Saturday, January 15, 2011

Areca nuts...

The conversation started when we saw a palm tree along the way to school and OCY pointed out that that particular species bear areca nuts that are not edible.

It generated a pretty interesting discussion.
Indeed, I would connect areca nuts to the Bhutanese. That was my very first encounter of areca nuts... so was so easily and readily available, be it in town or villages... be it in Thimphu or Paro. Be it villagers or educators! It's not related to profession or socio-economic status (I believe). It's a culture, I think.

Oh yes, those unforgetable disgusting red and orange patches on the ground! In my early days in Paro, I was always puzzled why the locals were so careless, spilling red/ orange paint all over the place. Er.. of course, next question was, why these colours only? 

After a while, I learnt that it was caused by the chewed areca nuts that were spit on the ground. I just couldn't understand... today, I still do not understand why do people like to chew the dried areca nuts (wrapped in betel leaves)? The entire mouth turned orange, with that er.. smell... and then... spit them on the ground... I really really could not understand this culture/ practice of chewing dried areca nuts! When it's not properly disposed, the only word to describe was, "disgusting".

That's something unforgetable about this country with unique culture... well, what I related was something I observed more than 5 years ago. Well, things would have changed for a better (I believe) as the country progresses :)

Of course, another place once known for it was Taiwan - the betel nut beauties" - sexily dressed young girls who sell betels... of course, they were tapping on the weakness of the opposite sex for extra income. On the other hand, it created a culture in some places in Taiwan. EL and OCY shared that some would just placed the package of nuts at strategic location (of their body) where the buyer would pick up the package of nuts. Well, well... disgusting, disgusting...

Grateful that we don't observe these in the sunny island...

Reflection (I): About Changes...

It was a very packed week - I guess it's all because work life has returned to its normal course. Picking up the moment is one, but it's also having to adjust to the changes around...

Changes, not because I've moved on to a new environment, it's because of the changes to the existing environment. Yes, these changes include people around, practices, mindsets, expectations(?), etc... There are changes in the ways "things are to be" done - yes, admit that it's for a good course, but sometimes, it's the pace and the format that it takes time to sink in...

As I mentioned in a tweet middle of the week, "Took time to stablise the boat for a smooth sailing journey. Don't like new waves not knowing head or tail to rock the boat uncontrollably."
Yes, there's a concern... but it could be ungrounded one... Well, who says fear need to be grounded? I'm quite sure, the waves are here for a good course... With new waves, that's where the boat could experience the new heights when hit by it... On the other hand, not all rowers are experienced or ready to manage the boat well when it's pushed to mid-air. This is especially so when there are four passengers, each having a different need, in the same boat. One more thing to consider, while it's good stretch the potential to serve more ports, sometimes, some boats are meant for specific purpose and they have its own course.

I agree, branding is important. What draws attention? What does attention draw? Well, it's a chicken-and-egg thing. However, what happens when one keeps connecting all the good work and good intent to creating a brand name? The positioning has become blur the original and genuine intent of all good work that were carried out or to be carried out. While it's survival, over-emphasis from such an angle diluted and blurred our purpose.

Maybe it's just a different perspective... and different individuals pursue different outcomes, in different ways. When one strives hard to do well, some do it because it's their job to do so (that's very real and practical, which is what we are paid for to do a job. Well, realistically, the more you are paid for, the higher expectation the organisation has on you to make the target, and even within a shorter timeframe).

On the other hand, it's imporant to recognise that there are boats that serve a niche clientele. Attempts to change its course to enlarge its scope would lost its niche and novelty.

Hm... think about it, maybe it just need a pair of new hands to steer and redirect?

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010 December 31... HOW the 24h LOOKED like...

  • 0000h-0330h: zzzzz.....
  • 0330h: rise & shine.
  • 0345h-0600h: clearing email, sorting out documents. preparing for morning workshop.
  • 0600h-0630h: breakfast. getting ready to leave for school.
  • 0630h-0745h: bus 29. mrt westbound line. gentleman offered me a seat in the crowded train.
  • 0745h-0800h: bus 189. bus not crowded. only person alighted. 
  • 0807h: meet kh along the linkway, telling me breakfast is ready. wow... so nice of him to make all these arrangement. thanks, kh.
  • 0810h: surprised to learn that furniture not back to their usual arrangement after the training that took place the day before. ah! one thing I must remember: always 'reset' everything back to starting state (when possible) - for the convenience of all users.
  • 0810h-0830h: thanks to kh & mw for helping to set up the room. really appreciate the help.
  • 0830h: getting ready. some new colleagues already there. good morning :)
  • 0840h-1130: workshop begins with mac attack activities. glad that we went through and it gave good opportunities to share experiences and useful classroom management tips. thanks to jn sharing an observation that i was not aware of. meanwhile, received reply from hy that the application was approved. yes. it made my day. thank to the team back in hq! great year-end gift. appreciate the swiftness.
  • 1130h-1330h: discussed programme with ay. good progress for something exciting to happen. am confident it would go well when placed in ay's hands.
  • 1230h: ocy reminded me last year we stayed up till evening. actually we didn't. i have evidence. it was only up to around 1 pm on 31 dec 2009. ok, this time i reached 'new heights'.
  • 1340h: i knew i was late for the 2 pm gathering. replied vy. packed & go.
  • 1340-1400h: at clementi mrt station. tried to reach for the hp to twit. oh no! to my horror, it's not in the bags. oh! i left it on irfan's table while i was packing my stuff. what a day!
  • 1400-1425h: at last, 189 came. what's wrong! had to wait for more than 15 min for the bus. ok. keep cool, but true enough, it tested my patience. yes, i cursed & swear in my heart. not because the bus did not come, but why i was so forgetful. hey, is age catching up? hm... i'm not very optimistic.
  • 1430h: stepped into sst again. 2nd time in the same day, & carrying heavy stuff. what a way to end work. met the guard. saw 2 cars in the carpark. there were still people around.
  • 1435h: stepped into the staff room. dt & cl were still there. i'm not the last to go :)
  • 1450h: ok. sms vy that i'll be late. caught a cab. traffic was really really very slow... why so much vehicles.
  • 1520h-1830h: yes. at reached macdonald. there - only vy turned up. well, well, blessing in disguise. had a really good heart to heart chat with vy. yes. even recalled those good old days (really old 'cos almost 10 yrs ago) in nas, & we even spoke about old colleagues. yes. i missed those good old days where i grew. 
  • 1830h-1840h: bought 4 slices of cakes at macdonald. mum said it was good, but did not eat though i bought a couple of weeks ago. bought the same 4 flavours.
  • 1840h-1920h: took bus 20 home.
  • 1920h-1955h: dinner. nothing beats dinner at home. liked the soup very much. 
  • 1955h-2030h: turned on tablet, surfed a little. knew that work had arrived - but would only do on new year day. 
  • 2030h-2400h: decided not to stay up... off the tablet... zzzzz.....




    其实,是真的“瞎忙”了一场吗?白白地浪费了一年的时间了吗?并不以为然。若是有这种想法, 我相信此人真的是“瞎了”,白活了!难道真的是空手而归了满?那岂不是很对不起自己吗?