It’s new year’s day 2018 and while the usual is to make resolutions, I decided to be specific and intentional about a specific goal, as I want to develop a positive outlook on life and to live life excitingly and abundantly.
So I decided to keep a log of anything that I can be grateful for each day and also to look out for adventures – whether small or significant. Just adopting this perspective will be liberating, each day looking out for some small adventure.
Day 1. 1 Jan 2018 Monday. Today I spent time to I put together this short video of our visit to Pagani car factory. This had been a dream of my son since he was little. To fulfil this dream together is a wonderful experience.
Bologna, Italy Holiday video
Day 2. 2 Jan 2018 Tuesday. Today I sorted out photos and created a shared album of our family holiday. It’s the first time our 4 families from different parts of 2 countries have come together so it is a significant gathering for us.
Family bonding for the 1st time this large.
Day 3. 3 Jan 2018 Wednesday. I baked pizza. The previous week, I had the most amazing pizza slices where the crust was crunchy, not only at the edges but also at the centre portion where the toppings are. It was a delight to sink my teeth into a crunchy bread with my favourite toppings. So I attempted to re-create that experience at home so that my family could enjoy that any time.
Most recipes use all purpose plain flour and require the use of a pizza stone. I found a recipe that uses bread flour and a metal baking sheet. Here’s a picture of that crusty success!
Crunchy pizza bottom crust- Italian style
Day 4. 4 Jan 2018 Thursday. We took possession of a new car. It is a hybrid, something that is new to us. It runs on electrical battery as well as petrol. It has several innovative features, like land changing alert where there is a little icon that flashes on the rear view mirror to warn the driver of vehicles coming from the side lanes. Another feature I found exciting is this courtesy light that beams to the ground after the car is locked. I had never seen such a feature before and it was a pleasant surprise to discover it when the car was parked and locked. Here is a picture of that courtesy light.
New hybrid car
Day 5. 5 Jan 2018 Friday. I was walking around Ang Mo Kio center and chanced upon a hair salon advertising $3 haircut in celebration of their anniversary. I went in and said I only wanted the haircut and nothing else. After the haircut, I went to make payment but the stylist sat me on another chair and placed a digital magnifying glass to show the dandruff in my scalp. Another lady came to squirt some cream on my scalp. I thought this was all a sample for an upsell of their treatment package which I had no intention of getting. Soon he stylist starting massaging the scalp and it began to take too a long time for a simple sample. I made it clear that I want this cream to be washed off and I wanted to leave. At the cashier, I paid the $3 and that lady started to insist I make payment of several hundred dollars for the treatment. I told her I did not order it and she said I had not declined the treatment. It was clearly daylight robbery. So I called the police. It was my first time calling 999.
I googled this shop and found newspaper reports of court cases where ladies had been high pressured into four to five thousand dollars of hair packages. I waited outside the shop as it felt hostile inside. Almost an hour later the police came and basically told me to lodge a report with CASE – Consumer Association of Singapore. As there was no escalation to a physical fight, there was nothing for them to do.
Another newspaper report cited that out of the 81 complaints to CASE that year on hair salons, this New Station / eCoin salon had 20 complaints lodge. The articles were from 2012 and 2015. So clearly complaints to CASE have not stopped this company from continuing their trickery and hard selling. Their staff were all Mandarin speaking and none seem to be Singaporean. It is common knowledge that it is very difficult to employ foreigners to work in Singapore unless the ratio for locals is fulfilled. So instead of lodging a report with CASE, I submitted a note to Ministry of Manpower that there was a likely infringement of work permits. I hope this would lead to this establishment stopping their unethical scams of other vulnerable heartlanders.
Day 6. 6 Jan 2018 Saturday. I checked my email and found that I had a $15 Jetstar flight voucher. So I contacted Jetstar online chat to see how I could use it for an upcoming trip my son had booked for us. Turns out the name on the voucher is slightly different from the name in the flight. My son booked using my married name whereas the voucher was in my maiden name. The call centre agent said this could be changed by showing a copy of my marriage certificate.
Averting a disaster
I realised then that the $15 voucher was not as important than if we went to the airport expecting to check in and only then to be barred from boarding the plane due to the different names and at the last minute it would be very difficult to produce my marriage cert to show that the 2 names are of the same person. My son would have to fly alone to his first overseas competition and I would surely be flustered and anxious. Clearly God’s guidance and leading averted a disaster from happening. His mercy and grace indeed!
Day 7. 7 Jan 2018 Sunday. Being stirred and moved, I had an idea in my head so I sketched it. When we live for a greater purpose than ourselves, there is meaning, passion and adventure.
I felt my heart strangely warmed