Monday, May 11, 2009

2009 - New Meaning of Life

I didn't know that it was such a long time when I last wrote, more than a year ago! Between this period there were days I wanted to sign in and update happenings but than my moody mood sats in.

In April 2008, we adopted a little boy. No I mean a little male dog name "Brandy" from SPCA. Since they named him Brandy, I did not want to change his name when he came home to us. He is a Papillon of white and red. A handsome boy instead. Ok, life became "normal" for us again and we are a happy family.

2008, was also a year when my dad was in and out of hospital. He was diagnosed to have stones in kidney, his heart was shrinking and other "old" people health problem. Most of the time, he was admitted in the late evening like 11pm or midnight and we were all thinking the worst. However, he survived those critical moments. Life was not easy in the sense that we knew he was just waiting/buying time.

Just a couple of weeks before the 2009 Chinese New Year, he was admitted again. He recovered and returned home for his last reunion celebration. Every 2nd day of the Chinese New Year, my family members would have tim sum at a restaurent and then return to our parents home for a family photo session. Same this year and my youngest brother even managed to hook on the webcam with our China relatives for my dad to talk with them. It was such a happy day for him as he had kept intouch with them often via telephone but this time was thru live webcam. We played cards like jimrami with him and he was excited. In fact we all knew this would be his last Chinese New Year with us and inorder to make him happy, the next day we came by again to have another game with him.

He was getting weak each passing day but he did not forget that very important date of the 2nd lunar month 2nd day, which is the birthday of the Earth God. He asked me to have my husband to take mom to the market on that morning to buy all the offerings to the God. Each time he saw me, he kept reminding me about this day. A week before he was admitted to hospital because of low blood sugar. He stayed for 2 nights and my two older sister took turns to watch over him. According to my eldest sister, he nearly didn't make it but he did it again. He had said before that he would want to die at home and not in the hospital. So we took him home on the third day and had the hospital nurse to come over to give him his glucose jab.

Back home, he felt at ease but was complaining about the chest (heart) uncomfortable. He had no appetite and he could only sleep in an upright position bending over his chest. It was my turn to stay and watch him that night. Around 9pm he went to bed and he actually sort of slept but then we had to wake him up again when the nurse came around 10pm. He was to have 3 jabs - every 12 hours. The nurse was talking to him and he responded well. He even asked my youngest brother to buy 4D the next day, and also he remembered that next day was the important Earth God day. Again remaining me to take mom to the market.... Not long after the jab, he complained he couldn't sleep, kept asking for more medication. He was given a small dose of morphine earlier on and other stuff. I contacted my sisters and was told to give him another dose of morphine. I did and not long he told me he could not see. His eyes were wide opened and cannot close. I told him he was just sleepy after having so much medication and he also began to talk in a mumble. Before long, he couldn't talk but use his hand to touch his mouth, meaning he wanted water or he touch his shoulder, meaning he want me to rub his chest and back. I knew then he was slipping away from us.

I sat in a chair beside him and didn't know how long or when I fell asleep before I woke up. I went to touch him and found him in cold sweat and his shirt was soaked. I woke up the maid and my youngest brother. We changed him but he was not responding to our questions... could find his pulse... I gave him water using a straw but he did not suck, so use a teaspoon he didn't seems to suck either. It was already morning around 5am. My mom woke up and told her about dad's condition. We all knew this day could be his last day. Later, my other siblings arrived and we contacted his specialist doctors to confirm his condition and my sister confirmed that we had done our best.

The nurse came back in the morning around 10am and she checked on him. Through her experience on dying patient, my dad was "waiting for sometime" so my sisters and brothers started calling their children to come back from work/school to be with him. Of course, this day was an important day and my hubby took my mom and my 2 sis-in-law to market to buy the offerings and then back home to prepare. After all the preparation was done, he drove them to the temple to make the offerings. When they came back, my mom asked to cut a piece of pork for dad to taste. A small piece and my mom rub it on dad's mouth and told him that she went to the temple and made the offering.... My dad was just sitting on the bed with his eyes and mouth wide opened and no response. All grandchildren came back and we just milled around him. At around 1.15pm he had his last breath and bid us goodbye. Later we found out what our dad was "waiting." On this day of the Earth God, the temple association would have a cantonese opera (wayang) staged for 4/5 days. Around 1pm there will be a prayer to the God at the temple, so that was what our dad was waiting, the actual prayer to the God and my dad's last wish was fulfilled.

I felt my dad's passing was blessed. His last wish was fulfilled, secondly a couple of minutes after his passing, there was a sudden heavy downpour from the clear blue sky - they say that when a good person pass away and there is a downpour it means the heaven is also crying for his good soul. 3rdly during the wake, the afternoons were so burning hot, it came the heavy rain chasing away the heat. On the day of his funeral, it was a good bright sunny day. It was even a greater bless sign after the collection of his ashes and placing it at the temple, when we returned to mom's place, there was a rainbow near the block. What's more, my eldest brother sifu from Tibet was visiting Singapore at that time and he did the chanting for dad. All these indicated that my dad was happy in Buddha's Pure Land. Actually, after the immediate passing of dad, when I first closed my eye while praying to the Goddess of Mercy at my home, I saw him sitting in the lotus flower.

These days, I'm feel with lots of thoughts about life. Why do we have to suffer before dying......


Friday, April 4, 2008

Just Another Day

My last post was in December. How time flies and it's now April. April is spring, a time for new beginning and new life. Yes, a new chapter of my life. Jin Jin left us in February on the 16th of the first lunar calendar. At that point, my life was also shatter. I cried the first few days and that week was very difficult to go by. I tried to cheer myself up on shopping spree but whenever I walk past pet shops, my heart sank. If I happened to see a pet shop, I would walk in to see if I can buy something for my little girl. But now, I look from far.

This afternoon my hubby and I went to Tampines Giant. Most time, my hub would go to the meat corner and look at some beef and buy some to cook for Jin. My hub went over as usually and then he came back to me and said " It's funny I went to see the beef and then I ask myself who am I buying the beef for?" Yes, besides me, my husband also miss our little darling girl. It's not so bad now that we are slowly getting use to not having her around but at times when we look at other healthy little dog, we would think of her.

Many of our friends told us it's better not to have another dog because it's difficult to detach that feeling/bond. Indeed it is but Jin had made our life more lifely because we had common things to talk about - Jin. Without her, I believe life is just going round the topic: how's things today, have you eaten...... Of course, since we do not have children, home is only two of us only. If there are children, life will be around them. So to have another dog, yes, we are considering already but I think I will stary for a few months to be only my husband and myself in our family to see how life goes. If god willing, we will adopt another dog. Yes adopt not buying because what we can do is try to save those poor little dogs that are abandon. Yes, that little dog will be our little girl/boy!

By the way, if you want to give away a dog, please write to us. We prefer to have a Maltese like Jin, but any small dog will do. Well let's see what comes along.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What Have I Been Up To?

Oh, it's already end of the year! What was I doing since the last posting? A few things; soul searching, new goal and at times, just don't want to do anything but day dream!

Soul searching is a bit hard when you face some downturns in life. But I got out of it somehow and for time being, a new goal was born. I signed up at a fitness centre near home with a trainer. This is to help kick my butt for staying at home, playing computer games day in day out. Sure a good way, because I go to the gym everyday except weekends.

There's no time limit and which class you would like to join in. What better deal can it be when you get trim and fit. I joined the gym only last week of November. Since then, I'm seen there usually in the morning as I prefer to do marketing after the workout. Besides my trainer,I had joined 3 different session; Latino Jam (it's dance steps working out body parts);Step level, this is alot of leg work and Pilates These 3 different workout shows that I'm not fit at this moment as my legs seems too heavy to move in the dance steps and step level. Pilates is out because alot of work on the back muscle which I am weak in. Have yet to join other classes to see which suits my physic now.

It's about 2 weeks and I could feel the difference. I can walk faster then before, carry heavy loads (within my own limit) without feeling the back ache. More importance, I have the urge to go to the gym to workout. Not like before lazy to get out of the house even. So this good thing of joining the gym is good for everyone. If you want to do something, I personally think gym is a good place for good vice and in return you get good health. I've made friends with 2 ladies so far and look forward to meeting more. At least that dance instructor, he's good in the sense that he knew some of us are new in his class, he takes the patience to repeat the steps more so that we can remember. He conducts at least 4 different class each week. I've only join one because since last week I was down with flu and could attend his class.

Now, by Chinese New Year, I should be trimmed by at least 3 kg (let me work hard) as I do not want to over exert my body and giving in to pressure to do it. Life would be stressful then. After this, I intend to go for lazik but this will take time to ponder over.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


I've got 1 call about a month ago and just another call from China. It was a lady who firstly asked, do you speak Mandarin. My reply was yes and she continued to identify herself from a company called Way Ni Shi (translate). Then followed by asking you for a few minutes of your time.

In the first case, I immediately told her I don't have the time hand up the mobile.
Second time, which is today, again through my mobile, she called again. I can recognized her voice. After her second line of speech, asking for sometime, I told not to contact me again and she do not call again. Immediately her voice became loud and angry saying "When did I call you" for a few times and I just hand up my mobile again.

Isn't it clear, it's another one of those organized crime to cheat you of your money. Always see it being reported in the papers and not long ago it was finally reveiled in Malaysia through the Chinese Association that many of their citizen were cheated in similar why.

Caller claims:

1. You won "big money" in overseas lottery. Can you believe your good luck falling from heaven that you probably didn't even step out of Singapore and yet you won $$$$! Or the gods in heaven could see your hardship working day-in day-out, and decided to give you $$$ so they send a messenger to you telling you this good news when you don't even use your hard earn money to buy a lottery ticket in S'pore?

Ask yourself in this 1st case, did you buy lotter overseas - no. Have you went overseas before or that particular country - no. Then how come so good you win. Well, it always boils down to greed - but before greed it's always curiosity. Maybe I won, I didn't know??? Could be mistaken identity, not me but someone else same name (there are many people with same name - check phone directory). No harm if I can get it. Small money out, big money in

2. So and so had left a big pile of money (shit!) to this caller. He wants you to help to claim it by doing him a favour. What favour, in return he gives you some of the SHIT.

Where got so big female frog(toad)jumping round the streets (translated from cantonese idiom). Why female frog, because they are able to reproduce. So if you catch a female frog and lay eggs, you can have more frog leg porridge to eat. What makes person fall into this, it's again greed. No harm helping, he is happy with his inheritance and you also got some of the shit! Win-win situation! To me, no sense to have somebody whom you do not know to help in claiming the shit and this caller had to call you, a foreigner from another country to help - what an honour ha!

1&2 overseas crime tactics.

3. You won a lucky draw, very attractive prices (LDC TV, CAR....toy car?) and you need to bring your wife along to claim the prices. You have to book a date and time to come to the office to claim and if there is a time frame for you to claim the prizes. What business is this; usually hard sell tactics crime, very well organize with good business address and well dress personal. I don't want to tell you who are these people but if you have come across, you know what they are selling.

Why bring wife. Simple, during the intense time you are sitting down, they pressure cook you to buying something. Buttering you with icing, honey.... Some of the things they sell are quite good stuff but you cannot make up your mind because the stuff cost big $$$. Now, here comes the wife's role. Feeling pressure and with those threatening looks (you both cannot even leave to go toilet together), the wife feeling unwell (may be fear and wanted to end this hot situation) and you also feel same, so parted with your hard earned $$$$.

We fill in lucky draw coupons very often during special promotions and other related activities. If you had won something, officially, it's a letter to notify you to claim the prize. Where got contact you, usually through mobile to tell you the good new. This is already not the way a proper company works. All claims should be supported with documents (where are the docs?). I am sure this company cannot produce the lucky draw coupon you had written your particulars (same handwriting?)

This 3rd case, I personally experience it by not going to claim it. I knew it was a hard selling company when my husband told me that someone call him about it. Well my hubby was keen to go so he fixed a date and time with that nice lady. On the day itself, we did not go in the evening. All these happenings are in the evening. As the saying goes "Cannot see light" business. What happened the next morning, the lady called up and "confronted" my hus. "Why you did not turn up and call to inform us. We can then give the place to some other people." She sounds angry, sure what she cannot make $$$ out of us. Do you know that every evening, the promoter (like this lady) would be with her "catch" - like my hubby/myself. They usually have one couple to one promoter and a few senior pressure cooker chef around to deal with those couple when they are undecided. So we did not go, she cannot make $.

Whatever it is, always ask yourself relevant questions/claims relating to case. Best
is to consult your relatives/friends about it. Two/Three heads think better than one. High light these cases to the elderly so that they are aware and not fall victims to these unscrupulous people!



Tuesday, September 4, 2007

How's Life?

Was down lately because when I saw my girl JinJin (dog) recuperating from her operation. How fragile she was then and what about us, human being. Jin, partly due to her age (8years) and being a "3 legged" dog, had suffered much I believed, even before I took her into our home. She had to be carried around and not able to do the things that she used to do like moving around the house to take her doll to play. Similarly, I had very bad backache about 3 weeks ago, may be because due to carrying her around and also carry heavy grocessories. Couldn't sit/stand for long and always feel ill temper and worst of all, didn't sleep well. Till I went to see a sinseh who prescribe a week's medication that I was fully recovered. The medication works wonder and the pain and ache went away immediately. I am getting up early like 7+am which is not a thing of the past. I felt energetic.

Why do all living things in this world has to suffer? Do all living things have to walk the various path to feel the sensation before we are allow to arrive at the gate to see the God? I was eating to survive and not living to eat. In our early days, we work to provide food on the table to stay alive but now in the middle age, we eat inorder to stay alive. Isn't it funny?

Well, the bad peroid had passed as it should always be, but only how long does it take to go away. I felt so much better and now working again and that is doing the things that I love to do.

At this moment, I'm listening to very sensitive audio system which my hubby loves to play around with. That is tuning the various parts to give the best sounds from the system (tweeter,base...) which I am not the expert but enjoy listening to the sharp clear instruments played through the system. The music uplifted my spirit and is good for the soul. I know I will sleep well tonight because God had also created wonderful instructments to make music to feed the "wounded" soul.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Can You Fence For Yourself In A Foreign Land?

Last few days, I was busy helping a friend, China woman (Peh Du Mama) who brought her 2 sons, one 13 years old (pri 5) and the other 2 1/2 years old. The father owns a restaurant back in Shandong. They were renting a room 2 doors away from my home about 4 months ago. Story was, one morning as I walked passed their house, she called out to me and was very anxious asking for directions to a hospital near our place, whether she could take her youngest son to see a doctor. The son was having a high fever 40degree the night before and she was very worried as this did not happen before they came here. I gave her some directions and then went to the market to buy the daily papers. When I came back, I saw her desperation and I told to wait for a while before going to that hospital so that I can talk to my husband to see if there's a better option. The hospital around our place is a convalescence home and I don't think they take in emergency illness. After talking to my husband, we decided to take them to KK Hospital, a hospital for children and woman only. All went into the car and during those few hours (6hrs) while the son was under observation, she opened up to us. The room she rented for $400 and the last few days, the landlady wanted her to increase the rental using the reason that they consumed more electricity. Well, during the negotiation of the rental, it was all spelt out that it was inclusive in the $400. Since the lady wanted more, our CF paid additional of $50. I think it's reasonable however, the landlady now wanted to increase further to $900 claiming that they (the CF husband come to S'pore whenever he's free to stay for a few weeks) are now ocuppy her whole flat. So everyday she was telling our CF to increase rental otherwise she had to move out the next week. Every morning, the landlady would tell her so before she goes out to work. Our CF, on her own was very upset and doesn't know what to do or say to the landlady. The landlady was smart, she did not say nothing when her husband was around until he left a week ago. Besides that, when she ordered the cyclinder gas tank (since she cooked everyday for the children she paid for the gas), the delivery man told her he had no change for the payment and just left. Taking extra of about $6. After hearing her news, sometimes, I think some S'poreans are heartless, bullying a foreigner especially someone like CF. Lately I found out that she lived a very peaceful, no worry life back in China. Her husband took care of very thing from buying milk powder to paying bills for the household. Her duty was to take care of the 2 kids. A very secured and secluded life! Now here, she had to fence for herself and I think it's pitifully. Should we, as a housewife, lived our life around our 4 walls with the kids and husband, not knowing some basic skills on survivor when she had to be own's one feet. There's stories from the papers on/off how some women "lost" their breadwinner and were totally lost and had to depend on some associations for help. These woman are too dependant on their spouse and not mixing around enough to see the true colors of human behavior! Can you as a housewife fix a leaking tap, fix some crews/nut, drill a hole on the wall? I can, I learned to survive long time ago. I'm a few of those who like to test the ground or as my husband said, knock the head on the wall and learn that it hurts. Yes, I always like to fix things on my own using my own ideology. Don't forget, you pay alot for calling the service of the handyman for a simple job which you could learn within a short time. So back to where we were. A sick child on one hand and another an ultimatum to move out, she lost her voice the next few days. Couldn't eat or sleep. Fortunately we had a few solutions for her (flats for rental through friends)and told her to wait for her husband arrival and then we try to resolve the issue. A week later, her husband arrived and the issue was immediately resolved. Moveout over the weekend to our friend flat. All agreement was done within a day and rental was also paid in 6 months advance. She found back her voice immediately and was smiling happily again. 2 days later they moved out. We visited them later that day and the whole family was happy and chippy. Last weekend, her son called me on the mobile and said the mother is very sick. We went over immediately and found her lying in bed, cannot sit up as she felt giddy and her heart was racing. Took her to our GP and found out that she was down with flu. Anyway, lately the papers reported that the current flu, it takes a longer time (abt 2 wks) to recover. After taking the medication she seems fine and I spoke to her daily asking how she's doing. But then on last Saturday afternoon, the son called and said the mother is feeling very very sick. We rushed over and when she saw me, she hugged me and cried. She said she felt like she was going to die. She felt her heart beating rapidly and she's feeling giddy and cannot see well. She can figure me out but couldn't see my features well. Immediately we rushed her down to TSH and being a government hospital we had to WAIT our turn and luckily after waiting for about 45mins, she was on observation. A few test was done and the result was fine and she did not have any problem but we suspected she didn't really eat for the last few days, so her immune system was down and she had no energy. Doctor also concluded the same, so gave medication on her giddiness and ensure she eats well the the next few days and she should be back on her feet. I went to her house to cook for the children the last two days and stayed till around 7pm before I left. Luckily the eldest son was able to take care of the little brother, otherwise I would be having a handful. Today, she felt hungry the moment she woke up. That was a good sign that her system is beginning to be back to normal. She eat 2 slices of bread and a sausage. Lunch she eat veggies and some meat and half a bowl of rice. We talked for a long time and she shows alertness. I think sometimes when a person is ill, talking to them, opens their mind a little to take off any worries for the time being helps them to recover sooner. Tomorrow I will go over but will not cook for them. She basically have no one to talk to during these 8 months in Singapore except me in the last 3 months that we met. Her immediate neighbour only walk passed by and acknowledge each other but no small talk. So any of you out there if you are almost in the same shoes as my CF, please open up a little to read and see the world outside of your 4 walls! The hospital called me around 9+pm after we left the around 8pm that they need to see her again as the found a small lump in the lungs but don't think is benign. Told her husband about it but we are currently not telling her that but only she needs to go for further checkup in a month's time. Let's pray for her. Thank you!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

How Do You Treat Your Maid - Part 2

Not long, a second maid came through the recommendation of my landlord. I cannot remember her name but I always remembered her smile. She's always wearing a smile from day one we met her. I know she's only 17 year of age but they always tell you at least 2 years more. I was told she lived far away (at the mountain area) - about 2 days travel to come to our town. She's the only child and taken care by her grandmonther. Had not worked before and sure enough she doesn't know how to cook/clean. Perhaps I cannot say she doesn't know how to clean - she doesn't use a mop before or floor detergent. Back in kampong, they sweep floors, maybe mop only on occassion. We must not assummed that those maids from "kampong" knows how to operate modern household appliances. An eye-opener to me initially having talk to her to understand her background. Her grandmother does very thing for her. So how can I expect to know how to do simple things. But then it didn't bother me because I was interested in giving her training to do things "my way" and not be "manipulated" again as in the first maid's case. Of course, I had to be strong with my words at times because she behaves like a little girl. Actually she's more at home, do what she's like when she had done her work. I don't mind but still need to draw a line somewhere. Once, my husband and I went out in the car but forgot something so we drove back. We heard loud music from our house. She had tuned on the hi-fi and enjoying the music. I've to tell her she can listen to the stereo but had to keep the music down so as not to irritate neighbours. We gave her alot of freedom at home and would take her out when we do not cook (usually on weekends) but she always prefer to stay home. She can talk to maids next door but I always remain her not to talk too long as their "ibu" may not like it. Do you know that even in Indonesia, maids at almost every household, the employer also practise what some Singaporean employer does. Cannot go out, cannot talk to other maids... I think the problem here is that Singapore employers are afraid their maids will learn "bad things" from other maids as well as comparing salary, off-days.... Sure we are worried but they do need some socialization besides the employers family. If she is treated well I don't see problems. Also very important, like this 2nd maid of mine, she's a true kampong girl and is not afraid of anything, you've to have patience to train her and speak to her openly. I always tell her that if she has any problem in understanding what I said, always asked again and clarify. There should not be problem when things are understood. Well, back to track, I left for Singapore again after her arrivial about 3 weeks later. One morning, my husband called me from Indonesia and again the story started with "her grandmother is sick, she needs to go home for a while." This story was often repeated (I was told by the locals), it's a way of wanting to be released from a few days of work to go "home." My husband and I knew that she will not return after she left. I went back to Indonesia the next few days and the maid was told she can only go home when I returned. I arrived home around late morning and she was ready waiting for me. She packed all her belongings (not much) and asked if she could take that new pair of shoes which I bought for her. I told her she should leave it, not having the trouble to bring back again (it's actually a sign to her that she should leave without taking anything from me since she is not coming back again). I gave her our home phone to contact us when her grandmother is well enough for her to return to work (in my heart, I was hopping she would come back as we got along quite well and I didn't want to start training a new maid again). Well she left, and no news for 3 weeks until one fine day, she called to tell me that she is not coming back. At least she had the courtesy to inform us.