The Gift of Choices

CHOICES are the hallmark of a free world. In a war scenario, there are hardly any choices. If you can find rice, or even potatoes, that would be like a gift from heaven. Choices, therefore, are a good thing.

As shoppers, choices are what makes a shopping experience satisfying. Let’s take a pretend flight to Bangkok and be a shopper for a day or two. You would find that “more and better” seems to color the entire shopping experience. It is hard to find anything bad to say about Bangkok except the crowds, the noise, the traffic. The general tenor of all the big department stores in the likes of Paragon, Central, Emquartier is its bigness and its myriad of choices.
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Have Phone, Will Chat (and Study)

CHATTING is the lifeblood of teens. When class is in session and no chatting is allowed, our iPhones, Samsungs, and Xiaomis come out to play.

Lianne is at the back row of class doing her jacket sleeve trick: her right hand has completely retracted into her sleeve, poking out only intermittently. In the darkness of the soft, warm fabric, her fingers are flying about, typing stuff on Telegram. She’s just sent me and our clique a photo of the physics teacher, photoshopped. He’s bald, but suddenly, he’s got a mop of hair. Clearly, all her digital diversions are a hindrance to the class in session, but she’s never been caught, neither have the rest of us. Continue reading

Marching On With Technology

ELECTRONIC devices and school are inextricable. Many schools require that their students own a laptop, some even a tablet. The beauty of electronic devices is that they connect you to the vast world of information out there. I can just sit by my desk, get on my MacBook, and look up a myriad of facts on “velocity,” for instance. Continue reading

Choices, Choices, Devilish Choices

CHOICES are wonderful. Choices are also troublesome. Have too many, and you might end up in that uncomfortable, stressful situation called indecision. Have too little, and you whinge and whine.

Not too long ago, when the semester holidays had just started, I had to attend a strings concert, and true to form, I devoted a whole hour to selecting a dress suitable for the occasion. First, I picked out a white-to-orange ombré dress, then a maroon flare-skirt and a black skater skirt, before fishing out some less formal numbers: a jump-suit, a floral romper, an off-shoulder blouse, and some more nonsense I can’t even remember. And in the end, what did I go with? The plainest thing in my closet: a juniper T-shirt, and a black-and-white checkered shorts. Continue reading

Death to Distractions

SMARTPHONES are so widely used that they have become something of a social evil. People slouch into their iPhones or androids, sucked into a cyber world buzzing with all kinds of distractions: Likes and Shares, Tweets and WhatsApp messages, YouTube and music videos, newsfeeds, Snapchat and WeChat, the noise never stops. Having said that, anyone without a smartphone must surely be from a dinosaur age, unenlightened by the vast resources out there, that wondrous world we call the Internet.  Continue reading