samedi, juin 23, 2007

Late parenthood

There is this trend in developed countries where first time parents are getting older. We read so often that people have kids later. In our parents' generation, people have their first kids between their early-twenties and mid-twenties. Now, people are first time parents around their early-thirties to mid-thirties. That is a ten years gap compared to the generation before.

Today, we are in the information age. School life has extended resulting in later entry into the working society. We start 'adult life' later compared to our parents. We are information overloaded. We are constantly filled with information and are lured to try out every new things. The possibilities are indefinite. Except some of us do not try hard enough to love unconditionally. By the time we 'settle' down, we have most likely reached the big '3'.

The GG (generation gap) will widen between parents and kids. Now, it is still common to see four generations in a family. Great-grandmother at 80 years old, grandmother at 55 years old, mother at 30 years old and child at 5 years old.

In the next generation, it will be rare to have four generations under a roof. Grandmother at 75 years old, mother at 40 years old and child at 5 years old. Of course, I was just quotating two extreme examples above. In the first case,all ladies gave birth at age of 25 and in the second case, at age of 35.

So, what is my point? I can elaborate on this issue and the consequences. I can close this entry in a different direction. But what I just want to point out is this:- Children in the next generation will have to cope with loss of their parents at an earlier age than the children of this generation.

It is never easy to lose a parent. No matter at what age. But if we are older and have our own children, maybe it would ease the pain a little.

PS: if you catch no ball (Singlish speaking), don't bother. this entry was written at 1 am in the morning while I was suffering from insomnia. this entry is caffeine driven.

lundi, juin 18, 2007

Update on my balcony

I bought a small chilli plant two months ago and it has grown more than twice its size. There are chillis growing out. I am so happy. Soon I hope, I will have big juicy red chillis to go with my meals.
Don't the chillis look as though they are wearing skirts? Click on the photo to see it better.

For the other plants at the balcony, they are growing well too. My lavender plant is growing in all directions.

Gardening really makes me feel zen.

vendredi, juin 08, 2007

Of put, strike price, collar and leg

I changed job and I changed domain totally. I used to work for an ERP software. Now, I work for a financial software.

From terms like permanent inventory, linear depreciation method, recurring entries, balance sheet, back order, invoice statistics, etc ...., I am now faced with terms like swap, FOREX, PV(present value), put option, strike price, collar and legs. Legs are deals of a contract.

Welcome to the financial world.
After a week of absorbing all the information and creating SQL scripts, I am so looking forward to the weekend. The best news is that my boss had a little meeting with me earlier on and he was pleased with my performance of this week. How encouraging of him. Let's see if I can continue to maintain this level of concentration for next week. I am exhausted.

I will go watch the movie Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End tonight. Seb had a long week too. We both just want to relax and wait for Chow Yun-Fat with his "Welcome to Singapore."

mercredi, juin 06, 2007

Let's talk about price again.

3 weeks ago, our kitchen window broke. It was a Sunday and we were out at church followed by furniture shopping. Along the way home, Seb and I noticed that there were fallen tree branches along the road. The wind was very strong on that day.

Upon reaching home, the first thing I saw was broken glasses on the kitchen floor. The kitchen window was not firmly closed that morning and with the strong wind, it smashed and broke. While I was cleaning up the mess in the kitchen, Seb went downstairs to pick up the broken pieces. Our kitchen faced the narrow backyard and there was rarely anyone there. So no one was hurt.

On this occasion, our neighbour's window was broken too. She told Seb that she would call up a repair man to check on the price. The man came and quoted 550€ for each window. That was really expensive as we only needed to change the piece of glass. This contact was taken from a pamplet in the letter box. Warning: Never call the guys listed in those junk mails.

Finally, our kind neighbour contacted her insurance and they sent a repair man to fix the windows. Our insurance did not have any contact with such services. The cost was 163.22€. We will send the bill to our home insurance and hope that the insurance covers the full bill.

See the before and after repair. Over here, there are really no control of prices for these kinds of repairs. Sian.

dimanche, juin 03, 2007


I can't live without my eyeglasses. The current eyeglasses I have was made in Singapore more than 3 years ago. So, recently I went to make a pair of eyeglasses.

In France, eyewear is super expensive. I made a no-brand ordinary eyeglasses and that cost me 530€ in total due to the high degree of my glasses. A "free" pair of sunglasses was thrown in to make the offer looked sweeter. Still, my current pair cost me 80€ and it was of very good quality. I paid for the new eyeglasses and will be getting a full refund back from my company's insurance.

In France, most companies provide their employees with an insurance. It is called the "mutuelle". For a small fee which is deducted from the pay, the "mutuelle" covers the outstanding medical bills when the social security does not pay the totality of the bill. A good "mutuelle" usually pays in full the outstanding medical bills.

In my previous company, I had a good mutuelle. The mutuelle covered 200€ for the frame and 400€ for a pair of glasses. Without the mutuelle, it meant that I would have to pay the eyeglasses out of my own pocket.

And on my first day of job, I discovered something better. In my current company, I have a better mutuelle. I do not know all the details yet but the mutuelle covers up to 400€ for the frame and 600€ for a pair of glasses.

I would never imagine buying a 1000€ eyeglasses. In one week's time, when I collect my new eyeglasses, I will be the owner of a pair of SG$1000 eyeglasses that most probably cost SG$160 if made in Singapore.

When I first arrived in France, I was often shocked by the prices here. I am slowly getting used to the standard of living here. I guess if I live here longer, I would not even bat an eyelid at such atrocious prices. Let time tells. . . .