Penny's Car

I worked as an NParks Manager at some point in my life. It was a close knitted family-like environment if you compared the company to other stat-boards. Each family has its own juicy stories but that's for me to know. I'm talking about other stuffs today. As we were a relatively small company with limited budget, as far as I knew NParks did not throw events like annual dinner and dance. Instead we had a lot of activities together such as long cycling events, jogging, walking trails and treetop walks and countless gathering in Hort Park. We knew many friends across the departments quite quickly, especially the departments we worked closely with. It was quite fun really.

My colleagues (whoever still in Parks Mgmt) are having it good man. The head of department has always been liberal with staff welfare. It is not a bad thing really though their recent acquisition of bicycles that cost S$2,200 each [link] for parks staff to do their patrolling was a bit over the top. Walk, walk more mates!

Ok, I am jealous. Staff who used to walk can cycle on good bikes now. Our parents used to live in kampong and now enjoy water gushing out of the tap in the comfort of the flat instead of buckets from the well. My generation used to climb a few stairs from a lift landing now enjoys lifts stopping at every level of a HDB block. And me, me everyday write on black boards in my factory, drag god damn 6m high shutters manually using my full body weight, open or destroy crates with a crowbar and do every single thing with hand. The most high tech machine in the factory is a forklift. So who said Australia has a higher standard of living to Singapore? No, no. Not true. We need to cook here, plant stuffs like farmers and use our hands a lot during work. Backward.

You know what, many times I am amazed with the things we did with little resources, some brains and lotsa body strength from the boys and myself. Ironically due to the lack of resources, I found myself using a lot of knowledge I learnt in school to deal with problems at work here such as mathematical formulas and general scientific knowledge. As the implementation of ideas accumulated, the boys seem to look at me differently and are accepting me as a supervisor. 

Sometimes work seems like playing computer games like Box World here. Being able to put my past experience and knowledge (from my gaming) makes work more meaningful. We laugh a lot during work. It has been a long long time since I laugh at the top of my lungs. I wondered why. It felt as liberating as the last time I remembered doing so. The boss left us pretty much alone in the factory because we have been delivering very well so far. However, we didn't leave him alone because milk and coffee in the pantry runs out once too often than he can replenish. The boss must improve, we'll see to that.

Well, I've gone way, way too far from the point. What I wanted to say was Penny, my housemate actually (finally) bought her car over the weekend. The one who should receive credit was of course, yours truly. Why? Because I drove her as far north as North Beach and as far south as Byford on a single afternoon to view cars and test them out. To my disappointment, she ended up choosing a car which looks like a wreck on the outside:

She calls it 'Little Red'

You can't really see the true extent of the hail damage from here and the vandalism on the paintwork of the body. Trust me, it's bad. Penny is back to Malaysia on holidays right after buying this car so I can take the opportunity to tell you about her car. Haha! Maybe I'll sell her car while she is away. Guess that was why she took the key back to Malaysia with her.

Anyway, she was smug and told me she loved the interior and how the car handled and how it was a better buy than Goldilocks. To be fair, the car ran really well. The gearshift was smooth, the clutch and accelerator performed and it braked like it should. The suspension was smooth, no clicks or creaks like Goldilocks (though the problem was fixed). The interior felt comfortable for both the driver and passenger. The most important question: How much did it hurt Penny's pockets?


Why? Firstly, it was an ugly car with hail damage and vandalism. Haha! Secondly it was a Hyundai. Hyundai Accent of year 2000 make to be exact. Still I have to admit it was a good deal, especially the rego (the version of road tax here) is up till next January. Penny was pleased. We were happy for her. Now it is her turn to roam around Perth. Congratulations Penny.

Yes the "Korea cars suck yada yada" but still you see laopok Korean cars zipping around here year after year. We need to be rational here. Or is it better to actually cycle around in the S$2,200 NParks bicycles? I don't think you want to do that here in Winter. Nor Summer. Nor anytime.


  1. Dont tell me bicycle... I walk in the winter morning for 3 days I already surrender myself with the cold...

  2. Hey, glad to see you are back. I have just finished reading your "blog diarrhea".... so many entries on one single night LOL. No, I am not complaining of course but truly elated :)

  3. You know I bought my Hyundai Accent 1.5cc in 2004 at S$37,000. It's a weekend car meaning I can only drive it after 7pm on weekdays, after 3pm on Sat other than Sun and PH! That time, the COE was only S$23,000! Today, the COE is nearly S$100,000! In Sin city, you can't even buy a small m/cycle at S3,000. It's easily at least S$5 to S6K for a motor bike. COE for bikes is more about S2,000! They taxes are low here. I say KNN! Really langgar!

  4. My dad own this exact model exact year, scrape it at yr 3. Bought it as we thought Korean cars had improved a lot over the yrs, but we were wrong. It give us problems the very first day he drove out of Komoco. Went back many times and was told it was a common problem for Accent that particular year and still not solved by the time we scrape it. 1st gear is hard to engage.

    Then within the 3 yrs, rear brake always jam which caused burnt smell and feels car draggy. We keep going back to Komoco for this issue. FC gets worse as car age, 1.3L can drink more petrol than 1.6L. Rainy days car skid easily even with new tires.

    Fed up and trade for a Jap sedan. Probably it's a lemon car but I do not have good impression about hyundai in that era. I'll take a 90s Jap over any Korean (old or new) anytime anyday although newer models seem much improved.

    But since you said little red transmission and engine is smooth, then it's ok.

  5. Hahah... you are back, for whatever reasons you might have, welcome back.
    Have not checked in since your "Dragon of the winter nights" posts and thought of relooking at your posts again and voila!!!
    Hyundai's are ok la, especially the newer ones. They just get better and better. I have 2 Hyundai in the family :)
    And at the price Penny paid, as long as the engines and mechanicals are fine, no big deal with the exterior...
    again, welcome back!

  6. Well, the good thing is... if it looks like a wreck, probably nobody would bother to steal it. So this is safe as it gets!

    Haha! Always looking on the bright side of life...

  7. Husband exclaimed last night, "SingaporeanSon is back writing!"

    Glad to see that you are back with your neverending stories! :)

    - A Singaporean in NZ

  8. Looks like you're becoming a legend over there and here, like mrbrown (Lee Kin Mun) here, whether you like to or want to.
    I'd say, enjoy being the best natural parts of yourself, it's why we keep reading you.

    Back to Penny…
    she's really wise with money: what a great buy!
    Of course, assuming the car continues to run well inside.

    I think folks like Penny see great value where others' eyes cannot.
    I tell my wife that the best home to live in, is one where the market values it so low, because of undesirables to many other people.

    But then, we see its great potential, get it, and do it up modestly.
    And yet when others walk in, they slap their hands on their foreheads and lament that they missed out on a great acquisition.

    Ha! That's revenge against materialism!
    Congrats again to the happy new (again) owner and driver!