Thursday, July 28, 2011

Singapore's 40 Richest

Singapore's 40 richest are now apparently worth a collective total of US$54.4 billion based on a Straits Times report that cites the rich list published by Forbes Asia. It somehow shows that the wealthy have managed to increased their networth despite a turbulent economy and a very weak stock market.

At the top of the list with US$8.9billion is the family of the late Ng Teng Fong. This was up by US$1.1 billion. Their wealth is tied closely to their 2 largest property holdings - Far East Organisation and another Hong Kong listed property firm.

Second on the list is family of the late Khoo Teck Puat at US$6.7 billion. They are invested in Goodwood Park Hotel.

There were also newcomers to the billionaire list.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wide Awake at 12:52AM & Random Thoughts

Why Scrambled Eggs Matter and What They Tell

What a weekend! Was really looking forward to Saturday after a hectic week in the office. (Well, work is always hectic for me in a sense..) Breakfast was nicely done at SimplyBread. Had the delicious ham steak served with scrambled eggs. Felt that the toast was sort of burnt but the scrambled eggs were really good. Anyone who can cook scrambled eggs better than me definitely deserves praise. And there are really not many places in Singapore that serves good scrambled eggs.

I am not really a foodie. But when it comes to discerning good food - especially "Western style" breakfasts, scrambled eggs is the sole criterion by which I judge whether a certain cafe or stuff deserves a second visit. Scrambled eggs is like fried rice. If you can find a good zi char stall that sells good fried rice, its other dishes ought to be pretty good as well. It is really the basic dishes that sets the good apart from the rest. And when it comes to breakfast, it is really the SCRAMBLED EGGS.

You see, I am not much of a cook myself. I hardly step into the kitchen. But one dish that I think I can cook pretty well is scrambled eggs. I am not sure where I picked up the recipe for scrambled eggs but I guess it must be my mum or something. Of course, watching Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver must have added some of its influences on me as well. Of course, eating scrambled eggs at Bill Granger's restaurant in Sydney must really be THE MOMENT for me in realising how a simple dish really tells so much about a place.

And the fact is that scrambled eggs needs to be cooked with butter and of course, "stirred" continously. It should never be cooked like an omelette where you literally fry it (I have witnessed some egg counters in certain hotels/resorts do just that) !! That is a strict No-No for scrambled eggs. It needs to be continously stirred under low heat in the most loving manner. And that is what makes it scrambled if you ask me.

After Breakfast Happenings

Well, that is so much for breakfast. There wasn't really much that I wanted to do afterwards and there wasn't really much to do after a satisfying breakfast. Went to Hort Park for a walk to soak in some nature. It didn't help that the weather was almost scorching hot. In short, it was a bit too hot for my liking. Lunch was at Burger King. Pretty simple fare and I somehow realised that I don't enjoy fastfood as much as I used too in the past. I used to love fastfood - like I thought it was really yummy- even though I know it was unhealthy and stuff. Nowadays, I don't really like it so much anymore. Perhaps it is just changing tastes. I very much prefer my chicken rice or wanton mee than Macs or KFC or Burger King.

Wasn't able to get an afternoon nap as the little one was kind of cranky the whole day. We ended up eating a really really early dinner if you ask me. I wasn't too hungry but ate anyway. End up taking a nap at like 7pm and woke up at around 10pm only to find that I could no longer put myself to sleep...

TV and the Latin Epic Poem

Watched a bit of NatGeo Wild and it was quite silly to spend an entire hour seeing some person try to figure out whether sharks were inhabiting some part of some river in some part of South Africa. It was really quite a waste of time since they could have easily cut the chase and went straight to the findings.. Got a bit irritated just waiting for them to reveal WHICH shark was actually inhabiting the river...

When one is wide awake at this hour, there isn't really much to do. I don't Facebook as often as I used to and I don't really get much time to hang out with friends nowadays. It is really just me and the internet or me and my books. Have been struggling to complete Virgil's The Aeneid. Yes, I have been spending my time on such frivolous readings - books which really just delight me and which I do not really spend to much time to analyse or think about.

After reading the Iliad, I decided that I was really quite fascinated with all these ancient epic poems and stuff. These were definitely books that I would not consider reading in the past but now...I actually enjoy them... it is really weird. Maybe I am growing more "artsy fartsy".. hahah...or maybe it just gives me a sense of accomplishment to read this supposed classics. The wife sniggers at me when she sees me reading them . She thinks that I am reading them because of their cover and their title. Well, she might be correct to a certain extent but the truth is, I actually do quite like the stories (or maybe the translator's story since most of these were written in Greek and Latin so I am probably reading a translator's interpretation of it).

Random Thoughts

Well, lots of random thoughts. I just spent a good hour of my time watching magic on youtube. I never really liked magic. Or perhaps it was my exposure to David Copperfield kind of magic in my early days. I could never quite tell whether it was clever film editing or stuff. Besides, I don't really like the parts where they put their lives on the line to saw their bodies in half.

But lately, I have been quite interested and intrigued with the simpler magic tricks. Those involving the simple cups and balls, cards, coins, rope and stuff. And if one must watch any magician, I recommend Slydini. Wonderful sleight of hand techniques and misdirection. I can't even tell how he does some of his tricks. Ricky Jay is also pretty good with cards (not to say being a very entertaining comedian at the same time). Bebel is quite slick too even though I don't understand French. But I could serioulsy spend hours just watching them perform their tricks over and over again. Even though I know how some parts of it are done, it is really amazing to watch this people perform it in such an artistic manner. The sheer amount of practice required is truly amazing.

Song of the week in my head: Hope of all Hearts by PlanetShakers
Mood : Uncertain about the future

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Stop Letting Work Define Who You Are

We often fall into the habit of letting our work define our entire being. And it is difficult to get out of this mindset. Sometimes, I wish I were a little braver.. That I will be able to stop living life the way others have defined it for me, break out of the moulds, get out of the silly rat race, and start truly living life.

But then, there are bills to pay. And someone has to feed the family. So I put off all my wildest dreams of like travelling the world (on a really shoe string budget), or setting off to some far flung place and anchoring myself there for like the rest of eternity...

And i know that slowly the bright spark in me is dying and slowly fading. I am very much less cheerful nowadays. I prefer to be left alone. I desire for something more than this seemingly mundane life. I am not making a living. I am making a "dying" literally.

Don't get me wrong. It is not that I am not happy at my job. But sometimes, I just get the sense that this isn't what I should be doing. Reaching home past seven pm on each weekday is not something that I desire. (Of course, i know there are those of you who reach home much later than I do).

I need to find new inspiration, set new priorities, find my purpose and live my life with passion.

So my dear friend: Please don't let your work define who you are. I am trying hard to do that. We deserve so much more than all these.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Paper Chasing in Singapore and Choosing a Job that Makes You Happy

I wrote about the Paper chase in Singapore a few days back. I must admit I got a bit side tracked from writing about how much one needs to get married where I wanted to share more about the costs of getting married in Singapore. I promise to get back to that once I am done with my ranting on the ingrained mindset of paper chasing in Singapore.


I seriously could not believe that when I got home today, I actually spent a large amount of time researching on the various masters courses that I could take in Singapore. A good part of my evening was gone just researching on SMU, NTU and NUS. I even contemplated signing up for other courses like ACCA or CFA. But then I got lost in the myriad of requirements and stuff. This pretty much sums up the Singaporean obsession with paper qualifications. I have seen the enemy and I am one of them! I am just like any other Singaporean who focuses too much on paper qualifications.

Choosing a Job That Makes You Happy

It was definitely timely to read an article about choosing a job that makes one happy. Am I happy in my job? Do I have passion for it? I can't be certain. Some days I wake up gearing to go to work. Then there are other times (long stretches I admit) where I simply don't fill the urge to go to work at all.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Paper Chase in Singapore

Singaporeans I realised are obsessed with the paper chase. Qualifications seem to be the sole criterion by which we judge others and almost everyone else. Who went to which grad school and blah blah blah. It annoys me to the max sometimes how superficial we all get. And it is worsened by the fact that people actually think real education is only obtained in the better universities. In fact, I would like to think that most of us are not educated at all even after we leave university.

But the paper chase in Singapore is here to stay. And it seems like those who command respect are usually those who have made it into the top universities overseas. No matter how much I would like to deny this fact, it remains the fact and will most probably remain as such. And it is sad that we as a society place such high value on paper qualifications.

Sigh. This is a sad fact of life. And I better learn how to live with it or ship out.

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