Category Archives: Extraordinary Mundane

Daily routines are mundane; I set myself apart by living my humdrum life extraordinarily.

Reflections from Eden’s hospitalisation.

These observations are a little backdated (three months late), but these lessons are timeless and will be relevant in almost every season of my life.

In no order of importance, here are 20 (albeit cryptic) reflections from Eden’s five-day stay in Gleneagles Hospital in September 2014…

1. Family trumps everybody and is my greatest priority.
It was a no-brainer forfeiting my mission trip to be with Huiyi and Eden.

2. Don’t expect sheep to show concern for shepherds.
Pastoral care is freely dispensed by the pastor, but will hardly be reciprocated in equal measure.

3. Only my immediate family and I will be there for my immediate family and I.
Every hospitalised person can rely on only two groups of people — parents and grandparents.

4. The way I shepherd in a crisis is a reflection of the way I was shepherded in a crisis.
Where is my reference point? What is my yardstick? To lead by example, I must first be led by example.

5. Being wise is more important than being loving or sacrificial.
It is better for the main caregivers to take turns to get quality rest instead of staying vigil all the time.

6. The lesser I expect, the lesser I will be disappointed.
I realised that I have unspoken expectations and it’s toxic for me to hold on to these.

7. My single presence is more important than the sum total of my prayers.
Support is meant to be felt. Prayers are meant to be answered. Both require action.

8. Be kind and courteous to everyone because nobody knows what I am going through.
Nobody owes me a living so I learnt to be polite to everyone even when I was highly strung.

9. Don’t bother updating those who don’t bother to update themselves.
Those who really want to know will naturally contact me and that’s all the people I need to update.

10. My wife and baby’s comfort outweighs showing courtesy to visitors.
If Eden or Huiyi was resting when visitors came and wanted to say hello, too bad for my visitors.

11. I am not obligated to explain or respond to everything to and from everyone.
Strange and uncalled-for comments should be ignored and deemed as insensitive or immature.

12. Guard my emotions: the devil will exploit my vulnerability.
My security is found in who I am to God and not who I am to people.

13. People care more for my work than for my worth and my family’s welfare.
Well, I honestly didn’t really care about anything else regardless of how pressing they were.

14. Strangers and acquaintances can be more supportive than relatives and friends.
We experienced unexpected favour through our paediatrician, nurses and even security guards.

15. In distress, do not miss out on walking into divine appointments.
I took the opportunity to demonstrate God’s to the seven-year-old boy warded beside Eden.

16. No point asking for prayer if I don’t even pray myself.
Believing in God becomes authentic when I do much more than what I ask others to do on my behalf.

17. Always be patient with my wife and overlook any wrong choice of expression.
Huiyi is way more stressed and affected than me and the last thing on her mind is to offend me.

18. The only person I must practically serve and verbally encourage is my wife.
Tell Huiyi she’s doing a good job and prove that I’m right behind her in everything.

19. If I can’t take care of myself, I won’t be able to take care of anyone else.
Either I treat my splitting headache by going home to rest or I become Huiyi’s extra burden.

20. Considering others better than myself is viewing my contributions less than theirs.
Becoming the logistics guy was nothing compared to being a breastfeeding mother to a sick baby.

Living vicariously through my in-law’s.

I have decided to take a mental break from preparing 14 messages (pray for me!) for this weekend’s Redeem Conference, next week’s youth camp at Elim Church and next weekend’s R-AGE Leaders Advance to record some fresh thoughts. Let’s see where this verbiage takes me…

A few times throughout the day, Huiyi will send me picture updates of Eden’s daily activities. She receives these pictures from her mother, who is Eden’s main caregiver from Tuesdays to Fridays.

And I have observed that more often than not, my typical replies to these lovely photos are, “I miss my family!” and “Love you so much!”, and not so much of responding to what Eden is actually doing in the photos.

Today, Eden’s 公公 and 嬷嬷 brought her to Jurong Bird Park. Eden looks so adorable in the photos and Huiyi commented that our baby girl “has such an awesome life”.

I wholeheartedly agreed with my wife. But there was a tinge of melancholy in my “Indeed!” reply.

As I thanked God for how blessed Eden is, a part of me yearns to be playing with her at the Bird Park instead of writing sermons in front of my laptop.

I found myself living vicariously through these daily photos.

I imagined myself taking those pictures and getting Eden to smile for the camera; I pictured myself pushing Eden in her stroller through the midday heat; I envisioned myself cradling Eden in my right arm, kissing her all over and littering her ears with, “Darling, Daddy loves you so much!”

我真的在某人身上实现梦想。

Yes, I was truly experiencing life with Eden in my imagination through the actions of my in-laws.

And it got me thinking about the irony of parenting in Singapore; it is as if we bring our children into this world to have them being cared for by other people, and for them to spend time away from us.

When we are younger and more energetic, we have to work to earn money for our livelihood, and be away from our children. But when we are older and less spritely, we have enough money and all the time in the world, but our children have also all grown up! Surely there’s a way around this tension that I haven’t yet discovered?

My mother-in-law commented a few months ago that she is so much more active in Eden’s life than in her own children’s stage of infancy. She also said that that statement holds true for my father-in-law.

Both Huiyi and I were cared for by our grandmothers; I believe many of us in Singapore were taken care of by our grandparents and that (good) tradition seems to pass on from generation to generation.

As much as Huiyi and I are grateful for the tremendous support that we receive from our parents, we desire so much more to be Eden’s main caregivers instead. We are, after all, her parents — I mean, who wants to spend time with her more than us?

But the reality is, I have a day job (which I am most thankful for, because I enjoy what I do for a living) and by keeping it, I am fulfilling the other part of being a father by providing for my family.

On weekdays, Huiyi and I will only have about five hours with Eden — two in the morning and three in the evening. That is why, as working parents, we cherish weekends so much.

And that is why I treasure my off days that much more now because that’s the exclusive time I get to spend with my beloved princess and create memories for the both of us. On Mondays, I do not have to live vicariously through images on a mobile phone.

Every precious moment with my daughter is locked into my heart forever. I will never give up anything for time with her.

Oh man, I am getting emotional writing this…

IMG_9088

Photo credits: Douglas Lin. Thank you for capturing this delightful moment.

 

The day I lost my thumb.

Last weekend, in my excitement to leave the house for a Christmas party, I clumsily knocked over the bottle of wine I was going to bring out. Well, my living room ended up looking like a homicide scene.

Thankfully, Eden was on her high chair and Huiyi was in the kitchen when the bottle shattered. I, on the other hand (HA), was left to pick up the pieces (HAHA) of my broken heart Montes Merlot 2010.

As I closed the lid of the rubbish chute, I carelessly sliced my thumb against a glass shard that protruded from the plastic bag. It literally became a bloody mess, and my sink ended up resembling an amateur suicide scene.

Yes, my well-documented fears — odynophobia (pain) and haemophobia (blood) — went into overdrive; Sheryl Crow said the first cut is the deepest and baby I know she’s right about that. It was painful and I bled a lot, but I wasn’t sure if my lips turned pale from the loss of blood or the amalgamation of phobias.

I was grateful for my cool-as-a-cucumber wife who took command of the situation; she cleaned up my mess (as always), attended to me with the issue of blood (phrase credits: DL) and even fed our bemused baby while we waited for my blood to clot and composure to return.

It’s been more than 24 hours since I’ve been deprived of my right thumb (now bandaged) and I’ve learnt how essential this small part of my body is, not just in function, but also in presence.

Functionally speaking, losing (the use of) my thumb was obviously and extremely inconvenient. I’ve come to realise how I probably need my thumb for just about everything I do: using the toilet, taking a shower, driving the car, eating my meals, carrying my baby, feeding her porridge, peeling her blueberries, washing the dishes, using my iPhone, locking my door, shaking someone’s hand, typing this post, patting Eden to sleep and even sleeping itself (fearing I might squash and injure it further)!

Percentage-wise, a thumb is a fraction of my body weight but its significance is unquestionable.

But what was more interesting for me was how I perceived the presence of my thumb, or better phrased, the impact of its absence; it was, after all, impossible for others to miss my bandaged thumb.

The owner of the convenience store I visited today didn’t, and made small talk with me about my injury; my friends at the party, with every handshake, asked me what happened; even my baby girl couldn’t stop touching my bandaged thumb — she’s either wondering how daddy hurt himself or thinking if that white thing is edible.

It got me thinking about the body of Christ (the Church), or applicable in this instance, any group of friends. Often, we instinctively miss people because of what they could do and have done for us (function), but there are times we will also miss people simply because of who they are innately and who they are to us (presence).

Perhaps as we approach Christmas, it makes for a good opportunity to remember the ones who have gone missing in our lives. Go ahead — give her a call and tell her how much you miss her, or text him and let him how much you miss having him around.

You have nothing to lose, except the friend you already lost.

In the meantime, I shall read 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 and enjoy sticking out like a sore thumb for the next few days.

Somebody needs your help today.

It has been over half a year since I last blogged. I had always wanted to resume writing regularly, not for public reading but personal rigour. However, it has become increasingly difficult with different commitments vying for my time and attention.

I certainly miss the catharsis of writing — where I can reflect, process and record my frank thoughts, raw feelings and divinely appointed experiences. Somehow, writing slows down my life and helps me to savour the moments.

So without much fanfare, I shall attempt to restart tonight. After all, there is no better time to write than now.


A few days ago, I stopped my car in the middle of Grange Road to attend to a motorist who was trapped underneath her own motorcycle.

I was about 300 metres away when I saw the toppled motorcycle. In those short seconds of approaching her location, I was certain that there must have been many other drivers who had driven past her earlier on, and pretended to be oblivious to her obvious distress.

True enough, at least another five vehicles had zoomed past her before I could turn on my hazard lights and stop my car just behind her motorbike. I literally parked in the centre of a three-lane road and a potential traffic congestion was the last thing on my mind.

I did what every normal person would do if he witnessed something abnormal on the road — help.

I never knew how heavy a motorcycle was until I assisted her; there was no way she could have lifted it up on her own.

She told me that a taxi driver had hit her and then sped away. Thankfully, she said she was not hurt and surprisingly, she was not upset at all. Maybe it was the adrenaline from her struggle, maybe she was at fault, or maybe she was just grateful to be alive.

As I raised her motorbike, I was joined by another man who did the same normal thing I did; he stopped his SUV and got out to help this woman in her late 40’s.

Once she was back on her feet and sat on her motorbike, she appreciated the both of us, assured us that she was fit enough to resume riding, and went on her way. I would probably never meet her again and chances are, even if I did, I would not recognise her.

The entire incident was over in less than a couple of minutes (and I was on my bluetooth headset with KY the whole time) but it got me thinking about what it meant to help others.

1. The right person to help is often the first person who helps.

2. The first person who helps naturally invites the second person to help.

3. Everyone needs help, but they may not be able or know how to tell you.

4. The best help you can offer could be as simple as a minute or two.

5. Helping others is an end in itself because it is not about you.

Cafes in Singapore sorted by location.

To facilitate my cafe-hunting adventures with the missus, I’ve consolidated the names and addresses of existing cafes in Singapore and created an easily-accessible directory of cafes in Singapore grouped by locality. So thanks to referencing excellent food websites like ladyironchef and burpple, I am able to share this categorised list with you. Do let me know if there are any cafes I should be including or excluding. Hope you find this helpful! (:

Cafe

A cuppa mocha for life’s 摩擦…

Holland Village/Buona Vista

  1. Jimmy Monkey Cafe @ 9 one-north Gateway #01-51 (one-north residences) | C/D/F/$6-$18/$5
  2. Revolution Coffee @ 21 Media Circle #01-03A | CD
  3. Artisan Boulangerie @ 9 North Buona Vista Drive #01-12 (The Metropolis)
  4. Jamaica Blue @ 1 Vista Exchange Green #01-32 (The Star Vista) | CDF
  5. 93°C Bean & Leaf @ 8 Lorong Mambong | CD
  6. MU Parlour @ 16A Lorong Mambong
  7. Craft Bakery & Cafe @ 24A Lorong Mambong | CDF
  8. Hatched @ 267 Holland Avenue | CDF
  9. d’ Good Cafe @ 273 Holland Avenue | CDF
  10. Foster English Rose Cafe @ 277 Holland Avenue | CDF
  11. Park Cafe Bar @ 281 Holland Avenue #01-01
  12. Shebrews Cafe @ 365 Commonwealth Avenue (Queenstown Community Centre)
  13. Artease @ 500 Dover Road (Singapore Polytechnic Teaching Block 19)

Dempsey/Tanglin

  1. Roadhouse @ 13 Dempsey Road #01-07
  2. Jones the Grocer @ 12 Dempsey Road | CDF
  3. PS Cafe @ 28B Harding Road
  4. The Dempsey Brasserie @ Blk 7 Dempsey Road #01-03
  5. The White Rabbit @ 39C Harding Road
  6. Barracks Cafe House Dempsey @ 8D Dempsey Road #01-01 to 06
  7. House Dempsey @ 8D Dempsey Road #01-01 to 06
  8. Food For Thought Cafe @ 1 Cluny Road #B1-00 (Singapore Botanic Gardens)
  9. Assembly Coffee @ 26 Evans Road (Evans Lodge)
  10. Hatched @ 26 Evans Road #01-06 (Evans Lodge)
  11. Nassim Hill Bakery & Bistro @ 56 Tanglin Road (Tanglin Post Office)
  12. Spruce @ 320 Tanglin Road (Phoenix Park)

Bukit Timah/Dunearn

  1. Relish @ 501 Bukit Timah Road #02-01 (Cluny Court)
  2. Simply Bread @ 501 Bukit Timah Road #02-01 (Cluny Court) | CF
  3. Choupinette @ 607 Bukit Timah Road #01-01
  4. The Missing Pan @ 619D Bukit Timah Road #01/02-01 (Coronation Plaza)
  5. The Living Cafe @ 779 Bukit Timah Road
  6. Little Diner @ 789 Bukit Timah Road
  7. Vicky’s Cakes & The Coffee Shack @ 833 Bukit Timah Road #01-07 (Royaville)
  8. Simply Bread @ 1 Fifth Avenue #01-03 (Guthrie House) | CF
  9. Baker & Cook @ 77 Hillcrest Road
  10. Dutch Colony Coffee Co @ 200 Turf Club Road Stall #67-68 (The Grandstand)
  11. Riders Cafe @ 51 Fairways Drive (Bukit Timah Saddle Club)
  12. Marmalade Pantry @ 55 Fairways Drive

Upper Bukit Timah/West

  1. Lynn’s Cake & Coffee @ 11 Eng Kong Terrace
  2. Necessary Provisions Cafe @ 21 Eng Kong Terrace
  3. Carpenter & Cook @ 19 Lorong Kilat #01-06
  4. Nook DIY House of Pancakes @ 21 Lorong Kilat #01-03
  5. Spruce @ 274 Upper Bukit Timah Road
  6. W.39 Bistro @ Jalan Mas Puteh
  7. Cupplets @ 535 Clementi Road (Ngee Ann Polytechnic Block 16)
  8. Paris Baguette Cafe @ 50 Jurong Gateway Road #02-20 (JEM)
  9. Humble Origins @ Kent Ridge Drive (NUS FASS, next to LT12)
  10. Artease @ 14 Nanyang Drive (NTU School of Humanities)
Tiong Bahru
  1. The Orange Thimble @ 56 Eng Hoon Street #01-68
  2. Caffe Pralet @ 17 Eng Hoon Street #01-03/04 (Eng Hoon Mansions)
  3. Drips Bakery Cafe @ 82 Tiong Poh Road #01-05
  4. Flock Cafe @ 78 Moh Guan Terrace #01-25
  5. Forty Hands @ 78 Yong Siak Street #01-12
  6. Open Door Policy @ 19 Yong Siak Street
  7. PoTeaTo @ 78 Yong Siak Street
  8. Tiong Bahru Bakery @ 56 Eng Hoon Street #01-70
  9. The Dispensary @ 69 Tiong Bahru Road
  10. The Providore Warehouse @ 315 Outram Road 05-03 (Tan Boon Liat Building)

Bukit Merah

  1. Workshop @ 121 Bukit Merah Lane 1 #01-06
  2. Pan Delights @ 161 Bukit Merah Central, #01-3725
  3. The Bakery Chef @ 161 Bukit Merah Central #01-3711
  4. Butterscotch Cafe @ 164 Bukit Merah Central #01-3625
  5. Artisan Boulangerie @ 1 Kim Seng Promenade #01-23 (Great World City)

Everton Park/Kampong Bahru

  1. OKB @ 1 Kampong Bahru Rd
  2. Strangers’ Reunion @ 37 Kampong Bahru Road
  3. Highlander Coffee @ 49 Kampong Bahru Road
  4. Just Want Coffee @ 1 Everton Park
  5. Audacious Cakery @ 2 Everton Park #01-61
  6. Grin Affair @ 3 Everton Park #01-77A
  7. The Provision Shop @ 3 Everton Park #01-79
  8. Nylon Coffee Roasters @ 4 Everton Park #01-40
  9. Cozy Coffee Corner @ 4 Everton Park #01-50
  10. Mapleloft Cafe @ 101 Cantonment Road #01-02 (Tanjong Pagar Community Club)

Chinatown/Outram/Clarke Quay

  1. Oriole Coffee Roasters @ 10 Jiak Chuan Road
  2. The Reading Room @ 19 Bukit Pasoh Road
  3. Selfish Gene Cafe @ 40 Craig Road
  4. The Plain @ 50 Craig Road
  5. Department of Caffeine @ 15 Duxton Road
  6. Group Therapy Cafe @ 49 Duxton Road
  7. Flor Patisserie @ 2 Duxton Hill #01-01
  8. Bistro Soori @ 2 Teck Lim Road
  9. Glück Bistro Express @ 26 Teck Lim Road
  10. Antoniette @ 33 Erskine Road #01-02/03 (Scarlet Hotel)
  11. The Loft Cafe @ 268A South Bridge Road
  12. Coffee Tea & Company @ 133 New Bridge Road #B1-44 (Chinatown Point)
  13. RONIN @ 17 Hong Kong Street

Tanjong Pagar

  1. Cafe Gavroche @ 69 Tras Street
  2. Kiasu Espresso @ 100 Tras Street #01-03/04 (100 AM)
  3. Okada Coffee @ 100 Tras Street #03-23 (100 AM)
  4. Cake Spade @ 1 Tras Link #01-06 (Orchid Hotel)
  5. SPRMRKT @ 2 McCallum Street
  6. 6oz Espresso Bar @ 20 McCallum Street #01-K1 (Tokio Marine Centre)
  7. PS Cafe @ 45 Ann Siang Road #02-02
  8. Quarter to Three @ 88 Tanjong Pagar Road
  9. Drury Lane Cafe @ 94 Tanjong Pagar Road
  10. ReStore Cafe @ 124 Tanjong Pagar Road
  11. Artease @ 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-35

Raffles Place

  1. Jamaica Blue @ 1 Raffles Place #01-62 (One Raffles Place Tower 2)
  2. Club Street Social @ 5 Gemmill Lane
  3. Shots Cafe @ 90 Club Street
  4. The Muffinry @ 112 Telok Ayer Street
  5. Sarnies Cafe @ 136 Telok Ayer Street
  6. Sophie Bakery @ 167 Telok Ayer Street
  7. Coffeesmith @ 62 Collyer Quay #02-11
  8. Jewel Coffee @ 1 Shenton Way #01-07
  9. 8 Stanley Street @ 8 Stanley Street
  10. Bar Bar Black Sheep @ 55 Boat Quay
  11. Artisan Boulangerie @ 12 Marina View #01-02 (Asia Square Tower 2)
  12. Artease @ 3 Phillip Street #01-01
River Valley
  1. The Book Cafe @ 20 Martin Road #01-02 (Seng Kee Building)
  2. Baker & Cook @ 38A Martin Road #01-01
  3. Common Man Coffee Roasters @ 22 Martin Road #01-00
  4. Laurent’s Cafe & Chocolate Bar @ 80 Mohammad Sultan Road #01-11
  5. Kith Cafe @ 7 Rodyk Street #01-28
  6. Toby’s Estate @ 8 Rodyk Street #01-03/04
  7. eM by the River @ 1 Nanson Road #01-05 (The Gallery Hotel)
  8. Hummerstons @ 11 Unity Street #02-14 (Robertson Walk)
  9. The Fabulous Baker Boy @ 70 River Valley Road #01-15 (The Foothills)
  10. Five and Dime @ 297 River Valley Road
  11. Swirl Art Cafe @ 417 River Valley Road
  12. Croute @ 491 River Valley Road

Robertson Quay

  1. Epicurious Cafe @ 60 Robertson Quay #01-02
  2. Smitten Cafe @ 60 Robertson Quay #01-11
  3. Boomarang @ 60 Robertson Quay #01-15
  4. Anthesis @ 86 Robertson Quay #01-01
  5. The Merry Men @ 86 Robertson Quay #01-02
  6. Bar Bar Black Sheep @ 86 Robertson Quay #01-04
South
  1. Kith Cafe @ 31 Ocean Way Quayside Isle #01-08 (Sentosa Cove)
  2. Artisan Boulangerie @ 1 Harbourfront Walk #01-163/164 (Vivo City)
  3. Prive Bakery Cafe @ 2 Keppel Bay Vista Ground Floor (Keppel Bay Marina)
  4. The Marshmallow Tree @ 46 Telok Blangah Drive #01-85
  5. Eco Gourmet Cafe @ 30 Labrador Villa Road
  6. ROOM @ 460 Alexandra Road #01-18 (Alexandra Retail Centre)
Scotts/Orchard
  1. Wild Honey @ 6 Scotts Road Level 3 (Scotts Square)
  2. Antoniette @ 390 Orchard Road B1-08/09/10C (Palais Renaissance)
  3. PS Cafe @ 390 Orchard Road #02-09A (Palais Renaissance)
  4. Marmalade Pantry @ 2 Orchard Turn #03-22 (ION)
  5. Paris Baguette Cafe @ 435 Orchard Road #02-48/53 (Wisma Atria)
  6. Pique Nique @ 391A Orchard Road #B1-01 (Ngee Ann City)
  7. Marmalade Toast @ #02-11 391 Orchard Road (Ngee Ann City)
  8. The Providore @ 333A Orchard Road #02-05 (Mandarin Gallery)
  9. Antoniette @ 333A Orchard Road #02-33/34 (Mandarin Gallery)
  10. Wild Honey @ 333A Orchard Road #03-02 (Mandarin Gallery)
  11. Jones the Grocer @ 333A Orchard Road #04-21/23 (Mandarin Gallery)

Somerset/Dhoby Gaut

  1. Artease @ 8 Grange Road #01-03 (Cathay Cineleisure Orchard)
  2. Oriole Cafe & Bar @ 96 Somerset Road #01-01 (Pan Pacific Serviced Suites)
  3. KPO Cafe & Bar @ 1 Killiney Road (Killney Post Office)
  4. Freshly Baked by Le Bijoux @ 57 Killiney Road
  5. Artisan Boulangerie @ 118 Killiney Road #01-01
  6. Myartspace Cafe @ 31 Orchard Road (Istana Park)
  7. Nana’s Green Tea @ 68 Orchard Road #03-80/81/82 (Plaza Singapura)
  8. Hoshino Coffee @ 68 Orchard Road #03-84 (Plaza Singapura)
  9. Createaf Waffles @ 2 Handy Road #01-02 (The Cathay)
  10. Kith Cafe @ 9 Penang Road #01-01E (Park Mall)
  11. Wild Rocket at Mount Emily @ 10A Upper Wilkie Road GF (Hangout @ Mount Emily)

City Hall/Bras Basah

  1. Fine Palate Cafe @ 51 Waterloo Street #01-04/05
  2. Food For Thought @ 8 Queen Street
  3. The Basement Cafe @ 80 Stamford Road #B1-62 (Singapore Management University)
  4. Food For Thought @ 93 Stamford Road #01-04/05 (National Museum)
  5. Tiong Bahru Bakery @ 252 North Bridge Road #B1-11/12 (Raffles City Shopping Centre)
  6. Commune Cafe & Bistro @ 9 Raffles Boulevard #02-50 (Millennia Walk)
  7. Patisserie G @ 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-40 (Millennia Walk)
  8. Tart Blanc @ 9 Raffles Boulevard #01-102 (Millennia Walk)
  9. Cups N Canvas @ 139 Selegie Road
  10. Strictly Pancakes @ 44A Prinsep Street
  11. Hungry Chimps @ 64A Prinsep Street #02-01
  12. Lowercase @ 1 McNally Street Block D #01-01
  13. Temporium @ 72-74 Dunlop Street
Bugis/Arab Street

  1. Artichoke Cafe @ 161 Middle Road
  2. I Am @ 674 North Bridge Road #01-01
  3. Artistry @ 17 Jalan Pinang
  4. Espressolab @ 13 Bali Lane
  5. Maison Ikkoku @ 20 Kandahar Street (Heritage Centre)
  6. Dong Po Colonial Cafe @ 56 Kandahar Street
  7. Working Title @ 48 Arab Street
  8. CAD Cafe @ 23 Haji Lane
  9. Symmetry @ 9 Jalan Kubor #01-01
  10. La Marelle Cafe & Boutique @ 25A Baghdad Street
  11. A for Arbite @ 28 Aliwal Street #01-01 (Aliwal Arts Centre)
  12. EatPlayLove Cafe @ 28 Aliwal Street #01-07 (Aliwal Arts Centre)

Lavender/Jalan Besar

  1. Tolido’s Espresso Nook @ 462 Crawford Lane
  2. The Coffee Shot @ 103 Lavender Street
  3. Butter Studio @ 147 Jalan Besar
  4. Suprette @ 383 Jalan Besar (Kam Leng Hotel)
  5. The Tiramisu Hero Cafe @ 121 Tyrwhitt Road
  6. Chye Seng Huat Hardware Coffee Bar @ 150 Tyrwhitt Road
  7. Antoinette @ 30 Penhas Road
  8. The Bravery @ 66 Horne Road
  9. Windowsill in the Woods @ 78 Horne Road

Novena/Balestier

  1. L’etoile Cafe @ 160 Owen Road
  2. Cakes Literally @ 138 Owen Road
  3. Jewel Cafe and Bar @ 129 Rangoon Road
  4. The Little Prince Cafe @ 62 Somme Road #01-03
  5. The Sweet Movement @ 62 Somme Road #01-01
  6. La Ristrettos @ 10 Sinaran Drive #08-37 (Novena Medical Centre)
  7. Wheeler’s Yard @ 28 Lorong Ampas

Thomson

  1. Little Part 1 Cafe @ 15 Jasmine Road (Adelphi Park Estate)
  2. Wafflelicious @ 21 Upper Thomson Road
  3. Little Pancakes @ 200 Upper Thomson Road #01-04 (Thomson Imperial Court)
  4. Old School Delights @ 215M Upper Thompson Road
  5. Habitat Coffee @ 233 Upper Thomson Road
  6. Salted Caramel @ 246 Upper Thomson Road
  7. OZ Specialty Coffee @ 11 Sin Ming Road #01-13 (Thomson V Two)
  8. Fluffy White Cloud Dream Cafe @ 11 Sin Ming Road #01-19 (Thomson V Two)
  9. November 8 Cafe @ 11 Sin Ming Road #01-30 (Thomson V Two)
  10. Yahava Koffee @ 4 Jalan Gelenggang

Serangoon/North

  1. Cremier @ 128 Toa Payoh Lorong 1 #01-835
  2. GRUB @ 510 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 (Bishan Park)
  3. The Cornerstone @ 1380 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 (Bishan Park)
  4. Canopy Garden Dining & Bar @ 1382 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 1 (Bishan Park)
  5. Lola’s Cafe @ 5 Simon Road
  6. Arbite Cafe @ 66A Serangoon Garden Way
  7. Artease @ 261 Serangoon Central #01-29
  8. Ciel Patisserie @ 124 Hougang Avenue 1 #01-1444
  9. Chillax Massage Cafe @ 28 Maju Avenue Level 1
  10. Ice Edge Cafe @ 2 Kovan Road
  11. Hatter Street @ 212 Hougang Street 21 #01-333
  12. Rokeby Cafe @ 15-9 Jalan Riang
  13. Wimbly Lu @ 15-2 Jalan Riang
  14. The Coffee Daily @ 75 Brighton Crescent
  15. Sun Ray Cafe @ 79 Brighton Crescent

Kallang/Katong/East Coast

  1. Backstage Cafe @ 158 Kallang Way
  2. Maple & Market @ 34 Cassia Crescent #01-82
  3. Loysel’s Toy Cafe @ 66 Kampong Bugis #01-01 (Sam Tat Building)
  4. Brawn and Brains @ 100 Guillemard Road #01-07 (Singapore Badminton Hall)
  5. Cafe Melba @ 90 Goodman Road #01-56 (Block N @ Goodman Arts Centre)
  6. The Humble Loaf @ 865 Mountbatten Road #B1-92 (Katong Shopping Centre)
  7. Penny University @ 402 East Coast Road
  8. Oh Deli @ 421 East Coast Road
  9. British Hainan @ 75 Carpmael Road

East

  1. D’Zerts Cafe @ 30 Jalan Pari Burong (Simpang Bedok)
  2. To-gather Cafe @ 84 Bedok North Street 4 #01-27
  3. Milk and Honey Gelato @ 86 Bedok North Street 4 #01-179
  4. Sugarcraft Atelier @ 212 Changi Road
  5. Rice & Fries @ 484 Changi Road
  6. Doggiestyle Cafe @ 496 Changi Road 
  7. Lots Gourmet @ 965A Upper Changi Road North
  8. The Bark Cafe @ 1000 Upper Changi Road North
  9. The Garden Slug @ 55 Lorong L Telok Kurau #01-59/61 (Bright Centre)
  10. 1TwentySix @ 902 East Coast Parkway Blk E #01-26 (Playground @ Big Splash)
  11. Chock Full Of Beans @ 4 Changi Village Road #01-2090
  12. Eggs & Berries @ 5 Changi Business Park Central 1#01-37/38 (Changi City Point)
  13. Table Manners @ 5 Changi Business Park Central 1 #01-68/69 (Changi City Point)
  14. The Coastal Settlement @ 200 Netheravon Road

My tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson, the football pastor.

Reading all the tributes about Sir Alex made me realise that the man is more than just a manager… He’s a leader, teacher, father, coach, friend, mentor and even a “pastor” of sorts (among countless other roles) to not just the football players but the entire football club. He’s built not just a few football teams but an entire football club.

When you have a “manager” attending youth training sessions, attending employees’ bereavements and sending personal letters to grieving fans, texting former players and calling up fellow managers to support them, you know that he’s so much more than just a salaried man. If only I had the chance to have coffee with him…

The dedication to the job, the desire to win and the demand for excellence… We are not replacing any other man. We are replacing a football institution. And how is it even possible? I cannot imagine anyone else in the dugout because truth is, no one else has been in there except him!

Fans of rival clubs and haters will never understand how we feel (and it’s even harder for non-football people to get it). He’s been around before I started supporting United in 1994 and he’s the only manager I’ve known since. Only United fans can say something like that. He’s brought United from nothing to something, so that’s why he’s everything to United and all of us.

United is a machine – his machine – and this club will move on. But it will never be the same again. Sir Alex has always said that nobody is bigger than the club. But I think maybe… Just maybe… Ferguson is as big as the club because he IS the club. His retirement feels like something is being ripped out from my heart. It was hard when Cantona retired; Ferguson retiring is the same gut-wrenching feeling magnified multiple times over. Supporting United will never feel the same again.

Legend, legacy, longevity. He’s not just a football manager. He is Sir Alex Ferguson – the greatest EVER football manager in all of history.

#thankyousiralex

Lent 09: what stirs my anger.

I was disappointed with myself for not being able to subdue my anger during a meeting yesterday.

No, I didn’t flare up at a particular person or used words that I wasn’t supposed to, but I produced an unusually strong reaction to a decision that was made. I was the only one with a bad reaction even though that decision impacted all of us; there was another colleague who raised her eyebrow to that decision but she was gentle. Somehow, that decision triggered something in me.

The first few questions I asked myself were,

  • How can a person who tries to be a man of God react in this unacceptable way?
  • Is a pastor even allowed to show such emotion or is he supposed to be even-tempered all the time?
  • Have I stumbled any of my colleagues with my display of emotions?
  • What does it mean to respond, and not react, in that situation?
  • How would I respond instead, if I was given another chance?

I excused myself, headed to the bathroom and attempted to sort out my emotions before I returned to the meeting. My colleague who went out with me encouraged me to speak to the decision-maker so that I can get it off my chest. I told her that I wouldn’t, until I sort out what’s in my heart, otherwise I’d get myself into more trouble.

I realised that over the years, a part of me gets especially annoyed whenever I feel that there is inconsistency in decision-making or in example-setting. I realised that I like things to be in black and white, yes and no, true and false. I operate in dichotomy and struggle to deal with ambiguity and ambivalence. I also have a low threshold for injustice.

Until I succeed in managing this tension, I’ve always asked the Lord to keep my head straight and stick to my convictions, but never at the expense of being self-righteous. I asked God to make me flexible leader with wisdom to know when to compromise and when to stay firm; there are some battles that are just not worth fighting. I asked the Lord for a greater threshold of grey areas.

Then the Lord reminded me to wear my Double-L plate; except that this time, a leader and a learner must also be ready to be a loser and lover. I want to learn to lose my rights and love others. I want to grow from this setback. I want to mature. I want to be godly.

I am thankful for the grace of God and how He would still use me despite my multiple flaws. I will do better next time.

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