Thursday, June 28, 2007

I Wanna Hold Your Hand... and Other Vows

There are many rules relating to what you do or do not do at work, and there're probably many rules you can create about blogging, and what you do or do not do while you blog.

One of the work rules is that you probably do not blog while you are at work. Unless, of course, if you're my boss who is currently using his blog as a platform to replace the mass emails that he spams us with. Or if you're the resident blogger of Microsoft / Google / Apple / (pick your favourite IT hothouse), pimping their latest and greatest creations.

One of the blog rules would be that you probably blog on a pretty regular basis, or your faithful readers (all 10 of them!) abandon you for some other tripe (there are a lot of junk celebrity bloggers out there in Singapore).

And because I have never seen myself as a person to follow rules on a consistent basis, here I am: blogging while I am supposed to be working. There's a bunch of stuff waiting to be spreadsheeted and powerpointed but who cares? I've got stuff to talk about.


Speaking of breaking rules, I have a knack for breaking rules related to my car and my driving.

Ever since I started driving (my own car, that is), I have not failed to collect a fine or ticket in every country that I have so deigned to rent a vehicle at.

In Singapore, there have been at least 6 parking fines in the last one year. The range of fines that I have garnered (much like some ill-conceived collection that I'm not so proud of):

  • Rule No. 4(1)# - Parking without displaying any valid coupon(s) : This happened once when I cheated on my parking coupon. On some occasions, I will fold back the coupon flaps rather than tear them out, just so that I can re-use the coupon at a later date. To date, I think I managed to save enough through such efforts to actually pay the fine, so... in a way, it is perhaps worth it.
  • Rule No. 11 - Displaying coupon(s) where the time of commencement of parking indicated is later than the actual time : This happened once when I tried to squeeze a little more time out of my folded-back cheater of a coupon. I put a time that is 15 minutes later than that particular point in time, and promptly got a fine because an alert car park auntie passed by the vehicle 3 minutes later. 3 MINUTES!
  • Rule No. 10(1) - Parking a vehicle in a parking place not designated for its use : This happened when I parked near Fort Canning. I was heading to church and chose to plonk the car in a bus park lot (much like MANY other cars there were doing). So there are actually lots designated for coaches, ok, but why can't I park there when they aren't being used at all? Talk about a waste of space.

In France where I spent 4 months of last year, there were mainly parking fines garnered from the Parisian traffic police. The problem for me was that I spent most of the time in Fontainebleau, where the only parking rule around is that you can park anywhere except where it'll inconvenience someone else. Parking cars up on the kerb is not uncommon in sleepy Fontainebleau. Paris though, is another story, and they slapped me with a parking fine for leaving the car there for longer than stipulated.

To date, I have yet to pay that fine.

And finally, due to an over-eagerness to hit the Great Ocean Road with my colleague, I ended up speeding along Prince Edward Highway, somewhere east of Melbourne. All it took was to be 10km/h above the speed limit, and the camera went snap. The Melbourne police took great pains to locate our address (they called the rental company, the hotel, our client, and my Aussie mobile #) and finally found out we wanted the ticket to be served to us at a grand old CBD address in Singapore.

We haven't got the letter yet (it's been 2 months?). Guess the postage was not worth it.

What is it about dating a beautiful woman that makes you feel insecure?

Why does it make you feel like you will lose her eventually, that there is nothing you can do in your power to hold onto her?

Why is it that jealousy bubbles to the surface whenever she gets approached by other men?

When is it possible to say 'I love you' to her and mean it, and not because you want to get comfortable with her (because she's beautiful)?

What can you do to keep her with you, knowing full well she can have the pick of the crop?

Why is it that you feel an urge to protect her, to hold her, and to reassure her that she is beautiful, despite the reservations you have that it is that which gives her strength and confidence?



Sydney right now is an odd place. It is a living irony.

It has rained copiously the last 3 weeks or so. I arrived here on Tuesday to find it showering torrentially - there was half an expectation that Noah's Ark will loom over the distance, overspilling with kangaroos, koalas and wombats. (the Australian version of it, anyhow). The folks I were visiting at the market research agency we work with were apologising for the weather, like it was their fault that the rain came along (and the British aren't the only ones who have extensive vocabulary for weather conditions).

Yet... and this is weird... the people here are still experiencing a drought. They still do not have enough water.

I found out soon enough why: the rain in Spain falls mainly in the plains; but in Australia, they are falling in the damned cities where the damned dams cannot catch them. So the best possible solution to this water crisis might be this: bring out the bathtubs and start collecting the rainwater off of your rooftops.

Or if divine intervention be required, pray for rain - but pray with more geographic precision.


Have you ever thought about the wedding vows and how they all sound similar? Apparently, even wedding vows have certain best practices. For example, the following wedding vow is too often said to death:

"I _____, take you ______, to be my wedded wife/husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in
sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part. And hereto
I pledge you my faithfulness."

Another one which is uttered by the minister in attendance:

"_________________, will you have this woman/man to be your wife/husband to live together according to God’s decree in the holy estate of marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honour and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, faithfully keep to her/him alone, so long as you both shall live?"

"I will."

I think we can all do better with our wedding vows: be creative and come up with your own. The website My Wedding Vows
might be a good place to source for ideas.

However, I think a vow, whether creative or traditional, needs to be made with genuine intent. Otherwise, it is just another meaningless utterance, air let out of lungs without any commitment to it.

And where vows are concerned, I believe I shall write my own one when the time comes around to it. (Ed note: Actually I was thinking of sprucing this entry with a few vows of my creation, but there's no time for that now - I have to get back to work!).


Last piece of news for those who are friends and who read this (and count themselves loyal to my cause whatever that might be at the present moment of time).

I am very happy right now. I also miss home a lot now and rue the fact that I am in Sydney. If you must know why, you know how to find me.

Oh all that rain... and not a drop to drink.