Sex Volunteer

30 Nov 2010 – Happy 60th Bday to cousin KC LAM

In this Korean movie, the fictional story of Sex Volunteer*** the police are tipped off of a sex trade occurring at a love motel. When the police arrive they arrest young filmmaker Ye-Ri, a handicapped man with cerebral palsy and a Catholic priest. During their trial it’s revealed that the act in question was a volunteer service performed by an organization that offers sex to the disabled… some real heavy issues!

One of the best remarks is when Ye-Ri is interrogated by the police, are you in love with the handicapped man and she replied, are you in love with your hands every time you masturbate!! Posting 1 Aug 2009/A Frozen Flower and Lust Caution regarding my sentinels on Love, Lust & Sex are still valid…

While the movie was screening, a piping festival is ongoing outside the grounds of the Cathay. Somehow the past few weeks have been nostalgic, with long-lost cousins, Mt Sophia and the bagpipes which always brings back memories of mother bawling her eyes out… the few times she worn shades! There were no jet-planes in the 1950s and the transportation from Singapore-London was by cruise-ship; that was how brother Lawrence sailed off to further his studies then.

Downloaded from different websites two B/W pix dated app from the 1950s- after the cruise-ship lifted its passenger bridge and the anchor was slowly cranked on to deck. Then one could also hear the bagpipes’ band playing and see them marching in their magnificent tartan uniform. After the ship’s horn is sounded, the passengers will throw multi-coloured paper streamers to the waving crowds on the wharf. It was amazing with all the colors flying, would catch on to some ends, holding on to them under they break. What a sweet and significant way to say goodbye…  for now it is bye-bye to Nov 2010!

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling –  Frederick Weatherly


28 Nov 2010 – Old School

Old School is six-block property of the former Methodist Girls’ School on Mt Sophia, has been revamped and open to everyone as a place to interact and to exchange ideas; a place for showcasing interesting art-forms. This area brings back memory from the 1950s where we visited the EU villa and just below where Cathay is, there was a music shop across the road. Keller Piano Company was where all my music books came from, the property was owned by my father & his associates then.

Fri: opening of works by Michele RIGHETTI created in his new studio at The Old School, Mt Sophia Singapore. His new exhibited works are quite a change from his previous, The Author’s Emotions, which is a mix of Mediterranean landscapes combined with Asian inspired characters. Enjoyed his Emotions but his new inspirations take some getting use to. Michele’s studio is now relocated at the Old School. Thank you Lydia & Michele for including me to the opening. Wishing him every success.

A cousin whom we have not seen since the early 1960s was visiting from CA. Michael LEONG is the grandson of LAM Jee Chiew (brother of my grandfather, thus my granduncle). Michael’s parents and many from LAM JC’s branch (father’s cousins) colour coded blue, (my parents generation) emigrated to CA in 1960s. Linda who was also recently here in SIN is the one who has kept in contact. Good to be able to know the green, my generation of LAM JC’s branch. Thanks to Les & Ivy for hosting Fri lunch with the company of Betsey, Michael, Jo and a common friend of Les & Michael. Appreciations to Sansan? who brought us together for this reunion.

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance –
George Bernard Shaw

Thanksgiving 2010

25 Nov 2010 – Menu with thoughts of Linn & May

Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival celebrated primarily in USA/last Thu in Nov & Canada/2nd Mon in Oct. Traditionally, it has been a time to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. While it may have been religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now primarily identified as a secular holiday. It is sometimes casually referred to as Turkey Day.

Grateful People Are Happier, Healthier Long After the Leftovers Are Gobbled Up! Excellent article. Thanks for forwarding it May who is in Oslo/Norway, Linn & family are in Orlando/FL with Jeff’s family and I in SIN to give thanks to my precious family.

Tonight’s Thanksgiving dinner, decided to make quail instead of turkey, reason is that turkey is just too large. Quail is a collective name for several genera of mid-sized birds in the pheasant family Phasianidae and is considered a relative of the feathered family like the turkey! In additional to the quail, slices of honey-glazed ham & turkey slices with cranberry sauce and Irish creamed potatoes. The Norwegian marinated salmon with mustard sauce are starters followed by Tiger Prawn salad in crème fraiche with herbs, cauliflower and wild rocket. To end the meal, an Italian Tiramisu did the job to pick me up from missing the children & grandchildren!

Thanks to Les & Ivy, these are the wines to compliment with the cooking: a dry white Kistler, a wonderful red from the Harlan Estate and how appropriate to celebrate an American occasion with 2 American wines. Condrieu dessert wine/French was just as complimentary to the Italian dessert.

Do join me to give thanks today and everyday to this life’s journey. Appreciations to the delightful company of Angelique, Paul and Kenson who took time to celebrate this day with us. Thank you Kenson for the dried mulberries from Iran, this is the first time to taste it and they are yummy.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to each and everyone.
Grateful People Are Happier, Healthier Long After the Leftovers Are Gobbled Up -Melinda Beck/The Wall Street Journal

Born Free

24 Nov 2010 – Survivor of the Fittest!

Yesterday Jo made me lunch. While sitting in her living room supposedly watching TV, but more focus on the birds outside. These birds are so tamed and used to getting food that they fly into her house. By the door on top of a shelf are bits of bread for them. Previously the bread was just thrown out on the lawn but the bigger black magpies would fight the smaller sparrows… survivors of the fittest! With this arrangement, there is some control with that only the smaller birds are welcome. There is also a blue pet budgerigar in a cage… the irony of life. Birds in cage is a sad sight to my eyes! Tomorrow I will be roasting another bird for Thanksgiving dinner… another survivor of the fittest 🙂

Shopping in IKEA yesterday evening really made my day! Went there to get a bracket to for the microwave (also ended up getting some decorative Christmas lights… like I needed them!!) and decided to grab a bite there. Their chicken wings are quite decent. Found a tall table by the window where I could watch the rush-hour traffic. Just finished enjoying a few pieces of wings, a bottle of pear-cider when I heard this timid soft voice in Chinese… 請 問 literally translated to please ask, meaning may I ask in a formal polite form. Looked up to see this nerdy (no derogatory meant) young man with black rimmed glasses gesturing to my tray to ask if I was done so that he could clear it.

This took me by such a surprise as I do not even remember when and where I have encountered such soft-spoken courtesy especially in the IKEA cafe! Managed to murmured a quick thank you. Such gestures are far and in between and was in such a state of amazement that I forgot to ask his name. Will write to the IKEA management to thank this young man for making my day.

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world – Francis Bacon

A Cup of Tea

22 Nov 2010 – as only a Mother would know!

~A Cup of Tea ~

Had a nice Sat breakfast at our local wet market with Audrey WONG. She is one of the few younger SIN I know who has character and personality. She and her family will be off to NZ for the holidays. Safe journeys to them. Sun dinner with Les & Ivy. Have been so busy since my return that some of my clothes were still in the luggage, a badly needed weekend of cleaning and clearing up. Now that it is cleaned and cleared, messing it up again! with my Christmas preparations and the LAM Heritage research, the never-ending project…

Sharing this cute picture of Sophie. youngest grandchild who recently has been puking and got us all worried. Thank goodness she is now better. Linn has received the Thanksgiving care package Huang mailed from HI. Thanks Huang. Hope that it wasn’t the candies that caused Sophie to throw up. Cousin Yun who knew me at that age remarked that Sophie looks like me at that same age, except a blond version! Others who did not know me at that age also said same. Poor Sophie but she will grow out of that looks soon 🙂

One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge o f me.

Someone had given me a little tea set as a gift, and it was one of my favorite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought him a little cup of tea,  which was just water.  After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my mom came home.

My dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was ‘just the cutest thing!’  Mom waited and sure enough, here I came down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watched him drink it up.

Then she said, (as only a mother would know), ‘Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water, is the toilet’?

…. have a good week !


20 Nov 2010 – Two movies

Spring Fever* set in present day Nanjing, portrays contemporary China as a seething hotbed of erotic curiosity and discontent. Luo Haitao has been hired by Wang Ping’s wife to spy on the passionate relationship between her husband and another man, but slowly loses control of the situation. With his girlfriend, Li Jing, he is drawn in to the affair, overcome by dangerous malady that leads the heart and head astray to a damnable journey of jealousy and obsessive love.

There are both English & French subtitles and sometimes on top of each other, rather annoying. In addition, many of the scenes are far too dim, thus more confusion.  Not my type of movie!

Son of Babylon**** Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards and the winner for the Peace Film Award this year featured a movie from Iraq. A willful young boy follows his just as obstinate grandmother in a journey across Iraq, determined to discover the fate of her missing son, Ahmed’s father, who never returned from war. The sad consequences of wars where someone will lose a grandfather, father, father-in-law, husband, son, son-in-law, grandson, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, boyfriend, friend, lover, acquaintance etc… does this list justify wars???

Some of the other reasons besides winning the awards to watch this movie are thoughts of my Iraqi brother-in-law Khalid AMEEN who has been living in SIN since the 1970s. How does he feel with his family living in Iraq?

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace – John Lennon

King’s Room@King’s Hotel

18 Nov 2010 – Until we meet again!

Last night Hong Sze hosted a delicious seafood/vegetarian farewell dinner for Pui Ah at Copthorne King’s Hotel Tien Court Restaurant*** Thank you Hong Sze for including me to the family dinner. Good to catch up with some of the WONG clan. Have not seen Sam & Orlando since their wedding dinner/posting Weekend 23 Feb 2009. Pui Ah flies back to Vancouver via HKG today. Her two weeks have certainly flown by quickly too! Next year is just around the corner and hopefully we will meet again then.


Sea cucumber

Braised cod

Foo chuk (soya skin) with bamboo.
No pictures of soup, noodles and almond paste for dessert!

Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes
A farewell is necessary before you can meet again
And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends – Richard Bach

Eid Mubarak عيد مبارك

17 Nov 2010 – Selamat Hari Raya Haji/Feast of Sacrifice

Mon: an afternoon with auntie Winnie Olivero LAM from HI who will be returning back to HI on Wed. Aloha and safe journeys to her.

Tue: news from cousin LAM ChengEn in Shanghai that the fire was only a few streets from his place. Sad for the 53 who lost their life and 126 who are injured by this disaster which engulfed the entire building in 15mins. A few days ago Richard posted on Facebook – Chinese Build 15-Story Hotel in Just Six Days… that’s how long it took to build this level 9 Earthquake-resistant, sound-proofed, thermal-insulated 15-story hotel in Shanghai, complete with everything, from the cabling to three-pane windows…

6 days to build, 15mins to destroy! A relationship can take a life-time to build but just one sentence to destroy!!

The La MaMa Experience at The Room Upstairs@ACTION Theatre featured bits and pieces from SIN playwrights CHONG Tze Chien, Jean and Verena TAY. 42 Waterloo Street has been transformed from a two-storey pre-war bungalow to a charming place which now houses an intimate 112-seater studio theatre, two cosy outdoor performance spaces and a Mexican restaurant. ACTION Theatre, a non-profit professional theatre company that focuses on developing and presenting original new works.

Wed: Hari Raya Haji is a festival for the Muslims in SIN to mark the end of their annual holy pilgrimage to Mecca and is celebrated after 70 days of the holy month of Ramandan. The prayers started at 0800hrs in the HDB common areas, in this case the tent is pitched in the common grounds of the basket-ball court. There is also a Chinese wake going on next to it and a few weeks ago a Malay wedding.

The multiculturalism makes life more interesting, provided that one learns to respect the differences! The complexity is a never-ending challenge! Today the prayers seemed to be dampened and shorter compared to the usual loud broadcasting over the microphone! Do I sense that there might be some respect for the departed next door??

عيد مبارك Eid Mubarak=blessed festival or may you enjoy a blessed festival, a traditional Muslim greeting reserved for use on this festival. For me the arabic script and calligraphy is one of the most elegant and beautiful writings, even without understanding a single word of  it! ايمي =Amy 🙂

O unbelievers, I serve not what you serve and you are not serving what I serve, nor am I serving what you have served, neither are you serving what I serve. To you your religion and to me my religion – Qur’an

Beverly’s Bday Bash

14 Nov 2010 – This & That

Fri: grand-nephew Lucas‘s high point at present is to ride the sky-train@Changi Airport. Does not take or cost much to make this 2+yrs toddler to be happily running and singing away. Enjoy while it last as he too will certainly grow out of this and will want to ride the fastest train someday! The luxury of being a grand-auntie is that I allow myself to treat and share a scope of chocolate ice cream with him! Lucas has his grandmother by his finger tips but he is smart enough to not try his nonsense with me, perhaps he finds me intimidating 🙂

Sat: thanks to Lena and Pui Ah for introducing The Storytelling Association SIN (SAS has 40+ members). Jessie GOH (In Search of Ralina), Rosemarie SOMAIAH (Hunger), Juriah ATNA (The Chempaka Tree), Kamini RAMACHANDRAN/founder of Moonshadow Stories, Verena TAY (The Gravedigger), Dolly LEOW (Peony Flowers) and NG Seng Chuan (The Incredible Story of the Legendary Dr Faust) all did an excellent job with their storytellings@The Substation. Tonight’s program is Beyond Knowing-Tales of the Unexpected… and I thought that Halloween was over!

Date & Venue: Sunday 14th of Nov 1100hrs onwards@Tanjong Beach Sentosa
Things to bring: a big smile on your face, happy mood, food and drinks.
Attire: Skimpy and sexy beach wear… yeah, right!  ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪

The rains certainly did not dampen the spirits on this combined Bday picnic celebrations for Beverly & Hakim. My contribution was a home-made tropical fruit salad. Thanks for including me in this international gathering and glad to meet people from Australia, Bangladesh, France, Germany, India and Taiwan.

The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease
Hints at human imperfection
Where there is perfection there is no story to tell – Ben Okri

Views from Orchard Rd

12 Nov 2010 – Orchard Central Rooftop

Met up with Pui Ah yesterday for a Korean movie as she does not get to see too much of the non-English movies in Vancouver. This year on Orchard Rd the colours for the Christmas lights are purple, pink and turquoise, not quite the Christmas colours but still festive. Wanted to show her the indoor wall climbing in Orchard Central/乌节中央城, SIN first and tallest vertical mall but nobody was climbing when we were there. From the rooftop garden, the views are quite wired up to the clouds and so are the escalators! People with vertigo will probably not want to attempt these outdoor escalators.

The Housemaid*** (R21 107 minutes) a Korean movie starring award-winning actress Jeon Do Yeon as poor middle-aged divorcee Eun Yi, who signs on to work as a nanny and housemaid for a wealthy family. In her naive eyes, the rich handsome Hoon, his pregnant wife and daughter make the picture-perfect family. But that myth is soon shattered when the domineering Hoon finds his way to her bed. Their affair upsets the balance of the household, unleashing to a mental condition with cruel power struggle.

All the housemaid hopes is, happiness for ’em – but marriage is a lottery, and the more she thinks about it, the more she feels the independence and the safety of a single life – Charles Dickens