Steph's Friend

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Long Break In Medan

Hello! I am back. Well, not really, but yah, this is my first post in this internet-less place. In case you are wondering where I am, I am in Medan. Okay, maybe "internet-less" is too strong, but what I am trying to say is that a internet cafe is hard to find, unless you have a laptop where the shopping malls are wifi-ed and stuff.

Now, I am in this place where it's like 4000Rp per hour, that is equal to about S$0.70. Cheap huh? But the speed is horribly slow. It's like taking forever to load my blog (well, maybe I am too used to broadband back in Singapore).

First of all, thanks for all the comments and tags you gave. Quite a lot of interesting things happened here (as in Medan). Like there was this case when I was accompanying my Grandma to buy some chinese medicine when I saw this rat crawling out of the sewers. It's bigger than the size of my fist. Well, with such critters running around, I guess it can be an eyesore for foreign visitors like me. Anyway, I took a photo of it, but only managed to catch the back part of it, because it ran into the sewers. It was lucky it wasn't caught and cooked by some locals. Yes, I actually saw dead and cooked rats on sale. I wonder who would buy them?

The malls here are quite okay, a major improvement from 5 years before. The malls are air-conditioned. Once I was in this plaza, Sun Plaza. There was something like a Kopitiam there, but the problem was that a lot of people smoked! And for goodness sake, it is an air-conditioned place! Lol...I guess smoking is a part of the people's life here. Okay, not all people, but the majority. It's air-con people! And passive smoking is worse than active smoking. Oh well, I guess it's the people's lifestyle and all. The interesting thing was that even young children smoke. As young as 14? 15? Around there. Even girls smoke too. Peer pressure? I don't know. But it's quite sad. There are some girls who look innocent and angelic, and all of a sudden, they lit a cigar and puff away. Kinda scary.

Now, I am left with around 25 minutes of Internet usage before I need to fork out that 4000Rp. I guess I will end here for now. Once again, Happy Christmas to all and have a Happy New Year :D

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Away On A Holiday

I guess this will be my last post for the year as I will be leaving Singapore soon to visit my relatives. There, the internet is seen as a luxury. The highest you can get is 56k. So you can imagine how slow it is to do things. Anyway, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Happy holidays.

(I found this interesting animation on how to open Christmas gifts. It is quite informative, at least for me :))

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Amateur - Lasse Gjertsen

I play the drums, he play the drums too, but in a different manner. Who said that you need to know how to play the drums to "play" the drums? But I must say, that this method of "playing" can be very time consuming.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Value Of Honesty In A Relationship (Part 5)

Okay guys, here's the final part of the story. Phew, it sure was a time-consuming piece of work, but worth it. Hope you guys enjoy it.

Below are the previous parts of the story:

(First part, Second part, Third part, Fourth part)


It was Saturday and Alex woke later than usual not at all excited about the meeting later on. After all, who would be enthusiastic on learning of a break up between you and your love? Yet he had already told her that he would meet with her. So he decided to SMS Alicia on the time of meeting.

Alex's SMS: What time should we meet?

Alex waited for a reply. He wasn't expecting an immediate one as things weren't that pretty in the first place. Suddenly his phone beeped.

Alicia's SMS: Night will be good. About 6.00pm.

Wow. That was fast. Was there hope for him? Or was she trying to get this over and done with? Alex could only hope for the best. In the meantime, he decided to get her something. Something that would tell her how he felt. Something for what could be the last meeting...

It was evening. Alex placed his gift in his bag and went off. He didn't bother to have dinner as he was too anxious to eat. He reached the place and looked at his watch. 5.50pm. He was early.

Alicia: Surprisingly you are early.

Alex: Well, yah. I was kinda free, so here I am. You are early as usual.

Alicia: Do you know why we are here?

Alex: Yes, you have decided and you wanted to tell me your decision.

Alicia: Urm...yes.

Alicia: But before I tell you. Let me ask you something.

Alex: What is it?

Alicia: Do you still remember the first time you came to my house?

Alicia asked this to start the conversation going, else it will be very awkward with the silence.

Alex: Yes. You told me that your brother needed help in his work.

Alicia: Yes. Anything else?

Alex: You gave me a shirt as a form of appreciation.

Alicia: True...

Alex: One more thing. Your brother told me that you liked me, but I pretended that I didn't hear him and continued on.

Alicia: Yes, he told me about it. Before you came, I told him to help me drop a hint, but I didn't expect him to be so direct.

Alex: It sure was.

Alicia: By the way, helping my brother was an excuse. I actually wanted my family to meet you.

Alex: !

Alicia: Well, my family was curious and so I did that to let them meet up with you.

Alex: I see.

Alicia: Well, anyway all that was in the past. I remembered how you used to tell me how we must move on and all that.

Alex: True...

Alicia: So here I am and I guess it's time for me to tell you about my decision.

Alex: ...

Alicia: You see, I have thought long and hard. Finally I came to this conclusion...

Alex: Wait...before you say anything, please take this as a present from me to you.

Alex reached into his bag and reached for the wrapped gift. He gave it to her.

Alicia: Thanks.

Alex: Erm, hope you like it. Thanks for everything. I treasure the times we had spent together. I guess I will be going now. I am sorry. I guess after the preparation and all, I am still not ready.

Alicia: Huh?

Alex couldn't take it any longer and decided to leave the place. He walked away from Alicia with head bowed down and hands tucked into his pockets. All he hoped for was for Alicia to keep his present.

Meanwhile, Alicia stood motionless, stunned by the unexpected move from Alex. She opened the wrapped gift and in it was a scrapbook titled "Memories". She opened it and saw photos with captions on each page. As she flipped through the pages, she was brought through memory lane.

There was one during Talent Night where she sang and he took photos of her. That page had the caption "The most beautiful woman". Then there was this other photo where she slept with her head against his shoulders in the bus. The caption there was "You are my cute little angel". Next was this photo showing a cut from an elbow. The caption for that read "It was painful but worth it to see you safe". At that point of time, her vision became blurred. Pearls of tears dripped down on the book, leaving wet spots. She flipped all the way to the last page. In it was a handwritten "I Love You Alicia". She lifted her head and saw the man in the scrapbook walking away.

Alicia: Wait!

Alex heard her and stopped. He turned back and looked at her. She began to walk towards him with her head bowed down and the scrapbook held between her arms and chest.

Alicia: I...I...don't know what to say.

Alicia: These photos and captions...they are beautiful.

Alicia: Thank you.

Alex was glad that she liked the gift. It took him the whole afternoon arranging the photos and thinking of captions. He could hear her sob. Was she touched? With every sentence she spoke, she walked closer and closer to him.

Alicia: All these memories...they are wonderful.

Alicia: I didn't expect you to keep them all.

Alicia: It is a surprise for me. I didn't expect this.

This time she was standing in front of him. Alex could smell the fragrance from her hair. It was the same fragrance he remembered.

Alicia stopped and looked up into his eyes.

Alicia: You know something? My decision is...

Alex: ...

Alicia: To accept you for who you are *smile in the midst of a tearful face*.

Alex: !

Alex was stunned! He was too stunned to react. At this point of time, Alicia hugged him. Alex was happy...very happy. He hugged her back.

Alex: Thank you. I don't know what to say.

Alicia: I love you Alex.

Alex: I love you too Alicia.

At that moment, Alex kissed her forehead. Alicia blushed.

Alicia: Aw...that's so sweet.

Alex: Really? And I thought someone was complaining I wasn't romantic enough?

Alicia: Hehe...

Alex: *smile*

Alicia: By the way, do you know what day is it today?

Alex: Saturday. Why?

Alicia: I guess you have forgotten about it. It's okay.

Alicia reached into her sling bag and brought out a wrapped gift.

Alicia: Happy birthday Alex.

It was his birthday! Alex had totally forgotten about it. He was too engrossed and worried about the relationship and forgot that it was his birthday.

Alex: Why...thank you.

This time, Alex couldn't hold it any longer and started to tear.

Alicia: Aw...I see tears in your eyes.

Alex: Hey, it wasn't me first who started to tear.

Alicia took a piece of tissue and wiped the tears away from his face.

Alicia: There. You look much better now.

Alicia: Anyway, I hope that you like it.

Alex: Well, your acceptance was already a wonderful gift for me.

Alicia: Well, that was part of my plan. That's why I chose to meet today. Good thing you said that you could make it, else I would need to choose another day.

Alex: That's so sweet of you.

Alicia: Well, today's the day someone special was born. How could I forget?

Alex: *smile*

Alicia: Come on. Open my gift.

Alex: Okay.

Alex opened the gift and in it was a framed picture of the both of them.

Alicia: I made the frame myself.

Alex: Really?'s good.

Alicia: Thanks. *smile*

Alicia: By the way, do you want to have dinner? I was hoping that you didn't have any earlier on so that I could accompany you for your birthday dinner.

Alex: Really? Okay.

Alicia: So where do you want to go?

Alex: Do you have a place in mind?

Alicia: Smart. That question didn't need a reply. I already have a place in mind.

Alex: By the way, what was your parents' decision?

Alicia: Oh that. They told me that once I made my decision, they would tell me theirs. Their reason was that it was my life and hence I should have the first say in it. You know something?

Alex: Yes?

Alicia: When I told them that I accept you for who you are, my mother started to tear.

Alex: Auntie? But why?

Alicia: Well, apparently, they found the whole situation familiar. My uncle, my mother's brother, was once in your shoe and well, my mum supported him all the way until his girlfriend accepted him. Kinda like a coincidence huh?

Alex: Really! Wow...

Alicia: Well, yah. I was shocked too. My mum saw that he was honest and decided to help him. But I didn't expect the same thing to happen to me. It's kind of surprising.

Alex: Ooo...I see...

Alicia: Anyway, my parents are touched by your honesty and advised me to keep the relationship. That was their decision.

Alex: That's nice. I guess I better buy something for them for being so nice and understanding.

Alicia: Well, it's up to you.

Alex: Hey, so where are we eating?

Alicia: Haha...getting hungry already is it?

Alex: Yes.

Alicia: Well, let's go to my house then.

Alex: Huh? I thought we were going to eat?

Alicia: Well, my mum cooked a feast back home.

Alex: Huh? That will be quite embarrassing.

Alicia: It's okay. They accept you too you know. Anyway, Ace's girlfriend will be there too. It will be a great family occasion.

Alex: I am not so sure about this...

Alicia: Aw...come one.

Alex: Okay.

They took a bus to Alicia's home. This time, the bus journey was filled with happiness.

Alicia: By the way, I saw your scrapbook. It was nice. This bus reminds me of one part.

Alex: Thanks. Which one?

Alicia: The cute little angel part.

Alex: Erm...yah...

Alicia: Are you blushing?

Alex: I am not.

Alicia: Hehe...your face is red.

Alex: No, I am not.

Alicia: You look cute when you blush.

Alex: Haha...okay...I lose. Hey, the stop's here already.

The happy couple alighted from the bus and went to Alicia's house where the family had a feast. It was a happy ending for Alex. No doubt the truth hurts, but Alicia and her parents were impressed by Alex's honesty and they accepted him for who he was. It was no surprise that Alex and Alicia got married later on in their relationship.

This is the story of Alex and Alicia, a story on the value of honesty in a relationship.



So what do you guys think? Will you like Alicia, be able to forget one's past and accept them for who they are? Will his/her past be an obstacle to your relationship? Is the Alicia type of people long gone in today's modern society? Feel free to comment on what you feel and think.

Thanks for reading. Hope you all enjoyed it :)

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Monday, December 11, 2006

The Value Of Honesty In A Relationship (Part 4)

Here's the fourth part of the story. Enjoy.

(Click here for the first part, here for the second part and here for the third part.)


Alex left the house with a heavy heart. Uncle explained everything to Auntie who was still confused. After hearing the explanation, Auntie realized that the whole situation was actually not that simple.

Auntie: Why didn't you tell me earlier? You left me there confused not knowing the whole story.

Uncle: Well, even if you knew at that point of time, what could you do? Alex was trying to be polite in his delivery.

Auntie: Oh well.

Uncle: By the way, don't you find this whole scene kinda familiar?

Auntie: Familiar? What do you mean?

Uncle: How can you forget? It was quite an important event.

Auntie: Hm...oh you mean that one.

Uncle: In the end, do you remember what happened?

Auntie: Yah, funny that it should occur again.

Alex, on his way home, decided to send one SMS to Alicia.

Alex's SMS: Alicia, I went over to your house just now. I spoke with your parents about it and yah...I did my part. I really hope that your parents and more importantly you, are able to accept me. I am really sorry for the hurt you've experienced.

Alicia's phone beeped. As she took her phone, the door opened.

Uncle: Why, if it isn't Alicia.

Alicia: !

Auntie: Your sobs are kinda loud and it gave you away. What happened to your outing?

Alicia: My friends were all busy. The outing's canceled.

Auntie: I see.

Uncle: Anyway, Alex came just now and talked to us about his past. He's a honest kid to tell something like that.

Auntie: Anyway, your father and I would like to ask you this. Do you still love him?

Alicia: ......

Uncle: Take your time to answer. Before we tell you ours, we would like to know what your answer is.

Alicia: ......

Auntie: Maybe we are disturbing her. Alicia, we will give you some time to think it over.

Uncle: When you have an answer, feel free to tell us. Once you tell us your decision, we will tell you ours. Remember that we are here to support you. That's what a family's for.

Auntie: Let's not disturb Alicia anymore.

Uncle: Okay, whatever you say.

Alicia: Wait...

Auntie: What is it Alicia?

Alicia: I...I have decided.

Alex was worried on his side. He had already sent one SMS to Alicia, and yet there wasn't any reply from her. He was getting worried. Did she do anything foolish? Not possible, Alicia's a strong girl. If that's not it, what could it be? Has she decided to break up with him?

Whatever the result, it was getting late and Alex had to go back home. He waited at the bus stop, hoping that Alicia would reply him. Sadly, there wasn't any reply. The bus came and he took it.

As he sat by the window, he remembered how bus trips were always exciting with her by his side.

Alicia: You know something?

Alex: What is it?

Alicia: That cloud up there resembles your face.

Alex: Really?

Alicia: Yes.

Alex: Where is it?

Alicia: There. Up there. Can't you see it?

Alex: Where?

Alicia: There...there.

Alex: Where?

Alicia: look funny like that.

Alex: Not funny.

Alicia: Hey, it's only a joke come on, don't need to be so serious.

Alex: ...

Alicia: Okay, okay. It wasn't funny.

Alex: look cute when you are pouting like that.

Alicia: Why you...

Alex: Hey, it's just a joke.

Alicia: I know. Actually I like it when you give me such surprises.

Alex: What kind of surprises?

Alicia: Don't pretend. I know you know.

Alex: are getting smarter and smarter eh?

Alicia: Well, what can I say? After mixing with you, it's only natural to be smart.

Alex: Aw...that was so sweet.

Alicia: Hehe. Oh the bus stop is just in front.

Alex: Aw...that's so fast.

Alicia: Hey, I need to be back home.

Alex: Why don't I send you all the way to your house?

Alicia: It's okay. After all, you have projects and stuff to complete.

Alex: It's okay. It's only a short distance.

Alicia: Nah, I am a big girl now.

Alex: But I am bigger.

Alicia: what if you are bigger?

Alex: Well...nothing I guess.

Alicia: Trying to play around with words huh.

Alex: Nah.

Alicia: Oh no, the bus has left my stop already.

Alex: !

Back to reality, Alex produced a smile. Oh how he missed those days. That night, it was only one Alex in the bus, no longer the Alex and Alicia couple who used to sit together.

Alex: Well, a girl like Alicia definitely deserved a better man than me. In the event she doesn't want to be with me anymore, I just hope that she'll meet a nice guy who will take care of her.

It was then that Alex's phone beeped. He immediately grabbed his phone and checked the SMS received. It was Alicia's! The sudden adrenaline rushed he received at that moment was overwhelming.

Alicia's SMS: Erm, thanks for your concern and thank you for coming. Will you be free this Saturday? I have decided and I feel that it's only fair that you should know. The place would be the same as the night when you told me about your past.

Alex: Well, it's already at the end and she's still trying to be nice by meeting me to say that it's all over. I guess she would feel bad if she broke up with me and left me in the dark about it. I must say that never have I met a girl like her. The least I could do now is to be nice and meet her

Alex's SMS: You are welcome. This Saturday will be fine. Thanks for answering, you don't know how much your answer means to me. Thanks.

With the SMS sent, all Alex could do was to wait for that day to come. In the meantime, he tried to live life without Alicia. The normal "how are you?" and "hope that you are fine" were no longer sent nor received. He went through all this, hoping that it would make the break up less hurtful for him.

As the days past, Alex couldn't help but feel nervous. He wanted to meet Alicia, and yet was afraid of the news she would bring.

Finally, the day came. It was Saturday.


Phew...that sure took quite a while. For your information, one part such as this took around 3 – 4 hours to complete. Why so much time? Well, first, some recollection, after that, the phrasing of the speech spoken by the characters in it. Next will be proofreading. Finally one last read through. In the event that there are parts to be added or taken away, it will need to be proofread again.

Once again, feel free to drop your comments. If you love/hate/empathize/insert-an-emotion-here with any of the characters, feel free to say so.

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Week's Wick: Honesty

Week's Wick


Honesty is the best policy

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Value Of Honesty In A Relationship (Part 3)

I got some feedback that some readers do not know which part of the story relates to a flashback and which one relates to the current story. If you face the same problem, please tell me and maybe I will put some notice before writing on a flashback experienced by Alex. Maybe something like "This is a flashback" or something like that, but I feel that the addition of these unnecessary sentences disrupts the flow of the story. Well, anyway, back to the story.

(For part one, click here. For part two, click here.)


The door bell rang. Alex tidied himself up and cleared his throat. He popped some mints into his mouth, as he remembered one advice from Alicia...

Alicia: You know, when you work after university, it's always good to have fresh breath, especially when you talk to important people.

Alex: Are you saying that I have bad breath?

Alicia: No. It's just an advice. Relax. I don't think you have bad breath.

Alex: Haha...relax...I am just joking too.

Alicia: Why you...

Those were the days when they were happy. Now, all that was in his mind was the relationship. Suddenly the door opened. Alex saw a familiar face.

Alex: Hey, how are you?

Ace: I am fine. Thank you.

Alex: Are your parents around?

Ace: They are inside. I think they are expecting you.

Alex: Oh really? she there?

Ace: She? You mean Alicia? I don't think so. She said that she wanted to go out with her friends just now.

Alex: I see...

Ace: By the way, why do you call her "she"? Let me guess. Something happened right?

Alex: Nah. It's an adult's problem. You not going out?

Ace: I am. I am meeting my girlfriend later on.

Alex: That's nice. Enjoy kid.

Ace: You never stop calling me "kid" do you?

Alex: At least it's better than "ah-boy" don't you agree? Haha.

Ace: You sure are...

Auntie: Ah-boy! Don't keep your dad and me waiting.

Alex: I guess they are expecting me. I better go in now.

Ace: Hey, all the best man.

Alex: Thanks.

Alex walked into the common area. He saw Uncle sitting with the day's papers. Auntie was having a cup of chinese tea while reading a magazine.

Auntie: Ah...Alex, you are finally here. Come...come...take a seat.

Uncle: Finally, you are here.

Alex: I hope I haven't kept the both of your waiting for long.

Auntie: No need to be so formal. After all, you and Alicia have been together for quite some time now.

Uncle: Yah, drop all those formalities and take a seat.

Alex: Thank you.

Uncle: So, what is it that you want to tell me?

Auntie: Am I invisible?

Uncle: Fine. So do you have anything to tell US?

Auntie: That's more like it.

Alex: How do I start...

Auntie: You can start by saying something.

Uncle: -_-

Alex: It has been around 2 years with Alicia and I must say that she's a great person. She's nice, courteous...everything that a man can dream for.

Auntie: That's nice. Thank you.

Alex: Welcome Auntie. The purpose I came here today to meet with the both of you is to say something.

Auntie: Oh...I am so excited. Finally a grandchild.

Alex: Huh?

Uncle: Ignore her. So what is it that you wanted to tell us?

Alex: Well...before Alicia and I got into this in before I got to know her...erm...

Auntie: Take your time Alex, it's still early.

Alex: Before we became a couple, I knew she was interested in me.

Auntie: Oh yah. Remember that time how she would come home and talk about this guy?

Uncle: Oh sure. How can I ever forget that. Sorry, Alex please continue.

Alex: I wasn't very interested in developing that relationship then.

Uncle: Haha...yah I know. She would come home saying how she dropped hints and couldn't believe that a guy could be so insensitive.

Auntie: Well, at least now we know it's not because you are insensitive or whatsoever. Anyway, please continue.

Alex: Your daughter is great and all, but somehow I feel...that she's of a higher standard than me.

Auntie: What do you mean?

Alex: Can I ask the both of you a question?

Auntie: Sure. What is it?

Alex: Am I her first boyfriend?

Uncle: Well, yes. You are the first. That's why Alicia got so high and up when she met you. I guess, she's keeping herself for someone who deserves her, and I think that she sees that you are that man.

Auntie: Don't misunderstand. It's not because nobody wants her that's why she's single. In fact, it was a tough time keeping those boys away while she was still at school. Uncle used to pick up all the incoming calls and if it was a boy asking for her, he would say she was not in. Haha...Uncle here is a bit old-fashioned.

Uncle: Women sometimes talk too much don't they...haha.

Alex: I am...touched. She told me all this before, but hearing this from you's really heart-warming.

Uncle: Aw...come on, we think that you are a decent guy and all hence we allowed Alicia to go out with you.

Alex: I guess after knowing that, I can't really harbor any doubts and questions regarding her sincerity in our relationship.

Auntie: Is anything the problem? Alicia did seem a bit troubled these few days.

Alex: It was because I told the truth.

Uncle: The truth? The truth about what?

Auntie: Oh no...don't tell me...

Alex: I told her my past.

Uncle: Past?

Auntie: Past? What's wrong?

Alex: Alicia's not my first girlfriend.

Uncle and Auntie: ...

Alex: That's why I felt guilty and wasn't interested in developing this relationship from the past. But yet, as time pass, I began to realize that Alicia, your daughter, is the girl of my dreams. I mean...she's close to perfect...nice...polite...everything a guy could ever want. And yet, despite knowing this, I found it hard to go into the relationship because of my past.

Uncle and Auntie: ...

Alex: Don't misunderstand me, it's not that I don't love her or anything. In fact, I really love her. At times, when I am alone, I would just imagine how life would be like with her by my side. Yes, I am serious. Sadly, that can only happen if she and you are willing to accept me for who I am.

Alex: I could have just kept quiet and go on with life as if nothing happened. But I don't want to keep any secrets from the woman I love most. I want her to accept me for who I am.

Uncle: Now hold on a second. When you said that our Alicia is not your first girlfriend, do you mean it in that sense?

Alex: ...yes...

Auntie: What are you guys talking about?

Uncle: Never mind. Now I get it. This can be very complicated. No wonder Alicia's not herself recently. To realize that her first true love is......yes, it sure is hard.

Auntie: Hey, I don't understand. Can someone please explain it to me.

Uncle: I think I understand. Alex, do you have anything to say?

Alex: I really love your daughter Uncle...Auntie. I really really hope that she and her parents can accept me. Throughout the day, I have been wondering if I did the correct thing. Whether telling her about my past was really necessary and important. I guess, now that I have reached this point, I believe I have done the correct thing by telling her and you the truth. In the event that Alicia decides to drop the relationship, I don't blame her. I mean she's a nice girl and I believe there are many who would want to be with her. However, I really do hope that she will accept me.

Auntie: This sounds sounds like a...

Uncle: Hm...okay. I guess you must be exhausted.

Alex: I guess I will take my leave. Thank you for your time Uncle...Auntie.

Unknown to the group outside, Alicia was inside her room and heard everything that her parents, and most importantly, Alex said. She couldn't help but cry. Memories of the past came into her mind like a torrential flood. Happy times, sad times, and even romantic surprises. Those were the times. She was on one hand, glad that Alex came as promised, as expected from a trustworthy man. Yet, on the other hand, the emotional distress that arose from this was simply too much for her.

Alicia: *sobbing*

The door opens and a familiar figure enters.

Alicia: !

Ace: What the...

Alicia: *whispers amidst the sobs* please...keep quiet...

Ace: *whispering* I thought you went out with your friends?

Alicia: My friends couldn't make it.

Ace: And why are you crying?

Alicia: I am fine. It's just a technique I discovered that helps people to de-stress. You should try it one day too.

Ace: Erm...I just hope that whatever that is stressing you didn't fry your head.

Alicia: Not funny...

Ace: You remind me of Alex. The way you said that. He used to tell me "not funny" in that manner whenever I try to be funny.

Alicia: Really...

Ace: Anyway, I won't disturb you with your new de-stressing method. Enjoy sis.

Alicia: Thanks. And remember that you didn't see me.

Ace: Sure. I didn't see my sis. I only saw someone with a new de-stressing method.

Alicia: Not...

Ace: Funny...I know.

The door closes and Alicia prayed hard that Ace would not tell anybody that she was in her room.

Alicia: I remind him of Alex huh...I guess...after all the time spent together, we sure are getting more and more like the other...

Ace walks out trying to stay cool to avoid any attention. Alex had already left the house.

Uncle: You know something?

Auntie: What is it?

Uncle: I didn't know that it was this serious...


At this point of time, I wonder if I should just summarize everything and give the final conclusion or be fair to the story and continue on. The latter may take a lot of time. I guess I will see how things go. Again, feel free to drop any feedback/opinions/views/questions that you may have.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Value Of Honesty In A Relationship (Part 2)

I don't know if I can complete it as I will be overseas on next Wednesday. I will be at some place where the Internet is a luxury and the fastest speed reach to only about 56k. I know, it's primitive and all, but hey, I am visiting my relatives for Christmas :)

Okay. Here's part two of the story. For part one, you can click here.


Alex: Hello? Is this Uncle?

Uncle: Yah why?

Alex: Alex here. I have something that I need to talk to you about. It will be good if Auntie can be there too.

Uncle: Oh ok. Is it urgent?

Alex: Erm, not really. Whenever you are free, we can talk about this.

Uncle: I am free tonight. Will tonight be good for you?

Alex: Okay.

Somehow, Alex just wished that they would never have the time. Sadly, he couldn't avoid it. What's worse was that the appointment would take place that night. Was it too fast? No, lest Alicia tires from the waiting and decided to break up. But will she? He knew deep inside that she really loved him. It was hard for Alex, the confusion he's having and the meeting later in the night simply was quite a handful for him to handle. Nevertheless, the least he could do was to prepare what to say. Hopefully, it would be much better than his botched delivery to Alicia the other night.

During his breaks, he would rehearse on what to say. Be direct? Beat around the bush? Give hints and not be direct? He tried them all.

Alex: Erm, Uncle...Auntie...I have something to tell you.

Alex: It's kinda hard to say, so please give me some time.

Alex: That won't do.

Colleague: You talking to me?

Alex: No.

Colleague: Chill man. Don't let work take its toll on you.

Alex: Thanks.

After work, Alex decided to drop by home and change into something casual before going to Alicia's house. He took a quick shower and for that night, he decided to wear the shirt she bought for him.

It was the shirt that started it all...

Alicia: Alex, you free tonight?

Alex: It seems so. Is anything wrong?

Alicia: Well, my younger brother needs help in his school project.

Alex: Can't you help him?

Alicia: That's the problem. I took Econs and Humans in school, unlike him who took the Sciences. It's like he asked me on some Einstein's three laws on some forces and acceleration stuff.

Alex: You mean Newton?

Alicia: See what I mean?

Alex: Was that on purpose?

Alicia: If it was I would have said Alicia's laws.

Alex: Not funny, but nevertheless a good try.

Alicia: Hey. Okay I admit, it's not funny, but will you help me then?

Alex: *pause* I guess it wouldn't hurt to help a JC kid eh?

Alicia: Thanks!

She had her way with words and that was one of the qualities he saw in her. He tried to avoid developing any form of relationship knowing that his past would be an obstacle one day if he went on with her. How true he was.

Alex: Hi Uncle. Hi Auntie. I am here to teach Alicia's brother on some academic stuff.

Uncle: Oh yes. Please come in. He's waiting there at the study room.

Alex: Okay.

He walked into the study room as he looked around. It was his first time there. Where was Alicia? Nah, that's not important as after all, he wasn't in favor of having a relationship with her.

Ace: You the guy who's here to teach me?

Alex: Yes kid.

Ace: Do you define a kid as someone who's 18 years old?

Alex: Erm no.

Ace: Well, we can start by not calling me a kid. You can call me Ace. You are?

Alex: Alex.

Ace: Okay, let's go straight into it.

Alex: Sure.

Alex started to teach Ace stuff that Ace wasn't sure in. From Newton's Laws to Calculus. Everything was a piece of cake. After all, in his final year of university, all these no longer seemed foreign to him.

Alex: So if I apply a force here perpendicular to the plane, do you think it will be enough?

Ace: She likes you.

Alex: Yes, it is. However, if we add the extra load as stated in the next part of the question, where should we apply the force now?

Ace: Wait...

Alex: Huh? Why?

Ace: Didn't you hear what I said just now?

Alex: You said "wait".

Ace: For an engineer, you can be quite dumb.

Alex: Look, I am teaching you and helping you here. The least you could do is be polite.

Ace: Okay, fine. Sorry, I apologize. I don't see what she sees in you.

Alex: Huh?

Ace: Never mind. Like you explained a minutes ago, for such situations, a counter-force needs to be applied just Right?

Alex: Your sister has a smart ki...I mean brother.

Alex heard what Ace said but decided to play dumb as he was trying hard not to develop any relationship in fear of Alicia's rejection if she knew his past. Yet deep inside he really wanted to get to know her better and if possible...

Alicia: Hi Mum. Where's Dad?

Mum: He went to meet some of his friends for some coffee.

Alicia: Oh okay. How about him? Did he come today?

Mum: Why yes. He's in the study room with ah-boy.

Alicia: Yes! I knew he would come.

Mum: He looks like a nice guy, that's why we allow him to teach ah-boy. After all, nowadays there are perverts that take advantage of small children. Hey, ah-girl, you listening to me or not? Where you going?

*Door opens*

Alicia: Hi!

Alex: Oh. Hi! Your brother's quite smart you know. Are you sure he needed help?

Alicia: Huh? Why yes, after all his exams are near and all, so as he revise, there are some questions that he may have. Right Ace?

Ace: Er...yah.

Alicia: By the way, I went to look around for something and I bought a shirt for you in appreciation of your help.

Alex: Eh? Okay, thanks for the shirt.

Alicia: Welcome. Thanks for teaching ah-boy.

Alex: Ah-boy?

Ace: Hey! You know, for starters, I am 18 so stop calling me that.

Alicia: What's wrong? I mean it's not like something mean or whatever.

Ace: Alex, isn't this the part where couples should kiss and hug? After all, she gave you a present. Furthermore, I am 18 and quite open-minded, so it's okay if you..

Alicia: Why you...*blushed and walks to her room*

Ace: Haha...I am good at this.

Alex: Do you have a girlfriend?

Ace: No. Why?

Alex: Now I know why.

Ace: Hey! That's mean.

Alex: Haha...joking my friend. I am just joking.

Back to reality, Alex looked at his watch. It was close to 6pm. He wasn't hungry as that wasn't important than. Saving the relationship was. He looked at the mirror in front of him and for the first time, felt sad wearing that shirt. He prayed for the best and set off for Alicia's home.

Mum: Alicia, he called this afternoon saying that he wants to talk to us about something. Is anything wrong?

Alicia: It's okay mum. I am fine. Just see what he has to say to you.

Dad: It's almost time. I guess he will be here any moment now. Alicia, you sure you don't want to stay back and listen.

Alicia: I'm fine. After all, he wants to talk to you only right?

Dad: Well, yah. But if you want, you can join us any moment you want.

Alicia: No thanks. I guess I will just go out with my friends and all.

Dad: Okay. I will just wait here with Mum here for him. Can you bring me today's papers?

Alicia: Sure. Wait while I go and get it.

Dad: Thanks.

Mum: You know something?

Dad: What?

Mum: I don't feel easy now.

Dad: Relax. Maybe he's here to ask for her hand?

Mum: I don't know...

Dad: You woman think too much.

End of part 2.


I will stop here. After all, it's quite long already. Once again, feel free to comment or voice your views on this.

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Friday, December 08, 2006



Finally I got back my pink I/C!


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Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Value Of Honesty In A Relationship

Here's a story I heard from one close friend. He's now happily married and seemed content in life. He shared with me this story as I asked him what was important in a relationship. His answer? Honesty. I decided to post the story as I myself found it helpful. Hopefully you will find it helpful too. A warning though, it is a long story. It won't end in this post. I will continue when I have the time.

Names have been changed and speeches are not 100% exact as the one I heard, but it's phrased so in the post to give the readers an idea of what happened.



Alex knew Alicia had a torch for him. Yet he couldn't bring himself to accept her. Alicia didn't realize that. She was in love with him. He liked her too, but there was something that egged him. However, as time passed by, he saw that Alicia was truly a beautiful girl - both in terms of looks and character. He can't help but fall for her too.

They went on dates and their feelings grew for each other. Things looked very pretty for them - a caring man and a loving woman. Their friends and family talked about them as the ideal couple. After about a year or so, in one of the dates, Alicia asked a question.

Alicia: *smiling* Alex, do you think it's time?

Alex knew what she meant, but somehow, he felt uneasy and sad. He felt guilty.

Alicia: *looking concerned* What's wrong?

Alex: Nah, it's okay. I am fine *giving a weak smile*.

Alex ignored her hint and strayed to some other not important topics. When it was time for home, he sent her to her doorstep. She went in and waved goodbye. He smiled. It was fake. Deep inside, he was struggling on one decision that he need to make. It may not look like a big deal to him or the people around, but to Alicia and her parents, it maybe one big issue that may affect their relationship. It was then that he decided to tell her. Maybe not that night for she maybe tired after the date.

Alex: Hi Alicia, it's me Alex. Will you be free tomorrow night? I have something quite important that I must talk to you about.

Alicia: Sure. Is something bugging you? You looked quite stressed just now.

Alex: Sort of. Talk to you tomorrow night. Good night.

Alicia: Sure. Take care.

Alicia couldn't sleep that night. She became worried too. She remembered that worried look on his face. Deep inside, she hoped that it wouldn't be a break-up. After all, they had been through thick and thin in the past one year. However, that worried look on Alex's face that night was simply disturbing. She prayed hard that night.

The night came and they went out. Alex looked for a quiet place to talk. Alicia followed him by his side, ever-worried of that fearful word.

Alicia: So what is it that you want to tell me?

Alex: I know that you are a nice girl. Great personality, great character with good looks. I can say that I am a blessed man to be able to be your boyfriend.

Alicia: Aw...that's sweet.

Alex: I find that as time passed by, I began to realize that I would be a happy man if I can live with you till our golden years, but...

(Alicia was anticipating for the worse.)

Alex: my past haunts me.

Alicia: What past?

Alex: You are a conservative woman, so is your family.

Alicia: So?

Alex: How should I say this? *fidgets for awhile before looking away from her* You are not the first girlfriend I invited...

Alicia: Stop! Don't say anymore...

Alex: I guess that's it.

Alicia: ...

Alex: I decided to tell you now is because I want you to marry me for who I am and not who you think I am. I love you, and it's because of that it makes it so difficult to make the decision of whether to tell you or not. I can keep quiet and all but I don't want to hide anything from the woman I love, but to tell may hurt you or worse, end this relationship if you feel I was too liberal in my youth or your parents can't accept it. Whatever it is, I decided to be honest with you.

It was at this point that Alicia felt hurt. No doubt it was not that fearful word, yet somehow she felt broken inside. Alex kept something from her all this time, she shared all and kept nothing from him. Yet he did that to her. She felt betrayed. Furthermore, Alex was her first boyfriend while she was his nth.

Alicia: *sob* I...I'm sorry, but I need time to think. It's all too much.

Alex: Alicia...I'm sorry I hid this from you.

Alicia: Thanks. Good night I need to go home.

Alex: Do you want me to send you home?

Alicia: It's fine. I can manage. Thanks for your concern.

Alicia started to walk to the taxi stand while Alex stood there watching her go. He kept thinking whether he had done the right thing. Was he too crude in his delivery? Was he wrong? No because he was being honest to the woman he loved. Yes because he had hurt her. He drove back home and fell on his bed.

He stared out of the window with trains of thoughts going through his mind. He thought about the past times that they shared. Be it sweet or bitter, somehow they manage to come out of them all. He gave a weak smile before a sigh. Closing his eyes, he tried to sleep, but nay, sleep was far from him. She was the one who taught him certain values that he didn't have. Ironically, one of them was honesty. He became so confused that night so much so that he slept late and was late for work the next day.

Alex: Hi boss, sorry I am late.
Boss: Is anything the matter? I mean, normally you are one of the earliest. Is it Alicia?
Alex: Thanks for the concern, but I am okay.

He rushed to his cubicle and looked at his schedule for the day. Suddenly his phone beeped. He received one SMS from Alicia.

Alicia's SMS: When you are free, talk to my parents about what you told me last night.

Was she indirectly rejecting him? Was there any hope for him? He replied back.

Alex's SMS: Sorry Alicia if I have hurt you, I hope that you are okay. Did you tell them anything?

Sadly, there was no reply from Alicia. That day somehow seemed to be the worst day of his life. He trudged his body to the meeting room for a business discussion. Forcing a smile, he wished that things would turn out for the better.

End of part 1.


I guess I will stop here for now. Feel free to share your views and opinions.

I warned you that it was a long post didn't I?

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Free Screensavers From American Greetings

Are you looking for some nice and cool screensaver? American Greetings provide some of the nicest free screen savers available in the web. Best of all, they are free! Not only are they free, they do not have any spyware or adware in them. Nice huh?

They have a variety of screensavers for selection. They have screensavers on Christmas (Christmas is coming up, so why not screensaver-ise your desktop with some interesting screensavers?) and many others like the four seasons if you are feeling seasonal. Screensavers can be in the form of animations or photo montages. If you are feeling adventurous, you can try both and see which suits you best.

Downloading one is easy. You choose one that you like and click the "download" button. If you are not registered yet, they may ask you to register with them.

Personally I like the "Kitty in the Window" screensaver because of the interesting things the cat does in it. Pretty neat for a screensaver.

Here are some images for you to see:

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Week's Wick: Gravity And Love

Week's Wick

Gravity And Love

Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love. ~ Albert Einstein

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Hidden Cameras

You've seen them almost everywhere. In shopping malls, banks and even educational institutions. It was brought to the limelight with spy movies with a spy camera as small as your fingernail. The hidden camera is no longer something foreign in society. However, with it comes the question of the right to one's privacy. Is the line crossed with such gadgets? Or is it acceptable in the name of security and surveillance?

Here in Singapore there are some families who use it to spy on their domestic helpers. They sometimes use a nanny cam to spy on their domestic helper a.k.a nannies for little junior at home. Whether they are cleaning the house or just slacking off in front of the television. Whether they are playing or scolding their baby. In this situation, I would say that it would be acceptable as the safety of their home/family members is in question. Who knows what their domestic helper may do. There are cases of babies who died when left in the home under the domestic worker's care. There was also a famous case where a mother and her child died in a fire at home. So it is a good idea to know what's going on at home. It is easy to "Yes madam" when the employers are at home, but it is another thing when they are at work. As one have said, "A person's character can be seen by what he/she does when no one's looking." How true it is.

However, there are some cases where I feel it isn't ethical to use the hidden camera. Let me state an example.

Some perverts may use it in dressing rooms or gym locker rooms for voyeuristic purposes. Unknowingly, the victim falls prey to the schemes of the voyeur. It's a scary world. Well, as the world progress in terms of the technology available to the layman, privacy is being threatened.

Interestingly, there's something called a Spy Finder Hidden Camera Detector. It is supposed to detect any hidden camera/nanny cam/spy camera around the user. Here is the product description from the website:
Spy Finder is an easy-to-use Hidden Camera Detector. Simply look through the viewing port and scan any room to reveal the exact location of concealed Wireless and Wired Cameras. Use it in dressing rooms or gym locker rooms to protect yourself from prying eyes. Give your loved ones peace-of-mind knowing their privacy has not been compromised.

BrickHouse Security recommends the Spy Finder, the only device that works well and fits in your pocket, giving you portable protection. This Hidden Camera Detector is so simple to use many of our clients buy an extra one for their mother or wife.

The Spy Finder Hidden Camera Detector/Locator is the most reliable, user-friendly technology on the market, allowing you to make sure that you are not being watched. It uses optical augmentation; a phenomenon whereby light reflected from a focused optical system, such as a Video Camera, is reflected along the same path as the incident light. If a Hidden Camera is illuminated and viewed with the Spy Finder, then a strong reflection from the target camera will reveal its position to the user.

The Spy Finder takes advantage of this phenomenon by using a ring of ultra-bright LEDs arranged around a viewing port. When a user scans a room looking through the viewing port, a Hidden Camera appearing in the field of view will brightly reflect the light from the LEDs.

To scan an area, simply look through the viewing port and depress the button to activate the LEDs. Slowly scan areas where Hidden Cameras are suspected and look for bright-reflected spots. Remember, most Hidden Video Cameras use Pinhole Camera Lenses, so the spot you are looking for could be small.

If you see a suspected camera, move your vantage point slightly. If the location of the reflection moves as you move, then this is not a camera. If the location of the reflection does not move, then it is highly likely that you have discovered the optics of a Hidden Camera.
Surprisingly, the same website has another product. It is the StealthCam Hidden Camera. Now here is what the website has to say about this product:
The Perfect All In One Hidden Camera System:

* Impossable To detect (No Wires or Wireless Signals)
* Play back full screen, full motion video on TV
* Simple to set up and use quickly

No wires or even wireless connections to complex Video Recorders. Theses cameras have built in DVR systems that record direct to a Secure Digital card.

View the recorded video on TV or PC with no extra software required

With our new patent pending stealth recording technology in our StealthCam, we have eliminated the requirement of additional recording equipment for a covert system. Sporting Mpeg4, 30fps, Motion detection, and Time & Date stamp, the hidden camera records directly to a SD card for storage and it can easily be played back on your PC. Capable of being built into different styles and featuring a knockout price, Stealth Cam is the only all-in-one solution.
Now you may wonder which product will best the other. The detector or the stealth camera. I guess technology has its own contradictions at times. Interesting...

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Friday, December 01, 2006

One More Week To ORD!!

Finally...that special

NSFs all wait for this special day where they can smell their pink IC. It may seem like a card, but with that card, you are no longer a chao recruit/lance corporal/corporal/insert-any-rank, you are now a civilian.

One sad thing though. It's ORD instead of ROD. This goes to show how one switch of letters can mean so much a difference. In this case, it's 10 years of re-service.

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