What has May Day got to do with Trust?

I never really understood what May Day or Labour Day was all about. Some say it’s about  the arrival of spring. In Singapore, I’ve learnt it’s more attuned to International Workers’ Day where it’s for the celebration of the working class, which I most definitely fall into – being an adult and finding the way to be independently sustainable. So I take heart and am grateful for a break, from the grind that keeps me busy on a 9-5 daily basis.

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In the last year, I’ve learnt a critical life lesson about the grind that keeps me busy. I’m not sure how long more I have of my working life but my plan is honestly to keep working till I drop dead, mostly because I do like the grind I get to be a part of. However, the critical lesson is this – I know now I want and have to work with good people of the same values but vastly different perspectives whom I can implicitly trust. Trust. It’s the thing that no money can buy. It comes from sharing experiences … maybe even having betrayed that trust and building it up again. How ever you come by it, particularly in a person who has the same kind of values but sees the world from the other end of the room, I say hold on to that person. That’s what I’ve learnt will make a good team.

In the last, almost 2 decades of my working life, I have been fortunate to have had worked with a couple of people like that. I’m hoping that one day I can bring my A Team together. What will we do? I kinda have some idea but with my A Team I believe we can do pretty much everything.

Is it possible to trust someone who is inherently different from you? Yes, I believe so. The key is to be focused on what you have that is in common. In my experience, it’s kindness, compassion, believing in delivering the best product or service for the target audience and doing the hard work to get there. It’s not easy to find at all but that’s what I’m focused on looking for and putting together now. In the meantime, in honour of May Day I’ll be taking the break, kicking back and chilling with some Netflix.

The Little Mermaid

I remember being 14 and loving this movie.  Little did I know, I’d actually build a career around animation.

My slightly more than 2 and a half year old godson, Christian recently saw it for the first time and Under the Sea is what he’s got the beat for nowadays.  So during our date yesterday, he and I watched it together.  Despite being 27 years old, The Little Mermaid doesn’t feel dated at all.  Still made me do a little jig, root for Ariel and wish I could be a mermaid.

In 2037, I hope when people watch the reruns of Insectibles, they’ll feel the same way 🙂


Being Vegetarian in Taipei

I’ve said this more than once or twice, being vegetarian in Taipei is great!!  I don’t know where else in the world you can find a vegetarian version of nearly every Taiwanese dish there is.  Needless to say, I’m always a happy camper when I have to go to Taipei for work.

I love noodles.  Fat ones, skinny ones, long ones and short ones so when I found Hoshina, a restaurant that hand makes their noodles, I was happy happy happy.  It was delicious too!!  Though Taiwanese have no idea what they are talking about when they say spicy :p  They have an array of different noodles dishes, most of them were soup based and interesting side dishes too.  They are mostly vegan though you can add an egg to most of the noodle dishes.  I went back twice in the week was in Taipei.  If I lived there, it would be one of my favourite haunts.

The thing about Taipei I really like is the different quaint little shops you can find hidden within the maze of back lanes that is, in my humble opinion, the backbone of the city.  One afternoon, looking for a quick lunch I stumbled into a cafe that I don’t have the name for.  It made a decent salad with home dressing and freshly squeezed orange juice.  Good salads are hard to find in Asia.  Too bad though, I wouldn’t be able to find this cafe again, even if my life depended on it.

You can’t go to Taipei and not eat stinky tofu.  At least not when you’re me 🙂  I love food with strong smells.  So there’s little vegetarian Taiwanese hole in the wall type spot does does excellent vegetarian version of Taiwanese cuisine.  There is no signage to the place and it’s easy to miss the spot but together with a Taiwanese friend who knew where we were going.  I went home with yet another full belly.

Though they don’t hand make their noodles, it was yummy too.  The soup was was rather hearty.  I’m definitely a soup person and with monkey head mushrooms, I bet I could take my sister there for a meal too.  I think she’ll like Taiwan.  It’s a foodie paradise for meatasourous too!!

Of course, I made a pit stop to Loving Hut.  A vegetarian chain of restaurants that even has a presence in Singapore.  Again vegetarian versions of Taiwanese cuisine.  I even got some road side vegetarian dumplings for my last night in Taipei.  I love Taipei 🙂

The Intern

I don’t know if I was a good intern (all of the two time I was one) but Cloudpic’s first intern has been such a blast to work with.  So it is with a heavy heart that I write this post because after 3 months, it’s his last day today.

That’s him to my left and quite honestly, there is nothing I could complain about having an intern, especially one that came in the shape of him.  It’s rare to find initiative and curiosity in one person nowadays.  Our intern has both and he’s reliable too!!

So Illias, we’ll miss you.  Don’t be a stranger 🙂  Keep in touch.  You may not be sure what you want to do right now but keep doing your best and I’m pretty sure everything will work out as it should 😉 All the best!!

A Dear John Letter

Dear Samsung Galaxy Ace,

It’s been about 6 months since we came into each other’s lives.  It was more of an arranged marriage rather than a giddy whirlwind romance.  I must admit, initially I was intrigued and wanted to see how we could work in each other lives.

Unfortunately, after 6 months I’m more sure than ever that it was a wrong match.  You don’t response well to my touch, my voice seems to send you into all the wrong directions and sometimes you go off without any provocation from me.  It’s clearly not working out.

So I’m leaving you for an ex, my reliable 3GS.  He served me well and in fact, even with the somewhat sexier 4S, I still have a soft spot for 3GS.  You can call me a sentimental fool but yes, I’m going back to my 3GS who may not have your bells and whistles but I can trust him.  At the end of the day, that’s all a girl needs.

Good luck and goodbye.

Yours Sincerely,

Taxis in KL

That’s why I’ll not move to KL.  Their taxis.  I actually like the city, even though, I didn’t get much social time to explore the city but for general work and living, I think it’s a pretty decent city.  Not my top 10 choices but I could live in KL … except for their taxis.  As a form of public transport, it cannot be defined as a form of public transport.  I’d be better off walking :p

The Taxi Uncles were getting lost, making wrong turns but most frustrating was no being able to get a cab.  Calling for a cab doesn’t work and if you tried to hail for one, they won’t stop or go where you want to go.  It’s crazier than Singapore, way crazier.  I don’t know how Malaysians do it … maybe that’s why so many of them drive.

So after being back in Singapore for a week. I’m all good with our public transport system here.  Sure, there are a couple of delays and sometimes waiting for a bus can be quite infuriating but by and large, I can get to where I want when I need to.  Can’t say the same for other cities, especially KL.

KL in the Dragon Year

We’re officially in the year of the Water Dragon and my first work trip is to KL.  It’s not a great week to be away from the office, lots of things happening but we do what we got to do 🙂  Apparently, this year is not good for my health.  I have to take care of it, eat properly and rest well.  That means I have to take more effort with these work trips.  So that means stocking up on water and making sure I eat right … both things I rarely do when I travel for work … glup O_0

That’s the cue for me to go get some water and get into bed early.  Till then, here’s my little Ox Goddaughter reminding me what’s important.  She’s growing so fast and talking so much now.  Miss her and can’t wait to see her next week when I’m back home.  Thank goodness for little people 🙂

Back from Taipei

Taipei is definitely on my list of top 10 favourite cities to live in.  In no particular order, Singapore, Perth, Vancouver, San Francisco, Chicago, Munich, Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taipei.

It’s been a while since I was last in Taipei.  After this trip I’m happy to say, it stays on the list, despite the fact that I didn’t have much time outside of work.  Actually precisely because of that, I know I can live in this city.  It’s easy to get around.  I speak the language.  English is not too foreign and vegetarian food is yummy 🙂

Cost of living is slightly lower than Singapore.  Buses and trains system works as well as it does in Singapore but it’s their architecture that I’m not crazy about.  That’s my one beef with this city.

What’s with the little tiles that only belong in a bathroom covering an ENTIRE apartment building?  I do like retro but there are some design concepts of that time that should stay in the past.  Exterior walls actually any wall other than a bathroom, covered with little tiles are one such concept.  Who wants to live in a building that looks like a toilet?  I guess the Taiwanese do :p

Other than that, I could live in Taipei 🙂  In the past 37 years, I’ve only managed to live in 2 out of those 10 so I can’t really say if the rest are as great as they are in my head.  Nowhere is perfect but I’ve been to each and know there’s enough for me to want to live there if the opportunity ever came up. We’ll see how life goes.

Meanwhile, from my family to yours enjoy the little that is left of the Bunny year and may the year of the Dragon be filled with wonderful fantastical dreams coming true!!


It’s just one week to the new Dragon year and as luck would have in, I’m in Taipei.  Talk about sucking in the mood 🙂  It has been a while since I was back in Taipei.  The weather is not too cold  and I’m planning to make the best of this work trip.  Here’s the view from my room.

Between meetings and work meals, I plan to check out Taipei’s vegetarian buffet.  They’re yumms and it has been a while since I went to one.  Getting hungry just thinking about it.

Meanwhile, hope you’re getting into the Chinese New Year mood as I am here in Taipei, Taiwan.

Sweet Office Locations

That’s what I got at the moment.  Strangely, my very first job was along this very street – Waterloo Street.  It’s in one of the few HDB cluster in the city and surrounded by a quirky eclectic mix of this and that.  It’s central yet not smack in the CBD.  There’s enough food and amenities close by and whenever I need I can saunter to Bugis or Raffles City for a bit of city shopping.  Best bit, some of my favourite vegetarian joints are just around the corner 🙂

To top it all off, the other day as I was walking through our complex, I stumbled on an installation art piece.

Some may say it’s pretentious and others inspiring, me … I love the fact that I can watch an old uncle talk shop about car parts, turn around to see an art piece and walk up three floors to my office 🙂