Monday, August 7, 2017

Failure gift

My mother used to enroll me in art competitions. That was even before my primary school years. But I never won any of them, not even consolation prize. And I would end up crying, probably a huge fit. I believe my art teacher probably told my mom that I was not ready to handle shit like that, so she never let me join any of these things anymore. (though my parents still encouraged the art thing, which I was grateful for.)

I think after one of those competitions where I didn't win, my parents tried cheering me up with, from what I remember, a pack of plastic alphabets. And that was that. I was not good enough to win, but at least I had a "failure gift".

There was a year, after a bad appraisal grade, a colleague, that has became more of a friend, tried to cheer me up with a box of chocolates. She knew my favorite: matcha-flavoured, and had placed strategically on my table with a note "cheer up". That would be the first thing I would see when I enter my cubicle. But I ended up sobbing when I saw it. Because the box of chocolates was my "failure gift". A reminder I was not good enough.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Being 30-something

(At a Polytechnic) 
Friend: Oh my goodness. Look at these young people! Man... missed working with them! 
Me: Look at these young people and their unbroken dreams!! 

(in friend's car) 
Me: aye (points out to man on the street) that is how you will look like in your 40s. 
Friend: which is 10 years from now
Me: ah shit
Friend #2: JY you said it as though that is very far away.

(At old Woodlands Central) 
Me: I worked here before 
Friend: 20 years ago? 
Me: fuck off WAS17 years ago, shit!!

Friday, June 2, 2017


Here I am
Starring at the blocks
Which we once Starred at
With you by my side

How are you doing
I let my mind wander
Have I appeared in
Your thoughts
From time to time?

Because you surely had
Your lips on mine
I bury those thoughts
From time to time

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Me: I was looking for you at Jurong. I was there with a friend. He was looking for pants at H&M. He had to go to church after that...

Friend: Wow priorities.

Me: ?

Friend: Pants first, Jesus second.


Friend: "Sorry Jesus! I need to get those pants first!!"

Me: "I need to have something to wear first before meeting you..."

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Bus Route Poetry #1

April 2017 is SingPoWriMo, the Singapore Poetry Writing Month, where participants are challenged to write poetry daily for an entire month, and are given daily prompts on what to write on. I'm not an active participant because most of them so cheem there (got degree in linguistics somemore dey) and the only form of literature training I have was from o'level days. And my grammar's shit anyway. 

Day 17's prompt was to write about your favourite bus route and I thought, okay, let's give this a shot. I posted these on twitter under the hashtag #busroutepoetry, and some people on twitter participated in this exercise as well. Some poetry were very delightful and accessible to everyone, while others were based on its authors' personal memories. 

Here's mine. Along with some explanations. 

Bus 190

You bring us to Orchard
Using the PIE 
You pass the school 
Where the girls don't need to wear a blouse
Beneath their light blue pinafores
And another school, where the girls had to.
Both really good schools, mom had said
But she knew that I was not up to that

A friend living in Jurong once told me his envy of how Bus 190 is of easy accessibility to me. With half its route on the BKE and PIE expressways, 190 brings Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang residents to Orchard Road in around 30 to 40 minutes. (pretty impressive in comparison with the drudgery that is Bus 174 that serves people of Jurong).  Its first stop at Orchard is Far East Plaza, a meeting point for my friends and I, and where a blond David Bowie once graced his holy presence (long before I knew who he was). As a young child, I never asked the same question like I asked myself now: how much are these homes on Stevens Road, and what must you do in order to live there??

Bus 700

Bus 700
700 is 190
That goes to CBD
Last time we no downtown line
So boh bian have to squeeze.

Bus 176

I knew that a little before 12
That the last bus would come along
Sparing me from spending 12
To get me back to Bukit Panjang

You pass by River Valley High
And Commonwealth Sec too
Jurong East Library
Science center too
I took you when I donned pinafore
And also in office wear
I loved that you stayed the same
In the routes that you took.

Bus 176 takes up a huge portion of my life so far. It was one of the buses which took me to my primary school, Bus 176 also took me to Jurong East Central, where it had one of the few public libraries, and a huge cinema multiplex. Not forgetting that it took me to Bukit Batok, a town that I'm fond of as loads of memories, good and bad, were formed there in my teens. In my 20s I still took it as my best friend once lived on West Coast Road. We hung out till late, but I would rush out early enough to hop on the Bus 176 that would flash the words "Last Bus" on its front. 

Bus 184

Wah lao yeh
NP kids
Lao niang already want to sleep
Mai kao pei lah go and die
Faster get down at Al Ameen

I was once that Ngee Ann Polytechnic kid, still bursting with energy at 10 pm after drama club, creating havoc when we board Bus 184 with friends as we head to Al Ameen on Bukit Timah road. The 30-something me, exhausted from 8 hour work and 3 hours of part-time university at SIM says ain't nobody got time for hanging out and the metabolism to burn off a cup of Teh Peng... so SHUT UP AND FASTER GET DOWN THE BUS LAH POLY KIDS. 

Monday, December 12, 2016

Night school

School gave my life things to look forward to, like the end of examinations.School also filled my nights, not in the nicest way, but it gave me something to do.  Now that examinations are over, my nights became unscheduled. Binging on Netflix until I got quite sick of it. Looking forward to school to start again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Help me get through today.

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Friend: ...He's one of those art school students who is so non confident, he has to wear this shirt with his school name across the chest. Like (runs hand across chest) "LA-SALLE'

Me: Like the St Andrew's people with their "Once a saint, always a saint" shirts?

Friend: Aye I was a saint also okay. (pause) Only for first 3 months.

Me: That's why you don't have the shirt lah...

Friend:  I Jurong JC one. Once a mat. Always a mat.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

That degree.

The twenty-somethings will usually face the "are you going to further your education" question, especially people with only a Diploma, like myself.

I'm one of those that didn't, because: 
1) I don't know what the hell I want to study, because I'm interested in multiple things. 
2) I didn't have what they call a 'career plan' in the past, hoping from job to job, thus, not much money to go around.
3) There was a part where I tried applying to go into a local university, but of course, I didn't get in. (Bad grades.)
4) I believed in the "learn on the job" thing, because many just have their Diplomas and move up in their careers.
5) I didn't want to get a degree for the sake of getting a degree.

So, the same question has been thrown to me for 10 years. And now I'm 30. 

Let's just say the last 5 years have been what I called 'stable', because I managed to hold on to the same job for 5 years. I learned plenty of stuff on the job, and also using some parts of what I learned back in Poly. But darn, along the way, I figured there's only so much one can learn on the job. 

So yeah, back to school I go. Part-time Degree starting in July, 2-3 days after work. Multimedia Tech and Design."Prepare to have no life", says many. Not too worried about that. Just worried whether I'll have the energy levels to cope with it all. Lao Char Boh le

Friday, March 6, 2015

The one about me walking into Sportsmen Asia

This happened quite a number of years ago. Guess I thought it was inappropriate to post it the last time when SG was not as liberated as now, but now it should be okay...and the said shop is no longer around.

And so my friend and I were wandering around Chinatown Point (before its current revamped state), when we chanced upon a shop named Sportsmen Asia. From the outside, I could see a couple of bright colored sports singlets, and I thought "oh well, a sports shop, can take a look inside lah".

We both went into the shop, and were the only customers. An enthusiastic (not overbearing), young man, greeted us,  keen to show us around. He was beautiful. A stockier man who looked like the bossman, in a nice sports singlet, welcomed us as well. Also, a beautiful man. Weird.

And as the beautiful young man purveyed the wares of the shop, which was racks hung with bright singlets, beautiful shorts and swimming trunks from brands such as Aussiebum...

Wait a minute.... Aussiebum is familar...

And then it clicked. Aussiebum wares. Handsome stall attendants.This was not any sports shop like World of Sports loh.....

WAH LAO...this shop is for people of the gay!

And so there we were, two straight girls, in a shop catering for gay men.  There was no polite way to extricate myself from an awkward situation such as this. Turning my back and dashing out would look like a homophobe. But I'm no homophobe. I had to show that I was comfortable with this.

"Erm... Do you have anything for females?" I tried.

"Well.... Pleasure toys!" said the young man.

He simply said pleasure toys like it's the most natural thing. Like "Vegetables" or "Books"! Oh no...And so we found ourselves politely following him to a (literal) wall of pleasure toys, picking up one particular one that men use on their.. erm... backdoor...and told me that he had female customers buying them as well. And all I could say was "errr it looks easy to wash.",  trying not to laugh.

Before we managed to politely leave, the young man offered a sample of liquid phermones, that can be rubbed on my myself on my wrist, supposedly to help me attract hordes of men for as long as the scent last.

But there were no horde of men that night (or any other night). Only some old friends, and a funny story of how I "walked into a shop for the gays" for them to hear.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Straight Friend

18 or 19. I was the straight friend, unknowingly taking up the role of a fag hag without knowing what 'fag hag' means. The one who accompanied him to the clubs he found listed on We had so little money, enough to buy one small drink in the club, and relying on cheaper drinks at Maxwell Hawker Center to quench our thirst when we left the club.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Maybe in a world where no one else is better
I can be best