Written by Jamie Ee from Business Times – her articles always strike a chord with me – funny at times too.

“RESTAURANTS which use consultant celebrity chefs remind me of locums. It’s like when your regular family doctor goes on a sabbatical and tries to convince you that his just-graduated nephew is equally good – maybe because sitting in the same chair allows all the years of medical practice, bedside manner and devotion to human life to be absorbed into him through his backside.

When a chef becomes famous, that fame filters down a few levels depending on his integrity or the price that he’s paid. The first level is one where he or she opens a restaurant in a new city but has a personal hand in maintaining the quality of the food, such as Tetsuya Wakuda of Waku Ghin or Joel Robuchon of his namesake restaurant in Sentosa. Another level is one where he opens a franchise in a new city in his own name but which is paid for by someone else. Which, in the case of Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian, means that an arsenal of chefs are hired to cook from his cookbooks but do a worse job than a home cook who watches The Naked Chef on TV.

The next level sees the celebrity chef consulting for a restaurant – lending his name and some recipes but little else. In the case of Syun (Spring) – the latest celebrity-linked eatery at Resorts World Sentosa – if it wasn’t trumpeted that the Kobe-born, Tokyo-based Hal Yamashita has added his input to the menu, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between this and any garden-variety Japanese restaurant.”

Hal Yamashita who? I also don’t know. Haha

We do not employ a foreign domestic helper

[Disclaimer: This entry is not in any way insulting or belittle the contribution of domestic helps. They are essential part of Singaporean’s life and I do appreciate their help when I get it]

We do not employ a foreign domestic helper. Not now anyway.

After we moved to our new place (just us – that comprises of me, The Girl, the baby and the dog), the topic of hiring a domestic helper came up. A bit of background, growing up, I never understand concept of foreign helper as my super mom would handle everything from washing, cleaning, cooking to take care of 3 naughty boys running amok around the house – or we have to do our part in the household chores. The Girl, however, always have had a domestic helper in her household for most part of her life before marriage.

We never really contemplated any help even after marriage as it was only two of us + the dog then. Then we sold our house, moved in with in-laws and the baby came along.

Now  as the family of two adults and two kids – the idea of having a domestic helper pops up again now that we are “alone” and the dishes need washing, the clothes needs ironing, the bloody window needs a bath and the floor is forever dusty.

You get the idea.

Compared to previously where I came home from work, had dinner, lazed around watching TV, go to bed; I confessed that doing the household chores is actually enjoyable for me. Maybe I am destined for tough life. After two years of  living in boxes. I particularly enjoy staying at place that I call my own and doing my household chores. Granted, it is tiring – the daily chores including walking the dog twice a say, some form of cleaning and washing daily, occasionally mopping floor, 3 times weekly washing of clothes, once a week ironing , and sometimes I do wish I have more free time to play with Elliott. More so that I have regular working hours.

Some have asked, then isn’t it better to hire a domestic helper so that she can do all those chores and give you more time to play with Elliott.

I refused. I am usually easy going about general stuff but there are some matters that I draw a very bold line across – this issue is one of them. I recognize the fact that eventually we might need a domestic helper but not now.

It is not because we cannot afford to pay for one.

It is not that I am worried about a stranger living in the house.

It is not about not enough space in the house.

It is about doing things together as a family.

It is about not taking the easy way out.

It is about teaching Elliott the right value in life  and not take things for granted.

It is Elliott knowing how to pour himself a cup of water or cook a pack of noodle.

It is about Elliott not picking up a foreign accent.

It is about him spending time with people who matters, family and paternal and maternal grandparents.

It is about not throwing him to the domestic helper as the easy way out for family dinners etc.

So go ahead, be envious that we don’t have a domestic helper – because we have lots of family support, because the helper don’t own the dog (so why should she be the one walking the dog everyday?), because Elliott has a set of doting grandparents who will drop everything they are doing to take care of him, because we can grow as a family unit and most importantly because we have the luxury of not having one.

Do you? We do.

Enjoying the 'us' time until the time where hiring a domestic worker is necessary.
Enjoying the ‘us’ time until the time where hiring a domestic worker is necessary.

Great selfie

Selfie sticks – love them or hate them, they are now officially something. The growing trend of people using them seems to have exploded over last year, allowing new owners to begin working on their very best self portraits (i.e. selfie)

For those  who don’t know what they are, selfie sticks essentially represent the end of humanity. They’re the contraption which (apparently) allow you to take a GREAT selfie with your phone. Why anyone would want to do a selfie with a selfie stick is quite beyond me.

So I was pretty glad to see this when I pass by the Sports Hub the other day. You go you, Sports Hub! #Sportshub

On separate but related news, lots of other places are banning selfie stick:

Manchester City and Manchester United ban ‘selfie sticks’ from the Etihad and Old Trafford
BBC News – Selfie-stick sellers face fines in South Korea
Selfie-stick ban at countdown parties for safety reasons …
South Korea Bans The Selfie Stick – Condé Nast Traveler