Stars They Are Just Like Us.

I wake up. A yellow bird is singing her lungs out. The same one that has been singing every morning at 7am perhaps? In any case, I enjoy her rendition of peace.

Then I realized the music of the waves became more pronounced. I see. Yellow bird has stopped singing. She is probably off stretching in the gym. Her regime is flying.

I make myself a cup of Japanese drip coffee. In the not too distant sea, a cruise ship has docked. My mum has returned from her Penang trip I smiled, thinking to myself how independent mum is and how I rarely need to worry about her being lonely. Even though she has lived alone for the most part of her adult life. The two men in her life did not deserve her company. One is my dad. And the other one is too insignificant for me to hate. Men simply leave, when they recognize that no matter how much they abuse you, you are not going to fall. My mum is used to abandonment and neglect. Her mother did not pay much attention to her as well. It is natural I guess, when you have too many children and too little money. Maybe that was why my mum married my dad when she was only 21. And then she had me a year later. Baby Sharon. And then dad left. And she left me too.

How did my serene morning bring me back to my not-so-happy childhood? The fact is, I was too young to be affected or unhappy. I knew I did not live with my parents. But I did not know the difference anyway. There was no comparison. Yes, I saw my friends with their papa and mama. I found it sweet of course. But er..no thanks, I can tie my own bata shoelace. And no no, I prefer to carry my own school bag thank you very much. I am proud of my heavy school bag, overloaded with textbooks and workbooks, every page scribbled with my curious remarks. I was not unhappy. I had many friends whom I love chatting with. I told them I had super powers. I could move things. Like a leaf. I could also command rain. I could do that if we wanted to skip PE class. My friends said yeah do it do it. And I focused with all my might, closed my eyes, and shouted the magic word “LEAF”. Why “leaf”? The word just came to me. It was not premeditated. I guess I was thinking of “LEAVE”. A word that would have made more sense to any psychiatrist, since my parents “left” me.

It did not rain, as I commanded. My friends were so sweet, God bless them. They told me maybe I did not have enough energy as that was before our lunch break. I said “yea, let’s try again after I have a bite. ”

This went on and on. Day after day. Slowly, my friends drifted away from me. And I asked the sky (I had no doubt God lived up there), why did my superpower leave me too? I am losing my friends. God replied, “Find your other superpower, you have many.”

I found it not long after. I realized I could make my friends laugh quite easily. I started to tell jokes and reenact scenarios of my life, all of which I made up. And I soon became the class clown, and I was popular again.

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How To Really Enjoy Niseko, Hokkaido

Four fabulous tips from a first-timer.

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1. Don’t Rush

There is a reason wise men say do not “tread on thin ice”. Not only will you stumble, fall and maybe drown – often uncontrollably and in the most unglamorous fashion – you may end up doing all three in front of the ultra cool ski coach you were trying to impress. Hence, stroll. Don’t rush. And never ever tell the ojisan and obasan at my favourite cafe in Niseko (IF Cafe) to hurry with your orders. Every drip of coffee, every pot of creamy pasta sauce, every dollop of mascarpone cheese topping is prepared from scratch and with love. こだわり (Kodawari): The one word you need to know when it comes to Japanese culture.

2. Don’t Stinge

Niseko is not a place (in my unhumble opinion) to travel on a budget. To fully profit from your stay in Japan’s #1 premium ski resort , stay in one of the swanky hotels at Grand Hirafu, preferably one with a view of Hokkaido’s spectacular backcountry and the breathtaking snowcapped Mount Yotei. Many hotels are merely a few hops away from the slopes – perfect for the serious skier. If you are a beginner like me, enjoy standing tall and proud in your ski gear, because you are about to fall flat on your face right in front of kids who have just completed their double-black runs. Don’t forget to pamper yourself with world-class concierge service, one that arranges everything from best cheesecake and coffee deliveries to ski/snowboard/snowshoe hikes, onsens and dinner reservations at Rakuichi.

3. Don’t Grumble

Things will go wrong. Murphy says so. My flight to New Chitose Airport was cancelled after I waited for six hours, no thanks to the heaviest snowfall in 50 years. All flights to Sapporo were fully booked for the the next three days. I had to fly to Hakodate, and take a three-and-a-half-hour taxi ride that cost JPY62000 (approximately S$770) before I finally arrived at Niseko. You might have read about how groups of Chinese tourists had clashed with Japanese policemen and caused riots due to the flight delays. If only I had the chance to share with them how we could all deal with immense frustrations by singing. I serenaded “let it go~let it go~”, followed by “let it snow let it snow let it snow~”. It worked. Even if it was annoying to my fellow travellers.

4. Just Ski

It is as easy as ABC. Really. Get a competent coach. I had two – my godsons, Ethan (13 years old) and Kiefer (10 years old). Watch how gracefully I skied.

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Martini Monday

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Today is #SpeakMyMind Day. Tired of being meek and quiet Asian woman. Today I shall be brave enough to say what’s on my mind.

Cathartic just writing it. In a way, the women tale of woe is rather similar to anyone of you who have ever felt this level of exasperation working in a society with double standards. A woman cannot be unattractive, or old, or too smart (for her own good). How many times have you been advised to “play dumb”? When you are angry it must be that time of the month hence you are cranky. If you unfortunately hold some power, you are likely to have slept with someone or killed someone to get there “corporate bitch”. You will be interviewed for your work, but the headlines will most probably read “She Has Broken Up With Boyfriend” “She Is Still #Single” “She Is Single Hence A #Lesbian“. This is amusing until it is not. Ok it is still #funny. I am still grateful I was born female.

But don’t you mess with mama. I am running a business not running for Top 10 Most Popular Award.

Don’t be mad, be prepared.

 

 

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Show Me The Money

Charity auction on https://shop.stylexstyle.com/sxsturns4 from 6-30 Oct. All proceeds go to the charity of each celeb’s choice. I pledge my portrait to http://www.scwo.org.sg/index.php/star-shelter the only secular crisis centre for abused women and children.

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When I Meet Trump.

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We face our own male and female Donald Trumps everyday everywhere.

Question is, how to do a Hillary Shimmy when you meet one.

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Code Red.

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Be a game changer in your own way. You don’t have to change the world. You can start with yourself first.

  1. Remember you don’t have to win every battle. Sometimes in defeat, you gain more than in victory.
  2. Be assertive. You will never need to raise your voice.
  3. See the bigger forest, don’t focus on one tree.
  4. Always extend an olive branch, even to your enemies.
  5. There are no enemies. Just teachers.
  6. Share. Share your love, your energy, your wealth, your joy.

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Flower Power

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