Moments, coffee and departures

“I wanted to get out and walk eastward toward the park through the soft twilight, but each time I tried to go I became entangled in some wild, strident argument which pulled me back, as if with ropes, into my chair. Yet high over the city our line of yellow windows must have contributed their share of human secrecy to the casual watcher in the darkening streets, and I was him too, looking up and wondering. I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”

“People disappeared, reappeared, made plans to go somewhere, and then lost each other, searched for each other, found each other a few feet away.”

– The Great Gatsby

I’ve been typing again with one less finger (due to a bad paper cut) – an interesting feat, considering that if you have ever worked by me, you will notice that that I type with three fingers. Aka, the discouraged, nursery school child typing. 

It began when I was three, and I had access to Microsoft Word, and I remember telling myself I wanted to copy out the text to all the same figures in my story book on the computer, and compete with myself on the times (alas, the useless and miserable things only children do to entertain themselves) and by the time I was six and my parents decided I ought to learn the proper way of typing, I was already typing as fast as the average person and stubbornly refused to change. I still do, type as fast or often faster than average, except compared to L, my best friend, but then again, she does many things much better than me which I am quite thrilled about. L’s understated moments of brilliance, the way she instinctively picks out 50 words at each Bingo game in a couple of seconds, when I struggle at 5-7, L’s pretty paintings when my donkeys look like Poohs, L’s memorization of practically every part of the human anatomy and the periodic table song.

When I first met L, I fell in love with her kind and liberal nature and we both loved spending time with each other so much that we became best friends. Realizing her brilliance came afterwards. I feel advantaged, the way you see your opposing competitor suddenly reveal a set of winning cards, unfazed at the last round of poker. Often I am deeply competitive, but at the same time I have an affection for my competitors, especially those whom are so naturally brilliant that you see a quiet twinkle in their eyes.

Today (yes the way my thoughts jump), a favourite colleague of mine at my place of work declared suddenly in an email that it would be his last day here. He had always been one of my favourite tos right from the beginning, perhaps because he was attached to my primary school friend, and I thought then anyone attached to S couldn’t be half bad. He also was a strong extrovert, had a little jump in his steps, and took actuarial science (I tend to like math people too, because I somehow intuitively link them to C and SP). We had some very happy conversations together, especially in the time preparing for National Day celebrations, when a group of us would stay and hit water tumbler bottles till 9pm, as he terms it, and then go for supper afterwards. How many times in one life can one declare that a group bonded through water filter bottles?

He’s not the first that I know of to leave, and there have been others, and Y reminds me that he will also not be the last in my time here. But often I think that these people left for a reason, and there will always be better things meant for them – Who can fathom the very mysterious ways through which God works? I remember thinking at some moments of my life as if my trail had traced to emptiness, before something new opened and gave me courage. Time is a remarkable healer and life even more so.

And thank God for people like Beansprouts and S who remind me that even a little thing like a poker game forfeit (making YE, who is going into AGC), perform a magical cow dance (will forward you the link, Beansprouts!) can fill the little holes that daily life leaves behind. After all, it is worth looking on the video again, when YE becomes a judge in some court, that he once performed a magical cow dance, just as it is worth looking at the moments of despair we once faced to see what we have learnt from it since then.

On an irreverent note, since her owner has a pink bow, shouldn’t Tempura have her own bow too?

All in all, been having an exceptional week. Even had time for a little engaging discussion on options with fellow colleagues Y and J, and I finally understand graphically what rolling over options means, how to use a straddle, collars etc. and price these complex things, and how to attach exotic features. Besides this, I also learnt in regards to another case about price mechanisms on warrants which catch the Securities and Futures Act. All in all quite an inspiring and interesting week, even got to learn a bit more of excel for the purposes of exhibits.

Also reading a great book, The Snowball, a biography on Warren Buffett. The best book I’ve read in awhile. I am at the beginning family part and it is like a well-written Angela’s Ashes haha! Also inspired me to re-consider my financial plan and current investment strategies – maybe its time I stop resting on my laurels and finally start on UK equities? Hong Kong is not for me as I don’t really understand that market. Also a great book to inspire me to do more math and stop being a cat (does the picture of the cat above convince you it does math??) on weekends.


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