Unpolished Gem

Monday, January 11, 2010

Why is it so easy for some and so hard for others? :/

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How come work life not so simple!

There is something very liberating about not being at work on a weekday. No rush hour on the tube to deal with, no waiting for lunch hour, no pretending to be busy clicking away at the screen, no waiting for time to pass faster.

I often question myself how it is possible to think that the industry is right for me when 10 months after joining, you still feel like an amateur and dare I say it- disengaged at work already. Yes, the merger created uncertainty but how much of the discontment can you put on it? 80%? 60%? 10%? Could it also be that they think they’ve hired the wrong person for the job and therefore not looked into my development. Surely if they think you’ve got potential they would want to teach you quickly but that has been sorely lacking on the job in this organization so far. Or could it be they sense that my life-span with the company is pretty short so no point wasting their time training me. But it’s not like working in the Singapore office would lose them anything! So many “could it be’s” and no one can answer me truthfully!!

Slightly disappointed with the lack of structure on the training crucial for someone inexperienced! Came in with high hopes, ran on a high for 3-4 months and stagnant for far too long. They don’t pass on responsibility, they don’t teach you (unless you ask questions), they can do without you. What are these signs of? Being side-lined surely! You wonder why they hired you in the first place!

There is a positive side of me hoping that my big break would come somewhere a bit further down the line and my personal deadline is 6 months from now. Afterall, that is after training by my senior colleagues in the back-up team (tell me why this wasn’t done way earlier?) which should provide me with sufficient technical ability to take on more responsibility. Hey, at least you made your voice heard so you can say you did try to make things work! The ideal situation, as I’ve been telling my friends, is to hopefully make the best of the next 6 months and then get a transfer back to the Singapore office. But that is only if 1) there is a vacancy for me (not necessarily a broking role) and 2) London allows a transfer that soon! My aim is to be back within the next 1 year and if my company can’t grant me this opportunity, it’ll be bye bye London, hello Singapore!

Things to miss about this job if I do quit are the relationships formed with my colleagues in both the London and Singapore office. Also, the face to face interaction with a range of different people outside the office makes it less mundane than being strictly desk bound.

Life in London feels like a dream which can be nice at times but ultimately transient! That’s the kind of place London is for me. I can leave tomorrow and all will be good! Can’t bear the thought of being away from my family and friends for that much longer and missing out on the happenings in their lives! Come next year, it’ll be 5 years away from home! Seen everything I want to see in London and travelled to numerous places already. It’s time to go home soon! In the meantime, try to enjoy London as much as possible!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

What it takes to put life into perspective

This morning, I woke up reluctantly at 12.30pm after a night of very controlled drinking with many men and girl talk with Nat. My mum called with news that a 28 year-old Singaporean girl has been killed in the Mumbai terrorist attacks. She was described as bubbly, confident, passionate and kind. These are words I associate with myself and while I have not achieved all of the above, I hope that with experience and exposure to this grand institution called life, I will in due time. She was the eldest in a family of 3 girls and a career woman who lived life to the fullest. This news struck a chord in me because I could have been the one, or any of my friends. The first thing that hit me was, this is so tragic, uncalled for and senseless and imagining how her family and husband had to cope with this untimely tragedy. The next thing that hit me was thinking of a solution- governments and intelligence agencies world wide nab the bad guys. And finally, what carpe diem really means. (So much for being trained to think logically by the Singapore education system)

So I’ve been working for 2 months in a British company (ie mostly English people) and have assimilated well into their way of life. Yeah, fake English accent and all. Some of the key things I’ve learnt from them:

1. Not to take life and yourself too seriously- Work hard when you have to, relax when you don’t; Joke about yourself, ie self-depracating humour which I love. Get fired? Think of what to do with your redundancy pay.
2. Graciousness- Being polite and respectful to everyone. I’m sure we’ve all learnt that in school but we don’t show it openly enough. Praise when someone deserves it and accept praises with thanks (Think I’ve always done that anyway )
3. Family- English people do value their family ties a lot more than Americans. I am generalizing of course, I can see some Americans throwing daggers at me already. We are not that different from them in that respect.
4. Traditions- They are fiercely proud of their traditions, Queen’s English, high tea, horse-racing, Marks & Spencers. And they generally dislike America and all things American. R&B, Hip-hop???

There I’ve got my list, my friends will be appalled by how regimented I am but at the same time, respect that I come from a different background, make jokes about it but I never let what others think of me affect my self-confidence! (Easy to say, I’ve certainly gone through phases of being easily affected!!). I’ve got a lot to learn from them just as they do me. A lot of the reason why people think they are snobs is because they are a country that has never been conquered in history, they’ve never had to accommodate or pander to anyone unlike say Singapore, we learnt English because we were conquered by them! (A lot of them do recognize the good points in our upbringing!) But we are ethnically Chinese and suck at the language which is why I’m fiercely brushing up now through Chinese lessons. On a personal and professional level, I’ve learnt:

1. If you don’t know, say you don’t. Don’t waffle or worst yet, give completely false answers with a straight face!
2. Not to get angry with people when things go wrong- Channel all your anger into something constructive that will prevent such situations from occurring again in the future. Eg, I was stood up twice by a personal trainer at the gym, instead of getting all flustered and screaming at him, I just went straight to the manager to get it reported and requested for another personal trainer, that is all there is to it.
3. Learning to say no- Guys love buying girls drinks. That is a very vague way of putting it. In my situation, men love buying young women drinks, you have to learn to cheat (tips not to be revealed, girls ONLY). Drink enough to loosen up, but not enough to get yourself into their bed!
4. If something ain’t right- you just gotta go out and get it fixed baby- TV not working, get it fixed. Room tornadoed- get it cleaned. (Even if you procrastinate a month, get it done in the end, heh!)
5. Cherishing your roots- I attended the HC alumni dinner with Mr. Ang and Mrs. Chin, it was great hearing all the programmes they were putting in place and updates on the school development. I will definitely ask my little sis to go to HC.
6. Economics alive!- The world has almost gone crazy in these times, we’ve not had it so bad because we are not middle-aged men who have mortgages to pay and children and wives to feed. Regrets studying economics? None.

I’ve always appreciated that I’ve had it good as a kid but I think I don’t realize how well I’ve been raised until I started working. I can keep thinking I’ve got the world figured out, but like what one of my colleagues described me, I am really still a baby. Which I think he means in the guys department, they have obviously underestimated how fast I learn. Anyway, this men/work crashcourse helped me to come to terms with my past “relationship”, if I get fired, I’d say, thank you for this crashcourse! London is great for single and unmarried people (yes to all my deprived Singaporean girl friends, there is a fair amount of good lookers here). I do think I’ll be staying out here for a while amidst the economic and political turbulence. Then again, judging by how fickle I am, maybe I’d say I wanna fly home tomorrow.

I’d like to end with saying a prayer for this girl, Lo Hwei Yen. I do not know her and I do not think it should take something so tragic to remind everyone that tomorrow could be your last day. Such is the fragility of life. I’d like to give thanks to my family and all my friends for sticking with me through these times and for keeping me grounded. Keep loving, keep learning and be happy.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Note to self:

1. Do not overeat.

2. Do not spend so much time on freaking make-up in the morning and miss the earlier tube and end up standing all the way to work. Absolute bollocks.

3. Speak only Chinese to my Chinese friends.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Do you think i will look nice in this hairstyle?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


because work is starting on Monday and it feels so weird! Considering i've been slacking for the longest time ever and the 3 weeks really passed pretty damn quickly. After the first week I was like... wooh, this passed soo quick, but i forsee the next 2 gonna be really slow. But no... in a blink(well, many blinks of zziness ;)If u ask me what i've been doing day in day out, all i can muster is sleep approx 10-12h every day (no alarm! That i have to say is one of the most annoying soundsssss), watch all sorts of dramas ie Jap, Korean, Amerian, Reality TV, movies, clean the house, deco the room, shop- aLOT ie IKEA, sample sales, vintage fairs and the works of knightsbridge, oxford and carnaby street which have left me close to pauperish, eat- aLOT (One of the best discoveries in recent history is CHACHA MOON, i was super craving for chai dao kuey as many of my friends would know and i found something sooo close there in the form of CHACHA MOOLI which is basically like bigger chunks of kuey fried with shrimp, dao gay and just taste like chai dao kuey lah and the nai cha is sooo awesome and the main dishes like zha jiang mian in fact ALL the main dishes are freaking 3.50, kill me can, i will totally keep going back to that place again and again and again), play mj(think first time i ever earn money hiaks hiaks). So, its been a great 3 weeks, one that i will keep coming back to again and again in the future when I get all tired with work... oh, how i wish i had that 3 weeks again to s.l.a.c.k. I think i lead the lifestyle pretty well, so much so that im beginning to think i'm made to s.l.a.c.k. Okae better stop talking about this now or my dad will start shaking his head. Other things i've been up to is crazy looking at property, i'm obsessed and online shopping too!!! and make-up. AHHHHHHHHH, u seeeee.... things u can afford to do only when u're THAT free. Beginning with property, lets just say i'm living pretty far from central but I have to keep qualifying that despite the physical distance, it doesnt take me that long to get into central... half an hour on the tube and the northern line is soo good, it goes to tot court and leicester square which to me is absolute most important of stations. Second, it's 2 min from the tube, i can literally roll there since its a mini hill anyway. Third, there are loads of shops around like subway, kfc, malaysian chinese restaurant, supermarkets all within 5 min walking distance!! So there, there is absolutely nothing to dislike about where im staying. People just have this thinking that anywhere beyond zone 2 is like.... terrifying but really physical distance is just physical distance. It's all about proximity to say bus stop or tube station. Fourth, the rent is way cheaper than central... that's like an after thought and council tax too.. that bitch!!!

SO where was i about property. There are a couple of areas I would REALLY like to stay in...

1. Belsize Park/Hamptead/West Hampstead - rich area where celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow and a whole list of other celebs stay according to WIKI. And although i'm currently just 3 stops away from Hampstead it still does make a difference duh. It's like shifting from Toa Payoh to Newton... only 3 stops away what... there u get the gist. I really really love the Hampstead area, its so chilled out, relaxed, good mix of shops, cafes, bars etc and just a generally really good crowd there.

2. Holland Park - SO, i was given a ride through Holland Park and it was absolute gorgeousness, I love the houses, Victorian feel and all. Alas, that was at night so I couldnt get to see the area in its entirety but it is well known for being posh.

3. Chiswick Park - I have visited this area, very nice residential, neat and smart housing without feeling overly luxurious( ie unaffordable) and a great crowd as well thing is, its abit far off in zone 3 and on the district line which is quite an ass. I will never get to work if I live there, it takes 45 min on the tube itself which is just too long!

4. Queen's Park - I've never been to this area but i've heard good things so will check out at some point.

5. Marylebone/Baker Street - abit too central for my liking but for convenience, its fantastic, walkable to Selfridges, Regents Park.

6. St. John's Wood - same as 4.

7. West Kensington/Earl's Court/Fulham Broadway - less stuffy than South Kensington but still maintains exclusivity without breaking the bank. Need to visit the areas to get better feel.

So there, my dream list of property areas. One can dream ay? And inevitably when you actually do such indepth research into property, you would ask yourself if you could actually see yourself settling down here? Things change, pretty quickly. When I hear stories of my friends who find Singapore too hot, too expensive and too crowded, i get a little scared of what I should come to expect of my favourite country in the world. Like home is ALWAYS great for a holiday for a couple of months and then I find myself wanting to return to London quick. What does that mean for me? I haven't been home in a while and I'm dying to ROCK SINGAPORE soon but I'm so scared of reaching the point where I decide to stay on for good. But like I said, things change pretty quickly, maybe I will hate working here and cant wait to go home or what if its the other way round? Questions, questions and more questions. I will let you know when i've had enough experience to say something abit more concrete.

Where was i? Online shopping... when Siqi was around, that was when I absolutely went nutters. We shared some ''romantic'' nights together and I had such a blast bringing her around to EAT and shop and just showing her the alternative side of London that normal tourists wouldnt really explore. I met her like sooo often, it was pretty intense man, all to ''make up for lost time'' in her words and I did feel a bit weird when she left!!! So, the couple of nights I stayed over, we spent our time on shopping porn. Ooohing and Aaaahing on high street fashion sites, with the occasional divergence to HIGH END FASHION. Okae, my ultimate dream work bag is Mulberry Bayswater in Bronze... It's such a beauty I can keep staring at it the WHOLE DAY. They've got other designs too like the POPPY in green, its SOOO beautiful!!! Help!!! And i love miumiu wallet in red... i totally want it!!! Nuff said, i can go on forever and forever. In any case, i just whacked a leather work bag for 150 but am thinking of getting the longchamp at 35 quid instead to tide through until I return to Singapore to whack a leather bag. Infact, I think im really gonna do that cos 150 is DAMN STEEP and I am feeling DAMN POOR. Which makes me sooo jealous of MJ in Beijing now, the land where trench coats cost 20singdollars. I wish I can teleport myself there to buy all those winter wear and boots... exchange rate like divide by 15... I will feel so freakin rich. And then those zara, mng stuff all come form there... wah lao! I saw this trench at uniqlo that is so beautiful, its like a black trench with FUR collar. HOW NICE... and theres this poofy jacket in a beautiful greyish green and fur hoodie and super warm but sooo exxx then i keep thinking that its sooo cheap in china till i feel so upset. Yeah, im damn into FUR NOW. Of course fake fur so animal activists.. please dont kill me.

Last... make-up!!! Because I refuse to pay for YSL/Chanel/Giorgio Armani even though their make-up is super awesome... went to pretend to be interested and tried... shiokedoodadoooooooo. the Armani cream blusher which doubles as a lip gloss is really quite shiok... chai tried it and it looks so great but way ex man. SO, i go and buy the BOURJOIS which is such a cute brand! So affordable and made in same factory as Lancome so im sure some ingredients yada yada is the same. They have this ultra shimmery liquid eyeshadow that is a BEAUTY. Great for a night out, its like if you can do it properly can be stunning kind. and their foundations, eyeshadows and lip glosses are soooo nice. So if you have no money like me, try Bourjois. Oh man, this is free advertisement, they should pay me for spokespersoning! And also, im damn into all those moisturising creams and stuff now. The Clarins night cream like damn good value cos got promotion now but still steep. SIGH! I'm so conscious of looking old now cos my stupid friend keep saying that i look OLD. Maybe he's just passing it on to me cos he himself feels that way... u think?!?! And somemore coffee is having an effect on me, i had a big cup at like 8pm cos I thought i was invincible but then scully end up couldnt sleep till 4am!!! At first I thought it was just normal alot of things in the head then couldnt sleep, then I remembered the freaking coffeee... I thought only old ppl have this prob, guess Im not that young afterall :(

Anyway, i've got numerous little errands to run the next few days one of which includes ironing a whole bunch of shirts and pants then really full blast work. im a list maker, made a whole list of stuff to do. And did I say? I spent the whole freaking day cleaning up my old house- 3 of us took 8 hours. It's like S.P.A.R.K.L.I.N.G!!! And we were all wondering how come we never bothered cleaning up the place when we were living there. It was so clean Weizhi actually lay on the foor to zzzz... that would NEVER have happened in the past. If the landlord dared to say anything about cleanliness, i will slap him upside down. heehee. After we were done, then we remembered why we fell in love with the apartment in the first place. I'm exhausted but i've got so many niggling little thoughts running around my head... make me so restless.

Monday, September 22, 2008

because chai wanted to take pictures