Here and Now – A Memoir

History is what is written down

To Complete Or To Not Complete

Posted by freddyteo on 6 August, 2006

I had a very interesting dialogue today:

Thanavathy: I heard that you’re complete these days.

Me: Uh huh…

Thanavathy: People(?) are going to the installation, not for the installation, but to see who completes you.

Installation Ticket

No comment.


Posted in My Life: Documented | 5 Comments »

Looking Back at the Stretch

Posted by freddyteo on 30 July, 2006

In the final weeks before leaving Penang, I have had a tight schedule of Scrabble competitions, sudden boom in social life, and of course, pointless report-writing as I plough through them mindlessly.

In the final weeks too, you tend to look back at December and ponder. Yes, yes, invariably, there would be the experience. And yes, yes, I would be reminded that I had racked 138.5 overtime hours. And again, yes, yes, “at least” I have a lot of experience. And yes, to the uninitiated: speak not and advise not what you do not understand.

Period. I almost fell into the realm of ranting. *Phew*

Looking back, plenty of things have happened. Not all was a walk in the park butterfly farm.

A Walk in the Butterfly Farm

There was the assault and battery. 3 months into the new year, I got assaulted. And batted. Bah! They were no match for me. *Slaps miniatures of them off the table*

There were triumphs humble beginnings at the novice Scrabble tourney.

There were losses new experiences as I succumbed to better players at the masters Scrabble tourney.

There were drive-around-Penang trips around here.

Up there at the Penang Hill.

And here at the Butterfly Farm.

Penang Butterfly Farm

And there at the Kek Lok Si Temple.

Those were the good times.

There were also the times when-something-will-go-wrong-it-so-damn-will. Like two hours before my final presentation, the network drive is down. And miraculously back to full swing when my presentation ended.

I have met many people – new acquaintances, Scrabble and tennis buddies, professional contacts.


Of course, also sneaky people. My parcel never arrived Kuching. Chances are that it did not even leave Penang. Screw those people.

And you get to look at things two ways: rose-tinted lenses or realistically.


And I choose realistically. Theft is theft. There are no two ways to look at it.


And invariably, a question I get, quite a number of times, is: Will I come back to Penang?

I’ve always thought I’m just driving through.

But yes, I will. I have a good reason to.

Posted in My Life: Documented, Thoughts & Reflections | Leave a Comment »

The 8-Month Stretch

Posted by freddyteo on 11 July, 2006

The 8-month training is drawing to a close. Bittersweet. I can taste it.

Some 8 months ago, I drove all the way to the north to an unknown is(land) while All The Way To The North – 一路向北 – played in loops in the background.

I stayed at a condo I had found in the classifieds on the Internet. Too many people registered astonished looks at the idea. It’s a great place. I can never give myself enough pats for that decision.

I self-taught myself backstroke swimming. The sweetest taste of success was when I swum half the width of the swimming pool. Short, indeed it was. But the success was indeed sweet.

Swim of faith

Bitter days laid ahead. Weekends were my best friend. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday blues were common.

I learn one thing from the Thank-God-It’s-Friday attitude: if you have it, the job is probably not-so right for you. My biological clock re-adjusted to a new schedule. Weekday mornings are spent with a bumper-to-bumper morning jam.

The morning crawl.jpg

The jam basking in the orange hues of the morning sun, peeking from the mountains ahead, accompanied by The Big Bang Breakfast Show with Fly Guy and Natalie on 89.95 on Fly FM.

The older trainees left. Work was passed down. New work was assigned. Work which was going to cost a lot of my time and my sleep and my time.

Older trainees' farewell

It was the new year. The start of 2006. The start of January. The start of a new year resolution.

Chinese New Year 2006

The start of the year didn’t take off too well. I was overworked. My overtime hours peaked to an unprecedented all-time high. Literally.


It even surpassed the preset upper control limit. It was a time when I had to go to work before dawn, and leave work when dusk fell. It was a time you ask “Why me?”

It was a time when bad things happen to good people.

One friend said,

Dude, too much overtime. Seriously.

My answer is: “You think I want ah??” But of course, I didn’t answer. It is during this time, you feel like reminding people: “I’m sorry. But I only have one body, two arms and two legs.”

Jam at Night

Your new year resolution put to the test. Better days were still ahead.

Posted in My Life: Documented | 2 Comments »