Thursday, November 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home - Houses below US$100,000/-!




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I saw pictures of the above houses in various towns in America and they are all going
for less than US$100,000/-. The houses remind me of my student days in Canada. I just love the houses because they are cosy, homely and comfortable. The Canadians are very adept at decorating their homes. I enjoyed my part time work as a cleaner
when I was studying in Edmonton. I loved the different homes I was sent to.

I guess many of us will envy the Americans for their lovely and cheaper homes. Now, with US$100,000/- we cannot even buy a 3 room HDB flat! Apartments in Singapore are getting smaller and smaller and we call them shoebox apartments. Measuring some 330 to 500 sq. ft. whoever lives in these apartments must be adept at maximising the space. Of course the best is that little time is needed to clean these smaller dwelling places.

I guess at the end of the day, feelings of home sweet home will arise from how comfortable and happy we are. Frankly I would prefer to live in Singapore, as the island is small and more compact, and it is easier to zoom around in the mrt, bus, or taxis. Where the distance is less than 2 km, I will usually walk instead, if I am not in a hurry or am not carrying a heavy bag.

For those of us, who would like a little more space at times, travelling overseas during vacation is a good option. Next December, I will fly to Edmonton to visit my friends, Mary and Ryan.

In conclusion, it does not really matter where we live. Most important is how happy and at ease we feel. Remember that someone had mentioned in the Book of Proverbs,
"I'd rather eat a piece of dry bread in the stable than feast in a mansion with a nagging wife. I remember how I was so happy growing up in Jelutong village in Penang. Though our attap house was not a grand one, I was extremely joyful staying with my wonderful family members. Sometimes when it rained, the rainwater would seep through the old attap roofs, and we would scramble to get pails to catch the water. When the ground was flooded, we would make paper boats to sail on the water. Papa and Mama were always so hospitable, and we often had guests at home for lunch or tea.

Let us all make our homes sweet and happy. It is the people in the home that are more important than bricks and mortars. Let us be hospitable and share with others our home, no matter how small or big. Home is truly where the heart is.

Gan Cao

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Dog's Life....

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The sweet retriever that goes for his daily nap at his neighbour's house!

"An older, tired-looking dog wandered into my yard.
I could tell from his collar and well-fed belly that he had a home and was well taken care of.

He calmly came over to me, I gave him a few pats on his head. He then followed me into my house, slowly walked down the hall, curled up in the corner and fell asleep.

An hour later, he went to the door, and I let him out.

The next day he was back, greeted me in my yard, walked inside and resumed his spot in the hall and again slept for about an hour. This continued off and on for several weeks.

Curious I pinned a note to his collar: 'I would like to find out who the owner of this wonderful sweet dog is and ask if you are aware that almost every afternoon your dog comes to my house for a nap.'

The next day he arrived for his nap, with a different note pinned to his collar:
'He lives in a home with non stopping chatting wife, 6 children, 2 under the age of 3 - he's trying to catch up on his sleep.
Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Dogs are so clever. I could not help smiling when I received the above email from a friend, Michael Rodrigues. I remember how our pet dog, Bobby, would go to the temple in our village in Penang, where he would have his daily nap. It was not because our home was noisy; but with his thick fur, Bobby found comfort and coolness sleeping on the tiles of the inner sanctuary of the temple which for some reason, were especially cold to the touch. Enjoy and smile!

Ladies, please try to jabber less. Even dogs find us somewhat too noisy for their nap. Someone has said that when a man dies, the first part to rot would be his eyes! As for ladies, the first part to rot would be their tongues and mouths! Moral of the story?

Men should ogle less; and women should jabber less! You can be assured that now I am trying my utmost to talk less and listen more! :-)

Gan Cao

Monday, November 08, 2010

Foreign Workers Should Be Banned From the Casinos

I read with dismay of many foreign workers trying their luck at the casinos. It is sad to think that their hard earned money would be wiped out at the gambling tables or through the jackpot machines, for the chances of losing are far greater than the chances of winning.

So many of the foreign workers have left their home countries to come to Singapore to earn a living. They will send back portions of their earnings back to their family members and some still have debts to pay. Some have borrowed heavily from family members and friends to come to Singapore. It is unthinkable that because of their penchant for gambling, they would lose their focus which is to earn as much money as they can, so that with their savings, they can return to their countries to start a small business or build their dream home.

It is quite alright if the foreign workers spend a little money to try their luck on Toto, 4D or the Singapore Sweep. I heard that one foreign worker won the first prize in a Toto draw, and he had only spent $1.00 buying Toto. I believe that if a person is lucky enough, even with one ticket, he may have the good fortune to strike a prize.

Some of the foreign workers work at construction sites under the hot blazing sun. It is sheer, hard work. Why let the slots in the jackpot machines devour your hard earned money? For those who are gradually getting addicted, flee for your life, before you become slaves to gambling addiction. While the rich could afford to lose thosands if not millions, the foreign workers just cannot afford to lose any money.

I have never been inside the two casinos in Singapore, and I don't think I will ever pay the levy of $100. I still believe in sheer hard work and wise investments. I will never let Lady Luck play a role in my acquisition of wealth, for Lady Luck will allow me to win a Mercedes, but lose a bungalow if I do not flee fast enough.

Gan Cao

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My Favourite Advertisements.....




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Whenever I watch my favourite television programs, I would try to make use of the advertisement segments to read, or take a coffee or toilet break. However, when the Odourless Nippon Paint advertisement is on, I would watch it for it is my favourite.

I always smile when I watch the pug dancing in unison with the Samurai painter. In general I like advertisements with music and animals in them. I also like the Tomato Catchup advertisement where a white duck catches a piece of French fry in its mouth and walks towards a little boy holding some tomato ketchup sauce in his hand as he eats his fries. The little boy's eyes grow bigger and rounder as the duck approaches him and dips its French fry into the tomato sauce.

The Media Corp needs advertisements to run its programs. How wonderful it would be
if all advertisements are tasteful, unique and interesting. But sad to say, some are absolutely boring and I think you know the ones I am referring to.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Hey! Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods.....

The other day I was taking a ride from Outram Road MRT station to Clementi. I could not help smiling when I heard a young couple's conversation. The lady looked like she was an expectant mother.

Wife: Honey, when our son is born, I want to name him Lee Wood Wood.

Husband: Yucks, such a funny name. Wood - Char tow! (Hokkien for wood). I prefer Lee Bao Bao or Lee Kim Kim, or even Lee Tang Tang.

Wife: Didn't you notice that the world's top golf players have a "Wood" in their names eg. Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood. Hope our son can grow up to be the best golf player in Asia if not in the world.

I smiled as I realised how anxious parents are for their little ones, even when they
are still foetuses in their mothers' wombs! The couple must be golf enthusiasts, and perhaps even as they watch golf games on television or play golf on the undulating fields of green, somehow the foetus in the womb would also be affected.

I know of a friend who shared that she tried to listen to more classical music in the hope that her baby would turn out to be musical. I guess she was right because her daughter now excels in her piano playing!

With competition getting stronger in every field of specialisation, I guess parents are now not resting on their laurels which probably explain why preschoolers are even receiving tuition in languages, art, music, etc.

I guess mothers are now no longer singing,

"Hey, Sarah, Sarah,
whatever will be, will be.
The future's not ours to see,
Hey, Sarah, Sarah.

But mothers and fathers are now taking their offsprings' childhood and adolescence
in their stride to ensure a bright future for their children. :-)

Gan Cao

Indian Mom

A friend sent me the following email. Hilarious!

Indian MOM

A Mom comes to visit her son Kumar for dinner.....who lives with a girl roommate Sunita. During the course of the meal, his mother couldn't help but notice how pretty Kumar's roommate was. She had long been suspicious of a relationship between the two, and this had only made her more curious. Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between Kumar and his roommate than met the eye.

Reading his mom's thoughts, Kumar volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, Sunita and I are just roommates."

About a week later, Sunita came to Kumar saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the silver plate. You don't suppose she took it, do you?" Kumar said ,"Well, I doubt it, but I'll email her, just to be sure."
So he sat down and wrote :

Dear Mother:

I'm not saying that you 'did' take the silver plate from my house, I'm not saying that you 'did not' take the silver plate.. But the fact remains that it has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.


Several days later, Kumar received an email from his Mother which read:

Dear Son:
I'm not saying that you 'do' sleep with Sunita, and I'm not saying that you 'do not' sleep with Sunita. But the fact remains that if she was sleeping in her OWN bed, she would have found the silver plate by now under the pillow...


Lesson of the day:
Don't Lie to Your Mother...........especially if she is Indian !