Sunday, 30 September 2007

Simplicity - a tall order

I attended my cousin's wedding in Malaysia today.

It was a very simple wedding. No bridal car, no photographer, no table shots, shark's fin soup without shark's fin in it, held at a restaurant which is more like a shop.

The bride is a Vietnamese. Only 21 or 22 years old.

The wedding is a culture shock for me. It's totally inconceiveable to the minds of any average Singaporean girl.

I'd wanted to take photos of my family and myself with my digicam. After I realised that there won't be any photographer at the wedding, I decided to help take pictures for the couple.

It's really a case of back-to-the-basics kind of wedding. It makes me reflect on myself, my wants and my needs. My needs are easily luxuries to this girl. And I have so much complaints about the imperfections.

Make me simple, Lord.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Talk about racial discrimination

I have this horrible feeling that my VP hates me.

I'm usually not a sensitive person. In fact, I'm really dense and can't take hints. However, I have this 'sixth sense' or a special antennae that tells me someone doesn't like me when it happens.

From the very first dress code incident to the recent one, she has 'subtly' criticised my dressing from bottom to top (yeah, not 'top to bottom').
Within my first two weeks in the school, she'd asked my mentor to tell me that I ought not to wear slippers to school. Nevermind if it's fake diamond-studded slippers and if my feet are covered with plasters and Melolin because my high heeled shoes bit into my skin on my big toe, last two toes and heels.

Then in the following months, she got another senior teacher to tell me that 'some of my skirts' are 'too short'. It must have been that Urban skirt which has two front flaps that made her say that because I saw her staring at my skirt when I went out of the school gate while she was there. But strangely, the skirt in pink version is of an acceptable length when it's on the Consortium Head.

Just a couple of days ago, my Reporting Officer told me that 'they' (reads: VP) asked her to tell me that a particular blouse that I was wearing was 'too short'. $@%&*!!! Excuse me! I'm an 'S' ok! And my body is longer than a usual 'S' size! And 'S' sized blouse tend to be shorter. Do you expect me to wear 'M' for the sake of its length? Stupid woman!

In view of all these incidents, I can't help but believe that she's out to make life difficult for me. Today, I wore a long white dress. I got a hunch that she'd get somebody to tell me that my dress is translucent.

I'm so sick of these senseless criticisms. She's just scrutinising me so that she could pick my faults. Is that racial discrimination or not!

And I'm only here for barely 5 months. How can I put up with all these nonsense for another 1 year and 7 months?

Thursday, 20 September 2007

A resounding pain

My Science HOD's wife passed away during childbirth.

It was a condition called 'amniotic fluid embolism'. The amniotic fluid went into her lungs and drowned her during the caesarean operation.

The devastated man is left with a three-year-old and a newborn in ICU.

I can't imagine the level of trauma the whole incident has triggered. It was supposed to be a happy occasion. The couple would have a girl and a boy, which made up the character 'hao' or 'good' in Chinese.

It's a sudden death. And the three-year-old only got to know that her mummy will never come home just yesterday. The poor little girl.

I'm disturbed. I kept thinking about how a person could cope with something as tragic and sudden as this. I don't ever want to go through anything similar to this.

I feel for the wife because I went through a caesarean trauma 7 years ago. I almost died of excessive bleeding. And the methods the doctors used to save me were painful and without warning. Whatever I had gone through remains vivid and alive up to this day. For this reason, I vow never to go back to KK if I ever have another child. Every reminder of that incident is a painful moment. Because it's so painful, I don't dare to forget about it. I'm unable to forget about it.

At this very moment when he's weak, he still needs to be strong for the sake of his two children. God knows how difficult it must be to battle the temptation to give in to devastation and madness while bracing himself to face his two kids who are constant reminders of his wife. I pray: God, give him as much strength as he would need, and much more than that, to go through this ordeal. Protect the little one who is in ICU, that he will be safe and well. Watch over the little girl who lost her loving mother. Send your angels to charge over them, Lord.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Coco's first birthday party invitation

After much deliberation, I finally decided to allow Coco to attend her first birthday party at a friend's place.

My concern was that it clashed with her music class. However, when William called the mother up to inform her that Coco was going to the party, the mother actually said that the timing had been changed to a few hours earlier, which meant we didn't have to skip Coco's music class. It was a nice surprise indeed and I was relieved that I decided to let Coco go to the party.

She had a great time at the party. Enjoyed herself a great deal. It turned out that the birthday girl had been looking forward to Coco's presence. She'd kept asking her mother whether Coco is turning up every day. They are actually the best of friends on the schoolbus. Coco had never mentioned about this girl before receiving her invitation card.

It was nice to see that the birthday girl likes Coco so much. She'd asked Coco to sit with her when we were having lunch. She got Coco to sit beside her when they played games. If only we'd known that the timing had been changed! If only we'd known that they are such good friends!

Finance has been really tight.

I've grossly overspent this month. And they are items bought for the sake of Coco ie. her bedroom furniture, her music class fees, her swimming class fees, a handycam in case we need to record Coco's record-worthy moments. Sometimes I get really worried about the savings I'd meant to set aside for her education. I must get it going somehow.

Monday, 3 September 2007

How important are services?

Fluv has closed down.

I find it strange, but justified, that service-providers whom I've had bad experiences with do run into trouble or end up winding up business a few years down the road.

Golden Horse Award:
The gown-designer Spencer treated me shabbily when I went down for my gown-designing sessions. In the end, he gave me an awfully simple dress with thick shoulder straps as a made-to-measure gown.
His retribution: he was fired by the company after he was complained by brides whose money was cheated by him.

Hotel Regent:
They committed some, in my opinion, detrimental mistakes on our actual wedding day. I went online to complain about the glitches they made.
Their retribution: there was a big hoo-ha on the costs a couple had to pay over a dishevelled bridal suite in The New Paper when other hotels, when interviewed, said that they would absorb those charges. Subsequently, there were other brides who complained that the hotel's wedding coordinators often disappear suddenly, just when they need them most.

A certain photographer from Chris Ling:
He exhibited undesirable attitudes and 'sian sian' look at my wedding. He didn't even take photos of some very important details. I went online to complain about him.
His retribution: Other brides posted similar comments and some had worse experiences than I. He left Chris Ling to set up his own company.

Justin was condescending in his attitude when he realised that I didn't take to his taste COMPLETELY. He was impatient and made me feel like an extra in front of his assistants ie. "Yes?" with an upturned nose.
His retribution: Other brides had the same sentiments about his services and his shop closed down recently, owing to the 'hike in rental fees', which in my and others' opinion is quite unbelievable.

Most people would think that these people treat everybody in the same horrid way and that's why they run into trouble sooner or later. Sometimes I wonder if it's the 'prophet' side of me at work though. In any case, I feel that what they get is utterly appropriate, justified.