Category: �’

Photos from Singapore

May 12, 2009 Posted by suefairview

Sean recently gave me a scanner and I am just a scanner crazy gal! Here are some photos from my trip in 1997 to Singapore.

Below: This me in Nirvana. SHOPPING FOR JADE! The only issue is that I was not fabulously wealthy. But these lovely ladies were having a ball negotiating with me. I bought the two necklaces on the wall (left) and then showed them to a Malayan colleague (I was there to work, cough) who told me I got a really great deal, so I went back again and bought more!!!

I tried on so many bangles that my hands and wrist hurt! They had a lavender one that I was in love with, but it cost too much!!! But I did buy a bangle for my twin sister. It was mostly white with a dark red band and some bright green cloudy lines.

Below is a photo of me in the Chinese / Japanese Gardens Bonsai section. It was taken by a Japanese woman tourist who was there with her young son.

Here is a “small” sidewalk hazard that I saw in Holland Village. A chasm just opened up in the middle of the sidewalk, but never fear, there was a handy concrete tie that nimble pedestrians could step over to avoid falling into the bottomless pit!

Really!!! Could you imagine seeing this in the US??? Could you imagine the lawsuits??? I don’t recommend that people dependent on wheelchairs visit Singapore, as in general things were not handicapped compliant at all that I could see.

If you want to read about the rest of my Singaporean adventure, just click on the label “Singapore” and they will all appear. Magic!

Singapore, Addendum

April 24, 2008 Posted by suefairview

I just had the opportunity to scan in some photos of myself during my trip to Singapore in 1997 and thought I would add them to the blog. If you would like to read about the rest of my trip, just click on the label “Singapore”.

In the first photo, I am at the Hong Won Jade Co. with the lovely lady proprietors from whom I purchased all of the jade on my trip. Click to enlarge photo. I dealt mainly with the younger woman on the left. The older woman in the flowered blouse was the one who got so upset with my bargaining. The two necklaces hanging on the wall are the ones I ended up buying. So many bangles to try on, I’d better get busy!

Here I am at the Chinese-Japanese Gardens Bonsai Garden. I really enjoyed traveling to Singapore even though I was by myself and wouldn’t hesitate to go again.

Boat Shmoat, We’re Going to Paris – Part 14

February 26, 2007 Posted by fairviewsue

When we got back home, we both felt quite out of shape and went to our local YMCA to work out. It was Sunday. We weighed ourselves. Sean gained 3 pounds in Paris and I gained 1.5! So that is why my pants felt tight. Too many buttery croissants I guess. Eep!

The next day at work, I quickly faxed my new contract to Ms. S of the manicured nails so that she could see that there was no car in France. She could not believe it and said that she would try to straighten that out right away for me.

That same day, My boss, Dr. S, assigned a new Director for our group, Mr. B, who had just returned from 2 assignments in Europe. One was in Brussels and the other in Paris. I was eager to meet with Mr. B and ask him about living in Europe and my wish was granted as I met with him that very day. Unfortunately, what he had to say was quite sobering. He told me that Europeans considered things like kitchen cabinets, refrigerators, stoves, etc., to be furniture and would take them away when they moved and if we rented a house we would have to provide them. That would mean thousands of dollars in appliances that we would have to provide to live there. We could always rent these appliances, but the cost was still there up front. He also said that the company would not promise employment after the overseas posting. That is why he was our boss now. He needed a job for a couple of years before his retirement and this was all the company had to offer. He commented that in all, he loved being in Europe so that he and his wife could travel around, but it really drained his financial resources and if he hadn’t saved and had all of his kids out of college he wouldn’t have made it financially. Of course he got a car because he was at the director level and probably a better deal as well. He told me to examine my contract very carefully before signing it.

The day went by really quickly. When I got home, Sean was finished looking at the contract. His face looked bleak. I added the information from Mr. B about the kitchen cabinets and appliances. Sean just shook his head. We went though the numbers together. It was truly terrible. With the cost of a car, the underestimated mortgage coverage, the rent for the house we would need, the loss of Sean’s income, the cabinets etc., we figured that we would be out $80,000 in the first 3 months. I tried not to think about it because that would mean that we could not go and live in Paris and my dream would die.

I went into work the next day. I had a call from Ms. S of the manicured nails. She said that she has spoken to Monsieur P and that he was quite adamant that personnel at my level do not get a car in France. She did not understand why the French had to be different than all of Europe on this and would work to get it changed for me, though it might take time. I thanked her and rang off.

I held the contract in my hands and started to get really upset. What was I going to do? So, I walked down the hall to see my friend, Dr. R, the vice president of oncology. He was in and motioned me to sit down. I closed the door and burst into tears. He asked me what was wrong and I told him that my dream of working in Paris was not affordable and explained why. I told him that I just didn’t know the next step. He advised that I write Dr. A a response to the contract telling her why I cannot accept it and how upset I am. I thanked him profusely and did just that.

My memo to Dr. A began, “I am crestfallen that I cannot accept this offer to come and work in Paris…”, and then went on to specify why the contract did not cover my expenses adequately. I sent it, copying Ms. S and Monsieur P. A great weight was lifted when I sent it.

The next morning, I got a call from Dr. A. She ranted and raved about how she hates Americans and most especially me and why should she care about my needs and bla, bla, bla… on and on. I guess my memo was not received well at all. She felt that I had taken her free week in Paris and used her. I just let her rant, because I was so glad that I had not signed a contract to work for that American hating bitch. I thanked for calling when she wound down. She was just venting her disappointment after all. I was also disappointed. Sigh.

Later that month, I attended a Clinical Operations Meeting and all of the Clinical Vice Presidents were there. Dr. P, whom I had dinner in Paris was there and some other of my pals and all were sympathetic to my turning down the job with Dr. A. One VP said that if it were him, it would not have gone that way at all. Then, Dr. A entered the room. I extended my hand to her and said that I was sorry that it hadn’t worked out between us. She looked me in the eye and said that she was sorry too. We shook hands and I almost cried. Dr. P said that he was surprised by the maturity. I looked at him and said that we were adults, why would he be surprised? Dr. A mentioned that she had hired a very nice woman from the UK to do the job and it turned out it was someone I knew, liked and had worked with before. She was single, had a car, and therefore perfect for the job. I was happy that Dr. A found someone capable so quickly and said so.

Later that night at home with Sean, I was thinking and said, “I guess we’ll never live in Paris.”

He replied, “But, Susie, we live in paradise now, and we Summer Camp, our new boat. Remember, we weren’t going to go to Paris because of the boat.”

“Oh yeah”

And together we said, “Boat shmoat, we’re going to Paris!”

The End

Boat Shmoat, We’re Going to Paris – Part 13

February 19, 2007 Posted by fairviewsue

I had been to the Louvre before, and really wasn’t interested in seeing the Mona Lisa or Winged Victory or Venus de Milo and thankfully neither was Sean. I really wanted to stay away from crowds and see their Egyptian collection. I am relentlessly fascinated with the antiquity of Egypt as well as other ancient civilizations.

So that is what we did. We were both astounded by this exhibit. Never have we seen sculptures that communicated and spoke to us across time so loudly and profoundly. It felt as if these people were alive just yesterday, not millennia ago. We could relate closely with their cares and feelings. I had never gotten that feeling from an Egyptian exhibit before. Neither had Sean. It was weird.

After seeing the exhibit, I really wanted to take a piece of Paris home with me, so we decided to shop at the mall under the Louvre. There are gift shops including Lalique and Faberge. At the Lalique shop, of all the things they had, my favorites were very pretty little fish in a rainbow of colors, seahorses, butterflies, and dragonflies. Nothing was cheaper than $125. But then I thought, what the hell am I going to do with this little tiny glass fish when I get home? Will it just sit and gather dust? I have no place to display it in my house and it is not the sort of thing that I would wear. So I walked out without one.

Then we went to Faberge and looked at their wearable eggs. Same thing there. I didn’t like any of the eggs well enough to wear; they were a bit big for me as pendants, and too expensive at $350. But it was very nice to think about. So I left Paris empty handed with just memories and my contract to consider.

Boat Shmoat, We’re Going to Paris – Part 12

February 12, 2007 Posted by fairviewsue

On Our last full day in Paris, we decided to walk from our hotel to the Musée du Louvre. We had received much sobering news up until now: no car, Sean may not be able to find a job. It was time to just sit back and enjoy our surrounds. We set out on a new course that we had not walked before. Beautiful Paris welcomed us.

It did not take long before we came across a street market. I guess that in Paris, most people buy their food from these outdoor food markets rather than at a grocery store. This one was tented and offered fresh fruit, fish, cheese, meat, pate, wine, bread, and vegetables. God, everything looked so tasty! Oh to spread some of that cheese or pate on that crusty bread and have it with some of that wine at a picnic! We wished we were staying and could purchase food supplies.

On our way to the Louvre, Sean’s architectural eye spotted beautiful things everywhere. This photo is of a Lalique frosted glass door with bas relief pine tree, where the pattern is carried right into the surrounding cement (click photo to enlarge). Isn’t it beautiful?

Paris is littered with architectural gems like this, you have only to look and see. I probably would have walked right by and never noticed it if Sean hadn’t stopped and pointed it out. We also found a park, where a pedestrian bridge was designed where the span was built of tree branches fashioned of iron. We also saw doors in art deco styles that we took photos of.

Finally we reached the Louvre. I had not seen the new I.M. Pei pyramid addition. I’m not sure that the modernity of it adds to the old structure, but it does add light to the basement entry, and hey, without it, The Da Vinci Code wouldn’t be much of a story.

Views of the Louvre lobby enlightened by the new glass pyramid

Next time on Boat Shmoat… What we saw at the Louvre!