Hello 2018.

You said, “there is life and there is work”.

From as long as I could remember work was everything to me. I derived immense pleasure from the challenges I face in the course of my career and I prided myself to being the needle in the haystack, not the haystack.

But as we enter the year 2018, a year which would have me turn 43 years of age, I thought to myself, that I should perhaps choose “life”? And maybe if I see enough and write it down, I would finally remember what it means, to be me. For me, living is a glittering lure, of surprises and opportunities, where you meet people who change your direction, or force you, to take a pause.

Wish me luck as I embark on a new challenge: to love and understand the people in my life, including myself.

Have a joyous 2018, and may we all get better with time.

Life is nothing but a series of hellos and goodbyes. Smile anyway.

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Up or Out. 

I’ve stopped dreaming. I just do. Do all that I’ve been thinking of. Make it happen. I don’t want to play the “what-would-you-do-if-you-have-6-more-months-to-live”- game anymore. I don’t want to die a dreamer.


You will never be ready or ready enough. To make a leap you have to first jump. No amount of preparation will be sufficient. You can weigh all the pros and cons you and your friends can think of. But you will never advance, if you do not make the first step. Jump, and regret later.

The thing is, there is no regret. Once you braved your fears and move from that stationary point you held on to so desperately, you will laugh at how unnecessary your hesitation was. There will be no looking back. I did it. Now your turn.


Everyday we struggle between the sensitivity of art in front of our eyes and the conneries of the world. Parents, there is absolutely no way you can protect your children from materials you deemed inappropriate on TV or online. I encourage you to teach them to be open and discerning instead. I don’t have children hence you might say I have no right to talk about upbringing. Alors i was brought up in one of the worst circumstances myself. When I was 5-7 years old I even stayed with my grandma in a brothel because she ran the place.

And content creators, if you don’t have any point of view, you are just a messenger conveying what everyone already knows. You are wasting our time.


I don’t know why I am writing this. I just want to that’s all. Paris opens me up. Singapore, however your beauty is best appreciated from afar. And I still love you. From afar. #UpOrOut

New beginnings are blessings. They come from endings. Remember that.

Make Your Own Mistakes 


90 mins in Fragments.

The waitress who served me, it is her first day at work today. Her earnestness is obvious. Like her, I am starting a new chapter in life too. And I can feel her heart beating as fast as mine. What a wonderful thing it is to be alive, healthy, working and supporting oneself.

I suppose she chose to work here because of the positive vibes. I chose to write here for the very same reason. I get to see Elie and I am inspired by the people who frequent here to share a fragment of their life.

I also had to leave my apartment because I did not want to get in the way of my cleaning lady. Safia is Moroccan and she seems kind and sweet. She is chatty. And I prefer to be quiet. As I just had an unpleasant cyber morning with some people at work.

Every other day, I find myself negotiating with you, your imprudence sense of entitlement never failed to shock me. I often unknowingly trapped myself in the abyss of such semantic-unpleasantness, unaware that the sooner I exit, the better it would be for my health, until it was too late. I guess I am simply too naïve. I thought you would want to learn the ways of the world, seeing that your generation is supposedly the more open, liberated one than mine. Now as my new policy I no longer want to negotiate with terr-ible people, ever.

Frankly despite my encouragement, you were insipid when I needed you to be creative at work, and equally uninspiring over small talk. You only become truly alive and articulate when it came to demanding for terms and conditions. I strongly believe if you show the same amount of expectations towards your own performance over the next 10 years, I am confident you would get very far, way ahead in life than this. Do not, however, jeopardize your own paths with bad manners. Use your brains more, and your phones less.

Sometimes it’s stick, sometimes it’s carrot. I await to see you again, when you hit 40, 45, even 50 years of age. Let me know if you are still finding the perfect job.

The best solution in these situations is to go for a walk and see how beautiful the rest of the world is. We have to learn to surround ourselves with kind and positive people, and purge the petty ones.

Watch word: Purge.

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.

 

 

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These.

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My sleep, like everyone else’s, is often occupied by not one but a montage of dreams. Last night I had a few random ones and as part of my self-inflicted therapy, I decided to write it down for the first time and see if they make any sense.

  1. Obama spoke to me “be kind, be useful”.
  2. I saw a musical starring my favourite comedian Julia Louis-Dreyfus and after the show I queued up for an autograph and she obliged. Her co-star gave me his number and invited me to call him.
  3. A doctor paid me nightly visits at home because I was ill. I did not feel sick at all. But he was awfully young and good-looking.
  4. I offered someone an olive-branch.
  5. I was supposed to meet someone really important and I did not have my make up on, and I felt doomed.

Oh well….maybe I am over thinking this. Dreams are remnants of the millions of insane thoughts in our head, and so I was told.

 

Good Enough.

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My whole life I was never good enough.

You always wanted me to be wiser, prettier, livelier, quieter, funnier, sweeter, quicker, wittier, lovelier, fatter, thinner, taller, stronger, calmer, thriftier, bigger, louder, richer, sexier, smarter.

I am never good enough for you.

Is this an Asian thing? Where putting someone down is deemed good education, so that we do not get too certain of ourselves? We are often obligated to say “I am humbled…I don’t deserve this…I am so blessed…I am so grateful…”. Until these words no longer mean a thing.

One day if I am a parent, a teacher, a leader, a friend, a wife, a partner, I will tell you, you may not be good enough. But you are good enough for me. I just want you to be happy.

Don’t apologize for who you are and how you work.

We only have one life. Celebrate it. Please.

 

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