Monthly Archives: September 2011


I so did not write this article below. All I can say is, if self-discipline is all that powerful, I sincerely hope that only the most generous-hearted and best of people get to master it, and wield it for the greater good.

“The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago.”

“Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.”

He went on to say, “There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, none of them work.”

Self-discipline is the key to personal greatness. It is the magic quality that opens all doors for you, and makes everything else possible. With self-discipline, the average person can rise as far and as fast as his talents and intelligence can take him. But without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.

There are seven areas of your life where the practice of self-discipline will be key to your success. These areas include goals, character, time management, personal health, money, courage and responsibility. It is my hope that you’ll find a few “nuggets” that will help make your dreams come true.


Happy Moonie Fest

Happy Mid Autumn Festival!

The mid autumn festival marks the autumn equinox, hence its name. It is also a time of harvest in most parts of China, and the people would offer up their fruits of labour, apples peaches pears grapes melons oranges, to worship the moon. This festival has been celebrated by the Chinese for a long time, since the Shang Dynasty from 2000BC-1066BC. It falls on the fifteenth day of the month when the moon is at its fullest, and people would have dinner together, and admire the moon while having sweet snacks and Chinese tea, to wish sweet blessings of family reunion.

A special food during the mid autumn festival is the mooncake. The mooncake is a sweet, dense cake, filled with a paste made from melon seeds, almond seeds, lotus or bean puree and orange zest.It is also round, to imitate the fullness of the moon. A salted egg yolk is traditionally embedded in the centre, and it is baked till the skin turns a light golden brown. The mooncake skin is embossed with traditional symbols of the festival. It taste gorgeous. Truly.

Family friends and relatives would give boxes of mooncakes to each other during the festival, to give well-wishes of family reunion.

Today, many Chinese celebrate the mooncake festival not only by eating mooncakes, but also playing with lanterns and recently sparklers too! Mid autumn festival in Singapore is a festive light-up. Chinatown, Clarke Quay and Marina Bay are lit up with decorative lantern floats and displays to commemorate the festival. Around the neighbourhoods children carrying lanterns dominate the playgrounds and parks. Most of them would sport electric lanterns that emit multicolour lights or even carry a tune, while more composed ones carried the traditional, delicate paper lanterns. Some children may even choose to play with just candles or sparklers.

When I was a kid i did them all with my brother. I had paper lanterns which caught fire, electric lanterns in the sharp of a rabbit, and boxes and boxes of candles which I stuck in the sand pit in the playground. I played with whistling sparklers too! They made my eyes dazzle.

On my way home from work earlier I saw several children who were out early parading their lanterns. Most of them carried electric ones.

I know it is quite a stick-in-the-mud of me to say this, but the paper lanterns definitely rocks much better. It is absolutely fantastic when it catches flames!

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Best cure for homesickness: butter cookies

I watched Something Borrowed halfway again; it is such a meaningful show, particularly because I am such a meek person when it comes to life too! Bah, why am I always so conscious of what others think of me!

To be skinny, to be well-travelled, to like what others like, to know what’s in and what’s out — all these things I do just to fit in.

Can I just be happy being out? Why can’t I tell myself I can’t be in everywhere. Surely, the mark of a unique person is that you are most often out of place? I don’t know. That’s quite an arrogant thought!

Funny things I think about when I am alone in a too-cold hotel room.

Anyway today at KAIST started out like quite a fiasco. No booths, no help, 30mins of pointless waiting. It was the most unprofessional show I have ever put up. It makes my face burn just thinking about it! That afternoon I couldn’t bring myself to speak to the employers all that while we were waiting for nothing.

Well, at least the dinner at night made up a little for the not-so-happy afternoon. We went to a quaint little lodge done up in traditional Korean style, and had a good spread of traditional Korean cuisines. We were served 19 different vegetable side dishes, small pot of soups, and generous pan-fried beef and pork dishes. I thought they looked beautiful, but only tasted alright.

I loved the cosy setting though! Also it felt kind of roy a, to be served by waiters who carried in tables laden with food, and set them before us. What a dining experience!

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I don’t feel like shopping at all today! What’s the matter with me. Maybe I am taking the bet I made with Jacq too seriously. (We bet that we could quit shopping for a month, and be winners and have a good brunch to celebrate.)

Holidays were exceptions to the bet, but I don’t know! I just don’t feel like shopping.

I’m thinking of the fantastic buys nette snapped the last time she was in Seoul for exchange, my hands itch for a while, and that it is gone. I am having too happy a time sitting around in my room, and just being by myself!

Maybe it is because it has been eons since I had some quiet time.

Anyway Koreans are such health freaks! Audrey and Kenneth took me out for dinner at a modern-concept Korean restaurant, and Audrey was practically gushing about how everything was so organic: the pumpkin, the vegetables, the mint leaves, the brinjal, even the sesame oil! Can you imagine that! She insists that Korean sesame oil is tens of times more fragrant than Chinese oil. it is TRUE. My god you should taste it! The flavor diffuses throughout you mouth. MMMMMMM. And I love the pumpkin too! Its delicious! And it is so simple: just mashed organic yellow pumpkin with onion and cucumber slices. How cool is that!

But the best thing about Korean food is the meat. They LOVE their meat. See? They even have them cut out in heart shapes (:

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I realised I am a sucker for doing things that need to be done first.

Absolutely NO EXCEPTIONS. How do I know?

The moment the bellboy closed my room door behind me, I started undressing and unpacking.

I took out all my business clothes and hung them on the rack. If that was not “missy perfect” enough, I set up the iron and the board and starting ironing them. At 1am Seoul time. When I was all sticky from an entire day of waiting and sitting. When the makeup on my face itched against my skin. When my spectacles kept sliding down my nose because (a) the nose was too oily and (b) the spectacles became oily because the nose was oily.

I cannot help it. I must do the things I have to do, like prepare my clothes, check the timing and reread the event emails, before I can sit down and be happy enough to do things I like to do. I think it is stress. I am not normally like that on holidays.


Welcome to Seoul! The SOUL of South Korea.

1. Before we landed nice and solidly on Incheon grounds I already felt like I was in Korea. Everyone else on the plane was Korean, or at least everyone sitting around me was. I was the only one who ordered a pan-fried fish; my neighbours voted unanimously for kimchi and beef rice. Everyone finished their pack of peanuts. (At first I did not want to, but all the chewing and plastic-crackling sounds were infectious!)

2. Recently I started googling for eye makeup for different eye shapes, and on way to baggage claim I observed that almost everyone standing around me had hooded eyes or asian-type eyes. All the females also sported yellow-based fair skin, and hairless, hairless arms and legs. I was the only fur ball on board that was also milo-coloured.

3. Korean cars are right-hand drives. Did you know my limo was so cool? The seats were very spacious and comfy, and there was not a hint of leather smell, it was such a smooth and comfortable ride, and I felt really at home chatting to STMicro’s R&D manager.

4. My room is small and neat. But, I don’t know, I think my bed looks quite short. It made me wonder if Koreans have short legs. I swear hotel beds were longer than this!

5. Horrors, this 4-star hotel did not provide toothpaste! Don’t get me wrong, I love the hotel. It looks beautiful so far. But why don’t they provide toothpaste?? I had to buy it from the minibar for S$5.


When was the last time you travelled on business? I don’t like to, but I suppose I should be happy that I am lucky enough to be given a chance to experience it.

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