December 30, 2008


It is the time of the year again for resolutions. I am sure all of us have some sorts of resolutions that we want to fulfil every year. But then again, how many of us actually managed to fulfil all the resolutions that we made over the years. If all the resolutions we made were realised, the world will definitely be a better place and we are all a better person.

My 2008 resolutions were a difficult challenge of learning Chinese calligraphy, putting on some weight and a weird one ... trying not to step on the lines made by the tiles on the floor.

Well with less than 48 hours to go, forget about Chinese caligraphy, I cannot even write simple Chinese properly. My BMI (Body Mass Index) is way less than 18.5 (in the "underweight" category) and I am definitely not hopping from tiles to tiles while I do my weekend shopping. There goes my 2008 resolutions.

So I am not going to make a long list of resolutions for 2009. I will just have one simple resolution. My resolution is 'change'. I will step out of the comfort zone, break away from the norm and do things differently. Sir Winston Churchill said this "To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often". I hope those who read this can agree with me and also make a change for the better to live a live not just stay alive.

Many people donate money to charity and they do just that only. Of course it is a very good thing to do but how many actually visited an orphanage or spend time at the homes of the under privileged? Hey, for a change, get out of your chair on a weekend and make a trip to an orphanage near you. See and feel for yourself how the under privileged live their daily lives. I can guarantee that you will be a better person once you visited one of these homes.

You want to quit smoking? Forget about the chewing gums, sweets, nicotine patches, etc. Do it the hard way. Break out of the norm. Go for a run outdoor (not in a comfortable gym on a treadmill), say 10km non-stop. An average person should be able to run 10km non-stop in 40 minutes. Try it, remember NON-STOP running and when you complete the run in the specified time then ask yourself a simple honest question … cigarettes or your lungs? If you still want the cigarettes, I rest my case.

Whatever resolution it is, from personal grooming to global warming or from environmental problems to political issues, I hope people can embrace change. Change can be painful as we move away from things we are comfortable with, we will be out of our norm and approach things from a different angle. But it is all for the better.

As we move forward, we have to keep on changing as Benjamin Franklin said "When you're finished changing, you're finished". I wish all a Happy (and Changed) New Year.


December 12, 2008

Hello, can I speak to Tai Yee Ngau?


I am sure all of us must have got a wrong number call at least once. Recently someone kept calling my number and asked for a “Fei Chai Loong” (Little Fat Dragon in Cantonese). This guy called me no less than 10 times over 3 days even though I kept telling him there was no such person and he must have got the wrong number. After the 7th or 8th call, I was quite fed up and angry with him. Finally he stopped.

This reminds me of a prank my schoolmates and I used to play on people during our school days. Every now and then when we were bored, we would make prank calls at random. It was quite hilarious to us but was quite mean to the person we picked randomly.

We made calls from public phones (just simply dial a number) and once a call got through we will ask for a person with a funny Chinese name, like Tai Yee Ngau (which means Big Ear Bull in Cantonese). We knew it was very unlikely there was such a character. And the person on the other side will most probably say it was a wrong number. But then we kept arguing that we got the number from Tai Yee Ngau and insist on speaking to him. We will argue as long as we can until the person got fed up and hung up.

Then we will wait for a while and made another call to the same number and ask for Tai Yee Ngau again. We did this a couple more times until the person was really irritated and practically screaming at the other end.

But that was not the last of it. The finale was that we made one last call and when the person answers the phone, we will say “Hello, I am Tai Yee Ngau, did anyone call me?” That was when you can hear the hysterical screams of all sorts of four letter words … that was the climax we were looking for.

Come to think about it now, we were quite a mischievous bunch. I admit, we were all rascals. If you ever got such a call during the late 70s, it could have been one of our pranks. Thousand apologies!