Monday, August 30, 2010

Sticking out like a sore thumb

At 0830, I arrived at the National Library Building in the middle of town. I followed my sister in her car to her office, which was near the library. Thus, I am here THIS early. But apparently, 0830 is not early at all for some of the Singapore students in the library, even if the study lounge opens at 0900 and the libraries at 1000.

At 0835, there was already a line of people sitting outside the study lounge, waiting for the door to open. Even while waiting for the door, instead of talking, most of them have already opened their books and started studying.

And now at 0935, I am here, probably the only one who is not deep in her studies. There are five 2 to 3m tables with chairs on all sides, another six or so tables placed next to the windows, with chairs on both sides, there's even cushions placed at the front of the study lounge. And guess what? They are all filled. Yes, at 0935. Mostly by students, some who are having their breakfast and studying at the same time.

Feels lonely being the only one idling my time away =)

30 Aug is special

Today is my mother's birthday and for the second time, I am writing here instead of sharing it with my mom. If things went as planned, she should have arrived Singapore at 1600 and is now in my sister's place with her husband and grandchildren. She is such a party-er. Instead of opting to choose between celebrating with her sisters and mother or her family, she decided to do both. Thus, this morning she was still in KL, probably having spent yesterday going crazy with her buddies, and then hoping into a bus the very next morning.

Thus, it must be surprising to find that she is celebrating her 60th birthday. Well, it was for me. My mom is sixty. Isn't people who are sixty your grandparents and not your parents? Aren't sixty year olds suppose to be living the "slow" life, winding down? Not backpacking across China. Not diving (well, she has not done that for quite awhile). Never have I thought my mom would approach 60 so quickly, time does fly!

My mom is a remarkable woman.

From what I have been told, my mom have been a bookworm since young (scary!). Once, she got spanking for ranking 14th in class. But my mom was not a total goodie-two-shoes. Apparently, she did not get any spanking in the end as she and her nanny collaborated against her father, faking screams of pain as the nanny hit her ever lightly. Among stories of her childhood, her favourite (ones she repeated again and again) were ones of her and her father. One particularly memorable was just how she would boil fresh milk for her father. How she would skim the top layer of fats (which forms when milk is heated) for herself. She clearly had very fond memories of her father, who unfortunately passed away when she was merely 17. Thus, I never got to see this grandfather of mine.

My mom studied really hard and managed to get into university in Singapore (which is major feat at that time, very different from our time) to study pharmacy. After that, she dived straight into her career and didn't look back. I am pretty sure that my mom never had any really long breaks prior to her retirement (thus she is enjoying every moment of it right now). She is hates having things undone and would be restless until it is completed, even to this day, even with minor household things. Even though she was a mother of two kids (then three when I came along years after), she still strived in her career. She had a senior post where she worked for nearly 35 years until the day she retired. She was liked by people around her as she is kind, understanding, caring, patient, loving. I feel very privileged to have such a stunning example so close to me.

I love her so much, I don't want her to be sixty. Now I understand why some people want immortality, because life can feel so short.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Down with cough and flu. Just great! When I am suppose to be studying day in, day out - I am sleeping my day away. Waking up at frequent intervals to clear the phlegm in my throat and the booger in my nose XD Great..

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I am still a child

If you think that leaving your family and home for a land thousand of miles away will lead to you grow, sometimes, it can be so wrong.

Since coming back home, I have rediscovered myself. It could be said that I lost my spark in the nine months in UK and was left dwindling until I came home. It is true, even my family have commented that after the good trip to China, I have become more energised than beforep. And I do feel different too. I feel more purposeful, more useful, more loved, more happy, more contented. And.... A little skinnier (work in progress).

I enjoyed my stay in UK, for sure, and made some friends that I hope will last, and I learnt many new things (mostly only during the end of the academic year, unfortunately). All in all, I just did not utilise my new freedom effectively and went down the slide.

What is the defining difference between this two "homes"? Guidance from family, as much as I would love to say I am in no need of it. I was innocent enough to think that there are people out there who would think for me more than my family (or even as much as them). Ridiculous, now I know. No one cares more for me than my family, and it took me so long to realise, I feel apologetic to them. And they are the ones who suffer most from my mistakes. Only people who care enough will point out your faults and encourage you to act. Only people who care enough will try to shield you from your innocence and naivety. Only people who care enough will be willing to endure your wrath just to teach you.

I am still a child.