Inked!

2015/01/img_1591.jpgAfter a lot of deliberation and even more procrastination, I am finally part of an exclusive member of the inked club. That is to say, I now have a tattoo.
The decision to get inked was a conscious one and not something that happened on the spur of the moment. I had this listed as my to-do for 2014. But alas, I kept pushing it for later and missed getting it done last year.

The choice of design happened to take a while since I debated on the virtues of a number of symbols and letterings. Initially I was quite keen on getting Chinese characters etched on my skin. Possibly characters that symbolized victory or strength. However I soon ditched that idea as there were a few articles on how unknown characters may end up meaning something entirely different if you don’t speak the language.

So I narrowed my decision down between two of my favorite pop culture movie/book universes, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. Since this was my very first tattoo, I didn’t want a very complex design that would end up costing me a fortune as well as hours upon hours of inking sessions. Hence the design had to be a relatively simple one with very few intricacies.

LOTR had a few, however not artistic as I had hoped. Star Wars offered a rich collection of logos and symbols, some more known than others. My first choice was to get the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire logos. But they seemed too main stream. So I kept searching. Finally I came across the symbol of the Jedi Council and I stopped my quest for a design. The symbol was perfect both in terms of appearance as well as its significance.

My design of choice is from the Star Wars universe and symbolizes the Jedi Order. Apart from the fact that the fact that this symbol represents the good guys from Lucas’s space opera, the artistic curves and design make it uber appealing!

The search for a reputed and safety conscious tattoo parlor was never an issue since the wife had already got her tattoo done last year and was very happy with her artist. So I headed on a Saturday morning to get my design inked on my left shoulder. I decided to keep it on the left just in the event that the process would leave me sore and rendered my arm useless for a few hours or days.

I had heard horror stories of how getting a tattoo could be a terrible experience both in terms of pain and the regret in the aftermath if said design did not turn out the way you had imagined. Fortunately for me, my very first tattoo experience was absolutely delightful. The inking process proved to be nothing more than a little irritating and slightly stinging and the end result was absolutely stellar. It did help to visualize the end result with the artist first applying a carbon paper impression on the area to be inked.

Getting inked has a certain excitement that is difficult to put into words. It’s not just the cool factor, but the fact that you’re using your body as a canvas to express your passion. I am certainly sold on continuing this form of body art and will not be stopping at just one tattoo. My next tattoo will be something that’s a tad more prominent even when am wearing a tee. Let the search for the next design begin!

 

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My Movember Quest!

MOvember

I’m finally done with my very first Movember! And although the stache growth has been sparse, I’m proud to say that my first year has helped raise a total of S$50!!! I know its not exactly a small fortune but hey, every little bit counts right.

And at the end of the day it’s about raising awareness for a worthy cause. The challenge helped me make a meaningful contribution not just in terms of monetary support, but also in terms of my time and, well, my face.

Despite my lacklustre facial hairdo, I shall be doing the Movember every year. And I hope my Movember quest inspires you to do your little bit as well.

Until next year, stay healthy, be a Mo Bro!

 

My month long journey is chronicled on my Mo Space.

Conversations with a Singapore Taxi Driver – The Experienced One

For this encounter it is worth mentioning that this ride was taken on 31st October in the evening. You’ll see the significance in a bit. Our cabbie friend (a local Chinese descendent from his demeanour) asked if it was pay day, cause a string of passengers had paid with shiny 50 dollar bills! This led to him talking about passengers in the past who paid taxi fares with big bills. Apparently he even had someone who wanted to pay with a 1000 dollar bill!

He spoke in detail about a particular incident involving a passenger who paid for a S$4 taxi fare with a $100 bill. Our cabbie friend mentioned that from the very beginning he felt something wasn’t right about this but proceeded to return the change of S$95 to the passenger.

Unable to shake off the feeling that something was astray the cabbie asked his next passenger to help check if the $100 bill was a counterfeit one. Unfortunately the passenger was a teen who proclaimed that she wasn’t well versed in the art of spotting fake currency.

Our cabbie friend tried his luck with the next passenger, an elderly auntie. Fortunately for him, the auntie was a cashier at a local kopi stall and most certainly qualified to examine the currency note. His nagging feeling was confirmed once the auntie proclaimed that the note was indeed a fake.

Our friend was obviously disheartened on learning this because this meant he lost S$100 that day (the S$95 change and the actual fare of S$5). He called it a day and just headed home to sleep it off and forget the whole thing. Unfortunately there are some things that you just can’t forget.

Today, he still has that fake $100 bill as a reminder to never accept large bills from passengers, especially for small fares. He says the experience was a costly one, but a valuable one.

It’s Movember Time

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What’s Movember you ask?

Here’s a little extract about it from Wikipedia ~

Movember (a portmanteau from moustache and “November“) is an annual event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and other male cancers, and associated charities. The Movember Foundation runs the Movember charity event, housed at Movember.com.[1] The goal of Movember is to “change the face of men’s health.”[2]

By encouraging men (who the charity refers to as “Mo Bros”) to get involved, Movember aims to increase early cancer detection, diagnosis and effective treatments, and ultimately reduce the number of preventable deaths. Besides annual check-ups, the Movember Foundation encourages men to be aware of family history of cancer and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.[3]

And here’s the lo-down on the month-long event from the official Movmber website ~

The Movember Foundation aims to change this way of thinking by putting a fun twist on this serious issue. Using the moustache as a catalyst, the idea is to bring about change and give men the opportunity and confidence to learn and talk about their health and take action when needed. 
 
As a global men’s health movement, the Movember Foundation has the ambition to contribute to improving the lives of men around the world. This will be achieved through programs we fund in the areas of – Awareness & Education, Living with Cancer, Research and Mental Health. We see success as moving the dial on progress towards:
Reduced mortality from prostate, testicular cancer and men’s suicide 

 

Men living with prostate or testicular cancer being physically and mentally well

 

Men and boys understanding how to be mentally healthy and taking action when they experience mental health problems

 

Men and boys with mental health problems not being discriminated against

So for a while now I have been contemplating about embarking on Movember. This time around a well timed ad on YouTube reminded me about the event and lo and behold I am all gussied up to grow and sport a moustache to show my support for this noble and worthwhile cause.

You too can show your support by getting involved in a number of ways as listed on the official site here.

Should you choose to support my Movember commitment, here’s the link to donate (Go on, don’t be a stingy miser!) – https://www.movember.com/sg/donate/payment/member_id/10693953/

Check out my Movember Mo Space (think of it like a Facebook page for my Movember updates!) – http://mobro.co/neoaaragorn

 

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Conversations with a Singapore Taxi Driver: Part 1


Having stayed in Singapore for over 4 years, I’ve had the pleasure (and sometimes privilege) of sharing my cab rides around the island with some truly unique Cab drivers. The list of said interesting folks grew to the point that I felt compelled to put pen to paper and write about these fellow humans in a blog post. SO here goes my very first post in what will hopefully be a lenghty and colorful series of posts –
The Couple Detester
My earliest recollection of an interesting cabbie is probably from my first year here of a taxi driver who spoke about a lover’s spat that took place in the back seat of his vehicle. The couple in question apparently were already quarreling when they got into his cab.
Things only escalated once they were en route to their destination with tempers flaring further and the woman getting a tad louder than her male companion.
Things took a strange turn when the beleaguered male decided to end the spat prematurely by opening his side of passenger door and rolling out of the (pretty fast) moving cab. At this point the woman shrieked and our narrator, the cabbie, brought the vehicle to a sudden halt. Fortunately injuries to the man weren’t severe.
However the poor cabbie had to cease all work for most of the day as he was required to be available for statements to both the hospital authorities as well as the police. His lament was obviously over the lost fares as well as the added trouble of having to be part of this rather outrageous situation which didn’t concern him to begin with!
Till today, our friend is overly cautious when picking up passengers who are a couple!