Saturday, February 28, 2009

Singapore Best Blog

I received some emails from readers these days, thanking me for writing an impressive Singapore blog covering all genres.
Many have hailed my blog as the Best Singapore Blog they have ever read! I feel happy that readers like my blog and I hope readers like you can give me your continuous support!
Many Thanks!
Yours sincerely,
Singapore Short Stories

Friday, February 27, 2009

Singapore Jobs

This morning, just before I reached the door to my office, I saw two men, who were complete strangers to me outside the door.As I walked up further, one of the men asked, "What is this place? This place got any jobs?" I replied to them the name of my office and that new opportunities of my company will be found in the newspapers. Thanking me, the two men left.
I was surprised to personally witness the unconventional job hunting modus operandi of the two men. However, with the uemployed figures ballooning, this method may soon become commonplace. The two men may be following the adage: "Do not wait for opportunities to find you, find opportunities yourselves " They seemed sincere, though with a sign of little desperateness, I do really hope their jobhunt will bear fruit soon.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sending Large Powerpoint Presentation Slides?

If you have large powerpoint presentation slides to email to friends.. those of sizes exceeding 1 or 2 MB, it may be easier to explore other methods rather than jamming your friends' inbox.. to their indignation.
I have learnt of this website which could be useful for sending your presentation slides to your friends for viewing.. instead of the huge files.. just send the URL!

Singapore Stories

Singapore is a tiny country with only a history of 44 years, however within this short span of time, it has transformed itself from a third country into one of the leading nations in the world today.
Singapore has experienced a tumultous past, from World War 1 to World War 2 where the Japanese soldiers killed thousands of our ancestors. Singapore also experienced communist activities, racial riots and being booted out from the Malaysia Federation on 9 Aug 1965... that is when Singapore is born and the rest is as the cliche goes.. history.
But sad to say, ask the youths of Singapore today on the history of Singapore, they are sadly apathetic.. they are into the cyberworld, the latest IT gadgets and the latest fashion trends.. thus to me it is sad that Singapore's history may soon be forgotten and the invaluable lessons so gleaned from our past experiences may soon be reduced to nothingness ....
Last week, I watched a documentary on Channel 8, featuring the so-called 'last kampong' of Singapore: Lorong Buangkok. In Lorong Buangkok, one still can see attap houses and Singapore kampong style of life in the 1960s.. no joke it is really still 'kampong life' there. The rent of the big houses there is only ten dollars plus a month! The landlady refuses to sell the land to private developers and she told the TV audience it was because she is the last custodian of her father's legacy to her children. She will be multi-millionaire already if she has sold the land. How many children today will give up their father's legacy for an opportunity to becoming easy multimillionaires?

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.
I will like to pay Lorong Buangkok a visit soon and update you folks of my encounters there... so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Singapore Rainbow

After a protracted drought, it is such a relief that it rains at last on my side of the island!And I chanced upon the greatest rainbow I have seen in years from my home.I snapped a photo of the great rainbow:

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...

Singapore Fast Food Discounts

Amidst the economic gloom, there is at least some good news: the price of Singapore fast food is coming down!
Ya, I have started to receive the discount coupons from different fast food chains accompanying the newspapers and in my mailboxes.
A meal at the MacDonald now cost $4.50 as compared to $6.50 without a discount coupon. $4.95 for a dozen of meals at the Burger King.
But would it be better not to eat fast food at all? Then you save even more? hehe....

"ME" Time

Recently I came across new coined word: "ME" time.
"ME" time is a concept of time for oneself. With a majority of us working hours everyday, it is paramount to set some time for ourselves, the time that is "ME" time.
"ME" time is time meant for us, time meant for us to do personal things and not be at the beck and call of our superiors.
Come to think of it, time always seem to fly. Rather than burying our lives working and working (but sometimes we cannot help it), it is time to have some "ME" time for ourselves.
Taking care of our spirit, health and soul is paramount, we need constant rest and time for our body and soul to rejuvenate to tackle greater challenges in the future.
As oppose to "ME" time, I heard of quite a number of working employees engaging in "Face time"? So what is "Face time"? "Face time" is time after work when employees having little work on hand, still deliberately stay back and idle around the mouse, surfing the net, trying to impresss their bosses that they are working.... hmm a bit hypocritical act right?
Time is for us to make full use of!

International Women's Day Run 2009- IWD Run 09

Calling all Singaporeans, whether you are young or old, male or female, you can all come together this coming Sunday 1 Mar 09 at Bedok Reservoir Park for the International Women's Day Run 2009- IWD Run 09.
For further details, do check out this website.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quizzes for Singaporeans and All

I learnt of this fun and interesting quiz website which I believe you will like it too!


Monday, February 23, 2009

Singapore Beaches

Singapore is a small island surrounded by sea.
On weekends, I would try my best to go to one of the many beaches in Singapore to take a break from the hustle and bustle of work and the city life. What I find satisfying is the increasing number of beach goers, be it runners, skaters, folks going for picnic, BBQ or camping, kite-flyers, love birds .... I am starting to see an increasing array of different beach lovers, this bodes well for Singapore as I can see that its effort in giving its residents the greenery despites our tiny land mass is gaining traction! However, the refuse strewn around may be increasing with more goers to the beaches too!
Beaches are really relaxing for all goers there. The moment I am at the beaches, I immerse myself to the rhythm of the waves, sashaying upon the shores... the winds embracing me in all directions, the rich aroma of BBQ assailing smoothly my nostrils.....time seems to come to a standstill as I embrace all my six senses with nature.....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Good Powerpoint Presentation Slides

I stumbled upon this great website which offers an intriguing array of powerpoint presentation templates for a variety of presentation.
The collection featured is certainly more interesting than the one provided by Microsoft Office package!
See which of these powerpoint slides is to your preferences and liking, hope you find these handy!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cycling in Singapore: East Coast Park Connector and Changi Park Connector

The OCBC cycling event will be held tomorrow (22 Feb 09), however I have unwittingly mistook the date as 22 Mar 09! Hence I have missed a chance to participate in this grand cycling event!
To make up for this lost opportunity, this afternoon, I dusted off my bicycle which has accumulated lots of dirt as a result of not using the bicycle for some months already, donned a sporting attire and off I went, for my own cycling endurance event!
The journey I have planned will be from my home to East Coast Park, then head upwards to Changi Beach and down back home. The total distance is approximately 20km! It has been one year plus since I cycle such long challenging distances!
30 minutes on my bike, I reached East Coast Park. The weather today is marvellous for cycling: cool, calm and windy. SkatePark 360 degree (sea-skiing park) greeted me as soon as I descended on East Coast Park.

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.

As I cycled, I observed for safety as well as admired the nice scenery unfolding around me. Singaporeans do love the vast sea, especially in this difficult period, the sea seems to offer some solace for all of us.

Ya, finally I saw the colourful trees and shrubs: this would be the start of the Changi Park connector.

To Changi Beach Park, almost 7.5km more! I have at this moment, cycled for 5 km or more, 7.5 km to Changi Beach Park!

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.

As I cycled, I was impressed at the good unhindered views of the planes taking off few hundreds of metres besides me. The aeroplanes hovered above me loudly, and this point is really a vantage point for those who are keen to get an unbridled view of the giant aircrafts.

Finally, I reached Changi Beach, my leg muscles pulling. I loved this spot of the Changi Beach (see picture below) as the clusters of trees Christmas look-alike trees make this secluded spot romantic!
Cycling more and more, I reached Changi Jetty. By then, my leg muscles were really painful.

However determination drove me on, for another 10 km down to my home!
The entire cycling stint took me 3.5 hours. Not too bad, my leg muscles not tiring anymore. I encourage anyone who would really like to relax, sweat it out and experience the rush of the adrenalin to give long cycling an attempt! Singapore is quite cyclist friendly and with the park connectors, one could just cycle from one end of the island to another. However, the hot and humid climate in Singapore is quite discouraging for most Singaporeans, I believe. For non-cyclists, you can give cycling a try as a hobby. Besides the inital cost of buying a bicycle (cost not that high typically), what you will get will be hours of relaxation, exercise and fitness at a low cost. You do not need to start off cycling long distances like what I did today, though :)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Now then I know his name …

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

Are we measured by the work we do and how much we earn?

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.

A Game for All!

It has been decades since I have played a real good computer game, so imagine my excitement when I was introduced to a great game gadget: Xbox 360 by one of my buddies just a month back!

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

Open House of Joo Koon and Pioneer MRT station

Boon Lay has been the terminal station for the West line branch of Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network since 1988.
Come this Saturday, 21 Feb 09, two new MRT stations beyond Boon Lay will open: Pioneer MRT station and Joo Koon MRT station!
Joo Koon MRT station will be the new Western terminal MRT station on Singapore's network, possibly for eternity until SMRT decides to expand all the way further.... to Jurong Island? who knows? Singapore is dynamic with land use policy as always!
These days, I saw the words inscripted on the display panels of underground stations "To Boon Lay" being replaced with "To Joo Koon", similar changes extend to all MRT maps and train announcements.
Just last week, I have already heard the announcment: "Passengers going to Joo Koon, please proceed to platform A ...." unwittingly played for this new announcement should not have been played as the two new stations will open only this Saturday.
But who is Joo Koon? Joo Koon MRT station must be named after a famous Singaporean? Who is he? I tried to google but could not find anything related to Joo Koon. If you know who is Joo Koon, please inform me. Meanwhile, I stumbled upon this site unveiling the meaning of some street names in Singapore.
Bye bye Boon Lay, Hello Joo Koon!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Singapore Army Ghost Stories

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!"
"Luckily we have signed the book at the checkpoint near the ammon dump before approaching it. That was our last shift, we went back to Guardroom, faces white like sheet, but lucky that we were unharmed!"

Hazy Singapore

Singapore is shrouded in haze these days. However unlike the haze we were inflicted with that came from Indonesia's clearing of large tracts of forests, the haze these days came from the burning vegetations island wide, which were caused by the unusually hot and dry weather.
It is not recommended to exercise outdoors lest we breathe in the particulate matters which could be lodged into our lungs and organs.
Singapore's weather: Hot and Sunny, Raining, Cloudy, Hazy and Windy.
We witnessed the power of the strong winds just two weeks ago, now the power of the haze, I hope it will rain soon! Rain seems to be MIA these two months!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Now showing: The Bee Man of the Esplanade and CityLink Mall!

Dear Fellow Singaporeans,
If you have been to the Esplanade and City Link mall in the past one month, you may have catch a glimpse of what I called the "The Bee Man" of the Esplanade and CityLink Mall.
Ya, if you spot this guy who I am describing, this "Bee Man" is a young bespectacled, short, slightly fat man, carrying a haversack, ears plugged into a headset.
You may spot him behind you, muttering a humming sound at low frequency. As you are figuring out where does this humming sound comes from, you spot this "Bee Man", and there he goes, walking fast, and humming a loud, high pitch humming sound.
This "Bee Man" always emerge from some corner in the Esplanade and like a bee, flit off in a succession of hums and trots down CityLink mall, creating waves of curious stares, uncontrollable laughter and some people just thought this guy was 'siao'!
I have the unenviable opportunities to meet this "Bee Man" about 5 times while I was in CityLink Mall and Esplanade the past one month. Initially, I thought he was stresssed and was just playing a fool. But seeing this "Bee Man" continuing his stunts and repeatedly flits to and fro like a real bee from CityLink Mall to Esplanade, I would really want to ask the Bee Man:
"What are you doing?"
Have you seen this "Bee Man" before?

My Fateful Triangle

You may have seen this naked sculpture in City Link mall just before the escalator to the Esplanade.
But are you so busy to pause for a second and have a look at the sculpture to figure out what message this figure is protraying?
I have captured for you the philosophical words of thought that serve as invaluable takeaways for all of us.

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...
Oh wat happens to me? I am waxing lyrical after seeing these philosophical words of thought!

PAYM Policy Forum: Politcal Space & The Internet Age

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Blog Vertise

Just recently, I have learnt of a website called Blog Vertise which enables bloggers to earn revenue from their blogs by writing on the topics/ websites/ products that the administrators of Blog Vertise assigns to them.
Sound interesting to bloggers, I believe!

Road to Success is paved with Stones thrown at us by others

On our road to Success, there will always bound to be people who try to distract us from reaching our destination by their hurtful comments.
I have learnt not to have my emotions be at the control of these persons, whose hurtful comments may spoilt an entire day for others.
I have learnt to control my emotions, and not to have my emotions be swayed, hurt by others.
Think of it this way, if these people can destroy your confidence just by saying some words, will not they be very powerful people? having control and an impact on how we behave and hurt our self esteem.
No, these people are just NOTHING to confident persons. A confident person realises that time on this earth is short and there are far lots of important things to be done during one's short lifetime on earth than to sit down and wallow in pity after hearing some unkind words from others or to argue with them.
A confident person knows that those people who come in regularly to throw a spanner in our life and hurts us with all sorts of comments, are wasting our time, diverting us from the goals we are progresssing towards.
Too bad, in this world, there are many people are quite superficial, focusing on the material things in life and not the spirtual things. There are many people who are hypocritical and have vested interest or personal agendas in the things we work with them.
Not that I am not trusting in nature, but life is really as such! It is the rule of the jungle in work and there are many crocodiles, tigers, lions in the corporate jungle.
My personal experience in life hiterto has attested to the fact that more people in life are unkind though there are also good Samaritians.
Unkind people may resort to using all sorts of malicious and devious tricks and deceptions to rise to the top of the rungs in career and other arenas but these would not last.
I believe in the rule of Karma. Let not others hurt you, you are in charge of your emotions 100%!
I was once an unconfident person but essentially good person who unfortunately was bullied by others before due to my good nature and also to mention, be hurt by other's mocking and jeering due to some unperfect phyiscal attributes!
But I have learnt to soldier on in life, and not let my life by ruined by those stupid people who would always harm,hurt you due to jealousy, envy or some personal agenda.
Eleanor Roosevelt: "Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent." Life is short, people's hurtful words will not hurt us, and they will be angry to see their hurtful words will have no effect on us.
Let us strive towards our goals and let our detractors see what we are capable of!

Celebrating Love

I had the most wonderful, romantic Valentine's Day with my Dear yesterday and this day marks a very important chapter in our lives!'

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day to All!

My Dear gave me a surprise when she called me an hour ago, only to tell me that she has left office and was at the void deck of my flat!
I was extremely surprised that my Dear was just downstairs (in Singapore parlance), I know she would be giving me a Valentine Day gift, but it was beyond my guess that she would come all the way from office to my house just to pass me the Valentine Day present! I had a quick change of clothes and came rushing down to the void deck!
It is very sweet of her! She has requested me to open the present at 12 am, 14 Feb 09 (i.e at the stroke of midnight), when it is exactly the start of Valentine's Day!
I am very excited after hearing her request and I wonder what would be inside the present. I am very touched of my Dear's effort and I know she has personally creates the gift in the box.
In less than 2 hours, I will know exactly what will be the mysterious contents in the box are!
I feel 'paiseh' (embarrased) for I am an unromantic guy. It should be the guy who does such romantic things for ladies during Valentine's Day. I am born unromantic but I will plan the Best romantic Valentine Day for my Dear tomorrow.. hehe.. the plan for our Big Day tomorrow has been planned!
I wish All readers a Happy Valentine's Day! To the married couples, it is a day to reaffirm your love for each other! To the dating couples, it is a day to celebrate your love for each other! To the singles, it is friendship's day and a day where one may find potential partners over some social functions!
Happy Valentine's Day once again!
(P.S: A secret: This is my first time celebrating Valentine's Day though I am already very old already!, Don't laugh! This Valentine's Day will be the Best as I would be celebrating with a girl who I have 101% chemistry and love with!)

Friday the 13th!

Today is Friday the 13th!

I am neither a Christian nor do I believe in the bad luck myth and legend surrounding this day which is always believed to be unlucky.
Thus to me at the start of the working day, it is all normal, the day passes in a series of meeting, discussion and rushing of work.
But the work day ends very late, no complaining, I do not think it is associated with Friday the 13th!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blogspot pictures missing ....

I first noticed my Singapore Short Stories picture backdrop on the top of my blog missing at 7pm today.
I was puzzled: what happened to my blogspot pictures?
I went to take a look at other famous blogs, to my surprise I could not see the picture headers of them too.
After some minutes, the pictures came back to our blogs, then they disappeared! Till this point of writing, the problem was not resolved yet, I believe there is something wrong with the server.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Singapore Executives

I reached home around 10pm tonight after a meeting.
Tomorrow there will be another meeting again which will see me coming home past 10 pm again.
This is life of an average Singaporean employees, especially those in the private sectors. Overtime, overwork and under-paid are the grouses of many private sector employees.
Who does not want to have more personal time? All of us have only 24 hours each day and with the bulk of our lives spend working, we only have a limited number of hours for ourselves and for our loved ones. Time always pass so see, now is already in the midst of February and it was as though yesterday that we ushered in Year 2009.
However such grouses about overtime and overwork would have been tuned down in the light of the current economic crisis which forces many employee to be retrenched, thus count our blessing if we are still employed! What is overtime compared to the loss of income?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How to get rid of the excess salt and MSG in your body?

I have spent money again on today's lunch on food which has so much salt and MSG that it is just so plain disgusting!
The local authority should not just grade food stalls according to their hygience but also the 'healthliness' of the food to us, consumers.
As a result of the MSG and salt partaken, I feel so thristy that I drink like a hippo; stomach bloated and yet the feel of saltiness still pervade.
I went for a run this evening to sweat the salt out. Running a google check on the internet, I could hardly find any way to get rid of the excess salt and MSG we have partaken accidentally outside.
Does anyone have any ideas to get rid of this excess salt? Drinking water does not help, and I could only think of exercising to rid this salt via sweating.
Singapore has lots of good food but also lots of food laden with a plethora of sugar, salt and MSG.
Be discreet next time you choose your food to consume. We are what we eat!

The enigmatic stare

This story happened to me some months back.
I brought my Dear to my company outing and after the outing, we had lunch at a restaurant. As the restaurant was near to our company's debusing point for the outing, the restaurant was packed with some of my colleagues who had gone for the outing as well.
As my Dear and I were happily dining into our meals, I noticed an older female colleague of mine, with her son seated behind us, dining into their meals as well. I turned back and greeted her, but she was simply staring at me and my Dear in a strange manner, in a way that I did not like it.
Seeing that she did not reciprocate my gesture, my Dear and I continued our lunch. My colleague was deep in thought, I supposed. I did not really know much about this colleague as she is a very reserved and quiet person since the day I joined my company.
Only just some days ago, I heard from a senior colleague that this colleague who had given an engimatic stare to me and my Dear that day has actually lost her husband in a freak accident just some months before I joined the company. That was a revelation to me and now I could understand that engimatic stare of hers.
From this episode, I learnt not to take things at face value. People sometimes behave due to reasons which are not apparent but more often than not, we often associate these actions with our perceived reasoning. To be frank, initially, I thought her stare that day was hostile and her quiet and reserved demeanour are signs of aloofness, but now I could piece up the whole jigsaw puzzle.
I felt sad for this colleague of mine who has lost her husband. Life is difficult for her juggling her work and raising her son. I was told she has at many times contemplated suicide just after her husband's death, but she was strong enough to face reality and live on for herself and her son.
Everyone has a personal story which is not told to others, everyone has a public face and a face which many will not see......

Monday, February 09, 2009

Urban Riddle

What a sight! I discovered dozens of water cooler bottles at the Singapore Flyer just two weeks ago. Wonder how long it takes to drink All of them?

Brightest moon in 52 years on Yuan Xiao Jie

Today is the 15th day of the Chinese Lunar month: Yuan Xiao Jie. This day marks the end of 2 weeks of festive Chinese New Year celebrations and visiting.
Yuan Xiao Jie is also the Chinese Valentine Day! I deserve a beating for I only remember this fact while I am typing my blog and chatting with my Dear over the MSN. I would have brought her to see the Brightest moon in 52 years on this special date!
Yeah, tonight the moon is at its brightest, fullest and biggest. I have never seen a moon so big and bright as it is tonight.
Look up at the sky now if you are reading my post now on 9 Feb 09, Singapore Time!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Singapore Batman

Singaporeans, do not be surprised if you have Batman as your friend for Batman is really a citizen of Singapore.
Don't believe? click here to read more.
Wonder why he is given such a name. Recently in the west, there is a public outcry over a name given to a baby: Hitler.
Parents should be sensible and be responsible in giving a good name to their children. A wrong and funny name may cause their children to be ridiculed for a period of their lives until they change their names.
I wonder whether Batman likes his name.

MRT accidents in Singapore

Yesterday, I read the newspapers only to learn of yet another MRT-related tragedy on 'above-ground' MRT platforms.
This time round, it was a freak incident: an elderly man standing on the MRT platform waiting for the train suddenly lost his posture when the train approached the platform. He fell towards the train while it was coming into the station, knocked his head on the body of the moving train, fell back to the platform with injuries so fatal that he just passed on soon after. It was reported in the news that the man has not been feeling well and has been on medication. Perhaps, the old man could have fallen onto the train under the effect of medication.
The MRT (Mass Rapid Trains) first appeared on Singapore's cityscape in 1988 but it was only in recent years that train accidents and mishaps have become commonplace.
A bulk of these mishaps involved people who simply jumped into the track as a mean to an end (of their life). I still remembered the first such suicide incident when a man jumped into the path of an approaching train reportedly to score some sympathy scores for his debt-ridden family with his death. He did achieve his objective (posthumously) as donations flew fast and forth to his surviving wife and children.
Since then, there seem to emerge 'copycats' where victims, often mired in debts, seek to solve their monetary problems by dying in a sensational way, by making the headlines that thug at the heartstrings of Singaporeans and galvanized them towards giving to their surviving families. However, I noticed the more recent train suicide incidents are no longer reported in the newspapers, possibly to discourage more such suicide cases in Singapore?
There was also one incident in which a young man pushed his lover onto the path of a soon-oncoming train after a tiff. His girlfriend managed to climb out of the track just in time before she becomes smashed into pieces. Her boyfriend was later convicted in court. There were also a few other cases when people just fell to the track while waiting on the platform, some were pulled out before the train comes while others are not so lucky.
The Singapore Mass Rapid Transport (SMRT) corporation is planning to retrofit each 'above-ground' MRT plaform with glass door panels to prevent people from falling into the tracks again. Works are in the pipeline to retrofit some stations such as Pasir Ris and Boon Lay with these glass doors by the end of the year. It was reported all 'above-ground' MRT platform would be similarly retrofitted with these doors by year 2011 or 2012.
I find it regretful that SMRT would implement the glass panel doors only at this point in time where a number of lives have been lost. While those who really want to seek death could do so by other means apart from jumping to the MRT tracks, if we could have the glass doors on the 'above ground' stations at the time when each MRT station first became functional to residents, we could have saved the lives of those who have accidentally fallen into the tracks.

A Cow and Bull Story @ Singapore Philatelic Musuem

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.
Surprisingly, the Peranakan Musuem was just a stone's throw away from the Philatelic Musuem, thus after visiting the Peranakan Musuem, we headed for the Philatelic Musuem again and it was our second time there.
The majoroty of the exhibits in the Philatelic Musuem was what my Dear and I have seen before on our previous visit. However, there is a fresh exhibit called 'A Cow and Bull Story' in the museum in line with the Year of the Bull (though many have always say 'Year of the Ox', but as I have learnt, an Ox is a castrated bull!) I believe this exhibit will be there at the musuem for a year as the previous exhibit of the 'rat and mouse' stamps have been ongoing for a year.
There were artworks, stamps, interesting information about all things cow, bull, ox, buffalo, bison, yak, wow not bad.. I could remember some of these cowly terminology! My knowledge about cow has increased immensely since the visit to the Philatelic museum that I become a cowboy, just joking. Cowboy is no longer a heroic term after the Chinese director, John Woo, shot a flim called 'Brokeback mountain' with the theme on gay .. haha just joking, I am 101% heterosexual.

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.

Cows are very useful animals to humans and thus they are also very pathetic as man makes use of all parts of cows, just see below diagram on those delicious dishes we devour often from cows!

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.
As the world grapples with the economic crisis, let us hope that the market will be bullish soon, befitting a year of the bull!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

S$10 million Toto Hongbao Draw

Today is the S$10 million Toto Hongbao Draw.
If you have these winning numbers:

6, 14,15,28,37.43 and 24 (Additional Number)
Congrats you win $10 million Singapore dollars... you would have think so if not for the fact that there are other 13 winners in this draw, entitling each winner to $732,082.
Where are these lucky winning tickets bought?
1. Singapore Pools Ang Mo Kio N4 Branch - Blk 447 Ang Mo Kio Ave 10 #01-1685 (1 QuickPick System 7 Entry)2. Singapore Pools Jurong West N4 Branch - Blk 498 Jurong West St 41 #01-472 (1 QuickPick Ordinary Entry)3. Singapore Pools Clementi N7 Branch - Blk 722 Clementi West St 2 #01-164 (1 QuickPick System 7 Entry)4. 7-Eleven Yishun - Blk 102 Yishun Ave 5 #01-137 (1 QuickPick Ordinary Entry)5. 7-Eleven Yishun - Blk 102 Yishun Ave 5 #01-137 (1 QuickPick System 7 Entry)6. Singapore Pools Hougang N1 Branch - Blk 106 Hougang Ave 1 #01-1209/1211 (1 QuickPick System 7 Entry)7. TST Medical Hall - 448 Joo Chiat Rd (1 QuickPick System 7 Entry)8. Singapore Pools Pasir Ris N7 Branch - Blk 735 Pasir Ris St 72 Pasir Ris West Plaza #01-358 (1 QuickPick System 7 Entry)9. Nel's Store - Blk 741 Bedok Reservoir Rd #01-3073 (1 System 7 Entry)10. NTUC FP Limbang Shopping Centre - Blk 533 Choa Chu Kang St 51 Limbang Shopping Centre #01-11 (1 QuickPick System 7 Entry)11. Guardian Far East - 14 Scotts Rd Far East Plaza #01-15 (1 QuickPick System Roll Entry)12. Ng Kian Chuan - Blk 84 Redhill Lane #01-360 (1 QuickPick System 7 Entry)13. Singapore Pools Woodlands 888 Plaza Branch - Blk 888 Woodlands Dr 50 888 Plaza #01-711 (1 System 7 Entry)14. NTUC FP Bukit Merah - Blk 166 Bukit Merah Central #01-3527 (1 QuickPick Ordinary Entry)
Congrats all winners! All of you are super wealthy now!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Peranakan museum

Sited in a modest corner off Armenian Street is Singapore's Peranakan Musuem, a musuem where you can find all thing Peranakan.
There has been a strong revival of the Peranakan culture in Singapore following the dazzling success of Mediacorp's local drama "The Little Nonya" starring Jeanette Aw and Qi Yu Wu who play the protagonists in the show.

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.

My Dear and I left the musuem with a better appreciation of Peranakans. 'The Little Nonya' might have taught Singaporeans a thing or two about Peranakans already... that is the power of TV dramas! When a movie or drama is a real blockbuster, there will be an associated craze about things associated with the show. I could still remember how New Zealand benefitted from its increased tourist numbers after 'The Lord of the Ring' and its sequels were screened.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Singapore mad men and women

Since Singapore Short Stories opened its blog for readers' contributions, Singapore Short Stories has received a dozen of readers' contributions, from Singapore and all over the world, on the very day after the invitation!
This can only bode well for Singapore Short Stories, as the stories in this Singapore's No.1 Short Stories blog will increase in variety,diversity, quality and richness. One can read stories shared not only by Singaporeans but also by friends from all over the world!
Many Thanks to all readers who have contributed, for those who have not contributed, do not wait, its your chance now!
Here is our FIRST reader's contributions, I titled it as Singapore mad men and women as no title is given, hope reader Tan find its okay. Here is Brother Tan's story:
"Dear author of Singapore Short Stories, many Thanks for opening your blog to all of us Singaporeans.
I just want to point out the case when an insane old man attacked Member of Parliament Seng Han Tong. MP Seng was seriously injured as the attacker was not sane. I am worried as sometimes on the street, I did observe one or two men behaving in a insane manner. I asked myself whether these mad men or women receive medical help. Why were they not inside MPH (Mad People's Hospital). Were they roaming the street as part of their integration to society? I do not want to be the next Seng Han Tong, thus I would stay clear of these mentally unsound people. I pity them but I also do not want to be near to them".
-Contributed by Tan C.H, age 16, student, Singapore

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Singapore Short Stories

Singapore Short Stories welcome YOU to contribute your articles or short stories, fictional or real life to Singapore Short Stories website and share it with Singaporeans and friends of the world.
Feel free to email me your entry at with your name and country of residence.
Many Thanks once again for supporting Singapore Short Stories, the No.1 Singapore Blog on all things Singaporean!

Simple Blessings

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.
Haha, after few weeks of holidaying, I am back to more solemn topics but do not worry, in this blog, you will find an array of topics which will keep you entertained for hours.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Singapore Flyer

The Singapore Flyer has just been recently reopened to the public on Chinese New Year day after it was forced to shut down due to a major technical glitch, which left passengers stranded in mid air for close to 7 hours in December.

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.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

City Alive!

My Dear and I attended City Alive!, Singapore's Biggest Street Party held right in front of City Hall from 10 pm, 31 Jan 09 to 3 am, 1 Feb 09.
Organized by the People Association Youth Movement (PAYM), this year's City Alive! was the second year this biggest Singapore street party was staged. In year 2008, the street party was named as City Jam and the crowd then was nowhere near what was seen last night when revellers and party-goers almost burst the barricades of St Andrew's Road in front of City Hall, the road where the party was held.
As usual, the party followed right after Chingay parade, transforming the century old colonial building into a giant disco! It was unbelievable that an old colonial building which has seen watershed historical moments became transformed into a giant disco stage!
DJs featured in City Alive last night included big names like Sassy Pandez, the DJ touted as the sexiest DJ alive by Maxim; DJ Sarasa from Japan and Singapore' DJ Koflow from Singapore.
The party-goers danced, revelled like there was no tomorrow. Food and drinks including beer were served at the various stalls along the road. The music emanating from the sound systems was real deafening!
Half of the party goers were westerners and it was evident that they had a terrific time at the party as the Singaporeans.
At 3 am sharp, the music stopped.....though many at the party would have agreed with singer Rihana "Please don't stop the music". With the cut of the music, the festive celebration events of Chinese New Year will also be coming to a close with the last two festive events: Sentosa Flower Festival and River Hongbao closing today (1 Feb 09).
I would like to applaud the Singapore government for creating such a great buffet of festive Chinese New Year events for Singaporeans during this Chinese New Year festive season. These make Singapore truly hype up the glam and fun factor of our country and also temporaily take the blues off fellow Singaporeans facing the crunch of the economic recession.

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