Saturday, 13 February 2010

Tiger buddies

Let's have a cheerful story for a change...

Regular readers of this blog would've noticed some stories about my working life while stationed outside my hometown. Many years back, I worked on a construction project in Terengganu, together with an ex-colleague named Steve Wong. We became very close friends even after we went separate ways upon completion of the project.

We kept in touch by way of emails, Yahoo Messenger and the occasional phone call. After Terengganu, Steve returned to his hometown in Ipoh and worked with a few companies before finally (I hope) settled in on a steady job with his brother's company in Singapore. Steve gave me a call when he first transferred to Singapore almost three years ago and I promised to look him up whenever I have the chance. Despite that promise, I never found the time to meet up with him although I travel to Singapore quite often to visit my parents.

One evening last month, I was still at the office when a buzz from my old friend came in on YM. We chatted for a bit before he asked me when I think we can meet up. I told him that my visits to Singapore are usually weekend trips and don't have that much free time.

He replied back, `Haiya brader... excuses only!'

It hit me instantly that my friend was right. If we want something to be done, we will try our best to make it happen. The Malay phrase is, `Hendak seribu daya...'

I then decided I'll make a specific trip to Singapore just to meet up with my friend. We exchanged messages for a bit more before deciding on the last Saturday of January to have dinner together. On 30.01.10, I drove down to Singapore to meet my old buddy whom I've not met for more than 5 years.

Steve took me out for a seafood dinner near his house in Choa Chu Kang. We talked about old times and old friends. He told me that he's settling down with life in Singapore and hope to move his family from Ipoh soon. On the work front, things have much improved although initially he faced many problems. Things are definitely looking up for my friend.

Steve and I are both tiger guys... we are 48-years old this year. We may be endangered species but our fighting spirit never dies.

During the dinner, I mentioned to Steve that another of our ex-colleague, CP Toh may also be working in Singapore. Steve asked for Toh's local mobile number and immediately placed a call. As luck would have it, Toh was actually in Singapore that evening, still slugging it out at his office somewhere within the National University of Singapore campus. We decided to meet up and have teh tarik somewhere not too far from the NUS.

Three longtime pals : (L to R) CP Toh, Oldstock and Steve Wong

And so that evening, three close friends who've never met in years ended up at a mamak eating place having some drinks and chatting up late into the night. Good friends are like gold... they'll never lose value.

Happy Lunar New Year to all my Chinese friends and readers. Enjoy the long weekend everyone!

Previous posts about my friends can be read here ->
1. The turtle state
2. Iftar with a good friend

Pic of tigers borrowed from National Geographic.


hazeleyed lady said...

That was he nicest thing that you have done...
Friends are to be treasured...forever
Have a pleasant week ends

mamasita said...

Awwh..lovely Tiger story!!

3 handsome tigers at the same table! What more can I nice!!

pakmat said...

no..not gold..for gold is so old wood..:)..they make better that fire you all made there at that mamak's place..cheers..

HLiza said...

Bestnya jumpa member2 lama..Tiger rupanya ya Pak Oldstock...he he saya Cik Sitikus.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

TQ Oldstock for your well wishes.

The good thing in Malaysia is we get to enjoy & celebrate all the different cultural festivities.

Have a Happy & safe holidays to u & the family too.


P/S - R u fierce by nature? At work maybe, 'Lo Fu si tao'..hahaha..U do look very serious :)

lili said...

Salam Oldstock,

I love reading stories about old friends... Like you, I too have excuses for not finding the time to meet up!

A friend from my school days contacted me recently and I hope we will get to meet soon... and hopefully I'll put a broad smile on my face.. er..not like your serious looking look here!! Haha! Betul kata Tommy tu... you look so serious in that picture! Jangan marah arrr! :)

Oldstock said...

Lady Hazel,

Tq. You enjoy the long weekend too.

Oldstock said...


Kat mana hensemnya... garang adalah, hehehe :-)

Oldstock said...


I was thinking of a good phrase to end the story but of course, cannot come up with a good one like you would. You always have a lovely way of expressing things and I salute you for that. Cheers :-)

Oldstock said...

Ibu Hliza, kiranya harimau sama tikus tidak bole berkawan rapat ya... bahaya gitu, hehehe...

Oldstock said...


I've been celebrating the festivities of other races for as long as I can remember. If we do not recognise and appreciate the differences, then it would be such as waste.

You enjoy the holidays, my friend.

Oldstock said...

Salam Lili,

I have a natural fierce-looking face, as what Tommy observed. Tapi you don't worry la...hati kita baik :-)

Justiffa said...

Your friend hit the nail right on the head there... we really do come up with the lamest excuses sometimes. while making new ones, i really MUST catch up with old friends.. thx for the timely reminder :D take care.

Anonymous said...

May the Golden Tiger Year bring you PAWSperity, GRR-eat Health & ROARing Lurvvve.

Oldstock said...


Sometimes we make up too much excuses to cover the fact that we are generally lazy. I used to be slack about maintaining friendships but sejak kebelangkangan ni... bila dapat berita tentang kawan-kawan lama yg sudah pergi, yg kurang sihat dan sebagainya... I've renewed my drive to meet up with as many old friends as possible.

You take care too... and keep on runnin' :-)

Oldstock said...


Thanks for the wishes... I sensing a change in my life this year. For the better, of course.

Hope the new year would be fruitful for you too.