Saturday, July 31, 2010

To a New Chapter

When the decision was first made back in March, it started off with excitement over the idea of a fresh start.

Then came the onset heavy-heartedness on leaving behind what had been built over the years.

Then came worry over possible regrets.

Then there was relief over the certainty of the reason behind the decision that leaves little room for regrets.

Now, there's nothing. Just flipping the page to a new chapter.

Goodbye, Singapore.

Goodbyes Between Will and Chuckie from Good Will Hunting

To that someone who pointed out these scenes to me, if you're reading this, thank you and I get your sentiments. 心照啦.

^Chuckie: Every day I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks, and a few laughs, and it's great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, 'cause I think, maybe I'll get up there and I'll knock on the door and you won't be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don't know much, but I know that.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Very Jaded View of Inception's Ending

I just watched Inception (brilliant movie). Like many others, I found the ending utterly mind-boggling. I'm not a big fan of dubious endings but this one is so fascinating that I got too busy deciphering it to be dissatisfied with it.

So I went searching the internet for explanations of the ending. Am I more enlightened? No. If anything, I got more unsettled over what the ending really meant. So I have decided to leave it as that - the ending is open. We the audience get the choose the ending. And no, I am not happy with that but at least I can stop pondering about it now.

Anyways. In the midst of the bubbling debates about theories of Inception's ending, one very jaded guy came up with this comment:

^Click on image for source website

Totally made me LOL-ed in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Got Carried Away Packing

I am returning to Malaysia for good this Saturday. The plan was to pack a little bit a day starting last Friday. Well, I packed a little last Friday all right. Then I went into procrastination mode until today, when I managed to haul myself to resume packing.

But then I got carried away...

^ Two-thirds of my belongings all packed up

I ended up emptying every single drawer and compartment in my room, packing anything I can fit into a bag. Now, I can leave tonight if I have to!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Take That, Landladies from Hell! It's Karma!

Remember when I posted about my ex-landlady from hell? Well, here's Part 2.

Landlady from Hell: The Sequel

I didn't blog about my 2nd ex-landlady from hell earlier because I only stayed with her for 3 months. My biggest problem with her was that she practically made me her maid by expecting me to clean her house every other week, when I barely stepped foot outside my bedroom and the bathroom. While I diligently did so to avoid conflicts, completely following all her instructions on how to clean and which detergent to use, she had the audacity to express her dissatisfaction with the results of my cleaning (which involved a few spot of stains that only vigorous scrubbing can remove)!

That was not all. There was the typical electricity issue. Our agreement was that if the bill goes beyond SGD100, I'll have to pay the excess charges. You'd think she would be satisfied considering how unfair that condition was to me. But no, she started complaining about my electricity usage even when the bills never exceeded SGD100. Once, she even switched off my air-con from the master switch outside (which I didn't even know existed) while I was in my room!

Want to hear more? Her stand-fan broke down 2 weeks into my stay, and she wanted me to replace it with a new one at my cost. How was it my fault? It just stopped working. It's not like I smashed it with a hammer. It was an electrical appliance. It had a limited lifespan. OK, from her point of view, it could be my fault, she wouldn't know, no matter how sure of that I was. So the best was to split the cost evenly, wasn't it? Again, I wanted to avoid conflict, so I gave in.

I was already feeling uneasy with her. It was only my 3rd month there and moving again wasn't cheap or easy. Plus, who was to say that things would definitely improve if I moved? I mean, things had improved since the landlady before her. Should I be so greedy as to ask for a better one? So I stayed put, hoping that she would not stretch my patience further.

Salvation came when my current housemate told me that his landlord and landlady were looking for a new tenant for the room next to his. He testified on how nice the landlord and landlady were. With that assurance, I took the leap once more and moved to where I am living happily now.

Ex-Landladies from Hell: The Aftermath

Today, I learnt from my rental agent what happened to my ex-landladies since I moved out.

Ex-Landlady #1 had some sticky problems with her new tenant that led to a police report. The new tenant, who is a Singapore PR, lost her job while waiting to move in. She had already signed the rental agreement with Ex-Landlady #1. Ex-Landlady #1 got ridiculously worried about renting to an unemployed person, so she wanted to retract the agreement. But she didn't want to pay the penalty for breach of contract, you see. So what did she resolve to? She went MIA the day the new tenant was supposed to move in, causing her to wait 3 hours outside her house before lodging a police report. Eventually, she moved in but only stayed for 2 months. My rental agent has decided to stop serving Ex-Landlady #1.

Ex-Landlady #2 found herself a new lady tenant too, whom she also made her maid. Well, the new tenant got it worse. Ex-Landlady #2 injured her backbone and made her new tenant clean the entire house every week, including her master bathroom - get this - for 2 friggin' months! The tenant eventually got tired of it and called the agent for help. As of now, she is still living there. I truly feel for her.

You know how after a horrible break-up, you feel good when you find out that your ex was not doing well since you? I am having that good feeling right now! *Evil laughter ensues*

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Farewell Gifts

Courtesy of my now ex-colleagues and future ex-housemate.

Not forgetting the countless meal treats, the sweet remarks and farewell messages. They have made my last days in Singapore so much more memorable. I don't know how to thank them enough!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Leaving HQ for the Last Time

Today, I went back to my now ex-company headquarters to return my laptop and staff card. I was trying to avoid my department's floor because I have said my goodbyes and I didn't want to bump into everyone again in awkwardness. But fate has it that I had to go to my department to get a boss's signature.

So then I crept into my department's floor and found half of it in darkness. Perfect! I could sneak in, get my paper signed, and sneak back out without anyone (but the boss) noticing! Well, of course I bumped into some of them and saw others from afar, who appeared phantom-like. I like to think that if they appeared that way to me, I should appear that way to them too.

It turns out something was wrong with the lighting system and I saw some maintenance guys on my way out. And then I took the lift all the way down to ground floor, walked out of the building, looked back, and said my last goodbye.

So to my colleagues who saw a sneaky phantom going in and out of the office today, it was me!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Relieving Realisations

For quite some time, I had been asking myself whether I will regret leaving Singapore, and what is my true reason for leaving Singapore?

I have been telling everyone, including myself, that I am leaving to return to my family in Malaysia. What I haven't told anyone, is that there were two other possible reasons.

Possible reason number one - I have given up on trying to build a social life here. Yes, social life is important for me, although for more than a year now, I have been trying to convince myself otherwise. But then irony kicked in and I was made to realise I have actually found good friends in my colleagues. I gotta admit that this realisation did worry me a little. Have I made the wrong decision of leaving Singapore after what I have managed to build over the last three years?

Possible reason number two - I am using family as an excuse to leave my job which I may or may not dislike. But then I quit and had a taste of life in Singapore sans work.

And guess what? Now that I know I have good friends here and that I do not need to go back to work, my determination to go home didn't diminish one bit.

I can now honestly say that I am leaving Singapore because I want to go back to be with my family and fellow country-people. It is purely a pull factor.

I am only glad that things have turned out well towards the end of my Singapore chapter. There is finally some memories worthy of bringing home with me.

Singapore Tourist Attractions - For One Last Time

Lil' Bro was in Singapore to spend a few of his whopping 3-month university summer holidays (oh, how I miss those holidays!). I took the opportunity to visit some of Singapore's tourist attractions for one last time. All in all, we visited Sentosa Island, Night Safari, Singapore Science Centre, and Singapore Flyer. We only took pictures at Sentosa Island and Singapore Flyer because the others were either too dark or not picturesque enough.

Enough words. Pics galore!

~Sentosa Island~

~Singapore Flyer~

That's all, folks!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Smile Factor #15: I Have Never Been This Touched...

Last night, a dear, dear colleague of mine asked me to help him pick a necklace & pendant for his fiance. I said, "Sure!" without the slightest suspicion. I blabbered all night about what kind of design would his fiance like, what are her accessorising habits etc...etc. We finally reached the verdict and picked this really cute butterfly pendant with a matching chain. But then my colleague said he likes to go home and sleep over it before he buys anything. Sounded very reasonable, right? I would do that if I had the discipline.

Fast forward to today, my colleagues threw a farewell lunch gathering for me, which is kind of a standard practice in my department. I saw them passing my farewell greeting card around to sign on. We laughed it off and they told me to pretend I didn't see it.

Until they announced it was time for "gift presentation ceremony", where my boss was supposed to hand me a gift while a photo is taken. I really was expecting only the farewell card. But as my boss was handing me the card, I saw that he was also holding a jewellery gift box with the name of the shop printed on it. I swear, even at that moment, I still hadn't put 2 and 2 together.

Then I really looked at the name of the jewellery shop. It was the same shop where my colleague and I picked out the butterfly pendant. Then it slowly dawned on me what was going on. I looked unbelievingly at the colleague whom I went jewellery shopping with the night before. The only words I could blurt out were, "Is this..?" and "Did you..?". He only gave me a grin.

They told me to open the gift. When I saw what was inside and confirmed my thoughts, I almost cried. It was the nicest thing anyone had done for me for a long time. I think I must have the stupidest grin on my face at the time.

Now, whenever I recall our conversations that night when we were picking the gift, I would grin stupidly at the realisation of the little hints I missed, or the parts where I must have annoyed the hell out of him when I kept on and on about what suits his fiance more. I thought I was the one doing him a favour, so I really took my time in picking! We even looked at diamond studded pendants! LOL!

And I thought my memories in Singapore could not get any better...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

SIWW 2010 Closing Dinner @ Universal Studio

This past week was the Singapore International Water Week 2010, for which my colleagues and I were involved in as organisers. Despite hurting feet and painful backs (from a week-long constant standing and running around), we insisted on going for the closing dinner this year because it was held at Singapore's latest theme park - Resort World Sentosa.

Most of the pictures were taken outside Universal Studio, because frankly, we were just too busy having fun inside to stop for pictures. But here are some we managed to snap. Enjoy!

Outside Universal Studios...

Inside Universal Studios...

Immediately after the above shot, we went on the fun rides and forgot all about taking pictures for the rest of the night.

What a way to end the week! Thoroughly fun times. Truly worthy of my first and last visit. After all, it was free! Muahahahaha!!!

Being involved in organising the SIWW is one of the things I'll miss after I leave the company. All made possible by my fun-loving colleagues.