Monthly Archives: July 2010

#20 Being sneaky

Dear readers, I regret to inform you that the day I’ve feared the most has arrived. No, not the apocalypse. Something far more frightening. Something I never anticipated. Something that would mark this date as a day of infamy (Sorry, I’m watching Pearl Harbor while writing this post).

My Singaporean Mom has discovered how to use the Internet. Shock! Horror! Panic!

Thanks to Google Search and search engine optimization, my Singaporean Mom has discovered this blog. *cue dramatic music*

It all started at lunch, while I was enjoying my honeycomb affogato peacefully and minding my own business as I usually do. “By the way,” my Singaporean Mom said rather casually, as she picked out a bit of honeycomb crumble from my dessert (“Let me tau chiak a bit!”), “I found your blog you know. I read that post on Ninja Boasting and ahem, I know who you’re referring to!”

And then she proceeded to clap her hands with glee as I tried not to choke on the little honeycomb bits in my dessert.

“How on earth did you find my blog?” I sputtered, as my heart raced and rapid thoughts sped through my mind. (First thought: whip out phone and warn the troops! aka my siblings)

“Oh, the server was down at the office and I was bored, so I Googled all your names (in reference to my siblings and I),” she said nonchalantly, as though she were talking about getting a pedicure and not something that would quite possibly ruin my life. “Did you know that there are dozens of Glenn Tans but only one Genna Tan? That’s how I found you.”

Thanks, Google. Really.


You guys need to understand that I got a big shock because:

1) Who would ever expect their parents to Google your name or find you on Facebook? When my Singaporean Dad is online, he’s usually on Bloomberg or Googling things like “Lip trainer Patakara”.


2) My Singaporean Mom is not the most tech-savvy person around. One time, my sister set the screen saver on her computer to a rolling marquee reading “THIS COMPUTER WILL SELF-DESTRUCT IN 10 SECONDS. DO NOT STAND CLOSE. 10….9….” and my Singaporean Mom freaked out and ran out of the room in terror, shouting, “I didn’t touch anything! I didn’t do anything!”. Needless to say, she was not amused when she found out that it was a joke.

Also, my parents seem to think that posting your information (or *gasp* photos) on the Internet is the worst thing ever. Kind of like how, in Secondary School, it was practically horrifying to have your mobile number scribbled on the walls of the Cineleisure toilets. My Singaporean Mom once mentioned that we’d better be careful not to offend anyone, or we might end up having our “photo posted on Facebook”, like it was the most unimaginable thing ever.

Anyway, my point is, Singaporean parents are sneaky. Just when you think that they’ll never find you on Facebook, you’ll wake up one morning to check your Blackberry, only to find a Facebook friend request from your Singaporean Mom (and sadly, not a Shopbop coupon as you had hoped). So siblings, friends, comrades – please be warned of the ninja-like sleuth skills that your Singaporean parents have, and never, ever underestimate them. I really wouldn’t be surprised if one fine day, they showed up at Zouk or Butter Factory, ready to do a few jager bombs and talk about how they found you on Foursquare like a ninja.


#19 Sharing embarrassing childhood stories

Ahh… we’ve all been there. You know, that uncomfortable moment when your Singaporean Mom decides to share an embarrassing childhood anecdote with your friends/relatives/frenemies, much to your chagrin. And I’m not referring to cutesy stories like writing a note to the tooth fairy (because you thought she was real) either. I’m talking about the downright embarrassing incidents that you want to bury deep down in the recesses of your mind (along with memories of getting your wisdom teeth extracted or getting your BCG injection), such as getting your head stuck in a chair and bawling your eyes out because you thought you’d have to walk around like that forever (I was just trying to see if the grooves were big enough to fit my head okay. Don’t judge.) Or worse, when your Singaporean Mom whips out a baby photo of you in the buff before passing it around nonchalantly like a bag of prawn crackers, as you sit there feeling extremely affronted at her complete disregard for your privacy (Not cool, Mom. Not cool at all.)

Until this day, my Singaporean Mom hasn’t forgotten about the time I refused to go on stage during my ballet recital because the announcer called me “Geena”. Or the time my sister and I got on a major sugar high at my cousin’s house, and insisted on wearing her bra as a helmet while bouncing on the bed and shouting “We want SUGAR! MOAR sugar!” (A word of advice to parents: Never give your kids sugar before bedtime. Ever.) Or the time I ate a plate of chicken rice, blacked out from food poisoning and had to be saved by the Chicken Rice uncle (Okay okay, this actually happened quite recently and not during my childhood days. What can I say? I have a sensitive stomach.). Anyway my point is, Singaporean Moms derive great pleasure from sharing embarrassing stories with everyone, as long as it’s not about themselves.

Although come to think of it, it’s not just Singaporean Moms who love to do this. I mean, how many times have you brought up that story about your classmate who peed in her uniform and told the teacher that her water bottle was leaking? Or the one about how so and so crapped in her PE shorts and pretended it was a mud stain? Childhood stories like those will haunt you forever.  Trust me, even when you become a high-flying banker or executive at some multi-national firm, your schoolmates will probably always remember you as (insert name here), The Girl Who Peed in Her Shorts in Primary One. So kiddos, the moral of the story is to always keep your bladder and bowels under control. And never lie. Because if the stench doesn’t give you away, your guilty face and shifty eyes will.

And now, because I have run out of things to write about for this post, I shall attempt to distract you with a few (non-embarrassing) childhood photos that I dug up.

Me, age 1. Cross-eyed and bratty.

My Mommy and I. How crazy is it that those baggy pants are back in fashion eh?

My family, circa 1988. I like how everyone is pretending to blow out the candles but my Dad and I look clearly unimpressed by the festivities.

My sister and I.

At first I didn’t recognise myself because I thought this was just a photo of a fat boy. Then I looked closer and saw the cross-eyed grin, and realised it was myself. Boy am I glad that my hair grew out.