Saturday, October 23, 2010

Impressions from China - Chinese wedding

I witnessed a bizarre scene today while working out at the gym.

See, our clubhouse has a lakeside al fresco area that is popularly used for events like, in this case, a wedding. Thing is, it is in full sight of the people working out in the gym.

This morning, I saw the area decked out for a wedding. Orange streamers, orange flowers in bouquets. I saw the groom dressed in a formal suit, the bride in a Western-style cream-colored bridal gown holding a bouquet of orange flowers (I'm thinking the theme is Orange).

The bride was waiting near the entrance to the lakeside area, just adjacent to the gym. We heard the MC speaking over the PA system, at full blast, in Mandarin, then a child's voice, speaking in a cutesy way, something about switching off hand phones (I think).

Then the introductory part of the theme from Star Wars starts playing, at which point the bride starts walking into the celebratory area (& where A. asks softly into my ear, "Where's Darth Vader?" to which I burst out into uncontrollable laughter - fortunately, we were in the gym, out of earshot of the bridal party - in any case, with the volume at full blast, I doubt we would have been overheard anyway). The Star Wars theme segueways into the theme from Exodus followed by a few bars from the Amazing Race theme song.

I am not kidding you.

Then the groom starts speaking & shouts "I love you" (in Mandarin) among other things which I did not understand.

Then I was done with my workout.

It was pretty surreal.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Aches & Pains



I played basketball today for the first time in 26 years. And boy, am I sore. The knees are wobbly, and the back aches; I can't imagine how much worse it will be tomorrow as these things generally feel worse the next day.

I used to be extremely active in university. Softball, volleyball, tennis, basketball...even played for my Faculty. However, after graduation, my physical activity level dropped tremendously due to work, and then motherhood.

Now, with age catching up, I try to make it to the gym every other day, in the hope that it will improve my cardiovascular health.

Despite my fairly regular gym-ming, I realize that competitive basketball is way way way beyond my capability now.


Thursday, October 14, 2010


Despite have an e-reader, I still find myself inexplicably drawn towards bookstores in the USA & Singapore.

Something about the rows & rows of bookshelves, & browsing through the books according to authors' names, & thumbing through the pages to read snippets of the books before deciding on whether to buy or not....the experience cannot be replicated digitally.

Although now, I have to stop at the stage of thumbing through the pages & remind myself to buy said books online instead.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Forget about the reality TV series.

It is heartwarming to watch the rescue of the Chilean miners who have been trapped underground for 69 days, being pulled out painstakingly, one by one. The resilience of the human spirit is amazing.

The miners have been brave, but the true heroes, I think, of this saga, are the supporting crew, who have helped maintain the physical, emotional & spiritual well-being of the miners & the engineers who managed to figure out a way of getting them out.

These days, we need more good news like this.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Next Generation

I was browsing in the toy department of a store a few days ago, looking for a present for my nephew's first birthday. I noticed a few other parents in there, with their kids, mostly toddlers. And then it struck me that they all looked soooo young. (The parents, I mean.) I saw them & thought to myself: "Wow, what young parents."

And then I realized that I, the half-empty-nester, could, physiologically speaking, be a grandmother (although I DO NOT WANT TO NOR DO I EXPECT TO BE ONE ANY TIME IN THE NEAR FUTURE!!!) and that once upon a time, I was in their shoes running after my two little boys in the toy department.

And then I suddenly felt old.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Big Chill

Dinner and drinks.

Scintillating conversation, nostalgic reminiscence.

Laughing till tears roll down our faces.

Chatting about anything & everything.

That was what we did a couple of nights ago, a group of friends from medical school.

Recent deaths within our circle of peers has made us all more aware of our own mortality. We cope in different ways: some becoming more conscious of our health, while others, like me, try almost desperately, to get in touch with old pals. My trips to Singapore happen once, maybe twice a year. During these trips, I try to connect with old friends - classmates from high school, medical school, previous work colleagues.

We try to catch up on a year's (or more) worth of updates in a few hours. Death, divorce, separation, our children's milestones - we try to cover all that in the short time we have together.

We always have a good time; and we always end the night reluctantly. This time, we chatted till after 1 am, till we all could not fight the sleepy yawns & heavy eyelids, before we said our farewells.

Good friends, good times, always.