The Man who built a Nation

Mr. Lee Kuan Yew died one week ago. Monday is meant to be a day of inspiration. A day I have put aside to find all things inspiring to keep me going through the week.

But last Monday, Mr. Lee passed away. And after a week of mourning, our Nation held a State Funeral for our Nation’s Founding Father.

If Monday is to be a day of inspiration, well, let us all look towards the late PM Lee as our source of inspiration. He may have been SM Lee, MM Lee. But in my mind, he is always PM Lee.

He was not a Saint. He was not always right. But he was committed to our Nation and he placed Singapore above all else. In less than 50 years, Singapore went from being a colonial outpost to being a First World country. And this was due largely to the force of nature that was PM Lee. He did not do it by himself, but he led the way.He had a vision for Singapore. And he achieved it. When he left us, he left us with a legacy. A legacy that I really hope we do not squander.

TGIS (Thank Goodness its Saturday)

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Phew, its almost the end of the week (for most people, it IS the end of the week) and the weekend means its time to start celebrating and I don’t know how you celebrate, but I celebrate by finding good food to eat. Because honestly, a happy stomach makes the world a much happier place.

My mom and I had discovered Tim Ho Wan while we were in Hong Kong a few years ago. It was my second Michelin restaurant that trip (man, we were on a roll!). The first one was in Macau and it was a little Portuguese restaurant that specialized in traditional Macau-nese food. I have to admit that I wasn’t particularly impressed with the Portuguese restaurant but I was definitely impressed with Tim Ho Wan. The food was good and it was a great pre-flight meal.

When Tim Ho Wan opened a branch in Singapore I was super excited but the queue was so incredibly long that I never bothered and then they opened a branch at Bedok Mall and we braved the crowd. Yes, the buns were still very good, but everything else seemed to pale in comparison with the original. Our second and third trips were disappointing especially since we were only there for the pork bun and somehow the outer shell wasn’t as crispy as the first time round and the meat was too sweet.

My aunt decided to visit for the CNY holiday and we were shopping at Plaza Singapura. It was around dinner time and we all decided we should give the original Singapore branch of Tim Ho Wan a try. I’m glad we did namely because I’m normally too busy to go all the way downtown to eat and I’m not sure when we’ll have a chance again. The pork bun was delicious (phew!). We also tried their CNY specialty of the sesame seed bun. It was a little salty, but not too bad. The pork ribs were run-of-the-mill.  The shrimp vermicelli was very good (just sweet enough). The pork balls were sinfully good. I think I left the restaurant at least a size bigger than when I entered it.

Tin Ho Wan has opened quite a number of branches in Singapore. I really hope they will make a better effort to ensure the quality of food is equal in all their branches. It will be rather disappointing if they don’t.

Singing Lipstick

So I’m not really a lipstick kind of girl. I always end up buying super market lipstick because I’ll apply lipstick once in a very blue moon and well, lipstick is one of those things that need to be thrown away after a year. And well, I apply lipstick maybe two or three times a year (and that’s being generous) so it doesn’t make much sense for me to spend $20 on a stick of lipstick (although I’m pretty certain that’s the only thing I’ll be able to afford if I ever walk into a Givenchy store).

That said, I thought that this short (or ad….) is really cute. Kinds of reminds me of one of the scenes in Chicago: The Musical.

What do you think?

Rest In Peace, Mr Lee


Of all the entries I’ve read today, I think this one is the best.

Originally posted on Bertha Harian:

And so it’s happened…he’s gone.

That’s the news Singapore will wake up to this morning. Mr Lee Kuan Yew died at 3.18am. He was 91.

I’m looking at the PMO website done up in black. At other times, I might have appreciated the artistic effort. Instead, I just feel terrible. It was my mother who rang me at 5am to give me the news – when I was in the middle of brushing my teeth. She was already awake and had turned on the television. She sounded terrible too.

I’ve been wondering what I would feel when the “wait’’ was finally over. Now I know. It’s like a kind of choked-up release of emotions.

We’ve all been keeping some kind of death watch haven’t we, although there were those who thought a recovery was possible. I had been wondering how his family felt having to talk to well-wishers and the…

View original 682 more words

March madness

I’ve got very exciting news! My boss has approved my shaving my head off for the Hair for Hope 2015 event! Woo-hoo! I can hear some people rolling their eyes. And some are asking why I had to ask for “permission” like a child. Well, for one thing, I like my boss and my profession is a “front line” position, meaning I see patients all day. And because I see patients all day, an element of “customer service” is involved. If I was in the US, I probably won’t have bothered asking for “permission” but I would have informed my supervisors. But given the fracas involving the school girls and their principal, I just wanted to avoid any huge blow up at work. Also, I like my boss and I wanted to give him the heads up. Thankfully, my gamble paid off and he said it would be ok (and I have it in writing!).

Going bald for a cause!

Obviously I signed up immediately because I was afraid he would change his mind! So ta-da! I’m now an official shavee for Hair For Hope 2015!

While I’m crowing about the impending loss of my crown, there’s a gorgeous ballerina out there with scoliosis. I love her determination to follow her dream.

Also, I’ve just recently discovered ManRepeller. I think its great. Too many of the fashion blogs out there are either very snarky or just too … aspirational to be applicable to real life. Man Repelller combines fashion with comedy and I find myself reading the articles because they are a quick read, and more often then not very funny. They just had a great article on the many uses of boob tape. I say, forget boob tape. Just get double sided tape. Probably cheaper.

Apparently, being in a relationship isn’t purely for procreational or recreational purposes. It also makes you healthier.

And I know a lot of people are into organic foods, or health foods, or whatever. The problem with buying what we are sold is that they aren’t always what they claim to be! My advice? Read the food labels.

And for anyone looking for a career switch…ever thought of becoming a fashion editor? Huffington Post has some useful advice for you here! Maybe we can put our SkillsFuture credits to good use!

I’ve only ever helped plan a wedding once in my life. Although I think planning a school prom almost counts as having planned a wedding as well. All the details. All the running around, signing contracts, finding the dress, the stupid guest list, etc. My personal opinion is that planning a wedding has to be the worst part of being engaged. But as my best friend would say, its like marriage bootcamp. If you and your spouse can survive the wedding planning with the two respective families, its a good bet that the marriage would last (and trust me, I’ve known at least two couples who have un-coupled during the planning process, and while they were miserable immediately after, I think they are happy that they made the decision not to get married to each other) because lots of issues are brought up during the planning of the “happiest day of their lives”. Money issues, negotiating tricky family ties, learning to compromise on differing styles… Anyway, apparently there’s a couple out there that loves each other so much, they are willing to put themselves through the whole process 38 times on 6 continents! I think they are nuts. I can’t even imagine how many volumes of wedding pictures they will have!

When I was younger (and more foolish), I had dreams of opening a bookstore-cum-bar. Turns out I don’t have rich parents. Nor am I independently wealthy. I also do not possess a never-ending pot of optimism or luck. But I (used to) frequent a lot of ‘cool bars’. Turns out the bars that I like to frequent are “hipstar bars” and there’s a checklist for being hip.

Anyways, here’s to the start of a (hopefully) great week! Its the last week of March! Which means May (and Milan!!) is approaching! Time to get planning!

RIP Lee Kuan Yew

I woke up this morning to the news that Mr. Lee Kuan Yew finally passed away in the wee hours of the morning. As all Singaporeans are aware, Mr. Lee has been on ventilatory support for more than a month as a result of pneumonia. Although I feel bad for his family because they have lost their patriarch, I am glad for him. Having a machine breathe for you, even while under sedation, is not a pleasant experience. And I feel that he has suffered more than his fair share. While I’m sure most people are sad to hear of his passing, I think I might be one of few who feel relieved for him that his suffering is now over.
There will be, I am sure, many obituaries that will be published so it will be quite redundant for me to post one here, especially by one who writes as poorly as I do. I will say this: Lee Kuan Yew was my first Prime Minister. By the time I got used to Mr. Goh Chok Tong as the Prime Minister, he was close to stepping down himself. And now, BG Lee Hsien Long is at the helm. I think I was born into a very privilaged generation. My parents still had to undergo quite a lot of hardships. But I strongly believe that those born in the 1980s were born into an era of burgeoning prosperity. I don’t think we had to experience as much of the turmoil as our parents did. And as such, I think, we are not as appreciative of the incredible hard work and will power that was needed to build Singapore into who she is today. Many will say it is all because of Mr. Lee. I believe that statement is wrong. Mr. Lee helmed it. He certainly contributed more than his fair share. And he was the leader of that growth. But it took a lot of people who believed in his vision, and who were willing to work to bring that vision to reality that created Singapore.
RIP Mr. Lee.

Ramen noodles

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In spite of the heat in Singapore, sometimes you just want a steaming bowl of ramen complete with the oily greasy soup. Its alright as long as its only once in a while. Menya Musashi at Bedok Mall serves that function quite well. I don’t think its the best bowl of ramen I’ve ever had but its not the worst either, which says something. And they have a lot of branches on this Island which means that when you order something that you’ve had before at another branch, you know at least what you are getting and what to expect. My main complaint really is that their soup is too oily. The portions are just right: not too much, and not too little. The noodles are just soft enough but sometimes when they are really really busy, by the time the noodles are served, it can get a little mushed. Still, they are quite friendly to my wallet. And like I said, the fact that they have so many chains means that at least I know what to expect.

A treatise against children

I realize that as a trained pediatrician, it is a surprise that I do not want children. Most of my family members and friends think that it is a passing phase or a joke. It ISN’T A PASSING PHASE. I simply do not want children. And after having spent an ENTIRE day with my niece and nephew, I STILL DO NOT WANT CHILDREN.

But wait! “You are a pediatrician and you don’t like children? How is that possible” First of all, not WANTING children DOES NOT MEAN THAT I DO NOT LIKE CHILDREN. I like children, as long as they are not mine. As I do not possess a Y chromosome, I can say with 100% certainty that I do not have any offspring that I am not aware of hiding somewhere without my knowledge.

The simple truth is this. I am too selfish to have children. And I’m also too exhausted to have children. Having children is a sacrifice. A child isn’t a toy that you can return when you are sick of it. Its a human  being and even though the law says a child is an adult when they turn 18, your responsibility with them does not end after 18 years. Ask my parents. They are STILL responsible for me even though I’m 36. Heck, my sister is married and they still feel responsible for her!

And children are exhausting. They cry, they run, they fall down. They get into scrapes. They need to be fed constantly. And they want attention. LOTS of attention. There is no “off” switch with children. The minute they are awake, its go-go-go. And sleeping in on weekends? Hah! What weekends? And if you think cleaning up after yourself is hard, wait till you have children! And forget about those nice shopping holidays in Milan or Paris. Or those nice lazy walks by the beach in Miami.  Holidays with children aren’t actually holidays anymore.  At least, not the kind you remember. And girlfriend time? Wait. You actually have friends?? Now “friend” time are playdates. And time spent at PTA meetings. Children have a mind of their own. And their needs are always above yours.

Gosh. If everyone thought like me, the population would probably die out in a couple of years. So its a good thing that not everyone is me. Its a VERY good thing that there are people in this world who are able to overcome their basic instinct of self-preservation and decide to have children (there are probably a fair number of people who shouldn’t have children because they obviously have not thought this through but still…). Its a very good thing that children are being born into this world every second of the day because I will be out of a job otherwise. All I’m saying is this: not wanting children DOES NOT MAKE ME A BAD PERSON. Maybe a selfish one. But at least I’m aware of my own selfishness and I’m not having a child just because someone says I should. Or worse, having one just for the sake of having one because then I’m fairly certain that poor child isn’t getting the love that he or she deserves. Because a child is a precious thing. And they are human beings with feelings and thoughts and needs. They will do whatever it is that they want to do, regardless of what YOUR hopes and dreams for them are and as a parent, all you can do is pray and hope that everything will be ok. And when it isn’t ok, you hope that you are there to help them pick the pieces up. That’s a lot of work. And it requires a lot of self sacrifice. And if you aren’t up to it (like I am), perhaps the intelligent choice would be to not have children and leave the rearing to others who are willing to make such a choice.

Little Miss Honey

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Gemma Critchley, (Sampson). Registered, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist BSc Nut Diet, MSc PHN

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Winner of the... Women of the Year Enterprise award. Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Food Blog. Marie Claire Woman At The Top award. Fortnum & Mason Food And Drink Award. YMCA Courage & Inspiration Award. Red Magazine's Red Hot Women Award. #17 Independent On Sundays Pink List 2013. And the 100m race when I was about, seven...

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