The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Flying Backwards …
March 31, 2014, 6:15 am
Filed under: Comment

It’s Monday, our favourite day of the week.

But don’t get too downhearted, because as I said on Friday, I’m currently flying back to Singapore which means this is all I could be bothered to write for today.

Consider it my gift to you.

The bad news? It all goes back to normal tomorrow.

And by normal, I mean terrible. But you knew that already.

There is some even worse news … at least for me.

You see I’ll be flying to Singapore on a Boeing 777, the same plane that tragically went missing recently.

Worse, I’m also flying back on a 777, on pretty much the same route, at pretty much the same time as the lost MH370 and I have to admit, it’s freaking me out a little bit. I know there is absolutely no reason to connect the two situations, but my brain is still making me think about it – which shows how we are ruled by our emotions.

That said, it’s not as bad as the time I was flying from Rio to Paris on Air France when I read in the paper that the black box of the Air France plane that had crashed on it’s way to Pairs from Rio, 2 years earlier, had finally been found.

There I was, hurtling through the air at 30,000 feet when I realised that I was on the exact flight, airline, route and time as the one that had crashed a few years earlier. I went to the toilet a lot that flight, especially after every bump of turbulence.

For someone who flies a lot, I seem to have a lot of incidents on planes … from being accused of being a stowaway to standing on an elderly Japanese man’s testicles to being woken up by a drunk Irish woman scratching my face for supposedly kidnapping her husband. I suppose if my incidents are those rather than ones requiring international rescue, I’m OK with that.

Jesus, I’m making myself a nervous wreck, so until [hopefully] tomorrow …

Love Stays, Even When It’s Gone …
March 28, 2014, 9:34 pm
Filed under: Anniversary, Comment

I’ve just realised today would have been my parents 50th wedding anniversary.


For some reason, this has really affected me.

When I rang my Mum to tell her I was thinking of her, she replied poignantly …

“Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be”.

This breaks my heart, because apart from the fact my Dad did die too early, I don’t want my Mum to ever suffer sadness or pain and yet there are some things, I am powerless to stop.

So to my Mum and Dad … happy, happy anniversary, I love you both so much.


Comments Off on Love Stays, Even When It’s Gone …

Before I Get Reported To HR And Fired, May I Remind You All That It’s The Thought That Counts …
March 28, 2014, 10:00 am
Filed under: Comment

The last time I wrote a post about Rodion, I sort-of embarrassed him.

Not because I said something bad … on the contrary, the words I used were filled with love and admiration … however the photo I used to accompany the piece was potentially a bit inappropriate.

As it’s his birthday today – a big birthday – I’m going to learn from that mistake by simply wishing him a wonderful day and thanking him for everything, because I respect him to death as this photo demonstrates.

Have a wonderful day big boy.

Please don’t smash me in the face with your large weapon. Boom Tish.

Coming To Terms With Reality …
March 28, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So for the past few days I’ve been back in Singapore.

I lived here for 4 years, from 2005 to 2009 and I have to say I loved it.

Some of that was because of the job. Some of that was because of the newness of it all. A lot of that was because of the people.

Sure, there were some things that got on my nerves, such as the rigid red-tape, the odd times where you were exposed to unbelievable cultural pettiness and the overall fear mentality … but they were small prices to pay for the chance to live in such a vibrant society.

Hell, they gave me permanent residency, let me sit on the governments ‘education’ council and allowed me to get married there so I’ll never, ever diss it too much because it gave me wonderful times, experiences and lessons.

However being back is always bitter sweet now.

I’m lucky a lot of my old friends are still here, despite many having left and of course, they have still have my beloved Funan Electronics Mall – where I have a never-ending choice of ridiculous gadgets all in one place – but stepping back into this wonderful country feels very strange to me from an emotional point of view.

I’ve written about this many times [for example, here] but maybe this time it’s stranger.

You see I always had this belief that I may move back to this city at some point in my life, but now I am coming to terms with the fact that is very unlikely.

I don’t know why that surprises me because I’ve learnt from a couple of terrible experiences to ‘never go back’, because nothing is the same as it once was and for a sentimental fool like me, that always leaves me feeling fucked up. But the fact is, it has surprised me because in all likelihood, my next move will not be to Singapore, but somewhere else.

Of course I don’t know where ‘somewhere else’ is and even though I have a couple of thoughts, the fact is there’s a high likelihood my time in Asia is coming to an end – at least a temporary end – and that’s sad and strange.

Yes, I know you should always be excited about the future and I am … but I love this part of the World, it has been incredibly good to me and has given me a chance to experience things that are beyond my wildest expectations but I don’t feel I have repaid my gratitude as much as I should or want to.

Of course there may still be time as I doubt my circumstances are going to change in the next six months at the very least and as much as I love Singapore – I utterly adore Shanghai – but as I walk around the streets of this place I once called home, I can’t help but feel a pang of sadness which – if I’m being honest – is extra pathetic given I fly back Monday morning.

Happy weekend.

Why Skin Whitening Cream Is A Crime Against Humanity …
March 27, 2014, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

For years, I have stated that one of the things that deeply bothers me about Asia is the prevalence of skin whitening creams.

I hate them.

I hate them for the reason why women feel they must use them.

I hate them for the reason why companies make them.

I hate them for the negative message it continues to promote to hundreds of millions of women throughout Asia.

You see in this part of the World having white skin is more than just about ‘a look’.

It’s not like in the West, where – ironically – tanned skin conveys health and wealth.

Here, the implications are far more, far reaching.

You see in Asia, there is the belief that darker looking skin means you come from a heritage of working in the fields.

The poor.

The lower-class.

The workers.

And there is the belief that if you don’t take action against it, it could have huge implications on how your life – and how your future families life – could turn out.

Now I appreciate you may think this is ridiculous and people should just get over it, but in a culture where myth and legend dictate so much, these are exactly the sort of beliefs that undermine confidence and hope.

And this is why all these skin care companies have jumped on this issue.

Rather than fight against it, they love keeping the women of Asia in their cultural jail.

Hell, even Dove – the brand that talks about being happy with who you are – are in on the act.

I remember at an awards judging last year, I had a major row with a senior Unilever marketer [a male] and their agency MD [also a mle] about this very issue and apart from denying Dove had any skin whitening product [which they do, as you can see here, not to mention the countless other skin whitening products Unilever produce as you can learn more about here] they tried to mock me for my my ‘exaggerated’ concerns.

Of course I understand that if they admitted to it, they would have to accept responsibility for it and no corporate toady employee is going to do that so I simply left them with the message that they either don’t give a shit about women – which must be terrible if they have a daughter – or they’re simply incredibly ignorant about what is really going on in this part of the World and they should fire their research agency immediately.

I’ve been desperate to work with a cosmetic brand ever since I got to this part of the World so I could encourage them to take the issue on, but alas, the opportunity hasn’t arisen for me yet … so instead, I would love anyone who works with a client or agency that makes or promotes skin whitening products to sit them down, show them this video and ask them to think about what they they’ve done.

Every day they have the chance to release women from their cultural prison cell.

Every day they choose profit over their soul.

Shame on them.