Saturday, December 31, 2005

10 days since I last posted.... so many things happening. Quite funny, with so many things happening, there should be plenty to blog. But then have no time to blog. heh.

Two consecutive camps with one more in couple of days time. Yeah, the holidays are over.

Will be a Sec 1 FT again next year. That makes it my third consecutive year as a Sec 1 FT, and also my third consecutive year at Sec 1 camp! lolz...

Guess this will be the last post for 2005. Next year is gonna be a transition year again for me as I try doing other stuff. I look forward to the new challenges. Who knows, maybe I might take up Japanese again (I really need to complete the course once and for all...).

As for other resolutions? Well, I like to make them up as they come along. So, to all... Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Album Updated

For more pics, visit my flickr site (link on the left.) I dun have many photos coz I been to Tokyo quite often... so not really into taking many pics of the place.

Jump Festa 4

Originally uploaded by exzekestence.
Couldn't help it. This was the only thing I bought from the Jump Festa... not cheap ok. The key chain costs almost $30 and the notebook, about $10. And there were looooong queues by all the japanese to buy these souvenirs and more. Well.. that's Japan for you.

Jump Festa 3

Originally uploaded by exzekestence.
There were plenty of mascots there. Here's a pic of two mascots from Tecmo's Monster Rancher Booth.

Jump Festa 2

Originally uploaded by exzekestence.
Cool Sora statue at the Square Enix booth. I can't wait for Kingdom Hearts II to be released!

Jump Festa 1

Originally uploaded by exzekestence.
Here's a pic from the Jump Festa convention. They had these huge inflatable statues spread out through the THREE exhibition halls. I think the chracters are from Naruto.... aren't they? (I happen not to read Naruto.. so I don't know)

Studio Ghiibli Museum

Originally uploaded by exzekestence.
Here's the only photo they allowed us to take at the museum. They had this cool giant statue (from Laputa) on top of the museum which we could pose and take pictures with. This entire garden was planted on the roof of the museum.

Back once again

Yep, back home in Singapore.. back to reality again... Bought some nice stuff, will upload the pics later. For now, I'm psyching up for two camps... and the start of the new year. so 'exciting'...

Although the trip was just about right, (probably get bored if I stayed too much longer), I can't help but feel that I would love to stay longer. Maybe I should consider going over to maybe study Japanese for 6mths/a year. That would be very interesting.

OK.. like I said, back to reality...

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Today, I took it easy.. kinda... I went to Shibuya for to shop a little... funny thing is, I've never really gone to Shibuya ever since I first came to Tokyo. Well, took a picture of the famous statue of Hachiko, the faithful dog and then spent some time roaming the streets. In the late afternoon, I went to the big toystore , Yamishiroya, in Ueno. I dunno why I go there all the time. I mean, the prices aren't really good. I think Toys R Us is cheaper, but I guess there is more variety. Strictly for window shopping only. In the evening, I couldn't help myself so it was a trip to Akhihabara again.. tomorrow's my second last day in Toky0, who knows, I might drop by there one last time....

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Japan Day 3

My feet are killing me.

Last night, I tripped on a bump in the road and fell. My left knee got scraped but luckily, still can walk, but with a bit of discomfort. But I think I kinda twisted myself here and there when I fell, so I kinda have some sore muscles. Sigh.

It didnt help that Japan is a place where you have to walk every single place. Today I went to the Jump Festa. It was quite an experience. Took me more than an hour to get to the exhibition hall and it was awesome to see all the game & comic booths with all the game demos & performances. It's such a waste that I don' understand Japanese. I really ought to be more determined to learn the language. Will upload the pics later when I get back to Singapore.

Anyway, it was a long walk all the way to the exhibition hall from the train station... then about 2 hours of walking inside the exhibition then another long walk back to the station. I then decided to do my pilgrimage to the land of electronics, Akihabara. And that was another 2 to 3 hours of walking around. In case I haven't mentioned it.... my feet are killing me.

Oh well, that's it for today. I might take it a little easy tomorrow.... let's see if I can too much walking... hope the brusies from the fall heals fast.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blogging from Japan

It's my second day in Japan. Yesterday I arrived at about 1.30pm. By the time I reached the hotel in ikebukuro, it was almost 4pm. I spent the rest of the time checking out the familiar shops in Ikebukuro like Tsutaya, Tokyu Hands, Animate and Toys R Us. Didn't do much else coz I was pretty tired after that.

Today, I made my way to the Studio Ghibli museum in Mitaka. It's a little complicating to get to the museum coz they had this funny system where you had to buy the ticket from the Lawsons convenience stores before you could makeyour way there. Well, luckily I figured it out and I must say that the museum is very interesting, if you are a Hiyao Miyazaki fan. If not, you'll probably find the place too small and not too appealing. Well, I love his animations, so it was a real treat. Unfortunately, no photos are allowed in the museum, so I onli took a few outside it. Will post them after I get back.

Spent the rest of the day roaming Shinjuku and visited a 6-storey toy store called Kiddy Land in Omotedashi (I think I got that wrong.. will check it later). It's always interesting to visit the huge toy places in tokyo.

OK, tomorrow is the Jump Festa. Hope it'll be interesting!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Off to Japan

Will be on my way to Japan in about 5 hours. Looking forward to the cold weather and the revisiting all my favourite places in Tokyo. I'm especially looking forward to going for the Jump Festa 2006 which is like a game/comic convention! It'll be my first time visiting a japanese game/comic convention and I think it will be quite an experience!

Plenty to do once I get back, but I shall worry about that later... Here's to a great trip!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Finally moved out my last box from my room in Hullett Block on Thursday. So that's that. End of my boarding experience.

The unpacking has been progressing slowly and the house is in a real mess. Sometimes I just don't know where to start or what to do. After the last week of moving and unpacking, I think I've only managed to unpack about 30% of my stuff.... there's just so much junk! It's pretty much everything which I have collected since... secondary school! It's been interesting unearthing some nice memories. Maybe I'll upload some pics of the memorable stuff later. I'm targeting to finish all the major unpacking by Tuesday.... heh... almost sounds impossible. But the good news is that I've managed to get a ticket to Tokyo, leaving on Thursday! So I pretty much have something to look forward to! yay!

Oh yah.. I've also been made an uncle... twice.... my brother and sister have both 'produced' their first child. So now, I have to start getting christmas & birthday presents for a nephew and a niece. Funny really. I'm very happy for them of course, but I'm not like giddy with glee. Wonder if that's how other 'uncles' or 'aunties' feel. Maybe it's with all this moving and stuff that took away from the excitement of uncle-hood.

Oh well, back to unpacking!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I've finally got my Maxonline installed today. And I am now reconnected. The last few days have been a blur. I've pretty much moved about 80% of my stuff back home. Still have to go back to clear up the remaining crap. But then I'll now have to UNPACK everything. Sigh. It's good to be back. There's broadband, cablevision, home theatre & also maid! heh. But the process of coming home is really tiresome. There's just so much to do in moving.

Well, I'm dying to go overseas but the way things are going, I don't think it's gonna happen. I've still got to unpack. I've not applied for my new passport. I've still got work not done. The odds seem to be against me. Maybe, just maybe, I might be able to take a few days off later, the week just before Christmas. But frankly, I'm not too optimistic with the air ticket situation. Furthermore, I'm contemplating about getting a new laptop.... heh.... choices.. choices....

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Moving Home

5 years of boarding have passed and it's time to move home. The timing is not too bad, considering that Hullett Block is going to be converted into a girls' block while Moor block is being demolished and rebuilt into the two towers. It's been 5 interesting years and the experience has been a good one. But for now, it's time to move on.

It's amazing how much stuff I've accumulated over the 5 years. I remember moving in with really minimal stuff. Something like 5 or 6 boxes of things. Now, I've already packed 10 boxes and I'm not even at the halfway mark.

The next few days are gonna be taken up with packing and more packing. I'm looking forward to having broadband back home. That's start from next Tuesday if all goes well. Until then.. plenty more to pack...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Last Day in Delhi

My last day in Delhi was not too bad. The morning was spent rushing between the Exit Permit office and Singapore Airlines to get the necessary documents. It was really quite frustrating, but to cut a long story short (coz I think I've said enough about this) I finally got everything in place and SQ also confirmed my seat for my flight back to Singapore last night.

For the rest of the afternoon, I booked myself on a half-day tour of Old Delhi. The tour was ok. I've got some pics which I've already uploaded to my album. Red Fort (or Lal Quila) was impressive. I won't talk much about the history of it. If you want to read about it, click here. I find that it is such a waste that all these historical monuments are left to deteriorate. The buildings were just a shade of their former splendour. While the main architecture is still there, the intricacies like the carvings, the inlaid jewels, etc, are all either gone or in the process of being destroyed. The guide told us about the magnificient Peacock Throne which once belonged in one of the buildings. Through time, the throne was looted and moved by invaders. Now, parts of the throne are in Tehran while the larget diamond on the throne, the Kohinoor, is now found on the crown of England's Queen mother. It's such a pity.

In the evening, I made my way to the airport for my overnight flight back to Singapore. There weren't much hiccups at immigration (thankfully!). The flight back was uneventful, though I couldn't sleep at all. I kinda hate overnight flights... Well, everything seemed to be ok until we landed in Singapore. We touched down at about 7.05 am and the plane came to a stop at about 7.15 am. So as usual, the passengers all started getting ready to alight. Wanna guess how long we took before we actually alighted? MORE THAN HALF AN HOUR! We just stood and waited and waited and waited. Earlier on, the pilot said something about being an unscheduled stop or something like that and that the buses were on the way to pick us up. well, the buses must have been leg paddled coz it took them another 25 mins to come! I guess I was most irritated coz (1) no one was telling us what was really happening and (2) how on earth could it take 30 mins to deploy those airport buses?! I mean, this is supposed to be Singapore Changi Airport lor, the 'best' airport in the world. Sigh. And when we finally got down to the tarmac after 30mins... the buses weren't there still! After 30 mins, they only activated two buses to do two rounds... and each round took real long coz the dropping point was really far. Sigh. It was a fitting end to my not-so-nice trip to India.

Well, back home now. Rushed out for Chicken Rice already. Char Siew is next! Unfortunately, feeling a little under the weather. Hope i dun get worse... plenty of things to do in the coming week as I have to move back home and I'm still hoping to go away on my own trip for a few days.

I really really really am glad to be home. :)
Here's another pic. I think all the characters look ok EXCEPT for Tweety. He looks downright scary. Guess there was no way they could make a proportional Tweety. My fave in this pic is the Baby Tasmanian Devil.
Went to Plaza Singapura to check out the Starhub shop. You know it is Christmas when you see all the performances at the mall. Plaza Sing had a Baby Loony Tunes theme. Here's a pic of them doing some stupid dance. See how mesmerized the kids are? Heh, guess we all were once like that some time in our lives...

India Pics

Just update my album with some pics I took. I think some of these buildings are really impressive. It is very sad that they have lost some of their gradeur over time. I think India has a very rich cultural heritage. Despite my bad experience (with the theft) this time round, I think I just might return to India for a more comprehensive tour of it's historical sites.

Back... at last.

Finally back in Singapore. But even at the very last part of the trip, there had to be some irritations. Sigh. Looks like this was a trip which wasn't meant to be...

Nvm, off to take a nap first. Will update later with details.

Thanks to everyone who sent their well wishes!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Delhi some more.

Looks like I'm not gonna make the flight back tonight. First, we went to the Singapore High Commission to get my temporary passport. Finding the SHC was an adventure by itself. The hotel driver couldn't find the place and spent half the time asking for directions. When we finally found it, the SHC was undergoing constructio and had moved to a temporary location. So, we got directions to the temporary location and finally found it. After applying for my temp passport, I went back to do some work. After work, I went back to the SHC to collect my passport. And that's when things went downhill. Here's the simple timeline:

12 noon left to take passport photo & collect temp passport
12.30 found photo shop. Took a instant photo which was totally faded and weird. Had no choice. Paid 60 rupees for crappy photo and went to High Comm.
12.45 Arrived at High Comm, submitted photos & collected temp passport. Told to go to some Foreigner Registration Office to get my exit permit to leave India.
1.45 Arrived at the Reg Office and was told they could not issue me a permit as I had entered India via Bangalore. They had to wait for confirmation that I had entered India. If they asked Bangalore, it would apparently take 1 week for them to check the files. So, the next thing I was told to do was to get Singapore Airlines to issuee a letter to say I had flew in on SQ to Bangalore. Fine.
2.30 Arrived at SQ office at the International Airport. Guess what? No one was in the office. Waited for almost 40mins before anyone showed up. Guess it must have been some long lunch break.
3.10 SQ personnel say they can't issue letter until SQ office at Bangalore confirms with their flight manifest that I was on the flight. So they call Bangalore office and guess what? No one's there again! By then, it's already 3.30pm. And you see, the Reg Office closes at 4.00pm. So without an exit permit, I'm not gonna be able to leave India.
4.15 Back in hotel. Resigned to fate.

Yep, that's my exciting day so far. So looks like I'm gonna be here for a little while more. Hooray?

First time for everything...

Sigh. It's my second last day in Delhi and things just have to go wrong. Actually, everything seemed to be going on fine. The day was proceeding smoothly, work was done quickly and I was looking forward to a couple of hours off tomorrow before flying home. Well, things had to get a little interesting... My travel wallet got stolen.

The group decided to go to the restaurant for dinner. So we met at the lobby, deliberated a little and decided on the buffet at the coffee house. The waiter brought us to the table, and my friend sat at the end of the table furthest from the aisle. I was thinking what a nice restaurant it was and how the food looked pretty good. So, before I went off to get my food, I put my travel wallet in front on the table in front of my friend (it was almost a metre from the aisle) and asked my friend to look after it while I went to get my food. The other four of us then went to collect our food. When I returned (less than 3 minutes later), my travel wallet was gone. Apparently, she had heard someone knocking on the glass divider behind her. She turned around to see who it was and when she turned back, the travel wallet was gone. It all happened in just a few moments. Later, when we asked the other hotel guests around, they remarked that they had seen someone knocking on the glass while another person seemed to have been at the far end of the table. My friend was quite distraught. I think she was traumatised that such a thing had happened. My initial response was of course 'blame'... as in, why didn't my friend pay closer attention. But after a few moments, I knew that it was just human nature to want to blame someone when bad things happened. The truth is, she really couldn't have expected these thieves to have moved so fast, and frankly, it was I who had first my wallet to her.

So anyway, to spoil my time in India, I am now missing my passport, two credit cards, a 512Mb Imation mini-thumbdrive and a 512 Mb Memory Stick Pro Duo. I'll now have to make my way to the Singapore Embassy tomorrow to get my replacement passport so that I can leave for Singapore tomorrow night.

It's so funny that in my years of travelling, I have never lost my travel documents. Furthermore, I've always stayed at cheap hotels with lesser security and even hostels where security was a bare minimum. And now, I am staying at what is supposed to be a 6-star hotel in Delhi, and such a thing can happen in the restuarant. I guess, no one would bother stealing things from people who stay in cheap hotels and hostels.

Well, that's that. Here;s a pic of my police report. Just for memory's sake.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


We finally arrived into Delhi last night around 9.30pm. By the time we collected our bags and checked into the hotel, it was already past 11.30pm. But the room.. omg.. the room... it's most probably among the poshest rooms I've stayed in. The closest I can think of is when I stayed at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong. The room is equipped with TWO LCD TVs and there's even a jacuzzi! And the shower is so nice & powerful! I know it sounds sua-ku... but after the first crappy hotel, the second not-bad hotel, this one is really a pleasant end to my time in India.

First impressions of Delhi... it's really quite nice. We arrived late at night so we couldn't see anything, but today, as we drove to the test centre and back, I had a good view of some of the beautiful buildings like the President's Palace. I'm hoping to make some time to go on a short tour on the last day. Will update this blog with delhi pics later. First, pics of the hotel...

Here's a pic of the hotel atrium.

Look at the lovely LCD TV in the sitting room... (BTW, that's the extra bed for my room mate..)

Here's the Jacuzzi with the excellent view... It's too bad that I probably won't have a chance to use it with all the work that needs to be done.

And here's the wonderful shower... Look at the lovely spray of water. Believe me, it's great to bathe without having to worry if the water is going to die out on you or with the water tricking out of the shower head.
I am stuck at the Chennai domestic airport. The flight has been delayed by almost an hour.. sigh.. This is sooooooooo boring. At least got some access to free wireless. Otherwise I think I will just die in my chair. Note my excited look. Somemore.. the airport has nowhere to have a meal! It's 6pm, and the flight will take about 2.5 hours. This means I'll reach the hotel at almost 11pm. Sure pengz from hunger...

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ok, finished Chennai and will be leaving for Delhi soon, our last stop. Chennai has a very different feel from Bangalore. For one thing, the roads are smoother!

Last night, we went to a nice hotel, Sheraton, for dinner. Kinda like an end-of-Chennai sector treat. It was a really nice place. The restaurant was very cosy and the whole ambience was like some colonial mansion. The service was also excellent, as was the food! And there was also a singer taking requests and I asked for ANGELS by Sarah MacLachlan, one of my all time faves. Quite good lar. Only drawback was that she was using recorded music from a laptop and it all sounded very 'electone'... What a pity.

Well, I'm off to the airport in about an hour. Let's see how Delhi turns out!
Ok, finished Chennai and will be leaving for Delhi soon, our last stop. Chennai has a very different feel from Bangalore. For one thing, the roads are smoother!

Last night, we went to a nice hotel, Sheraton, for dinner. Kinda like an end-of-Chennai sector treat. It was a really nice place. The restaurant was very cosy and the whole ambience was like some colonial mansion. The service was also excellent, as was the food! And there was also a singer taking requests and I asked for ANGELS by Sarah MacLachlan, one of my all time faves. Quite good lar. Only drawback was that she was using recorded music from a laptop and it all sounded very 'electone'... What a pity.

Well, I'm off to the airport in about an hour. Let's see how Delhi turns out!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Today has basically been spent marking, marking and more marking. Nothing much to say, except that I've been marking. Food has been fine coz the hotel has a decent buffet spread with some chinese-type stuff together with the indian food. The buffet is really quite reasonable, costs only about 320 rupees. That's about 13 singapore dollars. And it's not a shabby thing, good variety with dessert, etc. Must say the dessert is not really to my taste. The indian spices mixed into the food can be a little overwhelming. So for now, my favourite dessert is ice cream! haha... safest option.

Yep, it's already Saturday. Will be back in 6 days... can't wait...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Oh wow... Chennai is quite different from Banaglore... at least from first impressions. There are many more modern buildings ad the roads are much much much smoother! And.. this is the wonderful room which I will call home for the next 3 nights! It is such a difference from the hotel we stayed in at Bangalore. The room is bright and cheery.. no funny smell... and there were nice welcome fruits & cookies! How I hope they are all like this... OK, off to dinner, might blog later if i have the chance.
OK, we're off to the next city... Chennai. Here's a pic of us entering Bangalore Domestic Airport Terminal. The flight was only about 30mins long. Quite ok. Took us only 30mins to travel from one city to another while it took us more than 30mins to get from hotel to airport.. heh...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Here's where I had lunch - the food court at The Forum. Interesting selection... I had the Crispy Chop Suey (American style..which means 'sweet'). It's basically a crispy noodle with some vegetables & chicken meat in sweet & sour sauce poured over it. Not too bad lar. I'm such a modern junkie...
Today, we kinda had an unplanned breather from the hectic schedule. So we actually went to a MALL! Yeah, here is one of the very few modern malls in Banaglore - The Forum. It's the in-place for the teenagers, and it's only about half or one-third the size of J8! But I'm really thankful for it. It's great to be in modernish environment! heh.
Here are the autocabs..the most common form of transport in Bangalore. They are the same as the tuk-tuks in Bangkok. As usual, plenty of bargaining before getting into one. And yes, I can squeeze into one (yeah, I can't believe it too...)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

India Continues

Today wasn't too bad. Had a long string of interviews to conduct for the first half of the day. Lunch was surprisingly yummy. We were served home-cooked food (same as yesterday) but today, I found the food quite nice. We had this vegetarian fried rice and there was this yummy gujarati dish called a 'purnay'. It's kinda like roti prata, but smaller and the dough is not flaky. It was eaten together with a potato-cauliflower curry stew kinda-dish... aiya, too many names for me to remember lar. I'm already impressed I can remember the word 'purnay'. Dinner was ok, ordered the fried rice from the hotel together with a chicken-cashew nut sauce dish called 'Shahjahani Murg Kali Mirch'. Basically, i think it's chicken chunks cooked in a creamy pepper sauce. Tasted quite good.

The shower was a little better behaved last night. There was actually a decent water flow and the water was hot. And what's more, it was quite fun! Every once in a while, the water would turn boiling hot, then i had to turn it down.. then it would suddenly turn cold.. then i had to turn it back up... it's all quite fun actually.

The toilet flush is still quite challenging. It's a like a lucky draw. Sometimes you get a nice big flush. Sometimes, a little trickle. Sometimes, nothing. Makes life so unpredictable and fun.

Last night was also quite fun coz the hotel had a black out! Heh... waited a while in total darkness while some westerners started making stupid ghost noises. Then when lights came back on, it took a couple of minutes before it blacked out again. I tell you, this is really an experience.

Oh well, another day tomorrow.

India Begins...

Today is my first day full day in India, but my second, if you consider arriving last nite as my first. Anyway, I can't say I'm having a good time. I know it's a working trip, but I guess, I was hoping to enjoy the country a little more.

It's really different here. Things are not as efficient, as new, as clean, as modern... Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking down at the people and place, I'm saying that I think I've been too spoilt by Singapore. Like i said in my earlier post, I've never been to India. Never had the desire to visit the country. When we arrived at around 10pm, we took almost 1.5 hours to clear customs and pick up our bags. The queues were slow.. and the bags took forever to come out.

Driving here is quite an experience. Apparently, it is ok to HONK at people all the time. All the drivers here use their car horns to get people to move away! The onli equivalent I can think of is someone standing atop the car with a loudspeaker shouting 'MOVE AWAY! MOVE AWAY!". It's all very noisy. And the air. Sigh. The air is really quite polluted. So, the noise coupled together with the air... really makes for a miserable car ride.

Potholes. There are potholes everywhere. Really makes me appreciate how Singapore has practically repaired the roads so well that I think we almost never see a pothole. Todae, I saw a cow strolling along the road in the morning. In the afternoon, on the way back to the hotel, we were slowed down by a bullock cart... Food. The most impt thing rite? Well, the food is really Indian (like DUH rite?). The spices can be very very strong. It's of course 100% authentic, but then, I'm really not into Indian cuisine. We had a nice homecooked lunch todae, but for dinner, I actually ordered chinese food from the hotel restaurant. It's certainly not 100% chinese.. but for now, I guess it's ok with me.

Oh the hotel... sigh the hotel... We're supposed to be stayng at a 3-star type place. But when we arrived last night... SIGH... After a flight, I wanted a nice hot bath and then get to bed... well, no such luck. Firstly, the room smelt funny (Like some sort of vomit smell), and then the taps didn't seem to work. I tried to shower, but the water literally dribbled from the shower head. And to compound the problem.. there wasn't any hot water. Now Bangalore is now having nice cool weather... so the water was FREEZING. Then, I tried to flush the toilet.... sigh again. The best way to describe it is... it's like, when you flush, the... icky stuff goes down.. but the paper remains there! Swirling in the water!! I kept trying to flush it down, but all that resulted in doing was it ended looking like I had WASHED the toilet paper! Yes, it's every bit as gross as it sounds.

Okok.. i think i should not get carried away with the complaining. I think I need to set the record straight. I think it's just me. I'm really not a rustic.. get back to the basics kinda person. Of course, there are many who enjoy this kind of simpler life.. but not me. I need my fun... my gadgets... my cinemas...everything! To some, I'm sure this kind of rustic living is shiok. But it's really not for me.

Oh well, I have another 9 days here. I'm sure things will get more interesting. Will update when I have the opportunity.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

off to India in 24 hours

In about 24 hours, I'll be on my way to India. My first visit.

No, it's not a leisure trip, so I'm not expecting to take in any tourist sights. I think the most I'd be able to do is wander around near the hotel IF there is time.

I can't say if I'm looking forward to the trip or not. On one hand, it is interesting to see a different country. But on the other hand, I must admit I've never really been interested to visit India. Maybe this trip might change my mind. Furthermore, I am honestly a little concerned with the food. I'm not one for spicy food and my impression of Indian food is pretty much curry, curry and more curry. I guess I might be wrong. Will find out soon.

So anywaez, I'll be there for about 10 days. Will probably blog a bit if I have internet access.

Friday, November 11, 2005

MUAHAHAHAHA! I've decimated the Aztecs & Mongolians! And I've just entered the nuclear age and started building my ICBMs!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I can't believe it. Histroy repeats itself again. My life has again been disrupted by this little game called Civilization. 4 years ago, a friend (possibily an enemy, since he was the one who introduced me to this life-sucking game) introduced me to this turn-based game called Civilization III. What's the big deal? Well, I pretty much hate turn-based games. In fact, other than Civ III, I still hold true to my dislike for turn-based games. So, I really couldn't believe it when I got so hooked on Civ III. The addiction was so bad that at that time, I remember once when I played it all the way till about 5am in the morning... and I had to go to school at 7.20am! I don't know whether it's something I should be proud of...

4 years later, Civ IV is released. I've been waiting for it, checking the shops frequently, and finally, three days ago, it was released on 7 Nov. Since then, it has begun sucking away my time & life again. I really dunno what is it about that game. It's not particularly exciting. But yet so silently addicting. There's always this 'let's just build one more Wonder', or 'let's try to discover Fusion' before I stop playing. And before you know it, the hours have gone by. I'm so very very very very glad that this time, Civ IV is released during the holidays. Phew. If it had been released during term time, I cannot imagine the massive disruption it would have caused again.

For the uninitiated, Civ IV is basically a god-sim. You play god in developing and growing a Civilization. The main rival to Civ IV is Microsoft's Age of Empires series. I've tried AoE but never found it to be very fun. In Civ IV, you start off with the barbarian age and slowly expand your civilization from the one city to two to four to.. you get the picture. You decide what to research, what kind of government you want, which other civlizations to ally with or attack... and slowly, you grow your civilization to the future age. Along the way, you have to defend your borders, keep your people happy, develop new weapons.. it's all very fun (to me anyway!).

Last night, I destroyed France. Heh heh. It was quite satisfying. I'm playing Japan by the way. Tonight, I shall decide if Genghis Khan has lived long enough.... Stay tuned....

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The last few days have been taken up by the Pupil Leaders Camp. Thought it all worked out pretty good. There were a few hiccups here and there, but on the whole, I think it all pulled together. Initial quantitative feedback seems quite promising. Looking forward to reading the qualitative feedback to see how the camp was in the eyes of the campers.

I enjoy organizing such activities. Dunno why. Maybe it's in my blood. Heh. Ever since my school days, I've really found it fun to put together camps, concerts, events... etc. I think it could be due to many different factors. I kinda enjoy the high stress as the event draws near. The late nights of preparations, the constant rush to meet deadlines, the combined effort of the organizing committee... it just doesn't get old. I guess coz each event is different and I get to work with different groups of people. I also enjoy the immense satisfaction when I see an event done well. I think it's both a mix of selfish & non-selfish feeling. Selfish - coz I feel good that I can do such an event and do it well. Great sense of achievement. Non-selfish (can't think of a better word!) coz I know that the people who have experienced the event has taken away something with them.

5 yrs ago, when I was working in Meetings, Incentive and Conventions planning, it was really quite a ride. Hope that in the year to come, I can do more in this aspect instead of having to handle too many different things.

Well, to all campers, really hope you had a good experience. You can check & download the pics from my online album. Right, rest of the next few weeks are gonna be busy too... moving back home.. India trip... phew... exciting!

Oh yah.. a string of good movies are on the way! Harry Potter, King Kong, Chronicles of Narnia... GREAT!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Sky High

Went to watch Sky High on Thursday.

I thought it was a very watchable show. Certainly not deep and thought-provoking. But an enjoyable show. I was a little tired, but I never feel asleep. The pace of the movie is quite good and the super heroes' powers are quite fun.

The story is very predicatable and there are plot holes here and there, but when you watch a movie like Sky High, I think you really don't care lar. It's really just for fun, and it does deliver to that extent.

So, if you need a fun movie to watch, give Sky High a try. It shouldn't disappoint.
School is finally over. No more lessons for the rest of the year. The feeling is good.

The last few days have been kinda.... mad.

So many different things happening... so many different problems to handle. Like the movie title goes,' It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world...'

There were so many loose ends to tie up, it was hard to decide which to start tying!

Well, whatever it is, it's over.

But, heh, the madness is not over. It's subsided a little. But not over.

There's the pupil leaders camp from Mon to Wed. Then there are a whole series of review meetings for the various subjects. Then I'm of to India.. NOT FOR FUN... for work lor. I think I'll be cooped up everyday in a room to do work. Sigh. Then when I come back, it'll be a few more meetings before I can finally call it a day.

So.. basically, I'm kinda hoping to go away in early dec. Maybe go US. If not, maybe Japan. Again. heh. Dunno why, always these two places. I look forward to it, but honestly, with this avian flu scare going around, I won't be surprised if I spent the whole holidaez vegetating at home.

Well, let's look at the bright side of things for now, school's over!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Went to Marina for a super late lunch today. They've finally open the central atrium so you can walk directly to the Food Court without having to go one big round. Love the char siew rice at the food loft. Although not the same as the ones you get in Hong Kong, they're close enough. I 've been thinking of taking a pic of these lights just one floor down from the food court. Thought they looked quite nice.

Farewell, farewell, farewell....

It's been a weekend of farewells. With the school year coming to a close and with so many changes happening, it's inevitable that so many goodbyes have to be said.

On Friday, the dept had a farewell lunch with HCLE. Nice place, Charcoal Teriyaki Teri's that's just after Longhouse Food Centre at Thomson Road. The Nabe there is pretty good and the charcoal cooked meals are not bad. But the thing which really tips the scale is the dessert. They provied a complimentary fruit platter at the end of the meal which they labouriously arrange and prepare. It's a really classy touch which helps push a slightly above average meal experience to an above average one. Back to the farewell, it was a nice good bye and I guess, in Singapore, we're really never too far away to meet up anytime. I'm gonna miss the long chats, the Trekkie talks, the exchange of ideas...

On Sunday night, Hullett Block had our farewell for all boarders. The block is gonna get taken over by the girls from Moor as Moor Block will be demolished to make way for the new 13-storey block. So, all the male boarders in Hullett will have to move out and get divided into the other blocks. Those from other schools are posted to other hostels. It was a simple thing, plenty of food and snacks, a commemorative CD done by some boarders... It's as much a farewell for me too as I will be leaving Boarding after 5 years. Wow, can't believe I've stayed on for so long. It was quite unexpected, but the block gave me a very nice Swatch watch for the farewell. :-) Thanks guys! (if you're reading this!). I'm gonna miss the games & movies nights, the block breakfasts, the teasing and even the formal dinners, block competitions, etc... But I'm not gonna miss the late night knocking on doors and 'sir..can u sign my blue form?' (the latest was 1.30am I think!!!)

(here's the nice watch!)

On Monday night, it was the farewell for the Sec 4s prefects. I thought the Sec 2 & 3 prefects did a nice job with the programme, decorations and gifts. Hope the Sec 4s had a good time. It really can't equate with the amount of contributions they have made, but I think ultimately, it's really the personal satisfaction and sense of achievement. This is the third batch of prefects I'm saying bye to and it doesn't get much easier. I'm gonna miss working with you guys, the lubbings, the fun... hope you've had a good experience in the board.

I think there might be one or two more farewells to go. It's sad to see people go, but I guess it's all part and parcel of life. Wonder when my farewell is gonna be. heh.

Gameboy Micro FINALLY!

I've finally bought my Gameboy Micro! It's a really fantastic piece of hardware. Of course, it's in a different league from the PSP but it's still a wonder of engineering. The biggest selling point is that it's so small (fits in the palm of my hand!) and plays all previous Gameboy Advance cartridges. Ok, I admit the buttons are a little small for my big hands, but it just takes some getting used to. And the screen is really as sharp as the reviews have claimed. The PSP is 3 time larger, but hey, the PSP screen is 6 times larger lor! I think both machines have their own advantages, and I'm glad I finally got my hands on a GBM. Shiok. Now for the xbox 360....

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Doom & FF7-AC

Yesterday, I decided to go watch DOOM. Why? I dun really know. I guess the fact that it was based on the game was the biggest attraction. This is despite the pretty bad reviews it has gotten. So, I went all the way to Prince Cinema to catch it.

I am sad to say that Doom was totally dooomed from the start. The acting is terrible, the story is pointless and the characters are forgettable. The effects? Passable, but nothing fantastic. Most of you would know that Doom is a FPS game. Well, the director tried very hard to give it all the feel of an FPS game. But the sad part is that he went so far as to include an actual segment which was filmed in typical FPS style! It's one thing to play a game in first-person. It's another thing to watch a so-called live-action movie in first person! And he included elements like monsters popping up and giving sinister 'heh heh heh' types of laugh before you blow them to bits. It's all really very stupid. Another laugh-inducing segment was when the lead, Sarge, decided to go to the Armoury for more powerful weapons (ala-the pc game). Well, the armoury had only ONE weapon, and the weapon looked like a huge toy. Nothing awesome at all.

It's quite sad to see people make movies like this. It's even sadder when I am gamer and I see all these games being butchered on the big screen. Sigh.

Things improved much more in the evening when I decided to watch my Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children DVD. I liked the FF7 game though I never finished it. I think I completed about60 to70% before giving up. heh. What to do, I was never an RPG fan. To get me to play it for so long already shows how good the game is. Anyway, FF7:AC is a very beautiful movie. The CGI is flawless. Some people say that this should have been the movie which SQUARE should have released instead of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Personally, I liked FF:TSW. I know it doesn't have a strong fantasy element like the FF games, but I thought that as a movie, FF:TSW was very very good. As for this new FF7:AC, I did enjoy it, although I was a little lost at times as I didn't know the characters from the game well enough. But I can see FF7 fans going nuts over all the references and characters from FF7. Almost everyone gets some airtime... including the fan-favourite Aerith. Actually, all the FF7 babes like Tifa and Yufi were animated very very well! Sigh, Japanese animation is really very beautiful.

Oh yah... although I bought this movie from a legitimate DVD shop, this isn't really the official DVD release. I think it's the Japanese release and some one (probably from Korea) did the subtitles. I tell you... the subtitles were terrible. For 80% of the movie, the lead of the movie was called 'Kulawend'. I was like 'HUH?' coz I didn't remember anyone called Kulawend in the game. Only towards the end did I realise that Kulawend was CLOUD pronounced in a weird japanese way.... I guess I shall have to wait for the official US release to watch a more complete version of the movie.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Wow... I can't believe it... I finished Shadow of the Colossus! According to the save file, I took about 12 hours in total to destroy the 16 colossi. It's a thoroughly enjoyable experience from beginning to end! I guess to some people, 12 hours is way to short for a game. But honestly, I think it's fine. I'd rather spend 12 hours totally immersed in a game than play a game for god-knows-how-long and then find myself losing interest in it halfway.

The ending is really sad. I won't spoil it for those of you who might be playing it, but it's a little unexpected but at the same time... expected? I know I don't make much sense... If any of you have completed it, I won't mind discussing the weird ending with you.

Wo1... 12 hours... completed... this must be a record for me. With the holidays around the corner, I've got a few games to catch up on... this is looking mighty fine!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Shadow of the Colossus

Wow, this is one heck of a game! I bought it on Friday as I'd been reading very good reviews about the game in magazines and websites. So, after school, I rushed down to my regular game shop to get it before rushing back for Boarding Formal Dinner. Oh yah, here's a pic of the Token of Appreciation I received for my 5 yrs of service as a boarding master. Phew. Can't believe it. 5 years.

Anyway, back to the main topic. I LOVE THIS GAME! If you have a PS2 and you are looking for a game with a difference, give this one a try. Firstly, there are no enemies to kill! No coins to collect! No secrets to unlock! The game is basically about how you want to save a girl and in order to do it, you have to kill 16 Colossuses (actually.. Colossi...). So every level is like a big boss battle. And it's basically about finding out how to kill the colossi.

The graphics is really good. Although I think it would have been awesome if this game came out for the PS3. It's pretty obvious that it had reached the limits of what the PS2 could do. But nevertheless, the atmosphere is fantastic and the feeling of how large the colossi are is just amazing. Take a look at the pics below, you are actually that little character at the bottom of the screen. And the huge monsters are the things you have to kill!

I think one of the things that I really enjoy about the game is how it makes you feel as if you are really climbing up this huge monster and trying to find the weak points so that you can kill it. It's almost like one of those things you often imagine when you watch those monster shows as a kid. Like, how on earth do I kill the gigantic monster!?

Of course, those of you who re looking for HALO-type frag-fest will be sorely disappointed. No shooting or killing here other than trying to take down the Colossi. So, if you are looking for someting different, give this one a try. It's burned up about 5 hours of my life and I've killed about 5 colossi. 11 more to go!

Thursday, October 20, 2005



Wednesday, October 19, 2005

New Earbud Headphones

Here are my new Earbud Headphones: The Panasonic RP-HJE50

First off, it kinda scares me that those inner ear things really do stick right into your ears. I mean, what if they come out when you try to remove them?!! They'll be like stuck in your ears lor. I tried tugging on them a little before inserting them. Ok lar, quite firm. And they come in three different sizes, so you can pick the right size before sticking them into your ear canal.

When I first inserted them, the first thing I noticed is how they cut off most of the ambient sound! It's almost like wearing earplugs. So you basically don't hear much of what goes on around you and the music is pumped directly into your ears! It might sound cool at first, I found it a little disconcerting after a while because just like ear plugs, you soon realize that you are able to hear your own breathing! heh heh... so in between songs, or when you cough, etc, you do hear a hollow ringing in your ear. It felt weird.

As for the sound itself, I'm not much of a sound critic, so as far as I'm concerned, the sound was ok. I think the absence of ambient noise made the sound a little purer and clearer. But as with most earphones, the sound was kinda thin and didn't have much punch.

On the whole, an interesting experience. But after listening for a couple of minutes, I found myself getting a little disoriented. I think I'm not really used to having things stuck in my ear canal. Maybe it's just my mind playing games on me, but I think I probably won't use them that often. Maybe they'll be very useful when I'm taking a flight. Will try them the next time I go overseas.

Status Update 3

Today has been another good day so far! Had invigilation and some other things to attend to in the morning. Started marking only around 12.30pm. By about 2.30pm, I managed to do a fair bit of marking in between of some chit chat with teachers to keep me awake.

Took a break to go down town for a walk. Thought it was well-deserved in view of my decent levelof self-discipline. heh heh. Bought some 'inner-ear' earphones (I think they're officially called Earbud-Headphones) coz I've been dying to try a pair since I saw them and the new Popular at Bras Basah complex were selling them at about 40% off. Then, went to Funan to see if there were any new games and then had dinner before heading back.

Came back and continued marking at about 8pm. I am proud to say, I've finished all the Sec 2 physics and have started on the Sec 1 physics CT. :-D

I shall endeavour to finish the Sec 1s by tomorrow evening. IT CAN BE DONE!

New gadgets to tempt me (part 2)

Here's another one that caught my eye. It's the new Nokia E70. It's similar to my favourite Nokia 6800 but uses the Symbian OS. Supposed to be launched early part of next year. Oooo... tough choices! Click here to find out more.

New gadgets to tempt me

Wow... Look at this thing of beauty. It's the new Sony W900i. I love my K750i, but I have to admit that this walkman phone is quite breathtaking. Luckily it's only due out at the end of the year... makes me feel less guilty for wanting to upgrade again... See more pics here!

Status Update 2

It's 2am. I'm proud to say that progress has been good. Started marking at about 5pm. Took a break here, a nap there... but by 2am, I have completed a little more than 30% of my total load.

Hmm.. I think there might actually be a chance that I will finish it all by tomorrow night! Then I can also have Thursday for some fun!

Actually, I dunno why I'm posting 'Status Updates'.... I think it's more for me to push on to complete all the marking... Sorry for boring you my life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Status Update 1

It's 10.45pm. The going has been tough, but satisfactory. I hope to go on for at least another 2 hours.

I must press on...
Tuesday, 5pm. And so the marking begins.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Gloomy day

Today was just one of those days.

From the late morning onwards, it was totally overcast and rain rain rain rain rain.

It really dampens the mood, dun you think?

Was intending to go out todae, but basically vegetated at home. i think for all you ct-muggers out there, the dreary mood must've made it 10 times more difficult to mug. You have my sympathies.

2 more days. Test papers will come in. No life until they are marked. Sigh.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Caught Flightplan starring Jodie Foster today. I like her acting very much although her recent movies are not really fantastic. They're quite good... just not fantastic. So when I knew she was starring in this movie, I decided to give it a shot.

Flightplan is about this mother staying in Berlin who just lost her husband. So, she decides to bring the husband's body back to the US together with her daughter. After boarding the plane, she goes to sleep. When she wakes up, she can't find her daughter and nobody on the plane appears to remember her coming on board with her daughter. So did she board with her daughter? Or did she imagine the whole thing? Is she crazy? Or is there some conspiracy?

The first quarter of the film is a little slow moving as it tells the back story. However, when she discovers that her daughter is missing, things get a little more exciting. You are kept guessing if she really brought her daughter on board or not. Here, Jodie Foster is excellent as the worried and half-crazed mother. But I think it's too similar to her last major role, which is in the movie Panic Room. I must admit, this is not an 'action-a-minute' movie, so don't go thinking you are gonna see plenty of action. The story is not too bad and the twist is fiarly unexpected. At least I didn't expect it lar. Maybe some of you might be smarter in guessing the ending.

A few good movies coming up... so are the holidays... great!

But of course, all this will take a break from Tuesday when the lovely CT papers come in. Sigh.

(Oh yah, some of you have been asking what the hopeless movie I watched the last time was. Thought I wouldn't dignify the movie by naming it, but guess I might as well tell. It's Deuce Bigalow.)

Friday, October 14, 2005

Yepz, all's quiet and well. I'm gonna have this for just another few days until 18 Oct when all my test papers come in.. Then, it'll be my time to slave over the papers while the students have their fun.

As far as I'm concerned, I think I should simply enjoy this while it lasts.

I watched a really really REALLY hopeless movie today. It was a total waste of 90 minutes of my life. I had hoped it wasn't as bad as the reviews said they were. After all, I enjoyed the first movie and thought it was really funny and interesting. This time round... it really was boring and obnoxious. The jokes just induced cringe after cringe. Sigh. What a waste of my time.

Oh yah, columbarium had fried 'bee-tai-mak' for breakfast this morning. It was fantastic! Only $1.00 a plate somemore. Excellent!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


These few days have been relatively calm. Everyone is kinda in Pre-CT mode. Students are busy mugging... teachers are busy completing their marking... and everything seems to slow down.

Sometimes, I wonder if this should be how school life should be. Peaceful... slow... quiet.... heh. Life in our school moves at really breakneck speed. In fact, once the CTs are over, the entire engine seems to be jump-started and things move into 1st gear in no time.

Well, until then. I have a couple of dayz of peace. Papers come in next Monday and I'll have to spend the next few days marking until my hands drop. So exciting. yah. sure.

Such is the life of a teacher.

So, how shall I spend the next couple of dayz? Have plans to catch a musical, maybe Peter Pan. The newspaper review wasn't too bad. Sounds interesting. I'm not a huge Peter Pan fan, but I think the story can be quite magical. Will see if I can actually make time for it.

My food review? Today I didn;t get to eat at the dining hall. When I went over for lunch, the students were busy buying food and by the time I tried getting some food, there was pretty much none left. Sigh. So no dining hall food review today. Instead, I made my way to the columbarium for lunch and had a decent Nasi Lemak meal there. Quite good. $2 for rice (huge portion) with a luncheon meat, a fish cake, the mid-section of a chicken wing, and an EGG! I think it's pretty reasonable and tasty too. (Heh, might be scolded for recommending columbarium over dining hall, but I do think it's more value for money than Dining Hall's.)

One more day, then CT starts. To the students who read my blog, Relax & enjoy the ride. heh. All the best!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Wow, I don't think I have ever eaten so often in the Dining Hall since the beginning of the year! I'm nt sure how many people read this blog, but here's my honest opinions on the food I bought.

This morning I decided to buy some breakfast from the Dining Hall. They open the first stall (snacks and paus, etc) from about 7am to sell food to those who need breakfast. So I took a look and found that they had some fried beehoon. This brings back warm memories of the bee hoon from Oodles of Noodles which I at almost everyday. So, I decided to give it a try. Of course I ordered it with an added portion of Chee Cheong Fun! However, when I turned to add the sauce, I found that they had changed the sauce to the BROWN type!!! Sigh.. so normal. No more special already. But ok lar, CCF still tastes decent. As for the bee hoon, I was quite disappointed with it. Firstly, the quantity. It was really little. Such a difference from Oodles of Noodles! I mean, the styrofoam container was not even half full! Sigh... where got enough. Taste? Not too bad. Normal lor. BUT I was disappointed that there was nothing to add! No egg, no nuggets, no fried wantons! So the bee hoon was extremely boring. If they are not gonna add extra stuff for me to order, I think I will not eat it anymore.

Next was brunch. Today I ordered the Nasi Lemak. Didn't add any ikan bilis coz I dun eat them. So, I had a generous portion of rice, one barely cooked sausage, one fried chicken wing and three slices of cucumber, all for $2. If you ask me, not really worth it. I think it was closer to only $1.50. Or at least add a slice of omelette lar. To be frank, the Nasi Lemak was not bad. The chili they supplied was quite tasty so I liked the rice with chili. The chicken wing also tasted fairly good. THe uncooked sausage? Not bad, but then again, how wrong can a sausage go? I've given feedback on the price. Hope they lower it or maybe add a fried egg to the Nasi Lemak.

So.. again, food not too bad... but just not complete. Hope they continue working on it. Tomorrow.. hmm.. Mee Rebus? We shall see... stay tuned for further food updates!

Monday, October 10, 2005


Oh Yeah... highlight of the day... BAYLEY IS CHAMPION HOUSE!

I think this is due in no small part to the excellent synergy of the House Exco. Congrats!

(To members from other houses, my sincerest apologies for any mocking you may have received from me... but... Bayley RULEZ!)


I looked around the dining hall today, trying to decide what to have for my brunch. Would it be the supersafe briyani (which I know tastes pretty ok) or should I be adventurous and try something else...

Well, as I was deciding on my course of action, I decided what better way to start of my meal than with two yummy spring rolls. Hence I headed to the first stall (which was virtually queueless) and purchased two crispy spring rolls... YUMMM!

As I munched on the spring rolls, I decided that I would try something different and go for the mee siam. It seemed quite popular and the pot of mee siam soup was like 3/4 empty. I purchased it and found my way to a table where my form class boys were sitting at. I took one mouthful of the piping hot mee siam... and... OMG... it was S.P.I.C.Y.!!! Now, to my blog readers, you must understand that I am not a chilli-eater. I don't mind food which is a little spicy for the taste (like the chicken they serve with the briyani). But I really can't take super spicy food. Well, I gave up after that one mouthful and looked for someone to give my mee siam to.

Don't get me wrong. I think the mee siam tasted ok. But it was really too spicy. If I had continued eating it, the dining hall would have made a fortune from me buying drinks to extinguish the flames on my tongue.

After successfully giving away my mee siam, I made my way to the ice cream stall for a cooling icy grape. Oooooo... the icy chill of the popsicle on my burnt tongue was pure heaven....

I've told the chef that the mee siam should be made much less spicy so that people who like chilli can easily add more. Until then, I'm staying away from the hell-bowl.. heh heh.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Less than a month... & Food Fun!

Can you believe it? In less than a month, school will be over. Yeah, until then, plenty to do, but the fact is, in less than a month, things can wind down a bit. Just a wee bit.

Last week was the first week that we had to get our food at the Dining Hall instead of the the school canteen. Here's what I miss most (in order):

1. Laksa from Oodles of Noodles
I found out how much I loved them only about 4 weeks ago... sob... so sad I didn't have more time with them before their demise.
2. Deep Fried Wantons from Oodles of Noodles
These babies were like droplets of heaven. heh.
3. Wanton Noodles from Oodles of Noodles
This one has been quite a staple of mine. Loved it ever since they started selling it.
4. Fruit juices from Cafe Delight
Sigh, sure gonna miss 美人汁.... and siew mais...
5. Briyani from Kampung Istimewa
Yes, the favourite of almost everyone. Who can forget that thick yummy sauce the chicken drumstick came with..
6. Mee Rebus from Kampung Istimewa
Another one of my faves. Always with extra noodles of course!

Well, after one week at Dining Hall, here are the ones which I think will be my new faves:

1. Spring Rolls
Yes! Definitely the 'wantons-of-the-dining-hall'. I tried them on Tuesday. They were crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Of course, if you ate them later in the day, they'll be a bit chewy, but other than that, their really quite good.
2. Chee Cheong Fun
I love CCF. You really can't make a mistake with them. And as long as they are heated up nicely, they taste great. I love it that Dining Hall sells them and I love it that they use the red sweet sauce, not the brown one. Some people mock me that the red sauce is just colouring. I dun care lar. To me, they taste better! Unfortunately, if you go too early, the CCF can be a bit hard (esp at the edges).
3. Briyani from Muslim Stall
Of course, this can't compare with the Briyani from Kampung Istimewa. But on it's own, I think it's really not too bad. The curry was not as thick, but tasted pretty decent. Of course , can't really go wrong with the papadums too.

OK, so far, those are the dishes I've tried which I think were not bad. My comments above are strictly personal...

Finally, to all who have not tried, please drop by to buy an Icy Cool Grape ice cream. They're absolutely yummy! :-P

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Oooo... Sony just announced the DSC-N1, the latest 8 megapixel camera with a THREE-INCH TOUCH SCREEN!!! Woo hoo!!! Looks like this is gonna be my next big buy!

Monday, October 03, 2005

A day without my HP, weird but in a nice way...

Today I left my handphone at home.

I must say that it was a liberating experience.

I was virtually uncontactable from 7am to 9pm. Wow. The feeling was disconcerting but contradictingly calming.

I admit, the convenience of a handphone is wonderful. But I think it has also become a crutch; a tool to fall back on when we do things last minute all the time.

Maybe I should seriously consider getting rid of my handphone... heh...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Identity Crisis

I've just finished reading DC Comics' Identity Crisis, a 264 page hardcover collection of last year's hit comic mini-series. Although at times, the dialogue boxes are a little hard to follow, on the whole, the art & the story are pretty good. I've always been a sucker for good art. Though this isn't on the level of George Perez or Michael Turner (two of my more favourite artists), Rag Morales and Michael Blair did a pretty good job in showing some gritty realism in the world of superheroes. It's the first time I've seen a rape scene in a mainstream comic book, but honestly, it wasn't graphic coz there wasn't anything visual. It was more implied but equally repulsive. The emotions of the various superheroes and characters are captured superbly and very often, you can feel their loss/panic/frustration.

As for the story, Brad Meltzer crafts a pretty tight tale of how fear can change the mightiest of superheroes. It's heartwrenching to see the difficult decisions made by some of the superheroes, especially when the lives of their 'all-too-human-non-super-powered' loved ones are concerned. The deep dark secret harboured by some of these heroes almost make them as bad as some of the villains they try to fight. The story basically starts with someone dying and how this affects each superhero. It keeps you on the edge as you try to figure out who's the murderer as well as who's the next one to die. Each scene is really emotionally alive and you can't help but feel the pain that each characer goes through. The ending, I must admit was a surprise. Of course, there are a few threads left hanging, so I'm looking forward to future repurcussions.

I love comic collections cause I can read them as a whole without having to wait month by month for each issue to come out. Identity Crisis is one of the best I've read recently. Highly recommended to all DC comic fans out there.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

I love movies

I love movies. I really do. Watching a movie is really like a wonderful escape into fantasy. But of course, if the movie is c*@p, then it could be a visit to hell...

I can't wait for the renovation & installation works for my sitting room to be complete. Then I'll finally have a proper home theatre setup! Quite exciting. Can't wait to load up a movie and just enjoy the full boom of the subwoofer and the swirl of the surround speakers. Shiok! Just another month and it should all be setup.

Today, I decided to catch up on movies. I think the last movie I watched was almost a month ago. Sigh. So sad lor. I used to catch at least one a week. Now I haven't even caught one in the last month. I went to GV Grand at Great World City, always liked the cinemas there. If only they were Digital. Well, the nice thing is I found out that HSBS credit card holders get one dollar off every ticket. That means, weekend movie watching is $8.50 instead of $9.50. Quite good!

I caught Tim Burton's Corpse Bride first. Quite nicely done. Although the movie was only about 80mins long, I think it was just about right. Any longer and it could have gotten boring. I was reading a review which said that somewhere in the middle, it could get tiresome because there was no clear sign where the movie was headed. Actually, I thought I pretty much figured out the movie after the first half hour. The stop-motion animation was nice and the grey tone of the whole movie was quite fitting. But I must admit that the gruesomeness of the theme got ot me after a while. All the skeletons and dead people dancing and singing... can get quite disturbing. But then again, it's typical Tim Burton. This film is pretty dark but I think I personally preferred his earlier film, The Nightmare Before Christmas. Thought that was a better movie.

After TBCB, I decided to catch The 40-yr old Virgin. Since this one's rated M18, I guess most of you (ie. my blog readers) would not be able to watch it. Must say it was quite funny. There was this whole waxing scene which was really hilarious. I think waxing is really cruel. I pity the poor women who go through it. But for a hairy guy to undergo waxing? OUCH! Guess I can't say much else about the movie coz I'd pretty much have to get into M18 territory, so to keep this blog PG, I guess I can only say it's pretty funny, so watch it when you come of age. heh.

There are a couple of other movies I'm hoping to watch, The Myth being one, The Brothers Grimm, Night Watch, and maybe even Dark Water. Don't think I'll have time this week... so maybe next weekend!

Mad Mad Week

This has week has been mad. And the scary thing is, I don't expect it to get any less mad until maybe... mid Nov.

It was so mad, that I actually tried what some of you guys do.. sleep in the evening that get up later to work through the night. On Tuesday, I slept from 8pm till 12 midnight, got up, had dinner, bathed and did my stuff still about 3.30am before giving up and sleeping again until 6.30am. On the whole, not bad, 7 hours of sleep!! But frankly, it screwed up my body clock. Was pretty out of sorts for the next two days. I guess I'm really too old for this. I remember in JC, there was once I attempted an all-night mugging. It was quite funny. I prepared a nice big flask of coffee.. laid all my notes and books on the dinner table... and started piah-ing. I think I lasted till about 4am before giving up. Nowadays, no way can stay up whole night liaoz. Really getting old...

Back to the mad week. We had Prom Day on Tuesday morning. I've always thought Prom Day was a very meaningful ceremony. Though it could get a little long, I think it is important to have this significant handover of leadership. I think it also serves as some form of inspiration for the junior boys as they see the sec 3 leaders taking over from the Sec 4s. Tuesday was quite a mad day. After school, there were like a hundred places I had to be! From phototaking with board, with class, with department, to contact time to meeting with prefects... sigh.. it was really a mad rush from one thing to another. So when the stuff ended at about 4pm, I just sat and wanted to stone. Really, literally, totally stone.

Wednesday was out-of-sync-day coz of my supposed all-nighter (which ended at 3.30am, but nonetheless still an all-nighter to me). We had the Van Project launch. Thought the video was excellent. And I think it did make some impact on the students. Great job to the video crew!

Wednesday night was almost an all-nighter too. Had to finish some work until almost 4am then took a 2.5hr sleep before school. Worse thing? Had 3 lessons the next day. Took all my mental energy to pull me through that day. Then had to settle ice-cream sale. Had to receive fridge, settle stock, etc. Then a teacher gave an excellent idea of asking other Form Teachers if they wanted to give their class an ice cream treat for Childrens Day. While the idea was great, it meant having to organise the orders. More work. Nvm, it's for good cause.

Then finally today, Friday. Things finally took a bit of a slowdown, but it's temporary. I've got a ton of stuff to do this weekend. Nvm, one thing at a time.

I know, life isn't any better for you students. You have my sincere sympathies. At least often, I have a choice. If I choose not to do, at most face the music lor. Dun like.. at most quit lor. As students, cannot quit. Have to do means have to do... sigh. I've always believe there's more to life than work (and study). I guess it's really a question of priorities, of what we think is really important.

For me? Life's too short to be swamped only by work. Don't you think?

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Excellent Games

Wow... it's the fourth quarter of the year and the game companies are starting to release the good stuff. Below are the three games that are sucking up my time... The first two belong to the Burnout series- Burnout Legends (for PSP) and Burnout Revenge (for xbox). If you like arcade driving games with plenty of destruction and amazing sense of speed, then these two games are for you. The third game is Virtua Tennis (for PSP). The original Virtua Tennis for the Dreamcast was a real addictive game. I remember spending many hours challenging my friends to Virtua Tennis. The PSP version has good graphics and the gameplay is typically simple to pick up but difficult to master.

It's good to finally see games of a decent calibre coming out on the PSP. So far, PSP games have not really met expectations. Death Jr & MediEvil were potentially good games which unfortunately bombed. I'm still hoping for a decent platformer to be released soon. Until then, there's Burnout Legends & Virtua Tennis to keep my PSP busy!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Concert @ Esplanade

Had a nice evening out with the class at the Esplanade. It was a nice end to an otherwise sucky day. We left school punctually at 5.30pm. I think I'm very glad that the class was so cooperative. We had to leave punctually coz we wanted to have enough time for dinner, and everyone played their part in being on time. Nice start!

We arrived at Esplanade at about 6pm and went over to the Marina Food Court for dinner. Had a lovely dish of charsiew/roast pork rice... the charsiew was succulent and the roast pork had very crispy skin. YUMMY. I predict I will return this weekend for a seond helping. Dinner was fun. Plenty of talk about taugays. Well, here's a pic especially for Nini. Hope you enjoy it.

After the charsiew, roast pork and pizza, most of us were quite filled. But there was still dessert! So Yiyi bought a bowl of ice kachang and over 10 people were digging into it!!

After dinner, we had a leisurely walk to the Esplanade. I was hoping for a good concert. It's been a long time since I've gone for a real concert. Took a class pic at the concourse in the Esplanade.

As we took our seats in the concert hall, I was again awed by the hall. Managed to sneak a photo. Sorry.. dun report me... but the hall is really very impressive and as far as I'm concerned, I think the acoustics are very good.

The Royal Copenhagen Chapel Choir was pretty good. They sounded very nice. However, the reportoire for the night was really pretty heavy, consisting of only classical pieces and none in english. So it was a little hard to follow everything. But I must say that the story teller was fantastic. As I listened to her, I understood how some people can be professional story tellers. She was animated, but not in an 'in-your-face' kind of way and she really captured my attention. Throughout the concert, it was fun trying to see who were the 'sleeping beauties'. One student slept and started to snore... quite audibly.. heh. Ok, I'll confess, I did almost nod-off at one point in the concert, but I managed to keep awake. :-P

After the concert, we walked past the concourse again. Snapped a pic of the lanterns that they had hung there. They were supposed to be lanterns made by primary school students. It was a very nice sight.

On the bus on the way back to school, the boys were hilarious. So much energy! Kept singing Haagen Dazs songs. Heh. Sorry guys, don't think you were powerful enough! Try harder next time.

Yeah, so that's how the night went. For the 1Q guys, you can find the pics I took here.

Weird Daez.

These past few days have really been disconcertingly calm. It's a freaky feeling that it's a calm just before a mega-storm. In some ways, the rain started falling last night, and there was some kind of storm today. I wonder if the worst is over for now.

I've had to deal with different things this week. Many of them involved dealing with different people. Perhaps because of that, I was kinda emotionally drained. It's not easy trying to engage people. And interestingly, I find that many people were also emotionally off-balance this week. Dunno leh, maybe it's some alignment of the planets... or some distortion in the earth's electromagnetic field... or subliminal programming over tv... or wateva. I find many people getting agitated by different people all around. Weird. Maybe it's just the 'coming-to-the-end-of-term' stress. For me, these last two days have also been frustrating as my back was giving me a really hard time. Dunno why it acted up but it was really hurting and I couldn't stand for long periods of time. Usually the pain eased up as the day went by, but it wasn't the case for these two days. That probably added some fuel to the bomb...

Anywaez, today was bad. The morning started really badly. Some teachers tried to give me a surprise, but the surprise really backfired. I flipped out and gave it to them. Throughout the day, I've been trying to decide why I reacted like that. I think it was a culmination of things. But I think they were shocked that I was so pissed. Maybe that also teaches me to be careful when trying to play a 'sabo' on someone. The best of intentions can easily be misconstrued by others.

Well, the rest of the day was spent brooding over my outburst.

In the evening, things got better. Went with my class to the Royal Copenhagen choir. I'll blog that separately. So that's it for this entry.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Spend, spend, spend

Today was a crazy day of spending. It was quite incredible. I hadn't planned it, it kinda just happened. Maybe it was really retail therapy after a really stressful week. Having payday just 2 days ago probably contributed to it. So let's see what the damage adds up to:

Ordered my new Home Theatre system. Finally decided to go with the Mardaunt-short genie. Had to pay a deposit, so upfront, paid up $640

Then I went to Funan to see if Burnout Legends for the PSP was out. It was my lucky day! The stock just arrived in the morning. So, I spent $84 on it (after a $5 discount). As I walked off, I asked if Winning Eleven for the PSP was released. They told me it was. Although not a huge soccer fan, I know the WE series is pretty good, and I Wouldn't mind trying it on the PSP, so.. what the heck.. I bought it. Cost me $70.

After some lunch, decided to drop by Gramaphone opposite City Hall MRT. Was kinda hoping that Advent Children would be available. Well, it wasn't (sadly but thankfully), but instead, I saw the original Battlestar Galactica series for sale at $89 (thankfully but sadly). Quite a steal considering that the usual collectors' edition costs about twice of that! So, buy lor.

I knew Kinokuniya was having a 20% sale, so I decided to take a look to see if any new trade paperbacks were out. On my way there, went past bras basah complex. Saw the watch shop where I usually get my Casio G-shock watches... was reminded that I had recently (as in yesterday) lost my daily-wear digital G-shock, so I decided to get a new one... Chose what I considered cheaper but decent one (solar-charged!). There flew $98.

Well, the day was not over. Went to Kinokuniya at Bugis, didn't see anything much but as usual, with a 20% sale, it's a little too good to let go. Happens once every few months only. So, got myself a Conan trade paperback (by Kirt Busiek, who is generally quite good) and an Empire magazine. Saved about $5 from the discount, but spent about $26. heh. After that, I went down to Bugis basement foodcourt for some tea-time snack and to rest & play by new Burnout on PSP. Found that they had a new Roti Prata shop at the food court! Not too bad lar, cost $3.00 for a Cheese and sausage prata and $1.30 for a teh tarik. Wasn't fantastic, but a decent afternoon tea.

After my snack, it was already about 4 pm so I decided to go home. On my way up the escalator, remembered I wanted to look for a wallet to keep all the discount cards, membership cards, etc. My current wallet was exploding with all the cards. So, went upstairs, browsed a little, a purhased a card wallet and some socks & stuff. Spent about $43. After that, decided I had really better go home before I spent any more money.

So total damage.... $1050!!!

Please don't think I do this all the time... ashamed.... but I must admit.. feels good! :-P

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Just thinking, aren't human beings complicated?

Had three experiences today, all highlighting how we can be so complicating. Yeah, it's 'we' coz I think I'm most certainly personally included in one of the experiences.

I really ought to rethink how I react to things. I should make things less complicated instead of adding to it.

Not that I can succeed in doing it lar. But better to have hoped and tried then to have never attempted at all, right?

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Life is so unfair!

Wow, as expected, this week is really challenging. As usual, plenty of stuff due, plenty of new stuff to do and plenty of stuff to prevent you from doing anything else. heh.

So, why is life unfair?

Sigh, three exciting new things are happening but I can't indulge in any of them. This is really frustrating. Firstly, the release of the Gameboy Micro. It was released on Monday, but there's no way I could make my way down to see it. I guess I won't get it yet (heard that the transformer is not available yet). I'm quite keen to wait a couple of days more and hopefully get my hands on a US version. Actually, I'm quite regretting buying a japanese PSP instead of a US one. Now I want to buy the US movies, but can't coz the region coding is wrong.

Second exciting thing? Burnout Revenge was released yesterday. I bought it when I went for dinner at Thomson Plaza. I managed to play a little yesterday and it was really good. But sigh... there's no way I can spend anymore time on it. There are just too many things happening. And there's no way I can in any good conscience spend time playing it. So now, I can only look at the game casing and imagine myself playing the game. Yeah... i know.... i sound pathetic.

Third? Well, kinda related to second thing. I think Burnout Legends for the PSP is also out. And according to reviews, it's just as good as Burnout Revenge for the xbox. I am so dying to go and get it from Funan. But no way lor. Thursday is impossible.... Friday is lagi more impossible.. .which leaves Saturday. So, my only glimmer of hope? Rush down after PTM and hope there's still stock!

Yeah, I know, I sound shallow. Maybe I ought to have more meaningful pursuits... heh... yah.. sure...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

To buy or not to buy...

Sent a mail to a video game shop and found out that the expected price for the Gameboy Micro in Singapore is S$215! Wow... that's quite expensive considering that it's supposed to cost US$99 which works out to about S$170. The Japanese price is 12000Yen which works out to be about S$183.

How? To buy or not to buy? Tough decision!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Home Theatre Shopping Part 3

I went for my weekly Sim Lim visit today and decided to see if I could see any speaker deals. Not too bad, managed to visit 3 shops. At the first shop, I saw the KEF KHT2005.2 again. So I thought I might as well see if the demo would be better. However, they were busy with another demo so I decided to come back a little later.

Went to another shop in level 2. They had quite a nice range so I asked the salesguy to recommend something. He looked kinda bewildered then brought me into a demo room. They had the Mordaunt-SHort Genie there but with a different amp. So I asked if I could listen to it. He then fumbled around with the amp but in the end, there was no demo! It was kinda weird. I wasn't sure if he was gonna let me listen to it or not. Anyway, although he had other speakers, like harmon kardon, onkyo, etc, etc, I didn't get to hear anything. I think he wasn't really sure what to do. But the good thing I got from this shop was that the M-S Genie was actually cheaper than wat the Adelphi shop was offering me... almost $250 cheaper! I mean, with this $250, I can buy a better amp lor. Now I dunno how.. to go with less-pro shop but cheaper, or go with more-pro shop but more expensive. sigh.

So I went back downstairs to listen to the KEF speakers. I must say that this time, the demo was much more impressive. Much better than the shop at Adelphi. Maybe it was the demo clip, maybe it was the amp they used. I dunno lar, but basically, the KEF sounded good. The salesguy then recommended I try the Mirage Omnisat Micro. They looked really cool, as you can see from the pic below. And they are omni-directional speakers. The speakers were quite good too, but I think they weren't better than the Jamo or the M-S Genie.

Mirage Omnisat Micro

The last shop I visited was selling a package with Energy speakers and a Marantz amp. The shop was ok, the salesguy took the time to work out an estimate cost for me and also showed me quite a long demo. The speakers were ok. At first, the volume was a bit low so I was a bit disappointed. Later I asked him to up the volume and the sound finally kicked in. On the whole, also pretty good speakers.

Energy Act6

Well, I think I've pretty much made up my mind. As in, I'll probably go back to Adelphi. I guess I'll go to the more-pro shop. I'm already spending over $3k on this, no point being stingy on a $250 and end up having a lousy job. I think the more-pro shop is also including the cables in the price. I'll probably drop in again, maybe tomorrow, to take a look. Well, I think this Part 3 probably ends my Home Theatre Shopping Chronicles. Now on to purchasing and installing!

New Temptations

Wow, Sony and Apple has released their new MP3 players. And both are them look really good. Sony has released their new Network Walkman, NW A-1000. I love the OLED screen which is flush under the surface of the player. The colours available are also pretty cool. Dimensions: 65.2 x 104.2 x 21.4 mm and weighs about 182 g.

At the same time, Apple launched their iPod Nano. While I am generally an iPod hater, I must admit the iPod Nano looks fantastic. How they managed to squeeze everything into such a thin, slim form is just inconceivable. Dimension: 89 x 40 x 7 mm and weighs about 42 g!!!

It's a good thing that I'm not really into listening to music everywhere I go. These two items are beautiful enough to make me want to buy both immediately! Like I mentioned in an earlier post, my next purchase will probably be the Gameboy Micro. That will be release on Sep 13 in Japan.

Sony NW A-1000

iPod Nano