Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Be Quiet

Today was a slight improvement, in terms of holding my tongue- or so I thought. 

When my dad came to pick me up from work to go for a run, we got into this heated debate about whether or not internships are necessary after graduation from college. Thing is, I hardly ever disagree with my dad when it comes to life topics. I always look up to his opinions because he's been around way longer than I have, and he usually turns out to be right! However, during today's conversation, I just couldn't bring myself to agree with him. 

It got me really frustrated after a while. 

I texted Talia about it to vent a little bit (sorry about that randomness haha), but right in the middle of my texting, I suddenly remembered what I blogged about last night. 




Well, the good thing is that we never brought the conversation far enough for it to become a debate or even an argument. Yet I was quite disturbed by how much it bothered me. 

It really is true that when you set your heart to do God's will, the devil is always right there tempting you! 

Anyways, this week sure is rolling by fast. This Thursday I'll be attending the Penn Olson's Asian Startup Conference for work. The last conference I attended was the Eastern Economic Conference in 2010 and that was one of the most boring things I've ever been to. Hope this Thursday and Friday will be very different affair!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Don't Speak

I've been thinking... 

Sometimes it's easy to feel like you're being judged too quickly. 

These are some examples of what people who hardly know me have said to me recently (if you recognise any of these are your own words, please don't be offended, because I wasn't, and I'm not naming names! So it may not be you...)

"oh, you must not know what it's like in America"

"oh, you must not know where Marine Parade is 'cause you sound ang moh"

"yeah your parents give you a huge allowance right?"

"you must club a lot"

"you're still young, you need to date some people first and get more experience before making decisions"


There's always this overwhelming urge to justify myself. Sometimes, I get real fired up in conversations with other people who assume I have no knowledge about what they're talking about. Inside, I'm burning to say: "you idiot, I've been doing that way longer than you! I've experienced it firsthand and you have no idea what you're talking about!" 

Always always, that desire to prove that I am RIGHT and they are WRONG. To show that I am KNOWLEDGEABLE and they are IGNORANT. 

I think my pride has been getting out of hand recently. 

I find myself speaking out of place, at the wrong time. Butting into overheard conversations, offering unwelcome advice and barging into business not my own. 

Isn't it I, whose been the one judging prematurely this whole time? Does it not take one judgmental person to know another?

James 3:8 says "but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." How true a description this has been of my tongue recently!

Dear God, I pray that You will tame this restless evil in my mouth. As a human being, I am not capable of controlling my tongue, let alone my thoughts! So I pray that whatever I think, speak or do will be brought under Your supreme authority. That everything that comes forth from this vessel (my body) will be a blessing to others, edifying and loving in every way. Give me more grace! Give me a spirit of patience, humility, kindness and love. I lay myself low before Your throne O God! If there is any prideful way in me, I ask that You will tear it down, never to be built up again. May I count as loss all things, but boast in Christ alone! Help me to remember that nothing in this short life really matters except doing Your will. Let nothing affect my gaze except to lavish it on Your face dear Jesus! In Your name, Amen. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012


I've been reading this book Talia gave me for Christmas- Passion And Purity by Elizabeth Elliot. The first time I'd ever heard of Ms. Elliot is in the movie End of The Spear. She was the late missionary, Jim Elliot's wife. Even in that movie, I marvelled at how courageous she was in continuing her husband's mission work even though he was killed by the very people he came to share the gospel with. 

In her book, Ms. Elliot writes about her experience as a young college girl. The Christian love life is definitely not a boring one. It is a life filled with commitment, waiting, trust- and lots of ups and downs. 

I guess in the past few months, I've been gradually losing faith in some parts of my life. I won't elaborate on what those parts are- and they're not necessarily about finding love or a job. 

And I'm gonna be completely honest here: many nights these days, I don't even read my Bible anymore. I used to read it every night, along with a devotion. I really really miss those nights where it was like God's Word just poured out like sweet water, watering my spirit. I don't know what combination of factors led to this dried up feeling, but I find my heart wandering again. 

Ms. Elliot mentioned one thing in her book which stood out to me though. She said people like to either live in the past or the future, then they end up missing the present. 

Ever since I moved back to Singapore, I've been lamenting the loss of edifying Christian fellowship in my life. I've been missing ICN and nights at CLIMB because compared to "over there", Christian fellowship "over here" is so draining and not really encouraging at all. I feel disjointed and cut off. I could ramble on and on about how imperfect things are now, but I hear a gentle voice telling me not to keep dwelling in the past. So what if things were better back then? So what if there was a Christian radio station back in the States but none here? 

What matters is that God is here. He's been here the whole time. He never changed His position relative to me. He's always been my Saviour, friend, father, counsellor... In my darkest of days to my most joyous occasions, He's really always been the only one who truly cared and who truly knew what was going on i my deepest thoughts. 

He knows my heart. 

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my emotions and my wandering tendencies. 

It's like I'm driving a high-speed motor vehicle on an icy expressway and when the corners come up, I start careening and swerving like mad. I try to straighten the wheel but the car sways and I wonder what I'm doing wrong?

It's so easy to say that we should let Jesus take the wheel, but what does that really mean anyway? 


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chinese New Year 2012

I'm sitting in the office now and there's a lion dance going on upstairs. The clashing and banging of the drums are making me so HYPER! I actually haven't seen a single lion dance at all this Chinese New Year (tv doesn't count). 

Sad face.

Last week, there was this gorgeous double rainbow that appeared in the sky after a terrible thunderstorm. Lots of people were talking about it on Feecha, Facebook and Twitter. I happened to be eating dinner when I saw it outside the window. It kinda took my breath away; not only because it was so beautiful, but because I had been getting impatient and mad at God about something just a few minutes before. When I saw the rainbow, I suddenly realised that God was reminding me of His faithfulness. Unlike man, God will never break his promises. 

That night, out of sheer boredom, Shirley and I went to watch Journey 2 and play at the arcade in Cineleisure. 

In case you were wondering, Journey 2 is a horrible movie. 'Nuff said on my end. Go watch it for yourself if you're not convinced!

Had one of the earliest breakfasts ever, at 03:00 in the morning. Can't believe there's Xin Wang Cafe that's still open at that time till 04:00! They have such a great variety of food as well. Can you believe they actually have borscht in the menu? It's actually just Campbell's tomato soup with dribblets of veggies in it. Kinda salty, tastes nothing like real Russian borscht, but I like it!

My rollerblading fever has not subsided. In fact, it's getting worse. On Chinese New Year's Eve, my itching legs dragged me to ECP for a quick blading session.

Thank God for Talia cycling with me that day! We were caught in the thunderstorm and if she hadn't towed me some of the way back, I might not have made it. 

Our house is all decorated for Chinese New Year. New Year's Eve is when the family gathers together for 团圆饭 (reunion dinner) and we eat our hearts out. This year is especially special because it'll be the first time in almost a decade that all of us are together again for reunion dinner.

Nanny is very happy to have her grandsons back in the same country as her :D I assume she's happy I'm back too....... 

Lots of food! 

Sunday was 初一, the first day of the new year. As with our usual custom, we went to Nanny's house in the morning bearing oranges.

During Chinese New Year, we're supposed to wear new clothes. I got my dress at Warehouse for a mere $40 back during Christmas. It used to cost $109! So glad that I bought it beforehand. I wasn't about to enter the crazy pre-CNY shopping crowd in town just to wait 15 minutes for a changing room!

Every dish here is significant. For example, the green veggies are called 大菜 (read as "da cai"). It sounds like "big fortune"- so that's why we're eating it. We're eating "big fortune" haha!

Don't you think their outfits are soooo cute?!

Got to eat some of my favourite candies while visiting relatives. I haven't eaten these for years!

Think we went to a total of four places before 17:00 on Sunday. 

By the end of the day, the boys had collected a nice bundle of 红包 (red packets). 

初二 (second day of CNY) seemed to arrive in a blink of an eye. I spent the day with my paternal side of the family. Felt like a bloated pig for the most part of the day. Bleh!

At least the late afternoon ended on a more relaxing note. I got to hang out a bit with my sister :)

My 收获 (loot) at the end of two days of visiting and dining. 

Now I'm tired. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Just Work & Initial D

The resolution to blog more during the week is always easier said than done. It's already Wednesday and I haven't blogged about a single thing since last week. 

I just came back from dinner with my dad, took a bath and I'm sitting in bed now. Before diving into some Initial D (I'll talk about that later), I better write something.

These days, I've been thinking about what to do after my internship ends in February. Think my contract is up in about three weeks. During these past months, I've learnt a lot about the tech world and how things are run in a small start-up company. However my dad's been hinting for a long time now that I should probably try doing something else. He thinks that they're exploiting me! LOL.

I guess that's what internships are all about essentially.

Cheap labour.

But I don't mind, at least not for now. I'm just soaking it all up and finding out more about what kind of working life I'm likely to flourish in, and what kind I'm likely to perish in.

This is what I've got so far:

1) I don't respond well to negative feedback, however positive feedback gives my productivity level a big boost.
2) I enjoy having big responsibilities but don't care enough for the smaller ones.
3) I can't stay in the office all day or I'll die.
4) I love working with people- the more fun interaction, the better.


It's like I'm back to square one. What kind of job would I really do well in then? 

For some reason, as weeks go by, I'm starting to feel that perhaps I'm just not cut out to do this current community manager shindig. I mean, I'm fine with being an intern and everything, but I don't feel like I'm a necessary piece in this start-up. I just don't see how I'm contributing enough to garner a salary.

Anyway, I'm done thinking about this work thing tonight. Don't get me wrong, I still really enjoy this job, I'm just trying to be honest with myself about where this is all going......

Okay anyway!

Yes, it's almost time for INITIAL D- which by the way, is only one of the best manga/animes ever!

I've already watched the entire anime three times (all four stages), and I'm currently re-watching it for the fourth time. Still not sick of it. Each episode is still as exciting as ever. Every time I go out to rollerblade now, the songs just keep playing in my head. If there was ever a time that I missed my Honda Civic EX, it's now. 


Oh yes, speaking of rollerblade, I'm gonna be out every Friday night now, blading from Orchard to MBS. I did it last week and now I can't wait for the next Friday to come! It was AWSUM. Just thinking about it gets my heart pounding. This week there will be more people joining me. Last week it was just Chen and I. *Cue crickets* Haha, but okay it was still fun!

Alright it's past midnightto. 

See ya!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Rollerblading, Dinner & Talents

The reason I'm still up at this time of the night is because I just came home from rollerblading.... from Orchard Road to Marina Bay Sands and back! It was soooo awesome, my heart is still pounding from the adrenaline of blading on the street. I don't know what it is, but I just feel so free when I'm blading down the pedestrian path. Rollerblading is such a great way to tour Singapore! I really regret not bringing my camera. I decided not to at the last moment because it felt a little bulky in my fanny pack, but I most definitely will next time. The riverfront area looks really beautiful at night especially without the crowds of people.

Anyway, below are a few pictures that I did take during the past week.

I had dinner with XiaoTong on Tuesday. She hasn't changed much since our TK days, except that she's skinnier now. But she's still just as bubbly, smiley and chirpy!

We ate at... *drumroll*.... Sun With Moon at Wheelock Place again! Because I still had coupons left over, haha!

Finally decided to try the Agedashi Tofu, but it wasn't that great. I like when the tofu is real smooth on the inside but crispy on the outside. I can tell from the ridges on the side of this tofu though, that it's been bought from some supermarket. Kind of killed my impression of it. 

Salmon roll was whatever. Didn't taste particularly fresh.

As usual, the tonkatsu ramen hit the spot. I'm still not sick of ramen! Though from my last three posts, it seems like that's all I've been eating... 

Yesterday Val came for dinner. Audrey left early because she was really tired and wanted to sleep a certain number of hours for work the next day. I really admire her discipline in going home to sleep no matter what! I definitely do not have that kind of self-control when it comes to sleeping or eating according to a set schedule. Just check me out now blogging at 03:25 in the morning.

So this morning I tuned in to CLIMB via Skype for a very brief moment, but it was enough for me to hear what God wanted me to. 

The three men who were given talents in the Bible. That was the chapter Jay was talking about. Coincidentally (according to God's plan), it was the very thing I was reading about the night before. I knew that it was something I needed to pay attention to, but honestly I'm not sure what now. 

All I know is, God landed me in this job, at this particular office, with these very people for a very specific reason. 

A while ago, my boss started saying that he'd like to start attending church again. Once in a while, we'd have these conversations about Christianity and church, but there just seems to be something that's either missing or holding him back. 

Then tonight as I was out rollerblading with another coworker, he began asking me about what made me change so drastically and I told him that it was Jesus Christ. God changed me. I could never change myself even if I wanted to. 

I know God has given me different gifts and talents, but one day He is going to ask me what I did with them. Am I going to bury them in the field somewhere, or am I going to risk what I've been given in order to produce a harvest of righteousness later? 

I thank you Lord Jesus, for every single opportunity you've given me to witness to other people. Help me to be a shining example of Christ living in me at all times. I pray that I will always be humble at Your feet, giving You all the glory and praise. I pray that my life story will become a story written by You, for You. In Jesus' name, Amen. 

Amen, and have a blessed night everybody! 


Thursday, January 12, 2012

Life & Running

Life's picked up again right after the new year started. I've been going out a bit more, doing random stuff.

I did some geocaching at night. 

Some reading and rolling in bed during the day.

Finally met up with Lizzie after her return from the UK.

We ate at Sun With Moon, this Japanese restaurant in Wheelock Place. I've been eating here almost every week because I have $50 worth of coupons to spend there, haha! 

I usually end up ordering the same thing- ramen ramen ramen. Their tonkatsu (pork) ramen is really good, but so is their Hokkaido ramen. Apparently the Hokkaido ramen's stock is heavier than the tonkatsu stock, but I don't know much about that; I haven't actually made an effort to compare the two different stocks. 

Lizzie's hotpot looked good too. 

Last Saturday I walked from Orchard to Dhoby Ghaut with Rachel. 

Wandered to Orchard Central, where I got the impression that it is the new Heeren. I think pretty much all the cool shops from Heeren have moved out and into Orchard Central's upper floors. 

Some shop spaces are still empty.

Others are already operating.

Many sell quirky stuff that's only useful for one thing: gifts for other people. 

I came across a canal with fish in it! *Puts my fishing cap on....* There were so many, and they looked big too! 

Hidden away in Istana Park is this place called Art Palate Cafe. It's really cool! There's a breezy eating area near the front entrance where you can have tea and some food.

The entire little building seems to be made of glass and wood. The place feels airy and carefree. Surprisingly, there's no greenhouse effect even with the hot Singaporean sun shining through the roof. 

On the upper floor, there are people painting and relaxing.

View from the second floor down. 

Singapore's been enjoying some really nice weather actually, despite it being the rainy season.

On Sunday, I treated my family to dinner. Guess it's a tradition of some sort for the kid to treat her parents to dinner out of her first pay cheque. Though it's not my first actual proper pay cheque, it somehow feels appropriate because this is like my first legit job in Singapore. 

Wasabi octopus appetizer.

I took them to Nirai Kanai Okinawan Diner in Tanglin Shopping Center because the restaurant is closing down on January 15th (that's in three days!) It's really a shame because the food here is really good and the chefs and all the staff are straight from Okinawa, Japan. They're closing down because the chefs are moving back to Okinawa. 

I wanted to let my parents eat here at least once before the place closes. There will still be another branch left in Liang Court but I don't think the chefs there are from Okinawa.

Needless to say, the night ended well. It feels great to finally be on the treating end of the dinner. I think my dad enjoys not having to foot the bill for once, haha! 

That's my past week in a nutshell. 

On a different note, I still haven't been running regularly. In fact, I haven't run at all this week. I rollerbladed, but it's not as effective as running. As a result, I can feel all this tension building up inside of me. It needs to be released through a good hour's run, but I just can't seem to get up early enough these days! I think it's because I've been sleeping around 01:00. I need about 7 hours of sleep to tide me over. Anything less and my ears will refuse to hear the alarm clock in the morning. 

I feel so pissed at myself for that. 

It's already been 12 days into 2012 and still can't do one straight week of running? Where did all my discipline go? I feel like I shouldn't even call myself a runner anymore. I cannot believe that I used to run twice a day and gym every single evening (plus swimming twice a week). Looking back at all that, it seems so impossible. 

And I know I'm not getting any younger. I see my friends who are in their thirties getting tired easily- and I think to myself: Am I gonna be like that in just a few short years? 


Before I let my brain and body turn to mush, I must absolutely make the most of every single year I've got! I must use up every ounce of energy that comes with being young, single and in my twenties! 


Dear God, every good gift comes from You. I thank you for healthy legs and lungs. Thank you for reminding me that in not using a gift, I am thwarting the desire of the gifter. Help me to utilise all my gifts and blessings to my full potential, so as to give You all the glory! In Jesus' name I pray, Amen. 

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Monthly Report

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the super exclusive, rare exotic species of friend: Ms. Huimin! I don't know about you, but I generally have a pretty hard time trying to get her to come hang out. So meeting up with her for lunch on Tuesday was quite a special event.

I had a terrible craving for ramen that day, so we walked all over Great World City just looking for a reasonably-priced Japanese restaurant. It took us about fifteen minutes of back-and-forth walking, but we finally settled on Bishamon (next to McDonalds). I ordered spicy pork ramen, but was very disappointed in the end. The ramen itself was fine, but the soup was terrible. They shouldn't even call it "spicy" to begin with. Even the instant noodles,  Shin Ramun tastes better!

Huimin's baked pasta tasted slightly better. You could really taste a hint of baked cheese in it. 

Anyway, here's a bit of a digression... This is what you see when you first walk into my office. Yes, it's called Ching Chong *cue snorting laughter*

This is part of the view from the eleventh floor.

The view from another angle.

Yesterday, I went out to dinner with Ashley and her family. We had steamboat at Jpot in Vivocity. 

Besides the laksa soup, my favourite dish of the night has got to be this cute-looking dessert. It's bandung curd with nata de coco and sago seeds! Super yummy and refreshing! I know what you're thinking... It looks very sweet; but actually, the sweetness level tasted just right. 

Wow. This post was just all over the place.

I think my head kinda feels that way too. 

Yesterday, my boss gave me a monthly performance report. In a nutshell, I didn't do well. I've been falling short on quite a few things such as being proactive. I also need to work harder on my communication skills. I realised that a lot of problems really stemmed from my lack of transparency with the work I'm doing. Instead of updating my boss regularly, I've been busy living in my own world while he's wondering if I'm doing any work at all. 

But no worries! I'm grateful for such constructive criticism. Now that I know exactly what I have to work on, all I have to do is improve on those things, right?


Yesterday and today, I began to feel stressed at work for the first time. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I started to really feel "responsible". Not that I felt irresponsible before, but I just began to understand how much weight I actually bear in the company. They didn't just hire me for some little internship- I'm actually here to help build something

I don't know how to explain it without it coming out wrong either way. 

But basically, the ultimate realisation pointed in a single direction--->

I need God's help. 

Without His guidance, His support, His wisdom, His strength, there is just no way I'm going to be able to survive through the next few months or even years. There are so many things I need to get done at work, but 80% of what I'm doing depends entirely on factors that I cannot control. Who can I turn to to help me then? Only God can help me. Only He can turn dead ends into new beginnings, the desert into a fresh spring. 

Dear God, there are many things that I still do not understand. There are many ways in which I still fall short, but You are perfect and full of wisdom. You are in control of all things- the universe was established by Your Word. I just pray that You will guide my every step as I commit my job and life to You. Help me to see things the way You do. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.