From left: the late Mr Khaw Sin Keong & Mdm Lim Poh Choo (Nick's dad & mum), Mr Liaw Kim & the late Mdm Lin Su Kiaw (Li Sian's dad & mum)
Everything we know about a good marriage, we've learned from watching our parents as they love and supported each other through the tough times (both our dads are entrepreneurs), raising two kids (both eldest kid being stubborn book-loving brats), many travels, and really tough times (cancer diagnoses in 2014).
Aaron is Nick's Best Man. Aaron & Nick have been Close (Lovers) Friends for approximately 15 years. Their connection is formed by their weird sense of humour, gossips about their dear friends (Yes.. You!) & lip-syncing to the emotional & deep lyrics of Matchbox Twenty & Taylor Swift (?).
Nick and Ad have known each other since they were guppies, but only truly became buddies when they were 15. They bonded over their love of movies, TV shows, 90s music and Taylor Swift's legs. They are also parents and share custody of one Karen Wong, with whom they took along on an epic American cross-country road trip, better known as MovieKART 2014.
Calvin was Nick's roommate at Harvard, where he spent 3 years watching Nick play DotA and Football Manager. They share a love for basketball, video games, and wings, and a distaste for certain "special" blockmates and vegetables. Calvin and Nick spent countless hours listening to (Nick's) emo music in DeWolfe and Mather together while arguing over various "top 10" lists. Calvin was in general an encouraging, empathetic friend to Nick during the emotional rollercoaster that is college, though he could not help but LOL on one occasion when Nick missed a date because his DotA game ran long. Calvin currently lives in Hong Kong and works in the financial services industry.
DOG (ALVIN CHAN CHEE WENG)
Alvin met Nick in Secondary School and is Nick’s only canine friend with extraordinary talents for speaking the human language. They bonded over the years through basketball and video games sessions. There is a rumour going around that during their last 1 on 1 basketball battle, Nick won against all odds.
Editor's Note: Not a rumour; Nick won 7-5.
The relationship dynamic between Nick & Ernest have ranged from best of friends - best of enemies, inspire to be - never want to be, protector - assailant, striker - goalkeeper, etc. But above all of that, brothers. Brothers, who stupidly promised their dad at a young age to always have each other's back. Ernest believes throughout the years, Nick has honoured that promise and now looks forward to helping Nick and Li Sian achieve the same with their kids.
HE XIANG NG
Nick and He Xiang met in school, but didn’t quite get along. After much drama and mutual dislike, a stint working together on the school’s yearbook team pulled the lid off the misunderstandings. Closer than ever of late, they don’t have much in common, really. Other than good food and a matter-of-fact manner. It’s one of those queer friendships that blossom over nothing very much but very much at the same time. Both have outwardly wondered if they never met in school, would they even be friends. Probably not.
HENG LEAN CHEONG
Heng Lean & Nick have known each other for more than 15 years. They share so much in common that HL has likely contributed to at least 75% of Nick's entertainment life (board games, basketball, football, mahjong, DoTA, etc). Nevertheless, their biggest point of dispute is on whether HL told Nick a well-kept secret in the middle of an intense Dota session. HL insists he did.
Editor's Note: He didn't.
June and Nick are rant buddies and they keep each other sane. They made a pact to live in adjacent cottages in a cold, snowy place if they were still single by 60. Guess that's not happening but that's okay because Currier is better than Mather.
Editor's Note: In actuality, Mather is better than Currier.
KA FAII SOO
"You are damn lanxi ("cocky")!" These were the first words Ka Faii said to Nick in IRC in their first year of high school. Since then they have done crazy stuff in school together, with the most prominent one being pretending to be characters in counter strike, hiding behind walls with "finger guns". IT WAS AWESOME!
Editor's Note: In futsal, Nick holds the honour of being the most prolific provider of assists for Ka Faii's goals.
Nick and Karen met when Nick invited himself to the Movie Kaki club (other founding members: Adeline Lee) back in high school. They've since perved on ScarJo, Emma Watson, and Jim Sturgess together, and taken the club on the road on a 5-week trip across America in 2014.
Kethlyn and Nick became friends in high school and stayed friends for years after that despite being in different countries. Over the years, they have shared various deep and meaningful conversations about life, love and Aaron in general. They keep each other grounded in a world full of challenges.
Nick and Nico met at Harvard and rapidly became very close friends, strengthening their friendship in the Balkans. Their shared interests included having Malaysian Friday dinners at Penang, heroically replacing flat tires in the rainy routes of Montenegro and in the dark Albanian alps and #mecaso-ing with several things, including cities or landscapes.
ZAIN PUTRA BAHARUDDIN
Nick and Zain’s special relationship was built on nights out for dinner at KFC, going home to snuggle together over a Stephen King novel and staying up all night to watch a Liverpool FC Champions League tie till the sun came up. Those days are long gone, however, as LFC is probably not going to qualify for the CL anytime soon.
When Li Sian first interviewed Angeline to join TCA, it took her awhile to realize why she looked just like her college-mate Chrystal (they're sisters). As part of the Oyster gang - basically the TCA team on weekends - Angeline's natural salesmanship and kawaii-ness always saves the day. An avid cosplayer, she is best known as the official Comic Fiesta mascot Coffy.
Clara met Li Sian in high school and together they survived exams, awkward hairstyles, other BFFs, crushes on celebs and cute boys, and even an exchange diary. Even as Clara's medical career took her to Indonesia, Penang, and now Miri, their friendship remains strong and very opinionated ('OF COURSE you must have a colour scheme for the wedding!!')
Cheri initially freelanced for Li Sian (total #girlboss), leading to Cheri joining TCA as its most fashion savvy member. Her fondest memories of their time together include harrowing moments with the office cat Oyster, and working on props for Deanna's wedding - last minute as always! No regrets, ever.
Deanna was introduced to Li Sian by Nick for a job interview, and became one of her underlings, and then friends, and now 'jimuis' (bridesmaids). She may look daunting, but once you get to know her, you'll love her. ^.^)v Thanks, Nick!
The BFF of honor. Can be pronounced BEEF, her favourite food. Partners-in-crime since they met in Form 1, as seatmates and then fellow librarians, sharing a dictatorship in the art club, angsty college-mates, food-and-gym buddies, and business partners in TCA. They somehow got married earlier than expected (and not to each other).
As colleagues, Kelly taught Li Sian - and the TCA team - many things including Chinese culture, trends, and history; why older men are the best (Gary Oldman!); how to efficiently cheat in design work; and ordering stuff on Taobao. Li Sian and Deanna are currently assisting Kelly as she paves her way to be the hottest comic artist in China (literally and figuratively).
In the early years, it was tough being Li Sian's sister - Lily was constantly bullied and harassed by an over-competitive bad-tempered jie jie (elder sister). Until, as they grew older, they developed enough mutual interests to become best friends, building an awesome library together and fangirling over Doctor Who, Ghibli movies, Full Metal Alchemist, Silent Hill, Suikoden, Haruki Murakami, and many more.
Initially acquaintances in college, a few years later Sari became the first hire in TCA, establishing the office playlist and obsessions-of-the-moment. Her best memory is when the entire team took a day off to drive an hour to adopt a sweet little black cat! Li Sian will always remember Sari's daily ritual of drawing on her eyebrows perfectly, and drinking black tea in place of water.