10/25/2014
The dinner service

I never went through Terminal 3. This is all a matter of circumstance.

Thankfully the whole of Changi has free wi-fi - free and reliable wi-fi - so I was able to send a few more messages to my parents. Just the usual things. You tell them where you are, so they don't have to check on you, and get overly worried, and maybe prevent an awkward situation or two.

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10/22/2014
Chopstick etiquette

Let it be known that Y2 is not terrible at using chopsticks, and not terrible at eating xiaolongbao. This was all an accident, one that, unfortunately, befell her favorite flavor...

"Am I doing this right?" I ask my Vietnamese colleague, stopping in the middle of chowing down my bowl of laksa. She is watching me, and has this grin in her face that said I wasn't.

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10/19/2014
The loneliness of a solitary scooter

Hours after the rain, during evening rush hour at Orchard Road.

What do you do when you realize that you've seen everything you can see, and done everything you can do, in Singapore?

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10/09/2014
Neon green

Someone else is wearing sneakers in this shot.

"Everybody claims to be socially awkward," I said, very much aware that, one, I am riled up again, and two, I shouldn't be, because I am in a coffee shop, talking to someone who, until three hours ago, was a stranger.

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9/30/2014
Defend yourself against allegations of corruption: a how-to for public officials

Categorically deny all the allegations. Merely denying allegations is no longer enough. It is recommended that you be forceful and definite in your denial, so as to be perceived as a man with convictions and values. However, you must also note that categorically denying allegations is also not enough; you have to back it up with facts that may or may not be relevant to the subject being addressed. (Please note that you can use other adverbs in place of "categorically," but our findings suggest that other terms have a lower effectively.)

Emphasize on your origins. Keep in mind that your audience are, for the most part, not sophisticated, and can therefore be easily swayed, provided you give them the right fact to latch on to. A relatable origin story has helped many public officials gain sympathy, later translated to support, from an audience. We acknowledge, however, that not everybody has beginnings that can be emphasized effectively. As a rule of thumb, rags-to-riches stories work best: illustrating your lower-class origins and how you worked your way to the top shows that you have overcome all your challenges and, thus, can overcome allegations against you. Otherwise - especially if you come from a privileged background - we recommend that you mention working for yourself and not relying on other people to get to where you are today. It may not be as forceful, but our studies find that it can also be similarly effective.

Illustrate your current position as the height of your success. Do not make the mistake of expressing your ambition; it makes your audience suspicious and, therefore, not as receptive to your denials and rebuttals. However, we acknowledge that, in some cases, previous outings may have, implicitly or explicitly, revealed your future plans. In any case, we recommend that, no matter what the reality is, you state that your current position is the height of your success. Imply that you are happy where you are now, and that you are happiest doing the work you have been tasked to do at this very moment.

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