The phone rings. I run down the steps, nearly breaking an ankle in the process, and leap at the phone to answer, assuming its one of my kids calling.

There is a woman on the other end, “Hello….”

Deep breathing from my end, due to all that unexpected exercise.

“Hello, is this the residence of Madam Radhika…?”

“No, I’m not a Madam. Just Radhika. Can I help you?”

“I’m calling from XYZ Bank, and we’ve decided to Confer a Great Honour on you.”

A Pulitzer? The Bharat Ratna?

I dismiss those summarily, my heart beating even faster now. Has the Government of Singapore actually recognized how strongly I tried to keep chewing gum out of the lives of my children? Is there an actual award for Guardian of the Gum (GG)? Or Gatekeeper for the Prevention of Gum (GPG)?

“Yes?” I croak.

“We have decided to give you a Credit Card, with a waiver of the Annual Fee for a year. Give us your NRIC and the name of your employer.”

I could hear the capitals in her spiel.

“I’m not interested, and I’m not employed….” I start to say.

“Not EMPLOYED!!!!,” her voice goes up several notches. “You don’t work?”

“Errr, em…..I work, but I’m not paid…” I stutter, a voice in my brain wondering why I need to justify myself.

“I’m sorry, but we can’t give you a Credit Card, if you are not Employed, and don’t have a Salary,” she says with finality.

Excuse me! YOU called, me. I didn’t call you!” Is running in my head, but years of politeness, prevents me from saying that to her. Instead I say, “I volunteer at the museum and at senior citizens’ centre….I teach…”

But she won’t have any of that. To her, I’m Unemployed, and therefore Worthless.

For a good 20 minutes after that call I actually feel terrible- a burden on society. Like I don’t earn my keep. Then duty calls and I have to rush to the museum or a Study Group or Boon Keng, to my Lao Ren (seniors).

So here is what I have for breakfast when I have a long day ahead, and need a sustaining breakfast. An fruit and oat smoothie. Delicious, filling, nutritious and the best part- It helps you cope with those cheeky Credit Card Custodians.

And another plus- you can vary your basic smoothie in so many ways!

Today’s was a Banana-peanut-butter-chocolate-muffin-in-a-cup!


Ripe banana 1
Quick cooking oats 3-4 tbsps
Milk 1/2 a cup
Peanut butter 1 tbsp (or more)
Chocolate syrup 3-4 tbsps
Ice cubes (optional)

Put the oats and milk into the jar of a blender and leave to soak for 4-5 minutes.

Chop the banana into the jar. Add the peanut butter and chocolate syrup.

Add the ice cubes and blend until frothy.

Pour into a glass and enjoy!






So tell me, do you ever feel diminished by a phone call?



  1. I rarely answer the landline, just to avoid these unsolicited sales talks in the garb of doing favours. If I do receive any such call, I bark a few a few warnings to make sure they never repeat their mistake again.
    I love smoothies but I’ve never used oats in my smoothy. Must try.
    You must now give the recipe of the orange scrub you gifted us on your birthday. I’ve been using it and it does make the skin soft. Lovely aroma too. The only problem is I’ve to fight with tiny red ants to retrieve the stuff for my use and my bathroom is crawling with these pests!!

  2. Hi Radhika, my husband sait that’s a good idea when he gets such a call next time /that’s probably next week/ how to answer. Cheers, dobrina Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2013 02:12:10 +0000 To: [email protected]

  3. Here, you can go on an opt-out list, so I can’t remember the last time I was contacted by a telemarketer. When they dis call I had no problem saying a very clear ‘NO’ to whatever they were selling and ending the call immediately. Some call it rude, I call it getting to the point. 😉 That smoothie sounds absolutely delish!