I Hate Goodbye

Farewell party.  I have invited 25 people and it was pretty crowded.  Sophie and they all have bought me some presents.  A pair of “waist cuff”, one brace and Mylene Farmer LD.  And of course, one card full of writings from the 7th floor.  I shall miss them all.  Very much so.  I hate “Goodbye”.

And then, we went to a Brazilian Restaurant and had a great time.

My emotion is so intense and I really don’t know what to write anymore.

I will miss Paris.

A Good Time at Sans Sanz

Seeing the BNP becomes a pain, don’t really know why but I found myself so difficult to fix it.  Everybody is so engrossed with their work and there was hardly any conversation.  For me, it is so hard to keep myself quite.  When I returned to SocGen, I felt like I returned to the paradise.

Michel will not be going to Cairo because he is a political refugee.  Aurore and Claude joked that I will have to go instead and I joked that I shall be having a holiday there instead.

At nine, I met up with Claude, Joe, Lionel, his girlfriend Mary and of course Claude’s sister who is from the south of France and currently having a holiday in Paris.  We went to a restaurant pub (called Sans Sanz).  Very trendy place and very cheap beer as well.  Our waitress is so cool.  I just love that type, slim and cool.

And Lionel’s girlfriend is so pretty, dressing in a Chinese costume. Slim and French.  They have met each other in SocGen and love at first sight in one of the training.  And they are even going to get married.  So nice of them.

And the dinner was very good. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  I shall always remember the good time I have (reward).

Greeting My Boss With Whips, Chains, and Machine Gun

I found it so hard to get up this morning.  Lucky I still managed to call up Doug in his hotel and informed him Sophie’s contact number and the address.  Phew!  Really wanted to take a decent breakfast (after living in a lower life standard for such a long weekend) but I did not have the time.  In fact I was 15 minutes late.

The joke today was the SIR 505 that William and Sophie has been arguing for so long (at least 4 months) and William finally admitted that this is a bug.  So I spent two days in designing this new spot advice and in the end, after telling the Function Team that they need to test it thoroughly, i.e. all cases, they freaked out and placed the SIR to the lowest priority.

Anyway, managed to get Claude and Mohamed to involve this Spot SIR.  Should be fun, I hope.

Doug came in SocGen for a meeting and it was kind of a different mood throughout the whole SocGen Team. T hey all know that my boss was coming in and everybody was a bit tensed up.  They thought Doug would discuss about the invoices.  We joked that Sophie has got the whips and chains ready with Aurore carrying a machine gun.  But no, he talked about cemetery and how was La Defense being named.  Bizarre!  At the end of the meeting,  I showed him the coffee room and while having a coffee, he told me that if his boss knows about the real situation, his boss would definitely cancel the contract.  He is a peaceful guy I suppose and he wants a good relationship.

The Aerosmith album which was due to be out today, not today. Damn!

And I went out and had dinner with the BNP team.  How boring.  Really boring.  Cheap food and what a waste of my precious time.

An Unexpected Dinner Invitation

It was Monday morning and I was so glad that I was back to work.  At least there was someone I could talk to.  Miracle happened and I woke up at 6:30 am.  And I couldn’t go back to sleep.  Therefore I replied a few emails to my friends and sister and went to work at 8:30 am.  Anyway, I had a very important status report to write (to all the SocGen big bosses this time).  And I promised to give Nicholas and Willie a SIR to work with.  Spent the whole afternoon doing the BG transaction advice SIR and probably will spend the next two days doing the BG reversal advice.  It’s so boring, but that’s work.

Unexpectedly, Michel invited me to have a dinner with his wife.  Initially, we were talking about Chinese Food and I told him that I can never find a good Chinese restaurant in Paris.  And he told me that there were quite a few good ones near where he lived.

So I said, okay I would come with you if you don’t mind.  By the time we arrived at the train station near his place, his wife was already waiting in the car.  And they drove me to their place and had aperitif (whisky for me).  And we drove down to a Chinese restaurant.  That waiter didn’t speak Cantonese at all.  What a disappointment.  The food was good and we chatted quite a fair bit.  Michel was a good translator (as his wife, Mirela, doesn’t speak English at all).  We talked a bit about Romania as well (where they are from).  They planned to take me out one weekend.  How nice! (And they played Mylene Farmer in the car, just perfect)

One of the happiest night in Paris.

French Loves to Flirt?

Got an Email from Grace this morning saying that they are planning to visit Euro-Disney.  Wow!  I mean how I have been looking forward to have someone to come with me and it is such a “family” thing.  Been alone for too long.

Listen to this, the people working in Societe Generale has one mentality – that is to flirt (f**k) around.  And according to Mohamed (who believe in only two kinds of woman, one is “goat” or “animal” and the other one is “feeling” and “sentiment”), people just stay together for a while and break up.  What a culture!

Grace is thinking of getting me into BNP.  Well, do I really want it?  I don’t know.  Really don’t know.  Bridgit Fonda was on Tonight Show.  What a girl!  I have never seem someone so naturally feminine in my life (except my girlfriend when I first knew her).

A Hundred-Dollar Dinner Paid For

Time Report !  Last night I spent hours filling up the time report and this morning, I still found one mistake somewhere.  As usual, I went down to the secretary area to fax my stuffs back to the office.  Somehow I entered the wrong number and didn’t know what to do (French Fax Machine).  The secretary helped me out and according to Claude, he told me that the secretary found me charming.  Charming ?!

Been a very bad day today. Too much work and too much politics. I really want to go home.

In contrast, my dinner was the best.  It cost Societe Generale  SGD 100.00 and I think I well deserve this.  I had my crab as started.  Truly awesome and I loved it.  Then a fish main course.  And that was the best piece of fish I have ever tasted in Paris so far!  Dessert was great as well.

A Good Relationship is Give and Take

A very productive day.  5 SIR down the tube.

After lunch, while we walked back to the office, we saw a rabbit right hiding in the bush in from of the building.  And during the afternoon, the porter was trying to catch it (I saw it during the coffee break).   Later on, I had a chat with the porter and found that they believed that the rabbit is a domestic one and it will not be able to survive in the cold.  The funny thing is they are going to form a team and catch it during the weekend.  One of the secretary wanted to keep it.

Today, we have the King’s Pie again.  It was at the SocGen Tower (the main one) and the pie definitely tasted a lot better (as it was hot) than the last one.  The Tower is really fascinating.  There is a big, huge artistic thing hanging in the air and guess what underneath.  A “pool”.  Today, me and Wilfrid (Paris) while admiring the thing, actually stepped into the “pool” as it really look like mirror floor.

In the end, I decided to have dinner in the hotel and beside me sat an old couple from Ireland (but without Irish accent).  We talked and interesting enough, they have married for 31 year.  And the lady’s parent actually married for 60 years.  I asked what is the secret in keeping such a good relationship and they told me that it is give and take.  You can’t just win every battle.  I guess they are right.

Looking Back on 1996

As I have promised myself on the last day of 1996, I will review what I have done in the last year. And hopefully, I live a better life in the year 1997.

As I was playing my guitar tonight, singing the song “Nobody Knows”, I remembered my days back in the US.  Indeed, that was one of the happiest moment of year 96, or perhaps my life.  Being influenced by US culture (movies, music, and jeans) for so long, it was the first time I have ever stepped into the land of liberty.  I still remember the excitement in me when I first landed at the San Francisco Airport. The limousines. Everything seemed so different – the roads, the buildings and even the air.

I drove into Chicago so many times and I could not remember how often.  I was with Collin all the time. Great friend to be with.  I still remember we got lost initially all the time and eventually, he directed and I drove.

Three weeks in St. Charles.  I hang out with Collin, Yoshito (Japanese man), Mitzi (Korean lady) and another Australian lady.  Great friends to be with. The drinking parties in my room and the lovely conversation with Collin and the beautiful Mitzi.  Life was good.

Vividly I remembered a pub with a large dance floor, country style.  Collin and I left the party without telling Mitzi, who was too busy dancing with all the guys on the dance floor.  And she was not happy when she knew that.  The next day, before she and her friend flew back to wherever they came from (Australia), we had a conversation by the fireplace.  Some random topics and Collin and I saw them into the bus.

And then, I felt a sense of emptiness.  Suddenly all the friends were gone.  And I was back in Singapore, facing the hot sun.  The whole period in US was like a fairy tale.

Yet, there was another fairy tale – my two trips to Paris.  The first one lasted for 5 days and the second one lasted for 60 days.  The BNP promotion with Francis was fun.  We had great food and since we are not the fuzzy type, we can get along very well.  I showed him Paris whenever we had time.  The other trip was for Societe Generale.  During the first 3 weeks, I had Damien with me.  I miss those days with Francis.

Life in Societe Generale was pretty peaceful.  Work started at 9 in the morning and usually ended at 6 in the evening.  The people there were very nice.  Sad to say, Sophie, Claude and Lionel left for Sydney in the middle of my stay.  But my days with Aurore, Noubi and Mohammed was great.  Especially Mohammed, we called each other brothers.

Weekdays after work, I usually went downtown to have my dinner.  As for weekends, I always started from La Defense and ended up in Paris center at night.  One movie and one meal and back home.  During nighttime, I composed electronic messages that captured my feeling and observations during the day.

The food was good.  The MTV in the morning was good.  The French music was good. By the way, I felt in love with Mylene Farmer.  Her music is just fantastic.

During those days back in Paris, someone thought that I was lonely.  But I was not, I was in another state of mind. If I had my guitar with me, I would have composed a lot of great songs.

Back in Singapore, I am glad that I know Sam as a friend.  He has introduced me into his circle of friends (which is big).  Through him, I know a lot of people.  Although they are all men, I don’t really mind.  All the Wednesday night out, cheap dinner, and Karaoke.

Enough of stating what happened in year 96, but that was not the main topic in here.  What could I have done better, hopefully in year 97 ?

The New Motto: To actively pursue what I want.  I have been too passive.  Not determined enough. Always avoid the reality.  Must face it and direct the future into whatever I dream of.

Action: To plan and stick to it.  I must treat my personal life as yet another project.  To self improve or to exercise?  It must be planned and followed.

Beware : Spend within budget.  I have been spending too much money on things that may not be necessary.  This is no good and must change.  I must keep track on how money is spent and plan for future saving.

Goal: Must list out all the goals I want to fulfill this year.  Thought goals, I will have motivation.