Monday, December 25, 2006

Singapore Dreaming - Starbucks Coffee Vs Kopitiam Coffee

One thing that infuriated me since I was back. The more Singapore progresses economically, the more we lack a kind of morality to treat all human beings as being equally created in the image of God. This isn't even about racism. We treat "Bangalas", Chinese scholars (PRC scholars), Filipino maids, Vietnamese brides like commodities. We ignore people distributing pamphlets like they don't exist. We walk straight through sales people or cleaners, refer to them as "those uneducated people" and effectively created a whole strata of invisible people who are supporting our society. If there is any crime or vice happening, it is because "these foreigners" brought it into Singapore. This makes us the Asian modern version of pre-civil war America. Why is Singapore at the bottom of the World Economic Forum's customer service ranking? If you were paid $5 an hour to be treated like crap all day, would you bother to grin and bear with it?

When the bomb drops, or the famine strikes, or the building collapses, it doesn't matter whether you are a rich university educated lawyer staying in a condo or a foreign worker earning $20 a day. You'll still be in the same hole saying your last prayers. As my father puts it, Singaporeans are just the mediocre Starbucks coffee packaged nicely and put in a nice shop. Many of the foreign workers are good robust home brewed coffee that are packaged in plain battered tins and placed in rundown coffee shops. At the end of day, the thing that matters is what kind of coffee you are.

My Simple Christmas Dinner

The first Christmas dinner I made for my family involved tomato and basil bruschetta with pinenuts and mushroom flavoured olive oil, pesto chicken with white wine sauce, and mushroom bacon carbonara with sundried tomato. The stove busted on us, so we had to use the campfire stove. We ate it next to candlelight albeit wearing PJs and drinking water out of plastic Ikea tumblers.

And as if we haven't had enough white wine, we submerged lychee in wine and syrup.

Next week I shall try making seafood claypot with white wine and saffron rice.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Too Old for this Shit - The Fashion Faux Pas of a Xmas Romp

Last night it officially hit me that I'm too old to spend any festivity in a club. The line is too long, the people are too young, the guys look like they are still in the army, the music is too loud, everyone is too sweaty, the cheap alcohol taste really bad and cover charge is too steep. I spent most of my one and a half hour at MOS, this popular club in Singapore, watching the DJ spin with some cool computer software technology. My friends mistook that as my apparent boredom and tried to get me to dance. So I spent the rest of the night staring at the revolving lights.

Some things I observed while sulking. I know it is rainy in Singapore and winter in the northern hemisphere, but what's up with the winter clothes in a club man. I saw so many girls wearing knee high boots with equally high thick winter socks. Think about how bad your feet will stink after that. I saw guys in knitted long sleeved turtleneck sweaters. There were people in scarves. I saw a girl dressed, top to bottom, in white fur. Maybe it is fashionable and all, but between comfort and sweating and smelling like a dead raccoon, I'll choose the former. It was freaking 30 degrees in the club! Do you see people wearing fur in Bali? Or in Malaysia? Or in summer anywhere else in the world?

Other notable things that should never be worn in a club. A fanny pack or a sling bag. It looked like he was going to whip out fake CDs from his pack and try to sell them to me. A polo shirt tucked into beige pants and sports shoes. This is a club, not a golfing range. Also, track pants and runners. Dancing is tiring, but it is not a sport! And finally, huge metallic bling bling hung around the neck. You are not black. Wearing the bling, and your cap backwards along with some really bad hand movements that resembles rapping is not going to make you black if you are yellow skinned with small eyes. Even William Hung is cooler than that.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Retro Christmas Party @ Rick and Jhaney

I was going for the 60's Edie Sedgwick style. But since tights and belt are in, I just look like every other girl on the street.

For a brief second I considered the afro perm.

Yanting, Shuyun and me

The beautiful gals!

And the guys!!

Merry Christmas Singapore Style

Its one more day to Christmas but somehow I don't seem excited at all. Just arrived back from Melbourne on the 19th and Bob was a wonderful accidental refugee at my house. His "Kampong" kena flooded, so he stuck in Singapore. It was a pretty wild time of eating XO crab bee hoon, pork trotters, bak kut teh, frog leg congee, beef hor fun...just to name a few.Good stuff. Since I don't have a turkey in Singapore, I'll make do with a slab of fatty pork knuckles and chili crab with fried buns to dip with the sauce. I'm getting excited.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fresh from a Guy's Mouth.....

"A hairband on a girl is like sauce on top of meat pie."

"You just reduced my entire gender to meat pies"

Bob's graduation 3rd Dec Posted by Picasa

The happy graduate and the ever proud of him girlfriend Posted by Picasa

There were only a few good spots to get your photo taken in Melbourne uni...but im glad we at least have nice buildings to take our photos next to Posted by Picasa

Bob's family at his graduation Posted by Picasa

At Richmond Hill and Larder.....

Had the best Scampi on Cous Cous with Chorizo jus reduction jam today. The cous cous was completely bursting with flavour, sweet, sour and spicy all in one serve. It made me want to never use instant cous cous anymore. The scampi was so fresh it was actually crunchy and sweet. Bob and I also had veal wrapped in prosciutto with absolutely melted in the mouth, and were tempted into getting cheese from their formage vault. Definitely going to back if I get the chance.

My newest discovery is Bridge road..spent the whole of yesterday shopping there, and having lunch at Chimmy's which had de-li-cious cakes, and then lunch there again today. I'm considering going back again tomorrow but that might be a tad obsessive. The more threatened I feel about my existence in Melbourne, the more I love Melbourne. Flinders lane, Bridge Road, Camberwell, Chapel Street, Brunswick Street....sigh...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Casino Royale: The Blood, Gore and Product Placements

I feel like an idiot because at the end of Casino Royale I did not understand the plot at all. There were a couple of drawn out car chases and a torture scene that I had to close my eyes. Each time there was a fight I felt like throwing up. Too much blood. At the end of the show I kept telling Bob how sad it is that so many people died. He said "But they are the bad guys" But they still died didn't they. I'm not watching another action show. And this is why I had to pause The Pianist three times because I couldn't take the Holocaust scenes and why I never made it through Kill Bill.

But watch it for the product placements. They are so obvious its kinda funny. Every shot has a product in it. The slow pan of the camera over the Sony Ericsson phone. The wide angle shot of the Ford. The name dropping of the Aston Martin. Even his choice of mixes in his martini includes some brand name alcohol. And my favourite part, "Is that a Rolex?"........."No. Its an Omega." The Rolex PR people must be very very angry.

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Difference Between Men and Women Part 1

I was in Bennett's Lane Jazz Bar a few nights ago with Bob and Sam re-living my life when I used to hang out with platonic guy friends in Philly. Since I got back to Melbourne, estrogen kicked in, all my friends became girls and I feel awkward sending a "Lets catch up for coffee" to a male person. So Sam was talking to the door person (I told him they were called door bitches and he looked at me like I was being rude) and I whispered to Bob that from the way she was sitting, she was totally not into him. And then Sam came back to the table, Bob leaned over to Sam and said "Charissa said she was not into you."

My mind was fumbling into disarray with a come back line to counter Bob's brutal honesty. But Sam just shrugged and looked thankful for the honest opinion. And then I was reminded about the differences between guys and girls.

Think about it, same situation but with a Samantha and Bobette. Samantha tries to pick up the bartender, but bartender looks distracted. Samantha comes back to the table and squeals about how cute and 'into her' the bartender was. Never in a million years would Bobette say, 'Look, the bartender was so not into you because there was a much prettier blond standing behind you, and he was trying to cut the conversation with you short so he can flirt with her. Besides, you look fat in your skinny jeans.' No. Bobette would say something along the lines of
'Yeah he looks kinda into you...maybe he is distracted because he is shy.' It isn't really an outright lie. An outright lie would be 'He is totally into you, go jump him and make a fool of yourself for our viewing pleasure.'

Bobette's vagueness is needed to protect her friend's feelings. Girls value protecting each other's feelings over brutal honesty. While they most often will still tell the truth, they will opt to say "Those jeans don't quite suit you" instead of "Whao you look like a pregnant whale in that." Because she knows if she says the latter, her friend will spend the entire week thinking about how fat and unattractive she is, how sad her life is, attempt to diet for a few days and feel like a total loser because she doesn't have the necessary discipline. Tell a girl that a bunch of people hate her and she will seriously get upset, spend endless hours thinking she has a personality disorder and either withdraw from that group of friends or overcompensate by being over friendly. Yeah she will get over it, but why inflict the pain in the first place?

So with every question, most girls already have the correct buzzer they want you to press in their head. Q:Am I fat? A: Are you kidding, of course you are not. Besides you look better this size than before. Q: Am I prettier than her? A: Of course you are, her eyes on you wouldn't go with your face shape. Q: Does this dress look nice? A: Yes it does, and it will go very well with a trench coat over it.

Do girls want honesty? Of course they do. They just want it in subtle easy-to-swallow pieces rather than spell-it-out brutal honesty. She is cunning enough in her sentence structure analysis to understand that the hesitations in your answer, the ummm...hmmm....and flippant, "I don't really know..." or "I'm not the best person to ask", is disapproval to her choice of clothes, boyfriend, cooking or choice of room decoration. There is no need to say " I think you boyfriend looks like a cock-eyed humpback penguin with the personality of a Kenny from South Park" to get a message across.

And somehow, girls, during the first 'friend-meets-boyfriend' session, will ask what their friends think about their boyfriend the first chance they get. Do guys do the same thing? I don't know. Or do guys really not care what their mates think about their girlfriend? After Clarence's choice of words over my past partners and after hearing so many guys openly diss their sister/female friend's choice of partners in front of their faces, I have concluded that guys feel that their brutal honesty is appreciated. And as many of my guy friends have said, 'If you don't want to hear the truth, don't ask."

Friday, December 08, 2006

In How Many Languages Can We Say Screwed Up

You know whats really screwed up. When the exchange department tells you that none of your grades from your exchange will be used in Melbourne Uni. So you play party travel and do what all students who feel no need to do well do, and produce borderline results. You come back and someone in the department echos the same thing. So you slave your ass off alll semester knowing you have a shot since your depressing exchange grades will not be used. Then they screw you over by telling you that they will be using your exchange grades when considering your honours application.

I am so close to smearing shit all over melbourne uni's walls.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I Don't Like You Very Much Melbourne Uni

Darn Melbourne Uni. Their conclusion after me camping outside their office for two days is that they are not going to help me. To begin with, they don't really know who is in charge because there are three departments handling the same issue, and I get pushed from department to department claiming its not their issue. All I want is them to confirm that they are not going to include my exchange grades for honours consideration, something one of them promised me one month ago but forgot.

The system does not take into account international students. They tell you your results, give you one day to decide if you can or want to graduate, give you 6 days to get your family from some part of the world down for your graduation. And what I don't understand is how they can tell you if you recieve honours after your graduation ceremony. But i guess we can go down for the March ceremony which makes it more slightly better.

Today my friend who was due to graduate this Dec 15 found out that she never recieved any graduation material because she was not on the list. The Uni just 'forgot' to put her name down because they 'forgot' that she was completing uni this year. The summary of their response goes along the lines of 'you're screwed and there is nothing much we are going to do about it.'

Little Black Dresses

So...they haven't email back like they promise they i went to Metalicus and bought a little black dress to kill off the nervous energy. Nothing like a black dress to keep your mind of things. One can never have too many LBDs. This is my 7th or 8th LBD and I'm still counting. I got a tube LBD, a juicy smock top tube velvet LBD, a polka dotted hankerchief vintage LBD, a vintage beaded bodice LBD, a lace bodice tube cocktail LBD, a bubble LBD and my newest addition to the family, a stretchy knee length LBD with crinkled bottom. Little Black Dresses bring peace and harmony to the world.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Pissing in My Pants Worrying about an Email

I'm sitting in the Melbourne Uni library totally pissing in my pants as the academics decide if i can go on to honours next year. The grade to get into honours is a 75 and above, and I got a 75.6. However, that is an average over 5 subjects while the requirement asked for a 7 subject average. My additional two subjects would come from my exchange which I did depressingly in. So I have been here since 10 this morning asking that they only count my current 5 subjects and not 7. I know moping around the university, attempting to break into the Arts International Office and checking my email five times in half an hour is not exactly productive and doesn't really change their decision or speed things up...but its that kind of feeling where you just don't feel like doing anything else. It is no point going for a walk when all I wanna do is keep reloading my email page until I recieve that confirmation email.

Ok I'm going back to check my email and surf until someone emails me something.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The iconic Sydney Opera House Posted by Picasa

Best coffee in sydney...Campos...Bob was a very happy man Posted by Picasa

Bondi Beach...houses beach carpark and all Posted by Picasa

At the Harbour Bridge before we took the boat to Manly Beach Posted by Picasa

Bob was so deeply engrossed in his book that he failed to notice the hot underage blonds around him... Posted by Picasa

Or maybe not.... Posted by Picasa

Sand in your ear. Hair in your eyes. I love Surfer Paradise.  Posted by Picasa

Such a tourist shot. MovieWorld. Gold Coast. Posted by Picasa

We got onto the actual set of the Matrix..this was the actual backdrop we saw in the was amazing! Posted by Picasa

Remember the phone booth in the matrix Posted by Picasa

Bugs bunny scaring a little kid... Posted by Picasa

The average age of the audience was 5.5..... Posted by Picasa

This looks deceptively kiddish..but its a freaking scary roller coaster. The girl behind me kept telling her friend it wasn't scary. What she left out was the part it tosses you around and then plunge backwards. Bob had a neckache and I had a headache after. We are too old for this.  Posted by Picasa

It is like a trip down memory lane! I use to watch him on Sunday morning cartoons! Posted by Picasa

Shrek or the incredible hulk? Posted by Picasa

Doing the chicken dance in MovieWorld. I was hoping to get hired. Sadly that did not happen. Posted by Picasa

Bob and I at a fantastic seafood place in starts with a M and ends with an E Posted by Picasa

The sunset in Noose Heads, Sunshine Coast Posted by Picasa

Bob and I by a deserted beach somewhere in Noosa Posted by Picasa