Wednesday, June 30, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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it's been awhile

so many things to talk about...haven't had the time to enter a single post since leaving for penang. so here's my brief recap... really think all these help my memory cos i have a dismal rate of remembering events in the past except in situations where i felt somewhat wronged...heh

24 June @ Penang
checked into hotel all nervous about staying by myself after listening to leona's ghost stories. followed her tip about keeping everything in the room occupied with a t-shirt over the study chair and a pants over the armchair. also slept with the amulet she got for me that very morning from a temple. and with most of my lights on...and the tv music channel switched on through the night. had a really good dinner of hawker food similar to the taiwanese night market i visited with wen last time.

25 June @ Penang
sat in on david tan's presentation to the nurses in penang on arcoroc. he can talk off-the-cuff very well... then we did a brief kitchen walkthrough which was a great boost for my ego. i had been very nervous prior to the trip because i haven't actually done any walkthroughs by myself. fortunately david was able to walk through with me and more importantly, the ladies were all very respectful of my credentials. think they were impressed by my US connection in spite of my obvious youth and inexperience. =)
then we proceeded to drive around tiny penang... round and round looking for tau sar piah for my favorite brother (ok so he's my only brother). managed to finally find the world famous Him Heang Tau Sar Piah only after the Head Dietician, Ms Eileen Chan, of Gleneagles Medical Centre hopped into Mathews car to point out the place to us. it was verrry nice of her.
took the last flight out of singapore that evening and got home around 11pm.

26 June
Fengshui Part I from 10am to 6pm with Raymond Lo at the same hotel along east coast road. This class had many more younger students compared to the Four Pillars class I attended back in Jan this year. Unfortunately I also got the vibe that Master Lo seemed a little more arrogant and less affable than previously. Wonder if perhaps wood and fire makes him impatient (He's a Yin Water person).

27 June
Still Fengshui Part I... same time... so quite tiring cos one long day after another. Revising my flying star school of fengshui knowledge. Some stuff is quite different from what vincent teaches. for example...
1. take reading of building from the centre of the building. not from an individual unit. Meaning the individual unit takes the same birth chart as the entire building. Only difference is where each of the stars are located in that unit and how some floors are more auspicious than others depending on that particular block.
2. water theory is not relevant for buildings. only landed properties. therefore there is no need to identify the flow of 'water' from the lift landing to an individual unit.
3. a unit only changes age (eg from period 7 to period 8) if the roof is opened through for 100 days. this means that if an individual unit is renovated, it cannot change the age of the unit as it will still be the same as the entire building. UNLESS the entire building is significantly renovated.
4. a bad mountain star will die once u create activity in that area. in the same way, a bad water star will die once u keep the area quiet. therefore double stars are no-nos to raymond because he feels that you inevitably lose the effects of one or the other. according to vincent however, it is necessary to enhance and cure each individual mountain and water star.

yup...lots of random stuff like that. then had dinner with leona, stephen and melvin at the japanese yakiniku restaurant near boat/clark quay. it was very yummy... ended up grilling alot of stuff for mel cos his thumb was still hurt and he had to eat with fork and spoon *slight snickering*... think mel wants to have it operated on to speed up recovery.

28 June
ba zi classmate (zoe) said joey yap is pretty decent in spite of being over-priced. especially his xuankong teachings. so now i'm kinda tempted to learn from him but dun think i can afford the time right now anyways. i should probably do alot of my own reading up so i have a better foundation before taking the class. this way i can ask more complicated questions that won't be answered in the books.
anyhow... right now i just feel like everytime i climb over a hill feeling victorious about some new knowledge i've gained in bazi/fengshui, i see a bigger hill ahead and feel like a tiny ant again. this field of study really requires many years of sustained interest and learning. guess we shall see how long my interest in this topic is maintained...

o ya... saw master chew smoking... dunno why but didn't think he smoked and was a little disappointed to see him smoking.

TTFN (tata for now)

Thursday, June 24, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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free internet access @ Changi

woohooo!!! it's so fun to be able to use free stuff. got 8 more minutes to go before i'm timed out of it. plenty of time (i hope) to put up a quick post.

went to leona's place for lunch. her maid cooked potato with mushroom, dried shrimp, pandan leaf and rice. Called it potato rice. quite yummy and i was amazed by how soft the potato was just from cooking in the regular rice cooker. Then listened to Leona talk more abt her ghostly experience.... man that was bad... PLUS heard another story of a friend of hers whose fiance got possessed while out at punggol with the entire family (for seafood dinner). when he got home, he went straight to the kitchen and tried to kill leona's friend!! n when her family members restrained him, he took the knife and sliced a loooong line down his arm. the police thought it was a suicide case until he woke up completely clueless about how he got that thick fat scar running down his arm.

yeah... not a good way to start my trip where i'll be staying in a hotel room by myself heh... hell leona was visited by a ghost with her girlfriend sleeping right NEXT to her! luckily leona went to a temple this morning (to thank the Gods for her safe homecoming) and also got me a safety amulet. guess it will help to put my heart at ease. This month is also Wei (Yin Earth) month... got a nobleman for me... so should be ok =)

alritey... think my time is almost up. another 3 minutes n shld proly leave some time for this to upload.

looking forward to the penang trip and will proly be reading up on food safety notes to help me feel comfy about the kitchen walk through. haven't done a single one since... god knows when! well... definitely not since my internship in may 2003....

Monday, June 21, 2004

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chop my nose off please...

sigh.. i am having a horrid cold... nostrils are not yet at the point where it's been dripping so much that the skin is peeling... but it's definitely getting there.

nose just won't stop sniffling... throat feels scratchy... eyes kinda blurry... definitely feels like i've been hit with the cold. been drinking as much water as i can... in fact was drinking lots last night already. guess it just didn't help much.

normally, i wouldn't mind being sick cos i could maybe take sick leave (of which i have lots since i don't normally fall sick) but i have a presentation to go to in penang on thurs/fri so can't really afford to be sick... and i mean definitely can't really fall sick. so this is quite bad timing. sigh...

okie got to get cracking on page 2 of next issue's newsletter. hope kris remembers to get everything ready in time for joseph.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

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mosquitoes and diarrhoea

well... don't think mosquito bites cause diarrhoea... Just really need to gripe about the 3 humongous mosquito bites i got while napping for that 1 miserable hour. THREE!!!

one on my left thumb making it pretty stiff, one just under my left eye (yes, my face!) and one just above the right side of my lips (yes, my face again!!!). sigh... can't wait for melvin to come home so he can help to donate his blood a bit. hehe... anyhow, yati sprayed lots of insect repellant in my room and kept it closed while i was at dinner with my grandma... so hopefully that damn mosquito has been murdered. i would have preferred to squish down on it firmly with my fingers but don't think i have the dexterity needed to catch one of those monsters.

as for diarrhoea.. well i had a bad case of it while we were at IMM shopping in giant after dinner. don't think it's the pills i'm taking but don't know if it's food either since net n derek ate the same stuff as me since lunch today. fortunately it was only a one time case and my tummy seems to have settled down abit.

dinner was really yummy as usual. we had thai village at tuas and that was when i learned that the manager there had been promoted to the new thai village location at goodwood park hotel. May is an excellent hostess and she really makes you feel important as her customer. Plus she recognises me as my dad's daughter and would probably have given us 10% off. anyhow... we had braised shark's fin, braised fish maw, braised spinach with sea cucumber and abalone mushroom, baked duck feet and braised abalone rice... yup... a tad too much braised (and similar tasting) stuff but it was gooood all the same =D

tmrw's ba zi class at the office... hope david lee n mr chew are not gonna be too upset when we tell them that we'll be busy the following sunday at raymond lo's class... sigh... maybe i'll let irene do the talking heh..

alritey it's 1130 and think my tummy is not completely settled yet... gonna sleep now. nite!

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family business

it's the weekend and i don't have any particular plans. had a pretty eventful weekday though. last night for example i met up with suzy and we had dinner plus yummy chocolate fondue at this max brenner's chocolate restaurant at the esplanade. it's quite dee-lish and there are still ALOT more chocolate stuff i can't wait to try on the menu hehe.

well... seems like net is planning to quit her job at kpmg in 4 mths or so... n probably join dad's company. i guess i still don't understand why she is almost shamelessly eager to work for sia huat because she hasn't had much previous work experience besides auditing. i love working in sia huat most of the time and it's not that i think she'll hate working in sia huat but rather that i thought she would want to get more work experience and prove herself first. sometimes it feels like she treats sia huat as an easy ticket to her livelihood instead of a company that she can continue to nurture and grow.

work experience and networking really makes a big difference. and here i mean networking that's not reliant on your father's reputation but on the relationships you have nurtured. take for example Rao (who's only 34 this year!)... he worked in raffles hotel after graduating from shatec...then he went to work for peter knipp and now he's in arc internationl. all very different fields. in raffles he organised banquet events... in peter knipp he wrote and organised media events... in arc international he represents a glass manufacturer from France. how diverse a portfolio he has... and how impressive his networking is. he knows the highest affluent person and the lowliest f&b assistant or waiter etc.... the scope of people he knows and the lobang he can get is something you cannot imagine just by meeting him. (He doesn't look very affluent and doesn't even own a car)

what net fails to understand is that once she enters sia huat... whatever networking she does will solely be on the name of our dad... people will look at her as CB's daughter for many many years to come and her networking may be restricted by the circle of people who already know Sia Huat/CB Tan and have preconceived notions of the owner. if however she enters some f&b related field... she might be able to ADD VALUE to the company with new networking contacts and relevant experience... and maybe even improve perceptions of sia huat when she eventually joins the company.

at the end of the day however... to each his/her own. i think/hope net should be able to prove herself in sia huat... and as for mel... i hope he understands the responsibility he has in continuing to build up this company that our dad and aunt built up with their 'blood and sweat'. i think mel has proven to be a good leader/follwer in his ncc activities. he just needs more worldly experience and to remain down-to-earth. =)

okie... enuff of my rambling... time to take a nice long nap... =) n chat with wen on the fone. taa

Thursday, June 17, 2004

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damn unpretty

listening to this song now on class 95fm. somehow some songs just pull you back to a memory from years ago. in this case, it reminded me of the summer of '99. i was taking classes at san fran state and i remember hearing this song playing on the radio as i drove across sunset from the fillmore centre. i'd be singing to it... not sure why it left such a strong impression. maybe because i remember seeing the mtv and i don't see mtvs as often as i should (cos mtvs are quite interesting to watch to understand the story behind the song sometimes. esp when the lyrics aren't so clear.).

i remember the drive in my black used honda... the view of those pretty houses along the drive, stonestown mall, parking at the multi-storey. maybe it was because i'd just bought that car around then... and it felt good driving my own car and not relying on people to bring me around. holding the steering wheel and listening to any station i like.

well before you think that i don't have any opportunity to drive here... don't be mistaken. in fact over here, i have a choice of 3 different cars to drive - a nissan sunny, a honda crv and a S320. pretty good choices i would say...and all firsthand cars too! =)

take for example last night. i sent my parents to the airport and drove home on my own... and it felt good as always to be driving the S320. the ride is so smooth, you can barely feel any variation in speed. the steering wheel is so sensitive and flexible that you get a huge sense of satisfaction feeling it react to your tiniest direction.

well... guess i better get down to work =) was just wanting to comment on the good memories and sense of nostalgia that some songs bring back.

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another tribute to spikey

It's hard not to miss spikey. especially when i'm alone at home with my parents away in shanghai on vacation and net spending most of her time at rek's place as she should (spend time with the in-laws). Times like this, a surrogate boyfriend is very much missed. The book I'm reading talks about attachment... avoiding it. But how can one not be attached to a beagle as adorable as spikey after spending so much time with him? sigh...

anyways, glad my parents get to spend time together on vacation cos my dad's constantly travelling for work. okie... really need to go to sleep...although i am pretty full from the yummy teochew dinner at liang kee restaurant. very good authentic teochew food according to leona =)

me trying to get spikey to show me a trick or two. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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damn pocketpc

丙寅 day... not surprising that i feel a sorethroat coming i guess.

anyhow... am quite annoyed with my HP pocketpc. Just bought it late last year and now it's acting all weird. Can't charge...can't even be turned on!

Plus the ba zi software is not compatible with non-OS platforms... meaning the software that can help me calculate the ba zi of a person sooo cooly on a pda is NOT feasible for me bcos my pda is a pocketpc. sniff!!

sigh... really need to get it fixed for now...

Monday, June 14, 2004

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the One Pimple

yup... have that one pimple... the kind that isn't very big but feels like a huge sore just sitting there waiting to bloom into a shiny red spot. it's already kinda pinkish. it has strategically placed itself right on my jawline... so anytime my fingers accidentally brush against my jaw, i get a jolt of pain and alot of irritation.

wen says pimples around the mouth usually means too much heatiness... guess i need to eat more soupy stuff. i've been eating bitter melon pretty frequently. they're supposed to be one of nature's anti-oxidants. not sure why i'm having these pimples. sigh

anyhow, tonite i have ba zi class. i think i've definitely improved alot in terms of analysing a set of four pillars since i started taking an interest in aug/sept 03. it's interesting to see how characters can be explained thru 8 chinese words... of which there can be a total of 60 times of 4 sets of permutations.

okie think i better get back to work instead of rambling on... my manager is back in the office and his office is right behind my desk... looking over this screen. hehe...

Sunday, June 13, 2004

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lazy sunday

so today 八字 class was cancelled cos irene 垃肚子. It was kinda last minute so hopefully david will be ok about it. master chew was very nice and said it wasn't a problem. personally, i was perfectly fine since it meant a more leisurely sunday. =)

after taiji we went to have breakfast at the market across the street. had pretty decent kueh chap. apparently it was a franchise called 古早人 which literarily translates into "ancient early people". The kueh chap soup base was just right and the chilli was excellent. we also shared a bowl of tender and huge fishball soup as well as a bowl of very pedas (spicy) mee soto. my mum had a bowl of mee tai mat fishball soup on her own as she wasn't feeling very well. all in all, my favorite kind of breakfast - good and cheap.

long after finishing our breakfast, we still sat there chatting. that is, mainly leona was chattering away cos she's like a solar powered mouth (and i mean it in a nice sense). she really makes a gathering lively the way she talks on and on about stuff. one thing i cany say, u'll never be bored around her... u might get tired cos she can talk non-stop... but u'll never be bored. hehe...

anyways, on our way back to the car... leona asked abt spikey... and we were again reminiscing about how smart a beagle he was... she mentioned that she has a fren who wants to give away a schnauzer... i'm kinda interested... but dun tink my family is keen... so sigh... plus i heard schnauzers need quite a bit of grooming unlike beagles. altho they make up for it by being way more intelligent hehe

okie guess i'll maybe watch the rest of the vcd for lesson 32 of 八字 class. at least that way feel like i'm working on my To Do list. hehe

Friday, June 11, 2004

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my hamsome nephew

my dearest nephew (he belongs to my sister)... missing since may 19 2004. Spikey is proly the studliest looking beagle i'll ever know. He was hyper and adorably faithful. Smart enough to run away or look suitably meek when being punished. My surrogate boyfriend who'd sleep in my room occasionally. Now terribly missed... Our whole family misses him terribly. Even my parents. We can only hope that he's in better hands now. At the bottom of it though, we will always be pining for his return. I still don't know what to do with the leftover snacks I bought just for him from Petco...

spikey begging for food when wen was visiting in january 04 Posted by Hello

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guess the html worked after all. the mood picture is on my sidebar finally. woohooo!

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html error: tag is not allowed

very frustrating... very frustrating indeed. I have so many ideas for my blog/website but i can't carry it out cos i don't even know how to cut and paste a simple link so i can have "unkymoods" on my page. dear if you are reading this, can u please please please teach me some html when u are visiting? my blog is sooooo boring looking right now. i can't even put my own profile up there... sniff. i don't know how...

anyways, am looking forward to watching harry potter tonite. it's been out for awhile and i've read every book cover to cover in very short sittings. so... definitely feel like i'd be able to spot any differences in the storyline hehe.

as for work... sad to say, haven't been productive at all today. that's bcos i went to a fellow blogger's site and discovered a link on creating yr own icon!!!! it is sooo amazingly fun! hehe... o well... will play with it more another day. should probably try to get SOME work done at least. sigh...

Thursday, June 10, 2004

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news today

read some interesting articles today...

1. Mystery-death man's wife in mental ward
- "Singapore police want to interview her about Air France manager's bloody death, but she's in a Budapest hospital." And apparently it's not just a hospital but a psychiatric ward.
- "In all probability, Madam Lix holds the key to the mysterious death of her husband of 11 years."
- Method of death: Mr Birembaut died of bleeding from two deep cuts on his left forearm, near the elbow. He held a blood-stained kitchen knife in his right hand. A glass containing a mixture of four sedatives, including Valium and Erimin, were found on a table close by. The other two were nitrazepam, available here on prescription, and glutethimide, not even registered in Singapore.
- Mr Birembaut was not prescribed the sedatives. His wife, on the other hand, was on Prozac, an anti-depressant.
- Many of their fights stemmed from Mr Birembaut's close friendship with a woman whom Madam Lix thought was having an affair with her husband, the investigators said.
===> Really sounds like a typical extreme 偏印 personality with a very paranoid mind. Guess I'm curious to know how the wife is doing and if that unidentified woman is really the person she suspects her husband was having an affair with. That would make her paranoia justified to an extent. But then again, why would the husband fly all the way to Singapore with this woman he married and knows has severe depression, and still stay married to her? He must love her right?
Or perhaps karmically he owed her something from his past life? I think Karma is one of the best ways to explain the mysteries of human relationships...

2. Japan prince wants changes for sake of wife's health
===> Guess the headline was interesting to me because when the Crown Prince married his wife, Masako, both were in their early thirties. There was alot of hype about how he would finally be able to continue the royal line. So it was good to kinda read the occasional follow-up on their lives. Princess Masako is very educated and many people were wondering then if she would be able to accept the conservative traditions of the palace. I think she should definitely be lauded for her efforts thus far and feel sorry for her shingles outbreak. My sister had shingles recently on her arm and it's NOT a pretty sight.

3. Who needs babies, we've got dogs
===> As much as i love dogs... i don't think i'd be happy with no kids.
Recently though, i told my sister that i like children up to the age of 10. That was during a house party my parents were throwing where all the neighboring families were invited. One family brought their four kids in tow and the 3 youngest was 12(girl), 9(girl) and 4(boy) i think. I got along pretty well with 4 and 9 yr old, especially the 9 yr old. The 4 yr old was really really cute looking but was ignoring my pathetic attempts to get his attention. The 12 yr old liked talking to me... but i thought she was kinda weird... i guess i should be more understanding... it's that age where u begin to think u're an adult but u really still think like a kid. so i told my sis... ideally, i would raise my kids till they're about 10, when they completely loose their adorable naivete and become problematic adolescents. Then I'd give them away... heh

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

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yesterday was mainly running up and down trying to help out in the set up of our opening. sadly... the turnout was quite dismal considering that both my dad and david were calling most of the guests personally to get their rsvps. we even rushed to compile 50 sets of the catalogue for this event that barely even saw 50 guests. some guests even turned up AFTER the event... and most of us ended up going home way around 830pm even tho the function was supposed to have ended by 730pm.

then at the end of the day, while i was checking to make sure all the lights and a/c were turned off, i hurt the inside of my right thigh really badly by banging it against the back of a chair... incredible u think? well... i was trying to get down from the chair... and... i don't even know how i did it. was in very very bad pain and even this morning (as in right now), i am finding it somewhat painful to walk and sit.

8June: 戊午 day in 庚午 month
Month: 伤官, 偏印 and 比肩
Day: 劫财, 偏印 and 比肩. Think it was also my 羊刃. Day 伏吟 and clash with year pillar. wonder if my grandparents were ok... especially grandma.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

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research purposes

well i'm supposed to be writing a journal to track the events in my life for research purposes... to correlate with what i've been studying in ba zi and verify the trends. apparently, it's best if i write a daily journal for THREE years. Not sure if i have the stamina for it but it should be interesting to find out if there are any trends i should watch out for.

so here goes...

yesterday was a very tiring day mainly because of the menstrual cramps n heavy bleeding. apparently it was also 丁巳 day.

that's basically more unwanted fire for my strong earth. fortunately the 巳 combines with this year's 申 to form water, which is my favorable element.

丁 is my 偏印. That's good for my fengshui studies because it means resources for studying, especially in subjects that are not the norm. However, I wasn't really paying attention in class cos of all the cramps etc and couldn't wait to go home and sleep.

巳 is my travelling horse... well i guess i did drive to class. haha... it also contains the following:
正印 - more resources...
劫财 - competitor...
伤官 - aggressiveness (might explain the disagreement i had with my fiance that night)

okie... that's all for now... really need to pee and get back to work. in that order.

Monday, June 07, 2004

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abc appeal

by Mak Mum San of The Straits Times

FORGET about Caucasian men and Sarong Party Girls (SPG).
The latest breed of men that Singapore women are apparently hankering after are American-born Chinese (ABC) working here.
Think actress Wong Li-Lin's husband Allan Wu and reality TV show Eye For A Guy's Mark Zee.
Wong, who has a reputation for not suffering fools gladly, melted under the charms of the ABC hunk and became Mrs Wu in a hush-hush wedding in Los Angeles last December. The couple are expecting a baby in October.
Meanwhile, Zee, 23, an ABC teaching finance at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, has become a mini-celebrity of sorts after taking part in Channel 5's version of The Bachelorette.
Although curvaceous Singapore model Rachel Lee, 23, chose Singaporean hair salon manager Sivert Ong as her man on the show, she is now dating Zee, the runner-up.
On why she finds the ABC attractive, she says: 'I'm not with him because he's an ABC but more because of the chemistry we have. I'm English educated and I guess that's why it's easier to relate to him.'
While most Singaporeans see ABCs as non-white expatriates, some are known to view them as fake ang mohs. Or, simply, white men with Asian packaging.
In other words, are Singapore girls indulging their SPG sentiments without guilt because ABCs are 'Asians'?

For when it comes to attracting local babes, it seems that it's as easy as ABC for the ABCs.
Some say it's simply a case of Ready, Accent, Go!
Or is it?
To find out, LifeStyle spoke to about 20 Singapore women aged between 18 and 40 for their views on ABC men.
Their verdict? The imported guys win hands down in the personality department.
Accounts executive Sim Wai Hoon, 26, says: 'I think they're fun to be with because they dare to be different. They are just more eloquent, dynamic and worldly.'
The gentlemanly side of ABC men also scored big with local women.
'Basically, they know how to treat a lady well,' says marketing executive Sharon Lim, 25.
But if you're a Singapore man, don't despair. And if you're an ABC guy, don't gloat yet. Read on.

While most of the women agreed that ABCs would make great friends, boyfriends and lovers, the general consensus is that they are not necessarily great 'husband material'.
'The difference in culture and mindset sometimes makes it hard to click with them. I prefer local men for the sense of familiarity they give me,' says student Serene Ho, 19.
Human resource manager Tay Siok Ching, 32, sums it up: 'They are good to be with but not good to marry because you never know how long they plan to stay. Local men can offer a better sense of security.'

Nice women a big draw
There are no official statistics on the number of ABCs in Singapore, but they are estimated to number about 500 out of the 12,000 to 15,000 Americans living here.
Most are working in the media and banking industries, with an increasing number teaching in local universities.
The ABCs that LifeStyle managed to uncover average 1.8m in height (perchance due to a growing-up diet heavy on milk and meat?) and, as a result, many are also part-time models.

But what is it about Singapore that draws them here?
Jackson Pek, a 33-year-old lawyer from San Francisco, echoes a common sentiment: 'As ABCs, we don't really fit in anywhere perfectly. When I'm in the US, I can speak like everybody else but I don't look like everybody else. That's why I came here. This is the closest that I belong.'

Besides job opportunities and cultural ties, one important pull factor for ABC men is the local women.
'Women here are more demure as compared to American women. In the US, gender lines are so blurred, it's nice to meet girls who are feminine,' says Zee.
Holman Chin, a 34-year-old screenwriter from San Francisco, adds: 'Singapore women are multi-cultural, multi-lingual, athletic and sophisticated. They are very, very attractive.'
It remains to be seen if more practical-minded Singapore women return that compliment.

What are your views on ABCs? Send your comments to

S'pore men say... BRING it on.
That's the consensus of 15 Singaporean men LifeStyle spoke to when asked how they felt about competition from ABCs for local women. There's nothing to be afraid of, they say.
'When an ABC comes along, they are attracted by the fact that they are different,' says Sebastian Shen, 28, a presenter with radio station Power 98. 'But after the initial phase, they will realise that there's nothing special about ABCs.'
The main attraction, they feel, centres on the cosmopolitan ways of ABCs who still maintain their Asian roots but have a Western outlook.
Thus, snagging an ABC is like getting the best of both worlds, with a 'get out of Singapore' green card thrown in if the relationship works out, says financial analyst Mike Chan, 33.
'They're the next best thing after ang mohs for Singaporean girls. They've got the American accent, are bigger built and they've got fairer complexions than most of us, if you're into that kind of thing,' he adds.
Local men might possess some Western traits, but it's just not the same.
Postgraduate student Lim Wah Long, 27, says: 'While younger Singaporean guys are generally more Westernised than the older generation, it's a pseudo-Western thing. Singaporeans are neither here nor there.'

While the Singaporean men say they do not feel inferior to ABCs in terms of abilities and achievements, five admit that most local guys simply lack the finesse that men from other cultures have when it comes to dating.
Engineer Shon Ong, 30, adds: 'We are what we think, and if one feels small compared to an ABC, then he will lose the attractiveness that the woman should be seeing.'
Public relations executive Gary Gan, 28, says: 'I don't know whether it's a case of our local women being snapped up by ABCs, or whether local Chinese men are not doing enough to prove themselves.'
Some Singapore women might also think that being with an ABC will bring them a better lifestyle.
'When we go to Thailand or China, some local girls throw themselves at us for the chance to live a better life away from their countries. So, local girls here also want a better life,' says Herman Loo, 28, who runs an investment company.
Ardi S. Hardjoe, 31, who works with a welfare organisation and spent about seven years studying in Britain, offers this perspective.
'For all we know, they might be the guys who can't make it back home and treat their stint here as a stepping stone. They stay for a while and then fly off, leaving the girl behind.' -- SHERWIN LOH

Hoo is he?
IF GARRETT HOO were Singaporean, he would probably be chastised for the career choice he made a few years ago.
The ABC from San Francisco quit his well-paying job as an aeronautical engineer to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles. He decided to seek his fortune in Singapore in 2001.
Garett Hoo, 32, California. -- ALAN LIM
'I don't live as materialistically as I did, but I'm much happier here,' says the affable 32-year-old who studied at San Francisco State University.
'Where else can I do what I enjoy doing in a place where I'm the majority in an English-speaking country? In the US, acting jobs for Asian-American men are so few and far between. But here, the possibilities are almost endless.'
To learn more about his roots and open more doors, the 1.8m-tall Fly Entertainment artist is taking an intensive Mandarin course at the National University of Singapore.
'I'm still very self-conscious about ordering food in Mandarin,' he says with a laugh. He can currently be seen in the Channel 8 serial Man At Forty playing an ABC playboy, Thomas.
He has also been cast in gay roles, like the lead protagonist Ben in The Necessary Stage's Mardi Gras.
'I feel it actually has made me more popular among both men and women. The women see a guy who is not afraid of himself and the men see a guy they can relate to.'
He says he has had six relationships in the past but is not seeing anyone at the moment.
Not one afraid to speak his mind, he gives an unequivocal 'yes' when asked if he feels ABC men are more attractive than local men.
'Singapore men lack something. I know a lot of guys who are very, very nice. But that's what they are, they're nice. The edginess is missing.'
Most ABCs here are more adventurous and outgoing because they are 'here for a purpose', says Hoo.
'When you compare us to local guys who are content with the status quo, they will pale somewhat in comparison.'
But he points out that the reverse is also true. 'The Singaporeans I've met in the US also have a sense of adventure. I guess getting them out of the norm is when they come alive.'

The facts, from A to Zee
Mark Zee, 23, Minnesota. -- ALBERT SIM
WHEN LifeStyle arranged to meet Mark Zee at a McDonald's restaurant, it was easy to spot him.
No, not because he had appeared on Channel 5's reality TV show Eye For A Guy.
Neither was it because of his boyishly cute looks, which apparently is the reason his students at Ngee Ann Polytechnic do not skip his 'laid-back' classes.
The 23-year-old lecturer in finance was easy to spot because he had just finished eating a burger and was about to bite into another.
Looking slightly embarrassed, he confesses: 'Yeah, I eat a lot. For lunch, I usually have to eat two or three char siew bao on top of rice, meat and vegetables.'
The 1.84m-tall imported hunk is, technically, not an ABC. He was actually born in Brazil. His parents, originally from China, had lived there since they were young. Zee moved to Minneapolis with his family when he was six.
'There's very little about me that is Chinese other than my blood. I feel like there's a part of me that's been neglected for quite a while,' says the easy-going man who also speaks Spanish and Portuguese.
'To me, it's an important time to define my sense of self better and I want to do that while I'm young. Part of that is coming to Asia and learning more about Asian culture.'
He shakes his head apologetically when asked if he knows what his surname is in Chinese.
'Oh, I have no idea, sorry. But I hope to learn some conversational Mandarin before I leave Singapore.'
After graduating from Princeton University, he came to Singapore last June on a fellowship programme to teach finance at Ngee Ann. Under the programme, fresh graduates from top foreign universities are offered one-year teaching contracts.
Asked if he is hit on by his female students, he says, chuckling: 'They see me every day, so I'm nothing special.'
He has extended his contract for another six months and admits shyly that it was done partly because of Rachel Lee, whom he met on Eye For A Guy.
'I didn't come here to meet a girl, but now the best thing about Singapore is Rachel. She's the first girl I've met here that I can really relate to on a level where we can take it to a relationship.'
As all three of his former girlfriends were Caucasian, his parents were actually 'resigned' to not having Chinese grandchildren.
Describing Lee as 'intelligent, sporty and cosmopolitan', the state swimming champion stresses that contrary to his playboy image, he does not like girls 'with just looks'.
'I think my accent has a lot to do with that image - that I'm just looking for a good time. There are definitely a lot of negative stereotypes out there, but I'm not one of them.'
As for his long-term plans, he says: 'I want to stay in Singapore until I stop learning. I know that eventually I do want to go back to the US. That's where my family and friends are.
'As for Rachel and me, we try not to look so far ahead. That sort of thing kind of scares me actually. I just know I'll be here for another year at least.'

Don't marry an ABC
Jackson Pek, 33, California. -- ENRIQUE SORIANO
BORN in New York, raised in Dallas and a former resident of San Francisco, Jackson Pek appears to be another regular ABC - except that he can order food using Bahasa Indonesia.
He learnt the language from his Indonesian Chinese father, who lived in Singapore for some years before moving to the United States where he met his Singaporean wife, who was then a nursing student in New York.
'I'm a Singaporean American,' the 33-year-old declares proudly in his American twang.
'That's the difference between me and all the other ABCs. I've ties here.'
Based in Singapore since 1997, the lawyer at an American multinational company also teaches law at the National University of Singapore.
Despite having travelled '51 times in the last 52 weeks', the 1.8m-tall New York University graduate managed to find time to appear in commercials for Caltex and SingTel.
Armed with such an impressive resume, one would expect him to have a superiority complex. But when asked to compare himself with local men, he replies: 'I'm fatter than they are.'
For the record, the self-confessed health nut weighs a lean 74kg.
'ABCs are gentlemanly, yes, but a lot of things we do are superficial, like opening doors. Local men have a long-term intention to build a family and take care of their in-laws.
'That doesn't happen in the US. If I married a woman there, I would have zero financial ties with her family. But I hope I'll take care of my in-laws if I do marry a local girl.'
Pek, who dated a Singaporean woman for several years, proceeds to sabotage his chances of finding a local wife by offering this piece of advice to Singapore women: 'Marry a local man. We may be fun to go out with, but you may have some nasty surprises down the road. We're very non-committal. It's an American thing.'

Give me women with ideas
SCREENWRITER Holman Chin, 34, is not a man who minces his words.
On why he packed his bags and left his hometown San Francisco in early 2001, he says: 'Because George Bush became president.'
The explanation, delivered softly in a sad voice, comes so quickly it takes a moment to realise he is not joking.
For two months after he left, he lived in Hong Kong ('too expensive'), Shanghai and Beijing ('I don't like China') and Tokyo ('I don't speak Japanese') before deciding on Singapore.
'It's English-speaking, inexpensive and I love the weather.'
A graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, he has a degree in marketing and finance and calls himself a 'headhunter's nightmare'.
Property appraiser, casting agent, stockbroker, bartender and antique dealer are among the long list of jobs he has taken on in the US.
After arriving here three years ago, he became an advertising sales director, then an art gallery manager. Standing tall at 1.84m, he also found himself being cast in commercials for Brand's Essence of Chicken and Tiger beer.
'In the US, they never use Asian American men. But here, I guess I'm a bit taller than local guys.'
Now, he runs production house Crimson Forest Films, and will star in the soon-to-be released independent movie Tequila, a dark tale about four long-time friends.
'I'm a hybrid, I have the best of both worlds. But culturally, I identify more with Asia than with America,' says the unassuming man who speaks Cantonese, Shanghainese and French, which he learnt in school.

Holman Chin, 34, California. -- DESMOND WEE
His doctor father died about 12 years ago and his mother is a real estate broker.
A good friend of ABC actor Robin Leong, Chin is currently dating a 'well-read, funky' Singapore woman - his second Singaporean girlfriend.
'She's opinionated. That's why I love her. I can't go out with anyone complacent. But she says she has intimidated a lot of local guys.'
Asked point-blank if he thinks ABC men are stealing Singapore girls, he smiles and says: 'No more than white expat men.
'If local guys want to see it as a competition, that's fine. But it's a healthy competition.'


Know your ABCs How old are they? 20s to 30s. Where are they from? All over the United States, but primarily from San Francisco and New York. What do they do? They work in a wide range of sectors, but mostly in the media and banking industries, with an increasing number teaching in local universities. Where do they stay? River Valley, Orchard Road and Bukit Timah areas. Where do they eat? Restaurants which offer large and/or unlimited servings of meat, places which serve dumplings and hawker centres. Where do they buy their groceries? Cold Storage. Where do they shop? In the US, as there is a variety of styles and sizes not available here.What do they wear? What most Americans wear - T-shirts and jeans. Brands like Hugo Boss, Richard Tyler, Zara and Levis are popular. Where do they hang out? The American Club, gyms, cafes in River Valley and Holland Village and Borders. What sports do they like? Basketball, tennis and running. What do they drive? BMWs. What kind of girls do they like? Girls who like them despite their accents. What kind of girls do they dislike? Girls who like them because of their accents. What else do they like? Black T-shirts and the words 'definitely' and 'absolutely'.

Disclaimer: Am only placing this article up because the link disappears after 3 days. And I really think this article is a good read... =D

our wedding anniversary
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excitement building up

well well well... our opening is finally here. nothing auspicious with lion dance as i was hoping after all my fengshui studies... but exciting nevertheless cos of all the VIPs we're expecting. General managers and proprietors of food and beverage outlets all congregated under one roof.... ok maybe only 60 or so people congregated under one roof cos this was done pretty last minute and most VIPs have their schedules planned a month ahead of time.

back's kinda aching tho... don't think the chinese sinseh did ANYTHING to help improve my back from yesterday's torturous treatment. my back still feels sore... and now it's not only sore from fatigue, it's also sore cos my poor skin has been beaten so many times by the meat tenderizer. sniFF...

tonite got ba zi class and i still haven't finished watching the vcd of one class i missed. sigh... have been holding on to that vcd for the past 2 wks... shld probably return it asap but just can't find the energy and time to watch it.

alrite... gotta get back to work work

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bloody weekend continued

i will never make a good nurse.
Not just because i have a terrible temper and can be quite impatient but mainly because i just don't like seeing blood. i can't say i feel faint at the sight of blood... but i definitely don't feel good... especially when the blood belongs to me. maybe it's the possessive side of me... but i just don't like the idea of bleeding. or maybe because for me, my monthly bleeding is often associated with bad cramps and overwhelming lethargy.

i will never look at a meat tenderizer the same way.
sunday was my worst treatment out of the three i've had so far under the hands of the chinese lady sinseh ('doctor' for those of you who don't understand singrish). i think she was maybe out to prove something because my mum and i were not quite sure if her past 2 treatments had been that effective. so she said she gave us a stronger dose this time. in our case, it meant harder thumps with the meat tenderizer from hell and a couple more jabs with that tiny but lethal knife she uses on the acupuncture points in our ears.
only relief for me was that she managed to sedate the almost paralysing pain i was suffering from one of my more severe cramps. haven't had such a bad cramp in a while where i was actually making soft moans while my dad was driving us there in the CRV.

all in all, too much bleeding for me...

Friday, June 04, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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bone tired

drove down to bras basah to do some shopping for the pandan road showroom opening Cocktail Reception. ran up and down the four floors looking for paper, silver/gold ink pens and "With Compliments" gift cards for the VIP guests. finally completed all purchases with my last stop at raffles city's Cards N Such... (can't believe 1 teeny weeny gift card is $1 each!).

then had crepes with Rao from Arc. he's the guy who's been helping out with my wedding arrangements with Raffles Hotel. he has ALOT of connections and is definitely a foodie. anyhow, found out by accident that he's born in the dog year. really grateful for his assistance cos it'll probably guarantee excellent service and already he's told me that he managed to get better quality house wines at the same price. woohoo!

alright feeling much less sleepy now after my second daily dose of caffeine is just about absorbed into my blood hehe... neck still feels strained but hopefully some sleep tonite will help. have been sleeping pretty late (nearly midnight) the past few days. that's about 7 hours of sleep per day... not quite enough i think.

o ya!!! before i forget. guess what!? yati found my laptop! it disappeared from my house awhile before my May trip. she helped me to search for it back then but apparently, it didn't cross her mind that the laptop she tucked away in my brother's room is actually MINE! sigh... i'm just glad it wasn't stolen by some repairman or something.

back to caffeine-induced-productivity...

our wedding anniversary
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chinese sinseh

so last night i went to see a chinese sinseh with my aunts and parents. it all began with a call from my ah-yi kathy, all excited about this miracle worker who could heal illnesses, enlarge your breasts and induce appetite loss. she was planning on bringing an aunt with problems conceiving for consultation and it ended up in a family excursion of 6 adults.

my dad went there only because my mum was going. he wasn't intending to get any healing since he feels perfectly healthy. i nearly didn't take the treatment because it involved ear acupuncture and also piercing the back with some kind of meat tenderizer-like contraption n then using a small glass bottle with fire to suck that area. depending on your health, you would either bleed alot or in worse situations, bleed dark red to black blood.

don't think i have the time to go into the individual treatments we received so just going to touch on my personal experience.

the doc told me i have menstrual cramps and also that I can't eat too much fried food. this i already knew from studying my four pillars. she proceeded to poke my ears with a needle about 10-15 times per ear. then covered the ear with cotton wool and used the 'meat tenderizer' to poke my back. the pain was obviously not as bad as i expected (it seldom is because fear tends to paint a scarier picture) but it was bad enough such that if i don't see any improvement after her standard 5 treatments, i'm definitely not continuing.

so anyhow... this morning after the treatment... my back does feel better! i'm pretty sure it's not just my imagination because the tension around the base of my neck is almost non-existent and my arms are not even the slightest bit numb after all these typing. hehe

think we're gonna try to go for a treatment this afternoon. me and my mum...

Thursday, June 03, 2004

our wedding anniversary
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woohoo! changed my template!

this is so fun! now i can have a template with my lucky colors and have great archiving with even a comment function!

okok... so i'm totally new to blogging and this is probably standard stuff already. heh... now i just need to figure out how i can add smileys n stuff...

okie lunch time! yummy!

our wedding anniversary
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nasty experience with blogger

had the weirdest experience with a blogger from a food-related website, shiokd********.com. feel soooo 'wronged' by her hidden agenda of bad customer service suffered at my company when all i wanted to do was say hi on a personal level. how was i to know that in spite of mentioning my company on her blog, she actually had a bad experience once and has been going around crapping about my company?

weirdest of all, she seems to have a very set notion of what makes a good apology and what doesn't, is confused about business vs personal email accounts and what the nature of their content should be, and provides pretty bad customer service herself to readers of her website who just happened to be working in a company she bought some things from. (apparently she feels that an apology must contain certain words in a specific sentence structure. otherwise it is tantamount to justifying a mistake and not nearly close to being an apology.)

i'm thinking that to her, one less reader is not a big deal (cos she has "HUNDREDS" of emails to her a day, or so she says). so maybe she'll realise that in my company's case, one small non-industry buyer like her is also not a big deal. we've got indonesian tais tais and what not buying from us as much household stuff as a small restaurant. we really don't need customers who think too highly of themselves and contribute less than 0.0001% of our profit margin. ok so maybe i dunno how much she buys from us... but really, i don't give a damn. i can be as polite as she wants from my company's perspective but when i emailed her, i made it clear that it was out of personal curiosity. she had no business taking out her agenda for my company on me when she DECIDED to reply to my personal email address instead of my work email!

she was the one with a hidden agenda. and in her own words, behaved in "very bad taste" to say the least. so i've blocked her from my personal email. not gonna waste any more time replying to petty people with nothing better to do than to think up how apology letters should be written, word for word. she has my work email and she can email all she wants to that account. just really amazed at the kind of people one meets on the world wide web.

ok... that's my rant of the week. moral of the story, don't be too nice to people. not in person OR on the worldwideweb. unless u are truly bored. cos they may read the email wrongly and think they have the right to crap (AND SMEAR THE CRAP all over) your effort to be friendly.