Monday, February 16, 2009

Sleepless in Singapore

I woke up yesterday (Sunday, 15 February 2009) with what seemed to be the beginning of a cold. My nose was little runny and I had to have a piece of tissue paper with me handy all day. However, this did not stop me from "singing my heart out" during the praise and worship segment of the church service yesterday. I remember my friend SC's mother telling me last year that when you are singing to the Lord, it does not matter if you are singing out of tune. What is more important is that you are giving praises to God and lifting Him high. Amen!

By last night, my nose had become blocked but I did not display any other symptoms of influenza. I decided to self-medicate and I took a tablet of a medication (that Da and I bought from the pharmacy yesterday afternoon) that is known to help clear blocked noses.

Goodness me! I ended up being "sleepless in Singapore" last night! I was not able to sleep a wink. What is really odd is that I have taken this medication before and I did not suffer such a side effect. Perhaps this new batch has a stronger composition.

When I crawled out of bed this morning, I felt very awful. Have you ever experienced the feeling when you are very exhausted but not sleepy? It did not help that the weather this morning seemed to be rather hazy. I hope that the haze problem has not returned to Singapore.

I was tempted not to go to work today in order to catch up on my sleep. However, I remembered that I had numerous meetings in the office today and urgent work to be attended to. As such, I got ready for work.

Although Da and I made two sandwiches for our breakfast (that is, one each), I asked Da to go ahead and eat his sandwich. I packed my sandwich and brought it to work. When I alighted from the bus at the bus-stop in front of my office, I walked to a nearby drink stall and bought a big cup of local coffee (with evaporated milk and less sugar) (that is, "kopi si siu dai").

Each step I took to my office seemed like an eternity. When I finally reached my room and I logged onto my computer, I took out my sandwich and ate it while checking my work electronic mails. Gosh! Do clients not take a break over the weekend? I even receive work electronic mails on sundays and public holidays. Sigh... such is the working world.

Unfortunately, as my meetings were back-to-back from morning till the end of the day, I did not even have time for a lunch-break. A colleague kindly bought a curry puff for me on her way back to the office from lunch. Another colleague gave me two small slices of butter cake that her domestic maid had baked. By the time I reached my 3rd last meeting of the day (which was, by that time, approaching late afternoon), I felt very weak and requested our office tea lady for a cup of hot Milo.

I heaved a sigh of relief when the last meeting of the day was over and I could finally sit down to do work (yes, is it not ironic that I actually "start work" at the end of the day?). There are days when I am able to clear my work very efficiently because I do not have any meetings on that day. There are other days (like today) where I have back-to-back meetings and I do not even have a break between meetings. Having said this, I count my blessings that despite the economic downturn and the current volatile market, I am gainfully employed. Thank You, Abba Father, for blessing our store-house.

When I left the office after 8 pm and met up with Da (who came over to my office to meet me), we decided to have our dinner near my office. Nowadays, we try not to eat out for dinner on weeknights because we find that the standard of the commercially sold food over here has gotten worse over the years. Lately, I find that everything that I eat (when we "eat out") is either too salty or too sweet. If only hawkers do not add so much monosodium glutamate in their cooking. Not only is it unhealthy, it makes the dish extremely salty and you get thirsty very easily.

This evening, however, as I was very hungry, we ate at an Indian Muslim coffeeshop near my office. Da ordered a nasi goreng.

I ordered a bee hoon goreng (that is, fried vermicelli). Although I specially requested that my bee hoon goreng be fried without chilli, the dish was still spicy. The reddish looking piece of "meat" that you see at the bottom left hand corner of the photograph below is actually fish cake. I had initially thought that it was some kind of "mock char siew" but it turned out to be fish cake that had been dyed red.

We decided to share a hot lemon barley which the stall holder claimed was "home-made".

Our verdict? Sigh... we should have gone home straight and eaten toasted bread or cereal for dinner. Alternatively, we could have taken a bus to the Kallang Airport hawker centre (which is near my mother's home) to eat congee. Yes, I know, porridge is more healthy than fried noodles or fried rice. I have to learn to control my hunger pangs better.

Not to worry... tomorrow is another day. Each day brings forth a new beginning. Our paths can only get brighter and brighter.

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