September 30, 2009

Point N Awkward Dining

Point N Eat Meals

Today, I saw a European girl in big trouble at my favorite Si Chuan - Point N Eat Outlet. :D She wanted to know which meal is not spicy (many Europeans cannot take very hot and spicy food). The operator's response is just smiling. How awkward ! Finally, she just made her decisions based on the pictures. Opps !

Today's lunch was Pork Belly Rice. It is yummy but there was too much oil in it. In Singapore, everything is extreme ! No middle, normal way. Foods are either half-a-drop-of-oil-contained or too much oily. Foods are either no-salt-so-sorry or too salty (like preserved vegetables). I just want some middle way, please.

September 29, 2009

A Trick Question

Today's lunch is Chinese meal - beaf and potato, curry vegetables and bean sprout. The heat is still on (yes, in Singapore, everyday is hot) and I have much stress for my experiments. It damage my appetite. 

I saw a trick question (trick in language) in one of the Burmese forums. It goes as follow :

Two groups of birds met. One of them asked how many members the other group have. The answer is "All of us together, half of us and a quarter of us plus you is 100." 

When trying to solve this problem using ordinary mathematics, it gives a non-integer answer - which is impossible as in bird-count. The trick is "All of us together". That "All of us together" means "us + you". The answer, I guess, is 56. 

September 28, 2009

Nothing to Eat in Singapore

Today's lunch is Chicken Rice. It tasted awful. 

Now I found myself with nothing to eat in Singapore. All Chicken Rice taste the same; Nasi Lemak makes me sleepy; items from all economical rice taste similar; European food makes me fat; Prata - and Indian food - is banned by Onee Chan as they would make me fat. What the hell should I eat ?

The root of the problem is oil-phobia that Singapore Chinese girls have. That prompt the food outlet to use less and less oil - to the point where all dishes have "I put some oil, I swear" amount of oil. The use of salt is also sparse because they want their dishes - one size fit all. Those who want salty food can take the fish paste. For me, fish paste is a bad choice so ... I AM EATING NO SALT FOR DAYS !!!

Riot Police Are Riot Police

Today's (yesterday's) lunch is Malay noodle (Burmese version) at my aunt's place. It is good - for it is cater to our taste bud in contrast to authentic Malay's. :P The whole afternoon afterwards is coding and coding. Nothing interesting, let's pass this part.

Take a look at it :

It is in America - the United States of America ! There was a G20 summit around September 25th and there was demonstration. The D.A (I think he/she is the one who's responsible in such cases) decided to use force (read riot police). The riot police was trying to crack down the mass. You know, riot polices worldwide are similar. They don't make decision and it is unwise to reason with them, argue with them or try to win a favor from them (by doing whatever you want).

My advice (actually my dad's) is when you see some trace of riot police, leave that area immediately. They don't make decision. Thus, never ever try to talk with them. If you must do/talk something, D.A or the Judge in charge (it varies from country to country) is the one you want to talk. 

In short, riot police are always deaf - no matter what you do (even if you pay them homage as if they are your religious symbol).

September 27, 2009

Visual Studio 2008 Sucks !

Today's (sorry) Yesterday's lunch was Hokkien Mee at 1630 hour. So late. It is all because of that damn Visual Studio 2008. 

I installed VS2008 - as my Mr. Microsoft-Attorney roommate told me its Intellisense is way much improved - into my Vista powered laptop only to find I can neither debug my applications nor the Project Properties came up. I had to remove it and re-install my good old VS 2005 which took my whole afternoon. (I also had to patch VS 2005 for Vista, geez)

That's why my lunch was at 1630 hour. 

I learn that $3.00 Hokkien Mee is with chicken while $4.00 Hokkien Mee is with seafood. I thought the noodle amount is different but it turns out to be false (yet, the shape of the plate is different - round for $3.00 and oval for $4.00). Since I can get food-poisoning when I consumed seafood, $3.00 Hokkien Mee is both economical and healthier choice for me. Yummy !

September 25, 2009

My Father's Favorite

Lunch, today, is Roasted Pork rice + some vegetable I don't know how to call in English (in Burmese, it is called Ju Phuu). In Rangoon, it is hard to purchase fresh and green Ju Phuu and only when someone visited us from Taunggyi could we have Ju Phuu. Right here, in Singapore you can have Ju Phuu 24 hours provided that you have money. That's why they call her "First World".

Roasted Pork is essentially fried pork - all pieces are with skin, fat and meat. In Rangoon, we call it "A Khout Kin" (BBQ pork skin) - one of my father's favorite. Wait, my grandpa also likes it, I heard. We all like it.

I miss the time when TTN (the Bear), TAA (the Monkey) and me went to Bo Ta Htaung and had all "A Khout Kin" and steamed rice (plus many other pork related dishes) near the Bear's home. It was like - 8 years or more. SKB, I love you all !

September 24, 2009

Nasi Lemak - Long Time No See

Today's lunch was Nasi Lemak - rice prepared with coconut juice. Burmese also have a similar meal, which we call "Coconut Rice". However, Nasi Lemak - the Malaysian version - is less sleepy than Burmese version obviously because Malays uses coconut milk (sometimes green coconut milk) sparingly while Burmese uses coconut milk in excess with all kinds of Indian spices you can name.

It has been a long time since I had my last dose of Nasi Lemak, may be more than a year ago. After that, I avoided it because I was too busy to be sleepy. Nasi Lemak brought me some memory. It was the first meal I bought in Singapore (but second meal I had in Singapore with some Muslin noodle my Sensai bought in the evening of 10th December 2006 being my first meal). It was also my first breakfast in Singapore. It was S$2.00, I recalled.

Today's Nasi Lemak is S$2.50 - a sign of rising living expense in Singapore. It taste not so good as the coconut milk is thicker than I had expected. Now, I am officially sleepy.

September 23, 2009

Winter Officially Begin

Today's September 23 - that means the Sun's path is slightly to the South from the Equator. In other words, Winter for Northern hemisphere begin !

However, the heat is still intense in Singapore. Lunch was in air-conditioned room - yes, the Burger King. 

September 22, 2009

Sleepy Day

I stayed late last night - first trying to translate an English Sci-Fi, then moved on to face-book and finally, staying awake for no reason in bed. I felt sleepy the whole day. My lunch was the leftover of rice and pork rib soup yesterday. Nothing special today.

September 21, 2009

Young Man Soup - Again !

My land lady was joking me for my easy recipe - the young man's version of pork rib soup. I couldn't help but laughed as I am super busy with my convoy problem. I even name the project title "Final Convoy". (However, if my algorithm to be famous, I'd accept the same fate "Final Fantasy" met. :P) Therefore, today's lunch was young man's Yong Tau Foo - thanks for naming it my land lady - with rice along with some fried dry fish!

September 20, 2009

Burmese Rice Mixture

Today's lunch is at my aunt's (read "my father's friends couple's") place. They prepared Burmese style rice mixture - with heavy dry prawn flavor. However, I used to have Shan rice mixture - with more soy bean paste. Here, I'll describe a sketch of Burmese rice mixture (I am not so free these days so detailed account of how-to with photos will be in the future.)

First, place rice enough for one person in a bowl. Place some boiled potato (meshed potato is better) into the bowl and mesh it. Put some fried onion along with some oil (a spoon or two) too. (Put half spoon of fish sauce and dry prawns if you like salty taste or put soy bean paste if you like the taste). Boil tomatoes and mix tamarind paste with hot water too. Put the hot water from tamarind paste and boiled tomatoes into your rice bowl. Don't forget the salt and mix well.

Spread some parsley, done !

September 19, 2009

Hinduism = Buddhist ? Oh, No

Today's lunch is pork-rib noodle - a young man's style :P. In Burma, there is a chicken dish named "Young Man's Chicken". It is named that way because it is cooked as if the cook is a group of young men who don't know how to cook but steal each piece of the dish - oil, garlic, squash, chicken etc - and boil them together in order to eat while drinking (alcohol). My pork-rib is also young man's style - just boiled pork rib, fish ball, carrot, cauliflower and noodle all together (with salt and black pepper). It is so delicious.

Having my lunch, I chatted with my senior - I asked her when would the Hindi holiday would be. It turned out to be Muslin's holiday and tomorrow. She claimed I should know it is not Hindi as I am a Hindi. When I protested her by saying I am a Buddhist, she told me Buddhists and Hindi are the same. Her reasoning is - in Database term - classification-based one.

She hashed (if you are not so much into computer science, it means pair) Christian to church, Muslins to mosque and both Buddhism and Hinduism to temple (what about monastery and pagoda :P). Paying homage to various images with candle, flower and other offerings, talking about cycle of rebirth etc and being (sometimes) vegetarians are characteristics of both Hinduism and Buddhism so many people confused them frequently.

The main difference between Hindi and Buddhism is the existence of soul and not. Hindi believe a soul is moving from one body to another until it is cleansed and re-unite with The Soul. However, in Buddhism, there is no such thing as soul. It is only cause and effect and there is no single soul moving around. Whatever you do - good or bad - is Karma and that Karma create new body and events etc (This explanation is an over-simplification one).

In short, Buddhism and Hinduism are totally different.

September 18, 2009

LTNS Subway

It has been a couple of months that I was away from Subway - the last one being my little sister's strange appetite for one before this very blog. Ok, I had Oregano with Italian B.M.T. The main essence of all sandwich (and Burgers) is the cheese, vegetables and its sauce. My favorite was honey mustard. Today's lunch was uneventful except it is two parted - the second part being eaten at the bank (Onee Chan E* and I opened a disciplined saving account in order to donate money for monastery lease renewal; we'd donate a square feet a month if everything go as planned).

September 17, 2009

Idea on Burmese Chicken Rice

Today's lunch is Lemon Chicken Rice with salted egg. There are a lot flavors of Chicken Rice here in Singapore, Roasted Chicken Rice (which seemed to be the original), Steamed Chicken Rice (the healthy version I guess) and Lemon Chicken Rice. In Malacca, I have found Chicken Rice Ball - which replace the rice part of Chicken Rice with processed rice ball - finer than Shan Rice Ball. Lemon Chicken Rice is in fact, Fried Chicken - just like KFC - spread with Lemon Juice. It is yummy given the hot weather here.

Having my lunch, I was thinking if I can make Burmese Fried Chicken and rice mixed with oil used for it - it is so delicious and healthy choice (especially for those weak recovering patients) - a signature dish. Normal chicken rice makes the rice sticky with the fat from the chicken and hence, is hard to digest. In Burmese version, the chicken would be fried until it is dry so the fat will not be in the Chicken. Instead, the fat will get into the oil. However, the resulting oil that we used to mix with the rice won't be as thick (we will use healthy vegetable oil). Bingo !

It is possible to make a signature dish I think, how do you think ? Huh ? 

September 16, 2009

So Hot in Singapore.

Take a look at this. On September 22, it will be the half-way of the Sun's journey to northern to southern hemisphere. Guess what ? We are, in Singapore, which is a little bit north of Equator, damn hot here like hell ! I lost some appetite. 

Today's lunch is rice, black pepper chicken with mushroom, fried cabbage and some vegetables. The taste is not as good as usual. May be it is because of the bad weather.

Update : it rained in the evening. What a relief !

September 15, 2009

Escaped Sequence in URL

Today's lunch is Whopper Jr. with French fries and Coke. Since the time I left home is a quarter to 12, I needed to re-route my bus route in order to avoid a long wait - after I missed a bus full of passengers. Arriving school, the canteen was full-house and the weather was damn hot. I chose Burger King as it is less crowded - more expensive - and with air conditioning.

Half-way into my Whopper, my Onee Chan rang me asking how to encode '&' in url string. I asked her to google with keywords "escape character in url". After a while she replied she got around the problem by using '%' followed by the ASCII code. I just noted that.

Update : The next day, I googled myself and found that URL encoder function in java libraries can be used for this purposes as URL are not always encoded in ASCII, UTF-8 or any coding standard. For different locales, URL encoder functions work persistently.

September 14, 2009

Hamsters Bred

Today's lunch was rice with pork, fried cabbage with small fish - I don't like - and pumpkin. Having my lunch, I miss home. Aunt Mee (my aunt's name is not noodle, it sound like the word "me") can cook golden pumpkin with pork rib very well. Her recipe is one in the world and I am not bragging about it. Apart from the fact that she added some sugar, even I don't know the recipe.

After lunch, my land lady told me - showed me - her hamsters bred. Those hamsters were so cute - and so something. When browsing the net for advice, I found that those hamsters must not be disturbed or the mother would neglect the newly bred kids. If you touch them, the mother would sense the human scant and eat them in order to protect herself - a wild instinct. It is the same if she is disturbed too.

So cute, they are.

September 13, 2009

Clubbing Experiences

Today, I dropped my breakfast (I had my breakfast before I went to bed at 0430 in the morning). Why ? I were at the club. 

Singapore is a wonderful country if you are talking about nightlife and food. The red-light industry is cleanly distinguished from the entertainment industry, i.e. clubs, as they were located very far away from each other. In short, clubbing in Singapore is both safe and fun. Many students and executives can go clubbing either alone or with their group as they wish - without ruining their reputation. Even groups of girls are common ! I made some more friends - Singaporeans. 

Today's lunch was three slices of prata with a cup of Milo. Prata was prepared by my roommate. 

September 12, 2009

All about Post-Production in Photography

In many arts - especially film and musics - post-production (or post processing) is an essential part. It is as important as pre-production and production. For example, for nowadays movies, average production span from 2-6 months while pre-production and post-production took quite long - as long as up to 2 years. In musics, pre-production includes writing the song, rough sequencing and arrangement etc, production is actual recording and post-production means mixing down the whole song with fine tuning the knobs. In short, post-production distinguish a lousy art from a state of the art production.
However, in photography, it becomes a controversial topic. Many traditional and conservative photographers - especially those who had much experience with film cameras - see post production as a mere error correction process. In my opinion, post-production is not about correcting the mistakes but enhancing and achieving what we can't achieve in real-life - may it be due to financial situation or technical limitation.
In many of my photos I posted in my photo blog (, I performed post-production. The purpose is clearly not to correct my mistakes (made at the time of shooting) but to overcome technical limitations, to get something we can't get in reality and to make it more economical (for someone amateur like me). For example, take a look at this :

I was using a semi-pro digital camera (Fujifilm FinePix S8000fd). Therefore, it is clear that it cannot work as an old film camera where you can take multiple shots in one slot of film. To get this kind of images, post-production is a must. I couldn't also attach color filter to my camera so to make originally green apartments appear blueish, therefore, the apartments on the left is also a post-production effect. Apart from that, all, including the light lines (slow shutter-effects), were made during actual production. I thought I played quite fair as I am just an artist who demonstrate my vision using all the tools (camera + computer) I have.
In contrast, I had some photos, which used purely a camera effect (my camera was capable of this slow-shutter effect) without any post-production work (except the watermark of my name in Burmese). This one took me more than half an hour to grab this photo (running across the scene multiple time) :

However, sometimes, you can't manipulate the scene to match your vision. During my trip in Lake Inn Lay, I had a vision about cheap-painting-like effect of the fishermen. There was no way you manipulate the scene (the whole lake) and the participants (the fishermen). Hence, I had no choice but post-production. Take a look at my fishermen :

Another example, and the last one, would be the following photo :

Originally, the model was wearing a pair of black shoes (take a look at this documentary for confirmation). The black shoes were not color-matched with her cloths. Since she's not a professional model and we were just amateur photographers, we couldn't afford a new pair just for this (I was talking in economic point-of-view). In other words, the situation was "Take it or leave it".
Many can sense the essence of this photo is the umbrella and the vibrant girl with colorful cloths (including a pair of colorful shoes). Post-production color-changes was the only answer or the black shoes will catch the viewer's eyes straight away. I also had to admit that the sun was pretty shining and the background was yellowish-greener than I wanted - I ended up with some more post-production color settings.
In short, post-production is not ruining the art of photography. It just enable the Impossible to be possible, difficult-to-achieve vision into reality and help financially challenged amateurs to produce high-quality artworks. On the other hand, I believe that relying too much on post-production is not an art. An artist should at least be careful about his/her white-balance etc.
Opps, I almost forget to tell you about my lunch. Today's lunch was roasted chicken with pasta and coleslaw. That was the only thing left in my usual pasta-stall. I hate Saturdays.

September 11, 2009

Burmese Fried Chicken

Today's lunch is (Burmese style) fried chicken, Pork Rib/Yong Tau Foo soup and rice. Burmese style fried chicken is a tasty, easy and nutritious dish. It is also suitable for weak patients (just after a flu) and/or stomach flu victims as well as diarherra. Here's the list of ingredients :
  • Chicken Thigh x 2
  • Turmeric powder - just a tip of a teaspoon 
  • Salt - half teaspoon
  • Oil - 2 cup
First of all, cut the chicken thigh (you can also use chicken breast too) into 2-3 pieces each and marinade them with salt and turmeric powder. Put the oil into a deep frying pan and heat it up. After a while (that means 3-5 minutes), put the chicken into the deep frying pan and fry until their color become yellowish brown. Don't let the oil temperature too high. Shut the flame off occasionally.

Here's the healthy short-cut. After putting them in the oil for 5 minutes or so, put them into a microwave-safe container (without the lid) and heat them at HIGH for 2-3 minutes until they are quite dry (and yellowish brown). Yummy!

Fried Chicken on Foodista

September 10, 2009

More about DBS

Today's lunch is Chinese food - rice with fried chicken, tofu and vegetables (I couldn't name it again). Having my lunch I was thinking about the ATM and cash deposit machine.

Yesterday, my land lady told me about her experience in DBS - she couldn't open an account using her driver licenses. I remembered that I used to withdraw my money from KBZ bank (in Myanamr) using driver licenses, student card and all other identity cards with/without photos you can name. At least DBS should be more flexible in depositing the money - anyway, it's no harm as they are given the money.

The cash deposit machines too (also OCBC). You need to be their card holder to deposit money into one of their accounts. Let's say, I have a son who has an account with DBS and I'd like to give pocket money to him. If I don't have my ATM card, I can't deposit money into his account as all deposit machine need the user to enter his/her card and PIN before any transaction. This is partly to protect the customers but the bank should give some liberty and responsibility to the users sometimes. 

Again, NUTS.

September 09, 2009

A Strange Dream

Today's lunch is at a fine restaurant in compass together with one of my lab-mates. I had Chicken Chop with Fries while she only took some kind of cookie. The bill turned out to be S$239.00 for my not-so-good chicken. And yes, that's the starting point of my strange dream.
After that super-expensive lunch, I thought I must write about that lunch in my blog as usual - hence here it is. I saw small, cute and lovely houses, which turned out to be for professors. I tried to seek my supervisor's home but I ended up with another professor -prof Chua - I know. After that, I saw a robbery and woke up.

My lunch was BBQ Chicken and green beans with rice. I prepared the green beans myself. Yummy.

September 08, 2009

Sandwich with Horseradish Sauce

Today's lunch is Sandwich - a home made one. I made it myself using ham, a cheese slice, three slices of bread, ketchup and horseradish sauce. Horseradish sauce is introduced to me by my land lady. You should try it. It's a hint of wasabe but not so strong and pungent. Here's how you make one.

You may need:

  • Three slices of bread
  • A slice of ham
  • A slice of cheese
  • Some ketchup and
  • Horseradish sauce

First, spread the horseradish sauce and tomato ketchup onto the breads - Horseradish sauce to the outer two slices and ketchup to the inner slice. Then put the cheese facing the ketchup. Heat the bread and cheese using low microwave for 40 - 60 seconds. This will make the cheese melt and go into the bread.

Bake the ham using some oven - or fry it using water. Put the ham between the breads and heat the bread up (using oven) for 3 minutes. This will make the bread super crispy.

There you go ! Delicious sandwich !

September 07, 2009

Everyone Has Everything

Lunch was Hokkien Mee from the food court below my apartment. I was thinking that nowadays, everyone is producing everything. Google is working on OS - not one but two - Android and Chrome. Microsoft has game consoles - X-box. Sony has computer, camera, game console, DVD players, Blue Ray players and all you-name-the-gadget. Apple, too.

Now, Acer has phones. In response, Dell will have phones shortly. Nokia will produce netbooks (small computers). Intel is also coming up with a phone. LG is combining the watch with phone. How wield.

September 06, 2009

G-Force's Villain Should Go to Arkham Asylum

Onee E* offered desserts for monks in Burmese Buddhist Temple and I was there. There is also a lunch sponsor for monks. They invited us to join the lunch afterwards, but we leave to visit Juncti8n Shopping Center. Lunch as glutinous rice with pork and mushroom. The rice is not well-cooked. My dessert was the coconut jelly that my Onee made. 

After lunch, we watched G-Force - a new feature from Walt Disney. We asked the staff if there is 3D version available there but luck was not on our side. It was a good movie except some flaws and the shadow of Disney itself.

The characterization and introduction is neatly done in a action-pack stealth operation scene within first 10 minutes right after an icy cold opening. If I were the producer/director, I'd make the opening warmer by slicing it and putting it as flashbacks in the opening sequence. I feel disappointed for that straight-to-the-point opening.

Apart from that, the whole movie is fun, comedic, action-packed and well-paced. The villain turned out to be someone who you might encounter in Batman franchise - a little psychotic. The twist is also beautiful. We also have a transformer-like robot there (sorry for the spoiler) but this one is way too less budget/artistic value than that Michael Bay's prodigious kid.

Despite those good values, the movie was too "Disney" with a capital D - that means no one is killed, no one is shown in big trouble, no blood shed and no bad scenes/dirty jokes. Even in a scene of a major catastrophic (villain is winning and causing trouble), no one is seen killed. That's too much.

8 out of 10 !

September 05, 2009

Shoot Till Flat

Early morning today, I accompanied my little sister to her shooting scenes. We have a bunch of amateur photographers including a blogger (see his photo blog). No, my little sister is not a professional model either. She's just helping her friends. Yet, I managed to shoot some human portraits of her and her friend.
 Surveying the Shooting Site
This is the first time I managed to shoot till my memory card (2GB) was flat. It was either because I used continuous mode to shoot portraits (this way is better with human models since they tend to move, their eyes tend to close and we ought to capture a moving moment - like walking etc) and shooting some movie for archiving purpoess (may be going to facebook :P). In the end, my memory was flat and I, from dehydration and sunlight exposure, was flat too.

At first, I had the sandwiches I made using ham, cheese slides, horseradish sauce (containing wasabe - try it) and tomatoe ketchup. I had to share my sandwiches with all friends (most of them are new friends) and we ended up going to chicken rice stall. I also had roasted duck rice there. It seemed yummy but not so much - probably because I am flat and tired.

Today, I have some sketch proof on my theory - high heels can make any girl sexy, pretty and good-looking whether they are slim, fat or short. Take a look at the two photo below - taken with normal shoes and high-heeled shoes in the same post by the same girl. Since I didn't get the model's permission yet, her face is covered.

Without High Heels - So-so Model
With High Heels - Pretty Model

September 04, 2009

DBS, Starhub and Cilvil Service : an Unfair Comparison

Today's lunch was all vegetable - green beans, bean sprout and a vegetable I can't name in English ("Gar Ra Khar Thee" or "Sukar Thee" in Burmese; both of which term refer/relate to Sikh ethnics but I don't know why). Then I got to rush to meet my supervisor. The meeting went smoothly.
Going back home, I went to the bank (the Clementi DBS branch) as the ATM nearby is crowded but the bank is clear. The counter staff denied my request to withdraw some money as I don't have my passport with me. In fact, I have my student pass with me with my photo on it. She told me that since anyone could rob my cards (the Master Card and the student pass) and memorize my secret PIN (and my signature), she must see my passport. What a ridiculous explanation in the sense that that same robber could also rob my passport :P
However, even if the robber rob my card and my secret PIN somehow, he/she can easily get money from the ATM (he/she must fool the camera by use of flu-mask too). What is the meaning of this ? In this logic, the bank's policy allow the robber to get money from ATM (up to $2,000) but it prevent him/her from getting the money from counter staff. Anyway, the money can still be stolen!
The truth is the bank policy was outdated - being set up before the time of ATM machines. The staff need to verify its customer using their other important document (NRIC or passport with photo) in order to reduce the chance of fraud and protect the customer. It worked well at that time (at the cost of introducing inconvenience to the customers whose other important document is lost etc) but nowadays, with the help of wonderful ATM, the customer is no longer protected. If the robber somehow get the card and secret PIN, the robber gets money.
The result - the customers who don't bring along their photo ID cards still can't get service but the robbers can cheat the bank/customer up to $2,000 (for those customers who lifted that limit it is $5,000). In other words, the protection scheme can no longer protect the bank/customer yet incurring a cost in POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE.
Starhub, also have this kind of problems (See my another post on Starhub Goes NUTS). When I complained using their web-based interface, I received e-mails and phone calls saying they would review their policies to improve their service. But I don't know whether they did or not. :P
For me, I got my money through the very ATM that is in the sight of that staff. So ridiculous. It is NUTS (No U-Turn Syndrome).
When I left the ATM for my shopping, a man was sick and fell down (he was still conscious though). One of the ladies around there made a call to 995 (the department in Civil Service for such case, 999 calls the cops). I noted the time as I'd like to know their response time. It may depend on the location but in this case, the ambulance was there no more than 4-5 minutes later. These civil service staff came with a foldable chair with their equipments. I admit I sincerely praise them.
They were assisting the man on the ground.
Then they raised him up.

Off they went to the medical center.
Think about it, civil service can be said to be the monopoly in their market. If you fell sick or need help, either you call them or you die. They won't get a salary raise nor profit and they won't lose their job even if their service were poor. Yet, they tried very hard. In contrast, DBS and Starhub were in competitive markets (banking and telecommunication industries respectively). However, they were shooing away their customers by their outdated policies and a legion of NUTS staffs. How pity they are.
In 2006, I was admitted to a postgraduate degree in a local government owned and famous university. Both DBS and OCBC were giving tuition loans to the students like me. I went to DBS first (since I already had a saving account with them), to apply my loan. The staff asked me if I have my admission letter (the latter addressed to me saying "I am admitted to which course and the classes will starts on which day and such such things). Since I have already completed my registration formalities, either the university retained the original copy or I lost it (I couldn't remember), I only have my student card. They denied my application for incomplete documents. Isn't it ridiculous (again) ? Which school (especially government owned university) would issue a student card to those not admitted ?
In the end, OCBC won my business. So long DBS !

September 03, 2009

The Truth Is I Don't Like Japanese Food

Today's lunch is, with J.M, Japanese food at the only Japanese cafe on campus. I had Kutsu Curry (Chicken cutlet is given a Japanese name Kutsu). It is a fusion dish with Malay curry paste. But the soup, the rice etc are purely Japanese. I feel upset while having the meal. The truth is "I Hate Japanese Food ! "

That Japanese Stall implement a new style of self-service dining, in which you need to tick the order form and present it to the cashier whom print you a receipt by which you can redeem your food a little bit later from the queue. The advantage of this system is many people can see the menu and make their decisions simultaneously. In older system, the diners need to queue wasting some time.

However, I decided never to take Japanese food again. It's simply not my type. I regret every time I have it, yet I tried on and on. I only like wasabe - but it is not essential for me.

September 02, 2009

Funny Idea on Names of the Dishes

I have a meeting with my supervisor tomorrow. Therefore, I stayed at home today to do the house works. My lunch was Rice mixed with fried fish oil, fried fish and fried French beans. I made some fried fish a couple of days ago (see the entry of the day that I make fried fish). I fried some garlic before the French beans to get a good smell. French beans are quick to cook. Only a handful of minutes - then Ta Da ! Done ! 

That turmeric fish oil, when mixed with rice and some salt, is so yummy. It made me miss home - and mom. When I was young, I tend to get upset stomach. Every time I get bloating stomach, my mom would fry either fish or chicken with turmeric powder, mix the oil with salt and rice for me. It was really delicious. Like a cup of hot Milo, it is the symbol of my mom to me. :(

We - my land lady and I - were talking about the name of the Chinese dishes. All Chinese dishes are named like "Lucky", "Fortunate", "Stream", "Good", "Healthy" etc. When I told her, one of Shan dishes is actually named like "Fish in a Big Trouble" (Ngar Dote Kha), she was amazed. I was thinking to set up a restaurant whose signature dishes are all bad things - "Fish in Big Trouble" for that Shan fish, "A Pack of Shit" for chive dumpling (I wrote about it here) and many other bad names :D.

How do you think ?

September 01, 2009

Up compared to the fourth installment of Indiana Jones

Today's lunch is with Dan*, again, and that reminds me that I haven't visited his lab. When I was about to go to canteen, he came up in G-talk saying "Wanna eat (together) ? ". I said "sure". This time, we had a good time at the Deck (the Arts canteen) since I want a different canteen than my everyday Terrace (he too might have wanted something different from his everyday Techno Edge).

Heading to the canteen, I noticed it was raining heavily. Luckily, I didn't wash and hang my cloths. At first, I was about to do the laundry for it had been raining for two days and today seemed to be clear. What a close shave !

We had India food this time. He had Nan with vegetables while I had rice with chicken curry and bean sprouts. It was delicious - yet a little bit more expensive. After lunch, we even had some soft-drinks too.

Our conversation today includes his trip back to Malaysia, how packed up my lab is, seasons in our home countries and movies. He missed "Escape from Hong Kong Island" previous Sunday night for he's back in Malaysia. It was a dark comedy and good. His favorite movies include Toy Story and Up. I am glad that he too is a movie lover and we can go to theater together in the future - probably "Toy Story 3".

Talking about "Up", I love that movie. The montage sequence at the beginning of the movie - the series of events showing how the old man lived his life with his wife during 1960s - 70s - made me cry. So artistics ! It may be partly due to the fact that I am fond of those 1960-70 era but it surely has artistic value. The movie is a slow-paced one but it features many exciting moments - just like "Jones" did in earlier installments.

In fact, "Up" is more "Jones" than the "Crystal Skull" spin-off of Speilberg/Lucas. If I could do anything I wish, I'd re-arrange it to "Indiana Jones and the Bird of the Paradise Fall". The plot device of last Jones - I mean the "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" - is not a religious matter like its previous installments but rather aliens. I don't hate aliens, but Jones, in my mind, has nothing to do with those aliens.

I am glad that "Terminator Salvation" is not so bad and "Die Hard or Live Free" is good in contrast to "Crystal Skull", "John Rambo (vs Burmese Army)" and "King Kong (Peter Jackson's remake)" driving me insane. I wish "Toy Story 3" won't be killed by its own hype, too. Good luck Disney/Pixer !

Guess Count

Since August 1st, 2009, Law Shay had enjoyed his lunch together with friends.