Sorry. Couldn’t resist the pun. It was there for the taking.

I think it’s ace. Even if you don’t agree, love all.

It was great watching her play. She was really enjoying her game.

More at Scenes from Singapore.

Canon 5D MK II with Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Edited with Apple Photos

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Maybe I have a “talkable” face but I have many encounters with strangers on a regular basis. I thought I’ll record the more interesting and endearing ones. I recently wrote about the Patrician from the class of 1957. This encounter falls under the endearing category.

Two days ago, I had an early dinner at 115 Bukit Merah View Market and Hawker Centre. I had mee pok dry from this gentleman from Soon Heng Minced Meat Noodles stall.

OK, but this post is not about him – just posted it coz I had a snap. After getting our bowls of noodles, we wanted to sit at the breezier side of the hawker centre (the car park side, on that day). However, most of the tables were not cleared. We found one relatively clean and empty table just next to a porridge stall called Shi Fu A1 Rou Zhou.

Soon after we took our seats, this elderly lady who runs the porridge stall with her sister sat down on the same table in front of a pile of pei dan (century eggs) presumably to peel them in preparation for the dinner crowd. Sharing the same table, I naturally looked towards her, smiled and wished her Xin Nian Kuai Le (happy lunar new year in Mandarin). She beamed, thrilled.

She could only converse in Hokkien. I can’t speak Hokkien. Through my dinner companion who interpreted for me, she readily revealed that she was in her seventies. She started selling porridge in the same location around 1975 when she was in her thirties.

Perhaps it was a simple smile or perhaps it was an Indian guy wishing her happy lunar new year in Mandarin (or a combination) that made her so happy. She claimed (unsubstantiated, I must add) that I am a “good person” because most people “ignore the elderly.” She said it’s the way I took the initiative to acknowledge her and the way I smiled at her. I was a bit pai seh when she added again that I’m a “good person”.

She was animated, smily and jovial throughout the conversation. She happily posed for a picture with me. So sweet. She wished us Jing Bu (progress) many times.

This is the funny bit. As we continued eating, she told my companion in Hokkien, “Don’t mind me, I’m an old person so it should be ok for me to say this. He is very good-looking.” She then again repeated that I’m a kind and good person.

I’d by lying if I didn’t say that it made me feel good. I wish I could speak Hokkien. We could have had a longer conversation. Maybe I should learn some conversational Mandarin this year. See how.

We promised to come back to eat.

Bottom line is that we made each other’s evenings. Lesson learned – look at people and smile. It’s almost always a win-win.

What a lovely evening. I’m still smiling as I write this.

A few days ago, after an early dinner in Little India, I went for a stroll down Syed Alwi Road when I noticed this Malay lady lifting the grill above a longkang (drain). Intrigued, I went up to her.

I started a conversation with her while she went about her “chore.”

First, she lifted the metal grill. Then, she went into her handbag and took out a clean plastic sheet. She placed the plastic sheet on the dirty (but fairly dry) drain.

 

She then went into her purse to retrieve a ziplock full of cat food. She placed the cat food on the plastic sheet (she wanted to make sure the food was clean for the longkang cats, you see). Next, she retrieved a tin of cat food from her handbag, opened it, and put it on another clean sheet of plastic.

  

Soon, a whole family of cats appeared (no picture of the full litter); about 2 grown cats and a litter of 4 kittens. She was feeding the longkang cats.

I asked her if she worked nearby. She said no.

I asked if she lived nearby. She lives in Woodlands.

I asked her how often she comes to feed these cats. Everyday.

I said, “Really? Wow. Thank you.”

She just smiled.

Respect.

While we rightly circulate and condemn those who abuse animals and take them to task and justice, let’s celebrate these invisible angels who go way out of their way to care for animals.

Thank you, dear lady. My deepest respect and gratitude for being a light in this world.

(I was just informed by WordPress that this is my 1000th post).

This is 29-year-old, Kseniya Simonova, a Ukrainian sand artist or “Lady of the Sand” as she likes to be called.

This piece is beautiful.  She is clearly dedicated and has put in A LOT of hard work. I appreciate that in anyone, not just artists. In this clip, from the semi-finals of Ukraine’s Got Talent, she uses her art, music, setting, theatrics and her costume to good effect. It clearly moved the audience. Even without sand in their eyes, many were crying.

She eventually won Ukraine’s Got Talent.

This 8-minute piece is called “You are always nearby” and it is a story of a young couple who were separated by the war. “The young Lady and little Son were waiting for the Man to come from war, but he was killed. In the end he came to their window and watched them with a sight of love and hope.”

Not only is she talented and passionate, she dedicates her time to help children who need medical treatment and economic help. She also a champion for pregnant women who had considered abortion because of lack of resources but decided to have a child in spite of economic challenges.

I can also learn from her dedication. Together with the help of her husband, they spent months looking for the right sand to use (reminds me of Michelangelo looking for the ‘perfect’ slab of marble). Eventually they found the perfect sand – volcanic sand. The only place they could buy it from was from a group of geologists. However, it cost too much. Instead of giving up, her husband Igor, sold all his printing equipment from his little magazine business to buy 3kg of sand. When she started on sand art, she was a mother of a little boy – cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, playing with her son during the day.  She would start working on her craft from 10pm to 4am every day. It was so difficult that she felt like giving up in three days. But she persisted, and in her words, her discouragement “vanished into thin air.” The craft was physically demanding, requiring her to stand for hours on end but she kept going. I salute her passion, commitment, dedication and hard work.

She attributes her gifts and success to God.

Read more about Kseniya and her story here.

She is an inspiration. We need more like her. Thank you Aunty Teresa 🙂

The noise from the party went from a buzz to a chatter to a cacophony and finally into white noise. That’s when Horace started to speak.

 

“Hello”, he said to the pretty, slim 32 year old in all white. He smiled a dazzling smile and looked straight into her moist and dancing eyes. He acted like he was in love but his heart was elsewhere.

 

You see, Horace was a unique medical specimen.

 

He had an artificial heart.

 

Later on in the same party, Gilbert sniffed his martini took a sip and contemplated its taste. He looked around, saw a pretty, slim 32 year old in all white, downed the drink and proceeded to her.

 

“Hello”, he said with a dazzling smile and looked straight into her moist and dancing eyes. He thought he was in love but his head was somewhere else.

 

You see, Gilbert was a unique medical specimen.

 

He had an artificial brain.

 

The party went on. Things happened. People came, people drank, people left.

 

The party ended.

 

The pretty lady in white went home with him.