Month: March 2008
I’m sorry, Dexter.
I didn’t mean it. It wasn’t a April Fool’s Day joke.
IT WAS REALLY AN ACCIDENT!!
What’s wrong with this picture?
Sin Ming and Balestier, that is…
These places reminded me of death, especially Sin Ming.
Just look at the number of funeral palours and the columbarium at Tze Dor Am Temple. It’s a place of grief, where the living and the dead are separated. It is also where the dead are cremated into ashes.
It’s always with a heavy heart that I dragged myself there.
We were there today, at Tze Dor Am Temple, to pray to my Grandparents and small uncle who died in a traffic accident when his motorbike flipped over. He was young, only in his early twenties when he died. I remembered I was only in primary two at that time.
The gate to Tze Dor Am
The ceramic lion standing guard outside the main hall.
After paying our respects to the various Buddhas at the main hall, we proceeded to the other side where we prayed to our ancestors. The place was thronging with people and the smoke from the incense stung my eyes till they teared.
The sun was scorching hot and the tables that were in the shade were all taken. We had no other options except to made do with one that was out in the open under the sun. We set up the offerings we’ve prepared, and invited my Grandparents and small uncle to come out to eat alfresco-styled.
In contrast to the vegetarian dishes which we’ve prepared, our neighbors had a spread of chicken rice, spare ribs and whatever delicacies you can think of. It’s interesting to see what other people are burning to their loved ones. Other than the normal clothes, cars, beach-side bungalows, money, dim-sum, gold bar and what-nots, I realized that the latest Spring/Summer collection down there now is LV. I’ve seen LV wallets, LV handbags and even LV luggage bags.
After a while, we went to the basement where the urns were closely placed on shelves that reached high into the ceiling. The lights are dim and the air just smells so bad I couldn’t stay down there for long!
I don’t like Balestier either.
Like a routine each year, after paying our respects at Tze Dor Am Temple, we would proceed to 大悲院 at Balestier to pray to my 契爷 who is actually my dad’s other brother who died during childbirth. Many years after he died, my Grandma ‘saw’ him at the living room with a girl he’d met down there and they wanted to tie the knot. My Grandma went to the medium and they managed to track down the girl’s family thus, a Yin marriage was arranged.
The medium told my Grandma something about them without having a heir and just at that time, my mum was pregnant with me, thus, I became “the chosen one” to be their 契仔so that there will be someone to offer them joss-sticks .
I don’t know whether to believe in this as it happened way before I was even born. I only knew that from the day I could talk and walk, I had to come to this temple to pray to my 契爷and 契妈 during every Tomb-Sweeping Festival.
This antique bookshelf from 大悲院watched me grew up literally.
They had a new Four-Faced Buddha erected there in the courtyard. It wasn’t here the previous year when I came.
Thank goodness, we’ve already dug everyone out of Lim Chu Kang Cemetery in time and placed them in Columbariums. If not, we would be caught without out ICs in the search for Mas Selamat.
How about you?
Is there somewhere which you dread to go?
This morning, I was having breakfast at the coffeeshop when I happened to look down and saw…
a weird-looking insect with A HELL LOT of legs crawling inside my shirt!
I didn’t manage to see what it was but all I saw was the butt crawling inside. The bloody thing was quite fat so I didn’t dare to slap or smash it.
I didn’t want to risk the juice staining my white shirt and on my body so I hurried home to remove my shirt but strangely, that thing wasn’t there anymore…
Strange, is my body the Bermuda Triangle?
I was at the library and came across this pictorial book. As I was going through the book, I was giggling at how funny the pictures were. The person sitting next to me must have thought that I’m a nutcase for he walked away to sit on the opposite bench istead.
“All the better!” I thought, “More space for me…“
I whipped out my phone and took some of these pictures. The pages were glossy and there are a lot glares from the lights so I had to tilt and bend the books in awkward angles before I could take a proper shot.
The star of this pictorial is a female Pug called Charlie impersonating various famous people and characters.
Presenting, Charlie from HOLLYWOOD
Charlie Puglin (Charlie Chaplin)
Elizabeth Puglor (Elizabeth Taylor)
Marilyn Pugroe (Marilyn Monroe)
Watch out for those cones!
Count Pugula (Count Dracula)
Check out those fangs!
And presenting Charlie, from the VICTORIAN TIMES
William Shakespug (William Shakespear)
Pug Henry VIII (King Henry VIII)
Next, presenting Charlie from HISTORY
Genhis Pug (Genhis Khan)
and lastly, also my favourite,
Mao Tse Pug (Mao Tse Dong)
Clay modelling of course!
You need clay, a little water, some clay-modelling tools and a pair of hands.
I decided to make a figurine of Dexter, his favourite ball and Nylabone.
Throw in a water bowl and a Kong* toy too.
READY! Let dry for 24 hours.
Prepare to color!
*In case you didn’t know, this is a Kong toy.
Instead of going to church to commemorate the crucifixion of Mr Jeezus, I accompanied my parents to the open field across the road to watch getai.
While waiting for the getai to start, the sounds of cymbals and drums from the other end of the field caught our attention. There’s some religious rituals going on so we ditched the getai to watch the ritual instead.
As far as I could remember, the last time when I watched such rituals, I was still a very young kid not older than five years old. At that time, I was clueless about what’s going on around me but I vividly remembered one Tang Kee who is in a trance, running towards me with his tongue hanging outside his mouth.
Tang Kees are chinese mediums who have the ability to summon deities to possess them and after being possessed, the Tang Kees would wield ‘special powers’ like pain endurance and amazing acrobatic abilities.
However, the Tang Kees I saw tonight are non-chinese and I have no idea which dieties have they summoned to possess them?
If you observe carefully, the Tang Kees looked more like foreign workers from the construction sight. I know my phone camera sucks, but the Tang Kees looked something like this . After going into a trance, the Tang Kees were looking at a small selection of ancient weapons (axe, knives, swords) spread across the table.
Even the Tang Kee who was possessed by the legendary Diety, Ji-Gong is a Indian.
Ji-Gong watches on heartily as his ‘colleagues’ goes about choosing their favourite tool. I have absolutely no idea what they are going to do with the weapons (sparring parhaps?) but what comes next wasn’t something I had expected at all…
Do not scroll further down if you’re disturbed by the sight of blood.
After picking up their preferred
suicide tool, the Tang Kees began slitting their tongues rather merrily because the occasional laughter could be heard from them.
The devotees watched on in horror as blood started spilling from their tongues and flowing onto their bodies.
Being one of the chinese medium, the San Tai Zi (三太子) leaves his ‘friends’ to get some ice-cream before skipping away happily to rejoin them.
I didn’t managed to see if San Tai Zi paid for his ice cream but I witnessed him giving the ice-cream man some sweets who received it respectfully with both hands.
The Tang Kees gatecrashed the getai and went up to the stage where the compere told the audience to give them a round of applause…
Up on stage, the Tang Kees continued their tongue-slitting antic and the compere once again instructs the audience to give them a very warm welcome (掌声鼓励鼓励)
Notice the blood all over the Tang Kees’ body? Some aunties cupped their hands over their mouths and watched on in horror while some just dropped their jaws literally!
The immortal blood they spilled are smeared onto giant pieces of talisman and sold to the devotees at $10 a piece to 保平安。
The tongue-slitting seems quite surreal and I do believe in the existence of Gods and other dieties but I started to have my doubts about the authenticity of such acts when they starts going round collecting donations from the devotees.
Was the whole thing real or is it just a staged act?
What’s your take on this?
The previous night, I woke up to visit the toilet at 3am but when I returned to bed, I couldn’t put myself to sleep again. My mind is in a whirlwheel thinking about my decision to leave the clinic for I do not know if my decision is right or not.
However, when I was back at the clinic today, I realised that all my worries were unfounded. The patients are still giving me crap and I’m confident I have not made the wrong decision. Anyway, they have already found a 18 years old girl to replace me.
Before my Manager has found a replacement, she was persuading me to stay, saying that the hospital is like an umbrella which will shield us when we made a mistakes but, the moment she had found someone else, she told me that I could leave anytime if I wanted to.
It is my last day anyway and I would like to thank the colleagues who had helped and guided me in one way or another.
This is it.
Tomorrow shall be my final day. I’ve had enough.
For what do I reach the clinic at 6.50am, to walk into a room filled with the smell of feces? What do I gain, by sitting at the registration counter everyday, listen intently to patients describing the condition of their feces to me? What wrong did I do to deserve the unreasonable verbal abuse when all I did was to help patients claim insurance from the insurance company?
For the ungrateful people who took me for granted and doesn’t appreciate my help, I have absolutely nothing to lose.
And to that highly-educated lady who had insulted my dignity this morning (I hope you are feeling sorry about it now), though you had spoiled my mood for the entire day, but still, I wish you a pleasant day.
One more day of crap and I’m out of there!
Do I have to resort to hanging this on my window to ward of the knnb-ness?
Some of the patients really make me feel sick…
Why do they have to shout and make a ugly scene only to discover that they are at fault in the first place?
Being loud doesn’t make them right or win in an argument, right?
There’s a patient who took part in GCEP (a voluntary medical study) at another hospital and since he’s a volunteer, he didn’t have to pay a single cent for the treatment there.
Today, this patient came to our hospital for a unrelated treatment and he insisted that he should not be charged a single cent. My colleague explained to him that whatever medical study he is taking part in the other hospital is of no relation to us at all, therefore, he would still have to pay for his treatment at our side.
This patient became very agitated and started screaming at us. In the end, we have to call up his doctor at the other hospital and let him explain to the patient.
I don’t know what transpired between them but the patient was being verbally abusive at the doctor and even threatening to opt out of the study if he have to pay.
Then there’s another patient who claims that the clinic didn’t remind him to abstain from food for 12 hours prior to treatment and he began making noise about the efficiency of the hospital. In the end, our nurse pointed out to him the instructions written in the form which he has signed his name to acknowledge that he has already been briefed by the clinic. There’s a awkward silence and the joker still tried to argue his way out saying who will bother to read instructions?
According to him, the hospital should call him up personally to remind him about his appointment and the instructions. Does he have any idea how much patients the hospital receives each day? If we were to call up every patient, we will have to set up a call centre and where will the added manpower cost come from?
Well, unless patients are very willing to pay MORE for medical services, I’m sure the hospital would be more than happy to set up a call centre.
Then, what can we do without the foreign patients?
There is this Cheena auntie who came to my counter and when I asked her for the mode of payment, she frowned at me as if that is the dirtiest thing she had ever heard! She exclaimed, “Money? I HAVE NO MONEY TO PAY!”
Then what? Is she expecting to receive free treatment?
If she is in need of financial help, she could apply for Medifund or financial assistance so in the meantime, I told her we’d fix another appointment for her so that she could come back for treatment when she had the money but she yelled, “DON’T WAAAANT LAAAAAR!! I ALREADY FASTED THE WHOLE DAY AND I’D TAKEN THE (LAXATIVE) MEDICINE!”
When she’s saying that, she was jumping in her seat and stomping her feet at the same time. I really buey tahan her voice and feel like slapping her!
Then, there are the Taiwanese couple in their fifties whose appointment time was fixed at 11am however, they came at 9am instead. When being informed of their actual appointment time, both of them behaved like hooligans yelling that they have a plane to catch at 1pm to return to Taiwan.
The appointment time has already been fixed earlier and made known to them so if they can’t make it, they should have changed to an earlier time. Why make a fuss now? They didn’t check their schedule properly and yet pinpoint the fault at us.
Is that being fair?
The nerves of some people really amuses me sometimes!