Archive for July, 2010

The One That Got Away

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2010 by crystalake
In your life, you’ll make note of a lot of people.
Ones with whom you shared something special, ones who will always mean something.

There’s the one you first kissed, the one you first loved, the one you lost your virginity to, the one you put on a pedestal, the one you’re with… and the one that got away.

Who is the one that got away? I guess it’s that person with who everything was great, everything was perfect, but the timing was just wrong.

There was no fault in the person, there was no flaw in the chemistry, but the cards just didn’t fall the right way, I suppose.

I believe in the fact that ending up with someone, finding a longtime partner that is, does not lie merely in the other person. I can actually argue that an equal part, or maybe even the greater part, has to do with the matter of timing.

It has to do with you being ready to settle down and commit to someone in a way that goes beyond
the little niceties of giddy romance. How often have you gone through it without even realizing it?

When you’re not ready to commit in that mature manner, it doesn’t matter who you’re with, it just doesn’t work. Small problems become big; inconsequentials become dealbreakers simply because you’re not ready and it shows.

It’s not that you and the person you’re with are no good; it’s just that it’s not yet right, and little things become the flashpoint of that fact.

Then one day you’re ready. You really are. And when this happens you’ll be ready to settle down
with someone. He or she may not be the most perfect, they might not be the brightest star of romance to ever have burned in your life, but it’ll work because you’re ready.

It’ll work because it’s the right time and you’ll make it work. And it’ll make sense, it really will.

So that day comes when you’re finally making sense of things, and you find yourself to be a different person. Things are different, your approach is different, you finally understand who you are and what you want, and you’ve become ready because the time has truly arrived.

And mind you, there’s no telling when this day will come.

Hopefully you’re single but you could be in a long-term relationship, you could be married with three kids, it doesn’t matter. All you know is that you’ve changed, and for some reason, the one that got away, is the first person you think about.

You’ll think about them because you’ll wonder, “What if they were here today?” You’ll wonder, “What if we were together now, with me as I am and not as I was?” That’s what the one that got away is.

The biggest “WHAT IF?” you’ll have in your life.

If you’re married, you’ll just have to accept the fact that the one that got away, got away. Believe me, no matter how fairy tale you think your marriage is, this can happen to the best of us.

But hopefully you’re mature enough to realize that you’re already with the one you’re with and this is just another test of your commitment, one which will just strengthen your marriage when you get past it.

Sure, you’ll think about him/her every so often, but it’s alright. It’s never nice to live with a “might have been,” but it happens.

Maybe the one that got away is the one who’s already married. In which case it’s the same thing. You just have to accept and know that your memories of that person will probably bring a nice little smile to your lips in the future when you’re old and gray and reminiscing.

But if neither of that is the case, then it’s different. What do you do if it’s not yet too late?

Simple…find him, find her. Because the very existence of a “one that got away” means that you’ll always wonder, what if you got that one?
Ask him out to coffee, ask her out to a movie, it doesn’t matter if you’ve dropped in from out of nowhere.

You’d be surprised, you just might be “the one that got away” as well for the person who is your “the one that got away.”

You might drop in from out of nowhere and it won’t make a difference.

If the timing is finally right, it’ll all just fall into place somehow and you know, I’m thinking, it would be a great feeling, in the end, to be able to say to someone, “Hey you, you’re the one that almost got away.”


Tips to avoid living in a haunted house

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2010 by crystalake

According to the experts, to avoid living in a haunted house,

make sure that all corners of the house are well taken care of, as spirits like to dwell in dark unkept corners

make sure that all the lights in the house are working well, if there is a bad lightbulb, change it.  every place in the house should be bright.


Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2010 by crystalake


Review : T. Le Clerc powder

Posted in Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 by crystalake

In spite of all the hype about mineral powder, this is still my favourite. I have been using it for like 6 years! The tin is very pretty retro kind, more pics soon!!! I bought 2 tins for $85 each, not sure if they have increased the price…

Hair For Hope 2010

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 by crystalake

Hair For Hope is an event which invites members of the public to shave their heads to show their support for children with cancer. Through this symbolic gesture, we aim to:

1. Create awareness of childhood cancer in Singapore.
2. Show to children with cancer and their families that they are not alone in their fight against cancer.
3. Boost the self-esteem of children undergoing chemotherapy by sending the message that that there is nothing wrong in losing their hair or being bald.
4. Raise funds to help children with cancer and their families
5. Build a community of support for children with cancer and their families.

HfH is the only head-shaving event in Singapore that serves to raise funds and awareness of childhood cancer. Every shaven head represents an understanding by an individual of the ordeals that a child with cancer is subjected to. HfH also provides opportunity to garner support from the public in the form of monetary pledging. HfH then brings a two-fold contribution: raising awareness and funds for CCF beneficiaries.

Why Shave?

Treatment of cancer, such as chemotherapy, causes hair loss. Through the symbolic gesture of shaving our heads, we hope to lend moral support to all children with cancer, and to let them know that there is nothing wrong with being bald.
With every head shaven, we hope to foster greater understanding and awareness, as well as to celebrate the courage of these children. At the same time, funds raised from the events are channeled to improve the quality of life our children and their families.

The Event

The shaving event will be held at VivoCity (Central Court) on 25 July 2010 (Sunday). Please note that you will receive an e-mail acknowledgement upon successful registration.

Event Date: 25 Jul 2010 (Sunday)
Time: 10:00am to 8:00pm

Review : Ginvera Nutri White range

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 by crystalake

An angry parrot

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24, 2010 by crystalake

Dear Editor, I am sending you a copy of a letter which I wrote to Marina Bay Sands today. This is an effort to improve the services offered by Singapore to foreign tourists like myself. Because of this incident, I may never be able to return to Singapore.

To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Jimmy Yap and I am from Kuala Lumpur. 2 days ago I visited your newly opened casino, hotel and The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Together with me during that trip was my wife, my brother and two other friends. I am writing this letter to lodge a complaint on one of your customer service ‘duty manager’ at the concierge/information counter from The Shoppes. His name is MR. SUGU, as printed on his nametag. He was on duty at 6pm to 9pm on the 17th July 2010.

On the 17th July 2010 at 3.30pm, I parked my car in the parking lot of the shopping centre using my Autopass Card which was reloaded with SGD15. At 6pm, we decided to leave and head back to Kuala Lumpur, a 4-hour drive from Singapore. Upon arriving at the exit, we found out that the parking fee was SGD16, therefore I couldn’t get out and had to reload my Autopass Card. So we parked our car again, got out and found out that there was no parking office or security office. We were directed to the concierge/information centre duty manager, Mr. Sugu who told us bluntly to reload the Autopass card. Fair enough. Firstly, we tried using the ATM machines, but because we were foreigners there we didn’t have ATM cards, we sought some kind stranger’s help. Two strangers tried to help us reload at the ATM, but the “System Error” message appeared. When we asked Mr. Sugu if he could help us, he bluntly said: “I cannot do anything for you”.

There was no 7-11 shop or any convenience store to reload our Autopass. My friends and I walked more than 1 kilometer towards Raffles Quay where we finally found a convenience store who also tried to reload our Autopass card in vain. There was a “System Error”. We then walked all the way back to Mr. Sugu’s information counter at MBS The Shoppes to seek further advice. To our dismay, all he said was: “I cannot help you”. When asked if there was anyone he could refer us to who could actually help us, he just ignored us. Among other things he said were: “Buy an ATM card to reload your Autopass”, “buy another Cashcard to exit the parking”, “Go make a police report”, “You should have known how expensive the parking is here”. Most of his answers did not make sense and were poorly concocted in an attempt to ignore our desperate plight. When asked who his superior is and if we could speak to him/her, Mr. Sugu refused to cooperate.

The problem is, if we could just buy another Cashcard to exit, we would have, but the fact is it does not work that way. In order to exit with a card, that same card needs to be registered as entered the car park. The thing is, we already tried reloading the card, but apparently there was a “system error”. We asked if he could issue us a ticket and let us pay with cash, he said: “I cannot do anything”. He just kept repeating that several times. And when asked if he could point us to someone who could help us, he refused to. All the while playing with his cell phone and walking away from us, as if he was trying to shrug us off. All the time we tried calling the toll free number on the Autopass card, but they were already closed on that Saturday. We were getting desperate and frantic.

All during this time, Mr Sugu mentioned several times that he has already received 18 such cases like mine which involved the Autopass/Cashcard issue. So my question to him was about the solution. He could not or refused to give me an answer. So what is he there for? If there were 18 such cases in that one day, what was he doing to resolve the problems? When I asked him what the other customers did about it, he said: “I don’t know”. With simple flexibility, the solution was right in front of our eyes. Mr. Sugu could have issued me a receipt and I pay him with cash, whatever the amount. Or he could have taken down my particulars and identification as collateral, so that I could come back and pay later or anything else that the management could be kind enough to give in a little. But he just refused to entertain us at all.

By then, it was already close to 9pm. All of us were tired, thirsty and starving. We all wanted to just go home, in between a 4-hour drive, to Kuala Lumpur. By then, a Singaporean friend had arrived, but also could not reload my Autopass Card for me using her ATM card, there was still the “system error”. In the end, a young lady and a few men who work for the casino came to our assistance. Unlike Mr. Sugu, they offered some possible solutions i.e. getting another ticket from the entrance, offering us their Cashcard to get out (which of course, didn’t work as mentioned above). The lady even escorted us to the car park to ask around. Finally, after seeing how desperate we were, a car park attendant allowed us out after taking down my car registration number. He just opened the barricade for us, and saying that the next time we come back, we will have to pay the fee owing. By the time we finally got out, it was 9.30pm.

Now here are my thoughts and my feedback: How is it Mr. Sugu is employed and appointed the “Duty Manager” representing the customer service of Marina Bay Sands? Instead of offering solutions and advice, he turned a blind eye and deaf ear to us, refusing to even budge. Couldn’t he be flexible even a little bit? A new establishment facing teething problems with their systems is understandable, but shouldn’t it mean that the employees should be empowered with more flexibility in resolving customer’s woes!?

Even though, it MAY have been my fault that there was not enough credits in my Autopass Card, but we could not reload the card. Meaning it could have possibly been the Autopass system’s fault, and they were unreachable. The next course of action was then to seek assistance from the facility that I am a customer of, Marina Bay Sands (whether it is the casino, hotel or Shoppes), and Mr. Sugu. How could he just refuse to help us at all? Mr. Sugu, at best, seemed heartless, cold and extremely rude. He seems like a person who has no PR skills nor a very high EQ. Displaying his ignorance and incompetence on duty, makes us all wonder how come such a badly trained ‘Duty Manager’ is placed there. Being employed in the service industry for my entire career, how he was employed as a ‘Duty Manager’ will always be beyond my comprehension. And for this I IMPLORE the management of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, to look into this incident thoroughly. An appraisal or review on Mr. Sugu and his qualifications, and the entire customer service standard operating procedure would be a good place to start.

I find injustice that other visitors and tourist will find themselves in desperate and dire situations like I did, and then having their pleas for help fall on deaf ears. It is an absolute disgrace that Marina Bay Sands, being Singapore’s newest destination, allowed such an unpleasant incident to take place. The saying “Customer is King” is probably beyond your company’s grasp right now, but what about basic ethics towards customers? A majority of your clients and guests are and will be foreigners, foreigners who will be unfamiliar with local rules and procedures. Where does Marina Bay Sands come in to fill the gap? I am sure putting up disclaimers everywhere will reduce your operating costs right? I will be sure to check on Genting Resorts World the next time I visit.

I have been made to understand that there is serious societal deterioration and moral decay among the residents of Singapore, but never in my wildest dreams have I expected this kind of selfish treatment in such a major private establishment in “world-class” Singapore. I will see to it that this disgrace and embarrassment is heard and acknowledged across every media outlet both in Singapore and Malaysia reachable and also spread this to the furthest reaches of my social network.

For the record, there was absolutely no issue with my Autopass Card when I used it to pay and exit at the Woodlands immigration.

Jimmy Yap
Kuala Lumpur
This letter was also CCied to Las Vegas Sands Corp, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore Land Transport Authority, The News Straits Times, The Malay Mail, The Star Publications.

Editor’s Note: Information updated at the request of the author @ 2330 hours. Message appended below:

Dear Editor,

Apparently I have offended certain groups of people with my last paragraph namely this sentence: “I have been made to understand that there is serious societal deterioration and moral decay among the residents of Singapore”. It seems many readers keep picking on this particular line and thus my primary message has been diluted. I would like to clarify that I did not mean to offend the entire Singaporean population with that remark. In my context I merely meant to say that there are certain groups of people in Singapore who are more selfish, inconsiderate and lacking moral values in general.

If your readers would like to misinterpret that I was referring to the entire population in that remark, then I humbly offer my apologies.

Thank you for your time.

Warmest Regards,
Jimmy Yap