A Tale of Two Dry Shampoos

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A quick note on the 2 dry shampoos I’ve been using from Bastise. I started using the one on the left and I liked it because it leaves my hair feeling soft and gave a nice shine. However, while my hair didn’t smell (when I picked up portions n sniffed), somehow I felt there was an unwashed scalp smell. I don’t know… Maybe it’s psychological. Haha. So I bought the dry shampoo on the right and lo and behold! No more smell whatsoever! The downside is, my hair felt slightly stiffer than usual.

In the end, I now use both. Hahaha. Seems to be the perfect combi for me. :)

Singlish

Ever since I came back from my US trip in Dec, I get very tickled whenever I hear waiter/waitress ask, “having here or takeaway?” because it reminds me of an incident that happened in the US.

One of my friends, a French chap and I wanted to buy lunch to eat in the ballroom. After taking our orders, this conversation with the waitress ensued…

Waitress: “Here or to go?”
French chap: ??
Waitress: “Here or to go?”
French chap: “What???”
Me: “Dabao?”
French chap: “Yes! Dabao!”
Me to waitress: “To go please.”

My oh my. How we have corrupted people’s English…

Nuisance

Because the insurance industry is tightly regulated, my company has a rule that when a broker visits a client overseas, the broker must be accompanied by local staff.

A colleague from India wrote to us about 2 weeks ago asking to visit our clients in Singapore. I don’t know why he likes to come here when I’ve told him more than once that our clients do not purchase credit insurance in India.

My boss also told him that these 2 weeks leading up to CNY is very busy for us so it would be better if he comes after that.

Said colleague replied that he’s actually visiting Singapore for other business and visiting our bank clients is just a secondary purpose of his trip.

As it transpires, this Indian colleague has NO other meetings planned. A colleague who is helping to coordinate the 2 client meetings we had to set up for him as well as some underwriter meetings thus asked us if we intend to lunch with him.

I said no. My point is, we’ve already said that this is not a good week for him to come. Since he insists on imposing on us, I don’t see why I need to inconvenience myself to entertain him during lunch. Even if I don’t have any lunch appointments, lunch time = break time and I’m particular about who I spend my lunch with.

I also hope, for his sake, that he doesn’t try to lecture or “teach” my team members how to broker deals. The last time he did that, I told him off over the phone and I cannot guarantee how much more blunt I may be in person.

I remember when I used to do life underwriting a long time ago, a senior underwriter said that some life insurance agents are like piles. You can treat them but they never go away.

Sums up how I feel now.

Purple Hair & Dry Shampoo

I finally got bored of my long tresses after 2 years and decided it’s time to have short hair again! I wanted a funkier cut but needed a more classic bob to cover the bleached and dyed hair. In the end, I settled for an inverted / a-line bob (googling for inspiration turned up several names).

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The purple’s more striking than in the photos (dim lighting) and I love it! My only worry is whether the purple will last. The previous time I bleached and coloured my hair, the purple came off with every daily hair wash and became a faded pinkish purple instead of a dark violet purple after 2 weeks. My stylist gave me a free recolour the last time but I don’t think I’ll have the luxury this time round because it’s near CNY and it’s so difficult to get an appointment! (I sat at the salon from 6:30pm-12:20am on Mon!)

After thinking of various solutions, I decided the best way to preserve the colour is to wash less. I’ve tried shampooing my hair on alternate days before. However, although it didn’t look greasy on day 2, it felt greasy. Then I remembered reading about this thing called a dry shampoo before. It’s basically a hair product containing cornstarch (or other agents with similar oil absorbing properties) to remove excess oil from the scalp. I popped into Sasa during lunch and bought the Gosh Dry Shampoo. It was the only brand they carried.

I googled online after that and realised that the most popular brand is Batiste. Oh well, whatever. Buy already might as well try. So I just sprayed some onto the roots of my hair, massaged in and brushed out. Viola! I like it! My hair felt a little stiff initially but that went away after 10min. It gives a little bit of lift / volume and makes my hair even straighter. Lol.

Anyway, the true results can only be seen tomorrow morning but I’m hopeful!

Time for bed then! :)

US Open Swing and The After Party 2015

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One of the best things about travelling is that it allows you to learn more about yourself and others around you.

Being able to social dance, take private lessons, attend workshops and observe how people dance at both the US Open and The After Party (TAP) have me a deeper appreciation of what flight, quality of movement and musicality means. I couldn’t wait to get home and start trying out some new stuff I learnt from Mary Ann Nunez! (It was too cheem to put into use immediately. LOL).

On a non-technical front, I met some really great people on this trip – advance dancers and pros (Joshua Sturgeon, Edwin Li, Kevin Kane, Diego Borges, to name a few) who had no airs and were happy to dance with everyone.

Of course, I had to meet the odd ball who was sore that the Singapore contingent did very well in all the divisions we competed. He bitched to me that he rotated to 2 Singaporean girls during the semi-finals of the Novice Jack & Jill competition at TAP but while the 2 of us made it to the finals, he got eliminated. Duh? That says a lot about your dancing right?

That aside, I also had the pleasure to get to know some truly warm and friendly people of different nationalities – that’s just amazing.

One of the best things I feel was to get to know my first roomie on this trip. I have to admit I didn’t expect to click so well with her but she’s very very considerate and down to earth.

And I also came to the conclusion that I will never be able to deal with people who are princessy or who have inferiority complexes (NB: there’s a difference between someone with an inferiority complex and someone who’s insecure. I can deal with the latter cos they do not have a chip on their shoulder and all they need is some affirmation from time to time).

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Another highlight of my trip was getting to know my Strictly partner at TAP. I actually danced with him during the semi-finals at US Open but we couldn’t really communicate because he doesn’t really speak English and I speak no French. Luckily, it turned out that one of my roommates at TAP, this girl from France/Switzerland knew him and was the interpreter cum introducer who suggested we partner up to compete in Novice Strictly. We placed second! So exciting! And so so fun! To be able to dance with someone though you cannot communicate verbally – that’s the true spirit of social dancing!

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So that rounded up a fruitful 2 weeks in the US! Lots of things to work on from now till the next trip!

Never Miss a Good Deal!

So apparently in Aug 1949, there was a World Festival of Youth in Budapest where the Soviets used the Hungarians as hosts for this communist organised rally. The International Students Union in Britain invited groups in Britain to participate. Some Malayan and Singaporean students including Goh Keng Swee, Dennis Lee ( LKY’s brother) and Maurice Baker went because it was the chance for a cheap holiday (they only needed to pay for the cost of a return rail fare). 
They were somehow tricked into varying a banner which said, “Malaya fights for freedom”, and as a result, British Intelligence sent their names to the Special Branch in case they became troublemakers after returning home. 
I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read this in LKY’s memoirs. Going for something because it’s a chance for a cheap hol! Hahaha. That’s SO SINGAPOREAN! ROFL!

Ignorance Knows No Bounds

I had a very disturbing conversation with a young colleague this evening…

Colleague: OMG! I was going to vote for the PAP but looks like I’m going to have to change my vote! I just read this HUGE EXPOSÉ online! DID YOU KNOW that Lee Hsien Loong is the Chairman of GIC? And our Deputy PMs, Tharman and Teo Chee Hean are also on the board? 

Me: *Stunned* What’s the big deal? It’s on the GIC website what.

Colleague: Even then! That’s terrible! There should be separation of State and this kind of GLC! 

Me: *Lagi stunned* Do you know what the GIC does? It invests our foreign reserves leh! If Singapore’s PM doesn’t head it… Then who u want to head it?

The conversation died after that. 

Competition

Competition is part and parcel of a broker’s life. As the class of insurance I do is largely non-renewable, it has been ingrained in me that I am only as good as my last deal.

I recently had the opportunity to submit our value proposition and meet up with prospects to explain why they should switch brokers and use us instead of their incumbent brokers. The conclusion I got is that my company’s credentials, my background and all the marketing spiel in the world doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, what clients want to know is how you’re going to solve their problems.

And this is something I often tell my younger colleagues too – it’s no point highlighting problems to a client if you don’t produce a solution for it.

While showering tonight, I came to the conclusion that this is my expectations of the political candidates clamouring for my vote. I already know what the problems are. So please give me some practical and credible solutions. Don’t tell me things like you want to be voted in as a “check and balance” on the incumbent – I have never seen a deal won this way, and a general election isn’t all that different from a RFP.

Singlish

From the book, From Third World to First, this is what LKY of his first visit to China in May 1976:

“They had officials in their team who spoke every language and dialect we did. Whether we spoke Hokkien, Malay or English, they had officials who had lived in Southeast Asia, or had served in Indonesia for many years, and spoke Malay, Bahasa Indonesia or Hokkien like natives, and could eavesdrop and understand us. So we could not switch language to cut them out.”

That’s why Singlish  is so important. Hahaha!

Lord and Saviour

The speaker said in church yesterday that Christians sometimes make the mistake by thinking of Christ only as our Saviour, and not as Lord.

Very true, very true.




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