Friday, January 30, 2009

Just Another Thought I Pondered

When I was a teenager, the world we live in operate on faxes and telegrams. There was no internet, and "Cyberspace" is a term that sound like some sort of hollywood movie. The favorite haunts were Mac Donalds and Burger Kings. Starbucks Coffee have not even been bought over by Howard Schultz its founder, and there is certainly no such thing as 'people watching' in a cafe. Plus paying 6 bucks for a cup of 'kopi peng' is a luxury most of us cannot afford. Heck, a combo meal at Mac Donalds cost less than 4 bucks in those days.

The youngsters today have it all. They carry mobile phones that send messages across continents, have never operated a cassette walkman, while mp3 and IPOD is the standard denominator in their dictionary. They hogged cafes like their living rooms and smoke cigarettes at the age of ten. They might have invented the term "alcohol bingeing', and they prowl the roads like they paid road taxes more than the capacity of songs that their multi-gig IPOD can hold. Some of them can even be hard to fathom.

Unusually hungry straight after dinner on the first day of Chinese New Year (those set meals in Chinese Restaurants during the CNY period doesn't exactly tickle my tastebuds), I drove to a movie mall frequent by youngsters, Orchard Cineleisure, for a takeaway Burger King meal. The green man in the traffic light has turned red, and the crowd dispersed fast on the walkway only to reveal 2 teenagers taking their time strolling on. I rested my hands on the steering wheel and waited patiently for those 2 chaps to cross over while the car behind me is increasingly finding my car bumper as attractive as a canine's ass.

For easy reference, I will name them Mr Moonwalker and Mr Colorblind who obviously cannot differentiate green from red. Watching them stroll across the pedestrian walkway is like smoking weed and making you witness everything in slow motion signature of John Woo's style. With pressure building up from a salivating car behind my ass, I tap a quick horn behind the wheel.

Mr Moonwalker fast paced himself a little, but still enough to annoy because concubines in Qing Dynasty movies walked faster with their feet binded. A more dramatic Mr Colorblind still in the middle of the road gave me a stare and waved his hands across the walkway still holding a half-smoked cigarette. He must have muttered something which I am guessing is hokkien swearing. I pointed towards the red man sign suggesting he should go back to kindergarden for some coloring lesson. Clearly displeased, he lingers in the middle of the road displaying gangsterism by swaying like a monkey.

Now, I know you might probably be looking for some drama that might involved an uncle slapping 2 teenagers thereafter. It did not happen. I stepped on my accelerator and moved on. Compliments of my wife who reminded me that there is a baby at the back of my car. And it is a small matter to begin with anyway, I probably wouldn't mind if there were no cars behind me, but because of those 2 jokers I had road hogged the entire stretch of cars. But I have to say I was very agitated for a moment, holding back my fume I parked my car and promised my wife I wouldn't beat anyone up. I got us some burgers and drove off.

Those two looked barely 18 to me. They were in fact, boys who have not even entered the army for national service. And yet they behaved like they own the world. I was concerned. Although rebellious teenagers are spotted around everywhere in the world, especially in the west where they went about their killing spree by firing machine guns into crowds, I find the trend escalating in Singapore. News of teenagers beating people to death locally have tolled up over the years.

My personal observation simply in Singapore context alone is that, things are getting worse. I have witnessed fights that erupted simply by a mere stare while sitting in a coffee joint. And these kids were mostly in their secondary schools. I have also witnessed kids talking back to their parents in total disrespect. Their behaviour suggest a total revisit in our education system and uninspiring parenting.

A recent article I read suggested these are the "Generation Y" lot, intelligent and well informed with IT knowledge. They know what they want and usually have a short attention span to things that interest them, simply because, well they are too intelligent. The article also suggested that to keep the 'gen y' nation in your workforce you will need to constantly give them new and challenging roles or else they will move on.

I say screw it.

Because whether they are 'gen y' or 'gen x' or whatever, basic courtesy and personal conduct of behave still matters in life.

I did not live through the times of hardships like my parents did. But they taught me well, instilled mannerisms and dignity in my approach towards life. I was brought up with confucious values as a Chinese descendant. I doubt many of these kids bother, afterall our fast advancing society had diffused our roots and cultural values, opting for one that is perhaps more westernised. But still it is not an excuse for impoliteness, a lot of ang mohs are in fact cultured and polite people.

Back at home after some burger dining in car, I looked at my baby daughter who was sleeping like an angel in her cot. I am sorry the word 'angel' is so overused in my entries that it is probably a cliche now, but that is only way which best describes her at such an adolescent age. That is until she grows up to be a teenager who has to succumb to peer pressures and what not.

For a moment, I shuddered at the thought of my little girl talking back at her dad. But that is a little too far in the future for me to anticipate. For now, I'll just watch her grow up with joy and promise to instill to her the very same values that my parents instilled in me.

And for the first time in my life, I felt old, like a father, a parent.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


I am not talking about my daughter's urine.

I am talking about an adjective that is used in a vulgarised manner. If you key in "Pissed" in, it is described as : "Used in the imperative as a signal of angry dismissal", among the many other interpretations.

Or alternatively the web dictionary suggest the noun :Pissed Off.

Honestly, I don't really give a hoot. To me it is best described as "Fuck Off". Well, for added emotional agression, I would rather delved into the international four letter word.

The day started pleasantly on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year. I woke up to a hungry wail of my lovely daughter now 3 months and few days old. I fed her, played with her, bathed her, dressed her, acted out a comedic performance in front of her to make her chuckle and giggle at her father who is increasingly mutating into a jelly fish (Yes, I still turned soft when she laughed and smiled at me, every single time).

Barely walkable thereafter, the 3 of us (including the missus of course) commenced our special "pai nian" day trip. A special day marked this year's calendar for the CNY because of our newly arrived daughter. Now, if there is a business proposition most profitable under the current screwed up economic situation, then it must be to bring a baby out for some ang pow collection. The lucky girl had already made a tidy sum in a single day while I lament at my undernourished bank account.

During this time of the year every year, I will make sure I visit my best friends and their family. And in turn they will pop over to my house and we can catch up with one another and reminiscence the good old days of peeing on roof tops and throwing urine bombs to our neighbour's houses. Not exactly a proud and heroic childhood, but least it was fun and we got to save some toilet paper.

This year is eventful because most of us brought our kids along, and also because my father hogged on to my friend's one month old baby boy refusing to give him up to his proud parents.

"Hey look, this is my grandson", my dad who is still carrying the boy in his arm said to my relatives.

Now, jokes are best kept funny when conveyed once or twice. Anything more than that is pushing for a tight slap across the cheek.

"Hey look, this is my grandson", chuckled my old man again to another relative for the 98th time in 3 minutes.

He may be a grandfather, and he most undoubtly brought his son up to be the fine young chap I am today, but he still deserved a tight slap, which I of course didn't paved it on his face. Well, afterall the old man is my father. But if you ask me again, yes, he deserved a tight slap.

I can understand the older generation for the infatuated idea of a grandson instead of a granddaughter, but it has gone so bad that my friend's wife came over and gave a tight slap on my shoulder, "Ken, you better buck up and try harder, your dad keeps holding on to my baby".

"Why, because he is a boy?", I asked.

I can't excactly remember what she said in return, but in an emotional blurt-out I retorted, "That is why my brother always FUCK him. What is wrong with a granddaughter?"

I think my friend's wife mentioned something about the old folk's mentality of wanting for a baby grandson, but I was so blinded by the Piss that was bestowed on me and added again, "Thats why my brother always FUCK him."

Now, I must mentioned that my younger brother who also have an adorable baby daughter of nine months old is a true champion because he really fucked my dad whenever this boy/girl issue arises. I never felt the need to do so until today.

I was pissed off, very, and totally.

A slight embarrasement pursued after my blunder to my friend's wife but it was too late for any action of recovery. I chosed emotion against a logical diplomatic reply. But I was glad I did, because I realized I loved my daughter so much more than I thought.

The night settled with my friends going home and I headed to my wife's relative encavement of a 5 room HDB flat for dinner. And while the relatives were smashing majong tiles and soaking prawns in the steamboat, I held on to my daugther tightly in a separate airconditioned room. She looked at me with beam in her eyes and seemingly knew what I had gone through during the day. With more chuckles and smiles, she mewed and stretched opened her arms, I had mutated into a full-fledged jellyfish again.

Thoughts raced through my head swiftly, the events of the past few days, weeks, and months. And I thought to myself, I am truely blessed god gave me and my wife an angel to behold.

Then I suddenly have an urgent urge to pee. The little started crying, it could be feeding time again, and quickly called for my lovely wife.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I Have Nothing to Write About, Again.

When I started blogging one year ago, I titled my virgin post "I have nothing particular to write really".

Fast forward 2009, I still have nothing particular to write about.

I contemplated writing about my shopping trip to Vivocity, or my shopping trip to Isetan Orchard Rd, or my shopping trip to Takashimaya Orchard Rd, or my shopping trip to CK Tangs Orchard Rd, or my shopping trip to Paragon at bloody Orchard Road.

Screw it.

You can't go anyway, do anything, or eat anything with a 2 month old baby on a pram.

Planning a dinner with my wife, I suggested a wonderful evening escapade at Rochester Park, with images of serenity and fresh air alfresco dining in my head.

"Smoke. Got people smoke there. Its open air. Got smoking area there", my wife reminded me.

"Oh right..", I put a big cross for Rochester Park in my head. After all, what if the little one pooped, where are we going to change her diaper? On the bloody bar table? In fact I put many crosses everywhere. The places are either too crammed, too noisy, too smoky, too far, too unfriendly, too expensive ( I added this one in for myself, my daughter has got nothing to do with this).

And if we seek some entertainment on a weekend, skip that cinema, forget about karaoke, and ditch that idea of swooning in a bar for a lychee martini. Instead, pop over to a shopping mall in Orchard Road or a shopping mall in Orchard Road.

Now, before you slap me silly for making you guys go round and round in fucking riddles, please hear me out.

Its all true, its proven, there is no social life after kids. I have succumbed to my evil friend I mentioned on my earlier post who insisted life after kids is as good as walking to a nearby police station and stealing a policeman's gun in a dramatic effort to pull the trigger into the head.

Last Christmas, I turned down a party organized by a committee of the university i attended (well, I didn't feel like going anyway). I turned down another from a friend organizing a party for parents with kids (Its call a Play Group. I am not yet ready to join the hordes of uncles and aunties chasing after their screaming children).

As a matter of fact, I can't go anywhere, more so with a one month old baby back then. Except visiting a shopping mall in Orchard Rd. Alright, pull that trigger, I know you guys are dying to stop my whining.

So when fellow bloggers and friends on facebook are blasting posts on this outing and that party that they have attended, I can only post pictures of my lovable daughter sleeping in her pram probably in an air conditioned mall. However, that serene moment alone is already worth more than any alfresco dining under the moon.

Yes, even with a ice cold martini in hand.

Sorry guys.

This post is yet another one about my little angel, daddy's little girl.