Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

My Lunch Time Discovery

As I took a walk near my office, I discovered a short cut to Chinatown.

Though the area is drabby and old, I saw as many as 5 medical halls selling traditional chinese medicines.

The aroma of gingseng and herbs were overpowering, reminding me of their existence.

Tucked between the rows of medical halls was this quaint buscuit shop that must have close to 100 varieties of local biscuits and preserved fruits.

These fantastic food items can be bought in per 100gm. 

Unlike me buying a tin of assorted biscuits for $7.80 without choice of what I really like!

I was so happy that I bought 6 varieties! 

My damage amounted to $15.80.

I wish I had more bucks to spare as boy oh boy, I would love to splurge and buy up every variety available.

There goes the diet plan๐Ÿ˜ƒ


A Friend’s Artwork

They say a picture paints a thousand words….

Selina, sister of Marleeeena(!), had started to dabble in “drawings” so she says!

I feel it is “art” and I quite like her “arty farty” style! 

They say art must “reasonate” with the person looking at it. It did for me as I cannot draw nor paint for nuts!

Below is her rendition of the cable cars plying between Sentosa island and Mount Faber.

Below is our local “infamous” cockerel rice bowl that is synonymous to many a household.

Notice how she tends to leave a lovely greeting for each pictorial. 

Below are pictures of birds she drew and had it imprinted on white mugs!

I loved this one below as it gave a little tinge of Van Gogh…the torrid or turgid skies as they say! This style reasonated very much with me.

I think she is a budding artist and I encourage her on!


Bird Man Returns From Sydney, Australia

Bird Man has been silent as he has been busy travelling from Hong Kong to China and to Vietnam for his business in avian matters.

Though he is unable to wrangle a job as the market is quiet, he has been “self employed” doing fairly well for self in the bird acessories business.

In fact he did so well that he went for a week in Sydney with his wife and 2 boys.

Bird Man used to live in Sydney for 6 years as a student there. Below photos are courtesy of Bird Man.

Sydney Opera House – One of the world’s wonders!

Oysters are his favorite…

Freshly shucked oysters….

Baked oysters with cheese…..

Yes…..Bird Man is a true blue Singaporean…..a foodie!!๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ‘

And a great sunset to end his trip…

Today we sat and talked over “yum cha” (*dim sum lunch) about old times and we both wondered how long Electrical Lord would last.

We both felt karma would catch up with him in time.

The only good thing that came out of EL’s work place was my friendship with Birdman.

I told Birdman to have faith and believe that he makes a better business man than being an employee!

We all need to believe in selves as it is with self faith that we get to be where we want to be. 


Work Freedom – Day 4, A Walk In Healing Garden Part 1

The Healing Garden is a section within our lil red dot’s UNESCO Heritage Botanical Gardens.

Today I decided to do 7,000 steps and hope that my back or left leg does not act up. 

Aptly, I chose the Healing Garden.

On entering, I could smell the aromatic fragrant pandan. For those who know not of this leaf, it has great botanical use.

Heaps were growing in abundance!

Used as a flavor in cakes and other local desserts, it also wards off cockroaches.

I used to put this on my kitchen windown sill to ward off lizards. But since our little estate’s garden was ripped up on account of untidiness by some occupants, my fresh and free supply of pandan leaves ended.

As I walked on, I enjoyed taking in photos of plants and reading about them and their uses for healing.

This time I am smarter as it had labels!

Below is a ginger plant that one can use leaves and rhizome for curries.

Below is a red spine spinach that actually tastes good with tempura flour and fried like tempura.

A family of wild pheasants or hens (*am unsure as hen seemed too small to be a hen to these chickedecided to cross my walking path.

They knew they had right of way ha ha!

Then, they decided to cross back!

Onward Ho as I walked on….and I learnt of Job’s Tears below. I was now in the “women’s health garden….Job’s Tears is a goodherbs or plants to treat urinary problems or menstrual disorders.

Above is Devil’s Backbone that is used to treat broken bones.

Below is Patchouli is used for treatment of anxiety and nervousness through aromatherapy.

I saw a patch of sugar cane growing and it is touted to have cooling properties…great to cool off on this drink made out of sugar cane.

The Healing Garden was all dotted with water features and I loved the tranquil water sounds.

Loved the way this tree is growing over and above the path, giving it a natural canopy.

And the way this tree below grew was an art in itself….straddled across the ground yet rising to lift its leaves and boughs above.

Below is Garcinia, a plant to treat abdominal pains, diarrhea and ulcers.

It was an educational and nice walk for me and I hope you enjoyed the plants as much as I did.

Plus I succeeded in achieving 7,182 steps! Whoo hoo!โ˜บ

Do read Part 2 of this post tomorrow and have a happy Sunday๐Ÿ˜Š


Work Freedom – Day 3

The story of my life has been that if I have free time, something will crop up to steal my precious time! Sigh!

My aircon unit for my bedroom has sprung a leak in pipes and this means refrigerant gas that keeps air cooled is going quite quickly.

Thankfully my regular contractor is able to get a new set for both rooms up and running next week. I can see my dollars flying out the window ๐Ÿ˜‰

So, I have to be home whilst this gets sorted as old units are dismantled and new units put in. Some hacking on walls and replastering of ceiling works are required 

Aargh….dirt and debris! I have to be maid maria afterwards. I dread the work ahead. 

No gallavanting next week! Bummer!

I spotted this lovely doorbell whilst out today.

It fitted the look and feel of the wooden black fence, giving it the old English look.

Mr Odd Jobber from Dragon’s Lair called me to share his sorry tale.

Ms Bare Midriff decides to cut short his notice without fair dues. This is just so ugly as Ms Indian turns 365 degrees to be DL’s loyal runner and she is now going after Mr Odd Jobber just for fun as someone ‘died’ and made her the new ‘informal Queen’

It was not fair for Mr Odd Jobber who earned pittance and to be robbed of his rightful dues.

I shared with Mr Odd Jobber that he should seek help from the Ministry Of Manpower and explained his rights.

I cannot understand the wickedness of DL and her side kick to deprive him of his just wages.

Mr Odd Jobber has a wife and a 3 year old to fend for. Sigh!

I remember before leaving, DL was cross with volunteer farmers for planting veggies that grew into uneven heights and a sweet potato patch that crept along the earth bed.

She insisted for the leaves to be ripped out and demanded to know where the sweet potatoes were!

Though I am not a farmer, I know plants and veggies cannot be growing up to even heights. Sheesh even fingers are uneven in height and anything that is nature, grows on its own.

Since when can we command that veggies grow straight and of even heights?๐Ÿค”

It also requires days or months before sweet potatoes get into shape and size.

There is no magical poof for a today magic for a seed planted and tubers form immediately!

She is a real nincompoop! 

The mountain of sweet potato leaves wasted just because DL feels it creeps on flower beds. Sheesh….can someone send her back to botany class!

Or maybe she is just plain dumb….an arm chair googler?

I am glad I left this horrid employer.


A Glimpse Of Geylang

Geylang is reknowned as a redlight district in lil red dot.

Vice or sex trade is not condoned here but this is best “contained” here.

Quite funny to see street walkers disappear when police cars patrol and reappear once they leave.

Roads are divided into Lorongs and it is in a grid system with even numbers on drivers’ left and uneven numbers in drivers’ right.
Lorong is malay word for “alleys” or street.

Street walkers are segregated by nationalities. Yes, sadly foreigners come here to ply their trade.

We have mainland Chinese, Filipinas and Indians (*used to ply Desker Road with transvestites )

But the government has been slowly cleaning up Geylang and conservation of old shop houses.

Businessmen have opened restaurants and eateries here.

They are trying to bring in home owners.  But fact is, these owners lease out property for sex trade and mixed with genuine home owners, it is bad for resale of property prices.

Today I explored Geylang. It houses Buddhist temples, Buddhist Centres that serve free meals for anyone, free TCM clinics to serve marginalised poor in need of help.

Quite a hodge podge of culture as foreigners bring their identity and culture with them, best expressed in the food they serve.

Yes, Geylang is now getting popular for durians, rambutans, grill food, No Sign Board Restaurant chain is also here.


A Bird In Hand, One Flew Over Cuckoo’s Nest & 3rd Came To Roost

I have put my paw print๐Ÿพ๐Ÿพ on one job offer and will start work in June. 

But Pricier Bird flew by and after 3 rounds of dancing about, I am sure Pricier Bird has flown over this cuckoo’s nest.

As if like kittie below chewing salad, I gave the same facial expression. Bahh! Waste of time. It was a try….aah well.

Then Medical Bird decided to roost. As I was going for round 3 with Pricier Bird, Medical Bird asked me for a meet up this morning.

Medical Bird has the same verbosity as Electrical Lord and I shuddered. I do not know if he is equally abusive and if hours are long drawn.

I suspect it would be as he has a chain of close to 15 clinics and he seeks a head honcho to oversee his business by 2020 when he fully hands off!

It will be communicative styles of Electrical Lord, whereby I eat potatoes and he sups on rice!

I am never afraid of hardwork but I dislike unreasonableness or lack of empathy and compassion.

I will not know till I am in and I worry if I want this.

Tomorrow is round 2 with Medical Bird at 10am. At least he conducts business differently than EL who is a gas bag and a night owl who sleeps at dawn and expect us to work from dawn to wee hours of the witching hours.

I need beauty sleep….a good boss that is kindly and understanding.

Probably as extinct as T Rex?!๐Ÿ˜Š


A Day In Lil Red Dot For Me

As I drove to work this morning, as usual I would be thinking of things. 

It is one of those times that my brain goes on auto pilot for driving and starts chugging on other things.

I reflected on Round 3 with Pricier Bird yesterday. 

I felt it went relatively okay, though I was not too sure if I had impressed the partner of the firm I was assigned to meet. He is one of two partners of the firm.

I was grilled on a couple of issues and I answered based on whatever knowledge I had. 

I was given the topic of what would I need to do for example for an EU Trade Pact with Russia and Singapore.

The session took about 45 minutes and when we parted ways, he asked if I had met the other partner and in my heart, I could hear my silent voice screaming ” oh gawd….is there a round 4″ – sheesh the wooing is taking a tad longer. 

I had already done my song and dance. I had wooed like no other. What other tricks would they expect of me?

Should I pose for them? My favorite pose below I could adopt?

Hmm…I wonder if this was meant to be? 

We shall see. 

He did say they will let me know in a couple of days’ time.

The news was on the radio as I continued on my route and I learnt of 2 fires yesterday; one was a fire at an incompleted construction site of one of the campuses of Indian International School that left 2 foreign workers, trapped on a gondola many storeys high. 

Thankfully, they were safely rescued, though they suffered sooty blacksmoke inhalation.

The other fire was a smallish one at Changi International Airport Terminal 2 – fire broke out in an air conditioned equipment room. 

To ensure it was not an act of terrorism, all flights were delayed and pushed to Terminal 3 and passengers were evacuated. 

Flights coming in had passengers disembarking on the tarmac. It is good that our safety standards are high as terrorists has struck many airports. We are on perennial heightened alert!

Glenn Ong the radio deejay was as always making me laugh. I was glad as my commute is a long one.

He had stepped out of the studio for a toilet break and the rest of the deejays, Flying Dutchman had a caller who called in to ask if the deejays would all go out and do a deed of kindness for an entire month and let fans run the radio station. *Me thinks this will cause havoc!! LOL!

The good deed the caller wanted was for all of them to help the elderly persons push the heavy carts of collected discarded card boxes for sale to earn income. ” Help them carry and push these card boxes to their homes or to wherever they sold it for income”

When Glenn Ong returned, the rest of the deejays did a mickey on him by saying the caller asked for Glenn Ong to do it!  

I laughed so loud. 

I love the hilarious synergy of this team on 91.3FM. They are my driving companions on radio.

As I stopped to get gas from Exxon Mobil, I met the usual elderly pump assistant, Mr Pump Guy.

 He is always having a ready smile for me when he sees me and immediately whipped out his wallet to pass me an $8 petrol voucher and quickly said we try to pump $60 into my car’s tank. He successfully did, doing it really slowly.

“Remember this month only, as the other gas station is undergoing renovation” – his toothless smile I will always remember. 

 Last month, the same kind Mr Pump Guy kept coupons for me to redeem free bowls of spaghetti for every $40 worth of gas pumped.

I would always give him the time of day to chat a bit as I have 15 minutes grace time before reaching my work destination. To him, I was a joy to his mundane morning.

I am so blessed to have the graciousness of Mr Pump Guy. 

He need not give me the vouchers but he did. 

For this,  I am grateful.

Reaching the office is never fun and I am eagerly counting down the days till I bid farewell.

Time for coffee…..

The entire team is leaving and I was frankly surprised as I thought I was the only one feeling the lousy attitude of DL and Ms Bare Midriff.

It seems they all felt it and chose to vote with their feet too. My existence there made them feel better and once this mad Garfield hugging loon was leaving, they decided to follow suit.

I never knew I had positively impacted their lives, albeit in such a short time.

Meanwhile, I just received another call to meet another entity this Friday….yet another bird in the bush๐Ÿ˜ƒ





Round 3….Pricier Bird

Tonight I will meet with the Pricier Bird. All this wooing about, is really taking a toll as I have to play a cat and mouse game with DL to get out of her land.

I am unsure how many more rounds will I have to go through, before I can sight an offer in hand or the pricier bird being clutched in my palm.

But thankfully, Pricier Bird is kind to allow me to trot over after office hours. This shows flexibility in their approach towards minion.

I am unsure about the rest of the world, but in our lil red dot, the call from our Supreme Leader is to be adept, adapt to change and accept the new economy. Work methods, work styles are changing, this is in tandem with technological advancements.

The biggest downfall to DL is her lack of ability to change nor embrace new management styles to match the changing times.

DL fails to acknowledge Gen X, Gen Y, Strawberry Generation or millennials. DL is oblivious to the way these minions think or react. Style, tone and mannerism must be able to accommodate and match the mindsets of these minions.

I am heeding the call of our Supreme Leader. I have adapted and changed, swopping from industries that were once boom town Charlies to waning performances when the oil prices fell.

Marine and shipping also went downhill.

Electrical Lord was in retail and today, retail sector is suffering with poor sales. Departmental Stores in US, UK have shuttered and I silently pray that my favorite Marks and Spencer will not bow out of lil red dot.

It was bad enough that we lost an almost 100 year old department store, John Littles, to E Commerce.

Times change, people change and climates change.

I need to constantly change and remain relevant, else I become obsolete and displaced.

I must never become like DL in character, style or manner – I must treat people with empathy, compassion and genuine interest in their well being.

I sincerely hope I stand an opportunity with Pricier Bird.

Meanwhile, Bird in Hand is sealed.



It is hard to walk away from family. 

No religion teaches this nor any well meaning person does this!

But if I don’t, my sanity may go and or I will suffer major illnesses.

I suffer from an autoimmune disorder, amongst other ailments.

My rheumatologist and immunologist has often asked me years ago if I am under extreme stress. Stress sparks my disorder.

I lied. 

But deep in the depths of my heart or stomach as Asians would say, I knew that what my siblings and own father did to me, left me dumbfounded.

I asked self if I was indeed their blood child. Regrettably I was. That was not an excuse I could use to explain their behaviour towards me.

Jealously? Probably as they expected me to be down and out on the streets when they chased me out of a home. I was like dust which refused to go away.

Like a pariah, I walked out with a suitcase of the clothes I had. 

All my other things were left behind and I knew sis scavanged and took what was left. Earthly things did not bother me as I can always buy once am back on my feet.

Within a year of leaving the home, I worked furiously to amass wealth. Survival instincts kicked in and if survivor series was available back then, I would do well to forage for food 

The pressures of life caught up with me and I landed up in hospital.

As the doctors unravelled my illness, I was left like a guinea pig to be given biopsies etc.

When the diagnosis finally concluded, they pronounced my death sentence. As usual, nothing can be done. 

Years have past. I continue my physical fight. I beat the odds to live. But my mental fight is waning.

I need both mental and physical health to tackle life.

I gave up on religion and I have cursed God for whatever HE has given me. I have been pious. I tried to be a God fearing person.

But I no longer fear God as God to me, is a creation of man to seek comfort and solace. I still seek a plausible reason for life’s lemons.

I am beyond that.

The trials I have undergone have not given me meaning and sense. The only lesson I learnt is that blood does not make a family.

What makes a family is empathy, compassion, being there for one another when needed. Friendship and love. These were non existent.

Instead I faced verbal abuse, threats of physical violence from both my bro and father. They wanted me out of the house 

I have kept my promise throughout, regardless of how difficult family made it for me.

I did not fail as they expected. A large part of them felt I should die. This way, I am a nuisance out of their way.

It will be a hard journey ahead as I walk away with my back facing them. In my parents’ declining years to lose my support is sad to me.

I know bro will never return to lil red dot to care for them permanently and neither will he spare change to provide for them. 

His Lizard would never approve as he is beholden to her and her family in HK being their money bags.

As for sis, she is too engrossed in life in NZ and always putting her son first to care about her parents. She has often told me to dump them in an old folks home. That is her duty as a child practising filial piety. 

She did not attend her mum in law’s funeral as she saw no need to do so as her son is pivotal.

I doubt she will offer to pay the hefty fees for our parents’ old folks home stay. 

Plus the conditions in our old folks home is not the standard of NZ or developed countries. 

We lag behind in this and that is why I furiously volunteer to help seniors to get policy makers to improve. We are getting there, but not quite just yet.

Too many lemons really….