Monday, September 29, 2008

Moon Cake Festival

Opening ceremony

During the mooncake festival, we went down to Chinatown to check out the celebrations in store. One shop chose this auspicious date for their opening ceremony so we got to watch a lion dance.

A band rocking on stage

When we entered the main atrium of Market City, we were pleasantly suprised to find a stage in the middle with a rocking band on stage. The only strange thing was why recruit a rock band for mooncake festival?

And they were singing in English. wtf this is supposed to be a chinese festival.

Dancers from Mongolia

The band was actually quite good, but they were playing really loud and it didn't really blend in well with the mooncake atmosphere, with lanterns hanging and decorative stuff. So it became pretty annoying after a while.

After that came the mongolian dancers. Swinging and swinging their dresses and swinging and swinging....

Cute little ones with umbrellas

Next up were the little children with umbrellas. Some of the mini dancers were really young and it showed in their somewhat disorganized dance. But it was a good effort nonetheless.

Kudos to one particular kid who had a hard time catching up to the rhythm of the other kids, but he tried relentlessly. hehe really cute

Puppet face

Then came the puppet faces, those that usually accompanies lion dances.

Adult umbrellas

The adult with umbrellas weren't as entertaining as the kiddies ones. Probaby because some people (myself included) find adults acting cute with umbrellas slightly revolting. haha

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Monday, September 22, 2008


Last week we had some fun reminiscing about the past, the wife and I. We recalled stuff from the 1950s, when we had tea with my teenage grandparents at the courtyard opposite the city's main bus station.

Then, owning a car was a rare luxury only afforded by the filthy rich. There wasn't even a proper tar road and most of us ride bicycles on muddy roads.

1952 (Going for my 1st interview)

I rummaged through my old drawer and found this old picture of myself from that era. It depicted a young me groomed for an interview. I remember it was for a clerk position at the local bus station.

1976 - Rock & Roll

Inside the drawer there was a 1976 photo of myself, when rock & roll with elvis the king were in their prime. Every youngster including myself had bell bottom pants with long flowing hair and rock parties were aplenty.

1982 - The year I was born

Strangely, this baby photo of me already had an afro and decked in cowboy pattern shirt. I'm unsure how my mum got me to grow an afro that quick but don't you think I look good in that?


Go here to get an old picture of yourself. See if you look like your dad. ;p

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Australia = No. 28 *snicker*

"Australia is ranked 28th on a 42 nation study by MBA students of Oxford University which highlighted each nation's ability to cope with next-generation web applications. THe study focused on countries in Europe, North America, the OECD, Brazil, Russia, India & China"

Best Broadband nations:
  1. Japan
  2. Sweden
  3. Netherlands
  4. Latvia
  5. Korea
  6. Switzerland
  7. Lithuania
  8. Denmark
  9. Germany
  10. Slovenia

They were properly to chicken-shit to include HK & Singapore, equipped with state of the art broadband infrastructures as well and would properly be sitting on the top tier.

But that's beside the point, it was a real slap to the face for Australia and I must say it felt really good. Australians are really proud of themselves, mate. And they have obvious reasons to be so. Strong economy, high standard of living etc etc.

But when it comes to technological stuff like computers, ipods and stuff. It has to be one of the last countries to catch on to the latest gadgets. (The only exemption being the 3G Iphone which was first released in here)

Other stuff like mobile phones, the highest memory card you can score, the speed of the current processor etc is pretty below par compared to technologically fast-paced asian countries like japan/korea/singapore/hk.

I'm not saying that they don't have high tech gadgets, it just takes longer for it to arrive on Australian shores, and that causes the price to inflate. For example, for SGD$100 you can get a 150gb external harddisk but for AUD$100 you may only get a 100gb model. (dollar to dollar comparison)

That's why most asians here (myself included) opt to get their tech stuff from overseas and ship it here. But aussies still prefer to buy their tech stuff here albeit the higher price. "What if the items are faulty?" they say. "But there is no warranty!" they complaint. "Non-australian items are of low quality."

I've even heard one of my colleagues complaining about entering Malaysian websites. He asked me why are Malaysian websites full of viruses? He's planning a trip over there and is searching for accomodation etc and he claims that whenever he logs on to Malaysia related sites his pc gets attacked by virus.

Have you heard anything more absurd?

Back on the broadband issue. Would you believe that they actually put a cap on most broadband plans over here? It is so annoying to have to keep track of our online data and avoid having to pay for excess usage. I mean, broadband is supposed to be unlimited. There is no other way around it.

At the beginning of the year they released the ADSL2+ which has theoretical speed of 20mbps. (i'm currently on this plan) Truth be told I felt the 6mpbs plan I used in Singapore was about the same speed but more stable compared to the ADSL2+.

So in your face Australia! Your broadband sucks and you deserve to be No. 28. haha

And to my colleague: "You'd better not travel to Malaysia. Our country is swarmed with viruses and they will eat you alive the moment you step foot on our tanah tumpah darahku!!!"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sushi in house

When my sister was in town last month, we had a feast of seafood bought fresh from the fish market.

Salmon & Tuna Sashimi

The sashimi was very very fresh, without any fishy smell whatsoever. It seemed the only way to taste fresher fish is to eat them alive, while still kicking away in your mouth. There was a tinge of sweetness as we engulfed every single piece.

Check out the color of the tuna as well. I've heard before that the freshness of the tuna is linear with the brightness of the red color. (which part of the tuna probably plays a factor as well) But my mouth says its fresh and I'll believe it without a benefit of a doubt.

It only costs $12.XX for the whole lot. Imagine japanese eateries selling 6 slices for exhorbitant prices of $5.00 or more.


Next up we had oysters, which was divided into the sweet OR salty type. To be frank I couldn't really tell the difference. But they all had the seawater taste.

Close up

The price for a dozen of oysters is about $14 - $17 depending on size or origin. The supposedly good ones are from tasmanian oysters.

Thinking back it was actually quite amazing no one had a serious bout of tummy-the-pain-ache considering the amount of raw/uncooked stuff we consumed.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

The cat

Cat in the house

On a few occassions, we came home to a cat that was frolicking on our doorsteps. We knew he belongs to someone else. How else can a cat with so much fur maintain its shine?

At first, we didn't pay much attention to it. Until one day when it decided to pay our home a visit. Plus it was raining so it was probably just finding a temporary shelter.

Roaming around

It came into our house and roamed the grounds. Sniffing around and familiarizing itself with the new surroundings. It was definitely one of the cutest cats around this neighbourhood. No doubt assisted by it's fat and chubby outlook.

Check out the video:

It knows a neat trick where if you "meow" at it a couple of times, it will stop, sit and raise it's paw at you as if to shake your hand. Damn cute. Too bad we couldn't capture it on video.

The cat is so cute I feel like abducting it.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Lame Jokes part 1

My colleague Nigel has a weird sense of humour. Weird, because I think so .... sense of humour, because he imagines he has one. (imo non-existent)

I've told the wife a couple of times about his miserable attempts to crack a joke, but had always been left dumb-struck when she asked me for examples and I can't remember any. (Mainly because of my poor memory + some things are better left forgotten)

So during Nigel's latest attempt, I promptly turned on the computer and scribbled it down.


He was having a mandarin orange, so I asked him, is it sweet?

He replied, "No, it's sour. Do you want one?"

"No! I don't want sour mandarins."

Then he throws his arms up in the air and exclaims, "No one likes sour mandarins anymore, what's the world coming to?" (with a grin on his face, starring at you)

Normally I wouldn't give a damn. But he keeps starring at me, grinning and waiting ... for me to LOL at his joke. I swear I could hear the crows going "croak croak croak"

I mustered all my energy and coerced myself into a tiny grin and 2 soft whispers of "hehe"

(the type that we normally reserve for parents that ill treat/thrash us, but we can't fight back cause we're still young and need to rely on them for food/accomodation but yet deep down we know that once we can survive on our own we'll take the giant chopper from the kitched and cut open their skulls and pull their brains out. Yeah, that's for forcing us to smile at that feeble attempt of a joke)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Beautiful Contortionist

Check out this video. Spotted on Darling Harbour couple of weeks back.

"It's all in your mind. Bend the spoon!"

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Administrative Fee my ass

Last month while we were in Melbourne, we hired a Kia Carnival from Europcar. Payment was made using credit card and everything was settled.

3 weeks later, an odd entry in my credit card statement appeared. Apparently I've been charged $38.50 by Europcar. "Dang, must be some speed trap fine." I thought to myself. The T&C clearly states that the hirer has to settle all fines and any infringements that occurred during the duration.

So I called them up, out of curiousity rather than inquiry. The guy confirmed my suspicion that we had indeed violated some traffic offence. "So does that mean that this $38.50 that you're charging me is to settle the traffic violation?", I enquired.

"Oh, no. That's just the administration fee. The actual summon will be sent to your residential address at XXX."
I was like, "WTF So what's the purpose of this administration fee that I have to fork out for?"
"It's for us to inform the traffic police that the offence occurred while you were in possession of the car, and to provide them with your address so that they may send the summon to you."

So f**k it, now I have to pay the summon, on top of the exorbitant admin fee which serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. I mean, to pay $38.50 just to pass my address (which is already in your database and all you have to do is to type my name in) over to the traffic police seems pretty dodgy to me.

If all you have to do is input the customer's name, inform the traffic police and you'll get $38.50, then I'll say you must have the best (work to pay) ratio in the world.

I've been waiting for 2 weeks and there isn't any traffic summons in my mail yet. I think I'll call them up on Monday to interrogate them on why they're swindling my money.

And there was that time when we were joining Fitness First, we had to pay them an administration fee of $70. According to them its "ADMIN FEE - Is a fee used for all set up costs of a new or renewing membership."

And do you know what they did? Grab a pen, fill in a 2 page form with our information, that's it! (One would think they should be able to read our minds and fill up the forms themselves with the amount we're paying) Probably because the pen weighs a ton, or the form consists of some high-tech crap that uses a lot of energy/expertise to write on, because it costs $70.

ADMIN FEE is just an elaborate scheme to deceive us consumers!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sushi Chronicles Part 1

Tuesday nights are always the busiest. There's a promotion going on where every plate goes for only $2.50. The line of customers waiting to get their tummy filled never ceases till late at night.

I was making my rounds, taking orders and filling up their cups of water when I noticed the 3 girls making their way into the shop. They had "tudungs"(head scarfs) that covered their precious heads from the prying eyes of the XY chromosomes. I was sure that they're malaysian malays by their dress code & speech. (plus I asked them)

Initially I didn't pay much attention to them. I resumed my usual activities around the store until one of them signalled me over.

"Can I have that?" (while pointing at the table)
I starred at the table, then back at her.
"I'm sorry?"
"That one", she continued.
"Fuck, what does she mean?" I thought to myself.
Realizing that I'm not getting the drift, she said, "That one .... the plate ... to put the sauce."
"Oh, okay... I'll pass some saucers to you."

So they were all merry and cheerful for half an hour while they dined, then another girl signalled me over.

"Excuse me, but what is this?" (pointing to 2 gyozas that were originally sets of 3)
"That would be pork, miss." (Then it hit me, OMG she just had pork!)
".............." (Her face went totally blank)
(Regains composure after 5 secs) "Cann...I... please have a .... glass of water?"

For those who don't get it, malays (muslims) are prohibited from consuming pork. In certain parts of Malaysia, the muslim cashiers at the supermarkets wrap their hands with plastic bags when attending to customers purchasing luncheon meat.

Anyway, I know I shouldn't be laughing at her misfortune but I found it quite amusing. I'm totally against prohibitions by religions. Be it constraint against food, or touching animals, etc etc. What's the big point about consuming pork? Will they transform into bad muslims that fall in the same league as murderers and rapist and such? That's utter B.S.

Besides, "Those who do it unknowingly is not at fault" (chinese proverb). haha She is probably one of the lucky muslims who will ever got to taste pork.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Western Meal (By a super chef)

The menu today is lamb shank (medium rare) served with mashed potatoes (butter & salt) accompanied by chips (COLES gravy flavour) and washed down with a glass of white wine.

I'm thankful my wife is a good cook. Actually she's an excellent cook. We were watching a taiwanese series "It started with a kiss" where the girl can't cook if her life depends on it. haha. I'm glad she's not my wife.

Come to think of it, not many girls nowadays like to cook. The strive for equality in sex means girls need not make an effort to please men by being good cooks, as the old saying goes - "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

These days, we(guys) can't demand our wife/gf to be able to cook an egg, fry some rice or even operate the microwave without some involvement from the fire department, because that would make us chauvinistic and that's totally unacceptable by today's standards.

8 out of 10 girls in Singapore can't differenciate between salt, sugar and ajinomoto, let alone cook. In fact, 70% of these 8 girls have never even set foot in the kitchen before. The other 30% enters the kitchen on a daily basis, but only to go to the toilet, which is behind the kitchen.

Like a famous man once said, "There is no bad chef, only a lazy chef."

Flip through the magazine, browse through the internet ... There are tons of recipes that can be easily prepared, which are kind to the taste buds and healthy to the body. Some of the instructions might be slightly misleading but one need not be a PHD holder to understand the common terms used in recipes.


  • Turn on fire. (Mum! How do I light the match stick?)
  • Mix 1 egg into the flour mixture and blend thoroughly. (Remember to remove the egg shells. They are not edible. I repeat! EGGSHELLS R NOT EDIBLE!)
  • Pour the contents of the instant noodles into a pot of water. (Don't forget to remove the packaging. And the sachets of flavouring goes into the noodles, not the pot of water)

So girls. Cook, or you shall be cook!

P/s. I wanna take this opportunity to apologize to our neighbours, who had to endure months of agonizing torture where they could only sniff at my wife's delicious cooking when she's cooking, but not being able to taste any of it.

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