Updated finance page.
As part of national service requirement, I get free basic health screening around my birthday each year. The result determines whether I'm fit to carry out IPPT and vocational work. For the last six years, it had more or less delivered the same verdict and that is, cholesterol level remained elevated and I'm cleared for all duties. That's about it and I had relied on this for an indicative state of health but do not know the details. This year, somehow in my peripheral view, certain advertisements kept appearing to remind me to go for a health checkup. It was this nagging feeling that an appointment at Lifescan Medical was made two months ago while pulling my wife along who had not done one for even longer. They provide various packages (both private and corporate) and after searching, I found a UOB promotion that cost $215, much lower than their website rate. On the day, we walked in at 930am to begin the investigative tests i.e blood, eye, chest and general consultation. I found the stool sample most difficult to provide as I didn't want to make an additional trip. Three days later, the result came out. There was a slight apprehension when I opened the email. It was well presented and neatly summarized in the first few pages before providing the details. So, the outcome provided a sense of relief as the cholesterol continued to be an outlier. My right eye needs further consultation for possible signs of glaucoma. Slight concern but probably nothing to worry about.
The World Cup in Qatar may have been controversial but that's another day for debate. For me, it was about living the moment as a fan. In the group stage, I caught a couple of games with the two younger ones at Macdonalds. Obviously, I was the more enthusiastic one while the youngest just wanted to have his ice cream and fries. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable. Then I managed to watch few more games partially onboard a cruise. The late night games were too much of a stretch. It wasn't until the final that I got together with a group of friends. I'm glad we did because it was such a great match. Our hearts raced along with the pulse of the proceedings as Messi and co fought hard only to be pinned back. The majority in the group supported Argentina (in spirit and in bets) as the voices grew louder with each exciting moment. Luckily we were at my place, freely imbibing sake and yakiniku as snacks. Imagine the joy erupted when the last penalty was converted. It was a happy late ending but the yawns were setting in. Even my wife who is not a football fan stayed throughout. I hope this atmosphere can be recreated again in four years time.
On a rare afternoon where most fathers could take leave, we gathered the children from 7 - 13 years old and went for the Ice Magic at MBS Bayfront. We were geared up for winter and fortunately did not underestimate the temperatures inside. It was freezing and any exposed skin would feel numbing in few minutes. My ears bore the suffering and yet, I saw a family of four (presumably foreigners) who wore shorts! The queues at the slide took forty minutes and the adults stood in line while the kids went running around. From the excited face of my youngest son and him rolling on the ground, it must have been really fun since he had wanted to see snow. We had to take multiple breaks just to keep warm. The good thing about going in a group is that the adults could take turns minding the kids. Thus we managed to stay for two hours before heading off for dinner with twenty pax without reservation. Quite a challenge but luck was with us as a Japanese restaurant took us in.
There wasn't much time left as I tore the paper tab off and contemplated the $20 worth left. I'm referring to the soon-to-be-extinct coupon that had served the public for so long. My remaining pieces showed the final year of usage as 2022. I remembered fondly the situations when a coupon's time was about to expire and had to run to insert an extension piece. Or the time when parking in the CBD for half a day, you got to sit in the car for a few minutes just to tear the required amount and display 50 cents (half hourly) coupons across the dashboard. Or just taking a gamble when parking overnight in the open at a HDB amidst a sea of cars and not using a coupon, hoping the attendant did not check. It proved there were hardworking ones who actually prowled the car parks even at 3am! Or the lorry drivers who put in the required coupon but shoved within a crowded windscreen of used coupons. I always wondered whether that was a deliberate tactic to dissuade an attendant from inspecting. It was inevitable that the coupon would be replaced by technology, a parking app. In one more day, what it holds would just be sentimental value that grew with me over two decades.
Tip: Ron Zacapa XO, sweet maple, gula melaka, medium bodied covered by little spice