Slight Whinge

It’s been more than two weeks since my last post. I know I shouldn’t feel too bad about it — after all, it’s not like I’m sitting about all day twiddling my thumbs, but I still wish I could be a more regular blogger.

How come we’re in June though? I don’t like how time speeds up once January passes.



Spilling the Beans

Like the blogger behind the blog Words from Sonobe, I am hoping to blog more regularly this year. I am also making the effort to visit the blogs I follow more than just once in a blue moon. Honestly, it’s to do with absent mindedness and just bad planning that I don’t visit more.

Anyway, instead of another random post (which happened a lot during the AtoZChallenge), I’ve nicked this quiz from Words from Sonobe! It looks fun.

Think about your SENIOR year in High School. The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!

(I’ll take this to mean the year I did A-levels. I went to Convent primary and secondary schools in Malaysia and then to junior college in Singapore. This is called pre-u, which is kind of a ‘positive’ or presumptuous way of naming the level of study, depending on how you look at it. Anyway, here goes …

  1. Did you know your current significant other? I do not have a significant other.
  2. Make and year of car? No car although, by then, I’d my license for about three years.
  3. What kind of job? Also none, although during the school hols, I’d go home to Batu Pahat, Johor and work at the mall. I did this from when I was sixteen and it was mainly in the supermarket or the Ladies clothes and shoes departments.
  4. Where did you live? In Jurong West in Singapore and in Batu Pahat, Johor, where my parents were.
  5. Were you popular? With some people, haha.
  6. Were you in choir? Yes and so, I’ve performed at some ‘interesting’ events and venues, like the Istana (in Singapore); the National Day parade; and Victoria Theatre.
  7. Ever get suspended from school? No.
  8. If you could, would you go back? Only if I go back knowing what I know now.
  9. Still talk to the person that you went to prom with? I went with one of my best friends who was at another junior college. She is from Batu Pahat and I’ve known her for forty-one years and yes, we are still close.
  10. Did you skip school? Always, always, always. Classes too.
  11. Go to all the football games? Not football, but I did attend a fair number of basketball games and canoeing competitions. Don’t ask.
  12. Favourite subject? English Lit.
  13. Do you still have your yearbooks? No, and I skipped school the day the pictures were taken. On purpose.
  14. Did you follow the career path you planned? Hmm … I can’t remember what career path I planned then, but as I went to law school then switched to nursing and have been a dialysis nurse, in public relations at a resort in Langkawi, in the press, done non-profit stuff and am now an editor, I guess I’ve not followed a conventional path anyway.
  15. Did you have a class ring? Not something we have in Malaysia or Singapore.
  16. Still close with your best friend? Yes! We just spent my birthday in Melaka together. She is Singaporean and we met at junior college.
  17. Who was your favourite teacher? Mr Donald Whitby who taught Literary Criticism.
  18. What was your style? We were known as the dull and grey JC because our uniforms were … dull and grey. I liked wearing a uniform because this was back when there were no clothes that fit fat teenagers. My personal style: Anything I could find that fit!
  19. Favourite shoes? I saved up and bought a pair of Nikes. The cheapest I could find. I was a foolish child.
  20. Favourite music? David Bowie. Of course.
  21. Junior College hair? Ugh, pony tail tied with satin ribbons. But I cut it short halfway through the year.
  22. What kind of cologne/ perfume? I saved up and got a bottle of Armani, which I think has been discontinued. What a delicious fragrance.
  23. How old when graduated? 19.
  24. Did you play a sport? No way.

Predictable Pleasures

A few months ago, I decided to watch the Korean romantic comedy series Romance is a Bonus Book. It took me just a few few episodes to get hooked and, since then, I have watched another two series: Strong Woman Do Bong-soon; and What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim.


They each comprise sixteen episodes and the plots are pretty formulaic. I noticed that all three have the following in common:

  • The male lead is always in a socially superior position. Although the female may be better than he is in other ways, the male is always financially better off, and socially more powerful than the female. In the three series I watched the male lead was the female lead’s superior at work. In two of the series he was her employer and actually the owner of the company.
  • There will be another male character that seems to be a serious contender for the female lead’s affections, but I cottoned on quite quickly that they do not stand a chance and are there just to create some tension between the male and female leads.
  • There are one or two romantic ballads that are played repeatedly throughout the series. They come on whenever the male and female leads have a ‘moment’, another clue as to who female lead is going to end up with.
  • In all three series I watched, the male and female leads have sex, but it is never explicit. In Bonus Book, if you blink or don’t pay attention to what the guy says, then you may miss the hint entirely. In any case, whether or not  the couple has sex doesn’t affect the plot. This is often also the case in Western films and TV shows, but the sex is shown anyway, i.e. gratuitous. I must say I prefer the ‘innocent’ nature of the Korean romantic series. They remind me of classic Hollywood films, which focus more on the romantic or comedic aspects of the relationship, relying on sexual chemistry rather than sex scenes to spice up the plot.

Speaking of chemistry, there is plenty between each of the three couples in the series I’ve watched. The courtship is always sweet and cute, the sort you would expect to experience as a pre-pubescent teen, but it’s appealing despite my great age and the debauched life I’ve led. Or perhaps it’s appealing because it’s so innocent.

I enjoy these series partly because they are so predictable and partly because of their wholesome nature. It’s good to know that a happy ending is coming and I prefer not to dwell on why the male lead always has to be in the position to pamper the female lead with expensive gifts. The woman is never a gold digger though, never greedy or self serving. She may enjoy the treats he lavishes on her, she might be in awe of his fine home and extravagant lifestyle, but she would be devoted to him even if he were a beggar and homeless. She is always thoroughly capable and talented; her lack of assets is not an indication of a want of talent or industry. When she gets the handsome and wealthy hero, you may be sure that she deserves him. And you may also be sure that she’s the sort of woman who will add to his fortune. Haha, I’m rolling my eyes here!

These series are like the Denise Robbins and Mills & Boon books I sometimes like to read. I don’t aspire to be like the women in them. Maybe I want to be as rich and generous as the men! Sure, these series (and books) are an escapist pleasure. They offer some harmless easy-to-digest entertainment in stressful times. How sweet the couples look, like children, so full of love and hope.

When watching the hero of Secretary Kim promise to always love and protect his bride-to-be, I found myself wondering how soon he would change. How soon would she? These frothy fantasies don’t succeed in making me totally forget about the real world. For just the duration of sixteen episodes, I kinda wish they would.



#AtoZChallenge: Y

Y is for Yes.

A few years ago I decided I would say ‘Yes’ to everything — jobs I was offered (I freelance); invitations to parties; dates, the lot.

I did not regret it and I must say it opened a lot of small, but interesting doors, and led to me having a whole bunch of incredible experiences.

After that, I reverted to my usual habit of being more cautious and (you could) say wishy washy about my approach to life. The last six years have not been great and I faced a whole lot of financial struggles and emotional upheavals. I just wasn’t inclined to say ‘Yes’ to anything. Often, I wasn’t able to say ‘Yes’.

Things started getting better again at the end of 2018 and so, feeling much more positive than I have in a long while, I decided that I would start saying ‘Yes’ again to as much as possible. In case you’re wondering, saying ‘Yes’ does not mean you’re not allowed to bail if you realise whatever you’ve agreed to do is not for you. However, so far so good. We’re coming to May, I’ve enjoyed the first four months of 2019 and am looking forward to the rest of the year. Yes!



#AtoZChallenge: X

X is for Xylophone.

I had to pick xylophone because I looked it up ages ago and did not quite get my head around the explanation of why the word is spelt with an ‘x’ and not a ‘z’.

You can read it here and I shall too. Let’s see if it’s clearer (to me) this time round.