Our Little World

July 29, 2005, 8:22 pm
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Isabel loves us very much… at least that’s what she says.

Last night she was in her room getting ready for bed when she suddenly turned to her mother and said: “Mommy, I love you very much.” My wife was very touched by her words, but curiousity took over, wondering if Isabel really knows how much is much. So she said:”I love you too Bel, but how much do you love me?”

Isabel thought hard, then cheerfully replied:”$$2 dollars$$.”

My wife almost flipped out of her chair for laughing hard. but she quickly composed herself and asked: “how about Daddy? How much do you love him?”

This time Bel gave a quicker reply:”1 dollar

Mother: “How about your baby sister Ally?”

Isabel: “10 dollars

Mother: “Wha… OK… Auntie Yani? (my maid)”

Isabel: “ten cents“. kua kua…

July 29, 2005, 2:12 pm
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Finally I’ve succumbed to the temptation of getting an MC, mostly because I overslept big time. I did a quick body check: Throat… yes a bit sore.., Fever… nope, body ache… maybe… ok good enough, That should qualify me a visit to the clinic. If I need an MC, I’m not going to lie about it. Not the way some people “geng ka liao”. Drink hot water before going into the doc’s office in order to raise the body temperature, or lie about having migrain, knowing that its not detectable. Come on la… no need like that la.

I was in the clinic when I saw a product, its for sterilizing toothbrush. I casually approached the counter to the middle aged lady, who was looking seriously at the computer screen as if gold is going to drop out from it, I politely acquired about the price of the product, but she gave me a “can’t-you-see-I’m-busy” look. She said “can you come back later?” Not wanting to start an argument, I backed away, letting her go back to her little world. Maybe she’s suffering menopause… yah…maybe…

July 27, 2005, 9:31 pm
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This is my pet dog, Pepper. I’ve kept him for 5 years now. Since I’ve moved out, my parents are keeping him for company. They love him, especially my Dad, he walks the dog 3 times a day.

Whenever I come home to visit, he would jump up and down, wanting me to carry him. But my maid is super afraid of him, she’ll keep a 6 feet distance away from him even though he’s caged in for her sake. She very funny one, she’ll climb over table and chairs just to keep a safe distance from the little dog.

Once, my sister brought along her dog, Cola, my maid just froze at the entrance, hands covering her face to muffle a scream. Lucky she didn’t drop my baby.

July 25, 2005, 4:00 pm
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I was at a typical local wedding dinner in a nice little restaurant in harbor Front. Food was pretty good, environment is cozy, free flow of soft drinks and red wine. Friends and relatives gathered, updating their lives to each other yapping and gawking as if the other party is really interested. But on the other hand, the things that we are willing to say are so superficial, so surface… There is no meat to it. Because we are afraid that other people will see the loser side of us, so we all put up a defence, a guard not to let others into our lives easily.

“Hey, how’s work?”

“Oh, you know… Can’t complain…” (just got fired, but won’t tell you that)


” Wife and kids ok?”

“Yeah! Great! Yours?”

“Ok.” (Marriage is on the rock but what do you know?)

What can you gather thru a conversation like this? … NOTHING!!! But that’s socializing.


Have you ever wandered why they have a set of common use chopstick or spoon next to every dish they served? Its obvious that for hygiene purpose we are to use it to pick up the portion we want right? But still there are people who use their OWN utensils, dipping in and out of the vegetables and source with no sense of guilt. I mean… I may know you, but I don’t REALLY know you all that well, so please, keep your bodily fluid to yourself.


How late can a guest be when it comes to attending a typical local wedding dinner? I saw guests coming in at 8:40pm thinking they are some kind of super VVVVVVIP. What were they thinking? The invitation card clearly states that guest are to be seated by 7:30pm. Even if you can’t make it at 7:30pm, latest 8pm is still fine, ya?

Maybe by being late they can avoid the pretty receptionists at the entrance who’s job was to collect the red packets from the guests. Ah…

The beautiful young couple did their best to start early at 8:15pm, which was really early by local standard. The changing of the dishes were so fast and prompt, somehow we started to realize the pattern, so by the 3rd dish, everyone was going for the kill before the dish landed.


Isabel enjoyed the food as much as I did, she even ate the celery which was usually a challenge for her. She’s happy that for once dinner is not a rush, taking her time to taste every delicately cooked dish with nobody breathing down her neck.

She often took an hour to finish a meal at home(despite all the threats of canning her if she don’t complete it). We’ve tried almost everything, with TV, without TV, let her run around or bolted to the high chair. It still takes an hour.

July 21, 2005, 3:33 pm
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Life has been better since the arrival of my maid, Triyani, she has been a great help around the house. From the ceiling to the floor and anything in between, from the five months old to the 500 months old, she take care of them all. Not that she is a fantastic worker, but comparing to the traumatizing days we went thru with the previous “Maid from Hell”… This is as good as it gets.

I remember the days when we don’t have a FDH ( Foreign Domestic Helper) under our roof, I’d be staying up till midnight scrubbing… washing… cleaning… folding… sweeping… I’m not complaining, what needs to be done around the house has to be done. You can never imagine the tense frustration between me and my wife. Beside giving instructions and barking order at each other and the kids, there seems to be no other form of communications left.

But now, its different. I come home to a nice clean environment with home cooked food (I would appreciate more variety) and almost nice smelling kids.

I was once pretty much against the idea of having a total stranger in my house, especially after hearing some of the gruesome stories told by local employers about their encounter with their FDH, for example: There was this village girl who came to S’pore to work as a helper. She so urgingly want the family to like her and soften their hearts towards her that she resort to use “Black Magic”, soaking her used sanitary pads to boil water for the entire family to drink.

Recently, there are even few cases of the maids murdering the employers in cold blood, claiming that they were brutally abused by them.

What is it with those employers that they have to abuse the maids. Is there a need to feel superior to the people from the 3rd world country? Just because they are our employees doesn’t make us any better then them. In fact, they are more courageous than many of us, leaving home, friends and family to come work for the two-three hundred dollars in a strange foreign land of complete different culture and language. how mamy of us can do that?

The truth of the matter is, we are all created by God, we are to love one another the way we love ourselves, (unless you like to punish and abuse yourself, for that, please see a doctor)) there is no reason we should behave in manners that would degrade us to criminal level.

For me, I would not even allow my maid to eat left overs… she has access to any food in fridge or cupboard anytime she wants. She can drink all the water she wants…

no question asked.

July 20, 2005, 5:10 pm
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I woke up this morning with a strong urge… not just from the near exploding bladder, but rather the urge to call in sick. Not that I’m REALLY sick, its just a thought I would entertain on and off under my cozy blanket: “To MC or not to MC?” I could list out a hundred items or errands to do during this M.C…. but high chance is that non of them will be fulfilled.

But the thought of being able to stay in bed a little longer (at least until the clinic is opened) is intriguingly tempting. But still the sense of righteousness and responsibility triumphed over the lusty flesh… Heaven rejoice!!!

July 18, 2005, 8:48 pm
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The ever cheerful Charissa is one of the many loyal friends Xanthe has for many years. She works as a nurse in HS Chan Surgery in Gleneagles Hospital.

I was in her clinic wittnessing the skillful surgeon at work, reason to why I was there, I’m not in the liberty to say. Its a need to know basis, this is the part you don’t need to know.