Friday, 31 January 2003

stone soup story & my mum

i was going to make a bowl of soup noodles this morning with some soup stock that mum had prepared for the grand Reunion dinner tonight - it was going to be plain, just noodles and delicious soup stock. but mum started suggesting putting vegetables, and then mushrooms, and how about fishballs, prawns, pork slices and liver? into it and eventually she just took over the whole of the cooking from me and starting whipping up this amazingly delicious ingredient-filled bowl of noodles for my breakfast.. :p

standing next to her as she was cooking, i began to tell my mother how the whole incident reminded me of the Stone Soup Story - where a tired and hungry peddler comes riding into town and manages to convince (con??) a whole village to contribute ingredients they had in their homes to his huge pot of nothing but water and stone, making it into a yummy pot of soup. it was a story of sharing, love, compassion...and guess what? my mum hated the story!! "those people obviously don't know how to make soups!!" she exclaimed indignantly. "that guy certainly wouldn't be able to cheat me or anyone who knows how to make soups!!" and moreover, she thinks that there is nothing more wicked than to deceive a poor village, and that cheating others to get what you want is wrong whichever way you see it.. and she stressed that if stones could really make soups, then the villagers should have just make the peddler make a big pot of soup with many stones and just water...

hahahaha... my mum is so can certainly tell that i didn't grow up with Aesop's Fables, Hans Christian Andersen or such Western stories... :p i did grow up with Chinese fables though - my favourite story is the one where once upon a time, there was a guy who was so lazy and slept all the time that his mother had to do everything for him (i think my mother was trying to tell us something here..) One day, for some reason, his mother had to go on this long journey. Afraid that he will starve to death in her absence, she baked him this giant donut-shaped cooke that hung around his neck so all he had to do was to turn it and just nibble.. But when she came back eventually (i guess after a few weeks or something), she found her son dead! Why? Because he was so lazy he didn't even turn the cookie to nibble on the other parts, just the area in front of him!!

hahahaha... :D anyway, for what it's worth, the story has stuck with us all these i guess it works..

Thursday, 30 January 2003


i've got four big blank days ahead of me.. no work, no commitments, nothing planned yet.. full of possibilities... exciting... :)

i could of course spend all the time brushing up on my espanol..
i could also grab a pad of watercolour paper, my never-used box of watercolours and a sketching pencil and go out somewhere to paint
i could go blading, running and swimming all day.. work out till i drop but feel really fit and good at the end of it..
i could curl up at home and read my Lord Of The Rings and try to finish it..
i could take my camera somewhere, anywhere and just shoot some pictures..


but i think what i really want to do is to drive my car out somewhere really nice and take some pictures of it.. somewhere natural and picturesque, like Seletar Rd or with big broad runway-like roads, like Tuas or Jurong Island.. .. afterall, it is going to be sold soon.. *sob sob* :( ... i was looking at the pictures i took while driving all these years (don't worry, i really drive very carefully and usually shoot "from the hip" - not through the viewfinder!!) and found that i could actually compile a decent enough gallery of pictures..

so here it is.. click on the image below to view gallery


Wednesday, 29 January 2003

chinese new year celebrations

click to view all images

chinese new year celebrations continue with a visit to the newly revamped chinatown area for the annual squeeze.. pretty much the same stuff every year but we gotta keep up the traditions, eh? :)

Monday, 27 January 2003

if the god of fortune doesn't come to your home, bring him home instead!!

inflating making adjustments introducing a new inflatable friend to the family blending in with the rest of the furniture

hahahahaha... :D Happy Lunar New Year!!

Have you done your annual spring cleaning yet?? err... oh dear.. i haven't myself too.. :p as a matter of fact, i think i just added to the clutter by bringing Mr God of Fortune home from the Woodlands trade fair... :D wahahahaha.. (hope you didn't find the pictures disturbing.. :p)

Sunday, 26 January 2003

personal missions quests (?)

the web just got less useful... these guys are on a mission to try out all the different snacks in the world.. cool...

have you got one of these quirky personal missions quests as well? :)

i am still on one of my personal mission quest to swim at all the different public pools in Singapore (i think i have visited about 10 so far), to walk across the country (albeit small and unimpressive) from coast to coast, top to bottom, left to right.. my sister at some point was determined to try all the different char siew rice stalls in Singapore - but i think she is into tiramisu, brownies and strangely and incongruously, chye tow kweh (aka chinese carrot cake) now.. a friend of mine has parents who travel across the country by MRT to visit all the different food courts (especially the new ones that are sprouting up in suburban shopping malls now)..

hahaha... :D

Saturday, 25 January 2003

public transport wisdom

i've started taking public transport to get used to not having a car.. mum's selling the car i normally drive while i'm away in South Am (i'm leaving in exactly 3 weeks' time!!) as it is nearing the end of its 10-year COE and to save on parking charges... yet another victim of increased car park fees...

yet, i can't deny that the beauty of being a passenger and not a driver is that you actually take in the view a lot better.. and you get to listen to music on your CD player and to read and ponder while watching the scenary change around you. and of course it works out cheaper too and you don't have to stress out about bad drivers on the road, crowded car parks, traffic jams etc etc... of course there are plus points to having a car, but at least for now, i'm just going to look at the plus points of public transport and enjoy the ride!! :)

blue sky seen from the upper deck of double-deck SBS bus no. 165

Thursday, 23 January 2003

parking rates in town

i don't normally blog about stuff like that, but it disturbs me greatly how astronomically car parking rates have been going up in town... as far as i noticed, these new parking fees didn't just increase by 50cents or a dollar over their old rates, but almost doubled or tripled! take for example Cairnhill Place carpark just behind Heeren, which used to charge $1 for the first two hours and $1 for every subsequent hour or part thereof (making it one of the cheapest places to park in town)... since Dec last year however, it suddenly went up to $1 for the first hour and $1 every subsequent half hour! that is a full doubling of fees!

and just around noon today, while i was driving into Wisma Atria carpark to save on parking charges (since it used to charge a surprisingly low rate of a flat $3.00 after 12pm all the way till night), i realised that they have raised the fee to $1.30 for the first hour and $1.10 for every subsequent half hour until 5pm, where they will thereafter charge an additional $3.10!! this time more than doubling of the fees!

it has almost become impossible to drive to town and park for the whole day without spending a fortune, not to mention the additional expense of ERP and what-nots...(see a rather outdated list of parking rates in town).. it really is mind-blowing how expensive it is to have a car in Singapore... i really should just save up on all these auto-related expenses and spend the money travelling instead..

non sequitur: i enjoyed this Icon War thing very very much!! (via alb)

Tuesday, 21 January 2003

Check out my new b&w Holga pics! click on below image for more pictures!!

Click for more images!

Sunday, 19 January 2003

a motley bunch of us, led by folks from the Singapore Adventurers' Club, braved the Sunday morning downpour, muddy gravel slopes, deadly insects, fallen tree trunks and prickly vegetation this morning to go on what is known as the "Choo Choo Trek" - a rough trek designed to follow the old, disused Malayan Railway track from its start somewhere near King Albert Park on Bukit Timah Road till it ends at the Singapore Mint (near Teban Gardens, off West Coast Road). Got utterly drenched but definitely an unusual and educational way to spend a Sunday morning.

tunnel an opening over a road an opening over a canal manicured gardens of a temple along the way water hyacinthdried hyacinth a brinjal plant! cacti growing wild

Saturday, 18 January 2003

Last night, in a quirky sort of mood, I suddenly decided that today was going to be spent the way I always imagined an “Ideal Day” would be spent.

Imagining what an ideal day would be, I would probably spend it doing only the things I like to do, no obligations, no schedules, no rush, maybe not even meeting anyone familiar in the day! I will wake up without my alarm clock, eat a leisurely brunch, read in a nice café with a cappuccino or at home with a lemonade, do my lomography around Singapore, go for a relaxing long run, or an aimlessly long walk, do some spontaneous art & craft at home, but to do nothing if I so felt like it, and to end the day with a healthy home-cooked dinner.

This was how it actually went: Woke up with a start ‘cos mum announced loudly that she had made breakfast. Ate leisurely while flipping through old schooldaze pictures and laughing at them with my sister. I was really nerdy with my big round glasses in school! :p Squeezed some orange juice and relaxed while doing some lazy colouring in my Powerpuff Girls Jumbo Colouring book (btw, this seems really childish but you have no idea how therapeutic colouring is… try it..) – at this point, I was really tempted to turn on the computer but I stopped myself.. addictive and mostly non-fulfilling, the computer sometimes can be… along the way, distracted, I took out my Spanish language book and started learning how to name parts of my body, pointing at them and saying the names out loud while listening to Laura Pausini singing in Italian in the background.. bizarre but somehow quite effective.. halfway through, I suddenly felt like making Indian Chai tea and started boiling a mixture of milk and water in a pot, adding in the chai tea mixture and sugar.. very random distraction… but the chai was nice..

Finally, at 3 o’clock, I decided it was time to go out and take some lomographs of the Thaipusam festival at Little India. At this very instant, the sky started to drizzle in protest and I defiantly decided to go out anyway. I reached my stop, it had stopped raining, but I got distracted by the colourful stalls selling Chinese New Year goodies at Victoria wholesale market, the flea market at Weld Road, the old shophouses at Arab street and started doing my lomography there instead. I used up my film, had to buy a new roll as the colourful Thaipusam procession rolled along (with the pierced menfolk balancing their heavy metal kavadis and the womenfolk with milk pots on their heads) and found that my lomo camera suddenly couldn’t work! So I ended up with no lomographs of the procession.. sigh…

Got home finally at 9 something, cooked a pack of instant noodles and realised that I actually did have fun today and felt really relaxed and fulfilled at the end of the day, even though things didn’t quite go the way I imagined..

I finally realised that the ideal day is a matter of attitude, and not events.. how enlightening…

Thursday, 16 January 2003

Your name of hweeling gives you the ability to be creative along practical lines of endeavour. Your ideas can be very original and inventive.

You enjoy being with people in a social environment. Your personal appearance is important to you, for you desire to make a good impression on others. Your pleasant manner attracts people to you with their problems and you are capable of offering practical advice, though you would probably not follow such advice yourself.

This name causes you to be somewhat too concerned with the personalities, problems, and activities of other people. You seem positive and decisive and can be outspoken in the expression of your opinions, but you lack the self-confidence needed to follow through with your ideas and plans.

Procrastination is your downfall. You frequently choose the path of least resistance to avoid your responsibilities. It is not easy for you to overcome obstacles or face issues.

This name does you an injustice in that it restricts your success in business and personal pursuits through a lack of ambition. There is a weakness in the fluid functions and in the region of the head resulting in sinus problems, headaches, eye, ear, or throat conditions and related ailments. Hair loss could also be a problem. :O

umm.... this name analysis thingy (via krisalis) is so..random.. but umm.... somewhat true.... eeks..
i can't run away from the thick smell of curry in the air!! mum's cooking her secret curry recipe and the smell permeates every nook and cranny in the house..

Curry power!!

new images from taiping trip have been added to lomohome!
days have gone by without blogging!! amazing...

some updates (in case you need to know about my life).. alb & I both didn't manage to buy the $66 colour laserjet printer from Hewlett-Packard so we are both of course disappointed.. (afterall, we did manage to get his credit card details in and all that before they blocked the site..) :p haha.. would have been really nice (imagine printing 85,000 pages without changing the cartridge!!!).. wonder if they will compensate in some way.. umm... still, i guess it's obviously a genuine typo error so i really wouldn't "sue" them or anything (not like the guys who took advantage of it and bought 2,000 at one go.. greedy..)

i've also discovered that in order to be able to get up to enjoy a morning run, i really do have to (realistically) get to bed by 10.30pm (or latest 11.30pm) to get the minimum 7 to 8 hours of sleep i need.. this makes the battle to get up in the morning to do something i love much less of a battle.. i'm still working on it and so far have managed to get up once in the last two days. The morning air is really much fresher, the scene much more tranquil (with people doing their morning taichi and falungong) and a run in the morning makes me feel a lot more energetic for the rest of the day's work. Must do it!! Run run run!! I know it is pretty common-sensical but honestly, it's quite a revelation for me..
third big thing? i've finally managed to clean up quite a bit of the clutter that has been lying around the house and to sort out and straighten some of the books and cds that have been lying around's amazingly therapeutic to sort out stuff that no longer has any significance in my life, kind of symbolic of my latest effort at "simplifying my life" and prioritising what is important and what is not.. and the best part is, i think i will end up saving a lot of money buying new stuff 'cos now, i realised i have so many books i haven't even started reading since i bought them, old books that i really feel like re-reading, and all the cds that i only listened to once or twice and should listen to again this time to see if i can appreciate them in a different way now that my tastes may have changed..

my life in summary now? austerity rules!!

Sunday, 12 January 2003

someone brought some Uzumaki into the shop today..


Saturday, 11 January 2003

The US-version of "The Ring" just spooked me out!! :O :,(

i'm not sure why i keep scaring myself like that... a closet masochist???

Friday, 10 January 2003

do you sometimes get the feeling that Singapore is actually just one huge kampung rather than a country?

i know we are described as a city-state (and we are "just a dot" on the world map) but what i mean is that, after a while, the whole country actually feels smaller and smaller and every corner of it more and more familiar as you find yourself knowing exactly where to get the best laksa, where to buy a toaster, where you can get the cheapest computer parts, where to fix your bicycle or your camera.. and even if you live on the eastern side of the island, the uncle at Clementi knows you by name because you come here for church every weekend and eat his roti prata, or the auntie who is at takashimaya in town knows you and what you want to drink because you order the same thing every morning before work.. it's really amazing how we think nothing of zipping across the whole country to go to work, to get to a "Sale worth waiting for", to windsurf and wakeboard, to meet friends for coffee, to run an errand... and everyone everywhere looks and speaks pretty much alike... we are a kampung-state!

oh well, morning ramblings.. :p was just drinking the famous Aun Tong coffee i bought back from Taiping and sis mentioned that it tasted similar to Malacca coffee and i realised that yes, even food tends to taste different in different parts of a country.. but in Singapore, umm... hahaha...
hi hi! thanks for all the belated birthday greetings today! :D

well, i need to clarify something about the last minute greeting that came in from Lynn yesterday... you see, this wonderful friend of mine was so pre-occupied trying to help me do something important (which i will reveal shortly)... that was why she forgot about my birthday.. it is 1000% forgiveable!!! And i thank God for friends like that.. I really do.. The more i think about it, the more i know I've been blessed with the acquaintance, friendship and love of some of the most wonderful and inspiring people who walk on this earth in our time and generation!! Thanks everyone! I owe my dreams to your support and encouragement!

Now for some revealing... as some of you might have forseen will occur at one point or other in my life, I have decided to embark on a little semi-long journey to pursue a dream of mine.. (at this point, i feel like Bilbo Baggins in Lord of the Rings during his birthday feast as he makes his announcement..haha...).. as you see from this little map, there is this huge chunk of the southern hemisphere of the earth that has thus far eluded me and my travels...i've decided to see a part of this giant land mass, and perhaps try to live out the hidden dreams of many.. i'm going to take time off from work to travel to South America over the next 3 months, do all the incredible photography, learn all the Spanish, see all the culture, and really experience the other side of the globe which i have been dreaming of all this while...

it took no less than a lot of thought and lonely and frightened moments from me, still takes a lot of support and understanding from people who care for me, work with and/or love me, and considerable planning and help from friends and acquaintances.. but now (despite much hair-pulling and tearful moments), with the grace of God, everything seems to be working out nicely at last.. i've got my flights booked, i've learnt a whole bunch of lessons about how to do things right and now, the preparation is really just exciting and every moment is a blessing..

yes, Lynn helped me to find an alternative to my original flight arrangement which was to fly to Rio De Janeiro from Singapore via Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, LA and Sao Paulo (four transit stops no less.. a continuous flight time of more than 26 hours!!!).. i'm now going to fly from Singapore to London (my favourite city!) instead and then onwards to Rio after resting in London for a full day at her friend's house... isn't she wonderful?? :D

Thursday, 9 January 2003

ystdy was my birthday! (did you realise?? :p)

the first greeting came in via sms as early as 8 am, with the rest streaming in through the day in various shapes and forms, and the last one of the day rushing in a little before midnight with a "Oh ya! It's your birthday! Happy Birthday!" by my dearest friend Lynn. The first belated one came in a minute after midnight, and the second one 2 to 3 minutes after that.. i imagine a few more today..

so i had a happy birthday! :D thanks everyone!

and alb gave me a trio bunch with these masks.. can you guess who they are??

the devious bunch

Tuesday, 7 January 2003

down with a bit of flu today and took mc to fix myself up..

on my way home from the doctor's, i chanced upon a group of secondary school students from the nearby secondary school, still in their uniforms. the girls were puffing away on cigarettes, held expertly in their hands. they were acting intimately with a group of male students and appeared totally unembarrassed by my sudden presence.. in fact, they appeared proud and probably thought they looked really "cool"..

normally, i would have just shrugged the whole thing off as "juvenile delinquency" and moved on.. but i guess illnesses have a way of making us think about life and death and other "deep" stuff...and for me to be a little irritable.. i was annoyed that the kids seemed only concerned with looking "good", fitting in, enjoying life and indulging in what they perceive as "forbidden activiites".. in fact, it will be worrying if this mindset carries on into their adulthood and instead of adding to the richness of their lives by wholesome activities, giving back to society by voluntary work, or challenging and developing themselves through travel and reading, they take away from their lives by harmful activities such as smoking, drinking, driving fast bikes and cars..

tsk tsk... i am beginning to sound like a parent.. :p

Sunday, 5 January 2003

are those real goldfishes they are using in this ice sculpture??

Straits Times 5 Jan 2003

goldfishes seem to be one of the favourite subjects of cruel experiments to test effect of cold waters on animals... this school especially does a whole bunch of bizarre (at least from my unscientific point of view) experiments on living things..

isn't there a law against this??

Saturday, 4 January 2003

stare into it and it will draw you in...


utterly spooked by last night's jap movie about snails, washing machines, japanese fishcakes and all things spiral... still spooked... maybe i should just stick to watching cute or romantic or fantasy or tragic movies...since even thrillers set my pulse racing a little faster than what i can handle sometimes.. errr... hahahaha :D ... still, it's a good and entertaining movie. a cross between a B-grade "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" (which means it gets an occasional guffaw from me for its sheer absurdity) and a good ole Jap horror movie ala "The Ring"...

umm .. wonder if they will make a sequel on it...

Salomon X-TR Wave

finally went roller blading this morning, after almost a year's break! after a couple of near tumbles and a real fall-on-my-bottom, i started to sail along smoothly on my faithful Salomons, and enjoyed the new and broader cycle path, passing other slower bladers and cyclists, the cool sea breeze after the rain, the happy people walking around with their loved ones and pets.. very relaxing... i started to wonder if i should and could make this a weekly or fortnightly affair.. then i realised that i thought the same thing around the same time last year (and even made it a New Year's Resolution!) and never ever got around to doing it again..

ha.. talk about lack of discipline.. :p

Thursday, 2 January 2003

i'm been experiencing what i suppose the new agey people will call "Synchronicity" - otherwise known as "meaningful coincidences" these past two days..

i'm not really into this sort of mystic stuff (and choose not to indulge in them) but things have kinda been falling into place nicely (especially where i most needed them to) and at the right time, even like reaching traffic lights just as they turn green, finding parking lots in crowded car parks, getting to places just as the people i need to meet appear, getting calls from people i need to talk to, remembering to do something where previously i would have forgotten to do them (simply because something totally unrelated triggered me to think along certain lines and about certain people).. and the people around me (especially my close friends and family) seem to be really agreeable and warm and supportive..

life seems to be "in sync" at the moment... which is really nice.. :) ... and i haven't been messing it up by having late nights or waking up late or losing my temper unnecessarily... let's hope that i can keep this up till it becomes a good habit... it has been so encouraging..

starting to pick up spanish from a book called Accelerated Learning Spanish.. wah.. not easy language to learn.. might have to take a crash course sometime in the year to get the pronunciations right..

Wednesday, 1 January 2003

alb said something just now about New Year's Resolutions that is so true!

it's not that New Year's Resolutions are generally ineffective 'cos people end up not doing them anyway and giving up on setting them (or recycling them) for the following year. the real problem with New Year's Resolutions is the hidden perception for many of us (who set these resolutions with a great amount of zeal and genuine sincerity) that many of the things we say we will do can actually be done in a really short time.

for eg, a friend of mine says she intends to learn how to build her own desktop PC in 2003.. however, since this is something that can technically be learnt in a little over a week (or even less for the more diligent ones), the tendency is to actually leave it till 20 Dec 2003 or so before getting around to doing it (by which time other more important things would have cropped up). another example is the learning of languages or losing weight. since there is really no fixed checkpoints at which we assess our progress until the next time we set our resolutions, we end up see-sawing in our progress and may end up a little disappointed at how much we achieve in the year..

alb proposes renaming it New Year Scheduling and actually taking a whole year's calender and pencilling in exact dates of when we want certain resolutions to be done as well as progress markers along the way.

Swell idea!

btw, here is a little something for those wondering what New Year's Resolutions to set... try this

Take the What Should Your New Year's Resolution Be? Quiz

bye bye 2002!

watched last sunset of 2002.

dinner at alforno's.

fireworks at esplanade.


a new year brings new hope :)