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29 December 2013

KaoHsiung 2013 - Part 5 of 5

Not so much in this last entry of the series, of a certain place or a certain activity during my trip to KaoHsiung this year.

More so of a peculiar discovery in the hotel room at Eda World.

As with all hotels, there are the two complimentary bottles of drinking water.

This hotel is no different as I reached out my hand to grab one of them.

However, as soon as I got hold of one of them, something was not right.

Walau eh!

Why the bottle so flat one?

What happened to the other half of the bottle?

It's only water. Why so cheapskate one!!

Liew..... Cheet ma fweeling.


It left me with a sour after-taste to skim on this for this is something with such a low intrinsic value.

Pfffttt....


- Voxeros

28 December 2013

KaoHsiung 2013 - Part 4 of 5


That's the not-so-fearless Faith riding the kiddie free fall thigamajig.

Welcome to Eda World (http://www.edaworld.com.tw/).

It is an integrated resort but without the casinos. It is shopping, eating and a huge amusement park all rolled into one.

The good rides are mostly outdoors but chickadee Faith decided to ride those kiddie one indoors.

Oh well. Whatever floats her boat, I guess.


Then there is the bumper cars that deserved special mentioned here. I was at the viewing stand getting ready to take photo of the girls.

There was this ongoing session while the girls were in the queue, and I couldn't believe my eyes what the folks were doing.

They were driving and AVOIDING each other.

Eh. You think this one is Road Safety Park ah!! Hello, this one is BUMPER CAR!!

GO AND LANGAH EACH OTHER LAH!!!

Walau eh..... #NoEyeSee.

The ferris wheel is the landmark icon of the place. While it is only a fraction in size compared to the Singapore Flyer, it nevertheless still give you a very nice view of the surroundings.

Oh and yes. It lighted up beautiful at night.


--> Click Here To See The KaoHsiung 2013 Photo Set.


- Voxeros

27 December 2013

KaoHsiung 2013 - Part 3 of 5

 
That's Faith atop of what I would say the biggest mount of salt I have ever seen.

There is nothing underneath Faith except, salt, salt and more salt.

ChiGu Salt Hill is located right next to the sea where they allow sea water to enter during high tide and trapping them when the tide goes out.

Next the sea water is evaporated under the sun, leaving a shitload of sea salt where they will scoop them up for processing.

I climbed the salt hill myself and couldn't resist grabbing a pinch (away from the footpaths, of course!) and tasting it.

Salty.

Duh...... but strangely not as salty as table salt as one would come to expect.

I took a panoramic picture at the top of the hill.

(Click Image To Enlarge)


--> Click Here To See The KaoHsiung 2013 Photo Set.


- Voxeros

26 December 2013

KaoHsiung 2013 - Part 2 of 5


That's fearless Faith posing for a photo with the resident pet snake. While the family soaked in the onsen prior to bed time in the hotel, we were out and about exploring the neighbourhood during the day time.

We went to this coffee place atop one of the many hills and it was an awesome experience just sitting there with your cuppa, overlooking the scenery, soaked in the cool breezy serenity of it all.

The only down side is that your coffee gets cold very fast. >.<

There's also the resident 酷狗 who was contented to just sit there while you pet her.

This dog really good life, I tell you.

The owner of the establishment is one laid back fella who totally enjoyed the slow pace of living that many of us are, on one hand, full of envy but on the other hand, too frightened to even dream of it coming true.

Humans are complex creatures.

Le sigh.

The region is peppered with cafes along County Highway 175 also known as the Coffee Road.

(Click Image To Enlarge)

Every cafe grow, harvest and roast their own coffee and I supposed each cafe has its own signature flavour.


This one that my cousin recommended is called 大锄花间.


We visited the place on 2 occasions and both times, we struggled to figure out the exact spot amongst the hills. The first time, my cousin tried to find it based on his "memory" but we got miserably lost. The ironic thing was that just when we had given up and started to head back to the hotel, the front entrance of the cafe just popped out of nowhere right in front of us.

The second time, we decided to use my GPS and as Murphy's Law would go, the map pinned it at a spot that was 2km off the actual location. Again, we gave up and head back to the hotel when a sign pointing to the cafe suddenly just appeared in front of us.

For posterity sake, here is their name card with a map.


(Click The Images For An Enlarged Copy)

To be even more kiasu. Here are the coordinates.


--> Click Here To See The KaoHsiung 2013 Photo Set.

- Voxeros

25 December 2013

KaoHsiung 2013 - Part 1 of 5


I was in KaoHsiung earlier in 2011. This time round I headed back to visit relatives (mom's side) as well as to embark on an onsen vacation.

It was up in the hills which means the mercury is slightly lower than in the city. Crisp fresh cool air is just what I needed away from the smog in Da Hu.

We go a nice onsen hotel at the recommendation of my cousin and it has it's own in-room private hot spring tub (or rather mini swimming pool) as well as the communal pool downstairs. We opted to stay in the in-room pool, lest we risked Gabe running amok and terrifying the other guests.

I am not a big fan of the onsen coz I can't get no peace and quiet with two crazy kids.


What I looked forward instead was the morning breakfast atop the hill overlooking the landscape with a nice piping hot coffee in my hand.

The area, by coincidence, is coffee bean farmland and so the coffee are from locally grown beans. Not bad.




 Spotted this en route to the onsen hotel. On hindsight, I should have taken a detour to go check it out.

The Mecca of Ah Lians!!

Can it be true!!

I LURBE AH LIANS!!

Heh.

--> Click Here To See The KaoHsiung 2013 Photo Set.




- Voxeros

06 December 2013

Camel On The Street II

Not sure if anyone remembers my post from 5 years ago.

Perhaps now we finally know what happened back then when the photo was taken?

Modus operandi from 5 years ago and still going on strong?

I re-read the comments in the earlier post where we were speculating. Still as funny, five years on.

Heh.

- Voxeros

14 November 2013

MacDonald's + Kentucky = Mactuch's?


I was at Haerbin airport when I spotted this sign on the right.

Mactuch's.

Hmm.....

So I am guessing this was a mash up of MacDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken (these days known simply as KFC)?

Admittedly, I didn't think very much of the restaurant as the standing sign (right) was very shoddily constructed.

The restaurant was one storey below and so out of curiosity, plus a shitload of time to kill, I ventured downstairs to take a look.

Well, I stand corrected.

The interior decoration was pretty well done. It was almost identical to the modern day MacDonald's i.e. the atas design with the McCafe booth in one corner type.

I wasn't able to comment on the food as I arrived at the airport after lunch (for a friggin' 6pm flight) and I doubt if I want to try the food even if I were hungry.
 
- Voxeros

13 November 2013

Champion Bus Uncle

I don't get it.

What is with these people and their eagerness to flaunt their PJs in public?

Just earlier, we have a Champion Breakfast Uncle who showed up at the hotel breakfast cafe in full slumber garb.

At the very least, it was still indoors.

This picture was taken a while back.

This Champion Uncle is my winner of the year.

Pajamas, shopping bag to accessorize in one hand, cigarette in the other.

But the ultimate has got to be the brown leather shoes.

Matching color with the brown plait stripes of the pajamas some more!

p.s. Then the socks where leh?

- Voxeros

23 October 2013

Motel Communal Hairdryer

I was in Haerbin last week and I was put up in this cheapo motel.

It was an RMB 137 (SGD 27.40) a night room with a free packet of milk (redeemable if you are their member in the evenings).

It was a crappy hotel with an even crappier breakfast. I must be masochistic to keep wanting to try eating these QQland hotel breakfasts.

Note: "try eating".

So anyway, I decided to walk a floor down back to my room, instead of taking the elevator when I spotted this in the stairwell.

A hairdryer complete with a vanity shelf and mirror!

Then it occurred to me there isn't a hairdryer in my room (not that I use one anyway).

It appears to me that the entire floor shares the hairdryer neatly tucked into the stairwell.

It was a WTF moment for me.

 
- Voxeros

22 October 2013

Shanghai International Fireworks Festival 2013


I am going through this procrastination funk, resulting in this entry 3 weeks over due.

Kartikasaurus came to Da Hu with her parents during the National Holidays and we decided to check out the Shanghai International Fireworks Festival.

The event was held over several days with each representative country showcasing their fireworks awesomeness.

That evening where we attended featured Australia followed by Mexico. It was closed to two hours of non-stop fireworks.

Nice.

Initially, we got the standing tickets but our dear girl left them in the hotel when we headed out. There was no way to head back and get them but I was lucky to have the good fortune of having a friend scoring us seated tickets out of the magic top hat.

It was a good decision to switch to the seat area was man..... there were MANY MANY MANY people!!!

On hindsight, we should have headed to the park early as we had a lot of trouble getting to our seats with the standing-ticket peeps flooding the back area, virtually sealing every seated-ticket spectator in.

Oh well, we did managed to get to our seats eventually but we had to watch a large part of the Australia display while tunneling through the harrowing crowd.

It was really nice to watch the fireworks display out in the open park and did I mentioned that the weather was awesome?

Still, it got a bit tiring as there is only so many variations of explosions one can create in the sky.

I was armed with my pathetic iPhone as my camera and my strategy for taking fast moving pictures in insufficient lighting as to take a shitload of them. You can be sure that if you take 3,252,627 pictures, you can be assured that a handful of them would be deemed acceptable and not blurry.

*shrugs*

--> Click Here To Set The Rest Of The Photo Set
- Voxeros

04 October 2013

Champion Breakfast Uncle



I have a soft spot for heart hotel breakfasts but when it comes to QQland, it has always been one pathetic disappointment after another.

The offering at the buffet table has always been a sad story.

As some of you know, I have recently checked into a hotel in Da Hu for an extended stay until my roommate's family heads back to the US at the end of the month.

So this morning, out of curiosity, I decided to head down to the cafe and check out the breakfast for the first time.

No surprises as I was yet again, sorely disappointed.

The highlight of the breakfast earlier in the morning however, was this champion uncle seated next to me in full pyjama garb.

We know of Aunties plying the wet markets in their PJs, but this uncle here wins first prize.

Anyway, I am not heading back for breakfast ever again unless I am locked in due to storm, hail and/or avalanche.

- Voxeros

03 October 2013

Lazy Morning Ritual


I love the weekends and holidays.

Not so much for the fact that I don't have to work but more of the fact that I get to sleep in. Otherwise, on a normal work day, it's a 5:30am wake up call for me.

Sleeping in means getting up whenever you like or when your bladder can't hold it in anymore. Haha.

One of my usual rituals on a lazy Sunday morning is a good old fashion wet shave.

Granted the electric shaver does a faster job, which I save for weekdays, I still prefer to keep things old skool when it comes to this time-honoured rite of passage of manhood.

The electric shaver does a closer shave since you are not allowed to shave against the grain, lest you risk ingrown stubble. Still, the combination feel of warm water, shaving cream and 3,762 Gillette blades trumps an electric shave anywhere, any time.

Another big advantage of a wet shave is the ability to get rid of the "peach fuzz", that the electric shaver can't handle, which has a tendency to trap a lot of dirt. So with a cleaner face, less problem especially when it comes to acne.

So there. Done with the shaving.

I am going back to bed.

Good morning.


- Voxeros

01 October 2013

Tendon Pull


I went to Hong Kong the other day and ended up with a bandaged foot.

I pulled my tendon.

I didn't know how I even got it in the first place but the flare up the next evening caused me lots of grief throughout the night that I had no choice but to visit the doctor the following morning.

Initially, I thought I got the gout which sent shivers down my spine.

No. More. Beer? Nooooooooo.........

The doctor took all but 2 minutes to refer me to the TCM section of the clinic. Another two minutes with the sinseh and it was determined that I pulled a tendon at top of my foot.

Not. Gout.

Phew.

A slap of the kor yoke (herbal medicinal plaster), bandage and 3 days of medicine (alcohol abstinence!) and I was sent on my way out of the clinic.

3 days without beer. Yes. I can live with that. Yes. My life is not over. Yet.

With that diagnosis, I began to trace the events that day and tried to pinpoint where I sustained that pull.

I left for Hong Kong late that day (I usually set off at 6am to avoid the massive crowd at the immigration checkpoints) as I had to clear a meeting first in the morning. So by the time I got to Hong Kong, it was lunch time already.

My usual modus operandi is to get out early, run my errands and get back across the Ch1nese border before 5pm to avoid the massive traffic jam en-route back. So what normally is a 10-hour leisurely stroll became a 4-hour forced march marathon.

One of the thing about going to Hong Kong is the huge shopping list that I get when friends would ask me to help bring back across the border due to the awesome cheap prices as well as the weaker currency in Hong Kong.

My list for the day runs from iPads to iPhones to a shitload of cosmetics ranging from Dior to Lancome to Estee Lauder..

I was done with all the shopping at about 3pm when I crossed (ok, ok... jaywalked) across Haiphong Road. It was a tiny single lane one-way street which I thought would be easy to get across.

As I was crossing the street, this maniac goods van appeared out of nowhere and in my moment of instinctive response, my reflexes fired up every neurons in my legs as I surged to the other side. With my backpack fully loaded with shopping.

I think it was that the explosive lunge forward that did the damage.

I went back without feeling anything amiss. The top of the foot, the next morning, was a little sore as if there was some kind of bruising, I shrugged if off thinking it was just the shoe tied a tad to tightly throughout the entire day before.

It wasn't until that evening when the inflammation shifted into gear and owwwwww...... what a night of agony!

Fast forward, after three applications of kor yoke and 3 days of medication, I am fine again and able to wear shoes (the swelling finally subsided).

In fact, I am planning to resume my regular running in a couple of days' time.

I finished my last dose of medication last night and so I am heading out this evening.

I am going to get my beer.
- Voxeros

16 September 2013

Lotus Mall In Da Hu


I was on the bus when I passed by this building. It's a shopping centre called The Lotus Mall.

I guess they were trying to be artsy fancy by having a mosaic of repeated "LOTUS".

All I saw was "SLUT US SLUT US SLUT US SLUT US SLUT US SLUT US SLUT US".

Oh dear me. My eyes are failing.


- Voxeros

06 September 2013

Moon Cake Vouchers In Da Hu

Mid Autumn Festival is just round the corner and that would marked the end of the hot summer.

Summer this year in Da Hu is especially bad with temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius. The worst in 140 years.

So anyway, also known as the Moon Cake Festival, the gifting of moon cakes is an age-old Chinese tradition.

I remember receiving so many moon cakes back in the day that I just need to order half my required order and I would have enough to give a moon cake each to my 400-odd staff.

This is my first year in Da Hu and I noticed something different from other parts of QQland.

Over here there is a practice of gifting moon cake vouchers instead of the actual boxes of them.

The original idea is that you are supposed to go to the stipulated hotel/restaurant/shop to redeem the moon cakes with the voucher.

Hence, a efficient way, logistics-wise, to distribute moon cakes. More so when you have a lot of deliveries to make.

The twist here however, is that you take this voucher and go to your nearest moon cake voucher tout (located at all major subway stations) and redeem it for cash (at a discounted price, of course).

I was rather taken aback. It is like people here don't eat moon cakes any more. They just change it back to cash.

I felt sickened in the stomach when I first learned this.

Welcome to Da Hu where everything is all about the money.

- Voxeros

05 September 2013

Toys Of The Wrist - Part 3 of 2


I didn't plan this third entry when I did the earlier two "Toys Of The Wrist" entries but my watch (above) died a couple of days ago.

I bought this watch back in 2000 when I started dealing with clients in the US. I needed a watch to keep track of my west coast clients. My job required me to be in constant communication with them and as such I need to know when they are awake and when they are not.

Signs of trouble started a month ago when the batteries died. It got me by surprise considering I just changed them back in November last year, when I was in the Capital. The batteries didn't even last a year? That can't be right!?

Initially, I thought I got fitted with bad batteries from the unscrupulous watch shop as it is pretty common for a foreigner to get cheated by the locals (well, not ALL of them, but quite a few). I remembered paying a lot of money to change the batteries back then (didn't have a choice).

So a month later, my watch stopped again.

Then it dawned on me that it is the watch going wonky and not the batteries after all.

As it was a cheap watch which I bought at Great World City for a mere SGD 110.00, it wasn't worth the time, money nor effort to repair the 13-year old watch.

So thank you for the 13 years of faithful service, my dear Citizen watch.

*chucks into rubbish bin*

I look forward to my Hot Watch, due to arrive around Christmas this year, if it shows up at all.


- Voxeros

04 September 2013

The Bitter Stickgirl II


After the earlier post, I decided to pester her again for a photo of her in the Awesome tank top.

She finally relented and got off her ass to take this grainy (no fish prawn also good lah!) picture.

Yeah. Even at XS size, it was a tad too big for her as the shoulder strap kept falling to the side.

If it was any consolation, she combed her hair this time.

And yes. A beautiful smile. As always.

Again to plug Bitter Stickgirl's webshop. --> Click Here.

- Voxeros

02 September 2013

The Bitter Stickgirl


I have been following The Bitter Stickgirl since day 1 when she was still at Blogspot

I loved the simplicity of her drawings and yet despite that, they still tell you the full story.

It was a sad day when Stickgal (or Stickgirl) decided to fall off the grid back in 2009 but I am really glad that she has decided to make a comeback a few years later and the subsequent move to Facebook.

Now newer and better, she has also published a book and launched a series of tank tops which I thought were awesome! (No pun intended)

I love it so much that I ordered one for my daughter and throw in the book for good measure.

It was a surprise mail package for Faith.

When I was a kid, I love receiving mail. Even when it was from Reader's Digest saying that I have the golden key and a final step away from winning that one million dollar sweepstake.

I love mail and I cannot lie. When I was a kid, that is.

So naturally, she was delighted to receive the package (she gets that from my side of the genes) and was absolutely in love with the book as there was a personalised autograph from Stickgirl herself.

Thank you Stickgirl! That was a real nice gesture! Appreciate it!

So anyway, I kinda promised that I will get a photo of Faith wearing the tank top, which by the way, was a tad too big for the 11-year old despite getting the XS size for her. Fret not, knowing how fast kids grow up these days (something in the water?), she'd probably fit in nicely by next year.

But I digress.

The package arrived two weeks ago and I only posted this entry only because I was waiting for the photo of her wearing the tank top to complete this entry.

I am still waiting.

This girl sibeh gao too....... (she gets that from wife side of the genes).

So anyway, for those who are interested to check out the awesome tank tops and book --> Click Here.


Image Credit: http://stickts.weebly.com/
- Voxeros

26 August 2013

Scarlett Angel


Scarlett came up to Da Hu to visit last week. We met up and took her out and about.

We were taking the subway where she stood directly under the overhead railings in the picture above.

I told her to pose under the "halo" while I snap an angelic portrait of her.

She was initially paiseh for about THREE seconds before she happily obliged.

*Click*

Here's one for the fun photo archives.

Heh.

- Voxeros

20 August 2013

Toys Of The Wrist - Part 2 of 2


Yesterday, I was talking about the bracelet on my right wrist. It gave me some kind of a weight balance against the weight of the watch on my left wrist.

Now that the bracelet was gone, I contemplated giving up the watch on my left wrist as well.

For starters, I don't have a large wrist to put on fancy watches like Franck Muller, Rolex or Panerai. It is just not my thing to be sporting one of these luxuries.

Besides, I find them kinda gaudy to be so big. It's almost like wearing a clock on your arm but that's just my personal distaste.

So anyway, the telling of time is a redundant function since we carry our mobile phones everywhere we go. We can always fish it out of the pocket, like a pocket watch of the old days.

Wearing electronics devices on my wrist in lieu of a watch wasn't really appealing to me when it first started. The iPod Nano with a Lunatik strap was a good idea but it's sucky battery life was a deal breaker for me.

Then there was the Pebble which was a significant improvement over the Nano-Lunatik but it still wasn't enough to convince me.

It was only just two weeks ago where I chanced upon HotWatch at KickStarter that I was sold on the spot.

The use of e-ink (they call it e-paper display ala Kindle) saves a shitload of battery juice which means you don't have to charge the watch every other day. Still, even with the use of low consumption Bluetooth 4.0 (or BTLE), the battery longevity is not going to be anywhere close to that of a regular watch.. Worse, if you are comparing it to a perpetual movement watch.

In any case, I like the part where you can just make a phone call using your palm. I am not so hot (no pun intended) on the other features like messaging on the tiny watch screen. I will probably frustrate myself to death with my clumsy fat fingers.

The watch is due to ship at the end of the year and it's my Christmas pressie to myself.

Merry Christmas to me.

- Voxeros

19 August 2013

Toys Of The Wrist - Part 1 of 2



It's time to retire my Q-Ray bracelet that I have had since the 90s.

It was the secret bracelet of the silent fraternity.

The golf fraternity.

Admittedly, I got caught up with the trend back then where it was acknowledged that any golfer would be spotting one of these.

The trend may have faded in to oblivion as the years go by but this little thing has been with me all the way until yesterday.

As you can see, the knobs have corroded to the extent that it is starting to scratch me. Actually come to think of it, the scratching has been going on for a couple of years but I ignored it coz it wasn't painful.

Just annoyingly scratchy.

Given the hot summer heat right now in the Da Hu, I was, throughout the day, constantly laminated by a film of perspiration.

Must have been something in the sweat reacting with the metals in the knob that it was leaving streaks of green oxide (Fe2? Ni? Cu?) on my arm as it slides up and down throughout the day.

Well, I guess it's time to call curtains on the bracelet that has accompanied me all these days.

Thank you and good bye.

*chucks into trash bin*

- Voxeros

16 August 2013

Jay And The Bean Sprout


I have a double-bowl sink in my kitchen and most of the time, I use only the right side.

Just today as I was washing up, I spotted something from the corner of my eye.

Something was sticking out of the waste outlet of the left bowl.

A closer look and it was a bean sprout!

The last I prepared bean sprout was two weeks ago when I was making laksa. A little sprout must have flown over into the waste outlet of that side.

Two weeks later, it manages to make its way out of the sink towards the sunlight.

Awesome little wonder of nature.


- Voxeros

09 August 2013

Happy National Day 2013


Happy National Day, Singapore!

In case anyone has already forgotten, the above clip was taken on 16 Feb 2013 at Hong Lim Park where a protest against Gahmen initiative to populate the island further to 6.9 million by 2030 (worst case scenario, they say).


The. next election is 2016. Nairmind. We wait.

- Voxeros

08 August 2013

National Day Songs - From Good To Bad To Awful. Simply Awful.


This above is not an NDP song but would have made a good one if it were. Chanced upon this oldie by accident. This song was written back in the good old 新谣 heydays.

Once you are done enjoying the song above, let's go into the topic proper.

Just when we thought last year's NDP song was awful, we hit a new rock bottom with this year's, which I am not even going to bother to put it up here lest it xia suay my blog.


You can check out all the NDP songs above dated back from 1984 to present. I notice a trend or a certain subliminal message in some of them.

In the beginning, we have all the feel good, "We've made it! Look at us now! We're No.1!!" kind of tone.

The 1998 song "Home" by Kit Chan seems to say "Uh oh.... people are starting to think about leaving the country to go elsewhere. Mai lah. Don't go lah. Here more better!"

Then again by Kit Chan in 2007, "No Place I Rather Be" is machiam like sequel to "Home" and it's saying "Walau eh! You guys really gone ah. Come back leh!!"

In the same year, there is another NDP song "Will You" and it sounds like it is addressed to all the new people who recently stepped ashore telling them to "Come! Come! The doors are wide open! Come in! Please stay! Don't go! I beg of you!!"

People started to complain the song of grovelling and in the subsequent years, the NDP songs went back to the more normal normal pattern.


But.

It was all downhill from there.

Last year's "Love At First Light" was "Simi LJ song is this?" and this year's "Whoa-oh-oh-OH!-song is "Simi LJ song is this? - Part II"


For the record, there are only THREE "Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh" songs that are acceptable OK!


Well, at the very least, it's how I felt about all these recent NDP songs.

You may or may not agree.

Limpeh don't care.


Speaking of "Limpeh", even this cheeky song below (very well done if I may add), would make a better NDP song although it is kinda hard to sing along at the national day parade itself.

*shrugs*




- Voxeros

06 August 2013

Summer Heat In Da Hu


It is said that this year's summer heat is the worst in 140 years.

We are talking about mercury above 40 degrees Celsius.

This is becoming a common sight in subway stations where people from outside the station all come in to seek air-conditioned refuge from the scalding heat.

With people peppered all over the place, it could easily be mistaken there was an air raid going on above or a typhoon just swept through the city or Godzilla decided to pay Da Hu a visit above ground.

News have reported over 20 fatalities so far and there was even a case of an elderly gentleman who was on the ground for a couple of hours when he fainted from the heat, resulting in second degree burn on 22% of his body and third degree burn on 2%.

The old man got teppanyaki-ed.



It seems that the summer heat is not letting up with no rain in sight either. We are looking at temperatures above 40 for a long time to come as August is the peak of the summer months.

We are only at the beginning of August.

Oh dear.

We did have a couple of surprise rain in the past 4 weeks but they were quickly evaporated off as soon as the rain clouds dumped their load.

No help there.

Just earlier today, I was standing out on the street waiting for the bus under the sun. You can feel the burn on the skin as if you were standing too close to the campfire or BBQ pit or having your hairdryer on the same spot for too long or <insert your own scenario>.

I am counting down to Mid Autumn Festival (19 Sep 2013) as this is the day, according to the lunar calendar, the temperature will start to fall (no pun intended), marking the end of summer.

- Voxeros

02 August 2013

Flight Tracking Software - Part 3 of 3

In this last segment of the 3-parter, I will teach you how to use the combination of software to allow you to have fullest control of your itinerary.

First thing to do. Get rid of FlightTrack (Pro/Free). It is an irrelevant software in Asia-Pacific. I will fall short of saying that it is totally worthless as who knows? It may just be the bestest software for North American passengers.

So without further ado, let's get this tutorial started.


1. When you are about to book a flight, key in the flight details in 航班管家 and it will show you the punctuality record of this particular flight.

I've picked Shenzhen Airlines ZH9815 from Shenzhen BaoAn Airport (SZX) to Shanghai HongQiao Airport (SHA) to illustrate this.

As you can see, this flight is delayed by more than an hour, 72% of the time. It is really a crappy flight which begs one to wonder why they even bother to schedule this?

So. You have a choice here.

You can choose to book this flight and run the risk of getting delayed or perhaps if you feel lucky that it would fall under the 19% category of on-time departure that particular day?

Roll the dice?

Or perhaps you are better off booking another flight?


2. OK. So you decided to go ahead and book this flight anyway. What you can do next, if you are really kiasu or in my case really boh liao, is track this flight for 5 consecutive days prior to your actual day of departure. From there, you can see a trend in the departure time. Bad weather like typhoon may affect the flight schedule over several days. Or perhaps there is a military exercise occupying the airspace that coincides with your flight path during that particular week? Or perhaps this particular flight punctuality is JUST THAT SHITTY?


3. Now we come to the day of the actual flight.

Switch over the 飞常准.

The app has a way of calculating the probability of a punctual flight that day.

To be honest, this doesn't really do much for the passenger except that it mentally prepares you ahead of your pending flight.

To add salt to injury, the numbers changes (in either direction) as the time of departure draws nearer.

You only get a good feel of the flight by regularly checking back and spot the trend if the number is descending or ascending.

The next point is actually a better option but this particular one nevertheless deserves a mention.


4. This feature is available in both apps. It shows you your flight from the previous sector i.e. where your plane is coming from.

In this particular case, the plane where you will be boarding is actually Shenzhen Airline ZH9812 from Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG).

Track this particular flight as well and you would be able to know if your flight will or will not be delayed. Simple logic. Your plane comes in late, you depart late. Your plane comes in early or punctual, you depart on time. Well. Most of the time that is.

With that information, you can choose to reach the airport accordingly without wasting too much time waiting around the airport or you may want to hit the airport early to see if you can catch an earlier shuttle.

For the sake of further illustration, let say we decided to stick to the flight.

As you can see, the flight from the previous sector took off 2-1/2 hours later than scheduled. That however does not mean that your flight will delay by the same amount of time.

The new time of arrival, as a result of the delayed departure, is estimated to be changed to 16:16.

A flight turnaround is approximately 45 to 60 minutes (ground crew need time to clear rubbish and flush the toilets before you board).

That means that the estimate time of departure for your flight would be around 17:00 to 17:30. Given that the original time of departure was scheduled to be 16:50, you should be looking at a slight delay of about 30 minutes, discounting any other disruptions.

For me, anything within an hour is still considered on time. Yes, I have set the bar THAT LOW for QQLand domestic flights.

Two things to note here.

First, the screen cap here is the same flight but different day from the earlier image (depicting 68.59% punctuality probability). I thought I mentioned it here lest people get confused how a 2-1/2 hour delayed flight still has a 69% chance of taking off on time.

Secondly, we are making the assumption that the incoming connecting flight will be the plane that you will be boarding. For flights with severe delays, there is a possibility that the airline will deploy another plane to take over the flight. So do be alert as it will likely be a new boarding gate if they decided to switch planes.

Bon Voyage.

- Voxeros
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