Friday, December 31, 2010


The obligatory year end post.

It will be mentioned all over, but where did the year go?!

Even the above sentence has been used to death.
Perhaps time flies when one is having fun. And I am.

Most of the fun part can be found on my twitter account @ahtiong73 (in future no one needs email or phone numbers). Some sad/bad partsare in there too but it goes away quickly.

Although I communicate more online, offline interaction did not suffer. You don't need a guru to tell you that it's not how much time you spend with a person but what you do with that time. People do not count the hours you spend with them, but instead value the few minutes that you do. And from what I have experienced from being online, there are better ways to punctuate a conversation than a smattering of ?!??!! *#^%&
> . A raised eyebrow, a smile, frantic hand gestures and in many of my cases, a raised glass of frothy goodness goes a longer way than some silly characters you generate from holding down the shift key.

I may not have met you for a very long time, our conversations may not be as long as they used to be. Do know that when I do pass you on the street or receive a buzz from you that for those few minutes you matter to me.

So I have decided that instead of a wall of text that you'd get from me intermittently, we can update each other via 140 characters or a bit more under Google buzz/ahtiong73 .

I will from time to time dig up some entries from 5 years of archive to share, but for instant gratification there are those links I provided above.

Thank you for following me, and hope you wake up to 2011 remembering 2010.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stringing along

It's been such a long time since I've written anything with more than 160/140 characters,such is the allure of Plurk/Twitter, that it has made me lazy to string more than 2 sentences together, let alone paragraphs.

Perhaps I'm done sharing the more intimate details of what's going on in my head, taking the easy route of bombarding you with the most frivolous of updates online.

Every post is about the most mundane of things; where I am (Foursquare), what I'm doing (Twitter), why things are the way they are (Plurk). Yet, it takes up a good part of my day. God forbid if I should ever (never!) jump on the Farcebook wagon.

Have I lost sight of actual "Life"? I can't recall not going through a day without my trigger happy thumb (alpha-numeric keypad for me) ready to fire away on my mobile device.

Time overseas is spent, ironically, online about the going ons back home, where I have my online presence.

It has come to a point where I've tried to impose a curfew on my time online.

Looking at the time of posting this though, you'd know that once again, I've failed.

Well, I did manage more than 2 sentences, didn't I?

Friday, June 04, 2010

Thank you note.

Another half of the year has begun.

Right up till the first half I was pretty optimistic. Plans were afoot, albeit in my head only.

Those were cut down to size recently, and I felt defeated. My cowardice almost cost me the one thing that is good in my life at the moment.


Without your support and conviction, I would have thrown in the towel so easily, as with many things before.

Thank you.

Sunday, May 30, 2010



I allowed myself to be clouded with doubt that I missed the chance to see her.

The cloud of doubt that dawned on me since an honest and long conversation a week ago.

Doubt that I may not get approval. Doubt that I will not measure up. Doubt that I can provide.

My callous attitude may yet get us into a bind not necessary to begin with.

Fingers crossed...

Monday, May 17, 2010





今晚,游览了一些朋友的小天空之后,忽然感到惭愧。我以前那分热诚去了哪儿?是我生活中少了那少许的纪律 ,还是生命中有了更重要的核心?



N.B. Translated in comments

Friday, May 14, 2010

Service, but at what charge?

How far would you take your complaint when dealt a bad hand at a restaurant that has grown from mom&pop stall to a tourist attraction that charges a premium for their menu.

Good friend of mine took it all the way to print and online media, even posting onto Boo&Bouquet which has made itself into the news recently.

"Ms Lee Ying Wen would think twice about eating out at No Signboard Restaurant in Vivocity again after her experience with her "missing credit card" last Saturday. Here's her story: link.."

Somehow the above website has been closely watched by some retailers/restaurateurs and they responded quite promptly.

"Ms Lee Ying Wen, who wrote to me yesterday about her "missing credit card" experience at No Signboard Restaurant in Vivocity on Saturday, received a reply from the management today -- a day after her story appeared in this blog. link..."

I feel though, that the response was kinda knee jerk and in some way, condescending. Last I know, my friend is still trying to give away the vouchers they sent her.

" So someone sent a big complaint letter. Let's gloss over everything with some cash vouchers. Singaporeans can't resist a freebie. It'll be so un-Singaporean to do it."

Don't take it lying down, nor let sleeping dogs lie.

You are the consumer, let them hear ya roaaaaar!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Word to your Mother (tongue)

So now the gahment is considering letting kids who cannot manage a pass in their mother tongue to slide into (top) secondary schools without it.

Over the years the MOE has tweaked the education system in so many ways that students and parents sometimes don't recognize the syllabus by the time term starts anymore. This latest "consideration" though, takes the cake.

While I was not a bright student back in the days, I am glad that I went to a school with deep roots in Chinese culture. I took up Confucius studies, studied Chinese literature. Both of which I sucked big time. It did, though, expose me to a world where a few words put together, can summarize a whole passage.

Fast forward to present day. The Chinese language is being taken up in many parts of the world. It is not uncommon in my job to hear Caucasians, Japanese, Indians etc speak the language with some fluency. That they have recognized the economical benefit of grasping the language speaks volumes.

If people of non-Chinese decent are playing catch up to master Mandarin, how come our schools here are being made to dumb it down many levels? And if the "consideration" is taken up, why would anyone in school bother to learn the language since it holds little or no stake in the final assessment before they go onto secondary schools?

It just reflects the way society has placed emphasis on short term, often impatient, quick fixes.

I am also leaning towards the theory that somewhere on this island there are little white ponies who's influencing the decision making.

Do note that of course I am not referring only to the Chinese language, but our ethnic mother tongue at that. Malays should be able to master Bahasa Melayu, Indians -Tamil. Language is the link we have with our parents, and the older generation, of whom has many tales to share, recipes to life.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Re-connect. Dis-connect.

I have been posting more randomly via Twitter and Plurk, thanks in large parts to my smart phone. Many nowadays just can't, or won't, sift through anything more than 140 characters.

Sign of the times.

We want to know things in an instant, with the least amount of fuss. When was the last time you sat down and had a conversation with someone without reference to a tweet, a post on your facebook wall, and in my case, a plurk?

True that I have been communicating with many of you with the written word for the longest time. However, nothing beats sitting down over a nice hot kopi; seeing, hearing, giving each other a firm handshake or a warm hug.

All this, whilst resisting the urge to check in on your online accounts via the mobile web.

The weekend is coming up.

Go out and talk to someone.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Less is More.

I was in danger of turning into my Mum.

Hoarding items from days of yore; the movie ticket from the 1st date, boxes from gadgets bought over the years, old uniforms, dust collecting on electronics sitting in a sad corner at home, clothes bought on a whim. And tupperware... a lot of tupperware.

It started out with a cabin bag that was excess to requirement. Then the 7.1 speaker system that wasn't making a squeak to the home theatre experience. Then the 5.1 DVD system which was a leftover for when my brother was staying with me. Good stuff, all of 'em, but bad use of space.

So word was sent out that the Haus of Tiong was de-cluttering. Of course, one has to entice them people to show. Enter Wii, steamboat and Mahjong. How they love their mahjong... The trio combo were so successful that some forgot about picking up things for a good part of the day.

However, some did go back with items that will get a new lease of life instead of sitting in a dark corner gathering sinus-inducing dust. Somewhere, someone out there is blasting their ears off with a newly acquired sound system, a room will be cooled down considerably by a large fan, stacks of CDs are being digitized into a huge archive, and hopefully someone will turn up with a better tan next time.

And at Lor Ah Soo? I can see my kitchen. Again.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Great way to...Wala!

"So what are you going as tonight?"

"I assure you, it will banish any remnants of your hubby's halloween costume from years back."

"OK onz, tonight I go Wala.."

So it was to be Kevin's birthday on the 2nd Jan of 2010. With this crew there usually is a theme for their birthdays, but I think this really takes the cake. I assured them that the crowd will literally part for them even though it would be a full house by time they got to Wala after the birthday dinner.

It occurred to me to head towards Mustaffa Centre. This place really has everything. It didn't take me long to locate the souvenir department and begin to find a size that will fit me. Luckily the costume is situated at a tiny corner so I could try it on right there, without shoppers thinking I had a particular fetish. Proceeded to make payment before whizzing off.

Word must've got out to the Barflies, cuz by the time we got to Wala the turnout was big. The same people had rushed from a party from another end of the island to join those who, as usual, were there early for a table.

For the first Sa-Thirst-day in 2010 at Wala, it definitely is memorable!!

P.S. another theme party on the same night got totally pwned by ours!