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Yesterday     2003     2002     2001     2000     1999

Monday with the Editor: No good cheer for 2003

Hallo everyone

Yesterday, while I was doing my usual weekend window shopping with my wife, I happened to remark to her that it's already September. I said that in about a month's time, Christmas cards would start appearing in stores here - Christmas was not far off; 2003 was ending soon.

It was just a casual remark. As we strode into Heartland Mall - Kovan in Hougang, she went into This Fashion for a spot of browsing, and I made my way into myepb store on the third level. There, lo and behold, my eyes fell upon stacks of - would you believe it? - Christmas cards neatly arranged on an open table, next to diaries for 2004. By George!, it's only September and yet, Christmas cards for sale have started appearing in shops here. 

I was wondering to myself whether it could have been a mistake, that instead of Christmas cards, these chaps should have put out Deepavali cards as Deepavali was less than a month away.

Then I remembered - last year, Christmas cards came out in the middle of October. That's about two months before Christmas Day! So it appears that for the past two years, stores have been trying to cajole shoppers into the Christmas shopping spirit. That's good business sense - more shopping done means more dollars in the stores' kitty.

It seems we have to make up for a lacklustre year. 2003 hasn't been a fulfilling year for most of us here. Apart from those who have had a windfall from Toto or some other lucky strike, I daresay, the rest of us, including me, have had quite a bad year. The year started on a good footing, but somewhere along the way, many of us tripped financially and ended up with 'monetary' bruises.

It got worse as the months progressed. Newspaper articles reported retrenchment news. Then SARS got into the picture and made things worse than they already were. Many of us found difficulty trying to make ends meet.

Those with cars also got hurt. As prices of new cars fell, resale values of used cars plummeted. Car owners who have had a hard time paying the hefty monthly instalments, which they had committed themselves to years earlier, thought of selling off their cars to reduce their burden.

But, they found that as a result of the fall in resale prices of second-hand cars, especially the COE cars, they would end up in the red in the tens of thousands of dollars should they give up their cars. Unable to dispose of their cars, they next thought of refinancing their cars so that they could get a lower monthly instalment amount. Alas, finance companies did not have a provision to provide help in this area.

The bad news did not stop here. Banks are becoming nervy over some customers' failure to meet their minimum payments. It is not uncommon for their collections staff to hound these errant customers for the back payments in order to regularise their accounts.

But, hey! It's nearing October - that time of the year when we get to apply to withdraw our ERP shares. That money should come out in early November. It's heaven-sent money to many of us. It will surely save a lot of souls out there who are living from hand to mouth these few months.

My message? Don't give up. Take one day at a time. Find your solutions on a day-to-day basis. Remember - bad times will come and go. What is important is we hang in there and be around when the good times roll in.

Have a good week!

 

NEW ARTS EVENTS IN TOWN

Children's Sculpture Exhibition  6 - 24 Sep 2003

Septfest 2003 Sep - Oct 2003

Scherbakov Plays Rachmaninov  24 Sep 2003

New Works on Paper 2003 - exhibition by Yeo Shih Yun  26 Sep - 12 Nov 2003

ExxonMobil Campus Concerts  Oct 2003

Dome Literary Readings: Identities  10 Oct 2003

Beyond Therapy 15-24 Oct 2003

The Vagina Monologues 28 Oct - 2 Nov 2003

HOME at Sculpture Square  30 Oct - 21 Dec 2003

Land Of Joy  6 - 30 Nov 2003

If you have an event or some news to share with our readers, send the details, including picture(s), to us at editor@getforme.com 

NEW WEB SITES

bettaclub.org.sg is the Web site of Betta Club Singapore, a club set up in 2001 to serve the needs of Betta fighting fish enthusiasts in Singapore. 

Click New Web sites for the rest of the list.

We are now 5787 pages thick and growing.

Public Holidays DEEPAVALI is the next public holiday. It falls on 24 October 2003.

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Monday
22 September 2003

Singapore Time