100% Organic and Vegetarian

So lucky to be able to lunch at home for three days this week. So nice to be away from all that noise generated by posers who are full of shit! Thank God they didn’t cross my path! Lunching at home is a sure way not to run into them!

For an old man like me, these are hardly salad days, just days for salad!

NOTE: It’s April already, oh my! Will be observing the rest of Lent and may – or may not – re-emerge after Easter.

In any case, hasta la vista, baby!

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Bound to Happen

I was in the bookstore the other day when I overheard a young lady saying to her boyfriend “I am going to read a book this year.”

Am. Going. To. Read. A. Book. This. Year.

A book.

One book.

This year.

I felt like saying to her “Young lady, read more please. I devour at least a book a week!”

Many of my friends don’t read.

In fact, many people don’t read at all.

(I like nothing more than to discuss books with those who read.)

I picked up the reading habit from my parents.

Mum and dad would have animated discussions about what they have been reading.

In the evening, after dinner and over a cup of tea, they would talk about books.

Then at bedtime, they would read in bed until they fall asleep.

That must be the reason why I only have one sibling.

If there’s one thing they were never stingy with, it was forking out money for books, magazines and newspapers.

They bought me a set of the iconic Encyclopedia Britannica when I started school. Must have cost my dad an arm and a leg. Dad had to pay for it using an installment plan.

They started me on Reader’s Digest when I was eight years old, that is, when I was in Primary two.

I became a child prodigy, graduated from Harvard Medical School at 12 and was made a full professor at 15, and at 18, I was the world’s top brain surgeon. Yeah, it’s in the Guinness World Records.

Nah, that didn’t happen of course, but books fired my imagination, opened up new worlds to me, made me ask sensible questions, and resulted in my love for writing.

But nowadays, I find it almost impossible to engage anyone for a discussion on books.

People in Singapore brag about second homes, about investments, about now is the time to go grab some shares as their values will skyrocket one day.

Money talk gives me a headache. Anything to do with finance, markets, hedge funds, private equity, forex, venture capital, commodity, real estate investment trusts, bonds, etc, and I glaze over since I don’t have two nickels to rub together. I really don’t care how others plot their fortunes and enrich themselves.

There is a Chinese saying: “By reading we enrich the mind, by conversation we polish it.”

Many people don’t even know what the current best sellers are.

They have no idea who in the world is Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Yuval Noah Harari, Jordan Peterson, Lin Yutang, Joel Barker, Richard Dawkins, Josh McDowell, Lee Strobel, Robert Sutton, Bertrand Russell, Joseph Conrad, Jennifer Welsh, Stanley Milgram, Viktor Frankl, Elisabeth Kubler Ross, Howard Henricks or even John Grisham, Linwood Barclay, Jonathan Kellerman, Michael Connolly, John Steinback, Chetan Bhagat, Umberto Eco, Orhan Pamuk, Frederick Forsyth, Olga Tolarczuk, Robert Persig, Bryce Courtenay, Ian Hamilton, Jane Harper, Lee Harper, Ken Follet, Charles Dickens, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Sanmao, Colleen McCullough, Keigo Higashino, Bernhard Schlink, Ivan Turgenev, Yoko Ogawa or Honoré de Balzac. (These are just some of the authors whose books I read.)

Phew!

It’s so sad when people don’t read.

Tragic even.

It’s a wonder bookstores are still around these days!

Apparently, many people would rather scroll mindlessly through Facebook updates or Instagram posts or shopping websites or plonk down in front of the TV and stare at the idiot box all night than to sit down with a good book and have a good read.

They don’t know what they are missing.

That is why books are my gifts of choice; I give everyone books at Christmas and on special occasions.

Those who love reading know what I am talking about.

My best friend who lives in Hobart just gifted me with two books from House of Anansi. And I know our conversations about these books will “polish” our minds.

My wife reads, my children read and even my two grandkids – they just started school –  read.

And yes, my only sibling reads too.

On the other end of the spectrum are those who do read but don’t do anything with what they have read. They are just feckless blowhards who brag about how their bookshelves are running out of space. I know someone who can rattle off the titles of all the books on the current best seller list but she is unable to tell anyone what some of these books are all about. How is it possible not to remember a thing she has read? Hence, none of the books she is supposed to have read is able to trigger any action on her part.

Whether you read fiction or non-fiction, whether you read book books or use some electronic devices to read, books should nudge you into some sort of action.

Books should make things happen!

Epictetus said “Don’t just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better. To be a more discriminating and reflective person.”

“Books are training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents,” he also said.

Once in a while I organize my books and give away those that I no longer have any use for. These are mainly novels as well as books with contents that are now out of date. I usually send out messages asking if anyone wants them. One time an acquaintance showed up with a suitcase and I was so pleased, thinking this person must be extremely passionate about reading.

“It’s going to take a while to read all these books,” I said to him.

“No, not planning to read any, I just want these books to fill up my empty bookshelf, to decorate my apartment,” he responded.

I almost cried.

Now I donate my used books to Dignity Mama.

Check them out: https://projectdignity.sg/dignity-mama/

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A Salute to House of Anansi

Taiwanese writer Li Ao once said “Taiwanese are scoundrels but they are lovable. Hong Kongers are craftier, Singaporeans are stupider and the mainland Chinese are more unfathomable.”

There are probably still many who believe that Singaporeans are stupider than the other three groups of ethnic Chinese.

This is because every day I am inundated with ads for products intended to help me fight COVID-19.

A supermarket chain advertises the fruits it sells as nature’s multivitamins.

A company selling mattresses claims that good sleep enhances my immunity.

A hotel sells “Cheer-up Packages” designed to lift my spirits. (It assumes I am depressed over the virus. Nothing could be further from the truth. COVID-19 can only threaten my life but fake friends, freeloaders, human parasites, double-crossers, and the negativism that exudes from them: evil, selfishness, pride – these things attack our humanity.)

Anyway, so if I check into a hotel, eat fruits and sleep on a nice mattress, the virus will leave me?

Well…

Then there are ads touting “the best” hand sanitizers, “the best” face masks, restaurants that promote their fortifying soups, well-meaning friends who flood my inbox with tons of advice (often contradictory, and almost always bloody useless).

Yes, now everyone is an expert on COVID-19.

Lots of idiots seem to take delight in catastrophsizing the outbreak.

But it’s all getting a bit much.

Information, news, misinformation, fake news, rumors, conspiracy theories (Bill Gates is responsible for the virus, no, it escaped from China’s biological warfare lab, no, it was America that planted it in China, no, it came from the Chinese eating bats) “cures” of all kinds: I mentioned here before about some retard from Iran who advised those infected to dip cotton balls in some oil and shaft them up their asses, remember? Well, the COVID-19 death toll in Iran is now 2,234! “Hold a hairdryer in one hand and in the other hand some antibacterial solution and use the hairdryer to blow the solution’s droplets into your nostrils,” advised another quack, this time from Fucktopia or some other shit country whose name I cannot remember. Then there are the stupid memes and jokes, some of which are indeed funny, but many are just plain stupid, or crude, lame and corny – indeed, they’re all getting a bit much.

The fact of the matter is that no one knows enough about COVID-19. There is no cure as yet though a vaccine may work eventually. The best advice is not from your aunt in Wollongong who has a primary school classmate from Papua New Guinea who is now the top doctor in Moldova who says “always drink hot water and you will be healed” or your uncle in Beijing whose distant relative is a doctor in Wuhan who says “it is Chinese tea that is the cure.”

The best advice is to listen to your health authorities – not social media, or messages from your relatives – and do what they tell you to do.

There are only three possible endgames. The first one already seems unlikely: that each country simultaneously halts its outbreak. The second is that the virus sweeps through the world and fizzles out in the face of growing herd immunity – but in the process, millions die. (No, I am not a prepper.)

The third, and most sensible, option is that the world plays a protracted game of “whack-a-mole” with the virus, stamping out outbreaks here and there until a vaccine can be produced.

Meanwhile, let’s not add to the cacophony of noise, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Let’s not sow fear and spread unverified information. As mature, educated, people with brains, let’s deal with cold, hard facts please.

But I got to say amidst all the deafening din, one company did impress the hell out of me.

For at least ten years now, I have been reading books put out by a Canadian publisher known as House of Anansi.

I just received an email from them last week that says:

Reading apart, together.

Over the past week, we have taken solace in the creative ways in which people are supporting one another during this difficult time. Our team has been discussing how we can help bring people together (without actually bringing them together).

When you purchase an ebook from houseofanansi.com, we invite you to add the name and email of a friend in the notes section and we will send them a free digital copy of the same book. This way you can remain connected through reading, despite the distance.

What a brilliant idea, House of Anansi.

Well done, indeed!

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Getting Chlorophyll Enjoyably

Most of us go through life revising our opinions. At 25 I thought I would die happy if I could have sex with Gigi Wong just once. At 60 I’m glad I didn’t. At 53 I thought Obama must be the greatest US president ever. At 63 my heart broke when I realized he was – and still is – a very charismatic man and a great orator but probably nothing very much more than that. At 33, I thought the young man from Malaysia working with me would one day turn out to be a successful senior corporate executive, a member of the C-suite. At 63, I finally accepted the fact that he’s nothing but a pathological liar, a con and a douche bag. In other words, just another retard. (I have lots to tell you about this douche bag, but that’s for another time.)

To have our beliefs knocked sideways by sturdier arguments, additional experiences, contrary evidence, maturating judgment, etc is how we become wiser. The alternative is intellectual stagnation, puerility, and arrogant stubbornness.

I used to think that vegetarian food is tasteless and bland and totally pointless, well, except for Indian vegetarian which I enjoy once in a while. But drenching rice with various types of curry gravy would make any plate of rice palatable, no? My convictions may change as time goes by.

What I thought of Chinese vegetarian food certainly did changed recently.

For everyday vegetarian, it’s salads I make at home, with the help of the wife, of course.

Here are the salad lunches I’ve just had on Monday and Tuesday; granted, they may not look pretty, but hey, I’m not an aspiring Instagram star okay:

But when I am out, I try to look for more than just salad as well as vegetarian food other than the usual bee hoon accompanied with pieces of fried gluten.

I enjoy a plate of greens such as long beans stir-fried with minced pork in soy bean paste and sprinkled with shredded dried prawns; French beans stir-fried this way is also nice. Instead of soy bean paste, you could use a small dash of fish sauce too. There’s something very enjoyable eating tasty vegetables that give a nice mouth feel that invite you to eat more and more. The almost crispy feel when you bite into these greens feels simply divine! If all you eat for a meal is this plate of beans, I can guarantee you that you’ll feel very guilt-free.

I’ve also checked out a couple of vegetarian restaurants recently.

Before I go on, let me just say that I’m not going vegetarian. I still agree with the view that in times past, the term “vegetarian” means “failed hunter.”

I’m eating less carbs to enjoy the benefits of more greens, and hopefully, do a bit of weight management along the way.

LingZhi, the vegetarian restaurant owned by my acquaintance Andrew Tjioe (who owns the Tung Lok group of restaurants) is to me, high-end fine-dining type of place, the type of restaurant I will take Jack Ma to before adjourning to a lounge with him for our Behikes, or a place I would invite the Dalai Lama to the next time he visits me.

I rather eat at hoi polloi places.

At Flavours By Saute, I must say their vegetarian oyster omelet is really like regular oyster omelet, an old favorite. It is crispy, with just the right amount of sweet potato flour so that it doesn’t overwhelm and drown out the taste and aroma of the eggs; the burned oil smell and taste is minimal, yet a tinge of “wok hei” is present and the entire dish delivers a great taste sensation. As you bite, you can almost hear the crunch that comes from eggs fried just perfect. And you won’t miss the oysters that are not there. This is because these days, with the regular or real oyster omelet, one can hardly find any oysters anyway.

However, I am a weirdo who believes that if one wants to eat vegetarian, it defeats the purpose eating fake meat. It’s akin to masturbating to a picture of Odette Annable or Marisa Tomei or Gal Gadot and believing that you’ve actually slept with them.

I once attended a ten-course wedding dinner at the Shangri-La that was 100% vegetarian, complete with fake – they call it “mock” here – suckling pig, duck, chicken, etc. I normally try to find an excuse to avoid lengthy Chinese wedding banquets – I suffer from social anxiety disorder and it is a torture to sit down with a table of strangers for an extended three-hour meal – but I accepted the invitation that time because it was my dear cousin’s wedding and when I got married 36 years ago, she was my flower girl. However – hope she’s not reading this – I think it is an unfair imposition on your guests to inflict upon them a long-drawn vegetarian meal of mock meat just because you are vegetarian yourself. I almost gave her a mock ang pow!

Elemen is not bad too. Okay it’s not Chinese food but their black truffle porcini pasta is great comfort food. Done al dente, with just the correct amount of good quality olive oil and of course truffle oil, which doesn’t really exist, by the way. (All truffle oil is artificially created. Originally, truffle oil was high-quality olive oil infused with black or white truffles, but today, most of the stuff is made synthetically with ingredients like 2,4-dithiapentane, an aromatic molecule that gives truffles their distinctive smell. So you suckers out there, it’s about time to stop ordering expensive truffle fries, one of the biggest scams in the food industry.) Anyway, Elemen’s black truffle porcini pasta, at S$18.80 before tax, service charge and all the rest of it, is too pricey for my budget, especially when it’s something I can do at home.

That said, I must take my hat off to LingZhi, Flavours by Saute and Elemen – they have all made vegetarian food sexy. Just take a look at their websites and you’ll be salivating. That’s a good thing. Too many of us are not eating healthily enough.

Nearer to where I live is a branch of a more down-to-earth (translation: affordable, for paupers like me, that is) vegetarian eatery known as Greendot, whose co-founder is only 30 years old this year, if I’m not wrong.

Greendot’s laksa can put any real laksa to shame.

First of all, the laksa soup is lemak, hearty and robust, not thin and watery. It is supposedly made from scratch with blue ginger, yellow ginger, chillies and laksa leaves. Also in the bowl you’ll find straw mushrooms, konnyaku prawn, konnyaku balls, tau poks and beansprouts and it costs only a very reasonably-priced S$7.50. Of course, you can get laksa elsewhere for three bucks less, but this is a proper eatery, not a dingy stall in a crowded food court. I was more than happy to pay S$7.50 because, trust me, their laksa is so satisfying; okay, for those into fake or mock meat, it’s hard to tell that the prawns are not real prawns, the QQ texture and the color is simply very pleasing to the eye and extremely delicious – the temptation confronting me always, is to have two bowls, but since I am a strong man full of self-control, I have resisted so far.

Their bento sets are a bargain – you choose a type of rice (fragrance white rice, sesame rice or something called “beauty brown rice”), add one “main” (four choices: braised mushroom and taukwa, sambal konnyaku, sweet and sour soya nuggets or Taiwanese QQ tofu), then add two greens and it’s only S$7.90.

If you’re a student or a senior citizen, you only pay S$5.90. I have no idea what they mean by senior citizen because there is no standard definition but I had no issue paying S$7.90. I am not the type who scour the universe for cheap restaurant deals; I mean, at times like this, let people make some money lah. Don’t take advantage and pig out just because COVID-19 is making restaurants suffer and forcing them to launch all kinds of deals to attract customers. Anyway, at Greendot, if you want better mains, pay a dollar more and you get to choose from three “special” mains – Gong Bao mixed mushrooms, mixed mushrooms with lotus roots and basil or Lion Mane mushroom rendang.

Although I have my views about eating “mock” stuff, I must admit that their Lion Mane mushroom (also known as Monkey Head mushroom) rendang is a real winner; for those “blur” people, they would think that the rendang is really beef rendang! The flavor is amazingly rendang-like, and the texture of the mushroom is like that of meat. Oh boy, I could eat this every day although I am also happy to eat my laksa without the fake prawns and my bento without the fake rendang.

Lion Mane rendang, okra, bitter melon, clear soup with Goji berries and brown rice.

A word of caution here though: if you’re hoping to lose weight by eating vegetarian, just bear in mind that fried gluten is a lot of carbs, and dishes like vegetarian laksa and rendang are cooked with copious amount of coconut milk which has lots of calories. (Tip: when cooking at home, substitute coconut milk with milk.) So, level-set or manage your expectations. A cousin of mine once went vegetarian for a year and actually became fatter!

Remember losing weight is all about calories – less input and more output – that is, eat less and burn more.

And one other thing (just to make you feel hopeless because I am a sadist): cows eat grass but are still fat.

Ahem, did I just spoil your day?

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Smooth like a Ballad

I was told that my ideal weight should be 102.4 to 108.1 kilograms (about 225 t0 238 pounds). These numbers are a result of rectal extraction, meaning some retard in the hospital pulled it out of his ass.

Reducing to those target numbers would be utterly impossible but nevertheless I have decided to eat only salads for lunch.

I had the opportunity to be home for lunch three days last week and these were my lunches, each drizzled with a bit of balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil:

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Stupid is As Stupid Does

An acquaintance likes to brag that he has high IQ and qualifies for MENSA but unless I see proof, to me, that’s just braggadocio.

(Actually, it’s kinda embarrassing considering he’s not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed, though you wouldn’t know if you’ve just met him for the first time.)

Another person insists that in Malaysia, if you are honored with a certain title bestowed by a sultan, or the king – all buffoons by the way – you are free from persecution. You cannot be charged for any crime.

But unless you show me and let me see with my own eyes that it is a law written into the Malaysian constitution, I cannot accept that as a fact.

This outrageous claim was recently echoed by someone I know who has proven to be a disloyal friend – I place a premium on loyalty, and you can’t straddle two worlds, my friend – and who has lost all credibility with everybody. In fact, he is known as “a bullshit king with zero principles” and people roll their eyes when he shows up.

Then there are a few informers who told me that a new cigar lounge is opening in the Arab Street area where you can buy your cigars downstairs, smoke in the lounge upstairs, even bask in the moonlight on the rooftop.

I had a good laugh! Almost fell off my $3000/- Chesterfield armchair.

Good luck, retards!

Mental midgets, argumentum ad ignorantiam.

And please, all of you irritating bugs, please go smoke there and leave me alone! Let me repeat what I’ve often said: “I am extremely happy to sit alone with a pipe (or cigar) and book.” The key word is the word “alone.”

The fact of the matter is that the Singapore government has long stopped issuing permits for cigar lounges.

And authorities are watching.

Operators of such establishments risked being raided, and fined – like the one in Chinatown, that gets raided and fined all the time (I was told) – and if you are not a citizen, your PR status may be revoked. For infractions of COVID-19 quarantine orders, the government has already rescinded the permanent residency status of at least two foreign morons and sent them back to their own countries. So don’t fuck with the Singapore government!

The problem is people believe in their own bullshit and will argue until the veins in their necks become visible, their faces turn red and the cows come home.

Tip: Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there is absolutely no point.

If you are born stupid, you can’t do much. Fools can’t realize they are fools: to understand the flaws of your cognition (thinking) you need proficiency in metacognition (thinking about thinking); which is a skill, by definition, fools lack. In other words, being stupid makes you too stupid to realize how stupid you are.

Nature designed a world where there’s a constant proportion of stupid people invariant to intellectual, social, or geographic segmentation. The ratio will be the same among Nobel Prize winners as it will be among a selection of garbage collectors or clowns working for Oracle. Nobody really knows why. It could be that Mother Nature (or God, depending on your theology) wants to put a brake on things, reduce the speed of progress, slow down the growth of your country, prevent the economy from an exponential rise so that it doesn’t overheat. So, stupid retards are constantly being manufactured and are evenly distributed in any corporation, government, university, etc that acts both against their own interest and the collective one.

Hope you’re smart enough to understand that.

if you don’t, join others of your ilk and go smoke cigars in Arab Street.

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Memento Mori

My ring is inspired by the French painter Philippe de Champaign famous painting “Still Life with a Skull,” which showed the three essentials of existence – the tulip (life), the skull (death), and the hourglass (time).

Singapore was booted out of Malaysia on August 9th 1965.

On that day, towards the end of a press conference after Singapore became independent, Lee Kuan Yew said: “There is nothing to be worried about. Many things will go on just as usual. But be firm, be calm. We are going to have a multiracial nation in Singapore. We will set the example. This is not a Malay nation, this is not a Chinese nation, this is not an Indian nation. Everybody will have his place: equal; language, culture, religion.”

In a subsequent television broadcast, Lee Kuan Yew stated: “I have a few million people’s lives to account for. Singapore will survive.”

And survived we did!

From March 18th to March 31st, in locking down the country to contain COVID-19, Malaysia prohibits all Malaysians from leaving the country. Those who return from overseas will have to go through health checks and go on a 14-day self-quarantine.

The 415,000 Malaysians who commute to Singapore to work on a daily basis are in deep shit.

And some Singaporeans worry about our food supply, most of which are trucked into Singapore from Malaysia daily. Panic buying soon started. This despite assurances by Trade and Industry Minister Napoleon Chan Sia Suay that we have more than enough food due to our more than adequate stockpiles and alternative sources.

The fact of the matter is that Singaporeans need not be unduly worried.

Stoics believe in memento mori (Latin “remember that you must die”) a reminder of the inevitability of death. The moment we were born, a death sentence is passed on us and no one can escape death. The signet ring I wear carries the word “Memento Mori” reminding me that I must not waste a moment to be a positive influence while I am alive. Engraved on the inside of the ring are the words “You could leave life right now” leaving me, the wearer, to repeat to myself the final half of Marcus Aurelius’s timeless words: “…let that determine what you do and say and think.”

In other words, stoics believe we must live NOW, while there is still time.

And that’s how Singapore’s leaders have prepared us for, since that fateful day in August 1965.

In the next few weeks, it’s going to appear as if our planet is ending and life as we know it will be gone. In fact, it already seems so, what with people dying by the thousands, the whole world shutting down, countries closing their borders, etc.

But truth be told, if there’s one country that has been preparing for disaster, it’s Singapore.

In fact, we’ve been preparing for it since August 10th 1965.

When a nation is born from ashes, reliant on the country that just kicked you out for even food and water, you steel yourself for the world to end from day one.

We have been stockpiling fuel. We have been stockpiling food. We are mostly self-reliant on water – we have desalination plans and we recycle waste water into drinking water. Plus, we have been stockpiling medical supplies. All these are hoarded secretly in huge warehouses all across the island. They may not be obvious to casual observers, but trust me, all these supplies are in humongous storage facilities larger than the largest supermarket warehouses that you’ve ever seen.

Most of all, we’ve been stockpiling money.

The entire size of Singapore’s total reserves is a state secret, but estimates by most analysts put it at well above S$500 billion (US$370 billion).

Well, when your country is founded on the premise that it won’t survive (and even Malaysia thought so), you have to live every day as if there isn’t going to be a tomorrow.

In an emergency, you see teams everywhere on the island springing into action almost immediately.

We’ve learned from SARS and we’ve learned from H1N1 and our medical facilities are not just world class. WHO refers to our handling of COVID-19 as “gold class.” We have 5.7 million people, but we have the capacity to test more than 2,000 people a day for COVID-19!

Our supermarket shelves re-stock overnight. We don’t see people fighting over toilet paper and you don’t see hordes of frightened people rushing to join mile-long queues like those seen in videos being shared widely yesterday of such behavior in the US.

Dormitories and other accommodation are immediately being prepared for Malaysian workers who are stuck, screwed by their own government – and it’s been just over 12 hours since our ever-friendly neighbors dropped the bombshell on us.

And if worse comes to worse, if it’s every country for itself, we have ammunition stockpiled. In addition, our fighter jets are able to fly back to defend us within minutes. Each male citizen is an armed forces reservist and we are on standby and ready to defend our nation, at a moment’s notice, against any retard foolhardy enough to consider taking advantage of this worldwide crisis.

Did this happen overnight? No, we’ve been prepared since August 10th 1965.

Indeed, these are plans laid out carefully over 55 years, since August 10th 1965, when our leaders’ mindset was that there might not going to be a tomorrow. Remember how Lee Kuan Yew cried on TV on that fateful day?

Memento mori, remember that you must die, let that determine what you do and say and think.

We are prepared, so chin up Singaporeans, we have survived and we will survive this.

NOTE: Parts of this post have been inspired by a Facebook message by Calvin Cheng.

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Okay, Boomer!

I won’t call it ageist discrimination but if my children say “okay, boomer” to me, I’ll slap them.

A friend of mine, who is almost 70, just went out and bought a Ferrari, the latest model. He said he has earned it. And he has always wanted it. His daughter argued with him, saying, if he really have to buy a Ferrari, why not just buy an earlier model, that he doesn’t really need the power that comes with the latest model. He responded by saying why buy an older model when a newer model is now available and the daughter said, “Okay, boomer” to him, shook her head and walked away.

What surprises me though is how did the boomers ever spawn such brats? That the boomers made and raised them seems to escape the millennials.

I mean that guy is almost 70, had always wanted to drive a Ferrari, and so he wants the latest model just because such a model is available, and he can afford it. I say let the old man have his fun, he’s not going to live forever. Like they say, his one leg is already in the coffin! I don’t like the idea of people flaunting their wealth, but the fucker is almost 70, be magnanimous, humor him and let him enjoy a bit lah!

He has also just pre-ordered the latest Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G mobile phone with a powerful 5,000mAh battery, 512GB storage, 16GB RAM; a phone with a kick ass camera “that will change photography.” Does he need a 5G handset when there is really no widespread 5G coverage as yet? Does he need 512GB of storage? Of course not! But what the fuck, he has the money and he wants the latest of course! So let him be.

By the way, boomers are not stupid. Take travel, for example; millennials will never have the life experiences that enable the boomers to steer travel trends toward off-the-beaten-path places that millennials have never even heard of.

Indeed, those over 60 with their financial stability, strong physique and devil-may-care attitude are exploring the world. Their destinations may not have Michelin-starred restaurants or the world’s most Instagramable spots, but they get to experience unique cultures – instead of taking endless selfies – and plenty of chances to encounter somewhere fresh and truly exciting.

Just don’t let the smart-alecky millennials know, or they’ll flock there and fuck everything up big time.

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Eye Roll

Japan has chained its toilet rolls in some of its public toilets.

In Hong Kong, armed robbers got away with 600 toilet rolls.

In Australia, a woman mistakenly ordered 2,300 toilet rolls.

Also in Australia, two women fought in a supermarket over toilet rolls. They were both issued with summons to attend court in April on charges of affray.

Decline in Chinese factory activity has been so pronounced recently, it’s actually visible from space.

People fear toilet paper production will decline too, resulting in scarcity of this basic, essential household product, hence the rush to stock up.

Misappraisal or exaggeration of an anticipated threat is made worse when we see others engaged in panic buying. Panic is linked to the emotion of fear and the drive to fight or flee (self-protection). Our breathing becomes erratic, we suffer heart palpitation, we sweat and our mind races. We panic more.

From a neuroscience perspective, when we face a threat – and COVID-19 is a threat – the amygdala, the part of our brain that processes fear and emotions, is over activated. This heightened activation temporarily shuts off rational thinking.

Because we can no longer reason rationally, we are more easily affected by groupthink (the desire to conform to group norms) and mob psychology or heard mentality and our behavior becomes even more irrational. The perception of uncertainty enhances the need for control. We think doing something we can still do gives us a modicum of control in times of confusion, so we do what we can do, which is to rush to supermarkets to buy up all the toilet rolls we are able to and beat the living daylights out of other retards who got there before us.

It’s not rocket science.

Once you understand it, you’ll stop shitting bricks.

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Scared Shitless Again

Fear has gripped the world.

Italy first quarantined 16 million people, then decided to lockdown the entire country.

Countries are not allowing cruise ships to dock.

Israel quarantines everyone entering its borders.

Schools have closed.

I have to cancel a work trip to Taiwan because Taiwan requires visitors from Singapore to wear a mask, record and report temperatures twice daily and to avoid crowded places.

A friend in India is stuck; he has to go to Hong Kong but Air India has stopped flying to China and Hong Kong and even if he finds his way there, anyone entering India from China must be quarantined and he’s trying to find out if India includes Hong Kong as part of China.

When the US suffered a particularly bad flu outbreak in 2017-18, with an estimated 45 million cases and 61,000 deaths, no one suggested banning travel.

This time it’s different.

I’m not trying to downplay the dangers of COVID-19 but it is a virus like any other. It is infectious and easily caught. It is a cold with all the irritation of a cold. Many people exposed to it do not get it and may not even know they have it and as for the rest it depends on how good their immunity system is. Some may breeze through it; those already extremely sick with other illnesses may die.

One does not catch the same cold twice. The symptoms are survivable: runny nose, sore throat and cough, slight fever and recovery rate is high. Of the 166 cases in Singapore so far, 93 have fully recovered.

Instead of panicking, now’s the time to “flatten the curve” by avoiding unnecessary visits to hospitals for minor ailments. It is also high time for us to be more mindful of our hygiene.

Disinfect shared surfaces, sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the crook of your elbow, stay a meter (three feet) away from other human beings (“social distancing”), wear a mask if you are sick, wash your hands with soap often and avoid touching your face, stop spitting in public, and please, please at eateries and food courts, avoid spitting whatever shit in your mouth (fish bones, food debris, etc) onto tables or dumping used tissues into bowls and cups. (I see lots of people doing that – fucking disgusting!) Food handlers should be those certified disease-free and adopt a standard of cleanliness second to none. Cleaners should stop using the same smelly dirty germ-infested rag to wipe thousands of tables and toilets should be sanitized (most of our public toilets are a fucking disgrace. Puke-inducing!) Also, serving trays and cutlery should be thoroughly disinfected and rendered germ-free and dry. (Most of the time they are wet and the trays look like they are coated with scum!) Government inspectors should increase the frequency of inspection, heighten awareness, strictly enforce compliance of stringent standards and shut down establishments that do not adhere to fixed standards and jail and cane – yes, cane – repeat offenders.

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