Telok Ayer Time Warp

September 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Lately, our weekends have been pre-occupied with work as we spend, what should be cherished leisure time, slogging away from behind our paper-laden desk at home. Lil’ Miss Maple was anxious to find an escape route from the bunker that we had been slowly building in the comfort of our abode. It was time to take a break from the monotony and re-introduce ourselves to civilization. So, off we went one weekend in search of a little urban adventure.

Often times, we plan our daytrips according to our food cravings. That particular weekend, I was craving for a local dish called “Char Kway Teow” (fried rice noodles). But, no, it couldn’t be just any old Char Kway Teow from any ordinary hawker stall—it had to be the Char Kway Teow from the Amoy food centre in Chinatown! The last time I had Char Kway Teow from the Amoy food centre was eons ago when I used to work in the vicinity and would “tar pau” (takeaway) a packet for lunch in the office. Would we be able to find that same Char Kway Teow on a quiet weekend? There was only one way to find out.

As the photo above shows, our tummies were indeed lucky that day. We tar pau-ed the Char Kway Teow, which was neatly packed in paper, and brought our loot to the nearby Telok Ayer Green—a little urban pocket park tucked in the middle of a block of historic shophouses dating back to the early 19th century.

We  found ourselves a spacious bench under the shade where we chowed down until our appetites were completely satiated to the point of eschewing Char Kway Teow for several months. Lil’ Miss Maple, however, found something of greater interest at Telok Ayer Green. Dotted around the park are life-like sculptures that remind us of a time in Singapore’s history when work was labour-intensive, gruelling, and under-valued.

All it took was a day trip to Telok Ayer and a time warp to put things into perspective for us. There will always be unfinished work that will carry over to the To-Do list for the following day. Most of this work provides for our livelihood and I suppose it would be inadvisable to neglect it altogether (lol), while other tasks are self-imposed and tend to be given an exaggerated declaration of importance (for example: I should, no, I must clean/wax/polish the tile floors next week, no, make it today, even though I have a looming deadline for a job application).

In writing this, I am reminded of the “80/20 Rule” which is adapted from Vilfredo Pareto’s concept of efficiency. The poster below transfers the 80/20 Rule to small business development, but I can imagine how the 80/20 Rule can be applied to other aspects of life such as time management. So, there’s no excuse now for you not to have a super productive week… just be sure to reward yourself at the end of it!


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