Didnt get myself killed running the annual Singapore marathon. Tried that stunt in 1987, and i couldn’t walk for 3 months. Ok… i exaggerated, couldn’ really walk for 3 days. What i did this time round is to organise a photo shooting marathon that started at 730 with breakfast and ended at midnight. Never bluff, got photographs to show…
morning session: Botanical Garden
Evening: Sunset at Labrador Park
Night: Orchard Road – Shaw Centre
Entrance to Orchard Road
Takashimaya Shopping Centre
The crazy bunch who joined me for the marathon. Group photo taken in front of the Chinatown Relic Tooth Buddhist Temple.
Wish everyone a happy 2009!! … and hope you will end your year end with a bang too like pipit!!!
Met up with a friend and fellow Pentaxian at the Museum last Saturday. Wee Kiat has just won the Singapore Young Photographer Award 2008 and together with some friends, we were at the museum admiring his works and those of other merit winners. WK has taken up the hobby only two years ago but his talent is so immense he won awards while little bird like pipit can only blog about him!
WK used an entry level K100D, same as pipit, with a 10-20 wide angle lens as his kit lens. His landscape photographs are breathtaking and you can check him out at flicker under the nick of night86mare. He has since upgraded his camera body to K20D and with his price money of $5000, i am sure a few more lenses before he flies off to London after his school holiday ends at September.
For those who are interested in photography or just enjoy beautiful photographs, can drop by the Singapore museum. For those who like to meet him, he will be at Labrador Park this Saturday with some photography buffs to shoot some shorescape and sundown. The meeting is at 4 pm Saturday 26 July 2008, Labrador Park and those interested to join the shoot can leave a message in my comment box.
Tucked away at one corner of the River Valley Road is The Yard…
The YARD is Singapore oldest english pub, set up in 1983, about the same time as Zouk. The time when Mariah Carey was just a new comer in the english music scene & the HK heavenly kings ruled the canto-pop scene…
You wont miss it with the prominent sign by the roadside
Prices are reasonable & service is friendly…
Rustic ambience and not crowded… a good destination for sitdown-bitch-drink session & to bring that secret girl-fren without bumping into your children…
this place oozes nostalgia, right down to a still-working legacy coin-phone… dont see many of this device around nowadays. no reason not to call when the cell battery is flat.
our regular hang-out place to have a drink and catch some football action!!
attended melissa son’s full moon celebration over the weekend. i was happy to see her again. but i guess she was more happy to see me and my wife. she offered me photos taken during the delivery of her son. looking at those photos i was amazed at the amount of tube and equipment present and required during the delivery. science and technology, never realised so much was needed for a simple delivery.
beside myself, some other ex-colleagues were also invited. they were not from my department as most of us had left to to do our own thing. maybe i had left the party scene for too long, i felt weird at some of the topics that were discussed.
like when did “baby talk” made it to party value? ok, this maybe a full moon party but it is so fashionable to talk about making baby? one of my ex-colleague is going for her fourth, motivated no less by the government money for baby scheme. Niamah, i have no quarrel with people who want many kids but to tout the benefits of having many kids at everyone who were within earshots were a little too much.
One more convert for the government message of “Have more than three (kids) if you can afford it!”
wifey was a bit uncomfortable with all this baby talk and we opted for an early departure. we thanked melissa and hub for having us and left promptly.
just got a call after lunch from an ex-colleague – was invited to melissa (not his real name) son’s full moon party this weekend. gift and ang pau/hong bao (red packet) time! what to buy and how much to give? headache……
i usually dont give present for red occasion. it is just silly to convert $$ into something bulky in nice wrapper when eons ago our ancestors discovered money as a legal tender so we dont have to carry big stones around as currency.
while doing away with the headache of getting the suitable gift with my reasoning, there is never a get away from the tough decision of how much to give.
too little, paiseh (shame); too much, ouch! (heart ache)
I worked out the following….
CAT1: acquientance, not-to-close fren…. market rate
CAT2: close friends & relatives… market rate + $100~$200
CAT3: very close friends & relatives… market rate + $200~$400
well, the above also depends on the size of my entourage…
i will have no problem sorting out the red packet for this one invitation. melissa had once save me from a potentially career wreaking project which i suspect was politically motivated and directed in my direction. she came back to the office during her maternity confinement leave for a week to sort out the mess in this project for me. i am just glad she gave me a chance to repay her in kind.
Keong Said Road… from Cantonment direction
I paid Keong Saik Road a visit last Saturday. Keong Saik Road was one of the famous red light districts in Singapore. Much of the brothel business had changed hand and the current Keong Said Road is a pale shadow of its former glory days. The present Keong Saik Road still has the odd brothels nestling between boutique hotels, retail outlets, pubs, chinese associations and kopi tiams. These brothels can be identified by the signature light box and big unit number of the property. In the past, beside giu kar (patronising a prostitute) there is really nothing much else to do at Keong Saik Road. Now you can see tourists, families with children in tow and the odd customers brushing shoulders with the ladies of the evening. I don’t know whether it is a good thing or not but the sleaze factor had gone down and replaced with the hip factor.
Brothel No: 28… with the red lantern, you wouldn’t miss it, would you?
Yoga & other lifestyles shop… If yoga session with a lot of biao meis is your cup of tea, check this out!!
Talk cock sing song… notice the woman in red at the walkway? could be your gf for the evening for a right price. she made me an offer that i could not accept so she sulked and refused to pose for this shot!
Fei Loh, my good friend and former organising committee chairman of my wedding celebrated his birthday last Saturday and the wife picked one of the kopi tiams at Keong Saik Road to throw a dinner for him. Like Geylang, the other famous red light district, Keong Saik is famous for its local Chinese food. This kopi tiam we went to is famous for its Prawn Noodle soup served in traditional chinese soup bowl size serving. Sorry, forgot to take a shot of the dish as it came out in between dishes and i was too busy eating by then.
Beside celebrating FL (centre) birthday, we were also welcoming our visiting friend from KL, Leslie (left). Leslie is a fan of Sheila Majid and was here to attend her concert at the durian. The concert was a success and you can read about it in Leslie’s blog.
A nite out is never complete without some talk cock sing song. We continue the celebration with a karaoke session at the Laguna club. Knowing Angel was out there last weekend battling mozzies and shooting rapid in the wilderness, i dedicated this song “Are you lonesome tonite?” to her. The same song went to cocka too cos… after so much partying over the last two weekends i know Cocka was grounded by the visa master last Saturday. What are friends for…thinking of you guys even when i am having fun!! LOL
I have been coming in early for the last few days. My mind felt rejuvenated and my body energetic after coming back from Ipoh. Look like the good food of Ipoh and their famous mineral mountain water had done the trick… or is it the company of bosom buddies that reconnected all the loose synapses? I dont know but whatever it is, my hope is it will last…at least until the next reunion.
The reunion started with the arrival of the first out of towner on Thursday, me on Friday and finally wrapped when the Italy was crowned the world champion on Monday morning. We had a lot of fun doing things that we used to do when we were in secondary school like playing badminton, hanging out until the wee hoursof the morning, singing (now it is called karaoke) and yum char. I dont know where i found the energy but i actually stayed up for 24 hours without sleeping on Saturday.
Maybe my RM50 on the football pool on the 3rd placing match between Portugal and Germany helped. As most of the reasonable scores on Germany were taken, my RM50 went to Portugal 1-0. I thought i had a chance when Portugal held Germany 0-0 during the interval. All hell broke loose in the 2nd half and Germany won 3-1. Goncang won the pool and i won a breakfast at Foh San. The little Mr Kiasu in me and i believe some of the guys in the group too, was trying to recover our lost RM50 by gobbling its equivalent worth of dim sum.
Never in my life had i gone for dim sum so early in the morning and had to wait for 45 minutes some more! We were there at 5 am and a sign on the wall said business hour starts at 6 am. When they finally opened at 5.45 am we thought they were being flexible but niamah, we were wrong. We had to spend another 15 min watching Foh San staff taking their breakfast before we were finally served on the dot at 6.00 am. Why so rigid, ah? If not for old time sake, we would had gone to Yoke Fook Mun which opens earlier! Helen, can you tell the lady boss our story? Until today, my mum still ask for Foh San moon cake whenever i go back to Ipoh during the that period of the year. Don’t let poor customer service spoil the brand name that she had built up over the year!
Beside hanging out with the boys which i enjoyed very much, the meeting with the MGS girls was a tad dissappointing, to say the least. The dinner setting was not very conducive for mingling and chatting. We later adjourned to a disco where the music was too loud for any meaningful exchange of conversation. We could have danced but the aunties were too uptight and the uncles that were present were more interested in the booze and the music! The MGS girls left about 11 pm en masse and i actually felt sad that people still behaved like they were in secondary school. Even in secondary school, the girls didn’t leave that early. Only different now, the girls drive and no longer depend on our 50cc Honda cubs to fetch them home.
We decided there and then that maybe it is better to stick to a “batang (stick) only” gathering. It is best that way as it will save us all those awkward moments in front of the girls. For this last gathering, maybe we could reward ourselves with a “I survived ACS reunion 2006” T-shirt since we really pushed ourselves to the physical limit of endurance. I take my hat off to the head organiser Goncang who had gone with only 3 hours of sleep for the three days (Fri to Sun) we were there. The man showed us why he is the taiko (big boss) among us as he exhibited boundless energy partying with us and at the same time had to wake up early to attend to his office matter.
Tomorrow is 5 April 2006, the 8th day of the Chinese lunar month. 5 April is the Chinese All Soul Day, commonly known as Cheng Meng. Chinese all over the world will pay their respect to their long departed loved one and forebears one week before and after the exact date. With one fourth of the world population observing the Cheng Meng rite, it escapes me why Cheng Meng is never declared a holiday. Primarily, maybe it is not a day to celebrate or/and rejoy. Secondary, most Chinese will take the convenient weekend before 0r after the exact day to observe the rite, so there is really no need to allot a "holiday" to it.
Although Cheng Meng is always associated with the dead, its observation hold many lessons for the livings too. It is on this day, that many of nephews and nieces asked me about our grand parents, their lifestyles, just like what i had done many years ago when my papa was alive. From some of these stories, i knew my grandpa was one of the heavenly kings in his kampung by virtue of his business. My grandma was a very strict disciplinarian. She would expect everyone, including the youngs like my elder cousin and brother, to take their meal seriously (read fast). She would order the table cleared atfter she finished her meal. So, everyone got to finish before she did. Well, we are not so draconian nowadays, but the spirit of grandma had lived on. We never turn on the TV when we eat our dinner.
Cheng Meng is also a day where the whole clan gathered together, without the distraction of other festive activities like Chinese New Year. It is a good time for bonding between the youngs and the youngs-at-hearts. It is during many of Cheng Meng family gatherings that i discover my nieces cyber nicks and their latest hair colour. Cheng Meng is also the day some of us senior members play Santa Claus or Aunt Agony to the younger members of the clan. When my father and his younger brother was alive, we would go out for dinner together in both my father's and my uncle's jalopies. This was a reunion dinner that we were never able to have during CNY as both the brothers were living far apart. That tradition had survived until today and now we actually have a dinner fund for this one purpose.
I will go back to Melaka this weekend for my annual Cheng Meng rite. After fending off questions like when i would get married for the last ten years, I am bracing myself and SO for that one logical follow-up question…
China National Day celebration (10 October) aka double ten usually will see an exodus of expatriates balik kampung. I always look forward to double ten as i will get to catch up with my buddy Soon Fatt, who is based in China, when he performed his annual “balik kampung” ritual. This time round, we manage to round off a few other buddies for a Chilli Crab feast.
Venue: Bukit Batok East Ave 4. dinner was at 730 pm. the empty chair was for eddy who was could only make it at 8.
Chilli Crab, Venison Meat, Foo Chook Roll, 4 season beans, pai guak wong (rib)…. yummy yummy. On top of this we polished off two plates of noodle – yee meen & sang meen.
ah piew who had to go off early & offered to pay for the meal. we were thankful. he put $20 on the table. the meal cost $95. piew… u owed us $75. will collect when we meet again hehehe!!
Smiles! Dinner over! SF would be off the next day to “tour” Malaysia for a week.
Will meet again when thili in town next week