January 31, 2007


My ugly finger and thumb. See the dry and cracked skin on them. This happened before – the skin dried up, hardened and cracked. The first time it happened, I went to the doctor. The doctor did a patch test to see if the skin was allergic to any of the things in his list. All negative. The doctor said it could be due to the skin contacted certain chemicals or due to the detergents I was using.

But how come only affects the right hand and how come the thumb and the first finger are the worst affected. He said it could be because I only use the right hand to do certain things. Right, I use the right hand to do many things – hold things to eat, crack the shells of peanuts, hold equipment and tools, scratch head when washing hair with shampoo........

“But I have been using the right hand like that all the while. How come only happen now?” I asked the doctor during that first visit.

It could be due to accumulative effect – the skin absorbed the ‘poison’ bit by bit, it accumulated with time and then it broke out, the doctor said.

The doctor prescribed some cream and advised me to wear gloves or finger cots (condom-like finger shields) to protect the fingers.

It recovered with time but comes back again, usually mildly, once in a while.

I still don’t know the cause. Anyway, it is nothing serious.

January 29, 2007

Never say goodbye

English song - 帝女花(Eng. Version)

Cool to be yourself

……..whatever that means to you.

Last week one new post65 MP said it was cool to be square. He was commenting on the PAP trying to be hip in order to connect with the younger generation. No need, he said, people support the PAP for what it is – serious and square.

In our relationship with friends, I feel you don’t have to put on an act if you don’t like or enjoy it. Your friends should accept you as yourself.

My friends sometimes say I am not sporting or not sociable when I refuse to join them do certain things. Never mind what they say.

January 27, 2007

Wise sayings

Remember Deng Xiao Peng’s remark “black cat or white cat, it is a good cat if it catches the mice”.?

Now, if it was said by a common Chinese peasant, no one would pay any attention. But DXP was the leader of the world’s most populous country and his thinking could affect billions of people. Even MM Lee admires him.

Tell you a story I read.

There was a simple-minded gardener. He was quite ignorant of other things but was very knowledgeable about gardening, plants and seeds. One day, a reporter somehow mistook him to be someone who was a well-known economist.

He interviewed the gardener and asked for his views on the economy. The gardener, not understanding the questions, always replied by saying something about gardening, plants or seeds.

His ‘views’ were published and people thought they were very good and he was very clever by using analogies instead of giving direct replies.

For example when he said sunlight was needed for a seedling to grow healthily…..people thought he was referring to the growth of the economy.

Nice story.

January 24, 2007

Road sense

Last week, from Simei I wanted to go to Bedok Town Centre which is quite near. I have done this before, so I thought I knew the way. Damn it, somehow I made a wrong turn and ended up doing a long detour.

I have gone to Henderson Community Club before but I still cannot remember the way. Every time before I went I had to look up the street directory and memorize by heart the route to take.

I am a blockhead when it comes to remembering routes. So I seldom offer to send people home for the simple reason I don’t know the way.

Some weeks ago I wanted to go to Bukit Batok CC. I think I have been there twice or thrice but forgotten where it was already. So I looked up the directory again.

Where is Chong Pang CC? I also looked up for it – wow! Junction of Sembawang Road/Yishun Ave 5, unfamiliar territory to me and far from my HQ.

And I ever thought of becoming a part-time taxi-driver!

January 18, 2007

Social responsibilities

One night last December I was walking home past several blocks of flats. It was past mid-night. The place was deserted. Then I saw a man urinating at the side of one block. He was dark-skinned, tall and stout and looked drunk.

I was thinking if I should do something or not. Call the police? No point. Take photo? What for? Go and tell him off? What if he beats me up? What else could I do?

In theory, it is easy to say what you would do but in practice it is not so easy.

As I walked past the block, he had finished his job and was keeping his tool.

Never mind lah, I thought, let him go, just that he drank too much beer and was urgent. Not good for him to control for too long.

What about people having sex in a bus? I would intervene, tell them to buy some shields and go to a hotel or at least I would tell the bus-driver.

Someone cycling on an overhead bridge? I think I won’t do anything. But if he knocks down an old man or a pregnant woman, he could face serious consequences.

January 15, 2007

Performance by the Kreta Ayer CC Cantonese Opera Troupe

13 January 2007 – Kreta Ayer People’s Theatre

The KACCCOT is an all-female troupe. It has a history of 18 years. It puts up performances occasionally, usually at the CC. The leader and lead sheng is Chan Mei Yin. She performs and sings well.

Mei Yin rarely performs as a dan. She used to have a regular dan partner but I have not seen this dan perform for many years already.

This show had a guest artiste from oversea – Lam Kar Boh from the Guangdong CO troupe. He performed an excerpt with Mei Yin who played the dan role. She had another excerpt in which she was the sheng. She is a beautiful dan but I still prefer her sheng role.

Some ladies sitting behind me were commenting that the ticket prices were expensive. I suppose they were referring to the $50 and $40 seats. I think the organizers can have the $50 and $40, but could have reduced the number of seats in the more pricey categories. Normally CO fans are not too enthusiastic about performances by CC groups. And CC groups normally choose smaller venues like Jubilee Hall.

xiao sheng Chan Mei Yin

hua dan Chan Mei Yin with Lam Kar Boh

Chan Choon Hei and Chan Oi Leng

The xian nu at the forefront is Chan Mei Leng, sister of Mei Yin.

the usual group photo

January 10, 2007


Hello friends, just thought of 2 questions to 'test' you. The answers are below but make a guess first.

1. Most tests, exams and other hurdles I managed to squeeze through in the first attempt but there was one test which I had to take several times before I got through. What is it?

2. In our jobs there are many things that are stressful, like given a new project to be in charge of. There is one thing that I find very stressful. It doesn’t take very long and is actually quite easy. Ministers do it all the time and PM Lee has done it for as long as 3 hours. What is it?


1. driving test 2. giving a speech

January 02, 2007


I have this habit of reading back issues of the newspaper when I get back from holidays. My own experience is that the news becomes less important and my response to certain news also less emotional.

For example if you read about the Bali bomb explosions or a man got arrested for chopping up his China girlfriend hot off the press, your emotional response would be quite strong. But if you first read about it two weeks later, your response would not be so emotional.

Similarly, if you are experiencing a difficult time now it will become the past and may not seem so bad later on.

This brings me to something I read in a book. It says (not the exact words):

When you are feeling very stressful or distressful and that you will not be able to bear your burdens any longer, tell yourself that this is not going to last very long. It will become the past too. This is a very comforting thought. It gives you the courage and strength to go through the bad days.

And when you are feeling very happy and joyful, tell yourself that this is not going to last forever. This will help you prepare psychologically for the cloudy days ahead. You could also prepare by showing more love and kindness to others, strengthening your bonds with your family members and friends, taking better care of your health and saving a bit more of your bonus.