Monday, May 23, 2011

On a Street in Singapore

Read this book on my way home today... and finished this within the 40-min MRT journey. Had some good laugh... but it also brought back some nice memories...

This cartoon reminded me of those days that I took Bus Number 4 from Boon Keng Road back to Bedok! Ah! My upper primary school days. Oh yes, those were the days when buses did not come with air-con or fan. Those were the buses with a bus conduct who would either park himself/herself near the entrance if the bus came with two doors. Oh yes, there were those old fashioned buses like those in this cartoon that supposedly came with a door but the door was missing. So, the bus conductor was the one who guard the entrance/exit to prevent people from falling out of the bus when it made turns! Haha... so exciting! Those were the days!

This is one of my favourite local dishes... Satay! Actually, the sweet peanut paste is the key to this dish :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I learnt a new word - Anglophile

It was a pretty interesting 'starting paragraph' that got me started reading... "Anglophilia, like pornography, is one of those things that are hard to describe but you know when you see it. With the marriage of the vague, amorphous Prince William and the seemingly unemployable Kate Middleton, Anglophilia is on full display all over the world..."

Haha... that sets me wondering, what's this "Anglophilia"? Some kind of 'craze' (just like the KPoP?) haha...
A check at says, "a person having admiration for England or the English"! Similar explanation (+ abit more elaboration at wikipedia). The latter pointed out that it seldom refers to people from Commonwealth countries... when citing the choice of spelling as an example. True, indeed. As a ex-British colony, for instance, Singapore adopted the British system in several areas, which includes the "English Language" which is British style. We write "colour", "centre" in ways different from the American. Well, heard from some friends who teach English Language said that it's not that critical nowadays. It seems like the thin fine line has further blurred? Hm... well, I think, to be 'politically' sensitive, since students are still siting for national examinations set by the British university, we joyly well follow the pure British English!

Back to the word "Anglophile"... am I one? I sometimes wonder... Haha... from wikipedia's description, I think, to a certain extent... Hm... I've been to England for 4 times, and I (really) don't mind returning to the country anytime. Someone said he didn't like UK because it was 'gloomy' in winter... however, I think it simply presents a different 'face'... which isn't that unwelcoming. I like to roam the streets in London... and I feel safe... and I think more important, I know I would be able to pick up great memories from my previous trips :) Though I'm not a great fan of William Shakespeare, I liken some of the plays he wrote! and very much like to visit and see those places. I came across very gentleman Englishman too! Keith Blake is one of them! I like to shop at London's Marks & Spencer, too! So huge and so much variety of ... (you name it...). Oh yes, I would love to visit the British museum again! Ha! Those Eyptian mummies, and the Elgin marbles, etc. And the expensive dinner that cost me more than 50 pounds! Oh, oh! not forgetting, I'm a fan of the Beatles! Haha...

Hm... though I don't have the patience to sit down to appreciate the Earl Tea! Haha... 
So, am I an anglophile? :P

Improving Our Lives Together

Chapter 3 of The Path by Konosuke Matsushita

This chapter begins with the 'fundamental' element that exists amongst people, that is, "link" and "connections"... how do they come about? Well, I infer Konosuke is a buddhist 'cos for several times, he talked about karma... I guess, "karma' exists in different forms for different religions and beliefs... in the book, it's written, "The bonds that bring people together are in reality formed from the profound workings of karma - links and connnections that transcend what we think of as human will or desire".

Then he moved on, going from simple practices that we take for granted everyday... yes, a simple greeting like hello opens the window to deepening the link between people! One powerful sentence to end the section was "Courteous and cheerful recognition of each other's presence is one way we can make our world a better place". Indeed, I think many of us would agree that the warmth that existed within our environment now is far much lesser than those good old times... for some of us, might date it back as old as those kampong days! (haha... how many of us actually got the 'privilege' to live in kampongs? I wonder). "Cold" is the word that many of us would use to describe the kind of "neighbour" relationship that exists these days!

The spirit of service is another key idea of this chapter... to live together, the spirit of give and receive, serve and be served exists... and reciprocity... is the way of the world! Something I agree totally is, "Giving is not just limited to physical objects; it includes services, care, love, attention. It involves sharing whatever you have in your power with others to the best of your ability." I think, this is truly powerful! Yes, we recognise that "every person on this earth has within him or her heaven-sent qualities found in no other, if those qualities are expressed." Oh yes, but to put across in a nasty manner, it also means that each and everyone of us do come with some undesireable nasty qualities that sometimes we demonstrate to expect others to reciprocate in kindness? Have a second thought, "This is really bad!"

Just bear in mind, when we give, be kind and give what we think would benefit others and be a pleasure for others to receive...

Sunday, May 01, 2011

To Greet Each Day as a New Day

Chapter 2 of The Path by Konosuke Matsushita

... Yesterday is yesterday. Today is today. There is no need to let the woes of yesterday weigh down our step today. Let bygones be bygones, and look well to every new day and the new turn of fortune that it brings. It is too much to dwell on the burdens of yesterday; better to meet each morning anew, each as a fresh departure.

Each new day greeted as a fresh start will be a good day. It is bright and invigorating for those who have a mind that is open, a heart that is humber, and a spirit alive with imagination and creativity.


Konosuke Matsushita

Was reading the book, "The Path"... learnt more about the Author, whose beliefs are still applicable to today's world... like the style of making connection of what's practised back to the course of the nature...

Available at Panasonic's website...
Words by Konosuke Matsushita, Japan's father of Management


Hector and the Search for Happiness, by Francois Lelord

This book highlights several principles/ observations of happiness 'uncovered' through a psychiatrist's "busman holiday":
  1. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.
  2. Happiness often comes with the least expected.
  3. Many people see happiness only in their future.
  4. Many people think that happiness comes from having more power or more money.
  5. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.
  6. Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.
  7. It's a mistake to think that happiness is the goal.
  8. Happiness is being with the people you love.
  9. Unhappiness is being separated from the people you live.
  10. Happiness is knowing your family lacks for nothing.
  11. Happiness is doing a job you love.
  12. Happiness is having a home and a garden of your own.
  13. It's harder to be happy in a country run by bad people.
  14. Happiness is feeling useful to others.
  15. Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are.
  16. People are kinder to a child who smiles.
  17. Happiness comes when you feel truly alive.
  18. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate.
  19. Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love.
  20. The sun and teh sea make everybody happy.
  21. Happiness is not attaching too much importance to what other people think.
  22. Happiness is a certain way of seeing things.
  23. Rivalry poisons happiness.
  24. Women care more than men about making others happy.
  25. Happiness means making sure that those around you happy
  26. Be very attentive towards others.
  27. Take time to observe the beauty of the world.

3 main methods of measuring happiness (cited from the book, p134):
  • Ask people how mnay times they felt they are in good mood, cheerful, happy during the day or week.
  • If they were happy in the different areas of their lives.
  • Film people's facial expressions and then measure them in complicated ways.
Something useful... (p136)
...If you compare yourself to others and didn't find yourself wanting, if you had no money or health problems, if you had friends, a close-knit family, a job you liked, if you were religious and practised your religion, if you felt useful, if you went for a little stroll from time to time, and all of this in a country that was run by not very bad people, where you were taken care of when things went wrong, your chances of being happy were greatly increased...