Birthday and Friends

Another year had passed and things had remained almost stagnant. There was neither surprise nor excitement. More friends had gone quieter or probably found their fun in other places.

This was the first time my mum was absent in Singapore on my birthday. There was nothing sad about it but merely a new experience to be noted.

The usual trend in this era when social media was dominating was to receive birthday greeting in Facebook. People did find comfort when they received overwhelming wishes from their contacts. As unpractical as it could be, I did not turn off comments by friends because there were reasons to continue receiving the well-wishes.

The greatest advantage of enabling comments from friends on birth date itself was to communicate. We made new friends over the years and strayed away from the old ones, including those we used to chat with daily. It was the best excuse to regain some momentum with friends when they started posting “happy birthday”.

Another reason to be vain was to be able to judge people. Sometimes we had acquaintances who added us into their friend list and we did the same to others whom we found interesting or pretty. Over time, we had too many strangers on the friend list. Besides, we were also uncertain over which old friends would bother about us. Receiving a short text could greatly assure that we did worth something in our friends’ hearts; at least they bothered to sacrifice a few seconds of their time and some energy to move their hands in order to make our days better.

This was the main reason why I had bothered to spend time sending greetings to my friends on their birthdays. It was one of the easiest ways to do my part as a friend to make their lives happier. I doubted everyone would appreciate but I knew I had done my best as a friend or net friend.

The biggest problem with social media network was that not everyone would log in daily even though most young people should have owned an account at least. With the emerging of more platforms such as Twitter, the concentration of users had been diverted or split. As life got more hectic, we began to find friends missing in action from social media.

Social media was kind of an imaginary third dimension. This was the reason why popular school debates had included whether social media was bringing people closer or distancing them away. There was no definite answer.

On my birthday, I had my elder brother and his girlfriend treating me to lunch while Gilbert and Titus showering me with food for dinner. It was far from what my greedy heart had expected. I had the same wishful thinking as most people on their birthdays but I was not lucky enough.

I do not need to own the whole world but just one… just be free for me.

Losing Friends in Life

In life, we get to meet new friends often. Some get to stay while some move off to a more suitable crowd.

“Hey, they are very nice people…”

Sometimes we sigh after we move on to a different environment when it takes extra effort to meet up with one another to the extent that we eventually quiet down the meeting. This is somehow inevitable for we have new commitments at new places and time does not spare us.

A worse way to part with friends is through miscommunication or a drama by third party, and in some cases, the third party is a common friend.

One of the worst situations I had been through was when I received a sudden confrontation from a good friend regarding how I had backstabbed him over a project. I wanted to quit the team due to time constraint and thus I did not wish to further get involved by speaking up for the unfairness of a major decision. Somehow, someone conveyed my thoughts to him behind me and definitely in a very twisted manner to sore our friendship.

A group of friends tried starting a business together to put their personal skills into good use. It was initially a zero-dollar start-up plan but after weeks when they realised some money had to be pooled in. The leader’s decision was that only the members who were going to contribute money would be the shareholders. Why would anyone give up his current career and struggle for months in the new project which may not work out in the end, just to pray hard to become an employee in the new company and able to get back the wages for the months of hard work?

I would love to help my friends like how I used to do since I was a child, but I am never young anymore to neglect my own future. I can no longer afford to do free freelance work that require lots of time.

Months later, I realise my friend count in Facebook has reduced by one. This is an extremely bad way to lose a friend, which has been haunting me, causing fears that history may repeat any time soon due to probably jealousy.

It is extremely ridiculous for adults to lose friends in this manner.

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Life is really Fragile

It is not a good start of the year and perhaps it ended really badly last year.

The departure of Kenny was quite a piece of shocking news since he had been a very healthy and energetic. I thought his career was promising. I did not ask around but it seemed to be that he started off with persistent bad cough.

The recent news of Mingen meeting an accident in Thailand proves to me once again how fragile life can be. Initially I thought it was because of his reckless driving but he was actually knocked down by a lorry while walking alone on the pavement in the night. He has survived but on the other hand, he has lost his left eye. I did not usually talk a lot to him but we used to play volleyball and go out together in the past. It was hurtful to watch a loud guy landing in such situation.

Among my FYP team of UOW, we had been mentioning about Jeremy, our lost team-mate, almost every time we contacted each other. He was a very friendly and outgoing guy and our team consisted of friendly guys, and thus we had no clue why he disappeared out of a sudden when things were going smoothly. I organised a meet-up recently more than a year after Jeremy’s sudden disappearance, which was a few days before the FYP submission and presentation. Soon Siong was telling me that he had added someone by the name of Jeremy in Facebook and the person seemed to have updated his account recently. After that night, I went to check the account and realised someone had used his account to post pictures of his tombstone. It was almost half a year after the FYP, he had left us.

I am not sure why I have been making my own life so difficult. I never know how much lifespan I have but I am sure that I need money to survive in order to achieve some of my goals. If I were born in a silver spoon, you would see the improvement in charities clearly.

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Valentine’s Day 2011

[Monday, 14 February, 2011]

I spent the early morning chatting in Facebook with Sae Yeoh and Galvin. I went to sleep after 5am and woke up after 2pm.

Uncle Rocky came over to look at the house’s renovation after my mum complained to him about the poor workmanship. He got an Indian guy over to fix up the holes. That guy’s English was really lousy or perhaps, he seemed to be using Indian language to talk to us in a tone that it was our main language. Since I had to wait for the Indian guy to come over again, I did not go to the office.

I spent the day working on SEO but the main tool was down and left me almost paralyzed. I thought I could reward myself on the Valentine’s Day by pushing more keywords up in Google but it turned out to be a sad day.

I had never celebrated Valentine’s Day before and I did not have any urge to do it due to my work.

I had a chat with Jingkun in Facebook during the evening. After that, I continued working on my superb article for SEO purpose.

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Alone in the Office

[Thursday, 6 January, 2011]

I touched up on the flyer for the tuition agency before working on the website. Eventually I went to bed at 3.30am.

I woke up after 9am and dragged my feet to the office near 11am. I was alone the entire day since Mike decided to work at home. I spent the entire afternoon working on the tuition agency website and got myself a bao from the canteen at around 3pm. eventually I left for home at 6pm.

I went to the bedroom straight away instead of staying in the living room so that Lucky would not be able to disturb me from working. I uploaded two pages that evening on the tuition agency Facebook and tuition centre Singapore, though more contents were pending.

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A Disappointing Miscommunication

[Tuesday, 28 December, 2010]

I went to sleep at 3am. After my alarm clock sounded, I went off to sleep since I thought Mike would message me. I woke up at 11am and went to the office. We went to Everton Park but decided to cross over to Pinnacle at Duxton’s Kopi Tiam. We had two sets of chicken rice.

After that, we picked up the car and went over to Tanjong Pagar. I was checking my email on iPad when I saw an email for a new message from Andrew in Facebook and I was taken back because it seemed that someone had told him things that were twisted, making me a backstabber. The incident kept up with me for the entire day.

Mike and I went to make the company stamp and we checked out the price for the namecards as well. After going back to office, I spent a very long time typing a reply for Andrew instead of working on my tuition agency website. This issue further discouraged me from going down to the gym apart from I had to concentrate on my websites.

I received enquiries about tuition and it sucked that I could not continue working on the tuition agency’s website since I had to do the coordination. I knew well if I could not proceed on with my work, the business would be stagnant soon, and coordination would continue to be tedious.

Mike and I had a quick dinner at Everton Park. The mixed vegetable rice was quite nice. After going back to the office, I saw a bug in the tuition agency website and it took me quite some time to realise it was just because of the string of encoding text I placed inside the Meta.

After reaching home at 10 plus, I spent my time look through the website.

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Office Under Renovation At Last

[Wednesday, 15 December, 2010]

Caiping messaged me in Facebook out of a sudden to invite me to a magic show. I was quite surprised but delighted at the same time to be remembered. Since it was on Saturday evening, I supposed I would be free enough to join her and thus I accepted the invitation on condition that it was not a church event.

I worked with my website and played a while with Lucky before going to bed at 4am. I felt quite sad that he could not join me in the bedroom anymore after the mess he had created.

I woke up at 1.30pm and started working on my tuition agency website. Then, I went to the office to meet Mike for renovation. Since he gave me a very sudden notice that he would be reaching earlier, I took the scooter and rushed over. We sat at the canteen and watched the workers do their work. Until evening, we left the place. We walked towards Neil Road, passed by Pinnacle and I showed him to the Gold’s Gym. Then, I recommended him to “Once Upon a Milk Shake” near Tanjong Pagar MRT station. I did not really enjoy the new white chocolate favour milkshake.

After reaching home, I was quite distracted by the television. I took my late dinner and did not join my brothers down to walk Lucky.

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Johor Bahru for Kaiwei’s Birthday

[Saturday, 11 December, 2010]

I was busy typing emails and later on, I tried to finish the article Home Tuition in Singapore before going to bed at 5am. Lucky woke me up near 11am as he sniffed my ear to cause irritation with the loud and air pressure.

I took MRT with my elder brother and mum and met up my elder brother’s girlfriend at Kranji station. Then, we took bus 170 over to Woodlands Checkpoint and then to Johor Bahru. The queue at Woodlands CheckPoint’s bus interchange was totally screwed up. Bastards had started cutting queue and forming a third queue in between the actual two ones. It was beyond control and none of the officials had attempted to clear the mess.

My mum went for haircut, treatment and dyeing of hair at the old shopping centre next to City Square. I had chicken rice with the couple while waiting. We went back to check on my mum and realised the salon allowed smoking inside and I was angered by such illegal act. We went shopping for a while before going back to find my mum again. The couple left to meet up with my younger brother and his gangs at the MacDonald’s while I stayed behind to wait. After my mum was done with her hair, she told me us she had purchased a bottle of lotion from the hairdresser. I was disgusted that she was cheated again as my elder brother told us that the hairdresser earned very high commission for such sales, which meant that we could get the lotion at much cheaper price elsewhere.

We went for lunch at the Hong Kong café because it was my younger brother’s birthday and we could get a big container of tea for free. We did not order a lot of food. After lunch, we separated into two groups. My younger brother stayed with his friends. It was a very boring afternoon for me. Sometimes I had to wait outside the crowded shops that my mum shopped in. I was sleepy and had many better things to do and it was a really big torment for me.

The two groups of us met up at 6pm and hopped on to the cabs that we had booked before we proceeded to a faraway seafood restaurant called “TKK” or “Ti Kong Kia” or “Son of Heaven”. It was by the side of the sea, facing Sembawang. Other than the good scenery, the service was excellence. It was too bad that I was not a seafood fanatic.

We went back to City Square after that and did a little shopping. Luckily, this time round, my mum was quick and we joined up with the rest soon. When we were crossing over the custom, we realised the design for arrival and departure were symmetrical after some confusion. We were waiting for CW2 bus to go straight to Bugis and my younger brother saw the Resort World bus. We left the queue and boarded our new discovery at the price of ringgit five bucks each. The bus left us at Keppel Road before it went towards Sentosa.

After reaching home, we saw that Lucky had messed up the entire place. My elder brother arrived almost at the same time and he was stunned to see that Lucky had destroyed his girlfriend’s new slippers.

I spent some time replying Wanling and Gilbert through Facebook about the upcoming outing.

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The First Step for Mike and My New Office

[Wednesday, 1 December, 2010]

I started my day by working on Tze Khit’s website before moving on to my tuition agency website and my blog. After talking to David in Facebook to tell him about Mike’s need for an office space, I went to sleep at 9am.

I woke up a couple of times and eventually got up at 4pm. My elder brother had fixed up the new fitting keyboard protector for me. After a while, I did a random chat on my phone and realised there was a message from David to inform me of three office locations. I aliased with Mike and he was more than satisfied to view the one at Raeburn Park, which I supposed was the previous Gan Eng Seng School’s campus.

I had a chat with Mike to share our excitements and plans before I continued with my tuition agency site, adding new pages regarding the top four popular tuition subjects – Maths, Science, English and Chinese.

Kachua dated me out for roti prata and I had quite a long chat with him over the Indian shop.

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Bitch, Bitches

[Wednesday, 24 November, 2010]

I finished up a page about Stress Management for Smart Tuition and went to sleep as early as right after 2am.

I woke up before 6am because of Lucky moving around. I was very scared that he wanted to pee or even do his big business that I opened the door a few times for him. In the end, I switched off the air-conditioner and went back to sleep with the door opened so that he could go outside any time.

I woke up after 9am eventually caused by the renovation noise of the unit above. The disgusting bitch decided to join in the fun of the HDB home improvement after all my surrounding units had completed ours.

The renovation was actually planned well enough that the work would start for one unit on three storeys (vertical) each time for two weeks. In the mid of the two weeks, the next three units (horizontal) beside them would proceed. Upon completion of the first three units, the next three units below would have their turns.

I did not expect the terrible noise and air pollution would come back a month after everything was cleared up. I started cursing her when I recalled how much time I had spent cleaning the kitchen’s windows and frames right after our renovation, because the dust and dirt had their best hideout in between the windows and frames; unless I could remove the entire windows from the frame to clean them, nothing much could be done to clean them.

I was extremely disgusted and disappointed at the management of the project for allowing such incident to happen. The noise and dust had badly affected my family and I. I had to change my plan to go to the gym earlier to do work and train up before the meeting in the late evening. I had to stay at home to bear with the noise with all the windows closed, because I could not leave Lucky inside the kitchen anymore like usual when everyone was out. My younger brother went down to the third storey to escape from the shit soon since he had to study for his exams.

I was very fed up and the nasty network connection worsened my mood. I replaced the old router my elder brother took from his girlfriend with our original tiny one, and the connection was much faster and I needed not refresh the pages multiple times in order to get some images loaded.

In the early afternoon, nobody was at home except me. Lucky surprised me by going into the bedroom alone and slept on my bed. I went in a few times to check on him and he followed me out like normal but he went in again. I was not sure why he was so “emo”. He was never like this even if my elder brother was not home and I suspected it was due to the drilling noises caused by the bitch. Anyway, during my house’s renovation, I stayed inside the bedroom almost the entire day with Lucky, and I suspected it was partly due to this experience that he thought he should stay inside.

In the mid afternoon, my mum returned home with a neighbour who stayed next block. My house was the “show flat” again and I was quite sick of it. Moreover, this auntie asked me to carry Lucky when I was trying hard to rush my work. I got so disgusted for I could not do my work anymore.

In the evening, I tried my luck in Facebook to look for people to go to the movie with me for the next day. Luck was not with me but it was a really good try for I did not expect to get a response that I did not have for many years. Eventually I had to leave my house for the meeting at the gym. I tried to do my work-out but I only got to complete one station before the meeting started.

We were stuck at the same issue until Andrew thought of an alternative. Since it was not foolproof, I still could not see a confirmed success.

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