People Take Things for Granted

Just recently, I faced another setback in my life in the name of kindness.

Many months back, a net friend of mine approached me to take photos for her son’s one-year-old birthday party, which would fall on 21st September 2013. During that time, I was only doing voluntary work for charity and friends, and I was not prepared to get any paid shoot. She was a young mother (born in year 1991) after all and I thought I could help. However, I did not want anyone to take things for granted, and thus I told her I would not do it for free but she had to give me a red packet. She even had to ask her husband about engaging me and the green light was given the next day as expected. Then she confirmed with me the location, date and time.

Within that few weeks, I saw photos of her son doing baby photoshoot in her Facebook profile, which she stated cost hundreds of dollars – nearer to a grand figure if I did not remember wrongly. It was really stunning because not many parents whom I knew of had spent that amount of money. The most outrageous thing was that she could afford such photoshoot package and yet tried to get me to shoot for her for free. That was when I regretted promising her for the birthday party shoot but a promise was a promise.

The day before the event, I messaged her in Facebook to check if there was any changes, which photographers would usually do. She took a while to reply me, telling me “Yes. Currently bz. Text you Later..sorry!”

I realised something was wrong and went into her Facebook profile again. I was amazed to see a photo of the printed invitational cards that stated 22nd September 2013 instead of 21st. It was obvious that she had changed the date of the party and she had left me out totally.

Anyone with a brain would have informed the photographer (or any party) if there was a change of date, time or venue. Even if she was not interested in getting my help, she could have told me directly. If I did not check with her, or rather, check it on my own, I would have gone down to 30 Sturdee Road like a fool on the initial date she had told me. The most amazing thing was that when I messaged her, just the evening before the “actual” date, she did not even bother to tell me immediately that the date was changed.

Instead of getting back to me to explain anything or cancel the appointment with me, due to her very busy schedule, she could update her own Facebook photo. To think I had even told my elder brother that I could not attend his company’s barbeque session, which fell on the exact “same” day and time, it was silly. I actually had blocked out the date in my schedule for her party.

It took me lots of patience to message her again hours later at 11 plus in the night. I blasted out the little intelligence I had gathered and she simply said she was overloaded that day that she had not even taken her dinner. It was only when I pointed out that the the invitational cards were ready a week ago and that the date was definitely changed earlier, she admitted it was her fault. I got to realise that it was the actual birthday of her son on that day itself and she had spent money to engage another freelance photographer for a photoshoot during the day, which “explained” why she was so busy at night – I could not understand it though.

I was lucky because I did not get to help her eventually. I was used to do free work for the society and friends, but I would never want to give any free work to people with such attitude.

My mistake is trusting people too easily and being too kind to net “friend”. The fact is even rich people ask for “free” stuffs and thus do not assume people are not well-to-do just because they want free help from you. The reality of life is that if someone is given something free or almost free, she will likely to be unappreciative of it, and probably forget about it. This incident will act like a gun pointing at me, reminding me to be fair to myself and also to collect a deposit upon confirming a photo shoot. I’m also done with free event photo shoot, unless it is for charity organisation.

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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Good Students, Wonderful Class

Just as I was trying to tidy up my work, Weitat called for me and I knew it was time for the graduation show for Willi. We went down to the lecture theatre together with Mingli who came down just to support the class.

There was some delay and the show eventually started with less than one third of the seats filled. They invited only some lecturers and thus, we were actually just part of the small lucky audience group.

It was never a regret to put aside my work even though both Weitat and I were not very keen to spend the time there.

There were cute edited pictures, dance, MTV, show, and even presentation for the actors and actresses. Although everything was not done with high standard, they managed to create great humours. The amount of time and efforts they had placed in was magnificent.

With such sporting, enthusiastic and lovely students, the class was probably one of the best ever, and no doubt these were the reasons Mingli loved them so much.

Both Weitat and I also managed to receive a present each from them despite the fact that we did not sit in their class before.

Mingfa’s Birthday – Zoo, Orchard KTV, Newton

I started my previous Sunday unusually early. Knowing that it was a special day, I presumed nobody would be late and thus, I made an effort to be on time and even had the chance to top up my Ez-link card and also withdraw money.

Mingfa and Shirley picked Mingli up before coming over to Jurong East MRT to meet me. Then, we waited for Weitat before going to Mingen’s place at Choa Chu Kang. Next, we proceeded to the Singapore Zoological Garden. I was not very interested in fact since I had been there two years ago with Fatty Si and there would not be many changes; I joined my gang mainly because I did not want to be a wet blanket.

Just as I thought we could get at least some staff discounts, Fatty Si told me she was not working there anymore but luckily Mingen had the privilege from his friend.

Poor Mingen was still having diarrhoea. We had brunch at KFC while waiting for Jingkun. For as much as I hesitated to bring a bag along due to the weight, my decision eventually proved me hopeless; a small pouch was actually sufficient and that it would not pose much problem to my feet. The sudden additional weight almost twisted my mood completely.

The sky was grey and I hesitated again, however, they decided to proceed. It started pouring heavily upon we passed the gate. Luckily, the weather pardoned us soon and that we were able to make our ways around the zoo in the merciful tiny raindrops.

We covered only slightly more than half of the trip I had with Peisi, missing out the most internal part at the pony area, the hot ass baboons, butterflies and bats, and some other animals. We missed all the shows and we were especially disgusted for we made it on time for the elephants show except that the crowd blocked our visions.

After the excursion, we went to Orchard for karaoke session. I took Jingkun’s car at the front seat for the first time. Tiffany joined us at the Orchard’s Party World but she and Mingen did not join us after the singing session.

The rest of us had dinner at Newton. I should have asked them to go to Chinatown instead. Anyway, the sugarcane juice from the drinks stall facing the car park totally sucked for it was simply tasteless, which was the worst sugarcane juice I had ever had. The lady helped us to replace the cups but there was not much difference.

After dinner, Jingkun sent me home.

KB BBQ at East Coast Park

I left work a little earlier than the rest to attend my class KB’s barbecue gathering at East Coast Park.

The initial plan was to sleep through bus 196, which would definitely take longer than an hour. Before leaving the office, I was advised to take train and transit to bus instead. The entire information gathering progress killed more of my time and I could have just proceeded to my own plan in the first place.

I walked to Clementi MRT station and stood all the way to Eunos MRT station, almost fell down countless time when I dozed off. It was a torment, and also, a physical and mental test for me, which was unhealthy. After alighting, I made a waste trip to the bus-stop at the main road and finally decided to approach the translink counter. I took bus 13 and luckily, it stopped at the same bus-stop as bus 196. Nevertheless, it was a wrong decision made to not follow my original plan.

Walking towards the sea, I saw to my terror at the number of the nearest pit. A few of the guys were cycling and they called for me. They confirmed to me that the pit was a far distance away. I went straight to the MacDonald’s to get changed into shorts before strolling all the way to find the rest of them. The wind was strong and cooling but I was too shagged to enjoy myself.

It was good to see the kids again, but however, sad to know that so many of them were smokers. I was well served with food and drinks. There was a little playing with camera but the batteries’ lives quite irritated me. Chi Chiang arrived before eight. I got to realise Terrence was staying just opposite me but he left without me. In the end, Chi Chiang was pestering Edmund to exchange magic tricks and I got entertained. We stayed till after ten and left after most of them were gone.

Walking towards Parkway Parade was a good decision but the waiting for bus 196 was long.

Wee Wee Weiwen is an Adult

I was supposed to go to the beach on Sunday after missing from action for so many months, but I remembered promising Weiwen to attend his wedding dinner. My gang called off the plan somehow as well, probably because Weitat was in need of a new laptop and he was captivated by the IT fair at Suntec City.

Fook Min came over to fetch my brother and I but there was a change of plan and thus, we waited quite long by the road side. We went over to fetch Hubert at Henderson Road before speeding off towards Hilltop Garden Restaurant, Club CSC @ Bukit Batok (91 Bukit Batok West Avenue 2, Singapore 659206).

I was impressed by the place, especially at the swimming pool view where families gathered to enjoy the man-made paradise. The beautiful place reminded me of Jurong East Swimming Complex, though was not as well designed, but kept memories of friends and laughers.

Scenery

The pools areas seemed very happening…

Corridor of the dining hall

We were pretty lost in the early evening. Waiters and waitresses were preparing the tables, and we saw many young kids among the crews. All the unseen preparation work created a horror impact on me and I would never dream of being the central of attention in such occasion with such big hassle. In fact, it would never be my turn as I’m too weird and lousy a guy for any romance, and that I do not even have any career.

The stage

Meeting up with familiar but distant faces was a satisfaction. I even saw Wendy and Loraine and began chatting with them; and afterwards, I met Weirong before realising I was keeping his very outdated number. I did not know anyone within the table except for the two ladies, and thus, I felt very uncomfortable throughout the night.

The guests were very late and the dinner started at mid eight plus; this ugly Singaporeans’ bad habit disgusted me. I supposed the lonely lift and the cramp car park path did not cause the problem but the very stubborn wrong mindset of Singaporeans who thought wedding dinner ought to start much later than the stated time.

I had a cup of brandy given by Reuben, which was the second time I drank this year, and guilt strike me badly. He tossed me and I emptied the entire cup into my stomach, and soon, my face was blushing.

Bernard and Weiwen

Time to merlion soon

Everything seemed to go smoothly. The dinner ended before eleven and all guests started to disperse in the midst of my daydream. The bridegroom was then pressed by his “brothers”, including my elder brother, to drown himself in alcohol. The battle lasted for some time and they went to the toilet one by one.

My brother and I boarded Fook Min’s car, whereas Hubert accompanied the new family. Fook Min proved me the F1 race could really be conducted in Singapore at night and it was a great experience. My brother started to throw up upon reaching the car park while we waited for the bridegroom’s car to arrive to join in the party.

Fook Min dropped us downstairs our house where my brother continued partying while releasing the stinks.

It was already after one in the morning and I had missed my favourite “少年杨家将” show for the good sake.

Qinxin’s Birthday Barbecue at West Coast Park

My girlfriend and I at Clementi

Last Friday, Mingli, Yicheng and I met up with Mingfa after work. We went to the Clementi Recreational Centre and both Mingli and I almost dozed off while watching the two guys playing billiard. We were supposed to play pool after the game but we went over to the bowling alley instead and then, decided to just give it a skip.

After drawing money at the ATM machine near the interchange, we waited very long for bus 175 to send us over to West Coast Park. It was my second lunch at the MacDonald’s even though we only intended to take some snacks at first. We walked over towards the left, facing the sea and reached the boring part of the park.

It was all for Mingfa’s student’s birthday barbecue. Mingfa started the fire together with Yicheng, whereas Mingli started to marinate the chicken wings. I was not helpful since I wanted to take photos and did not want to dirty my hands. Anyway, it was not very well planned with missing items and having Mingli to do the dirty job was obvious enough.

Mingli

Mingli

Yi Cheng

Qianhui

Qianhui and Mingli doing the dirty job

Mingli

Mingli and Yi Cheng

Birthday girl

Qianhui

Yi Cheng

Qin Xin

Penguin Ow

Yi Cheng and Mingli

Cans of coke inside the unwashed styrofoam box

Yi Cheng

Qianhui

Mingfa

As the hostess’ friends arrived, we were pretty irritated by the guys sitting by the side not doing anything. It was near seven when we took our leave and left them to survive on their own.

I crossed the road to take bus 176 towards Henderson Road, where I crossed the overhead bridge to wait for bus 145. The bus’ engine died off whenever the driver stepped on the accelerator and I heard a couple times of the engine restart while another bus 145 passed by, telling me I should have stayed behind to indulge on the scenery instead; or rather, I regretted not alighting further down the road earlier so that I could climb up to the Henderson Waves instead. Anyway, the bus struggled and survived a few scary moments before the engine stopped the joke.

Singapore Mint Trip

I made my first visit to the Singapore Mint on Wednesday afternoon. It was a good opportunity given by Hasnah, Wee Lian, Kelvin and Faris. I supposed Chi Chiang had enjoyed the ultimate short trip like me together with the noisy kids.

Luminous coins

We were welcomed by two of the staffs, Eugeue and Melissa and the lady was quite cute. I was expecting to see very detailed stuffs but disappointments satisfied me instead. The tour was roughly around fifty metres long and the exhibition was mainly about the old and special versions of Singapore’s coins.

Waiting to board the bus

We spent some time idling around because we realised the bus was already waiting for us.

Dragon Boat

Once again when I tried to take a little rest for my back lazily, I dozed off without setting the alarm clock. I had more sleep than usual then, but in exchange for a very rush morning to pack up.

There was no preparation work done and I hardly knew what was going to happen next. It was a fresh morning with lots of smiling faces. The travelling distance was far.

I got another shock of my life at the seaside; nobody had informed me to bring an extra pair of shoes and then we all moved into the water. My legs were soaked and drenched totally.

It was my first try on the dragon boat. It was definitely not as flexible as kayaking but the strength of the united power was enormous. A pity for the journey delayed that we could not go on longer and the short enjoyment was never enough.

After the short tanning session, I was left helpless with my wet shoes.

The Weirdest Mothers’ Day

Every year, my family would go for dinner together on Mothers’ Day. Since my mum’s birthday was just a few weeks before Mothers’ Day, we would normally focus more on her birthday instead.

This year, my brothers and I had spent large sum of money during my mum’s birthday for the Hong Kong trip and therefore, Mothers’ Day’s celebration was somehow “forfeited”.

On the day, my elder brother was still at cold war with my mum and my younger brother went for his friend’s birthday celebration, leaving me alone with my mum. In order not to disappoint her, I accompanied her to Chinatown for dinner.

We had sting ray for dinner. Since the hawker told us we had to wait very long, I went around looking for finger food and got some Shui Guo, and durian flavour’s Tang Yuan. Before we could finish everything, we ordered Rojak from the stall owner who passed by. Together with the sugarcane juice, my stomach was so bloated. It was a dinner well-spent; it was cheaper than a single person’s bill at a normal restaurant.

We went to CK to shop around for a while and I finally got myself a sleeveless shirt. Things were cheap there but I supposed they were old. Since nothing else was to my liking, I chose not to waste my wardrobe’s space.