Saturday, February 28, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Speculation is still rife that the government will repossess the land for road works though the talk has been ongoing for many years. I will be sad if the government will proceed with the road development works in Lorong Buangkok for then the only vestige of village life will be gone.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Very sorry readers, the rainbow span such great kilometres that from my home windows, I only managed to capture half of it.
I made up for myself when I went to jog after the photo shoot. I was astounded by the brilliant rainbow! It span hundreds of kilometres! and such magnitude could only be witnessed when one is outside! Too bad I did not have a camera to capture the immense beauty of the rainbow.
Whenever I see a rainbow, I thought of some carebears gliding down the rainbow like a slide. No, I am not a sissy. The image of these furry cartoon animals have always been etched in my mind ever seen I watched some of these cartoons in my younger days. Too bad, these days, the cartoons which are in production have not much of an impact on youths who are immersed in the cyberworld.. gone are the days...
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Being a weekend today, East Coast Park was packed with joggers, cyclist and skaters. East Coast Park is always packed on weekends and I could tell you the probability of collisions between any of the following groups and within themselves are quite high as it is too packed: a) cyclists b) skaters c) joggers d) pedestrians... as such I eschew cycling in East Coast Park on weekends as you would not be able to zoom smoothly, you will bound to stop at times for skaters, pedestrians or other bodies.
When I reached the Changi Sailing Club, I knew I was nearing the juncture of East Coast Park which would be the start of the Changi Park Connector.
This long stretch of road was smooth and straight (except for a traffic light), it was a breeze cycling along this stretch, however my leg muscles did give way after sometime and hence I stepped down my pace at times.
Friday, February 20, 2009
As I was hammering away at my keyboard yesterday night, I was nonetheless perturbed by the chorus of Cantonese opera music, chanting, prayers and the smell of incense which emanated from the void deck of my ‘block’ (Singapore’s parlance for a Housing & Development Board building consisting of apartment units for dwelling).
Yes, if you have guessed correctly, there was a Chinese funeral wake being held at the void deck of my block. It is common for average Singaporeans living in HDB blocks to hold funeral wakes and rituals for a number of days for their loved ones right after their decease at the void decks.
A resident living in a unit in my block has passed on… I wonder who this resident might be and whether I knew or have seen him or her before? I have noted a number of young children clothed in the solemn colours of black and white (the Chinese colours of death), congregating at and outside the void deck while taking the lift up to my home earlier: the older helping with the necessary logistics of the wake, the younger playing around; it is thus not difficult to deduce that these young kids are probably the grandchildren or even great grandchildren of the deceased and that the deceased must be someone advanced in age.
My thoughts started flitting to the images of the dozens of elderly residents I have always seen gathering at the void deck. As each thought zoomed down to an image of a certain elderly resident, I wondered silently in my heart: could it be him or her? At this juncture, you might be wondering whether I am taking a morbid interest in cursing the elderly living in my HDB block or whether I have nothing better to do as to make those wild guesses. You are wrong. The fact for my pondering is due to an intrinsic Singaporean heart, soul and curiosity!
I could make a bet with you that I was not the only resident living in my block who ponders these days over whom in the block the wake at the void deck is held for? Other residents could just be pondering silently the same question in their heads, discussing at lengths with their peers or asking around for an answer (common to some housewives or ‘kaypohs’ (‘busybodies’). For the brave-hearted residents, they might attempt to near the wake and take a quick glance at the photo placed in the altar to solve the ‘puzzle’.
Singapore is a tiny country housing more than 4 million Singaporeans, permanent residents and foreigners. Our country is small and the community is a closely knitted one, so much so that we seem to know everyone in this island or know someone who knows this or that person… this explains the Singaporean heart, soul and curiosity and why people like I, will be curious to know who has passed on when they see a funeral wake held at their void decks.
Coming back to the topic of the elderly congregating at the void decks of HDB blocks, this phenomenon is quite common and uniquely Singaporean. With approximately 85% of Singaporeans living in HDB blocks of flats, and an increasingly aging population, what do you expect the elderly Singaporeans, most living in the HDB blocks to do to pass the time when their children staying with them are at work? Worst, some elderly stay alone. It seems so natural that the elderly will venture out from their homes to breathe some ‘fresh air’, to catch the sights and sounds of the surrounding people and things and best of all, engage in small talk with other residents. Due to their limited physical movements, the elderly will mostly stay seated on the seats in the void deck, watching life pass by them …….
In my mind, was the image of an elderly man who reeks of cigarette smoke each time I see him. He is always coughing his life away and his frail body convulsing badly as he walks. I have not seen him for a while already … could it be him? Next, the image of an elderly lovely couple who always make the rounds at the void decks slowly and gradually ‘carved’ a mini seating ‘turf’ for themselves at the void decks came flooding to my mind. They have always trained their sights on each and every passerby in their line of vision including me. I have seen them and they have seen me, our eyes greeted for an uncountable number of times before, but I have never conversed with them before. Similarly, I have not seen them for a while already … could it be either he or she too? For the three elderly residents just described, though I did not know their names but their existences have become a part of the daily ‘deckscape’ (a term I coined for the landscape of the void deck). However I could be wrong, it might be other elderly residents whom I have seldom see. ….
The chorus emanating from the void deck grew in momentum as the sky darkened further. Done with my computer work, I flipped through the newspapers and noted the daily obituaries. One small obituary at the side of the page caught my attention as the man in the photo of the obituary seemed familiar to me……have I seen him before?
As I trained my eyes harder on the photo, I grew to realize the photo was that of the old man who loved to sit around in the void deck with his other half mentioned earlier, always ever so loving together, in his younger days. Now I know for whom the chorus of music below plays…. now then I know his name.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
We spend a great proportion of our life working everyday so much so it has become a social norm to equate the worth of a man by the work he does and the amount he earns.
The earning power of an individual is perceived as the status of the individual by the modern society. The richer one is, the higher the status is accorded to him and he is deemed to be worthier than others, so much so during a remark about the Tan Yong Soon’s cooking incident, Member of Parliament Charles Chong has, as reported in the newspapers, referred to common Singaporeans earning an ordinary income as ‘lesser beings’, I belong to this group too.
When I read of the term ‘lesser being’, I could not believe that this term could actually come out from the mouth of a member of Parliament! In what way am I a lesser mortal than the well-heeled? Though I may be earning a modest income, I have good moral values and like all Singaporeans and have dreams we want to realize too! Why should the worth of myself be dictated by my earning power and by Charles Chong?
Anyway this is reality! The reality of our society, where average Singaporeans could not fathom the wealth of the more than 666,000 Singaporeans with at least US $1 million in liquidity, where the astronomical salaries of Ministers will always be hotly debated and where academic grades still does matter a lot.
These days, I have been spending my time these days after work and other commitments playing Xbox 360 . I am now totally hooked on it as the gadget is so, may I use this word, intoxicating! For more details on Xbox 360, do check it out here!
Just one week back, I introduced this game to another buddy, what transpired next was that he became addicted and now he fared much better at the game than me! Well, I am not sure how on earth did he manage to play better than me, did he rely on cheat codes? I do want to give him the benefit of the doubt as we are afterall brothers… hehe. The last I heard of him is that he is doing some hacking of the game, I am not sure what that means, till I researched further and found this link!
For now, I am going to play Xbox360 for a little while before I sleep. I am confident that I can thrash my buddy soon and update you guys on this right here in my blog!
Wish me lucks!
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Received this email story from a reader, it is up to you to believe the veracity of the story (pardon the Singlish style of his writing)
" This happened to my buddy and I during BMT. We were kena arrowed (SSS: appointed) to do guard duties one Saturday night. We were shui (SSS:unlucky) to do guard duties when all the others can book out on weekends. We take prowlers as we cannot stand still as sentry."
"It was tiring patrolling around the stupid island. It was dead silent in the night but we were happy prowling the island as we have not done before. We discovered many interesting things we have not seen before on the island during our training there. The checkpoints of the patrolling was tedious, requesting us to log in our rank, name and NRIC at every checkpoint….soon we were at the checkpoint which was close to the ammo dump which was very ‘popular’ as it was rumoured to be haunted."
"What so haunted about this ammo dump? we asked ourselves. We braved ourselves towards the eerie looking ammo dump like brave soldiers to check it out. To make ourselves bolder, we cracked jokes loudly and shout some hokkien vulgar languages as we approached the ammo dump."
"About twenty metres away from the dump, a white mist came floating up suddenly from the ground and enveloped us…………it was clearly not moisture or anything natural! We ran out like we have never run before!"
Monday, February 16, 2009
This sculpture is unlike me.. I am no slave to brands. I wear simple. Simplicity is everything. Everything in life is Simple. Simple is Perfect. Perfect is simple. Nothing is impossible. Impossible is nothing...
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 09, 2009
Sunday, February 08, 2009
On the second day of the Chinese New Year, my Dear and I visited the Singapore Philatelic Musuem open house after our visit to the Peranakan Musuem.
Below was really the head of a REAL buffalo, shot by a gun. What an excellent preservation! This buffalo is fortunate to be preserved for Singaporeans to see and learn more about cows unlike its counterparts.
Some religions have some practices for their followers not to eat beef. Personally, I also try not to eat beef as it is passed down as one of the practices of my religion. The premise is cows work hard for man, ploughing the soils for harvesting and giving us milk, yet we still eat them, the animal which give us great sources of food.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
6, 14,15,28,37.43 and 24 (Additional Number)
Thursday, February 05, 2009
I know little about the Peranakan culture thus it was an eye opener to me as my Dear and I partook in the history of the Peranakan on 27 Jan 09, the second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Being a public holiday that day, the musuem was open free to all.
I learnt that there were actually many different Peranakan, for example, Hokkien Peranakans, Teochew Peranakans, etc.. thus people I see everyday on the streets may be Peranakans though they look much like Chinese, it is hard to detect the subtle differences at one glance unless we know the Perankans personally.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
The past two months, December 08 and January 09 were months of festivals with a seamless ‘flow’ of holidays one after another: Hari Raya Haji, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. These festivals undeniably uplifted the solemn moods of Singaporeans in the face of the reigning economic meltdown. Thus with all the holidaying over, it is back to starker reality as the fallouts of the economic meltdown continue to be felt even more sharply among Singaporeans.
Retrenchment figures are expected to rise as companies cut jobs in order to save costs. Though the Singapore government has given a slew of measures to help companies tide over this difficult period and has consistently advocated ‘Cut costs to save jobs’, it is inevident some companies just could not sustain their operations with their revenues continuing to bleed into losses.
For the working class always lamenting on squeezing in the ever-crowded rains, fret no more, for now it is a blessing to ‘squeeze’ with the morning and evening jam of crowd in the trains: at least you are still employed and working.
Lament not on the dearth of public holidays if you are currently working because I believe you would not want to be having a protracted holiday at home without work.
Thus as the economic crisis continues to bite even deeply into the lives of Singaporeans, let us celebrate the simpler blessings of life such as health and family. For the employed, be contented of your employment but continue to upgrade your competencies. For the unemployed, do not be disheartened, your quest for a job will be rewarded ultimately, do take this unemployment period as a short break from work.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Last Friday, my Dear and I visited the reopened Singapore Flyer, our first visit to the flyer individually. Initially I have almost shelved the idea of visiting the flyer as it was raining cats and dogs in the evening, however the rain proved to be a blessing as the evening sky was cleared by the rain such that the entire surroundings became fresh and clear.
My Dear and I boarded a flyer capsule at around 720 pm together with another couple. That is it, 4 persons in a flyer capsule that is supposed to carry 28 persons! That was the reason why I have chosen a weekday night for the visit: we get to have fewer numbers of passengers, which translates inevidently to fewer passengers per capsule, but little did we realize we could have this capsule together with just another couple, how lucky we were! There was a family of four, including two young kids just before us in queue having the whole capsule by themselves too, how equally lucky they are!
I believe night is a better time to be in the flyer capsule as the scenery from the capsule, land and sea will be even more brilliant owning to the confluence of lights and night, not to mention that night is cooler too.
Last Friday where my Dear and I were above the ground in the capsule, we were treated to an astonishing skyline of the Singapore cityscape, made even brilliant by the colours of the River Hongbao carnival in Marina and the Chingay parade at City Hall which would commence in just an hour time. Thus I would go so far to say that the scenery my Dear and I partook of, during the flyer ride was one of the Best ever that could be afforded by the flyer ride!
While it would be perfect to just have my Dear and I in the flyer capsule ourselves, on hindsight, it was also great to have another couple with us in the capsule as they could help us to take pictures of my Dear and I together! and which they willingly obliged upon our request. We reciprocated their goodwill by helping them to take their pictures!
There were four benches in the capsule which were far underutilized by the four of us in the capsule. There was so much standing room around and the couple and us took turns to navigate the four corners of the capsule, shooting dozens of photos and videos of the panoramic, breathtaking, brilliantly stunning, cityscape of the Central Business District, the Marina Bay area, the sea and the Integrated Resorts area (currently undergoing construction) all alighted in an amazing array of lights, flashlight, moonlights, traffic lights and just light!
My Dear and I were lucky to enjoy the ride with just another couple else we were not be afforded the different views from the different nooks of the capsule if the capsule were to be packed with more people.
Now about the flyer ride: the capsule ascended slowly but with every ascent, unnoticeably we were raised above the ground in leaps. Thus it was just a fraction of time that we found ourselves at the top of the Singapore flyer wheel! The sight at the top was the most impressive! Words could not describe what my Dear and I have seen from the capsule! Thus I could only capture video and photo images for all readers to see.
All along our flyer ride, the radio inside the cabin was playing Chinese New Year song in mandarin as it was the fifth day of the Chinese Lunar Year. My Dear and I enjoyed our first flyer ride, set on the back of Chingay Parade and Chinese New Year extraordinarily fun, thus it was with much regret that we bade the capsule bye after what seemed to be only twenty minutes of ride.