Category Archives: Personal

黎明时节

近日我觉得我的心境有点不知道该怎么形容。我很愉快能通过一些网站认识了很多新朋友,但同时明白在网上认识真实的朋友没那么简单。因为我本性是偏内向,我主动联系别人的时候会比较累。

我一直以来知道明天总是未知数,但觉得这几个星期我对未来的心态有所改变。或许是跟着时间的改变而变了;或许是长大了,对世界的看法也改变了。

不同的时节带来不同的特征。我相信我目前活在黎明时节里。即使心里有时会忐忑,有时会为明天操心,我相信我当前活在最好的季节里。这黎明时节会有多长,接下去的早晨、中午、下午、晚上有多长,我不知道。但我知道的是生命是短暂,是宝贵的。今天就是我唯一可以选择怎么过的日子。

Test of Patience

It’s nearing four months since I returned to Singapore, yet interviews have been few and I haven’t got work yet. Sometimes I question myself, whether I think too highly of myself. Most of the positions I have been looking at require experience more than qualifications, which sometimes leads me to question the usefulness of my four years of studies at the ANU.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet up with a fellow ANU graduate and senior from high school over coffee. He shared with me of how he spent seven months looking for work, and how the position that he got wasn’t one he applied for. He empathized with feelings of despair when others with lesser qualifications are holding better positions. And he encouraged me to entrust my career to God. Isn’t that a wonderful instance of learning to trust God with my life?

The road ahead is still uncertain, and at times frustrating when I can’t stay with my parents. Bringing to mind more tragic stories like that of 《红莓花儿开》 makes me realize that I’m still pretty blessed to be able to spend so much time here though it is not on a stable basis. Truly there is only one way forward and it cannot be walked without faith.

Love of Two Fathers in the Little Things

Just upgraded to WordPress 3.2. I never really paid attention to upgrades but this one caught my attention with the different UI. Feels old style typing in a fixed width font that looks like Monaco after typing with variable width for so long. Let’s see how it goes.

Today I would like to share a tale of how my two fathers showed me love. I try my best to go jogging with my dad in the evening whenever I am in town, before I get work which may prohibit me from doing that due to working hours and/or tiredness. I now understand the value of financial independence and how it truly allows you to choose the work that matters the most to you.

So, as is my custom, I went jogging with my dad in the evening. However on the way, I got hungry and realize that I had no cash with me, which means that I couldn’t buy a snack on the way back. We continued on our jog, and amazingly my dad spots a $1 coin on the road back. That was just enough to buy one plain prata for 80¢ at the shop opposite my house. My dad shared with me how he used to cook simple canned food with egg in his secondary school days, and it was lovely to experience a touch of his love.

I’m also thankful to my father in heaven for providing for me. Small as the matter seems, he provided for me right at my time of need. Indeed God may not be early, but he is never ever late. Just as no sparrow falls to the ground apart from God’s will and he does not forsake the righteous, he cares not just in the big things but also in the little things.

So blessed to have two loving fathers :)

The Power of a Few Days

Upon return from my latest trip to Singapore, I was shocked at how disconnected from everyone in HCMC I felt. Friends, family, colleagues. Everything seems to be seen through a different light.

Another friend recently returned from another place, and I see the same thing happening too. Just seems as though the relationship feels all different.

Maybe it’s the lack of a strong foundations that cause all these to happen.

Soaking in the Culture

I’m a big fan of public transport. From Singapore to Canberra to Shanghai to Ho Chi Minh City, I’ve always relied on public transport as my main mode of transport. Though there are different issues in different cities and the infrastructure is set up differently, I believe that as population density increases in a city, it will become prohibitively expensive to drive a car just by market forces. And public transport is the solution to the bulk of these problems (cost, pollution, etc).

Today on the bus I saw something that broke my heart. The bus was crowded, and I saw a girl suddenly feeling around her pockets realising that her handphone wasn’t with her. She then stood up and looked around her seat and looked really flustered. She borrowed someone’s phone and tried to dial her phone but I think there was no response. After that she looked like she was sniffling and I just wished there was something that I could do to comfort her. All I could do was to pray that God would cushion any impact from her family or otherwise.

Watched Grown Ups today. Absolute waste of time and money. Don’t watch it if you haven’t already done so.

Had dinner at Wrap & Roll today, and I was reading You the Leader (Pringle) while waiting for the food to arrive. I was amazed at the service today as it was better than usual. I ordered my food, and for the first time, someone actually helped me break apart the (disposable) chopsticks, and one guy even pushed the meat off the skewers for me! After I paid, I went to the toilet, and when I returned, the guy who pushed the meat off the skewers for me approached me and talked about the book that I placed on the table. He said he was interested in leadership and HR, and I noticed on his name tag that he was the manager of that store!

Sad to say, I was unprepared and only gave him my namecard and asked him to send me an email. What touched me was how just having that book opened up a door, without me having to approach him, he approached me. On hindsight, I would:

  • Get his contact information as well
  • Given him some encouragement on being a leader
  • Prepare a better introduction to my workplace in Vietnamese

Maybe I’ll have my dinner there again tomorrow night and look for him!

On another note, Vietnamese classes are helping me greatly and I am considering engaging a tutor to increase my study pace.

Well, it’s bedtime again, and I’m definitely looking forward to a brand new week ahead. Holy Spirit come and lead me.

A Beautiful Start to the Month

Today has been one of the most (more) beautiful days I’ve had here in Ho Chi Minh City. This morning started out a little chilly. Had breakfast outside at Bud’s Ice Cream and had to start wearing my jacket. After that was the first service that we are having at a semi-permanent location and I really thank God for that. Today we had English service at 9:00am followed by Vietnamese at 10:30.

Was a little disappointed at the number of people at the Vietnamese service, but on hindsight perhaps it’s due to it being later. Finishing church at 10:30 leaves half a morning to do other stuff. Anyway I stayed for both, since I believe that I will be here for some time and that God is telling me to pick up Vietnamese. Of course I realise that bridging the cultural gap may prove to be a larger hurdle than the language gap.

Had lunch at Restaurant #7 again. After that, 3 of us went and watched Despicable Me at Galaxy Nguyen Trai. It was an excellent film. My only thought is that the title may not communicate the right image. I originally thought it to be offensive, but definitely no regrets.

Was really blessed to have a lovely chat with friends over dinner. We talked about how we wanted to serve the world around, and I just feel so blessed :)

This is going to be an awesome month!

Risk Assessment and Perspectives

One thing that has fascinates me is the different ways people assess risk based on a culmination of their background, upbringing, personality, level of available knowledge, etc.

Tonight I’m bunking with some friends at a house. I dozed off at around 11pm, and at 1am I woke up shocked to find a number of mosquito bites around my body. In a moment I was angry at how careless we had been to avoid getting mosquito bites. We left the door open and the mosquito netting had gaping holes in it.

My first thoughts were those of encountering dengue or malaria, and panicked thinking that these people may not have thought about it because they grew up in this environment and would likely have considerably higher immunity than me. I was a little relieved when I saw the distribution maps of dengue and malaria on Wikipedia showing low distribution in the Philippines.

Perhaps growing up in Singapore has taught me to be mosquito averse. I have no hard numbers, but I would probably have gotten < 1 bite a week on average. The amount of publicity that goes into education against leaving stagnant water reservoirs around probably adds a subconscious trickle of caution to my perception too.

Living in Vietnam, I see people who place themselves at risk everyday. Crazy traffic, poor safety, etc. Risks that a Singaporean would think twice about. I think it is hard to say who is right and who is wrong. After all, there is no perfect measure to assess these risks with. It boils down to a subjective judgement that people make in their daily lives. Some because they accept it as the status quo, some because they do not have any options.

One decision that I made recently is that I will make a conscious effort to minimize time spent on a motorbike in Saigon, especially crowded places. Am I being selfish or spoilt? My answer is a no. I am clear about my motives. Apart from some practical reasons like being able to get through traffic more easily (which can be managed by managing time), there is no obvious advantages of a motorbike. It is just what people are used to, and till people decide that they are not going to put up with the pollution anymore, they are not going to make a directed effort towards cars and/or EVs.

Though I have not read Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk, I anticipate and recommend it on the basis of other material by Ben Carson that I’ve read. Furthermore, as a pediatric neurosurgeon, I’m sure he will have some interesting perspectives on this issue. If you’re feeling generous, please consider getting me a copy from my Amazon.com wish list or other means :-)

Walk Around SM South Mall

This morning we woke up early to join our host for his regular walk around the village (sub-division) and SM South Mall. It was a lovely walk with not so polluted air, the sound of birds, and the sharing of a pastor (our host!). I definitely look forward to doing it again over the next few days.

Across the Aisle

Across the aisle, she steals my breath away. Her smile and her face are just absolutely stunning, and her white outfit matches her calm and cool demeanour. The silver that she dons adorns her overall appearance. Black spectacle frames add a touch of solidity to give some perspective.

新的季节


Picture by cecies.

不知不觉,多一半年慢慢地飘了过去。

我相信在一些人生的季节,人是无法拯救自己,离弃忧郁。在这些季节,我们只能祈求主来拯救我们。因为除了神所赐给我们的,人是没有什么的。我们的这一生,我们的气息,都是神赐给我们的礼物。

刚过去的上半年似乎是没有什么成就,但是我相信在我的内心里,神在做他的工作,为了预备我的下一步。在这段时间里产生了一些隔阂,磨练我的人际关系能力和素质。挑战我的耐性。

在这段时间有些人要我干一些事情,走一些路,但是我觉得有点勉强。在生活当中没遇过这样的情况,挑战了我如何应付问题。

最近少练了中文,没想到连打这短篇都这么吃力。多半年,我的中文会如何呢?