Archive for March 2008

Sweet Bangkok Surprise

March 30, 2008

This is a much overdue post about my trip to Bangkok with the girls over the Good Friday weekend, and what can I say apart from – I had a really fabulous time – considering Bangkok was sort of our last choice for this trip.

Well it was no joke deciding on a destination while trying to accommodate the schedules of a Primary school teacher, a College teacher, a brand manager and a towkay neo. We all had different off days, budgets and preferences which was further limited by the cost and choice of flights.

Bangkok has been done to death by all four of us, and especially so for towkay neo who flies there every other month. I didn’t think there could be anything else which could wow me, or for me to discover.

But the agenda for the trip was a little different. We wanted to check out some affordable dresses for my big day next year. The girls especially, wanted to use this opportunity to choose a bridesmaid dress which they would all look good in.

We steered clear of most of the usual touristy haunts – we did not go anywhere near Chatuchak, Central, Erawan, and only made a brief stop at MBK. Our agenda took us to Thong Lor’s J Avenue, which was an upmarket, quirky place attracting quite a number of Japanese and the affluent local.

I think part of the fun was checking out dresses, trying out dresses, creating such a din in shops, you know, doing all the girly things together. Going for massages, snuggling up in bed to watch Nanny McPhee and Slither on TV.

We were focused shoppers about to settle for this Grecian dress at the end of our first day when fate brought us to a little boutique where we found IT. No buts, no uhmms, no ifs, just OK this is it.

We also checked out the toys and stationery galore at Sampeng, Chinatown, where despite our varying vocations, we each managed to find something we needed for our jobs.

I don’t think either of us had any idea we could STILL enjoy a too well-frequented destination. I know I was surprised to fall in love with Bangkok again. And I know that even towkay neo had fun spending time in places she normally wouldn’t have explored on her work trips. I saw her let loose and shopped. And ate, and not worry about work.

We weren’t really too excited about going Bangkok in the first place and yet on our last day, we actually spoke of visiting it again, and on a longer trip!

I realised that no matter what the destination, it’s the company of loved ones which would make it come alive and make you truly enjoy the experience.

The president’s woman

March 28, 2008

What’s with our obsession with the President’s woman?  

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Mrs Ma Ying-Jeou (left) with her two US-based daughters (right)

All the limelight has been on Taiwan’s incoming first lady Chow Mei Ching following her husband Ma Ying Jeou’s election win.  The media has criticised her lack of make-up and grooming, and some have even labelled her a butch.

And on Tuesday, Chow said she has to stop taking the bus to work after being constantly surrounded by crowds of media and supporters.

The down-to-earth Ms Chow said she would continue working as the director of legal affairs at a bank when Ma Ying Jeou takes office but could no longer take public transport, apologising to other passengers for the fuss. 

It’s funny how her bus journey to work warrants so much media interest. It’s just taking the bus like everyone of us right? It’s like not as if she was juggling balls or dancing naked during the bus ride.

And this week, Carla Bruni, the ex-model and singer wife of French President Nicolas Sarkozy dominated British news headlines when she arrived in the UK on a state visit with her husband. All eyes were on her and what she wore, and she impressed many with her choice of royal purple instead of the usual dowdy colours. More of her choice of outfits here.

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 Carla Bruni – another example of the president’s woman stealing the limelight

It reminds me of the movie, The American President, I watched sometime last month on DVD. Despite its boring title, it’s actually a refreshing romantic comedy with Michael Douglas playing a widowed American President who falls in love with Annette Benning, an environment lobbyist.

Peppered with intellectual and witty dialogue, the tale talks about the struggles of the world’s most powerful man in the game of love. It’s about how two people are attracted to each other but afraid to go any further because of his status. And how the public demands the President to explain his relationship to them.

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The movie shows how the lady’s awkward first kiss with the President in the White House was rudely interrupted by a national emergency. “Well, we had to stop because he had to go and attack Libya.” she recounted to her friend. I thought this puts into perspective what life’s like being with someone in power.

That your life would be made up of a constant stream of interruptions, intrusions, questions, examinations, scrutinisations, explanations and privacy, privacy would be a priviledge you envy a commoner for. Something all the money in the world can’t buy, because it came with all your money.

I’m not sure if being someone high-profile and famous is all that fun. More importantly, I’m not sure if being the President’s woman is all that fun. Sure, you have nice parties with other first ladies, expensive food, first-class travel and accommodation.

But I think there are some things I’d like to do without it becoming a lead story on the evening news, or affecting my husband’s political career, popularity or reputation.

Like going for a pap smear or a Brazilian wax or binging on chocolates or scratching my butt or just crying because I need to or swearing when I’m angry or wearing a bikini because the sun’s out. Like having to watch what I say and being god damn politically correct all the time.

You know what? I think I’d like my privacy.

Brush with the law

March 26, 2008

A rare opportunity has arisen for me to be involved in crime-busting!

I have been busy transcribing and translating the telephone conversations of a top executive who’s currently being investigated by the authorities.

No, it’s nothing exciting, and it sure isn’t fun listening to this person talk with a lazy drawl at a barely audible volume. I had to take a nap and eat chips to stay awake.

But imagine! I actually have a small part to play in upholding the law and doing justice!

Even if that means listening to ultra boring conversations over and over again.

Whoever said law enforcement was glamorous?

Don’t try this after eating

March 25, 2008

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Found this massage parlour around the popular Siam Square area. 

Not sure if they named the place due to the large number of masseuses who felt sick at/of work or if their special massages actually caused customers to feel nauseous.

Either or, we were not game enough to take the chance. We went next door to Miss Puke’s competitor, on an empty stomach.

Bye-bye handsome

March 25, 2008
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R.I.P

Pepper

2003 – 2008

 

A happy cat whose life was taken so suddenly

On what seemed like a normal day

I fought back tears when

I heard about the sequence of events which led to your passing

You must be frightened, you must be scared

You must have suffered as you struggled in vain

Oh, the indescribable pain!

But it’s all over now, baby, you are in heaven

You are free to run, play, explore and discover

I remember your soft belly and massive rear

Prancing around in the dead of the night

I can still hear your little bell tinkle

And you rumbling in the litter pan

Will you think of us sometimes, my tiger?

Because we will miss you always

Bye-bye handsome

Bangkok with the girls

March 20, 2008

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I requested a holiday with the girls before I move to the UK and so we are going on a short trip to Bangkok! It was difficult trying to arrange a time and destination which could accommodate all four of us, but we managed to plan something in the end.

It would be the first time we travel as a group so I think it make be an interesting experience. I’m off to the Airport now and I’ll share more when I get back.

Bye now!

Want me to scold anyone?

March 19, 2008

Today I was attending a workshop on counselling when Rude Dude rang. The form teacher of my difficult boys picked just the right moment to call me. We were discussing how to motivate and counsel students.

“How’s the attendance of my boys?” was his opening sentence. Well, good morning to you too, I whispered to myself. Their attendance is good, I replied. He boomed, “Well I’m with them now. Do you want me to scold them?”

I’m sorry? I said. “Well, do you want me to SCOLD them?” Huh? What? NO, no, I don’t want you to scold them. Why would you think that? They were perfect last week, I replied.

Oh dear, I really need to sit down to talk to Rude Dude and tell him that his army-style authoritarian method is eating away the human soul.

I’ve never had a form teacher call me and ask me straight up if his class needed a big telling off. I mean, is that all the kids get from him? Scoldings? Threats? Accusations? Highlighting all their weaknesses and what they are doing wrong? No wonder they don’t feel motivated to learn and are so full of anger.

Hell, I won’t give a shit too if my teacher doesn’t reach out to me and writes me off.

And guess what? I think Rude Dude got some teacher award last year. I was disgusted when I found out because it’s such a joke. If rude, insensitive and aggressive people like him are hauled as GOOD TEACHERS, then I guess I have completely misunderstood the criteria of “good teachers”.

This organisation and its people really break my heart.