a decade ago, i sat a full-day assessment at the mafia as part of its multi-stage recruitment process. there was a big section that involved sorting out numerous people's schedules so every planned event could go ahead at the best timings at the best locations with all the required people in attendance. it was really tedious (background being i hate logistics and events planning and maths). when asked at the next stage during the interview which part of the assessment centre i found the most difficult or disliked the most, i said it was that section, and my interviewers exchanged glances. it wasn't until months later after being hired that i accidentally stumbled across my own results in the system and discovered that i actually topped that section (on a scale of 1-5, anyone who fell below 3 was eliminated, 4 was considered very good; i scored a 5, lol, thank you, ocd).

saying this here just as a reminder to myself that i know i'll be able to sort out my totally messed-up schedule somehow. i'll just make things up as i go. and it'll all turn out great!

happy december!

thanksgiving 2019

dear journal, it's thanksgiving so i'll give a little note of thanks here. i'm thankful i have a God, who, despite my daily disobedience, parted the red sea for me and then brought me on this long walk all across and around the desert and finally canaan is just over yonder! i am thankful that this belief that He is real has helped me hold on for so very long to this distant hope and will no doubt continue to sustain me in the days ahead. ever so often i come back to this conclusion that i repeat to myself all the time -- i guess we'll only know for sure if He is really real after we're gone, and by then it wouldn't matter if He isn't, but it'd be an eternity of regret if He is.

i'm thankful for the people who love me and who genuinely care about me. and those who've been infinitely understanding and supportive, and those who just seem to get me. i'm thankful for safe spaces. i'm thankful for privilege, and that even when i feel i've been so unjustly treated by others, i can eventually still recognise that "has not God and life so often tilted the balance 'unfairly' to my advantage?" i'm thankful that i've been so very blessed, after all.

of course it's so much easier to be thankful when there are things for one to be happy and hopeful about; i need to bear in mind that this, too, will pass. in the days ahead, i want to remember to be more contented with what i already have and i want to try to be a kinder person. though i may need to revisit this very often as a reminder, lol.

i would like to have another cat.

the “singaporean” status symbol, lol

the other day my laoban told me that hk landlords and housing agents seem to view singaporean tenants like some sort of status symbol that’ll add to the appeal of the flats they’re renting out. like they’d say “ooh, the previous tenants were singaporean...” with some kind of reverence and awe, like people should hear that and immediately decide to rent. random tidbit. lulz

on waiting

we were told repeatedly to work from home and not go into office this weekend without explicit permission. but after spending 40 minutes trying unsuccessfully to connect to the office network from home today, i ended up having to go in after all ... in my pe t-shirt, shorts, specs and foundationless oily face. how fml.

monitoring five screens, including live tv of a big burning bridge in kowloon, i'm thinking ... my life these days seems to be centred around one main theme: waiting.

waiting for my six-day week to end.
waiting for the next weekend.
waiting for my late-shift week to commence.
waiting for it to end.
waiting for my december holiday to begin.
waiting for it to end.
waiting for beijing to wait out these protests.
waiting to do what i know i must (though i do dread it so).
waiting to see what happens immediately after.
waiting to finally be able to tell the world about it.
waiting... waiting... so much waiting... and yet more waiting...

i used to think it was painful waiting for something you didn't know whether would eventually come to pass or not. i must admit it does feel somewhat less painful waiting for something you know will definitely come to pass -- even if it's still many, many months away. haven't felt this hopeful and excited about things for a long, long time, it feels. i wish everything would just speed up a little, little bit more. can't wait.

as a sidenote, i haven't used lj's online "post entry" function for a long time now (i usually use the semagic desktop client) and am glad to report i'm still quite fluent and fast in html. just lots of muscle memory. and here's the song that's ringing in my head right now.

Twenty-five years and my life is still
Trying to get up that great big hill of hope
For a destination

I realized quickly when I knew I should
That the world was made up of this brotherhood of man
For whatever that means

And so I cry sometimes
When I'm lying in bed just to get it all out
What's in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar

And so I wake in the morning
And I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs
What's going on?


three molotov cocktail bombs and dunnohowmany rounds of tear gas at wanchai tonight less than two minutes from my flat. the street was briefly on fire and for about an hour or so there was a lot of police sirens and shouting before the protesters moved on to their next destination. but surely nothing at wanchai tonight could be worse than the tear gas fired IN the kwai fong mtr station, super fml. anyway it's a good thing that i had a super early dinner at 5pm and upon seeing the emptyish streets and reading reports of the protesters' impending descent on the area, quickly skedaddled home. tomorrow 又不知道 what transport lines will be affected again. zzz

p.s.: yesterday i was at kowloon and also quickly left as the protesters began gathering along nathan road. last weekend, i was also at another part of kowloon and was also lucky to have left just half an hour before the protesters, riot police and tear gas descended on prince edward. i'm starting to reconsider my previous statement that "hong kong is still very safe as long as you stay out of those scheduled protest areas". because now the protests have become increasingly unscheduled and unscripted, so you never know where the protesters and flash mobs will move next. the roads and pavements on main areas in both sides of the island have become amazingly uncrowded on weekends because most other people are opting to stay home (or busy protesting elsewhere, lol). no need to queue for restaurants, and in fact many small shops in scheduled protest areas are tightly shuttered so you wanna queue also they not there to serve you.

happy birthday, singapore

love the songs from the first half of this clip, because we grew up singing them and their lyrics are very close to heart. having lived abroad for so long has really helped me to appreciate our tiny home country so much more. i love you, singapore -- warts and all.



while hk protesters are busy surrounding the police stations, smashing police vehicles, catapulting pavement bricks into the stations, throwing petrol bombs and setting police property and other things on the streetside on fire, here i am, seated at home, urgently contacting agent after agent to arrange flat viewings back in sg. lol.

earlier, i was at tai kok tsui and prince edward, exactly where the pro-democracy protests/riots/whateveryouwannacallit are taking place right now. i had specially picked out a blue tshirt to wear, consciously avoiding black or white. but when i arrived at admiralty, i suddenly found myself caught in the middle of a huge group of older people all dressed in blue ... it was then that it dawned on me that people from the pro-police protest happening on hk island at causeway bay were probably in blue today. at that split second, i was afraid for myself. in the next few seconds and minutes that followed, my mind then kicked in, convincing myself step by step that it was highly unlikely that anyone would mistake me in my sporty "vietnam marathon" blue tshirt for supporting either camp, and that even if they did, violence outside the protest areas is highly, highly unlikely.

tbh, i feel that that spike of fear i felt wasn't quite justified at all. meeting physical violence without taking part in any of those movements is really highly unlikely. in this sense, i don't feel that i, or any others in hk, are really in any actual physical danger. but it's the very palpable sentiment of immense hatred and that "if you're not for us, you're against us!", "if you're not for us, then get the fuck out!" mentality pervading the environment right now that makes this an increasingly horrible, hateful place to be.

paaatches, oh what can i doooooo

i’m thankful for my mostly happy childhood so that in difficult — and even not-so-difficult — times in my adulthood now and especially being so far away from home, i can take refuge in nostalgic childhood sounds and memories like all these oldies my dad loved to listen to. even on evenings as these when there’s not much to be stressed about and i’m just lying in bed whiling away time and procrastinating on sleep, these old songs make me feel all at the same time comforted and also a nagging little sense of yearning for those innocent days of yore.

i don’t know why i have so many and such vivid memories of my younger days; to be honest, i also have very vivid episodic memories of everything all the way to more recent days. probably because i ground these memories firmly in everything i saw, heard, smelled, tasted, felt and thought, and then gave up all the hard facts learnt and gathered over the years for brain space to store all these pointless little snippets of my unimportant little life. imagine if i wasn’t wired to do this and delete the more useful knowledge and info learnt over the years, i might well be a phd holder now, lol.

i guess some day 20 years later i’ll find myself looking back with rose-tinted nostalgia at even my last few years in hk. every day now, i tolerate this dull ache of missing the comforts of home and going to bed with the sounds of your loved ones still engaged in their own activities around you. (forgetting, of course, the many other things that annoy me like parents randomly picking quarrels and digging up old tiffs over really dumb stuff like “mummy always go to sleep without switching off tv”.)



it must have been love

listening to this tonight; can’t embed it now cos i’m in bed on my lj app. the song is an old classic but i really like this slow drawly version, which i heard tonight on the last episode of the order on netflix (a silly teen flick not worth your time; i watched it so you didn’t have to, lol). late-night chats and thoughts. may the rest of this week go by as safely as the day went by today. goodnight.


a song for the story of my past six years

I climbed across the mountaintops
Swam all across the ocean blue
I crossed all the lines and I broke all the rules
But baby I broke them all for you

Because even when I was flat broke
You made me feel like a million bucks
You do -- I was made for you

These stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true -- I was made for you