Last Fri (13 Jan 2013) was quite an eventful day.

As part of my training in the Weapon X project, I went for yet another operation on Fri (a minor one this time: it was the affixment of abutments).

Since it was day surgery, I tottered home from the National Dental Centre after my surgery in some degree of pain.

But before I entered my home, I checked my mailbox out of habit, and I found I had mail.

Ergh, I thought. Bills and the like.

But wait – it wasn’t just bills. There was a letter from the National Arts Council.

Was it the reply I had been waiting for?

Letter of Offer: Participation in the 2013 Toji Writing Residency, Wonju City, South Korea

It was! Ladies and gentlemen, I am going to Korea from 1 Apr to 31 May 2013 as a Writer-in-Residence at the Toji Cultural Centre!

I’m extremely happy because my career plans/plans in general for this year are slowly falling into place.

I’m also very excited because I’ve been reading what others have said/blogged about Toji and it sounds extremely awesome!

Check out:

I’m looking forward to Korea and I’m also keeping my fingers crossed that I get the next residency I’m applying for.

Wish me luck!

P.S. I forgot to mention this: another good thing about receiving the letter on the day of my surgery was that it helped quite a bit with the pain.

Well, I might’ve imagined it, but hey – a little bit of endorphins never hurt anyone (pun intended)!

P.P.S. An ex-colleague had a very interesting contribution to make following my announcement about me being awarded the Residency on Facebook:



A noble profession

While at the dentist on Wednesday (different dentist from the one I saw on Tuesday), the dentist struck up a conversation before taking a look at my teeth:

Dentist: So are you having your vacation now?
Me: Er… No, actually, I quit my job.
Dentist: What! Then I can’t treat you anymore.
Me: What! Why?
Dentist: Teaching is such a noble profession.
Me: Yar, but it’s tiring.
Dentist: Yar, actually, I’m quite tired too. Can I quit my job as well?
Me: Can – but only after we finish treatment.
Dentist: OK lah. So what are you doing now?
Me: I’m writing freelance.
Dentist: What are you writing? Novels?
Me: I make some ‘pocket money’ from journalistic-type articles but I’m focusing on creative work – poetry, plays, prose.
Dentist: Oh, OK – then I can treat you lah. You’re still educating the world.


No nitrous oxide was involved in this conversation.

I also bought Dr Tung’s dental floss for my sister.

Dr Tung's Smart Floss

Privacy settings

Speaking in hushed tones

While at the dentist yesterday, the patient before me was speaking so loudly that the entire waiting room could hear what he was saying.

In other words: he needed to tweak his privacy settings.

What was he saying? These were some choice quotes from him:

  • “You all only work 5 days a week; I work 8 days!”
  • “I’m a divorcee!”
  • “So you’re doing this with your dad? (Dentist says dad passed away.) Oh I’m so sorry doc! (Dentist says dad passed away 16 years ago.) Oh I’m so sorry doc!”
  • “I’m 56 years old!”
  • “I like skateboarding… I’m a cowboy… I’m a rocker too.”

I thought it was hilarious so I posted this on Facebook.

In his defence (for whatever strange reason), my friends responded:

  • “Anaesthetics as truth serum.”
  • “Nervous lah – it’s the tension that’s making him talk!”
  • “It’s probably the nitrous oxide. You should try it sometime.”

I still felt he was talking too much without filtering what he was saying, though.

Not long after, I received this text message from my sister:

“Eh you’re at the dentist? Can help me buy Dr Tung’s Dental Floss, please?”


I think I need to tweak my privacy settings.

P.S. I posted my sister’s message – along with my opinion about my own privacy settings – on Facebook.

My sister hasn’t scolded me yet about posting up her orthodontic habits online for all and sundry, but if she does, I’ll blame it on the tension and the nitrous oxide.