Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Friday Outfits City Folk Wear – TGIF!

Fridays in the boondocks are relaxing and people go to work with a swagger…wearing their hip jeans, hip sports shoes and with a back pack on the shoulders, ready to zip out of the office once the clock hits 5pm!

Aaah but city folk….like a country ¬†bumpkin I am…took in the sight of city folks’ attire when they walked on the streets, like me going to work.

I did not dress down as I wanted to have a feel of what was city folk’s culture of “dress code” for the Friday.

As I did my 15 minutes walk, I saw some folks in their monkey suits, pink ties and all (pink is sooo “in” and no one seems to make fun of it that it is so “girlie”). It seems our Prime Minister Lee was advised also by his PR people to dress in pink shirts or red shirts.

I guess wearing a pink shirt it softens the mood ūüôā especially when our PM appears on telly to give an address of sorts or appears for a function.

The ladies I spotted wore jeans and plain single colored t shirts. Not the ones plastered with a cartoon character or some words that screamed ” Same Shit, Different Day” ( I have this T shirt which a friend gifted to me when he was working in Bankgkok. I used to work in the offshore business and each time I met or bumped into my expatriate colleague and I asked “how are you doing”, their tongue in cheek reply to me would be “Same Shit, Different Day” and so I came to know of this phrase, which I believed was most apt to describe the work day!

I remember wearing this T Shirt and people walked up to me and shook my hands! Ha! I felt like a celebrity of sorts but I guess they felt the same like me, except they have no courage to wear it OR, they have not been to Thailand for fab T shirts with funny slogans, including profane ones! UGH! Hilarious though as I once eyed over the heaps of T shirts on display and their funny phrases!)

Back to the ladies in the city….they wore three quarters jeans ( I call these jeans that must have shrunk in length) as it was after the knee but above the shin.

Bags they toted were still the same except some were toting back packs.

I met an avid cyclist coming out of the roads, furiously pedalling like there is no tomorrow. A Caucasian, all geared in his cycling gard of helmet, knee guards, lycra suit etc.

Our Chinese Warlords love their monkey suits. I see them and call them Men In Black. They also wear this suit to the hawker stalls to eat. Perhaps it is their culture, I am unsure…or maybe they need to feel officious?!

Although the office grapevine through Blunt Girl was jeans allowed, no collarless T Shirts – only polo Tees!

Stuffy these folks are in this office. This means my funny T shirts have no room for humour in this office. I might raise a few eyebrows as I was already chided for wearing too “casual” –

I smiled but this invisible voice screamed in my head saying, ” Hey, I am not paid a dressing allowance, neither do I see fit to dress like a Karaoke Hostess to prostitute myself” ūüėÄ

Anyways, my immediate supervisor who is a male¬†does not dress like James Bond and it seems he has a girly tongue to gossip and comments on physical parts of women. This is a trait that I do not¬†personally¬†like as it can¬†tantamount to sexual harassment in my view! More so, when he is supervising minions! ūüėČ

Happy Friday Folks!

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A Morning Walk From Car Park To Office

There is no car park available within my work building. Or rather, restrictive as car park lots are allotted based on floor plate for tenants

Although I must say that a colleague did offer me his lot.

Still, when I took a peek at the winding curves from ground to the different levels of parking, I felt it was best I remained parked elsewhere.

I had visions of me leaving my car’s fender or bumpers as some would call it, along the way to the lot.

For the life of me, I do not understand why architects like to perch the gantry boom areas at the tip of the incline of the ramp and create such narrow passages for cars to swerve through as they go floor to floor to search for vacant lots.

The gantry has an electronic card reading device that registers the car’s I.U. unit and records time of entry to car park and on going out, it deducts the cash from the smart card we top up in dollar values. This same device is also used for payment of toll on the Electronic Pricing Gantry. Going into the city is terribly expensive as car park charges ranges from $5 to $6 an hour.

Sometimes the gantry does not read properly and whilst the car is perched at the incline, the motorist has to balance clutch and gears if on manual gear to ensure the car’s engine does not stall. Thankfully I have auto gears and would watch with careful distancing from the other car in front of me, incase that car is driven by a new driver or is on manual gears.

Architects can build fantastic looking buildings, complete with awe factors but when it comes to car park lots, it is as if, these do not matter and so, it is best to put drivers through the test in their driving cum parking skills. ;-(

I was happy to find alternative parking some 3 blocks away. Of course it is a chore to crawl on foot for some 15 minutes with waiting time for lights to change in pedestrians’ favour but this was to me, time consuming.

On the bright side, I looked at it as walking therapy. This, as an exercise that I could do on a daily basis.

On the not so¬†bright side, I wondered what happens when it rains as we do have funny rain patterns. We hardly have drizzling effects for rain. If it pours, it is as if the clouds have been holding it in for so long that they no longer can control and then all of Heaven’s waters would flush down in bucket loads.

If this happens, then I will have an issue as I do not have a sheltered walkway all the way from my 3 blocks away parking lot to the office building. Sigh…I guess I have to equip self with watching the skies and or carrying a brolly with me at all times.

I don’t like carrying an extra piece of weight in my bag as I have a load constraint. I have deliberately bought a small bag that holds my¬†wallet/purse ( I use practical things), mobile phone and keys only. An umbrella or brolly will not fit, besides it is heavy.

I take my walks each morning as feast for the eyes. I see traders, women dressed to the hilt but smoking ciggies as early a 7am in the morning. I see men of all nationalities scurrying about with coffee in a takeaway cup.

Chalkboards with the day’s daily menu for lunch is averaging $30 ++ for soup and salad.

An early morning view of the city is interesting as I see the different classes of office people heading off to their respective buildings for work, but not without stopping to get their java fix!

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Legals Eagles Are Wooing Again

I thought the Legal Eagles have already flown the coop! Apparently they have been swirling around my head, still assessing if this minion fits the legal world ūüėČ

Flattered or confused? I prefer the latter to describe me as I thought the Chinese Warlords would be my resting place to do something for what we call work.

Off I trotted in the hot sun and walked 20 minutes to the Legal Eagles and spent an hour chatting with The Tasmanian Devil. Yup…she is from the Land Down Under and she came across as a warm and nice lady. She has moved away from the Land Down Under and went on to live in UK and Europe before coming to our Little Red Dot.

The day of reckoning must come for me as I do a decision of sorts. I have a further meeting the Electrical Lord next week.

If I am offered from all a job, therein lies my dilemma! How do I then choose?

Meeting someone over an hour or so, 3 or 4 times (honestly our wooing process is long drawn one as the dancing around on hoofs is such a ritual that to me, is wasting time!) does not instantly tell me this is the party I would be “living” with for the next few years or decade of my work life.

I am now into my 2nd week with the Chinese Warlords. I asked self do I like it? I have no answer.

I wonder if I can do the fine art of oracles. This means trotting off to a Taoist temple and tossing two pieces of crescent shaped red wooden pieces. If one is up and the other is down, then the Gods have spoken and it is ok to join them.

I can see self standing in front of the temple altar making this request and probably confusing the Gods with my manifold questioning. Chicken used to paraphrase my questions and the answers came swiftly.

Most times if I do not paraphrase in the way Gods speak, then I get a lot of “laughing” from the Gods and this is translated to the two crescent wooden pieces facing upwards or downwards. ;-D

Only I can serve to confuse the Gods!

Back to my Chinese Warlords…..what are things I dislike? I have two dimwits or twits. One is 100% negative, nothing can be done and she pulls the longest face of the world. I find this ugly and not nice, especially when we are serving internal clients.

She has not much of a brain and is doing part time studies at a private institution. The worst in her is that, her mind is closed to learning and I wonder how she can survive life. Hygiene standards are also lacking and I wonder if it is safe to eat anything she offers.

If I did not have to inherit dimwits, life is ok. But I am saddled with two dimwits and this is crippling my work.

I wonder if I can seek an enlightened process for selecting the optimal post. Sigh…I used to angst over a choice as there was no choice. But when presented with choices, I get confused.

Huge sighs! Sometimes Hobson Choice may be the best choice, otherwise buffet syndrome sets in and I am at a loss for picking the selection I want to digest ūüėČ

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Where Is Sherlock Holmes?

It seems there is “thief” of sorts within my minion area.

I am seated in the top echelon of corporate alongside the Chinese Warlords. Yet, our security is not secure. What a hoot!

One cannot leave lap top unattended and each night, the ritual of dismantling the cables and leads and plonking the lap top is a must. An IT spirit seeking a device to communicate in the nether world you think?

I was told that if you leave your nibbles in a container, when you return the next day, it would be down in someone’s tummy. A hungry ghost perhaps?

Stationery also must be locked down else the person will return to work without pens, paper clips, scissors etc. Perhaps an aspiring minion in the other realm seeking stationery items.

I find this all amusing as who has access key cards other than the Chinese Warlords and us in the Minion Department? Of course the cleaning lady has to have access to toss out bins, clear our rubbish.

Further, why the need for the small stuff – Laptop I can understand but it is just plain rude to polish off all the personal nibbles of a minion when the pantry is just there.

Today Gossip Girl was screeching away at something (uneaten piece of something) being tossed in her rubbish bin.

Hmm…just who would have done these things….on days and times like this, I wonder where is Sherlock Holmes….. ūüėÄ

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Compassion

I was encouraged by Little Monster Girl’s blog post where she is inviting bloggers to write on this subject matter.

To me, the word “Compassion” brings with it humility, feelings, consideration and parts of religion.

Being a person in Spiritual Limbo, I have been understanding Taoism &¬†Buddhism and in each, their tenets or teachings are thought provoking to me, to reflect and try to fathom this meaning called “Life”.

Compassion or being compassionate has brought me grief, happiness and more confusion sometimes. What a mix bag of emotions you might quip! LOL! But it is true and I kid you not!

Let me explain.

I used to be compassionate and thought of others….always putting self before others. I ended up being hurt most times as I gave compassion without thought. Mindful compassion or the art of discerning who deserves compassion cannot be a blind act of faith that the person deserves your compassion.

I was once chided literally for being compassionate as the person felt I was doing the act of “pitying” – UGH! How could something so nice and meaningful become a “bad” ! ;-(

To pity someone I learnt, is degradation of their esteem and self worth. Enligtenment of sorts here! So, how do I practice compassion?

Different scenarios of our points in life take on different roles.

In a person’s moment of grief, I provide an understanding heart, a listening ear….quiet nods without speech lends comfort and gives the compassion that the person needs as they overcome their grief of the loss of a loved one. I avoid words of “knowing how they feel” – how could I? I can never feel what they are feeling as each person manages loss in a different way.

I derive much happiness and satisfaction in being compassionate to the poor.

Hmm, these days people say that there are no poor people in my little red dot. This is quite untrue as the poor are not desolate on the street and begging, beating their breasts as they have no money to buy milk formula for their babies,¬†but hidden. There are some with medical ailments and cannot afford much in terms of “trivial” enjoyment eg eating a cup cake or a piece of their favourite treat.

I am happy not to give monies but in kind – lesser evil this way as I may never know if the person uses the money for gambling or alcohol addictions?

For eg blankets, a meal or something that helps them in their daily living. But I will not be like my poor mum who was genuinely kind, but only to be conned of her precious savings when a husband and wife team cheated her of a couple of thousands and giving her a dud cheque that bounced like rubber!

The poor have their pride too and in learning compassion, I noted that I must give whereby I do not hurt their dignity.

Sometimes, I feel it is easier being compassionate to dogs or cats. They have unconditional love and like them, I can give unconditionally. All it needs is a wag of the tail or them sitting next to you when I need a presence.

I had the mother of all pets in my Doberman called Gretchen. Her name is a mouthful of pedigree breeding called Goldlin Gretchen. I called her Gretchen and I remember how she would know how to nestle up to me when I was feeling down or wanted something huggable near by. They say the eyes are the windows to the soul and whenever I looked at those soulful eyes of Gretchen, I saw her love for me.

I can never be as compassionate as the great leaders of Tao or Gautama Buddha. I can only try in my little small ways to understand and recognise that within the confines of this word “Compassion” therein lies a lot of interpretations and much understanding.

I guess to summarize, Compassion must begin from the heart, using mind to discern and dishing it out at appropriate times in the most meaningful way. It need not be big steps that grab headlines but small baby steps that takes me nearer to understanding human nature and what compassion means to me! This is to me, my interpretation and understanding of compassion.

I do not know if this makes any sense¬†to you ūüôā but anyhow, Happy Tuesday with Garfield Hugs!

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Majestic Sunsets

There is always a majestic awe in me whenever I watch sunrises and sunsets.

I caught these two sunsets on Saturday and Sunday at a friend’s highrise.

Sunday’s sunset was just grand as the sun looked larger than the norm.

Saturday’s Sunset

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Saturday's Sunset

Sunday’s Sunset

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Sunday's Sunset

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Monday….The City Is In A Celebratory Mood

Monday ain’t too bad! Half the day has gone and generally the pace at work is acceptably slllowww! HA! I am not complaining.

The Chinese Warlords take the Lunar New Year celebrations seriously and are out having their “prosperity lunch” – we call it the Lo Hei Lunch.

Minions and Warlords will have their prosperity lunch toss up next Monday. This is nice!

Arguably, Chinese Warlords are careful in maintaining the mood of Lunar New Year and I got a hong bao from my Head Honcho to symbolise the “opening of work” – as if, if you will, the symbolic opening of a new year work year.

This minion has to take on 3 minions whom I call underlings. The task before me is to assess their capabilities and see if they are trainable. Hmm..this makes it sound as if I am a circus ring master of sorts. Of course anyone is trainable right?! Unless the person’s brain is flooded with water as they say in Chinese!

I feel as if I am walking on a mine field as I gingerly go through the wooing process to win over their mind sets and wonder what goes on in their gray matter department.

Of course, they will feel resentful or slighted as they have dropped a notch in ranking to report into me. But I hope not, as for one, I do not like “lording” over anyone. In truth, we are all minions under the eyes of the Chinese Warlords.

Working life is hard enough and I prefer to work with people and not talk down to people. I know of some who feel that once they have power entrusted to them, they go all high and mighty! Ugh!

Last night I watched the Life of Pi. This was a good movie and I drew knowledge in this, which I felt I could use at work.

Pi was given a French name after the father’s favourite swimming pool in France. Apparently where they live in India, his name was mispronounced and he ended up having a name as “Pissing” – of which Pi had the tenacity to overcome and correct it to Pi for short.

Pi’s father bought land in India and opened a zoo. Over time, the father wanted to migrate with the family to Canada. Whilst enroute to Canada, the vessel sank and the sole survivor was Pi.

The lessons I drew from Pi were manifold. It taught me that religion is what it means to us. At this point, I want to share fellow blogger’s Grhambley’s comments that ideas and concepts usually get lost in the edicts or doctrines of rigidity in religion.

With Pi, it taught me the same emphasis as he was a vegetarian, a Hindu, a Christian and other religions he embraced as part of the learning process. Whlst he was shipwrecked he called upon God to help him. The movie showed how Pi got to learn about Christ, having taken a dare to run to the Catholic Church to drink the holy water there.

A Priest he met gave him a glass of water to drink as he thought Pi was thirsty. As Pi drank that glass of water, he saw the fresco on the wall whereby Jesus was crucified on the cross and asked why would anyone do that to this poor man.

I remembered when my nephew was knee high, he wept when he saw how Christ was tortured and crucified. Compassion is key from what I have learnt.

However, we must moderate compassion as too much makes me a sucker for manipulative ways whilst  too little of it makes me uncaring and unkind.

Such is the life to adapt to in this dog eat dog world where politicks can be played. And like Pi, I would ask the same question, which story would you prefer to hear?! ūüėÄ

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Peaches & Herbs

Sorry to disappoint though….but I do remember a hit song (maybe their only hit song) called “Reunited”

I learnt of this song as my classmate who was dating this guy for all her life was dumped by him at junior college and when they got back together, man throws a party at his parents’ apartment and played this song. But……

It was sad as I thought it was a fairy tale ending as they were voted Prom King and Queen. Sigh…

Long and short of it was…man gets married to another woman and my friend is left in the cold.

Years pass and now they are shacking up again as partners.

Love can sometimes suck. Fate seems to bring them together, yet fate is, as if, toying with their lives.

I have no herbs to offer as balm for the pain. But heh heh…my sister sent me pictures of freshly plucked peaches from her tree in Kiwi Land:)

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My Sister's Peach Tree

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Ready For Tummy....Yummy!!

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Not Too Ripe I Guess?!

Enjoy the virtual peaches as for me…I am a sucker for fruit trees as I live in an urban jungle, surrounded by walls….more walls:mrgreen:

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Back To Work Monday

Too much of a holiday can be a bad and I couldn’t agree more. Sigh…Monday blues are indeed back…and like Garfield, UGH! I hate Mondays! Blah!😝

But I have to be an “adult” as work brings in the “mula” or “dough” or “bacon” as it is referred to in American Slang 101!:)

5 days inclusive of weekends was a good long break. If I had the extra cash, I would have gone down to Bali…though the DJ on Class 95 FM shared that she baulked when she was told it costs $950 plus taxes to go to that silly island! LOL! How quickly it becomes a “silly” trip as on normal days, one pays $300 or so to get to Bali.

I do agree…just to stare at sand and sea…Sentosa or Kusu Island might suffice for ferry fees on bum boats to our own islands.

Traditionally the first day at work (in Chinese companies) minions get a hong pao or red packet for good luck.

Previously in an MNC, Iron Man (my old Scottish boss) decreed $50 per staff. Given we had more than 220 locals, it was a tidy sum! Nice of Iron Man though he was a penny pincher. But he gave us great benefits like fruits twice a week, all you can eat biscuits, sodas, coffee and teas.

Our coffee machine was a Jura and we had a choice of expresso, latte or mocha…skinny or tall…short either way we were our own “Starbucks”

Now with Chinese Lords, our pantry is also well stocked. We have Lavazza capsules and hot chocolate too! Can’t complain on benefits since I was “released from prison” in previous job.

I have been elevated from slavery to minion hood. Reminded me of a famous African novel ” Out of Africa” and how Kunta Kinte overcame slavery.

Work is a must. Work is essential and I am grateful for a job I can return to on Monday…look at the bright side….I will have my cup of Lavazza coffee and with that Java infusion be back doing minion things 😁

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Cyclones Battering The Land Down Under

I was sad to read in this papers this morning that the cyclones (two of them it seems) battered Queensland, Australia.

My first thoughts went out to my family friend living in Tweed Heads. I remember she is on the border of Queensland and New South Wales and she took me to the actual boundary on the ground whereby I had put a foot each in Queensland and New South Wales.

I do not know if it was my gut feel but whenever I feel the hot warm air and uncanny stillness, I suspect that a typhoon is a brewing in one part of the world or in this case, it was a tropical cyclone that battered Australia.

Another friend of mine who lives in Sydney used to tell me of the weather storms that wreck her home and to date, she is still fixing up her home. Undoubtedly with insurance and all that, it seems she would be fine but the work and effort going into it, literally drains her.

She commutes 6 months in a year in Australia and the other 6 months in our little red dot.

Hmm, it seems just about most people I know have moved to the Land Down Under. Mr Lawyer too as he is now working towards his PR status.

As a person, I too, was attracted to live in the Land Down Under. Why??!!

For starters, fishing!! I am one of those who proudly wears the Aussie T Shirt that reads, “Born to Fish, Forced to Work!”

I find it so soothing dropping a line, catching Skippies, King Georges, Breams or Coral fishes. I have my fun, squid jigging too and I have calluses to prove it LOL!

Further, the weather in Perth is great and not too far away from little red dot, just some 4.5 hours away. So technically, I could always hop on a plane and get back for short trips.

Perth is great wine country and fruit country and I love strawberries. Punnets and punnets I would get from Wanneroo and not to mention, avaocados from Phils’ over at Church’s.

Heaps of Chinese converge at Perth and I suspect because of the weather and ability to have chinese spices, foods and restaurants.

But Perth has become increasingly expensive…possibly because of supply and demand.

I hope that the Aussie mates in the Land Down Under are safe from the cyclone I read this morning. Property damage is fine as these are replaceable, whilst precious lives are not.

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