weivern.com Bit by Bit, Putting it Together


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

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

Of Kolo Mee, Wantan Mee & Missing Malaysia

It was one of those weekend mornings. For some reason I woke up really early to get my day started, anticipating tons of work to be done before the weekdays commence (yes, I have an odd habit to get most of my stuff sorted out over the weekends instead of doing them on weekdays). I found myself hungry, and headed to Bangsar early in the morning for some breakfast to kick start my day. It was a familiar territory, since I used to go there a lot, and I made my way to the corner coffee shop for a plate of good ol’ wantan mee. Eating in KL can be expensive, and for most parts, boring. I was just craving for something cheap and close to home. READ MORE

The Morning Express

She looks at me from the corner of her eyes, and a smile forms at the edge of her lips. We don’t speak, we don’t make direct eye contact yet – but she knows that I’m just as thrilled to see her. The aroma that permeates the air awakes my senses as I walk quietly behind her and turn on the tap, allowing the sound of water flowing fill the silence. It’s about time, I thought as I wait patiently for her to finish her morning routine. She knows what I need, and she was going to give it to me – hot and bittersweet. READ MORE

Review: Another Country

Scene 1:
Me: Nat, shall we catch a play on Sunday, 3pm? It’s directed by Jo Kukathas and features Sharifah Amani! And they’re working with Singaporeans on this too.
Nat: Okay!
Ten minutes later…
Me: I’ve bought the tickets!”
Nat: Alright, how much is it?
Me: RM80 per ticket!
Nat: Wow, gee thanks for the heads up, Vern!
Scene 2: 
Me: So, are you free this Sunday afternoon? There’s a really interesting play going on. READ MORE

You Can Be Your Own Boss

I don’t really know what an entrepreneur is anymore. People whom I regard as entrepreneurs are now saying things like “I’m not an entrepreneur” and those who don’t seem to fit the bill are flaunting the label around their necks.
Today, we find many articles written about the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, inspiring young ones who are keen to build a name for themselves in the business world, but very few are targeted at those in the workforce. Recently, Timothy Tiah (co-founder of Netccentric) wrote a rather compelling piece from a successful entrepreneur’s point of view of why some people should consider working for others than to start a business. You can read this rather well-written article here. READ MORE

Rush Hour

Some would call tomorrow D-day. The project team is racing against time to prepare every single detail to be presented to our stakeholders tomorrow for a milestone review. In less than 24 hours, we will know if we’re moving forward, making a U-turn or stop once and for all. During tough times like these in the oil & gas industry, everyone’s desperate to keep their project alive. Every tonne, every cent and every second count even more than before. READ MORE

weivern.com Bit by Bit, Putting it Together