Sunday, May 31, 2009
Another confirmed case of H1N1 in Singapore. Like the preceding 4 cases, the victims of the H1N1 victims returned from United States. This case is the 5th!
Initially, the local health authorities kept a close tab on all Singaporeans and tourists returning to Singapore from Mexico at the very onset of the H1N1 case late last month; but the recent cases pointed to the fact that most of the victims might have contracted the disease in United States.
Anyway, H1N1 is not as lethal as initially thought; thus Singaporeans may be resting on their laurels but judging at the disease, I believe if caught off-guard, H1N1 will spread fast and rapidly among our community here. It is great that Singapore has put in place a rigorous and comprehensive plan to contain the disease in Singapore. Singapore is also fortunate to have some weeks to prepare for the disease while sporadic cases of H1N1 were still spreading.
After the Popular Sale, my Dear and I visited the Popular Sale 2009 at another hall in Singapore EXPO. This was a sales of books, stationary and other peripherals by Popular books company in Singapore.
However, i found the variety of books on offer there not as many as thought, with majority of the books being Chinese. My Dear and I would head down to the World Book Fair 2009 at Suntec City to take a look soon.
My Dear and I spent half of today in Singapore Expo. After visiting the Singapore Food EXPO, we visited the Living Showcase exhibition in the adjacent hall.
Compared with the other exhibitons held cocurrently at Singapore EXPO, this exhibition was a bit 'tamer': what I mean is that there is little crowds!
With very little crowds, my Dear and I found ourselves easy targets of promoters! We declined them politely. The crowd was so few that I even spotted a salesman resting on a giant bed for rest!
However, the crowd would be unimaginably lower if there are no simulataneous events being held at Singapore EXPO, I suppose.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
There is such a number of exhibitions at the Singapore Expo that it can be indeed fruitful for Singaporeans who travel from far to come to Singapore Expo for one exhibition or another as they are able to visit many exhibitions at one go!
John Little Mega Expo Sale is a sale organized by John Little held regularly at Expo. This exhibition is also a good one to visit as there is such a myriad of offerings of different items on sales. My Dear and I visited this exhibition after we have 'cleared' the other sales (Popular Book Sales) held at the other hall!
Like other shopppers, we had our hands full with shopping bags as we headed home after an hour navigating the sales.
Throngs of crowds descended upon Singapore EXPO hall 5 today for the annual Singapore Food EXPO! My Dear and I were part of the thousands of people which choked EXPO hall 5!
Everywhere in the hall, people were busy sampling the offering from the myriad of stalls there! My Dear and I were full just trying many of the samples on offer! But we did not sample for fun like some others who just took any opportunity to dig with a tooth pick the free samples, gobbled the samples up and quickly they went away.
Some of the businesses were having brisk business there with coffers ringing continously. My Dear and I tried the food from the make-shift stalls there: DODO timsums (7 for $3) as well as Shark's fin ($2, but frankly speaking, not genuine at all, most of it were just sea cucumbers).
We spent a moderate amount on tidbits and food items for take-aways. We bought some organic tea from a company whose one of the shareholders is Thomas Ong, an ex-local actors. He was busy preparing tea for sampling!
The number of stalls in the hall was so great that it took 2 hours to navigate through. The crowds has also a part to contribute to this too.
Overall, Singapore Food EXPO is an annual event which is highly anticipated by food-loving Singaporeans!
Books are running out fast, I believe, so grab the lastest books before it is too late!
Date: 29 May - 7 Jun 09
Time: 11am - 10pm
Venue: Suntec City Convention Hall 402 - 404 (Level 4)
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I expect the number of H1N1 cases in Singapore to reach around 10.
Illuma Shopping Centre, one of Singapore’s newest shopping centres, in my personal opinion, is really in great distaste despites its glitzy façade.
I harbored great expectations for this shopping centre earlier during its construction stage. The façade is unique and I have thought that this new shopping mall will be a new kid off the block, offering a refreshing shopping experience, which breaks away from the monotonous mould of Singapore shopping experience.
I was partly correct. On my first visit to Illuma shopping centre, I noticed that it is indeed very swanky! The height of each storey is so immense! (in actual fact, there does not seem to be a roof for every storey). There is such a generous serving of empty space all around the mall. In this physical aspect, Illuma indeed offers a uniquely different shopping experience.
But the quality of the shops in the centre is drastically lacking! There is only a small handful of great shops while the few eateries, the cinema theatres and the arcades seem to dominate the whole mall. The mall though offers great space vertically and horizontally for shoppers, is seriously wasting resources as the mall is heavily underutilized. The shopping mall can still pack in a good handful of shops without the compromise of shopping experience. It also does the sun no good to have such a huge mall air-conditioned for long hours each day.
I believe revenue may be affected for Illuma in the long run for the concept does not appeal to Singaporeans. Too few shops and no good shops may see a make-over of the mall in a few years to come.
You can also read about the interesting bridge in Illuma shopping centre here!
Due to the large expanse of space that Illuma shopping centre has, there are many interesting exhibitions held regularly there. Visit this link to read one of these interesting exhibits!
Shopping seems to be the one of the most favorite pastimes of Singapore. Just look at the crowds in shopping centres on weekends here and you will agree with me! It is not just Illuma shopping centre!
If you are shopping for the latest fashion or cosmetic, you need not head down all the day to places like Hong Kong for a quick Hong Kong shopping tour, I believe the many shopping centres here in Singapore would offer a lot of cool comfort, a number of eating places, so you need not worry and start losing sleep and worst still, lose your hair!
There are so many new shopping centres opening or which have recently opened in Singapore and you can take your time to choose which shopping centre to patronize and shop, be it at Marina Bay, Suntec City, Bugis, Orchard or in heartland mall, if you are a girl, I believe the myriad of possible shopping trips will gladly make your day a truly women’s day! Especially so if you are a beautiful girl who needs all the pampering needed for your head-to-toes treatment!
When one is shopping, it can be hard to resist the spending of monies. Shopping can be irrational and emotional as when one sees a product one loves, he or she may lose control on how to manage money and spend his hard-earned monies there! Shopping is really better than staying at home and playing online games. I always advocate one should save up for a rainy day and if possible do some investment or think of modes to earn secondary sources of income so that one can accrue monies easily.
People say when men are rich and successful, they tend to strain and look for China girls or go Thailand to play around with Thai girls. I think it depends on the faith, loyalty and steadfastness to his partner. Some people says the chemistry boils down to the compatibility of Horoscope or Fengshui, but I say it all boils down to the commitment each partner in the marriage devotes to each other.
Circle Line Opens today on 28 May 09: Bartley, Serangoon, Lorong Chuan, Bishan and Marymount MRT stations
For some offices whose normal hours on Fridays end at 5 pm, then an hour earlier to go home will translate to 4pm, hmm it may be too early for dinner still.
But assuming, if someone is to leave office at 4pm, reach home at 5pm, go to sleep and then eats with his family at 8pm, it is still "eating with family" rite?
If you are a Chinese Singaporean reading this post, chances are that you might have eaten the yummy dumpling today! For today is the Dumpling Festival celebrated by Chinese! Prices of dumplings have skyrocketed towards this date. Dumpling Festival observed by Chinese is on the 5th day of the 5th Chinese Lunar month every year.
There are many different kinds of dumplings and the origin of dumplings can be traced to an ancient Chinese poet cum patriot called Qu Yuan who committed suicide after the emperor refused to trust in him and trusted instead the treacherous Qin Kuai! the rest of the story, I will not mention here again as the story is a common one (or you can check from the internet).
Qin Kuai also gives rise to "Yu Za Kuai" (fried doughsticks that Singaporeans love to eat). "Yu Za Kuai" : means fry the treacherous Qin Kuai in hot boiling oil.
Oh, what am I doing? Mentioning Qin Kuai, the bad guy here on a day when we should commemorate Qu Yuan instead? Maybe its a sign of lethary and a time for my cosy bed... with that I am going to sleep.
Happy Dumpling Festival!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The festival will be a mix of music, magic amnd musuems, held at Boat Quay, Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay and the Empress Place.
There will be a number of FREE events:
1) River Romance Bumboat parade which will feature bumboats depicitng scenes of river life in the past. It will be held from 1930 hrs to 2030 hrs at Robertson Quay, Clarke Quay and Boat Quay.
2) Asian Civilisation Museums featuring the Chinese Emperor, Kangxi exhibition will be open free to public from 5pm to 12 mn on two Fridays: 19 Jun 09 and 26 Jun 09.
3) Read Bridge Spectacular will features a slew of aerial acrobat performances. Dates and times to catch the show: 19 Jun 09 to 20 Jun 09: 2030 hours to 2100 hours and from 2300 hours to 2330 hours; 21 Jun 09 to 27 Jun 09: 2030 hours to 2100 hours and from 2200 hours to 2230 hours.
Singaporeans, can consider this Great festival of lights, music, river, musuem and charm as an Excellent outing with friends and family!
Or if you will be giving the festival a miss, do not worry, stay tuned to my blog, where I will bring you the latest of Singapore River Festival 2009 right here on this blog!
Singapore confirms its second case of H1N1 (Swine Flu) Case. At the moment of writing, there is no confirmed second case, though there is already a first case. But I am writing this blog post for the future. I believe Singapore will not end its H1N1 cases with just one single case. Being a highly globalized country, I predicted the least number of H1N1 cases here would be 2. Just see whether my prediction is correct in the coming few days!
As I have expected, our country, Singapore finally succumbed to the scourge of the H1N1, which has made its presence felt in almost all the countries of ASEAN (except Singapore then) when the country confirmed its first case of Influenza A (H1N1), the Health Ministry (MOH) said on Wednesday 27 May 27, 2009.
The importer of H1N1 like Esther Mok, who imported SARS to Singapore in 2003, is a young Singaporean woman. The identity of the Singapore H1N1 importer has not been revealed. She is currently being treated at the Communicable Disease Centre at Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and is in stable condition.
The woman was in New York from May 14 to 24 and arrived back in Singapore from New York on SQ25 on May 26 at 630am. She was seated at row 55 and developed a cough while on the flight. She passed the thermal scanner test at the airport. Her case was only brought to light when she consulted a GP.
The current level of the H1N1 virus is now Yellow alert. It may be timely for the ministry to review the current alert level. With the current Yellow alert status, being humans, Singaporeans would not be treating the H1N1 flu case lightly.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
"Its nice to be important but more important to be nice" - Johan Cassis
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Singapore Arts Festival 2009 runs from 15 May 09 to 14 Jun 09 this year. During this period, the authorities brings arts to the masses in common places such as the shopping districts and the heartlands.
It is really applauding that the government is organizing Singapore Arts Festival yearly to bring some of the greatest works in arts to common Singaporeans. Thus during this period, I would encourage Singaporeans to proactively support these arts events and performances, of which a majority is free! It is a treat for all Singaporeans for who knows, these arts will inspire you and unleashes the artistic talent in you!
For more details, check on the website for a listing of events!
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Large sprawling detached houses were the norm of the houses there in the kampong. I have learnt too from the same documentary on the kampong that the houses there were real cheap as compared to the condominiums and HDB in many parts of Singapore. But I wonder how long they could keep their houses as the government may be acquiring the kampong land in no time.
Mosquitoes, rural vegetation and artefacts, rule the kampong of idyllic charm. There was no clear demarcation of roads or paveways. Cars simply tranverse both directions of make-shift roads which are the sandy paths and dirt tracks.
Friday, May 22, 2009
At last, we reached the end of the catchment trail and we were sad to reach the end point, for the end point was nothing more than an insignificant dead-line. So it seemed that my Dear and I would need to make a ‘U-turn’ back and walk all the way into the eerie forests back to the Visitor Centre… but no way, my Dear and I decided to explore the surrounding and find an alternative route back. We emerged out of the dead end and saw a grand sight hidden deep in the reserve, which we have not seen before despites living in Singapore for so long! Large open tracts of land, flanked by giant underground conduits and sandy paths. We partook in the magnificent sights before embarking on a sandy trail on the outskirts of the area.
The path we took was breezy and we were barely metres away from the cars speeding along the Bukit Timah Expressway. Soon, we saw one mountain biker approaching us, few minutes later, we saw another. Then we saw the sign that the path was actually a mountain cyclist track. We walked and walked on the track and did not know where would this road lead us. An hour and a half soon flew past before we finally saw sights of civilization! My Goodness! We ended up at ZhengHua Park, in Bukit Panjang! How did we get to Bukit Panjang when our initial destination was the Visitor Centre? However, my Dear and I enjoyed our trek of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and our unplanned adventure cum trip to Bukit Panjang!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Its so easy to lose oneself in Singapore! By that, I do not mean to be lost physically. What I mean is that with the punishing pace of the local work culture, the escalating pulse of city life, the perennial lure of the hedonistic treadmill and the endless search for a worklife balance, day morphs into nights easily, days grew into weeks rapidly and soon one year will be gone in a flash! At this juncture, one will rue over the passage of time and a question will soon loom in his mind: “What have I achieved?”
To those Singaporeans who have achieved what you want in life, Good for you! Now for those like me, who are on our way to achieving our definitions of success, I believe the imperative is on us to remove the barriers to our success.
So what are these barriers to success? In my humble opinion, these barriers boil down to what I called daily distractions. There are just so many distractions emanating from all sources of city life, which deflect us on our journey towards our set goals. What one requires is focus and a dose of good health, twin basic ingredients for Success!
Now the crux is: we meet with so many unreasonable, unfriendly people everyday, eat so much MSG-laden food, experience the lure of the hedonistic, meet with evil people playing the all-too familiar office politics…. we try to focus but undeniably we are still distracted and affected by all these!
At this juncture, I believe on the importance of letting one’s soul FREE. Let your soul discharge, be free on weekends the only two days when most of us can really rest. We see lots of people on our working days, what’s worse to go to the city and downtown areas every weekend to jostle with the maddening crowd, to be dazed by the throngs of people, to wait for that coveted seat in food centres and lastly to be MAD! (and hence the vicious cycle continues!)
Thus on weekends, we should let our hair down, be away from the maddening crowds, be with your true self and soul, listen to your soul’s deepest and truest rhythms…. I will share with you folks on what I do to reinvigorate my soul in my next posts. And the journey begins from here (as shown in the picture below):
Monday, May 18, 2009
Yesterday, my Dear and I happened to come across the now (in)famous Geylang Serai Temporary Hawker Centre on our way to Eunos MRT Station.
Geylang Serai Temporary Hawker Centre is a market that is now well-known to Singaporeans and maybe some of our overseas counterparts for the wrong reason. The reason was that this temporary hawker centre was where the now (in)famous “Rojak Geylang Serai” stall was housed. It was just some weeks ago when the stall hogged the headlines of major national newspapers here due to the terrible Indian Rojak mass food poisoning, which caused the death of a woman, a miscarriage of another and many others ill from the poisoning.
For those who want to know where this hawker centre was located, it is located not far off from Paya Lebar MRT station; walk from Paya Lebar MRT station towards Eunos MRT station and you could see this distinct temporary hawker centre after 5 minutes of walk.
As expected, the stall “Rojak Geylang Serai” was closed; its owner is now busy waiting for the lawsuit against him to commence. Besides the closed stall, everything in the temporary hawker centre looks normal and everything seems to return to normalcy here.
Following the mass food poisoning, there was an intensive and massive cleanup at the temporary hawker centre which yielded more than 122 rats. The massive cleanup seemed like an ‘exodus’ after which the ghost of the morbid incident seems to be subdued.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
With books originally selling at $20 in those upmarket bookshops sold at just $9 only in Shenton Publications, being a book lover, I was filled with a sense of curiosity and excitement to get to Shenton Publications to check it out and today, here we went, My Dear and I to Shenton Publications to check it out! Such Great treats for Singaporeans can only occur at warehouses and without a doubt, Shenton Publications was situated in an industrial spot: Blk 1085 #03-086 Eunos Tech Park, Eunos Avenue 7A. To get to Shenton Publications, it was not difficult just that on a bright sunny day like today, one has to brave the elements of the mighty sun. Here is the directions to Shenton Publications, alight off at Paya Lebar MRT stations and just walk in the direction, the pavement where the Singapore Post Centre is situated and keep walking, you will see the first signs of industrial buildings (those brown coloured buildings in the picture).
Just keep walking and you will see, like what my Dear and I did, the tallest building located at the end of the street. Yes, this block is Block 1085, the blue tall building. Give yourself a pat on the back for coming that far (not that far actually, just 10 minutes of walk from Paya Lebar MRT station).
We reached the third storey and after crossing a long balcony, we reached Shenton Publications!
There was an executive in the shop, who welcomed us warmly! He gave my Dear and I a complimentary book each (see picture below) and explained to us that more titles would come in (to the shop) middle of next month as the Sunday Times article came a bit too early and there were still truckloads of GREAT books and new titles residing in the unopened packages in the warehouses here and in Jurong. The executive answered to my query that the shop was seeing so many booklovers this week after the Sunday Times article!
My Dear and I were impressed with the Great and homely customer service of the executive and soon we were browsing through the many titles in the store. To be frank, the number of titles are, understandingly, at this beginning stage of the shop’s operations, not many; but the titles are truly new, impressive and selling at unbeatable prices. My Dear and I would come back for more next month. More booklovers streamed in as we were browsing the book. I am happy that Singaporeans including my Dear and I now have an excellent repository to purchase Great books!
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Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Following Singapore Table Tennis Association’s (STTA) “no endorsement” of Mr Liu Guo Dong, the former coach of the women’s table-tennis team which helped to end Singapore’s medal drought in the Olympics in 48 years by garnering a Silver medal in the Olympics last year for the “Coach of the year award”, there is now an online frenzy of petitions calling for Ms Lee Bee Wah, the STTA’s Chairperson to step down.
Netizens are up-in-arms over Ms Lee Bee Wah’s latest action; similarly Ms Lee Bee Wah’s past action of ordering Mr Liu to be sacked for neglecting his coachee, a member of the men’s table-tennis team by leaving him without a coach and playing alone in one of the Olympics table-tennis games last year has similarly raised hackles of netizens and Singaporeans.
But I am not angered at all by Ms Lee Bee Wah’s action. I believe Ms Lee Bee Wah, a member of Parliament for Nee Soon South constituency has act impartially and fairly. Critics of Ms Lee’s latest ‘no-endorsement’ should learn to appreciate the definition of ‘coaching’.
A coach is more than having the ability to deliver results; its about much more! One should do a check on the definition of ‘coach’; the best coach should not necessarily be someone who delivers outstanding results. STTA, colleagues and coachees of Mr Liu Guo Dong would best judge Mr Liu in his performance as a coach in this latest incident.
I admire Ms Lee Bee Wah for her bold and unconventional leadership among the members of Parliament. She may be criticized by the lack of tack and her seemingly ‘rudeness’; but after all, I find her actions to be guided by integrity and sincerity. She is not afraid to speak her mind, is able to defend her actions and comes across as approachable. Singapore needs more leaders like Lee Bee Wah! We do not necessarily need another President or PSC scholar as our member of parliament. We need a diverse array of leaders for Singapore.
Just some months ago, Mindef introduced another new rank for specialists: Specialist cadets.
Why is Mindef creating so many new ranks for its warrant officers and specialists? Is there an exodus of specialists and warrant officers quiting thus the need to create more ranks to render more recognition to the "Enciks" (Malay for 'Uncle')?
Do not be surprised if a new rank comes next: 4th Sergeant (4SG)!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
"We have 2 ears and 1 mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak"
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Do you know why Mas Selamat, no matter how cunning he is, could be ultimately apprehended, but not Osama (at least till now) ?
The reason is simple: The Singapore has issued a massive manhunt for Mas Selamat bin Kastari using the correct name: Mas Selamat but the United States, has at many instances, wanted to captured Osama’s father instead in ‘Mr Laden’ or ‘Mr Bin Laden’.
This is just a joke. On a serious note, the fact that Singapore spends more than a year to capture the wily Mas Selamat, Chief of JI in Singapore is telling of the much greater difficulty in capturing World’s No.1 terrorist Chief, Osama bin Laden.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
These Singapore Kindesss Movement Lions are unique creatures in their own rights. Instead of meats, their diet consist of acts of kindess and courtesy from Singaporeans and Singaporeans are strongly encouraged to feed these cute lions with these.
I am surprised that out of the 6 lions with special messages, half of them have messages related to kindness and courtesy behaviours related to transport: this may be the area that much kindness is needed, else why have 3 out of 6 lions carrying these messsages?