How to Love Genuinely

I recently come across this video about Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo speaking about genuine love and I feel deeply touched and inspired by it. It’s not the first time that I dwell in this topic. I have been reading and reflecting on myself to try to understand how do I feel love? give love? and receive love? And when I first encountered the concept of genuine love, I was truly moved and inspired to be able to love like that. Since then, I’ve been learning and training myself to be able to love people genuinely and also to inspire my love ones be able to do the same thus hopefully we able to collectively create an environment where everybody is genuinely be happy and having peace in the mind.


The problem is always that we mistake the idea of love for attachment. We imagine that the grasping and clinging that we have in our relationships shows that we love. Whereas actually, it is just attachment which causes pain because the more we grasp, the more we are afraid to lose then if we do lose, then of course, we are going to suffer. Attachment says “I love you therefore I want you to make me happy.” and Gunuine love says “I love you therefore I want you to be happy. If that includes me, great! If it doesn’t include me, I just want your happiness.” So it’s a very different feeling. Attachment is like holding very tight. But genuine love is like holding very gently nuturing, but allowing things to flow not to be held tightly. The more tightly we hold on to others, the more we will suffer. But it’s very hard for people to understand that because they think that the more we hold on to someone the more it shows that they care about them. But it’s not, it’s really just that they’re trying to grasp at something because they are afraid that otherwise they themselves will be hurt. Any kind of relationships which imagines that we can fulfill ourselves through another is bound to be very tricky. Ideally people should come together already feeling fulfill within themselves and just therefore appreciating that in the other rather than expecting the other to supply that sense of well-being which they don’t feel on their own. Then there’s a lot of problems. And also along with the projection which comes with romance where we project all our ideas, ideals and desires, and romantic fantasies on to the other which the other cannot possibly fulfill. Once you get to know them you realize that it’s not prince charming or Cinderella. It’s just a very ordinary person who’s also struggling. And unless one is able to see them with, to like them as well as feel desire for them and to also have loving kindness and compassion then it’s going to be a very difficult relationship.

How to Love Genuinely

Vientiane, Laos Trip

This is my 2nd time visiting Vientiane. This time round I’m here alone on a business trip to train engineer in Laos. And I’m here for 2 weeks which is a long trip. Despite that, I haven’t really been visiting exploring much because of busy schedule. I only have evening and night time to go around but I find that I don’t really dare to go out at night. Along the street is pretty dark and there isn’t much city lighting and it’s quite quiet, very little traffic. So I don’t really feel that safe to go out alone. I thought of renting a motor bike but at the thought of riding alone, I decided not to.

I find that people over here are very laid back. Not much businesses, street not very bustling, and no high rise building. Spending two weeks here is pretty tough. Most of the evening, I just order room service for dinner. Good thing is that the hotel food is quite good. Most of my adventure are trying out different food. So here is some brief snapshot of my Laos trip.

I was booked for City Inn Vientiane hotel. I like this it here. My previous trip I stayed at Saibaidee@Lao Hotel which is like USD 20 more expensive but not very much better. The wifi at City Inn is so much faster but the breakfast not as good and less variety. Room-wise, I think they are more or less the same.

Day 1

Breakfast at hotel. During lunch, I was brought to this place called Chokdee Dimsum Gold Restaurant. They had dim sum buffet and other non-buffet dishes as well. I ordered BBQ Pork Rice and Iced Milk Ovaltine. And my Laos colleagues ordered some other side dishes. My BBQ Pork Rice was not bad. The Ice Milk Ovaltine was also quite good because they don’t use condense milk like in Cambodia. They use fresh milk and they made it not so sweet. But my highlight of the lunch would have to be the fried dumpling with chili. The fried dumpling was very nice and goes very well with the chili though very spicy.


For dinner, I ordered room service. Actually, that was the first time, that I ordered meal room service from hotel. Usually, I find that they are very overpriced, so I don’t really order. Anyway, my order were Cream of Mushroom Soup, Garlic Bread, Spicy Chick Wings and Spaghetti Bolognese.

Day 2

Breakfast as usual at hotel. During lunch, my Laos colleague brought me to try their really local food. Lap Lao Beef eaten with sticky rice. They seem to find it very delicious that they ordered like 3 servings of it. For me, it’s not particularly that good because first of it contains pra hok (smelly fermented fished thing) and secondly, there were a lot of vegetables, most of which are not to my liking.


For Dinner, again room service. French Fries, Corn and Spinach Au Gratin, Chicken Spring Rolls and latte for late night caffeine as it was going to be a long night working. The Corn and Spinach Au Gratin is actually a mistaken order. I placed order for 713 but some how the room service guy must have heard 703. I tried it anyway. It was not bad but it was just too corny that I was unable to each much of it.


Day 3

Breakfast at hotel as usual. For lunch, I was brought to the nearby Pho noodle store. I ordered a large bowl pho and coconut shake. I had to say it was good Dinner room service: Golden Fried Prawn, Cream of chicken soup, and Chicken Cordon Bleu.


Day 4

Breakfast at hotel as usual. During lunch, my Laos colleague brought me to Pizza company which would not be my choice of food-to-try in Vientiane. Anyway I ordered seafood spaghetti and chicken wings. Nothing spectacular to review.

Day 5

Again the usual breakfast at hotel. Lunch with Allen at this western buffet restaurant.
Went Swedish Pizza had worst seafood spaghetti ever. Thin Hawaiian pizza and banana shake.
Room service at hotel.

Day 6

Thailand. Porridge at Udon. Seafood. KFC.

Day 7

Breakfast at hotel. Lunch at Chokdee Dimsum Gold Restaurant. Dinner Room Service: Cream of Chicken Soup, Chicken Spring Rolls, Mix Fresh Fruit Juice and Grilled Fish in Lemon Butter Sauce.

Day 8 – Day 10

One of the days, they took me out of town to Thailand (specifically Udong Thani and Nong Khai). We dropped by PTT for a quick 7Eleven breakfast and Amazon coffee. Then at some road side porridge which was delicious. Then we went to Home Pro where I went nuts and wanted to buy everything. Then the highlight of the day was the lunch seafood (pic below). The tom yum was awesome. The grill squid was fantastic. And then there was the mini lobster or tiger prawn whatever you want to call it, which I don’t have time to describe because I was busy devouring them. It was very fresh and well grilled. I ate everything from head to tail. But in order to enjoy the food, you have to have quite high tolerance for spiciness (which Thailand is famous for) because everything is really spicy.

Other than that, I totally lost track hahaha and it’s been a long post. All in all, I think this is the trip that actually gave me a proper introduction to Vientiane. The first time was we were to busy and exhausted by work. Compared to Phnom Penh, Vientiane is still a far more serene, laid-back,  chilled city I think. It’s a good place to visit just to readjust a your tempo and experience a slower pace of life.

Vientiane, Laos Trip

Gullible, Insensible, Irrational World

These few days (Local Spelling: បុណ្យភ្ជុំបិណ្ឌ) is Pchum Ben festival in the country, an occasion where people mostly return to their hometown to meet family and preparing offering to bring to pagoda to pray and pay tribute to their ancestors. Since, I’m pretty much a city boy I don’t really have a hometown to go so generally I come along with my wife to her hometown. It’s probably one of the few occasions that we get to visit.

For my wife, this is a rejuvenating break where she is geographically away from work and get to spoil herself with food and sleep. Her simple version of escape is to get away from complex and hectic city life back to her root where things are simplified and people are simplified. Every time she comes back her mood turns cheerful, her skin turns fresh and her mind is at rest (well at least not until people start criticizing her weight, her life etc.).

For me, that was probably the only good thing of coming here. It makes her happy. The time here for me are mostly reflection time because every time I’m here a lot of thoughts never fail to cross my mind from things I hear and people I observe. It never fails to provoke me into switching on my laptop to write. Even after I’ve just recovered from heavy flu and about to pack up and go back I do not want to leave the thought hanging without penning it down.

Frankly, I don’t even know where to start or how to best describe without showing vindictive intent. 🙂 Well not exactly, but some time it really upsets me to be just a powerless bystander. There is a saying that you can’t teach an old dog a new trick. But this is more like a next level old poorly educated deep culturally rooted stubborn dog so much so that if they were reading this text they would probably stop right here and make an angry takeaway that I’m comparing them to a dog. Even when all I did was just adding more descriptive adjective to the metaphor in the idiom. Even as we were having dinner yesterday, I was telling my wife when I come here it always remind me to question myself again why did I return to this country after working so hard to leave this place and continued to stay out of it.

When we come to the province, it’s always the same routine where we go around meeting all the relatives, showing our courtesy, and endure through the repetitive generic conversations and questions. Why are you so fat? Why don’t you lose some weight? How much are you making now? The son/daughter/nephew/niece of this uncle/that auntie is making $XXX? Why you still cannot afford a car? When are you going to have kid? Why you keep so long? it’s not good. My first few encounters were excruciating. Then eventually I just learn to listen from left ear and let it out through right ear filtering for content that is worth listening to. I’m probably not the best person to rant about family value and making human connection. But I’m pretty sure that family are not supposed to be agent that apply social pressure and status quo on each other. Or probably I wasn’t brought up that way.

I understand that people here love making connection and keeping in touch. Personal relationship and friendship rules over everything. I have also observed that underneath all that is a thick layer of gossip, status quo comparison, hypocrisy and lies. This is the culture and way of life here. I can tell it’s not something that can simply change by logical reasoning. What I know is that it’s definitely something that I do not want to be a part of. However, it’s also not something I can easily distant myself from. Sometime, I don’t even know if I’m angry, frustrated, upset, sad or miserable. Probably all once. All I know is that I’ve been overseas for a very long time, I’ve trained myself both personally and academically. I have seen progressive society. Then when I have to come back to a society where majority of people still so gullible, insensible, irrational and corrupted. I just felt hopelessness. People go around throw big words about patriotism, national progress, blah blah. But in actuality, everybody is like a starving dog who would selfishly do anything to survive and keep its family alive.

I’m not a country changer, big talker and any political leader material. I know that for a fact. I’m an engineer in profession and an artist, designer, casual photographer and gamer, anime lover, movie enthusiast, book lover, board game hoarder in hobby. I’m passionate about what I do, what I love, and the people I love. I know my place and my role in society. And I believe that’s how society progresses. Everybody knows their place and play their role passionately, professionally with honesty and integrity. That’s exactly how it is when I was back in Singapore. And everything makes perfect sense. Everybody lives in harmony. But here? People want high position, bigger title, more pay, less work. And I’m not going to start talking engineer (for my area which is software) quality. It really doesn’t make sense to me at all. The logical thing is that if you’re not good enough, you be looking for opportunity to learn and grow to fulfill your role. And if I meet someone who’s smarter and full of knowledge, I would be delighted because there would be so much things I can learn from him/her. But here from my experience in working environment so far, it’s a complete opposite.

With all that said, I have also met and known truly great people. I really admire what they are doing to try to change whatever I’m complaining about in the generation to come. I really sincerely pray for blessing to their endeavor from my heart because what they do is selfless and will pave way for many people children including mine. I’m also grateful that I have known and befriend them because only the thought and connection with these group of people that keep my candle of hope for this country up and keep me grounded in this God forsaken country. And of course my most beloved family and wife.

Gullible, Insensible, Irrational World


Happy New Year folks!

It’s this time of the year again! Time to write super long post summing up the past 365 days, do some reflection and make some resolution for the coming 365 days.

Honestly I feel this that New Year resolution thing hasn’t really worked out for me so far. The reflection does help but every year it has been a new challenge. Even to simply just trying to prevent the pass problem from occurring is a challenge to itself. Anyway, here it goes.

Let’s follow 2015 pattern and start with world. Too busy don’t really have time to keep up with the news much but the general feel is quite similar to 2015. Tragedy, arm conflict, terrorism. It’s just depressing that’s why I don’t really follow news that much anymore.


Now on to personal life. Let’s start with work. After 9 months at my first job in Cambodia, I was headhunted to a new place. It’s unlike me to switch job so quickly but after a lot of thoughts and discussion with family, I decided to give it a try. I decided to go for the new place primarily because I don’t have much to learn at my old place and I couldn’t fit into their super heavy drinking culture or should I say I don’t want to. Apart from that, it’s also because the new place is an MNC and I haven’t worked with MNC before. So I want to try working in corporate world.

Then time flies and now I’ve been at the new place for 3 months. It’s not that amazing. I face a new set of challenges. Let’s see:
The Good:

  • Better office.
  • Travel opportunity.
  • Stronger resource i.e. better learning opportunity.
  • Expatriates i.e. chance to work with a lot of foreigners.
  • Better bonus.
  • Better facilities.
  • More organized.
  • More training and personal development arrangement.
  • Lawful and official.

The Bad:

  • IT people are still a drinking bunch though not as much.
  • In my department, people are rowdy and rude.
  • People are more selfish. They only see their KPI and personal benefit. The general attitude is if-you-feed-me-I-feed-you. Both literally and figuratively.
  • A lot of work politic.
  • New boss not as good as old boss.
  • Longer work hour. Though it say 05:30 pm but usually, I only knock-off around 6:30 or 7:00 pm.
  • After-work social obligation.
  • More work pressure.

So yeah, once again, it just goes to prove that there is no place perfect. Not even in the big nice heavily decorated company. Honestly, I feel a lot more stressed in the new place than my old place. And the sad thing is that it was never about work. If it’s just work, I would enjoy it and breeze through. It’s the political and social obligation and pressure that are responsible for the stress. Personally, I don’t even understand why people here don’t like to go home rest and play some game or read some books and enjoy time with family. Even if go out, why not just go for a coffee or simple restaurant dinner or movie like people in Singapore? Why must it always involve alcohol and KTV? It’s basically like a mainstream culture where everybody conforms to. And if you don’t and you can’t fake it, then you are more or less and outcast. So that’s pretty much sums up the work portion.

Aside from my 9-to-5 day job, I’ve also started to take more outside responsibilities and invest my time on outside work and business opportunity. After a year plus at home, I begin to see a lot of potential for business in this country. I started to talk a lot more with like-minded people about various opportunity. There are also a lot of young people here who are hungry for success and freedom. So I started investing my time on seeking business opportunity with people. I know that I’m not a business person. I’m an engineer at heart. I don’t really like networking with people and such. This is where I rely on other people to take care of that. All I know is that I’m resourceful and business needs resourceful people to run. So that’s where I figure I can come in to play. So I spend my available free time to help my brother in their business, join my wife’s business group and help realizing their business idea. I kinda enjoy my time with all the young business-minded self-driven people. We are all investing our free time to start a project which hopefully can ripe into a fruitful venture.


That’s pretty much work. Still sucks but a necessity to feed family. Here comes the core of it all. Marriage and family. How’s everything? I honestly don’t know but at times, I feel that I’m not really handling it well enough. Marriage life by itself is great and easy. But when other complication like work, duty, or family come in it turns into one big horrible mess. And logic doesn’t help to solve and tidy up the mess. And that’s where it become a major challenge for me. I’m a very logical person and I do what is logical but when logic doesn’t work, it becomes very tricky. For a guy, I feel the responsibility as a provider. So when we are in financial pressure, I feel the need to step up and provide. How to? The only way I know. Work hard. Both at work and outside work. Invest more time on various opportunity. And working hard doesn’t mean just sitting at desk and working but it also means fulfilling social obligation that potentially, or more like definitely, eats up your personal time and attention that could otherwise be provided to your spouse and family. The lack of attention make people upset and depressed. Basically, to me, everybody and everything needs a lot of undivided attention and I am only able to provide to one at a time. And when I distribute my attention poorly (base on logic), people get upset, things get complicated, and the hair on my head start falling. I have to start making sacrifices which I don’t even feel that it’s making anything much better. I always thought that I’m already doing my best to be the best version of me for those I love. I work hard. I get decent pay. I seek growth. I reject bad influence even at being alone. I despise drinking. I dislike party and big social gathering. I do house chore. But it never seems to never suffice. I don’t know. Some time, I became very confused. I’m losing myself and not know what is the right thing to do make everything great again. You are told to be yourself but when you be yourself, people don’t like it. People wants you to be happy but when you do thing that make you happy that doesn’t involve them, people get upset. How is that logical? No, it’s not. It relies a lot on faking and talking your way out of it. If you are just an honest good nature person who tells people you are simple family man who just want to be left in peace to work and go home spend time with family and hobbies, you will be sorry. All in all, I think 2015 for marriage has been quite a rocky year. There are calm and peace times as well as there are stormy weather. A lot of learning, reflecting and changing to do.

Family – one of the major contributor to complication in marriage. Unlike western community where marriage pretty mean tying a knot between two person, over here marriage pretty much mean extending family commitment. We no longer just deal with our own family but also our partner’s family. And that takes a huge toll, especially on the one who tries the hardest. It would be amazing if everybody is perfect and play their role well. But like any organization, there are black sheep and weak link. If these type of people are you colleague, it would be okay because there are many ways you can avoid the person and if you really can’t you can just change your job. But when it comes to family, there is no changing family. All I can do as an eldest son is to try my best to put up a good example hoping that people see, appreciate and start playing their part. Personally, I don’t believe in scolding and giving orders. I don’t like it done to me, I also don’t like to do it to others. And I believe everybody is a sensible grown-up. But so far not everybody is. At times, I feel very very upset and I don’t know what to do about it. I keep wondering why people doesn’t want to grow? why people doesn’t help each other? If it’s outsider, I don’t real care since it’s their life. But when it comes to family, and you see that you feel hurt because you want everybody to be the best and not be a burden that you will eventually had enough of and start ignoring. I think this is why people in western world start giving up on family value. It’s because it only works if we value each other and love each other selfless and be willing to sacrifice for each other but when it’s just a one-side affair. You know what happens to one-sided affair. Honestly, the only 2 persons in my eye that can uphold this family value unconditionally and one-way are my mom and mom-in-law. They literally do everything for everybody without asking for anything in return. Not even fairness. All they do is just have this optimistic hope that all their children will turn out to be amazing people making good money, having good family. The two people that I respect most and try my best to model myself after.

In conclusion, if I were to play word association with 2015 for me, it would be tired, exhausted, stressed, eventful. Actually, it’s not complete that bad, but it’s just probably I’m just having a very high standard and I care way too much about family happiness. I always feel that our surrounding is put way too much pressure on us and try to hurt us, so as a family the logical thing to do is to stay strong, stand united and battle for happiness together. My mom said I try to hard and care too much. Self improvement blogs say that people can’t change, either let them be and live with it or leave it. That just sad. Anyway, so what I learn in 2015 is probably to care less about anything and everything. Like they say the less you care the the less it hurts. I felt that this year reflection seems very gloomy but that’s how I generally feel about it as the year closing. I learnt many things but still not sure how to deal with them beside just stop caring and practicing avoidance. I keep thing about the sentence my fellow engineers always say “I hate dealing with people. Machines are way more straight forward and logical.”

2015 did end on the high note though, I managed to take an undisturbed holiday with just my wife. The way we’ve always wanted. No one else, nothing else. Just two of us in a different environment doing whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want. That’s the time, when I get to truly see and appreciate that marriage and having a life-time partner is truly a wonderful thing. The problem is the everything else that comes and messes it up making the two persons working their ass off to keep everything together. With that, again, two of us are preparing to enter 2016 hoping that we can do better than last year. =)

“Life is hard but it’s worth living.”



Resume─your self-made ticket to job interview. Recently, my youngest sibling and my younger sister-in-law just graduate and moving to their next chapter of life which is the working life. This is what started me pondering on this. Since I started work over here, I’ve been given the liberty to interview people. So far I’ve looked at roughly 10+ CVs and interviewed most of them. Then I get to look at my own brother and sister’s resume. They all have 1 thing in common and that is the resume was very badly done.

Let’s look at what is resume? To me, resume is like a ticket to your job interview. This ticket is in form of a piece of paper summarizing what you have done with your life so far. The priority will be higher or lower depend on the importance of information provide on the ticket, how well organized and relevant they are, and how nice the ticket look. So basically, from all that I have learn from class, internet and personal experience, a resume should be well organized, nicely formatted, with information provided in chronological order of date time and importance/relevance of information. As for the content on the resume, it’s pretty much depending on what have you done with your life so far. Logically, the more you have done with your life will and the more you tend to do with your life. So it’s plus point. However for fresh graduates, there won’t be so many things other than their qualifications and co-curricular activities. For Cambodian graduates, the phrase “co-curricular activities” is generally very alien to them as well. So yes, their CV is pretty much down to education qualification.

So what’s my problem with their CV? Hmm… I can’t really generalize them. Below are some of issue I have encountered.

  • Poor information organization. Generally those information on those type of CVs are difficult to quickly refer to and information are all over the place and not in order or date or time or importance. To me, what this says about candidate is that he/she paid no attention to the viewing audience. For someone with little or not experience in job hunting, to do enough research and produce a well-organized resume is quite tedious and difficult job. So for a fresh grad, a well-organized resume says a lot about how much work the candidate put into it and inherently shows how much he/she care about getting that job interview opportunity.
  • Information overflow. In this type of CV, the candidate seems to try too hard to put a lot of things on his/her resume until it becomes so cluttered, irrelevant and down-right unbelievable. And when the word “irrelevant” and “unbelievable” is associated with your resume, it’s definitely not a good sign. For example, I have encountered quite a number of resume for software engineer where the candidate lists down every programming language and programming  software under the sun under their programming skill. Even for myself with quite a number of experience as software engineer, I never even dare list more than 5 programming languages as an expertise. And if I’m experience in Microsoft SQL, I would not dare to say that I’m also an expert in Oracle. Yes, you want to fill your resume but when you get too desperate doing it, it will backfire during interview because I always do that to my interviewee. I always ask them something like “I see that you are good in so many programming languages and software, according to your resume you are actually a lot better than me. You can build all kinds of application using all kind of technology. Why are you applying for such a junior level position?” Some other candidate likes to list all their part-time jobs experience in. How is a part-time admin staff experience relevant to credit analyst position? Providing accurate and relevant information to the position one is applying for is crucial because chance the person that review your resume will not have time to read it in detail and do an abstract summary of all the relevant information. That’s the candidate’s job.
  • Poor formatting. This refers to the look and feel of the resume. It’s never a requirement for candidate to design their resume. But let just think about it logically, if there is a stack of papers with boring black and white chunk of text full of information and there is a piece of nicely designed paper in there, wouldn’t you notice it and want to take a look at it? So basically, my personal opinion is that good resume formatting and layout design is basically an extra optional step you can take to make your resume stands out. It’s image thing. And so far, all the resumes I have reviewed including my brother and sister’s complete failed in this regard. But what bothers me most is the fact that most of them couldn’t even format the date right nor could they properly list experience base on chronological order.
  • Poor Language. You actually don’t need a very powerful English for writing resume but you do need sufficient professional terminology to craft your job description and description of co-curricular activity. Most them basically describe their job responsibility as “I did this….”, “Help with that…”, “Do that…”. These are very weak term to describe your role and responsibility. A more descriptive and professional term like “involved in…”, “Assist/perform…”, “Conduct..”, “Managed..”

It’s a depressing thought to think that students go through their whole life of education just to have opportunity shut out from them because they are unable to produce a quality resume. I’m so surprise that university here doesn’t include job hunting and resume writing as part of their curriculum. It’s such a crucial lesson.


Job | Career | Happiness | Life

Wow! it’s really been a very long time since I last blogged. From my last post, it has been half a year since. It has been a very eventful and hectic half a year. It’s not that I don’t have any thought to reflect on. In fact, I do and so many of them. It’s just that I couldn’t find the time nor the energy to sit down gather my thought and put them down in writing.

Let’s pick up from the last time I was here which was this year’s New Year. And now it’s almost 9 month in. I’m finally settling in with job in at home. I’m good with my motorbike and getting used to the senseless and dangerous traffic here. What else? The people, the surrounding, the society in general. And by getting used to I mean not feeling frustrated or annoyed by them anymore. However there are still things that still really bother me and I’m unable to adapt. The major ones that I’m facing currently are company culture, common sense and intelligence level.

So let’s start with company culture. On my first day at the new company, the director asked if I drink, to which I answered “a little bit”. Then he went on to tell how easy it would be to quickly make friend in the company if I drink because everyone there drink a lot. I remember thinking to myself as he was telling me that. “Oh damn! this gonna suck.” Then it happened. The Saturday of the my first week─yes, we work half day on Saturday─just 1 hour before knock-off and I about to go home enjoy my weekend, the boss came to declare we would be going for company lunch party. Then I was thinking “what the f is a lunch party? I never had that in Singapore. Well, at least not without any special occasion.” But regardless of how impromptu the announcement was, I couldn’t possibly reject since I was new there and need a chance to socialize with colleagues. It started out as a company lunch with food and beers. Lots of beers. I drank some. The lunch went on till about 4 p.m. which I thought was quite long. Then when I finally thought it ended, they were going for second round. I was like “What? Seriously?”. And I’d never guess venue of the 2nd round. I was somehow brought to a KTV. For those who are used to a normal friends and family style KTV, would wonder what’s wrong with KTV? But KTV over here isn’t like those, it’s place where heavy drinkers go and order girls to accompany you drinking. So yeah basically, I ended up at KTV for another 3-4 hrs before getting to home because my wife called. There was no surprise to what followed. My wife got so mad at me that she refused to talk to me for a week. That was a very shitty week and for what? for nothing. There and then my negative impression of the company culture started.

It doesn’t stop there. The company continued have party here and there every now and then. It’s not that I don’t like party or anything. Well actually I don’t like party since I’m an introvert. But occasionally when company have special event I would always love to join. But this is different. This is like for no reason, or for any reason. And what do people do at party? Drink till drunk and passed out. The next day, barely make it to work without feeling sick or heavy hangover. So far do I sound judgmental to drinker? I’m not sure if I am but personally, I feel that I don’t. I’m just a practical and logical person and I view alcoholism as neither piratical nor logical. It’s expensive. It’s unhealthy. And it gives you heavy headache and temporary amnesia the following day. To spend a night drinking an expensive unhealthy drink that gives you headache, vomit and short term amnesia and other various long term organ failure is a completely illogical action and total waste of time. I honestly don’t think I judge people who drink or smoke because I do have alcoholic and smoker friends back there as well. The main difference is they don’t force or peer pressure me follow their lifestyle choices. So that’s what I hate about it here. It is the fact that you get pressured to be involved. I remembered a snide comment from one my senior-level colleague during my boss’ house warming party. He was telling a junior colleagues “Don’t follow this senior’s example. That’s not the way real man behave. When you raise your glass you bottom-up, you don’t just sip and put it back down.” Should I be pissed off and grab every drink and bottom-up everything? Well, all I felt was that he was right. If that is truly how real man behaves, then yes I’m not a real man nor do I want to be one. To conclude this, I simply believe that everyone is entitled to a lifestyle choice that make him/her happy. Others should respect that choice and not discriminate it and force their own onto that person. Then we shall connect and bond base on whatever other hobby/interest that we share in common. So generally, I try my very best to constantly keep my everyday schedule fully occupied to avoid it.

Next up. Common sense. Over here it is uncommon. Let’s take work place for instance. Let me just throw random comments I have heard or overheard my colleagues said or ask.

  • “Annual Leave is given for you to take during emergency or for other personal obligation such as attending wedding, and other events. You are not supposed to take annual leave when you don’t have any personal obligation.” — I was like… “What? Seriously? that’s how Annual Leave supposed to work?”
  • “I’m sick. What do I do?”
    hmmm… Apply sick leave and submit your MC when you return…
    “What’s that? How to get it?”
    err… form Doctor/Pharmicist?
    “Which doctor can I get this MC from?”

So generally, there is a difficulty in effectively communicating with people when what you consider a common sense but others don’t. And when so many senses are not common, you’ve got to just wonder… do people here even know what is “common sense”? Well, actually I’m wrong to say “people”, it’s too generalized. Basically, they are either the way older generation, teenager or young adult generation. And it’s not only work-related common sense, but also everyday life ones. I feel that this is down to the quality of education that people here receive. So it’s hard to put blame just on individual. But I’m just merely pointing out the fact that this is the case, it makes it difficult to communicate or converse with people effectively without constantly having to explain things.

Finally, intelligence. Again I think this has to do with education. both from school and from family. I feel so remorseful to witness in person the quality of human resource in this country. Perhaps, the perfect illustration of how worryingly small the talent pool available to serve this country’s economy is the fact that I was headhunted 6 times in a period of my 8 month career here. All of which were for senior or managerial positions. I worked in Singapore for 3 and a half, and not a single headhunt. Not only that but also the fact that I was already being treated like an irreplaceable resource when I haven’t even completed my probation. Don’t get me wrong? I’m definitely not complaining. In fact, I feel very privileged and respected. I feel so much more valued over here then back there, and that helps catalyst my motivation and enthusiasm to perform as well. However, the problem comes when I need to work or socialize with people. From people that I have encountered or worked it, I find that they generally are very superficial and myopic. They blatantly get into an as-a-matter-of-fact debate about a topic that they clearly do not have any knowledge about. To make it worse, the clear answer is usually just 1 google away. Personally, I find that really annoying and degrading. So I generally stfu. They are also not really widely read. So they tend to base their argument off their personal experience, or that 1 guy they know, or that 1 source that mention it (usually Facebook) which they hardly exercise the mental capacity to question its authenticity and credibility beforehand. Maybe it’s just because I was educated and trained that way. Critical thinking and meritocracy was drilled down to us hard. Either way, this lack of intelligence is something that I’m still unable to adapt nor accept. And don’t get me started on sense of humor.

So yeah there they are the elaborated explanation of the 3 major issues that I’m still facing over here and unable to adapt and probably will never be able to adapt. Most probably I would just learn to live with it just like most of the major problems I faced in Singapore. To end this rant on a positive note, despite all these issues and other negativity around the country, I still find myself loving it here. I think the most important factor to that has to be family-the group of people who truly love me for who I am and are absolutely honest and non-judgmental. To live close and connected to family, no matter what obstacle and problems, we always stick and work things out together as one. It feels so much better than doing it alone. I don’t know about other people but for me, my wife and my mom have been a tremendous inspiration and motivation to my hard-work and positiveness toward life.

Job | Career | Happiness | Life

Type Khmer Unicode Properly In Illustrator

If you are having problem typing Khmer Unicode in Illustrator,  then this post will help to fix that. The problem I encountered was that the leg doesn’t appear after type ‘j’ and the vowel some time on wrong letter. Well anyway, basically, the problem is when you type it doesn’t turn out as it supposed to be. You need to do below settings. FYI: I’m using Adobe Illustrator CC.

Step 1: Go to Edit > Preferences > Type… Then make sure that “Show Indic Options” is ticked.



Step 2: Click on Paragraph link to see the paragraph dialog box then click on the little menu icon on top right of the dialog and make sure that the option “Middle Easter & South Asian Every-line Composer” is ticked.


With this you are good to go. 🙂 Enjoy typing Khmer in Illustrator. If it doesn’t work please drop a comment and mention your illustrator version.

Type Khmer Unicode Properly In Illustrator