Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Breakfast, Ala Lil Red Dot Style

I remember having different types of breakfasts in different lands.

When I first had to work in Stavanger, Norway, I was stunned to see alot of cold meats, fruits, yoghurt, breads, types of milk and cereals. Quite a spread!

There wasn’t much hot food served other than scrambled eggs and mini sausages.

I soon learnt this to be “continental breakfast”

As I lived in that hotel for 2 weeks every quarter, I got used to it so much so that I learnt to appreciate hard, heavy breads that were chokeful of seeds. It was yummy and when toasted with butter, or dipped in olive oil it was scrumptious!

Living in America in my student days, I stayed in an apartment or townhouse of my own.

I tried American breakfasts…McDonalds etc…all bad for health. I decided to make my own toast and cereal but I got bored and my Lil Red Dot roots kicked in.

In Lil Red Dot, you have a variety of choices. 

Our Asian choices are best!

There is Carrot Cake (*not your cake you eat in a delicatassen) which is made of glutinous rice flour, fried with eggs, shrimps or mince pork if you like, dribbled with garlic and shallots garnished with spring onions or parsely.

It can be cooked “white” or “black” in sweet soya sauce.

Another top seller is Nasi Lemak. This is rice cooked in coconut milk served with side dishes of fried eggs, fish or prawn otah, deep fried chicken wings, fish cake and vegetables. 

Sometimes we eat mee goreng or fried noodles with satay.

We love our savories and not sweets…at least for me 😉

Or Indian pratas with curry.

In fact in lil red dot, breakfast food is anything your fancy.

There is no restriction and we are not one nation that settles for plain toast. It has to be cinnamon french toast ha ha!

Our chains of bakeries have buns on the run, filled with different fillings, ranging from sweet red bean or azuki beans, to sweet roasted pork or plain croissants.

As you see, we are a foodie nation 😉

Breakfast is truly exciting and we eat anytime….anytime is a good time!

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How Good Friday Was Spent

Nothing beats spending a public holiday which happened to be Good Friday with mum and dad.

This is especially true when I have time constraints tied to work. 

So much for work life balance….a meaningless adage to me😉.

Slept at 1.30am woke up at 7.30am as my legs were in rigor. Aargh!! As if like Rambo, I gritted my teeth to move those legs that refused to cooperate. 

Standing was a challenge but after true grit, I made it up but it seized again.

I feel like  irobot, looking hard for WD40 or some grease. Sheesh!!

Like a gallant knight I finally rose! Ha ha!

Then, I was off to fetch my parents to have tea.

We went to our usual haunt to have our usual teh o kosong (*sugarless black tea), teh (*tea with milk and sugar) and kopi si (*coffee with milk and sugar)

Yes, ordering local coffee or tea from our local food court is an art if you are a tourist or foreigner.

Just a if I am in a Don & Deluca or Starbucks outlets…the lattes, tall or short or skinny latte….jargon in different cultures! 😉 except in my lil red dot’s kopi tiam or coffee shop in dialect.

Dad’s accompaniment with his teh was 2 pcs of kaya toast.

Kaya is coconut jam made with fragrant pandan leaves, spread onto wafer thin brown colored toast that is crispy on bite.

Teh, teh si and teh o kosong with 2 pcs kaya toast cost $6.50.

Mum wanted to eat an old fashioned tutu kueh. It is actually a rice flour base that wraps over dessicated coconut or peanut fillings and steamed on fragrant pandan leaves.

10 pcs cost $6.00. Each bite is a morsel thin flan but it is a nice treat washed down with our hot drinks. This is a waning streer food item as many do not make it as a food sale item in view of high labor cost.

After that was our exercise as I made my parents walk close to 8,600 steps within a shopping mall.

 Thankfully my legs held and by 7pm, we were all tired.

Dinner was a simple 2 pc Texas Fried Chicken, a biscuit and serving of whipped potato for dad and mum split a chicken wrap with me. $18.80. I liked my light dinner though I tutted away at dad’s food choice. 

I would have loved to take them both to Krispy Cremes and try the lethal doughnuts! I heard they were yummy but high in calories. Sadly no stomach space left as we were largely tired.

By now it was pouring buckets. 

The skies mourned the death of Jesus as he was crucified at the witching hour of 3pm. 

As long as I could remember, it always rained at 3pm on Good Friday! My own Ripley’s believe or not I guess😲

As I kick up heels tonight with my inanimate furball Garfield in tow, chomping on a green sour kiwi fruit and a red plum,  I was happy.

Family time is precious but I am reminded of mortality. 

Each day I live, I am one day nearer to my end. I am sanguine with it for self as I leave no loved one behind – no husband, no kids just inanimate furballs and my favorite one will “go” with me.

But what saddens me is that the same holds true for my parents and I dread the day they are no longer around for me to sip and have tea to talk of this or that.

Life is about the now! 

Live, laugh and eat….not all chickens make it through the KFC witness protection program😉

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Some Facts About Lil Red Dot

I found out the following interesting facts about Singapore or I fondly call my lil red dot:

FUN FACT 1

Lil Red Dot is the 3rd largest world importer of Whisky with USA taking top spot and France in the 2nd spot.

The quantity imported into Lil Red Dot would mean each person drinking 15 bottles a day! But it is not for our consumption!

We are a trade whisky hub and whisky we import is re-exported to the region.

FUN FACT 2

Burials in Singapore’s only graveyard plots in Choa Chu Kang are leased for only 15 years. 

After that, the dead are exhumed and cremated. Land scarcity!

For religions who forbid cremation like Jews, it then means that the individual bodies are gathered into 8 or 16 bodies to be reburied together once the lease expires. 

FUN FACT 3

Dead bodies that undergo embalming have bodily fluids drained into white buckets and incinerated. 

In other countries it goes into the sewage system, but here in lil red dot, we have newater i.e. recycled water. So, bodily fluids extracted for embalming cannot be discharged into sewers.

FUN FACT 4

6 sided container for a dead body is called a casket, whilst a 4 sided container is called a coffin.

FUN FACT 5

We used to have 1 metre long clams that can feed 14 people over 16 weeks. These are now extinct and are grown in St John’s island to perpetuate this species by National University of Singapore’s marine biologists.

Little nuggets of information I never knew.


Good Friday is on the horizon. Tomorrow, I will get to watch on TV, Christian Bale in his role as Moses.

Wishing all Christians, a holy Friday and a joyous Easter! Enjoy hot cross buns and easter egg hunting!

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Sigh!! I Am Human…Sadly

Monday…..I only have one consistent wish for Monday and that is, to nail the job interview today at 4pm my time.

But it is still early days yet as our interview process takes 3 to 4 rounds. If I am lucky, I may be offered the job in 3 months’ time.

There are plusses to this destination – I only need to travel less than 10 kilometers to work and it was a familiar route. It sure beats an hour of daily travel driving more than 50 kilometers one way and with long working hours it means dinner at 10pm most nights.

As for my potential supervisor, this one would be a wage employee and not an owner. This makes a huge difference as he will think like an employee and not as an owner to milk us. *I sincerely hope so*

So far the traits of Lords I have been under, stem from ownership mindset. 

Their pockets are affected, hence I believe their sense of normal humanity disappears in the department of empathy or compassion for humanoids.

Whilst I know that we live in an era of one is dispensable and that there is always someone whom they feel is available for cheaper, it is still, quite sad.

I wonder what the future generations of employees will be like? 

With robotics and mechantronics, industries will not need flesh and blood beings but titanum, alloy and grease.

Though I have titanium rods and screws, I am at most 0.0025 “robot” and I unfortunately have flesh and blood in my form.
No need for benefits, replacement is instanteous and no talk back on long inhumane working hours.

Accountants, Secretaries, pencil pushers no longer needed! 

Aargh…I have outlived my usefulness. I must mask my humanoid traits.

I complain on things like toilet rolls left with only the cardboard core.

I get bored and do pranks.

I must behave like i Robot! 😣

And yes, I am FAT as per the first image in this post ha ha!

Sigh!!

Happy Monday folks 😊

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Day Of Reckoning

 

Last night I received an epiphany of sorts when I sat through 8 hours of beration from Electrical Lord. From 2pm to 10 pm, 5 of us sat in his room as he scolded us till kingdom come, disrespectful of our dinner time.

Basically, I was punched left, right and center on things that were beyond my control and or things that go awry. I am his personal punching bag and to him, I delivered nothing, did nothing throughout my work tenure there in the last 1.5 years.

I wonder how did all the polices, processes, procedures, work reports etc etc and things got into place. Did I abracadabra all that to happen overnight?

Oh…he said that those do not count as I did not make a “profit” for the company. So, it seems that the immediate profit I would make for him is when he forces me to resign by making my work life a living hell there and immediately he will have saved payment of my wages! Brilliant!

EL is one paranoid little man who would admonish me for writing down notes of things to do as he berates me. To him, I am writing but unsure what I am writing on and possibly to publish his unreasonable behavior. Further, my cell phone with me (in his paranoid little mind) is to record things of what he says or condemn people. El Sicko!

I reflected on his management style – what I have learnt in this 1.5 years under his regime which is possibly an equivalent to despots, dictators and cruel people like Hannibal Lectern of Silence of the Lambs I think or any other evil character.

EL has often threatened to beat me up. Can you imagine having such an employer in our midst. I am a woman and he threatens to do so. Many have asked me to sue him. But whatever for as our local laws do not provide coverage for employees in management level.

Highly suspicious of anyone and everything, I would say that his lifestyle must be a sad one. He shared once that on reaching home, before he puts his wallet down, he must count his dollars to ensure that when he wakes up the next day, the same value tallies. Sad that one has to do this in their own home isn’t it? He does not even trust his own wife and family members!

How can anyone live in this sort of a mindset – it must be torturous having no trust, no love and selfishly doing things that labels “self” before others.

I learnt the following lessons from this evil little man:

Do not talk about charity when charity does not begin at home.

His minions are treated poorly and verbally abused most times. We are beasts in his eyes. Charity to him is donating to a cause that fuels his cause – kinda like a politician. The donation must generate mileage for him in terms of publicity and boosting his generous image. Yet in the office, anyone taking biscuits from the pantry is “theft” and we have to call the police.

Do not talk about work life balance. Though these words flow like a tap from his mouth, he does not believe it and insists we all should work 24/7 and have no rest days. Our annual earned vacation leave is best given back to him and we return like slaves to work for him.

Everyone is evil except him, purest devil on earth  – there is only ONE perfect man, a living God that walks on this earth in lil red dot and that man is EL. He is the purest of man and the kindest, most generous creep that exists – he is to me, the devil incarnate!

I have a better life. I need not have riches and I have pride.

Time for me to leave this hell hole and let the karmic forces face him and his deeds. I am not the demon slayer, neither am I a good person. I try my best to live a life not harming others, helping others to the best of my ability and I must never feel that the world has let me down.

I will be making a lot of lemony stuff in the days ahead. I am unsure where life will take me next but I sincerely hope that the heavens will be kinder and stop punishing me things I am unsure what I have done in past lives to warrant such a work life and all things bleak.

One month’s notice…..it will be good to be leaving this place and regain my self worth, sanity and compassion for others.

Sorry folks as I am feeling somewhat down…..working at EL’s has taken a toll on my mental and physical health ;-(

 

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My Wednesday Thoughts

In today’s society, it is hard for people of the new millennial or strawberry generation to apologise or give appreciation. Of course this is a general statement but those that do, are few and far between.

I used to think that people from the post baby boomers era seemed to appreciate people more, or they seemed more empathetic.

Sadly, I am proven wrong on all counts. It takes different people with different mindsets to be the person they choose to be.

Comparatively speaking, I see my parents and they are genuine in wanting to help people. So much so, that I feel they end up being taken advantage of, most times. Yet, when this happens, my mum is resigned about it and tells me that the important thing is, she tried to help. This is an interesting lesson and hard for me to follow. But I guess she has her reasons as she came from humble beginnings.

I try to emulate my mum most times, but being the cynical me who has gone through loads of lemony stuff, I am watchful. Not all people are appreciative of people.

But what takes the cake is when I observe the behavior of my current employer, the one and only evil Electrical Lord.

EL is displeased with me as I tend to motivate minions by saying thank you and or “hey, good job” when they slave beyond their normal work hours to deliver a much required piece of work with no extra pay. Little deeds like this has proven in HR practice to work. Minions are like you and I. We all work for somebody and once in a while, a little bit of thanks can go a long way.

Well, not for EL. He is rather displeased to the point of being sarcastic to berate me about this and in his broken English that he seems so proud so, he would say, “I hate it when you say well done, good done, semi done” – and lapses into his Chinese language to say all this is fake. Instead I must be the first to stand up and shout down at minions, never praise but SHOUT and VERBALLY ABUSE them. Hmm, I do not remember being appointed ring master with a whip in hand!

Aah so, I am not emulating him in his footsteps! He proudly told us minions once how his beloved future Prime Mininster or President (*perhaps a new Trump like candidate is in the works…aaargh) Daughter told him to tell a lady in marketing to *F****k (*swear word) to off when she refused to do her marketing paper homework.

The apple does not fall far from the tree as they oft say.

Each day as I continue to be immersed in this murky water environment, the more depressing each day gets. I try to stay chipper, going home with a smile to hug Garfield and feel the squooshy feel good moment of hugging a stuffed toy. I stay tuned to Hallmark channel to get feel good movies, to remind me that during this Christmasy time, there can be miracles of sorts.

I have come to conclusion that if I take a huge pay cut and work somewhere else for lesser, maybe I will feel happier and chipper. I am unsure. But what  I would like to do is, if I could, walk out of this hell hole and find my own faith in human kind.

I cannot emulate and become like EL. He is evil through and through – he wants to believe he is Buddha incarnate as he keeps repeating his “goodness” to us all. Yet, underneath that awful conniving smile he gives to others, us minions see nothing but sarcastic comments, swear words and depressing thoughts.

Every leaver that I have interviewed on exit tells me the same, “unappreciative, gives one high blood pressure and drives one to think of suicide as people hang onto their jobs for the sake of their families”

If I have ever have the chance,  I would tell the maker of this self proclaimed Buddha incarnate to teach and guide this EL into being a better human. We all have one live, let’s live it meaningfully – sharing, giving and being appreciative of what we have, not harming or making it difficult for others to earn a living.

If EL one day faces the maker and am told of weight of evil he has given to others, I wonder how will he feel?

My Wednesday thoughts folks as I aim to make a difficult decision. And in the words of the evil EL,

“Work hard, not smart is stupid”

“Work hard, work smart is stupid”

At the end of it all, it is the “result” he wants and boy oh boy, his goal posts keep shifting and so, me as a striker, can never score a goal.

Meanwhile turnover rate in our company continues to turn, the longest serving senior management team is at 1.8 years. There are only 6 of us, excluding 5 of his family members. Soon, EL will have himself to scold or inject more of his family members.

Al Pacino can never play this character…no one can really 😉

 

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Choices

Choices are my innermost voice, it tells me what I should do.

Often times what I should do, is at best, what I could do.

The ability to do something or anything, is heavily dependent on a choice of action.

Most times, choices are easy to make when the given situation is an easy one.

Other times, choices are hard to make when the given situation is complex and life threatening.

Today, I read in the papers of how an upcoming 22 year old China movie star died within2 months of acute lymphoma as she chose to have Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for treatment when she should have undergone chemotherapy.

She chose cupping and Kua Sa i.e. suction cups to move qi and the latter meaning removing bad qi energy.

A big hoo ha arose in the press or netizens (as we say) that TCM practitioner conned her of her monies and that she stoically followed traditional methods of Chinese medical treatment.

No one really knows what is her basis of choosing. What was reported though was that she did not want to take the poisons of chemotherapy.

To me, it seems this 22 year old gave up hope to live and chose to die in as dignified a manner as she could, without losing her locks, beauty and composure.

I may be wrong. Maybe she was indeed conned of her right decision?

Chosen Decisions are right when things turn out fine.

Chosen Decisions are wrong when things turn out bad.

Sounds like Russian Roulette to me as it is anyone’s best guess if the chamber if empty or filled with a bullet.

Choices to me, is anyone’s best guess and this ring’s true otherwise, why is there such a thing as making informed choices.

Left or right anyone? Ha ha!

 

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Progress

Day 3 of my new stint with the Electrical Lord. I am alive.

Day 2 of mum’s stint in hospital and I see her getting better. I pray for her continued recovery. Doctors and nurses have been kind to mum and I as I can only make it to see her after my long day of work. I am ever so grateful for the kindly doctor who takes the trouble to call me during my work day to update me of her progress.

The Electrical Lord loves a good yarn and he spins it 3 hours long each time if we are summoned before his holiness. I see eyes rolling of the other participants and others overtly telling me to switch to dream land mode. Bold advice they gave and I wonder if a political ploy is at play.

Lots of advice from the motley crew. Many shouting out names of the Evil Doers and warning me of harsh stab wounds that would appear on my back “soon” – such great ploy of politics – I sense a political cloud brewing.

I have a mountain of items to toil over and each day, there is a new bubble of information and if I do not grab it fast, it bursts quite fast.

Electrical Lord speaks in a strange language of work talk. Half the time  the subject strays from topic to topic and I get cryptic messages of which I must decipher.

The flipping of minds is fast and furious and I have to understand that it boils down to requirements of face saving, looking good and smelling good for the Electrical Lord.

I am ok with the perfuming effect – heck if I can survive my Ex’s perfuming of the dogs syndrome, this would just be another lesson in the school of hard knocks.

Onward ho I must as the new work day has started and I have a list of meetings to attend.

Further, I am eagerly awaiting my mum’s doctor to call and advise me of mum’s progress.

Meanwhile, I am tired. Zooming about from one point to another and not having sleep is taking its toll on my health. I must survive *to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” – ooooh my inanimate furball Garfield is sad – sad that I have no been giving him enough Garfield Hugs! I prefer to think that Garfield has not given me enough hugs instead 😉

Peace and cheers to good health to all you kind folks out there 🙂

I hope my next post will be announcing my mum’s discharge from hospital. * Prays hard

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Monday…..Must Life Be So Tough For Some?

It is half a day into Monday and I am glad.

Only half a day more to go as I use my lunch time to pen a few thoughts.

I do have a chest infection and will probably go and visit the doctor this evening to see if I need meds or I can still pump up on Vitamins C and E. I will decide when I leave the office later this evening.

I am a strong believer of Vitamin C as this has been used quite often by me to fend off bugs, especially viruses till it causes me to have visible infections and this is when I will need antibiotics.

I have been burning the candles at both ends and with the amount of stuff happening on plate, I guess I caved in to the stress building up.

Stress can indeed kill – or in my case, cause defence or immune systems to crash.

Possibly it could be that my daily dose of therapeutic humour was lost in view of our mass national mourning that did affect me. I would be lying if I said it did not.

Head Honcho gave his usual slew of unkind remarks and I gave it back to him.

I felt it was time to sling it back such that he knows where I am coming from. I used to let it slide like water off a duck’s back. But with his style, I decided to return what he dishes out.

Perhaps he is just obtuse with no thought that such remarks can hurt of offend others?

I sometimes feel that people do not think before they speak and by doing so, it is much too late to retract as once the words are verbalised out of the mouth and into the ears of the listening party, whatever damage that can be done, is usually done.

Over the years, I have learnt to stop, listen and discern before saying things that may even seem to have the slightest hint of offence. Most times, it may elude me as I may be dense – so dense that I may not even know it. Whatever the case, I do not wish to intentionally offend any one.

Today I had a one to one counselling with Ms Sour Plum. I noticed from our conversation that I was interacting with a socially deviant character who has undergone school counselling for 8 years of her school life.

I spoke at length to her and explained to her areas where she failed in her duties.

She apologized for her behaviour and said that she will change. But the rage in her stemming from her hatred for the other colleagues in the department is worrying. Her rationale as to why she was destructive with information to me was that she did not want me to share with the others.

I told her she was selfish as we all work as a team. We do not work in silos. Besides, the company does not owe us a living!

I sincerely hope for her sake that my counselling on her was not wasted and that at least 30% went into her skull. She is, as a social deviant, had two options I put forth to her; (1) change for the better or (2) quit.

Since she was not prepared to quit and she claims that she wants to change, I told her that I would give her the opportunity to do so. But if after a specific time frame we both agree on and we see no progress, then she faces termination of her services.

This is the least I can do to lend value to the life of a social deviant and that I urge her to seek counselling from a psychiatrist to manage her anger and hatred for the others within the department we worked in.

I felt sad for her as she is in her mid 20s and for her to have such a perception of life, it will take her a long and arduous road to grow old and happily too.

I left two phrases for her to think over…. (1) letting go and (2) be prepared to forgive others else the hatred will grow, fester and become the focal point of her character.

As to if I can reach out and touch this person’s life to change for the better…..all I can do is to try as I am not a certified shrink 🙂

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Today’s Babbling Brook

I hate to disappoint you folks but, No, there are no brooks in Singapore and I do not have the luxury of listening to babbling brooks which is somewhat soothing really.

However, most private homes and or business offices have put in little urns of fountains that emit the sounds of babbling brooks and it is rather tranquil, sitting and listening to the sounds of water.

I call this “hydra therapy for the ears” and much enjoy it whilst seated at the waiting area of an orthopaedic surgeon, waiting for my turn.

My neighbour below me has this little gadget put in as well and when I leave my windows open, I get a chance to hear it as it babbles away. I do miss it when I do not hear it and would peer down and realise that my neighbor’s babbling brook has broken down – usually a mechanical pump failure of sorts.

I am in a funny mood. Whilst I am sad with the sombre nation’s mourning, I am also reflective of what I wish to do with life going forward.

Last night’s meal with Mr Ability To Earn was “expensive” in that I listened and decided to squirrel away funds for future retirement. I like listening to Mr Ability to Earn as he tends to have good and sound financial advice. I am one who only uses safe instruments, low risk etc etc and I have no belief in get rich schemes on fast track as this comes with it, hefty risks.

For those with a bigger risk appetite, they can or have gung ho spirits to attempt. For me, the chicken hearted, I stay with low low risks ha ha!

I have come to accept that there is no perfect job but I will not condone employers who milk employees dry either. How tough a job and the hours put in would also commensurate with salary as in $.

I am also seeking work life balance as I do not think I want to continue working endless 12 to 16 hours a day without seeing sunrises or sunsets. I want to smell the roses as they say, though these days, roses have been genetically modified and have lost their scent or parfum as one says 😉

Yes, I am a babbling brook today as I babble my thoughts on paper as I blog.

Indeed my life is like what Shakespeare has described – 7 stages. I started as a baby, mewling and puking, moving to school going years and soon, I will be sans taste, sans eyes etc.

This is the journey of life….as humans, we live and we die.

Living is part of dying and dying is part of living – I journey on….with my inanimate furball Garfield in tow.

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