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.
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.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
This year, I had a quiet celebration on National Day .....at 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.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
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!!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
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.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
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.
Sunday, August 02, 2009
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
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
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.
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!
Saturday, August 01, 2009
"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.