Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Singapore F1

This post may seem outdated now that the F1 show in town is over and world No.1 Lewi Hamilton was crowned the champion!

I did not watch the show as I was in Hokkaido but the show must have been lovely!

I did visit the race track before the race and it was stunning!

There still exist critcisim that the roads were quite bumpy though, a comment similarly made last year's.

These two days, it was very hazy, if the Singapore F1 were held in such hazy conditons, the Singa lion at the top of this blog post should not only don a F1 shirt but also a haze mask, like his brother!

I am Back!

Dear All Readers,

I am BACK!

And Back with more Interesting and Exciting Stories of where I have been the whole of this week!

To find out more, stay tuned to my blog and I can guarantee you an Enriching Read!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Singapore Stories

Dear All Readers,
Many Thanks for your support!
Singapore Short Stories will be back soon!
See ya!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

$10 million TOTO draw on 25 Sep 09

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Have you buy yet? Buy what? Buy TOTO for this Friday's draw is going to reach S$10 million soon!

If you are a regular punter, chances are that you would spend more for Friday's draw with this grand prize. If you are not a TOTO fan, there is still some chance you may want to spend at least 50 cent to wager a bet to see if you are the lucky one!

However, when it comes to such a grand draw, more punters also mean more sharing the top prize! It is not common to witness 8 or 9 people winning top TOTO prizes amounting to $9 to $11 million, thus each winner would win, in effect a million or so Singapore dollars.

Anyway, winning some hundreds thousands of dollars or a million Singapore dollars is already good enough. Singapore has 66,660 and counting people with US $1 million in liquidity excluding property. TOTO is always a good opportunity for one to be a member of this prestigious club.

Low Shu Ming

Ms Low Shu Ming, a NUS Undergraduate is crowned the top Singtel Grid Girl last night.

Ms Low will join other Grid girls in the coming F1 race this Friday.

I would not be able to catch this year's F1, but if you would want to witness a piece of the F1 action, you can go to Marina Square, and what's more, if you want more comfort, just book a table in some of the restaurants in Marina Square facing the trek, the line of restaurants along the line of Lerk Mynamar restaurant.... if there is still booking left and order some great food to accompany your pleasure.

Have a roaring Good weekend ahead!

A touching true love story

I am touched after reading this true love story, if you are free, read the story too!

I wish the couple a Blessed and Happy Marriage!

New Albert Centre Market and Food Centre

The Albert Centre Market and Food Centre has been closed for some years now, what has replaced it all these years is a temporary market and food centre situated close to Bugis MRT Station.

However, there are reasons to cheer lately as passing by the original location of the market and food centre, I could see that the place is almost completed, at least 60%, for renovation.

Many hawker centres in Singapore have been upgraded under the Hawker Centre Upgrading Programme and I must say that the programme is indeed excellent for it elevates the sanitary, hygience and comfort level in these hawker centres for the benefit of customers.

And hopefully, prices of food sold in this hawker centre do not increase after the upgrading!

Singapore's Largest Mooncake

This is undeniably Singapore's largest mooncake!

This record-breaking mooncake stands right in the heart of Waterloo Street in front of Fu Lu Shou Complex!

Hmm, I am sorry, this mooncake cannot be eaten (of course) :)

Which shop sells the cheapest computer, IT and camera products in Singapore?

Okay, I know that I am supposed to be on exile from my blog as I have declared on my post yesterday, however with still some free time on my hand, I decided to do some blogging before I go for my overseas trip with my Honey Wife soon!

Today, my Wife and I went to Sim Lim Square to get some IT gadgets for our overseas trip. When it comes to Sim Lim Square, one must be discerning, shrewd enough, learn how to bargain, learn how to compare prices across shops for although Sim Lim Square is famed for its wide repository of computer, camera and IT products in Singapore, there are lots of 'dynamics' in the way different shops offer their pricing and products to customers.

Just take for example, a camera memory card we asked around on the first storey, the typical price was $57 bucks or so, when we went up to the fifth storey, the price we were quoted was $31! Imagine if we just asked around the first level, we would be charged some $26 more!

Since attending the recent COMEX fair with my wife, I have come to learn of a shop called Best Bargains Computer Pte Ltd and I must say that this shop offers to me the lowest price of memory cards and some other IT gadgets, much much lower than the other stores in Sim Lim Square.

Today, the store sited at the fifth storey did not disappoint me yet again as I received some great prices and received some good savings once again.

Will be Back Soon!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mediacorp Travel Fiesta

Another travel fair happening in Singapore, this time, organized by Mediacorp, albeit on a much smaller scale as compared to the giant Natas Fair held last month.

Mediacorp Travel Fiesta will be held in Suntec City tomorrow till Sunday and as usual, the travel fair is expected to draw in thousands of Singaporeans looking for cheap, quality and affordable bargains to the various travel destinations in the world!

The huge success witnessed at the most recent Natas Travel Fair could be due to pent-up demand of Singaporeans for travel especially when their travel plans were hit or have to be sheleved due to the H1N1 mini-epidemic in Apr or May this year.

Singaporeans are both food and travel lovers. I believe the reason that Singpaoreans are food lovers is due to the abundance of different varities of food here, while the fact that Singaporeans are travel fans is due to the scarity of land and sights of Singapore here. Thus two different reasons leading to Singaporeans being famed for food and travel fanatics.

'I Do' Garden Weddings 2009

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Come this Sunday, 20 Sep 09, an auspicious wedding date for couples, 20-09-2009, a total of 168 couples will be ushered in a sedan to various spots around Singapore Botanic Gardens for the largest mass wedding solemnisation ever to be held in Singapore, and on this special day somemore!

Singapore Short Stories would be giving all of you a surprise come this special day! What is the surprise? I will keep mum for now, just read my blog in the coming days!

Islandwide, more than 600 couples will be marrying on this special day, which comes only once in a lifetime!

Solemisation of the couples will be carried out in a private setting throughout a number of spots spread in the Gardens from 4pm to 530om, followed by a Grand March in at 6pm, followed by the giving of sounvenirs by Minister and a concert in the park, it will be both a meaningful, lovely and exciting day for all couples!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I spotted these pieces of art, made of common ordinary plastic bottles which most of us would conveniently dump into the litter bins after partaking the contents, outside the MacDonalds Restaurant at Chinatown Point last Sunday.

Who could imagine that these bottles could come back to life as great pieces of art ornaments?

Though Singaporeans can find recycling bins within a stone's throw away from their places of residences, the recycling rate here still has lots to play catch-up on.

Though Singapore is a small nation, a lot of effort has been invested to promote recycling in our country. I really hope that the bigger countries could also play an active role or continue doing their parts for the environment as the number of waste generated from a larger country easily outnumbers that generated from a smaller country.

Talking about the environment, Singapore witnessed haze again in the past two days with hotspots emerging in the Indonesian island of Sumatra again, the haze must be caused by the mass clearance of the land for cultivation of crops yet again.

Singapore F1 will be staged next week, if the haze were to be back again during the F1 race events, and the hazy skyline of Singapore shown to the world during the global telecast, I believe some damage to the perception of Singapore and its tourism would be perpetuated.

Talking about F1, this time around, the mood is not as strong as before. To be frank, it is very quiet in Singapore, no buzz yet about the F1 race though there is some publicity in the newspapers.

To create buzz, all Singaporeans must join in the buzz and be proud that Singapore is hosting an international event. Same goes for the Youth Olympics Games next year, I believe if possible, all Singapore youths could volunteer to help out if possible, though some may argue that most Singaporeans are bothered with the daily bread and butter issues.

Just follow your hearts and see what you can do for our country!

Lee Kuan Yew

Singapore's most respected statesman, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew celebrated his 86th birthday, yesterday 16 Sep 2009.

I would like to wish Mr Lee Kuan Yew a Happy Birthday!

Mr Lee has transformed Singapore from a swamp land into one of the best homes in the world and a model of learning for many countries,all within a short span of 30 years!

His achievements are unparalleled and truly outstanding. However, no matter how Singapore has achieved over these past years, Singapore would still need to keep up with the times, the mind-boggling changes in this internet era to stay competitive against all challenges. There is fear that the younger generation of today have become too contented, comfortable and no longer have the thirst and hunger to achieve and compete.

There is also fear that the youths of today have become more self-centred and have forgotten all about the great effort needed to build Singapore into what it is today by our founding fathers.

Therein lies the continous search of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his team to continue searching for the best talents to lead Singapore in the coming decades after he and his cadres have stepped down. The hunt for the next Prime Minister is ongoing. The next Prime Minister is most likely to be inducted into the team come the next General Election. The General Election may be coming very soon, in my opinon. I believe the General Election may be held as early as early next January 2010.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Promenade MRT Station

Many of the new MRT stations such as the Promenade MRT Station (above) are already ready, now it all boils down to getting the green light for the official launch of these new MRT stations.

With these new MRT stations being completed but not officially opened yet, tourists can be confused during their touring of the city as they walked to one of these MRT stations only to fine the shutters down and the MRT Station locked!

Anyway, these new MRT stations will be opene d next year and Singaporeans can look forward to better and faster connectivity to many places around the island real soon!

Ku Witaya & Sia Chan Hong

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The case of Ku Witaya and Sia Chan Hong, the two Tampines Secondary School boys who plunged to their deaths, believing that they could 'come back' to earth to fight the demons in World War III and save the world with their deaths, has finally come to a close today in Courts.

The Courts ruled the deaths of the two boys as a suicide and Ku Witaya was the leader who has incited Sia Chan Hong and other five boys to jump along with him with the story of the story of the demon slayers he has painted to the group.

It was indeed a shocking case for the whole nation of Singapore that something so incredible could be perpetuated or even thought of by a group of 15-years old who should have by this age, garnered some judgements about life and mature enough to discern reality from fantasy.

Ku, as a medium, has convinced easily his group of 7 other close buddies, his story of the demon-slayers and as a result of close-knitted friendship and respect for Ku, the group, except one believed in Ku.

Five more young innocent lives would have been lost if the rest of the 'suicide pact' group has not come to their sense in time.

In my opinion, I believe this case is just another instance of one being totally lost in one's other worlds. This world is a world of worlds, why do I say this, well, everyone of us has many worlds of our own. When we go to work each day, we enter into the world of work, dealing with bosses, colleagues and work and being affected by the dynamics and innuendos of work. When we pursue our passion, we enter into the world of entertainment and joy. When we puruse love relationship, we enter into the happy world of bonding, affection and sex. We are thus individuals with many worlds.

The problem arises when we are too focused in one's world that we lose focus of our other committments and life become topsy-tursy. For example, a schoolboy can become an addict of his internet world, so much so that he can trade sleep and food just for hours and hours of playing the latest online games. An workalcoholic immersed in his work can lose sight of his family and personal committment. In this latest tragedy which shocked Singapore, the group of young boys were lost in the world of fantasy painted by Witaya... a fantasy that they must commit suicide to be reborn again in time for World War III as slayers of demons and save the world. Witaya and Chan Hong paid the price for their overindulgence in their fantasy world and the incident would also leave an indelible scar on the remaining boys for life!

I hope through this episode, Singapore parents can spare more time to communicate with their children, to understand their worlds and not wait for the eruption of a dormant volcano!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee

Yesterday, my Dear and I passed by the food market at Blk 531 A Upper Cross Street where we decided to settle our late lunch.

It was the first time we set foot on the food market and we were not sure what to eat.

Then we saw a long queue outside Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee stall.

In Singapore, if you are not sure what to eat and which stall sells the best food, just join any long queue, and we would be guaranteed great food!

Indeed, Ah Heng Curry Chicken Bee Hoon Mee stall was 'decorated' with lots of certificates of endorsements, accolades and there was even a newspaper cutting from a Japanese newspapers about the stall!

I ordered the biggest offering of Curry Bee Hoon Mee on offer there, selling at $5.50, while my Dear settled for the smallest offering at $3.50. On offer is a medium portion of mee selling at $4.50 too.

Here is what the largest offering looked like:

And now the mee and curry chicken has been digested in my stomach!

There is something uniquely different and yummy in the curry which cannot be found in other curries,also one must try the chilli too for it is too delicious that one can eat spoonfuls on its own!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Making Life for Singaporeans Better

Another shot of some foreign workers replacing the signal indicator inside the Outram MRT station.

Singaporeans often take public facilities for granted, many would not know the labor, sweat and effort behind these convenient amenities.


I realise that in this high-paced maddening society, relationships between loved ones can often be strained as a result of poor communication and neglect due to the rapid passage of time, join me as we reaffirm the promises to our loved ones.

1) Please have patience when dealing with me.

2) Place your trust in me. Through good and bad times, I will always be by your side.

3) Never forget that I have a heart too… just like you.

4) Whenever I don’t listen to what you say, always remember that there is a reason.

5) Talk to me. I may not understand all your words but I understand your voice when it speaks to me.

6) Let’s not fight. Remember that I could hurt you but have chosen never to do so.

7) Even when I grow in age (and probably grow slow or weak), please be kind to me.

8) My life may not last as long as yours. Please make every second we spend together count.

9) You may have other friends, other activities. Please remember that for me, there’s only you.

10) When I leave this world, promise me you’ll be by my side. Remember all the times we shared and remember always that I love you.

Above promises are extracted from the Japanese flim "Ten promises to my dog": the most touching movie I have ever seen. Though the movie touches on the promises made by the owner to her pet dog, the message is universal: Respect, Cherish and Love your loved ones today!

Saturday, September 12, 2009


My Dear and I just returned home from COMEX 2009 which was held at Suntec City Exhibition Hall level 1,2,3,4 and 6.

I can tell you that the crowds are really maddening! Right from City Hall MRT, we can see the snaking long crowds as thousands of Singaporeans descended upon Suntec City for the best buys at COMEX 2009!

COMEX actually is the abbreviation for Computer Exhibition. But the COMEX we visited is more than a computer exhibition. Spanning 5 stories, COMEX offers a myriad of IT gadgets and there is also a slew of financial service providers promoting their services.

It is very ambitious, highly impractical and seeming impossible for one to visit the hundreds of stalls spread over the 5 stories. Luckily there is a number of panels highlighting the type of stalls on each storey.

To get the best buys, one must come to COMEX 2009 with a sense of purpose, like what you seek to buy; it is the same prinicple as in life: one must first have a goal and then seek what you seek and you will get it.

For me, I am looking for rechargeable batteries, camera memory card and portable hard disk at good bargains, thus I proceeded to 6th storey straight after being enlightened by the panel.

A bunch of girls stood out prominently among the monotonous stalls and throngs of people. They gamely posed for me to take a good picture of them.

At the end of the day, I got good bargains:

a) Kingston 8GB SDHC memory card for $25

b) 4 packets of GP rechargable (2700 mAh) batteries, (2 in 1 packet) for $36

c) 2 Acer portable harddisk for $88.90

COMEX 2009 closes tomorrow, if you have not yet to get the stocks you want, hurry down to Suntec on tomorrow closing sales, who knows prices may also hit more south!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Taiwan Lantern Festival

I was told by a 9-year old kid just 3 hours ago that tomorrow he is going to celebrate Lantern Festival.

I told him he has made a mistake as Lantern Festival comes only on 3 Oct 09.

The young kid then told me that it is Taiwan's Lantern Festival. Sure or not, I thought to myself as I have always believed that lantern festivals are celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th Chinese Lunar month for every country.

I went home, did a Google search and then realised that lantern festival is really a big festival cum event in Taiwan.

See the link here.

Wow, I become enlightened by a young boy, if not for me, I would not have known that Taiwan Lantern Festival is so much grander than Singapore's. One of the child's parent or both of them should be Taiwanese. Anyway, the young boy taught me a new thing today!

Singapore Lantern Festival

Singapore is gearing up for the Mooncake Festival on 3 Oct 09. Though it is still a month or so away, just look at the photo above, Chinatown is being dolled up already!

Somehow. I find that whenever the month of June comes, the year will just pass in a rush! A number of holidays will soon ensue right after Singapore's National Day in August.

Coming up this month, we have Hari Raya Puasa on 20 Sep 09, followed by Lantern Festival on 3 Oct 09, followed by Deepavali on 15 Nov 09, then soon it will be Hari Raya Haji on 27 Nov 09, followed finally by Christmas on 25 Dec 09, another week later, it will be the start of another brand new year!


Please visit the respective lightup occuring now or sooner: Hari Raya at Geylang Serai, Mooncake or Lantern Festival at Chinatown and Deepavali at Little India.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eat with your family & a (disgusting) reason why you should eat homemade food

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As I was walking towards the MRT station this morning, I saw a disturbing scene, which prompted me to write the blog post for today, which is titled as such.

Before I let the cat out of the bag by telling you what this disgusting reason is, let us recall the more common, saner, more ‘aesthetic’ and more normal reasons of why you should make it a point to go home and partake home-made food.

Firstly, as what the government has been encouraging us to do so via its ‘Eat with your Family Day’, eating homemade food will only bring the family closer together as it may be the only time when the whole family sits together as one and interact among themselves over a wide range of topics and issues from mundane musings to thought-heavy matters.

Secondly, eating homemade meals at home is a blessing! The meals prepared by your mum, yourself or your spouse (or a combination of any one of them) are peppered with the tender loving care symbiotic of mothers or the dedication and love of the meal preparers.

Thirdly, homemade meals are definitely healthier as they are not laden with the loads and loads of sugar, salt and MSG so characteristic of the outside meals. Food preparers who spoilt our health with their spoonfuls of MSG and salt should be punished by eating a bottle of MSG or salt of the same capacity!

Fourthly, homemade meals are definitely more economical than meals outside. A bag of noodles bought from the NTUC is more than enough to fry few plates of “Char Kway Teow” compared to a plate of the same dish priced easily at $3 outside!

Now, let me come to the fifth and the most disgusting reason why you should also eat homemade meals. Have you eaten your meals already? If no, please close this blog and visit it again after your meal. If yes, are you ready????????? Okay good, lets proceed!

As I was walking past a food shop, I saw the leftovers of the foods in the plates and bowls on a table! Well at this juncture, you may say whether the disgusting leftovers are justifiable to eat homemade food? Well partly, but I have not finished: these leftovers are ferociously foraged, attacked and eaten by dozens of birds! If you are not a Singaporean, so sorry the birds are not what one would see in captivity in Jurong Bird Park, these are birds such as mynahs and sparrows, though I can see an eagle aiming for that 10% chicken drumstick in the sky (just joking!)

THE SIGHT IS SO DISGUSTING! And this scene is not uncommon to me as many times I have seen before in our hawker centres, people ordering some dishes, leaving them to the table, unguarded to get an accompanying drink. While they were away, their meals were attacked by one or two crows, sparrows or mynahs which after grabbing a morseful of food flew rapidly away! The poor customer came back to the meal, thinking everything was still “Singapore Okay”! At these times, I would tell the customer of the “bird food thieves”!

Plates should be washed rigorously after every meal! Definitely, we do not want to inherit the DNA of our local birds!

COMEX 2009 Singapore

Comex 2009 Singapore opens today till Sunday 13 Sep 09, happening right here in Suntec City Mall, Level 1,2,3,4 and 6!

Spanning 5 storeys, I cannot imagine the thousands of crowds who will turn up in full force to snatch the latest IT offerings and gadgets are great prices!

Oh no, it is going to be such a SQUEEZE again! Haiz, with the throngs of people expected to reach the leagues of thousands in Suntec City, to survive COMEX 2009 is to arrive as early as possible, then only can one be able to patronize all the hundreds of stalls dispersed in the 5 different stories with ease!


Singapore Richest 2009

The name list is out for the top 40 Singapore's richest! Together they make up US $39 billion of the Singapore's economy!

8 of the top 40 make it to the league of US $1 billion and above.

They are:

1) Ng Teng Fong : US $8 bn
2)Khoo Family : US $5.5 bn
3)Kuok Khoon Hong : US $3.5 bn
4)Kwee Brothers : US $3.2bn
5)Wee Cho Yaw : US $3.1 bn
6) Zhong Sheng Jian : US $2 bn
7) Peter Lim : US $1.5 bn
8) Kwek Leng Beng : US $1.2 bn

In the 9th place is Lee Seng Wee ($800 million) and Ong Beng Seng & Christina Ong
($7oo million).

The list from 11th position to the 40th position is as follows:

Lien Family

Tan Boy Tee
Chang Yun Chung
Peter Fu Chong Cheng
Ho Sim Guan
Chua Thian Poh
Kwek Leng Kee
Henry Ng
Vivian Chandran
Koh Wee Meng
Olivia Lum
Chew Hua Seng
Simon Cheong
Ow Chio Kiat
Cheng Wai Keung
Ho Kwon Ping
Tan Pong Tyea
Lee Kian Soo
Yao Hsiao Tung
Ng Chwee Cheng
Loo Choon Yong
Kwek Leng Peck
Oei Hong Leong
John Chuang
Goh Lik Tuan
Sunny George Verghese
Brian Chang
Victor Sassoon
Wong Ngit Liong
Tay Liam Wee : US $135 million

Millionaires in Singapore (defined as liquid physical assets worth US $1 million, excluding housing property) figure to 66,660!

Sad to say, I am just so poor in Singapore! :(

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Ang Mo Kio

An exhibition is now ongoing at AMK (Ang Mo Kio) hub which celebrates the aniversary of the shopping centre.

Tomatoes adorn the many posters used in the exhibition as the Chinese Hokkien for Ang Mo Kio rhymes with the fruit tomato.

I find it interesting to associate a town with the fruit Ang Mo Kio. Now if you are a visitor who is going to Singapore and cannot pronounce the word while describing to a taxi driver, simply take a tomato fruit and show it to the taxi driver!

Energy Challenge Week

Dear Singaporeans,

You can do your part to save the earth and make the world a even better place to live in.

Help to cut down greenhouse gas emission which causes global warming by simple acts by practising energy efficiency!

Attend the Energy Challenge Fair this weekend at Marina Square Shopping Centre and learn more about how you can do our parts to save electricity in your day to day activities and help to protect the earth!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Indian Curry

If you exit from Little India Station, walk a for a few minutes, you will reach Race Course Road, a road scattered with a number of excellent Indian restaurants serving a wide suite of Indian dishes from the soft and yummy nans to the delectable Indian curry.

My Dear and I checked out one of these Indian restaurants on the street and tucked into a small (easily medium in many other restaurants) pot of boiling, red hot and heavenly curry fish head!

Accompanying our fish head curry were bowls of white rice which went real well with the hot curry! We ate bowls of the white rice easily with the curry! It was super yummy!

Monday, September 07, 2009

I realise cannot live without Internet!

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Tonight was an unlucky night!

I downloaded a free verison of a free anti-virus software called AVC from the internet to help me get rid of some suspected viruses in my computer and then it was when all hell broke loose! (oh, talking about the Chinese Lunar seventh month here!)

My internet connections slowed to nothingness, every browser window become blank and pending and pending. Initially I did not suspect that it was really the incompatibility of AVC on my computer that I tried all means and ways to rescue my computer.

I am sorry that during my salvaging of my internet and computer, all hell broke loose from my mouth, some vulgarities spewed forth from my mouth like water from a fountain and I wondered why I became like that? I am known to everyone who knows me outside as a good boy but why did I become so mad about the hanging of my computer and the internet?

It dawned to me that I have become, like many of the netizens, an addict of the internet and I became an addict of instant gratification. When the web browser slowed to nothing, I became easily frustrated and wondered where in the world is the virtue of patience that I have learnt?

I became adamant to rescuing my internet and my computer that I saved up all the hard disks and planned to reboot. It was then that I realised I did not have a huge portable hard disk to boot up all the data, thus I reconsider backing up as there was no means to back up all my huge data till I get a good portable hard disk.

I tried all means and ways and finally decided to remove that free anti virus software from my computer. My god, once that free program (which was supposed to be my saviour was removed), all the internet browsers started showing up and I was SO ELATED!

From this episode, I realised that I cannot live without the internet after work everyday as I need the internet to do lots of things: check email, do my daily blogging, do this and that and hence now is already past 12 am, I am still blogging and doing the rest of the things that I have not done due to the "internet crisis" that has just befallen on me.

The internet has become so POWERFUL! It is true that not only I will be frustrated and infuriated at the slightest sign of slowing of the internet browser. THE OMNIPOTENT INTERNET HAS BECOME PART OF OUR LIFE!


Sunday, September 06, 2009

Little India

Though Singapore is famed for its wide and amazing suite of shopping centres, I am not a particular fan of the local shopping centres here.No, I do not hate the shopping centres here, it has to do with my personality. Imagine, you work for such long hours every weekday, only to go to the shopping centres on weekends to find yourselves jamming with so many other Singaporeans and foreigners, waiting for tables to be cleared at restaurants, having to consume your meals hastily with the pairs of other food patrons preying on your seats and so much more.

At times though, my Dear and I do visit the suite of shopping centres here to chill out in hot and humid Singapore, other than that, we love the other sights of Singapore.There are really lots of other interesting places in Singapore besides shopping centres. My top choices are natural parks, special events as well as places of rich historical and cultural charm.

Yesterday, my Dear and I visited Little India! It was definitely not our first time there but in yesterday's visit, we proceeded to the hub of Little India itself rather than just visiting the shops on the periphery.

Right off from Little India station, within a short walk, you can see the latest shopping centre in Little India. it is called "The Verge".

Wow, "The Verge" sounds so exciting, so interesting and so happening! However, stepping into the shopping centre, my Dear and I were sadly disappointed. Besides the Sheng Siong in the basement of the mall, a Kopitiam on one of the upper storeys and a storey dedicated to artificial flower shops and toy stores, the mall has nothing really typical of a modern shopping mall to offer as in the genres of shops are not that much. Two stories of the mall are also under development.

Coming out from The Verge, one can see that the lighting for Deepavali has been set up though it is still 2 months away:

My Dear and I roamed around Little India, taking in the sights and sound of the things and people in the area. It is quite relaxing to be in Little India, as it is a far cry from the mould of the dozens of brick and mortar shopping centres that Singapore has in plethora. Here in Little India, there is a poignant feel of ruralness and simplicity which is scare in Singapore.

There is also a sense of disorderliness in the area which I love when traffic and people just move around as and when they like.

Dozens of foreign Indian workers had a wonderful time watching some Indian drama show, simply contented with this pastime. Yes, happiness can be simple and simplicity can be happiness too.

I would encourage all non-Indian Singaporeans and foreigners to visit Little India for it offers rich cultural insights about the Indian culture.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

A Story of two different uncles in the Most Dangerous Place in Singapore!

Singapore is a peaceful and safe country, thus if I were to ask you where is the most dangerous place in the country, what would your answer be?

Geylang, Little India, Chinatown, Redhill... these 'havoc' enclaves when compared to other districts in Singapore? The answer is none of these as the most dangerous place in Singapore is our Public Roads!

Story 1: Stupid Uncle

Drivers no longer heed the basic road sign rules. Most of the times, when the Green Pedestrian sign is on, some cars still proceed on and on traffic crossing, drivers treat pedestrians with blatant disregard by driving through just before or after they have cross past the spot in front of their cars.

This evening, I was with my Dear in Little India when we were waiting to cross the traffic light. The cars in front of us slowed to a crawl and become stationary due to the long traffic jam ahead. The pedestrian man at the traffic lights was still red though all the cars still crawled to a halt due to the long traffic jams ahead.

It was at this juncture, that an old uncle (lao uncle or call him old hero) took the laws to his hand and started to cross the traffic junction with the red man on and most of the cars stopping due to the halt. He crossed nonchalently, face looking down on the road as if he thought it was perfect for him to cross the road when in actual fact, he was just exploiting the situation. When he was almost close to the other end of the road, a motorcyclist on the way to the traffic light screeched to a halt, to avoid the old man who has at that time appeared before him. That motorcyclist cursed the old man, who though stunned, walked off quietly and nonchalently as ever before. My god, this old man seemed not to value his life!

Story 2: Good Uncle

Still in Little India and revolving around the roads, my Dear and I saw this old uncle diligently repairing the traffic pedestrian light for the benefits of the pedestrians.

Cars were zooming and inching past him, it was such a dangerous working environment for the uncle!
Though many people might just say that the uncle was just doing his work, I still want to take my hat off to the old uncle for helping to do his little bit for the community!

The philosophical bug in me bit again as I tried to draw an allegory of what this good uncle did to life in general and here it is:In Life, there are many traffic pedestrian lights: we stop on seeing the red man and we cross at the green man. When both red and green men are not working, we need an elder and most experienced man to show us the rope and help us fix the problem.

Singapore Life

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These two weeks have been very hectic for me with more and more work assignments and challenges given to me. Well, work is not that difficult, the most difficult thing in any work is to learn to deal with people, and when I say people, I mean people of all types.

Life on this planet revolves around relationships. "No man is an island", no matter where we go, we need to communicate with others and to work with them. Communication skills are such important asset to have. Not everyone is able to articulate clearly their thoughts and feelings and to understand others and be understood.

Staring at computer the whole of the day, for 8 hours is really a strain to me. I go home everyday, not really physically tired but my eyes really hurt and should I go home and on the internet for recreation stuff, it is really draining.

In my opinion, I think Singaporean, in particular the executives work too hard. Life is not about work per se, it is also about one's passion and one's contribution to family and the community. I really hope that all employers can give their employees a good work life balance as every individual has his or her own aspirations and other non work-related potential worth tapping into.

Everytime in a social occasion, the first question one would received when meeting others for the first time is "where do you work?". Indeed, one's profession become his or her social definition. It is often inevitable as most of us envy those who earn lots of money every month and equate them to be more successful in life!

But are the richer men really happier? Of course not, if one is rich, one can afford more material pleasures but material pleasures though can give happiness, but not permanent happiness.

There are many aspects of life: one's health, one's family, one's contribution to community that makes a more holistic definition of happiness. For many people like me who work so hard, it is really sad to come home everyday, tired from a long day of work, and going to bed is just a matter of 2 to 3 hours later.

Last night, the moment I lied on my bed for just a quick nap, I did not wake up till 7 am, the time for the next day work! Oh no, I must very tired yesterday, but tonight is Friday night (in fact it is Saturday midnight now), and thus I can afford to sleep much later.

For anyway, we wait for 4 days just to reach that elusive Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, thus we deserve to have some big break, and temporarily leave work behind us (or if you are so lucky to do so, as with modern technology, some bosses may expect you to work 24/7 but that will be my topic for the next coming post).

Got to sleep now, have a Pleasant Day ahead!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Army Open House

The annual Army Open House commences tomorrow! Details as follows:

Date:03 Sep - 07 Sep 09

Time:09.00am to 7.00pm daily

Venue:Pasir Laba Camp

It is the event when the public can get up, close and personal with some of the sophiscated equipment of our 3G army which helps to protect our land and get to interact with the army personnel.

Chief of Army, Major General Ng Kian Hong, in the interview with the Straits Times said that he is not enarmored of the 3G equipment in the Army, what he would like to see is the dedication of our army men to fight the enemies, even when they are given with a simple make-shift equipment, like a handmade equipment, well said!

Free shuttle bus service is available from Boon Lay bus interchange, for more details, visit this link now!

Istana Park

In the vicinity of Dhoby Ghaut, the Istana Park stands, decked in its National Day adornment and glory, gives a touch of grandeur to a precinct famed for its shopping centres, especially at night when the entrance of the park is brightly lit.

It is no wonder that the park is located in this location for the Istana, the official residence of Singapore's President S R Nation is just opposite to the park.

The Istana is open to the public come every public holidays and this is the chance when the public can tour the sprawling and vast expanse of Istana and may even shake hands with the affable President!

I have been to the Istana several times by myself or on some other functions hosted at the Istana. Without a doubt, the Istana is heavily guarded with many policemen and rangers patrolling intensively. One most interesting personnel at Istana is without doubt, the sentry at the entrance of the Istana. Come every public holiday when the public visit the Istana grounds, the sentry will become one of the most popular person beside the President as the public will jostle just to take photos with the smartly dressed sentry!

It must be a tough job for the sentry, doing duty rain and shine. Some members of the public, I have seen before, even have some funny but not disrespectful gestures towards the sentry, however the Istana sentry stands his ground, unruffled and unperturbed at the gesture or commotion.

The Istana can be one of the places you may want to visit when the next public holiday comes. It is an interesting place to visit and bring your family if you have not done so before.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Teachers’ Day

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It just feels like an ordinary Tuesday to me. Only when I read the newspapers an hour ago, did I realise that today is Teachers' Day.

Well, what is the big deal about this day, you may ask: If you are not a student, then today is not a holiday for you and hence why should you pay attention to this day? Even still, if you are not a teacher, there is no reason that you need to celebrate, no holidays for you too!

Why the picture of the Starfish for this post? Well 'The Starfish Story' was a good thematic story for MOE's recruitment campaigns. The story goes like this: "One day, a young boy ask a man whom he saw on the shores why he bothers to pick the many starfishes stranded on the shores one by one painstakingly into the sea, what difference does it make throwing one or 100 starfishes back into the sea." To his enquiry, the man reverted, "It does make a difference to every one of them".

Anyway, when I was a student, I also did not pay much attention to Teachers' Day, just that during Primary School days, we did some colouring cards for our Teachers to show our gratitude to them for their teaching.

To pay justice to the teaching profession, teachers help to inculcate values into our leaders of tomorrow and shape their character, thus teachers do deserve our respect. But lately, when the Ministry of Education steps up their massive recruitment drive of teachers, many questioned whether the candidates sign up for the teaching profession more for the lucrative offers rather than the passion to teach. The Ministry of Education has since readvocated its recruitment policies, reaffirming that the Ministry conducts a rigorous screening of the teacher candidates.

I bet after one steps into the society, one's boss is akin to one's teacher, teaching us how to do things better, but I believe our bosses are more of a coach and a facilitator, not a teacher.

For me, I am my own teacher. I teach myself to learn, read, cycle, improve my IQ, EQ,AQ and SQ, learn how to run, play musical instruments, self-enrich and lead life to the fullest!

There is a saying that says failures are life's greatest teachers, but I beg to differ: if one meets with failures again and again, but fail to improve and learn from each failure and continue to fail, how are failures life's greatest teachers? On the contrary, as I have always believe, we ourselves are our greatest teachers, if we manage to learn from our own mistakes and failures and improve with the passing of each day.

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