30 April 2013

Shanghai Formula One 2013

I got a call on Thursday of the Shanghai Formula One race weekend from a friend who told me he scored two Platinum passes courtesy of the good folks at Mercedes Benz.

So I booked an air ticket and jiak zhuar on the afternoon the next day to head to the airport.

The funny thing was that since this is "jiak zhuar", nobody knows where I was headed.

So there I was sitting in the plane on the tarmac as we get ready for departure when my mobile phone rang.

It was from the office.

My heart skipped a beat and I was struggling whether to take the phone call or not.

I relented in the end and "Hello?"

All was going great and I thought I was about to get away with it as the conversation was about to end.


The PA announcement reminding passengers to keep seat upright, window shades up, eletronic gear off went off! Hong Kan!! Pichar Lobang liao!!

Luckily, I think the person at the other end totally did not expect me to be inside a plane and was very likely none the wiser.

I nearly heart attack.

The plane took off and landed in Shanghai two hours later without incident. I was whisked straight away to go clubbing.

The next way was a Saturday i.e. Practice Round 3 at noon then Qualifying Round later in the afternoon.

It. Was. Boring.

I guess all was made up with another night of clubbing.

Now, we come to the actual race day. The place was packed but the weather made everyone comfy as it was a cool breezy 20 degrees.

Ahh... the race queens. One thing I can tell you. They all bladdy look alike. They all look like the Chinese clone waitresses in the movie Cloud Atlas!

My friend was complaining why wear cheongsam? Cannot see!! Fortunately it was breezier down on the track than in the stands and so the frequent gusts of wind made him happy. Heh.

So anyway, it was quite an exciting race and Alonso deserved the victory as he was invincible that day. Vettel couldn't do anything about it and Hamilton just faded as early as the first lap.

--> Click Here For The Photo Set Of The Shanghai Formula One 2013 Race.

- Voxeros

29 April 2013

Kitchen Roulette Pilot Episode

Fresh out of the oven (no pun intended), the pilot episode is finally out.

I watched the trailers and I was intrigued. I groused at the fact that the pilot episode took long to come out, having whetted my appetite with the trailer for so long.

I can't wait to get home to watch it. It is always interesting to see friends up on the screen.

So here's wishing Ed and Lee every success and sustainability.

p.s. Click on the screen to go to the actual youtube page. I like the write up. :)

Afternote: I finally caught the episode and following are my comments:

  • This is a food show. Any images or mention of cigarettes should not show up at all.

  • This is an amateur project and so lacking in many areas as far as resources are concerned. However, it is not to say that the only way to do it is to splurge on high end equipment. It'd be nice to have these resources but it's not guarantee that you will end up with a better product.

    Sorely obviously is the quality of audio. Obviously getting a boom mic is out of the question and so perhaps the next step up would be clip on mics. If that is all out of budget, then perhaps consider including subtitles. I can't hear what they are saying 30 to 40% of the time.

  • Edmund is fine but Lee's diction needs to improve. It is very muffled. I am friends with Lee and so I am used to her way of speaking and can understand perfectly but this show is to the world-at-large and so we have to take into consideration people (a lot of people) who may be hearing Lee for the first time.

  • When Aileen steps into the house, there was the overlay text on the bottom right corner featuring her name, her title and her company. It should stay in there longer as I couldn't read fast enough before it was faded out.

  • The couch scene. Get more pillows. A crotch shot, even if fully clothed, is not a welcoming sight.

  • There is subtitles when featuring the butcher. Subtitles should be done throughout the entire show as mentioned earlier.

  • If there is introduction of Aileen by way of text overlay, I feel the butcher, the vegetable-selling uncle, the old skool confectionery store and/or even the supermarket should have their info i.e. name, address, store number featured. Do ask permission. In a way, it's your publicity effort to tell them and let them tell their friends to come watch your episode.

  • Instead of coming home from shopping with several plastic bags, consider going out with a marketing bag to spread the message of Go Green.

  • Dress better. The denim shorts are just too sloppy.

  • Lee, clean up your language please. You are doing a show where the audience can be as young as 3 years old (who knows?). Bleeping is not an option.

  • Nick, the camera man, is part of the team. It would be fun if we can get a shot of Nick from time to time as well.
- Voxeros

First Purchase In Da Hu

A year ago, my first purchase in the capital was the coffee mug. A year later at a new location, my first purchase is still a coffee mug, except this time it's a coffee mug cum french press for a modest sum of RMB 49 (SGD 9.80)

Saves me the hassle of having to wash two things (mug + french press) instead of just one.

So anyway, I had my first brew. Need to learn how to drink hot beverage from a small opening (read: Hot!). I was never good at drinking coffee with a straw (plastic bag coffee) to begin with and this tiny opening at the top of the thermal mug isn't any good either.

- Voxeros

28 April 2013

Noodles That Take Your Soul

I was in Chengdu three weeks ago when I spotted this noodle in a little hole in the wall right next to my hotel.

I was intrigued with the name of the noodle. 勾魂面 translates to "noodles that takes your soul" which essentially is a Sichuan version of 炸酱面.

I have to say it was very good and cheap at a price of just RMB 7.00 (SGD 1.40).

I guess they were right in "taking my soul" and I headed back for another round two days later.

- Voxeros

27 April 2013

JayWalk In Da Hu

A year ago, I was posted to the Capital and my existence was packed neatly into just 3 bags. When I was posted back to HQ, it was the same 3 bags.

This time round, the posting order sends me to Shanghai and again, it's the same 3 bags.

So this post shall kick off the new Shanghai series where I will continue to blog what I see, hear, smell, learn here.

Shanghai is also known as 沪 where I hereby shall call it Da Hu.

Stay tuned.

- Voxeros

10 April 2013

Screen Comedy

I was on a flight to Chengdu last week for a trade fair. It was a Boeing 739 with a 3-3 single-aisle seat configuration.

Halfway through the flight, this one guy, several rows in front of me, decided that he needs to visit the toilet.

Unfortunately for him, he is the window-seat guy with two moron neighbours who didn't think to stand up and get out to the aisle to make way.

So the poor chap has to struggle clambering over two sets of protruding leg obstacles.

Forgetting that he has a screen overhead, he rammed his head into it so hard that it triggered the screen to retract back to its nesting.

Fella panicked as he was afraid of incurring the wrath of the other passengers who were watching the movie mid-way. He stopped in his tracks as he tried to figured out how to get the screen back down again (all this while his butt probably inches away from the middle-seat lady's face). He felt around hoping to have a release button. None found. How about using his fingernails to pry it open? Nope. That didn't work either.

Then all of a sudden, the screen popped open again smacking him in the head, albeit relatively gently as the screen swing motion was rather slow.

Still, it was funny as hell.

AND this is why I ALWAYS take the aisle seat.

AND yes. I do stand up, get out onto the aisle for fellow row passengers to get in and/or out.

- Voxeros

09 April 2013

QQLand Seat Belt

There is something about the local folks here and their utmost hatred for the seat belt.

In the past, drivers would only buckle up when they get onto the highway as non-compliance warrants a hefty fine if caught. However, once you are off the highway, the traffic police turn a blind eye, even though the traffic rules stipulate that seat belt be fastened as long as you are on the road, regardless if it is highway or local.

Problem is when modern cars, the car will ding ding ding all the way as long as your seat belt is not fastened.

So one of the genius chauffeurs in the company car fleet decided to go buy a spare buckle to plug in, just so that the ding dings will go away.

Not sure if ingenuity or stupidity.....

Things that make you go "Hmm....."

- Voxeros

08 April 2013

SilkAir Online Check-In

I have been meaning to write this for the longest time but just somehow unable to pen a proper entry up to now.

I was very miffed when I did online check-in with Silkair.

The thing that annoyed me was that when I did seat selection, 48-hours before departure time, I was only left with the last row (6 seats) to choose from (see illustration on the right).

Granted that the airline's frequent flyer program's elite members are able to select their desired seat at time of booking i.e. reserve seats ahead of me, surely there can't be 114 (120, accordingly to Seat Maestro, less 6 seats in the last row) elite members on board on both inbound and outbound flights?

OK. Fine, then there is the priority given to those with special needs. Even so, all elite members AND special needs can't amount to 114 people, right?

Seriously, if there aren't any choice to begin with, why bother with providing seat selection?

In all fairness, I have to give credit to the excellent level of service provided by the flight attendants. They go all out to make sure you have a comfortable and enjoyable flight.

I appreciate that.

But to tout the availability to select your seats at time of check-in when you are only given the choice to be the jagar of toilets just didn't go down well with me.

Initially, I thought it was just bad luck on my outbound flight. To my dismay, it was the same situation again with my return flight.

Can you say WTF?

I fly CX usually for my flights back to Singapore, despite the convenience of a non-stop flight out of Shenzhen. I decided to fly Silkair/Singapore Airlines again when I signed up recently for Air China's Phoenixmiles program, thinking I can accrue the miles and at the same tine have the convenience to be able to fly out from my doorstep.

I guess I was wrong on that count.

Perhaps, I shall go back to flying out from Hong Kong even if it means allocating an additional 2 hours of travel time for me to get to Hong Kong airport via Shenzhen ferry.

Image Credit:

- Voxeros

02 April 2013

Tiger Roars Again

After two-and-a-half years in the wilderness, Tiger is back to No.1 again.

I said it a year ago that Tiger will be back when he won last year's Bay Hill following in his earlier Chevron World Challenge victory.

Again, a bird-flip to those sponsors who bailed on him at the slightest tremour. Oh ye of little faith!

Anyway, congratulations to Tiger Woods for getting back on his feet. It is an inspiration tale of perseverance albeit with a slightly R-rated history.

Image Credit:

- Voxeros