Q0: Who Am I? ( A Somewhat Late Introduction )
By Paul Quek , in Singapore
"A Somewhat Late Introduction"?
No, no! I am not dead! Not yet!
"How's it hanging, McFly?"
My name is Quek Siew Khoon, but call me "Paul Quek".
It's easier on the tongue!
A few words about moi, for context:
The last item on the above list is significant: you see, there are many dialects in the Chinese language. What is generally thought of as "Chinese" in the West is actually the "Cantonese" dialect.
In Beijing, China (where "China" is a.k.a the "PRC", or "People's Republic of China"), they mostly speak the "Mandarin" dialect, which is sort of the official "Chinese" language. But in Taiwan, a.k.a. the "ROC" (or "Republic of China"), politicians kinda like to use the Hokkien dialect -- it sounds more sincere! True, Really, Sompah! ( a la Singlish ) -- I am not making this up. Anyway, my mum's Hokkien, by the way. My Dad's "Hokchia" ( I have no idea whether this spelling is "corright or not, lah!", more Singlish for you to chew on! ).
We, in Singapore -- which is neither part of China nor part of Taiwan, either politically or geographically, but is a tiny island in South-east Asia -- speaks mostly a mish-mash of dialects, sprinkled liberally with beautiful "Singlish" (or the local bastardised version of English) and other languages such as
-- thus demonstrating our deep-rootedness in ASEAN (or Association of South-east Asian Nations), although the official "Chinese" language in Singapore is, by decree, Mandarin.
Mandarin is so "official" in Singapore that, at one stupid time, TV and radio
broadcasts in other Chinese dialects were "banned" (a very common and
"official" word in Singapore, where only the hammer is used because every
problem is seen as a nail), or at the very least "discouraged".
Anyway, this is my very own WWW site -- or website, for short (perhaps, "netsite", since the WWW is part of the Internet?) -- created mostly for my own edification. But if you find it useful, then maybe that's another reason for its existence.
However, since I hope that I have developed a somewhat Zen-like, Tao-like disposition, maybe the reasons for this website are not all that important....
Hey, after all, I'm not all that important....
Anyhow, I am simply going to treat this website as a place for a sort of "potpourri e-book" that is continuously evolving.
You will find that, because I find it difficult to read a lot of text on a computer screen for any great length of time, I have, wherever I can, dispensed with most of the paragraph and other writing-style conventions meant for a paper-based book.
Still, you can always print out these webpages -- it's your choice -- but I am writing these pages to be read on a screen.
If you are like me, you probably feel that there are already too many "pieces of papers" in your life, and you are trying to get rid of them RSN ( "real soon now" )! ( Yeah, right! )
And thus his nature Each discloses;
You find the rosebush Full of thorns,
I find the thornbush Full of roses.
Who knows what he is told, must
know a lot of things that are not so.
The stones that Critics hurl with Harsh Intent
A Man may use to build a Monument.
-- Arthur Guiterman