Time MachineOctober 2008
RecentCambodia Reflections + Day 1 and 2
Appearance for success?
Conceptions of Success #2.
Conceptions of Success #1.
Life is Like An Echo
Scholarship and Service
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//Thursday, December 3, 2009 8:08 AM
Cambodia Reflections + Day 1 and 2
All right, now that I'm into the mood of blogging, let's get started.
Cambodia, known as Kampuchea, is a place, with an amazing desire to live and learn. Good service, polite people, is what you can see when u step into Cambodia.
But that's not the truth. Not always that is. Beneath it all is a collection of suffering, trauma and poverty. It's the sad truth for a country where the people have such a strong desire to live and learn. Compare it to Singaporeans.
We arrived at the airport quite late, at about 5pm Cambodia time (that's 6pm in Singapore). Went to the hotel to unload our luggage (those luggage bellboys look like ah bengs but they are really good), packed some stuff and headed off to dinner at some halal restaurant. It wasn't that bad, but the bug condition is terrible - swarms of bugs fly about when the lights go on. No wonder food poisoning is rampant there - there was a queue of mothers carrying their babies to visit the doctor. We went back to the hotel aft that, did some reflection where I got a red coloured piece of paper which actually meant that I'm energetic and damn hyper. Hit damn it's right... But downside was that that energy could be converted to anger. Oh wells, luckily I can control my anger... Well for most of the time.
Today was Angkor Wat Day. Woke up at 6 am in the morning with my phone ringing into my ears from the earphones (ouch). Had eggs, burnt toast, and some fried rice for breakfast - they cooked the eggs right in front of you. How many hotels around the world do you see do this? Oh wells, who knows. But aft that, we took that small bus again to Angkor Wat, where he bus driver cutely suggested that we drove to a toilet just 30m away. And yes he did that.
Our tour guide, Mr Thet, brought us around the place. The whole temple was made of stone - historians assume this stone was from the mountains -and that made the whole place feel air-conditioned. But that was just the good side of it - as we journeyed even deeper, the steps of the temple became steeper - as if to kill anyone who stepped on them. And as we emerged from the temple, it is obvious that the poor had gathered outside the temple to sell things, hoping to make a quick buck for their family to survive. They look decent, but on the inside, they actually only earn enough to buy basic nesscities for their families. And mind you, they start work at 4am in the morning, all the way till the sun sets.
The rest of the temples were fairly the same, just that there were still signs of poverty and child syndicates who get children to sell goods to tourists. It's a vicious cycle where poor kids end up in worse conditions.
And as we did reflections at night, about how Angkor Wat was built, I realised something - Cambodians - in order to survive and earn money for their daily uses, must put on a show to impress tourists, no matter what happened 30 years ago that still scars them mentally. It's a hard struggle, one that I can understand, one that requires a lot of courage and strength. To whoever is reading my blog, can we match up to the spirit of these Cambodians?
//Saturday, February 14, 2009 10:29 PM
A trip is a short journey. And I must say that a lot of people have experiences with short journeys.
But not this kind of TRIP.
Why is this TRIP so different? A service learning trip I suppose.
What do I feel about this TRIP then?
Weird, because of that short time on the airplane which is definitely not enough to watch Valkyrie on that little LCD screen.
Happy to get away from Singapore for the 4th time.
Excited to do something for the people in Cambodia.
Also excited as it is the first time I am going out of Singapore with friends.
On the flip-side,
A little worried about the "Owe homework, Pay homework" being painted on my front door.
Personal Goals for the TRIP? Oh Yes.
My goals for the trip are not really decided on yet, but the main goals are:
- Help build the lives of the Cambodians
- Show the rest of the schools in Singapore about the Cambodians' living conditions, and make them appreciate their current lifestyle, and not take things for granted.
Until next time.
//Friday, January 23, 2009 2:28 AM
Appearance for success?
After reading the two long articles on appearance's importance in jobs, maybe I would be able to write more about it here.
Appearance. Compare the number of overweight bosses to the number of overweight white-collar workers. Obviously the number of overweight bosses is higher. Why is this so? If we take the concept of the article: "Your appearance, good or bad, can affect the size of your paycheck", the situation may be like this:
Overweight employees get a smaller paycheck from the boss, including an exclusive fat-free diet, while "just alright" employees get a bigger paycheck. The overweight employees feel that the bosses are biased, and leave the company eventually. With the absence of the overweight employees, part of their salary goes to their boss, who now can afford to spend more and print more fat-free diet instructions. However, they have so much money to spend on food that they eventually become overweight. The 'just alright" employees fear that their paycheck would be halved, so no one dares to talk about the boss' weight, and this goes on.
Funny analogy? No. You may have already realised that some bosses are obese. (Sorry Adam, I was not referring to you.)
But why do bosses tend to give overweight employees a much smaller paycheck? These are the points that I understand and want to share:
1. More obese employees tend to focus more on losing weight, thus reducing the focus on their jobs. This causes them to submit sub-standard work, which is equal to a smaller paycheck.
2. Bosses may think: "Hey, this person needs to lose weight, which also means that he/she does not need so much money for food!" And he gives them a lower salary.
3. (This point may be a bit offending to overweight people, but it is true. To help us override this "offence", let us pen down a good point about overweight people: "Just alright" people tend to feel cold in windy weather as they do not have enough meat.) Bosses may think, "The sight of him/her is so ********... I'll give him/her a smaller paycheck!"
4. Bosses think: "This guy must be loaded to buy all that food and stuff it down his stomach. He does not need that much money."
Dressing in interviews.
Now what is all that fuss about dressing nicely for interviews? Maybe it makes you look as if you are able to start work at once. However, I feel that the way we dress should suit what kind of interview we are going for.
Desperate times now may lead to more businesses looking for people that are able to start work at once. So people looking for these kind of jobs (cubicle-related jobs) should dress formally as stated in the second article. But what about design studios? Designers usually have their own style and fashion, so going for an interview in the usual suit and shirts may not be such a good idea.
The second part about knowing what the boss or interviewer likes is very accurate, in my opinion. Tapping into the interviewer's emotions may just increase our chances of getting the job. However, to do this one must be extremely observant and think quickly.
//Friday, December 26, 2008 12:14 AM
Sorry for not posting anything for such a long time... Had been busy for the past few weeks.
Talking about a vacation, I have recently travelled to Japan, and stayed there for about 9 days. And I feel like talking about it.
Walking down Japan's streets is like walking down a busy Orchard Road on a cold day. Rubbish is expected in such a busy city, but however, the streets of Japan are different. The streets are extremely clean, with almost no rubbish in sight. Even the toilets are clean. And the train stations are almost dust-free (except for the Yokohama train station). Singapore is a clean and green city? I think Japan has beaten us to that title.
Japan is also known for its punctuality. Trains are always on time, buses are never late and even the time they start work is the same everyday. This actually benefits the Japanese, because they know exactly what time their transport will arrive, so that they will never be late for work. It is totally unlike Singapore.
Japanese Food. Now, many Singaporeans think that it is expensive. In Singapore, it is expensive, but when you step into Japan, big bowls of ramen costing S$5 greets you. The price of Japanese food in Japan is far cheaper than anywhere else in the world (unless you are telling me it is from a roadside stall in China). Even the sushi is cheap. However, what distinguishes Japanese food made in Japan from Japanese food from foreigners? The answer is the quality. Japanese put a lot of effort into their work, especially the food. Compare Singapore's Sake Sushi and a Japanese restaurant. Sake Sushi's salmon sushi is a little lean, and most of the time it tastes dry. However, Japanese salmon sushi tastes different. The salmon is mostly fatty, and the colour of the salmon meat is a bright orange. Once bitten, a taste of juicy fat fills the mouth, totally different from Singapore's sushi.
So, where have we lost out on the Japanese? Yes, we work. We spend time doing things that people need or want. But have we given a thought on how much work we put in?
//Tuesday, December 2, 2008 2:37 AM
Conceptions of Success #2.
As I said, the rest will be continued very soon.
And so, I continue.
I believe some of you remember the show "881" and "12 Lotus". And some of you have watched it.
Remember the recent advertisement from M1? About the "Mumbai-darr, India!" man?
Remember that the new movie "Sing to the Dawn" is about to be released?
You should remember.
But do you know the company that helped out in the effects?
Here is the company name: Infinite Frameworks.
I know some of the guys there, as my Uncle works there too.
But, who in the world is my Uncle?
(For some reasons, I cannot reveal the identity of my Uncle.)
My Uncle works as a 3D supervisor in Infinite Frameworks.
With four other teammates, they founded the company in 1997.
The company now has another studio in Batam Island.
My Uncle was once featured in the newspaper for his work, and soon Infinite Frameworks had many clients.
So what is his success? You sure you want to know?
My Uncle's success is working hard towards his dream and achieving it.
My Uncle loved 3D animation, and together with four friends, they founded a company- Infinite Frameworks.
With years of hard work (and tons of sweat, money and concentration), their hard work finally paid off when they were recognised by the newspapers for their quality work. Soon, the team had many projects on hand, so they recruited more and more workers. This continued, and they finally opened another studio overseas, in Indonesia's Batam Island.
Even though they have achieved their dreams, they still continue to work hard, but they also remember to take some time off and relax.
My family used to joke about his late work hours, and recently, having witnessed him singing at his wedding, led us to a conclusion that he did not work overtime, but instead sang "overtime" at his favourite karaoke.
Infinite Frameworks, I believe, will one day turn into Singapore's Dreamworks Studio.
Ending quote: Hard work is equal to clients feeling hard to part with their cash.
This programme (the one that made me blog so much) has helped me to get closer to my goals by reflections (at the moment), but I do not know if its for better or for worse. The good thing is, it has helped me to get closer to my goals. The bad thing is, I have to rack my brains to think of more goals.
//Wednesday, November 5, 2008 1:49 AM
Conceptions of Success #1.
What is success? Is it winning something? Is it earning a lot of money? Not always.
So, what exactly is success? Actually, I am not very sure either. So let us find out.
Let me introduce someone to everyone: Charlie Chaplin.
Who is he?
He is an Actor in England and the United States.
He started off as a child actor in mime shows to support his family.
At the age of 20, he went on to become a star of a company of comedy actors.
However, he left the company in the US to create his own character- Little Tramp.
Little Tramp's silent films was adored by the audience, and this character soon made him famous.
Later on, he had his own film studio in Hollywood. He produced a lot of films, including Modern Times .
Exiled in Europe for criticising Nazism and America, he made his last, and first colour film, The Countess From Hong Kong when he was 76.
When he died at the age of 88, Chaplin was world famous.
So, what was Chaplin's success? Do you want to know?
So know you know. So know WE know.
Success, is an achievement, which can be of any kind. For example, you want to catch a fish with your hand. And you did it. That IS success.
The rest will be continued very soon.
//Monday, November 3, 2008 2:36 AM
Life is Like An Echo
Let me tell you all a story.
-Start of story-
A little boy came running excitedly to his mother saying: "Mom, there is a boy out there in the woods who is mocking me. Everything I say he says after me. If I say: "Hello," he says: "Hello." When I say "Who are you?" he says: "Who are you?" "So I got mad and jumped over the fence and went into the woods to find him. But he wasn't anywhere. So I yelled, "I'll punch you in the nose." And he said the very same thing, exactly as I had said it." The boy's mother told him, "That is only an echo answering you Billy. If you had said: 'I love you,' it would have said the same to you."
There is a similar story about a dog who went into a room full of mirrors. He eventually died of exhaustion trying to fight his mirrored 'enemies.' If he had only wagged his tail once, he would have had all of them wagging their tails in friendship.
-End of story-
What does this tell us?
Life is indeed like an Echo. What you put in, is what you get.
Think about how much effort you have put in to achieve your goals. Have you put in enough effort to get what you should deserve?
Let me give you an example. During the last week of the holidays, me and my friends used up almost all our time to make our very own class dvd.
And what was the result? An excellent Class DVDHD, which had many people praising us for the effort.
If we had cared less and did a slipshod video of our class, would we have gotten this amount of praise?