30 July, 2012

还是谢谢 · Another Thank You

朝十暮六的日子被时间冲远了,现在只能靠自律,让企业步上轨道。

这几天都很感恩朋友的存在。

老实说,我不是一个百分百的好朋友。因为我不会完全迁就朋友,倾听偶尔也要看心情,给意见的时候也常常是口无遮拦的直接,对于朋友也有一份很机车/龟毛的要求。

不过,渐渐成熟了,发现身边的挚友不像大人说的越来越稀少,反而越来越多。

这些人在我生命不同的过程中扮演着不同的角色,时而亲近,时而形同陌路人。

每当我感到泄气、无助、沮丧的时候,却总会出现那么一个骑士般的挚友拉我一把,让我找到继续前进的勇气。

这些朋友有时似乎是酒肉朋友,但是当我默默承受煎熬的时候,他们却来为我打气,告诉我不必独自承受这一切。

够了,死而无憾了。

22 July, 2012

番茄出游 · Tomato Goes Out To Play!

今天难得有空带小番茄出去玩,拍了一些照片,在此分享!
I had some free time today to bring Tomato out to play. Here are some photos of the adventure!


也不是一大清早出门,但是小番茄嫌天气热不肯出来。
It wasn't early in the morning, but Tomato refused to get out of my bag because of the hot weather.


起床咯!小番茄第一次搭德士!
Rise and shine! Tomato's first cabbing experience!


从德士的窗口看风景……还是在看玻璃反射的自己?
Enjoying the view from the taxi window... Or maybe Tomato's just staring at the glass reflection?

第一站:实龙岗北村
1st Stop: Serangoon North Village Vegetarian Restaurant


这间位于道教寺庙对面的素食馆是目前为止,食物水平成功维持不变的地方。但是说真的,价钱方面有一点贵。一盘鸡饭$7.50,分量很足,适合男生食量,或者舍得花钱吃美食的食客。
This vegetarian restaurant opposite a temple is the most consistent foodplace I've been to. But the prices are a little steep, considering that each plate of chicken rice cost $7.50. The portion, however, is very big, and is suitable for a guy's appetite, or simply for people who are willing to spend money on good food.

素鸡饭 Vegetarian Chicken Rice

菜单 Menu
素鱼翅羹 Vegetarian Sharks Fin
到素菜馆吃的时候,最喜欢点的菜就是素鱼翅羹,因为很考功夫,就能知道餐馆的水准。
I love ordering vegetarian sharks fin at vegetarian restaurants, because it's a very good indicator of their standards.


小番茄搭巴士前往实龙岗NEX!
Tomato took a bus to Serangoon NEX. Wee!

草莓沙冰 Strawberry IceBlend $3.90


上次在盛记吃到不好吃的东西,所以有很长的一段时间都没有去。哥哥因为甜品有买二送一的促销,今天又把我们拉去。意外地吃到好吃的沙冰!
We once had a bad experience at Sheng Ji, so didn't revisit for a long time until today, when brother wanted to go for the desserts promotion. Had unexpectedly awesome strawberry ice!

其他沙冰口味:牛油果、芒果 Other flavors: Avocado, Mango

又搭巴士了!
On the bus again!


“我要自己坐!”
"I wanna have a seat to myself!"






看车车……看马路。
Looking at the cars.... more like the roads.


车车出现了!
Oh cars! There you go~


名副其实的大头照!原本是想和车铃合照,变成和陌生人的侧面合照……
Here's Tomato's face! Tomato wanted to take a photo with the bus alighting button, ended up being photobombed by a stranger in the background...




“累了!带我回家!”
"I'm tired! Bring me home!"


“到家咯!晚安!”
"I'm home! Goodnight!"


小番茄太可爱了,在此留下可爱的GIF!
Tomato is so cute, so I'm leaving an animation of her here!

19 July, 2012

接受 · Acceptance

有一句话让我感触很深——革命也要革个几十年,没有一瞬间的改变。

女性参加奥运是很久之后才发生的改变,变性人更换身份证上的性别显示也经由很多的争议。当然,同性恋者结为夫妻在最开放的美国也仍未得到完全的认可,让我不禁感慨,不同而和真的谈何容易。

变性、同性恋,有什么不能接受的?

每个人选择不同的生活方式,而有的人就是无法在自然的条件中找到归属感,所以选择以自己的方式生活。一个人在出柜前和出柜后,体内流的依然是人类的血,一样需要呼吸,一样需要寝、食、喜、悲。

异性恋者未必就会结婚生子,所以是否就和同性恋者犯了同样的罪?为什么受到相等的斥责?

我们会因为环境不好、公司不好而改变处境,那为什么变性人认为自己的性别不符合自己的灵魂而变性就要受到歧视?变性人是无可奈何的出世条件,只好自己寻找改变的方式。那些出生原本漂亮的人还让自己堕落,是否就犯更大的罪?

什么是自然?自然不应该是人们普遍认定的状态,而是人们各自处之泰然的心灵自在。

当然,对另类的人我们难免会多瞧一眼,有时是因为好奇、因为欣赏,但最重要的是,我们的心脏能够苟同他们的存在,接受他们另类的自然,不同而和。

18 July, 2012

零食万岁! · Awesome new snacks!

最近很喜欢边撰稿边啃零食,虽然很不健康,但真的太好吃了!所以决定在此分享!
Been a fan of munching snacks recently, because it's so hard to resist awesome goodies! So I decided to share the awesomeness, so that you guys can go try them out too!



伦敦奥运2012 · London Olympics 2012

随着伦敦奥运逼近,有关的新闻不断出现在社交网站的热门话题版面以及谷歌搜索页。
As the London Olympic draws near, relevant news are appearing on my social media feeds and google search more frequently.

不过,看到的负面新闻远远超过期盼赛季的新闻,找到了有关奥运的资料网页,说到底,还是商业化惹的祸。
However, I seem to be hearing more bad news than good, and one of it seems to be commercialization.


15 July, 2012

Review: Android Camera Apps!

Decided to do a photography-related apps review, because I've tried so many, and I think there are a few decent ones in the Android market worth downloading.

Two things to note, though.
  1. I am not a fan of Instagram, so don't ask me why it isn't included in this review.
  2. I don't photoshop faces, so there's nothing about camera functions to make your eyes bigger, etc. in this review either.
So... here's my verdict!


14 July, 2012

So Singaporean

Over the years, I've grown to love Singapore more than I did when I was younger (and more ignorant). So I decided to write this entry about things that make us Singaporeans, inspired by an awesome Twitter account, @SoSingaporean.



1. "It used to be so good" seems to be our favourite line

We used to love TV when there were 搞笑行动、环岛追追追, PCK Pte Ltd, 神雕侠侣。And how shows were better when it was TCS, instead of MDC.


For the adults, their favorite complain when it comes to food is always "the noodles used to cost 30cents", and when visiting their once-favourite food stall, it's always "it used to be so good".

That's the same even for NDP. I personally loved the parades when there were english and chinese versions of the same tune, and when we had more mass formations than cheesy storylines.



We didn't need any prata man or Oreo running around to show that we are a multi-racial and multi-cultural society.


In a nutshell, life seems to be getting better for Singaporeans, but all we seemed to love are what used to be Singapore was about, even if we were a little less hygenic, less diverse, less open-minded, and our country leaders a little less e-social.


2. Blaming the weather for lack of stylish dressing

We're tired of being called the generation of slippers and shorts, and the adults are tired of excessive dressing up. Sure, it's all cool to wear blazers or like the runway models do, but try doing it in Singapore's hot weather.

No one dresses up to go to their neighbourhood malls, and the last time I checked, no one dressed up for a trip to NTUC. It's all about pragmatism in Singapore's fashion. ;)


3. Music is the new anti-social

Get on the train or the bus, and we love to plug in and get our music playlist going. Books used to cool, but we can skip a song, but we can't skip a page. Ohwells.


4. It's okay to wait

That's one strength of Singaporeans I guess. We can queue super long at the malls customer service reception for a free mooncake, and we have the patience to queue for the best Hello Kitty doll at McDonalds.


When the Chinese are complaining about how their online purchases takes two days to arrive, we're actually peacefully okay with our mails taking two-four days to arrive when our country is significantly smaller.


5. We're not being racist; just self-aware

Back in school, racism used to be about how the racial riots in the 1960's was an important lesson for Singapore. So our teachers and parents taught us not to laugh at our Indian classmates for being a different shade, and respect our Malay classmates when they have to wear head scarf, and leave early during their prayer day (can't remember the name of it).

For our generation, we know we are all different, not just skin color, but culturally and religion-wise. But we are okay with making fun of each other, but ultimately, we know we accept each other for who we are, but see no need to make it a taboo.

We don't pick fights knowing our differences, but joke about them to bring all of us closer, knowing that we're open and okay with our differences.

Just like how people say that those who seem conservative are the hypocritic ones, we believe that shunning doesn't mean we're accepting. Therefore, being able to talk about it means that we're okay with how we're different.

谢谢,朋友 · Thank You, Friend.

很感动的一个晚上。

生命中有很多过客、很多擦肩而过、很多时间冲淡的友谊,所以能够保持真实、真挚而没有累赘的友谊更是触动人心。

在学院的日子里有太多的作业、烦恼、干扰,所以能够有一群让你做回自己、喘一口气的朋友,更显得可贵。但毕竟年轻,有太多的不在乎、近视、忽视,所以再重要的感情也只能很平淡地体会。

最近被细菌削弱了锐气,时而无法站立、无法喘气、体力近乎负数的时候,才看清楚了友谊不喧哗而永恒的深刻。

或许是因为到社会工作了,与所谓的现实世界真正面对面交手过,所以看清楚了这些好朋友的可贵。



常常因为疼痛躺在床上,当时就会发现自己有多珍惜这些朋友。

不需要名牌包包、多余的装扮、客套的寒暄、昂贵的礼物,能够把社交世界一切的诱惑放在一旁,真心的接触、交流、交心。

对彼此的在乎胜于个人的自尊,会禁不住时间的流逝而频频关心彼此的近况。

当任何一个人需要一句鼓励、一个拥抱、一股力量、一份勇气,我们都会挺身而出。

爱也好、恨也好,总能相信总有一天会和好,只要保持联系就好。

即使被GY的性格搞得很肚兰,也会因为她在Twitter上的一声叹气而感到担心。

朋友,没有所谓的条件、更没有所谓的门槛 / 资格,只有所谓的真心,才能换得友谊。

吵架,不是为了是非,是为了测试彼此的在乎、为了玩闹、为了更贴近地磨合相让。

寒暄,没有企图,纯粹希望彼此安好、得以鼓舞,提醒彼此绝不是孤军作战。

谢谢我的朋友,陪我熬过了很多挣扎、痛苦、懊恼、沮丧,让阴天速速离去。

谢谢你们,让我的快乐总在分享与打闹中矩以倍增,让晴天垂手可得。

当有一天,你找到了让你不受拘束表现自我、能够交心而无现实交易的朋友,绝对不要松手。

11 July, 2012

“Hello Miss...”

昨天在哥哥的毕业典礼上遇到了我小学一年级的导师。
Met my form teacher from primary one at my brother's graduation ceremony last night.



相隔14年,同款眼镜框款、同样的衣着发型、同样的微笑、不变的气质。
14 years have passed, and it's still the same spectacles, look, smile and aura.

还记得以前我怎么画画的,忍不住又把老师的形象简单地勾画了一遍。
I still remember how I used to draw when I was younger, so I couldn't help but drew how I had drawn her in the past.


每回偶然遇到曾经同班的同学等,第一个反应总是选择逃避,当作“没看见”。
I've always been the kind of person to avoid classmates when I see them on the streets.

因为我不知道别人是否记得我,而我们又该说什么?
Because I cannot be sure if they recognised me, and besides, what's there to say?

问彼此近况如何的意义何在?答案未必真的放在心上,更多的是填补尴尬的随口问问。
How are you? There may not be genuine concern behind the question, just a question to avoid awkwardness.

你旁边这位是谁?显得很三八?又不是正式见家长,何来的介绍?
Who's this with you? Would it seem a little busybody of me to ask? Isn't it weird to introduce our parents when it isn't a formal meeting? (To me it is)

所以总是很怕看到以前认识的同学等。
So I'm always afraid to see people I used to know.


但是昨天看到老师,心里涌上一股前所未有的暖流,还有一点鼻酸(不因感冒)。
But when I saw Miss Teo yesterday, there was a warm fuzzy feeling that came to me from within, and I even felt a little teary (but not from the flu that I had).

很自然地走向老师,微笑地跟老师打招呼。
I walked up to her naturally to say hi.

“Hello Miss...”



尴尬了。隔了14年,老师还是"Miss“吗?会不会被老师K啊?
Awkward~ It's been 14 years, so is she still a 'Miss'? Would she whack me for saying that?

所以就这样,称呼默默地代过。
And the hello faded off just like this.


老师是去参加弟弟的毕业典礼,所以说,我们都是there for our brothers' graduation.
Miss Teo was there to attend her brother's graduation, just like I am.

激动-ing 仍未停止。
I was feeling quite emotional.


在走开前,很自然、很激动地挤出一句——
And before I left, I actually said

"I'm really really happy to see you again!"

我从来没有那么激动、那么…… 直接。
I've never been this emotional and honest with my feelings when meeting someone I haven't met in a long while. But it all came so naturally.


忽然不介意老师是否会想我成熟了、我胖了、我丑了,反而真的沉浸在昔日的亲切中。
Unlike the usual, it didn't worry me how she thought of me. I didn't care if she thought I looked matured, uglier, fatter or anything. I was all immersed in the familiarity from the past.

幸好我有一颗健康的心,否则昨天可能就心脏衰竭了,真的。
Was really glad that I have a young and healthy heart, or I may have had suffered a heart failure.


慢慢明白,真挚的朋友,隔了多久重逢都不会少了话题或多了尴尬。
When all the emotions settled, I came to see that if it's a true old friend, we would never worry about feeling awkward, or that we have nothing to talk about.

因为彼此之间相处的过去,填满了不存在但可能冒起的尴尬,所以一切变得自然、无所谓。
It's because we have had so much in common in the past, and all the things that we have to talk about would fill in any awkward gaps. And communication suddenly becomes very natural, and no judgements matter.

仔细想想,我有好几位这样的好朋友。
Come to think of it, I have a handful of such good buddies.




谢谢你们的存在。=')
Thank you for being there. (:

“不要浪费这个机会了。”

今天(星期二)晚上因为白天发生了很不愉快的事情所以甚难入眠。偶然登入YouTube重看过去的一些视频,试图重新找回以前的激动和启发。




每一次重看这段比赛感触很深。


“就是这样子。来得真的都是前辈。很好很好的音乐人。
你们自己要拿出东西来,他才知道你的态度是什么、他可以怎么点醒你
不要浪费这个机会了。”

“这样的教育是多快的一个、面对面的、直接的这种传授,
告诉你——这就是态度。这就是唱歌。
你要享受、你要玩、你要开心,
你就是拿出来。”

”然后不要一直觉得就是乖乖的,然后在那边说
怎么办?我又不好、我又不对了。
你一直在看自己不好的地方,
画地自限。


似乎好久没有看到那么启发人心、那么有营养的东西了。
也似乎是很久很久以前起,
电视、网络、报纸等
都失去了这些养分。

其实我很向往参加这种节目。不是为了名利、奖金、明星,更重要的是一个允许我自由摸索、暗中引导我的平台。

很喜欢剪辑、拍摄,但在理工学院真正能接触、探索、研究的时机真的不多。
到了工作的地方,再怎么学习都觉得感觉不对,感觉时空不对,感觉心态不对。

同样走进记者会现场10次,每次的感想都不一样。
实习的时候是兴奋、无助、彷徨。
工作的时候仍然兴奋,却也倍感压力,感受到“我不是我”的感觉。

我很向往、很希望,有一天能够很自信地踏入记者会现场,
在一切的焦虑和等待中,找到我在寻找的自己。

介绍的是我和我的公司,不是别人的公司、更不是躲在同事背后当影子。

但没有名声和经验是一朝一夕所能成就的。
即使是一气呵成,也要长久地经营下去。

很多东西,我没有能力一大步迈进,所以一步一脚印,慢慢来。
先卖点衣服赚钱买电脑、买剪辑软件、付清DSLR的贷款。
慢慢钻研、摸索、研究、试验、实践。

或许现在很挣扎、很懊恼,
但我也要学会平心静气地忍耐、克服、走过去。

今晚真的感触良深,实在无法入眠,终究没有睡意。

我需要时间、需要动力、需要鼓励、需要试验,
不是任何人的催促、提醒或质疑。

很烦的时候,我选择完全停止一切的忙碌,
让心沉淀冷静,好了再重新出发,至少没有太多的激动,
减少热情过后只剩余温和不满的机率。

慧颖啊,
总有一天你回头看这篇会发现,
这一切都是过程,是最难的起步,
你熬过了,现在的我会为你鼓舞、为你打气,
千万不要忘了现在拼搏的勇气,
勇敢做自己。

有的琐事你可以学着谦让、屈服,
但如果你清楚地意识到某个道路绝对是错误,
即使再多的人或压力把你往那儿推促,
永远记得,你自己最重的守护者,
就只是你自己。
千万别伤害自己。


07 July, 2012

学习中文,没有所谓的标准答案

注:这是投稿至《早报网》的文章,在重整颖姿时加以收录。


近日来关注早报言论上关于华文怎么读的讨论,我也感受到中学生的困惑与无助。

我从小在华文家庭长大,却因为学校的熏陶而偏向英文。再说,小学的英文阅读理解篇章的问答题几乎都能以 It is because’回答,与华文相比可说简单得多。回头想想,我的华文水平并不差,但让我懊恼的莫过于永远猜不透设题老师心中的‘标准答案’,学习华文面前仿佛多了道始终穿越不了的隔墙。

直到我上中学参加图书馆为课外活动,整理华文书籍才有机会接触华文的世界,重燃对华文的热忱。其实华文并不难,只是被太多的‘标准答案’和日趋不合理的‘答题方程式’给害惨了。

我们把中国式的学习华文方式套用在本地学生其实并不管用。就以‘山穷水尽疑无路,柳暗花明又一村’为例,本地没有山路、没有柳暗花明的体会,导师要我们背用于作文只能用‘你去想象’来解释。追根究底,为什么要背‘无风不起浪,事出必有因’等呢?还不是因为作文的评分标准包括运用的成语、谚语、俗语等。但不妨想象,这种死背滥用的考试形式到底在考什么呢?文章一时显得考生有内涵,但字句地下并不蕴含内涵,只是考生死背的空壳。

其实学习华文的方式并不应该与生活脱节,而我认为台湾偶像剧就是学习华文的最佳途径。偶像剧不仅是男靓女俏的面孔和男欢女爱的剧情,更是让年轻人学习华文的最佳平台。例如《败犬女王》中的男主角表白时说“我说的每一句话、每一个字、包括每一个标点符号都是真心的”,远远比“我说的都是我的肺腑之言”容易体会。同样是真心的体现,但前者却不需要深奥的词语,却能完整地表达一个人完全的真心——这才是学生应该学习的语言精神。

当华文教学脱离了生活,无法让学生产生共鸣并体会理解,华文便失去作为语言的意义。语言的存在就是人类表达情感和思想的工具,如果抽离生活,剩下的硬性标准问答题还有什么意义?

在中学时期,我的华文理解问答曾经吃过“鸡蛋”。我总认为理解问答的意义在于证明自己理解了文章,换句话分析文章以回答问题。后来导师给我零分的理由是‘你的答案没有出现标准答案中的词语’。说白了,就是理解篇章要求的是学生在篇章中寻找回答问题的句子,照抄无误在横线上。稍微换个同义词,少抄两个字,就算意思一样也是零分。

我曾经在一气之下问过老师,‘如果只需要照抄,不如直接要求考生用荧光笔在篇章中划出答案好了?’我的问题始终没有得到让我满意的解释,让我相信考试成绩并不代表一个人的华文语言能力。

许多中学考生努力为O水准华文考试准备,因为考好华文就能从此搁在一旁,好好准备其它科目的考试。如果上初级学院或理工学院不修读华文,可谓考后就永远‘摆脱’华文了。长远来看,一时的努力迎合考试标准争取文凭上的一个A,接下来是十年、二十年的搁置,意义又何在?

学生真的反感华文吗?其实不然。只是华文考试的准则太让人受挫罢了。

如果学生真的讨厌华文,KBox点播率最高的怎么会是中文歌?台湾偶像剧怎么会大受欢迎?《跑吧,孩子》和《那些年我们一起追过的女孩》的电影怎么会吸引年轻人?

华文,不是用来‘读’的科目,而是学以致用,传递讯息的工具。出现了不合理的考试标准,应该是设法改善以回归生活,而不是把不实际的标准强加在学生自由的心灵,让他们误以为自己华文考不好,就是华文能力不佳。

感慨地回顾中学时期华文考试的无奈,只期许牺牲了我们这一代,尽快改进,否则等‘摆脱中文’的抗拒心态普遍化,中文恐怕就要和方言踏上同样的失传之路。

职总廉价熟食摊的利弊与影响

注:这是投稿至《早报网》的文章,在重整颖姿时加以收录。

前两天的新闻报导有关职总将在未来三年内开100个为学生、服役人员等提供1.99元套餐的熟食摊位,而我认为这样的做法虽然是为民福利,却也波及另一群人的利益。
物价上涨是许多国人关注的问题,也使许多小贩摊主不得已涨价。以前2元的鸡饭如今已涨至2.50甚至是3元,为的只是确保生意能够维持下去。人民为了咖啡涨价而怨声四起,导致许多摊贩为了不失去食客而减少利润以免涨价。
因此,我认为职总廉价熟食摊虽然为某些食客带来经济上的帮助,却也成为小贩摊主们的新一轮竞争对手。熟食摊毕竟是普遍化的咖啡店摊类,因此职总在咖啡店开设新的廉价熟食摊是否会带来更多的摊贩盈利问题呢?如果更多人选择廉价熟食,影响的必定不止是类似的熟食摊,也包括周围的各种摊贩生意。

我觉得现在的咖啡店摊贩面临的挑战,犹如传统杂货店面临职总英康所带来的竞争与挑战。但是超级市场的出现却带来了杂货店没有的品牌,让市场种类多元化。而试问廉价熟食摊和普通摊贩的菜单有多类似呢?是否造成更多的恶性竞争,而不是社会福利?

其实协助经济面对困难的家庭还有许多其它的途径,例如居民委员会在邻里举办活动,让居民得到赞助商分发的米粮;政府为低收入家庭提供餐券减少三餐开销等。职总是否能在让廉价熟食摊概念普遍化之前,为其它已经存在的摊贩处境有所考量呢?
与其设立档口为人民带来福利却影响其它摊贩,职总是否能够考虑以餐券鼓励人民到各个熟食摊为享用一餐呢?由此一来,职总就能让更多低收入家庭、学生和乐龄人士有机会尝试大众化的美食,拉近低收入家庭与平民的距离,也能为摊贩带来更多生意,协助同为平民的摊贩度过物价上涨的挑战,为人民也带来比20多种配菜更多元化的饮食选择和自由。