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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Comfort Food

Without my regular lunch colleague who has since retired, my choice of food for lunch has actually widened but recently I been hankering for simple food for lunch. So I will drag myself in the hot sun to Maxwell or Chinatown for what I call comfort food.

Two bowls of porridge with fish cake, 'chaipoh' (preserved turnips) egg, and pickled vegetables. Hmm simple but so pleasurable.

Is this a sign of growing old?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Heartware not Hardware

The outcry over Changi Airport continues 3 weeks after the result of an international survey showed that Changi Airport has dropped 2 ranks from 1st to 3rd in the survey.

Now I always find it amusing that Singapore is so obessed with ranking. We pride ourselves on being first or the best in all sort of surveys like best worker, best ports, and we go and do all sort of weird stunts to be in the Guiness Book of World Records - biggest dumpling, biggest mass display...... We ranked our schools and now we are going to rank town councils.

Does everything need to be ranked? It is really so important to have the best airport, best port, best worker blah blah blah and if we can't win, is it such a terrible things that we have to agonize over it for so many weeks.

Come on, I like Changi Airport and I think it's great but seriously, for those who have traveled often enough, yes Changi Airport is great. It's big, efficient and near to the city but you know - it lacks something. Just think back to when was the last time an immigration officer smiled at you or said 'Welcome back' to you? Contrast this with said Australia or Thailand and you will know what I mean.

I think at the end of the day, it does not matter what ranking we are but whether our heart and soul is behind those ranking. Just look at Chinatown. It's so sterile now the Government might want to consider submitting it to whichever World authority for 'Cleanest, neatest' Chinatown in the world.

My point is - ranking - be it of infrastructure, schools or town councils is not important. What is important is that these organisation behind it delivers what it is supposed to do in the most cost economical and efficient way and with a great smile. It sure will make a helluva start of a day to be greeted enthusiastically by the bus driver or the MRT staff. And as they said, a smile a day makes the doctor go away!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I Spy ~ Typewriter Tattoo

Was on the train on the way and I couldn't believe what I saw.

There sitting in the train was a guy with a tattoo of a typewriter on his forearm!

I seen many type of tattoos but a typewriter? Now who in the world will have such a tattoo? Me think he was previously a typist or stenographer. M think it is a picture of his first typewriter.

Whatever it is, it looked totally unglam and uncool.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cat Killers

Another cat killer on the loose! I wonder what turn normal human being into cat killers? And what happened to these people later on - will they turned to killing people when people get in their way or become a nuisance to them? Hopefully he/she will be caught soon and as punishment - maybe made to eat cat food for the rest of his life!

But one strange thing about this incident. How come Bayshore which is a private estate has so many stray cats? Much as I love animals, the number of strays who had felled to this looney is now 19 and that is a tad too many even for a big development such as Bayshore. How did the MC allowed the cat population to grow until this size? And me think the kind souls who are feeding them should stop doing so and let nature take its course.

Previously, my place too had some problems with cats. They were climbing into the windows of houses on the ground level and there was a huge hooha when one of the residents got scratched trying to chase a cat out of the house. How did that end? A vote to bring in cat traps etc was shot down but eventually there were no few stray cats in the estate.

I guess with no food to eat, the cats will simply go somewhere else so that should be a better solution than culling or posioning them.

Friday, June 12, 2009

^$#*()_*Blah blah blah *&^%$$

Was at a dinner the other day. Was talking to a guy at the same table and he was complaining about the government, the economy, the people and practically everything we talked about he had something negative to say about it.

Back in the office, there is this colleague who is also forever mouthing bad things about everything Sg. From the people to the government and even to the lack of beautiful buildings, trees and even what lousy scenery we have!

Then in the forum, there are many people especially those who came from overseas who day in day out badmouth the local races.

To all these people who have see nothing good about Sg, this is what I have to say to them.

1) If you are a foreigner and think Sg is so bad or our races are so rotten and not up to your international standard, please go back to your utopia land and don't take part in our races.

2) If you are a local and think Sg is so bad, stand out and be counted. Do something, make a difference. Blabbering behind the background is not going to achieve anything.

I like the attitude of a friend whom I had the privilege of having a short conversation while on the train back home one evening. He was talking about his workplace environment and how crappy it was. When I told him he could just leave, his answer was no - he wants to take on the system and improve it (or something to that effect). And yes that is precisely what we should be doing if we have any unhappiness about government policies, race problems, even things how our environment.

Now I subscribe to the belief that if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything because what comes out of your mouth will make you look like a blabbering idiot. But really if there are issues that one is not happy about, give feedback, write to the authorities, the organisation and if necessary the press. There may be no response and yes that can be frustrating but over time, as the voices grew collectively loudly, I am sure changes will come maybe slowly but surely it will.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


"As quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand".

I will always remember this line from the tv series Kung Fu starring David Carradine. Then he was a young man acting as a half blooded who joined the Shaolin Temple. I remembered this series well because it was a show of good vs bad and of how the good will always triumph and of course because I spent many hours in my neighbour house watching it and being chased out whenever they want to switch channel.

It is therefore sad to read of the way he died, starked naked in a hotel room in Thailand with a rope tied to his neck and another to his genitals. What the hell was he doing and at his age some more!

The Bangkok authorities think it was either sucide or a sex act gone wrong. His family thinks it is murder. Errr I don't think it is a sucide. From the picture in the Thai papers, I don't think it is physically possible for him to tie himself up that way and suffocate as a result. Neither do I think it was murder. Me suspect he was with some toy boys or ah gua doing it and they tied him up and somehow he had a heart attack and they scooted off. But really what a sad way to go. After all the hard work in building up his name in movies, to die such a unglam death and to leave that as his last legacy.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cars and Cats

Read in the New Paper today about a lady who bought a few car and thereafter sent a complaint letter to the Cat Welfare Society and the Town Council to 'remove' all the cats in the area. Her reason. The cats will scratch her cat.

What bladdy arrogance. First she should get her facts right. Cats don't scratch car. They are only looking for a bit of warmth if they lie on the car. The cat's claws are retractable and cannot hold on a car's smooth paintwork. Secondly, if her car is so precious, she should not be parking it in any public area at all. Cat should be the least of her worries. There are many idiots out there who love to scratch cars with their keys for no other reasons that they are bored. So maybe she should petition for all humans in her neighbourhood to be banned so that nobody touch her precious car.

Leave the cats alone. If the car is so precious, install a proximity sensor alarm system which will go off if anything warm, be it human, cats or lizards go near it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Those Pesky Roadside People

Nowadays it seems there is no way to avoid those credit cards telemarketers. Now you don't just get phone calls but it seems like the card companies have now invaded very corner of this little red dot.

Used to be they set up their road show at the shopping malls but now one can find them at food centre, bus interchange and practically any place where they can find space to set up their booth. And these people are still so pushy. I know it tough trying to get people to sign up but geez, sometime I really wish I can just shove them aside, the way they keep following you.

And to make matter worse, joining them are the insurer people and the fund raisers.

Seriously, is it really that easy to sign up customers like that?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Patience lah.......

I really don't understand why Singaporeans are so intolerant. Maybe it is the highly stressed environment we live in but still....

Take Sunday morning at the Tampines Park Connector. A group of us had been up all night just below one of the HDB flat cheering the runners participating in the Sundown Marathon. This lady came down about 7am to complain that we had disturbed her sleep with our clapping and cheering. I admit we were a bit noisy at times with our cheering and clapping but then how do you give support to the runners if we don't cheer them? I admit I was a bit pissed off by her accusing tone and did not apologise but instead 'suaned' her and told her that I was surprised she only heard us from around 5am when we were in fact doing it since 10pm.

Similarly I remembered at my late father's funeral some years ago, almost on a daily basis, we had the police turning up nightly at the wake to investigate complaint of noise from the ceremony. Of course the ceremony at times overshot the so called 'legal cut-off' time but such things are unavoidable and it's not like this type of things happen on a daily basis. So why can't we live and bear it.

Just last week, someone wrote to the papers to complain about joggers and runners disturbing his/her walk in Macritchie Reservoir and suggesting that joggers and runners should be confined to certain part of the Reservoir. Err seriously is it really a big problem to give way to runners or is the path there really so narrow that the space cannot be shared?

For me, without fail, every weekend afternoon, I am subject to the incessant drumming by a lion dance clan practicising from the factory across the road, the nightly karoake session also from the factory across the road and finally a dog from upstair barking somehow almost always in the middle of the night. I thought of complaining to some authority sometimes when the noise get so irritating that I can't sleep but in the end what the heck, I just live and let live.

I think it all boils down to someone has a preconceived idea of his/her own personal space and God forbids if you accidentally intrude into this personal space, be it sleeping time, home and presumably rest time or most commonly, driving time. In Singapore where we live cheek to jowl, I really think it is nigh impossible to have a 100% personal space without somebody intruding into it be it accidental or intentional. So let us be nice to each other and more tolerant especially during special occasions when you may be disturbed by the clash of the cymbals, or inconvenienced by road closure because one day you will be the one causing the inconviences or benefiting from it.