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What Went Well


What Went Wrong
Bill used to say he takes the time between Christmas and New Year to reflect back on what happened in the year and “plan” a resolution for the new year.

It took me this long for the idea to finally sink in.

If you’re like me who made a new year’s resolution just because we’re just “following the crowd”, STOP. How about taking this time, as the year comes to an end, to ask ourselves:

What went well for you this year?

What is it about it that you like?

Can you keep replicating it and even improve and expand on this?
What went wrong for you?

Is it something you can re-right it?

What could you do?
Another thing I learnt is, to be happy and to live a happy life, LET IT GO! It is when we fight for something that gets us caught up in that “thing”. In my observation, men are pretty good at “forgeting”. They don’t hold a “grudge” as much as us women e.g. if they didn’t clean up the table, we react pretty quickly but they don’t react the same way we do; if we just LET someone overtake us, we’d be happier instead of fighting or finding ways to get even. Have you ever “won” a situation and the feeling was “so, what now?” So for me, I’m going to learn to let go. Another thing, it just takes too much effort to be (stay) unhappy. So, let go and let’s go and live life!



Drive a Ferrari

2 days ago, I met a guy who seems interesting until he said, he can’t stand a Ferrari. He hates the sound a Ferrari makes. “Annoying” was how he described it and I was like, “Dude, you are off my (dating) list now”. I’ve never thought about the sound of cars until my ex – a fanatic car enthuse – pointed out that “sound” = power, roaring engine power. That’s what (race) cars are made for. Power.

Another Ferrari “hater” is Robin Sharma. He wrote the book “The Monk who sold his Ferrari”. Well, no, the book isn’t about a dysfunctional Ferrari but about “fulfilling your dreams and reaching your destiny”. You know, a car (coach) takes you from point A to point B. Coaching also brings you from one point to the other.

The point I’m driving at are:

  • Isn’t it funny how we interpret things in our life?
  • And things or people along the way (help) shape our thinking about things?

I subscribed to Robin’s emails and in the last email, he wrote

I was up at 4:30 am today. Just this rush of energy pulsing through me… Birds sing. Flowers bloom in our back garden. Lush trees rise up high, in natural tribute to the awakening skies above.

No, I’m not a morning person but “Birds sing, flowers bloom” caught my attention. I mentally planted a beautiful picture in my head upon reading those words. I should have read his email 2 days ago because it was the Kocherball at 6 a.m. again which I told myself every year to go for the sake of photography but I missed it again.

Chasing Daylight.

Again, no, it’s not me but Robin recommended this book in the same email, a book by a former CEO of KPMG who was told that he has 90 days to live.

Last Friday – 15th July – was one of the worst days in history in my opinion. My day started with the news in the morning about a 31 year old Tunesian who drove a truck into the hundreds gathered to watch the French Bastille (Independence) Day fireworks on Thursday night, the night before, in Nice. I am a sucker of fireworks. Why would anyone be so insane to rob people of the joy and entertainment of a celebration and watching fireworks?!

And just before bed the same day, all news channels were showing a military coup in Istanbul against the democratically-elected president Erdoğan. The reporters appeared confused, not sure what is going on and why it is happening. That was unsettling for me. My only thought was “Is this the end of times? Is war coming?”

I should, however, have asked myself

What would I do if I know that my days are numbered?

Back to the book Chasing Daylight.

The author made his last 3 months his best 3 months of his life. Created his Perfect Moments. Robin suggested that Perfect Moments can be having “long hours of family dinners over a sunset to a trip to Florence to witness Michelangelo’s David before sharing the city’s best pizza in an off-the-path trattoria… forest walks or movie nights, epic conversations under star-filled skies or adventures to places you’ve always dreamed to be.”

What would yours be?

Happiness doesn’t just show up. Happiness needs to be manufactured.

Robin Sharma


Do what you like

I was OK until I saw the toilet roll hat on TV and nearly spilled the soup I was having. Who would have even thought of such an absurd idea?!

Chindougu 珍道具ちんどうぐ is made up of two words. Chin ちん means “curious” or “strange.” Dougu 道具どうぐ means “tool” or “device.”


Dr. Kenji Kawakami is the father of such “unuseless” inventions.  “He believed it was a new art form and everyone should be allowed to participate.”

One of his inventions I was amused with was the bodysuit mop for babies who are learning to crawl. That is exactly what my mother always said whenever she sees one of my cousins’ babies crawling that they (the babies) should use their time more efficiently. She would have been pleased if the suit was available when we were babies. Too bad for her.

Last night I met at least 3 other women my age who are successful, intelligent, pretty and independent. Another “attribute” we share, we are all singles. No boyfriends, no husbands, no children. We had interesting conversation and ideas. We are not odd. Nothing is wrong with us. WOO! We can blame the men we met in our lives or the (lack) of the chance-meeting. Yes, we know (who) we want but most of all, we can do what we like. We don’t need the society incl. our friends and family to determine what is right/good for us or how our lives should turn out. We don’t need that kind of life “others have” if that doesn’t make us happy(ier).

Instead I aspire to be Dr. Kawakami:

“Things that should belong to everyone are patented and turned into private property…the world of patents is dirty, full of greed and competition.” In addition, he waives the speaker fees any time he gives a talk and donates any money he makes from books and articles to his favorite causes.

There is a cause, a purpose to be discovered in our lives and it doesn’t have to be Susie’s!


The day I ran into the law

Was happy I could leave work while it is still daylight. Besides my colleagues have all abandoned me so time to get changed (into my cycling gear), went to my bicycle, unlocked it but it wouldn’t move. Someone locked my bicycle to the fixed bicycle stand!


Horror horror!

All sorts of questions went through my mind. Who would do such a thing?! Did someone make a mistake? Who could it be?!

There is a shop/cafe right in front of this so I went in to ask. They were quite busy so they kinda ignored me, saying it wasn’t them. Because I was looking frust, they gave me “permission” to go and ask their customers in the garden cafe.

It is not me to ask strangers. I had to go from table to table asking if they came by bicycle – it’s in a posh-ish neighbourhood. Many drove expensive cars, some live nearby; or if they locked my bicycle by mistake. Everyone said no and they were as bewildered as me. Who, in their right mind, would have done such a thing?! This is a society of lawfulness. Really, who would do such a thing?! A customer even came out of the cafe to take a look because she can’t believe anyone would.

I can’t believe it myself. It is after all a cheap bike, not an expensive branded mountain bike. It is also not a special “Hollander” bike that many people like to have for a city bike.

A colleague happened to walk by and I asked him what to do, if I should call the police and he said it happened to him before. The police won’t help. I have to cut the lock myself. Hm. I don’t have any tool and have no idea who to call.

There is a designer clothing store, a book store, an optical shop, a cinema and a hairdresser nearby so I went in to every one of them and asked. Same reaction.

One kind customer at the book store came out to see it for himself. Such a ridiculous thing.

Another bicycle that has a flat tire is also locked to the bicycle stand with the same kind of lock. An ABUS bicycle “chain” lock. A quick search on the internet showed that it cost 45 EUR. That is even more expensive than my bicycle. Puzzling!

The customer and the book store staff starting playing “detectives”. They came to a conclusion that there is a bicycle-thieve syndicate. The idea was, the person(s) locked my bicycle to the stand so that they can come by late tonight and hull i.e. steal my bicycle away. Again, it is a CHEAP bike. Why would anyone go through all that trouble?!

My “detectives” were locals so I asked them what I should do, should I call the police and they say yes. They were interested to know i.e. ask the police if it is a “common practice”/trend here. They gave me a number to call but it turned out to be the fire station. I was a bit amused because the locals didn’t even know the number for police. When I dialled the police, there was a recorded message to ask me to hold. It was also recorded in English – good job!

Half an hour later, 2 policemen showed up in a police car. They took a look at the situation and said they do not have the tool. By now, my “detectives” have left but one of them – the customer – came back. He wanted to help me explain his theory to the police. The police was entertaining him and they had a long chat but the conversation also went into asking How is it like being police these days, what kind of (subsidised) housing he lives in etc. Kinda funny. There I was, wondering who would have done such a thing to my bicycle and how to remove it, and the man and the police standing there talking about the weather.

The police told me I should get someone to come and cut the lock because they don’t have the tool to do it. I could only think about our janitor. We are after all an engineering company. Surely we must have some heavy duty tool but our janitor is not the most reliable person. He had often said he will come by but a week later, he is still missing. He does like me so I called him. Thankfully he answered my call even though it was after-office hour. He said he will come by in half an hour.

I told the police I’m not sure if our janitor has the right tool since the janitor hasn’t seen what kind of lock it is. So the police called another station nearby who happened to have a “cutter” so they will go and pick it up and come back.

As they were gone, our janitor showed up with a power cutter. 2 minutes later, FREE!

A day ago, I read up on office fengshui. I re-arranged my desk where it said where I should place certain things like the phone so that I will be good network-ed. That fengshui really worked! I owe the janitor a bier!

I waited for the police to return so that it’s not like I “ran off” while they were so nice and so helpful. They would’t let me take photos of them so you only have my words to believe 🙂 They said cheekily, the next time it will cost me. I thanked them and one of them said a cake would be nice. HAHA!

What a wonderful way to get “absorbed” into the local culture, the kindness of humans and the belief I had. To think that when we were growing up, our parents will threaten us with the police if we do not behave ourselves, that we distant and avoid them but the few times I needed them, they always turn out to be nothing to be afraid of.



I love Cheap Thrills

I ain’t got cash/I got you baby/

I don’t need dollar bills to have fun tonight/

I don’t need money/As long as I can feel the beat/As long as I can dance


Woke up with a new idea to go “retro”, life without money. Will it work?

How many of us are tired of the paper chase (education, work, money). Is there more to living than these “paper”?!

How would we live if money is not the currency of trade?

Is it not possible to go back to the days of barter?

Would we be happier if money is no longer needed?

Why are people using/turning to Bitcoins?! Do we need all those things we have? Do we need more of those things?

I have a wardrobe bursting to its seams. I need to empty them out.

Can I survive with Henry David Thoreau’s deisre to “live his life to the fullest by living sparsely with only the necessary of what he needs”? He stood by his firm belief of not supporting the Mexican-American war and slavery by refusing to pay a poll tax in 1845. Noble act and all. What do we stand for?

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

Henry David Thoreau

Is loving Cheap Thrills a better way to live?


Naturally you relationship

Had to post this instagram today. It is such a funny “phenomenon” in Asia, that if you want to be someone’s boyfriend/husband, you have to be patient enough to go shopping with your girlfriend/wife/mother even though it is you who needed to shop for something.

That moment when u see a whole row of guys waiting outside a shop…

A post shared by SGAG (@sgagsg) on

Here, the men don’t realise how lucky they are! In fact while chatting with M, he said that he doesn’t want the dating game, the things a man has to do to be in a relationship, the fuss, the “right” attention etc. He just want to cuddle (and sex! of course). So he wants just the meat inside the pie.

He also just returned from 5 weeks visiting his parents. They went caravan-ing/camping. He lamented that his parents were either watching TV or playing with their electronic gadgets when they sat around for dinner together. He asked where the ol’ days of “no distractions” at dinner times. The thing is, when we moved away from our parents – I even said “we chose to leave our parents” – they have also moved on with theirs. Perhaps watching TV and playing with their phones is their way of life now. They are spending 24 x 7 with you “out of the sudden” and you expect them to drop everything they are used to to read your mind and do the things YOU want.

It is “naturally you” but it is not “naturally them”. Have we all become a selfish generation?

A guy pinged me and wrote “Why is an attractive girl like you single”? I would like to answer that question with this “mentality”.


Didn’t go as planned

Woke up with a zillion “to do” in the head but sitting down for coffee, I didn’t like the look of that corner.

Going to Ikea yesterday was a bad idea, as always, because I ended up buying things I don’t need like a lamp. Why would I need any lamp when I have godzillian of them put away in storage?! Alright, I can always return it so I lugged a junk home, hang it up pretty quickly. Pretty ok with it until dinner at a Greek restaurant – such good food! – and a very interesting lamp. Hm.

Right, back to where I was. I decided to take that Ikea lamp down and hang the “moroccan” lamp which I bought in Dubai some years ago. I prefer the “squarish” one which could be stand on a surface. I still remember wondering if I could hang them up and James’ words are still very clear in my head as he said he has the same lamp and had to get an electrician to hang it up for him.

That was a challenge for me out right! All these years I had been thinking about hanging it up. I guess today was it. I didn’t plan it. It chose me.

I’m not an electrician but the years of living on my own taught me well. It is not exactly easy nor was it too difficult. I had to adjust a few times, try this option, try that and finally it is hanging up! I only wish the bottom is removable but I’m happy I have now a coloured “spot” in my black-and-white side. I didn’t exactly plan that too. Needless to say I don’t have energy left to do other things now after this. But hey, I am happy. I have finally accomplished something I wanted to do for years and I didn’t have to call an electrician like James did (see, I can do it!) So what if my day didn’t go according to “plan”. The most important is I’m happy! although I’m kinda puzzled. It seems like guys don’t like that I can do DIYs. Oh well! You can’t please everyone.