Welcome onboard!

I don’t get myself sometimes. I become so obsessed, so deeply, and for such prolonged period of time. It truncates my attention span, diminishes my interest in routine necessity, and quite literally kills off my relationships. Yet, I do it everyday.

Well, yea. Back to Cabin Pressure.

John Finnemore (@johnfinnemore) writes like my college Literature professor who muses in her head in spectacular rhyme. He sounds like my 25 year old cousin who doesn’t want to leave school. And he looks like my neighbour. Quite serious.

Not that I know other alternatives, this group of actors has developed a chemistry that makes you root for everyone and also falls over at their shortcomings. Much like in Friends. I appreciate the sharp and satirical characterisation through wild imagination for stakes and bets and keen observation and reflection of the human behaviour. As a person who can recite regular cabin addresses from memory, John has truly added a fresh burst of zest to inflight entertainment.

Anyway, I am writing this entry only because I have inevitably left my iPod in the office. Riding out the hour long commute with regular radio broadcast is boring. So very boring.

While I won’t play yellow car or travelling lemon, when I do spy one, I will always feel like I have a secret. And the day I snap out of this, which I will, it would have been a fun ride.

Night at the A&E

The A&E department is rather unlike hotels and airlines. You do not get special treatment even if you are a regular customer.

It is odd how everyone gets paranoid about their information. Big brother is watching, they say. When you are wheeled into the A&E, you only wish the brother is there to fill in the blanks so that you don’t have to whimper and yell at the same time. And while trying to hold back the vomit. It is not a pretty sight – something I am sure they are used to but not something a commoner enjoys.

As you try your hardest not to pass out from the pain1, you grind your tongue each time (7 to be exact) you have to repeat your name, identity number, the time the vomiting started, the time the pain started, the number of times this had happened, and the preceding events to 4 different persons. Yes, 7 times to 4 persons. Someone must not be too keen. When your temperature is taken 3 times within 2 minutes because it is not recorded and you are man-handled to change into the gown despite having no ability to move beyond the fetal position, you wish you will just pass out.

Alas, the needles show themselves. You have grown to love the needles and the clear liquid as you adapt to the patterns of the attacks and treatment. Then the strangest thing happened – It will take about 30 minutes to take effect. You want to roll your eyes to show your disbelief but they are already rolled from all the ‘excitement’. 30 minutes! Of course, it may be an exaggeration. It must be. There is no way they will do this to someone who is on the brink of begging for mercy. No idea for what and from whom but nonetheless. 30 minutes later, you realise it is not a joke.

The Recovery section must have drugs in the air2. They expect everyone to take in the stillness sensation and be cosmically at peace. As you wave your arms to grab attention, the stolen glances turn from nonchalant to displeasure. You wonder why. You are giddy because you won’t lie down! I have already called for the doctor! Ah. You are a nuisance. You begin to wonder if the pain and the less than performing drug are causing hallucinations. More minutes passed and the refusal to approach or even offer eye contact drive your pain from the gastro region to the head.

Doctor’s arrival presents first and final relief. The fine veins have always been a problem. 3 bruisers and 2 hours after admission, the intravenous drugs and saline send you into a shallow but much needed sleep. It is one of the days you don’t care that you are sleeping with sweat-soaked hair.

Worst attack ever. Unfortunately, the worst hospital experience too. And mind you, I went through a gastroscopy without sedation. This is the worst.

I miss AH A&E.

  1. I still cannot differentiate between “pulling” and “stabbing” so don’t start with me []
  2. Think Hound of Baskervilles of BBC Sherlock []

Excerpt #58

“Hi, __ speaking.”
“Good morning, sir.”

(confused) “Eh who is this?”

“Hi sir, I am calling from __ bank . I want to share with you on our promotions, sir.”

(sighs) “Are you aware you are talking to a lady?”

“Oh! I am sorry, sir. It must be a mistake, sir.”

“What is?”

(engaged tone)

Thinking about feedback

Some people assume it is out of my social consciousness and natural desire for improvement. The blunt ones say I am nosy and picky. One even exclaimed that I am fortunate to have my day job because I can make judgement and pass comments everyday.

That hurts.

Honestly I don’t know why I do it. Each time it happens, I know I have to. The outcome in my mind is lofty and for the better. Many would disagree.

I grew up with parents who deal with customers and grapple with service standards. I am used to the complaints, praises and often a simple frustration – what do you want?

The feedback channel, in my opinion, is rather misunderstood. It is not a waste of time if you truly want to help them make the right changes for their next client. It won’t be ignored if you are calm and remain factual. It is not abuse if you do not want anything in return.

It delights me when I return to an establishment and I notice the ever so slight adjustments. Maybe it is all selfish1. Even so, each time it makes me believe even more in providing observations and suggestions that everyone seems to think is common sense. When you are knee-deep in daily operations, it is often not so obvious.

“They are most delighted and happy and want to thank you for taking the time to write to us. These positive remarks provide the strongest incentive for us to keep motivating ourselves and refining our services.”

I don’t just criticise. Really. Compliment when it is due. You will feel good too.

  1. Recall when Phoebe in Friends found that there is no such thing as a selfless good deed? []

Gushing for Lanvin @ H&M

Sometimes I am surprised by my sense of timing. By chance, landed self in Hong Kong just in time for the launch of Lanvin for H&M.

23rd Nov, Tuesday – work day and the flagship outlet was overwhelmed with well-planned chaos. Started at 0800, colour bracelets were distributed to early birds for a 10-mins grabbing stint. Just 10-mins. For folks who arrived after 1000, like myself, the advice from the loud hailer was – Please join the queue outside the store. Please note that by queuing does not guarantee that you will be able to buy anything. Read: Stock is low.

At 1215, a bunch of well-dressed&groomed persons (perhaps from Lanvin?) started to take apart the pale-skinned mannequins. By 1400, there was no sign of the designer’s footprint in the store. Outside the store, the brave and patient proudly showcased the white lavish paper bags.

Maybe next time, I will be more motivated to join the madness.

Welcome to the news, circa 1975

It was 1975. My family had just moved into the current home. Today, we found evidence of that. The oddest feelings washed through the members as we looked into the past through the crumbling, tart pieces of paper.

Lined beneath the flooring, every day, we stand on our history.

Reading from right to left, a refreshing change for the eyes.

In those days, the advertisements were not as fancy. Few photographs, mainly of line art and hand drawn faces. The play with font-type remains unchanged till today.

Wonder how they are now... Maggie and the runner-up.