weivern.com Bit by Bit, Putting it Together



“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. READ MORE

Veiny Hands

“You’ve got veiny hands,” my flatmate commented as her finger prodded onto the slightly bulging green pipelines that run across the back of my palms.
“Mm? I do? Oh yeah, I guess I do now. I’ve never had them before,” I shrugged.
“Do you do a lot of hard work with your hands?” My flatmate’s a doctor-to-be, so analysing people’s anatomy is one of her favourite past times.
I thought about it for a while, because I hadn’t really noticed them. In fact, my veins were so hidden before this that doctors and nurses often found it hard to draw blood during a medical check-up. What has changed, then? Is it age? Dehydration? READ MORE

Showing Up

“Sometimes, you want to be that friend who knows the right things to do, the right things to say. But most of the time, I find myself at a loss for words and actions – what can I possibly do to make things better, especially when things are generally beyond our control?”
You could tell that he was both helpless and frustrated at that time, his genuine concern and desire to help someone was taking a toll on his own composure. I could relate to this feeling very well – I’m no stranger to this predicament. READ MORE

The Halfway of Everything

The familiar sound of my alarm wakes me up, but unlike other mornings, I ignore the ‘Snooze’ button and turn it off. 7.00AM on a Saturday, and my room is halfway lit by the morning sun. It should be a warm day, I think.
I drag myself to the sink, and catch sight of my bedhead in the mirror. I ruffle my own hair a little bit and chuckle because I look a little funny. Then, I realise that there is a pair of eyes staring back at me, curious and familiar at the same time – like meeting an old friend I have not seen for a while. READ MORE


A friend of mine posted on social media that the notion “Things don’t always go according to plan” is one truth he finds it hard to accept.  I don’t think he’s alone in this.  As we get older, we think we should be better at planning and making things happen.  During job interviews, we are often asked where do we see ourselves in the next five to ten years.  Having a vision of the future is great – but what happens when things don’t fall into place just as we want them to?  Just as we think we are getting better at this, the matter of fact is we probably experience more “detours” than we think. READ MORE

N is for Nourishing Your Soul

As I was leaving for London last year, I received a few heartwarming farewell gifts from loved ones. One of them was a list called “The Alphabets of Living Rights” that was brilliantly concocted by a dear friend. It’s a checklist of A-Z of the things I should accomplish during my time here. So far, I have more or less completed 70% of the list, most of which are pretty straightforward, such as eating ice cream in winter (that’s I), embrace your roots in Chinatown (that’s E), sing loudly, smile widely (that’s S), and so on. READ MORE

To Something Better

What a year it has been!
This is the first time that I’m celebrating my birthday in a different timezone, without my family and without a customary bowl of ‘tang yuen’ as part of the winter solstice celebration because they both always coincide. Instead, I made my way down to Brighton with my friend Jean to join in the annual Burning of the Clocks. It is said that people do it to ward away bad stuff, and this year they also added a tribute to those who have passed on. We couldn’t think of a better way to spend the eve of my birthday. READ MORE

“I’ll See You When I Come Home.”

That was what I said to him before I left for London.
Where do I begin?
How do you write about a man who has written all his life?
To many, he is known as Soo Ewe Jin, editor of The Star and inspiring columnist of “Sunday Starters” who has lifted the spirits of many with his heart-warming articles (and probably the sole reason I still read the local papers).
To me and my cousins, who were brought up in a large extended family of eight aunties and one uncle – he was our one and only Ah Koo. READ MORE

Scholarships and More

Hello, from sunny UK! Yes, we’re approaching autumn but it has been rather sunny and warm since I got here. I will write about my time here in the later posts, but I’ve been getting requests from friends and strangers to do a write-up about my talk on scholarship applications, which was organized by Mensa Penang in August. It is the scholarship application season now, so I hope what I’m about to share helps you in your preparation. READ MORE

Journey to the West: Ghent & Bruges

“Why Ghent? Actually, where’s Ghent?”
Those were the common questions I would get when I share about our little holiday. I first read about Ghent when I was trying to find a common place to stay when we travel between Bruges and Brussels. I knew those two places are very touristy and my idea was to settle at a quieter area after the hustles and bustles of Paris.
Some online research led me to places like Ghent and Antwerp, with many seasoned travelers vouching for the first. Ghent is situated strategically between Brussels and Bruges, just a half hour train ride between those two and I was particularly intrigued to discover this “hidden gem”. READ MORE

weivern.com Bit by Bit, Putting it Together