Flash Fiction: Don B Angri Sharon

Many of you don’t know that I also write fiction.

Here is a flash fiction piece I wrote some time ago:

A maid working in Singapore emails her daughter living in the Philippines:

NEW MESSAGE

To: Sharon Gonzales (gmail.com)

Subject: Don b angri Sharon

Sharon don cry. eat food now. Mamma say u no talk to her. Why so rude Sharon. She do no wrong. She tk care of u. You rude to me also. Why you cut my call. I call and call. I so worrid for u. U my only child.  I in Singapor only for u Sharon. U think my life easy. I clean house all day. No holiday. Some bossess nice like Mr Carl. Some boss so rude. Scol me make me do extra work don pay me at time. Yestrday my India lady boss scol me for talkin to her husband.  She say I don cleen proper. I cleen frij bt she make me do agin. She jelus off me bt I jus talk to him. Agency also too much they earnin too much coz of me bt when hv problem they no care.

I say many time u cant cum to Singapor. My contract I sign no allow. No allow u in my place. They no lemme cook no iron no hot water. Tolet also no flush. Thes pepl not nice Sharon. Yestrday Dora scol me coz I put food on her tray in frij. I say sorry also bt Dora say hole frij smel coz my food bt she ly. I so suffer here Sharon. I only go church and pray for strenth.

I mis u. U go college. u work in offis. No maid job for u. What u do Sharon. U cut skool u smok u anser bak ur granma. U finis all money I sen u. Why u go to KFC evry day. Why u gv money to ur frens. Ur frens only use u. Granma say u hv many boyfrens also. Is true Sharon? Now u repet 1 yr in skool. Why u no tell me. What ur daddy say Sharon. He no mor sen money if I tell u fail.

Why u angri wid me. I tell u agin and agin u cant live wid ur daddy. Ur daddy don wan u. I so sorry bt u r big now so I tell. Don say nothin to him on fone. He get angri. I work so hard for money for ur skool. Why u cut skool. U wan b pregnan and marry at 16 like ur cozin Lily. Hav baby and tk care of baby all day. U study first u work in offis. Then u marry nice man. U wan b like ur mamma. B maid all life. I ur mamma Sharon. I think good for u. Don b angri. I so far away. B nice to granma. b happy. I sen box alredy. Got cloths, bags, shoes. My bossess pas me. Sum new also. Sum u keep. Sum u giv to Cora. I LOV U SHARON. Don b angri. I sent kissess to u.

Mamma

Accessories – Blithe and Merry

When I was a teenager, my taste in accessories veered towards the cheap and the colorful. Wood, shell, plastic – I liked eclectic materials and huge designs. And I wore something different everyday. I wanted to stand out from the crowd.

In my 20s, I decided I wanted to fit in. My jewelry became dainty and delicate-it was hard to make out what I was wearing. And I wore the same Swarovski and Pandora pieces everyday.

Now that I am in my 30s, I like statement pieces. I appreciate unique design, good quality and a luxurious feeling. And I am able and willing to pay for it.

I came across Blithe and Merry and its founder Joanna at the last Blueprint. The designs of the cuffs she was selling then immediately caught my eye. Even to a layperson like me, the quality of the pieces was immediately evident. I tried on one cuff. It looked good, it felt good and I was immediately sold.

6

Blithe and Merry makes luxurious statement jewelry which are available at accessible prices. Their latest collection consists of genuine leather cuffs with unique hardware.

3

I am the kind of person who judges a product or a service by the people who own/sell it. It’s no wonder then that the brand’s best asset is Joanna. She is a warm and wonderful woman who will talk and listen to you whether you buy her pieces or not. She is creative, passionate and totally dedicated to her business. And I know for a fact that it’s not easy as like me, she is mum to a toddler and does it all without any help.

8

If you want to know more about Blithe and Merry, please visit:

Website: http://www.blitheandmerry.com/

Instagram: @blitheandmerry

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blithe.merry

11

Oh and a little birdie told me that their pieces will soon be available at a major department store, just in time for all our holiday shopping 🙂

Happy 50th National Day Singapore!

Congratulations Singapore!

50 years is a momentous milestone and you deserve all the bouquets and celebrations.

You have been my home since 2011 and what a wonderful home you have been. While I appreciate your fantastic infrastructure and corruption-free bureaucracy, the freedom I have experienced here as a woman in public spaces is the truly matchless gift you have given me.  I am supremely grateful.

Today though, I have just one thing to say to you- don’t be disheartened by the criticism you receive, especially from your young ones. You have served every generation well but each new generation has different desires and expectations and you need to adapt to fulfill them.

But be mindful that you don’t blindly agree to everything. You know from experience that limitless freedom can easily devolve into anarchy. Given the unique character of Singapore, some restrictions are necessary to preserve the integrity of the country.

Give your people space to be themselves and grow, without jeopardizing their future. I have been here a short time but I am confident you can do this.

Here’s wishing you another glorious 50 years Singapore!

P.S:

Friends, as my contribution to this joyous occasion, I am volunteering with Singapore Fashion Runway, an SG50 celebration programme that aims to bring the country together through fashion. You can read more about it and sign up to join here.

What working from home while caring for your child is really like – without Help

So this is how a normal week day pans out.

My son, who is currently 18 months old, and I get up almost simultaneously in the morning between 7 and 8 AM. While I feed him his morning milk, I check my mail, Facebook and Whatsapp messages. I reply to the last two immediately and any urgent emails. After changing his diaper, I head to the kitchen to prepare breakfast for my husband and myself. My son usually plays with his dad at this time.

Breakfast done, my husband leaves for work usually between 9-10 AM. I freshen up and answer other mails. After that, there is a lot of juggling of activities; office work – basically answering calls, messages and mails, playing with my son, feeding and bathing him, housework, reading the newspaper, checking all my social media, watching TV and preparing lunch. For the first hour or so after waking up, my son plays independently – with his toys, utensils, empty buckets, bottles, stroller – basically anything he can get his hands on. After that, he demands more attention from me. I hover around him and he hovers around me.

The moment my son goes down for his nap which is around 1-2 PM, I start work. He usually naps for 3 hours in the afternoon so that’s when I do the bulk of my work. He is a light sleeper and tends to wake up a couple of times in between so occasionally I work on our bed so that I can immediately reach out and put him back to sleep.

Once he is up from his nap and has his evening milk, it’s a repeat of the morning routine till his dad comes home. I cook, clean and finish all the household chores for the day. We all spend some time together at dinner after which my husband looks after my son while I finish any pending work. My son then chooses who will put him to sleep that night. After some catching up time with my husband, I go to bed with a novel. Unfortunately, I just get to read a paragraph or so before the book crashes into my face and I realise it’s time to sleep. I check my mail one last time, shut my eyes and hope to drift into the land of dreams.

This is of course the routine on a good day.

With a toddler, there is always something or the other happening since they are growing and changing really fast. If my son has a cold or an upset stomach or he is teething for instance, he won’t sleep well and he will be clingy all day. Then it becomes really difficult to work. On such days, I become best friends with coffee and sacrifice my sleep at night. Also, I try and finish all my work a few days before the deadline so that crises with my son don’t affect my work.

Luckily, motherhood has taught me to forge ahead despite intense fatigue and sleep deprivation. I have learnt to expect change, be prepared for anything and alter strategies at a moment’s notice. I have learnt that there is always a solution.

I think motherhood is the best preparation for entrepreneurship. And it’s not just my experience as a mother. I have learnt so much by just watching my son. So if his toy rolls under the bed, he won’t call out to me immediately to take it out. He’ll lie down on his stomach and try to fish it out on his own. He’ll try one position then another position, one angle and then another angle, one side and then the other side and only when he has tried everything and exhausted all his options, he calls me. His perseverance at everything is just so inspiring.

He jumps out of bed every day with so much excitement and anticipation and he goes on and on all day till he physically can’t anymore and just drops into sleep mid activity. And I think to myself – if he can do it, so can I.

In my next post in this series, I’ll share with you some tips I use to manage everything smoothly (well, most of the time).