Thursday, December 1, 2011

On Married Life

I have been asked 2 questions a lot lately... 1) How is married life? and 2) When are the babies coming?

Now on married life...

6 months into the nuptial arrangement (I know, SIX months already!!) I would say... we're doing ok. In fact I think we're doing better than ok.

We were told to expect the first-living-together-arguments, and though there were a few bickerings, there was nothing serious. I think the 6 years of going out prior to marriage helped spread them out a little (and the to-do white board helps too).

More time is now spent on house chores (time which I would rather spend shopping), but they have quickly become just part of the routine. I think we divide the tasks between us well, and I get to do the laundry and cooking which suits me better than the vacuuming and mopping.

The most significant adjustment for me was not so much living together with the husband, but it's more about NOT living together with the family. I spent a lot of my life coming home to a noisy and lively household and having meals around a table full of people. Now I come home to a house with me and the husband. Although initially difficult, like everything else, we quickly fall into a routine where we would visit the family a couple of days throughout the week and that made it ok. I now look forward to Saturday mornings where I go grocery shopping with Mom (and sometimes if there's time, some other type of shopping too).

And now, slowly, I have started to enjoy coming home in the evening to a quiet house. Where I can lash out my creativity in the kitchen while the husband exercises in his "gym". And then we both sit down to dinner and he compliments me on the food and I ask him about his day. We will then watch some criminal shows on TV (or his collection of Futurama DVDs) and if it's a good day I would get a bit of rub on the back. And when we get tired we go to sleep.

And I love it. I love the simplicity of it all.

Friday, January 21, 2011


I am not using the word in an aesthetic sense. I mean, mercury rising hot. Sitting in a room with no wind hot. I want to sit in an air-conditioned room hot. I want to be back in winter Korea hot.

Well maybe not the latter. But definitely the former.

It was only a week ago this time that I was screaming "Cold!" in the midst of the -20 degree Korean winter, whilst scurrying around a Korean street looking for a warm Korean haven to sneak into. That seemed like a distant memory now. Which kind of vaporised once we stepped upon the soil of 37-degree Western Australia.

I miss that. It was the first trip that we have taken as a family in years. We used to travel together a lot when we were kids, and I have really fond memories of those times. But with jobs, university, boyfriends, girlfriends, fiances... we just have not had the luxury to plan family trips in a while. So when my parents and brother decided to go on a Korean tour and my sister happened to be visiting at the same time, I bought myself a ticket and looked forward to it all happening.

And I had so much fun. I saw parts of the country which I did not have the opportunity to see the last time, skiied for the first time, caught snow falling on my tongue, watched as snow pour from the sky and cover the landscape in shimmering white powder, slurped hot steaming odeng tang in cold freezing weather, ate cold freezing Haagen-daz in cold freezing weather, feast on samgyetang to my heart's content, ate slimy, slithering octopus, bought my first BB cream (and many other make-up products), attempted at making (and succeeded in eating) kimchee, shared numerous lame jokes and laughed at countless English signs (for example the Bakery / Deli sign that read as Bakery / Delhi).

But it was not without its challenges. For one, the weather was at times so cold that we could not stay outdoor for more than a stretch of 15 minutes which made it very inconvenient to do anything or get anywhere. And secondly, even after the second trip, I still cannot get used to all the pushing and shoving that we experienced in Seoul, with no courtesy words of "excuse me" or "sorry".

But the worst challenge was, I found (and this has nothing to do with the destination itself but which will sadly change the way we travel forever) is the fact that we are all grown up to be mature adults with our own ways of thinking, and therefore could not agree on a single thing even if our lives depended on it! Simple questions like "What would you like to do today?" or "What about this restaurant here?" were usually returned with not so simple responses which could ultimately result in us walking for an hour in the cold looking for a place which we were not sure exist.

The strange thing is, I should have seen it coming given that we have all changed so much in the last few years with each building our own lives. But no, in my simple mind, I thought it would all be like before when we were kids, and our parents would take us places, and we would follow and everything would work out fine. It was only the after the first couple of blunders (which left me feeling confused and frustrated) that I realised we were no longer the sweet and innocent adoslescents we used to be and are each on our now fiercely independent and stubborn adults.

Ahh the joy of growing up.

Don't get me wrong. I still enjoyed the trip and would not hesitate for 2 seconds to say yes to another family trip. However as we are now better equipped with the knowledge that we cannot agree on anything we can devise some foolproof family-trip strategy to mitigate against that. We can go on tours where we will be told what to do and where to go, or we can pick a destination which once we are there, do not require a great deal of decision-making e.g. some isolated island where the only thing you would have to decide is whether to have barbeque or raw fish for lunch.

Friday, December 31, 2010

On Getting in Shape

So it does work...

Look at Helen Mirren. An amazing actress, a beauty and at 65, a body that passes off as nothing short of amazing and fit for someone half her age.

How does she do it? Apparently through... *drum roll*... working out on the Wii fit! I kid you not. I have pictures as proof (courtesy of And of course, the other proof is her starring in an ad campaign for Wii (being the marketing genius they are).

Ever since we decided on the wedding date I have been constantly trying new ways to get fit, and to me, getting fit has always been equated to pain. No pain, no gain. That means, less cake, healthier meals, more treadmill, more swimming (although the cake part does not always work according to plan). Therefore, when my sister recommended Wii fit as a way of getting fit, I did not take her seriously. Hey, something that fun can't actually be good for you, can it?
But apparently it does. So thanks Helen Mirren, this is great news for me! A bit of hula hoop, steps and computer-led yoga each day can actually make me fit? If it means I get to stay indoors and exercise while it's 40 degrees out there, I will definitely give it a shot.
And maybe I won't feel so bad having some cake after too.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I just watched 2012 (yes I know, I'm very outdated).

I enjoyed the movie. The extremely predictable and somewhat exaggerated plot was definitely not the factor, neither were the overly computerised effects. John Cusack contributed of course, but mainly it was because these end-of-world movies always make me think and wonder. A lot. During and long after the movie.

(Which is fortunate for me that they only make one of these once every couple of years otherwise I'd be a very depressed person.)

This time I think about the values of humanity. In 2012, as with all other Hollywood blockbusters of the same genre, the good values of humanity prevail. 10 minutes before the tidal waves hit the arks, they opened the gates to let the other people in (as opposed to just leaving and making sure they themselves were safe). They decided that they did not want to start the new world with cruelty and that the humanity really only ends the day they stand by and watch others die.

Do you really believe this would be true? If we were told today that the end of the world was tomorrow, do you believe that we would have peace and love before the end comes, or would we have chaos and wars? Do you believe that your neighbours would support you, or do you think that they would steal, rob, murder and rape? We have seen examples where goodness does prevail (think the China earthquake a couple of years back where strangers were risking their own health and lives to save others). But we have also seen examples where calamities occur, donations were given but they never reached the victims.

I would like to believe that in the end, that we would all learn to see past the materials and superficialities in life and just focus on what really counts. That we would realise that all we want is really to stay by the people we love and care of and give them the comfort which we hope to get in return.

The lucky hero in 2012 gets to share the new beginning with his children and his "true love" (the ex wife whose new spouse coincidentally died while trying to get onto the ark).

Tonight, have a think about who you'd like to spend tomorrow with if you know that it's going to be your last. And perhaps start that journey now.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

On Self Development

I have been lazy to write, but that does not mean I have been lacking in thoughts about what I want to write about. I store the thoughts in my mind and bring them out when I get the time and the mood to sit down, switch off the TV and type (of course the break in the World Cup in between the Round of 16 and the quarter finals made the switching off of the TV much easier).

Will's car was broken into a few weeks ago (if this sounds like deja vu, Will was mugged a few months' ago - so this has been an unfortunate year for my fiance). The passenger window was smashed, glove box was rummaged through and an empty knapsack was stolen. Although financially he got off ok (he could have suffered much worse material losses), break-in's are always a nuisance because of the things you need to fix and the insurance you need to worry about whether to claim or not to claim.

This happened early in the morning when we were still half-asleep from the night before, which was the time of the day when one tends to be grumpiest. And Will is one of the most easily agitated person I know. So I was very surprised, and impressed, when Will reacted with a "HOI what are you doing?" to the boy who was fishing about in his car (who then quickly scampered away) and then with still calmness as he decided what he needed to do to mitigate the severity of the situation given he had to show up at work in a couple of hours.

There are people who are generally calm, but react negatively to pressure, and there are also people who, on the other hand, are generally high-strung but react calmly when required. I believe there is a lot of strength in the ability to deal with bad situations calmly. It is not easy, and real personalities emerge when put under the test. Isn't it much easier, when someone does or says something that irritates you or offend your core belief, to just let your head get dizzy with anger and let them have a piece of your mind, than to be rational and calm and ignore their ignorant comments with the knowledge that a bad reaction may lead to worse outcomes?

Many arguments, fights and wars break out as a result of different parties not being able to see eye to eye, with little tolerance for differences. Much violence and regrettable incidents could have been avoided with either or all parties remaining calm. You know you cannot prevent unfavourable events from happening to you or your family, but the least you can do is to ensure your mind bears the right thoughts when they do occur and that you are not going to let the unfavourable events carry on any further.