Browsing All Posts filed under »Work«

Help! I Need Somebody

January 12, 2011


In Singapore, many families — local and expat — have a helper. In Vietnam, families have maids, known as người giúp or “help person”. In Western countries, parents can get some respite from parenting in the form of babysitters, family members, friends and day care facilities. For the last six months we’ve had no help — […]

How Santa Lost His Head In Ho Chi Minh City

December 30, 2010


The three nước ngoài (foreigners) in the office were focussed on meeting the 8pm deadline for putting the paper to bed on Christmas Eve. Our Vietnamese co-workers were, as was usually the case, a lot more relaxed about the time. The office was tinseled up, the mood was festive and bright but my Canadian colleague […]

Why Dropping Out Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

December 2, 2010


At the end of 2006 I was a wreck. I was bowed down by financial commitments, a huge workload and deadlines. I felt time poor and hugely burdened by household chores. I also felt like I was drowning in the advice, advertising and admonishments the modern world sprays at every consumer, like a police riot squad […]

Lunchtime Stroll

October 29, 2010


Braving the humidity, I went for a short stroll at lunchtime. A few steps from Singapore’s boring financial district I found the wonderfully ornate Thian Hock Keng Temple. On the way back to work I noticed a mosque, a Chinese Methodist church and  the most row of shop houses. More lunchtime exploring is on the […]

Taliban Tales

October 25, 2010


During a rowdy after-work drinking session, perched on a tiny plastic stool at a sidewalk “bar”, I discovered my boss had been sent to Afghanistan as a reporter. I was instantly impressed. I started asking questions but his replies were a little evasive. He was already drunk and I presumed his English was not good […]

My Matrix Moment

October 22, 2010


Two guys loudly discuss who to CC into work emails. I read a bit more of the paper, eat a bit more of my expensive salad and try to enjoy the air-conditioned coolness of the cafe. The conversation crashes back into my consciousness. Guy A is telling guy B how to synchronise his outlook to […]

Rejoining The Rat Race

October 7, 2010


A surge of adrenaline hit my chest. My heart missed a beat. I couldn’t breathe in. A two-sentence email had just ruined my life. The email cordially informed me I had no job. My nine-week-old baby gurgled at my feet. How could I look after my new family without the job? From that moment, all […]