Category Archives: A New Beginning

Working My Brain Inside-out

It has been so long since I stepped into my journal world … too long in fact, the last post was in April … now it seems I have to get used to the wordpress format all over again. 

This post is spontaneous, I just typed my blog name … not really knew the purpose, and I got in and I clicked on “new post”.  So what’s up?

Do you work?  Where are you working?  …  I got asked so many times in the last 6 months, I lost count, and now few asked again.  And I like it this way.  I knew some are genuine concerns and I will surely update these people personally without being asked.  The others?  Probers, perhaps … some friends just had time to dig information and I am not longer sure if they really care how I am doing, and I gave them answers that probably bored them that they realised I was not going to share anything in depth with them that would be newsworthy.  Many no longer contact me coz we are not in the same grapevine, perhaps.

Tai-Tai? …  Some friends used terms on me which irritated me a little, because they are my friends.  Just because I don’t work for a salary or employed, I was referred to as “Tai-Tai” or “woman of leisure”.  Few can accept I let go a good package in the pharmaceutical industry to pursue something they never thought I would, and in most cases we became friends in the same industry.  I could not provide them with any concrete ideas they could imagine and expect me to be, so some effectively thought I do nothing.  Ha.  These words from them were not malicious, just ignorance of truly what I am pursuing, despite me sharing my personal goals and dreams.  Different wavelength just because I choose not to be a salaried corporate employee, and we are not on the same corporate path.  But I know some of these friends do care for me.

My family life?  …  I am also working on starting a family.  It is no simple task, partly because the reproductive system is not at its peak.  But we believe it is in God’s will and plan that he will provide for me, for us, for our family.

My business?  …  literally, ha, it is my business indeed.  I am indeed working on a plan to start something , however small the steps are, but just start.  Recently BK said to me a phrase he read somewhere, do not remember the exact words, something to the effect – as long as we don’t stop dreaming and working on it, continue to move no matter how small the steps.  He spoke to me at a time when my mind was filled with hesitance, fear, self-doubt, and yet roaring to create our dream.  I finalised on the name and registered my business, met up and confirmed the vendor to create my website, pressured and adrenalised (I don’t think there is this word but the meaning is exactly what I need) into working the business plan and the “products”.  I enjoy every moment from the dream to the search, research and continuously researching … to the plan, and I aim towards realising it.

Perserverance?   …   I must continuous despite of fear.  Or I will never do anything great.  I believe.  I do.  I be.

When my business is realised, this will be where I shall first update.

This note felt so much like a psychological assurance to myself, but really it put down my full commitment to getting It done, getting  It right!

Keep in touch  …  with the people who care for me, with myself who got to just do it, do it.

ps:  Recently on radio, I overheard the DJ sharing some words on Life – we do not hope to win, or think we can win, but Expect To!  Cheers


A Blessed 2009 to Everyone …

Yes, my wish for the New Year  is that everyone will live a blessed and fulfilling life!

As always, things happen for great reasons … so a blessed life to me does not mean that only good things happen and everything goes smoothly – it means to me that we learn and grow from small hiccups and face greater tasks with confidence & gusto and lead a progressive life mentally & emotionally … spiritually, I have to work at  it (I will give “physically” a definite miss).

I did not and will not make any new year resolution.  Since beginning of 2008, I have set my mission and vision in my life.  Every steps along the way, I remind mindful that my actions contributed to my life vision.  I became happier … that said, I have always been easy go lucky, I have always been pretty happy.  Think my name helps, my Dad gave me the name and he forgot about my Chinese name.

In 2008, a major breakthrough was that I learnt to let go of negative energies – things and persons that bogged me down, however infrequent.  Some things really bothered me but I didn’t know then how to release, they just popped up along the way in my lives.  I still remembered it just happened when I was in the bus on the way to the culinary institute in August, … as usual I was day dreaming, and I just felt ready to move on and live my life.  That was when I shared my journal entries and my life moves on.  When things happen and bothered me, I learnt to “whoosh” it off – somehow it helped and it worked.  Simply that.

For the new year, I am just going to live life … continuously learn and grow as an individual, as a partner in my blessed marriage, as a family with my loving parents, sis & David, bro & Pei San and the 6 beautiful children … as a worthy friend to worthy friends.

Laugh, Love & Live Life.

An Enriching 2 weeks to Year Close … My Attachment in Brief

It has been 18 days since I returned to Singapore, and minus a day since I last penned something on this blog.

In Singapore, it is the beginning of the last day to 2008.  Dec 31 2008.  It is 12.15am now.

It is my intention to continue updating my journal and learning on this blog even though I have uprooted from Houston.  … For the last 2 weeks, I opened my blog everyday (yes, every single day) with the intent to pen down something, then I was too sleepy to continue and zonked out soon after.  Why?  I have been working hard… ha.

I will update the events separately (hmm … the intent is there!) coz each was exciting in its own right.  But since I came back to Singapore, I have been kept on the go, I am happy to be so and intend to continue to be so.

In brief, I touched down Singapore on 13 Dec, started my “attachment” with hotel* on 15 Dec.  Yes, immediately … I considered attending CIAML for the last 5 months in Houston a mental break and a good rest.  I have rested sufficiently and was eager to enter the real kitchen.  (*For my own privacy as well as the hotel and the Executive Pastry Chef (a.k.a. EPC) who provided me the opportunities to do OJT, unless it was shared personally with the individuals in private, the hotel name and individual names will be kept confy in these entries).  My luggage was left unpacked, my box of reference books was apparently left at the post office waiting for my collection.

The hotel group has approximately 2000 rooms.  Sufficiently big to keep the pastry kitchen busy.  There are 4 sections to the central pastry kitchen – one in charge of misen place for a complex consisting of fine French dining, buffet, ala carte, another an Italian restaurant, another for function & banquet, and a section for bakery.  I am currently attached to the first, and will be rotated after a month in each.  There are a total of 50+ staff for the pastry kitchen, about half worked in each swift – but many worked more than 12 hours, I observed.

Oh …. “attachment” means I chose the EPC I would like t0 work with, researched the establishment, felt excited enough to offer my service.   Voluntary, to be exact.  Free, if it was not apparent enough.  To be more exact, I am learning for free, and I am definitely learning in an environment that keeps me positive and learning for the last 2 weeks.  I am happy to have been given this opportunities and made this choice.  EPC emphasized during staff briefing on several occasions – seize the opportunities to learn. 

The section I worked with right now is led by a pastry chef, assisted by a junior sous chef, 2 commis cooks 1, 1 commis cook 2, 1 commis cook 3, and  2 students on mandatory attachment from a local culinary institute – 1 student is a German lady armed with a Masters in Law, another a guy in his mid-30s who career switched from a technical field.  It is also not surprising by now that only the pastry chef, and the guy were about my age.  I learnt a lot from the young team.  I was surprised they were so open with the recipes, so open to share, and I entered with a strong learning mindset, no doubt.  Last week, I received a comment from the Sous Chef that I was “OK” to everything – that was to whatever I was asked to do (yes, so long as it will not harm anyone or the establishment), I am indeed.  My response was For the next 3 months, I am OK to do anything.  Then again, in the last 6 months, I was OK to do anything to facilitate my learning too.  So … if I continue this attitude as I progress, everything would be OK and I will retain my positive approach to living each moment, savour each opportunity that comes along.

I have a strong belief – I can learn a lesson from every situation.  It could be a technical skill, a recipe, the method for a big recipe … it could be a lesson drawn from a negative demonstration (Something I always remembered from Chef Kris’s advice during ServSafe – I may not in the position to make a change to the situation then but I would have learn an important lesson what not to do when I am in control in future), from the working ethics of the colleagues around me, from a miscalculation – never a mistake but always a learning … also all these serve to shape my vision.

The pastry chef asked me yesterday about my plan after 3 months with the hotel… I don’t know, Chef.  I will let you know as long as it becomes clear to me soon.  I only have a vision, and I only need to ensure my actions support the vision. 

In the last 12  working days, we already had 5 staff briefing by Exec Pastry Chef.   The  focus was mainly on Christmas and festive – the orders, versus plan budget, the occupancy etc… admist the updates, EPC shipped in a super huge (weighed 10 kg) Panatone from Italy to share with the pastry team for Christmas, he prepared learning materials on Creams, Christmas Breads & Cakes and their origins, a major fridge and freezer clean up shortly post Christmas day …  He showed a passion to teach and train, he couldn’t reinforce enough – seize the opportunities to learn.  EPC shared that when he first started out, he was allocated to do menial tasks, and wasn’t taught much by his chef then … he resolved to share as much as possible with his team, even the trainees in his charge.  Wow.

To sum up my sentiments based on my experience thus far, I am blessed to be contributing in this pastry kitchen, which I believe to be one of the biggest in town.  How the experience turns out is within our control, it is all how we perceive.  I choose to remove my tainted glasses, and see the world with a fresh lens, a renewed angle.

In the midst of my interaction with the team in the kitchen, I bear in mind a key advice which Chef Philippe wrote for me “The Chef is always right” … “The Chef is always right”.  This proves useful.  EPC also voiced the same sentiments how we view our customer – “… Do first, clarify later”.

I hope to uploads some pix before the close of the year to put last 2 weeks in perspective.  I do not work on 31 Dec 2008 … I chose not to.  Chef said I have a choice coz I am a special case – I am not on staff payroll.  I intend to spend my morning having my early morning breakfast with BK before he takes the train to work, a second McD breakfast with my mum and my 3 nieces … then start my own orientation process with the pastry suppliers in town to check out ingredients, home use equipment, home use utensils.

As the last day of the year approach for all my friends in Houston, may we all live a life well lived!  I give thanks that I met you in my life.

“… To All Singaporeans … A Warm Welcome Home…”

“… to all Singaporeans and residents of Singapore, a warm welcome home… ”  my flight just touched down at Singapore Changi International Airport.  It was 5.50am on 13 December 2008, Singapore time.

It just hit me that I had really left Houston, I was finally home in Singapore.  About 24 hours earlier, I had left Houston.  Was feeling exhausted from packing my apartment for handover and my luggages before I left for the airport, really tired. 


My last morning in Houston – I had gone for breakfast at my fav cafe, French Riviera Bakery Cafe for french bread with 2 sunny-side up and a cup of regular coffee, with Sandra.  I realized this shall be the last time we met for a chat for a long time to come, but I believe we will meet again.  On the way there, we passed one of my fav roads in Houston – tree-lined Chimney Rocks between I-10 to Westheimer.  The other being tree-lined Rice Boulevard.

At the entrance to the check-in terminal, my luggages had fallen flat with the cart when I was pushing up the ramp towards the automoatic door – yes, 2 luggages and 3 boxes fell in all directions.  I still managed to laugh, and 2 guys who had just got down from the taxi helped me to pick up the pieces before helping their own luggages.  Ok, that is my last memories of Houston, I managed to laugh at my own boo-boos as I live.

When I got on the flight, I saw a familiar face – I smiled to myself.  He did not see me. …  Hours into my flight after dinner service, and half goggy, I saw the same familiar face coming towards me, smiling.  We had a chat.  And soon, I was served a special privilege – a cappucino with 3 chocolates.  And soon after, I was given additional privileges – bottled water, biscotti, assorted fruits and 2 packets of tortillas chips … I passed a bottle to the Spanish guy seated at the window seat, we were separated by an empty seat between us.  “Do you know him?“, Jorge said to me, he must be surprised by the extras I received as an economy class passenger.  “Yah, he is my uncle!  He is my mum’s youngest brother.”  Yes, my uncle has been working with the same airline for the last 20 years(?), and despite being a frequent traveller on my job in the last couple of years, I have never chanced upon him on the same flight.  On this flight, he was the leading steward serving the business class section.  He had said to me, if he had known I was in Houston, we could have met up the last 2 days he was there.  That was his first trip to Houston with the airline.  But I was happy to see him on the flight.  My uncle wanted to make sure I was comfortable on the flight before he stopped over in Moscow while I continued the flight back to Singapore.  Nice!

5 movies and many songs later … Yes, of the 21.5 hours of actual flight time, and 1.5 hour transit time over in Moscow, I slept only for 2-3 hours.  I wasn’t sure if I was too exhausted to sleep … or I was feeling strange or excited, I was actually going home.  I watched 2 American, 2 Japanese and 1 Korean movies  – my fav was 10 Promises Made to My Dog – heart-touching … about promises made and forgotten as the relationship grew apart, even though this movie was a human-dog relationship.  Despite the random criticism made on the actor (about him being 34 and playing a 19 year old?), on the actress (about the limited emotion expressed by her dried tears at the dog’s deathbed?) etc, I enjoyed the movie – sometimes we should learn to enjoy the plot, and appreciate the meaning behind it all, without tearing the plot and characters apart and judging the flaws from every angle.  Interestingly though, BK was watching the same movie and loved it, on his flight home from Hong Kong to Singapore, he touched down into Singapore a few hours before me.  Oh I also concluded, I am not into Western R&B, more Western pop and sentimental pop as well as select Mandarin R&B and pop, I like some Cantonese songs but I don’t understand the words.

At the arrival hall at Singapore Changi International Airport, I wasn’t sure if BK would be receiving me as he arrived home only a couple of hours earlier.  We planned such that he would be around when I arrived home, I told him I did not want to return to an empty home.  I only realized during the transit in Moscow that my pre-paid SIM card from US did not work outside US.  At the arrival hall, I was surprised to be received by my family – my Dad & Mum, my bro & my sis, and BK of course.  “You had just washed your face?” as BK gave me a hug.  Huh?  No… I perspired profusely the moment I came out into the arrival hall.  It was the high humidity that hit me the first thing.  A big adjustment from snowing Chicago and snowing Houston.


The first thing we did when I got home – changed and went for a local breakfast – plain fried bee hoon (akarice vermicelli) with fried chicken wing and fried egg, and a local kopi (aka coffee with condensed milk).  Next thing was to wait for my appointment with a chef while BK went for his music lesson.  Then back home for a nap before dinner at my parents’ cum bro’s place.  Wow all my family were there for dinner – mum cooked curry chicken while my bro bought a variety of local food.  Not sure if it was the travel and jet-lagged, was feeling bloated and sluggish.

Sunday noon.  I had woken up after a good sleep.  Meeting Dad for brunch with BK.  It was our routine before I left for Houston.  Oh, brunch for Dad was at 1pm ;p  … 

BK will be leaving for Beijing late night.  I will be home alone… and kept busy.

(to post pix later … firstly, can’t remember where I put my camera cable… secondly, I need to sleep, woke up to say bye to BK before he left for airport to go Beijing, and going back to sleep soon for The Appt tmr!)

“I am coming home, aren’t you happy? … hmm” – Pix added

I thought the following email to my family in the wee hours of 1 Dec 2008 should be a worthy entry documenting my days post graduation …  Gosh, now everything I wrote looked like a blog entry, might as well.

Warning:  This entry documents 22 days of my life, it may take you forever to read, live and  understand how things work, don’t bother and don’t question, it is just about … My Life.

Remark:  Some information were altered or modified for clarity since I last wrote to my family, some information (in fact, a lot) were updated, some information which was shared with my family I prefer to keep Privy & Confy on this journal entry , some information were elaborated for my memories. 

Pix will be added coz it tells a story of my journey… (will be uploaded post Orlando trip).


From: Joys <>
Date: Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 2:28 AM
Subject: I am coming home, aren’t you happy? … hmm
To: “Choo, Beng Kuan” <…>, “Lawrence. Sim” <…>, Pei San Lim <…>, “owd…” <…>, Eileen gmail <…>


My dear husband

My dear sis and bro-in-law

My dear bro and sis-in-law



I am coming home 😉  Please let Dad and Mum know my flight details, it just got confirmed.


I graduated on 21 Nov …  but I wasn’t bumming around … my detailed itinerary is as follows: (gosh I wrote like I was updating my blog entry, later I will just cut and paste into my blog ;p)



22-23 Nov, Sat/Sun.  Spent most of 22 & 23 sleeping (a little end-of-school-term feel, a little jet-lag feel). BK and I were at a neighbour‘s home for chat and wine till 1.30am after we had a Malaysian/Singaporean dinner at Nonya Grill in Missouri City, about 45 min outside Houston.  A celebration of friendship … and my graduation!  


~ French Bread with 2 Sunny-side Up ~

~ French Bread with 2 Sunny-side Up ~

We woke up early for breakfast at our fav French Riviera Bakery Cafe – French baguette with 2 sunny sides up and a cup of coffee.  Then I napped through most of Sat and Sun morn, missing BK’s call before he boarded the flight to Singapore.  By the time I was alert on Sun, BK was close to reaching Singapore.  



Joined my last Houston Dessert Meetup session at Le Petit Paris Bakery in Spring, arranged to meet my secondary classmate Vivian there after 20 long years since we were 16.  Nice!


24-26 Nov, Mon-Wed.  Back at the culinary institute for extra sessions, since the Chefs had to forego their 1 week hols.  The sessions were meant to make up lost hours due to hurricane, my class already completed the required hours as Chef Philippe arranged for class to start 45min earlier than normal everyday for a couple of wks. 


~ 24 Nov ~ Farewell lunch with Jennie and Rafaella before Rafa left for Brazil.


~ With Jennie & Rafaella ~

~ With Jennie & Rafaella ~

~ 25 Nov ~ Farewell lunch with my classmates – 6 of us showed up.  Beers and margaritas for all, except for Elizabeth who is underage at 18. 

~ 6 of us kept to the appointment ~

~ 6 of us kept to the appointment ~




~ 26 Nov ~ A special lunch for the students cooked by the Chefs … Serviced style.  Really nice, but I preferred to have them lunch with us. 


Dinner with some Singaporean/Malaysian friends I got to know in Houston at Guoming’s apartment, the guys bought the ingredients and Guoming prep steamboat for us, they bought durians for desserts [not too late for them to find out then I do not eat durian], I made assorted cookies.

~ Having Fun at Our Thanksgiving Eve Gathering, Our Way ~

~ Having Fun at Our Thanksgiving Eve Gathering, Our Way ~



27 Nov, Thur (Thanksgiving).  Returned to my apt about 4am after playing a fun card game Bonanza – all about beans.  I found out for the past 3 nights I drove without turning on the head lamp fully unknowingly (so much for an experienced driver, ha)?? 


Woke up about 11, Bella had invited me to her home for Thanksgiving.  I was served Puerto Rican food ~ Turkey with tomato rice, mashed potatoes with corn and berry sauce cooked by her mum Sally, with pumpkin pie and pecan pie from Flyer Saucer.


~ With Alexandra and Her Mom Sally ~

~ With Alexandra and Her Mom Sally ~



Planned to meet David and Garren for dinner but knocked out before 6.  Woke up at 10pm, shortly Sarah called, she was in the Heights vicinity with her boyfriend Charles and invited me to join them for a drink.  We would not have many other opportunities to meet after.  I was introduced to Oatmeal Cookie cocktail … nice, and had a few sips of Bud Light.  Charles helped me with the rest.  He showed me some bar tricks so I won’t be fooled.  We chatted till past 3.  Told Sarah, I am lucky I knew her late in my mid-life or I will be drinking my nights away …  Slept at 5+am.


~ An "Oatmeal Cookie" and A Beer Later ~

~ An "Oatmeal Cookie" and A Beer Later ~



28 Nov (Black Friday).  Received sms from Garren at 5.50am asking if I was joining them for shopping.  Nope, I wasn’t ready to forgo sleep for cheaper deals.  I found out later in the day they had not slept that night.  About noon, I drove to Katy Mills… more coz I haven’t been there.  Wasn’t in the mood to shop, spent some time reading in Book-A-Million, bought a few books even with no deals… bought some bake wares … Better at supermarket shopping, was at HEB megastore at Gessner till 10 … I spent quite a bit [and happy] ;p


29 Nov, Sat.  Updated blog on Graduation, a week overdue.  I found it difficult to catch up with past entries.  So said, be present.  I had planned to drive to San Antonio, but I didn’t feel like it then. 


Drove to RAO’s Bakery in Spring, it was part of Houston Dessert Meetup agenda in Jan09, but I will not be here so I checked it out first.  Spent afternoon reading till about 3.  Arranged with Jennifer to visit Phoenicia for the first time ~ she was funny, like a tourist at home.  We had dinner at House of Bowls, spent half hour lost in BW 8/1-10 connection, turned back to Westheimer and took 610N/E instead.


30 Nov, Sun.  Woke up at 2+am, guessed it was too cold.  Couldn’t sleep, again surfed online resources, also listed international shipping contact details as my international shipping was not arranged yet, put up To-Do list.  10am, I was exhausted.  Slept till 1pm.


SQ flight back to Singapore was confirmed.  Confirmed with Chef in Singapore about our appointment on 13 Dec.  Printed some pix, wrote some cards … sad, distracted.  Procrastinated to study Servsafe.  Couldn’t sleep, again slept at 4.


1 Dec, Mon.  Met Chef Kris at about 11am for career plan discussion, … one fine lesson learnt from him ~ plan and be objective-driven.  My vision and objectives remained unchanged, though I need to understand the Singapore market better.  I am clear that family holds an important place in the plan.  We chatted.  Side track – I believe he can be an authority in sous vide if he wants to, I researched the topic a while back coz he spoke about it passionately a couple of times.  Chef Kris set up Servsafe for me to complete at home the next day, free & easy


Chef Philippe handed me the Letter and copies he had prepared for me.  I am thankful for every word he put on my letter, the rest is up to me to live up to and exceed expectations.  Again, never to disappoint or I never did  Forwarded my career plan to Chef, he returned with a list of places I can consider in future for extra lessons to upgrade my skills, which was listed as one of the key objectives in my career plan.  Thank you, Chef!


I completed writing my cards to the individuals ~ each with a personal note.  Each card was specially chosen for the individual, I got a card for CIAML too – a card printed with a message I want to convey to everyone.  Communicated my final thank and hugs for the individuals at the institute.  I decided that it is going to be the last time … The last time.


~ With Sandra @ House of Bowl ~

~ With Sandra @ House of Bowl ~

Had dinner with Sandra at House of Bowls – she preferred to have noodles and we had beef hor fun (rice noodles), egg plants which we both liked, and I must introduce her to the pepper scallion chicken wings which I always enjoyed.  Had Hong Kong milk tea too.




Back in the apartment, received confirmation email from Chef in Orlando that I can drop by the school for a visit and a chat on 3 Dec.  I decided to make a day trip on Southwest Airline, had to pay more for the last minute change for return leg so that I can have a free day on Thursday to do some packing for shipping.  Confirmed flight to Chicago for Sun too, had to pay double for the flight.  Just 2 days early, I would only have to pay $240, couldn’t do so earlier as I was waiting for the Orlando trip to be confirmed, as unused Southwest Airline tickets can be used for future purchase but not cancelled.  Whoosh it, decided not to let it bother me.  


2 Dec, Tues.  Met Jennie for breakfast at French Riviera Bakery.  We had a good chat, decided to meet up again during the week when we have the chance to.  Will miss her.  She is the big sister that constantly watched over me and made sure things worked for me in Houston.  She told me, I will see you next year … I went, oh you are visiting Indonesia soon?  She said No, I have no passport.  We will meet in the US ;~  Was that a request or was that a prophecy … ha.  Love the 3 mice, hopefully not 3 blind mice 😉  She told me it signified the friendship between her, Rafa and me, sweet.


My Last Lesson … I knew she did a lot of homework, lots.  I am definitely going to miss my first French teacher lots.  With her as a baseline ~ Who can I find in Singapore who will conscientiously pour over recipe book to help me understand words … Who will positively reinforce my learning with Tres bien when I pronounced a word rightly or constructed a sentence correctly … Who will watch and listen to how I pronounced words and encouragingly said I can hear it, when I wasn’t even confident of what I just uttered …  Only Sandra.  The word that got my tongue all twisted: ~ûler .. brû~ … brûler.  Got a vocab and verb book each … it will be fun to recognise and read paragraphs in bits and pieces and get the gist, even if I cannot read the sense out of every word.  Je l’aime!  Soon I am going to roam


Still waiting for inspiration to do servsafe test … ha.  Time: 11.31pm… now 2.32am… 


3 Dec, Wed.  This feels so crazy but I am going to do it. 


On my Facebook, I updated my status last midnight Joycelyn has decided to fly to Orlando, for a couple of hours and back… Yes, all in a day.  A friend commented on my FB:  Disney World?   My response:  I am not so crazy … more purposeful than that ;p  Yes, I am going to visit a shop, meet a person I was told to meet, ask whatever I got ready to ask and watch a sugar class in action.


That is how it is going to work for me to fit it all in a day:  

To & Fro Orlando

Arrive in ORLANDO INTL (MCO) at 1:35 PM, 

Depart ORLANDO INTL (MCO) at 7:30 PM.


Chef Charles Carroll wrote, “…I often hear many things from many students but the difference with you is you’re a “doer”  You do what you say you’re going to do...”.  I just realized it myself, doing what I said I am going to do ~ my commitment.  Or more that it is him – like all individuals I look up to – I trust his recommendation and words, and I have no excuses not to pursue great advice.


4 Dec, Thur.  I have better to start packing and know what goes into shipping, what goes into my luggage, what goes into someone else’s home, what goes into the trash.  Indeed, I have mainly books, bake stuff.  My gosh, my fridge is still loaded.  Possibly have to steal some time to meet Vivian too before I leave.


5 Dec, Fri.  Will be visiting Linda & George and little Aaron at Pearland, and of course passionate Scottie for the last time before I leave.   Amongst the exchange of emails, Linda wrote “… and who wants to come walk Scottie?  …”;  Garren enthusiastically went, “… I volunteer Joys to go walk Scottie, since Scottie likes her. Kekeke”;   Then George added, “And in return for the walk, Scottie will give Joy a Big Wet Slurping Kiss….lol.”  Scottie is a 2 year old? schnauzer – a cutie, a smartie and a real charmer.  I never really like dogs, coz they can get too passionate and overwhelming, but he is a sweet, real sweet.  He actually can read my expression when I pouted my lips and he leaned forward to kiss me?  BK loves dogs, but Scottie only likes ladies, ha.


6 Dec, Sat.  My last weekend in Houston. Going to “chiong” (Chinese dialect, loosely translated as party but doesn’t sound right, so maybe hangout) at my fav bakery cafe and read.  Possibly go Museum District and drive round Texas Medical District.  I don’t know, so far, I have never been to where I plan to go except bakery cafes.


That evening, I will have my last dinner date with a great couple I got to know in Houston.  Looking forward to it.


7 Dec, Sun.  Flight to Chicago.  Was supposed to stop over in Chicago en-route home but couldn’t confirm UA flight Chicago-Narita-Singapore.  Completing a 2 Day Choc-Wine Pairing Workshop on 8-9 Dec. I am flying back to Houston instead to take a direct flight back to Singapore.


To Chicago

Sun/Dec 07   Depart HOUSTON HOBBY (HOU) at 12:15 PM 

8-9 Dec, Mon-Tues.  Choc-Wine Pairing Workshop at Barry Callebaut Chocolate Academy.   Chef Kris said to check out Alinea if there is one place I want to go – experience and understand the business philosophy.


10 Dec, Wed. 

Fro Chicago

 Arrive in HOUSTON HOBBY (HOU) at 11:45 AM


If all my stuff are in order, then I can have a relaxing day … err.


11 Dec, Thur.  Goodbye Houston! 


To my dearest friends, I will miss ya all! 

To my loved ones in Singapore, I’ll be home in next 24h. 


To Singapore

SQ Flight at 16:50h. 


13 Dec, Sat.  05:30h arrive in Singapore.  Appointment with Chef later in the morning.  Family hours.


~  Home Sweet Home ~



———- Forwarded message ———-
From: <>
Date: Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:26 AM
Subject: Redemption Booking Confirmation
To: xxx

Dear Ms xxx Joysxxx,

You have made a redemption booking with Singapore Airlines for the following trip:
Booking Reference Number: xxx

KrisFlyer Number: xxx

Passenger Name(s): MS JOYS xxx
E-Ticket Number: xxx

You are confirmed on the following flight(s):-
Flight No. : SQ61
Aircraft   : B777-300ER
From       : Houston(IAH – Intercontinental)
To         : Moscow(DME – Domodedovo Intl)
Date       : 11 December 2008
Departure  : 16:50

Flight No. : SQ61
From       : Moscow(DME – Domodedovo Intl)
To         : Singapore(SIN – Changi Intl)
Date       : 12 December 2008
Departure  : 14:25