Tag Archives: Nikon FM2

The Grass Thing

It’s always tempting to think that the grass is always greener on the other side, that others always have it better than we do, that we’d be happier – if only we had that person’s job scope, if only we had a spouse like so-and-so, if only we had that much money…

Over the years, I think I’ve learnt (the hard way) that comparing myself with others will only bring me more misery. Thankfully, thoughts on comparing myself with others (Why can’t I be like … Why am I not more…) gave way more to thoughts on learning how to accept myself (It’s ok, you may need more time than others, but you’ll get there if you don’t give up).  Of course there are still days when I feel that I would be happier, if only… But I try to stop myself from going too far down that road.

One problem I still face frequently is how to handle people who seem to think that everyone’s grass is greener than theirs, that everyone has it better than them. I do not mind listening to my friends and colleagues talk, rant, complain and whine about their problems, be it at home or at work, but I feel that they have crossed the line when they start making personal remarks like “I’m not as fortunate as YOU… YOU don’t need to… YOU don’t have to… YOU have it so much better…” or any other lines that imply such. 

I usually feel waves of anger and indignation swelling up inside me then, but I, being me, usually do quite a good job of hiding it, laughing the person’s insensitive remarks away. Pretending to agree that “Yes, I don’t work as hard as YOU.” “Yes, YOU work the hardest and I am just slacking off compared to YOU.”

I used to wonder why I am the butt of these people’s insensitive remarks, and even reflected on the impression I give others. Am I truly not working hard enough? Am I giving others the impression that I only do the minimal? Just because I pride myself on being efficient, is it something that has been taken the wrong way?

As I got to know some of these people better, I realised – it is not me. There are simply people who will feel that the world surrounding them is better than the world they have. Making comparisons and complaints are their coping mechanisms, albeit rather unhappy ones. So no matter what I do, no matter how much harder I drive myself, they are probably going to go on saying the things they say, thinking the things they think.

And this year, I should do myself the favour of not taking their words too seriously.

Change-ism II: Along Middle Road


The old NAFA building. I remember the “concert hall”, the “practice rooms”, and how we would all rush to book the rooms when the daily booking list came out. Imagine around 50 students fighting for 8 practice rooms. Those were the days, indeed.

I remember holding my pee whenever I could, because I did not like the rather dirty toilets in the old building. I would rush to Bugis to use the toilets during lunch and/or after class.

Now, the building is boarded up and some construction has started. What it will change into, I am not sure.


I remember having (rare) lunches at Midlink Plaza. I remember being recommended their calamari. I remember thinking it was nice. But I also remember finding the place a little crammed and dim.

Now, the place is silent. Nothing was left, except a stray food tray… and the shutters.


I remember asking the uncle to photocopy music scores, lecture notes, bind completed essay assignments and harmony portfolios. I remember how their binding was excellent, and how they always seemed to know what we needed.

Now, he has… retired, I guess.



Goodbye these places along Middle Road, I will always remember you as an integral part of my early musical education 🙂

Change-ism: Rochor Centre

In 2011, it was announced that Rochor Centre will be one of the landmarks demolished by 2016 to make way for the North-South Expressway.

This will affect residents of all four residential blocks, including residents of the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home. Resident and retailers who meet the criteria will be offered compensation, and assistance will be provided for them to move to new locations.

How does one compensate culture?

Or is culture something not even worth considering when you measure it against economic growth?

Goodbye, Rochor Centre.

Soon, you will disappear physically, only to remain as the subject of grandparents’ stories and history textbooks, if mentioned at all.