Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Forever Young

So, I bring my dad to see a medical school classmate of mine for a skin condition.

After the consult, my dad looks at the receipt with my classmate's name stamp & designations on it, and impressed, says: "Wow, he's so young & already a Professor!"

I look at my dad & gently reminds him: " Er...he's my classmate & I will be 50 next year....not that young anymore."

Bless his heart, that I will be, in his eyes, forever young....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Population change

My preamble at dinner tonight with a waitress at a local restaurant (spoken in Mandarin, translated here into English): "Should I speak in English, Cantonese or Mandarin?"

Such is the state of the nation now, with regards to the population mix of its residents.  Most service staff are non-Singaporean, coming from either Malaysia, Philippines  China, India or even Myanmar.  Hence calling up a restaurant in advance to make a booking may mean speaking to a non-English speaker, with the usual alternative being Mandarin.    And there is a good chance that your server is also a non-English speaker.

Yet there is a huge debate over the influx of foreign talent into the Singapore shores.  And at the same time, many restaurants are finding themselves short of staff.

Finding the balance will be tricky.  I only hope that the resentment against foreign "talent" here will not eventually lead to nasty racism/nationalism.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I see pictures of family reunion dinners, families & extended families of friends dressed in their CNY finery posted on Facebook, and a part of me feels a twinge of sadness & nostalgia for the days when we were all living in the same country, when uncles & aunties & cousins, grandmas & grandpas, were still alive and when family get-togethers were not as rare as they have become now.

My family migrated to Singapore when I was in pre-school.  My extended family was/is spread out in different countries - Malaysia, Brunei, Australia, USA, UK, though there was a time spanning a few years scattered through my primary & secondary school days when a significant number was living in Singapore.   Those were the years that I remember fondly - of dinners & holidays & laughter & tears, Christmases, New Years, Birthdays & Anniversaries.

Most of my friends are at least third generation Singaporeans.  Their extended families are mostly in Singapore.  I wonder if they take for granted, these special occasions which celebrate family togetherness.  I sometimes wonder how it would be if our family was such, instead of the international hodgepodge that it is.  I realize that in a way, I was also a third culture kid.  Maybe that's why I am still wondering where home is.

Musings from the Empty Nest 4

Chinese New Year's Eve "Reunion Dinner" :
Me - Fish & Chips
A - Cheese Burger

Chinese New Year's Day brunch - dim sum

The year of the snake started off with a whimper....