19 Dec 2010 – Neighbourhood Happenings

Strange happening when I was sitting at the gazebo or pavilion (what does one call these here in SIN?) to wait for my ride. It was raining, a van pulled aside and out came an Indian man in red overalls. He climbed the tree to break off branches from the tree and let it fall to the ground. First thought was that maybe he was trimming the tree… out with my camera! When he realized what I was doing after the flash, like a flash he climbed down, gathered the branches of leafs, came to me holding the branches both palms together with the traditional Indian greeting of namaste. Not that I was going to report him or anything of that sort but it perplex and intrigues me… is the leaf eatable?

Another wake and funeral but this one is an interesting one with the full rituals including the burning of the paper-made worldly processions for the deceased’s next life to the netherworld. The Egyptians also believed that they could take their worldly processions into the underworld, same ideas, another variation! The chanting, etc started early Fri evening and yesterday morning with the brass band (to frighten away the spirits & ghosts) leading the cortege of people across the T-junction where they boarded the buses to take them to either the burial grounds or the crematorium. RIP to the deceased.

For the Chinese, a decent funeral is considered one of the most important acts of filial piety to one’s parents and elders. My dear children, when my life’s journey is over please let me go quietly and peacefully, no need with acts of filial piety, ie rituals, ceremonies, etc. The gracious decent beings you are (during my life’s journey) and hopefully continue to be (after my life’s journey) are your acts of filial piety.

A peasant dies calmly because he is not a Christian. He performs the rituals as a matter of course, but his true religion is different. His religion is nature, with which he has lived – Tolstoy


17 Dec 2010 – Illusions & Delusions

With all the news of WikiLeaks and Nobel Peace Prize, one cannot but hear, read, discussed etc about the pros and cons, the controversies of ethics and morals. It is not easy to be objective in many situations, especially when we are living in such a complex world and unfortunately too many people have minimum sincere respect for the differences. We are all such creatures of habits and of conditioning without even realizing it, the illusions of the self and the delusions of freedom! Trying to keep life’s journeys as simple as possible but sometimes it is not so simple… another illusion and or delusion 🙂

Comment to Lucy’s (thanks to her who introduced me to blogging 3yrs ago) blog on the issues of WikiLeaks: http://singaporegirl.wordpress.com

Show me politics with no corruption or one single sincere politician and I will eat my words! And her reply:

Amy, u are too cynical! I think pple go into politics for all sorts of reasons, n power is one of them; tho more n more r getting to see that power is probably more lasting n enjoyable coming from wealth than politics.

Anne is a Norwegian young lady I met at the airport in SIN en route to Chiang Mai/Thailand in 2006. For some reason I said something to her in Norwegian when we were at the check-in counter line and managed to surprise her and her family then! During yesterday’s coffee, she told me that she and her husband Morten have been here for 8yrs but will move on to Sydney after the Christmas holidays. She will still keep her business and shop Scandic Wonders@Tanglin Mall, where candles and decorations made in Scandinavia can be found: http://www.scandicwonders.com and the only mall with a Christmas tree made or used CDs & DVDs (probably the only one!). Indeed an imaginative way for recycling! Best wishes and good luck to Anne & Morten in Sydney. Hopefully our paths will cross again either here in SIN or in Norway.

Mankind will never see an end of trouble until
Lovers of wisdom come to hold political power or
The holders of power become lovers of wisdom –
Plato, The Republic

A Day of Reflections!

15 Dec 2010 – Acknowledgements

Picture is from my kitchen window. Was doing the dishes when I saw these amazing clouds moving at a speed much faster than usual, felt like I was being engulfed by them! Grab the camera for the moment 🙂

Appreciations to Akismet in WordPress who has protected my blog https://amylamsg.wordpress.com from 2,355 spam comments since I started blogging three years ago. Apologies but unable to reply to many of them. WordPress will BLOCK my blog if I reply to what they considered and flagged aside as spam. But I do read each and every one of comments before replying or deleting. Today I would like to show my appreciations to all my readers for visiting and to acknowledge all my readers with all the kind comments, suggestions, advises; and from those who have been interested for me to write for them and to buy space in my blog. For those with motives for your personal promotions, I do thank you for your complimentary comments too.

For those who are commenting on behalf of your business address/blog  or website, please provide me a personal contact if you want a reply. Please know that my blog is open for all to read and all comments are received, read and noted with thanks. Whether or not I reply to the comments or include them in my posting is my prerogative and I do NOT do so for monetary profits or any motives to promote or advertise for any product. Comments made by me about any companies, business, products, websites etc are solely from my personal point of view.

Here is an example of what WordPress consider to be spam. To me it does not matter that it is spam, more important for me to thank you for all the encouragements.

Baseny ogrodowe
Submitted on 2010/12/15 at 07:57

What a great blog. I spend days on the internet reading blogs, about tons of different subjects. I have to first of all give kudos to whoever created your website and second of all to you for writing what i can only describe as an amazing post. I honestly believe there is a skill to writing articles that only a few posses and frankly you have it. The combination of informative and quality content is definitely extremely rare with the large amount of blogs on the internet.

Flagged as spam by Akismet

Sins in SIN!

12 Dec 2010 – Illusions with Lights

Toys Games Comics Convention@Suntec. Still looking out for a light sable but not quite the full size.  Care Bears bring me precious memories of Linn&May from 1985@LAX/USA immigration with May clutching tightly to her pink Care Bear. Handed all our passports to the officer, Linn/Ireland, May/Norwegian and me/SIN. The officer smiled and asked if her Care Bear also had its own passport and from which country. Poor May! She looked apprehensive as she did not quite speak or understand English then, but after Linn‘s translation, came this big smile on her face.

Thanks to nephew Clement for a piece of the sinfully delicious chocolate from Sins and a yummy steak dinner@Outback***at Millenia Walk. Must be synchronicity as will usually go for local food when in SIN, that same night, Linn was also enjoying her Omaha steaks!

A Page of Madness/狂った一頁 a 1926 Japanese movie, would be unfair to rate as it is a class of its own. Takes place in an asylum and tells the story of the asylum’s janitor and his wife as one of the patients. The music was deafeningly loud and distracting. The film does not contain subtitles nor any titles, difficult to follow and I was really lost… felt like I was going mad!

My desk, total chaos (after watching the movie!) over the weekend. Snail-mail seasonal greetings to USA & EU are done and out in the mail, they are getting less after the existence of email and Facebook! But there are some who are not online and some who like receiving hard copies. Next week to get the snail-mail for Asia out and the email messages drafted before pressing the SEND button! How did we ever managed over hundreds of seasonal greetings out in time before email I will never understand 🙂

Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces – Sigmund Freud

Pulau Ubin

11 Dec 2010 –  Island Getaway

Fri: Changi Village/posting 14 Sep 2009 Time & Tide wait for No one! where one of the best Nasi Lemak stalls is located- a hearty breakfast hit the spot before getting on the boat at Changi Ferry Point on this hazy day. For those who have the luxury of time (slightly under 2hrs!), No 2 bus from town will take you all the way to Changi Village Terminal for less than S$2.

About 10mins ride on a bumboat is Ubin, an island where SIN has stood still since 1950/60s (Pulau=island in Malay). As you get off the boat head for a lesson of tropical fruits, herbs, vegetables etc. Bicycle rentals are abundant, unless you bring your own which will cost an extra S$2 on top of your S$2.50 fare on the bumboat!

For S$4 but you will need at least 6 person to fill the small van, a driver will drive you to Chek Jawa, 10mins drive/1hr walk. There is a coastal & mangroves boardwalk, seagrass lagoon, Jejawi Tower 20m (highest point on the island) and a viewing jetty where there is a charming cottage.

The Tudor architecture style was built in the 1930s as a holiday retreat and probably where you can find the only working fireplace in SIN!

This 10.2sq km island is largely a series of undulating granite hills and the picturesque abandoned granite of Balai Quary is still visible. Did not have the time to check out Noordin Campsite where the National Police Cadet Corps Campsite is and four other quarries but will certainly return to do so another day. Remember to bring mozzy repellant, you will need it! Appreciations to Audrey MOH and her ESL class for including me on their field-trip.

If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos – EO Wilson

Simply this Moment…

9 Dec 2010 – Ajahn Brahmavamso

Wed: paid respects to my parents at Mandai Crematorium/posting 27 Apr 2010, the mystery of the missing rose is no longer a mystery. Both roses are in place and let’s hope that they will remain so after the repainting job which is ongoing when I was there. Will check on that before I take off from SIN early next year!

Nearly 2hrs by bus with a change at Ang Mo Kio to another bus. Met with Siong Yin at AMK Hub for lunch and bought a new pot, always wanted one of these multi cooker with steamer. Can look forward to cooking my Cantonese clear soup and steam fish or whatever I feel like eating at the same time.

Thu: first heard of Ajahn Brahmavamso when I returned to SIN in 2000. An English monk with a degree in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University and a monastery in Australia is not your usual monk. Very impressed with his talks as it is NOT about religion but more about attitudes and ways to live. Ajahn Brahm is one of the very few people I admire and respect! Will try to catch his talks whenever he and I are in SIN at the same time! Inspiring, sincere, logical, realistic talks with humour are easy to follow. His first book Opening the Door of your Heart*** was published in 2004 and now his new publication Simply this Moment. Looking forward to reading it.   http://www.ajahnbrahm.org/about.html

Grant yourself a moment of peace and you will understand
How foolishly you have scurried
Learn to be silent and you will notice
You have talked too much
Be kind, and you will realize
Your judgement of others was too severe –
Chinese Proverb

Hello Stranger…

7 Dec 2010 – Dinner, Temple, Lunch & Movie

Congratulations to Evelyn & Andrew who were married on 2 Oct when I was en route from NY to SC, thus missing this wonderful wedding. Met Eve in 2003 when I was working in Marina House and she needed orchid pictures for the Times Publishing Group cooperate calendar. We finally caught up for dinner Mon night and had the chance to see the pictures. What a lovely wedding outfit with real orchids and Lily of the Valley in her hair… the perfect combination to match SIN colours. Wishing them the very best of luck for their future.

Tue: annual expedition with 90yrs old por-por (Ivy’s mother) to Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple@Waterloo St/posting 22 Dec 2009. Dim-sum lunch at Victor’s Kitchen***@Sunshine Plaza. When this HKG husband & wife team opened in a tiny corner with 6 small tables some years ago, the food was excellent for the money then. Today they have expanded to a larger area but their food is not as good as it used to be.

Hello Stranger/กวน มึน โฮ **** Thai movie inspired by Korean culture and entertainment that fluxed around Asia, the film tells a love story of a guy and a girl who destined to meet in Seoul during their private trip to Korea. Funny romantic comedy, light and entertaining with good laugh for 2hrs to forget whatever unhappy thoughts you might have 🙂

There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met – Yeats