mardi, décembre 28, 2004

3 hours stay in the police station of Chartres.

I went to the police station in Chartres on the Saturday after I lost my wallet and mobile phone to file a stolen report. Seb and I arrived at 10am. There was a young police officer at the reception to welcome us. When he was explained of what we need to do, he ushered us to the counter. Before us, there was an elderly man who was there to complain about his neighbour or someone who was haressing him. When it was our turn, the police chief explained to us that we lacked some information and had to come back later. Also, he was busy as the "hotel" was full. Apparently, they had 3 cells (little rooms) and they were occupied due to a good "harvest" from the night before.

So, we went to the bank to get the numbers we need and to cancel all our GIRO transactions. When that was done, we went back at 3pm in the afternoon. As the young police officer recongised us, he told us to sit and wait. While waiting during the one and a half hour before our turn, I saw the "All in a day's work" in a police station on an average Saturday.

1. An old granny came to report that her house had been broken in. While she was waiting with us, her other old friends came and joined her and during their discussion, we overheard a comment "It must be done by the gang of blacks".

2. There was a couple who came and was told to come back another day as the police station was understaffed and there were too many waiting to lodge a complain. The couple were not happy as earlier they came, they were rejected and told to go to the Gendarmerie. And at the Gendarmerie, they were told to go back to the police and now, they were informed to come back another day preferably a weekday. For your info, in France, there are the police and gendarmerie. Usually, the gendarmerie takes care of road traffic related incident.

3. Another couple came and were rejected.

4. A man came and informed the police officer at the reception that someone misused his credit card number and purchased items in Turkey. Fortunately, the bank had blocked the credit card now and he was there to make a formal report. The police officer explained that the police station was understaffed and overcrowded with complains and asked the man to come back another day if he considered the money lost was not a big sum. The man replied the sum was about 3000 euro and he did not mind coming back another day.

5. A man came to ask for his son who was locked up over the night.

6. A woman came to ask for a man who was locked up over the night.

7. A woman who wanted to talk to a detective and not to the police officer at the reception as the complain was too personal.

8. Another man who was before us and waiting and waiting.

Now we know the job of the young police officer at the reception. His job was to filter the complains. At each complain he received, he maintained a cool look. I believe he must have heard of broken-in houses, stolen wallets and mobile phones, complains of neighbours, traffic accidents so many times that he was just so unaffected by it.

Finally, it was our turn. We were met with another police chief. He explained that usually it was not his place to be typing out complains but that day, they were understaffed. We explained briefly what we need to report and spent the next 45 minutes following his 2 index fingers on the keyboard. Yes, he is a 2 finger man. But at least he was nice. He asked "What is your country?" I replied "Singapour". And he asked "What is the city?" I replied "Singapour". That really surprised him. Guess it was the first time in his life that he heard of Singapore, Singapore. Of course when he asked for my nationality, we all laughed. "Singapourienne". How difficult can that be.

Voilà, voilà. That was my 3 hours stay in the police station of Chartres.

Merry Christmas 2004

Bonne fêtes et joyeux noël.
I had a good christmas in Chartres. Nope, it was not snowing yet. In Chartres, there is a high chance that it will snow in January but in Paris, snow never stays long. There is just too much pollution and it warms up the atmosphere. So for my friend who wished me to walk under the snow along Champs Elysee, that is very unlikely. :)

We bought a small real Christmas tree at home. It feels good to have a real one unlike the plastic one back in Singapore. When you walk along the streets, if you look up, you will most likely see sapins of all shapes with their christmas deco and lighting in almost everybody's living room. But too bad most people forgot the real meaning of Christmas. To kids, it is the time to write to Papa Noël to ask for gifts in return for being nice for the whole year. And adults help the kids to write letters and paste pictures from catalogues to send to grandparents, uncles and aunties.

For me, I hope to educate my kids on the correct meaning of christmas. Indeed, it is a time of giving and sharing. Indeed, there was a Santa Claus somewhere up, up north of France who once went around giving presents to nice kids. Still, the beginning started with baby Jesus being born on this day or somewhere near this day. And 25 December is the day to remember about our Lord Jesus who came to live and die for our sins. If you are interested to find out more about this, just search in the internet for an online bible and start reading from the new testaments.

Apart of that, I had a new lambwool scarf, 2 french books I asked for, a thick French-English dictionary, a pair of leather gloves and lots of cold outdoors and warm indoors and from Seb.

samedi, décembre 04, 2004

Why would someone steal my things?

To compensate for the silent period of Nov where I did not write, I am going to write more before today ends.

In my previous blog, I was pickpocketed. The police found my handphone but not my wallet with a teenage girl from the eastern country. Seb is not surprised. He explained to me that the pickpockets work in gangs. The leader will recruit these minors as they cannot go to jail due to their young age. Worse for these young girls are to be sent back to their country and in a month's time, they will be back to Paris to continue with their tricks.

These poor girls are usually promised food, clothing and shelter. In return, they are to steal for their boss. They work in groups where one steal and pass it to the other. In my case, the police only managed to catch the girl that has my phone. The boss keeps the wallet so that he can manipulate with the credit cards in it.

Is the society to blame for the sad plight of these girls? They are poor, have no education, no skills to find work. They are young and impressionable. How can we stop this chain of pickpockets where the big boss is never captured and brought to justice?

Life is tough for everyone. It is tough for me too. I'm glad in a way that I was the victim and not the culprit. I truly hope the young girl who is sitting in jail yesterday (maybe not today) will turn over a new leaf.

I have to buy a new wallet.

Someone stole my wallet and my handphone yesterday. It was a friday evening and Seb and I were leaving Paris to spend the weekend in Chartres.

It happened at the Montparnesse train station. As usual on friday, almost half of the parisians are leaving town to spend the weekend in the countryside. It was very crowded and as we were taking the escalator, someone told Seb that my backpack was opened. I took a look and realised that my handphone and wallet were missing. We were constantly on the move and walking. I could not imagine how someone would opened my zipped bag and stole my things without me feeling a thing. The chain of events happened as they should be. Seb called the phone company and bank to cancel my contract and credit card. He called his mom to get the numbers as we were not at home. To make life more interesting for us, the ticketing counter system for the counters were down and everyone had to buy tickets from the machine which were created in 'stone-age'. It was just so slow. And to add the cherry on top of the cake, the train was late and stopped every 5 km. On the train, we received a phone call from Seb's mother that the police called Seb's grandmother. They found my phone on a teenage girl. Apparently, she stole my things but they could not find my wallet. I was lucky cos there are so many people who had been pickpocketed and never manage to know who did it. I was so depressed to have fallen victim to pickpockets that I called a friend to get some comfort. She told me that she had the same thing happened to her. Someone used a knife and slitted her backpack from top to bottom and emptied the contents. She did not feel a thing. I feel better now. At least, I still have my bag intact though I am not sure I will want to use it again.

Now, everyone tells me to keep my bag in front of me in crowded places. So if you are thinking of the same, please do not send me a reply. :) Enough for this week where the washing machine gave out smoke, Seb's lap top died. We have enough misfortunate to end off this year.

samedi, octobre 30, 2004

All Saints' Day

Monday is Toussaint and it is a day to celebrate all the saints for the catholic faith. For me, it means a public holiday in France. What people do during this day is to go to the cemetery to pay respect to the dead.

Today is Sat and we went with my granny-in-law to the cemetery. This cemetery is in a small village where my granny-in-law grew up. On the way out, my granny-in-law showed me the grave of a soldier who died here during WWII. It was a 19 year old pilot from New Zealand. There was also a grave of an American pilot and a few Germans soldiers graves. An old woman was standing at the entrance of the cemetery asking for donation. She is part of an association that take cares of the soldiers' graves. The association will maintain the graves and put flowers. We chatted with the old woman and she explained to us that there were even soldiers from the fourteen eighteen (1418) meaning WWI which began from 1914 and ended in 1918. By now, the families of the WWI soldiers are all gone and there is no one to maintain their graves. She even had a thin book for sale. This book is about the life of the young New Zealand soldier. Research was done by a professor through the letters this soldier wrote home and the family of the soldier.

On the way back, granny-in-law pointed out the field, about a kilometer away from the village where a WWII plane crashed and soldiers were parachuting out of the plane. She told us that her cousin found an opened parachute there and in those days, parachute was made of silk. The cousin took it and made it into a wedding gown for a neighbour as cloth was scarce in war times.

With all these thoughts, I wondered aloud that isn't 19 year old too young for a pilot? Seb replied that right now in Iraq, there are 17 year old American soldiers. It reminded me of the movie 'Gangs of New York' which I watched in the morning. Only the poors were sent to war. The rich sons stayed. During the civil war, America accepted all immigrants on the condition that a random 25% of them will be drawn to go to war. And the movie ended with the poor immigrants of New York raising up against this consitution. 200 years after, things did not seem to change. In the recent documentary movie by Michael Moore, it is also the poor being targetted to go to war. Have my thoughts lead me too far again? Have I lost you the reader? War is complicating and where lives is concern, 19 year old is simply too young an age to die.

mercredi, octobre 06, 2004

CFILC Ecole de Langue

I have started my french lesson again. There are 3 Polands, 2 Japanese, 2 Indians, 2 Americans, 1 Thai, 2 Germans, 1 Columbian, 1 Cambonian and me, the Singaporean. It is kinda weird that usually when you are overseas, you tend to have more foreign friends than locals. Ok, these people are not my friends yet as it was only my second lesson.

But right now in Paris, my friends, people whom I hang out with during the weekends are few and limited. There's Anca and Irinel who are Romanians. We really hang out almost every weekend with them catching movie. There's June and Erwan and June is a fellow Singporean. That's about it.

2 months ago, Seb and I joined a group of church members for a hike. Almost everyone is a foreigner as I attend an English church. There was one french and he joined us because he wanted to improve his english. How courageous for a lone French.Of course, there was Seb who is a French too.

Why is it difficult to find locals as friends?
1. Over here, the French do not have many friends in their lives. It is not like the Asians culture. Once you know someone by name, the person is your friend. Over here, friends are usually people who had been to the same school as you for 5 years . For Seb, his 2 best friends are from his high school days. Another good friend is a brother of his friend from high school. Another friend is from his previous work place. That's about all the people he needed to keep in touch.

2. Sometimes, the culture can be such a big barrier. I do not always understand the humor of French. A humor in France is called a 'blague'. As the word sounds like 'black', the joke is often qualified as 'black humor' to me and usually it is laughing at someone/something rather than laughing with someone. My sense of humor for any 'ang-moh' is kid's stuff. This is just an example. If we already share different taste in jokes, it is rather difficult to find something in common like beliefs, values, thoughts and etc.

3. It is easier to relate to someone foreign in a foreign land. You have more or less the same anxiety. When I was studying in Australia, there were so many Asians in my estate that I do not have a chance to know any Australians. I feel ashamed but I managed to redeem myself*. In the University, the Australians do not mix with the foreigners either.

*When I was in US for 3 months and stuck in a 'ulu' part of Fairview Lake for 9 weeks, I got to know many friendly Americans. There was no Chinese in the camp community of few hundred people. After my stint in Fairview Lake Camp, I was invited to stay with Heather whom I got to know during my work at the camp. Till now, we are still exchanging emails on a regular basis.

So, the reason goes on and on as to why it is difficult to find local friends here. But that is not going to stop me. Seb always told me that where ever I go, I can make friends easily. I prefer to count everyone as my friend. But in times of trouble, I counted with my fingers and guess how many I realised I can turn to? Before you know mine, start counting yours. My result is not too far from yours.

mardi, septembre 21, 2004

Where on earth is Loipersdorf?

My company celebrates its 20th anniversary by inviting all the 40 subsidaries around the world to Loipersdorf, Austria for a weekend. For the French, we took the plane from CDG airport to Vienna and travelled by bus to reach Loipersdorf. It is a place known for its thermal spa. By the time we reached there, it was 7pm (due to an accident in the highway). We quickly changed into our swim wear and headed for the spa and pools. At various pools with water temperature ranging from 34 degrees to 38 degrees, we stayed in the warm pools under the night sky of 16 degrees. It was really nice. Dinner followed after and we stayed in the bar talking to other fellow colleagues until the wee early moring.

The next morning, we started our day at 9am. As the Intercontinental Hotel had been booked by the company, there were only the 400 of us. Activities of the day included: portrait drawing, massages, bungee jump, hotair balloon, board games, juggling and sorts, volleyballs, baby-foots, golf (arcade style) and etc... I hanged around with friends whom I met during my training in Delft, Holland. I also got to know others from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, German, China, Hong Kong, Netherlands, England, Belgium, Austria. It was really a big melting pot where the only common goal was to relax.

In the evening, we had a gala dinner where ladies were dressed in evening dresses and men in black tie. To bring everything to a climax, we even had fireworks set off right in front of our eyes in the maize field. It was just so extravagant and yet just so right at that moment. I stayed in the party until 4am before heading off to bed. There were brave souls, the English mostly, who stayed until the sun rose.

On Sunday, we left for France again. It was really short for a weekend but all of us had fun. A Malaysian colleague told me that he will arrive at 4am on Monday and had to get back to work at 9am. Fun aside, we still have to work on Monday.

I wish I can write more but I am still recovering from my lack of sleep. I know that this entry sounded more like an account of the event and there is not much input of my thoughts. It is for the benefit of Dick de Jong. He was not able to make it for the event. So, Dick, if you read this, drop me a comment.

samedi, septembre 04, 2004

Guy Moquet

The Metro near my home is Guy Moquet. It is named after a dead young guy who joined the resistence army during World War II against the Germans in France. Guy is his name and Moquet is his surname. Guy is pronounced as in 'Khee'.

In August, there is always the big celebration on the liberation of Paris and France during the World War II. The TV will show programs and films of WWII. I watched one black and white film done in the 60s which was based on true events on how the French and Americans liberate Paris from the hands of the Germans. The German commander in chief was ordered by Hilter that if Paris was invaded, all monuments be destroyed. So explosives had been planted in those famous places like Effiel Tower, Concorde, Arc de Triomphe etc. But the German commander realised that Hilter had gone mad and thus, did not follow on this order when the Germans surrended. What a pity it would be if all these beauties were destroyed during WWII. Will people still be flocking to Paris each year? So the son of the German commander was interviewed and he wanted peoople to recongnise that his father had saved Paris. I don't think the French thinks the same way as him.

Yesterday, I went to the Préfecture (Police head office) to renew my 'tithe de sejour' (paper to stay in France). This big building had been siezed by the resistence army at the near end of the war. They were shooting from the windows and even destroyed a tank which was just outside Notre Dame Cathedrale. The Préfecture is just beside the cathedrale. It is amazing for me to think that 60 years ago, there was a war here.

In the Garden of Luxembourg, big poster size of Paris liberation related pictures were displayed outside the park's fence. Last week, Seb and I went for a walk and I took time to visit almost every pic. Again, I was overwhelmed by the events taking place right here in Paris and in France. In a pic, there was a soldier laying in wait for the enemy and a woman brought him some cider to quench his thrist. The pic showed danger and yet tender care at the same time.

I overheard a comment; the Iraqis are the resistence army in their own country today but they are labelled as terrorist. It is true that the methods some used today invoke terror into the lives of the ordinary people. Are their cases justified by all the misery happening in their country now?

Back to WWII. There are French who are against the Germans but there are also French who worked with the Germans pointing out the Jews. Nearby Marais is the Jewish quartier (neighbourhood) in the third district of Paris. We were there last Sunday and I noticed that above a door, there was a plate that wrote that a Jew killed in WWII had lived there. Till this day, evidence of the war can still be found in this area and many others. I stopped for a min (I was waiting for my take away lunch) and thought to myself, can I imagine that right in front of this door 60 years ago, this Jewish man with a name and a family had been dragged away by the Germans and killed in a concentration camp. It was a difficult thought.

To end this, each day I took the Metro to go to work last week, in replace of those unsightful super big posters of advertisement in the Guy Moquet metro station, the city hall put up on one side of the station big poster pictures of the Paris liberation; and on the other side, poems written during the war about Paris. With my limited French, I can understand the desperation and anguish these French were suffering then.

Today I am in Chartres, the 80,000 population town an hour from Paris. Seb told me that at 11 am, there will be a parade of Americans WWII vehicles at the uptown. Let us be reminded again each year, lest we forget.

mercredi, septembre 01, 2004

Je suis une Singapourenne.

The Olympics is over. Most of the evenings, Seb and I were glued in front of the TV watching the games. So many things had past and so many little thoughts on my mind to note down. Yet, I had been busy with work. The summer vacation is over, almost everyone is back in office. For the past 2 weeks, I had begun to pick up phone calls and supporting the clients in French. Yeah, French. After work, I just wanted to sit down in front of the TV to de-stress.

There was once I was asking a client for the amount in the screen. Instead of saying 'montant' for amount, I asked for 'mouton' which means sheep. The client was very much amused I am sure because to be a 'mouton' is to be a blind-follower and you don't tell your client that for sure.

And on the same day, I was creating a procedure document for my client. Instead of writing 'cocher la boite' for check on the checkbox, I wrote 'clocher' which means church bell. Only after I had sent out the document did my superior told me and we had a good laugh.

Some clients tried to switch to English as my French is too heavily english-accented. And it was just so funny as we had a hard time understanding each other.


samedi, août 14, 2004

Where is Belarus, Angola, Saint Lucia?

I watched the opening of Olympics yesterday. As Athens is an hour ahead of Paris, we were sitting in front of the TV by 8pm. The opening was impressive. I really liked the parade put up by the Greeks. A total of 9000 Greek men and women were involved in this parade.

When it was time for the participating countries to appear, I was anticipating eagerly for the appearance of the Singapore team. Then, Seb started to test my knowledge of geography. With each passing team, he asked me where the team's country was located. Which part of the world is Belarus in? What is the capital of Angola? Where is Saint Lucia; and Nicaragua? I realised that I was in dire straits . Do I only know the major, big developed countries? How many countries are there in the Pacific oceans, South America and Africa? Do you know that there are 202 countries involved in this Olympics? I felt ashamed that I do not know these other beautiful countries where life is simple in the middle of no where. And the thing is Seb knows most of the 'ulu' countries and which continent or ocean they lie in. I do need to find out more and urge the rest of the Singaporeans and Americans to do so too. I realised all too well that when we find out more about another country, culture, people, our minds are widen and enriched.

Now back to the opening of Olympics, we watched and waited for 2 hours before we finally saw the Singapore team passed by our 29 inch box in 8 seconds. I felt so proud to see the Singaporeans though I suspected that few are neutralised citizens. Just check out their names and you will get what I mean. In any case, I do hope we bag something. It will really give me a lunch time conversion to start with my colleagues.

With 4 free channels showing Olympics provided by our Internet provider, I shall stop here and catch up on some sports. For now, it is women basketball time.

lundi, août 09, 2004

Happy National Day

Today is Singapore's birthday. My boss asked me how Singapore got its independance. I replied, we were kicked out from Malaysia.

In Feb, when I was in Delft, Holland for my 3 weeks of job training, I got to know a fellow trainee who is a Malaysian. A man of about 40 years old, he explained to me why Malaysia abandoned Singapore. I tried to record it down now but I cannot remember most of the reasons after 6 months.

History is important to us. I learnt only in my late twenties now. When I was in school, I detested history for all the dates and foreigns names we had to memorise. And then, the history of south east asia was not very interesting to me and pretty shallow.

In France however, history manifests everywhere in the daily life. The architecture, buildings, food, books, music, transport, cathedrales, museums etc all oozed of history.

My in-laws' summer house in Bretany is at least 100 years old with a big fireplace and stone walls.

The Chartres catherdrale is nearly a thousand years old. And over the weekend, when I visited my granny-in-law in Chartres, she showed me the family genealogy of 8 levels dating back to the 1700s. I wish I can trace back my roots of 200 years ago.

I remembered starkly when after visiting the National Museum in Singapore, Seb told me that it should be called a house rather than a museum as he took 15 mins to finish. Over at the Louvre, it is more likely to take 15 hours to cover the whole place.

The Metro system here though is old (not as old as London's subway) and dirty, it boosts an age of a century.

My mother-in-law sometimes goes for history walk in Paris where a guide explains the history and architecture of a particular area.

Recently when the girlfriend of my brother and her friend came for a visit, I showed them Paris. I explained briefly the reason behind building Arc de Triomphe. And that the Obelix at Concorde was plundered by Napolean from Egypt. The Versailles Palace replaced the Louvre as the King's palace due to the vanity of the Sun King, Louis XIV. The ladies were impressed with my knowledge of French history here. In fact, I was merely repeating what Seb told me when he was my tour guide 2 years ago.

I am fervently reading about history of France through biography books of queens and princess of long ago. I do hope very much that one day, I will start to pick up about the history of China where I believe the roots of my family genealogy 200 year ago lies.

jeudi, juillet 29, 2004

Singapore - Newsflash

Interestingly today, I read 2 news articles where Singapore was mentioned. Though I am far and away, I still try to read the interactive Straits Times every now and then. And today, something trival caught my attention. Seb will say I read news that are not 'important'. But hey, I do keep myself updated with current affairs. The thing is, not many people are interested to discuss current affairs with me.

Well, to continue, there was this study on people taking slimming pills in SE Asia. And Singaporeans top the rank. I have no need to pop slimming pills so I was surprised to see this result. If you are interested, click here.

The next article comes from BBC. See, I told you, I do read serious news. Again, there was a study; this time on kids who are more prone to short sightedness. Guess what, it was reported that 80% of 18-year-old male army recruits are short sighted, compared with 25% just 30 years ago. If you are interested to read more, click here.

So, are we in the news for the wrong reason? If I'm not a Singaporean and I do read these, I will conclude that all Singporeans wear glasses and are fat. Tell me if I'm wrong. Maybe I'm half wrong cos though I wear glasses, I never thought of popping slimming pills.

lundi, juillet 26, 2004

Any comments?

Yeah yeah. I received a few comments today. And the commenters were commenting on my 'mistakes'. Yeah, I know we don't boil durian seeds in Singapore. More likely we do that for jackfruit seeds. But then, I was referencing from and maybe there are really other countries and people who boil the seeds of durian.
Still, it feels good to receive comments. At least I know someone out there is reading my blog.

BTW, the durians were all eaten and I already regret not taking Seb's advise of buying 2 packets. I have to add this to my list of 'things to do in Singapore' when I visit next year; eat durians, lots of durians!

samedi, juillet 24, 2004

Chinatown, j'adore.

About once a month, I will make my pilgrimage to Chinatown in the 13th district of Paris. And today is that day of the month. I need to replenish my mee-hoon, udon noodles, tub of miso soup paste and get myself a little treat of roasted meat.

So, we took Metro line 13 and changed to line 9 and then changed to line 7. You can tell by all these changes that Chinatown is not exactly near where I live.

Today, there were fresh durians on display. I usually see them in the frozen corner. What a nice surprise. It did not end there. I spotted fresh durian pulps wrapped like those found in NTUC supermarket in Singapore. To Seb's dismay, he knew that I had to get my hands on them. After all, I am a true Singaporean and I do miss durians so much. So, I happily chose one pack of 6 durian pulps. It cost 19.50 euro per Kg. And I paid 11.50 euro for my pack. It is no XO or D24 quality but it is good enough for me in this foreign place where Roquefort is to me like durian is to Seb. So every pulp I eat cost me about SG$ 4. That is enough to buy a whole durian of this quality in Singapore.

<>What is durian? What is Roquefort? According to,
- Durian = huge fruit native to southeastern Asia `smelling like Hell and tasting like Heaven'; seeds are roasted and eaten like nuts
- Roquefort = A highly flavored blue-molded cheese, made at Roquefort, department of Aveyron, France.

So you can tell that Seb and I have a world's apart taste for food. The differences does not end there. There are others as well but I will stop at that today. I need to go brush my teeth because Seb will not talk to me now.

vendredi, juillet 23, 2004

The customer is always right

I bought a blouse from UCB on my birthday last month. It was the sale's season in France.

After my first wash, I found 3 small holes in my blouse. One at the bottom back, one on the shoulder and one on the left sleeve. What a lousy quality!

Did I just throw this blouse away? Did I just let the matter rest? Did I tell myself how unfortunate I am to get this? Oh course, not. Instead, with no receipt as I had thrown it away with my credit card receipt, I went for an exchange. I have a right after all. Have you ever buy a new blouse and find three holes in them after one wear and wash? This blouse is obviously faulty.

So, did I get the exchange? Of course not. Not on my first visit, at least. The manager sympathised with me. I'm not sure if it was due to my broken french or because I looked really disappointed. He told me that if I can show him my bank statement, I will be able to exchange it. So, last Thurs, I went back to UCB. And this time, I did get my exchange. Isn't it nice?

This friend of mine told me the chances of getting my blouse exchanged is slim. ha Let me share with you what makes me so absolute sure I will get the exchange.

In Singapore, this friend of mine ordered a bed frame for her new home. She wanted a peach color but there was no more stock and so she had no choice but to choose a apple green one. She then re-painted her room to match the apple green bed frame. On the delivery day, guess the colour of the bed frame. It was peach. ha The story ended with the guys from the furniture coming to her place and painting her room back to the original color to match the peach. All complimentary of the furniture shop since they made a mistake. So, tell me now. Isn't customer always right?

dimanche, juillet 18, 2004

A week only and she is back to being bad.

Bao Bei had been really good and nice for the past 5 days since she returned from her adventure. But this morning, she bit me and woke me up. When I tried to catch her, she scratched my fingers. Ouch! It hurts.

Who is Bao Bei? What adventure?

Bao Bei is our black kitten. We had her nearly 2 months ago and we lost her last Saturday That is the adventure I was talking about. We live on the second storey (third floor for Singaporeans readers). On that fateful day, the window was opened. Bao Bei usually sits outside on the window ledge to see the world pass by under her. At 6pm, Seb started looking for Bao Bei while I was cooking dinner. She likes to be in the same room as us so it was weird for me when I did not see her sitting on the dinning table watching me cook. Seb looked all over the apartment and could not find her. After a long search, we decided that she had either jumped out of the window or had accidentally fell down. A police report was done, neighbours questioned but still no news of her. You may not believe but I felt like a loser. 'What kind of a pet owner am I if I lose my cat so soon?' 'Will I ever see her again?' All these thoughts came into my mind. I could really understand how parents feel when their child is missing. That night, Seb and I both had our nightmares. You can imagine what it was about.

The next day, we prepared ourselves to go to church. Our plan on searching Bao Bei has to be continued on Monday where Seb will go to the Lost and Found Pets Association to check if someone brought Bao Bei to the association. Trust me, the French are pretty organised for lost pets. Seems like over here, too many people had their pets gone missing and returned.

So, we left our apartment and was walking to the Metro. We passed by the bakery and Seb noticed that there was a paper sticked on the door. It went like this 'Chaton Noir Trouvé, Avec noir et rouge collier, Appeller ........'. Translation 'Black kitten found, with black and red collar, call ......'

Can you believe our joy? It is Bao Bei. We called immediately. We got Bao Bei back. She is unhurt but she became super gentle and nice. She slept more and did not bite us on our toes while we were sleeping. We thought, hey, maybe the cat of the lady who found Bao Bei taught her a thing or two. Not bad for her little adventure, I thought. It is like from being 4 months old, she became 4 years old overnight.

5 days passed, ouch! She woke me up at 5am by biting my fingers. This morning, she did it again. And I got scratched when I tried to stop her. She is back to normal. Maybe I should leave the window open tonight!

vendredi, juillet 16, 2004

Thank God It's Friday

There are only 5 people in the office today. Everyone is taking 'un pont' since Wednesday was Bastille Day. The French National day. 

What is 'un pont'? Un pont is a bridge. Someone taking 'un pont' means that he is taking leave on the days between a weekday holiday and the weekend. 
It is so quiet here. While reading the blog of eternal sunshine, I decided to be a blogger myself. Eternal sunshine has been encouraging me to do it but I felt too old to invest my time in this. So, we shall see how often this blog will be updated. 
For now, I'm waiting for my pizza to be delivered. Soon, it will be lunch time. Hungry hungry.