Schooling and gratefulness

In light of everything Schooling currently in the press, here’s a little nice poem to keep things in perspective.

Why is Schooling so special?
Because his dad said he is just an ordinary person.

Why is Schooling so inspirational?
Because he was inspired by a swimming giant.

Why is Schooling so fast?
Because he took his time to give thanks.

Why is Schooling so cheered by his competitors?
Because he took delight in watching them swim.

Why is Schooling welcomed home by so many?
Because he flew back to be with family and friends.

Why is Schooling so Singaporean?
Because he was hungry for “chai tao kway”.

Why are we filled with renewed confidence?
Because Schooling had his doubts and turned them to moments of victory.

Why did we cry when we saw the Singapore flag flown high?
Because his dad wept tears of joy and said it is all about love.

Why did we write so much about Schooling?
Because he had just started a new chapter in the history of Singapore.

A chapter with words such as love, believe, blessed, thankfulness.

Singapore, keep writing…..

Credit: Walter Lee

catching up

I was out for lunch with a friend today when we bumped into a man who looked like he’s struggling to carry a suitcase and a few bags while on a crutch.

So my friend offered to help him.

We carried the suitcase downstairs for him (man it was really heavy!) and he followed us.

Then he said thanks and hesitated ‘where are you guys from?’.

We – Asians that both have been living in places that we don’t always remember what we are, looked at each other and stunned for a few seconds.

The man went: Chinese, Korean, Japanese?

Given such a clue, my friend said ‘Chinese’ (she was originally from Hong Kong).

I said: yea. (Didn’t find it necessary to clarify my nationality)

He smiled: How do I say Thank you in Chinese?

My friend looked stunned again. I bet she was searching through her memories to find the phrase.

I thought I know and rwent: ehh ehh ehh ehh xie xie ni.

My friend jumped in: ya ya xie xie ni.

I can tell you for one second, I felt damn proud. Being such a smooth operator that can spit out a Chinese phrase even the real steel Chinese. Thanks to those years living in Singapore.

The man smiled: xie xie.

The instant pride vanished. We went back to our way to lunch.

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Today’s news (30 Sept)

Lorde’s Magnets (link)
New Zealand’s sweetheart has grown up. No nudity though.

Singapore ranks 2nd in top 10 most competitive global economies (link)
Do not underestimate that unassuming little red dot. #proud

Sweden and 6-hour work days (link)
Never happen in advertising, that’s about it.

Climate philanthropist George Soros invests in coal (link)
What’s going on here?

The Rock’s dog died
Sorry about your loss.

17th Jul

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This day, 10 years ago, I came to Singapore.

Super ultra chicken

9 things about Singapore

I have been in Singapore for 9 years.

So I reckon there are 9 things I like about Singapore which makes up Singapore for me.

Safety
Generally, you can walk down on the street at 3AM without being bugged by unwanted company.

Internet
Lightening fast Internet. YouTube, Spotify streaming… all day everyday.

Non-stop upgrading
Build. Renovate. Build again. Renovate. Build again. Renovate.
Singapore is changing its face by minutes.

GSS
The Great Singapore Sale. In other words, shopping!

Asian families
All the uncles, aunties, brothers … I miss you.

Public transport
SBS, SMRT, I appreciate you.

One-dollar ice-cream
Instant happiness boost.

Restless entrepreneurs.
I’m deeply impressed and influenced by all the smart, ambitious and committed entrepreneur friends I’ve got to meet here in Singapore. The start-up scene is almost one of the most happening communities in Asia.

Efficiency
Everything can happen just too fast.
We deliver a Facebook app in 5 days. It took me 15 minutes from the moment I step out of any plane to when I get out of the airport. Even my ROM took me only 5 minutes.

‘Till next time.

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A call to Jetstar

I figure that the Skype account of Jetstar’s only handles cases with Australia bound flights. A nice idea though.

So, I had to call in anyways.

After 15 minutes of waiting, I was greeted by a machine. The conversation went like this in summary:

Machine: Press 1 for English …
Machine: What do you want enquire about?

At first, I was a little shocked. How could a machine understand what I want if I just converse with it as with humans. I wanted to try anyway. Being such a considerate human, I just said one keyword.

Me: REFUND
Machine: Which is your departing city?
Me: Singapore
Machine: Which is the city you’re going to?
Me: XYZ
Machine: Tell me your flight number
Me: ABC1234
Machine: Tell me your booking reference
Me: SQ123
Machine: Please tell me your first name and last time

I had to take a step back here. Usually, when I’m asked this question by a customer service staff, I will spell my name to him/her. However, now with a machine, I don’t think it takes spelling as ‘spelling’. Still, I tried.

Me: ABC (Vietnamese name. I made it as slow and clear as possible)
Machine: I’m sorry. I didn’t catch it.
Me: A B C
Machine: Your first name and last name.
Me: A B C
Machine: Please hold on, I will transfer you to an officer.

GEEEEZZZZ.

I have to say that this machine so impressed me. It could catch all the info that I gave; however, this name thing is so unexpected.

I was wondering if customers of other nationalities have encountered similar experience?

Some workarounds perhaps below:

1. Ask the customer for his/her name first.
If the machine doesn’t get it, it can get the officer right away without wasting the customer’s time to go through other details.

2. Ask the customer to spell his/her name instead

3. Ignore the name part totally
Why is it important anyways? There are other identifiers one can use like DOB?

What a shame that I had to stop short. Will really love to see what else Jetstar auto-reply machine can do 😛

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Free Skype call to Jetstar

Is it only me or Jetstar is awesome with this very simple idea of setting a Skype account?

I don’t need to torture my arm with holding a phone for hours now to wait to speak to a Jetstar staff. Instead, I can simply dial on Skype and just plug in my earphones to wait.

Very simple but what a great idea.

a perfect joke

On attempting to find a parking lot at the client’s office when it was raining cats and dogs, we saw some red spots. I and PP asked Fi to just drive in but she refused for the possibility of getting a wheel clamped.

– Nobody will check
– We can say PP drove and he is colour-blind
– You’re telling the client your designer is colour-blind?

HAHAHAHAHA.