Sunday, April 29, 2007

Eventful Weekend

Saturday

My family went to NUS Cultural Centre to support my brother who was performing for Ngee Ann Poly Choir. It was his first public performance and my dad was particularly excited that his son was performing in public for the first time that he kept telling his singing troupe friends, who were at the performance to look out for him.

To me, it was just another performance. I didn't enjoy the feeling of being rushed by my parents. I had a bad experience of being lost in NUS, so even if they rush me, I will still take a cab to get there. At least I didn't have to walk so much.

The performance was a collaboration of the Choir & NP Hi-Club. I must say it was a good performance from all of them. I was particularly impressed by the Hi-Club members' performance. They are made up of hearing impaired students, but they still managed to use sign language to play out the notes. How I wish I could have taken some photos, but photo-taking with flash was not allowed at the Cultural Centre, so there was no point taking, since the lighting was dark.

After the performance, we went for a late dinner at Clementi Interchange, before calling it a nite.

Sunday

I woke up super early today, as I had my class today. Actually, I was also awoken by the loud clasp of thunder too. I decided to take a cab to class as I hated the need to open my umbrella & still getting wet. I didn't want to be a cold turkey in my class as the lesson was important today.

After the class, I met up with my mum & brother to go for a Singapore Soka Association Youth Division Performance. I had not wanted to go, as I was really tired from my class, but I was forced to go by my mum. I told my mum to carry my heavy bag of thick notes.

My guess about the SSA performance was correct. Even though I am still a youngster, I felt that the youths dancing hip hop was too havoc for me to accept that I just slept through the whole event. I even slept through the part where a member was sharing how she accepted the religion as I have heard her story before. So u can imagine how tired I was or how boring was the dance for me.

After that, we went to visit my grandma. Apparently, the doctor has started dialysis treatment for her weak kidneys and giving her ventolin to cure her wheezing. We were surprised by her extreme high blood pressure today at 191 77. I just hope that she can recover soon, even though the doctor said that it will be a slow recovery, given her age. Luckily for her, the CT scan was a postive result and she is able to recognise me, which is a good sign.




Saturday, April 28, 2007

Happy & Sad

I heard from my lecturer that he will be bringing forward his revision class to end earlier in May. I think it is a piece of good news for all of us as it means we have more time for our revision.

Went to visit my grandma @ SGH just now. She has been admitted to hospital for urniary tract infection since Sunday. I only got the news of her admission on Wed. It is a surprise why this aunt of mine always choose to let my family and my 小叔 family be the last one to know. Is she trying to tell my grandma that my father & my 小叔 is not fillal to her? I wonder what's on her mind?

I was mentally prepared about how my grandma would look as my parents had told me about her condition yesterday. The infection is starting to spread to her other internal organs and she has a viral infection as well. I wonder if she is aware that we are visiting her, as she seemed to be quite weak from the medication, as Eriko described the condition as "delirium". I just pray that she can win the fight against the virus as she is quite old already.

I wish to thank the following friends for their well wishes and support after hearing about my grandma's condition.

  1. Stella
  2. Darling
  3. Wendy
  4. Eriko

I am really touched by your gesture & support and glad to have friends like you all.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

HK & Macau Trip -20 Apr 2007 - 24 April 2007






Hi folks, I am back from my holiday from HK & Macau and of course I do have loads of photos to share with you and the fun which I had in the two Special Administrative Reigons of China.

There are also several firsts which I gained from this trip:-

  1. 1st visit to Disneyland.
  2. 1st time my flight was delayed & I was stuck on a non-flying SQ plane for about 2 and a half hours at the HK Airport. I was so tired after the 6 hr plus flight that I decided to take a day off to rest at home today.

Day 1

I have reached HK on time for this flight - SQ 892 at 7.10pm. My mum and I loitered around the airport concourse as our ferry to Macau was at 10pm. We continued our dinner at the airport before boarding the ferry at the ferry point which was a shuttle bus ride of about 10 mins from the airport. We reached Macau at about 11.15pm. We hailed a cab to bring us to the hotel, which Wendy recommended, Metropark Macau located near the Macau Finance Centre. The taxi driver took us to a wrong hotel with a similar name. Luckily, the wrong hotel staff was kind enough to help us hail another cab & led the cab driver to the right hotel. Because of the error, it cost us about an additional MOP$20 in cab fare.

This also taught me that we should try to get the Chinese name of the hotel as Macau & HK are Chinese populated cities. I think this is the drawback of internet booking of hotels, not being able to show the Chinese name of the hotel on the website. Reached the hotel at about 12mn and called it a night.

Day 2

The start of the adventure, which saw me and my mum taking the buses from the bus stop about 5 mins away from the hotel and went to the Macau Jockey Club and the Olympic stadium nearby. After that, we headed for lunch at a nearby eatery, where we met by a Hongkonger, who recommended us to stop by the busy nearby street to find the Portguese tarts. Unfortunately, we didn't find any there

After the shopping, we headed back to the hotel for a short break before taking the bus to the Go Kart Centre & Botanical Garden in the other side of the island. A passer-by tried to deter us from going by saying that the ride to the 2 places are pretty long, when long means about 25 mins. But I must admit that the bus ride was very crowded. It is a small Bontanic Garden that had some unique seashells & stones, with the 12 animals of the zodiac signs. We took some photos and walked around, before the sky started to turn cloudy, and we decided to head back to the hotel.

We had our dinner at one of the eateries near our hotel, before heading to a nearby casino to take a peek. Mum was saying that this was her first time in a casino. We only got to know later from a phone card saleswoman that all the casinos in Macau are beautiful in looks, as they compete with one another for the tourist dollars.

Day 3

Our last day in Macau. Took a bus to Centro to get some souveniors and gifts for our friends and relatives. Some of the items are of a bargain. We witnessed a church wedding taking place in a church as well.

After that, we headed back to the hotel and collected our luggage before taking the hotel shuttle to the ferry terminal to board a ferry to HK.

I am quite pleased with the hotel service and the location of the hotel. If I have the chance to visit again, I will stay in the hotel again. The people are friendly too, especially to people with special needs like me.

The ferry ride to HK was about an hour plus. We hailed a cab to our hotel in HK, the Metropark Mongkok. My friend, Peggy said I made a good choice for this hotel as it is near to the MTR station and shopping belt. The taxi driver was very friendly, and even offered to pick us up to the airport on our day of departure. My mum was saying, maybe he saw my condition, as a result, he decided to make the offer. The offer came with a price, but it was slightly cheaper, compared to a normal cab ride that was running with the taxi meter on. My mum eventually took up the offer.

As we checked in to the hotel, the hotel staff offered to change us to a bigger room at no additional charge. Since there was no additional charge, I took up the offer. I guess the S$470 was well spent for a 2 nite stay.

After putting down our luggage, we went around the Prince Edward MTR station and walked around and did our shopping before calling a night at 8pm and returning to the hotel as we prepare ourselves for a tour to Disneyland the next day.

Day 4

After breakfast at the hotel, we took a train to Disneyland, where we toured the whole day. Please see the photos taken above to see how much I enjoyed myself. Mum was saying that I still behave like a child at heart.

After the one day tour to Disneyland, mum & I headed to 中环 for our dinner and we did some shopping before calling it a night as I was very tired. Initally, we had wanted to go to The Peak, but my camera battery went flat after the Disneyland tour, so we decided to postpone to the last day.

Day 5

Alas, the last day was really an unlucky day as:-

  1. Mum could not open the luggage bag that we bought as the one which we carried, the handle had snapped. In the end, we headed back to the shop that we bought the bag from and got the salesgirl to open for us.
  2. When it was finally done (The lock was cut open by the salesgirl and we got a replacement bag.), it started to rain heavily. There goes my trip to the Peak. We did some shopping in the end at the other side of the MTR station in the end.
  3. When we checked in our luggage at the airport, I noticed that the boarding pass did not show the gate number for us to board the plane. Mum and I were nervous when the gate didn't show up on the computer screen at 3.20pm, when our flight was supposed to be at 4pm. We decided to proceed to the departure gates and check the screen later, after clearing the immigration as there are 80 departure gates at the HK airport. After clearing the customs, the gate showed up, we quickly ran to the gate, Gate 15, only to find that the boarding was delayed to 4.30pm. We boarded the flight at 4.30pm, but I was surprised that the plane did not take off. The Captain then announced that the flight could not take off due to the extensive cloud cover and we were the 40th in queue to take off. It was an agonising 2 hr wait in the plane. Fortunately, there was in-flight entertainment on the SQ flight, otherwise it will be a complete boredom. The plane finally took off at 6.30pm and reached Singapore at 10.15pm. A 3hr 15 min flight turned into a 6hr 15 min flight. I must say the crew did a good job to handle majority of the passengers who were waiting to their connecting flights to other cities in the region. SIA is really a great way to fly. I also got to thank one of the stewardress who took the trouble to find the B777-300ER model for me as I wanted to purchase it.

Eventually, mum and I reached home at about 11.30pm. After unpacking the luggage, it was close to 1am.




Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For Aidah









Just in case I don't have time to post this up for Aidah, Here's my wishes for her before I fly off. Haha!!!
Have a happy & blissful marriage w.e.f. 22 April 2007!
Please enjoy to be Mrs Salim.
Who knows little Salim may be on the way soon!
Your wedding gift from me is with our good friend, D. Hope u find it useful.
Sorry that I can't attend your big day
Happy 26th birthday to you on 24th April 2007.
May what u wish for come true for u!
Hope the year will be smooth sailing for u.












First Time Stuck In A Lift

In the 27+ years of my life, I never exprienced being stuck in a lift before. Today, the unlucky thing happened. I was stuck in my office lift for about half an hour just as I was running late for work.

I must say that it was a nerve wrecking exprience, but I was surprisingly calm throughout the ordeal, which lasted for about 35 mins. I must say the building maintainence team was slow in reaction!!

The security of the building said that the lift was overloaded, as a result it caused the lift to sink about 5m from the ground floor. I am surprised, why didn't the buzzer ring if the lift was overloaded?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Farewell To Contact 123 IT Centre




Yesterday was the last day of the e-filing exercise. It also meant that my one month stint as the acting e-club manager of Contact 123 IT Centre was coming to an end.

In appreciation of the effort made by the volunteers during the VES, Mr. Poon decided to cater a buffet for all of us. I also took the opportunity to nominate the outstanding members of my team. Although I have made two nominations for Eugene & Julia respectively, Mr Poon & Chow Ming decided to add on my name to the list. They felt that I have done a good job leading the volunteers in the exercise, given the circumstances that I was asked to help out in the running of the exercise.

I guess without the strong support I had from all my 16volunteers, Chow Ming & Mr. Poon, I guess I won’t be able to run the club so efficiently. And not forgetting, the MP for the area, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, who managed to help us to get the Constituency Manager to open the centre and keep it up and running after I have highlighted the problems. I wish to thank Mr. Lim Hwee Jiang for ironing out the teething computer problems.

All said, I am sad to see the closure of Contact 123 IT Centre, which is happening in June. I am considering Mr Poon’s request to help out at The Serangoon when the new e-club opens.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Who You Think U Are

I was at the e-club as usual today. I was angered by one of the e-filers, who was formerly one of the volunteers of the e-club. She called up at about 2 plus stating that she was coming to the club to do her tax return. I told her that the club was open & she was welcome to do her e-filing. (In my mind, I have already decided who I wanted to give the job to, as I have already done 1 e-filing in the early part. I also knew that she was here to create problems at the club.)

True to my words, this woman, L came at about 3pm. At first, she refused to register her name at the registration counter. I told her it was a must to register as IRAS needs to know who are the people who used the e-club's e-file service. I decided to give my best volunteer, Julia a try to do the job. I didn't expect Julia to run into problems when it came to her donations. My fellow volunteer, Eugene, tried to help, but L kept insisting me to help her. I had to make her wait as I was serving another person and the system was terribly slow today.

Then when I could help her, she said why I took so long to attend to her. I told her "Can't you see I was attending to someone just now?" After finishing for her, I told her to fill up the survey form on her e-file exprience. This was what she ticked and wrote in the form.

The volunteer is not very helpful & friendly
The volunteer is not patient
I feel that VES can be done better at this e-club, as I am a volunteer at the e-club.
This was the sentence that really made my blood boil. I told her that the volunteer is just a JC student and she had no prior exprience to this. She did try her best to serve you, like what she did for the others. I also told her that if not for me, the e-club will not be open today, let alone other days, as it was me who e-mailed to the MP for the area, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua to get the e-club open for the excercise. IRAS was not even aware that there was such a problem until week 2 of the excercise.
"I feel that VES can be done better at this e-club, as I am a volunteer at the e-club." Her name was not even on my list of volunteers this year. Even if she did come, she will be walking around, monitoring other people do their things, behaving like she was the e-club manager, when she is not. Why should I call her if I know she is such a person?
After doing the e-filing, she refused to leave the club and continued to hog the computer to surf the Internet at the e-club. I told her nicely that I needed the PC and printer for e-filing use. She refused to budge. I called Chow Ming to try and get her out, but to no avail as she commented that Linda's husband was also playing game, while waiting for her. I told Linda to leave first, so as not to create further trouble.
L continued to stay on till closing time. Eugene and I were too angry to say anything to her.
Why are there such people around?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Have You Filed Your Income Tax?


It is that time of the year to file your personal income tax again. As I heard on 933 today, there are still about 20% of the people who are supposed to file their tax have not done so.


Please remember that the deadline for paper returns is 15 April 2007, which is Sunday, whereas e-filers or those wanting to try out e-filing have up to 18 April 2007, but please ensure that you have the following things before you can e-file.



  1. Your Singpass or IRAS PIN- If you do not have any of these, you can't login to e-file. You may wish to hop on down to CPF offices to get your Singpass tomorrow morning. It is faster. You get it on the spot.

  2. Your IR8A/ Sole Propretriorship/Partnership Details - If your business is registered with ACRA, the registration number is needed in the tax form.

  3. Children's NRIC & Parents' NRIC Nos- This is needed to claim tax relief if your children & parents meet the qualifying conditions.

If you still have doubts about e-filing, you can pop by to any of the 32 e-clubs/community centres all over the island on 14 Apr 2007 & 15 Apr 2007 between 2pm - 6pm. I will be manning the Contact 123 IT Centre @ Blk 123 Serangoon North Ave 1.


Buses serving the club are 43, 70,73,76,103,103W,109,147, 315. Please see map below for location.

Courtesy of Streetdirectory.com

Lecturer's Wrath

Yesterday was the usual lesson for my 3.3 class. I also managed to get my new Kaplan Student Card. This is the first time I heard that a part time student also need a student card to be able to use the school facilities. And the card cost $8. It is not worth it as I don't use the school facilities at all as usually after Mr Sami's class, I am usually very tired & will just want to be home to rest.

Just to add, I am disappointed with the school's admin dept. I had taken a digital photo in school last Thursday & they told me that the card will be ready by Monday. Since I only have class on Thursdays, I went to the office yesterday, only for the admin officer to tell me that the card can't be found & I have to retake my photo again. I wonder how are the cards arranged? Basic knowledge or should I say common sense should tell you that the cards should be arranged by aphabetical order. It was not until another officer managed to find my card, during my lecture break. Please buck up, FTC Kaplan Admin. If you want to try something new, for the benefit of the students and to prevent unauthorised people or "illegal immigrant" to attend classes without paying, you should have worked out a more detailed plan in order to make sure that the system was going to work.

Talking about "illegal immigrants", Mr Sami had spent about 10 mins of the lecture time to talk about it. In his speech, he said the cons about being a famous lecturer was that his class will always have "illegal immigrants" trying out his lessons. He said he don't need to be tried. He told us that he noticed some China students were selling his notes on E-bay. He was so angry that he called up and scolded the student. He wanted us to help him to catch these unethical people.

I can understand how Mr Sami feels as he said this. Can you imagine if someone used your lecture notes to sell & make money just by copying his notes? How can such a person be a CPA?



Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Surprise Invitation


I was quite surprised when I received a wedding invitation from Aidah in my Hotmail inbox yesterday. I have wanted to attend her wedding but I guess I cannot as I will be in Macau that day. Anyway, thanks for inviting me, Sayang. Though we haven't met before, I guess our friendship is strong.
I may be in for a testing time this Saturday, as the e-club which I am attached to has a shortage of volunteers to assist in the e-filing. I am foreseeing a big crowd as most people do their things at the last minute. The volunteers that I have called back has some activities in their school, therefore may not be able to make it on time for the start of the excercise. But I guess the 3 of us should be able to cope well.
If any of you guys out there who stays around Serangoon, Ang Mo Kio & Hougang,Sengkang, Punggol or Yishun who are willing to help out at Blk 123 Serangoon North Ave 1, I welcome you to help me. You may want to leave a message in the chatbox.
所谓助人为快乐之本.
Helping people will bring u happiness.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

This is Not A Market

Today, I was at the E-Club as usual. My brother didn't join me as he was quarantined by me as he is running a cold.

There were not many people who came by and e-file their taxes today. Perhaps, they are all still waiting to rush at the last minute. I do know of some bosses who haven't issued Form IR8A to their staff yet. My mum is one of those.

I was quite disturbed by the noises made by 3 of the volunteers at the e-club today. They treated the e-club like it was their home and talked loudly like there is no one around. It is no wonder that one of my volunteer had her MP3 player plugged to her ears to keep out the noise they made. Not only that, they had done the following things, which made me not want to call them back for the last two sessions, even though I am shorthanded for the last 2 sessions.
  1. Ate in the e-club. There is a sign which says that no eating & drinking at the e-club.
  2. Put their legs up on the chair, like no one is looking
  3. 3 people using a small toilet cubicle at the same time, and shouting & screaming there.
  4. When doing e-filing, instead of 1 volunteer doing, it is like 3 volunteers doing the e-filing. So can you imagine the noise level?
  5. When doing the registration for e-filer, 3 people fight to do it.

All these things are done by 3 ladies. I can't imagine the ladies are studying in a JC in the eastern end of Singapore. Where are all your manners?

Fortunately, my best volunteer for the excercise will be back for the last 2 sessions next week. She will be joined by her schoolmates from the same JC (hope to get them back).

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Busy Volunteer Day

I went to the Contact 123 IT Centre very early today as I was expecting an influx of last minute e-filers waiting to e-file their income taxes, therefore I was setting up the other printer to cope with the high volume. I would like to thank Chow Ming & Hwee Jiang for their assistance as well. The air con was working well finally, & the printer was up already.

Today, we had a busy day with about 10 people doing their income tax filing, especially for the first half of the excercise, where 7 people turned up together. I was smart to call up another 2 volunteers to help out as I was only given 3 volunteers, including myself for the excercise for the last 4 sessions starting today.

I had a pleasant surprise too as my client came to look for me at the centre to ask me to help me to help him to file his personal income tax return for him. I have told him during my conversation with him at office that if he needed help for his personal tax return, he should come and look for me at the e-club. I really didn't expect him to be there today and he requested that I do for him his income tax return. In the end, I was asked to do his wife's return as well.

As a token of appreciation, Mr Poon, the grassroots leader has taken up my suggestion to thank the volunteers' contribution for the excercise by inviting them to a dinner hosted by the e-club on 15 April, the last day of the excercise. I think I will also make my thank you speech that day during the dinner as well. I think without their co-operation, I would not have led the club so well within such short notice.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Meet The Robinsons


Lewis is an orphan who dreams of finding a family. His journey takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson whisks him away to a world where anything is possible…THE FUTURE. There, he meets an incredible assortment of characters and a family beyond his wildest imagination, The Robinsons, who help lead him on an amazing and hilarious adventure with heartfelt results.
I went to watch this movie with M. It was a last minute decision from her. Finally get to meet her after the shock that she gave me. She has since asked me to forget about the whole matter as her ex bf is trying to win her heart back, so she is apprehensive to start a relationship with me. I have told her that I hope she can settle her past if she wants to start with me. She is still pretty undecided, maybe that guy had a long relationship with her, therefore it is not easy to forget.
The movie was not a bad show. It was a touching story. I would recommend u guys to go & catch it.
After the movie, we parted as she had something on, so I went for my dinner before making my way to visit Jason, whom I haven't visited for the past 3 weeks.
It seemed that the cough & phelgm is back. The nurses were injecting antibiotics through his left hand for the past few days. I got this info from his mum, who was there when I visited him. I just hope he recovers soon. It is sad to see him like this.
His mum expressed her thanks to me and to the rest of you who have taken your time off to visit him.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The B*** Strikes Again

The b*** decides to do the same trick that she did on Thu on me again on yesterday. I felt like telling her, why don't u switch positions with me & we shall see who has a better way with client? My clients have been complaining that the b***'s attitude has not been very friendly, unlike mine. I told them to feedback the good parts and bad parts about my service to my boss. I am a person who don't like to blow my trumpet.

I also received good feedback from Chow Ming, the temp E Club Manager & Vice- Chairman of the Serangoon CC that I have been doing a good job for leading the E-Club for the excercise, considering the circumstances where I had to step in to help out running the E-Club for the excercise.

As a token of appreciation, I am going to buy them drinks for helping & the support for the excercise. I hope that this Sat would not be a nightmare like last Sat, where I had a volunteer only for the whole 4 hrs. I will call the students up to confirm their attendance on Fri.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

Volunteer Weekend

I looked forward to the VES sessions over the past two weeks as it was a happy diversion of my attention to the stress which I had from the b***. Because of the stress given & my office printer is faulty, it provided me with a good excuse not to be back for OT as bosses choose to believe bootlickers.

The VES for Sat was quite smooth, even though there was only me & fellow volunteer, Julia at the helm yesterday. Today's session was not too bad either, as I met up with my ex-tutees' dad while doing the excercise. But today was noisier as there was a small crowd of volunteers but I made sure that they had things to do. I can't make them sit down there & do nothing.

Its back to the working world again tomorrow. Hopefully, the printer at my desk is fixed. I wonder if my boss will get a new one. Judging from past expriences, I guess it is hard to get him to do so.

Change

It has been a while since I last blogged. My mood have been affected by my work recently. The fortunate thing was that there was singing, JJ...