed to drive.

On the last day of February, we had a gathering with Mingfa at West Coast Plaza. After that, we went to Sunsetway for desert. Weitat planned to send Jingjie home so that Jingjie could pick his car up to send Gin home to Bukit Gombak and Weitat would send me home after that. On the way, my brain was exploding for I thought I could never repay him for his kindness, although he never expected anything in return. He had no obligation to be so nice. While we were on the way, Gin “saved” me by speaking up for Weitat to just drop both of us at Clementi MRT instead of troubling both Weitat and Jingjie. It was quite overboard to make the two drivers to send us home from their “home” when we were so near the MRT station, which was still in operation.

Although I really hate travelling on the “world class” public transport, I should not have my comfort and convenience at his tiredness. Although the “affordable” and “cheap” public transport fee is ridiculous, I’m sure Weitat’s petrol fee would cost more for the double distance (to and fro). Although Singapore is such a fine country, there are sure body odor on the train. Although Singapore’s education system is known (from mainstream news) to be excellent, probably half of the people (talents) have not gone through the same school system to be gracious inside the train. I really hate taking public transport.

My gang of volleyball friends have endlessly demonstrated kindness. Drivers like Mingfa, Wilson, Tze Khit, Jingkun, Kachua and Weitat have been teaching me how good it would be to send friends home. Of course, Weitat is the extreme of all the car owners as he can make extreme detouring to give me the convenience even when public transport is still in operation. I would like to be nice and be appreciated but having a car is never for poor and average people.

Among all my models, Alessandra Wong was the first to “date” me out. It was a coffee chill up when she was near my place and followed by a street photography session for Thaipusam. If it was not her, I would not have forced myself to get up so early to capture the Thaipusam photos. Besides, I was not the kind of person who would go out alone. That was also the period of time when I kept wondering how many models were really treating me as friend instead of just using me to get them quality photos.

I troubled auntie Chwee Lian again for a photoshoot for Vanessa and Jiamin because we planned to do it at the Skybridge of Pinnacle@Duxton. Therefore, I went to borrow the access cards from her. Eventually, Vanessa was sick and thus the shoot was called off. When I went over to return the three access cards, I rang her up instead of just slipping the cards under the door. It was a good intention to meet her up to thank her personally but she was actually having her nap at around 6 plus in the evening. Needless to say, she did not get pissed off.

During Chinese New Year, My uncle and his wife invited the entire Chan family over for reunion dinner as usual. They were never stingy with all the food, drinks and snacks. The effort to organise and then clean up the mess was the key thing. I was speechless over what they had done.

On the Verge of Collapsing

Life has become more unpredictable than ever since the beginning of this year.

My younger brother and I were always at loggerheads when we were young. He has, however, grown up to become a very sensible person and we become very close.

As I have been putting stress on myself without taking much rest, I am prepared to die of brain cancer or similar illness at a young age. I used to think that I can depend on him to take care of my mum when I am gone.

When he notified me that his body was acting weird, I was lost.

A few days later, when he returned from Bali, we went straight to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of Singapore General Hospital (SGH). It was one of my most hated places. Scenes over there were nasty, especially when I had to witness foreigners crying over to the lost of their friend.

Half of my brother’s body was experiencing numbness on the right side and it seemed like needles were poking him. Doctors and nurses began to get worried after they conducted X-ray and CT scan. Initial finding was either brain bleeding or blood clot, as we were told different stories by the staffs.

I had to lie to my gullible mum that my brother went over purposely just because he had bought travel insurance and wanted to make full use of it. My acting skill excelled as I remained calm in front of my mum even when my brother was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Perhaps, his condition was not so critical at the moment but it happened that the high dependency (HD) ward was full and he had to be admitted inside the more critical ward.

When my relatives started to find out about my brother’s condition, I had to answer them on the phone besides my mum, pausing for a few seconds to suppress the urge to burst out, before explaining in a relaxing tone. That was what grown-ups had to learn to do.

There was no feeling of festive season. I was glad enough that we could get time-off for him to go out for our reunion dinner. My brother was hospitalized until the second day of Chinese New Year. We did not manage to see the doctor in charge to ask about his condition. We were also disappointed with the management of the hospital.

My brother needs no medication at the moment and we are all clueless about what will happen next. His illness is likely to be “Post Thalamic Syndrome” as researched online. I cannot imagine myself feeling the numbness over half of my body symmetrically and boiling over my leg occasionally.

I’m beginning to feel numb as well. Staying alive is mainly to face hardship. My work alone has already taken away half of my smiles.

Chinese New Year 2011 Day 2

[Friday, 4 February, 2011]

I began the day blogging while doing SEO for the quit smoking site. It had been quite long since I started neglecting it. I went to bed at 5am.

My aunt woke me up at around 11am when she came over with our breakfast. However, she added chilli and we could not finish the spicy noodle. We took bus 75 to the home at Bukit Panjang to visit our uncle.

After the long trip, it was one of the worst moments I would ever want to be in – looking at my uncle nearly made my tears fall. He was one of the best guys on earth and it really hurt to see him in such state that he could not even think. Sitting on the wheel chair, he was tied to it and saliva continued to drip.

After leaving the home, we went to Bukit Panjang Plaza for a quick bite at the MacDonald’s. We shared two Mac Nugget and one filet-o-fish meal. Then, we went to Daiso to shop. We went to the bus-interchange and a cute wild dog caught our attention.

I continued with the SEO work for my tuition agency site. In the late evening, I caught the movie “Zombie Land” at on a SCV channel.

It was a totally different Chinese New Year Day 2 this year because my uncle on my dad’s side went overseas with his family and thus there was no gathering. My main stream of ang bao money was eliminated and it was my poorest Chinese New Year ever.

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Chinese New Year 2011 Day 1

[Thursday, 3 February, 2011]

While my family went to Chinatown to squeeze with the others, I played the Command and Conquer game by myself to relax. I managed to push the new article regarding teenage dating to live and sleep at 5am.

I woke up at around 1pm and my family and I went to my aunt’s house an hour later. We did not buy MacDonald’s and dined over instead. As my aunt had not been cooking regularly, there were insects inside the rice and I was quite disgusted while eating, picking up more than ten dead bodies in the small portion of rice. I did not finish it.

All of us dozed off after the relatives left. Suddenly, my young uncle woke up and Lucky barked at him and there were some dramas. I was quite disgusted and did not feel like staying there at all.

In the evening after we got home, the Red Cliff movie screened on channel 8 distracted me from my SEO work for the tuition agency. My aunt from my dad’s side came over and my family went to the “Chun Dao He Pang” with her. I stayed at home alone again with Lucky.

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Chinese New Year Eve 2011

[Wednesday, 2 February, 2011]

I spent some time blogging for the tuition agency and went to sleep after 3am.

I woke up at 9am to get ready for movie with my family. We caught “Ghosts must be Crazy” at Tiong Bahru Plaza at 11am. It was one of the lamest shows I had ever caught. It had two stories and the last one was really sick. I regretted catching it.

We had lunch at the food court. The four of us had kaya toast with eggs. The tea was diluted. My younger brother went straight for his tuition assignment. We went to the M1 shop for a while. After taking the train back, we went to the NTUC for a while and my mum went missing.

While I was trying to blog and do my work, Joanna messaged me and I was very stressed by her because I could no longer afford more hours to help her do her programming assignment. I started on a new article on teenage dating.

My aunt came over with my youngest uncle and we had reunion dinner at the Kopitiam at Pinnacle Duxton. It was the first time we dined out on the Chinese New Year Eve night.

After that, my youngest uncle went to Chinatown by himself to walk around. My mum and I walked my aunt to the bus-stop at Everton Park.

After reaching home, I continued with my work. There was some discussion regarding the tuition agency.

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Chinese New Year 2010

At first, I thought I could spend more time on my web development during the Chinese New Year festival, but it turned out that I had lesser time to do my own stuffs.

A day before New Year Eve, I had already spent quite some time sweeping the floor and cleaning the toilet. I did not expect my family to start doing spring cleaning on the New Year Eve itself. I could not help much since the items to be thrown were mainly my mum’s “treasure”, inclusive of all the branded unused containers, collected since before I was born. As for the shoes and bathroom’s stuffs, I had no idea who they belonged to. Later part of simple tasks caused me backache. Nevertheless, my brothers did very good job in making my mum dump many old stuffs.

After the reunion dinner, I struggled to do work until my family wanted to go to Chinatown at around 1am. It was a wrong choice to follow them for it was still too early for the big crowds to disperse and that the cheap goodies were not at the lowest prices yet. For the previous year, I would leave my house at around 3am. I got nothing in the end.

We visited my mum’s sister as usual on the first day of Chinese New Year. We bought MacDonald’s and dined over the house since we woke up late and did not want to further waste time taking lunch at the restaurant itself. Like the previous years, we were caught with visitors while we were eating. It was not an enjoyable trip since around ten years ago ever since my eldest uncle suffered from the unknown illness. It was only during Chinese New Year that my aunt would accept red packet from us and that explained why my “income” was lower than usual people’s during Chinese New Year. The topics they talked were dead boring and sad. It was more of the plans for my aunt’s future and mostly on the issue of the flat. A big joke was my mum’s second brother sending his son over during New Year Eve to show my aunt her “god daughter-in-law”, trying to hook up with my aunt obviously for the flat. The disgusting part was that this proud family would only visit my aunt once every year. Luckily, my aunt and my youngest uncle could at least recognise who were the relatives who had been treating them sincerely all these years.

We went to River Ang Bao at night as usual since my mum was determined to visit the big fortune god’s statue that would send tiny pieces of papers down as “gold” every interval. The floating platform’s event was run mostly by China people. It was boring except for all the costly big game machines. My only entertainment was looking at girls and I was stunned by two very “ang moh-ish” girls in their very delightful smiles and figures.

Second day of Chinese New Year was visiting to my uncle’s house where my main source of income came from. The location, structure of house and renovation was one of the most ideal I had ever seen. My uncle was the person who held the family together ever since my grandma passed away. All the food and preparation had certainly cost the couple a lot each year. However, it was sad to see him going out of the house to smoke every now and then; in fact, I did not witness it myself but my nose told everything. I loved playing with my nieces but they left earlier this year. I felt the pressure of not owning an iPhone for my brothers were busy with their games while I could not do my work, not even surfing net.

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Chinese New Year Day 2

The plan to have golf with Irwin on the second day of the Lunar Chinese New Year day two was cancelled since I was not sure what time my family would be leaving house for house visiting. My gang’s gathering at Kok Chiang’s house faced the same problem.

We took bus 80 instead of NEL and the journey almost killed me again. My elder brother and his girlfriend reached the interchange at the same timing. We had our Ez-link cards replaced by the new type but I was having hesitation since I would face the problem of accessing the office again and I hated troubling others.

We had fun disturbing our nieces and nephews for the entire afternoon.

Since it was my elder brother and his girlfriend’s birthday, we placed order for tickets at Bishan’s Golden Village for “Love Matters” by director Jack Neo through the GV website. Bus 88 put me to sleep.

The cinema was one of the worst we could find in Singapore nowadays. My younger brother’s view was blocked by a big head who sat straight throughout the show. On my left was a couple and the girl was in sexy red dress, whereas their hugging was an indeliberate distraction with the girl’s butts facing me.

The movie was humorous at many scenes but the ending part was quite weird at the “Jeremy” part.

We managed to catch the last train home but my elder brother was not as lucky.

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Chinese New Year Day 1

The start of the day was like previous years, which was house visiting to my aunt’s place. Before that, we went to Burger King but changed our minds and visited the new MacDonald’s branch at Shenton Way instead. It was fantastically designed and I regretted not asking them to dine in instead.

We spent some time over my aunt’s house before going home. There was a gathering at Wilson’s place but I was waiting for my family to visit the River Ang Bao until quite late. After my younger brother reached home, we went off without my elder brother.

The event was hosted at the Floating platform where NDP had been conducted for the past two years. There was a big crowd at the entrance and we were quite turned off because the entire place was much smaller than the usual ones.

There was a stage where all the China people performed. Statue-like lanterns of the twelve animals were as per normal and there was an additional gigantic Chinese chess set. We left the platform very soon and walked around the small “Food Street”. Some of the stalls did not label price for the food, which was very cunning. We did not buy anything in the end.

It seemed that more than half of the patrons were China people. The only good thing about the place was that there were many sweet girls around.

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Chinese New Year Eve

I woke up after four in the afternoon. Starting the day at the hour was amazing considering the fact that I rarely would have a good long sleep. However, I had a mixed feeling since I could have spent the time doing other things.

There was some sweeping and mopping of the floor by my younger brother and I but I did a few times on my part.

Reunion dinner was as per normal; nothing was appealing.

At around ten PM, Irwin came over to bring me to West Coast Park MacDonald’s again for the second night, where he did some brainstorming on his work. If only I was not taking the course at UOW, I would have taken up his projects.

We shared a nugget meal and I got to drink chocolate milkshake finally again but somehow the sensation was not very good.

The chat resumed at the car park and finally nearby my house. A mosquito irritated me badly.

My mum had insisted to go to Chinatown early and I refused to join in the “fun” in the rain with the huge crowd. By the time I went home, they had returned and thus I did not go down to Chinatown.

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Lunar Chinese New Year 2008

Chinese New Year Eve saw some packing of the house. Reunion dinner was as per normal. I was quite sick of the steamboat for it happened more than just once each year, and every time I had to feast on it for numerous continuous days.

My plan to comb down the pasar malam at Chinatown for cheap goodies was killed once again. It was quite stupid to go down early and thus I did not join my family members earlier. I went down at 3am but unfortunately, met them at the junction. Both my brothers wanted to go home but my mum decided to tag on to me.

I did not have much time and I would not want to waste any. I just wanted to speed up in all the crowded alleys and get whatever was cheap, in the shortest time. My pace was usually swift and far beyond your imagination, but this time, I knew I was grounded. I gave up on everything. Other than my preparation being trampled, I had to endure on the wastage of time and boring journey.

Basically, I allowed my mum to lead the way and she was basically far worse than any road idiot who had actually stayed near the place for more than twenty years. Alas, we reached the big field opposite Maxwell Market, besides the Fo Ya Shi. My mum bought some trays for placing utensils and I bought a shoes rack which looked more presentable than our neighbour’s, but everything was under my account.

First day of the New Year to my auntie’s house was the standard order by my mum. We got up late as usual and packed Burger King before approaching the bus-stop, where my mum flagged for the cab just before an approaching bus. That was really sudden and luckily the bus driver did not horn at us. However, it was really stupid to take a cab when we had already made our way to the bus-stop.

We met the usual gang of relatives who visited my auntie. We were all amazed by my toothless uncle who was chewing on hard food like nuts and bak kwa. It was the only occasion when this two non-working and sick couple would accept our money as a form of ang bao. Things turned a bit sour when my youngest uncle returned and we left soon. However, my mum forgot to take her phone along and my younger brother had to go back to retrieve it from the insane youngest uncle, who in his fifties, still acting like a less than ten years old kid, and his jokes were absolutely not funny at all.

At night, we went to春到河畔 and my mum’s main motive was to find the big fortune god’s statue to collect the “gold” from him. The pasar malam stalls were mostly rented by China people and some of the items were quite interesting. For some items, you probably needed to slash down the price a lot.

We walked to Lao Pa Sat for supper on the way home. It was an irritating experience as we were followed by the hawkers for ridiculously from one end of the food centre to the other end. If the government was not going to do something about this aggressive pulling of customers, Singapore’s reputation would certainly fall. That was not the end for the other hawkers were clinging to us. Luckily there were many empty tables and we could easily avoid all of them. We had twenty chicken satay, costing as expensive as sixty cents each. Four cups of tek tarrik proved to me that not all Indian tea stalls were good; that was the most awful tek tarrik we had ever tasted.

On the second day of Chinese New Year, we were supposed to visit my dad’s youngest brother. He had repeatedly reminded us to go over for lunch but we all woke up with food on the table. My mum bought chay kuay teow for us to share and we had to finish the food before leaving the house. We managed to reach Hougang soon but were overwhelmed with the earlier food that we did not take lunch immediately. That was the second and last place to get ang bao every year. The red packets were not big but at least, better than nothing. It was fun playing with my nephews and nieces. We stayed till 10pm and left after watching the Kungfu Soccer on channel 8. My uncle drove us back home.

Anyway, I missed all the gatherings with my buddies.