Month: April 2008

Growing up

Two words. It sucks. Today at my interview, they asked me how old I was. “Twenty” “Oh my God. You’re a baby!” Yes I am! Please let me be that way. But no. I have to decide when to graduate, whether prolonging my college stay is worth financially, if taking extra courses will be valuable. I have to figure out where I start my career, the kind of job I’d look for, how I’d find it, if I’m even ready to take that next step. My apartment contract gets over soon, so I need to decide where I live next, if I’ll get a room at the much sought-after hostels, if not what my alternatives would be. Meanwhile, I wait to hear the outcome of my interview today, whether I’ll get in, and what I’ll do next. Amid all this confusion, I see a horrible result, strictly grade-wise, in the one subject that I’m considering as a viable career option. It makes me question if the grade is indeed a sign, and if I should …

A snow-filled December

SMU is launching a new initiative – a community service project in Sikkim. Actually, it’s a continuation of the Dare to Dream expedition to Sikkim, but more community based and less adventurous, with a focus on developing and promoting eco-tourism in Sikkim. For starters, Sikkim is the second smallest and the least populated state in India. It lies in the north-east, landlocked among Bhutan, China and Tibet, and is the base for the snow-capped peak of Kangchenjunga, the third highest in the world. The pictures look so amazing, even on the non-picturesque wikipedia 🙂 But seriously, check it out on Flickr or Webshots. It looks awesome, amid all the snow and the blues and the greens. I think I could live there forever. I hope I’m going to be spending my December in this snowy little place!

Starbucks weekly

Don’t worry. This ain’t no promotion newsletter or nothing. Just an agreement-of-sorts among three of us friends. It’s the lack of better things to do, the there’s-always-too-much-work-syndrome and the fact that going to Starbucks too often is going to make us bankrupt (Yeah, when you’re on a student budget, Starbucks is bloody expensive. Hear that Schultz?). So anyway, we’ve decided that every week, we’re going to hang at a new Starbucks in Singapore. I can’t count off my head how many there are, but I guess there should be enough to keep us going for a long long time. I’m writing this post from the Starbucks at Orchard, next to Modestos. After Cathay, City Hall and Siglap, it’s our forth. So far so good.

Dulce de leche

The next time you’re in Starbucks, you have to try Dulce de leche, especially if you are a caramel lover like me. It’s not on the official menu yet, but you’ll see not-very-tempting posters flying around. I think it has its origins in Spanish, and from the little that I know, it should mean ‘Sweet of milk’, literally of course. It’s a break from the regular ice blended stuff, with less ice, and more milk and more caramel. Yummy. With all the shit that’s being thrown at Starbucks, I thought a good word from me should be a welcome change 😉 My dulce de leche is getting warm. Later.

Advertising interview

After a partly sleepless night, some intimidating thoughts, and a bit of nail-biting nervousness, I showed up for an internship interview today at an advertising agency. I had heard about how advertising companies were chilled out when it came to work, but I wasn’t quite sure how formally I should be dressed. I’d get cues to know how formal I should behave once I was there, but getting there and creating a good first impression was another thing. So, obviously, I ran a dozen google searches on advertising interviews, and here’s what the best of them could tell me: “Just because you think that the advertising guys go to work in jeans and a shirt, doesn’t mean that’s how you show up for an interview. Dress like you want the job!” Really now? And what exactly do you mean? Does it mean I still need to suit up? So anyway, I went with my instinct. And guess what? I don’t think it matters! It was hardly an interview really, more like a ‘chat’ as they …

the finger

Can’t believe it’s taken me 20 years to know the story behind that. Thanks to a friend, who I might say professes in the use. Giving the finger. Yes, it has French origins! Back in the war days, when the English and the French were fighting, the English had mastered the bow-arrow art of shooting. It was more commonly called plucking the bow. The French were pissed, so when they captured Brit soldiers, they (brutally) cut off their middle fingers, leaving them incapable of plucking the bow. However, the early 1400s war was won by the English. They mocked the French, showing them their still intact middle fingers, which had literally helped them pluck the yew (the bow was also called the yew, after the tree it was made from). So the mockery was accompanied by the phrase “Pluck yew”. Apparently, ‘Pl” was a difficult syllable for the Fr, and it got translated and handed down as Fuck yew (you). And thus the use of the middle finger in immortalizing the expression.


So goes the legend. French Connection was starting out as a regular apparel maker. They were making regular clothes for regular people. Not even models. They didn’t have a way to make you pay a bomb to wear that stuff. So they approached an advertising agency, desperate to find a niche. And they found much more. The advertising guys beat their heads about it. Then this little stroke of luck happened. The agency brief was faxed to one of the Creative people. The title read, “French Connection (U.K)” That was it. A look was all it took, and a spark. ‘FUCK’ must have been yelled. FCUK. That’s how the brand was going to sell. The golden formula was found!