30 things about being 30 (I’ll tell you 10 for now)

I had some time thinking about life so far (and we all begin to think about this when something eventful is about to happen in our lives, like the last exams, the first bike, the marriage, the kids…) and I finally found out what being 30 really means. To me, at least.

Maybe being 30 means a whole different list of things for some, but this is what I thought true. I haven’t really found out 30 things these past few days, but i’ve gotten at least 10 things down for the moment, on what being 30 means to me.

30 things about being 30:

1) You are already looking after your parents.

When we turn 16, we’re sort of free. At 18, we’re already there, but the parents don’t really know it. At 21, we were absolutely free. At 25, we sort of crawl back to the crib sometimes, check out on our parents, doing the responsible adult thing. Close to 30, when you’re married, your parents are living their later years away from you, and you getting into a fatherly/motherly age, you tend to check up on them more. At 30, you’re doing some parenting already, over your kids and possibly over your parents.

2) You’re past trying to impress with just looks.

At 30, it’s not about how you look, it’s who you are and what you do. And we get it. Be it at work or play, we know looks will open more doors. But that door’s gonna slam shut in your face if nothing else backs that looks up. At 30 we know it’s substance that works.

3) We judge.

We judge the younger ones because they haven’t been there, and we judge the older ones because they think we’re going to go the same route. At 20, we judge ourselves, and we judge others. At 30, you’re at the stage where you feel you’ve done all the studying and you know who you are. So you stop judging yourself. You get that confidence. But you don’t stop judging others.

4) We don’t really know who we are, but we think we do.

Well, in a way. At 30, from all the experience we’ve had, we tend to think they’ve mould us into what we are today. But that’s not entirely true. We actually mould ourselves into what we are today, based on the lessons we choose to take from these experiences. Imagine when you were 18 and playing rugby. You had an injury and a few people told you that you should stop or you won’t be able to walk. So you stopped and studied real hard, got a great job, earned your 5th million at 30. You’ll say the experience you had then made you the person you are now. But if you didn’t stop, and persevere, did great, got drafted into the nationals, worked harder, got talent scouted, made your 10th million at 24, that could’ve been something too. At 30, we think we know who we are, but we really don’t.

5) We want companionship. Need companionship.

Yes, you have the independents who can live with dogs and pets and have a great time at yoga class or gardening and the likes, but at 30, we need someone. And the reason we do is because all our friends at 30 have someone, have grown up, and lead their own lives. No matter how cool it is to have a bro’s night out or a ladies’ night out, or getting that promotion or having your best friends being there for you, it’s not the same. And at 30, we know it.

6) We wish to change the younger generation.

Just like how our parents wanted to change us, we’re going the same circle. You can call it whatever you want – a new approach, a softer approach, whatever – the bottomline is we want to change the younger generation. But to what? A better generation? No, that’s judging, and that’s point 3.

7) We miss the things we had when we were younger.

This goes without saying. But the main things we usually miss are the carefree life of a kid / student, the inability to discriminate, and the ability to believe in love as that Romeo & Juliet story.

8) We love differently.

Where love used to mean making a Mother’s Day card, or folding stars, or saving money for a present, or a plain simple hug, love is now a holiday together, a great meal for two or that stuff your partner has been eyeing for the past month. We are 30, and we are entitled to celebrate love in a way we can afford to, but the feeling is different. I’m pretty sure the day I teach my kids to make a handmade Mother’s Day card for their mom, or the day I get them to bring a birthday cake for granny, that love is definitely different from a nice family meal at Tony’s. Don’t get me wrong – the love is the same, but we love differently.

9) Comfort takes over style

I used to wonder – how the hell can someone wear that out in the streets? Now, I sometimes wonder – why the hell am I wearing this to go out on the streets? But I still do, because it’s comfortable. The perks of being 30 means you give a shit, but you kinda don’t really give a shit.

10) We worry alot more. ALOT more.

Of course with age comes great responsibility. And society is such that you get a list of things you should do, and if you don’t do it, you’re not a responsible daughter/son/husband/wife/mother/father/colleague/employee/lordofthering/. The things we worry about are the same things we worry about when we’re younger and will probably still be the same things we’ll be worrying about for the next 10 years. But we worry, and at 30, when life hasn’t really begun (they say it begins at 40, right?) that’s a hell of alot of worrying already done.

I’ll tell you the other 20 things about what being 30 means to me in the next weeks.


What’s in a pen name?

I’m elated, estatic, overjoyed that we have completed the final draft of the eBook! We’ve spent 18 hours a day, everyday for the past 3 weeks to work on this. I’ve seen my co-author more than I see my wife. I’ve drank more coffee than I thought possible. And I’ve learned so much about this country through the research.

I’ve got to say, I didn’t know Singapore as much as Friz. As a guy who was born and bred here, this guy really knew places. Some I’ve heard but never been to, others I never knew existed. So the book content is mainly from my co-author’s experience and insider knowledge. Though we shared the whole process through, I was more of the research and images guy.

Now that the whole process had gone very well in this partnership and content of the eBook is set, we couldn’t agree on one simple thing: the pen name.

We plan to use just one pen name as the guide is written in first person. And we want the reference to the book to be as simple as possible. So I thought we could have a name like Jacob Cullen, marrying those two ridiculous Twilight characters together. Or maybe Stacy Austin Hart, bringing a threesome of our favourite WWF wrestlers back in the days. I personally like calling ourselves Tiger Sheen.

But we couldn’t agree on any of them.

In the end, after a long discussion (6 minutes) we’re going with Fritz Brown.

We’re not telling you why, though. =)


3 tips before you go to the gym after a long break

I used to be an active guy – you know, skiing, playing football, doing circuits and the like. Physical activity always made me feel alive and positive. If you watch Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan would tell you an exercised dog is more positive and calm.

But venturing into my current work had made me lost sense of routineness to my life. I work the whole night, I sleep in the day, I do conference calls (in the comfort of shorts, but still) at the last minute, my social life shrunk and I cancelled on many fun outings that would’ve given me a break we all deserved.

So, after 2 years of not hitting the gym, I decided to yesterday. And here are 3 tips on gymming after a long hiatus:

1) Go for the lightest weight possible. It’s your first time after a long while, your body will ache madly no matter what you carry. If you want to remain mobile the day after, go light. It also helps you avoid injuring yourself.

2) Go with a buddy. I forgot a lot of what I stuck to back then – posture, breathing, form, etc. With a buddy who’s been gymming, he/she can remind you of these things that’ll keep you in one piece.

3) Buy new shorts if you’ve gained weight. I didn’t, and it tore. Thank god it tore on my last squat (I hope it was then!) And thank god for tights (which were really tight too.)

I’m staying away from that gym for about 3 weeks.


An open mind always begin at a supermarket.

So you’ve heard about how Singapore is a restrictive country where there’s no freedom blah blah blah. Or maybe you haven’t heard that yet.

In all my years living abroad and traveling to different countries, I have to say Singapore is by far the best place to live in. It’s safe, secure and sensibly guarded. While there’s nothing here to boast about, there’s also no huge problems to face. You know a country is making progress when you see technological advancements, higher tolerance for the alternatives and a more vibrant approach towards an inclusive society. 

I am pleasantly surprised to note that a supermarket here has made great progress in keeping an open mind.


Growing up, I remember a 3rd grade teacher vividly. I used to tell her all about my pet dinosaurs and Jammey (my best friend who turned out to be imaginary). She always told when something’s too good to be true, it usually is, though she had no part to play in me finding out Jammey was imaginary (let’s just say I found that out on my own when I was undergoing hormonal changes and growth spurts). All my girlfriends said I was their first. Junior Masterchef have genius children who are totally able to cook up a storm without any help on the show. Ashton & Demi are the perfect couple to show age has nothing to do with love. Megan Fox is perfect.

And I have a strong, strong feeling $2.60 for 3 is definitely too good to be true.

It made for a good laugh, though.





Food and Shopping – What more can you ask for?

So today we headed to the western part of Singapore, thinking we could buy our barbecue supply for next week’s grill-in. The train was jampacked, the station was even worse.

Maybe Justin Bieber and the Beliebers are here. Or Gaga’s little monsters.

But no. What was drawing in the crowd – a newly opened shopping mall.

I think it’s only been opened for less than a week, and so you’ve got opening promotion and sales, some giveaways, mascots and stuff all going on at the same time. One shop even had the lion dance coming in doing a routine that is believed to be auspicious.

That, and the latest ice-skating rink!

Now Singapore had 2 ice-skating rinks, and being a tropical country, that’s something exciting here. One’s in the eastern side (I’m still not sure if it’s operating today). The other one was on the compound this new shopping mall was built.

The new ring however, seems to be built for events, ice-hockey games and performances, which is surprising – how many ice hockey teams are there in SG? And where do they practice – in a huge fridge?

Aaaanyhoo. That’s the new olympic-sized attraction in the westside. Here’s something even more ginormous – my master plan to wriggle my way out of any future invites to a newly-opened shopping mall.

Love you, wifey!


Blogging on the Go!

So here I am, just downloaded the WordPress app onto my awesome, laggy, battery-draining, Blackberry phone, blogging on the go.

I forgot my Kindle, so I’ve got not much choice now, do I?

This wordpress app looks simple here. Seems like we can actually do quite a number of things, and this impressed me.

Anyway, I’ve got an update to share. The Wifey just got promoted! And I’m actually on the way to meet her for a nice dinner in town, and also a break for myself. Been staring at the screen too long this week.

I’ve got a great pal working alongside me for the eBook we’re planning. My buddy Friz I met at a pub some years back during St. Pat’s day. He was and still is a crazy fella.

I mean, this guy’s a marketing guru, he’s worked as an emcee, a DJ, used to do dragonboating, and he’s working with big brands on their social media as a consultant. With all that going on, he’s still a humble guy. What surprised me was he got so excited about the ebook idea, he flung his hand and wiped out the whole jug on beer couple of days back. That jug was on him, of course.

And now we’re over the 20-page mark, with so much important information within, it felt like time flies so fast!

It’s true what they say, you know. No man is an island. It sucks at times working on your computer without some verbal banter going on, but with an awesome partner guiding the way, it’s a blast!

Ooh, my stop’s here! This post better go through, Blackberry!


The Travel Bug (Bear)

After checking out some travel blogs, I’m stoked. To travel!

The wifey & I have plans to head on out to Thailand once again – but this time it’s Bangkok. I’ve never been to Bangkok because a) I’ve never enjoyed shopping b) I’m more of a beach sort of traveler. Singapore doesn’t really have beaches to boast about. Of course there are other fun things to do here, but that’s not the point today.

I enjoy traveling alone. Not that I’m an unsociable creature or an introvert – I’ve always traveled without a care in the world. I’ve rode bikes illegally, watched an underground fight (and maybe won some money, I shan’t say), ate my way through one-tenth of a balut, getting drunk on the streets of Vietnam with new acquaintances, did couchsurfing, homestays. And it invigorated me. Okay maybe not the balut-eating part.

I love traveling light. I usually travel with just a waterproof 10L kayak bag. All I needed were:
– my facial foam (I’ve got sensitive skin, so sue me)
– 2 pairs of boxers
– a t-shirt
– a windbreaker
– travel documents and credit card, mobile phone.
– a good map

the rest I’ll buy, or pool money with other backpackers (I’m a backpacker, it still counts!). And that’s how traveling should be to me. No washing, no shopping, just buy what I need, and enjoy the ride.

With the wifey however, I need to check in luggage (which is always a good idea when she’s coming along), bring bags within my bags, toiletries and clean clothes. I can’t complain though. When we were in Bali, I actually used many of the stuff she brought along (that saved me some dough!).

While I’m looking forward to the Bangkok trip, here’s the bug bear – we are going with THREE of our mutual friends, each dragging their husbands along. AND I found out these men don’t drink, they don’t like beaches and best of all, they too have plans to shop.

MEN. SHOP. MEN SHOP?!?! It’s not that I hate shopping, but 1) the activity makes me poorer, 2) I have to try on stuff, 3) I have to carry the stuff I buy 4) there are too many shops to go to 5) I’ll probably not wear what I bought.

Fine, I dislike shopping. But I love to travel. Hmm, so where does this leave me then? Any ideas?

I couldn’t find the pictures of many of my travels and I’m quite lazy to snap shots (which I usually regret when I see beautiful travel photos on other blogs/social sites), Found just a couple of them below which I’m gladly sharing with you guys (it’s from my trip to Krabi)




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