Sunday, July 31, 2011

Love your neighbour

God says love your neighbor as yourself, and that is the only restraint keeping me from banging my neighbors' door. They aren't particularly mean folks, but they are Noisy! Misanthropes don't like to hear others' raised voices, rattling toys,and blasting TV. Why come and live beside a nature reserve if they want to make such a h*ell lot of noise all the time? But God says love your neighbour, so I only gnash my teeth quietly and try not to glare at them when we meet at the lift lobby.

And I complained to God whenever they are noisy, which is to say, I complain incessantly. It is hard enough for misanthropes to bear with people, let alone inconsiderate ones. How can I put up with them?

Yesterday, God showed me that peace and prosperity isn't a normal state of life. Generations of people lived through turmoil and poverty. They survived too, they went on living. And here I am, living beside a nature reserve and not enjoying it just because I don't like my neighbors. How much more spoilt and foolish can I be?

Pastor preached that if one is filled with the Holy Spirit, the love of God will fill you so much that you won't be able to help loving others. Oh Lord, I need that kind of anointing, if only for my own peace. Fill me with the Holy Spirit, at least, enough for me not to find my neighbors irritating.

Friday, July 29, 2011

An eye on 2 Aug

2 August is coming soon and I am as prepared as an insignificant citizen could be in a threatening financial maelstrom. We could hope for the best, and I certainly do. Perhaps like the phantom Y2K bug, the US debt crisis would turn out to be mere scaremongering. The day would come and go as every day does, and nothing remarkable happens.

But at this moment, the US looks more like Titanic on an irreversible course of collision with the iceberg. With eyes shut and mouth wide open in a silent scream, I wait.

It occurred to me that there isn’t really anyone in charge of the looming debt crisis and rapidly devaluing US dollar. President Obama is expected to face the polls soon, as do all the big shots who are supposed to be making strong, sensible decisions. They might lose their job. Maybe they deserve to lose their job, but not now!

Preoccupied with re-election, and facing high likelihood of defeat, how is the government going to make long term plans? It is crucial for any country’s development to look beyond the immediate 5 years, into the next decade or two, because policies take time to come to fruition, and also because of the need to anticipate future challenges. I wonder at the merit of a democratic system which destabilizes the foundation of a country regularly, forcing everyone grab only the low-hanging fruits. Don’t you know that short-term benefits could happen at the expense of long-term strength?

How terrifying it is to know that in this gathering perfect storm, no one is steering the ship. Everyone is busy throwing cream pies in the galleys.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More on Ninja

Suddenly, a bout of scuffling took place in the cage. Shashashashashasha! Shashasha! It was Ninja, in an uncharacteristically fearsome mood, engaged in battle with the toilet roll. I'm not sure what she was trying to do, and sad to say, these hamsters are so feeble that they can do little damage even to cardboard. 

hehehe, looking up puzzled because I tapped her head. What are you up to, little one? You can't pull the toilet roll into the house, you know.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Doubly feisty

I do think it is so sweet to see the love bunnies snuggling together. It does make up for the extra trouble caused by Whitty, who is turning out to be just as playful and feisty as Blackie. 

Now, most bunnies like to keep their feet firmly on the ground since they are supposed to prefer to dig and hide. Not this one. She has discovered that I keep all their treats on top of their cage, and thought hm...maybe she can help herself to some since I am so sparing with them. 

Excuse me, as I am typing this, I hear suspicious noises in the yard. Oh no! The naughty things just engaged in a pee-ing competition and then scattered the contents of their litter box about. RAAAABBIIITSSSSSSS!!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Squeak in the attic

There are more pictures of Ninja because she is the gentlest of them all and has the tendency to pause in her actions, as if trying to puzzle out something. And also because...she is the cutest. :P I have to admit to favouritism. 

Once again, she is foraging for the best bits of food in the attic while Friendly is out playing in her hamster ball. 

Friendly got a spanking. Don't worry, I don't mean strong slaps with the hand! But she has been dreadfully willful lately, biting the cage until we let her come out to play in her hamster ball. It has come to such a stage that we the Owners have to pretend that we are not at home so that she won't start kicking up a fuss! I finally decided to discipline her by giving her a series of rapid tiny taps on her backside with my finger. She didn't like it and went back into her house huffily. Hm...have to show her who's the boss.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Misanthrope v. xenophobe

Former deputy PM assured all that regarding higher education, he espoused a ‘Singaporean first’ policy, though he reminded us that it doesn’t mean higher education is for ‘Singaporeans only’.

Am I the only one who felt troubled that he felt compelled to articulate such a distinction? When have nationalistic sentiments among the people become so strong that our political leaders are pushed into expressing protectionist positions regarding foreign talent? I blame certain opposition leaders who inflame local discontent for cheap political gains. How easy it is to sympathize, if you neither need to provide a solution nor be responsible for the indignation incited.

What irony it is for a misanthrope like me to urge people against xenophobia i.e. if you are going to be anti-social, make it universal. At least then no one has to take the unfriendliness personally.

Seriously, I wouldn’t like to be a foreigner now reading all the inhospitable complaints about me. Friends, don’t forget that we are a country of immigrants, it wasn’t so long ago that our forefathers came here in search for a better life, and where would we be if they hadn’t done it?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bunny Love: Boy meets Gal

It was love at first sight.

Having been warned so much about the difficulty of rabbit bonding, we brought Blackie to the petshop to see if he could get along with the cute little girl there, and he was immediately smitten. The boy bunny covered her with kisses and grooming, and of course, the inevitable happened.

Blackie: all by himself, kind of lonely

 Enters Whitty: Proof that opposites attract

And now: the happy couple!

Blackie has been the perfect gentleman, grooming his bunbride and showing her the ropes of life in our home, like where to poop and pee :P haha! And how to trash up all their toys. Though when it comes to food, it's still every bunny for itself, haha! I am feeding Whitty secretly by hand because if not, the greedy Blackie would gobble everything up!

Monday, July 18, 2011

V's entry: Horrorstruck

This has better be the last, last addition to our zoo (for now).

I am not surprised, since the writing was on the wall. Masterofboots brought Blackie for rabbit dating. Remember she kept saying that Blackie was lonely? We went out with one rabbit in the carrier and came home with two! Now we have two sets of bitty teeth, two torpedoes in the yard, and twice the poop and pee to clear! I am reeling.

This has better be the last addition to our zoo. But there is a tiny tiny problem. PipSqueak is lonely.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


We came home exhausted after the Fat One's wedding, to an oddly empty hutch. Blackie wasn't even in his usual play area. Where could he be!

Apparently in our immense haste to leave the home, we left the gate unlocked, and Blackie had a FIELD day running all over our home, probably sniffing at the Squeaks, and generally taking little nibbles of our furniture. The iPad charger had teeth marks and torn wires. RABBIT!

Then this morning, I found a hole in the gate of the play area. He actually managed to gnaw through the tough material and once again, ran out of his play area! RABBBITTTTT! Poor V had to spend the morning mending the fence.

Rabbit has been naughty again!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Rabbit fun

There isn't much point spending a lot on toys for Rabbit. His favourite game of the moment is: trash up a box. Bitey bitey bite. See what holes he has gouged into the cardboard. 

A particularly roguish moment.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Half empty or half full

Hearing the gripes and grievances expressed during the General Elections, one would think that life in Singapore is miserable. But to be honest, the more I travel, the more I think we have a lot to be appreciative about.

I don't think in any other part of the developed world can people buy a hot meal at such low prices. Here, just $3 gets you rice, chicken, soup and a little cucumber. You can hardly get a cold sandwich at that price elsewhere. I know because I had been eating cold sandwiches last week.

As for transport, I could always get a seat on the Lisbon subway, but I wonder what the effects of the lower population density are. The subway stations are always dim, and I realised that it is because only half of the lights are switched on. Half of the shops at the Twin Towers were shuttered. And yes, it was dimly lit amd mostly empty too. We have many foreigners here because they want to be here and not in their own homeland. Isn't it obvious why?

I shall not go into chest-thumping self congratulations. Just want to make a point that while we have the right to aspire to a better life, it is important to open your eyes and know what is happening elsewhere in the world. For goodness' sake, we are such a small country that we can hardly afford to be parochial.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Modern touches

History, history, history at every turn and corner of the streets, yet there are unmistakable (and undesirable) marks of modernity. A garishly graffitiked tram - sigh...or is it a matter of taste?

Beneath the ornate arches and behind the marble columns, there will always be a Starbucks.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

More pics of Lisbon

I went to the City Museum at Lisbon. It has a priceless collection of paintings and other artefacts. The first sight that greeted me was a paleolithic (Old Stone Age) human thigh bone. *gulp* But all the interesting exhibits have only Portuguese explanations! No English, or any other language. How then, may I ask, can any tourist understand the wonderful history embodied in the artefacts? Nope, I didn't linger in the place. There is only so long I can stare at objects when I didn't know what they mean. So like a Philistine, I went to play with the peacocks in the courtyard instead :P

One of the pictures I took before a fierce looking lady wagged her hand at me and made me understand that photography was not allowed.

What is it like to live in a place where history is a part of everyday life? This magnificent building is the...train station.

I walked into this really atmospheric restaurant, full of picturesque decorations, like these legs of smoked meat. This is just too carnivorous for words.

A surprisingly affordable meal - grilled seabass. When the seafood is as fresh as this, it only needs a crumble of coarse salt and some lemon to taste fantastic.