A Fun Day With Old Friends

Yesterday, a few old friends came to Singapore for a visit. My brother, my mother and I all had a lot of fun with them. We had not seen them for at least four years.

First, we brought them to the Singapore Flyer for the thirty minute ride. It was also my first time abroad the Flyer. They provided us with audio speakers but none of us bothered to listen much. We walked around the capsule, enjoying the scenic view. From the capsule, we could almost see the whole of Singapore few kilometers away. There was the Formula 1 race track, the currently still under construction Integrated Resort, the ocean, and other buildings. In the water, the older boy, whose name was also Alex, spotted a few racing canoes. They looked like giant crocodiles walking on water from high up. The ride ended quite quickly and we all went to an Italian restaurant for lunch.

After the enjoyable lunch, we brought them to play table tennis and billiards for two hours at the function room in the neighbourhood. Then, we went home to enjoy some homemade lemon cake and drink tea. Next, we initially wanted to go and swim, but it was raining, so we tried out card magic tricks on each other. After getting bored of each other’s tricks, we decided to play a marble game. It was very enjoyable and we could not stop playing. After four games, it was time for our guests to leave.

We said our goodbyes to each other and my mother drove them back to their hotel. I hope that I can visit them in the December holidays. It had been so fun to meet my old friends again.

The C's

Many of us spend our efforts chasing for a goal in life. For the typical Singaporean, most of us try to look for the 5C’s- cash, condominium, credit card, car and a country club membership. But, as for the Education Minister, the four C’s he thinks students need to excel are confidence, compassion, compartments and company.

In a newspaper article, a few older students from ages 16-24 commented on their own C’s and explained what they meant. Most of them agreed with the Minister's C’s. One of them was a person studying at the University of Huddersfield. He said that his own C’s were career, curriculum, character and company. He defines career as working in a company where he can learn and be happy in. He also said that curriculum referred to the aptitude for learning, no matter at work or in life. He says that character was his conduct in society; how people saw him and how others saw him. Lastly, he feels that company refers to his family and friends.

Another student commented that he felt that his classmates needed cheekiness. He noticed that his classmates were very tense during class. Everyone was afraid to speak during class and all eyes were on the professor, writing notes. Even the professor’s jokes only sent nervously scattered laughs around the class.

As for me, I feel that my C’s in life are care, company, consciousness and carefulness. We need to care for our friends, family, our health, and most importantly, the earth, our shared home. All of us also need to have some company, such as family members and friends, so that we would have someone to talk to, play with, laugh with and also sharing with your parents your troubles. During lessons in school, we need to be conscious of our surroundings. We should not daydream and think about other unimportant matters. Instead, we should be aware of our surroundings and listen to the teacher. Finally, I feel that in whatever we do, we must be careful. For example, when you are doing a test, we should be careful about what we write to prevent careless mistakes; when crossing the road, we must be careful about our safety and look out for oncoming cars.
What do you feel are the most important C's in your life? Please comment about them.

Slumdog Millionaire

Have you watched any movies in the holidays? As for me, I watched the movie “Slumdog Millionaire”. This movie is about how a young boy from a slum in Mumbai, Jamal Malik, manages to win 20 million rupees in a game show.

Jamal’s life is very different from our life in modern Singapore. They do not have as many facilities as us and do not even have proper toilets. He seems to have a very happy childhood despite his poorness. Once, when the most famous man in India came to visit the villagers, Jamal got locked in the toilet by his mischievous brother, Salim, but he managed to get out. Can you guess what he did? Jamal stared hard at the toilet, held his nose, and jumped down into the toilet. And, when he came out, he was all brown but at that time, he did not care about what people would say to him. He started running towards his idol and asked him for his autograph. I was laughing like crazy at that scene, thinking that he must be very smelly.

Sadly, Jamal’s life took a turn after his mother was killed in a riot. Jamal and his brother, Salim, were left alone to wander in the streets of Mumbai. Jamal and Salim were later caught by some evil adults who forced little children to become beggars. These thugs hurt the children to make them appear to be pitiful. They planned to blind Jamal in one of the nights………

This is a very fast-paced movie and I held my breath while watching. Would Jamal’s answer allow him to win the prize money? Would he get caught by those thugs? I did not like the TV host as he was arrogant and looked down on Jamal. I also did not like the scene where the Mumbai police tortured Jamal. It was so gruesome. I recommend you to watch this movie with your parents. Happy watching!

My Father

As you all know, Father’s Day is just around the corner! In that day, all of us will remember the good things that your fathers have done to you, like play with you, teach you and so on. In this post, I will show my gratitude towards my father.

My father likes cars a lot and he knows many things about them. He knows all the car brands and sometimes I think that he would know even more than the car sellers. Sometimes, he shows me his car magazines and tells me all the new models. Occasionally, he would tell me some fun facts about cars, like how the race car drivers make so much noise when driving. He drives us around to school or to eat meals most of the time. He likes his one- year old black and shiny BMW the most. During my holiday in Melbourne last year, he even drove us around in his rented car.

My father has helped me a great deal of times in my life. But, the thing that he put in the most effort and time is to teach me. He is very serious and strict when teaching me. The good thing about this is that it is very effective. Sometimes, he will spend 2-3 hours just to teach me.

Until now, I still can remember one event that happened when I was three. My father had gone overseas to USA for a business trip, and when he came back late at night, he greeted my brother and I with open arms. Then, he opened his luggage and took out two toys, one for my brother and one for me. They were “Power Ranger” walkie talkies with a special stand! We both thanked my father and chose the colours that we wanted. My brother chose the red one and I chose the blue. I liked that toy a lot and I still have it now in my bedroom.
Once every year, my father specially spends money for my family and I to go for a holiday. He also spends money for my brother and I to have our very expensive tutions at “The Learning Lab”. He also plays with me during my free time and even took leave to go with me to the “Amazing Sculptures Trail” (as below). He also celebrates my birthday every year without any fail, buys a delicious cake for me, as well as sing birthday songs in both English and Chinese together with my family.
When I grow up, I will take care of my father if he falls sick and pay for his medical fees. I will celebrate his birthday every year including Father’s Day and also let him stay in my house with me. I will also drive him around when he needs too!
So, my final words to my father for now is, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Are you happy living in Singapore?

Most of you know that last year, Singapore was ranked the 22th most liveable country, right? Well, the good news is, this year, in the Monocle’s list of the world’s most liveable cities, Singapore has been ranked number 18!

The top was Zurich, and only 2 other Asian countries, Tokyo and Fukuoka in Japan are rated in front of Singapore. Singapore has aimed to try to replicate the glamour of Monaco by adding the Formula One road race and the new casinos. The cities are selected based on such factors as shopping hours, access to green spaces, the number of Zara and Starbucks stores in the cities and the ease of setting up business in the cities.

In April, American human-resource consultancy Mercer ranked Singapore Number1 for the basic structure and system in its global survey of the top cities to live in. But, these surveys do not include what the people think of their hometowns. Another recent survey has found out that the citizens in Singapore and South Korea has voted their cities as the most stressful places to live in. I think that it is because of the competition in Singapore. But, it is found that these two countries have the highest per capita incomes in Asia and this is ironical.

Maybe one of the reasons is that Singaporeans are worried about their financial security and retirement. Quite a lot of people are concerned that they may not have enough money after they retire to grow old in the country.

GLA founder, Mr. Philip Merry, says that he wants to look out for Singaporeans who find joy in everything and learn from them how they approach life.

Eight Asian economies- China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore, took part in another survey by life insurer AXA on the feelings of the citizens about the country’s future. The people in Singapore are the most pessimistic in Asia.

The survey polled residents between 25-50 on their views about life in the next 5 years. The survey covered four aspects in life-career, retirement, family and health. Sadly, Singaporeans had the lowest scores in all the four categories.

Angela Lau, the head of AXA, says that they are not very confident about their health and career, and how they are going to cope with the challenges in life. She also says that one in four people are worried about whether they can continue their jobs in the next five years. That was probably one of the reasons why they are not very optimistic about their futures. But, the ironical thing about this is that Singapore is the least affected countries by the turmoil.

On the current happiness index, the top five countries are:
1. Vanuatu
2. Colombia
3. Costa Rica
4. Dominica
5. Panama

A random survey also shows that UK is at the108th position, while USA is ranked at position 150. This shows you something, right? This shows that money cannot buy you happiness. Most of the countries that have a high country output (how much a country produces) rank lower in this happiness index. One reason is that life is very competitive in the progressive economies. Hence, people there may feel depressed and unhappy.

So next time you feel deprived of good things in life, think again. You may be the happiest of the lot in reality.

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Hi guys, I'm a student in Singapore, and this are some thoughts and essays I have written over the years.