Jun 13, 2006 at 12:40 o\clock

Encounter on the train

by: henry

Standing two arms length away from me on the MRT train was a lady in her late thirties. Though not convincingly pretty compared to those around, somehow I was captivated by her.

I started to look hard at her side face. Not feeling comfortable with the nature of stares, she showed signs of uneasiness, giving me a quick glance through the corners of her eyes and fidgeting most of the times. Sizing her up to be the shy type , I changed tactics. I would turn my head s..l..o..w..l..y, sweeping across her face with my eyes , to and fro. She noticed what was going on but at least it was within her comfort zone. These went on for quite some times. Further down the stations, a young and beautiful lady boarded the train, standing next to me. On the contrary, she was an exhibitionist. Like a model, I was fascinated by her poses. The older lady looked in our directions, bowed her head and stared blankly onto the floor board. Her body language told me that she felt neglected and that I was a fickle-minded person. To ensure her of my truthfulness, I erased all images captured on the young lady from my eyes and refocussed my thoughts on her. Giving full attentions, this time I became bolder by looking straight into her eyes. She lifted her face a little and adjusted her posture to face me. At last, she was giving me the honor, with her blessings, to admire what I deemed was beautiful.

Good times did not last long. Soon, it was time for her to alight. Looking directly into my eyes for the first time, she presented me with a smile.....smile of appreciation that I have chosen her over a much younger and prettier lady. Nodding my head with a smile. I just wanted to tell her.....'you're just beautiful, thank you'.


Jun 12, 2006 at 09:19 o\clock

King Bhumibol Adulyadej

by: henry

His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the most respectable person in the world. Instead of enjoying life in the Royal Palace, His Majesty chose to travel all over Thailand, looking into the problems and needs of all villagers. His Majesty spend most of his time solving their problems by inventing new methods of agriculture and so forth. His Majesty patent all his inventions, not for monetary gains but for his people to use free of charge.
The kind of respects and love showered on His Majesty, by the people of Thailand is rare in this world.
His Majesty, The King, is only a few that I respect most. Though a foreigner, I would like to join Thailand in celebrating the King's 60th anniversary on the throne.
Long Live His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej !


Jun 11, 2006 at 03:57 o\clock

The Spyros Case

by: henry

On 26th December 2004, a dozen Asian countries were struck by tsunamis, claiming well over 150,000 lives with a further million people displaced. Countries around the world responded swiftly, with billions of dollars pledged towards the relief package and reconstruction of the affected countries. Way back in Singapore, the Government, Singapore Red Cross, SPH and numerous organisations appealed for donations. Within a space of one week, tens of millions of dollars were raised, tons of foods, clothings and essential items collected. This disaster reminds me of an industrial accident that took place in Singapore 27 years ago, termed 'The Spyros Case'.

One ship or 'vessel' as in marine terms, was undergoing repairs at one of the major shipyards in Singapore. In fact, this vessel was undergoing major overhauling of the Engine Room. Engine room is where all the turbines and machinery parts needed to propel and operate the ship are located. There are lots of fuel oil pipes running from main deck down to engine room. Pipes are welded onto flanges. After which the flanges will be coupled up with bolts and
nuts. What happened on that fateful day?

There was this particular pipe line to be renewed. As it was a fuel oil pipe, with gases inside, the shipyard's safety officer did not approved any hot work. Cold work permit was issued instead, that was, to dismantle the bolts and nuts by using spanners. As the bolts and nuts were heavily corroded, the pipe fitter
encountered lots of difficulties. When the saftety officer was not around, for his own convenience, he used an oxy-acetylene cutting torch instead. The sparks produced got into contact with the gases in the pipe. Gases ignited and it back-fired all the way to engine room. Flash fire occured, explosion took place followed by fire in engine room. Initially, a dozen workers were confirmed dead
with a few hundred workers injured with burns all over their bodies. Appeals were sent out for cash and blood donations. Singaporeans and foreign workers
alike responded in a way I have not seen before. Taxi drivers and hawkers from all over the island donated their days taking towards the fund set up for the victims' families. Workers from other industries donated generously. Companies after companies sent their employees on chartered buses to designated make-shift tents for blood donations. The response was overwhelming. Day after day, more and more casualties were announced. Most of the injured suffered third degree burn, some could not make it. Singapore was plunged into a sombre state. The atmospheric presence in Singapore was very eerie as though mourning for the deceased. At last count, 76 families loss their loved ones with hundreds injured. Singapore experienced one of its worst casualties from a single accident in peacetime. The pipe fitter was found guilty and put behind bars for a few years. The vessel 'Spyros' was later sent to a scrapeyard,never to sail the sea again.

This industrial accident had such an impact on me that whenever I think of it, the date of that fateful day just surface in my mind ..... automatically ..... October, 12th, 1978.

Jun 10, 2006 at 13:50 o\clock


by: henry

Once, during my schooling days, I was going to my classmate's house which was within walking distance. To save up on time and energy, I opted for short-cuts. I entered a stretch of sandy path which was quite deserted in the afternoon.

Everything went fine until I saw a dog walking towards me from the opposite direction. From a distance, I started to stare at him. He reciprocated by doing the same to me. I kept staring at him without lifting my sight off him. So was he. As we passed by each other, I turned my head around to look at him. Ridiculous! he followed suit, turning his head around while pacing slowly forward. I told myself , "no, no, no, as a human being, I won't allow a dog to stare at me, to bully me. I am going to teach this dog a lesson. I'm going to use the stoop-down-pick-a-rock tactics to frighten him." And that was exactly what I did.

The action taken by me proved effective. 'He' started running ... at least from the dog's point of view. What happened? The 'He' referred to myself. The dog turned around and chased me. Throwing the stone aside and not at the dog, I just ran all the way. For how long he chased me, I didn't know. I didn't dare to look back. Maybe that was precisely what the dog wanted to tell me, "Don't stare at me!"

Jun 8, 2006 at 03:42 o\clock


by: henry

By and large, women are more sensitive and hence more suspicious of what is happening around them.

Some years back, my former colleagues organised an outing. Activities included bowling, dinner and disco dancing. I requested for karaoke. They obliged, karaoke was an additional item.

We started off with bowlings. Most of us were beginners. Ladies' colleagues throwing balls with both hands, rolling slowly forward... hit some pins and started falling in slow motions. Wrong tactics of throwing balls...from a height, hit the floor with a bang and into the drain. Games of the day were funs and not rules. Our average score? 250 to 300 ! I mean, needed another 250 pins to reach 300, the perfect score.

For dinner, we have steam-boats. Lots of uncook dishes were available. Prawns, beefs, slices of fish, fishballs, squids, clayfishes, cockles...etc. We would place the prawns and whatever we liked onto a scoop individually and put it into a pot of boiling water which was placed in the centre of the table. For cockles, I would like to eat it raw instead of cooked.

Next item? Karaoke, of course ! Crooned my ways through the night with whatever vibration cords provided by mother nature. Colleagues applauded and my singings praised. But, actually they were just encouraging me as my singings got out of tunes. Remember games of the day? 'Have funs and not rules.'

The moment we entered the disco, everybody were at the dance floor except me. As a guy who did not like to sway my hips, I found it more enjoyable watching. With beers on hands and legs tapping to the tempo, I enjoyed every bits of it.

Reached home at the wee hours. Took off everything, jumped into bed. Woke up next day with hangovers and with barrage of questions from wife.

Wife : “Where were you actually, last night?”

Me : “bowling, dinner, karaoke and disco.”

Wife : “how come there were bloods on your shirt?”

Me : “I did not injured myself, what blood?'

Wife : “ I don't kno...w.” (angry)

Me : “ oh yes, for dinner, I ate raw cockles, I must have got the blood stain from it”

Wife : “ I don't kno...w, only you yourself knew what you have committed last night.”

Now... , it dawned upon me that she suspected me of having a jolly good times with ladies last night, a virgin, maybe. I was dumbfounded. Could not decide whether to laugh or to get angry. I told her, “take a good look at your husband. Hoping for a virgin to visit me in my dreams is already hard, enjoying with one physically is harder that the 'hardest' words you can find in a dictionary.” With that, I headed back to bed. Hugging tightly onto my bolster, I went into dreamland, in search of ......



Jun 6, 2006 at 12:36 o\clock

Simple mathematics

by: henry

Still on my eldest daughter when she was a 6 year-old kid.

We were having our meals at one of the KFC outlets in a shopping mall, facing the main road. She pestered my wife to buy her a belt. My wife explained that belts were meant for boys and not girls. Looking out acoss the road, she spotted a lady waiting for public transport. She said, "mummy, that big sister is wearing a belt, can you explain?" My wife told her that only adults wore belts and promised to buy her one when she grew up. She replied that when she grew up, she should be able to buy one herself and she can even afford to buy us one. She complained that her mom was talking about the future and not the present.

After our meals, we went shopping. She kept running around. My wife told her that if she misbehaved, she will call in the police to catch her. Instant reply from her, "If I am apprehended by the police, how many daughters are you left with?"

Nowadays, children are smarter than parents. You threatened them with police, they frightened you with simple mathematical symbols ..... the minus sign.

Getting ready to perform on stage