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who am i

Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Friday, May 30, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

Dear Blogger,

After analysing my budget, I was awakened by the fact that I had overspent in the last few months. Here I thought that I was being prudent in my spending.

I have not bought anything for myself since I left the retail industry in February, except for a pair of shoes from Charles & Keith. Even then, it was only because my daily, walking shoes had worn out.

The inflation in spending was caused by the increased cost in groceries. Early last year, I used to spend about $50 per week on groceries. Now, the same number of items cost me an average $80 per week! Multiply that by 4 weeks and that's a 60% increase!

I dine out less now. Even when Ipy's around, we try not to dine out so frequently. We've been spending a lot of time at mother's place instead. Can't wait for our kitchen to be functional! When it's ready, I wouldn't want to spend my hard-earned money elsewhere.

I have to cut down on certain indulgences like Starbucks and Haagen Dazs. Which is good anyway, because I am desperate to lose weight fast! The photo shoot is in August. So that gives me less than 2 months to get my weight back into the acceptable BMI range.

I haven't heard from Ipy since Wednesday. He probably couldn't access the internet on the rig. He was told it was only a week's job, but who is he kidding? Men are never on time. They take dates and times for granted sometimes.


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

Dear Blogger,

Painting work has started. The stench of turpentine still lingers in my nostril. How exciting! All the room lights have finally been delivered. This was after I had scolded the shopkeeper upside down for not adhering to the agreed delivery time yesterday. The lights aren't cheap you know!

After the painting work is done, we'll do more furniture shopping. Our bed is coming in next month. That is something to die for! The bed and mattress alone cost as much as my engagement ring! But we know it'll be worth it.

Even the TV didn't cost that much! I haven't really decided on a 40" or 46" LCD panel. My heart's calling out for the 46" but if I really want a fully equipped kitchen, I should really compromise to a 40" panel.

The invitation cards are ready to be printed. I'm really not too thrilled about it, because once the cards are ready, we have no choice but to really sit down and settle the guest list. That's like a pain in the arse task.

A breaking news... Because of Malaysia's incompetence, foreign-registered vehicles are banned from buying fuel within 50km radius of Malaysian borders. Namely, JB and Perlis. There goes my bi-monthly JB trips.

One can't help but wonder, what is JB without Singaporean consumers? Nearly three-quarters of the petrol stations' businesses are from Singapore cars! So with this ban, what will it mean to these businesses?

I don't understand why put out a blanket ban when the issue was about abuse of fuel subsidies in Malaysia. I may be wrong. Who really knows what goes on in Malaysian politics anyway!

If fuel subsidies were the issue, why not just remove the subsidies at these borders? Foreigners will still be able to enjoy the low cost of fuel in Malaysia because of currency differences. As of now, Singapore dollar is worth more than twice of Malaysian ringgit.

The Johorians will still benefit from our spending power. So it could have been a win-win situation! Of course, my understanding of the financial markets may be wrong.

Fuel price is up. Food price is up. Cost of living is up. Everything is going up at an alarming rate, except salaries. That's... life.


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Sunday, May 25, 2008 @ 7:56 pm

Dear Blogger,

Spending 48 hours in our new home was one of the most stress-free moments I have enjoyed since I've met Ipy. Just being enclaved in that spacious flat, away from my family and the rest of the world, was a welcome respite.

We may not have any furnitures or appliances yet, but a couple of mattresses, pillows and a radio was good enough for me. Ipy brought in a small TV and bought an inexpensive DVD player afterwards.

Renovations have not started yet, and we're awfully excited about it. Our first home. Just us. Ipy was worried about me staying alone in such a big house when he's away. I didn't see any problem with it, as long as I'm away from the madness that is my family.

If only I can get away from the wedding too. Why can't I get married on my own? Why do I need to be "given" away? A man can get away with it, but not a woman. Not even when a woman has been abused in any way.

I know the rules were set by God, but men have abused His laws for over 1400 years, so what's a little flexibility or modification to the laws to fit modern times? Sigh... I feel like I'm fighting in a losing battle over this.

I just want to get away from it all. I just want this wedding to be over as soon as possible. I don't even care if people don't turn up at all! Even if my family members decide to wash their hands over me, it won't rain on my parade. I'll be happier without people like that in my life.

Ipy doing a Zoolander at Margarita's

It only felt like yesterday that Ipy had returned home from Australia, and he's flying off again. He's leaving me to settle matters again. This had better be over before I finally lose my mind.

Kahlua tiramisu at Margarita's

Virgin colada and pina colada at Margarita's


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Tuesday, May 20, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

Dear Blogger,

I wish it would rain. I've never experienced this much heat in Singapore before. The effects of global warming I guess. The more reason we should all be environmentally conscious and active now.

I also wish that the Malay society here would change its daydreaming mindset and just get off its buttocks already! One just have to sit at a coffeeshop for an hour and he can hear all sorts of whining going on. Some of them incredulous and some are just plain cringe-worthy.

I'm not Malay-phobic. It's just that some of the things that Malays here do, make me sick to the core. Things like their spending habits and contradicting religious practices are not just seeds for my alienation towards these people, they are also causes for concerns!

"Can't afford to buy a gold necklace? Don't worry. Just put a mortgage on your house!" Now what kind of logic is that???

"0% interest???" Then why does the product cost more after 12 months of installments?

"Zero downpayment" sounds like a buyer's dream doesn't it? If one can't afford a downpayment, how in the world is he going to afford paying for the product at all???

Marriage... Wedding... Household... A wife's role... Spare me the sermons! I am dreading the compulsory marriage preparation course, even though it's only in August. And must it be held in a mosque? Not that I have anything against mosques. I just think that a religious setting impedes an open forum to women.

I really don't understand why everything Malay has to have religion integrated. Has Malay and Islam become so intertwined that something as obviously a culture is mistaken for a religious obligation?

I've always had an identity crisis. In my school uniform days, I wasn't clique-material because I was either Malay or not Malay-attitude enough. Maybe that's why I've always been more comfortable going solo.

Sometimes I wonder, would I have lesser problems now if I had been more of a stereotypical Malay? My mother would probably not throw all sorts of crap at me all these years. Or I'd be married with kids by now!

As u can see, my confidence has been bruised again. The air here is quite stuffy. It is as if a blanket of cynicism has blinded my vision of optimism.

Ipy and I shared a plate of rosti with sour cream and smoked salmon at Marche Vivocity


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Thursday, May 15, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

Dear Blogger,

Nothing drifts a man and woman apart than one's interpretation of sex. Most medical journals dictate that men in general use sex as a cure for all the silly things they do to rile up a woman. It is very caveman-like actually. Then again, a man's intellectual capacity has never developed on par with a woman's since the beginning of time.

On the other hand, women often need to be emotionally intimate before we can engage in physical activity. And this is usually done through verbal communication. Once that is not met, men may have more luck winning a bingo game than getting laid.

So what happens when women withdraw from intimacy? It just means than men have messed up again. What men don't realise is that whenever they fucked up, women feel insecure. Men are supposed to be protectors, therefore adjectives such as strong, dependable, proactive, assuring are automatically associated with men!

So if they fucked up, what other species can women turn to??? Ignore all that gender equality progress our fore mothers have accomplished in this argument. In the core of our vulnerable bodies lie a deep-rooted belief of what the roles of men and women are!

I am hopelessly vulnerable during sex. Because for one to get to that stage with me, he has to break so many layers of brick walls that I've built as protection over the years. So imagine after all that hard work of getting through that wall, he suddenly put a brake on the physical connection. How the hell did he think I would feel???

How can I not feel wounded, confused, cheap even?! It's a rejection unworthy of any forgiveness. That just means he wasn't even sure of himself, and that insecurity resonates hundred fold to me. A part of my trust in him has shattered. As trust is already a fragile element, it will take time and faith for it to recover.


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Tuesday, May 13, 2008 @ 11:55 pm

Dear Blogger,

The blockbuster season has officially started with the release of "Iron Man". Before this movie was released, I have not even heard of "Iron Man", the Marvel comic creation. Obviously, I am not an avid comic book reader.

"Iron Man" is basically Marvel's version of DC's "Batman". Both are essentially superheroes without superpowers. They are just super rich and super technical. After watching "Iron Man", this man of metal (it's ironically not made of iron by the way) wins me hands down!

"Batman" may have attracted Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale to zip up into its latex suit, but none of these very good-looking guys has the magnetism of Robert Downey Jr in "Iron Man".

Robert Downey Jr as Tony Starks/Iron Man

It is no secret that I am intensely smitten by bad boys with brains, and RDJ is the Hollywood bad boy with an incredible talent. I've always loved watching him in movies, back from his Oscar-nominated performance in "Chaplin" to bit parts in "Bowfinger". He is not so much a pretty boy, but damn he oozes sex appeal in his every pore!

Ipy and I watched it at the new Cathay cineplex at Downtown East. The new annex of this eastsiders' favourite resort has not been officially opened yet, but from the looks of the tenants available, it has potential.

Thank God it's not just another mall! It's more like a recreation centre with a mini theme park and arcades. One thing's for sure. No one will ever get hungry there. Plenty of F&B tenants!


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Monday, May 12, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

Dear Blogger,

Some people have the resources to do whatever they want. That's fine by me. Some people don't have the resources they thought they have to do whatever they want, and they do it anyway. That's fine by me too. As long as they don't involve me.

Ipy is a much more compulsive shopper than most women I know. He even proudly acknowledges it! That blot in his character wouldn't bother me at all. When I'm not marrying him. He can spend his hard-earned money on anything he likes for all I care. But only when I'm not marrying him.

Everyone has weaknesses. Everyone has responsibilities too. Somehow, it's easier and more fun to succumb to weaknesses than to be engaged in responsibilities. Responsibilities are such a chore!

Hey! Who wouldn't want to trade in their still-functional mobile phones every month for a newer model with newer features like an unused video call function? Or a new pair of overly-priced, made by Chinese or Vietnamese child labour Nike or Adidas trainers every time you're inspired to run 2km along East Coast Park?

"I want to get this gate that scans fingerprints. It's only $700!"

"I want to order a pair of Oakley glasses with Transition lenses. Because it's so cool!"

"I want to buy a double-door refrigerator big enough to fit 2 adult bodies. So I can store all my snacks and junk food, even though I'm hardly at home to finish them all!"

"I want to buy this! I want to buy that! Buy! Buy! Buy!"

Sounds like a woman? No. A child maybe? No. That's the sound of Ipy, synonymous with the sound of cash registers ringing. If you're looking for him in the middle of the night, try Mustafa Centre. On weekends, try Sim Lim Square.

I've given up rationalising with his compulsive spending habits. It's really tiring to manage his financial indiscipline. The last straw?

"Let's buy rice cooker or kettle or ironing board now, so I won't spend on wasteful things."

Hmm... Before house renovations even started? Oh... Let's not even go to the renovations!

You know, I would love to go on a shopping spree with no responsibility or commitment whatsoever. I used to be able to do that. I can do so now too! But I can't! Why? Because I have responsibilities!

I'm responsible for ensuring there's always food in the house. I'm responsible for reducing debts as much as possible. I'm responsible for my children's future!

I depend on him to be discipline. I need him to be discipline! Does he think I like to behave like this? No I don't! Nobody wants to be burdened by insecurities, but my shoulders already are!

I feel like I'm being tied to a big boy than a learning man. I am awfully tired caring for this big boy. It ages me significantly.


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Sunday, May 11, 2008 @ 11:04 pm

Dear Blogger,

It's the over-commercialised Mother's Day again, where every store has some misleading "Mother's Day" promotion going on. Today was not a day for window shopping.

Like most of these celebrations, they started with good intentions. Mother's Day was initiated to commemorate the hard work mothers put in for the care of her family, day in day out, 24/7.

If you ask me, if Hallmark or the Ministry of Community Development (or whichever ministry that's responsible for the family campaign) really wants to reward mothers, it should start paying mothers wages and grant benefits, just like any diligent manpower.

Unfortunately, mothers are not nationally recognised as economic contributors. Which is a fallacy, considering that mothers are the ones who give birth to the country's next generation of human labour. I would like to see men doing that!

Is there even a choice to be a part-time mother? I don't know how is that possible. When you give birth to a child, aren't you automatically a full-time mother? Of course one can choose to abandon or disown a child, but for most mothers, can they be part-time mothers?

I can choose to not be a mother but isn't being a mother one of the rites of passage of a woman? I guess I'm fortunate enough to be able to have choices. I'm enjoying an upper middle-class lifestyle. I'm surrounded by youthful energy all the time, which by the way, is the elixir for eternal youth.

So if people want to ridicule me for wanting to be a hands-on mother, then that's not my problem. Unlike them, I can shop and dine anytime of the week, and I don't get stressed out by tragedies like office politics.

So for Mother's Day, to show my recognition and at the same time, not get sucked into this commercialism, my sister and I bought mommy a cake. I also bought groceries!

Dark Chocolate Truffle from The Royals

After a whole day lazing in front of the TV, we went to Beach Road to suck on bones and marrow. Sup tulang may be high in calories and cholesterol, but they sure are damn good! France has escargots, Philippines has balut, and Scotland has haggis. Singapore has sup tulang!


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Thursday, May 08, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

Dear Blogger,

How would you feel if a goods and services vendor ask you if you were sure you wanted to buy a certain product? Ask not once, but 3 times! With a mocking face at that!

That was what happened to me at Cafe Galilee at Bedok Community Library this afternoon. All I wanted was a tall Starbucks Espresso Frappuccino Light Blended. Unfortunately, the whole of Bedok does not have any decent coffee outlet!

I had bought an Ice Latte from Cafe Galilee the day before, but it was very, very disappointing. So, I thought I could settle for an Ice Latte from McCafe instead. But wickedly funny fate brought me back to Cafe Galilee because, just when I wanted to buy coffee from McDonald's, its coffee machine was "under maintenance".

Definitely not My Galilee!

Back to Cafe Galilee. Perhaps I should try its ice blended coffees. Or so I thought. Oh good! It wasn't the same girl who served me the day before. So I ordered an Espresso Vanilla something Ice Blended.

"Are you sure you want the Espresso Vanilla ma'am?" asked the Filipino server.

Blink... blink... blink... "Ye...e...s...," I said. "What's wrong with it? Is it too sweet? I can't take sweet."

"No ma'am. The Espresso Vanilla is not sweet," said the server. "Ermm... are you sure you want the Espresso Vanilla?" she asked again.

"Well... I tried the Ice Latte yesterday. It wasn't very good. I just want an espresso," I reasoned, mostly to myself I think.

"Yes, the ice blended coffees are better. 1 Espresso Vanilla then!" said the server. "Are you sure?" She was starting to annoy me.

"Wait! You are not giving me a favourable look! Please do not make me waste my $5," frustration in my voice already. "You know what? I'll go to Starbucks!" and I left, without any coffee at Bedok.

My sanity savior!

It was just so weird! As a consumer, I have never been served like that. I still couldn't figure out what she was trying to do. If the coffee was really bad, just say so! I would have appreciated her honesty more than these mind games.

I have also thought that perhaps, she didn't know how to make that Espresso Vanilla. So, instead of busting her pride, I think she tried to manipulate me to order something else!


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Tuesday, May 06, 2008 @ 11:04 pm

Dear Blogger,

I feel like my diet and exercise has gone south. Instead of losing weight, or at the least, build my stamina, I feel heavier, fatter, and sloppier! What gives???

I can't seem to get rid of the flabs, no matter what I did! I starve. I run. I walk. I vomit. The flabs just get more obvious in places I never knew had fats! This is so depressing.

I feel like, all my life, I've been at war with my body. Even though I tried to love it, I hate it even more! All that mambo jambo about being happy if we love ourselves is just plain crap!

What is this obsession with an ideal body? Why am I so disgusted by what I've been given?


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Monday, May 05, 2008 @ 10:31 pm

Dear Blogger,

The bus service 969 was really getting to my nerve! Something had to be done about it! I had already written a feedback a few weeks ago about it, but all SMRT could do was trust its commuters to do the "right" thing!

BULLSHIT!!! Singaporeans don't know how to do the "right" thing unless they're told what it is! SMRT buses are already so crappy. I didn't ask for a total overhaul of their buses, although that would have been nice.

What I asked for was for more frequent trips of the service during peak hours! Was that too difficult??? Alternatively, they could have express buses that terminate at Khatib MRT station, since half of the passengers alight there to transfer to the MRT. Was that even more challenging???

I swear I will never take that bus anymore! I shall drive to Yishun instead. Even if I have to take the multiple trips to fetch the car and send it back afterwards! I swear, no more students outside of the east zone after this year. Not even if they sell me their liver!!!

I had to yell at the moronic passengers to get their fat arse to the back of the bus! I had to yell at these same idiotic people to move aside so that I could alight! I had to even yell at the bus driver to open the fucking door!!!

At my fragile state, I can't afford to suffer high blood temperature twice a week! I ended up crying at the bus stop due to all that rage inside me! All this for a bus ride??? Not fucking anymore!!!

And my stupid fiance isn't making any effort to get his big, fat behind home! He said he's homesick. Yet, what the hell has he done??? If he's really serious about wanting to go home, he should have turned the world upside down until he gets what he wants! Must I do everything???

I am THIS close to march into his boss' office, and demand that he get MY FIANCE on the first flight home. I don't fucking care if he had to fly him in a jet or a cargo plane or helicopter!

If Ipy thinks he could test my patience, he's dead wrong! I'm not one to be messed with right now. My patience is super thin, and my blood pressure is close to combustion.


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Sunday, May 04, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

Dear Blogger,

For the first time in my 8 years of adult life, I went into Pasar Geylang (Geylang Wet Market). I didn't just pass by it. I went into it!

Today wasn't a good day to visit it. On Sundays, it seems like all of the Singaporean Malay aunties have descended on this poorly ventilated temporary market.

The super hot weather didn't help at all! 10 minutes inside, and I felt like a heat exhaustion is coming over me. Singapore is really getting hotter by the day!

I wouldn't have gone to such a place if mommy hadn't asked me to. Usually, she won't. She just wanted a driver today.

Despite the discomforts, I was quite amazed at the variety of fishes, meats and poultry available. I was even more amazed at how expensive they are!

1kg of tiger prawns at $10??? 1kg of... god knows what fish my mother bought, at $3??? She bought several types of fishes. I really have got to learn the name of these fishes!

That wasn't all. We stopped over at NTUC Fairprice at Singapore Post. That was my idea of going to the market. 1kg of rice cost me about $15! Luckily I don't eat much rice anymore.

I know of one type of fish mommy had bought. It's the one that's fried and eaten with nasi lemak. I suggested that to her because I wanted to try to cook nasi lemak next Sunday. Hopefully, Ipy will be home by then.


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Thursday, May 01, 2008 @ 8:54 pm

Dear Blogger,

It's the Labour Day holiday, yet, I'm exhausted. I still have tuition in the morning. Parents are really not giving their children any break when it comes to their education.

Somehow, I don't remember studying or being forced to study this hard when I was their age. Then again, I don't remember much about my childhood, other than living and breathing textbooks and assessment books.

I had lunch with a former colleague in town. I really hate to go to town on public holidays and weekends! But my ex-colleague had graciously asked me out for lunch. I think she missed me.

It wasn't like my social life was happening either. I haven't hung out with friends for as long as I can remember. Not that any of them cared. These things work both ways and it seems so unfair that I've to make the first move and get rejected often.

We tried this new eatery tucked in a little corner on the 3rd floor of Lucky Plaza. It was called "Java Kitchen". It supposedly served authentic Jakarta cuisine. Not that we would know the difference.

Considering that the restaurant (if one could call it that) looked like one of the many road-side eatery in Jakarta (i.e. bare minimum decor), the food isn't actually that cheap.

We ordered ayam cobek (some special Indonesian fried chicken), gado-gado siram (mixed vegetables with gravy) and sop buntut (oxtail soup). Those 3 dishes took us back close to $30!

Java Kitchen's menus

At this rate, I'd rather dine at the other more famous Indonesian restaurant on the 1st floor (next to Lucky Prata). Its service, ambiance and food are definitely better!

In the evening, I walked to the new house to collect the final set of keys from the former owner. The appointment was at 7.30 p.m., but I had to wait 15 minutes for both the owner and agent. I hate to wait! And I was drenched in perspiration!

The house looked so empty and may I say, sad. It's a family house, so with no family living there anymore, it just felt sad. I also realised that there would be more work to be done than what I had expected.

In other words, more things needed to be replaced. In other, other words, more money needed to be spent!

I think we definitely have to take up a renovation loan. I still don't think it's a good idea. But looking at the state of the empty house, even with a basic set of renovations, a loan is inevitable.

This is what's tiring me out! My brain is overloaded with information and issues! How come I'm doing this alone??? Where's my supposed partner??? HELP!!!


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