Wednesday, 26 August 2020

The art of not doing anything

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone” – Blaise Pascal.

If there is one thing that I really discovered about myself in the last 6 months, particularly in the last few weeks, is that the above famous words from a historical figure do not quite apply to me. Having lived alone in Singapore for almost five year, I knew I am not a person who always want to be out and about. 

But… the few months have brought about monumental discoveries.

“To sit quietly in a room” – this is probably a metaphor.  Translating into today’s words, I would think it probably equates to not doing a lot, or not doing anything at all, or to a certain extent, just self-entertained. 

Are we able to do this for an extensive period of time?

I discovered that I could. As I reflect on this, I realised that it could possibly be because I have always done this from a very young age.  For instance, I don’t think I have a proper toy until I was in my early teens. As such, I believe I have mastered the art of entertaining myself, or just sit quietly at one spot and just let time passes.

It is probably an escape when I was very young, from everything that is happening around me.  Perhaps that was a good thing, as that didn’t allow bad influence affect me when I was young.

I sound pretty weird now, but I do believe not doing anything or just doing the exact same thing over and over again in these days and age is truly a disappearing art.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Isolation returns

It was just a few months ago…

The world was put on a lockdown, an effort to intentionally isolate the human race in order to curb the scourge that is the coronavirus.  Strangely though, it felt as though the effort to isolate the human race actually raised inter-human communications to a much higher level, thanks to technology.

How many times did you FaceTime your family?

How many times did you have social gathering held over platforms such as Zoom, Google Meet-up or the likes?

I bet the level of activity in all your chatgroups also went up a few notches, or maybe you even started having regular whatsapp catch-ups with some friends whom you have not spoken to in ages.  And… people who usually takes ages to reply a single text… suddenly became rather prompt, did they?

Some claimed that the lockdown has given them a certain degree of stress, and pushed them outside the comfort zone where they have to do everything themselves.  A friend of mine was telling me his part time helper could not go to his place so he had to do all housework himself.

Isn’t it an irony that people are being pushed outside the comfort zone by being in their… “home”?

And of course, suddenly everyone is able to cook.  A wave of cuisine parade swept across social media, where people proudly showed their ‘product’ from the only trip that they can make during the lockdown… trip to the kitchen.

That was just a few months ago…

The word that has reversed all of the above is called… “normal”... while the term new-normal is floating everywhere as the new way of life.  However, it cannot be denied that normalcy is slowly but surely returning, or more specifically, the human race craves for normalcy to return.

Normalcy… lesser inter-human communications, no more online social gatherings that did not translate into more physical gatherings, don’t need to cook so much yourself, don’t need to do housework yourself, more time wasted stuck in traffic jams… you know what I am getting at.

Normalcy returns, “I am busy” or “I have no time” is back. Isolation has ended, and yet isolation has also… returned.


Sunday, 5 July 2020

A discovery during my reconnection journey

Following my last entry, I have more or less combed through my email archive, communicated with a lot of people, some of you have graciously replied and it has been an awesome experience communicating with those who replied. Amidst the elation, I would nonetheless pause and reflect on an unfortunate discovery during this sentimental re-connection journey.

In the year 2008, 2 years after my Mom’s passing (which I blogged plenty about during the early days), I received an email from someone, telling me that he chanced upon my blog at that time, and it was 2 hours before his mother’s funeral service.  He informed me that he would recite a poem found in this blog as part of his mother’s eulogy.

I could sense at that time that he was lost for words, and I was glad that writings in this good ‘ol blog helped him during those grieving moments of his. We exchanged a few emails more than 12 years ago and of course, I would definitely be interested to connect with him again. 

He was someone from the other side of the globe, in the US.

As I was about to write to him, something tells me to just google his name, maybe I will find a FB page or LinkedIn, you know, the kind of online footprint that we all have these days.  It was through this step, that I discovered something tragic.

I did not find his FB or Linkedin. Instead, I found is obituary. He passed away unexpectedly April this year. He was described as someone with a huge heart and a deep soul, and he was younger than me.

It was indeed a very timely reminder during this eventful year that life is too fragile to be wasted away.  While we cannot realistically live as though there is no tomorrow (because reality doesn’t allow that), we ought to cherish every moment of our lives.

May we all pause at this moment, think of the loved ones that we have around us and bask in the gratefulness that life has given us.

And may this friend of mine (if I could consider him as one)…. rest in peace.


Monday, 29 June 2020

Sentimental connection to legacy readers

I was feeling rather sentimental a few nights ago, perhaps it was because I have reached another milestone…. It was my birthday, another number to that ever increasing number, a number that you don’t quite keep track after a while. Wouldn’t you agree?


And so, I decided to log on to my Zewt e-mail account and went through a lot of the mails that I used to receive and the communications that I had with the readers of this blog, days when there used to be so many of them :)

It was very surreal to read through some of those mails from readers who asked me so many questions, ranging from where I got my inspiration to write, advice and well wishes during a time when I was diagnosed with a kidney condition, and most of all, questions about career from people who just graduated from university seeking a pointer or two about whether they should join the corporate world. 

Time wise… most of those mails were almost a decade ago, some even longer.  I wonder how these people are, whether my 2-cent worth of consult to them (if I can call that a consult) did lead them to where they wanted to go, and whether they have achieved greatness and did well in their respective career.

And as such, I decided to write to a few of them with the email thread that I had.  To my surprise, some of them have replied!

I have discovered through the years that human connection is one of the most fulfilling experience ever.  Therefore, I am excited to connect to people who wrote to me literally… a decade ago.

Are you one of them?

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Zewt in hotel quarantine


It was such a good feeling to actually know that there are people still lurking around here, it gives me hope that people still fancy reading.   I myself have also missed some bloggers that I used to follow, and I too wish they would make a return.  However, we all have our lives to live.  

I wish everyone who is reading this is having a good life and that you are currently staying healthy and safe in this unprecedented time in human history.  I think no one alive has actually been through this.  Tough times but I am sure we will all come out of it stronger. 

Meanwhile, just want to share with everyone that I am now in hotel quarantine, and I made these videos to entertain myself and hopefully you will be entertained too.

My “Friday Frolics” crazy video, hope you will find it funny.


This one is when I first arrived.


Hope you enjoy them and I will see you again very soon.

Best wishes to everyone,
Zewt

Monday, 4 November 2019

Hello world, are you still around?


And so…. it has been 7 years, months and 13 days since I have shown any sign of life here.  So many things have happened and I feel as though I am now living in a completely different world.  Amongst the change is the death of blogosphere as we used to know it.  It is all now about products and services and people just do not read blogs for the sake of reading anymore.

And so, the notion which has been long touted here has finally come to pass, I am finally in Australia. Looking back, it took more than a decade for this to happen, it has not been an easy ride.

Long story cut short, I have spent almost a decade in Singapore, saw and experience what it is all about working in this pressure cooker, resigned without a job to move to Australia and I have seen been (as the Chinese say) “measuring road”, commonly known as jobless.  Well, apparently anyone without ‘local experience’ is not very in demand here, nevermind the vast non-local knowledge you have.

But…. While it is not within my workspertise, I have landed myself a role as a host for a TV programme! Yup…. Hey Mom, I am going to be on TV!

So life is not like a box of chocolate…. Life is like you resign without a job, you never know what you are going to get. And indeed, I am truly going to find out what I am going to get.

Just a quick one to send a chilling howl out there…. To see whether anyone answers…..

Yoo…. Hooooooo……

Sunday, 22 April 2012

A free trip story


A friend of mine asked me why in the rarest of occasion when I do write, it’s quite certain that I will be bashing the country.  Well, let’s deviate from that for this one… though, not exactly much…

A story was relayed to me when I was back at my KL office last week.  I have heard of such stories being circulated via word of mouth and you probably did to.  But to actually hear it first hand… that was quite something…

The mother of a colleague of mine is a member of this association, which shall remain unnamed.  Just to be clear, it is not a political association. And so, this association sent out a notice telling all its members that a free trip is available for anyone who is available on the trip date.

It’s a free day-trip to a local destination that covers everything – and my colleague’s mom thought… why not?  The free trip is not only open to the association’s members, but family members as well.  My colleague; being a filial daughter, decided to accompany her mom.

And so, the day arrived.  All the uncles and aunties together with so and so who tagged along for the free trip all happily boarded the bus, looking forward to a day of fun, fully paid. 

As soon as the bus hit the road though… things took a twist…

The supposed tour guide then announced in the bus saying that the free trip has been cancelled.  Instead, everyone in the bus has now been given the “supreme privilege” to meet a VVIP of the country.  Everyone was “carefully selected” for this supreme privilege… so it seems…

That’s not all.  Everyone will also be given a free T-shirt to wear during the meeting with this VVIP and... get paid!  Wow, things just get better isn’t it?  From a trip to a trip where you will get paid…

There is a catch though… in order to earn this supreme privilege and obtain payment, everyone must clap when the VVIP arrives and… and… and… sing a song!  If you do not know how to sing… not a problem at all.  It will be taught to everyone during the journey.

You may be asking... how can one learn a song within such a short period of time? Well, it is a very simple song.  Similar to the ABC song... this is actually a number song.  In fact, it's much simpler... instead of having to sing all the numbers, you only need to say only "satu"...

This song... a lot of the word "satu" in it.
(satu = one in Malay).

Of course, that free t-shirt has got a big “1” printed on it.  Something tells me you know what is the word that comes after 1.

All the uncles and aunties with their innocent tag-alongs were sent to some school where the VVIP arrived and everyone was to clap and of course… sing the important “satu” song.  Apparently, there other buses arriving from other places… seemingly bring other souls who thought they were going for free trips.

It was a cheerful atmosphere.  People clapped and sang and at the end of the day, everyone was paid… MYR20.  Apparently, the VVIP said during his speech that he was so happy that many came to support him.

Woooaah… free bus ride, free t-shirt, free singing lesson, meet a VVIP and now… free money! Where to find!

I don’t know about you but that sure beat a free trip anytime… next time you hear of anyone getting free trips, be sure to join them ya… you might just get this supreme privilege.