Dashingdiva's Blog

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The Tsunami of Urbanisation July 9, 2011

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — dashingdiva @ 1:09 am

It’s been a year plus since I’ve been back to Singapore so I decided to take a leisurely bus ride down East Coast road to hopefully catch a glimpse of the many sights that hold wonderful childhood memories for me. (East Coast was where I grew up and spent most of my early adult years.) It brought on a mixed load of feelings and nostalgia. I was particularly sadden by how so many of the older buildings are now replaced with condominums and shopping centers with fancy promises like “Luxurious Shopping Experience”, “Crown jewel of the East”.

The building (see photo above) where I had my first job as a young banking officer at DBS Bank is now torn down. The branch brought many fond memories of what banking was meant to be before the recent financial fiasco. At that time, people in banking genuinely felt like custodians of people’s hard earned money where trust and integrity were treasured core values. The particular branch I was in had a strong sense of community between the bank and it’s customers. I remember fondly of a fruit stall owner who would regularly bring in his best batch of fruits to share with the bank staff. Come June, the branch would be filled with the waft of pungent sweet smelling durian hiding in the far corners of the back room waiting to be devoured once banking hours were over. All the staff irregardless of rank would gather round a table laid with newspaper, digging in with their hands, slurping up the juicy durian flesh. Some would share their “durian appreciation” comments like “wah! this one very nice! flesh very firm yet soft inside! This means it’s very fresh cos the fruit drop during the night time.”

The building now gone, seems so symbolic of the change not just in the urban landscape but with it the values of what banking represents. In it’s place, a modern shopping mall that is merely a seemingly glamorous facade but devoid of character, a sense of community and old fashion values of mutual trust & respect.

While I understand that in a land scarce Singapore, urbanisation is inevitable but a balance must be struck between the old and the new. A price tag can never be put on places of history and memories as this is what gels us as Singaporeans. A common history is what makes it home. Otherwise there is no difference for us to live in Singapore or elsewhere because let’s face it, almost all modern buildings look the same – Cold, Tall & Forbidding. Even if it’s architecturally magnificent but I honestly struggle to imagine forming any nostalgic feelings for a place like ION Orchard, for instance.

I also understand the need for business like banks to be bottom line driven but a balance must be struck between profit maximisation and integrity. Particularly with institutions such as banks. Like it or not, people are inherently putting their undivided trust in your hands. Be respectful of that trust, do not take advantage of it.

It’s only been a year but the speed at which the urban tsunami has swept across the country is rather shocking. If nothing is done to stem this tide, I shudder to think what the next few years would be like.

Here are some photos that I took giving a glimpse of what is still left.

The Iconic Chin Mee Chin Bakery. My family's regular sunday breakfast place since I was born.

Old Peranakan Shophouse remains untouched by the urban tide (for now)


Live your Best Life – Oprah’s last lessons June 5, 2011

Filed under: Random Musings — dashingdiva @ 7:31 am
Tags: , , ,

I’ve never really been an Oprah fan. I’ve always thought it odd for people to want to sensationalize and air their life’s drama and darkest secret on national TV. But since it was Oprah’s Last Show and since Australia’s TV Network decided to chuck aside my favourite TV show to air hers, I had no choice but to watch it. I’m glad I did.

In her finale, she shared the lessons she learned about life and human nature through her last 25 years in her show. It rang so true to me as it paralleled very closely to how I want to and hope to lead my life. As a reminder to myself, I’m jotting it down here on cyberspace. I hope it inspires you as well.

Oprah’s Last Message:

1. Everybody has a Calling

“To live from the heart of yourself. You have to make a living; I understand that. But you also have to know what sparks the light in you so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.”

My thoughts: Everyone has dreams. I hear it all the time but very few act on it. Too many come up with all kinds of excuses to stay lazy.

All I can say is, find the thing that fires up your belly and GO FOR IT!

2. Each one of you has your own platform in which you can honour your calling

“Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence…..whatever you’re supposed to be doing, carry that forward and don’t waste any more time. Start embracing the life that is calling you and use your life to serve the world.”

3. Nobody but you is responsible for your (own) life.

“People were making bad choices and then blaming everybody but themselves for the state of their lives…..you are responsible for the energy that you create for yourself, and you’re responsible for the energy that you bring to others.”

My thoughts: I can’t agree with this lesson more. I see this so inherently so often. In particular , one individual, who got herself into a miserable state through leading a self-centered, promiscuous life, chalked up massive debts and instead of taking responsibility for it, she puts blame on others and tries to make them bail her out time and time again.

Stop blaming your parents, your spouse, your ex spouse, your co-workers. Stop complaining,  no one is responsible for the state of your life except you.

4. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

‘Everything you done to me already done to you.’ It is the Golden Rule to the 10th power.”

5. Worthiness & Validation

“There is a common thread that runs through all of our pain and all of our suffering, and that is unworthiness.”

“Everyone wants validation…..They want to know “Do you see me? Do you hear me? Does what I say mean anything to you?….Try it with your children, your husband, your wife, your boss, your friends. Validate them.”

My thoughts:

Have you ever lost a friend, someone close over seemingly trivial things like not keeping to appointments, not calling when you say you would, not sharing the load on joint responsibilities, basically not doing what you say you’d do, no matter how small the matter is?  These things may seem small & trivial. It is but done repeatedly over time it sends out the message to the other person: “You don’t see me, you don’t hear me, I don’t matter to you”.  Each time, it hurts in a small way until one day people just give up.

6. The Secret to a Successful life? –  Jesus

“I have felt the presence of God my whole life. Even when I didn’t have a name for it, I could feel the voice bigger than myself speaking to me, and all of us have that same voice. Be still and know it. You can acknowledge it or not. You can worship it or not. You can praise it, you can ignore it or you can know it. Know it. It’s always there speaking to you and waiting for you to hear it in every move, in every decision. I wait and I listen. I’m still—I wait and listen for the guidance that’s greater than my meager mind.”

“The only time I’ve ever made mistakes is when I didn’t listen. So what I know is, God is love and God is life, and your life is always speaking to you. “

You can read/watch the full version here. I strongly encourage you to do so.


What does the weekend say about you? May 22, 2011

Filed under: Random Musings,Vintage Finds — dashingdiva @ 8:53 am

Weekends are probably everyone’s favourite part of the week since we get to do what we truly enjoy in life. If you think about it, it probably says alot about the life you lead and even perhaps about who you are.

Having lived in 3 cities, Singapore, Sydney & Melbourne it’s funny how what we do over the weekend is very much a reflection of how our lives have changed in these 3 cities.

In Singapore, the first question we’ll ask each other on Saturday mornings would be “Where do you wanna go for breakfast?”. This usually leads to some sinfully greasy breakfast like “Kway Chap”  (a mixture of pig’s spareparts boiled in dark broth) or “Prata” (a Indian flatbread). Food especially cheap & good street food is very much a way of life in Singapore.

In Sydney, the question becomes “You wanna go to the beach today?” & this is followed by me scrambling out of bed to the window to check on the weather.  I really do miss this aspect of Sydney life and especially our ritual of heading to the beach for a brekky with Raindrop and then a nice stroll along the coast.

Finally in Melbourne, the question is now “Which market do you wanna go to today?”. Weekend markets are so much a part of our lives now especially living in a region where there’s an abundance of Antique markets & Farmers markets. The beauty of visiting markets is, it’s a great way to discover & explore Melbourne. Visiting these markets usually lead you to some very pretty & quaint towns like what we discovered this weekend when we went to Tyabb & Bittern. Tyabb’s famous for it’s Antique shops while Bittern has a very cute country town atmosphere.

Here are some photos to share:

Antique Shop in Tyabb

Found this 1920's Music Scroll sitting in a dusty corner of the shop! The Song was titled "Moonlit Waters", doesn't it sound so romantic?!

Unusual Antiques Sitting out waiting for Loving Adoption

I LOVE the Rocking Horse!

Mr & Mrs Lim? (NOT! cos the lady's tits are showing!)

Cute cafe "made" out of a old train carriage. Wanted to try their devonshire tea with scones but was too full from lunch

Tried to relive our sydney days. Impromptu picnic lunch of fish & chips by the water. Unfortunately, being Melbourne, it was too cold to be outdoors so we "camped out" inside our car.

Angry Birds when they realised they couldn't get to the chips inside our car!

What did you do this weekend?

As tempting as it may be, don’t stay in bed too long cos there’s a big world out there waiting to be lived & discovered!


Friday’s note May 20, 2011

Filed under: Building Dream Home,Random Musings — dashingdiva @ 1:54 am

Lovely note

Saw this lovely photo while blog surfing today…..says exactly how I feel at the mo.

Yes I’m doing mindless surfing on a workday. After 2 weeks of non-stop meetings & pitches….i’m so exhausted today and I don’t feel like working.

Have a great weekend everyone!



Awesome Sunday May 15, 2011

I had the most awesome & full-filling Sunday today. I don’t know how we did it but we managed to get so much done.

The day started bright (well not exactly, it was the usual melbourne overcast sky) and early (for a sunday!) with the Trash & Treasure market for a good dose of vintage-ing. We were a little disappointed when we first arrived as there were so few stalls, probably because of the cold & rain. But STILL, I manage to hunt down quite a haul!

For the curious, below are some photos of the junk we patiently sieve through to find our treasures. Yes not very glamorous but so much fun! My mum thinks I’m absolutely mad to enjoy this so much, she calls me a “Kalang guni woman”.

Spot the Treasure!

Vintage Trash & Treasure Market

Anyway, this trip my “treasures” include a very cute old chess seats made of wood & brass, a timber child’s toy chest, a lovely antique salt & pepper shaker, a beautiful orange-y marble trinket box & a silver tray. I’ll post some pics once i get round to taking them.

After the treasure hunt, we found time to experiment 2 dishes that we’ve been wanting to try: Eggs Benedict for Brunch (thanks to Masterchef) and a Big JUICY Burger for dinner. OMG….both turned out glorious, both made us feel like we died & went to gastronomic heaven…by our standards anyway.

Here are some photos. Will post the recipes once I’ve stopped drooling.

Poached Eggs, Ham & Muffins with Homemade Hollandiase Sauce

The Big O Hamburger

Lastly, I finally managed to finish off 2 of my DIY projects – repurposing a timber musical box &  a “alice in wonderland” antique tea-cup candle holder. The 2nd project is actually an order for someone’s wedding. They’re having a Alice in Wonderland theme and the tea-cup candleholders are for the “Mad Hatters Table”…doesn’t it sound just adorable?! I can’t wait to see the final set up! Again, stay tuned to some photos.

Wow! Just recapping what I’ve done today sounds tiring !  I can’t believe how much I manage to squeeze into one sunday….i swear, i sometimes think there are more hours in a day in Australia.

So there, what an Awesome Sunday! I love it!


Royal blunders May 2, 2011

Filed under: Random Musings — dashingdiva @ 1:08 pm
Tags: , ,

With the singapore elections and the killing of Osama bin Laden, there’s too much seriousness in the news both on & offline. But thank goodness for the English royal family right? Trust them to give us some reprieve as we gawp at their fairy tale lives. First they gave us reality TV via their royal wedding, now these photos to seriously crack you up.

These have gotta be the best photos of the whole royal wedding.

Um, Kate couldn't wait....or is this part of the royal kiss? lol

Flower girl traumatised....

*photo credits: http://www.cjay92.com


Drunk SMS-ing April 28, 2011

Filed under: Random Musings — dashingdiva @ 7:00 am

A useful iphone app for people who has the tendency to drunk dialing or sms-ing their exes. lol