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Monday, June 30, 2008

18 Years On

18 years. Times flies. It seems like not so long ago that I first saw her. She seemed afraid of me. But than most people who first know me are afraid of me. They said I look fierce. We never talked at first until one day I bumped into her on the way home from work. She seemed quite cute than so I asked her for dinner.

It has been a wonderful 18 years so far especially these few years when we can spend more time together now that the kids no longer need or want us around.

Rekindle memories by doing what most young people do nowadays or what we mostly did 18 years ago - go eat, watch movie and shop at Orchard Rd - a place that we scarcely go nowadays. In fact, can count the number of times we been down to Orchard Rd on one hand! Nothing great or fanciful but it sure bring back a lot of nice memories for me and I hope for her as well.

Happy 18th anniversary to M and to me

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

All about Durian

Tis the durian season and so in the spirit of durianess, here’s some things about durian:

Durian is a perennial tree that can be cultivated in tropical rain forest and bears fruit after 4-5 years, depending on the variety. Its life can last from 80 to 100 years with the trunk diameter of 1.5-4.0 feet and height over 70-80 feet. Durian is classified as soft wood. Source:


Nutritional content of durian per 100 grams (about 3 fruits with seed) are as follows: 150 calories, 3 grams of protein, 3.5 grams of fat, 28 grams of carbohydrate, less than 1 gram fibre. Source:


Durian and alcohol should not be consumed together. The combination can cause death. Read here for more.

Durian is heaty so drink salt water from the husk after eating durian to counteract the heatiness.

Mangosteen neutralizes the heatiness of durian that is why these 2 fruits are always in season together.

Durian has ‘eyes’ and never fall on a person’s head.

The Malays consider durian an aphrodisiac. "When durians fall down, sarongs go up!" they say.

True or false? Anybody can enlighten me?


There are easily a few hundred varieties of Durian. Most of the durian in Singapore are from Thailand and Malaysia. Following are just some of the not so common durians from Penang. Look at their names! Wait - don't drool on your keyboard!

'Number Eleven' was a very popular durian in the 70's. It has creamy yellow flesh with a pleasant taste and a subtle smell.

D17 is dark cream flesh. The taste is slightly dry but sweet. It is a tasty durian.

The D604 was first cultivated by the late Mr. Teh Hew Hong of Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau. The flesh is quite sweet, and has some 'body' to it as the seed is small.

This durian originates in Sungai Pinang in Balik Pulau. The flesh has a bittersweet taste to it, with a touch of sourness.

Ang Sim (Red Heart)
Ang Sim is a durian with flesh which is quite soft and very sweet, and dark yellow in colour. It also has a nice aroma.

Khun Poh
This durian takes the name of the late Mr Lau Khun Poh, who first budded it. Khun Poh has beautiful orangy flesh with a slightly bitter-sweet taste and a heavy aroma.

Hor Loh (Water Gourd Durian)
The flesh of the Hor Loh is very soft, dry and quite bitter. It has a sharp smell to it. Hor Loh was first cultivated at the Brown Estate of Sungai Ara. It got its name from its appearance resembling a 'Hor Lor' pumpkin. If the durian hits the ground hard when it falls, the flesh tends to be bitter thereafter.

Ang Heh (Red Prawn Durian)
Ang Heh originates from Pondok Upeh, Balik Pulau, and has a round-shaped husk. The orange-reddish flesh is highly aromatic, very soft with a bitter-sweet taste.

Xiao Hung (Little Red Durian)
Xiao Hung, whose name means 'Little Red One,' originates in Sungai Pinang, Balik Pulau. The flesh has a bittersweet taste to it, with a touch of sourness. There are only one or two seeds per section, but the flesh is thick.

Yah Kang (Centipede Durian)
Yah Kang is one of my favourite durians. Although its flesh is whitish, the taste is superb, milky, like very sweet, melting chocolate. The name 'yah kang' means centipede, and accounts for the number of centipedes found at the foot of the tree, hence giving it the rather unusual name.

Bak Eu (Pork Fat Durian)
Bak Eu has a slightly acidic aroma. The flesh is whitish while the taste is quite bitter but nice.

This durian got its unusual name because it looks like two durians joined together, one big and one small. When split open, you almost thought the two halves belong to two different durians. Coupling has whitish flesh which is slightly dry but tastes good.

Ooi Kyau (Tumeric Durian)
The name Ooi Kyau (tumeric) describes the colour of the bright yellow flesh of this durian. It is very sweet and tasty.

Chaer Phoy (Green Skin Durian)
Chaer Phoy is shaped like a small canteloupe. The skin is bright green, giving it the name which means 'green skin'. Chaer Phoy has creamy white flesh which is a bit dry, not too sweet but tasty.

Ang Jin (Red Yoke Durian)
As the name suggests, Ang Jin Durian has deep orange flesh. It is very sweet and tasty.

Lin Fong Jiau
This durian is named after Lin Fong Jiau, aka Mrs Jackie Chan. I wonder whether it is indicative of the relationship of the celebrity couple

Source: from an email

Fruits: Fruit stalls along Geylang/Upp Serangoon,/Eunos and any HDB estates, Four Seasons
Durian Pastry: Puteri Mas, 717, Emicakes, Goodwork Park Hotel, Angie
Durian Pudding: Swissotel Merchant Court

Some interesting sites about durian

An angmoh account of durian

Singaporean and durian
And of course the ultimate authority on food in Sg: ieatishootipost

Friday, June 20, 2008

New Toy

A new toy. Yah I know it’s the most basic of the HTC’s product but hey beggars can’t be chooser. It’s free courtesy of Starhub’s re-contract program. Now to figure out how to work the darned thing

Monday, June 16, 2008

Provence Bakery and Cafe


Finally had the chance to try the wassant from Provence Bakery and Cafe at Holland Village. Since it was featured once in a tv program, I had went twice without success to get it but on Saturday afternoon, on the way to dinner, was at Holland Village and walked into the shop and was surprised to see lots of it still available. the wassant was nice and soft. Really the melt in the mouth type. Nice. At $6.00 for a packet of 10, it is really good!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Orwellian Society

A letter writer to the Straits Times Forum (ST 13 June 2008) is actually suggesting that personal information be captured upon boarding taxis! The reason for the suggestion is cos the letter writer's father who is a taxi driver has been cheated by non-paying passengers.

Right now, as I understand it, the LTA or which ever authority is able to log a vehicle movement whenever a vehicle passes under a ERP gantry. With the extensive reach and ever increasing gantry, + number of car park operators switching over to the ERP system, our movement can be traced down to the minute. Further more, the new cameras on the expressway have the capability to zoom in for a clear view of the front passenger's face. The thought that someone out there can 'trace' and see us is scary enough but wait a minute it gets worse!

Now with the latest phone and wireless technology, walk into a mall or target area and the telcos can target you with a SMS promoting a specific products etc. U may not know it but our mobile phone is constantly sending our footprints whenever we go. What is there to stop the authority from making use of this technology to keep track of your movement?

Already, some company are monitoring their staff's activities on the computers, phones conversation are logged, I really can't imagine the many thousand and one ways where technology can be harnessed to keep track of a person.

It is really a scary thought. No matter where I go, someone is watching. and I am not taking about the big Guy up there!

And the letter writer dare to suggest that taxi drivers be allowed to swipe passport, identity card into a system for someone to trace. Goodness me! Does this people value their privacy at all?

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Does any one out there nowadays know what this line on the road is for?

Or how to read these 4 letters and what it means?

I lost track of the time when cars just whizzed through without stopping at minor road to major road. Just the other day, while crossing a side road, a car coming up actually horned at me! I got so pissed off I pointed to the line and the sign and wanted to walk up to him to confront him but my colleague pull me away!

People - if you don't know basic road signs and rules, please don't drive!

Saturday, June 7, 2008


The son went to the dentist last month. Came back with a $500+ bill. I knew cost of dental treatment is expensive nowadays but $500 over dollars for a routine checkup? and some more at a HDB neighborhood outlet? The Mrs called the clinic and found out: 4 fillings done:

1 normal $80/-
3 white $120/- x 3 = $360/-
1 small bottle of mouth wash to bring home $10/-
Balance of $100 went to cleaning and polishing
Total $550.00

Later checked around with friends and colleagues. Nowadays filling are all using white amalgam no more the black(silver) type. Also average per filling is $35 to $80.

This dentist is not only exorbitant but unethical - charging a student this type of pricing. Called and cancelled the next appointment and when the nurse asked for the reasons, told her straight to her face, they bloody expensive and a rip off. So if you ever in the Simei area and need a dentist, don't go to the one on the 2nd floor of the MRT station unless you are loaded and feel like contributing more funds to the dentist's pocket.

Today switch him over to another dentist at the next block. All fillings are white - each filling is only $45. That's more like it!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Poor Poor maids

Every time I read about foreign maids in Singapore, I shake my head. I am amazed and shocked and saddened by the attitude of our fellow Singaporeans towards another fellow human being.

For example - in Sunday's paper, this lady who had changed 3 maids within a month, 7 over 10 years (that's speak volume of how good an employer she is!) was quoted as saying she paid them salary so she could do what she want. In another paper today, the employer fined the maid $10 for every mistake she made. Like that, the poor maid will be paying the employer rather than the employer pay her!

Than there is the issue of day off. I know the excuse is that the employer don't want the maid to mix with wrong company, run away etc... But the maids are already almost on call 24/7 so they need the day off to destress as well. Can you imagine if our employer tell us we cannot have day off cause they scare we might be killed over the weekend or be tempted by another employer! Put ourselves in their shoes - we will never accept such working conditions yet we insist that our maids have to work 7 days a week without any day off!

Some employers are also damn stingy with their maid. How many times have I seen families eating at restaurant while the maid sit one side taking care of the baby. No food for the maid... maid cannot eat at same table as Mdm and Sir.... I personally know of one person who allow the maid to only eat only 2 plain bread for lunch and left over for dinner. Each day when she come home from work, she will count how many pieces of bread left and God help the maid, if there is 1 piece short!

I can go on and on. My fellow Singaporeans... Do unto others only what you want others to do to you. What goes around will come back so please please treat the maid as decently and humanly as possible!