Saturday, 22 October 2016

The Most Difficult Job in the World

There have been much online discussion about the boy who jumped because of his failing grades.

I am disturbed that people blame the parents for expecting certain grades from their children.

Are parents not supposed to expect some effort from their children? I believe most parents are able to gauge the intelligence level of their children and we demand a match in their grades to their intelligence level. I got very upset when I saw F9 on Coco's result slip because I saw how unprepared she was for her exam. I saw her on her phone throughout her exam preparations. I didn't see any evidence of any form of diligence in studying. I didn't expect her to do well but getting F9 was too much, don't you think? 

On the other hand, if I had seen her completing all the past year papers and attempting every question, memorising what she could (rather than telling me there is nothing to memorise), and yet failed, I would have comforted her that she had tried her best and that was all that mattered.

No parent wants to drive his or her child to death. The fact is, we do not know how our children would handle failures. 

If one finds it alarming that the mother of the boy was lamenting,"I only asked for 70 marks, not 80 marks.", he or she has not been a parent of an average student, or even a parent at all.

I am ranting in this post because I am so sick and tired of people pointing fingers at parents and blaming them when children jump to their deaths.

Who are the ones who suffer most when the children kill themselves? Are they not the parents who lost their children? Who would expect the children to jump off the building when being reprimanded? Are parents not allowed to chide their children when they don't live up to their expectations?

Of course, I do not know the details of the case and I am not discussing the case as a stand-alone incident, but I have an issue with people questioning if the parents had scolded the child for performing badly. It is totally befitting for a parent to berate her child for doing badly, whether the child has put in effort for his studies. I would question what kind of parent you are if you are fine with your child failing in school, and molly-coddling him that all will turn out fine. 

I was a slow child. 'Slow' as in an average to below-average student. I failed my Maths and Science very frequently. My elder sister never hesitated to dish out a barrage of 'why are you so stupid?!!' and 'so easy also dunno!' on a daily basis when I asked her for help in Maths. My father once pushed my failing Science paper back to me and said curtly,"I am not signing!"

I didn't go jump off the block of flats.

I knew it was unacceptable. I knew it was my fault that I failed no matter how slow a learner I was. We all knew failing grades were unacceptable, but very few of us, if any, went jumping to our deaths.

Why don't we blame the media or the Internet for the lack of resilience in our children as compared to the children of yesteryear?

Those are the things that seem to set the generations apart.

I am not sure how many parent feel like me - the father and son who had too many people telling them how to bring their donkey to the market.

Too many people and articles are teaching us how to parent our children and pointing their fingers at us when things go wrong.

We wish to be God too. 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

A Personalised Book

I bought a book online as Baby's birthday present recently and it arrived today.
Buying a book from the Internet is no big deal. What's special about the book is that it is a book about the birthday girl's name.
Titled 'The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name', the story begins with a girl who wakes up in the middle of the night to find that the name tagged on her bedroom door is missing. She goes an adventure to find her lost name which she herself can't remember.
She meets different animals who might be in need and offers her the first letter of their names each time before they say goodbye.

Eventually, the girl gathers enough letters to spell her name.

Although it is recommended for children four to six, I decided to place an order for Baby to give her a surprise. While it could have been too easy a book for Coco when she was eight, Baby still enjoys picture books immensely although she is capable of reading wordier books.

Baby was intrigued by the book which set her name in print.

She showed it to everybody she met today and asked me to read it to her as her bedtime story.

After reading it, she asked if I could read it to her again!

It was quite many pages for a children's book so I told her I would do it again tomorrow.

She loves it!

I am delighted to have made her a happy girl.

I keyed in the details on 4 October and I opened my mailbox today to a pleasant surprise. I had forgotten all about the book!

The original price is $48.99, inclusive of a $5 Monkey wrapper. With a first-order discount, I paid $41.64.

You get to choose your character from a few choices. My choice was a no-brainer. An Asian little girl would have to have short, black hair.

If you have a little one, do explore this unique option of gifting him or her this personalised book. I didn't think it would be an exhilarating experience for the birthday girl but it made her very, very pleased! She can't wait to show it to her classmates when she goes back to school this Friday!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

A Surprise in Waiting

I have been telling Baby that we are not going to have a birthday party this year.

I don't want the "party" idea to be ingrained in her and cause her to feel entitled to lavish birthday parties every year.

She voiced out a few times that she would like to have one but each time I said no.

And I started feeling a little bad.

Birthday parties cost a lot more these days than when it was during Coco's time. I recall her eighth birthday party at Wild Wild Wet was no more than $500 in all, with the 2-hour charge of about $250 for ten to fifteen children, with unlimited number of accompanying parents, if I remember correctly. Food and cake were self-prepared and ordered separately, respectively.

The last I checked, Wild Wild Wet has a basic package that cost $450 now, and only two accompanying adults are allowed in the premise. The other adults' entry is chargeable. 

Really expensive.

A birthday party these days easily cost $1000, as I found out while preparing for Baby's last year. 

I feel that it's too extravagant to spend such an obscene amount of dough on a child's birthday party.

The cheapest I had enquired was KidzAmaze but the slot was quickly snapped up. 

I started drumming into Baby about our own private party, that we would celebrate it ourselves, until I saw on Facebook about a mother's preparation for her young son's party at school. 

For all the Pokemon Go I have been playing, it is such a shame it didn't occur to me to give Baby a Pokemon-themed party!

And it occurred to me that I could just give her a quick celebration at her school canteen, during recess! She has expressed a few times that she wants to celebrate her birthday with her friends. 

Stupid mummy!

So last night, I started sourcing for Pokeballs with Pikachu figurines.

My goodness! Tough. Tough. Tough.

Aplenty as they were on Carousell, these sellers kept replying that their Pokeballs were sold out!

I started to feel discouraged.

William said we could check out the Toy Outpost shop in the morning.

What gave me hope was the cake makers.

Super last minute as I was, two cake makers were willing to accommodate my one-day-in-advance order!

And those were popular cake makers - Cake Avenue and Sensational Cake.

I will always be grateful to them.

I chose Cake Avenue for the lower price and being a perfect alternative (will show the cake in the next post).

After the most important part of the celebration was settled, William and I continued to search for Pokeball sellers.

I sent messages to eleven Carousellers and finally narrowed down to two.

Eventually I bought them from whom I thought sounded helpful.
I was so disappointed with the figurines that come with the balls that I started sending enquiring messages to other Carousellers to check if it was possible to buy Gen 1 figurines from them.

However, they didn't seem helpful. 

Then William said,"I found out that these are later Gen's mons! You could be chasing them next time."

I was skeptical and asked him to find out the names of these mon-figurines.

And he did.

Then he said something that made me turn around,"But the children will like the ball."

Ya! It's the ball that matters. The figurine was just a bonus. What was I thinking!

Baby doesn't know she has a cake or is celebrating her birthday during recess. I told her I will be bringing her goody bags to school so that she could give them out to her friends.

I hope she would be terrifically surprised!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Days without sgpokemap

The days without Lapras, Snorlax and Chansey are long ...
So bored was I that I actually went out to get the Hitmon brothers.
Some Pokemon Go players accuse those who use maps to find out where the mons are as hypocrites, that we condemn cheaters who play by spoofing and botting but we are actually using a device that is made possible because someone else spoofs on our behalf.

I think that's crazy. 

Can I then say that all students cheat because they have textbooks or materials for exam preparation? Someone else has written the answers in those books or materials so if any student uses them, he is a cheater.

It's what you do with the device that matters.

So what if I see the mons on the map? I don't move a joystick and get myself to a Dragonite 10km away in five seconds and catch it at the tap of my finger.

The map is just for me to check if there are any rare mons near me within a reasonable span of time so that I could run for it and be there physically to catch it.

Pokemon Go is, like any other game, just a game. We use aiding devices like maps to help us detect the mons. How's that cheating? Walking around aimlessly and hoping to bump into a rare is not my idea of fun. 

It's plain stupid.

Monday, 10 October 2016


The world of Pokemon players would have known that the God-sent sgpokemap has been down since last Friday night.

I have tried using Go Radar as an alternative but I realised it doesn't show 90% of the mons! And when it does show any, the time left is often too little for me to run to the mons.

This morning, I saw Lickitung in my Sightings window.
I decided to run to the pokestops it has ever spawned at, but it was quite tiring as it has spawned at different pokestops for the three or four times it spawned at my place.

After running about for more than five minutes, I finally found it outside a multi-storey carpark, a new spawning spot!
I met another player looking for Lickitung and directed him to the spot.

Without a good map, it's really exhausting and sometimes disappointing in the search for the mons.

Because of the frequent spawning of rare mons in my neighbourhood, I would imagine them spawning lonely at certain spots and only privy to those living in those areas while the rest of us are none the wiser.

I hope sgpokemap will be back. 

Saturday, 8 October 2016

All in a Day's Catch

Since I have completed the 141 Pokedex for Pokemons that can be found in Singapore, the only mons that I run after now are the rares.

I also help my friend and youngest sister who live in areas that are starved of Pokemons to complete their Pokedex by catching the rares for them.

I saw a Ninetales not too far from my place yesterday and decided to pick it up for my sister. 

It was a difficult catch for her as her trainer level was comparatively low while the Ninetales was a high-CP one. It was only captured after 18 berries and Ultra Balls.

As I was catching it, I noted that there was a notification about Charizard having a time extension in a building a few bus-stops away.

It occurred to me that there was a bus-stop nearby and I decided to go try my luck. If the bus happened to come by, I would have a good chance catching it.

Sure enough. The bus came before I could cross the road, but the nice Indian bus-driver waited for me before he moved off.

As I ran into the compound, a thought that had never crossed my mind struck me,"Am I trespassing?" 

But I quickly dismissed it, telling myself that I would be shooed away if I were and it would be fine for me to go off if it was a mistake on my part.

As the timer started counting down to one minute and thirty seconds, I realised I was moving farther from the Charizard spot. I decided to move nearer to the spot by entering the building since I was already there.

As I walked quickly into the building, some young ladies dashed out from the left door and ran towards a designated spot! "They must be running for Charizard!" I thought, and ran after them.

It turned out that they were running for their company transport after work!

But incidentally, it was the correct place where Charizard was at.


In the evening, I received a Twitter notification that there was a Lapras and Chansey nearby. 

I rushed out immediately and nabbed the pathetic-CP Lapras but missed out on Chansey as she seemed to have been programmed to run away after the first ball.

Before I started catching Chansey, I heard a guy telling his friend,"One ball and it ran away!" 

I decided to use the Ultra Ball even though it was a low-CP Chansey.

True enough. She broke free and fled after one ball!

As I left the place, a lady told her friend the same thing,"One ball and she ran away ..."

Sigh ...

It's the first Chansey I didn't manage to catch.

As I was walking back, I felt a little disheartened. To add insult to injury, I noticed that Snorlax was at a mall two train stations away. As I was lamenting to my friend about it, the idea struck me,"Hey, I am near the train station. I can give Snorlaxa try!" and off I went.
The big boy who rarely disappoints after my disappointing Lapras catch and my fleeing Chansey!

Night came and I dozed off on the couch. William shook me,"Eh eh! Got Charizard where we got Porygon leh!"

Huh ... ??

Oh okay ...

I put on my running shoes and walked quickly to the designated spot with him and caught a pathetic Charizard.
At 12am, you'd think people are supposed to be asleep.

It was awfully crowded with a line of vehicles at the turn of the road. Honking has become a usual feature where rare mons reside.

Then I needed the toilet at a mall nearby. Although there was an Arcanine beside it, I didn't mean to catch it. 

But the crowd that followed made it impossible to resist.
While I am at the rares, I might as well mention that I also nabbed a Porygon yesterday earlier in the day.

I had cooked fusilli for lunch following the recipe I posted.

As Baby and I were eating, a Twitter notification about a Porygon's appearance some minutes of run away came.

As I rushed out of the door, I saw Baby putting a cover over my bowl of pasta to keep it warm!

How can I not love her?

So there you go, my day of rare catches!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Going Electric

Electric toothbrush is not anything new under the sun, much less Singapore, but before I bought my first electric toothbrush, I had always been intrigued by it: Is it as good as the ad claims? So I won't have decayed tooth anymore after using this magic toothbrush?

However, my first experience with an electric toothbrush was a disappointing one, apart from the initial 'I feel rich' euphoria when your hand remains stationary while the vibrating brush does its job.

Firstly, the size was bulky and it was clumsy to hold.

Secondly, it hid grime and dirt from my teeth in the gap of the 'head'. I didn't realise it until I removed the head to change it. I was thoroughly disgusted and swore off electric toothbrushes, never mind that I had bought extra replacement brushes.

Recently, a friend recommended this toothbrush to me.
$19.90 from Giant Supermart

According to my friend, her friend who uses it claims to have less plague on her teeth.

I had enquired about this toothbrush at a smaller neighbourhood Giant to no avail. I managed to find it at a bigger Giant on my way back from catching Snorlax. See? Pokemon Go helps me to find a good alternative shop to buy this product to save me a trip to the other end of the island for a tiny toothbrush!

What is fascinating to me is how electric toothbrush has come a long way in size reduction - from the bulky dinosaur size to the 'normal' size we are used to.

Another great improvement is that it doesn't scream 'I am an electric toothbrush!'

It looks normal, with a small brush head and a small-grip handle.

For girls or ladies, it comes in a lovely pink too!
There is also a green version for boys or men.

To differentiate mine from the girls, I bought the green one for my own use.

I tried it and I love it big time!

Simple to use with just two 'on' and 'off' buttons, the brush head vibrates as I brush my teeth. Instead of just having the bristles making contact with my teeth as many times as I brush them, which is at most 10 to 20 times, the vibrating brush head helps to brush them at least 30 times or even more. 

It has been quite fun brushing my teeth too! 

After brushing, I would look at my teeth in the mirror to 'feel' the lessening of the plague, my imagination for all I know, but it gives me the 'feel good' factor.

I think I will stick with this toothbrush for quite some time.

Thursday, 6 October 2016


I was chasing Lapras when I realised it was going to be a fruitless effort.

I alighted the bus and started the journey home.

On my way back, I saw on the map that there were small and narrow routes that I had never bothered to explore but there have been occasional sightings of Aerodactyle and perhaps one other rare mon on these routes.

So I decided to slow down and looked around.

I happened to spot this fine stump which reminded me of 'The Giving Tree'.

Incidentally, I wondered if I have become a stump for giving of myself so much to my siblings.

I thought it could make a fine spot for Coco and Baby to take pictures at!

Alas, it was on a steep slope! Nice pictures are not worth risking a life for.

I live beside a somewhat lush forest, and some areas are not that densely occupied by greenery. I decided to venture into the safer part of the forest beside the road.

I discovered a saga seed tree with very few seeds on the ground thickly covered by dead leaves.

And I saw some beautiful, quaint houses. 

I walked up a short flight of steps leading to more of such houses.

Unfortunately, there was a sign at the end of the steps prohibiting photography and feeding of wildlife. I had to respect that.

The area looked like a quiet world where time had stood still. Each bungalow had a plot of land of its own. Each house was oozing 'privacy'.

The roads were clean and quiet. Only one Caucasian man was standing around, seemingly to be waiting for someone. When he saw me, he acknowledged my presence by nodding his head at me and mouthing 'hello'.

I walked slowly on the quiet road that was otherwise undisturbed.

It reminded me of the countryside in some European countries.

Having lived in the estate for more than 10 years, I have not explored this part of the neighbourhood. I had always thought it was a private housing area and I could be charged for trespassing if I ever walked up.

If not for Pokemon Go, I don't think I would ever have the guts to explore this part of my neighbourhood.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Filial Piety is Dead

I have lost count on the times I pay more than my share, or pay my sisters' or siblings' share of my father's medical bills.

I received a call from a bill-chasing company on behalf of Mount Elizabeth Hospital, asking me for an outstanding payment of $16, 900.

I was shocked beyond words.

After some unpleasant dealings with Mount E Hospital, I had thought we had settled the payment last year. We split the bills and paid individually, but I soon found out that the deductible amount in my elder sister's Medisave account has not been touched.

My elder sister scolded me for being a busybody and told me to ignore the call in future.

I called the lady back and asked her to check on the Medisave deduction.

Today, I received another call from a bill-chasing company, for an outstanding payment of about $650. This amount was meant to be paid by my third sister. I had asked my three younger siblings to ask her to pay as we do not have very cordial relationship especially when it comes to money. Apparently, none of them wanted to get involved, so I had to do the dirty job.

I also reminded them that he is our father and each of us is responsible for him. I should not be the one shouldering everything.

True enough. My third sister responded,"Cos we didn't decide on class b ward and claim that insurance would cover only to split the costs later."

I asked her if the same reason applies for my father's regular hospital visits which she hasn't paid me for the last two, that she didn't agree to having my father see a doctor on a regular basis.

She left the chatgroup without responding.

So basically, everything can be pushed to me by saying,"I didn't agree to send him to Mount E/SGH/Ward B/the doctor."

Am I the only one who thinks that it's the children's duty to take care of ailing parents?

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Uninvited to a Rare Party

Today, the rare mons taught me a very important life philosophy:



If it's meant to be yours, it will be yours;

If it's not meant to be, there's no point forcing it.

The first time when Lapras came near my place, I was asleep.

The second time when she came to the same spot, I was bathing.

The third time when she came, nearer than ever, I was out!

As if that's not enough - we are talking about Lapras here, Chansey appeared, not that near, but still achievable if I had walked quickly.

And I won't talk about the Lapras that appeared further down. I might not have got it anyway.

But, Aerodactyle came. Near my place. And I was at Baby's swimming class!

Alright. Enough is enough, you say?

No. Snorlax came - at my request, within a comfortable leisure walk. But I was not home!

Fine. You've had enough fun making fun of me. It's time you let it up.

No. Chansey came by again to tease me!

Urghhh ...

When I reached home, I checked the sgpokemap diligently for rare spawns and hoped that they spawned again.

True enough! Snorlax the old and faithful turned up again! Within a good distance too!

I dashed out, determined to catch him.


And he didn't play hard to get with any of us.


The Snorlax crowd


The vehicles streamed in for the big boy


Anxious players honking the cars in front


At about 1am, William and I were quite done with Pokemon-catching. When Porygon turned up near our place, we intended to call it a day and go back home after nabbing it.

At about 1.45am, Lapras turned up about 13 minutes walk-and-run away from my house.

We ran out for it. It was a sweat-like-crazy walk-and-run journey, but after a few berries and ultra balls, my Lapras ran away!


Sigh ...

William said its feelings was hurt by my vicious words,"CP so low!"


You wouldn't have thought it was 2am at my estate.

Lapras came to the estate five times in one day and I didn't manage to catch it once! How else do you explain it if it's not affinity?

Well! Some day, she will be mine again, with high CP too!