Sunday, July 22, 2012

A place where all your troubles are forgotten

U: Are you going home for keeps?
Me: Yes..for keeps, after four years here. (smiles)
U: Before you go, I have something to say. You mark my words. (chin resting on his single cupped hand, deep in thought). IC will open doors for you.
Me: (laughs pleasantly)
U: It really will! (with more emphasis)
Me: Thank you for saying that. I really hope it will.
U: IC is even better than O and C. During my student days, one of the students in my year went on the be the CEO of a xxx company. Another guy, he lives just across the street came up with the xxx Equation. Have you heard of the xxx Equation? I'm telling you it will open doors, your degree.
Me: Wow! I hope I'll invent something someday!
U: A CE degree from IC certainly puts a lot of things into your head. I myself have a lot of junk in my head, all these things, which I still remember to this day. (mentions again the xxx Equation etc.)
A: Are you coming back for graduation?
Me: I certainly hope so.
A: Then I will see you again! Make sure you come back to More House too. People always return and they always say that they feel so welcome everytime they come back and that people here still recognize them!
U: Certainly! More House is a place where you forget all your worries and troubles as soon as you step in.
Me: What you've just said is so true (beams)


Sometimes, strangers make us smile more than the people we see everyday. Random, honest exchanges like these get etched into one's memory simply because so much cheer and genuineness flew across three little hearts, after a beautiful Mass on a sunny Sunday. A safety jacket with yellow strips of highlight, a bicycle being carried out of narrow doors, a staircase where conversation was made about a scientific conversation, wandering thoughts about lunch and summer fruits, a kind face decorated with a moustache and spectacles, a one-armed hug for a keepsakes photograph. Such were the bits and pieces that I try hard not to cling on to, wishing that there would be more repeats because of the ominous feeling I have because I'm aware that the clock is ticking. My time here is numbered, in this foreign land. Home, here I come.

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Strange Bits

Every time someone asks me to share something interesting about myself, I find myself at a loss for words. Since I am not a very spontaneous person, I want to prepare myself with a list of my own quirkiness, in case someone would like to know in the future. Recently, I realised quite a few weird things about myself:

1. I study better in the dark, under dim light. In fact, it is not just a matter of how conducive it is for me, I actually find myself really liking studying with minimal exposure to light. I prefer orange light too. 
2. I must have a stack of scrap paper with me when I'm revising. I've loved scrap paper ever since I was a little girl. Also, paper products make me happy. You name it, diaries, empty notebooks, stick-ons. However, if they are too cute, I usually just keep or hoard them until the pages turn yellow. How queer of me. 
3. I like my tea without any sugar or milk, just pure tea. In my books, tea is better than coffee. 
4. Although it is recommended that we drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, I usually drink much less than that. Sometimes, I even forget to drink water. Whenever I travel, I refrain from drinking water for fear of being without toilets. 
5. I've never done anything permanently unnatural to my hair. The closest I've come to it is by making temporary curls in my hair using an electric hair curler. 
6. My hands are always extremely dry, except when I am in a tropical country.
7. On the outset, I might seem like a friendly person, but I always thought of myself as a shy person who would rather spend as much of her time just being by herself. 
8. I can eat the same dish for a prolonged duration without getting bored.
9. Pictures of food, in all their bright colours are enough to make me happy and cheerful. Yes, it's that easy. 
10. One of my shoulders is slightly higher than the other. 
11. People don't usually comment that I look like either my mum or dad. But everyone says my sister and I look alike. Some people say my sister looks like my dad. I find this very strange. 
12. Once, in a Chemistry class in high school, my teacher told me that at her age, she dislikes sweets. I was utterly amazed and told her that there is no way one can stop liking sweets. However, I think I've made the transition from sweeties to savories sometime during my university life. I still love desserts but I crave more savory food these days. 
13. I love sandwiches. Egg mayo, smoked salmon and cheese, tuna mayo, chicken and bacon, ham and cheese are just a few of my favourites. The whole sandwich assembly with different colours are just so enticing to me. 
14. I tend to squat on my chair sometimes, during long and dreary periods of revision. 
15. I like wearing high heels, but am not a fan of walking for too long in them. 
16. I used to hate dresses and was just so delightful the first time I was allowed to wear jeans. I still like jeans a lot, they are a staple to me, but I've just found a new love affair with dresses. 
17. For some odd reason, I like the colour brown when it comes to clothing and bags. Everything brown looks very appealing to me and I just feel like a princess being wrapped in a brown brown brown dress or top. Maybe I should revert to gunny sacks.

I'll probably add to this list once I discover even weirder things about myself. This is fun! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strong and Constant

I can't stop trembling from disbelieve. My whole body is literally shaking right now, straight after checking my email. God has blessed me with an opportunity I never thought I would get, or even deserve. More than anything, I feel humble and scared and frightened. Strong and constant is God's love for me. He takes such good care of me, that I am in awe of the way in which He works. I don't deserve His kindness, not one bit. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Up In the Clouds

..was where my head was today.  I washed my hair using body shampoo and only came to realise my silliness after catching a whiff of ginger from my head whilst blow-drying my hair. This is just another one of my many blonde, or to be more accurate, brunette moments. Oh yeah!! 


Another time, I vacuumed a single sock of mine while engaging in therapeutic room-cleaning, very much to my chagrin, because I had to admit it later to J and he kept calling me blonde. Another time, I tried to push my way through an a card-swipe door when there was a perfectly working automatic revolving door next to it. Once, I walloped my way through some tau-fu-fah, something I've been happily eating for 17 years and finally noticed that it tasted like soy bean.  Ironically, I was a soy-bean hater at that time. At least I finally got to appreciate the possibility of preferring different forms of the same thing.  

I can certainly be such an idiot at times. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Some Questions to Think About

1. Describe to me a time when you exceeded someone else's expectations.
2. Describe to me a time when you had to persuade or influence others to accept your idea.
3. Tell me about a time when you had to implement a change to normal working procedures.
4. Why do you think client service is important? Give me and example of a time when you had to use effective    communication to interact with others.
5. Tell me about a time when you had to build a new relationship or make a new connection. How did you maintain the network?

Thursday, May 10, 2012


Usually, one should be happy when presented with a good opportunity. However, and ironically so, I have been unhappy all day even after hearing something good, because I have been bogged down with serious life questions in my head, concerning the quality of my life and the meaning of my existence. The whole day today, I have just been slacking around instead of revising for my exams, scouring the Internet for bad and negative things that I could find about the good news I've heard, anything at all that would tarnish it. People say that humans can easily be convoluted with money talk, and I agree with that. If I would put my life on the line, there is a certain amount of compensation that I expect. And I know that I won't get be compensated the way I want if I were to say hello to this opportunity. Sigh.. 

In the end, I couldn't take it anymore and gave mom a call. The sound of her voice calmed me and made me happy, in a way only a mother's soothing and genuine voice can. Surprisingly, she did not try to hold me back at all, in fact, she encouraged me to take up the challenge. Doubts still linger above my head, but that affirmation from mom made all the difference, because I know who I'm fighting for. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm sorry to say..

..that I had the misfortune of meeting an interloper and keeping up with that person for a very long time. 
On a brighter note, London town had bright blue skies yesterday in what seemed like an unexpected departure from the dreary rainy sheets. 

Friday, April 20, 2012


Today I feel :( :( :( :( 
So dissapointed with myself

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


So I just had a conference call with a team of nice people from a commercial team of an O&G company back home. The prospects are not too bad. They are recruiting fresh graduates to join in at the early planning stages of a huge petrochemicals plant, something very exciting to be a part of. The final investment decision (FID) takes place in 2013, while the construction of the physical plant takes 3 years. Being involved in something like this is quite nice as it promises a steep learning curve, plus the salary is sufficient and the location is central. During the call, I was asked if I'm a social drinker, whether I watch shows on TV and whether I play games. I was told that I'll be doing a lot of minute taking (:S) and that I'll have to stay on late in the evenings. The chat was really informal and I felt at ease.

Many years ago, this would have been the dream job for me. Right now, I don't exactly know but I'll wait to hear back from them before I clear off this cloud of uncertainty shrouding my bobby head.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


It's now 5.45 am and I'm still awake because I'm just so enthralled by an introductory lecture I'm reading about energy. Then I hear the raindrops outside with the lovely and mesmerizing sound of birds chirping, which brought me all the way back home, to my village home. 

Birds chirping so early in the morning in London! How unbelievable! I'm truly blessed to be able to hear it. Eastertide joy is here and morning has literally broken :) Thank you God for Your many blessings!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lent Reflections

This year's Lenten season just swooshed by me in a flash. It is definitely not one of the best seasons I have had. Less prayer, almost zero fasting, too much overindulgence and no charity. I allowed myself to be a slave of my desires, giving in to my insatiable appetites and justifying those moments with the 'stress excuse'. "I'm so stressed this year, I should be allowed this little pleasure!". I can not be asked to just spare a little will power to practice self-denial. 

In the spirit of Lent, I went for Confession yesterday. I spilled out horrible misdeeds of my life since December to the priest, but was shocked that he appeared to not be listening at all. I thought my sins were bad, but he must have listened to much worse sins. Dissapointed at the lack of a gush of relief and reconciliation I usually feel after Confession, there was only my lack of proper Lenten observance to blame. It is my fault for not taking this season as an opportunity for me to inch closer to God, to bury my uncertainties in Him and to let Him take the lead. I've been trying so hard to run everywhere on my two little feet that I've forgotten how He could carry me so easily to the one place where I should be at.

Today, I went to Maundy Thursday Mass. I was overjoyed to have the opportunity of having my foot washed again this year. It is such a great honour, unworthy as I am, to have warm water poured gently over my foot and dried with a towel by the priest. Not only did I feel God's ultimate love for me, it was also such a humbling experience that tears well up in my eyes when I think of it. When Peter declined to having his feet washed, Jesus told him that they can have nothing in common until he allows Jesus to wash his feet. Jesus asked all his disciples to take after his example and strive to serve each other thereafter. I was also happy to keep Jesus company for awhile during the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, during which I prayed that He'll help me fast tomorrow and keep me strong. I was reminded of the long evening a few years back during my college days, when J and I kneeled in adoration until our knees hurt. That was one of the best Lents I ever had in my entire life, I felt so strongly about God, I really had Him in my life and He was central to a lot of the things I did. I thank God today for those times, and for the many more times that I'll have Him in my life in the future.

Picture Credit

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Who Exactly Am I?

Last Sunday, a wonderful lady told me that she saw me and a few other people glow during a business game and structure building exercise. She gave some feedback to me along the lines of me being a pleasant person to be around with, caring and also motivating. Her words were really kind, and I wished her superiors saw the same in me, which unfortunately they did not. This threw me into a bout of confusion and led me to think, who in the world am I exactly? And why the meck-neck-leck am I too bothered with what other people think of me? 

I was in this confused state for a day or more. In fact, I just perused some of the old posts I wrote and I wondered to myself, "Wow, did I really write that?". This is not uncommon. I remember having a conversation with one of my close girlfriends who told me that she was amazed herself once when she re-read the old essays she wrote. By George! We change everyday, don't we? The me yesterday could not be the me today. 

I feel a deep sense of fear that the me at present is a faded version of who I used to be. I only seek to better myself constantly and never look back into my past and say, "Hey, I wished I was that girl again". I want to chase that little bubble of a dream I always had, climb up on it and sail high up into the skies, with the swirls of colours beneath me keeping me happy and chirpy all the time. All I want is to be proud of what I've worked for and achieved, and show mum and dad that they did right by me. 

So, I've come to the conclusion that God wants me to appreciate myself more. He wants me to know who I truly am, and not to depend on the views of other people. He wants me to believe in myself just a tad bit more, and find the inner peace in me that has been so elusive thus far. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fairy Tale Moment

The Myers Brigg's personality type test classifies me as an ISFJ (Introverted Sensing Feeling Judging)  person. A fuller description of those who fall under this category can be found here. A lot of the things said on this page applies to me, I thought. The few nit-picks are:

1. ISFJs have the need to be needed
2. Suitable careers include: teaching, social work, religious work, nursing, medicine (general practice only, though---> is the site telling me how incapable ISFJs are in other branches of medicine?!), clerical work, secretarial work, administrative work
3. They produce high quality work but are often over-worked because they do not mind doing tedious work. Often, people take them for granted and do not give due credit to their hard work
4. ISFJs take trouble over meals, gifts, celebrations etc for their loved ones
5. ISFJs shun conflicts and don't handle them well. They avoid confrontations
6. ISFJs are unable to either hide or articulate any distress they may be feeling
7. ISFJs place a strong emphasis on conventional behaviour. They try to guide people who are close to them back to the path that they think is 'right'

Regardless of how accurate the descriptions are, I cannot help but try to go against some of the points above in my daily living. I try to make others appreciate me more, let them know how much I can contribute. I am still far away from learning how to deal with conflicts but I'm determined to make a start now. Also, I have always had ambitions of being either a teacher, librarian, or social worker, even a journalist! But right now, I found different passions and talents in me and I am hard-headed in my goal to shatter the stereotypes outlined above. 

On another note, I had a fairy tale moment two nights ago. A handsome prince asked me for a dance with him. He took both my hands in his and led me to his rhythm on a slow dance (at that point we were the only pair slow-dancing on the dance floor), swirled me at some points and smiled very deeply with his eyes when he spoke to me. Although I was quite embarrassed throughout the dance, he quelled my nervousness by telling me how bad a dancer he was too. All night, I had a feeling (perhaps I was too self conscious) that he was trying to approach me for a conversation, or just a hello and tried so hard to avoid him. In the end, he came over to the sofa where I was sitting with a group of lovely girls and just asked nicely if he could have one dance with me. I felt like I was in the movies, like I was a little star for just that little moment.  He could have been drunk to have asked me in the first place, and I really don't know why he asked me of all people, but one thing I'm sure of is that it was one of those rare fairy tale moments that I'd cherish forever. It was romantic as it was daunting, it was special as it was awkward and above all, it is memorable as it is fleeting. 

Picture Credit

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The little things

Waking up late in the afternoon with a tiny sense of panic, only to be relieved to remember that it's a Saturday after all and no soul is expecting you to be somewhere else, doing something other than sleeping nicely in a warm bed. Chomping on toast and sipping a warm cup of lemon infused green tea. Taking an extended, long, misty shower. Cleaning one's own living space and kitchen, plus washing the week's dirty clothes. Surfing the net aimlessly, looking at pretty trinkets and ooh-ing and aah-ing at cute girly accessories.Tidying up a typical messy student's work space. These are a few of my favourite things to do. These are the little things that fuel me up and recharge me, for the onslaught of tasks ahead. 

Easy carefree days, oh how I cherish you. 

Pic Credit

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Feeling good about ourselves

Montaigne proposed that we should accept our bodies with a touch of good grace and humour. He said that we are all half animals. Interestingly, he knew a man who committed suicide after making several farts in public, another who wanted to be buried in his underpants because he was ashamed of his genitals and another woman who was too afraid to chew in public that she always had to eat behind a curtain. He believed that if we all learned how to accept ourselves and adopt a more open attitude towards our bodies, we could live more happily. He also encouraged people to travel more in order to discard their prejudices towards other cultures. It was endearing to learn how much pity he took in the Indians that were tortured by the Spanish explorers during his time. 

Montaigne acknowledged that a lot of people are often belittled and feel inadequate by the limitations of their knowledge. Alain de Botton, a British philosopher and Cambridge graduate, debated that there is a problem in our examination system that rewards learning rather than wisdom. To him, learning is the paler shadow of wisdom. 

Biggest take away: Even for the person who sits on the highest throne, he still sits on his arse.

So stop feeling inferior or worse still, superior to other people. We are all humans and God sees us each as positively special in His own way!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Terms to Remember

Economic Efficiency = Maximization of AGGREGATE CS and PS

Market Failure= Situation when an unregulated competitive market is inefficient because prices fail to provide proper signals to consumers and producers

1. Externality= Action taken by either producer/consumer which affects orther p/c but is not accounted for by the market price (eg: Cost to society of environmental pollution of a chemical plant)

2. Lack of info= Consumers lack infor about the quality or nature of a product and so can't make utility-maximizing purchasing decisions

Perfectly Competitive Markets

Short Run (keywords: price taker, max-prof)

Long Run (keywords: max prof, normal prof/breakeven/zero-econ prof)

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Bloody interesting stuff here..if you're brave enough to read on:

Demand Elasticities

Elasticities are dependent on the time frame in which they are calculated. For most goods, dumand tends to be more elastic in the long-term. For example:

Gasoline/Microsoft Software
a) Short term-An increase in price doesn't really affect demand because people still have to use it (demand is approx inelastic)
b) Long term- People switch to more 'green'/efficient cars or buy cheaper software (demand is more elastic)

Refrigerator/Automobile/Capital Equipment (DURABLES)
a) Short term- Price increase causes people to stop buying (demand is elastic)
b) Long term- Price increase does not deter people from buying because of the wear and tear effect on the capital they own (demand is less elastic)

Supply Elasticities

For most products, long-run supply is much more price elastic

a) Short term- Firms face capacity constraints in the short run and need time to expand capacity by building new facilities/hiring more workers. If price increase, firms would like to supply more, but they are limited by CAPACITY CONSTRAINTS (almost price inelastic)
b) Long term-Firms have now expanded facilities and are more price sensitive (more price elastic)

The opposite is true for the supply of DURABLES! (eg: secondary supply of metals)

Ok, told you it's BLOODY interesting. Have your eyes bled yet?