I Enjoy Random Conversations

Friday night, after a long day at work, I headed down to the supermarket opposite my condo to buy some beers. I wanted to cook something simple too. Like instant noodle and sardine.

Since the sardine collection was limited, I scrapped the idea of cooking and only bought a 6-pack.

As I joined the queue, a white man was in front with a basket full of grocery. He offered to let me go first, which I was grateful. I would have done the same.

But I was in no hurry. I thanked him and said just that. While waiting for the cashier to scan the items, I could have waited patiently, played with my phone perhaps. Instead, I asked him, “Are you from the neighbourhood?”



OK. Cliche as it sounds, I have done a personality check. MBTI to be precise. It seems like people these days are so into it. From dating scene to … Korean reality show.

I See I Write

Stop Saying “On Priority” At Work

Yes, it is annoying.

Have you ever received an email, with a request. And the sender copied Tom, Dick, Henry, and their relatives, and said, “do this on priority.”

That always triggers me. Why?


Funny Thing At Work – No, It’s Not the Age

I manage a team at work. Some are in Singapore. Most in India. One of my teammate in India has left for sabbatical leave. Good for her. Holiday in US. She is above 50. Her replacements are two decades younger.

Today I had a call with one of my teammates in Singapore. He commended the younger folks on doing a much better job. I asked what made you think that these younger folks are doing better than someone who is in her 50’s.

He said, “Not to be bias, I think it is all about age and energy.”

Observing Life

Constantly On a Timer!

These days, I feel that I am constantly be reminded of time. It gets worse after the start of the pandemic. In the past, when I worked in the office and when there was a meeting, we had to book a physical meeting room. Participants could be from different buildings. Few turned up on time, unless it was a very important meeting. Back then, people needed to walk from one building to another, take a lift from one floor to another, or stopped by the bathroom and/or pantry. Now? People work remotely. Meetings are setup remotely. Once the meeting notification appeared, people join the meeting online. When I had a take a bathroom or water break, even with 1 minute late, people start to get impatient and message me if I am joining the meeting now. Right now!

What happens to the good old days when people chit chat before the meeting started while waiting for the rest to join?


How I U-turned at Woodlands Checkpoint and Back to Singapore!

People tend to jump to conclusions. When they heard that I navigated to Woodland checkpoint by mistake, it was Apple Maps’ fault. Because I suppose the vast majority are using Google Maps.

But it was totally my fault.

I needed to pick someone up at Woodlands Train station. I picked the checkpoint instead. What I should have done was to pick the taxi stand as my destination.

To U-turn at Woodlands checkpoint by car took around 20 mins. The actual U-turn would have taken a minute. But this was not an ordinary situation.

Game Reviews

Crusader King 3 – Chiefdom of Baol

This originates from a game called Crusader King 3. It was my first play through.

Geer Pateh

The year was 867AD, in the era of tribal, I was the ruler of Baol. Boal is a coastal country in Africa, in today’s west of Senegal. My name was Pateh, Geer Pateh of Baol, in the House of Congin.

Our faith was Roog Sene, which outlines the way of the divine, the path to living a spiritually fulfilling life in honor of one’s ancestors and the creator of the universe, Roog. Our culture was Wolof and we spoke Senegambian.

Geer Pateh of Baol

I was born timid and did not enjoy being challenged, or scared. I enjoyed things in moderation and am also greedy. I possessed a keen sense for all matters relating to stewardship and was an administrative force to be reckoned with. Not a natural leader, but I had to rule. In my younger days, I had taken up the call of the wild and enjoyed hunting. These were the highlights of my legacy.


“If you don’t buy the package, I know you won’t be back to see me”

I can count on my 10 fingers the number of people I have been in touch with for over two decades. AY, my senior whom I met in my university days. 33 years. BP, my ex-gf’s elder brother has become my brother-in-law. 29 years. Had I kept in touch with his sister, my ex-gf, that would have been a 32-year relationship. Unfortunately, we don’t keep in touch. The last time I saw her was at a funeral. RC, my ex-manager during my first job. 28 years. Believe it or not, I just met him earlier this month. He found a new job. And he is doing well. As someone older than me, in today’s market condition. I am impressed. Consider the fact that I am still in touch with my ex-wife, due to the joint custody of our dog … 26 years. ML, my partner-in-crime from video gaming to web hosting and all things in between, my ex-bandmates JL and JT, all of whom I still keep in touch with, thereabout 20-ish years.

So, where does my hairstylist SE, or rather, ex-hairstylist as of this moment, stand? 28 years.

I See I Write

Horrible Experience at Café&Meal MUJI Plaza Singapura

I had one of the most humiliating experiences at MUJI Plaza Singapura, no fault of mine. It was so absurd that it took me a meal’s time – not at MUJI – to internalize.

I enjoy the food menu at MUJI. It strikes a good balance between tasty food and healthy food. The price is more premium. But once in a while, it is OK.

It was during a weekend. Faced with a table shortage during lunch hour, I joined a queue. In front of me was a big group of young people. Further down, there were tourists from Indonesia. The queue was long. And I was queuing alone. Since I had no one to talk to, I looked at my phone most of the time. I recalled the waitress passed by and asked, “Table for how many?” I said two. She quickly moved on. She looked stern, in her late fifties. Highly efficient.

To control the crowd entering the cafe, there was a barrier. It was closed when the cafe was full. And it was open when tables were available.

I was looking at my phone when I sensed the big group before I had entered. I saw the barrier was opened. I presumed that it was my turn. So I entered, looking for a table. But there was none. The cafe was full.

Naturally, I returned to the front of the queue. The barrier was opened. As I rejoined, a woman in her thirties stopped me and accused me of queue jumping. Then out of nowhere, the waitress appeared and testified that she did not see me in the queue! I was speechless. I told my side of the story. The barrier was opened. I thought there was a table available. Hence, I walked in.


Highlights of 2023

Over dinner, GZDJ asked about my 2023 highlights. The first thing that came to my mind was snorkeling at Tioman Island. It was something that before this year, I would have never wanted to do. It was too adventurous for my liking. But in the spirit of YOLO, I joined a diving trip with my friends. I didn’t dive, not that adventurous yet. The experience was exhilarating. Floating in the open sea, with eyes on the ocean bed, seeing sea creatures living their lives entirely different from mine. The cold and warm current, the buoyancy. I could float the whole day and not get tired of what I saw. Plenty of small colorful fishes. Then came a few large bumphead fish. Corals, live and dead. Urchins and plenty of other sea creatures that I was not able to name. That trip was the highlight of my 2023.

I had no idea that snorkelling can be that much fun!