Category Archives: rants

Be Careful with Carousell

I have been a carousell fanatic since I joined last month. Like seriously, nuts. I always thought that fleas were the best way to get great deals. I frequently pride myself on how cheap my clothes are, my other life attainments like getting a diploma and entering a local uni pale in comparison. But, alas, I have a new way of supporting my insatiable love for cheap clothes. fleas are great and all, but its actually quite physically draining. its a lot of squatting and sifting through clothes, and sweating. so many sweaty girls. what a horrific sight for me.

but Carousell allows me to get cheap clothes on the go. I’ve never really entertained the idea of online shopping. if they’re retail, like zalora or love bonito or whatever, its probably above $10. which is $5 more than I am used to. :/ if they’re second hand, like gumtree/ ebay, its just way too much of a hassle. formatting’s so hideous. words everywhere. its a damn mess. The trouble involved in setting up an account and carrying out the transaction is gonna waste more time than the money I’d save. But carousell has totally revamped online shopping for me. I have bought like I think $50 worth of stuff in a month, all amazing quality and from super friendly people :))) And I got rid of the stuff I have lost interest in as a well.

So I have new pretty clothes, got rid of my unwanted stuff. And I still profit what sorcery is this.

The moral of the story here is that Carousell rocks. However, the unregulated ease of transactions also mean that people have a lot of discretion to do harm.

A friend of mine recently transferred a deposit of $720 on two iphones to this carouseller, following which he became uncontactable. He deleted his listing so the conversations are gone as well. She then created a new account and chatted with his newly created persona, whom she found to indeed be him when he provided the same mobile and bank account number. Police investigations are still ongoing.

Some ways to prevent yourself from getting scammed on carousell:

1) Always choose cash on delivery. Deposits to show sincerity/ commitment requires a little too much trust in a complete stranger. Its not like a tenancy agreement that has proper contracts drawn up. You’re transferring money to a person you know very very little about. Especially if its a large purchase, like over $30, COD is the way to go. Plus, you get to conduct your own QC.

2) Research your seller. Look at his feedback. How long he’s been on carousell. How many listings he has. If he created that one listing, has no feedback, no followers and registered his account 2 days ago, then he’s a long way from proving himself a trustworthy seller. Even if your seller has positive feedback, the users who provided them have to be researched too. He could have easily created another account to give himself positive feedback.

3) Obtain as many details as possible before committing to an offer. That means his name, number, colour of his cat. Make sure that if he does scam you, it would be, in the very least, a major inconvenience for him. Give him a call to verify if the number is legit. My friend’s scammer even provided ‘his sister’s’ number and two different bank accounts to choose from. This scammer was quite detailed in his scam. Then again, bank accounts and phone numbers are easily traceable by the police. Once those personal details are provided, they are opening themselves up to being tracked.

4) Avoid rushing into a deal. Scammers like to push forward a deal by acting impatient or informing you there are other buyers. Do not be rushed into a deal you are not 100% comfortable with. Most carousellers are leisurely people playing with their phones tryna make a little money and have some fun talking with people who show an interest in their stuff. If your seller sounds like he is weirdly eager to close a deal with you, it is possible that he is more concerned with profit than your interests. If you choose to deal with him anyway in spite of his peculiar impatience, refer to the above three points to prevent yourself from getting scammed.

Carousell is a great place with very little regulation. Buyers and sellers deal with one another with no interference from Carousell’s administrators and that makes it an awesome medium for sincere buyers and sellers to get what they want. However, the dearth of regulation also guarantees frequent exploitation of ignorant carousellers who don’t know how to protect their interests.

btw, I know my language suggests that only guys can be scammers. pardon my insensitivity to sexist remarks like that. in Dr Cox’s words; “In this day and age, it’s damn hard to know what’s kosher.”

update: there’s been no updates by the police. they claim that is related to a broader overseas scam and needs more work. ?? I though it was a straight forward case but I guess not.


the beautician pandemic

not too long ago, it was hardly considered a profession to do facials, cut hair or trim eyebrows. Customers are now clients. And these aunties who provide beauty treatments are now beauticians, equipped with high tech devices that can zap away hair, close up your pores and remove cellulite. Or at least they claim to do so.

beyond the namesake and the fancy equipment, they’re also downright skilled manipulators out to exploit the fragile self esteem of women and young girls alike.

why do I find them so distasteful? because for a brief period in secondary school I was duped. majorly duped. Here are some things I’ve good amounts of contempt for with regards to persons of this ‘profession’.

 

number one. they have zero scientific training. they throw out jargon like micro-, derma-, endo-, therma– etc. to make their services sound like they are backed by rigorous testing and expert knowledge; pseudoscience. some of them even wear labcoats to complete this facade.

number two. their prices are insane. all these ‘beauty boutiques/clinics’ have this menu of extremely ridiculously priced services slashed down to still ridiculously priced services. they throw in package here package there and then say that this is a super good deal because it was actually priced that much before. anyone that has stepped into these places will know that these beauticians are completely unabashed with persuading you to buy beauty packages worth thousands of dollars.

number three. they don’t stop selling. during a treatment, they will continue to try to add more to your tab. you bought a facial for $50 and then halfway through it they will say there’s a essence they can add to help you heal better for $20. they claim that if you don’t buy it, your pores can’t close as well and you would have to come back more often, wasting you more money. they have no qualms selling you add-ons during and after treatment after you’ve already reluctantly paid hundreds thinking that was the final cost. bunch of vultures they are.

number four. they put you down to get you to buy their services. even though you’re not say on the verge of having to forfeit your Miss Singapore crown or end your modelling contract because of your horrendous skin/hair/nails/waistline/small neh neh, they make you feel compelled to correct your substandard skin/hair/nails/waistline/neh neh, as if choosing to walk out from committing to the treatments is tantamount to refusing to correct a moral failure that they have been so kind as to point out to you and are willing to help you with. you won’t find such kindness elsewhere! similarly, if you buy their cheaper range of services and refuse their recommanded extras, they make you feel like you’ve made some fatal mistake and are too cheap and foolish to know what’s good for you.

 

 

 

 

on a completely unrelated side note,

Today I did my 3D Eyebrow Embroidery by the Beauty Boutique at Clementi Central for $398 with additional touch up! Super love it!

IMG_1242


chill your teets

i just saw this on newnation: a less annoying version of temasek

Photo stolen from here

Again, its filled with the usual comments.”try taking it everyday! esp at 730am in the morning!”, “ask him to experience the breakdown and walking in the dark tunnel!”, “everyday get chauffered around, he will never know what its like!”

YAWN. my nose pores exuding oil is a more fascinating activity than this discussion.

Honest to god, I don’t think its that big a deal. its not like you’re suffering beyond belief. train breakdowns are inconvenient and a hassle, but for god’s sake they are damn infrequent if you think about it in terms of a percentage. a couple of breakdowns over a span of 20 years? its really not that bad. yes its more frequent now but hell, they’re getting better, at least at communicating apologies. they’ve set up forums, they put out instant notices across stations and social media and shuttle buses. give them a break. what incentive do they have to disappoint the haughty Singaporeans.fees are too expensive? subsidies are being rolled out now. give it a moment. stop being so unhappy and vile!

i’m not gonna compare our train services with say, india and say we’re awesome. but even if you compare it with places likes japan and hongkong, its the SAME. its all the SAME. highly dense population and high concentration of traffic. there hasn’t been a solution other than those anyone else can think of: more frequent trips, staggered work timings, incentivise non-peak period travelling. its still not enough and its become a condition rather than a problem.

notwithstanding that its not realistically solvable right now, why would people take train experiences so deeply anyway? Its always been built for speed and utility, not comfort. Mass rapid transit, not comfortRAILleisure. its not comfortable, its not pleasant (when its crowded) and you may have to queue up to get in if you even can. but even in the peakest of peaks, you CAN get on the train within 10 mins tops, you WILL get where you need to be, you just won’t be given a milkshake, a massage and a pillow for the long and laborious day you’ve had (or are about to have). when I’m in packed trains and my cheek is just pressed up against the door panel, I just zone out. i’m not thinking ‘ this sucks this sucks this sucks so much. my face pores are gonna exude oil and then take in other people’s remnant oil and sweat. this sucks this sucks this sucks so much. argh SMRT you guys are the worst. bloody elites dont know what its like to be poor and have to carry the stench of public transport on their bodies as they get along with their day.”, I’m really just thinking, “I’m feeling kinda warm. that guy over there looks cute. why cant he be pressed against me instead of this uncle wearing a hangten shirt. what should I have for dinner? I should finally watch frozen.”

why take the train experience so seriously? perhaps it reflects a deeper discomfort you have with your life. monotonous, cramp, filled with foreigners, exhausting, kinda stinky, hot, boring. maybe its symbolizes everything you hate about singapore. and you can’t help but associate the train experience with all that negativity. i get it, sometimes i feel that way too.when my day is going badly, and im tired and i just wanna go home, the train experience just adds to the gloom cause you’re shoulder to shoulder with all the other unhappy people with cheating wives at home and fucked up bosses at work.

but just be objective about it. its okay to voice displeasure but be sure you’re being realistic about your concerns. be reasonable and not be so eager to drag out flaws into the limelights that can’t be helped. its like dragging an ugly man into the open and asking his mother to fix him. work on his bad penmanship, or his gallivanting ways. not things that are right now, too expensive to change. okay that was a bad example. the point is, the gov and SMRT are gonna work for the majority, you have to work with whats good for you. if you hate the crowds with a vengeance, wake up earlier to avoid the 715-745 crowd. if its a habit youre too lazy to adopt than thats your bloody problem. if you hate the crowds cos youre a dainty lass and you dont want uncles in bossini tees up against you, push the government for a woman only cabin. don’t bitch for the sake of bitching, be specific and constructive. don’t be so boringly unpleasant.


Youth Volunteerism

There’s an answer for everything. How does one, in spite living in a self-serving environment, empathise for others?

You are reminded over and over again that charity is important. You are briefly schooled on your nation’s tumultuous social history. You clock in hours for community involvement. That effort might have been you collecting newspapers for recycling or tong-ing your own pocket money into flag day cans or teaching in an after-school programme for at risk children or packing bags for NDP. Whatever it was, your teachers were there, what you did was recorded and reflected in your school report. That is how important volunteerism is. Your community involvement records are of interest to your academic facility. and perhaps to a future employer.  If you can take the time to do things that benefit others and not yourself, that shows character. that shows you understand a cause larger than yourself. that your time and effort does not have to translate into any kind of monetary appreciation to be worthwhile to sacriface. You accumulate certs and souvenirs and acquaintances and vouchers and free shirts instead.

Isn’t that just one ginormous ironic cookie.

Sometime last year I volunteered (cca compulsory duty) at a youth-initiated event. I was supposed to take part in forming the longest dragon structure in the world. sounded pretty strange, but yea ok wth.

Volunteering for this particular event made me realise a significant portion of volunteer events are no longer about teaching empathy or learning about the community’s needs. It was just about youths. Annoyingly excitable and pseudo-passionate youths with the backing of sponsors executing their annoying excitable and pseudo-passionate events. You know what I’m talking about.

I spend that Saturday afternoon among hundreds of sweaty youth volunteers taking part in an array of useless activities that remotely underscored the spirit of youth volunteerism. the activities were: bean bag fights, cosplay, the long dragon thing, some singing performances. If I were to squint both my eyes and look upon this mass of meaningless, I can imagine that the general theme at play is the celebration of  youthful exuberance. but that’s cos I was squinting really hard.

about_shine

I’ve got no problem with youths volunteering for stuffs. free energetic labour in exchange for some useful life experience. win-win. But its gotten to a point where we’re losing sight of what we should be volunteering for. That event turned me off so badly because the acitivities were way too youth-centric and self serving you just know some enthu bunch of youngsters had gone crazy because they were given a carte blanche to just do what they felt like doing.

The whole thing just felt grossly contrived, like it was some kinda free for all CCA points- giveaway session. the activities were hardly the sort that could give the volunteers valuable life experience. As it turned out, there were so many volunteers we had to take turns holding up the sticks of the dragon structure. that’s right, there were at least 2 volunteers for every stick of the orchard-road long dragon structure. That day struck me in a weird way. I was emptied and bored yet filled with resentment.

My point is that we’ve really gotta keep a handle on the sort of volunteer activities youths are allowed to do. Charity and non-profit organisations are vital in rooting a community and making sure people aren’t left behind. Youths need to be directed towards giving themselves to the causes that combat deficiency present in the lower rungs of society. They should not be allowed to do whatever the hell they want to do.

If youths want to form an interest group or develop their anklong playing talents or carry out an event that promotes Japanese culture then tell them to raise the money themselves. If they really do have the excitement and passion they claim to have, they should have no problem working hard to raise funds on their own.  the deficit should be borne by them because that’s the real price of ‘your dreams’.

The adults have got to cut it out too. letting youngsters take charge and obtain funds as they please. If you truly stand for keeping young passions and dreams alive, save the platforms and rewards for real talents like perhpas Little Lauren Yeo, this 9 year old who won the American Protege International Vocal Competition in Classical singing last year.

and  god help me, if I hear another adult say “inculcate in our youth a sense of..” another time, I’ll seriously shoot myself.


caught in a bad romance

Two weeks back I was in Cambodia visiting my mum and visited an orphanage. It was set up by Catholic missionaries.

The children are about one to five years of age. Some actually aren’t orphans. Its just that their parents are unable to care for them and visit them here from time to time  instead.

The caretakers carry a child in one hand and swing about an electrical mosquito zapper with the other. Its 35 degrees Celsius and the whirring fans are at full speed. “Jesus loves me this I know, ow ow owowowowowowo.” (caught in a bad romance) The CD player’s a tad cranky from the heat.

There are two boards placed up high on the main wall. One has pictures of all the kids. The other has pictures of successful adoption cases.

I would say I like animals. I can’t love them.

I would say I love children. I can’t raise them. Ones that aren’t mine at least.

I am amazed by people who have the capacity to raise and love a child that isn’t theirs.

I could play with the children. Discipline them a little here and there. Feed them.  And then I leave. I understand that that’s all I will ever give. A couple of hours that they may feel cared for. It’s really quite unmeaningful. (I know unmeaningful is not a word.)  It’s even a tad selfish. I’m really fooling myself into thinking its for them.

I most recently watched Game of Thrones Season 3 and was reminded of how Lady Stark struggled to love her husband’s illegitimate son, Jon Snow. Some kid he had with some woman he brought back from some war. I struggled with it too. HE IS DOWNRIGHT ADORABLE. But I guess if she didn’t mistreat him, he would never have developed some lovely weepy eyes. He would never have been honed to make everyone have a soft spot for his delicate whimpering spirit.

But back to loving and raising someone who isn’t biologically yours. If the kid’s your husband’s then well he’s just a reminder of the woman he fertilized. Every cell of his body has a part you hate and a part you don’t want to hate.  I love Lady Stark btw. I think if someone as motherly and graceful as her couldn’t love Jon Snow then I can’t say I expect anyone too. This is ridiculous. She’s fictional.

Anyways

If on the other hand, the kid is being adopted, he’s a.. fresh page? Not quite, no? particularly with angmo-asian combos, the kid grows up in full knowledge his biological parents could not or would not raise him. If he had ‘proper reasons’ like they were in a car accident or sent to the moon on a secret mission, then alright he was wanted. Just unlucky. But if its obvious he was an unwanted child, then I think alot of love and understanding would be needed to make sure he grows up feeling he was never an orphan.

I guess what I’m trying to say is

maybe I’m not against abortions.

Lives are sacred. The more we should make sure they’re lived well.


being friendzoned

I have tried my best to not use this word cos the animation of a giant novelty stamp being stamped on some poor guys forehoead keeps appearing in front of me. hahaha poor guy.

but honestly, i hear this word all the time. at first, i didn’t wanna think about it. i didn’t like putting a name on something that was.. so real. My dip plus in psych programme is over now. and what i remember most from it were the times i was reading the text and thought to myself holy crap why is this in words? what wizardry is this! my inner most thoughts that i thought were oh so private and unique were actually so common and predictable.

and this friendzone thing is one of those things i don’t like being all spelt out and exposed in literary form. (even typing the word irks me but i must carry on) Placing a title on someone to limit what they mean to you. it is so common. but in order for someone to be friendzoned, there has to be someone accepting being in one. little sister zone, gay best buddy zone, older brother zone so many zones. even slutzoned. theres the zoner and the zonee. i think thats how bad boys get away with doing douchey things. they expect to get women by sometimes explicitly telling them that they are theirs to have. they have the confidence of doing douchey things and they expect girls to accept their terms. but i think douchery has to be honed. its learnt behaviour. the more women in their life accept their douchery, the more confident they become that their douchery will be accepted. and douchery’s great! you get to limit girls from meaning anything important to you and they’ll still try their hardest to get you to change your mind. aka slutzoned. (or as himym would say: to be on someone’s hook)  alright maybe thats too harsh. they’re actually nice ppl  who placed their love in the wrong guy. they share the same fate as friendzoned guys. just that on top of heartbreak there’s a whole host of other consequences.

but lets head out of the slutzone and enter the friendzone territory again.

some say youre not supposed to be too nice so that girls wont take you for granted and never actually date you aka get friendzoned. but it think thats misguided talk. i think you can be as nice as you want (which shouldnt be a problem assuming a guy really likes a girl) but also be SUPER CLEAR you want her (potentially a huge problem even if a guy really likes a girl). yes most times its like duh of course he likes you does it even need to be said?

yea kinda. really the longer it is even remotely unclear, the longer she can accept/dismiss your niceness for now and the longer she can continue to not have to deal with what she thinks might be your feelings for her. she has to convince herself you don’t like her/ like her enough because she doesnt wanna spend time questioning it all. well yea, its possible she doesnt want to spend time thinking about you because she doesn’t like you anyway. but she might like you a little? and it could have grown into really really like if she wasn’t gradually nudged (by the amiguity) towards friendzoning you. (GIANT NOVELTY STAMP ACROSS YOUR FACE: FRIENDZONED!)

its like wanting to be in this country but this country will only grant you a long term visa/ PR status and not citizenship. do you accept these terms? if you would rather be in this country and accept the visa than have to pack up and leave, then stay. continue to devote your life as a hardworking member of society in this zone. its better than being out in the cold outside of the borders. if not, do some kind of protest, maybe try to get other countries to intervene, make some efffort to prove yourself more than worthy. how much you care bout gaining citizenship in this country will determine how long you’ll keep at it and how hard you’ll fight for it, till you get what you deserve. youre devoted to this country and this country damn well better grant you citizenship and all the benefits attached to it!

POSTSECRET

ive blogged twice in a matter of days! i must be escaping from work alot again. heheh. screw you clinical chem and immunohematology datasheets, biochem tutorials and basic pathology BRCA research,  i have important matters to blog about! [THINGS I’LL DO TMRW ZONE!]


my faith in avene’s facial cleanser

A long time ago. i was a daily user of avene’s facial cleanser. that is not to say that my faith in it did not fluctuate. hell, it went up and down every few days. when the ups lasted for a week or more, it felt awesome. like omg i finally have in my possession the only cleanser i will use for the rest of my life. this is.. this is what love must feel like man. but the downs. damn. they made me.. tired. i still had to continue using it because, well, it was the only one available, i kinda had a routine going on then and it had worked before, albeit for a brief moment in time. maybe its me. maybe its the weather. and when i try maybe some other cleanser like st ive’s facial scrub and my skin gets worse then i’ll be so upset i tried something else and failed. then i begin to pledge allegiance to avene’s facial cleanser again. even if things didn’t get better after i went back to using avene’s, i stayed put. like it was punishment for straying. and i had to gain loyalty points before my skin could get better again.

alas, i realised my folly.

why am i patronizing a facial cleanser.

i have plenty of other facial cleansers to choose from. hell, some ppl dont even use facial cleansers and rub their faces on the ground and still turn out fine. i may sometimes feel their need to deem other people’s dependance on facial cleansers as a sign of weakness unnecessary but i still understand where they come from.

cos ive seen people use avene’s facial cleanser for a really really long time and their skin is great. they’re happy. and i’m happy for them that they’re happy. i truely am. i wish i could be as happy as them. maybe i didn’t trust in it enough. maybe i should have freaking used it hourly not daily. maybe im supposed to use it with their night gel, day cream, toner, or what have you. i mean, thats what they say right? best results when used together with blablabla. you didnt do those other things so you didn’t get the full package. thats why it all fell apart. c’mon try again. this time, try harder.

but just the thought of going through all that again makes me frown. who’s to say im a different person now and its gonna work out differently. it feels like everytime i try it and then stop using it, i’m told another reason why. but i don’t think ive changed all those times. its kinda convenient to keep telling me i have, don’t you think.

in fact, the people who tell me those things don’t always have great skin themselves. sometimes it even feels like the people who have the worst skins have the most information and trust about a certain type of facial cleanser. and im thinking to myself, hey why not fix your diet a little. drink more water, reduce your stress level or sth. but alright, im glad you can have faith in the one thing thats not helping your problems. and at the same time, be able to look past them just so that what you believe in makes sense to you. i mean, to each his own man. whatever makes you happy.

alright im rambling here. but lemme end off this story.  remember i said i  was a daily user a long time ago? now im using erm im not sure bout the brand actually. its this bluish white milky kind of liquid. i was pretty happy with it at first cos it was pretty mild. i thought, hey this suits me. my skin got better for a bit. then recently its downhill again. all hail, the ups and downs of using a facial cleanser. i can’t believe im going through this again.

i think i’m a fool sometimes. i mean. i actually believe that there is a facial cleanser out there that suits all skin types. i really do. i mean. i don’t really buy into the idea that people of different skin types should use different types of cleansers, that are catered specifically to their skin type. yes to some extent its true, but there HAS to be some magic formula that improves your skin quality, irregardless of your colour, pigmentation, genetic disposition and all that. i mean we’re all humans, we all have the same kinda skin. the same dermatologic constituents that make up the same epidermal layer, no? is it crazy to want to believe that there is only one true facial cleanser. lots of brands claim to be that. ive tried many brands. and, its never the case. to me, its gotto be downright absolute. i dun wanna hear that different skin types respond differently to the cleanser. thats too easy. you think you can override your flaws and loopholes just by saying that? you want me to trust in it through receiving gratification vicariously off other people’s testimonies? i can’t! it should work naturally for me. i could do it, i could get by. but i’ll be wasting my time, energy, and lets be honest, money on this faith. for this cleanser. that actually, is the same 10 ingredients every other facial cleanser in the market has.

sigh. maybe i’ve been too caught up in this facial cleanser business. perhaps i should place my faith in other things. try pills instead. or masks. or eating more fruits. omg fruit masks! thats an idea! aiya try all la try all la.