An Ordinary Life

What I do, what I think

Blessed August 27, 2008

Filed under: God — reneewong @ 11:24 pm

As a non-Christian, many things that happen are often attributed to coincidence or karma. Personally, I doubt that I’ve done that many good deeds to accrue so much good karma that good things keep happening to me and coincidences are basically another way of saying I don’t know why that just happened. It’s really easier for me believe that God the Almighty is always with me, making sure that I want for nothing.

The happening thing today at the office was Teachers’ Day. We had a buffet lunch which I was invited to attend, and all the teachers were also given a choice of a present which I was not offered. Last year, with the old team in the department in charge of this stuff, I was given one of the choices, without actually being offered a choice. This year, there was nothing at all. In the afternoon, I was asked by one of the staff in my department whether I was given the same thing that I received last year, and I said, no, I didn’t get anything this year and she was like, “Why?” and I said, “Well, I’m not a teacher,” though I do cover teach occasionally. And she was very indignant and said, “But they’re getting something,” referring to the staff in another department who deal with teachers but who never ever teach. Incidentally, the people in charge of the presents are from this same department. I didn’t have a response to that but I tried to rationalise it in my head, telling myself that, well, maybe they deserved it because they get a lot of crap from the teachers.

So after my usual meeting with my boss tonight, when I was sitting at my table with two of my teaching colleagues from my department, my boss came along and asked, “So which one did you guys choose?”, waving the sheet of paper with the choices of gifts offered to the teachers. I didn’t say anything coz I didn’t get anything, so one of my colleagues responded with her choice, and then my boss asked me specifically what I chose, and I said very matter-of-factly, “I wasn’t offered anything.” And he was like, “That’s not right. I’m going to speak to them about it.” And I didn’t really have a response to that, so I didn’t say anything.

But isn’t it amazing? My boss is always looking out for me, when he can, but he’s often so caught up with his 50 projects that things have to be brought to his attention sometimes. I hardly ever push that button because I think that some buttons should remain emergency buttons, and not buttons that we push for a kick. But the truly amazing thing is that God is always looking out for me, and He is never too caught up with his gazillion projects that He forgets about me. Never. Can you just imagine that? Someone who never fails, never disappoints. And all it takes is faith. Faith in His faithfulness.


Sniffles is now hot August 24, 2008

Filed under: boyfriend — reneewong @ 2:36 am

In line with how words have power, Sniffles will now be called Hot. I was toying with the idea of Hot and Rich but concluded that that was too much of a mouthful. Shall aim for hot first.


Language August 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — reneewong @ 8:01 pm

So I went to Popular Bookstore to buy an electronic dictionary coz I want to read my Eileen Chang collection of short stories which I bought in Shanghai six years ago but never got past the first page. However, I’ve been very motivated since Lust, Caution and I actually almost finished the first chapter in the toilet last night except I didn’t understand a quarter of the words.
So there I was looking at the dictionaries and the saleslady comes along and asks if she could assist and I told her what I was looking for. She couldn’t believe that I needed a Chinese dictionary for myself. Then she tried to figure out where I got my accent from. Frankly I don’t really have an answer to that. People always comment on my accent when I speak Chinese, more than when I speak English, though personally I know that both accents are atypical Singaporean. The English comes from learning most of my English from American sitcoms, and then spending three years overseas where I had to speak with foreigners from everywhere. The effort to speak standard English understandable by everyone came from that experience. The Chinese, I really don’t know. It actually is quite bad but people tend to think I speak excellent Chinese because of my accent. Truth be told, during my one year in France I became more fluent and comfortable in French than I had ever been in Chinese, which just goes to show how pathetic I actually am in my supposed mother tongue that it can so easily be supplanted by another language that I had only spoken for a year.
So anyway I am now on a mission to brush up on my Mandarin so that it actually does become as good as what people suppose it to be. Will keep you posted when I finally make it through the Eileen Chang book.


Lust, Caution August 22, 2008

Filed under: rambling — reneewong @ 2:56 am
Tags: , , ,

I just finished watching Lust, Caution. It was amazing.

The thing about death is that it’s so final. And the thing about the death of someone else is the absence. First the person was there, then he or she isn’t anymore. There was a warm physical being who could laugh and cry, and then there’s a void. That’s what makes death sad.

I feel sorry for the Tony Leung character more than the Tang Wei character.  I am assuming that this is the general sentiment. And I’m saying this not because I’m biased towards the actor, but because his character was so alone. He loved her and perhaps at some point he might have realised that she loved him too, and that’s why she told him to run, but he didn’t have a choice but to put her to death, and then he had to live with her absence. And what kind of existence did he lead anyway? It’s no wonder that the Chinese government deemed the movie unpatriotic as this traitor was actually a very sympathetic character. Tony Leung is an amazing actor. Anyone who takes his or her job seriously will be able to relate to his character’s dedication and work stress, and that is while being aware that he’s doomed from the start coz his side is definitely losing. He’s a tragic anti-hero.

Absence is the scariest thing. The absence of a loved one; for me personally, the absence of God. That, I think, is the worst feeling. Absence makes the heart grow fonder is a load of crap. Just ask my dog.


Wedding – not woes anymore August 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — reneewong @ 11:32 am

I realised that from the previous blog, it would seem that things are falling apart, but they are not. Sniffles and I are actually doing better than ever, as a couple at least. As individuals, I’m doing good, very good. I wake up happy every day, knowing that God loves me and all is well with my world. Work is busy but I like that, and I still get to go home on time on most days, so I’m okay with that. My running has not improved. Ok, there’s no surprise there. I think I can make 500m. But you know, we all can’t be perfect.

I did give some thought to what the pastor said about why I want to get married. And I have realised that yah, it really is about the flat. Because the thing is, even without marriage, I would still choose to be with Sniffles. If a million bucks fall from the sky into my lap today, and God’s voice booms down from heaven saying that co-habitation and pre-marital sex is ok in His book, and Sniffles’ mom stops giving him issues about not staying under her roof, then yah sure, Sniffles and I will just continue life as a happy couple, perhaps forever and ever, without any of this marriage business. In that sense, marriage is just a formality, and permission to be left alone and not judged for living together. Oh, and of course the ticket to a HDB flat if you’re below 35 and living in Singapore.

I am glad for the counselling sessions that we had because it forced both of us to think about things. However, it still is frustrating because we both want to do the right thing, but what are all these hindrances? Isn’t it ironic that we could both happily live the rest of our lives together but because we want to be married in church, we have to go through all this? The pastor is doing her due diligence, I understand that. It’s like a couple who wants to adopt a child and has to go through great lengths to prove that they are worthy and then there are irresponsible and ignorant 12-year-olds getting pregnant that easily.

Anyway, the fact is that we both want a pastor to marry us because God is the centre of our lives and relationship, so well, we have to go through all this. In fact, we actually may not be happy if we don’t, because as it is, living together already seems an act of disobedience and that bothers both of us at some time or another, and would perhaps, in the long run, put a strain on our relationship with each other, and worse, our relationship with God.

I am happy about how things have turned out, just not the speed at which is is crawling. That’s all.


Pre-marital counselling session II August 18, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized,wedding — reneewong @ 11:40 pm

I’ve decided to blog about this to update friends on how things are progressing, or not. Nothing’s happening. See, let’s say if we can only meet the pastor once every 6 weeks and we need to meet her just 3 more times, that’ll be next year already.
Sniffles and I went to look at furniture yesterday. He bought a green chair. Of course that’s jumping 2 steps ahead and doing exactly what the pastor said not to do – have shared possessions.
I decided last night to not think about wedding and marriage anymore for the time being. Let’s just focus on ALL the problems that we have instead. What won’t kill us will make us stronger huh?
Let’s seriously contemplate walking away from each other since there is no way we are going to change for the other person – that seemed to have been the message for the first session.

The second session was more frustrating. It seemed that the pastor was fishing for the right answer – which I did not have. What they say about how there is no right answer is a lie! But, it did force me to think about the reasons for getting married, and I realised then that I had not really contemplated the simple question of whether I want to marry Sniffles. Those of you who have read the earlier entries of this blog would have seen that I wanted to get married because of my dad, because of the HDB flat, and then the angst-filled declaration that I did not want to get married at all. Sniffles never really came into the picture. I tried to tell the pastor that I had come to the conclusion that I should marry Sniffles because I am not interested in seeking an alternative, that people are different and sure there are things about Sniffles that irk me, like his sniffling, but does this mean that I should go find someone who is never going to irk me? The pastor’s response was that some people might be happier being single. That immediately made me think that I may end up spending the rest of my life in sin coz I so do not have the calling of celibacy.

Sniffles and I are both frustrated that we are stuck in limbo. We can’t move forward, we can’t make plans. We have as many wedding plans as we did a year ago – none at all. Because the pastor had said that we shouldn’t make any. It’s a paradox: we’re being asked to give serious thought to the marriage that we are not supposed to think is going to happen. We cannot make plans; we can only contemplate worst-case scenarios. Tell me that this is not going to somehow strain our current relationship.

The only way for me to deal with this situation is to just separate myself from all this. I am making our nuptials a non-event. I am not looking forward to anything because every time I get excited about a dress, a flat, a piece of furniture, I am reminded that nothing is happening. It’s very much like being doused in cold water. Enthusiasm is rewarded by… a void.

So folks, don’t hold your breath for a wedding invite. You may asphyxiate before that happens – I know I already have.


Another day of commute August 15, 2008

Filed under: angst,rambling — reneewong @ 10:02 am

The thing about Singaporean MRT commuters that has been irking me since my return 5 years ago is the tendency to push their way into the train as people are trying to alight. What I’ve also noticed is that while they rush to get onto the train, the minute they set foot on it, they slow down immediately as they survey the interior of the train and ponder where to park their asses never mind that there are 20 people behind them trying to board. It’s another day of commute.