Miscellaneous of the day (and a break from cheongsam)

(This post wasn’t supposed to be published until now, but there was something wrong with the WordPress mobile app. So the draft version appeared in my blog yesterday.)

A virulent cold

For about one and a half week, I’ve been trying to recover from a cold that I caught from my husband. He probably caught it first at the gym, and he’s also trying to recover from it. Usually when we do get a cold, it tends to be mild and we are able to get over it within a few days. But not this time, we’ve been infected by a particularly virulent cold virus. Thank God we’re almost recovered.

Poor baby Alex was also infected by us. He’s also trying to get rid of a phlegmy cough, despite taking the medications that was prescribed previously in mid December when he first had a cold. This time, though, the symptoms were milder and he didn’t have a fever. But the cough medication has run out, so we’ve to take him to see Dr OK this Saturday.

He has started teething in mid December. Dr OK discovered two little teeth in his lower gum. He probably finds the sensation interesting because he keeps sticking his tongue out. But teething is also causing him to scratch the inner side of his cheeks. We’ve to resort to putting on mitten on his hands after we found the right side of his face a little bloodied last week. Also unfortunately for Alex, he suffers from eczema. It used to be worst when he had rashes on his body in addition to his cheeks. Now his body is ok, but he still suffers from it on his face. We’ve slathering special moisturizer on him and giving him probiotics. So far the results have been mixed. We’re hoping that the eczema won’t caused him to develop asthma in future.

The beginner crawler

Alex has started to crawl now. My husband described it as a one-arm soldier crawl. The reason being he crawls like a soldier on the ground, propelling himself forward using the arm and elbow, and in Alex’s case, he only uses one arm. He is getting rather adept at it, and will crawl to grab anything that catches his interests. Like when I place him on our bed to change his diaper before feeding him, he is amazingly sharp-eyed and spots the milk bottle standing on the bedside drawer. He then crawls on the bed towards the drawer, and I’ve to restrain him before he goes over the bed.

When we put Alex on the rug to play(in front of the tV), we’ve to watch him because he’ll start crawling towards the speaker system and pull at the cables. Eventually when he starts walking, we’ll have a runaway baby in our hands. So my husband suggested we should get a mobile gating system to keep Alex in a contained area. Though I can foresee he’ll yell in protest of his imprisonment. Still I rather that he can walk. He’s becoming rather heavy for me to carry around. Even though he’s not as chubby as before, he’s become longer. I strained my back the other day from carrying him for too long.

The gluttony of Chinese New Year

As Chinese New Year draws closer, the sale of festive snacks is gathering momentum. Soon, we’ll be drowning in them. I’m not kidding, because every Ah Meng, Ah Lian and Ah Seng are selling snacks at every locations with high traffic. There’re the ubiquitous pineapples tarts, kuey bangkit (a traditional Nonya coconut cookies), peanut cookies, almond cookies, and egg rolls etc. Of them, the pineapple tarts are most common, with even the fruit juice stores are selling them. In fact, throw a stone and you’ll hit someone selling the tarts.

Of course there’re so many sellers because there’s great demand. It’s typical for people to stock up on loads of snacks at home since you will be serving them to guests when they come knocking during the festive season. It’s like Halloween for all but without the tricks, and the guests will spend considerable time in your house instead of leaving upon receiving the treats. For those unfamiliar with the customs, the hosts will chat with the guests who will be snacking on above-mentioned snacks, or the hosts and guests will play mahjong.

After the festive season is over, you’ll hear groaning from many of the pounds they have piled on. Is this any surprise considering the amount of calories hidden in these fat/sugar-rich snacks? And these snacks are taken on top of the numerous feasting that go on during Chinese New Year, when friends, families, colleagues get together for the ‘Lo-Hei’. (This is a cantonese phrase that is literally translated to ‘scooping up (good fortune)’. This actually refers to the raw fish salad dish that is a must-have during Chinese New Year, where diners will mix and toss the ingredients in the air while chanting all the auspicious phrases like ‘good health’, ‘prosperity’, ‘everlasting youth’ etc.)

Many will excuse themselves that the snacking/feasting is only a once-a-year indulgence, and vow to go on a diet or detox or exercise regime after the festivities are over. All I can say is the once-a-year indulgence ain’t gonna go away after the party is over, those thousands of calories have to be stored somewhere if you aren’t going for a ultra-marathon run.

The by-election

There will be a by-election in the Punggol East Single-Member Constituency (SMC) this Saturday. The seat was vacated last month after the ruling PAP’s Member of Parliament (MP), who’s also the Speaker of Parliament, resigned after he confessed to an affair with a staff in a government-linked organization. You can read the official news from the mainstream papers and also get alternative viewpoints from this blogsite.

This is the second by-election in less than a year after the first one last May, which was for the parliamentary seat for Hougang SMC. In that instance, the Workers’ Party (WP) MP was sacked for having extramarital affairs. Anyway for those who follow my blog, I’m sure you recall that I was seeing gynae Loh for consultation then, and we needled each other over our support of the opposing political parties. Too bad I don’t get to see him now, so no more exchanges and poking fun at each other.

During the General Election in 2011, the Punggol East SMC was contested by the PAP, WP and Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA). The PAP MP, Michael Palmer, won by 55% of the votes, and WP candidate (Lee Li Lian) received 41% and Desmond Lim of SDA got the remaining 4%. According to election laws, any candidate who didn’t receive a minimum vote of 12% will have his or her deposit forfeited and that was what happened to the SDA candidate. Before the election, many were frustrated by the idiotic move of SDA to have a 3-corner fight in this SMC when all opposition parties should have united against the ruling party. As you can imagine, SDA doesn’t garner respect from a lot of people, me included. In fact I’ve absolutely no idea why anybody would wanna vote for this party.

For this by-election, it’s a four-corner fight between WP, PAP, Reform Party (RP) and SDA. WP and SDA are sending the same candidates to contest, and many netizens are expecting Desmond to lose his deposit again. In fact his actions are quite suspicious, like he is holding online rallies instead of field rallies which the other 3 parties are doing. Worst of all, it was found out that the so-called young volunteers he has (who are not of voting age) are not really volunteers but part-time staff. Some wonder whether he was put into the fray to take votes away from WP. But I really hope the residents of Punggol East are wiser this time and not give him a single vote.

Then there’s Kenneth Jeyaratnam of RP who is trying his luck. When he threw his hat into the ring, it pissed off a lot of netizens because he is contesting against WP who has a better chance at the ballot box. He also seems rather opportunistic and some netizens think he’s likely to lose. My husband finds that KJ has pretty good ideas and sense of what need to be done for the community and the nation, but his posh English accent may not resonate well with the heartlanders. In fact he thinks KJ is not suitable to be a front-man for a party because he isn’t personable and charismatic, and he should merge RP with another party, like WP, for instance and be part of the team.

I’ve been checking updates on The Online Citizen on this election. As usual WP rallies are widely attended, compared to those of the PAP and RP. I didn’t get to attend the WP campaign rallies last May as I was pregnant. Unfortunately neither was I able to attend any this time because of baby. Maybe for the general election in 2016, I’m able to take Alex along yo attend a rally.

As expected I’m rooting for WP’s candidate, Lee Li Lian. According to a colleague, she’s more personable than the PAP’s candidate, Koh Poh Koon, who comes across as rather arrogant. He’s a colorectal surgeon and new to the political scene, having joined the ruling party only a few weeks ago, though it was claimed that he had been volunteering with the party. He called himself a ‘Punggol boy’, having grew up in the area. He gave some sob story of how when he was young the family was poor, and that he was a good example of how the meritocratic system, put in place by the ruling party, works.

The doctor also claimed he would serve the people. But judging from the interview he gave to The Asian Observer, I have serious doubts. When asked what ideas does he have to help the poor break out of the poverty cycle, he basically rambled all over the place about the stressful education system and parents sending their kids to tuition and enrichment classes, and how they need a car to go around and both parents have to work, blah blah. Nothing concrete and to the point of answering the question.

Anyway I really hope Li Lian will win the votes of the residents at Punggol East because they’ve nothing to lose. In fact by doing so, they will send a clear signal to the government that their asses are on the chopping block, unless they change their policies to benefit Singaporeans and for the long-term sustainability of the nation.

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