I want to ride my bicycle this 30 Mar

#safecycling
#safecycling

Slow down and don’t langgah (bang) pedestrians. A public service announcement on #safecycling from me.

As many of you know, OCBCCycleSG is going to happen again real soon, end of this month actually! For adults they have the 27km, 40km and 59km challenges which flags off start at the wee hours of 30 March. If you want to find out more or sign up for it, go to ocbc.cyclesingapore.com.sg.

I’ve always wanted to go for it but its either I have to travel, I’m unwell or I need to be somewhere… THIS YEAR i’m finally going for it with my brother and I have 2 EXTRA TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY! Woot!

All you need to do is go to ocbc.cyclesingapore.com.sg, see which one you want to do (27km or 40km) and let me know here in the comments and if you heng heng super lucky, I will GIVE YOU the 2 tickets. No promocode, voucher or anything, just absolutely free tickets. :)

Also just FYI, @OCBCCycleSG is also running an Instagram #safecycle contest and all you need to do is post a photo on Instagram about safe cycling with #safecycling then you stand a chance to win something. You can see the entries here. The picture above is mine, such good advise right. :)

Divine Intervention

Partners for life
Partners for life

Many people tell me I’m very lucky to have Pearl as my wife. She cooks super well and hosts some of the best home parties. She is so proactive that she have already fixed situations even before I know there was an issue. She manages the home finances well and simplifies complex bills for me. She looks amazing even after having three kids, have such a positive attitude and is constantly joyful. Her sixth sense is super powerful as she can read people very accurately, great ability to have in the team. The list goes on and some things she will be embarrassed for me to share :P

She always look happy when she is cooking
She always look happy when she is cooking
sexy mama
sexy mama

So is there a way to find such a good wife my friends always ask. I don’t really know how to answer this in a simple way, as to me it’s divine intervention. I explain this to my friends all the time and tell the same story, so I’ll write it down here and hope it benefits others in some way.

Romance of 3 Kingdoms
Romance of 3 Kingdoms

It all happened back in Sec 2 one day when I’m playing Romance of Threee Kingdoms 2 or RTK2 on my PC. You see, at the start of the game you can create your own character. I keep trying to create the perfect character and no matter what, I’m always not perfectly satisfied. Then during the game, I’ll save the game and only to reload the game from previous saved games if I’m not happy with how the game played out.

Romance of 3 Kingdoms
Romance of 3 Kingdoms

Then It dawned upon me. In the future when I’m choosing my wife, i’ll have similar issues, the only thing is that there is no save and load, also changing to a better one when a better one comes along is definitely not the way to go too.

How will I ever be satisfied with my choice. How will I ever be happy with my selection.

At that time, my elder sister also got her heart broken a few times and to the 13 year old me, it seems this whole BGR thing is super difficult. How will I ever figure it out.

So I decided to pray. I decided to entrust the whole wife selection process to the almighty. It was an ernest prayer and it would have been the most ernestest of ernest prayer at that point in my life.

There was peace. I knew I will not need to make this difficult decision of finding a wife, I knew deep in my heart that when my future wife showed up, I’ll know. How? I’m not sure, but i’m very sure I’ll know.

At the back of my mind, I imagine her to be a colleague at work. She would be smart, she will know what needs to be done and we will be enjoying each other’s company at work. There will be lunches, there will be laughs, there will be flirting and we will eventually get married and have kids. The 13 year old me back then thought this could be how it would happen, so no rush.

Just after the O-Levels I hung out with Leo from my secondary school a lot. The main reason was because we went Ice-Skating together, we went like every other day. Then during one of our skating sessions, he told me he will be meeting a friend after and was happy for me to join and I did.

I stretched my neck towards the frosted glass from inside the ice-skating rink to get a better look and saw her. She too bent forward a little from the outside to get a better view. She had short curly hair, happy cheek bones, youthful pimply face and a joyful smile. I thought nothing much about her as Leo always had good looking female friends and this girl looked average. This was the first time I met Pearl.

The 3 of us took the MRT from Dhoby Ghaut station to Bishan to have something to eat I think. I can’t really remember any details more than that. But what I remember clearly was that I said “Bye ?? (elder sister in mandarin)” at the end and that felt weird. She was older then me, but I do have an elder sister and calling Pearl ?? just felt super weird.

The next few days, I kept thinking about her, I can’t explain it, I just wanted to see her again.

I managed to get her number from Leo and asked her out to ice skate with us and she thought since Leo is a good guy, his friends should be ok too so agreed to come out. I held her hand while she learned how to ice skate and that was really nice.

A month later, Pearl was my girlfriend.

Our first ever digital photo together
Our first ever digital photo together

It was super strange, super strange to everyone even ourselves. Pearl’s friends did not understand as they knew her well enough that she will never date a dunno who just after a month. Also, being the geeky computer guy who never dared talk to a girl, its quite impossible for me to be able to convince a girl to be my girlfriend.

But somehow, we are a couple. A young couple, but a couple that believed that this relationship is much more than just girlfriend boyfriend. We both felt that if its not for marriage then we are both wasting our time, so we somehow worked toward it.

Till this day, I still can’t explain what happened in those first few months when we started seeing each other. All I can remember was trying to figure out holding hands, sending her home from school everyday and thinking about almost nothing else other then her.

It was love at first sight, but more importantly I believe my prayer have been answered and God sent me my wife.

My partner my wife
My partner my wife

We got married 5 years later.

A few years into the marriage, we both grew older and wiser, we started to loose the care free young couple in us and we became family building partners. Pearl became a mom three times over, had changing responsibilities at work and liked many different new things along the way which made her who she is today. Also with her in my life, I’ve changed so so much. Used to be a grumpy introvert, but now a lot more cheerful and friendly all thanks to Pearl.

So glam
So glam

In retrospect, as a teenager back then If I choose my girlfriend based on my own understanding, I would have never been able to predict what we would both be like today. I’m sure both of us will continue to change even after being together for 20 years, but I’m very sure its just going to get better. You see, I did not choose my wife, God sent her to me, so he already know all the things in the future and from his infinite wisdom, Pearl is the one for me.

On our honeymoon 1999
On our honeymoon 1999

She is really an angel that was sent from above. It can happen to you too, all you need to do is pray for divine intervention.

Brunch in NY
Brunch in NY

Love you many many much Pearl. Happy Valentine’s day in advance.


This post is part of a Valentine’s Day series, brought to you by Daddy Matters.

Not All Babies are Cute

Thepans

I believe all parents have many fears and some fears are so real that some don’t event want to be parents. The fear I had when I found out my wife was expecting was “what if i don’t like how my baby looked”. Let’s be honest, not all babies are cute, some looked downright irritating. I’ve been to enough baby full month and 1st birthday parties and I can’t honestly say every baby I saw was cute.

Call me superficial, but this is a real fear for me and it stayed at the back of my mind all the time, more so than rational issues like “can I afford a kid?”, “am I ready to be a father?”, etc. I find rational issues can be sorted out, but I can’t change how my baby look.

How many of us have spent time on games that allowed us to customize our own character? How much time have we spent on that? Will you just take any character randomly? Most likely not right? But this is real life we are talking about, we will be stuck with the way our baby look all the way, no customisation and nothing can change that.
This fear stayed with me all the way till my wife’s delivery. The moment came, time to face my fear, time to face our baby.

When I set eyes on my daughter for the very first time, I smiled. I liked what I see, just because she is my daughter, I won’t impartially say she is cute, but from the honesty of my heart, she is beautiful beyond words and just like that, my fears are gone.

After a few weeks of being a new parent, I kept asking myself was I just lucky to have such a beautiful baby? What about my next child? Then It dawned upon me. My child is beautiful to me because my child is a product of my wife and I. My child looks familiar as she have the genetics from both my wife and I. My eyes, my wife’s grace, my nose, my wife’s lips. No matter how our baby looks, she is going to look familiar, she is going to look like the product of our love. Its amazing, this whole genetics thing is amazing.

So I went on to have 2 more girls and I never had that fear again, instead I was excited to see how our baby looked. They looked familiar, very familiar.