Dave Tan
Just another caffeine reliant millennial from Singapore that writes to pay for his coffee.

The importance of eating together.

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Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) | MGM

There is an unspoken rule about not touching the wet napkins provided by the Chinese restaurant during family dinner. Everybody in my family understands this. The Chinese restaurant will not charge for the wet napkins, and it will be excluded from the bill.

It just seems natural for my family to unite against the restaurant for a single cause: to save some pennies. It is a subtle but socially acceptable form of behavior, a simple act that gives me a sense of belonging and unity. I bet many Asian families practice this during their family dinners too.

Family centric meals is still a tradition followed by Asians around the world, even though solo dining is a common sight nowadays. …


What I learned from Salt Fat Acid Heat.

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My obsession to figure out good cooking started when I found the food documentary, Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix. Since then, I watched the documentary and read the book cover to cover.

As a home cook, this philosophy of cooking fascinates me, as I am always trying to cook better for my family and friends. The problem with recipes is that it provides steps to produce a dish, but it won’t teach you how to cook. …


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Photo by Pietro De Grandi on Unsplash

The illusion of control

Imagine you are a boat travelling in the vast ocean of time. You are given the wind and current of change while searching for happiness and meaning in your next destination.

Is sailing a more effective method of travelling or rowing your boat?

I feel that it is not efficient to use our limited energy to fight against the current. Instead, we should work towards harnessing the wind. It is better to work with nature, not against it. Rowing your boat only creates more conflict and suffering in your journey. Sailing helps you to thrive despite your circumstances.

The technique we choose to use is our perspective. …


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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

The importance of humility

When is the last time you had a disagreement or argument with someone? Often, we have a conflict with other people because we hold different beliefs.

We have been taught to gather information and knowledge from articles, books, videos, self-help gurus and experts. Like a cup overflowing with tea, we sometimes hold many facts and opinions.

Our ego makes us feel that we are morally superior or more intelligent than people we know. We think that we are smarter because others hold different beliefs from us so we tend to look down on them. We are so confident and believe that we are right and find no faults in our beliefs. …


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Do you constantly feel that your money evaporates into thin air? Are your eyes always glued to your screen every waking moment? Are you struggling with a quarter-life crisis and feeling lost? This documentary might just provide you with fresh perspectives on life.

What is Minimalism?

According to The Minimalists, Minimalism is a lifestyle that helps you question what things add value to your life. By clearing the clutter from your life, you can make room for what is important to you.

This documentary is simply about two guys, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus sharing their story on how Minimalism changed their lives. It also includes other speakers, from a sociologist, an architect, to entrepreneurs and authors, sharing their viewpoints on Minimalism. …


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Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash

How to make full use of the update.

In the latest iOS update, Apple borrowed the idea from android phones and introduced a new style of widgets. Previously, the options for customising the home screen was quite limited. But now, widgets are no longer limited to the left of the home screen. Although the widgets are not as versatile as android phones, widgets can now be dragged onto the home screen to create a more dynamic landing page.

My Home Screen

I want my home screen to be as practical and intuitive as possible. This means displaying my frequently used apps and important information or updates. I had chosen a completely white background for a clean minimalist look. …


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Photo of a Sichuan dry pot takeaway taken by author.

Introduction to the spicy and numbing stir-fry

I wipe the sweat on my forehead, and my tongue is numb after a few bites. But I continue to use my chopsticks to take my next mouthful of noodles, aware that the heat from the Sichuan peppercorns is killing me slowly with every bite.

I just cannot stop eating it, and I notice my friend continues to plow on too, looking to attack the next piece of meat or vegetable.

When we both finish the large bowl of Sichuan dry pot, we know that we have reached the point of no return. We cannot differentiate between pain and pleasure, yet it is good. …


What a fun day at the national gallery taught me.

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“Room for one colour” by Olafur Eliasson. Photo taken by author.

“Let’s go to an art exhibition!”, my sister exclaimed.

“What art exhibition?”, I mumbled.

“Minimalism: Space. Light. Object at the National Gallery Singapore. Come on, I bet you will like it!”

My sister was right. I have no regrets on that day.

The exhibition we went to, “Minimalism: Space. Light. Object.”, was filled with numerous artworks from the minimalism art movement throughout history.

There were many people posting on their Instagram about their experience with pictures of the different art installations. I was not convinced about how good the exhibition was until my sister brought me there.

There was one particular artwork that caught my attention when I stepped into the room. It is called “Room for One Colour” by Olafur Eliasson. I find it intriguing and it is an unforgettable experience. …


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Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

How I reduce my screen time and boost my productivity.

I used to have a toxic relationship with my smartphone. I spend too much time scrolling and looking at my phone, and find myself struggling to be productive.

After reading tons of articles, I write this as a solution to my problem which I think many people can relate to when it comes to the usage of their smartphones.

The purpose of this guide is to help you decrease the time you spend on your phone so that you can spend your limited energy on somewhere else to make your productivity soar. …


How to get rid of the clutter for good.

Do you love mess(Marie Kondo does)? I certainly don’t.

I told you.

Ever find yourself with a disorganised wardrobe where you just chuck tons of clothing inside yet have nothing to wear in the morning? How about that huge pile of mess lying around your house?

The steps below are what I took to declutter and organise my living space.

I stop buying crap I do not need in my life.

If you want your home to stop looking as though burglars just ransacked it, you have to take measures and figure out the root cause of the problem.

The less stuff you have, the less stuff you need to organise and tidy up. …

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