Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I am right now, watching the Hong Kong drama Series, "Hard Fate", every night at 9.30pm. The primary character, a jewelry designer (Flora Chan) fell in love with her employer, owner of a company trading jade (Damien Lau) - a publicly-known bachelor - only to discover that he was in fact, a married man with a 20-something-year old daughter. When I got to the part where he attempted to divorce his wife so that he could be with his new love (who was then pregnant with his child), the cruel reality hit me, and it hit me quite hard. A man, well into his fifties (as is Damien Lau in this drama series), is still capable of being charming and attractive, to much younger women (such as the character of Flora Chan, whom I suppose, is in her thirties). He is still able to give her child, and what with his accumulated wealth, is more than capable of providing her and their child a secure, happy life. But the probability of a woman of the same age (say, the estranged wife of the character of Damien Lau) to have the same qualities is very significantly lower. Like, who would find a woman in her fifties physically attractive? I don't mean those women who go for annual botox or lamb placenta treatment. I mean common women who work hard and long everyday, either in the corporate world, or at home raising children. And while men can continue fathering children until his fifties and sixties, any woman who wants to give birth after the age of 35 would have to consider the risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis, the baby being a Down Syndrome or having other birth defects etc., etc. All of a sudden, I simply felt that the two genders of the human species were not well-balanced in terms of design.

Then I figured why some girls prefer men many years their senior. First of all, such a man is mature, has a fuller savings account, and most importantly, by the time you reached menopause, he can't be anything but bed-ridden.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

A Disturbing Post

Read at your own risk!

I've just had a close encounter with, what I believe, must be one of the most horrible persons I have ever met in my life, so far. She does not talk reason, she does not accept facts and suggestions, and she repeatedly threw a senior management name at us in her effort to delegate the work that her staff are paid to do, to the lecturers.

I am talking about the head of the Exams Center (hereafter, EC). The EC is supposed to take care of the exams and grades and everything in that line. By definition, the lecturer's duties only include setting the questions, doing the marking and compiling the final scores. A few years back, the EC delegated the typist job to us. We must submit all the exam questions in soft-copies only (so they wouldn't need to do any typing!). For management and computing lecturers, that wouldn't have been too much of trouble, but imagine those teaching techincal stuff (with lots of formulas and Greek characters), mathematics, physics etc., it is actually A LOT of extra work - work that should be done by the EC staff! After that, they started giving the lecturers templates to type the questions in. This means, we all must follow a certain format in preparing the drafts, so that the EC staff do not even need to do any formatting once the questions are submitted to them. All they do are storage of papers, passing of papers from examiners to moderators and back, printing, and data entry.

Recently, even the data entry job is delegated to us, the much ill-fated. They presented to us this very lousy and user-UNfriendly system, and expect us to enter all grade components, scores, comments, etc., etc., by ourselves. (And no, they didn't mention that we would be collecting part of their salaries for our own). The system is seriously flawed, and when we pointed the flaws and loop-holes out, their big boss, the head of EC, dismissed everything by saying that "We spent a lot of effort over 5 years developing this system, so please bear with it", or "This is a direct order from so-and-so-senior-management-guy". After the pin-pointing of a LOT of faults and being pushed onto the losing side of the argument, she, the lady who I believe, must be one of the most horrible person I have ever met in my life, so far, changed tunes "You should not be saying these things to us because we are not the ones who developed the system!" Does she even have brains enough to remember that she mentioned about the "we" in all the previous "5 years of effort" phrases?

Indescribable!!! Hmmm. No, in fact I can think of a whole lot of words to describe this foul spinster. And here's the list - in alphabetical order: She is EXTREMELY


... and downright disgusting!

There. Anyone has anymore to add to that, please be my guest. I'd be honored!

Wednesday, July 6, 2005


Gentlemen in inverted commas. That's what they are. Big, grown men who never gives way to members of the fairer sex, but in fact, cut their way through the line of the ladies when boarding the bus or train. As if that's not awful enough, they show the same kind of 'gentlemanly courtesy' to pregnant ladies too. These kinds of things have been happening for as long as I have been working here. Just yesterday, as our bus came, several women, myself included, made a line for the door of the vehicle. The bus slowed, the lady who was first in line got ready to board the bus, and then (this came as no surprise to us) a 'gentleman' with big, quick steps rammed into the line from the right, pushed right past the aforesaid lady, and was of course, the first person to successfully board the bus. Incidents of this nature happen on a daily basis, seriously. Somehow, this time, I was irritated enough to decide to write something on it.

Other than their shoving-people-aside expertise, these 'gentlemen' are also very good at cutting queues, blocking people's views (especially during product / software demonstration, where an excellent specimen of the 'gentlemen' would position himself unashamedly between a group of smaller-sized ladies, and the demonstrator). There are still, endless instances of the 'gentlemen' being greedy, rude, bossy and disrespectful (extremely, extremely disrespectful) to everyone around them.

Enough? Not quite. Poor me (and others who think like I do) have also to put up with the loud, irritating, unintelligible conversations of the 'gentlemen', and their stinking up whatever room, coach or carriage they enter. I have only one thing to say to them - GO BACK WHERE YER CAME FROM!

Monday, July 4, 2005

A New Little 'Un

This is definitely a post on something of a lighter note. I have just visited the 2-week-old of my friends', whom my best-friend had announced over her blog. I first saw him on the day of his birth, and I must say, 2 weeks' milk-and-sleep (with occasional crying) does quite a lot for a newborn. He looked a teeny bit bigger, much much rosier, and definitely more active! And oh, he's got a name now. :P

We brought him a little something, as is customary, to welcome new babies. His mother looks considerably better and stronger too, which was comforting to some of my other friends who have not experienced childbirth. (A friend, who is still single, asked over and over "Was it very painful???") We took turns holding the little 'un. When it was mine, I just stared at him as he opened and closed his eyes, puckered his lips and made funny faces for a few minutes. Tooooo cute. And then - (surprise!) he relieved himself all over my jeans. (OK - no surprise probably) Of course I wasn't put off or anything - it's not like I've never had baby pee on me ever before. :D

It's been so long since I held a newborn. The baby in my arms felt extremely warm and comforting. Emotionally, especially. Well, nothing like a new, innocent life to remind us that this world is not all that bad, despite terrible things that happen out there, every day.

So here, I'd like to formally congratulate the new mommy and daddy on the arrival of the bundle of joy, and I'd like to thank the baby for his personal gift to me too. ;)

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Something for Nothing

That's right - when was the last time you did something for nothing? In fact, when was the last time I did something for nothing? We're all the same - humans - who wouldn't even think of doing something for nothing.

It dawned heavily upon me on Friday afternoon, in one of my classes. I was in the midst of explaining about an in-class activity which required the students to do some research on a given topic, then give a presentation on the information they obtained, when one guy objected to it, and rather strongly too. And why - because this "activity" will not be graded, it will not carry any marks. He was rambling on and on about why I would want to make them do something that does not carry any marks, and a hundred and one reasons why I should give marks for their efforts. Well, it seemed to me that he had quite forgotten the fact that he was enrolled in a franchise program, and what they were doing in the university which offered the program, we have to do exactly the same here (the lecturer at the university in the UK in fact, did confirm that his students had been doing this activity all along, it carrying no marks and all). It was no point explaining this to him, because, after I did, he still went on and on about the uselessness of this activity, and how the students will not gain anything (he means only marks) from participating and everything in that line, until the others were rolling their eyes back and were laughing. Probably he just can't accept the meaning of "franchise", or he could be one of those who would rather die than do something for nothing. (In the case of the research-and-present activity, he could actually gain experience, skills and knowlege in the end, but I guess he was only looking for marks)

So there goes my question again. When was the last time we did something for nothing? Charity? Well, how many people do charity because they want to, just because their hearts feel the need to? Definitely there are, but how many? Most people pray or worship, do charitable work, put a constant check on their words and actions - because they wanted to please God, whatever God they believe in. They didn't want to end up in hell, or be reincarnated as molluscs in their next lives. How many religious people were good because they want to? If God was proven to be non-existent, or if it was proven that only Heaven exists, and Hell didn't, and that everyone would go to Heaven no matter what they did on Earth, would people still be good?

Take for another example - friendship. We have friends because we want something from them. I always tell my bestfriend - we use each other - and she agrees. I want her companionship and she wants mine. Sometimes I would want her to do something for me, and sometimes she would want my help. We wouldn't be doing things for each other if we didn't need each other sometimes. It's a form of symbiosis. No one would want to be host to a parasitic "friend", would anyone? That's my point again - when was the last time we did something for nothing? When was the last time we did something good, because our heart is pure and good, and we know not otherwise?

So, do think about this post the next time you aplogise to somebody. Are you apologising because you really feel sorry for what you've done, that you regret your actions, and you never intend to repeat your wrongs, or are you apologising for other things? In Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, Rhett said to Scarlett - "You're in the exact position on a thief who's been caught red-handed and isn't sorry he stole, but is terribly, terribly sorry he's going to jail"