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Showing posts from April, 2005

A Chinese who cannot speak Chinese

I am Chinese but I cannot speak Chinese. To many, I don’t even look like a Chinese. Some identity crisis, huh?

Just yesterday. I was chided about the way I handled a sensitive case with one of the customers of our café. The conclusion was “Serene doesn’t know how to handle things in the ‘Chinese way’”.
This has been a recurring chorus in my life… I am not Chinese enough.

When friends laugh and poke fun at my inability to speak Chinese… I can only laugh along and agree what a terrible person I am, not being able to speak a word of my so called native language. Their eyes demand an explanation. I am obligated to justify myself… to offer an explanation for my condition. It must be some kind of sickness it seems.

When coffee shop aunties and taxi drivers speak to me to take my order or ask my destination, I can only try to follow as best as I can with my smattering of Chinese… and try my best to make myself understood with the few words and sentences I know in Chinese. I am already familiar w…

Marathon weekend at the Cafe

Hello… well, a lot has been happening on my side for the past few days. It has been a looong tiring weekend since Friday afternoon. Mabel was really sick last week since Wednesday. We had a major special event on Friday afternoon – product launch of a new game. The inventor of the game came to Singapore and organizers of the event chose to hold the launch at our café since we were a gaming café. On top of that, we had people from Disney Princess magazine who wanted to come to our café on the same day to do a review on our establishment. That same afternoon, some kids from a local primary school dropped by our café and wanted to feature us in their school magazine. Since Mabel was sick, I had to take half day leave to stand in for her. I was totally flat out by the end of the day!

The next day, we also had a major event – a children’s birthday party. Mabel was still sick so I was in charge of hosting the party. It was no party for me, that’s for sure. The family postponed the time of th…

Has your hubby cooked for you before?

Yes, he has cooked for me before. He doesn't really know how to prepare 'western style' cooking. But he noticed that I often like to order Yong Tau Foo for meal (actually I order it because it's healthy). So one day he called me at the office to tell me he was cooking Yong Tau Foo for dinner. He went and bought all the fish balls, bean curd, crabsticks etc... all by himself. I arrived home to see him happily fussing around in the kitchen. He cooked SO MUCH! I think he overestimated the amount of food... so we ate fishballs for the next 2 days for dinner. It was also sweet that he bought some authentic nonya style garlic chilli especially on my account, even though he himself doesn't take it. So that was a memorable event... just the two of us eating home made Yong Tau Foo cooked by my own hubby!

Savour the moment

I was listening to a friend who was telling me how frustrated she was that her BF recently moved house to somewhere much further away from her place. It was especially frustrating since the both of them are extremely busy people. She was a cell leader and actively involved in church as well as many sports activities. He also had a lot of after work activities and sports practices to attend every week. Their relationship was becoming strained because they had so little time together.

I reflected that it would be good to persuade him to move to a place that is not so far away… and possibly but down on some of their team sports activities and devote the time to playing couple sports like tennis together. But sometimes, all this could be a time of testing… if a relationship can withstand this difficult and strenuous time, then it shows that both people are strong enough to retain your individuality yet able to flow together as a couple.

MH and I also find it frustrating at times that we hav…

Of Laundry and Hair-mountains and more Affogato...

Just came back from the cafe tonight. We meant only to drop by a while as it was not actually our turn on duty, but in the end we stayed all the way until 1.00am. I think MH and I are both feeling a little tired and snappish. This is not meant to be a long term practice of working there every weekend. But since this business belongs to us, we are driven by every bone and sinew in our body to labour for it to make it work. But we both cannot deny that this will eventually take a toll on us. So we definitely need to find a solution to improve the whole system of running the place, so that we will not have to feel the need to "help out" all the time, or worry about whether everything will run smoothly if we are not there. It was really busy at the cafe just now - full house! If we hadn't dropped by to help, Mabel and the rest of the staff may have found it difficult to manage.

Sometimes I feel that MH and I don't have enough time to spend with each other. But I can't…

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