Translate

25 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012


Here I am sitting at the boarding gate at Hong Kong airport as I wait for my flight back to Singapore to close out yet another year.

Christmas Eve, this year, was a non-event for me as I worked through Chritsmas Eve, had a simple dinner then head back to the apartment to pack my luggage for the trip back to Singapore.

Christmas has started to lose its meaning to me. Perhaps, I will find another more meaningful time in December 2013 to come back.

StanChart Marathon for my RunForFunds project?

iPonder.

- Voxeros

- Voxeros

24 December 2012

Erasing Hard Disk - JayWalk Style 2.0

It was only last February when I had to kill off an ailing hard disk.

Well, it seems that my HP laptop's hard disk (bought in Mar 2010) has decided to announce its retirement.

I was in for a shocker when I got a hard disk failure warning at boot up when I was 30,000 ft in the air over to Shanghai.

I have had these strange encounters of my hard disks dying in mid air.

Past experiences was that the moment I am back on the ground, the hard disks worked fine again.

Cabin pressure at work here?

Anyway, it appeared that I wasn't so lucky this time and I couldn't boot up the laptop even after I landed.

I do my weekly backups every Monday but it just so happened that I was flying on Monday itself and I thought heck lah, come back then back up.

Lo and behold, it died that very day. Murphy's Law much?

The bad news was that I lose up to two weeks' worth of new data. The good news was that I still had the backup albeit not very current.  A small consolation considering that fact that the loss was limited to just 2 weeks.

I brought it to the shop and had the errant hard disk hooked up to their PC.

As it turned out, the hard disk was still readable, just not bootable which is good news.




So I paid RMB 350 (SGD 70) for a 500 GB hard disk and got the computer guys to clone the old disk for me.

All was good and cherry by the afternoon as I proceeded to end this episode by terminating the life of the old hard disk.

Jay "Hard Disk Vampire Slayer" Walk drove the nail right into the platens, shattering them to bits and pieces.

- Voxeros

22 December 2012

Happy End Of The World. Not.


Happy End Of The World!!!

Not.

Life goes on like any other day.

The Mayan never specifically said that 21 Dec 2012 is the end of the world. Their calendar just happened to run out on that particular day. It is our own vivid imaginary speculation, jumping into conclusion that the end is nigh.

It is my opinion that they:
  • like the cartoon said, simply ran out of space on the calendar.
     
  • got tired of doing the calendar as it is never ending.
  • the baby is crying and they had to stop whatever they are doing to go change nappy and/or milk feed.
In any case, before anyone jumps for joy, the world will end one day as we depends on the sun for survival. The sun, however, will burn out one of these days and calls curtains on all life on Earth. Still, that should be billions and billions of years away and it's really too far for us to worry about.

Image Credit: http://www.memecenter.com

- Voxeros

21 December 2012

Big Yellowfin Tuna

At 445 pounds, that is a friggin huge tuna. So what if it can't go into the record book on a technicality that he had help reeling in the monster fish? The chap got the fish at the end of the day and it is all that mattered.



Image Credit: http://www.thestandard.com.hk

- Voxeros

20 December 2012

Teacher's Hug Not Free



What? Must pay money so that the child gets 2 daily hugs from teacher?

AND that brings me back to our own Singapore.

How much did that RI boy pay for the teacher to have sex with him ah?

Things that make you go hmmm......

- Voxeros

19 December 2012

Panda In Business Class


There was an internet hoax on the net with a Panda traveling on Ta1wan's China Airlines' Business Class.

While I am slightly amused by the stunt, something else hit me instead.

Looking at the picture of the panda seated in Business Class, man....... you call that business class??

Looking at the seat, that is one LOUSY business class. I think even Jetstar also have a better business class product.

- Voxeros

18 December 2012

Cathay On Strike


Click Image To Enlarge


I am slated to fly home for Christmas and New Year and my heart sank when I initially heard of the news of cabin crew planning to go on strike.

I tried to changed to another airline but alas due to the last minute nature of my attempt, there were no seats available on other airlines for that period.

The news above was a couple of weeks later when the strike threat was averted and may just be reduced to a work-to-rule silent protest instead.

No alcohol. That one I can accept.

No smile? CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!

So anyway, the CNN update was saying that Christmas will be saved while the union may considering striking from New Year's Day.

Frankly, I don't care already for two reasons.

  1. If strike from New Year's Day, I go back to work later lor! WOOTS!!!
  2. My Chinese New Year home flight is on SQ and so bor wah eh tai jee liao loh.

    Dum dee dum dee dum....
- Voxeros

17 December 2012

Motel In Shanghai


Take a close look and tell me what is wrong with this picture.

  1. The door says "PULL", yet the handle bar is on the other side of the glass door. WUT?
  2. Why is there another door handle bar at the hinge side of the door? WUT? WUT?
I was on a business trip to Shanghai early last week and was checked into this motel. I was truly baffled by the bathroom.


Next, I decided to open the curtains to check out the view outside.


 I was treated to an awesome view of the ..... WALL.

Great. A room with a Mas Selamat window. *facepalm*

I asked for a quiet room and was given this one located next to the hotel's restaurant. As I checked in around 11pm, the restaurant closed for the day was dead quiet.

Just the way I like it.

Until 6am the next morning where I was rudely awakened by the clangs of the pots and woks as the kitchen sprung to life preparing breakfast for the guests. To make matters worse, oil fumes from the kitchen, presumably, next door starting filling my room!

Arrrgghh!!!

I went down to the front desk and demanded a change of room.

The room for my subsequently nights was much better except for the fact that the shower cubicle door (also PULL/PUSH mix up), came right off when I pulled it.

The whole bladdy door handled had rusted through.

The consolation was the hot water was instantaneous as compared to my hotel back in the Capital.

So. Would I still stay there the next time I am back in Shanghai?

For RMB 177 (SGD 35.40) per night.

Yes.

- Voxeros

11 December 2012

Broken RockRiver


This is my lazy casual walk-about shoes. Was.

I find it hard to go out in flip-flops as I find it too sloppy. Even sandals is a 50-50 for me. Something about open toes that I feel naked walking out in public.

Hence, the RockRiver shoes that offers both covered but well ventilated toes and no needing to wear socks.

Well, it was Sunday and for once, I managed to wake up early to head to the gym for the first time (in the morning that is).

However, when I reached the gym at 8am, it was closed. I did not know that my gym opens from 10am. Perhaps I took it for granted (from my Singapore gym days) that gym opens from 6am (some from 5am).

Nabeh.

So, in lieu of the 10k that I was planning to run, I decided to walk back to my apartment which is about 3km away.

Then the shoe died en route as I hobbled and dragged my way home.

Nabeh.

Goodbye RockRiver. It was short-lived as you survived for about a year. For RMB 130 (SGD 26), I didn't expect longevity from you. It was fun spending two whole days walking all over the Forbidden City with you.

Goodbye.

- Voxeros

10 December 2012

Look At This Instagram


Spotted this on CollegeHumor which I thought was awfully funny. I am guilty of some of the stuff mentioned myself and the Barflies would all know whose pair of "Vacation Feet" those belong to!

What I also discovered that this music video is available from iTunes for USD 0.99 which baffled me. Why pay money when you can simply goto CollegeHumor's website and watch it for free?

Really no logic.
- Voxeros

08 December 2012

Water Balloon Pain


Watch how they try to smash water balloons into a person's face and FAIL REPEATEDLY!

OUCH! DA PAIN!!!

I especially love it when the first water balloon dropped directly from above (and still didn't break) wrapped around his head like a hat, making him look like a Super Mario Mushroom.

Haha.

- Voxeros

03 December 2012

RunForFunds 2012 - December Update


It's the time of the year where we have the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2012.

As per tradition, Adrian has an update on RunForFunds.

Read below:




1. The Good News

RunForFunds, in its 9th year, celebrated our first fruits of success this year.

  • Alfle Lim, an award recipient at the inaugural (Maximize Your Potential) MYP ceremony in 2004, scored 7A’s and 1B for his 2011 A-levels.

    He will be reading law @ NUS after he completes his NS.

     
  • This year, Tan ZhiWei (now @ Hwa Chong), also from the inaugural batch of MYP, is taking his A levels.

    He is confident of doing well.

    I look forward to celebrating his success at next year's MYP award ceremony.

(You can find the new RunForFunds page on facebook. Picutres of MYP cermonies are posted. http://www.facebook.com/RunForFunds)


2.  The Bad News

Now for the bad news……….I’m not running this Sunday and probably not anytime soon.

I’ve been training since July for the army half marathon in Sept and this Sunday’s run.

Have been clocking respectable times too.

But I suffered a bad back strain 2 weeks ago that hasn’t gone away.

It’s the back nerve compression injury (that cause sharp pains down the leg) that I sustained several years ago.

Doctor says I should stop running and start swimming

So in essence, I will not be running for funds in the short term and will look to some of you to take over the running (and I co-ordinate).

Maybe I can do “SwimForFunds” next year.

The problem is...... I don't like swimming !!! :-)


3.  Extra $6,000 Needed To Keep MYP Going For Another 3 Years.

The MYP fund which we injected 3 years ago into GMSP has been depleted.

To keep MYP going for another 3 years, the teachers @ GMSP have budgeted $22,000.

The RunForFunds bank account as of 25th Nov 2012 is SGD 17,582.89.

So I hope to raise $6,000 this year for RunForFunds Fund to continue the good work for MYP (funds in excess of $22k will cover contingencies).

So folks, I look forward to your continued support for RunForFunds.

If you’d like to contribute to this cause, please email me and I will provide payment details.*

Thanks all for making a difference in the lives that we touch, one life at a time.

Blessings,

Adrian


* Important Note:

We do not solicit funds from the public. If Adrian or I don't know you in person, we will not be able to accept your contribution. We will thank you from the bottom of our hearts but we cannot accept any contribution for legal reasons.

As for the rest of my family and friends, drop me a note in private if you are interested to help out.

Cheers.

- Voxeros

22 November 2012

Star Wars Glowing Lightsaber Ice Pop Maker


Spotted this nifty product idea on Thinkgeek.com and the addition of LED to the bottom to make the popsicle glow is sheer genius!

I am not sure if this is available in Singapore or if Thinkgeek.com accepts credit cards outside of the US AND delivers to Singapore. You guys will have to click around the site to find out.

Anyway, I spotted their TVC at the bottom of the page and thought it was hilarious.

So here it is above.

Enjoy.

Image Credit: http://www.thinkgeek.com
- Voxeros

21 November 2012

Goodbye Whatsapp, Hello WeChat


It was merely a couple of years ago or so when everyone was raving about Whatsapp. It came at a time where people were messaging more than they are talking on their mobile phones.

It was a time (and still is) when SMS, especially when roaming overseas, are exorbitant. Let's not even get into MMS which can be a bitch to set up.

Then came these messenger software that transmit, using minimal traffic, via mobile data at a fraction of the costs that the telcos are charging for their messaging services. Free, if you managed to get complimentary WIFI from various public places like McDonald's, Starbucks, airports, just to name a few.

Granted there are already instant messengers in the market long before like MSN, QQ and Gtalk, somehow the fact that you need to register a user account just bums everybody out. Unlike the instant messengers, mobile messengers like Whatsapp just need your mobile phone number and that's it. It will run through your phonebook and then create a list directory of your friends who are also on Whatsapp effortlessly. 

As fabulous as Whatsapp is, I am somewhat disappointed with them of late. Messages do not get delivered instantaneously. I often get messages that were sent as far back as 20 minutes ago (took an entire night on one instance as well). In this day and age of modern technology, this is simply unacceptable.

It was so bad that I actually had to follow their twitter account just so that I can receive notification when their servers are down. Again.

Anyway, I have decided that Whatsapp will no longer be my primary messenger.

Say hello to WeChat (微信).

It is a QQland-developed (the same people that came up with QQ) software and it is very fast.

I am particular impressed with the speed images and audio get sent through their network.

I only hope they have Whatsapp's "double tick" indicator which I like very much. First tick indicates that your message has gone out of your phone to their servers. Second tick indicates that the message has been delivered to the recipient's phone from their servers. While it does not mean that the recipient has read your message, I feel that notification of delivery is good enough for me. Messages, while required to be instant, are never urgent. Nothing beat picking up and dialing the phone as far as stuff that requires immediate attention is concerned.

Friend of mine said that their video chat feature is much better than Apple's own Facetime. While I agree that Facetime is not good enough for me, I can't say very much about WeChat's video chat feature until I have tried it myself.

Whatsapp supports Symbian, IOS, Android, Windows Mobile AND Blackberry while WeChat supports the same platforms BUT Blackberry, which in my opinion is not a big deal. Blackberry is going to die out very soon anyway.

My only concern right now is that WeChat is relatively unheard of outside of QQland but this is about to change very soon. Right now, they are aggressively marketing in Ta1wan and my friends in Singapore are starting to pick this software up. As far as my phone book is concerned, anyone on it that uses a smartphone, which is very prevalent now, uses WeChat.

Once more of my overseas and Singapore friends and family have WeChat, I won't need to suffer anymore Whatsapp grief.

Image Credits: http://macthemes.net; http://www.imandarin.net


- Voxeros

19 November 2012

Fahrenheit By Christian Dior


When I wrote the entry "The Scent Of Jay" back in 2008, I spoke about not repeating the same fragrance twice.

Then I toyed with the fact of settling down with just one but the fact that a shitload of people were still wearing the same, I shelved the idea.

Last week, I made a trip to Hong Kong to get a new bottle of fragrance. I needed a small bottle for my overnight bag as I traveled a lot.

On an impulse, or perhaps I was bored with all the lousy new fragrances out in the market, I broke tradition and got a bottle of Fahrenheit by Christian Dior which I last wore back in 1989.

At first whiff, all the memories of that era returned like it was just yesterday. It was as if I was back in love again.

I recalled reading up on Fahrenheit, a couple of years ago, on some "fragrance encyclopedia" where the author lamented this 5-star rated fragrance underwent a recipe modification, which I am guessing to cut costs. Unfortunately, I can't remember which book it was that I've read.

In any case, I couldn't tell the difference from the memory of this scent more than 20 years ago. I still like this current bottle very much.

And seeing that nobody remembers this bottle any more or rather I have not smelled this on anyone for more than 10 years, I think it is time to settle down for good.

Hello Fahrenheit. We meet again.


p.s. There was a subsequent spin-off called the Fahrenheit 32. It is pretty good too but I felt the original has more character and besides, there were many fond memories tied to the original. iOldSkool.

- Voxeros

17 November 2012

Memoirs Of A DJ: Life In Progress



Just finished reading the book by our own celebrity radio DJ, Vernetta Lopez and I have to say it was a good read. It was good in the sense that after reading the book, I got to know someone whom I have grown up with, albeit the fact that we have never met nor known each other.

Her book brought back a lot of memories for me:

  • Zoo 101.6 FM

    "Zoo one-o-one point siiiiiiiiix!!"

    I still remember that jingle till this very day.

    It was a time when radio programs end at 12 midnight, with the national anthem signalling closing shop followed by a wall of static silence.

    Then came Zoo 101.6 FM from Batam who were playing all the latest hit songs and if I remembered correctly, they were the first to play 24/7. I remembered all the DJs have animal names like Andy Lion and Joe Monkey. It was a fun station to listen to.

    The only relatively happening (I stress the word "relatively") local station back then was Radio One which is today known as Gold 90.5 FM. My fondest memories of that station was Saturday Spin. The Burger King sponsored radio show was hosted by the very talented Roger Kool every Saturday from 12 to 1 pm, of which I tuned in to religiously.

    Then came JC2 when Perfect Ten 98.7 FM was launched to rival that and take all the young Singaporean listeners back to the island. Singapore island (Ubin, Sentosa, Tekong, Brani, Sudong included). Not Batam island.


  • Black And White I

    Referring to the old colonial estates. They reminded me of two people.

    Sara. An old girlfriend of mine whom we are still in contact till this very day. In fact, we just whatsapped last week. You have to thank the tech gods for the internet. Really.

    I remembered fondly of her "Showers Of Blessing" which in actual fact was her wet spraying pffffttts... We were young and we didn't know much about being sanitary. :P

    I remembered being the guy with the nicest-smelling pencil pouch in the entire ACJC, courtesy of Beautiful by Estee Lauder. She has this tiny little sample bottle which she would put a drop from time to time into the pouch case. This girl had a strange way of showing her affection. :)

    I remembered her leaving to read her degree in Australia. It was a time of 25-cent aerogrammes and there was a cassette tape, in there somewhere, of me talking a lot of kok. It was the first ever podcast in the world.

    It was her birthday today. Happy birthday, Sara!


  • Black And White II

    Victor. My secondary school classmate from Sec 2 to 4. He is a Filipino and again thanks to the internet (Facebook to be exact this time), we are still in touch too.

    I remembered us going to the record store one day in 1987 where he bought his first ever vinyl single. It was Looking For A New Love by Jody Watley.

    I remember coz I still have that vinyl with me.

    The strange thing back then coz he did not own a turntable and so it baffled me as far as the purchase was concerned.

    He bought it and insisted that I take it home with me so that I can record it into a cassette tape for him.

    If I may remind you, it was a single. Not an album. In other words, he paid SGD 13.00 (SGD 3,495 in today's money) for one song to be recorded into a cassette tape.

    Rich boy. This one.

    Well, I still have the vinyl in my storeroom back in Singapore. If we even meet up again (he is back in the Philippines), I would be happy to return it to its rightful owner.


  • Turf Club @ Bukit Timah

    Once the turf club was relocated to Kranji, that huge carpark was the best make-out place on the island. That lasted for a while until the pesky second-hand car dealers moved in. :(

    I also recalled reading in the news that a horse broke out of the stables and went galloping along Eng Neo Avenue. That escapade was cut short when it ran into an oncoming BMW.

    I recalled people being more concerned about the damage done to the Beemer than the demise of the poor animal. *shrugs*

So anyway, the link above is the Kindle link to the book which I enjoyed very much. I finished it in one sitting. Go buy and read it if you know what Zoo 101.6, Roger Kool, vinyl singles, cassette tapes (auto-reverse ring a bell?) and aerogrammes are.


Image Credit: http://www.amazon.com

- Voxeros

16 November 2012

Gold Crass


Read this article and I went "WALAU EH!"

Can this get anymore crass?

Anyway, my main concern is how her neck is going to be strained with all that weight hanging around it.

She is after all not Mr T from the A-Team wor.

Eeeeeeek.

- Voxeros

13 November 2012

Farewell To The Capital

So this is it.

What originally was supposed to be a one-to-two-year tour of duty was prematurely ended after just 5 months.

I really hate to leave the Capital.

In a word, the place was happening.

I have made more friends in just these 5 months than I have made in South QQland over the last 12 years. I am going to miss them all.

I enjoyed the weekend football games at Paddy's where they serve Kilkenny.

I love the RMB 2.00 (SGD 0.40) ride on the subway to everywhere. There is no need for cars at all. Just need to avoid the human jam during peak periods.

I love the affordability of local food. A breakfast for 3 came up to just RMB 8.50 (SGD 1.70).

The only thing I won't miss is the pollution. The air quality is really bad. The PM 2.5 index in the Capital is around 240 µg/m3 while it's around 60 over here in South QQland. Singapore is about 20.

In a way, I was lucky to escape the harsh winter as I flew back the morning after the Capital's first winter snow.

- Voxeros

12 November 2012

Lamb Scorpion


No. I am not that brave to actually eat a scorpion but this dish is called 羊蝎子 which literally translates to Lamb Scorpion.

It is a lamb hotpot dish but I had to make sure coz in QQland, anything is possible when it come to eating animals.

The explanation was that this lamb hotpot dish uses the entire spine of the lamb where when you hang the entire skeleton up, with the tail hanging, it looks like a scorpion. Hence the name.

It was awesome weather to be eating this and what I love most was the richness of the soup. Made me think of our fabulous Sop Kambing back home.

Too bad, I didn't have bread to go with it.


 - Voxeros

09 November 2012

Conveyor Belt Hotpot


We all know of conveyor belt sushi but I was instantly intriqued when I learned about conveyor belt hotpot. So when a friend came visiting from Singapore, I dragged him there with me to try.

So we went to this restaurant that I picked randomly off the internet. It was an all-you-can-eat-except-meat buffet i.e. meat dishes are to be ordered and charged separately, which I thought was fair for a business like this to be sustainable.

So I order an order of beef while my friend took the lamb so that we can both share. The total bill that we have to pay up front was RMB 110.00 (SGD 22.00) for the two of us.

We were then led to our seats and the waitress proceeded to take our order of what soup base we wanted and then we went off to get our dip sauces and drinks.

So the meats served and the hotpot boiling, we are good to go. Everything from vegetables to meat balls to tofu to noodles are all chugging along as we pick them up with a pair of tongs given to every partron.

Great value.

- Voxeros

08 November 2012

18th NCCPC

The 18th NCCPC (this is like the QQland gahmen AGM) is slated to start on 08 Nov 2012 and security has been very tight since a few weeks leading up to the big event.

Earlier, I was told how train and plane passengers heading to the Capital were experiencing tighter security checks than normal.

It was also said that all the taxis' windows were wound up and deactivated if they were electric.

For manual windows, the rolling handle bars were simply removed.

Something about guarding against dissidents from hiring taxis and throwing anti-gahmen pamphlets out unto the streets while the congress is in session.

This sign on the right was spotted at the lobby of my hotel.

It said that new guests must have their luggage opened and inspected by the hotel staff before they can be checked-into the hotel.

Wow.

Despite all these actions making the whole place very tense, I actually felt safer.

- Voxeros

07 November 2012

Peak Hour In The Capital


This entry is specially written for Ashley for I braved the massive crowd to take pictures for the damsel.

If you think the massive jam at Circle Line was bad, you haven't seen it over here at the Capital yet.

I am at the tunnel where I was switching from Line 10 to Line 1 at 6pm which is when people finish work and heading home. All at the same time.

The tunnel I estimate to be less than 100m takes 20 minutes to get across as everyone inch slowly like lifeless zombies.

I was wearing thick clothing when I entered the station and ended up a puddle of sweat by the time I cleared the tunnel.

The train would be so packed, especially for the trains in Line 1, that you do not need to hold on to handrails or poles to maintain your balance. There is simply no space for you to fall over. Everybody is packed so tightly there I can't move my hands (to check if I still have my wallet). There would be the occasional pair boobs pasted snugly into your body. I tried apologising for the unfortunate circumstances but she just shrugged it off saying "习惯了".

Then there is other occasional of two pairs (one in front, the other at the back). I gave up apologising.

习惯了.

Or that ass backed into you like a Panzer tank with a stuck reverse gear. iBoner = iHongKan.


- Voxeros

06 November 2012

First Winter Snow In The Capital


This is what the morning looked like after the Capital has its first snow during the night before. Despite the fact that it was 4 degrees Celsius in the morning, you still get snow even though temperature is above zero.

Well, that explains the very wet floor at ground level and given how dirty and dusty the Capital is, the soggy floor was really yucky.

Still, the snow cap buildings and cars made a nice scenery to see in the morning.


- Voxeros

01 November 2012

Tomatoes In The Capital

It was again, cold this morning with the mercury at 10 degrees Celsius.

I decided to call it a day at the office as early as 10am as my toes were numbed from the cold.

Wearing my sweat shirt, jeans, ankle socks and sneakers (forgot my vest), I thought it would be wise to head back to the hotel and work from there instead.

As I was walking out to the bus stop, this bicycle-cart was chugging slowly ahead of me.

It was a beautiful morning with clear skies and bright sunshine so much so that I can really see where I was walking. The sun was THAT bright.

I noticed the tomatoes looked rather anaemic. I think the farmer harvested the tomatoes prematurely ahead of the approaching cold front heading our way.

Rumour has it that it may snow.

So that puts me in an awkward situation. It is going to get cold yet I don't want to spend money on winter clothing only to wear for a day or two since I am leaving the Capital on Sunday.

Urrgghh...!!

- Voxeros

31 October 2012

Noisy Bus

I boarded the bus to head back to my hotel and it just so happened that something at the back of the bus was not secured properly.

It sounded like an loose piece metal panel that when the bus is idling say, at a bus stop or at a traffic light, the vibrations rattled the panel very very noisily.

The loudness of the racket was very bad but I was so caught up with my ebook (Part 3 of the Thrawn Trilogy) that I just sat there ignoring the din.

In fact, it was so bad that everyone got off the bus to take the next one as the rat-tat-tat of the metal was unbearable.

Then this fella seated in front of me decided to stick his fingers into his ear as he attempted to ride the bus all the way to his destination.

I took a photo of him, thinking there is nobody else in the bus.

I was wrong. I later realised (and I supposed I was caught red handed) there was a girl seat at the last row behind me and she was doing the exact same thing as the guy in front.

Elbows up. Fingers in ears.

About a couple of stops later, the bus driver decided that his bendy bus, as a result of the incessant noise, was to be declared out of service and we all got booted out of the bus halfway through our journey.

It was an awkward silence for the three of us, stranded at the bus stop waiting for the next one.

- Voxeros

30 October 2012

Zero Degree Morning


I know we are entering winter as we speak but temperature has always been comfortable hovering around 10 to 15 degrees Celsius.

I was greeted with bright sunshine this morning (I sleep with my curtains opened) and I thought it was going to be yet another beautiful morning.

A routine check on my phone's weather app and whoa!

ZERO DEGREES!

Guess what? I don't have any winter clothing. The warmest clothing I have is a sweat shirt and a knitted vest.

I am in one of those awkward situations where I don't want to spend money on warm clothing as I am leaving the Capital this Sunday.

South QQland is must warmer right now at a really comfy 25 degrees and the coldest temperature is at best 5 degrees Celsius.


As you can see from the weather forecast, it will be a frosty send-off for me as I am slated to fly out on Sunday and it says that 5 degrees Celsius will be the maximum temperature on that day.

I won't be surprised if the mercury falls below zero early morning and let's also no forget there is also the wind-chill factor.
- Voxeros

26 October 2012

Fog In The Capital



I woke up this morning and looked out the window, only to see nothing but a patch of whiteness. Initially, I thought it was the condensation on the windows but it turned out that the window glass was clear.

It was heavy fog.

Visibility, as you can see from the screen cap on the right is somewhere between 500m to 2 km.


A check on my phone app (I recommend 天气通 by Sina.com for smartphone users who wants accurate weather for QQland. MyObservatory by Hong Kong Observatory for Hong Kong weather and Accuweather for other parts of the world. The default Weather app is, in my opinion, pretty "meh".)

It is a ritual for me to check the outside temperature on my phone before I head out. First reason is, of course, to figure out what to wear or bring along. The second is more of a mental preparation for that moment you step out the front door.

It's 12 degrees Celsius this morning and for that I consider it warm weather over in this part of the world at this time of the year.

Usually, the temperature will rise as you advance into the day but it was quite nippy today, even at noon as a result of the sun ray's inability to penetrate the thick fog.

I foresee the temperature getting cooler over the next few days and perhaps this is the last we'll see temperature going above 20 degrees Celsius this year.

I was told that the period between 1 Nov and 15 Nov is the worst as the mercury is set to drop but public heating (powered by natural gas) isn't scheduled to kick in until 15 Nov.

Perhaps, it is good timing that I am posting back early November that I'll escape the cold North winter.


- Voxeros

25 October 2012

Street Crossing In The Capital


Over here in QQland, Traffic lights are for reference only.

I have trouble crossing the street coz even if the green man signals for you to cross, you still have to watch out for cars coz over here, cars DO NOT give way to pedestrians, if they can help it.

Initially, I just follow the crowd. They move, I move. They stop, I stop.

But there will be that one ocassion where you are expected to take the lead i.e. you heng heng happened to stand in front of everybody.

So here's my rule of thumb.

As long as you have enough people. You can cross.

Cars do not give way to 1 pedestrian but will cave in if you have 20.

People Power!

So the next time, you are leading the pack, wait for more people to accumulate. Once you reach quorum.

Cross!

Disclaimer: Bear in mind, I am a trained professional and this is just my rule of thumb, which is frown upon severely by the traffic authorities. Do this at your own risk as I will not be responsible for any outcome. 


- Voxeros

24 October 2012

Food And Drink In The Capital Subway


imma badass. I drink in the subway train.




Well, actually to be frank, eating and drinking aren't banned the subway system here. Well, either that or nobody is enforcing the rule.

Eating and drinking is fairly common in the trains here in the Capital. As terrible as that may sound, I hardly see any litter, crumbs or spillage on the ground inside the train. With the kind of passenger traffic here, kudos to the subway system staff for keeping the trains and station very clean. Kudos also to the city's people for playing their part too.

So it got me thinking about our own ban back in Singapore as well as the MTR system in Hong Kong. Is banning of food and drinks over-zealous?

Recently the tension between Hong Kong residents and the overwhelming influx of QQland tourists boiled over and an argument broke out between the two parties. As you would have guess the trigger was over the incident of eating in the train. With the combo of smart phones and mobile internet, it was all over cyberspace instantly.



I agree that the ban of food is essential to the hygiene and cleanliness of the trains. Heaven forbids someone tabao prata and curry and start eating in the train!

However, I am thinking a meeting at halfway point perhaps? Perhaps drinks that has a lid on it would be permitted?


- Voxeros

23 October 2012

Morning Fireworks


I got off the bus, on my way to the warehouse one morning, and was greeted by fireworks right before me.

At 8am in the morning.

HAR?

Daytime set off fireworks for what? You can't see anything at all against a sun-lighted back-drop what?!

We have been getting these fireworks every other day recently. Either someone is getting married or some company shifted in an started business that day.

What I don't understand is why don't they use the traditional fire crackers (鞭炮) instead? It's louder and most certainly cheaper.

My staff took a stab and guessed that it is to show off that they can afford fireworks instead of the cheaper fire crackers. Also, like a distress flare, people will be able to see where they are.

No logic leh....

My guess is that with fire crackers you will need to clean up since all the debris will remain whereas all the remnants from the fireworks goes somewhere else as they drift away into the sky and it'd be someone else's rubbish to clear.

- Voxeros

22 October 2012

Bastardised Mandarin

I didn't notice this until recently when I took a subway train and a public bus in quick succession before I notice the difference.

One think I like about the buses here is that they have PA announcements then next impending stop. LED ticker tape screen aren't effective when the bus is packed with people and you can hardly see across the bus, let alone read the screen for information on the next time.

Hence, the PA announcement on the bus.

Here. Take a listen to one of a subway announcement and the other of bus.




--> Public Bus Announcement




--> Subway Train Announcement




You would have noticed that, when it comes to the English announcement, the name of the destination in the public bus announcement was pronounced accurately.

The subway one is a totally different story. The pronounciation of the destination name in the subway station was altered such that the Mandarin name has a slight English twang. Reminds me of the bad dubbing of the 80s Hong Kong movies where the Gweilo actors speak in the weird accent to show that they are foreigners.

I mean why is there a need to bastardise our Mandarin name just to suit our English-speaking visitors? Can they not make an effort to learn the proper names of the place that they are visiting? Why should we bend over backwards for these folks? You don't see us mispronouce Mallorca as Mer-loker or Quebec as qway-beck, do you?

So, if we were to make the effort to get other people's names right, I think we deserve the reciprocity that our visitors make the effort and learn to get our names right too.

However, it is not to say that our visitors aren't doing so but the fact that whoever is in charge of the subway PA annoucements is not helping at all.

Image Credit: http://assets.diylol.com; http://www.designdownloader.com

- Voxeros

19 October 2012

Long Table Food Court


This is a food court at a business district, two subway stops away from me. It's one of my favourite lunch places on a Sunday just because it is deserted.

Strangely, the place only have four to five stall of which one offers Vietnamese pho and the other Bak Kut Teh. Granted both tasted a vast departure from the "real thing" but it is unfortunately the closest that I can get over here.

As the old saying goes, "Mai Hiam Buay Pai".

Like I said, it is strange to have such a large food court with so few stalls and so when the business crowds are away for the weekend, I love the large quiet space that the place have to offer. A welcoming change from the awful hustle and bustle of the capital.

Across the walkway from the food court are the restaurants of which one offers Peranakan cuisine which I go from time to time to get my rendang fix. The food is quite good and close to what we get home. The otak otak is just one of the very few that disappoints, the other being gado gado.

An interesting thing here in the capital is that all restaurants provides free wifi and it has become a habit, even for me, to ask for wifi password the moment I take my seat.

My regular seat is across FatBurger where I have been there once. The burgers are pretty awesome but at around RMB 65 (SGD 15) for a burger, rings and a drink., it's not my first choice place for burgers. I rather spend a little more and get a more decent one at restaurants.

So why die die must sit across from FatBurger?

Coz, they haven't change their wifi password from my last visit mah. Haha.

- Voxeros

18 October 2012

Lost In Translation XIII

Was at the cafe at Chengdu airport while waiting for me flight when I saw this menu placard selling Haagen-Dazs ice cream.

"Colorful Ice Powder (Flavor Optional)".

Win liao.


- Voxeros

16 October 2012

Cat Ears


I ate cat ears for lunch today and they were delicious!

I saw this sign the day before and I jaw dropped. I know the Ch1nese are famous for all kinds of weird stuff but I thought cat ears would be up there near the top of the list.

And so in case anyone wonders why Doraemon doesn't have ears, it's because I ate them!

Hahahahah!

Obviously, curiosity killed the cat (sorry. can't resist) and I asked the TowkayNeo if it were really ears of the cat.

TowkayNeo rolled her eyes at me and I swore I saw her mouthing "stupid foreigner" under her breath.

Apparently, cat ears is a type of noodle originating from ShanXi (山西) . I did a bit of research on the web and noticed that the Italians have a similar pasta called orecchiette which translates to "little ears".

Ahhhh.... so desu ne!

So anyway, I ordered the cat ears and it was done stir-fry with onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and egg.

Perhaps, one of the few noodle dishes where it is eaten with a spoon instead of chopsticks

Very nice!!


Image Credit: http://www.catsparella.com

- Voxeros

15 October 2012

Kavalan Single Malt Whisky

Remember my earlier entry about the Kavalan ConcertMaster Single Malt Whisky?

I had the opportunity last night to try their Kavalan Single Malt Whisky which is supposedly the better grade of single malt in the Kavalan product line.

I tried it and I didn't like it. The ConcertMaster was smoother than this one.

Heck, I would even go to the extent of saying this one is pretty rough by single malt standard.

I reflected this to the Kavalan folks much to their protest.

Meh.

The ConcertMaster as I have mentioned in my previous entry was price incorrectly i.e. too expensive.

This one is more expensive albeit marginally, which make this lagi less value-for-money.


- Voxeros
There was an error in this gadget