Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In the Midst of Hibernation

Finally have a moment to sit down quietly and pick up my iPad to type. It's been a while since I last blogged, but it was not like I didn't have any inspirations to write - I did, but didn't have the time to sit down for it.

I have just been peacefully happy for the first time in my life. Feeling content with things I have and don't have. Most of my life my emotional state was like a yoyo, going from extreme bliss to extreme sadness. Happiness never felt sustainable, like it would be taken away from me any minute. Now I feel calm and happy. It is nice.

Perhaps too much expectations in life does set one up for disappointment. I stopped expecting and people whose insensitive actions otherwise would have hurt my feelings and caused me wasted energy over-thinking ended up having little or no impact on me. I suppose this indicates I have become a wiser woman?! I may have lost the irrational courage to dream, but I haven't wasted my time and energy on unworthy people. Still a gain.

I do, however, secretly wish that in 2012 I will meet someone who is worth my effort to get out of hibernation mode, though I am very comfortably single right now and cannot imagine accepting anyone into my life. Only someone worthy. Nothing less.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

When He Screws Up So Much, It's Not Meant to Be

When it comes to dating, I believe in signs. No astrology kind of signs, I am referring to the little things that happen whether good or bad. Recently I went on a few dates with a guy and there were all sorts of bad signs, I don't think it's meant to be.

Bad Sign #1: Drunk Dialing me the night before my early conference call
This guy drunk dialed me not just once, but twice! He practically kept talking and talking and refused to hang up.

Bad Sign #2: Not only did he drunk dial me, he complained that I didn't like him enough
Ppppppppleeease, we went on three dates - three dates - and he already dared complain I wasn't making time for him, I wasn't too keen on him. I never even said I liked him! Now before you think I am being harsh on an innocent guy, this guy is in his 40's and has slept with a lot of women. I wouldn't expect him to be an innocent virgin.
He even said: I normally lose interest in girl after 3 dates and I start running in the other direction before the third date, so the fact that I still want to see you it means I really like you.
Um, thanks for making me feel special, but just because you haven't run yet doesn't mean youbare justbas "special" to me, not yet at least!

Bad sign #3: Trying to brag about me like I'm his prize in front of friends
He got very upset when I failed to make it to two gatherings he had with close friends. Hello, we went on three dates only. I have no idea how he planned on introducing me, or what he planned on introducing me as. "Hey, this is the girl I plan to sleep with! Hot huh?!" "Hey, this is the girl I lasted 3 dates with! Surprise!"
He made me feel like he was more eager to prove to his married friends that he might not die sad and lonely after all, than actually feel proud of me.

Bad sign #4: When drunk, he cut me off while I was making a point
Very bad sign. He cut me off multiple signs when I was explaining myself, and he refused to believe I was telling the truth how I felt.

Bad sign #5: Laughing about and kept discussing my age when I told him how old I was
That was bad. He somehow thought I was a few years younger and when I told him I was 35, he kept telling me how surprised he was, and there was many "wows" in the next 10 mins until I insisted we talked about something else.

Bad sign #6: My dog kept barking when he was around
He tried, I think he really tried to bond with my dog even though he had no experience with dogs. From the way he stared right into my dogs eyes, very very seriously, I am convinced he had downloaded an episode of Dog Whisperer before visiting my place, and tried to use his energy to tame my dog. Didn't work. My dog kept barking when we were kissing and that really didn't help. LOL.

Bad sign #7: "I am not a spiritual person."
Thanks for telling me that you don't think about things much. I do. And I like to chat about things I think about.

Bad sign #8: No common music favorites
We listen to completely different music, the only few songs common on our playlists may only be a few pop songs playing in clubs lately.

Bad sign #9: Showed up at yoga late - missing the class - as he partied too hard the night before till 5am
I really made an effort to go to that class together. I ended up going alone.

Bad sign #10: Bad memory probably from drinking too much
He keeps forgetting the things he said, and tells me the same stories like 3 times in a week.....

Need I say more? Well, good thing is, he is probably upset that things aren't progressing smoothly, so he's backing off. I hope I don't have to yell again, to him or any guy "I'm sorry, but we aren't exactly dating and three dates don't make me your girlfriend! I'm just having fun, ok? Take it easy!"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Morning

Today was a rare Saturday I was in town and didn't need to dash to dragon boat race or something. So, I decided to do something nice for myself. I made myself two shots of expresso, and a nice fresh pasta lunch. I rarely cooked for myself these days. I remember I used to love cooking breakfast or lunch when I was dating, but since becoming single, cooking for myself was just too much hassle. Today, I enjoyed the hassle.

A guy asked me during a date if I was interested in dating. I didn't mean to reject him flatly, and I meant what I said: In general? If I am interested in dating in general? (Of course I knew he meant dating HIM.) To be honest, I haven't thought about it at all. Hmm... Really, I haven't thought about it. I guess I'm just going with the flow.

I am starting to not miss dating. I used to miss first kisses, waking up staring at the guy in the morning, holding hands, bear hugs, clinging onto the guy's arm like a koala bear, etc..... But I am sort of feeling perhaps a bit too comfortable with myself, and haven't met anyone who made me really want to start dating. I keep associating dating with "a lot of work" in my head, and wish I didn't think that way. I probably just haven't met the right guy yet. It's ok though, I am busy and I am happy and I still got time :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dog vs Man

We all know that one of the reasons it becomes harder to find a companion as we get older is the fact that we have formed our own living habits and found a comfortable lifestyle. It is not always easy to find someone with a compatible lifestyle or someone who is willing to compromise and vice versa. For me, it seems my dog incorporated lifestyle has become the latest obstacle. (Not that I will compromise though.)

I myself am a newish dog owner, I never understood how precious that bond, that responsibility, that devotion and commitment was until I watched my dog develop from puppyhood. He is a life, an individual entity (not just A dog), and family to me. The best thing that has ever happened to me. And I can understand why non dog-owners might simply assume this as obsession.

It is anything but obsession: A dog is not a man, it is more precious than a man in so many ways, I tell you!

I know exactly how to make my dog happy. Very happy. A man's happiness comes from so many different sources.

I am what my dog looks forward to each day. I wouldn't dare expect my man to simply look forward to seeing me each day. I would be lucky if he doesn't occasionally find it a dread to HAVE to see me after a tough day at work.

My dog may get upset at me sometimes, if I deny him access to a room, or do not involve him in some seemingly fun activity, e.g. pouring bleach down the drain. He pouts, but we make up in no time. I have dated so many guys who really held a grudge.

My dog is fully predictable. I know how he would react to things, whether positively or negatively. Not all men are predictable.

My dog has no issue displaying his affection and expressing his feelings. Every emotion shows. I just need to learn to read his body language. I have dated many men who bottled up their feelings then suddenly exploded.

My dog loves me unconditionally. I don't need to put on a sweet smile, wear makeup, high heels, short skirt to make him love me more. He doesn't stop loving me because I care too much about him, or because I am too smart for him.

My dog allows me to love him unconditionally in return without holding back. He wouldn't freak out and think I am crazy for loving him.

A dog is NOT to me replacement of a man in my life. It goes without saying that there are many things only a man can give me, e.g. guidance, emotional support, physical pleasure, intellectual exchange, inspiration, etc. So, yes, of course I want both my dog and a man - a good one - to be my companions.

BUT, if in the occasion where a man who doesn't like dogs forces me to choose between him and my dog - I am sorry, but my dog would be a much better bet. He is here to stay for at least 15 years.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Solo in Italy - My Laid-Back Travel

I spent a week in Italy just to rest away from my usual surroundings and it became one of my best trips. I might not have visited the highest number of tourist attractions or highly reviewed restaurants on tripadvisor, but quantity means nothing to me in this trip. It was not about the most, but the BEST experience - even if it meant just one excellent meal, one heart-warming conversation, one breathtaking view.

The picture here was taken in Orvieto, Umbria. It was an impromptu day trip suggested by a local, after I mentioned that I wanted to visit a quiet town like Sienna, but near to Rome. It was a sweet journey, walking off the beaten path without bothering to follow the map or any guidebook and finding a quiet spot - with no one in sight - to enjoy this rare sight. All other tourists flocked to Duomo, underground caves, tower, ceramic shops. I covered most of those but also had some undisturbed beautiful views of the city and surrounding areas. It was priceless.

Every traveler's source of fulfillment in a trip varies. For a first visit to a city, I do often try to visit the key highlights, to experience as much of the best as possible. But for a second visit, I find it more enjoyable to take it easy and try to understand more of a local's way of life and view of the city. More of a cultural exploration. This trip allowed me to sit back and observe people, slowly enjoy a fantastic homestyle meal without having to chow down my food and rush to a museum or something, leisurely stroll around unfamiliar areas and get lost for a while (before GPS came to my rescue), have meaningful (and flirtatious.....) conversations with a local, take part in a 5-hour cooking class (I don't give a damn how many tourist spots I could have otherwise visited in 5 hours.)..... I walked a lot, rested a lot, talked a lot, smiled a lot. Just what I wanted.

You are special, BUT.....

The B&B owner didn't arrive in the morning to say goodbye.  He sent me an SMS saying: Not all the guests are the same, someone is special and my dad was right. :) I would have had more time to spend with you, but...that's life.  Take care of you (yourself), M.  The message made me sad.  Not because of this person in particular, but too many guys had said similar things to me and I didn't need one more during my 6-day trip. "I like you a lot, but....."  "You are special to me, but....."  "I want to be with you, but....." If there's any "but"', please just keep everything to yourself. I don't want to know how you feel about me if whatever you feel is unjustified at the end of the day, for a short romance or in this case even a proper goodbye hug.  I never asked you to leave your girlfriend, or your business, your job, your country.  Why create such drama by telling me what your dad thought of me, how you found me special, unconventional, yet dangerous?  (in our other conversations)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I May Not Look 35, but I Certainly Have Experienced Like 35.

I have been traveling in Rome for a week staying in a B&B run by a young (31-yr old) Italian guy who quit his ad agency job to start this business. And strangely, he has become quite fond of me.

Don't get too excited yet - he has a girlfriend and is well aware of our cultural & language barriers (though he is already quite westernized and well traveled for an average Roman), and of course it is also unprofessional for him to mess around with his guest. So, despite our flirtatious behaviour (texting each other when I'm out doing touristy stuff, messaging each other on facebook chat, texting me from the dining room when our morning conversation got interrupted by guests who entered the room for breakfast, asking me "did you sleep well in my bed".....), he bailed a few times after suggesting casually to take me to have coffee or to have gelato in his fav shop. Fair enough.

Today he bailed again, and sent me a message late night, apologizing for delayed SMS, and inability to meet me. I didn't bother replying. And likely he's wondering if I am upset.

My thought on this:
I may not look my age, but I certainly have met and surpassed the minimum life experience for my age. My experience has taught me that most people I meet in my life are likely to be quite predictable. Men, in particular, are very predictable when it comes to emotions and their resulting behaviour. Thus, no need to take anyone too seriously too soon.

So, am I disappointed? Not exactly. I sort of sensed his pattern. Am I upset? Well, just a little, that he wasn't one of those few people who could prove my prediction wrong.

I am not stating that I know everything and am always right. I am merely saying that life does have certain general patterns that repeat themselves, whether we want to accept or not. And I am being realistic and practical WHILE REMAINING HOPEFUL AND OPTIMISTIC THAT I MAY ENCOUNTER EXCEPTIONS TO GENERAL PATTERNS. Each time I meet someone, I always secretly hope he will be a pleasant surprise.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Half My Life Journey Is Complete

Today is my 35th birthday and it strikes me that basically half of my life is gone. If there's another 35 years in my life waiting for me to explore, I don't know if that's long or short. Sounds long, but, I HAVE already finished 35 years ALREADY at the blink of an eye.

Monday, August 15, 2011



Sunday, August 14, 2011

I Like Opinionated People

I don't understand why some people feel so intimidated by people with an opinionated personality.  I have a sneaking suspicion that some cannot distinguish between opinionated and judgmental.  You can have your opinion in a topic, based on your experience, values, knowledge of that matter, but not believe and judge that you have THE right and perfect understanding of the matter or that others are clearly wrong.  You can be unconvinced by others opinions while not necessarily believe you are right.  You can have your opinion but not judge.  That's in my humble opinion what is meant by opinionated. 

Yes I have a POV (point of view) on some topics, but I do sincerely respect others' POV (even when I truly do not agree).  It's only when people - especially friends - tell me what I should think, how I should feel, how I should live, I get defensive.  [Please don't tell me I should live like someone else.  Please don't tell me I should keep giving young, life-inexperienced guys a chance.  Please don't tell me I should give men who give me goosebumps (at the thought of ever getting remotely intimate with) a chance.]  I seek for friends' advice, such as Stef and Dawn's - thank you girls - when I need it, and I respect them for always giving it so much thought and offering me good suggestions, but never trying to force an idea on me. 

Yes I have my values and my thinking, and I will never give this up.  If I have to forgo my POV in order to be with a man who isn't interested in my viewpoint, I'd rather not have a man.  If all my friends have no opinions in anything and only listen to mine, I'd rather have no friends.

I miss having a really good conversation and sharing different POVs.  I genuinely enjoy such thought provoking discussions because that's when you learn about other ways to look at the same topic/ matter.  That's how you grow and become inspired.  I have this male friend who also appears to be judgmental sometimes - probably because he does have a cocky personality as well - but I do enjoy chatting with him and debating on topics because the debate rarely gets heated and we do sometimes end up saying "yeah, actually you ARE right.  I never thought about it that way." 

I do have friends with some really quirky POVs but I love them for having an opinion on things.  I don't have to always agree with them.  What's the big deal with agreeing to disagree? 

I would hope that as people get older, they become more open-minded to hear different opinions, so everyone can be freer and more direct in the way they express their thoughts.  But people around me - local Chinese usually - sometimes tend to analyze each and every word I say, and this is making me self-conscious about my choice of words.  Come on, lighten up!!  Don't read too much into everything I say, it's just a suggestion!  An opinion!  So that you can share yours!  You're turning me into a boring person!

For that, I have learned to really love making friends with Dutch people.  A bit of stereotyping, but I have come across a lot of Dutch people - mainly through work - who are very outspoken and opinionated.  And I love them for that!  Also, some of my many other "gweilo" friends, I feel so much more at ease chatting with them.  It's cool to sometimes use stronger words to bring out a point, but not worried they read far too much into it, but the idea itself.

Having said all this, if you still cannot accept me for this, I accept that we cannot be good friends.

Friday, August 12, 2011




我羨慕已婚的女人嗎?不見得。一般可見到的婚姻生活都像是極枯燥。連已婚的一些男性朋友也對我說婚姻是人生最大的scam。似乎只有女的享受這scam。。。我有些已婚朋友會各自有很多時間和自己的朋友hang out。那些marriage似乎快樂點。每分每秒都只有互相作伴,變成唯一朋友,多恐怖。婚姻不見得會是我生命的全部。

我不渴望戀愛,因為害怕重複地失望。始終disappointing 的男人比promising的多。不代表我不會拍拖、不會戀愛。只是說我不極度渴望,不知還有多少冤枉路要走才遇到真正合得來的。In the meantime, 應酬無聊男孩們又會被人罵我浪費時間、嚇走其他好的男人;不理會他們又會被罵整天呆在家(which is not true, I am very busy)。總是被人批評。

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Jimi Hendrix - Rainy Day, Dream Away

I don't like rainy days.  My face looks very dull without sun rays.  Yet today, I am enjoying the heavy rain, suddenly remembering a romantic walk in the rain with a man I was very attracted to, completely soaked to the bone, from South Bay to Repulse Bay.  I think it was our first date as well. 

I knew he had a girlfriend in Malaysia.  He knew that I knew as well.  We both knew it was a rather inappropriate date.  That didn't stop us from exchanging secret stares of affection.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Looking Forward to Being in Love Again

Enjoy my space. Enjoy the quietness. Enjoy my freedom. Enjoy being spontaneous.

Yet, there's a part of me that misses holding hands with someone I like, feeling nervous about a date, blushing when someone looks at me with affection, falling asleep with someone's scent still left on my pillow.....

I feel very lucky to be still single - it means I will get to experience all this at least once more before settling down with someone and never get to be in love again. I look forward to being in love again.

A Girl Like Me

A young boy asked me, where can I find a girl like you? You are sweet and caring, you make an ideal girlfriend. I can't believe you are single.

I said, guys usually fall for my silly side but cannot accept me when I am strong, independent and opinionated. I cannot be silly 24/7, I need to stand up for myself and what I believe in when the situation calls for it. When I am pissed off people around me also get really scared without me saying anything. Also, I somehow make men feel like they aren't good enough for me. Perhaps they really aren't..... I don't know why but it happens a lot. Everyone assumes I must have a lot of dates so as a result no one dares pursue me until just recently.

I hope this boy gives up idealizing this girl and finds himself a sweet and simple girl he deserves. A girl like me is not for a boy like him. She needs a wise and experienced man to take good care of her.

Monday, August 8, 2011

May I ask you out on a date?

A few days ago, a European friend surprised me by properly asking me out on a date.  I was surprised partly because I had known him for over a year and there had never been anything remotely flirtatious in our limited interactions as teammates (rather than friends).  More importantly, I was surprised anyone still remembered the specialness of properly ask a lady out on a date.  These days, men suggest to "hang out", "catch up", "meet up" in replacement of a date - a much more sincere form of getting to know each other and showing interest. 

Just today, I received a Whatsapp message from another guy - oh yes I've been popular lately - saying "I think you're hot, can we go on a date?"  Are we teenagers now?  "I think you're hot, can we go on a date?"!  To me, that's not too different from saying "Hey I dig you.  Can I DIG you?  *wink wink*".  A week ago, yet another guy asked me to "celebrate his flat move".

Homer Simpson Tummy

I do not necessarily need a very handsome man as a date, but I absolutely cannot deal with a man with Homer Simpson belly.  [Puke]

I may not have the perfect body myself, but I refuse to be touched by any guy with a belly like that!  Just last Saturday, someone from my sports team took off his shirt at the bar and his big belly was a shocking eyesore!  Not only did he look gross to me, while I was sitting and talking to someone, he walked over half-drunk and started twisting his body dancing in front of me, rubbing his penis against my knee!  Ewwww  is that super gross or what? 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Confident Men. Like! +1!

A young guy sent me a text message:  How about we go watch the Smurfs?
I was busy at work so I didn't respond.  So after a minute or so, he sent a follow-up text message: So you can get Smurf'd
I was still busy so I didn't respond.  Perhaps he thought I found his message silly so I didn't respond, after another minute, he followed up with another message: That last part sounds weird.  Ignore that last part.

When I finally saw the three messages, I almost slapped my forehead, thinking: Poor Boy! When even your messages show you have so little confidence, you're doomed to fail even if it's a young girl you're after.

I like confident men who have qualities and achievements to be confident about.  I like confident men who proactively pursue me and do not show that they are afraid of failing.  I like confident men who seem to have an opinion on everything (yet humble enough to listen to others' perspectives).  I like confident men who know I'll find their confidence charming.  :)

The Boys Get Younger and Younger

I don't know to feel proud of myself or not, but it seems like I am attracting younger and younger guys these days, in their early to late 20's!

Sweet boys, but NO -  I really am not attracted to boys, not sexually, not emotionally.  (Ewwwwwwwww!!)  It's cute hanging out with them, talking about light-hearted topics, be spontaneous, carefree..... as if I were 24 again.  But dating?  No way!  Really, NO WAY!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

New Toy - iPad 2

After months of consideration, I finally got my iPad 2 and I really like it!

I thought it'd be basically just a bigger version of iPhone 4, and while it is in a way, there's also other pros as well. There's various apps which really make the whole browsing experience very cool. For me, blogging is also a key use of the device, and it is so much easier on the iPad (even better with the wireless keyboard I got).

So I gotta run now - busy checking out which magazines are cool to read and on sale :)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Solo Travel - Next Destination is Rome!

I love sudden travel ideas when I least expect to travel - this time it's Rome!

I will have 2-week break from work in September before starting a new job.  Originally I wasn't planning to go anywhere, since my next job will require a lot of traveling within the region.  Yet, someone pointed out correctly that my work travels will not be for pleasure, so I should still consider a real vacation to chill and get ready for the next challenge.

At first I was only considering places like Bali, Tokyo, Bangkok..... somewhere close and easy to get around.  Then I thought to myself, if I knew that place reasonably well, I could still relax there without the need to stress myself out having a jam-packed trip.  So, the idea of Rome suddenly flashed in my mind, a charming city I had visited back in 2009 and had enjoyed immensely.

Most of my friends like Florence more than Rome.  I personally love how dramatic Rome is, all those exaggerated doors and architecture, and I really enjoyed sitting in touristy or quiet piazzas doing absolutely nothing.  Having said that, I do like Tuscany as a whole.  I do wish I could visit Sienna again and some other Tuscan towns.

Back to my Rome trip.  A few ideas in mind:
1. Borghese Gallery - I regret missing this amazing gallery because I had forgotten to book online beforehand.
2. Sitting in front of the Trevi Fountain to eat gelato and do absolutely nothing!
3. Having many many cups of nice coffee!
4. Taking Cooking Classes in Rome to learn to cook Italian food.
5. Strolling around Porta Portese flea market on Sunday, hopefully finding some great bargains.
6. Sitting outside the Pantheon after dinner and do nothing.
7. Eat lots :)

Am looking forward to it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Animal Photography


A lot of friends have asked me how I managed to take so many action shots of Curly as well as still shots where he looked right into the camera.

I am no professional photographer, so I don't have much to share in terms of technique.  Though I do have a few tips to share (with those who struggle with this):

1. STAY command for STILL shots - Absolutely necessary otherwise your picture will always be fuzzy and out of focus.  You need to be able to make your dog stay still (willingly - if forced down, your dog's expression will show it). 
2. TOY or TREAT to capture attention - For still shots, if you have a toy or a treat in one hand, not only will your dog be more willing to stay for the picture, but also he/she will more likely have a happy/ excited expression on his face.  In Curly's case, his eyes basically light up!  For action shots, it helps to throw a toy in the direction you want your dog to run to.  In many cases, you need to do it repeatedly to get the best shot.
3. EYE CONTACT for STILL shots - Cameras, phones are inanimate objects hence not the most interesting things to stare at for a long time while you try to set the focus or adjust the flash.  After you've done all the adjustments, try not to stare into the camera viewfinder or the screen of your iphone, but lower it a little so you can have eye contact with your dog.  This helps to capture your dog seemingly looking at the camera.
4. GET DOWN on your knees - Especially if you have small dogs, you get much better shots of your dog's expression and movement when you lower yourself (and your camera) to their eye level.
5. TV MODE of DSLR cameras for ACTION shots - iPhone is fine for still shots, but definitely not suitable for action shots.  If you have a DSLR, TV Mode can help you really capture the movement as if you've stopped time.  I love mid-air shots of my dog.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Being Good and Honest Does Pay Off

One of the many things in life I am extremely grateful for is that I have met a good number of friends through working with offices in other markets. 

Last year I was asked to take part in an internal regional project, where I was one of the few participants with good experience in the subject matter.  A workshop was held in Hong Kong and some 25 colleagues from other offices flew in to join.  During the workshop, in such group environment, it was quite apparent who had little knowledge of the subject matter (hence no valuable input), who had hidden agenda and tried to push for certain outcomes to please top management, and who were truly knowledgeable and tried to fight for what they believed was the right thing to do.  Through fighting together with someone from that latter group, I made friends with this fatherly figure based in Cyprus.  

A few days ago, company announced his promotion to a rather specialized role.  Today, I saw him on Communicator so I had chat with him.

I said to him, "congratulations on your new role! Of all people, I'm glad you're leading this, because you are a good person and you are honest about what you think is right."

He replied, "Tea Yee, you are a good colleague and friend. Let me give you one piece of advice - Being good and honest does pay off..... at a personal level at least. So continue to be good and honest."

I am very grateful for his piece of advice.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The following is a poem reformatted based on Kent M. Keith's "The Paradoxical Commandments".  The version below is called "Anyway" - reportedly written on the wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta - and consists of eight of the ten commandments extracted from Kent M. Keith's original version.

I find this poem very meaningful, and very much in line with my own attitude towards life.  I hope to share this with all of you, so that in the future when others make you doubt whether your good intentions are worthwhile, you can remember this and stop questioning yourself.


People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Facebook "Friend"-ships

A friend and I had a discussion on friends’ mentality behind their Facebook status updates. 

Why do some people check-in wherever they go?  Why do some people post pictures of their babies, dogs and cats every single day?  Why do some people update round the clock what they are doing, where they are going, what they are eating?   

Are they just eager to share their happiness?  Are they seeking approval from others?  Are they trying to show-off an exciting life they have?  Are they bored?  Are they trying to portray a certain image, self-promoting?

We didn’t come to any conclusion.  It’s probably a mix of these reasons and others.  Regardless, we both have had the experience where we ran into an acquaintance whom we didn’t really know that well and yet – we actually knew a lot about their everyday lives through Facebook!  I experience this ALL the time.  They don’t really know me as a person, but they know a helluva lot about Curly, my dragonboating and trips! 

I have never been a private person, so I personally don’t mind people knowing about my stuff.  I wouldn’t say that Facebook connections/ friend-ships are necessarily superficial, I think it depends on what you do with all that “superficial” information you have about your friends on Facebook.  Sometimes, through those updates, you learn more about your common interests with that person, you comment on/ like their updates to show your interest and support.  Other times, through those updates, you realize you have nothing in common with that person, and his/her perception of life annoys you.  (And you try for the longest time to discreetly remove that person from your list.)   

With the launch of Google+, I have become more selective in adding people to my circles.  Given my Facebook experience, I think I have a much better idea who are better off left as offline acquaintance and who can be acquaintance-with-potential-to-become-some-form-of-friend.   

Sunday, July 17, 2011

獨立宣言 - 蘇永康

經有一個知己,十多年前以這首歌的歌詞形容我們的友情. 知己近來音訊全無.  希望他健康快樂.
歌名: 獨立宣言 
作曲: 李思菘
填詞: 黃偉文 
習慣與妳 緊緊擁抱 讓壯志消耗
沉迷地跳著舞雙腳怎走路 漸漸不知道
人生 像墮入幸福圈套
從前相當自豪 然而今天 擔心太早

害怕與妳 抱擁中衰老 柔情蜜意 擋著路途
何妨讓妳共我都退開一步 面對天下地圖
從此 獨立但並不孤高
轉個範圍再續情愫 天空海闊比溺愛好

毋需要一起等天荒地老 人生也不只戀愛這一路
平常在兩個世界各自尋寶 重聚互訴安好
離開與一起感覺一樣好 人生也不只戀愛這一路
情人亦各有各那路途 祝君安好 放開懷抱

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Forgive, Don't Be a Scary Angry Woman

At different points in our lives we get angry at people who treat us unfairly.  Those who hurt our pride, our feelings, or who wronged us. We find it easier to forgive some people but not others.  We sometimes choose to hold a grudge and stay angry for a very long time. Yes, I believe it is a choice to forgive or to hold a grudge.

Set yourselves free, my friends, and learn to forgive. Don't let anyone turn you into angry women with eyes of hatred. Accept the fact that they are who they are, whether stupid, inconsiderate, careless, hurtful, selfish, weak or indecisive, and forgive them for hurting you. Stop feeling the anger, and, forgive. Forgiving does not necessarily mean you have to resume your relationship with that person.  Forgiveness is being able to face that person and tell him/her, without feelings of anger or hatred: Yes, you were horrible/ insensitive/ hurtful to me, but it's alright.  It doesn't matter anymore.

Life is very short, my friends. We cross paths with many people who upset us whether intentionally or unintentionally as a result of their values, life experience, personality, maturity level, and the situation at the time. By letting go of all anger, insistence on justice and apology, we become free and stop living in the past.  We learn to truly accept that life isn't perfect, and people aren't perfect - neither are we.  By staying angry, and trying to emotionally punish people (making them feel guilty), we end up punishing ourselves and we can't truly move forward in our lives. 

This is speaking from my own experience.  I see a lot of angry friends around me, and I hope they can let go of that burden and be happy again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mean Joke about Maturity Level of a 21-Year-Old

A 21-year old boy said I needed more time for my dog, myself, HIM (wtf?!!), and friends.
I said I'd need 36 hours a day. He told me to take a day off.
I wish life is as simple as it was when I was 21.  Skip school.  Give myself a day off whenever I felt blah.

Then I told my silly Dutch friend at work about this, on Communicator.  And he said:
who knows, he might be really adult for his age.... or at least in the eyes of his classmates whooohhahaaaaahhhaaaa

Cracked me up completely!  "At least in the eyes of his classmates"hahahahah  So mean!!!  But funny!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Don't blame my dog for me being single!

Someone connected to me on Facebook but barely knew me told me I shouldn't spend so much time with my dog and put aside the importance to meet men. What the f*ck? Don't blame my dog for my single status!

The lady meant well - I am absolutely sure - but sometimes people feel so bad for me that they try to find out the reason why I am still single. Quoting the lady: You are so pretty and kind and smart, it isn't possible you are single! If people like you are single, what's gonna happen to rest of us ordinary women?

Well I don't mean to disappoint, but yes, even pretty and nice girls can be very single and there doesn't have to be a reason for it. It doesn't mean that ordinary girls are even more doomed cos many guys actually are afraid to pursue not-so-ordinary girls.

But really, blaming my dog is not fair and it's judgemental! I actually spend my weekends hanging out (without my dog), and I often go out after I've fed my dog on weeknights. Certainly I am not single because my dog is eating up my time! If I am home, it's because I want some alone time or I don't have any friend to hang out with. Why blame my dog?!

If you truly care about me, as a friend, don't judge my life or way of living. I appreciate you feel nervous for me, but you gotta be patient. Have some faith in God. Or find me a nice man directly! Ha.

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Journey

Embarking on a new personal journey in a few months time. 

Mixed feelings - excited, nervous, worried.

I suppose like real journeys to countries you've never visited before - your basic travel skills and insights will never go away, and you adapt them to new environments and cultures to enjoy the new experience.

Okay, let me approach it this way and hopefully the worries will go away.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happiness is: Finding Your Space

Happiness sometimes comes from companionship, and sometimes from peaceful solitude.  I had a weekend of the latter.

To help ensure my dog's recovery after surgery, I moved him to the guestroom.  Normally he got to roam around my living room like he owned the place.  With the temporary - or permanent - home relocation of Curly, I finally had my time, space and home back.  No more toys and kibbles all over the floor.  No more jumping over hurdle to get into the kitchen.

I decided to get myself fresh flowers, nutritious food and beverages, not so nutritious food to spoil myself..... I made pita bread sandwiches for myself, added Amarula liqueur to icecream, spent some time sitting on the guestroom floor blogging, reading, napping beside my dog.  Finished two dvds and some TV shows as well.

I felt totally calm and at peace.  It's been a while since I last allowed myself to enjoy this.  I was afraid of going back to that happily single life, as rationally I felt I was supposed to seek companionship.

But guess what?  Based on my history, just when I became happily accustomed to single life again, I would meet someone who'd drag me out of my happy single space to adjust to a new shared space.  Let's see if history repeats itself once again.

Sleep Naked - Luxury Hotel Bed Linen Delivered to Your Home


For those of you living in Hong Kong and searching for silky smooth bed linen - 5 Star hotel style - at affordable prices, I highly recommend SleepNaked.com

To be honest, I don't know if people who go to bed in PJs (fully clothed) can actually feel the difference in luxury versus regular bed linen.  For those who do sleep naked, it makes a huge difference, speaking from experience.

This brand and online shopping service is awesome because the white bed linen really is of high quality (400 thread count for the plain and corded styles, 100% mercerized long staple cotton percale, sateen finish), prices are very affordable, there is no shipping fee for central areas (not rural) in Hong Kong and China, and the shipment arrives within a couple of days.  Mine arrived 2 days after I placed the order online!

There is only a few styles to choose from, in different sizes, but that's okay with me.  The plainness actually makes my bed look very clean and elegant.  I can always use cushions to decorate my bed.  While they have special sets (4 pillowcases, 1 fitted/ flat sheet, 1 duvet cover), I suggest you check the measurements of your bed first, in case you need to buy separately.  I did, because my duvet size was for double bed, yet my queen size mattress needs a king size fitted sheet as per measurements shown on the site.  Also,  I do not need 4 pillowcases.

They also sell towels, bath robes and pillows as well.  My next planned purchase is a foam pillow, 2 pillowcases and fitted sheet.... and maybe another duvet cover (as my dog chewed on it and it now has a big hole!!).

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!  It makes me feel like I am sleeping in heaven :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Chatting Up Firemen

The Fire Services team captain who often drums for us.
Our dragonboat team is a super fun and hilarious one, both male and female paddlers alike.  It's been 1.5 years paddling with them, seeing them every single week (or more), and I still have a tons of laughs with them, whether during practice or on race days.

Last week we had a race in Stanley and the firemen team came to help us out as usual.  We have seen them numerous times before, but we hardly had a chance to chat with them as the firemen had super fit bodies but were super shy!

So we girls were chitchatting last week between races and someone mentioned it was hard to start a conversation with those firemen.  I casually said, jokingly, "Oh that's easy!  How about,'is fighting fires a hard job?'  Or,'is the fabric of your fireman uniform breathable?  Must be hot wearing that in the summer!'  Or,'apart from fighting fires, what do you do as a fireman?'"  The girls giggled :P

Well, sounds like silly questions, but guys ask silly questions like that all the time to chat up a girl!  It works, no?

Revisiting: Fantasyland (Sep 2008)

My comment today on my own entry posted on Sep 18, 2008:

Took me a long time to find this original posting.  This fantasyland is still my idea of the perfect relationship, perfect life.  Yet, I still haven't found it, almost four years from your first disappointment.  Though, don't lose heart.  If this is something you believe in, and I know it is, keep searching for that person who equally, innocently yet devotedly, believes in it.  When you finally find him, you will be the luckiest woman in the world, because it takes a very strong and committed man to truly allow you into his life the way you do.  It takes a high degree of selflessness to truly view each other as one unit.  You are seeking for the finest character that can exist in a world of selfishness, thus you are bound to meet some wrong characters before you finally - hopefully - find the right one.  Be patient.  Keep your eyes open.  And one day, he will find US.
Thursday, September 18, 2008

There's a place on a faraway planet called Fantasyland. In Fantasyland, couples fall in love, and live happily ever after. They laugh, and play, and cuddle, look out for each other, go on adventures together... going to the forest to camp, going to the lake to fish, or just having picnic on the grassland. The sky is always blue, the clouds like cotton candy. The sun is warm... When it does rain, it is like colorful shooting stars and Disney fireworks! The couples are like each other's best friend, they never part, never lie, never betray or hurt each other. They protect each other and take care of each other when one falls sick. They do not question their love for each other. Whatever they do, it comes from the heart, not because of duty or obligation... Yes they do fight. Over what? Who gets the last bite of food... Who's first to warm up the bed in winter! Most importantly, they never part. Did I mention that already? Yes, they never part. They never let go, no matter what happens. There's no reason to let go. They're best friends.

I left my Fantasyland and I cried and I cried and I cried, like a baby just feeling the need to cry, without thinking what she's crying over. And I am crying again... I was led to believe such a relationship exists, and I was living it. When two people cared so much about each other, and had so much laughs and happy moments together, what could pull them apart? The "I" factor? "I" want this, "I" want that, "I" am more important than "you", "I" am more important than "we"?

I know this is the reality but I don't want to accept it just yet, not now. I thought he'd always been a "we" person but perhaps, he never was. Pls let me fall asleep and never wake up again. I don't want to live in this cruel world.

Revisiting: One phone call (Nov 2007)

My comment today on my own entry back in 2007:  
My dear, I wish I could travel through time and space to go back to 2007, and warn you.  That phone call should have ended everything, to stop your further heartbreak in 2008, when he came back and then left again.  You will never forget this phone call, and how broken you were afterwards.  It's okay to remember.  Just please also remember - one day you need to let go and stop hating him.  Given the choices he had, walking away from you was the easier and more rational one.  He didn't love you enough to stay, but that's alright - there's plenty more things and people waiting for you in your future ahead.  And more importantly, the beautiful memories you had with him will never fade.  Those memories will be yours and his to keep forever, and you will realize one day that most people live their whole lives without ever experiencing that.
One phone call (Nov 20, 07)

One phone call, and the world around me came to a halt. No sound, no feeling, no heartbeat. Like a momentary power interruption.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Revisiting: Things That Make Me Smile (May 07)

I think May 2007 was the time when Chico left Hong Kong and I met Stefan.  Clearly I was sooooo in love when I wrote this.  So cute!  Looking at my photo album of Things That Make Me Happy (2010-2011), I am relieved that the things that made me smile back in 2007 are still things I deeply cherish.  Even better, I have found a lot of new things to be happy about / to smile about.  Such as photography, at the receiving end of random kindness, etc.

Things that Make Me Smile (May 28, 07)

Something more cheerful this time: Things that Make Me Smile
  • Sunshine
  • Beach
  • Water
  • Thought of my bubbly mom and chilled dad
  • Thought of my "friendship" with my brother and him telling me for the first time (a few months ago) that he loved our family
  • Thought of my best friend Michelle, the times when we used to chill at my place in Toronto, when we went shopping together, when we had bubble tea, when I included a few Portuguese words in my email (she's Brazilian-Chinese)
  • Knowing I was in someone's thoughts
  • Smell of spring
  • 1st morning waking up in a foreign country
  • (2nd and 3rd and 4th....... morning waking up in foreign country)
  • Little kids smiling at me
  • My comfy bed
  • My huge plant "Tatiana"
  • Memory of someone saying goodbye to me teary-eyed, while wiping my tears with his finger
  • Memory of someone looking at me when I woke up from a nap and smiled
  • Sweet liquor
  • Nice, inspiring movie (that is not dark)
  • Connection with genuine, friendly, sincere people
  • Pudim de leite (milk pudding)
  • Long strolls
  • Fluffy animals
  • Support from friends
  • Support from family
  • Not following routines
  • Finding my new talent
  • Connecting with people from other cultures
  • My tan!!!!
  • Nature (everything BUT insects and reptiles and vicious-looking animals)
  • Outdoor activities (I'm talking about the action, largely excluding Sports haha)
  • Doing difficult yoga poses, esp arm balances
  • Music
  • Having the energy to hop and skip around
  • Good hair days
  • My apartment turned clean and clutter-free when I arrive home
  • Hot dry weather
  • Most things related to travel
  • Nice, engaging conversations
  • Great book
  • Re-reading breakup letters (written by me.....ha!!! ooops sorry, Ex's)
  • Looking at my silly old drawings and comic strips (mostly related to travel) / Thinking about the one I drew for my last Japan trip
  • Beautiful flowers (no yellow / purple / orange)
  • Refreshing colors
  • Nice clear sky
  • Kisses under the sun
  • Kisses in the rain
  • Me being a source of emotional support
  • Me lighting up someone's world
  • Someone I like looking at me lovingly
  • Someone I like trying to bring a smile to my face :)
  • ............................................................

To Play the Role of My Own Elder Sister

Being the only daughter in the family, I never had an elder, wiser sister who could listen and give me advice what to do.  I also never had much older friends who could tell me from experience what to do.

Chatting with my friend on MSN, I told him I started blogging since I was 19 and have had about 4 blogs since.  Some under my real name.  Some not.  I told him how embarrassed I would be to try and read my old blog entries.  So many question marks in those entries, asking WHY?  WHY?  WHY?   So lost, confused, angry, disappointed throughout my young adulthood.

Then we had an idea - it could be interesting for me to revisit some of those entries, and write a new response entry to them, almost like a third person, like my own ELDER SISTER responding to the younger sister's problems.

Let me try that.  Stay tuned!

Sprained Ankle - First Reaction

Today I walked out of Market Place supermarket in my fancy flip flops, suddenly sprained my right ankle, kneeling on the ground (as if proposing to the big guy who happened to be standing in the street in front of me).  It wasn't just a slip, I knew it was a real sprain and my first thought was: F*ck!  There's so much waiting for me to do!  My sprained ankle would be getting in the way!

Honestly, I haven't really planned much physical activities except for swimming tomorrow at the beach, but in hindsight it was really good that my subconscious wanted to do a lot, and wanted to be physically fit to do so.  At least my first reaction wasn't: Ah crap!  Oh well, not like I really need a strong ankle for anything anyways! 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Loving This Responsibility

Responsibility is a tricky thing - if you are ready for it it keeps you grounded and fulfilled; if you aren't, no matter how hard you try to accept it, one day you will still walk away because you don't know how to deal with it.

For me, I also went a long way before I came to accept and embrace it. It took me many many years to finally get a dog despite how much I have always liked dogs. I never felt I would be good enough to look after one, and was worried of all the sacrifices I would have to make. I wasn't ready for it until this year. During times of despair, I did question my ability to look after my dog and I have thought about giving him to Benny's mom, thinking he might be happier there. But after his surgery yesterday, seeing how much pain he was in, and how traumatized he was since I left him at the clinic, I realized how much he really needed me.

I am happy to have the privilege to be responsible for this precious life's happiness, growth, and well-being. This responsibility gives me meaning in life no adventurous travel experience can substitute. My sacrifices are all worth it.

And I am hopeful that one day I will also meet someone who enjoys having me as part of his responsibility.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last Words - More Last Words

I realized there's still a few more people I must say something to, further to my "Last Words" post:

Victor, my brother, in case you are reading this, don't worry I am not dying yet - at least not planning to!  Please take good care of mom and dad, should I die before you, and explain to them that I have lived a very eventful life and that was all I wanted.  I don't know what to say to Dad, but I guess you can tell Dad I enjoyed spending time with him when I was little, going hiking with him, playing those "hit the marble" kinda games, drinking his beer and whisky and whatever he was drinking.  Please thank him for raising us.  And you, bro, thanks for becoming my good friend as an adult.  We may not agree on things sometimes and we do fight, but we care a lot about each other and I know that.  Sincerely, I wish you the very very very best in life.  I wish you a very happy and fulfilling life.  I really mean it.

Janis in Singapore, I really enjoyed you and Pat's company a lot.  I really cherish our friendship - given we actually never worked in the same office in the same country, it was really amazing how we became good friends.  I wish we could live in the same country then I could really hang out with you more :)  I hope I get to see you both get married before I die!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Be Brave, My Boy

If I ever have a child, the ultimate thing I shall pray for him/her would be braveness.

I wish for my child to be brave, so that he/she can go through anything in life without the fear of failure stopping him/her from trying.  Fear is normal, but don't fear for too long, my dear.  Run towards the obstacle at full speed!  Jump over it!  Destroy it!  Kick it aside!  I wish for my child to be brave enough to pick himself/herself up after crying, and keep walking.  He/she may not be very rich, very intelligent, blessed with all the best things in life - but if he/she is brave, he/she can get through anything. 

For now, I wish for my dog to be a brave little one. :)

If My Puppy Were My Son

My puppy has been running towards the door excitedly every time he heard the the sound of the outer gate, then disappointingly walking back when he realized it wasn't Benny coming home.

I am lucky I have a puppy not a human son. I would have needed to really explain to him otherwise. It would have been difficult.

Still, I have told my puppy a few times: silly boy, Goh Goh is not coming back home again, but it's okay cos Jeh Jeh (I) will always be here for you, Baby. Goh Goh has his own life to lead. We need to let him go. Let's not wait for him okay?

If my puppy were a human boy, I might say to him: Baby, Goh Goh is not coming back home again, he doesn't want all those responsibilities he had for me and for you, or a routine life of coming home to us everyday. It isn't what he wants and Goh Goh has done enough. Some people in our lives stay for a very long time, or at least reappear every now and then with the biggest hugs, others leave and never turn back. We never know who will stay and who will not, until the very end. But don't feel sad, Baby, because those who do stay are all that matter to us. Let's not feel sad over those who left, but feel happy for those who are, and will be in our lives. One thing for sure, I am your Jeh Jeh, your Mommy, and I will stay in your life till the very end.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Friend's Sweetest Prayer - for Me!

My sweet friend told me she prayed for me.  It was a very adorable prayer too -

She prayed that my guardian angels would open my eyes to see the right guy, and cover my eyes when the wrong guy appears.

How sweet is that?!!!

I may not see the right guy tonight, but I know for sure I will go to bed feeling extremely blessed.  Thanks, my friend, for such sweet thoughts and encouragement.


In Chinese culture, there is a belief that parents owed their children in their past lives, and current life is repayment of such debt.  Hence parenthood is so tough - you can only focus on giving and not expect any returns.

I am not a believer or non-believer of reincarnation, but sometimes I feel that relationships can be like a repayment of debt as well.  Some friends have pondered why I had repeatedly met and nurtured guys who, after breakup, still remained very close friends with me but somehow still ended up disappearing from my life altogether.  They asked me why I had been so blind to date such ungrateful people.  In the guys' defense, and mine, I said that they were supposed to be good-natured people.  They had cared for me for a while.  Yet, I really had no idea how they could just disappear like that.  Cutting all strings and ties, like we had had no history together.

I rarely dwell on that anymore.  I just accept that I made a mistake about someone.  Disappointing mistake - yes - but perhaps I need to make so many mistakes about people before I make the right choice.

I have a new perspective on this today - I suggest that we try to think of bad relationships as a form of debt repayment from past lives or past relationships.  Yep.  Let's think of it as a debt repayment, not an investment.  The time, patience, perseverance, love, care, understanding, support.....everything was a repayment of whatever you owed the person in past life, or what you owed another person in current life (like how I had broken some other guys' hearts very very brutally).  If we think of it like that, we won't have to dwell on why the person is no longer in our lives.  The answer will be simple - we have finished paying back our debts so we are now set free.  We won't have to dwell on why they didn't treat us better.  The answer will again be simple - we were meant to repay our debts not to accumulate new debts!

I hope that now I am officially debt-free and when I do meet the next person who comes along, we will be on equal terms.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Taste of Life

Something made me doubt myself for a second today if I have become a bitter person.  I even needed to ask around to make sure.  (Thanks, my trusted friends, for reassuring me.)

No I am not a bitter person.  Despite the dark side of life and humanity I have seen, I am still full of hope and genuinely believe there is plenty of beauty and reasons for happiness in life.  How can you call that bitter?

Yet, am I all sweet?  I'd like myself to be ALL sweet, but realistically that could only happen if my entire life has been nothing but smooth sailing.  And only if I never quite understood life in its entirety. 

So what is the taste of life?  I would say, it's bittersweet.  It is not all sweet, but it is not all bitter either.  Without the bitterness, you may not appreciate the sweetness as much.  As a combination, it gives life a more complex flavor. 

Glass in the Park - Alex Turner

Another love song by Alex Turner.  Sweet and poetic - a boy quietly, secretly admiring a girl.
Paraselene woman, I'm your man on the moon
And like a grain of diamond dust, you float
And my devotion's outer crust cracks 

There's glass in the park
Darling, I can't help but keep making appointments
To sweep beneath the climbing frame

If the sun's in your eyes,
I'll tighten your blindfold, baby
Don't worry your foot won't get cut
Strut carelessly

And when you say that you need me tonight
I can't keep my feelings in disguise
The white parts of my eyeballs illuminate

And I'll wait for you
As if I'm waiting for a stone to stop
I've heard them talking
About how I'm gonna put you off

There's glass in the park
And now that I'm up off my knees
I've picked up the speed
To jump your palaces

And I shoot through the night
And suddenly all those once lost concoctions froth
And chase the day away

When you say that you need me tonight
I can't keep my feelings in disguise
The white part of my eyeballs illuminate

And I'll wait for you
As if I'm waiting for the stone to stop
I've heard them talking
About how I'm gonna put you off

You tell me, "how can I put you off when you're a matter of urgency?"
I've got a million things that I need to do, but they're all secondary
Make sure you're not followed
Meet me by the Death Balloon

Paraselene woman, I'm your man on the moon
And like a grain of diamond dust, you float
And my devotion's outer crust cracks


Dear God,

Thank you for giving me a fulfilling year. I cannot believe that each year has been more exciting than the last. I never dared ask for this but I vaguely remember as a young adult it had been my dream to live an exciting life - which I did! It had always been my fear to end up with a boring ordinary life.

People always say to look for the signs God left for you, in order to find what has been planned for you. Thank you for letting me notice the signs and act accordingly. If I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have joined a completely new dragonboat team, entered the "Amazing Race" competition, hosted a few parties at home, brought into my life a cheeky little dog, developed an eye for photography, reached out to new friends for advice and support, got to know plenty more people whether in neighborhood, at work or in other environments..... It felt great to surpass what I had thought were my limits and extend beyond my normal comfort zone.

Thanks for allowing me to finally forgive someone who had caused me plenty of misery at work years ago. Someone I had hated for many years since. It is a gift being able to forgive.

Thanks for giving me so much travel opportunities to see the world. Morocco, Argentina, Brazil, Vienna, France, Spain, Germany, India..... It was truly eye opening. Yet, at the same time, I thank you for letting me know that I had already seen a lot and I could really take a rest and try to find excitement in my country/ city of residence. The realization made me understand it was time for me to settle down and learn to enjoy stability.

I don't really want to thank you for the breakups, because as good lessons learned as they were, I really don't want more of those.  I really prefer not to learn more about the ungratefulness of men.  Have seen enough, and now I pray to you, God, to please bring a man into my life who will be genuinely grateful for all the kindness and love from me, and will reciprocate.  Someone who will have sufficient self-confidence to deal with me, and not feel inferior or challenged.  Someone who will love me for who I am, and will be keen to grow and experience life with me. 

I pray for happiness, feeling of security and certainty, and a clear vision of my path.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

End of 2011 main dragonboat season

Dragonboat season is finally over. We had 8 days of races in total in this short season and did really well overall.

Looking at the national tv clip of one of my races, I was very glad that I improved my technique and form this year. The coaches have also given me a lot of opportunities to paddle for the stronger team and I feel very grateful.

For a while I was wondering what to do off season, as our training will be much less serious and more social. Just now I decided to work on paddling on the opposite side so that I could be more flexible with placement next year.

I set a goal to improve my paddling this year and I am happy I achieved it. Looking forward to better performance next year.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


1. 多喝清水可保持精力,保充眼淚流失的水份。
2. 定時笑笑,不要苦口苦面。
3. 想哭便哭,哭乾眼淚便好好去睡。
4. 穿上漂亮衣服,打扮漂亮才上街。不要看似受害人。
5. 找可信的朋友傾訴,越多越好。越多重複把傷心事說出,越快接受事實,從shocked stage 走出來。
6. 要好好為自己編排節目,越多越好。私人時間可以有,但要預先安排要做的事項(看書、看dvd、打掃、等等)。避免發呆的機會,糊思亂想。
7. 要多想像自己要追求的是什麼,不要包括傷害自己的人。真正關心我們的人不會傷害我們。就算是一時之錯,要後悔的已經回來了。一走不回的就讓他們走吧。
8. 要好好提醒自己:再不快、再心痛的事也一定會過去。雨下得再大,還是會停,太陽總會出來。
9. 不要追索別人傷害自己的原因,不要追問自己十萬個為什麼。傷害人不需原因。不真正愛惜我們便沒考慮我們的感受吧。
10. 要好好照顧自己,也要記住將來也會遇到關心自己的人。

Friday, June 24, 2011

When I was 24.....

My conversation with my friend, Stephen, whom I have known for 10 years.  During our taxi ride to work -
Me: You know, 10 years ago I was only 24.  When we used to hang out a lot.  When YOU used to hang out.  What was I like?  Any difference from now?
Stephen: Hmmm, well you're certainly more decisive now than 10 years ago.  Grown up and all that.....
Me: Grown up in a good way?  
Stephen:  Yeah...
Me: So what was I like 10 years ago?
Stephen:  Well, I guess back then you were still exploring, trying to find out how your life would unfold.  You always wanted to try different things..... understand yourself.
Me: Isn't that typical of everyone when they were young?
Stephen: Hmmm no... some young girls just go to work, go home, do the same things.  You were eager to explore.....
Me: I remember I used to cry a lot, moaning to you and friends how others had something bad to me and hurt me.  I suppose as I grew up, I have learned to understand why people do certain things and accept it as part of life.....
Stephen:  Yeah, you were young and weren't very sure of yourself...
10 years - that's a very long time.  If Stephen is right about me being very keen to explore life and myself, I think I have done a fine job in the past 10 years.  I have stretched myself to experience different things, to be a better version of myself, to be with different people, to learn to accept different personalities, to learn to accept some sad truths about life.

10 years ago my friends around me were just as inexperienced in life, and equally exploring.  I can imagine a lot of the conversations were probably not very insightful - probably none of us had answers to the questions we had, so we ended up bouncing off each other's questions, moaning about our problems.  Now, our conversations on similar topics probably would lead to discussions of our viewpoints coming from real life experience.

Such awkward innocence, ignorance, is a symbol of youth.  Would I want that now?  No.  It would be an embarrassment.  Yet, the process of seeking answers to life from a stage of awkwardness, innocence and ignorance, to attaining understanding, acceptance and wisdom, is remarkable.  It is the beauty of life.  Transforming to a wiser, calmer, more sophisticated version of ourselves.  Hopefully.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


I had a picture of me when I was 2.5 years old.  Crying, face all flushed, scared, but running.  Running where?  Running around looking for Mom and Dad.

That was a classic picture of me.  :)  I am still that girl, scared but nonetheless trying to find the way.

If I haven't mentioned before - I have exceptional memory from my childhood.  That picture I mentioned, I was in Wanchai Gap Road Country Park.  I was playing in the playground then suddenly I realized my parents were missing.  I was so scared, I broke into tears and started running around in all directions looking for them.  I don't know who was the jerk hiding taking that picture of me when I was most helpless and scared!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My dog is a little thief!!

The other day I took Curly out for a walk and bumped into the legendary "Ninja" dog trainer in Happy Valley.  I call him "Ninja" cos he is always dressed in all black, military style, and only appears at night after midnight in the Valley, training dogs.

It was my first time actually talking to him.  I mean, he IS a legendary figure and he always looks so serious which makes him sort of scary.  Regardless, I took the courage to ask him if the waiting list for his dog training class was indeed 3 months.  He smiled then asked me what problems I had with my dog.  We ended up chatting for quite a bit and he gave me some tips how to train Curly not to be so neurotic and to calm down on the street.

Just now I clicked into the blog of another dog trainer called Mack, and I thought of contacting him to ask about his training.  I knew for sure he'd ask me what problems my dog had.  I thought in my head:  well, Curly is actually not a bad dog, just a bit mischievous and 古靈精怪... If I must pinpoint his behavioural problems, well he is picky with his food, he likes to jump onto the sofa, he begs me to let him sleep on my bed, he is very distracted by people and other dogs during walks, he gets over-excited when we have visitors and.... oh yes, HE LOVES TO STEAL!

How embarrassing to say that: Yes, my dog steals!  If I accidentally leave anything within his reach, he sneaks up, grabs it and runs away!!  Even when I stare at him, order him to drop it, he would still chew chew chew and if I make any movement he runs away from me!  I have tried to walk away instead and ignore him, but he would still chew on the thing for a bit before he drops it and comes to me for attention.  Ugggghhhh  He has stolen my socks (many times), my underwear, my bag, my shirt, a $10 note, my towel, my stuffed toy TT, etc.

Let's see if the trainer can teach me how to deal with that! Ha!

A Dog. A Bone. And Long Term Sacrifices.

(Thank you, God.  For the enlightenment.)

My dog taught me something about life and humanity.

A dog, especially when young and untrained, sees only short term gratification.  You put a small bone in front of him.  He drools, follows the person carrying the bone and grabs it.  You put a small treat in front of him.  He drools, follows the person carrying the treat and grabs it.  There is no consideration of consequences.

He does not evaluate whether grabbing that bone or treat would cause him to lose sight of his owner, potentially forever.  He does not evaluate whether that bone or treat is more important than otherwise many years ahead of comfort and happiness with his owner who gives him shelter, food, love and many many more treats.  He does not question whether taking that bone or treat from someone would lead him to wander the streets or to be captured as a breeding dog.  He does not consider how traumatized his owner will be, having lost him.  He sees only the bone.  The treat.  Food.

I think this applies to humans too.  Sometimes we do lose sight of what is truly important in life.  We make long term sacrifices for short term gratification, only to regret in the future when it is too late.  We've all been through that.  We've all been a dog at least once in our lives.

Chocolate Guy

I arrived back in office noticing a small package on my desk.  I opened it and found two bars of Russian chocolate. Nice!

Yes I know who sent it to me, and I thanked him politely.

But you know what?  Life is very very mean to some people -

This person I met 9 years ago in yoga, he wrote me a letter back then asking me out for coffee.  Funny enough, he passed that letter to a guy who had a crush on me, so the guy threw away the letter and I didn't know about this until months later.  He came up to ask me if I had received it, and my face went totally blank.  "Huh?  What letter?"  He was very embarrassed after that.

We somehow crossed paths a few years later when his office happened to be in the same building as mine.  I think we only met up once for lunch.  I never had any interest in this friend.

Then by chance I introduced him to some friends of mine in China, so we met up in China when I went to visit my other friends.

A few months ago he came to Hong Kong briefly and I met up with him for dinner.  A very friendly dinner.  But before he got into the taxi, he gave me this very brief but weird stare.  As if he wanted to take another look at me.  I pretended I didn't notice.  Probably he didn't realize himself.

So back to what I was saying, life is very very mean to some people.  They can be the sweetest, nicest people, with decent jobs and all that, but some girls - like me - still put attraction, chemistry, love interest first.  And those girls - like me - would still happily accept the chocolate anyways. 

Hiding Tonight - Alex Turner (from film, Submarine)

My friend by chance sent me this beautiful song which perfectly speaks my current state of mind. 
Quietly, settling emotions into stillness.
Awaiting light, colors, music to fill the emptiness again.

Hiding Tonight - Alex Turner

Tomorrow I'll be quicker
I'll stare into the strobe light flicker
And afloat I'll stay
But I'm quite alright hiding today

Tomorrow I'll be faster
I'll catch what I've been chasing after
And have time to play
I'm quite alright hiding today

And I will play the coconut shy
And win a prize even if it's rigged
I won't know when to stop
And you can leave off my lid, and I won't even lose my fizz
I'll be the polkadots tie
I'll know the way back, if you know the way
But if you are, I'm quite alright, hiding today

Tomorrow I'll be stronger, running colourful
No longer just in black and white
And I'm quite alright hiding tonight

And I will have a game on the coconut shy
And win a prize even if it's rigged
I won't know when to stop
And you can leave off my lid, and i won't even lose my fizz
I'll be the polkadots tie

I'll probably swim through a few lagoons
I'll have a spring in my step
And I'll get there soon
To sing you a happy tune, tomorrow

And you better bring a change of clothes
So we can sail our laughing pianos along a beam of light
But I'm quite alright
Hiding tonight

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last Words

Each time I travel by plane, I think about (calmly) the possibility of death, and I try to talk to the person I care most about, just before the plane takes off, as if those are my last words.

Not being pessimistic at all, it is a fact that traveling alone does increase your chances of accidental death.  In fact, a few years ago I was on a plane to Vietnam when there was serious engine failure and even the air masks were dropped.  I thought I was going to die.

Because of that experience, I always wondered how I would be able to share my last words with people I had last words for.  Nobody would know as I never wrote them anywhere.  In fact, my friends are so spread apart they may not even know who I would want to notify should I die one day!

This got me thinking - why should anyone leave one's last words till the day one dies?  If something is so important one desperately needs to say to someone before life ends, why not say it sooner?  Perhaps some people don't know what's important to them until time is running out?  The time pressure makes them realize what is truly precious?  Or, maybe they never had the courage to say those words when they thought they still had a lifetime ahead of them to decide to say or not?

If I were to write out my last words, I would have many people to say to.  People from the past and the present.  Even people who may think I have forgotten about them.....(I'm only writing about the ones whom I don't think read my blog anymore or even know about my blog.)

For instance, I would want to tell my god brother, Alex H., that I valued our brother-sister friendship very much even though we drifted apart in the end because of various reasons.  I wanted to go to his wedding, but I was upset he had stopped reaching out after he had met his gf (now wife) who didn't like me.  In fact, he was THE person whom I once gave all my closest friends' contact info to, in case one day I should die he could then contact them for me.  I told him I didn't want any PowerPoint videos in my funeral.  Only beautiful white flowers.  Ideally white tulips.

I would want to thank Kevin for once taking such good care of me, and having such silly times and laughs with me.  I tried very very hard to love him, but I couldn't give more.  I was completely drained and so was he.  I wish we could have remained close friends.  And I wish his current girlfriend didn't look so much like a frog (sorry, but I'm dead, you can't hate me and I'm just telling the truth) and wasn't so bitchy to me and my female friend years ago.  Yes we had met years ago.

I would want to tell Stefan I had my life's craziest and most intoxicating memories with him.  The memories never stopped playing like a slideshow in my mind.  He might have thought of me as his selfish escape from reality, but I want to tell him that it WAS reality.  A reality he was too scared to believe was true.  I don't love him anymore, but I treasured the moments we shared.  They were special.

I would want my mom to know that I treasured all the love and support she has given me.  How she has respected my judgment and decisions since I was young, and how she has always been extremely proud of me.  I wish I were a better daughter with a bit more patience listening to her stories.  I thank her for teaching me to live my life with pride and grace.  I never told her I loved her but I do.

My long-time soul mate from Canada, Johnny.  I would want to thank him for the ups and downs we've been through and I wish him a very very happy and healthy life.  I missed the times we smoked and sang in the garage when it was snowing outside!

Rana from Sydney, whom I met through work.  I only saw her during my three work trips to Australia, but I had very deep conversations with her each time.  I wish that she'd never meet freaks again, and that she could one day fully pursue her passion in photography.

My recent ex and companion, B.  I would want to tell him that I wish he hadn't hurt my feelings so selfishly, so I could live my life believing in my fairytale of two people, best friends and companion, going through life's happiest and saddest moments together, supporting each other through thick and thin.  Regardless, I would thank him for making me realize how companionship meant more to me than I had ever thought.

My two Brazilian friends in China.  I would want them to know how much I enjoyed spending time with them, no matter in Hong Kong, Brazil or China. Not only were they fun to be with, it was very interesting to chat with them about topics I didn't normally talk about with other friends.  Especially Marianne, I really enjoyed her company and her friendship.  I hope to rejoin these two sweet souls in heaven someday.

My masseuse and friend, Ana.  She has become a friend of mine, caring so much about me and trying to console me during times of heartbreaks.  She is like my earth angel, she is super intuitive and gives me genuine advice that are truly words of wisdom.

Another earth angel, Tracy, who actually knew about my blog.  Each time I was in despair, she somehow miraculously appeared in my life and showed me paths to seek guidance.  She also gave me plenty of support along the way.  I would really want to thank her for that.  Some people we meet in life are indeed like angels sent from heaven.

Oh my friend, Dion, who may not read my blog much, I would want to thank him for introducing me to some cool music, books and movies.  He is another earth angel - I very occasionally got on MSN and would have a quick chat with him.  In those rare occasions, he sent me music which happened to perfectly speak my state of mind making me cry or smile.  (I will post one after finishing with this posting.)  I never really knew what he was seeking in life.  I'm not sure if he knows either.  Either way, I hope he finds what keeps his passion going, and what makes him inspired and happy.

Also, my friend, Soon Yen from Singapore whom I met when I did freelance many years ago.  I don't know how to describe our friendship, but I would want him to know that I really enjoyed the chats - however silly or not - with him over the years whether online or in Singapore.  He has been an endearing friend of mine past 8 years and chatting with him, however rarely, always made me giggle.  Thanks for being such a funny friend.

I must not forget my friend in Thailand, A. Gower.  He used to work with me then became a good friend.  He is quite a bit older than me and can be a strange Brit sometimes.  Regardless, I would really want to thank him for his friendship all these years, his crude sense of humor and surprising sweetness - I would never forget how he anonymously bought me flowers online for Valentine's Day, because he knew I had had a bad breakup and really wanted me to feel a little better on that day.

For the rest, my few close friends who do read my blog perhaps occasionally, I am too shy to tell you individually how much I value your friendship.  You know who you are, and I sincerely thank you for all support all these years.  Thanks for putting up with my bossiness, temper and tardiness.  Thanks for listening when I needed to vent.  Thanks for letting me cry my eyes out in front of you and tell you so descriptively how my heart was aching and breaking and falling apart.  Thanks for not rolling your eyes when I repetitively got my heart brutally stabbed like an idiot who never learnt.  Thanks for being there for me when my world was falling apart and I needed some anchor.  Thanks for feeling happy for me when I thought someone wonderful came into my life.  And most importantly, thanks for reminding me always and making me believe that like everyone else I deserve lasting happiness and that person will come along.  Thanks.

Since people above probably don't read my blog, if I do die accidentally, please help me pass on my last words to them through facebook or my phone.

Relax - I wrote this post with a peaceful mind.  I am not in any way going to end my life until God takes it away.

PS:  Please also refer to Last Words - More Last Words post.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

My search since 16.

A wise woman asked me to visualize what the final man I want in my life to be like.

I told her:
When I was 16, I had a vivid dream of opening a door to a room and finding the man of my life. His back was facing me so I couldn't see his face. But he was big built, had very strong arms and seemed very resolved and calm. Next image, he was standing close behind me.

The lady asked me why he was behind me.

I said:
Because he was watching my back, protecting me, making sure I was safe. And I did feel very safe and secure. This has always been the guy I was looking for. Since 16. Someone dependable, loving and eager to protect me.







I have been having a hard time accepting the fact that people can be cruel. I can be too, when I am going through selfish times, focusing on my self interest only.

Still, it's hard for me to accept. It's hard to accept that people change and they hurt others in the process. It's hard for me to accept I opened up so completely to someone who would turn his back on me and walk away without a word. So cruel.

I know this depressed state will go away, like flu, like jetlag. But the process is unbearable.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Someone's been hurting my feelings, and it hurts knowing that I once fell in love and loved someone I thought would care more not to hurt me.

I don't know when I'll grow up and learn not to be so naive. Not to trust anyone without reservations. I hate myself so much for letting people take advantage of me and hurt me.

My Travel Must Haves

Given my frequent traveling and preference to only have hand-carry luggage, I need to prioritize what I must have on any trip, and what I can do without.

My Travel Must-Haves:
1. Small compact umbrella
2. Shades (to hide puffy eyes and chic-up!)
3. Photos of my pre-saved google maps (especially useful in unsafe areas, I could be super lost but instead of appearing like a lost tourist, I look more like a local expat checking my phone)
4. Cole Haan or Adidas ballerina flats with air cushion
5. Stomach medicine 黃蓮素
6. Compact universal adaptor
7. Muji liquid containers and clear vanity bag to store my beauty essentials
- shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, oil based makeup remover, Skinceuticals Phloretin (vitamin C essence), face lotion, contact lens solution, Murad lip balm
- comb, spare pair of new contact lenses
- a tiny plastic bottle of perfume in case I sit next to a smelly traveler
- brow pencil, Deja Vu waterproof no-smudge mascara, MAC eye pencil, eye lash curler, tweezers
8. Pashmina or large but light scarf (absolute must)
9. Pair of Havaianas to walk around hotel room, wear in shower if not very clean, walk around town casually
10. eBook on my iPhone
11. At least one dress suitable for a surprise date or fancy dinner
12. Clothes that don't crease easily and are as versatile as possible. Ideally of similar color tones to mix and match and go with same pair of dress shoes
13. Apart from my Cole Haan or Adidas flats in metallic or golden color, I bring max one pair of heels
14. My soft neck brace especially if flight is over 3 hours
15. iPhone and plug charger

These are what I can't travel without. I think I am generally quite low maintenance - but hey, if you are traveling for business, you really need to go for efficiency and mobility over having your entire home in your suitcase.