Shhh! Secret Life of a Princess

Random, provoking thoughts from a self-confessed princess :: with focus on motivational learnings from the media. I hope to inspire everyone to be the best they can be

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Warren Buffett - the next Santa Claus

Perhaps it’s the work of God. When Bill Gates copied and stole Apple’s ideas and make a fortune out of the supposed deal which was meant to be Steve Jobs’, God has a way of knowing that the fortune will be given back to the society. And when Bill Gates got his fortunes, he indeed did gave it back to the society via his Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, focusing on discovering a preventive AIDS vaccine, to prevent the spread of diseases like malaria in under-developed countries and providing education to the masses.

With the 1st richest man in the world focusing solely on philantrophy, it is about time for the 2nd richest man, in the world to do so. I do believe in karma: what you take from the society, you have to give back. And now that philantrophy is in trend what with Angelina Jolie making Ethiopia more visible to the world via her efforts as a United Nations ambassador and giving birth in Namibia instead of ijn a posh hospital, I am proud to say that an evolution has begun. Life is not purely about material gains. When you have enough material gains to last you a lifetime, you need that spiritual enrichment.

Perhaps that is what Berkshire Hathaway B stock in residual amounts of 5% a year. Does his contribution increase the price of his shares? I do not know. This remains to be seen as an objective of his gift but that would mean it is indeed the society giving back to the society which works fine by me. All the world needs now is a little more equality & love. :)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Maxisians & ex-Maxisians Unite

When It Rains, It Pours: this was what happened to me the week of CommunicAsia 2006 (19 June 2006 – 23 June 2006). With people from both the telecommunications and writing industry merging for the once in a year biggest telecommunications event in Asia Pacific, I was inundated with visitors from all around Malaysia converging in Singapore. I was so glad to meet up with old friends after 1 month of meeting and adapting to new friends in Singapore especially those who I have constantly keep in touch and shared my dreams with. I was suprised to even catch up with ex-Maxisians who appeared in CommunicAsia working for a different vendor whose name shall not be mentioned. Thanks all for coming and taking the effort to call me out for dinner, drinks, etc.

This newbie in Singapore do not know where to go so we ended up savoring Tony Romas’ ever famous pork ribs in Suntec, went gallivanting around the ‘durian’ then had drinks by the ‘quay’. The next days were spent socializing in The Coffee Club with great selections of coffee and smoothies in adorable glasses and watching football in Robertson Walk.

My visit to visit to CommunicAsia is iterated below. Like TV Smith said, the Singapore Expo with 6 gigantic halls, a buffeteria and another hall to showcase BroadcastAsia 2006 beat KL Convention Center, MIECC and PWTC hands-down. Singaporeans know what drives the foreign money in.

Monday, June 19, 2006

World Cup & Singapore's Quality of Life

The universal language of the world: Football World Cup. Where can one find the world united in one language, one time, one passion. People of all colors unite to gain glory for their respective country or the countries of their interest. People of all color shouting in one language.

Btw, Singapore is stepping up to fight for a better quality of life by garnering votes via The Straits Time’s online interactive website, Stomp (check out the beautiful bloggers in this site :P) and sms so that employers allow their employees to come into work late on 8 July 2006, the morning of the World Cup finals. Some employers are allowing their employees to come in as late as after lunch knowing that most will be up until 5am for the final match. Hey, it’s only once in every 4 years, what harm can half day make?

When I first came to Singapore, people warn me about sacrificing my life, as I would have to work till late at night. Kiasuland is known as a country that is highly pressured and incredibly competitive. Well, I was not dejected, as I have to admit I am quite a workaholic. However, when I arrive here, I am surprised to find people rushing off home at 6pm sharp and if I was to stay after 7.30pm, I could be the only left in the office. Lots of ppl I speak to in Sg are talking abt migrating to countries like Aus and Switzerland so that they can enjoy a better quality of life. They could not take the stress they used to handle and focus on working smart now. I think even Malaysians work longer hours. Well, I could be speaking on behalf of my own company only though.

Hey, but this does not mean Singaporeans do not get their job done. They are SO results-oriented that they set up an organized workflow so that everything can be done on time effectively. I find that here, I am more focused and deliver results better. Yet, I could do more in life besides work. How cool is that! No wonder Singaporeans are becoming more vocal. The less time you put into executing work and more into experiencing life, you will tend to form opinions and think out of the box, just like the Westerners. I am getting there :)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Wake Up and Smell the Football

Woke up extremely early today to the sound of receding rain and decided to head to work early and grab myself some breakfast. So, I headed to none other than MCDonalds to grab my dose of Sausage McMuffin, with egg. Yum yum!

As I went into the shop, I was greeted by none other than a poster indicating the times of the today’s World Cup football match. Gasp! They even show football in McDonalds over here? That is wonderful! AsI nudged in at 7.20am, the TV set was on, blaring with the sounds of cheering fans and comments from mcs in the Germany football stadium. So, there I was sitting by a corner, savoring my breakfast while watching snippets of goals, near-goals and red cards throughout the 3 football matches of the previous day. Not bad for someone who could not wake up or stay up to watch the 12am and 3am matches and still want to be in the know of the scores and who is the cutest footballer on the field. Spain & Italy, drool, drool.

Indeed, McDonalds is the official sponsor for this World Cup but to have flat screen tvs hanging from so many McDonalds outlets was value-added service for those who wants to get a cuppa and still want to watch the early football shows. They even list which McDonalds branches show the football matches on their tray leaflets. With increased competition, customers are spoilt for choices and thus in Singapore, it is the consumers market where something can be gained for anything they consume or bought. Various marketing strategies for win-win situations can be learnt here. What a great way to start the day ;)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Journey Home and Singapore Second bridge project

This sign is posted at the Johor custom before entering Singapore. Either the Malaysian govt thinks all Singaporeans understands Malay or they only allow those who understands Malay to pass through custom with no trouble. I also find it funny that the arrows with the same directions are placed on both left and right of the signboard. Maybe I’m turning more and more into a Singaporean, but I definitely think this signboard can be improved. At least allow those who have not been educated in Malay to understand the directions or those who are organized to understand the signs in a glance.

I am starting to relate to our former Prime Minister, Datuk Dr Mahathir’s anger over Badawi’s suspension of the Singapore bridge project. For me to get past the Tuas second link from JB to Singapore yesterday took more than 2 freaking hours. If it is this bad in the 2nd link, imagine how bad the situation will be at the Causeway. As I observed bridge, I could relate to the recent spate between Datuk Mahathir with Datuk Abd Badawi on the suspension of the 'second' bridge to Singapore. It would have convenienced a whole lot of people especially Malaysians like me who work in Singapore and Johorians that travel to and fro Singapore and Johor daily.

Why did our Prime Minister stop the bridge project? Was he not aggressive enough to make a stand compared to our former Prime Minster? Could we have gotten the project running without succumbing to Singapore's demands had we negotiated with more aggresion? Come on, it's not like Singapore has not gotten good deals from us, like the cheap price of water we are selling them until year 2060. I would have accepted all the decisions made had the govt gave clear and not ambivalent justifications for their decisions or better yet their indecisions. Just a thought.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My 7 Wonders of the World

Yeah, Singapore was voted No.33 in the Top 50 cities in live in according to the Quality of Living Survey. Proud indeed that I am in this country but nevertheless the world is too huge to just stay in one place. Thus, my cheat list of the top 7 places or countries that is now my 7 Wonders of my world:

1. US: Disneyland – California , Universal Studios – LA, Hotels in Las Vegas, New York! New York!

2. UK: Eiffel Tower & Louvre – Paris, Venice, Spain

3. Pyramid of Gizas in Egypt

4. Great Wall of China, Beijing & the Terracotta Warriors in Xian China

5. Eutophia

6. Switzerland: Geneva, Zurich

7. Home Sweet Home, Malaysia

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Staple Diet is now Chocolates!

What do you do when you are down & depressed? Everyone together now: Eat chocolates! Well, I am not down but got myself this M&M’s white (did someone say white?!) chocolates to try just for the heck of it. The colors of the chocs are all pastel: white, sky blue, lime green, pink and lilac. Love the colors and love the taste. Guess this is going to be my staple diet now.

So, while we are on the topics of chocolates, let me tell you a better deal: FREE Chocolates! Did someone say free?! Yes, you heard right. In Melbourne, they deliver free ice-cream and chocolates to your doorstep. It’s called Heaven chocolates. It is a tie-in promotion with Desperate Housewives in which the ads will be shown when the program airs while introducing Safeway’s delivery services. Everyone who calls in get free 2 bars of Heaven Ganache and 1 bar of Heaven chocolate. Walla, the customers name, address and phone numbers are now in the company’s database. Not bad for a marketing gimmick huh. They can now use the customer details for future birthday promotions or any festivities. Well, why not for free ice-cream and chocolates!

- Source from my dear friend, Amelyn Foo who must be nicely relishing her ice-cream & chocs now!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Journey through the Night Safari, Singapore

Trailing through the 3 trails (Fishing Cat Trail, Leopard Trail, Forest Giant Trail) in Singapore’s Night Safari, one would be amazed at the ability of the keepers of the place to train the animals to actually walk out to the front of the screen for the viewing pleasure of human. Imagine seeing the fishing cats licking itself right in front of your face, the spotted leopards playing with one another beside the glass screen and the laughing hyenas striding silently close to us humans. I saw all that and more. Wolfs standing with glory on a huge rock, lions roaring its hearts out, rhinoceros playing in the mud, ant-eaters using their snouts to look for inserts can be seen within the darkness of the Night Safari. Since all those are nocturnal animals, visiting them at night gives you a better experience than daytime. I also enjoyed walking through a small mangrove forest with flying foxes flying above my head. But well, I could get that in my old house, populated by bats.

Do you know that Tigers only eat once every 8 days? Each meal they take is about 25 – 30kg of meat. All this I found out in Night Safari. And after traversing the whole place on foot, I and my family finally gets to sit and relax, watching the Creatures of the Night show. Nothing too amazing with tame animals like otters, civets and racoons coming out to play. I wish they could get the wolf to come out. Hehe.

Well, the Night Safari is worth a visit, if you have SGD20 to spend and even better an additional SGD8 to ride the tram. I suggest you go on foot if you want to see everything but the next day, be prepared not to walk, unless you have my stamina. ;)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Carpe Diem! Birth & Death

This coming 11 June marks 2 things: The birth of a loved one and the death of a loved one. It is the birthdate of my beloved boyfriend. One could never have guessed how the arrival of such an insignificant being on Earth would create such a significant difference in my life. A life that gave my life inspiration, meaning and color. I could never been more blessed to know that the storks have brought such a life into my life at just the right time.

At the same time, it was also the passing away of another loved one from this beautiful place we call Earth. The passing away of someone who did not get past the young age of 33 due to cancer. How many wonders of the world has this person seen before leaving this world? Had this person got the chance to see his/her son taking his first steps or calling his/her name? Had this person got the chance to celebrate his/her father/mother’s 90th birthday? Had this person got the chance to contribute to the society and help the poor? When you are burdened with the plaque called cancer, you would be busy going through one chemotheraphy after another. Money is spent on treatments rather than little pleasures in life that we all take for granted, like eating nachos for appetisers or having your chocolate snacks. Life is viewed at a different angle altogether and instead of loathing life, you start to appreciate every little thing in the little time you have left in life.

When she was still alive, chatting with her, you would not have expected her to have that disease. She portrays so much zest in life, so passionate about everything she does that one would be wide-eyed to know later that she only had 3 months to live. But what can you do in the little time left of you but to be happy? So, live life folks. How colorful life is all depends on you. I really admire those who have lived life, it shows in their personality and later their wrinkles or white hair. Carpe diem!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My American Dream

I have been having the urge to visit either US or UK sometime soon and when I stumbled upon this website, I practically jumped with glee. I commend Google for promoting the green areas for a change, thus increasing the usage and traffic of their Google Earth.

Why am I so influenced to go there? Well, for one, us mere mortals (esp OCBC – Orang Cina Bukan Cina or simply called Banana people) have been inundated with images of places in United States via movies, tv series and news on any media. By following Yahoo news, I get curious about how Sunnyvale, California where the HQ is located looks like, is it that sunny? By following The Apprentice, my curiosity to visit New York and Las Vegas is piqued. I am pretty sure the images on tv were only showing those on the best angles of US. By watching every single episode of Lost, I am encouraged to visit the island that Josh Holloway is trapped in, nah, just kidding, but I will not be surprised if that island will be a tourist spot one day.

Besides, talking to my friends who have already been there increase my cravings more. Just check out the cool pics from Rudy's blog.

So, I think Google did a great job in promoting green places in US this summer 2006. Forget the cement building and bright neon lights. I for one would go to Orlando just by viewing photos of those lush green forest and tranquil lake and LA for some healthy green food. Kudos Google for going green!