Mar 31, 2005


Tomorrow I will be going back for the first time in more than 2 years. Home.

While packing my luggage with short-sleeved shirts and shorts, the difference between the place I grew up in for over twenty years of my life and the place I now live and work in begins to hit home. Similar in so many ways, but different in as many aspects.

The decision to leave home for this place was a personal one, and in retrospect a hurried one. But thankfully that decision has shown itself to be the correct one, at least from my point of view, although some issues have yet to be ironed out. Don't even want to waste my breath on that, time is a better medium in those respects.

Friends with wives/husbands/children, the NE line, new PM, 5% GST, new SMU building on the old National Library site.

Changes. Ever-widening differences. Trying hard to stay in touch, but in the end, one can only hold on to the past as the cold, unfeeling bureaucracy bulldozes it's way through my memories in the name of progress.

Don't call me a quitter just for the fun of it. Think about why I'm not coming back.

Mar 28, 2005

Smells like Newsweek?

After mr.miyagi scoffed that this website readability test rated his blog akin to a pop-novel, I decided to try it on this blog.


wah lao, i write too cheem meh?

Readability Results for

Readability Results
Total sentences176
Total words1,735
Average words per Sentence9.86
Words with 1 Syllable1,081
Words with 2 Syllables353
Words with 3 Syllables197
Words with 4 or more Syllables104
Percentage of word with three or more syllables17.35%
Average Syllables per Word1.61%
Gunning Fog Index10.88
Flesch Reading Ease60.59
Flesch-Kincaid Grade7.26

Typical Fog Index Scores
Fog Index Resources
6 TV guides, The Bible, Mark Twain
8 Reader's Digest
8 - 10 Most popular novels
10 Time, Newsweek
11 Wall Street Journal
14 The Times, The Guardian
15 - 20 Academic papers
Over 20 Only government sites can get away with this, because you can't ignore them.
Over 30 The government is covering something up

What happened to Xiong Tian Ping? The answer...

All you Mandarin-pop fans out there, remember singer Xiong Tian Ping from the late 90's? Always wondered what happened to him after he "disappeared" after only 2 solo albums, but I got the answer yesterday while watching the news.

A BIG answer.

He married his Beijing-singer-girlfriend over the weekend in Taichung, but also added more than 20kg to his once slim, pretty boy frame in the process. When interviewed, his record company indicated that while there were plans for a new album, they'll have to wait until the groom has lost

Damn...couldn't believe my eyes until he started singing a song to his father, mistaking his trademark falsetto, but coming out from Takanohana...weird siarl.

Mar 25, 2005

I too sexy for me blog

Not since the days of screaming "Referee kayu!!!" and "Kelong!" at the top of ones lungs at a Singapore-Selangor match at the National Stadium have fellow Singaporeans express such support for a common cause. What I am talking about? The "I'm too sexy for my blog" meme started by mrbrown and miyagi-san, of course.

How can one miss such a chance to show the world what me mean by "One People, One Nation...(One Tongue?)", so here goes...

Mar 24, 2005

So, what have YOU done with your life?

While you're reading this blog skiving off work (yes, I'm talking to you), just take a moment and see what these people have accomplished at your age. Depressing, isn't it?

At age 29:

The Buddha decided to renounce the world and abandon family and posessions. Seven years later, he realized this brought him no closer to the wisdom he sought.

Scottish-born inventor Alexander Graham Bell transmitted the first complete sentence by telephone.

Agatha Christie, the most translated writer in the world, published her first book.

Michael Faraday demonstrated electromagnetic rotation, leading the way to the invention of the electric motor.

Blacksmith Kirkpatrick MacMillan invented the first real bicycle.

English novelist Emily Jane Bronte wrote the romance Wuthering Heights .

Singer-songwriter Carole King released her best-selling album Tapestry.

French naturalist George Dagobert founded the science of comparative anatomy.

I feel a Jyve coming on is a portal for everything Skype, including using Skype for practising languages with other Skype users from all over the world (like an enhanced NetMeeting) . Not a bad idea. If only I can get someone to talk to me...

Jyve is a free community built around the use of Voice communication (Skype). It is a central meeting place for Skype users that provides a number of features to enhance the experience and entice conversations and discussion between members.

The site is built around a directory of members and member created groups organized by interest. You can search the directory to find other members that share the same interests as you and join or initiate a conversation. All the conversations are done using Skype. Here are some of the free features our site provides:

Ahmad Brothers (Taiwan branch)

I am Hikikomori suggests that his friends and employer come to me for travel tips in Taiwan. So, not to leave our guests disappointed, here are a couple of links to start you off:
I’ve had 5 requests from my friends and my boss asking me to help them to plan for their trip in Taiwan. Strangely, the requests all came within a time frame of one month. Maybe it’s the season to go to Taiwan now.

The best that I could do was to give them some online references. I haven’t been back there for a long time and I can’t really remember much to be of help.

This is where Ahmad, a Singaporean in Taiwan can help. You can read his blog to find out more about him.

Then kindly direct all your Taiwan travel enquiries to him. He probably knows it better than I do.

Mar 8, 2005

Employment Discrimination

KnightofPentacles muses on his unemployment situation, summing up precisely why yours truly has no intention of returning in a hurry. Nobody wants to be stuck in unemployment limbo for any period of time, or to put in plain Singlish: "No up no down".

If you think the education policies puts Singaporeans at a disadvantage, just wait until you start competing in the cut-throat work private sector environment. (There still exists barriers to entry for non-Singaporeans in the Civil Service.)

...I was chatting with a friendly recruitment agent ("headhunter") last Friday. What I heard ran a chill down my spine. According to the nice lady who runs the IT desk at the recruiter, there were quite a few positions open for skilled entry-level paying around S$2500 a month, and a couple positions open at the mid-levels. What was upsetting to me personally was that her clients are specifically rejecting Singaporeans for those positions.

Seems that clients are requesting Caucasian faces for the mid- to top-level positions to bolster the "image" for the company. It seems that having a Caucasian face on the "director" level helps open doors and to impress in the Singapore business world.

As for the cost-sensitive entry-level positions, the clients have specifically requested for India and PRC workers and are more than willing to apply for ('Q'-class) employment passes since it is cheaper than paying the extra CPF for Singaporeans, and the hassle of having male Singaporeans disrupt employment for National Service reservist every year. The 'S'-class employment pass has further dropped the minimum income level to a mere S$1800 with no CPF contributions for foreigners targetting entry-level positions.