Monday, August 31, 2009

Happiness is .... (2)

I dare say that I quite enjoy bus rides. I enjoy the programs on Mobile T.V. the most. My favourite is "Just for laughs". How nice it is to travel on the bus and watch T.V. at the same time. Sometimes I laughed a little too heartily, forgetting that I was in a public bus and not at home!

Our buses are quite new nowadays. By golly! They are colorful and cheerful - orange coloured seats with bright purple and yellow railings!

Whenever I am in the bus, I thank God for His blessings of our wonderful vehicles and great transport system. I recall how in Nepal, passengers are like packed sardines in a can. Where there is not enough space, goods and sometimes people, and even goats and sheep are also put on top of the bus.!

Yet strangely, some of our people here are so stressed that even when they were in the wrong they would act righteous and punch the bus drivers when queried about the wrong usage of link cards, etc. This has prompted the company to put posters which say, "Our bus captains have the right to a safe and smooth journey.

Usually when I alight from the bus, I would thank the bus driver for a safe journey, especially when I happen to alight at the entrance when the bus is very crowded.

Once, a few years ago, I was interviewed on Channel News Asia on Prime Time TV. The government was then encouraging elderly people to be active and to be brave to try new things. I had ventured into the restaurant business and hence was a suitable target for the interviewers. I thought it would be no harm to experience being interviewed. Moreover, at the unearthly time of 8.30a.m., most people would not be watching the television anyway, as most would be either in the office or on their way to work.

Hence, I was pleasantly surprised when my friends and associates called me, "Hey, Choo, just saw you on TV.!"

"You're not working today?" I asked.

"No, I was watching mobile TV in the bus."

I had forgotten all about mobile TV as I usually took the MRT.

Some buses do not have TV installation, and I would try to read my novel or newspapers. Or I would try to get my forty winks before I reach my destination.

If I were in a hurry, I would prefer to take the MRT. If I had time, I would prefer a more leisurely journey by bus, where I could sit back and relax, watching the world go by, pondering and counting my blessings and naming them one by one.

Gan Chau

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Hidden Potential

As a teacher, I often encouraged my students to discover their hidden potential. People often think I am versatile. I do not think I am more versatile than anyone. It is just that I happened to have discovered more of my hidden potential, and this discovery came about because of a willingness to try, to help, to make a fool of myself, or even to fail! In brief, to be a "kaypo" (busybody).

Until we try, we do not know. Hence, I wish to encourage all my readers to do likewise. Try your hands at cooking, baking, playing a new instrument, writing, public speaking at toastmasters' clubs, learning a new language, marathon running, gardening, selling real estate, etc.

I hope to encourage my readers by sharing my personal experiences under the title, "If Susan Boyle could sing......"

When Susan Boyle stood on stage, she surprised everyone with her unexpected angelic voice. She took the judges and audience by surprise, and became a favourite because she represented the hope that people could have, at a time when the world economy was in disarray, and the world has its stereotype of what it takes to make a celebrity - beauty, attractiveness, slimness, talent, fitness, etc. However, if Susan had not taken that very first step of deciding that she would try at the "Britian Got Talent", even though the odds were against her, the world would not have known of her existence.

Hence, remember, if Susan Boyle could also could.......
It is for you to fill in the blanks. :-)

Gan Chau

If Susan Boyle Could Sing.......(1)

"Wow! You are playing the violin so well now!" exclaimed Madam Lim. She had come into the room while we were practising in the String Ensemble at the Braddell Heights Community Centre. Madam Lim had stood listening till the break as she had wanted to speak to our teacher and conductor, Mr. Yan.

"Am sorry I had misjudged you when your first enrolled. Thought you would not last long in the class, but you are playing Grade 2 pieces now after a few months!" continued Madam Lim, when I met her in the office after the rehearsal.

"Really? Didn't know they are grade 2 pieces, as I thought I am still doing Grade One. I guess if Susan Boyle could sing, Aunty Choo could play the violin too," I smiled.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happiness is ....

I was looking into the bare office which our company had taken over. It is now being renovated. My boss, Dr. Wee, came in and seeing my curiosity said, "Choo Choo, take a room or table space."

"Boss, I find it easier to work from home. I live in the heart of the city and it is easier for me to go to River Valley and Orchard area from my home.

Indeed, happiness is now, typing my blog article, and feeling the breeze on my face. It is usually quite windy here, probably because my block of apartment receives the sea breeze as it is located not too far from the coast.

I enjoy working from home. I know it is not easy for some to work from home as they find they concentrate better in the office. With my loud, thunderous voice, my conversation may distract others. I also do not like to work in the confines of a small room as I feel kind of claustrophobic. Since I have come in as top agent the past three months and a few times in the past three years, my boss did not comment. He is also one of those who believes in working in the office. I guess all of us are different.

When I am at home, I feel less tired, and somehow have more energy. I am also quite disciplined and will not snooze off at work.

Happiness is when the wind blows ........

Gan Chau

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Is that a dog or ......a pig?




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Whenever I entered the lift of my block, I would tell all the people in the lift that Toby is a good dog and that she does not bite. I would speak in Hindi and Tamil, and if there was a Malay resident in the lift, I would assure him in Malay,
"Anjing sangat baik. Anjing tak gigit orang."

Once just as I was entering the lift, an Indonesian maid looked at me with great surprise and asked, "Is that a dog or a pig?" I burst out laughing and assured her that Toby is every inch a dog.

"Looks like a pig," she continued to giggle.

"Yes, you're quite right. She does resemble a little pig to some extent.

Gayatri had told me on the phone that Toby is very cute. When I first saw Toby I burst out laughing for indeed she looks very cute. I am glad that I met Gayatri, for I respect owners who are faithful to their pets, and who do not abandon their pets at the slightest inconvenience. Gayatri went through great pains to look for a responsible person to look after Toby until the family has settled in Dubai, which might take around three weeks. Due to some delay, Toby is going to stay with me for an extra two months, much to my delight. Gayatri said she could rest her mind as she knows Toby is well loved and taken care of.

My previous pet, Kam Xiaobai also looked very cute and some people had mistaken him to be a bear! I am grateful that God knows the desires of my heart and had given me a dog that looks like a bear and a Toby that looks like a little pig. I have always wanted to keep a pig as a pet, but in Singapore, it would not be allowed. I guess my interest in pigs stemmed from my childhood experience as my neighbours had a small pig farm. Though the air was permeated with the stench of pig dung, nevertheless the little piglets were so cute. The movie, "Babe" enhanced my interest in pigs.

Thank you Lord for Xiaobai - a dog that looked like a bear and for Toby - a dog that looks like a pig.!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Fun Way to Raise Funds


My tenant, Jasmin, also dotes on Toby

A joy to look after Toby

Teachable and intelligent

Toby's owner, Gayatri had written to me to say that she now has to change the flight for Toby to Dubai. Hence, it means Toby would stay with me for an extra 8 weeks. My tenant, Jasmin and I were overjoyed because it meant we could spend more time with the lovely dog we had grown to love. If all had gone according to plan, Toby would have left Singapore on the eve of National Day.

Gayatri pays me $10 a day to look after Toby. I used the money to buy T-shirts, books, files, etc. from Noah's Ark by way of giving the Animal Shelter support. The T-shirts were given as gifts to friends and clients. Hence, it is a good way of telling others about Noah's Ark.

Gayatri had shared how if I had not taken Toby in, she would have to put her beloved pug at a pet hotel. She is glad I could take Toby for she knows Toby is very affectionate and likes to be with people. Toby has her own little bed which she is fond of, and will follow us around the flat.

Now even my neighbours have come to sayang (love) Toby. Whenever I take her for her walks, little children will shout her name. Sometimes Jasmin helps me to walk Toby.

Ever since my three dogs, Kamlette, Kambobo and Kam Xiaobai passed away, my siblings had advised me not to keep any more pets. Now with my back aches, it would not be so easy for me to bathe the three big dogs. I agree that there is a season for everything and I am glad I had enjoyed my three pets when I was younger and healthier. Hence, it gives me great joy to be able to "dog-sit" Chelsea, Hero and Toby for short periods of time. It is also a fun way to help raise funds for the less fortunate dogs that are sheltered at Noah's Ark. The founder, Raymund, has done a great job for strays and unwanted animals, and it is only a small way for me to contribute to his cause. For readers who wish to read more about Raymund's work, they can log in at

Though I am giving my time and love for Toby, I am actually receiving even more. My blood pressure has been normal the past few weeks and I feel more relaxed and now am not so inclined to fall sick. Didn't someone say that one of the ways to live a happy and healthy life is to keep a pet at home? Interestingly I exchanged notes with Gurion, an active and passionate toastmaster who is also a zoologist during refreshment break at the Vietnam Toastmasters Club. Gurion said that pugs are not popular as other breeds, but when you keep them, you begin to realise they are so easy to look after and are so cute and adorable.

Toby, Toby, we love you.!

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My agent recruit, Maya, who is in my team

City Square - a project which stands out because of its height and amenities

Good location....within a stone's throw from popular Mustafa

One of the joys of being a real estate agent is the great opportunity of visiting places in Singapore. Agents have the opportunity to be among the first to view a new project.

My agent recruit recently had a client who was interested in City Square. As it was her first time handling the sale of a private property, she requested me to meet the client and to view the premises so that I could give the client some salient advice.

Maya is the younger sister of my best friend, Amu. She was a telemarketer and an excellent one at that. I had encouraged her to join us as an agent. However I did not want to push her, preferring her to join us when she was ready. Maya had already closed a few deals of Housing Development Board flats. Now she wants to try her hand at selling private properties. I always tell my agents to do their best and leave God to do the rest. Maya has the potential to become an outstanding agent because she is persevering and diligent. Also quite importantly, Maya has the physical, emotional and spiritual support of her lovely family. Her husband sometimes drives her and her five children also help her to answer phone calls! Her eldest daughter, Abigail, sometimes helps her in telemarkeing.

All the very best to you, Maya. Keep shining!

Gan Chau
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who says there are no free things in life?


The lovely toilet at Food Opera. There is even an attractive floral arrangement.

A toilet that looks as posh as those in five star hotels.
Make it a point to visit Food Opera at ION.

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I like the toilets in ION. As I am out most of the time, public toilets are important to me, especially clean ones. Nevertheless when I am out on mission trips to third world countries I try to accept whatever toilets are available. I remember how one of our group members was trying so hard to manipulate himself into the small cubicle which the Nepalese called a toilet. All of a sudden his camera fell into the hole! This was why when I saw "Slumdog Millionaire" I laughed so hard when I saw the little boy coming out of the toilet with shit all over him!!! It reminded me of my poor friend's camera!

Hence, let us all be constantly cheerful and thankful for the amenities in the red dot. This is why people always find me positive for indeed we have so many things to be grateful for. What joy to be able to take a free ride in a lovely airconditioned bus from Great World City to Orchard CK Tang! I often get free rides too from River Valley Road to Plaza Singapura at Dhoby Ghaut/Orchard Road and from there, I could take a leisurely walk home to Little India! On weekends, there is also the free shuttle from Dhoby Ghaut to Little India and Chinatown. This is why I am enjoying my BMW No. 11 so ooooo ooooooooo much! The most incredible thing is that of the "BMW", I actually use "W" the most, ie walking! Yet even more incredible is that despite the walking, I am as rotund as ever!

Anyway, thank God for rotund things!

Gan Chau

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Much Ado About Names in ION Food Court!


Suddenly I think of Luciano Pavarotti when I saw the name of "Food Opera"!

Tokyo Crepe Girl? The crepe must be porcelain white!

Name of Fatty Weng will scare off weight-conscious and potentially anorexic customers!
What has prata got to do with minced pork noodles?

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The ION had opened with much fanfare and great crowds. And as usual, you will not find me elbowing my way to quench my curiosity about new places and happenings.

I had just finished a viewing and there were some two hours before the next viewing. I took the free shuttle bus from Great World City to C.K.Tangs and decided to take a look at the much publicised ION.

First to explore the food court, and then the public toilets. For this article, let us just focus on the food court.

Wow! The ambiance of the place is teriffic and with expensive looking chandeliers hanging from the ceilings; the food court certainly looks kind of posh! It is understandable that customers must also pay a higher price for the food to match the equally posh atmosphere. A cup of kopi-o costs $1.80! A cup will cost 70 cents in a heartland kopi-tiam, while a cup will cost $1.20 at Ya Kun Kaya and $1.30 at Toast Box. A bowl of laksa costs $5.00 as opposed to one that costs $3.00 at a kopi tiam.

I was attracted by some of the quirky names I saw. Food Opera to begin with. Immediately I thought of Luciano Pavarotti and thought perhaps the food court should play some Italian opera music to enhance the atmosphere. I smiled to myself as I thought of how I had sung one of Pavarotti's songs and added my own English words with lots of food thrown in to the disgust of the Italian owner of Rialto, Mr. Diego Bincoletto from whom I had taken over the outlet!

I watched with interest how Tokyo crepes are being made. I am not sure of the purpose of Fatty Weng's name. Does the word "Fatty" conjure images of lip smacking, tasty food by a person who has grown rotund from great food? However, the word will also make potentially anorexic customers flee from want of being slim and trim?

What You Do Prata is a question mark or name.? Nevertheless, what has prata got to do with minced pork noodles?

Even as customers consume and enjoy their food, will they give a thought to the interesting names around them or do they just eat and relish, and worse still, to rush and be done with their meals? A friend from overseas had observed how fast we consume our food. Let us slow down somewhat and take time to chew our food and chew on our thoughts as well.

Gan Chau

A Dinner Surprise


Veronica with Rachel and Jasmin

A lovely spread of Japanese delicacies

Just as I was about to leave the home to visit my client, Veronica, my tenant, Jasmin returned home from work. I casually asked if he would like to come along as I wanted to show him the Western part of Singapore.

Veronica smsed me to say that she was preparing dinner, and asked if I was alone or with someone. I told her not to worry about dinner because Jasmin and I could have our dinner at Vivo City on our way back.

Wow! What a lovely condominium.! Veronica stayed at a penthouse unit and she keeps everything spic and span. She is one of the most organised ladies I have ever met. To our surprise, Veronica prepared some cold Japanese noodles and told my tenant, Jasmin, that he could have noodles with the seaweed and Japanese radish. Cold Japanese noodles is my favourite because it is refreshing when the weather is warm. Jasmin was pleasantly surprised that cold noodles could be so tasty! He thoroughly enjoyed his first Japanese meal! We also enjoyed the fragrant Japanese rice tea.

Veronica and her family love music and we could find so many instruments in her home. Her daughter, Rachel plays the erhu, pipa, mandolin and Veronica also plays the gu-zheng. Her little chihuahua, Mo Mo, also added to the fun and colour of the home.

Veronica also used to be a housing agent, and appreciates the stress and challenges an agent faces. Now she does not work and is a full time housewife. She keeps a sharp lookout for good propery investments. Somehow when looking at her I am reminded of the capable wife that is mentioned in the Book of Proverbs. Indeed a good wife is more precious than rubies and diamonds, and behind every successful man is a quiet and capable wife.

Gan Chau
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

National Day Celebration





This year, I had a quiet celebration on National Day home, sitting in front of the screen. For some, it would be more thrilling to be in the midst of the celebration so that they could feel the ambience of the place.

I dislike huge crowds and prefer to watch the celebration in the comfort of my home. The previous year, I had cooked some dinner and invited friends over to dine and watch the program together.

I think we have the added advantage of seeing everything on the screen. By golly, now with high definition television, we could even see the pimples and acnes of some of our Ministers of Parliament! It was interesting to be able to watch the facial expression of the artistes....something that could not be so easily seen if we were seated amongst the crowd.

Best of all, towards the end, we would run to the bedroom windows and see the fireworks shooting up in the sky! I would say that this year, the items were more interesting and the whole celebration was certainly an improvement over the previous year. Kudos to all the organisers and participants for a great show and celebration!

May God continue to bless and prosper our nation, so that we could continue to be a blessing to other nations.

Gan Chau
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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Much Ado About whether the weather......

The high humidity in Singapore can sap the energy of every living creature with two or four legs.

Have you ever experienced walking and perspiring under the hot blazing sun, and when you enter a cool, airconditioned bus, suddenly your body is recharged and you feel refreshed and energised with the cool air.? How wonderful it would be if Singapore could be just endowed with cooler temperatures.! Then to me, it would be an almost perfect country to live in.!

However, if the weather is too cold, we will also feel sleepy and lethargic. I remember how often we would cover ourselves with very thick blankets during winter in Canada, as we tried to steal some 40 winks! Hence the most ideal temperature would be about 19 degrees celcusius. This is probably why I love autumn season the most as the weather is almost perfect. Early spring is also lovely, as the air is cool, crisp and clean.

Fortunately, in Singapore, the weather is much cooler during November and December, and sometimes the wind is so strong that my friend, who lives on the 23rd floor, feels somewhat cold. Despite the humidity, sometimes, it can be quite windy. At times like this, we would be grateful for the breeze cools down the temperature. Even as I am typing this article on the dining table in my kitchen, I could feel the strong breeze coming through the windows.

It makes me feel really appreciative of the construction workers who brave the hot blazing sun, day in and day out, just so that we could enjoy the beautiful structures and buildings in our country. Hence, stop complaining Kam Choo Choo.! Enjoy Singapore as she is - lock, stock and temperature!!

Gan Chau

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Determination

Oh! My gosh. It was such a hectic week that by the time I realised it on Wednesday, the time had passed by! Horror upon horrors! I had actually forgotten all about my violin lessons. I had missed a couple of lessons in the past when I was caught up in my work, but I had remembered to sms my teacher, Mr. Yan that I could not attend class.!

Yet, another week had passed. I had not touched my violin for almost two weeks. I was desperate! I had to put my foot down that I should at least have some hours of practice in the morning before I went for my class. Yet the phone never stopped ringing! I mustered whatever little time that I had to grab 30 minutes of practice before I went down to the car park to wait for my partner, Dickson, to pick me up to go to the lawyer's office. Dickson was late by almost 35 minutes, and I had to muster all my patience and calm. I could have put in another 30 more minutes of practice if I had known he was going to be late.

When I went for my violin lessons, it was almost with embarrassment and trepidation. I felt bad for missing my last lesson, and worse, to come to class with inadequate practice. I tried to play my best with Mr. Yan playing the second part of the score. Thank God that I managed to sail through my lessons and Mr. Yan seemed to be enjoying himself as is the norm for music teachers when their students are able to follow their instructions closely.

I shared with Mr. Yan a little about my property work. At the end he said, "Am glad that you are improving."

"In my property work or violin?" I asked somewhat sheepishly.

"In both", replied Mr. Yan, a man of few words.

I left the class with a spring in my steps and a melody in my heart. I am now even more determined to work harder, especially in my violin playing. It is unthinkable that I almost wanted to stop my lessons, but I am glad that I did not give up. When the property market is not so hot, I could put in more hours of practice. Mr. Yan is a very popular teacher, highly in demand, and once I gave up my place, it would be hard for him to give me a slot again. I must continue to press on with mastering the lovely instrument and put in my utmost. After all, genius is 99 % perspiration and only 1 % inspiration.

Gan Chau

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Power of the Mind!

Better than a Flu Shot!

Miss Beatrice, The church organist, Was in her eighties
And had never been married.
She was admired for her sweetness And kindness to all.
One afternoon the pastor came to call on her and she showed him into her quaint sitting room.

She invited him to have a seat while she prepared tea.
As he sat facing her old Hammond organ, The young minister noticed a cute glass bowl sitting on top of it.
The bowl was filled with water, and in the water Floated,
of all things, a condom!

When she returned with tea and scones, they began to chat.
The pastor tried to stifle his curiosity about the bowl of water and its strange floater, but soon it got the better of him and he could no longer resist.
'Miss Beatrice', he said, 'I wonder if you would tell me about this?' Pointing to the bowl.

'Oh, yes,' she replied, 'Isn't it wonderful?
I was walking through the park a few months ago and I found
this little package on the ground. The directions said to place it on the organ, keep it wet and that it would prevent the spread of disease. Do you know I haven't had the flu All winter.'

The above joke was sent to me by a friend. Although it is funny nevertheless, it clearly illustrates the power of the mind.

Hence it is imperative for us to always think positively and when we do not waver in our belief and trust, the expected results will come to pass.

Gan Chau

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Classic Court Disorders

These are from a book called Disorder in the Court, and are things people
actually said in court, word for word, taken down and now published by court
reporters who had the torment of staying calm while these exchanges were
actually taking place. Have a great day ahead.

ATTORNEY: Are you sexually active?
WITNESS: No, I just lie there.

ATTORNEY: This myasthenia gravis, does it affect your memory at all?
ATTORNEY: And in what ways does it affect your memory?
WITNESS: I forget.
ATTORNEY: You forget? Can you give us an example of something you forgot?

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan.

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep,
he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the twenty-one-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: Uh, he's twenty-one.

ATTORNEY: Were you present when your picture was taken?
WITNESS: Are you shittin' me?

ATTORNEY: So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY: And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS: Uh... I was getting laid!

ATTORNEY: She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY: How many were boys?
ATTORNEY: Were there any girls?
WITNESS: Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new

ATTORNEY: How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS: By death.
ATTORNEY: And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS: Now whose death do you suppose terminated it?

ATTORNEY: Can you describe the individual?
WITNESS: He was about medium height and had a beard.
ATTORNEY: Was this a male or a female?

ATTORNEY: Is your appearance here this morning pursuant to a deposition
which I sent to your attorney?
WITNESS: No, this is how I dress when I go to work.

ATTORNEY: Doctor, how many of your autopsies have you performed on dead
WITNESS: All my autopsies are performed on dead people. Would you like to
rephrase that?

ATTORNEY: ALL your responses MUST be oral, OK? What school did you go to?

ATTORNEY: Do you recall the time that you examined the body?
WITNESS: The autopsy started around 8:30 p. m.
ATTORNEY: And Mr. Denton was dead at the time?
WITNESS: No, he was sitting on the table wondering why I was doing an
autopsy on him.

ATTORNEY: Are you qualified to give a urine sample?
WITNESS: Huh.... are you qualified to ask that question?

--- And the best for last: ---

ATTORNEY: Doctor, before you performed the autopsy, did you check for a
ATTORNEY: Did you check for blood pressure?
ATTORNEY: Did you check for breathing?
ATTORNEY: So, then it is possible that the patient was alive when you began
the autopsy?
ATTORNEY: How can you be so sure, Doctor?
WITNESS: Because his brain was sitting on my desk in a jar.
ATTORNEY: I see, but could the patient have still been alive, nevertheless?
WITNESS: Yes, it is possible that he could have been alive and practicing

The above was forwarded to me by a toastmaster, Fernando. He received it from another toastmaster, Pradeep.

I laughed so hard when I read the above email. I wish to also share an anecdote with my readers.

I used to work as a legal secretary in Penang. My boss, Miss Pamela Ong, wife of the late Lim Kean Siew, is a brilliant lawyer who specialised in divorce cases. The law firm handled the bulk of all the divorce cases in Penang at that time. In those days, I had to use Pitman's shorthand and typing with a manual typewriter for my rather demanding work.

One day, two ladies came to see Miss Ong about divorce matters. My boss is a very bright lady who speaks quite fast and she expects precise answers to her precise questions. The younger lady was quite nervous. Readers must remember that three decades ago, divorce was a taboo.

"How are you going to court? You gave all the wrong answers! The judge will throw your case out of the window", my boss was getting impatient with the confused lady.

"Oh! Please pardon my daughter, Miss Ong. She is not used to divorce matters".

"Who on earth is used to divorce matters?", my boss raised her eyes with exasperation.

I could not control myself and burst out laughing. Suddenly my boss and the two ladies turned their attention to me. Somehow my booming laughter must have caused the walls to shake and the floor to rumble, and reduced the tenseness of the atmosphere.

After the two ladies left, my boss said to me, "Choo, I know some of these clients are quite funny and sometimes ridiculous, but you must learn to control yourself and not to laugh."

Now my readers know why I am nicely-rounded. My tummy is filled with joyous air of laughter.

Gan Chau

A Pleasant Surprise!

I love the pizzas from Canadian Pizzas. Sometimes, I would order the pizzas especially when my best friend, Amu, comes avisiting. She would share my pizza because it is not possible for me to finish a medium sized pizza on my own. Actually Amu and I make great pizzas as I still have our pizza recipe of Rialto Italian Cuisine, but I do not have a big oven in my kitchen.

When we order a pizza, Canadian Pizza will give us another one with compliments. Hence I would share the complimentary pizza with my two tenants, Jasmine and Avinesh. I would smile when the lady at Canadian Pizza would spell out my order before I could speak, "One Vegetarian pizza with no onion and garlic, and one Bar-B-Q with pineapples instead of onion. Extra chilli flakes and no parmesan cheese". It is amazing how companies are operating with such impressive technology!

Once when the delivery man came with the pizzas, I gave him a bottle of yakult as the weather was quite warm. It is my habit to stock up drinks in my refrigerator so that I can offer them to the cleaners, postman or officers who come a-knocking on my door.

Two evenings ago, we ordered pizzas again from Canadian Pizza. I was surprised when the delivery man, Deeban, gave me a huge bottle of Seven Up, to thank me for having offered him a bottle of yakult during his previous delivery.

I told him that it was not necessary, but to my surprise he replied, "Whenever people show me some kindness, I must return their kindness."

Thanks Deeban for your generosity. Somehow that evening, the pizzas tasted even more delicious!

Gan Chau

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Excuse Me.....Are You a Property Agent? (9)

"Hi, I have a client who is very keen on your aparment for rental. Do you cobroke your Pristine Heights two bedroom unit?"

"Yes, I do,".

"Can you please tell me where Pristine Heights is located?"

"Please look into the website", and I hung up.

It is most annoying when I receive such calls. It has always been my policy to cobroke because it means better networking and better service for my clients, for I could get their units sold or rented out at a faster pace.

However it is sometimes taxing when you work with agents who either don't know their work or who do not have the initiative to think and to solve problems. They want to be spoon fed. How do they know their clients are keen on my unit when they themselves do not even know the location of the condominium?

I often tell cobroking agents to qualify their clients with regards to budget, facing, etc. Yet, I have agents asking if the rental could be $2300 when I had told them my clients would settle for nothing less than $2700 for the rental! It is such a sheer waste of time and energy.

Property work is demanding and taxing. Yet it could be rewarding and life as an agent would be made much easier when agents listen more carefully, analyse and exercise more initiative when they cobroke with other agents.