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Month: December 2002

Leaving Germany

Leaving Germany

Full of anticipation and eagerness, I started on my one year’s journey to Germany. Friends and family were sad and tearful at my leaving, but as for me, I felt only a strange feeling of zest and impatience, to kick off my next chapter of life. I left them behind me, in the departure hall of Changi Airport. It seemed like yesterday, when I first set foot in Germany. Has it already been one year?

Everything went by so fast, that it became so surreal as if it had never happened before. Mainz, the dom, the meandering streets of the old town and the Rhine river, then to USA, the quiet little town in Massachusetts, the harrowing drives to Niagara, to Landshut, the Bruecke, the Christmas Market, the little shopping street which I loved so much, and then poof! I am back in Singapore. Soon I will ask myself, “Have I ever been there?”, then I will start to forget the names and faces of the people whom I have met here, then the feelings, memories……

I am going to miss all these — the quiet moments beside the river, the messy little apartment, the mindblowing bicycle rides, the solo moments to myself. Soon these will be replaced by the bustling activities of the city, dinners, movies, friends, family and slowly they will fade away. I will never come back here, as part of the town. Instead, I will be back as a visitor, an observer, detached from the people and places.

I should be intoxicated with happiness at the very thought that I am going back into the embrace of my homeland and the familar warmth of family and friends. However, strangely, I have felt a perpetual ache in my heart, since the last day of work, knowing that I will miss this town, the people and most of all, my tranquil life and brief taste of freedom. I wish that all these do not need to come to an end, but sometimes the choice is not mine.

This will be my last night in Germany. WIth this last entry, I close the page for this chapter of my life. Auf Wiedersehen!

You will miss this place,

But will it miss you?

Ah Wei

23th December 2002

Bringing Ironing to New Heights

Bringing Ironing to New Heights

The link to Extreme Ironing has been given to me by Tripps. He has never ceased to amaze me. He has been able to conjure up various links related to the subject we talked about, all in one minute. He claimed that he had a troupe of little green men on his payroll, searching for these links! Haha! Try harder, Tripps!

Anyway, coming back to the subject on Extreme Ironing. According to the website, it is “a new outdoor activity that combines the danger and excitement of an ‘extreme’ sport with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt. It involves taking an iron and board (if possible) to remote locations and ironing a few items of laundry. This can involve ironing on a mountainside, preferably on a difficult climb, or taking an iron skiing, snowboarding or canoeing.” (Totally ripped off from the FAQ of the website. Am I infringing some copyright laws here?! Hmm…)

Well, I am not too sure about that. In the first place, I hate ironing! If I get to go to one of these exotic places, why would I bring along an ironing board?! Or perhaps I can do this on Singapore’s tallest mountain, Bukit Timah Hill, standing at 163.63m. Now, wouldn’t that be REALLY EXCITING?!

Incredible Feat

Incredible Feat

New Year Resolution: I shall endeavour to complete all my tasks way before time. Hey! Doesn’t this sound familiar? Yeah sure! I have made this resolution every year, for the last 20 years.

It is 8am now, and no, I didn’t wake up early to blog. I haven’t had my owed sleep yet!!!

I should thank my dilly dally nature for it. I have enrolled into a writing course, spanning across 3 whole months. Yesterday was the drop-dead deadline for all submissions. Yikes! I was going to fail my course! Therefore, I had to cram 1 and half month’s worth of homework into one night. The whole of last night was spent squeezing words out of my saturated brain and *hugging the Buddha’s familiar leg (We are buddies! I have done this same task for more than 20 years! SO you can imagine the kind of friendship we have!!). I am sure my *GP tutor will be doubly proud of me, knowing the number of essays I have churned out in record time!

Tragically, I am a person who can only work under time pressure and I am probably the most ill disciplined human being, I have ever met. I confess to this sin. Then again, I must never let my boss read this article, or else, I will have short deadlines for all my projects, thus causing my blood pressure to rapidly increase, bursting my brain and finally grey matter will flow out of my ears. Eeewww.. Gross!

Anyway, I am beginning to sound incoherent. I need at least 8 hours of sleep per night. I calculate that last night’s activity has led to a deficit of 8 hours plus 50% interest from the sleep bank. I have a loan shark for a sleep bank. Sigh….

*Hugging the Buddha’s leg comes from the Chinese phrase “hugging the Buddha’s leg during the last minute”, meaning… that one keeps procrastinating doing one’s work, until it is too late and so has to hug the Buddha’s leg, hoping that help will be given.

*GP = General Paper = English

Last Day…..

Last Day…..

Today is the last working day before a 2 weeks long holiday. Usually, last days should be a big celebration (Yep! We partied with red wine and gourmet food, in the office!!) and all. Yet, today, I felt a tinge of nostalgia. The regrets which accompany the impending departure from Germany were deeply felt. As I shook hands with half the people in the plant, wishing people a Merry Christmas (half of which were heartfelt), and received well wishes of having a safe flight back, hope to see you again etc(Which I am sure, only half of them was sincere, as well), it suddenly dawned upon me, that I would never work here as a regular staff again.

I waved goodbye to the friendly security guard and walked out of the gates. I turned and stood there for a full 5 minutes before I made a note in my heart and reminded myself that a subchapter of my life is closed.

Waiting at the bus stop, I took in the scene of a busy bustling street, people rushing around, doing last minute Christmas shopping. I simply wondered, “How many of these people have lived in this little town for their whole lives? Have they ever left this place? What kind of emotions would that stir up in their hearts?” Would I ever come back here and live as I had, again? Probably not. The bus passed by the landmarks which I have rode past on my bicycle, over the last few months. I would never ride here again. I realised that I was more sentimental than I have ever thought myself to be.

I hope I would look back on this entry, years later, and still be able to remember the passion I had once felt. I dedicate this page to everyone whom I have worked with, smiled with, in this little town, beside the Isar River.

Today is…. Virgin Snow day!!!!

Today is…. Virgin Snow day!!!!

They must have heard me up there! I have been lamenting to my colleagues that I would not get to see snow before I leave… blah blah….

Today, just as I stepped out of my front door to get to the laundry place (Ta dah!!!), snow fell lightly from the sky and the ground was blanketed with a thin sprinkle of it. Yikes! “Virgin SNOW!” I yelled. Dropping my laundry, I ran upstairs, called my friends in Singapore (They don’t get snow there. *evil cackle*) and bragged about it. After being blasted by their envious swears and curses, I hung up the line with much satisfaction and snatched up my digital camera from the midst of my mess and hopped outside for a photo mania! Anyway, I finally remembered my forgotten mission and made my way to the laundry place, dumped my clothes into the automated washing machine and ran outside for another photo snapping spree! The trees were really a pretty sight, especially the Christmas tree look-alikes. I walked around a little, letting the white flakes settle upon me. Bliss!!

The darkness came really swiftly in winter and that put an end to my joyride. Since I had to wait for 2 hours, for the slowpoke machine to be done with the clothes, I decided to drive home, instead of loitering around the streets in the dark. The light snow has become heavier by the second by the time I returned to the car. The innocent white layer on the roads has become killing machines. Besides, I suspected that they have not fitted winter tyres onto the car! As I made my first turning, I could feel it skidding to one side, onto the opposite incoming traffic! I hurriedly swerved it back again (perhaps a little too hard and sudden, which incur another skid!) and decided to go really slowly. However, it went totally out of control, whenever turns on parts of the roads, where the snow was thick, were made. I was a bundle of nerves when I finally crawled up the steps of my apartment. I was a newbie to all these difficult driving conditions – winter, driving on the wrong side of the road.

I dreaded the time when I had to collect the clothes. After 2 hours, the streets have become horribly dark. Even in Singapore, where the streets were brightly lit up, I had difficulties with directions at night. Somehow, to me, everything looked totally foreign in the dark. I had to manoeuvre through the darkness, slippery snow (skidding a few times, after which, it didn’t look so pretty anymore!) and the lack of road lanes (they have been covered by the snow).

Touched down at home base half an hour after I left for the 2nd trip. Phew! Still in one piece! If I were a cat, I would have only 1 life left after all those heart stopping skids (I counted!!!) Anyway, I’d better return the car to the company tomorrow, as it is a really cranky antique piece. It died a few times on me today, due to the extreme cold. Car towing doesn’t quite appeal to me.

bulogs -> flogs

bulogs -> flogs

I think I am a failure at naming things and, therefore, will leave the difficult task to experts out there. JH emailed me about my ‘bulogs’, and said it sounded like ‘bollocks’. I made a search in the dictionary and this word has 2 meanings – nonsense, or a certain organ of the male anatomy. Ooppsss….

Ok ok, FLOGS it shall be.

New Bulog!

New Bulog!

Added Etel’s blog to my bulog section. Christmassy look for a warm season in Singapore. Love the snowflakes falling off the page… Hmm.. shall ask her how she did it. *scribble reminder onto notebook.*

Reordered my bulogs. Nana’s goes down, considering that it hasn’t been updated for 2 months.

Toilet Tussle! Ack!

Toilet Tussle! Ack!

Ah Wei’s list for Top 3 Most Important Rooms in an Office
1. Office (Of course! I spend about 1 third of my waking hours there!)
2. Toilet Meeting Room (Ok ok, I am shifting the toilet down the list, since I have tonnes of meetings. Hey! Is this MY list or YOURS?!)

3. TOILET!!!
Oh yeesss! I spend loads and loads of time in the toilet. Naturally the squeaky clean kind, with good ventilation, comfortable temperature, soothing level of lighting and the list goes on….. What? What can I do in the toilet?! Answer nature’s calls, what else?! *gasp* You do it in the flowerpot beside your desk?! How delightful! *giggle*

Besides the normal peeing and shitting business, toilets can be rather conducive for :

1. Day dreaming

2. Catching up on lost sleep

3. Eavesdropping on gossips (Statistics have shown that the toilet is the best source of information! Want to know who backstabbed you? Go shit! Want to know who stole the credit for your project?! Go Pee!!! )

4. Excuse for getting out of a sticky situation in a meeting

5. Folding cranes with the toilet paper

As you can see, toilets are of utmost importance!!! So far, lucky ME have spanking clean and friendly toilets, but ever since I moved into this building (I suspect that it is the oldest one in the company estate!), going to the toilet has been a nightmare! It is no longer a delight that I look forward to, everything is done in a hurry. Run in, push the door open (making sure that it is empty first. Oh yes… you will be surprised!), finish the business, wash hands, back to the sanctuary of the office — all in a 5 minutes dash. If there is some kind of toilet dash competition, I am sure I will secure the first place. Rushing in and out of the toilet can be really depressing and detrimental to productivity. Can you empathise with the agony of a worker who cannot enjoy her daily business in peace and serenity?!

Let me tell you the reason why a toilet lover like me has to stoop to such underground levels. A corridor leads from my office to the toilet. There is a door at the end of the corridor, it usually blocks the cold wind from entering and thus keeping the passageway reasonably warm. Once you go past the door, brrr… an instant change of 10 degrees, just in a matter of split seconds. Then you open the toilet door, thinking, oh great! A warm toilet to escape from the cold. Suddenly, the icy blast of air hit you. All negative 5 degrees Celsius of it. First you flick the switch on, (they practise energy saving here), the ‘cheery’ lights illuminate the sparse place and then sputter into oblivion, then you go by a weird sink with iron bars across it (I suspect that it is used by the cleaning lady) before entering an icy cubicle. Have you ever tried sitting on a frozen toilet seat!? It is so cold that it literally freeze up the pelvic muscles and nothing can be released, prima! As a result, you have to wait a few seconds more, while shivering in the cold, for the business to come. Then you wear your pants with the then numbed fingers and turn right for the sink. There you see it! The window is opened, letting in the sub zero air! There is a huge heater there, but the little dial is turned to the snowflake sign! The rationale totally escapes me. In a fury, I punch the window shut and turn the dial of the heater to full blast (all after I have washed my hands of course! What were you thinking of?!) Grinning in glee, I anticipate the next warm toilet excursion.

2 hours later, with visions of warm toilets, I go to my 3rd favourite room. Brrr… cold! Isn’t the bloody heater working! Stomping to the heater, I glared at it, preparing to give it a few of my famous Weeeii kicks to get its ass moving. Argh! The dial has been turned back to snowflake! AND the blasted window is opened AGAIN! %$@@^ Who is the fricking idiot who has done this! With a vengence, I slam the window shut and again turn the heater up to max! I WILL PERSERVERE! WE SHALL SEE WHO HAS MORE PATIENCE!

This morning, after 1 week of intense battle, cursing and swearing, the toilet was warm and it was my FIRST toilet expedition of the day. *triumph*




Section Renamed! Kaboomz!

Section Renamed! Kaboomz!

I tried very intense dreaming last night, but still no earthshaking ideas on my new blog layout. Therefore I have to content myself with making mincingly minor changes. I changed ‘my buddys’ to ‘bulogs’. Sounds a little like Sandra Bullocks’ blog though. Anyway, that is not what it meant. I have come across newly coined terms for blogging, some really innovative ones, like Flogs… Sounds cruel yeah? But take the F and the logs apart, it evolves into a new term for Friend’s Blogs. I wanted to incorporate Buddy’s and Blogs together, but by taking the first letter, I would end up with the same name, not too constructive there. Next attempt – Budlogs. Errh… sounded like Buttocks when it was read quickly. Last try, Bulogs. I figured that, being mistaken for certainly Sandra beat references to asses (unless they are yummy pert ones *wolf whistles*) hands down.