At the Carwash

Mr Kwek and I headed to the carwash near my parent's home the other day. It was a car wash with a difference.
Upon rolling into the car wash cabin, we were greeted warmly by 6 smiling staff members. I have never seen so many staff members at a car wash before and I have definitely never had so many people smile at me at a carwash before. 

The wash begins with a serious washdown by high powered jets of water controlled by an older uncle and the other staff members moving around the car ensuring that every part of our car was washed. This was followed by a good soaping. That's where our hearts were warmed as I saw the staff members help each other, pointing out spots which each other missed, or specks which needed further scrubbing to get rid of grime. Then another washdown by the the jets again and we rolled out of the cabin for drying by 2 other staff members. Our little Colt sure felt thoroughly washed, and highly pampered by the overflow of attention.

If only every carwash gave us such wholehearted service.

What was even more special about this carwash was that it was a joint effort by SPC and the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS). So it is staffed by the intellectually disabled. 

While the intellectually disabled are often seen as less desired employees in by employers, going through this carwash was incredibly humbling. The joy, pride and effort they put into their work put me to shame. We have much to learn from them.

Mr Kwek and I will head back there again the next time we need a carwash and you should check them out too, especially if you are around the Vivocity area! Details of their address, opening hours and prices are below.

616 Telok Blangah Road 
Singapore 109027 
Tel: 6473 1148 

Operating Hours: 
Monday to Friday: 9.00am-7.00pm 
Saturday and Sunday: 9.00am-5.00pm 
Closed on Public Holidays

Price List:
Saloon Car: $8.00
MPV/SUV/Mini Van: $9.00
Large Van: $12.00
Taxi (Saloon): $4.00
Taxi (MAXI Cab/MPV): $6.00
Mini Bus: $17.00


Kwek Kampong

If you can't tell from my many #kwekkampong posts, and I haven't already raved to you about how awesome it is staying here, let me tell you now, I LOVE the new Kwek Kampong. 

From the big things like its incredibly convenient location, to the details like the peranakan tiles under our main door and the astro turf shoe rack. I thank God for this cozy little home done just the way we like it. 

I could be happy spending all day in the Kwek Kampong (cue tai tai dreams). 

Yet I have come to learn, that the Kwek Kampong, like any home, is at it's best when filled with the joy and warmth of the people who love us. 

So to all our loved ones, the Kwek Kampong doors (and please come and admire our special doors) are always open to you. We also have a spare room and extra bed for anyone who needs a place to rest and a happy home :)

(Though we have had a number of friends over, this was the only time we remembered to take a photo)

Home Improvement: Spray Paint

Remember Freecycle that I told you guys about earlier? 
Well, someone had out up this old beat up rattan coffee table on freecycle. When I saw it, I immediately sent a message to the person and promised to pick it up that day. It held so much potential!
Mr Kwek had been dropping comments about how he had no place to put his cup when watching tv or chilling out in the living room area. So I figured this would be just what he was looking for. 

The rattan living room set was a staple in many singapore homes in the 80s. My parents had a set when I was growing up, so did my cousins and I'm sure many of you from my generation would remember something similar in your homes. So this coffee table felt warmly familiar. 

However, most of my living room furniture is part of the rosewood furniture set from the in-laws so they were black. When we brought the coffee table home, it stuck out like a sore thumb. But it was nothing the magic of spray paint can't solve.

Two cans of matte black spray paint later, here it is now. Fits right in with the rest of the home, gorgeously modern yet a nod to a bygone era. 

And now Mr Kwek has a place to put his cup and I can eat while watching the tv.

Thanks kind soul for passing this treasure on. 

SMU Open House

A few weeks ago some of my friends and I were invited back to my alma mater the Singapore Management University (SMU) during the Open House to be on a panel to share our experiences of studying at SMU, specifically in the social science faculty. It was a great privillege and every word we said came from the heart. And we really *heart* SMU. 

To the prospective students and their parents, we spoke of the bonds formed, the opportunities presented and the possibilities. To me, SMU gave me space. Space to expand my horizons, space to meet interesting people, space to do what I loved, and space to get an education. You know how in behavioral psychology, experiments show that people tend to do much better at difficult tasks when they knew it was possible, rather than when it was not known whether the task was possible? Well, that's what SMU did for me. It made me think that anything was possible. And so it was. 
We took a stroll around the campus after the talk which brought back so many fond memories.
And finally lunch with some others from the pioneer batch of social science students at SMU was inspiring as usual. We have all embarked on such different journeys in life- a philanthropist, an entrepreneur, a trader, an architect, a psychologist and a humble civil servant. You would never believe we all studied together in university. 
But we believed it was possible, and it was.
If any of you are choosing universities right now, give me a shout. I'll be happy to talk to you to share more.