Thursday, April 30, 2009

What happens when you turn right 4 times

So I have just returned from a recent work trip to Melbourne, and boy was it cold.

It speaks volumes about my sense of direction when I stay in the hotel for 3 days, 2 nights, and only on the last day do I finally figure out that the hotel and the office are in the same building.

And I was wondering why the lifts looked so similar. I had earlier concluded that it must be because the building manager was the same. Ta-da!

So every day, at the end of each day, I would exit the office building, turn right, turn right again, walk maybe 10 metres down the street, turn right and then turn right again, and get into the hotel entrance. Hmm. How come I see so many of my colleagues around the hotel, I would wonder. I thought they were just meeting clients to have coffee or meals.

At the beginning of each day, I would leave the hotel, turn left, turn left again, walk 10 metres up the street, turn left and then turn left again. And still it would not occur to me that, perhaps, I could be walking back into the same building.

It was on the last day when I was chatting with a colleague about something, looked out his office window and realised that I had exactly the same view from my hotel room. But that's not when I realised I had been in the same building for the last 3 days and 2 nights. That's when I asked him whether the tall building opposite our office was my hotel ...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It's not our fault you can't prove it

So on Monday evening I bought a sandwich wrap and yoghurt to-go from a rather atas nearby sandwich shop, brought it back to the office and devoured it inside of 15 minutes.

8.5 hours later, I was warded in a hospital for food poisoning and pre-mature contractions.

I just spent 2 days in the hospital with a needle in my left hand, and a concoction of antibiotics, dextrose solution and saline being drip-fed into my vein. Every 2 - 3 hours, a timer would go off and would continue until a nurse came to change the drip. Therefore, every 2 - 3 hours, I would wake up, night and day. I was not permitted to eat or drink for 18 hours.

After my discharge, I called the sandwich shop to let them know about the problem, and to ask them to please reimburse me for the hospital bill. I told them about the timeline since eating the food and getting the symptoms, the doctor's findings and the doctor's view as to the most likely and probable cause. I also told them about how the quality and colour of the output matched the quality and colour of the input.

They gave me a long description of their food safety procedures. Going by their account, no one could ever get food poisoning after eating at their establishment. They suggested that I should look to other possible sources of funding for my hospital bill. They indicated as a gesture of good faith that I could possibly look to claiming on their public liability insurance, but would need to provide a full medical report and all findings to their insurer. I would probably also need to deal with their insurer directly. Finally, there would be no guarantee of a successful claim, since I was unlikely to be able to prove that they were the cause of the problem.

They were apologetic about the fact that I had almost miscarried. However, it was likely not caused by them. However, my complaint would go through the proper procedures and would be responded to shortly.

112 Robinson Road
#01-01 HB Robinson
tel. 223 5197
Open 8am to 8pm

They can treat this as my food review.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Thanks, Zara!

I would like to thank the person who suggested that I take a trip down to Zara to find a white shirt that is completely white, lace-and-frill-free, buttons up to the neck, has a proper collar and can take in the Uniboob without having a button or two fly across the room when I sit down and exhale.

Basically a white shirt I can wear to Court without shame.

The last time I was in Court, I had not yet acquired this wondrous garment and tried to squeeze everything into a normal-size white shirt and jacket. The shirt got buttoned all right, but every button from the tits down gaped open in a way I can only describe as light on appeal, heavy on horror. When I sat down, the button that closed just at the apex of my belly screamed for mercy and threatened to fly across the courtroom and smack the judge on the forehead, so I had to hold my breath. In an effort to reduce the peepshow, I forced the jacket to button shut. Perhaps that's why my pregnancy belly now looks low slung. It used to be positioned about an inch higher than this. I suspect the baby will be born with a really deep crease on her head.

Anyway, everyone on my left in court could see into the shirt, everyone on the right couldn't. I sat with the judge on my right, looked at him sideways. That was Before-Zara. Now I am free!

Although I suspect that Zara didn't actually intend for their collection of shirts to be maternity-wear. They don't have a maternity wear section. I think the design of this and the other white shirts I saw, which were just as fantastic a fit as this one are actually intended for a range of their non-pregnant customers.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Look Ma, No Hands

It started off as an isolated incident at the wet market, but I realise it's getting to be quite the trend around these parts. Older women (the aunties) have decided to put their massive mountainous boobs to some good use and have started using them to PUSH PEOPLE ASIDE.

I blame it on the unnaturally stiff and conical bras they sell in the provision shops near the wet markets. Not only do they squeeze everything in and up, these bras manage to organise the giant masses of boob into something quite scary looking and also rather pointy. Don't I know it. I just had pointy smack into my back and arms about half an hour ago. I was trying to pay my bill at Kah Soh and so was auntie with Godzilla boobs. Unfortunately for me, auntie decided that her Godzilla boobs and I were intended to share the same airspace and at the same time. WHACK! went the right Godzilla boob into my left arm. I moved, very very quickly, to the right. SMOOSH! went both Godzilla boobs, into my back. And then SMACK went the left Godzilla boob, into my right arm. At this point, I just stepped right back and away, and glared at her. She didn't even notice. Just paid her bill first, chatted with her fellow Auntie McGiantBoob on the other side of the cashier's counter and left.

I'm not a homophobe, at least I don't think so, but it's really disconcerting to suddenly be given such intimate knowledge of some random auntie's privates when I'm trying to pay a restaurant tab. I felt like asking her what time she's coming home for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's Hawt

I'm still trying to get over the recent robbery, so am distracting myself using anything that comes along.


I mean, there's a saying - if you can't trust your own mother, who can you trust?

Oh God. Nothing is sufficiently distracting. I can't get my mind off my imminent bankruptcy. How to pay bills this month. I can't even bitch to my mother about it. That's like singing to the choir, or calling the person who robbed your house to complain that you can't watch TV because they took it.

All my friends think I was nuts to give her the cheques to begin with. Surely I can't be the only person that does this. Other people open joint accounts with their parents.

Green Apple Green Milk Bubble Tea. With Pearl.
Forget it! Nothing works. I'm still fuming.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fun with Filial Piety

At the ripe old age of 30 + x, there could finally be a time when it would be good to start giving The Mother blank signed cheques so that she can take money out of my bank account whenever she wants.

I started doing that about a year ago, and she's already cleaned me out twice.

This month, she wrote cheques that in total not only exceeded the amount I told her she could take out, it also exceeded my monthly salary.

At the riper older age of 60 + x, she should at least have some concept of positive and negative balances. Just because she still has blank signed cheques in her possession doesn't mean that there is still money in my bank account.

I am so mad my hair is starting to curl outwards. I started this morning off with the usual list of bills to pay, except that right now I'm not quite sure HOW they are going to get paid this month.

To add insult to injury, she made a typographical error in one of the cheques (number does not match words) and it bounced, which means the bank will deduct another S$30 from my account.

In other news, I organised an Easter Egg Hunt in the house, just for The Son, thereby guaranteeing that no one else is in competition to find those Easter Eggs. The problem is that just after I hid those 5 Easter Eggs, I forgot where I put the last 2, and then we really had to hunt them down.

The worst thing about pregnancy brain-fog is that it's not so foggy that you forget that you are becoming forgetful. You know that you're forgetful, but you still keep forgetting anyway. How humiliating is it that I actually needed to write down where I put 5 Easter Eggs in my own living room.

In the 2nd round of Easter Egg hunting, The Son put forward the daring proposition that we should try hiding 8 Easter Eggs this time around. I well and truly could not locate the last one and we had to retrace my footsteps.

But other than being robbed by my own mother and having chunks of my brain take long leave, this Good Friday weekend was a fine one.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

I'm sure I'm not the only one going through this

The Mother and I have had a pretty decent relationship for some time, particularly after I managed to deliver up The Emperor/ First Grandson in fairly good condition. She shows her affection for him by basically letting him do whatever he wants when she's in charge.

So when she's in charge, he's in charge.

I left him at her house today because The Husband and I both had to work, and she was on leave. So the Imperial Chicken and I showed up unannounced, with his latest school project (2 painted Easter eggs) and gift (6 chocolate Easter eggs), at Grandma's house. Poor Grandma. I suspect she had plans.

Usually The Chicken will never let me leave him at Grandma's so I was really surprised when I asked him "Do you want to come with me to work, or do you want to stay at Grandma's house?" and he turned to me, looked at me seriously with his huge brown eyes and asked "Are you coming to get me later?" When I said "Er, yeah", he said "I want to stay here," and wandered off to play. Maybe it's a sign that he's getting more mature. He always seems to get right to the point when we have to sort these things out. Anyway, I was relieved.

In fact, it's just like when we tried to get him to sleep in his own bed. We asked him straight out if he would like to sleep in his own bed tonight. He looked at The Husband and I with the same huge brown eyes, and said "Are you coming?" When we said "Er, no", he said "Then I don't want to." Just like that. So cute. Makes my hair stand.

Anyway, this pregnancy is making me all rambly.

We went to pick him up in the evening, after work, and I had one of those wonderful heartwarming discussions with my mother that I really enjoy. Apparantly, in the course of the last 5 hours, she had allowed him to eat all 6 chocolate Easter eggs. Just what the doctor ordered. 6 low-quality chocolate Easter eggs. And then he couldn't eat his dinner because he was full. Put in a few mouthfuls of Emperor Porridge, and everything comes up again, porridge, chocolate syrup and a few unidentifiable lumps.

"You shouldn't allow him to eat so much chocolate" says my mother, to me.

"But I didn't allow him to eat all 6 eggs. YOU did. I wasn't even here!"

"Well you shouldn't have left 6 chocolate Easter eggs with him!" said my mother, who is never wrong.

"I didn't leave them with him. I left them with YOU. You could have said NO. You could have thrown them away. You could have hidden them. You didn't have to let him eat them."

"Anyway. You shouldn't allow him to eat so much chocolate." says my mother, who is never, ever, wrong.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Happy Yeaster

I've always wondered about what it would be like to be a Stay At Home Mom ("SAHM") and I'm sure I would be very busy if I didn't have The Maid at home, but if I did, what on earth would I be doing with the acres and acres of time on my hands.

Anyway, I'm going to find out in a few months' time. Perhaps I'll even learn to drive.

All the wondering started afresh because I signed The Son up for an Easter Egg hunt with a bunch of other kids living in the same estate, not realising that it was organised by a SAHM and therefore she was going to schedule it today, Tuesday, 7 April 2009, at 4.30pm. When I got her confirmatory email, I was furious - there won't be a single egg left to find within 1 km by the time I get home from work and get The Son to the venue. In fact, since it will be nightfall by then, we won't be able to find anything anyway. How dare she!

Then I realised. SAHMs have very different days and schedules. Sigh.

I ran into the SAHM-organiser the other day on the way back from work, and she had just finished a jog on the beach or something with her son. I had just finished a day full of emails and irritation.

Did you just finish work, she asked.

Yes, why?

Oh dear. You work so late, she said.

I shrugged. How do I say that this is the usual time I get home most days.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

So I guess my secret is out

Day 7 without The Maid. We are getting used to it, but I think that's only because we haven't run out of clothes yet.

The Son keeps asking for her. Having fed him his last 5 breakfasts, I now realise that he has acquired my very low gag threshold. Everytime I head out to the dentist (all of once a year), the chair goes up and down maybe 20 times because of all the times we need to get up and rinse after gagging. It's like the first time I flew Business Class, except that was not gagging, it was me and the seat remote falling in love.

Anyway. So yesterday The Son and I were enjoying the amenities of the public bathroom at the Orchard Hotel (so nice) when The Son takes a good look at me and proclaims to all at toilet in his best television announcer voice,

"Mamma! How come you don't have any penis? How come Daddy and I have a penis, but you don't have any penis?"

The problem with being struck dumb momentarily is that the question gets repeated.

"Mamma! How come? How come you don't have any penis?"

"Is that your friend?" said the woman outside, in a low voice, to the other woman outside.

"No. My friends are all outside." said the handwasher.

I tried to wait until all the eavesdroppers had left, but The Son promptly unlocks the cubicle door and walks out.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Day Three

I'm not actually going to write a daily blow by blow account of Life Without Maid, I think. But not only is it more stressful, it is also more interesting than Life With Maid.

Yesterday, The Son burst a water balloon while we were sitting in a moving taxi. Now that's interesting. It wasn't even his fault - I don't understand what kind of diabolical human mind could come up with a concept of a water balloon yoyo, but that's what their take-home school project was yesterday. It was, literally, a balloon filled with water, closed with a (faulty) clamp and tied to a rubber band. Boing boing boing we go, and then suddenly the back of the taxi driver's head is drenched. The expression on his face was priceless - I almost died trying not to laugh. Even the windscreen was wet. As usual, I didn't have tissues, so we had to use the cab driver's spare napkins to dry off the ceiling of the taxi, the back windows, the side panel, side windows, seat and floormat. Great stuff!

In other news, I finally checked out Diandin Leluk at the Golden Mile Complex. It. is. awesome. That is, aside from the faint but unmistakeable smell of urine and the strangely foreign atmosphere (you feel like you're in an ancient Bangkok shopping centre). There were some shops that didn't even bother with English in their shop sign. I only regret that they did not have in stock their durian with sticky rice dessert. The mango with sticky rice is swooningly good - they use extremely ripe mangoes drizzled with coconut milk and the portions are yooge. Yooge!