I was born in one of the most populated cities in the world, Manila in 1984. The population is more than 12 million in the metro and the life there is challenging, stressful and dominating by the wealthy Filipino-Chinese community. To change the approach in my life I moved to a smaller but busy city in Singapore at early age to continue higher education. The life in Singapore and Manila has similarity where people are often unnecessary competitive, middle-class are proud and some locals are too pretentious. If you’re new in town and if you speak to a local expect to be asked the three common questions;
- Where are you come from?
- What do you do for a living?
- What’s your education?
In the States, I learned it is offensive to ask someone’s race, job or generally what one is doing for a living. In Singapore, the bottom line is all about status and nationality. If you’re from a third world country, it is less appealing to the locals. Unless, otherwise you are from a rich family and you have an interesting lifestyle. Of course, this is just my opinion based on my experience living in Singapore for almost 15 years, however, I’m not saying all local people have the same attitude towards foreigners.
All these years I’ve thought it is a normal approach and it is a common practice but as I travel often and meet different people from all walks of life I realized that not many people will care about where you from, what you do for a living and how you make money. In fact, nobody cares about your story UNLESS, it is relevant to them or it will benefit them.
In my early twenties, I’ve decided in life that I will NOT marry someone who is just rich, smart, and highly educated man. Instead, I’ve searched for someone who I believe I can grow old with and be a better human being with. That’s when I fall in-love with a foreign student in Singapore from Minnesota. After being married for some years we travel to Minnesota every 2-3 years to revisit our family. I learned how to fish, live in a simple but meaningful life in the cabin and not to discuss about financial success or strategy. My husband taught me to be nice to people and gain their respect with actions instead of words. He taught me the values of family, respect for environment, not to waste anything or destroy anything around me.
Okay, it sounds like I’m a 10-year-old kid that needs to be guided. Ha ha! What I mean is that my husband has great influenced in my adult life. He taught me some values I didn’t know before and he taught me that life is less complicated than I thought it is.
In 2018, we decided to revisit home and part of it is to spend few days at the lake. I am very excited to fish, to eat the traditional BBQ steaks of dad, to have fun with mum’s friends and generally the life in the cabin. This time I brought my camera, a few lenses, and laptop to write my experience. The facts in Minnesota are not necessary true as I didn’t learn the history of this state and there is no way I can describe it better than the locals. I write on the basis of how I remember things and the way I remember them told to me.
On the way from Virginia to Rainy Lake.
The terrace of the cabin with the view of the lake.
One part of the cabin where dad re-built it. It looks neat.
The Star Wars toy of my son, a gift from his nana.
It was around 8.30 pm when dad was setting up the movie at night. The summer in Minnesota has late sunset and since it was still bright in the evening I played with my lenses. It looks chill.
Here’s where I use my laptop to write this blog, edit the photos in Lightroom, and to sneak in to check my work emails. If you’re working with me and if you’re reading my blog, please lah don’t write to me during my holiday. ha ha! I will catch up with ya all when I am back to Singapore. Allow me to enjoy this beautiful place for a few more days.
My shareholder Sebastian gave this book to me before my trip to Minnesota. I really like this book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. According to him when he read this book during his business trip to China, Ben Horowitz reminds him of me. Many people underestimate Ben but from a struggling start-up founder he made it far and become successful in his 30’s. Ben Horowitz is now a venture capitalist and helping many start-up founders. Sebastian told me during my birthday, “Ben and you have similar life story. He made sacrifices for other people. His responsible decisions made his company successful. He is a strategist but not overly showing it to people so his competitors didn’t see it coming.” Well, I’m glad he thinks of me that and not just someone who is addictive to selfies and photography. lol 😀 And Sebastian is right, I make responsible decisions for other people and I also have plans to be a VC in the future. For now I enjoy learning and I am embracing the new challenges in my life.
I enjoy reading this book in the small cabin in our lake house where I have a quite time to reflect in life.
ON LUNCH: Chicken, Fish or Steak?
I’m a pan Asian so I always have cravings for rice whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I knew that travelling back to the States my daily cravings would shift to less carbs but more on meat and fish. Chicken isn’t necessarily a popular meal at the cabin because dad will always prefer to have deep fried walleye fish or his traditional BBQ steak. The fish consisted of medium to large size of filet walleye with baked potatoes and tartar sauce. The steak is a large T-bone, roasted in charcoal traditional BBQ, and with side dish of veggies. The servings are big and no one ever left hungry. **burp.
My favourite? Oh, I love the small side of steak with ranch sauce. I’m not a big fan of chips or other local veggies but I like the taste of the ranch sauce for meat. I experienced it in my first trip in Houston, Texas back in 2013 and since then I always have ranch sauce whenever I have steaks, fish or chicken. It’s just simply addictive.
Behold dad is making his traditional BBQ steaks. Yum.
He marinated it well with dash of spices and salt.
Here’s dad, the greatest steaks BBQ maker. 🙂
Are you hungry yet?
Our early dinner is ready!!! 🙂
The steaks with blue cheese and roasted mushrooms on top.
Thank you for reading! If you want to read my fun experience at Sha-Sha resort, you can read it here. For my family’s privacy, complete information is not shared.