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Apr 27, 2012

Telegraphic Transfers...

I'm officially FREE today! No more exams until June! To cut the story short (because I'm such a lazy blogger) I  finally settled the first-half of all the sticky tacky bureaucratic stuff by making a trip down to the bank - for the second time.

I'm supposed to transfer one whole sum of fees to Yon Sei in KRW - and the first bank I went to said: sure, fill up the form. And then the next thing that made me blew my top was that when I was home, I received a call that said: sorry, there's an issue with the processing--- we do not transfer money in KRW, especially KRW. You'll have to do it in SGD or USD. 

Me: Oh, so does that mean I have to convert the currency myself? Or do I have to base it on the transaction date's exchange rate, what should I do?
***(WTH would I know the exchange rate on the date of your transaction if you can only process it 3-4days later???)

Staff: Actually, we have no idea...we do not know the exchange rate, you'll have to convert it yourself in SGD and maybe check with your friends? You are attending the university there right? The bank will take 3-4 days to process the money and then the bank in Korean will decide whether the amount is adequate or not.

Me: Okay, I have no idea either, (there's not much transparency in the whole process in the first place on both institution's part) I'll check with my friends. May I have your number? I'll get back to you as soon as possible, sorry about that.

Staff: Oh, I'll call you back later, or do you want tomorrow? We're closing at 4.30pm. (Time of call, approximately 3plus pm)

Me: Erm, maybe I'll take down your number and contact you asap?


Staff: For that you'll have to call the contact center-  request for your call to be transferred to this branch and direct the call to me. 
***(Well, she didn't even bothered to introduced herself - I caught her name when her colleague spoke to her 'discreetly' about the issue with KRW)

Me: It's okay, you can call me tomorrow then. 

What kind of service is that - I mean, it wasn't all about the service, it was the whole bureaucratic-sticky thing that irks me to the core and make my flesh crawl. Do I seem that I know the exchange rate 3-4 days later? If I do, I'll be somewhere ripping bucks off the stock market for goodness sake. And---did really she think that I had the bank's central office number stored in my speed dial? GEEEZ, she put down the phone with such expert quickness I had to wait till the next day to tell her cancel the transaction. (I'm going to another bank)

Yeah, so this is the story of why I had to make a second trip to another bank today - and hopefully things will work out since they can only process the telegraphic transfer next monday. 

The moral of the story is? 

Just make sure you get things done right the first time, go to the right bank and make sure they answer your inquiries sincerely. If you have a deadline to meet, then do so way before the deadline, perhaps 4-5 days earlier since there'll probably be mysterious and confidential glitches here and there. There are no mysterious glitches nor are there confidential glitches, just a total lack of transparency and the power of bureaucracy.
 (I'm keeping the bank names confidential due to certain mysterious reasons - respecting their privacy? Probably not, I'm safeguarding myself.)

Anyway, have a great summer ahead! It's getting real hot in Singapore now even though it's summer all year round? Haha, time to get the quill moving - my ink's all dried up when I should be revising my half-written novel.

Apr 21, 2012

The Owl and Her Quill

I just can't sleep! It's 2.45am and I'm awake with Mackie on my lap - it's my laptop, in case you are wondering what-the-hell Mackie is. Typing in the dark with only 2 mini lamps I stuck above my bed (with blue tac) is a serious and tricky business.

Anyway, I think I'm the worst blogger ever but it's okay, I'm still writing and I'll keep writing, because one day, I'll get my book published - and when I mean publish, I mean PUBLISHED! If you are from my country (or any other part of the world when people just smile at you when you tell them your dream), and you have a dream like me - the odds are you'll be writing out of place.

But that doesn't mean you can't write.
That does not mean you can't dream a dream that is out of place in a capitalist, paper chasing society.
You will write, despite  all odds.
You will write, because - sometimes there are things you just have to do. Sometimes, there are things that no one except yourself can take away from you.

Why am I saying this? Because now, on this night that I just can't sleep, I'm doing what I always felt comfortable doing - thinking. again and again about life. I mean, while I don't have a religion (don't be surprised), I do believe there is meaning in life.

And words make my life meaningful.
Stories make it beautiful.

I have maps of places in my stories pasted all over my wall, I have characters that make me cry when I write  about them, I have created languages, people, empires, creatures, new technology with just words -  and I realised I want to be published not because I want to get published -  I enjoy writing so much that I don't mind going through all the pain/pleasure just to get a hold on the book(s) that I wanted so badly to read but no one wrote. I want to let all those dreamers out there know "It's possible, despite all odds."

If you ever met people who dismissed your dream like it's a crossed eyed fly,
Let them laugh.
Because that's probably what they are good at and what they always do.
But when you have a dream, you do more than just that.
When you have a dream, you understand why it can't hurt to dream BIGGER.
When you have a dream, you live, you love, you laugh. (Of course there is more than the 3 Ls)
When you have a dream, no one can put you down, because deep down inside there is a voice fighting to be heard, and I swear as long as you never stop trying, it will never become hoarse- all the time the voice is inside you practicing, it will only come out stronger by the time you let it flow.

The biggest myth in our society is probably one about equality.
Well, the truth is this society is not equal.
But to me, the biggest mistake one can make is not to give it a try despite life's imperfections.

Apr 16, 2012

Post Hunger Games

I've been so absorbed in the Hunger Games trilogy these few days that I literally can't really go through the motion of my mundane chores (study, rest, eat, shower, sleep) without thinking about it. It's really the-story-I -need-now given the current sociological perspective I have (sociologists will know what I'm trying to say - this society is artificial, loaded with social constructs that people created and happily forgotten.).

Adding on to that, there's the soundtrack to keep the feel of things going.

This may sound silly but if you'd read a really good book before, you'll roughly empathise with me, especially if you are a budding writer who tries to capture every little detail or emotion in words that can't seem to materialise.

Not just that - you'll only understand what I'm going through if you are a liberal arts student (ex-pure science student who got a whole bunch of A's but decide for a change.) who finally see the society for what it really is, and what it is not. I doubt I can truly express my current agony/ relief /anxiety about the turn-out of my education.

In the past, I'll just nod and say "yeah we need to study and get good grades, find a good job, support my parents, viola." (hello, as if we are born to think that way - no, we are actually socialised to speak that way)(don't pity me, because I'm no longer that naive kid who goes around crying because of an arbitrary grade that reflects nothing about the person's talents or real ability) - but now, if you indeed do ask the same question again, I'll definitely explain my previous answer in a completely different (sociological) perspective (so if you happen to be in college, please do take a module on sociology for fun).

And adding on to that I'll say "Education is a luxury that not every student who's attempting to get themselves educated will understand."

Like Panem, our world is artificial (not in the sci-fi way)
Like Panem,

Knowledge is Power.

There is a reason why some people just hate people like Katniss - but if you do think like her, I salute you, because it's the rule breakers who are the heralders of change.
Disclaimer *just for laughs*: (Herald-er is not a legitimate word, but languages are alive because they change.)(Things that don't change are usually relics in museums.)(Sorry, got carried away with the linguistic stuff I read in school.)

I realised I'm suppose to write about my trip to Korea! But heck, anything goes on this blog (for) now because I have no updates except that THE SUBSIDIES WERE GRANTED!!! (hopefully they keep their words)(I have immense distrust when it comes to such things, because some people just don't understand why a tiny subsidy can mean a WORLD to people who are tight on budget)

Anyway, if you happen to have any comments, feelings or dis-feelings, do feel free to write them below, I'll be more than happy to read + reply them.
***I was tempted to write I'll-be-more-than-happy-to-entertain-you but on second thought, I don't really entertain people with my writing unless I'm writing a novel (which I shall one day publish)(hard to think of a pen name though - would anyone care to look at a novel authored by someone called LI'AZ TEIRA?)
**Anyway, Good Night and Good Luck

May the Odds be Ever in Your Favour

(sorry, can't resist saying it in Effie Trinket's voice.)