Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ditch the maid

Am sitting at my office desk on a supposed-to-be happening Saturaday evening, its 7:22pm. Waiting for the engineers to get things done...

How about some update on the recent event at home?

No one is indispensable. It’s true.

After 1.5 years of tolerating the money-stealing and disrespectful maid, I have decided, that on 24th of February, out she goes. Out of my house, out of our memories and out of Singapore!
I have had enough. After a few recent nonchalant talked back instances, I told myself, why should I be tolerating this person when I am the paying her salary?

The maid knows that when the son starts going to the childcare centre, it marks the end of her employment with us, and hence, knowing her days were numbered, she decided to reveal more and more of her bad attitudes. Well, yesterday was THE day when I asked her to look after the son while I had my lunch. Instead of standing close to him, she was standing in the kitchen while he is in the living room. The son ran and fell and of course, burst into tears. That moment, I lost my cool and hollered to her, “We don’t need you any more, just go away!”

Within an hour, she had her luggage all lay out and Kevin was thinking she might be “trying to scare us”. I could not be bothered about her intention and without much contemplation, I told her to clear all her ‘outstanding’ household chores and then do the packing in front of us while at the same time we scrutiny her personal items to prevent her from stealing from us, again.

Thereafter, we drove her to the agency.

The day ended with a mini celebration with Kevin at Aston. The day marked the beginning of our carefree days…

No more locking up the bedroom door while we sleep.
No more doing ‘stock check’ on the son’s fish supply. (since she often steal fish from the son for her meals)
No more food, titbits, and health supplement went missing mysteriously.
No more keeping a tight rein on letters, cheques and jewelleries.
No more restricting myself from dancing and humming to my favourite jingle in the house with the son.
No more brain ‘stimulation’ on thinking what kind of chores to assign to her to keep her busy and not lazing around.

No more of so many no-mores.

Well, it is time that we embrace our new lives without the maid and lead one with part time domestic helpers.

Sure there are often too many cups to wash in the day and clothes to be hang up while the maid isn't around, but at least Kevin and I are happy.



Just before Ziv attended the childcare center, we brought him to the Zoo, together with our neighbour, Aunty Shemaine, Uncle Alvin and Cutie Trisha.

We intially planned for an early start, however, Ziv overslept and woke up at around 930am, hence leaving the house only at 10am.

Lucky for us, the sun wasn't so strong. We drove there and had an oily breakfast, KFC. Its strange that they don't serve breakfast menu over there at the Zoo. So it was crispy chickens in the 'early' morning. Who enjoyed the most? Ziv, of course, he just realised his newfound love, pop corn chicken, weeks ago and he is loving every bite of it. Well, not so finger-licking good for me though.

We made an entrance to the Zoo about 45 minutes later, and we saw this cute little explorer trolley that some of the people were seen dragging along with 2 kids on it. So we decided to get it for the 2 kids. Guess what? The rental fee for the plastic was $15! Bollocks! Utter bollocks! Well, in Japan, stroller-renting and note, branded stroller-renting is FOC and without deposit, and here we have to pay $15? Dream on?! I won't pay a single cent, even if that means I have to carry Ziv in my arms throughout the journey. It is not a matter of $15 or $5 or $50, but why is it that we have to pay such steep rental fee when we already paid a great deal amount on the entrance fee? A deposit will be good enough to make sure that the kiasu Singaporeans will not disappear with the explorer just like they disappear with the supermarket trolleys.

More grumbling, at the entrance, we were greeted by 'photograhpers' asking us to take pictures with NOTHING, just trees at the background. Evidently, some cheapo money-spinning tactic that absolutely pissed me off. My neighbour's wife was almost shouting, "No No No!!" She was even lamenting that at least they should make some effort in getting an Ah Meng or Ah Seng to take pictures with us, so perhaps we will fall for the trap volunteerily. True. I couldn't agree more.

Sorry to the Zoo, but I don't feel like a celebrity when the 'paparazzi' were asking me for pictures. Next, we walked near to the parrot area, and there were 2 young 'pleasant' looking ladies from the Zoo (of course) offered to take pictures for us FOC. Thinking what a rare chance that we can have something FOC, we, of course agreed without thinking that it might be a 'trap'. So yes, we were in for a trap, unknowingly. Before using our camera to take the pictures, they used their camera first and as you know, children's attention span is super short, and the best pictures taken from children will be the first few shots and yet they are using their camera to take the first few best shots and what was left was as good as NOTHING. Darn! (Don't blame me for being tetchy!) We were in for the trap once again, after a lesson learnt at the Night Safari.

So what did we do?

Pay and Forget.

Ok, better stop with the complaining else, this entry will look more like a complaint letter than a blog about our oh-so-fun trip to the Zoo.

Where shall I start?

Alright, apart from the 'paparazzi', we were greeted by some weird looking animal. I know it has a name, but I think they looked weird, but also in a way cute.

Up next, the White Tigers. Ahh... we all heard about how the White Tigers ripped a zoo keeper apart and seriously looking at the White Tigers, they looked like Coby. Maybe its a warm afternoon, all the animals seemed to either fainted or sleeping under the shades.

Talking about White Tigers, I eagerly wanted to take a picture with them and so, our photographer made a blunder. Where is the Tigers? Can you spot them?

Well, maybe the Zoo can try to tempt tourists to take a picture with the White Tigers. I may be one of those people paying for the picture to be taken.

Next, my favourite animal. Zebra. I love Zebra. They are picture perfect animals. Cause of their color, they looked good in every of the pictures, even with the most unprofessional photographer (ahem... Kevin), they still look great.

Nice isn't it?

Kangaroo, I wanted to comment about this, while I was in Perth, visiting the Zoo, I remembered that Kangaroo is HUGE and active. Over here, the Kangaroo looks like baby Kangaroo and they were all sleeping in broad daylight. Disappointed!

I don't see Tigers, I don't see Cheetah, I don't see Leopard. They all went on hiding. Its sad. I can't see those popular animals from the Zoo. :(

Of course, other than the animals, the most important people of all. The adorable kids. See how they bond. Even holding hands!

Ziv trying to look all cool and handsome with a gal around. Posing for the camera without checking if his galfriend is ready.
Lunch was fish and chip for me and sausage bread and fries for Kevin. Yet another oily meal.
I love the Zoo.

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Go Away! Stupid virus!! ^&%*^&*^%#@@

Recently the whole family was down with the invincible stomach flu virus. We took turn to vomit, took turn to rush to the toilet, took turn to change bedsheets, took turn to visit the doc.

Damn. The virus was even spreading to my mum and my mother-in-law.
Get well soon, grandmas...

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ziv is going to childcare center

Barney bag... checked!
Towel... checked!
Labeling machine... checked!
Lunch box... checked!

Last Friday was pretty eventful for me, went around and along Yio Chu Kang road for a suitable childcare for the little prince at home.

Kevin and I deemed that "its time" to bring our little prince to childcare center, hoping that he learns to be independent and get socialised. After haunting for almost the entire day, we still could not find THE right center, and finally, our last stop, we reached Cherie Hearts above Sheng Shiong supermarket at Serangoon North, we concurred that "this is it".

The environment is spick and span and even equiped with video camera that provides 'live' telecasts to parents, teachers are amicable, and is less crowded as compared to other popoular centers.

Immediately we paid the downpayment of around 2k and planned to start on 23rd Feb.

I hope our little shy prince is able to adapt to the environment. Unfortunately that I cannot be with him for the first day @ the center due to my work commitment. I hope to join him the day after.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

6/7th February 2009

No cake.
No lavish and calorie-laden, fat-riddled, sodium-swaddled, sugar-spiked dining.
This year, we did not helicopter over, “Where to go?”, “What to eat?”.

Cause we have 2 other people “celebrating” or rather “contributing” to my birthday ang bao.

What can 4 people do when they meet?

Mahjong, without a doubt.

On 7th Feb, I played MJ for almost the entire day and ended with some simple maid-cooked dinner. And that’s it.

How uninteresting? The most mundane birthday in my entire 20 something years. (See, me being very heedful and sensitive about numbers now.)

However, on the eve, my neighbouring family and we went on an excursion to the Night Safari. It was our 2nd time there and theirs first. I recalled that the first time Kevin and I went there was during one of my birthdays, about 5 years ago.

The aim of the trip was not to celebrate my day, but to let both kids (Ziv and Trisha) bond since both Daddies already have reasonable amount of bonding time daily and I repeat, “DAILY”.

Nothing much has changed or improved noticeably, or perhaps the tiger is 5 years older now and the elephant has gained a tonne. Well, there are more money-spinning eateries and alfresco dinning along the main entrance. And the tickets to the safari are unbelievable costly with the fact that the numbers of animals one can actually see in the dimly lit vicinity is somehow limited and the varieties of animals pale in comparison with the Mandai Zoo, even travelling on the tram cost $10 per person and for about 20 to 30 minutes. And by the way, it was free back then.
To make our tickets worth, we bought the 2 in 1 package that includes entrance to the Zoo (within a month) and a family of 3 including an 18-month kid cost $80. Not mentioning about being hard sell for your own picture taken on the tram that costs $20, easily, an innocent excursion can fritter away $100 from your already tight wallet.

Never mind about the moolah, let’s move on.

I remembered vividly that we did not managed to catch the animal show 5 years ago and that day, I came with a mission. That is, to catch the animals show by hook or by crook. When we reached there about 830pm, the show was full and hence we went on the tram first. The tram ride was interesting, not because of the animals, the commentator on the tram but my neighbour. He was exaggerated his fear of the animals that would suddenly went berserk, escaped from the boundaries and attacked him. He went on narrating what he would do if such thing happened and so on. His humour is indeed entertaining during the boring tram ride. All animals seemed to turn away from us, perhaps they have seen many of us tourist and immune to us. During the tram ride something hilarious happened, the mischievous elephant blew water on us and luckily we weren’t drench. Kevin blocked the water for me and Ziv.

The animals show was pretty interesting for first time viewer like us, however, a revisit to the show is definitely not recommended. The animals appearing on the show were not big, fierce animals, mainly those monkey-like, furry animals which I have no idea what they are called.
The trip ended with an over-priced 2-scope ice-cream cone from Bens and Jerry’s costing $9.50.

Verdict for the Night Safari?

Visit it once and there is no need for a revisit. Just in case your foreign friend asks you how is it, you can at least reply to him/her.

Some pictures taken…
Even picture taking is a chore, because the lighting is just so dim!

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to me Tomorrow

Thanks to the freakingly dumb Project Manager who made my day by not reading emails by me and screwed up the whole delivery.

Thanks to the ever-oh-so-busy-idling Engineer who made an effort to reply to my emails by saying, “I have no time to read through the documents” and screwed up the whole delivery.

Thanks to the painfully nasty vendor who does not understand simple English to ignore my emails, thinking she need not reply when I indicated, “Hi ” in the email.

Thanks for all the irritating fools around me to make me appreciate Kevin, my family and friends and count myself lucky, thank God and laughing behind the curtains that I do not have those idiots as someone close to me or sitting next to me in the office.

Intended to take leave on the eve of my birthday, but it doesn’t happen.

So who’s next to cheese me off?

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Our trustworthily office administrative assistant left us in the lurch and up the creek after her holiday trip to Korea. She had so many days of leaves to clear that she nonchalantly bided us “Goodbye” after 3 days at work and 2 days on medical leave. There go my expenses claims. I bemoaned her sudden departure and blamed myself for accumulating up to 2 months’ worth of claims on my in-tray, hoping that the fairy godmother can wave her wand so that everything get entered to the SAP.

Anyway, after a week or so, a substitute came in. She is a 50 odd year old frail looking lady, who adopted some sort of weird slang. I figured that she is trying very hard to ‘blend’ in to the expat environment just like many others here, mysteriously contacted the “slang” epidemic. And I tell you, it sounded bad bad bad. She, on the other hand, is very much less trendy than the former one, who usually will take much pain to match her shoes with her handbag and apparels. She was rumoured to be our ex staff who left the company years ago and decided to return to work force for some reasons which I haven’t got wind of.

After a few dealings with her, I realised she is just like my mum, a widely loathed fuddy-duddy old woman who cannot seemed to stop “educating” those whom she thinks are younger than her, forgetting that she is the noob, not us. She and my good friend cum colleague, who happened to be also an admin, are like arch enemies.

Let’s call the fuddy-duddy woman, E.

E likes to shrink from her responsibilities and divert all of them to my friend, who is definitely not a door mat but a fire cracker, of course that results in lots of “tongue-wagging free show” in the office. And E likes to give a standard excuse for the first month of work, “Sorry, but I am new, I don’t know the rules.” Which is a pain in the ass, especially you know that she is lying through her teeth.

E likes to coax to her primary school level children on the phone loudly, and speaking and teaching them all the wrong grammar strange English slang that I really pity them.

E is an “award-winning” actress by the way. My friend told me that during her interview with E. She was told by E that she is a very family pro woman who will not work overtime. And my friend told her, that it is alright because we can always work from home. However, E, being the greatest actress, will always make sure that she stays later than her boss and the moment her boss left the office, she will start demonstrating the legendary 5-second packing skill to us all. “Vrroomm” she is gone with dark smoke.

Anyway, she is not the only best actress in the office, there are plenty of them here who behaved very much like E, afraid of boss for no reason, shrinking from responsibilities, action-packed in office for nothing, some from finance, some from HR. Isn’t it miserable to juggle between work and acting skill and still have to monitor bosses’ locations? I pity these people, living their lives depending on others tremendously; even to the extent of knocking off on time is like a dream to them unless boss is on medical leave.

Sometimes I wonder, since they are willing to spend vast amount of time in the office, then why are they still shrinking from their responsibilities, if so, aren’t they doing nothing in the office while waiting for time to past? Isn’t that more boring than not working?

Sometimes I feel sick of the job, however, at this point of time, many said that you are considered the blessed one with a job right now.

Well, I say, that depends on what kind of job you are having there.

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