Monthly Archives: October 2016

100% effort required for Chinese spelling even if you’re 75% Chinese


Photo: Screengrab from Facebook.

Yesterday while waiting for the bus, I overheard two schoolboys moaning about failing their Chinese spelling test (听写; “ting xie”) again. 

It made me recall how I frequently failed ting xie during my own school days, and how one particular week when my secondary school teacher scolded me, I remarked that aiyah, it wasn’t such a big deal, I’m not pure Chinese what.

His rejoinder? “You are part Chinese. Whatever few ancestors you have in China, they’d roll in their graves if they could see your ting xie marks!”

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Hello, bigoted Christians?

Just because the Bible says “Thou shall not kill”, doesn’t mean you can go about insulting another race or culture. That is not how Christianity works.

SG FAQ: What is gatecrashing?

After publishing my last blog post, a reader, presumably non-Chinese nor a local, asked what “gatecrashing” is.

Cohabitation is not common here and most Singaporeans live with their parents before they marry. But like western weddings, the groom is not permitted to see the bride the day before their wedding. Gatecrashing refers to the series of challenges the jie mei give to the groom and his groomsmen (兄弟; “xiong di”) to complete before he is allowed into the bride’s house to fetch her.

For a Chinese wedding, this has to be done at an auspicious time in order that the married couple starts off on the right foot, and it is usually in the early morning (around 8:00 AM). The auspicious timing is calculated by a fortune-teller based on the couple’s individual birth dates and times as well as the characters in their Chinese names. The same formula is also used to calculate the wedding date.

The gatecrashing tasks are designed to make the groom prove his worth to marry the bride. They can include a song-and-dance number, feats of athleticism, eating a spoonful of wasabi, etc.

However, the jie mei may not necessarily let the groom and the xiong di pass after they complete all the games. It is common for the groom to give ang paos (红包; red packets) to the jie mei to bribe their way in. Ang pao amounts vary, but each jie mei could easily receive $50.

In short, you make the guys sweat before they get to see the girl, and you get cash.

Needless to say, I am excited about next week’s gatecrashing.

Dark eye shadow musings: Part 4

Caught my eyelid on the eyelash curler while trying to curl my eyelashes. Is this God trying to keep me humble and stopping me from stealing the hearts of all men and toppling the world order?

Dark eye shadow musings: Part 3

Watching makeup tutorials on Youtube and noticing that many beauty products have interesting names. There’s a lipstick called “Beeper” and “Abused”, and a face highlighter called “King Tut”.

Am waiting for a Youtuber to use Perspiration as a highlighter and Desperation to contour.

Dark eye shadow musings: Part 2

Apparently dark eye circles do not constitute a smoky eye look… #makeup #naturalbeauty

Dark eye shadow musings: Part 1

My best friend Nat is getting married next Saturday and I’m one of her bridesmaids (姐妹; “jie mei”). I am very happy for her and her fiance, Ding Yong, and can’t wait for next week.

The only thing I’m not too keen on is that the festivities start at 6:00 AM. I’ve never been a morning person. During college, many people would avoid talking to me at the breakfast table because they thought I looked mad. Plus, yesterday I broke my specs (which will take at least two weeks to fix) and I can’t hide my major dark eye circles without makeup. So I plan to wear makeup next Saturday. Otherwise the groom and the other wedding guests might think I’m glowering at them on this festive occasion.

Trouble is, I rarely wear makeup. The most I ever do is just swipe on lipstick, which often smears across the rest of my face within 15 minutes. So far I’ve only used the eyeliner pens my friends gave me to draw fake tattoos (it draws more smoothly on my skin than a regular pen) and the mascara to colour in someone’s grey hairs once.

I just tried to line my eyes. I poked my right eye with the eyeliner brush.

I can see the black pigment dissolve into my eye.

I am being poisoned.

Oh god, I feel the darkness rising up. I need help.

Godma? Heaven forbid

I frequently refer to Kawther’s son, Sabir, as my nephew. The moment Kawther told me about her pregnancy, I immediately wrote Sabir a letter and signed off as “Aunty Kym”.

I declared myself lah.

So Yvonne, a mutual friend of ours, mentioned I might as well declare Sabir as my godson.

Ooh, “godmother” sounds moral. I cannot lah.

That day it rained so heavily with thunder and lightning, and I wondered if I was having sex there and then I’d probably pretend that I was conceiving the Antichrist. 

Better spare Sabir’s soul lah.