More than meets the eye


Snapped this photo during my weekend on beach – what looks like a completely normal photo of East Coast beach on a sunny day right?


Now take a closer look.


I took this photo due to these two reasons:

  1. The couple on the left is from China. They walked past me while posing for lots of photos along the beach. Then there was a group of paddlers who just finished their training and just came back on shore with their canoes and left it on the beach. The Chinese lady just saunters right up to the canoes that were left on the beach, sat on one of the canoes and begun to pose. And naturally, the photographer proceeded to take a couple of thousand shots in various angle, standing, half squatting, squatting, squatting on one leg, portrait with raised elbow, landscape … half landscape….!?!
  2. Then on the right, there is this caucasian lady who looks like she is 6months pregnant, plonking herself on the beach and started to suntan her belly. Maybe that is one way of avoiding jaundice on the baby in her tummy?

One thing for sure, East Coast Park is never boring!

Fei Zhai cycles

In my pre-fatherhood days, I used to tell people is,” I run so that I can eat”. This phase stemmed from the fact that I enjoy my food (a lot!!!) and because of my upbringing and parent’s influence, I would rather overeat than to see the food goes to waste. But that’s a separate story for another time.

Like many of my peers, when priorities took over the free time I have to exercise, those extra kilo piled up over the years. And when fatherhood kicks in full time, part of the problem has been finding the time and energy to fit in a fitness regimen.

Reality is a bitch. And the truth sets in when my office tea lady started to call me “fei zhai” (cantonese for fat boy). And so does the motivation and commitment to squeeze in that extra time in my packed schedule.

I ’ve also tried various workouts  and various timing— waking up extra early to run (failed – not a morning person). Hitting the gym downstairs after work (failed – rather go home to spend time with family). Going for a run after work (failed – unstable work hours, unable to create a routine of any sort).

So I figured the best way to fit in any workout routine is not by squeezing an additional slot into that already established and packed schedule but to integrate workout into the routine.  And by that, it means replacing the journey to and from work with a workout. Cycling is the easier option since it is an approximately 9 km journey (30 min at comfortable 18 km/hour speed) one way.


Don’t get me wrong, it is a easier option but it is by no means an easy routine. This means that on a cycling day, I have to pack all my work clothes and start my journey. I arrived at my workplace sweaty, after  umpteen attempts at not running over people or cars trying to run over me .Then I have to cool down and shower and changed into my work clothes. And reverse for the journey home.

I soon realised that the motivation that has guided me for so long has changed and I no longer hold the mantra of ” I run so that I can eat”. Now, I don’t really care how I look in a swimming truck. I’m married to the most beautiful wife,  a active 2 years old boy and a need-to-walk-daily 9 years old dog , any pride based on narcissism evaporated when we change our two doors car to a practical family carrier.

So wait for it ….




The current motivational mantra is “I exercise so I can run after my boy.”

As a dad, I have a lot of jobs I have to do for my boy— feeding him, playing with him, bathing him, bring him out for a walk, reading bedtime stories and all the other parenting stuff we do each day without even thinking about it and I know there is one job I have in my future as a dad  that I simply cannot miss. And it involves being there for him.

For me, the phrase is about being there for him every day I can, for as long as I can: For the walks along the river, for the strolls at the park, for the random moments I cannot yet imagine.

I want to be there, walking through it all with him, until it’s not my job anymore.

person, walking, young

Note to SIA

Dear Singapore Airline,

I do appreciate this nice little touch of sending me a reminder email on the previous flight search I did on your website. But you do know that one email is more than adequate right? Why do you keep sending me the reminder everyday?

If you are using technology to increase your marketing effectiveness, maybe you should also make sure the technology is smart enough to check that I have already made the booking on later session (via the same Krisflyer log in). What makes it worse is that I cannot hit the reply button to let you know that you have crossed the line.

SIA TaipeiAnd by the way, I have been flying with you for at least 10 years and being the member of your Krisflyer program for the same period and you still calling me “Miss”??

I do think this is a huge miss on your part, Singapore Airline..


Your irritated customer






The Monday Syndrome

With a view like this, you will wonder why not more people cycle.
Why is the bus/ train/ road so packed every Monday?!?

This is one situation that I don’t get. Everyone goes to work/school Monday – Friday, but of all the weekdays, Monday is the worst. Monday is the day that I can’t get on the bus/train. Monday is the day that the road’s traffic is so heavy. Monday is the day that everyone looks grouchy (ok, this I know why).

That is why I love to be able to cycle to work on Monday. It is tough to get those muscles going after a weekend, but think about it:

Everyday,  I arrived at work suitably refreshed from the workout and clear-minded after the journey cycling to office. I can leisurely breath in the fresh air and take in the scenery.  And I don’t need to stress on the bus arrival and whether I can get onto it.

I have observed more and more cyclist on the same route to CBD and glad to see the trend toward cycling is picking up traction.








Cycling route

I try to keep up with my fitness regime  and keep down my weight by cycling to work every alternate days. My usual route to and from work will take me past the Geylang river, Sports hub, Bay East garden, Marina Barrage, Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sand and Marina Bay promontory.

Impressive route eh? It is my 30mins/9km journey to work.

So I suppose I should be numb to all the beautiful architectural and scenary along this route. I thought so too, but every time I cycle down the same route, I will still slow down at some parts to admire Singapore’s beauty – it is always the same but still somewhat different.


Different hue of colours everytime I cycle by.

It is moment like this that I am grateful that I’m staying in Singapore – until the humidity and the heat hit me.

Triathlon – Strike off the to-do list please.

I was never particularly active or sporty growing up – I attribute it partly to my quiet character and partly to the way my mother brought us up – emphasis on reading habits and academic.

My earliest recollection of anything vaguely sporty was learning to ride a bicycle. Instead of learning to cycle at East Coast Park, or any park or open space, I picked up my bicycle riding certification in my own house (a 4 room HDB flat!!!) living room attempting to cycle up and down with my training wheels taken off.

So never in my wildest imagination that I will be physically and mental be able to do a triathlon one day.

Last Sunday, while The Girl was napping, Elliott, Moon  and myself trooped down to the nearby park. I cycled around the neighbourhood with Moon running alongside and ended with Elliott doing the swimming segment of the triathlon. So there you go, with my two trusty sidekicks ,we cycled, ran and swam – the full triathlon.

Now I can strike it off my to-do list.


The swimmer refuelling for his gruelling swim later on
The swimmer refuelling for his gruelling swim later on
Swimmer doing his warm up
Swimmer doing his warm up