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Change Thursday, 1 November 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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How much of yourself, in terms of personality and character, would you change yourself to fit the environment or to better yourself?

I realised that throughout my life, I have always absorbed all the feedback that I can get so that I can be a better person, either professionally or as a peron. Where feedback was not forthcoming, I would observe people that I thought were role models and learnt from them. Did I lose my own flavour along the way that many people say would be the consequence of such an action? An ex-uni mate of mine did say that I was boring once but then again her words doesn’t carry any weight with me, or with most of our mates for the matter, as she isn’t exactly someone that many would look up to.

So far, this effort has done me well. And I am puzzled lately when I realised that a close friend doesn’t share the same sentiments. I am beginning to realise that even the closest of friends cannot accept frank feedback that are given with in the most constructive manner. Or can they? I think it all depends on how much ego one has and how willing one is to change. No one loves to be told of his shortcomings but if he is unwilling to acknowledge that no one is can be perfect, then he would have allowed his ego to prevent him from being the better person that he can be. As for willingness, a whole industry in change management has sprung up to assist corporations in winning the mind and heart of employees in their quest to re-engineer operations and improve bottom lines. So it is defintely not an easy thing to tackle, like ego. Both are so fused with emotions, beliefs and principles that it can be difficult to deal with even for the person in question. This is certainly the case for dear friend!

Last Quarter of 2007 Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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Despite saying this all the time, I always have and do wonder why time fly past so quickly. It’s the final quarter of the year and it seemed that my trip to UK had been many months ago. I certainly also feel that all the major changes that had taken place this year had occurred and gone by very quickly. My MBA is finally completed and it wrapped up quite nicely for me with good grades in my summer subjects, and most importantly, the project. As much as I enjoy learning and reading, sometimes just plonging down in front of the TV and sipping wine can be more enjoyable. I have half the mind to give up on my plans to pursue further professional studies. Perhaps it is time that I settle into my new job and consider focusing on whatever prospects there may be in the department for the first few years. To give myself time for that and to enjoy more leisurely pursuits.

Daylight Molestation Sunday, 30 September 2007

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It was unbelievable. The audacity of the person (an older man, probably in his 50s) molesting someone in broad daylight! I was at the road junction of Katong Park, which is very near the infamous cruising ground of Fort Road, waiting for the light to turn green when I saw a tall, hunky dude. He was a runner dressed only in his running shorts with a heartbeat monitor strapped to his chest. I was just marvelling at his bod, thinking he have it all (looks, height and brawn, at least from the distance that I was at), and wondering how many others at the junction was doing the same when this older man dressed in shabby pants and short sleeve shirt tucked out crossed the road towards the runner. With his dark coloured attire and generally shabby look, one would probably mistake him to be a odd job labourer heading towards the constuction site at Fort Road. Initially, I thought he was a friendly old chap as he waved a hello to the runner as he reached him across the road. The runner replied hi with a slight wave of his hand and a smile. Then it happened so quickly that you wondered if it could actually happen in broad day light at a busy road junction. The older man suddenly reached out and squeezed the runner’s biceps. It was so fluid and continuous from his hello gesture that one would have thought that they were friends (probably neighbours or even uncle and nephew?) if not for the very immediate reaction from the  runner. He swatted his hand away, took a half step back and immediately started running across the road when the pedestrain light turned green at the exact same moment. I was stunned and disgusted by the audacity of this ti ko peh (“dirty old man” in Hokkien). I reckoned then that he wasn’t a construction worker on his way back to his work site but more likely to be a gay person heading to the cruisy Fort Road car park or cuising grounds deeper in the vegetation of Fort Road. I was sure that many others on the four roads of the cross junction witnessed the whole thing. It was a pity that such an action would probably result in even more anti-gay sentiments from the witnesses. Unfortunately, he was also the same group of older gay people who are likely to be illiterate and insensitive to the social and political implications of his actions. The government has recently decided not to abolish the homosexuality law that criminalises sexual acts between two or more persons of the same gender stating that it was against public interest as the majority denounces homosexuality. This action certainly did nothing to further the cause of the gay community.

Update to The New Job Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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And so I have gotten over the initial period of anxiety that is usually the norm in a new environment (I hope it isn’t just me!) and finding work to be better than it was when I just started. Still, there are many things to learn. One thing for sure, schools do not teach many things except lay the foundation to grasp new ideas and concepts more easily.

Finally got some time to myself and afforded myself the small pleasure of catching up with some friends through their blogs. It’s a little depressing to see them enjoying themselves while I probably will be busy studying till after Dec when I’ll stop, take stock of my life and decide what I need to do. So many opportunities are not made available to me now as I’m on contract. Sad to know that colleagues are being sponsored for courses that I want to take and may probably have to pay for on my own if I do not want to wait for the uncertain future to present itself clearer.   Oh well, c’est la vie.

 Oh, one thing for sure, with my life as busy as it is now, it certainly is easier to keep naughty thoughts in check!

Blue Gate Crossing Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General, Reviews.
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I had a quick look at the another Taiwanese movie called ‘Blue Gate Crossing’. It centres on the relationship between two teens – a boy and a girl. The movie is another rather typical fare of coming to terms with being gay, very much like the previous Taiwanese movie I watched – Eternal Summer . However, unlike Eternal Summer, there is no complicated triangle relationship in this movie although there was a tinge of it. Another main difference in the show is that the story tried to deal with the gay issue from the girl’s perspective, which may be to the dismay of the gay population given that the actor is a dimpled-smile cute lad.

Blue Gate Crossing                          The girl and her lad

It is a simple and rather predictable story saved by the way it was produced. There is something about such Taiwanese movies that draws me. Maybe I am a sucker for sweet innocent shows. Did the girl save herself from a tortured life of finding true love while being gay? Or did she suppress her liking for girls to live a normal life? Well, I am not about to spoil it for you in case you haven’t watched it. Further review at IMDB but be warned – its review could be a spoiler! In any case, the movie reminded me of this pair of siblings.

The sister is quite openly butch with a girlfriend that pops over to the family home ever so often. The brother is openly hostile to the sister and her supposed girlfriend. I find it sad that the brother is unable to accept her for who she is and support her to be the best person she can be, be it as a gay person or not. I think the brother believes that it is a choice in life to be either gay or straight (“nurture” advocate)and blames her for choosing the other camp. The tense relationship and the mutual dislike (bordering on hatred) is certainly making their mother upset and I can see that there is nothing she can do to change the situation. But I wonder whether she did persuade her son to accept the sister as she is. Perhaps, it is more complicated than that as the siblings didn’t grow up well together. I personally see her as a person with good potential if she is in the right company and channels her energy productively. This makes me wonder whether sometimes it is easier for an outsider to accept a gay person than a person who is related to that gay person?

Our Happier Lives (?) Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General, Rantings.
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I have taken a hiatus from writing since my last entry almost a month ago. It seems to be the case whenever I’m in Singapore. I guess I never felt inclined to write about the “normal” things that happen, and most often than not, they are normal. But I did reflect on how Singapore is faring currently. The economy for the last quarter has shown improvement, thanks to the construction and finance industries. The construction industry has not seen such high activity levels since pre-financial crisis days. This has translated to better business sentiments and general sense of optimism amongst Singaporeans. Many have been upgrading their properties, with the rich buying new developments at record psf prices and sending property sale and rental prices north.

Besides focusing on the economic front, the government has also placed much emphasis on the arts, cultural and entertainment scene in an attempt to make Singapore a fun place to live and work in. But I wonder, despite all these good things in their lives now, are the locals actually benefiting from it or the expatriates? Has our society evolved to be more gracious? Personally I do think that we have. Unfortunately, the presence of  much needed foreign workers seemed to have marred this somewhat. I say this because I cringe whenever I see a certain country’s nationals speaking loudly and their uncouth behaviour which early generations of Singaporeans probably exhibited (and some probably still do today). There was a recent article in the forum pages of the Strait’s Times which highlighted an unfortunate incident in a bus. Apparently, a Caucasian woman (she certainly do not qualify to be called a lady) was ranting madly and loudly at the bewildered (or nonchalent?) and seemingly Singaporean passengers about how coarse Singaporeans are, how unhelpful they are etc etc. It seems she was unable to get some help when she asked for it. But surely it did not warrant that appalling response from her. I wondered if she had stopped to think whether the person(s) she spoke to in the bus before a raving mad behaviour were Singaporeans. If they were not, it should not be surprising to get no response from them as most of them so not understand English! Much like any other cosmolitan city, we have a large proportion of people from other countries. Lately, we have a significantly large population of mainland Chinese here, and nowadays they are not discernable from Singaporean Chinese based on dressing (oh yes, there was a time when one could pick a mainland Chinese out from the crowd based on that!). It is only through their speech (often loud) can one tell them apart.

There was also a recent discussion about repealing the gay sex laws in Singapore. I was personally interested in this as I do have gay friends (who probably will live their lives as they deem fit regardless of this law). Unfortunately, after doing a survey, the government felt that it was not the right time to repeal the law which means sex between consenting males (of legal age) is still against the law. This discussion goes to show that it is never easy to differentiate between right and wrong, or, moral and immoral. Who are the best judges for such matters? The general public, grassroot leaders, religious leaders or political leaders? Is the non-gay public so afraid of the hedonistic lifestyle that apprently characterises gay people that they think the rest of the non-gay population and the impressionable young will be swayed to the “dark side” if gay sex is made legal? Personally, I think we have not progressed much despite having done so in other areas like the arts. I feel that it is a basic right of a citizen to live the way they want. I wonder why nobody question the potential mental anguish and harm that can be imposed on such people to live a life that they do not believe in? I wonder how many people have grappled with the mental anguish to be told that one is a sinner (by the Church) if one is gay when one does not choose to be. Surely the mentally weaker ones will fall into depression in time? Is medication an answer then? What are the fundamentals of our society? In any case, I suspect whatever the outcome of such discussions is, live will go on with the government closing an eye to this issue.

Anyway, these are my personal thoughts and not meant to incite whatever nonsense that disagreers may charged me with.

On a happer note, I can finally breath a sigh of relief and stop my job hunting – I’ve found a job!

“I Never Look Back” – Part 1 Monday, 25 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General, Personal.
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“I never look back”, my friend W said when we were having dinner one night in London. We were talking about the days when we had lots of fun and the times when things weren’t going too well between him and his other friends. Apparently, I am the only one that was reminiscing the past. In my pursuit of an ideal life, amidst all the changes occurring in my life right now, I sometimes find myself pausing from what I was doing and taking stock of my life. In my earlier post “Sliding Doors”, I pondered on the possibilities of an uncertain future. But many other occasions, I would always think of the past, especially when I see certain things that brings back memories, and wonder how I would have turned out if my decisions had been different. Ironically, given the often pensive nature of my friend W, it appears he is more forward in his outlook than I am. I guess I am in a really pensive mood right now as I sit facing the runway as the sky gets darker. My flight will not board for another 2 hours.

I started wondering again how my life would have turned out especially after …. continued in the next post.

An End To A Nice Summer Saturday, 16 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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The few weeks that I have in London is finally coming to an end. It has been a very good trip for me. I was living in the city and enjoying every moment of it like any of her citizens instead of a tourist pre-occupied with visiting every single tourist spot there is. I even had the opportunities to visit some friends some of whom I have not met for years and some whom I have yet to meet in person. One of them is GB. We were able to meet up for dinner one night. I remember I haven’t been drinking for some time, especially on an empty stomach. So by the time we moved on from our pre-dinner drinks, I was already feeling the effect of the alcohol and hoping I wouldn’t make a fool of myself even before we reached the restaurant! The venue was well chosen by GB and we had a good view of the River Thames and its surrounding buildings. Being slightly drunk (the wine did not help at all), I think I might have been too blunt to tell GB that his avatar does not resemble him at all. Thankfully, he did not seem to have taken offence. In all, it was a lovely evening made all the better by the company.

Summer in the UK Monday, 11 June 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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I’ve been in the UK for 2 weeks now and my stay here has been wonderful so far. The weather has been good so far as it should be since it is summer. So far I have met up with a few friends and relatives that I have in the UK and I am feeling quite pleased about it. It felt strange recounciling the fact that it seems like only a month that I have left them when in fact it has been 6 years. My aunt has kept well in the past 6 years and she doesn’t look any different from the time I left her. And it is certainly very nice staying in a nice peaceful neighbourhood in London where I can see the River Thames and being only half an hour to 45 minutes away from central London. I can even see HSBC, Credit Suisse and Citibank’s skyscrapers which always make me wonder if I’ll ever work in one of these banks. Well, I am praying hard that it’ll work out after the second interview that I had with an investment bank. Hopefully, I will find this job waiting for me when I get back to Singapore.

 Now, I am sitting in front of the telly and enjoying the evening news on TV with my friend’s GQ. I really like the feeling of enjoying an easy evening with a bit of light reading. Now, if only the thoughts of looming assignment and final year project deadlines will stop nagging me at the back of my mind and leave me to enjoy the magazine and the evening for a bit before I start working again.

Exhibitionist in the Jacuzzi Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Posted by dragonzlad in Life in General.
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Yet another interesting occurrence at the club’s jacuzzi over the weekend. An Indian man in his fifties came to join me and another fella in the jacuzzi. I went into alert mode when I noticed that he was fiddling with his johnny or whateveryoucallit when he hung his towel up. And even more when I noticed that he had on a stiffie when he took a quick shower in the open cubicle by the jacuzzi. I am sure he knew that I had noticed him. I mean, you can’t miss this person at all unless you had closed your eyes while in the jacuzzi. I can’t help but hear alarm bells go off – here was a guy who was probably going to exhibit himself and solicit a response from you whethe you like it or not. While I wouldn’t be surprised if such things happen when the jaccuzi is quiet, it becomes strange when it happen with quite a few people in the room (the room has two jacuzzis). And strangeness soon deteriorates to irritation when the person decided that I ought to have a closer look at his stiffie by standing closer to where I was when the other person had left. This despite my body language (I had turned myself such that I don’t face him at all). Am I rude not to say hello and make small talk at all? 🙂

 I wonder whether anyone else noticed.