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The Unbearable Heaviness of Being

My quest for the eternal lightness

This space has been left idle for months – a state of perfection by Nietzsche’s standard. Of course,  my life on the other hand is a far cry from such coveted perfection – but certainly not a sorry one at that. For those of you who asked – it’s been a long 8 months since moving to Singapore and I still find it hard to describe how I feel about working in the city-state.

But there’s no reason to complain.

No, I don’t have problems with food in Singapore – in fact, some can be surprisingly tasty – my favorite being Bak Kut Teh at Yangoon Road – which I personally prefer to the ones I find back home. Of course, there’s the whole re-adjustment to getting in earlier for work. And then there’s the all-important question of whether  ‘Am I attending any church’ – No. Why? Cause I’m contemplating embracing Islam?

Quite a bit of travel for work. Been to the Scandinavian region twice so far. The cold climate is probably the reason Finns develop the love for sauna – and they really like it hot (nothing lower than 80 deg C ). Here’s a real treat after a hard day’s work:  a couple of beer with your boss and colleagues, then head to the sauna for a ‘male bonding’ session in full Finnish style – bare nudity. A very humbling experience indeed – for the boss that is! Trust me, they take offence if you refuse the invitation. And after sauna, more beer.

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I work for a Finnish State-Owned Oil & Gas Company – under its Renewable Fuels Division. Workload is bearable, but I relish the opportunity I get to meet with environmental and social NGO’s, as well as government bodies who are stakeholders in our business. I learnt that doing things right is not sufficient – you have to communicate them, and communicate right you must. As I strive to deliver results I’m constantly challenged to engage constructively in our approach while keeping a balance between the sustainable progress vs poverty alleviation debate. Business ethics are constantly tested.  Like religious fanatics, NGO’s would sometimes turn to emotions rather than facts.

Holidays – I enjoyed Rome. Loud Italians, busy piazzas, quiet chapels, gelato, espresso, cheese, authentic home-made pasta, and of course – good wine. I’m no lover of paintings, but the visit to Sistine Chapel was most breathtaking, though a little too commercial now after Dan Brown’s mischievous expose. Felt good that I have finally taken the ‘lofty’ quest where ‘angels’ guided me to the path of illuminati ‘cross the city. Apart from Rome, I’ve also managed trips to Brussels, Estonia, HK and Paris.

So there you have it, a quick and brief update from me. Otherwise, I’ll be:

1. Looking forward to moving into my own place

2. Travelling to Indonesia for plantation visits

3. Snow skiing in Korea – if they get snow already in November

4.Hearing from Joel as he’s starting his Year 1 in SMI – it’s been 7 years already??!!!

5. Heading home for my brother’s wedding in February – which means my mum’s turning the heat on me to be next

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