The end of an era… *dramatic face*

(Post dated entry… Drafted this while back, didn’t post it)

I first joined the Mars team in March 2013…. That was after a superbly frustrating 11 months or so working on the other team.

Will not elaborate more on the pains of working in China since I’m about done soon….

The thing is…. I was sort of inspired for this entry when I looked around my surroundings and it crossed my mind that it’s amazing how different things became..in just 2 years. Isn’t it tue that the only constant in life are changes?? 

Actually, planning teams in China can be quite the force to be reckon with. The Mars planning team is not a big team but at the peak, we probably had a staff strength of 20ish.

2 Business Directors, 1 Planning Director, 4 Assoc Directors, 6 managers/supervisors, 7 Planners/Execs and about 2-3 interns.

That was somewhere between 2013 to 1st half of 2014.

Fast forward to End April 2015…

2 Business Directors, 1 Planning Director, 1 Assoc Director, 4 managers/supervisors, 1 Exec and about 0 interns.

“gasp”的图片搜索结果

I don’t even know if I can say we are half of what we used to be…

Definitely the end of an era… 

So yeah… I just wanna say that these 3 years in Starcom had been one hell of an experience! Thanks and no thanks!! 

Onward and forward…..

Going by the books

5 days before I leave China and I experienced the biggest fight I’ve ever had here. 

Going by the books is not a bad thing. But I believe in flexibility when necessary. You can say that I have no principles… But fact remains that this is my own POV. 

Had arranged for the movers to come and pick up my boxes for shipping and I forgot all about getting the permit from estate management. When the movers came, I promptly made a trip down to the estate management office to apply for the permit. Now the problem is, my landlady is in England holidaying. And they insisted they have to call her, else they cannot give me that piece of paper. 

It was 4am London time. 

I started out trying to reason with them… To no avail. And it broke into a massive quarrel… To which at one point in time, there were 3 of them against me. Apparently I was being unreasonable…they were yelling about how there are people who quietly move their things out in the middle of the night, they have responsibilities towards home owner etc, and I’m being extremely inconsiderate by asking them to give me some flexibility. And I’m like…. Urgh!!! It’s 12 noon! 

The thing is, the movers had already loaded my boxes onto the truck. So the only option I was given was to unload and get them to come back another day. In between all that, both estate management and myself were trying to get my landlady. At 4am London time. 
Obviously the calls were not picked up.

Decided it’s not going to work out… So I went back out to look for the movers, only to see that the truck had caused a massive deadlock in the carpark. What ensues was another fight with the security. No.means.no.

Went back to estate management… Pissed off, desperate and frustrated as hell, I offered to pass them my passport first, until we get the landlady in the afternoon. No. 

*weeps*

Just as I decided to give up, my sweeeeeeeeet landlady picked up the call. Sweetest half asleep voice I’ve ever heard. Couple of minutes later, all cleared. And apparently she ranted at their inflexibility… And lack of sense. (She later called me and asked if everything was ok… And told me she felt they were just being stupid).

I am sure there are 2 schools of thoughts here.. It’s good that they went by the books. Ensures home owners don’t face drama of losing fridges, sofa, wardrobes and etc. But on the other hand, the complete inflexibility was appalling. Aggressively so. 

In retrospect, I don’t blame them for standing on their ground… But on the other hand, I totally felt that it was unnecessary pain. 

At this point in time, I’m still trying to recover from the drama. Think I’ve hit my life’s quota of quarreling with people from just this incident alone. 
Thank you China. Many invaluable lessons learnt.

Only because it is China?

In the (almost) 3 years of being in China, I’ve always been really pleased with the fact that unlike some of my friends & colleagues, I’ve ALWAYS remembered to take my ATM card out of the machine.

In case you were wondering, ATM machines in china require you to select the option of removing your card from the machine. For the many impatient folks (or forgetful for that matter), machine dispenses cash – grab cash, walk away. *ooops! forgot card…* Some machines I know (and prefer to be friends with) dispense card before cash. I like them much. 

So, the question is… did i forget my card?

NO! I did take it… (so what’s my rant about?!)

I dropped it… somewhere.

URGH

And I only found out about missing card 4 days later. (yes, I hear you… where is the perpetually organised ewey?! How in the world… 4 days later?!)

I don’t know la!!!!

Anyway… (laying background is sooooo tiring!!!), the thing I want to rant about is… I tried to replace my ATM card at the bank and they told me that they have to freeze my account for the next 10 days.

URGH

Card replacement takes 7 working days.

Meanwhile, no transaction can be carried out.

HELLO!!!! How in the world did i discover I lost my card?! BECAUSE I NEEDED TO DRAW OUT CASH! Which basically meant… i am cashless. *weeps*

As I wrapped my head around that “This Is China” and told them, “ok ok… fine. please process…”, I was told, ‘Oh, you just changed your passport? You need to update account to new passport details first before we can process the loss report.”

URGH

P L E A S E…. D O…. (passes new passport to bank staff)

10 mins later,…

I was informed that my residential permit that was on my old passport was not updated into the new passport which basically mean that they cannot do anything to update my banking details into the new passport which means they cannot process my loss reporting until i get my residential permit updated into my new passport which will take like a week to do and thereafter, another week of frozen account before I can get this settled.

URGH

*whips out letter from Singapore Embassy that states that I, of old passport, has been issued new passport and blah blah*

Followed by a rather long (and possibly aggressive) conversation with bank staff and bank manager about how it is all so ridiculous and I really need them to get this sorted out asap.

The thing is, I totally understand that the bank has my best interest at heart… it is for my own protection that they are so sticky about things. BUT in all honesty, I am sitting in front of them.. I have all documents to verify my identity, they have both my old and new passport, letter from Singapore embassy… don’t just tell me that they cannot process.

By the way, bank staff submitted all relevant documents to head office… got approved for update to new passport. In a blink.

And yeah…after more than an hour of drama at banking hall… my bank account is currently frozen. But at least loss replacement is being processed…

facepalm

Only because it is China?

Where in the world is the pink roller?!

The case of the missing pink roller… (Yup, you didn’t read wrong)

MISSING

MISSING SINCE THURSDAY

Now, before you start exclaiming about how this pink thang is so not ewey… you are sooooo right. It’s not mine. *roll eyes*

It used to belong to my mum (“used to” because she’s lost it)… right until the 15th day of Chinese New Year. According to her, she took the roller off before she came out to meet me to go for the Zhap Gor Meh dinner where we had great fun, good food and oh… fireworks!
boooom!

happy facesmum and i

Fun. *beams*

But probably the last time I’ll be involved in this annual event in Beijing…

~~~Oh wait, I was talking about the pink roller right?!?! *sheepish face* Cant blame me for yakking away.. last post was like, erm…. in Oct last year?

Soooo… back to the key point, mum’s pink roller. The thing about rollers…

Don’t wear these darn rollers out…

… you don’t wear them out. Unless your pink rollers look like these:

Free-Shipping-Kids-font-b-Rollerblade-b-font-Complete-Aggressive-Inline-Skates-font-b-Pink-b

so, the roller should be at home right?!?!?!?

No. it is not. And I think this will be one of the biggest mysteries in my life….I’ve been searching high and low in my one bedroom apartment but to no avail.

It was simple…I was just thinking, “maybe mum is just blur… she probably missed it.” Hence I started a detailed search in the bathroom (where it was reported to be last seen…)… convinced i will hold that pink thing victoriously in my hands and tell her.. “THERE! How can u be so blind?!?!”. *smug face*

But… as luck would have it. Nope. No pink roller…

I went back to watch TV but the OCD in me couldn’t deal with it. The thought was gnawing at me… How can it be gone just like that?! Maybe it is in the trash can??

And before I knew it, I was like this crazy demented psycho… rummaging through ALL the trash at home, leopard crawling throughout the entire house with a torch light… searching every possible (or impossible) dark corners. Flipping things around, under the couch, between the gaps, behind the curtains, under the refrigerator… did i mention trash? Not just the trash can ok! the trash that I’ve already tied up and put outside the door… ready to be taken downstairs when i head out the next day. At 130am at night….

I really need to….

let it go

in so many ways….

Moving on…. slowly.

The toughest part about losing someone or something you love isn’t saying goodbye. It is trying to find the courage to go on and learn how to live without them.

Last week at this time, I was at my grandfather’s wake back in Singapore trying to spend as much time as i can with him. Even if he was lying there in that dreadful box… I continued to chit chat with him like he was sitting there and listening to me.

Isn’t it such an irony that my first post about my life in Beijing after the hiatus (last post was in Mar this year) is about my life back in Singapore?

Before I went back for the Oct holidays, I was praying very hard that grandpa wait for me before saying goodbye. And I was really grateful for the 10 days I spent with him while he was still breathing. Unconscious… with tubes and all… but breathing. I am grateful that when we got to him after the doc called to say that grandpa has passed on, his body was still warm. I am grateful that I changed my air tickets and delayed my return to Beijing despite being unsure of how long more he will live. I am grateful that I was there for the entire duration of the wake and was around to send him off for the cremation before I left.

There’s so much I want to say, so much that I feel in my heart. When the mind wanders despite the busyness that I’ve been caught in from the time i came back to work on Monday, the pain that grips my heart hasn’t lessen a single bit. But I try to smile and continue with my life. Learning how to live knowing that grandpa has left us.

We did not lose him suddenly.. he’s been bedridden for a few years, had dementia since a long time ago and barely recognised us these couple of years. We thought we were prepared for the day knowing that it will come… but no, no one will ever be prepared for death. The thing about death is, no matter how prepared you are for it… it will always shock you.

One of the things I’ve learned after the passing of several people I love dearly (Uncle Tan, my 表舅 and now, grandpa) is that you will never get over losses. You absorb them. And as time passes by, the pain dulls and you move on. It’s been 8 years since Uncle Tan left and I still feel my tears well up whenever I think of him and how he is no longer here. And i know that 8 years later, it will be the same. The only difference is, my tears will well up for more loved ones I’ve lost.

People have said to me that grandpa was 98 years old, it should be a 喜丧 (happy funeral). He had a good and long life… Take heart and be glad that he is no longer suffering etc. I know everyone meant well but…. the pain is still real. The thing is… death, whether it is at 19, 25, 40, 70… or 98 wouldn’t make it any easier for anyone.

We can only learn to move on… slowly.

To 公公,

I love you.

Grandpa

The dark side of life

It’s one of those days when I wished I was back in Sg… Not because I’m having ABCD, but because of the things that are happening back home. *sigh*

The thing about living abroad is that you are so bloody far away from your family and friends and everything else that’s happening to them. And my heart aches knowing the pain that they are going through.

The past few days has been a constant flow of bad news….

A good friend is ill, yet another newborn has passed away, and another loved one’s grandma has passed on.

Wished I was there physically to support my friends in need. Even though I know my being there is not going to change things but still… :(

But it is also during such times when you realize that the capability to face adversity is more often than not, bigger than what we thought we have.

And then there’s the issue of the missing MH370 flight which has since last night been determined to have crashed with no survivors after 17 days. I’ve not been willing to discuss it amongst folks who were speculating and discussing what happened. There were folks who were reading everything (rumours and everything else) and just had to make some form of comments. Some made sense while some were just brainless meaningless chatter (IMHO).

I have been following the news closely despite my reluctance to talk about it… I’ve teared many times while reading the news & I broke down while I read the article about the folks who were on board… Faces that were given to the names of the passengers, real lives… real dreams… real people who… to be honest, could have been people we know…

Who’s to be blamed and what really happened? I don’t know. I still think there’s no point speculating. But what I know for sure is to let the ones who left rest in peace. And let the ones left behind move on…

I really wish I was feeling more positive but all these bad news can be quite daunting don’t you think?

Spring 2014

I’m on a roll…. oh yeah! \(^o^)/

You know, the thing most people remember about Beijing is the bad pollution…

But to be completely honest, I’ve been here for almost 2 years and I’ll really just say that it’s not all that bad… there are really good days! And then there are perfect days. Like last weekend…. 22nd March to be exact.

As the weather turned warmer into Spring, it’s time to get out and get moving a little. I arranged with a couple of colleagues to go exploring… even though it was to a place I’ve gone countless times but I always believe that there are always new sights and new experiences waiting for us to discover! *beams*

Had originally wanted to visit Prince Kung’s Mansion (never been there) but unfortunately, we headed out a little too late and realised that we will not have time to cover the place. *sad face*

But since the weather was soooo great, we decided to simply just hang around and have a little walkabout Houhai because it was just too disrespectful to the awesome weather if we hid indoors!!

So, here’s me… sharing a little bit of the beauty of Beijing! 

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*praying for more days like these so that i can go explore more!!!*