Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Reminiscing my time in Vietnam

December 2009: The first day we arrived in Saigon, we headed straight to Gia Bac on the bus. We reached Gia Bac at 2am with a warm welcome from the school despite of the freezing weather at night.

We slept in tents in the class room and woke up early next morning for tree planting. The early morning calm in the village was broken by our laughter during our morning exercises.

Everyday we planted trees in the morning till noon despite of the hot sun, and everyone was eager to clear the land, dig holes, and finally planting the saplings. Mr Sim (Park Ranger) and his friends were always around to assist us, and were very patient to us 'city-kids' who didn't know anything about planting.

Everyday we taught English in the afternoon. At first there was a language barrier and hesitance because we were from different countries... but later on, the barrier was pushed away by much laughter, games and the love which we called love without boundaries...

On the 3rd day, at night, we also had great time chatting with the teachers, and enjoyed their listening to their stories. We felt very welcomed by the school and the village, and it was a real eye-opener to be invited to a Vietnamese dinner with Mr Thể (the principal) and some local officials from Di Linh. We felt very honoured to be toasted many times, and it was also the first time we tasted Vietnamese wine.

As time passed by, we also learned some basic life skill as washing dishes, washing clothes. It was really funny for some of us the first time we washed clothes by hand and thank you teacher Hà for lending us the brush to wash our jeans...

We spent many good times at Auntie Hua's shop sipping a cup of coffee to relax, and also at the cafe with a lovely view by the road.

Some time in the second week, Mr Sim brought us on a thrilling tour around the forest, and we even climbed a waterfall. It was the first time for most of us. On another day, we tried coffee harvesting too.

And the most memorable moment of our trip - the camp fire. It was our first time to see such a huge camp fire. We were very impressed with the students' performance and the fun, joy that you guys brought to us during the camp fire. We sang, we danced happily around the fire together with the school students... Wishing that moment would come again....

Last day before we left, we were very surprised to receive gifts from our students. Box of cranes, box of stars and letters that all made, written by themselves which were so meaningful and so touching for us. We will never ever forget those precious moment...

Later in the night, we shared a meal together with the teachers, and it was a warm gesture of friendship.

Good bye Gia Bac. Although we had left but we will always miss you, like one of our friend had said, we left our hearts in Viet Nam. And in exchange, your love, hospitality had come with us to Singapore.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lesson of Time

When a bird is alive, it eats ants;
When the bird is dead, ants eat the bird.
Time and circumstances can change at any time.
Don't devalue or hurt anyone in life.
You may be powerful than you, but remember,
Time is more powerful than you.
One tree makes a million match sticks,
But when the time comes,
Only one match stick is needed to burn a million trees,
So be good and do good. (:

Monday, December 5, 2011

a long hiatus

This blog has become so dead that it is now frequented by spammers trying to advertise their products. I sometimes wonder why I still keep this blog at all. Over the past few months, I have found a decreasing need to blog. I suppose at one point I had intended to provide a full account of my life here. But life needs to be lived, and that can only be done out in the streets and not in my room facing the computer screen the whole time. I apologize for the lack of entries.
I suppose in a way, I should be thankful that so many things have happened till I could not find the time to sit down & blog. These five months have been extremely eventful & stressful months, & the ride looks set to continue for the next few months, slowing down for a while in May only to pick up the pace again in August.
Life has been very colourful indeed, & day by day is spent living instead of mulling now. But that only means that I have more stories to tell, more content to blog with, but less time to do so.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

beauty & money

A young 'n pretty lady posted this on a popular forum:

Title: What Should I do to Marry A Rich Guy?

I'm going to be honest of what I'm going to say here. I'm 25 this year. I'm very pretty, have style 'n good taste. I wish to marry a guy with $500k annual salary or above.

You might say that I'm greedy, but an annual salary of $1M is considered only as middle class in New York.

My requirement is not high. Is there anyone in this forum who has an income of $500k annual salary? Are you all married?

I wanted to ask: what should I do to marry rich persons like you?

Among those I've dated, the richest is $250k annual income,'n it seems that this is my upper limit.

If someone is going to move into high cost residential area on the west of New York City Garden(?), $250k annual income is not enough.

I'm here humbly to ask a few questions:
1) Where do most rich bachelors hang out? (Please list down the names 'n addresses of bars, restaurant, gym)
2) Which age group should I target?
3) Why most wives of the riches are only average-looking? I've met a few girls who don't have looks 'n are not interesting, but they are able to marry rich guys.
4) How do you decide who can be your wife, 'n who can only be your girlfriend? (my target now is to get married)

Ms. Pretty

A Philosophical reply from CEO of J.P. Morgan:

Dear Ms. Pretty,
I have read your post with great interest. Guess there are lots of girls out there who have similar questions like yours. Please allow me to analyse your situation as a professional investor.

My annual income is more than $500k, which meets your requirement, so I hope
everyone believes that I'm not wasting time here.

From the standpoint of a business person, it is a bad decision to marry you. The answer is very simple, so let me explain.

Put the details aside, what you're trying to do is an exchange of "beauty" 'n "money" : Person A provides beauty,'n Person B pays for it, fair 'n square.

However, there's a deadly problem here, your beauty will fade, but my money will not be gone without any good reason. The fact is, my income might increase from year to year, but you can't be prettier year after year.

Hence from the viewpoint of economics, I am an appreciation asset, 'n you are a depreciation asset. It's not just normal depreciation, but exponential depreciation. If that is your only asset, your value will be much worse 10 years later.

By the terms we use in Wall Street, every trading has a position, dating with you is also a "trading position".
If the trade value dropped we will sell it 'n it is not a good idea to keep it for long term - same goes with the marriage that you wanted. It might be cruel to say this, but in order to make a wiser decision any assets with great depreciation value will be sold or "leased".

Anyone with over $500k annual income is not a fool; we would only date you, but will not marry you. I would advice that you forget looking for any clues to marry a rich guy. 'n by the way, you could make yourself to become a rich person with $500k annual income.This has better chance than finding a rich fool.

Hope this reply helps. If you are interested in "leasing" services, do contact me.

J.P. Morgan CEO...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

7 secrets of success…

I found the answers right there, in my very room.

Roof said: Aim high

Fan said: Be cool

Clock said: Every minute is precious

Mirror said: Reflect before you act

Window said: See the world

Calendar said: Be up-to-date

Door said: Push hard to achieve your goals.

Monday, September 19, 2011

christmas in India

I will be off to Western Himalaya in the middle of December (hopefully!!!).

For almost 10 days. Plenty of backpacking, hiking, trekking, and whatnot up in the mountains. With absence of proper toilets, dubious supply of water and electricity, back-breaking train rides, plus absolutely zero internet connection. And of course... Everest base camp!!! Wow actually I'm kind of excited about this trip.