26 September 2012

Office Locations

That's me doing the Ahtiong73 pose and pardon the mess.

We are in the midst of moving office back to the warehouse.

As I was sitting down taking a break and admiring the lok kok-ness of it all, it occurred to me that I have never had the good fortune of working in a swanky office like Shenton Way, , Orchard Road, Raffles Place or Suntec City.

My first job was in god-forsaken Tuas. I chose that area thinking that my parking would be free as I was driving and didn't like the idea of being packed like sardines going to and from work.

I like driving to work in the west as the sun will be behind me in the morning and again behind me when I head home.

After that, I joined a dot-com at Chai Chee Industrial Park. It was a bitch to be driving with the sun in my eyes each way.

And also the food at these industrial canteens are pretty awesome and cheap too.

The conditions in QQland was even worse as I worked in a factory where the office is a zinc-roofed building. We shifted to a bigger factory in 2003 where the office building was brick-and-mortar but given that it was still a factory where we need a big parcel of cheap land, the location was still damn bladdy ulu.

I returned to Singapore in 2009 and this time, it was still in an industrial park in Clementi.

My current stint in QQland saw me again working out of a warehouse. The subsequent posting to the Capital where the office was split into sales office and the warehouse. The sales office was perhaps the closest I had to working in a decent location. Alas, it was short-lived as we are now moving back to merge with the warehouse.


- Voxeros

25 September 2012

MYP Award Ceremony 2012 - Part 2

Before I proceed, just an announcement that we have moved to Facebook.

Check us out at

Do click "Like" to get updates from the page. Click "Like" wokay? Thanks! Thanks.

If you have gone over, you would have realised that we don't really have much content but that's only because we are no migrating everything from our previous site at which is currently pointing to.

The RunForFunds Facebook page will be a continuation from the blogdrive site i.e. you will have to go to the blogdrive site to check out our archives.

In time, I will change our address to point to the Facebook page.

So without further ado, here's the report on the MYP Award Ceremony 2012.


This year’s ceremony was held on 22nd September 2012 (Sat), 10 am @ Geylang Methodist School Primary (GMSP).

Present were 20 MYP award recipients, their parents, supporters of Run For Funds and GMSP teachers-in-charge.

(Note: To date, 65 students have received the MYP award)

I was heartened when I was told that, for the first time (and hopefully not the last) the students planned and organized the entire event!

The MCs for the event, Jamie Chan and Yeo Jin Ye, did a fantastic job managing the proceedings.

They also facilitated a mini-workshop for the MYP students to reflect on key success factors in school/life.

A special guest was invited to this year’s award ceremony.

Alfie Lim (right), MYP award recipient in 2004, inspired the MYP recipients with his speech about perseverance, treasuring opportunities given and choosing the right company. (Alfie excelled in his 2011 A levels with 7A and 1B. He hopes to be a litigator and will be studying law @ NUS after he completes his National Service).

RFF supporter Aw Kah Peng and myself then addressed the students separately. Both spoke about the importance of choosing friends wisely. The MYP recipients were reminded that goods friend can help them, bad friends may destroy them.

Awards were then presented to the students by RFF supporters (Click here to see the Facebook photo album)

Event ended with a tea reception + group photo taking.


MYP was made possible by the following people.

Jessie Soh and Theresa Thong – whose dedication and labour of love in the past 9 years has impacted 65 young lives and their families.

Rina Yap and Molly Soong (Principal and vice-principal of GMSP) – for supporting the MYP and for their leadership @ GMSP. GMSP will continue to be a beacon of light in the demographically challenged Geylang district.

RFF supporters – Yes, you !! Thanks for your support, prayers and contributions all these years.


With the disbursement of year’s award, MYP funds at GMSP have been depleted.

S$21,000 is needed to keep the programme running for another 3 years.

There is $17,000+ in the RFF account (we did not raise funds in 2011 and 2012)

So I may be tapping you on the shoulder to appeal to your kindness and generosity to keep this excellent programme (that has a direct impact on young lives and their families) going :-)



- Voxeros

24 September 2012

Warehouse Office

It was a busy weekend as our current office's tenure is due to expire at the end of the month. The bastard landlord is jacking up the rental by 45%, to which we say screw it.

In the interest of cutting costs, I am moving my office back to the warehouse where there is ample space for everyone.

The current office is actually a 4-bedder apartment on the ground floor which we convert into an office. The living area serves as the office while the bedrooms remained as staff accommodations.

Before I proceed, let me give a brief intro to the city's geography. The centre of the city is where T1ananmen Square & The Forbidden City are located. Then you have concentric ring roads ala dart board that that surrounds the centre. The further away from the centre, the cheaper the real estate.

Beijing is a strange place where food is cheap but the housing is ridiculously expensive. You can have a breakfast for 3 persons for only RMB 8.50 (less than SGD 3.00) but a 2-bedder apartment outside the city at outer 4th ring will set you back by as much as RMB 4000 (SGD 800) a month.

Granted this is still cheap by Singapore standards but bear in mind many people's salary here isn't even half of the rental. A manager's salary is around RMB 5 to 10k and so it doesn't make sense to work a job and then have half or even more of your salary going to your landlord.

So coming back, staff accommodation in the existing office is a case of we just so happen to have room and so accommodation is free.

Now that we are moving back to the warehouse which we will double up as office, we also have quarters here that we will provide rent free.

However, as you can see, the warehouse is a wee bit run down and so I am getting complains from the Sales Princess, whining about not wanted to move in. That's fine with me since no one says you die die have to stay at the warehouse accommodation. Everyone is free to stay wherever they want.

What irked me max was that she made it sound like it's my problem that I don't provide free board that is to her liking.

Granted that the company is providing me with lodging elsewhere that is of better standard, but I am sure as hell not going to let her take it for granted that the spare room in my 2-bedder is her entitlement.

I say take it or leave it. Not happy? Go find another job elsewhere then.


- Voxeros

20 September 2012

Walking In The Capital

I have been doing a lot of walking lately as I do my rounds visiting all our supermarkets checking on the respective store inventories.

Ask anyone who has lived in Beijing and they will tell you that it doesn't really make sense to travel by car within city limits. The traffic is so bad that sometimes even at 10pm, the traffic can be pretty badly gridlocked.

The subway is the way to go but it can be so crowded that it's a nightmare to be squashed inside. If you think the human jam pictures that we saw when our own Circle Line was opened was horrendous, you haven't seen nothing yet. It's actually nothing compared to the situation here in the Capital during peak period.

I dunno kena buahed by happy aunties how many times liao. Haiz.

What I like about the subway here, despite the human squash during peak hours, is that when you tell people in the train that you are getting off at the next stop, everybody will somehow maneuver to make space for you to get to the exit door. Think of it as a human version of Klotski.

There isn't always a subway station at my intended destination and some requires you to walk a couple of kilometers after you get out of the train station.

Well, this is all fine with me as I could use the extra exercise.

Besides, the weather is really awesome right now. Midday noon and we are talking about a windy 25-degree Celsius sunny sky. It can't better than that.

Walking is a breeze. Sorry couldn't resist.

Problem is a month from now and the mercury will start to drop. Going further into the year and we are going to see sub-zero temperature and even snow.

Makes me wonder how to go about doing my rounds then?

 - Voxeros

19 September 2012

MYP Award Ceremony 2012

Well, folks.

It's the time of the year where RunForFunds marks another year of our efforts to continue to facilitate the opportunity of education to our kids.

Below is a copy of Adrian's email detailing the event and we bear good news!

Dear friends,

Yes, we are 9 !

And we have more reasons to celebrate!

Our investment in high potential primary school students 9 years ago has paid dividends.

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

He wants to be a legal eagle and has successfully secured admission to both NUS and SMU law school.

After some career counseling from 2 established lawyers (supporters of RunForFunds), Alfie has opted to go to NUS Law School.

He will be sharing his success story to inspire award recipients.

(But I understand he kena army weekend duty and is trying to swap it).

Date: 22nd September 2012 (Saturday).
Venue: Geylang Methodist School (Primary), Level 4 AVA Room.
Time: 10 am.

Come, meet and encourage the students you have sponsored via the RunForFunds (RFF).

You make a difference in the lives you touch.

Please email, whataspp or SMS me to RSVP (for catering purposes).
(Jay: Can contact me too.)

Thanks for your continued support of the RunForFunds movement.



- Voxeros

18 September 2012

Stretched Hummer In The Capital

Was at this place called 双井where I realise quite a number of Singaporean expats live there.

Found this stretched hummer parked outside Carrefour Supermarket.

Well, we have all seen stretched limos and the likes overseas and a stretched hummer really isn't something worth putting up as a blog entry.

But it is up here coz I saw something funny.

If you look at the closeup carefully, you'd notice a pink umbrella.

That's the amusing part.

That was the parking Auntie, with the pink umbrella, having trouble figuring out how much to charge this vehicle as it is taking up more than one parking space. You could tell she was very confuse as she was pacing up and down the vehicle.

Her "so how ah?" facial expression was priceless.


Too bad, I could only manage a quick snap as I was about to cross the traffic light. Alas, there were two people blocking my one and only shot, which otherwise would have made a better picture for telling this story.

Oh well. *shrugs*

- Voxeros

17 September 2012

Ruff Stuff

The Northerners really love to drink and that is actually an understatement.

They have these Ch1nese spirits in the super market in 2-Litre plastic bottle and retailing, as you can see from the above picture somewhere in the region of RMB 20 to 30 (SGD 4.00 to 6.00), give or take a couple of RMBs.

Plastic bottles probably because they can't recycle the glass bottles fast enough to be sold again.

Yes, it is THAT scary.

Mind you these are the heavy stuff with alcohol content above 50%. Northerners snub anything below 50%.

I have tried these  Er Guo Tous (二锅头) and I tell you, at around SGD 5.00 for a 2-Litre bottle, these stuff are really rough.

Yet somehow, the locals drink them like a fish.

I am both in shock and at the same time in awe.

- Voxeros

14 September 2012

Milk In The Capital

Now this is something you don't get to see in Singapore.

Milk in soft pouch packaging.

I asked my manager the reason behind this as I thought it would be a nightmare for logistics. Goods are always being stacked to fully utilitise (vertical) space in the warehouse and I was wondering won't these pouches run the risk of bursting under the pressure of stacking weight?

I was told that the Ch1nese folks don't drink their milk cold like many of us from overseas.

Milk are often consumed warm especially during winter time and so a soft pouch is ideal when you want to warm the milk by immersing the pouch in a bowl of warm water.

Ah. So now you know.

- Voxeros

12 September 2012

McDonald's Hot Dog

McDonald's as we all know is a place for burgers. So my curiosity got piqued when I saw them selling Hot Dogs for breakfast here in the capital.

I saw the picture taken outside the store (See Above) and I was sold.

5 minutes and RMB 10.00 (SGD 2.00) later, I got this (See Below).

I kena cheated. Nabeh.

First of all, the hot dog bun is too small for the sausage. When I tried to clamp the sausage, the bottom of the bun split wide open and everything just fell to pieces.

So much for holding the bread so as not to dirty your hands.

Overall the taste is MEH.

Not going to eat it again.


Image Credit:

- Voxeros

11 September 2012

Burger King In The Capital

This is the Burger at Terminal 3 of the Capital Airport.

I had a noon flight back to HQ and decided to pull in for a quick lunch before I board the plane. Yeah. I still think airline food is inedible, especially domestic flights.

That's a picture of the BK staff that took my order.

I placed my order of the usual burger, fries and drink combo when she asked me, "加芝士?" (Add cheese?)

While it may be strange back home to be asking about the option of cheese, it must be understood that cheese is not as popular here as overseas.

Being a fan of cheese of all kinds, I answered. "加." (Add.)

She became slight annoyed and asked again. Louder. "加芝士?"

Liew. You annoyed. I also annoyed lor. Again. I also louder. "加!"

Then she buay tahan already and lagi louder and clearer. "在这吃??!!!?"

Walan!!! Your bladdy northern accent so thick lor..... How I know you asking if I eating here instead of taking out?? I thought you asking if I want cheese in my burger lor.


"是的!!!! 在这吃!!!"


- Voxeros

10 September 2012

Forbidden City 2.6 - The Last Entry

This is the last entry of the Forbidden City series. I am sorry if ONE of you got bored.


In all, I spent a total of almost 12 hours over 2 days, on my feet wandering the Forbidden City. It was most educational.

As huge as the entire place is, every single intricate detail was not spared. A tilt of the head upwards and you will be awed by the massively detailed carvings on the ceiling.

My only regret is as much as words are put into describing the place, one still has to personally go to the Forbidden City to fully experience it.

One being the sense of smell. I love the bouquet of centuries-aged sandalwood, and perhaps a hint of camphor as well, that covers the entire place like a thin layer of fog. It's a indescribable feeling of serenity to stand there, enveloped by it.......

.... until the pesky tourist jostled you out of the way. Pffttttt......

My parting thought as I completed the visit was thinking about the value of this Forbidden City. The antique treasures and all. Let's not even get into the value of the real estate of which the Capital is built around this Forbidden City aka, this is the smack center of the Capital.

And for the Last Emperor Puyi and the Empress Dowager to lose it all, they must have really screwed up big time.

As gloom as it may sound, it is also somewhat a blessing in disguise since if not for the fall of the monarchy, none of us would have been able to appreciate the entire city both inside and out today.

--> Click Here To See The Forbidden City Photo Set

--> Click Here To See All The Forbidden City Entries

- Voxeros

07 September 2012

Forbidden City 2.5 - Pine Tree and Stupa

When someone mentions a big tree, one would normally visualise it as a big TALL and possibly one with a super duper thick trunk.

Well, I came across this pine tree and it was big in a different sense. Yes, it is rather tall but not as tall as those ancient trees that we can find in those national parks. It was big because it was very very wide. The span of the leaves and branches easily reaches 30 metres or even more. I can't really put a finger on it.

All I remembered was that I had to stand very very far away just so that I can fit the entire tree into the camera's viewfinder. Then again, as you can see in the picture, I still couldn't fit it in.

The trunks, according to the description sign below, is only a mere 60cm. With all the weight that spans the entire width of foliage, the trunk would probably snap and easily, if I may add.

What you can't really see properly, in the picture, is that under the trees are steel scaffolding helping the tree to prop up all the branches.

Interesting bit of nature there in the Forbidden City.

I learned many new words during my visit to the Forbidden City and the word "stupa" was one of them.

A stupa is a Buddhist structure that commonly has some kind of a Buddhist relic or something of religious significance inside.

This is going to be useful the next time I play scrabble. Haha.

Anyway, the reason I feature this picture was the crescent moon on top that caught my eye.

I was thinking if that was a symbol of the Islamic faith? I was wondering how cool it would be to be part of an item of the Buddhist faith.

Perhaps the doctrine of co-existing religions in harmony?

I wonder.

--> Click Here To See The Forbidden City Photo Set

--> Click Here To See All The Forbidden City Entries

- Voxeros

06 September 2012

Forbidden City 2.4 - Nine-Dragons Wall

The Nine-Dragons Wall isn't totally unfamiliar to me as I have seen replicas elsewhere around the world. The nearest to the folks in Singapore would be the one located at the Singapore Chinese Chamber Of Commerce at Hill Street.

The other replica that I have seen would be at, believe it or not, North Carolina, USA.

There was a write-up about the wall which you can click the picture on the right to get a bigger enlargement.

So there I was taking my time to go up close and study each of the nine dragons and this one particular has something peculiar about it.

It is the third dragon counting from the left. A white dragon.

The bottom section of this particular dragon's body didn't quite fit in with the rest of the body. It doesn't have the sheen as expected of a glazed tile, granted that the tiles have all been weathered for centuries.

A closer look and I realised that it is probably made of wood rather than glazed tile that it was originally meant to be. I can seen the grain of the wood and wait. Is that nails I see embedded inside?

What I learned was that legend has it that during the construction of this wall, this particular piece of tile was accidentally broken by one of the masons.

A replacement tile would have been impossible as every piece of tile is unique like in a jigsaw puzzle. Remaking the tile would take too long, if it were possible in the first place.

Bear in mind, it was an era where people were put to death for the slightest reason. Just think how many people died while constructing the Great Wall. How would this be any different?

So it was speculated that in the masons' attempt to cover up this catastrophe, they replicated the tile in wood. With the same glazed paint, no one would be able to spot the difference when it was relatively new.

Alas, different materials deteriorated differently under years', decades', centuries' worth of sun, rain, snow and sleet that the hush-up finally surfaced.

Interesting story.

--> Click Here To See The Forbidden City Photo Set

--> Click Here To See All The Forbidden City Entries

- Voxeros

05 September 2012

Forbidden City 2.3 - World Peace

The physical vase was not there in the Forbidden City. It is presently on display in the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

It was presented to the big wigs at IOC back in 2004.

Granted that it was just a picture on the wall but somehow it just caught my eye.

The name of the vase is 世界和瓶 which literally translate to World Harmony Vase. It is also a pun play on 世界和平 (World Peace).

Very apt since the Olympic Spirit centers around the philosophy of world peace and harmony.

--> Click Here To See The Forbidden City Photo Set

--> Click Here To See All The Forbidden City Entries

- Voxeros

04 September 2012

Forbidden City 2.2 - Timepieces

History has it that Emperor QianLong was an avid timepiece collector so much so that I felt that he has an OCD obsession with them. He had such a big collection that they were enough to form a museum of clock and watches standalone.

The museum charges an additional RMB 10 for entry within the Forbidden City which I had earlier paid to get in.

These were intricate masterpieces of the finest mechanical engineering. There was even one clock that has a human robot that is able to write Chinese calligraphy flawlessly on the hour.

I was very impressed.

But there were a couple of observations that I have made.

I noticed that the designers of the clocks then to get carried away with the designing that the focus of it as a clock got lost somewhere along the way.

Look at the clock above. That is a pretty big clock about 2 feet high and note how tiny the clock face is. The clock face is around the size of a big wrist watch.

Hello? Focus much?

The second thing I noticed was that all the clocks used Roman numerals.

This clock above is a huge one at around a metre and a half and perhaps is one of the more unique ones.

Here's a close-up of the clock face. Notice anything different?

It has a 24-hour clock face instead of the usual 12.

--> Click Here To See The Forbidden City Photo Set

--> Click Here To See All The Forbidden City Entries

- Voxeros

03 September 2012

Forbidden City 2.1 - Daily Items

In the Forbidden City, some of the palaces in both the East side and West doubled up as museums of artifacts used back then.

I came across this bowl made of gold and for some strange reason, I thought of our ministers' salaries. I wonder why. :P

We all heard of the saying born with a silver spoon. I think the royalties here lagi more tok kong. They got gold spoon ok!!

This item above is a roller massager dated back as early at the 17th century.

I took a closer look at the description placard and did a double-take. The Chinese description of this tool is 推胸 which literally translates to "Push Chest".

Suddenly, I was flooded with all the "massage chest" jokes that I used to kachow Starmist with.


--> Click Here To See The Forbidden City Photo Set

--> Click Here To See All The Forbidden City Entries

- Voxeros