Thursday, December 30, 2004

Coming Home

This must be the period of my life with the most travelling done, in both time and distance.

First it was going down to San Francisco via Greyhoud (25 hours X 2 ways), and travelling around in San Francisco.

Then it’s another 20 hrs flight from Vancouver back to Singapore. How my butt disagrees with me when I got back to Singapore

And how my Mom disagrees with me too, when I arrived back in Singapore.

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you want to give your father/mother/brother/sister/daughter/son/dog a jolt short of a heart attack, do go on a one or two semester exchange program and DO NOT CUT YOUR HAIR. This also makes a good camouflage should you intend to sneak past your eagerly awaiting ‘welcome-back party’. Mother was totally shocked into oblivion, as if she owns the stock market and Wall Street just crashed.

The next few days was spent in long hours of sleep (using jetlag as an excuse, of course), and few minutes of unpacking.

Every other minute was spent on intense efforts at dodging Mother, who keeps lunging at me, wielding a pair of barber scissors in one hand. Ok, I imagined that. But the real thing is nothing short of PRC asking Taiwan for unification, and Taiwan insisting on independence. The matrix stunts I have to perform just to get away from her…

And HERE’s my final expense report for the duration of stay in Singapore, IF you are interested. Same conditions apply as per last blog entry.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Belated San Francisco Happenings...

Hello once again to my few friends who have been tirelessly coming to my blog in anticipation of something interesting, and have been met with nothing less annoying than… nothing.

I shall try to keep you updated with what’s going on in my life in the FEWESTEST WORDS possible so that the next time I meet you (if I meet up with you), you can act as if you’ve known me all my life and that you are such an attentive/caring/concerned/kind/sweet/demure?/cool friend/fiend. (The more pertaining reason/excuse for this concise summary is that I‘ve been lazing around, doing nothing but staring at ceiling, making friends with shadows on the wall, and can’t be bothered to give you an in-depth analysis. Not that you are THAT interested anyway ;)

So here goes ….


San Francisco::

Let’s see what I can remember of the tripรจ

Super long bus rides (25h X 2) on Greyhound, with lots of lost connections and an unnecessary adventure to the unknown with a new-to-the-route bus driver. She’s jovial though, and that added to the adventurous air.

Chinatown. Good food at Yee’s Restaurant! Cheap (I think) American Ginseng.

Fisherman’s Wharf / Pier 39. Lots of exhibitionistic seals resting nonchalantly on floating platforms, while a larger number of tourists stare at their naked bodies in awe/disgust/love/adoration. Conjured up an image of tourists resting nonchalantly on floating platforms, while a larger number of seals stare at their naked bodies in awe/disgust/love/adoration, and that made me chuckle a bit, until I realised that I was naked on a floating platform too.

Crookedest (Heck, this word failed the spellchecker in Ms Word…) Road, at Lombard Street. It’s the crookedest Street! Wow! Amazing! Ok, so it’s crooked. And then?? It’s a tourist trap in both sense, I tell you. No one should come here to disturb the privacy of the poor (not really, they are quite rich to live in such a posh district) residents on both sides of the street. The gradient of the road is so steep that you can roll a marble on the high end of the road, and possibly kill 2 or more persons walking la-di-da-di-da-ly at the lower end of the road with it. Saw a sign that allows only parking at the sides, PERPENDICULAR TO THE GRADIENT, and I’ve been wondering how many drivers actually tried parking here, and how many drivers actually found themselves alive after that. Heck, this is too much attention for such a trappy street. Let’s move on.

San Francisco Bay. Nice strong waves with crazy surfers attempting a surf in the fr**king cold waters. Ooh, the kick of staying in 2-5 degrees waters, waiting for strong waves that may possibly drown them simply makes me feel happy for the world. How else do we stop the exponentially increasing population growth?

The Golden Gate Bridge! Wow, what a nice RED bridge! It’s really a nice red bridge, and that’s the whole cake.

Cheesecake Factory! Always have a weak spot for them. No wonder they can get away with 1-2hr long queues. Did you know that they give out pagers for customers, so that they may shop around and wait for their seats at the same time? It’s a really neat idea that saved them from being lambasted/boycotted by the general public.

Muir Woods. Saw those humongotongous redwoods, and had fun popping myself into the burnt cavities within the trunks (or what’s left of them). There would have been live salmon (Yum!) if it was just past the rainy periods, but we missed them, so too bad.

Taking wrong buses and getting lost are not such glorious events, and I think I will leave them out of my blog, thank you.

And that’s what the lazy me can come up with within the immensely short period of my unlaziness. So there.

Pics? Where are they? Look HERE. If I’m not so lazy, I might update the HERE to my imagestation album. And that’s a big IF. But do try looking back here for it anyway, IF you are interested. And that’s a bigger IF. =)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Presents Thread::

Hello boys and girls, these are the appx things I will bringing back:

Jelly bellies!
Maps for Yus.
Tons of chocs.
Starbucks mug and stored-value card.
Hardrock (Chicago) T-shirt.
NO maple syrup. =(

Most prolly you will be getting chocs or jelly bellies from me, so it's good useful edible stuff from me, unlike those other lousy friends who buy lousy useless white elephants for you to collect dust on your shelves. I'm good, didn't I tell you that? ;)

So much things going on... so little time to blog!!!

In a nutshell::
1)Exams finished! Intense ineffective mugging hours, and effectively my 2nd C+ for grades, up to now, but I don't really care! Woohoo. I'm a free man.

2)In between exams, went to Chicago to see my sis and bro, and there's where the meat (literally so) is!
Chicago's nice and cold and wind-chilling like anything and it's not really fun to be out there in comparison with Vancouver! VERY FLAT terrain also.

Where did I go? I define that by what I eat, mostly..
Let's see now... (in chrono order)

Philly Cheese Steak for 1st lunch:
Decadent, I tell you! Hot dog bun with lots of cheese and meat inside, will kill your heart!

Was a nice place, but I think vancouver has a better one! Of course lah, if you compare the population ratio of chinese, it has to be that way...

Deep dish pizza for dinner:
Never heard of that? It's pizza the thickness of a small cake! Filled with cheese and meat and everything sinful. Yumz.

Polish sausages for breakfast: Big nice bulging polish sausages cannot be wrong! Yumz.

Fanny May chocolates: Nice wholesome famous chocies. Only ate one sample though. The others became present for pple.

Pork chop at Ronny's: Was so large in proportion and so value for money that we went there the next morning to eat also! There will be pics, I promise!

Chicago Art institute: Definitely one of the larger artsy fartsy place I have been to. Nice pics and displays, and I think the $10 is a well-spent event.

John Hancock Tower: Supposedly spectacular bird-eye view from 94th floor around all of Chicago. Was getting a bit dark when there, so there was problem with taking photos. Great view from top though, if you can be there.

Cheesecake factory dinner: Bistro shrimp! Yumz. Was expensive though, and the whole place was really crowded, though the atmosphere was there. Very theme-decorated place. Nifty.

Going to leave for Singapore right after my San Francisco trip tomorrow to 28th, so now have no time to tell what's going on now!!! Ahh!!!!! Mad rush!!!! Pictures will be out post-event. Duh. That's such a moronic statement.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

My Itinerary -- For those who wants to organise ra-ra arrival party for me... =)

Wed, Dec 29-Thu, Dec 30: JAPAN AIRLINES INTL, JL 0017
From: VANCOUVER BC, CANADA (YVR) mapDeparts: 11:20am
Departure Terminal: MAIN TERMINALGate:Check for latest information
To: TOKYO NARITA, JAPAN (NRT) mapArrives: 2:20pm
Arrival Terminal: TERMINAL 2
Class: EconomySeat: Check-In Required
Status: ConfirmedConfirmation: UNHPE2
Meal: Meals , Snack or Brunch Smoking: No
Aircraft: BOEING 747 JET Mileage: 4681
Flight Time: 10 hours and 0 minutes
Verify flight times prior to departure

From: TOKYO NARITA, JAPAN (NRT) mapDeparts: 5:30pm
Departure Terminal: TERMINAL 2Gate:Check for latest information
To: SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE (SIN) mapArrives: 11:55pm
Arrival Terminal: TERMINAL 1
Class: EconomySeat: Check-In Required
Status: ConfirmedConfirmation: UNHPE2
Meal: Meals Smoking: No
Aircraft: BOEING 767 JET Mileage: 3311
Flight Time: 7 hours and 25 minutes

Monday, December 13, 2004

Jelly Bellies!!!!!!

I want to go here... *drooling already*


Things to buy

- Jelly Beans for Evan (this one is tentative, cos he still choosing flavours. Also depends on if he's naughty or nice.)
- Alberta Quarter for Bea~ (does it really exist?? Can’t find it online)
- Choc Delights, maybe (12 +/- 3) packs. Jiayun say got better chocolate deals.
- Maple leaf syrup, <=5 bottles. Last heard cost around 10 SGD for 250ml of PURE maple leaf syrup. Must beat this price.
- Walking pole. Saw one around 30 dollars at a consignment store near MEC (forgot what name is the shop liao..)
- luggage bag, to hold all the excess baggages I am bringing back for the peeps back home

We have good view @ Pender Apt too!

Was coming back late at night and the mountains north of us (Whistler Mt? BlackComb?) was shimmering in the sea of darkness, that they almost seem to be floating on nothingness.

I am a moth to city lights, and this is what I am enticed to. Pender Apts is a love-hate relationship.

This is getting stressfully exciting.. Woohoo....

14-15th: Exams
15th-19th: Holiday trip to Chicago
20-21st: Exams
22-28th: ANOTHER TRIP*
29th:Fly back to Singapore

* = Trip tentative
from ::
Vancouver -> Sacramento -> Stopover at Fairfield -> San Francisco
return ::
San Francisco -> Portland -> Vancouver

There's no time to do anything!!! This is so happening to me... I sure hope I pass my exams without much studying. =P

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Our two very polite (but very inanimate) hiredhands. Keep good company with the mouse in our kitchen.

2 not-so-enticing pathetic dried shrimps draws their attention... Posted by Hello

2 pathetic fake-o-mouse looking at the pathetic support (fork) of a pathetic mouse trap (drawer). Posted by Hello

Friday, December 10, 2004

What's heaty and what's not? The Yins and the Yangs...

Vegetables: carrot, leek, onion, shallots, spring onion, watercress
Fruits: apricots, blackberries, black currant, cherries, mangoes, strawberies, peaches
Herbs: basil, bay leaf, dill, caraway seed, cardamon

Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, zuccini, corn, aspeagus, button mushrooms, radish, lettuce, cucumber, celery, aubergine, spinach, cabbage, pak choi, kelp, seaweed
Fruits: melons, apples, tomatoes, citrus fruits, persimmon, pears, bananas, pineapple, coconut
Herbs: most teas, white peppercorn, marjoram, tarragon, tmeric

Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, beetroot, pumpkin, snow peas sweet potato, taro, turnip
Fruits: dates, figs, grapes, guava, papaya, plums, raspberries, raisins Herbs: fennel, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme Others: brown rice, kidney beans, almonds, peanuts

Comments on Singapore

Here's an interesting view on Singapore I chanced upon =)

Going to Chicago for Holiday on the 15th

Woohoo. How exciting. Will be going to Chicago during the exam period right after my 2nd paper on the 15th, to fly back on the 19th for exams due the following two days. I've already got my tix and here's the aggarated plan::

0830-1100:: take exam (complete with backpack for Chicago)
1100-1500:: Mug and get to Best Western @ Downtown for bus (
1500-1855:: Journey to Downtown Seattle
1855-2100:: Walk around downtown and eat lunch and mug (not!) and get to bus tunnel
2130-2200:: Take bus to SeaTec Airport

2358-0544(15th):: Plane to Chicago (Midway)
0544-1500:: Hang around downtown Chicago, wait for hotel
1500-????:: Unplanned tour
????-1000:: Get my ass to Chicago (Midway) for plane back to SeaTec
1220-1444:: Plane to SeaTec
1444-1635:: Eat lunch and get to Best Western Hotel
1635-2035:: Take bus back to Vancouver
2035-2115:: Take bus back to home for dinner
2115-????:: Mug and prepare for exams tomorrow.

...and that's the full extent of my planning. Not much of a plan considering that I dunno what will be going on in Chicago and how much mugging I can do there (not!)

If there's anything anyone wants from Chicago, now's the time to leave a note in the comments. Won't be getting them, but at least I can laugh over how naive you can be to expect me to buy things for you. =)

Double Delectables

I am addicted to Double Delectables (Milk Chocolate covered Blueberries/Cranberries.) Think will be getting a few pack of them back to Singapore for distribution... =)

Food crisis!

I am getting really fat from all the binge eating sessions for the past few days.

A quick review of traffic through my system::

Viet beef noodles, Lunch @ !@$!$!! Viet Restaurant @ Kingsway
Coffee @ JJ Beans
Steamboat, Dinner @ Home

Mixed rice, Lunch
Pasta and Tiramisu, Dinner @ Anton's

Dim Sum, Brunch @ Sze Chuan Restaurant
Krispy Kremes, Teatime @ Delta
Coffee @ Perky Beans
Stirfry Beef + sausages and pasta, dinner @ Home

Viet beef noodles, Lunch @ Thai Son, Richmond
Wonton noodles, Dinner @ Ho Tak Kee

Coffee, Breakfast @ JJ Beans
Pasta, Lunch @ Anton's
Beef and broccoli rice, Dinner @ Home

Satay Horfun, Lunch @ Garlic and Ginger (Pui!)
Coffee, Teatime @ Bean Brothers
Mashed Potatoes and Drumsticks, Dinner @ HoMe

Mixed Rice, Lunch @ Yaohan
Pasta, Dinner @ HoMe

Canfood pasta and 4 snack bars
Pizza and chicken noodle soup, Dinner @ Home

And this is on top of numerous snacking occassions that I am not keeping track of...

And the worst thing is......
I've still got quite some can foods++ to clear from the larder before I set for home~~~!
How the heck am I gonna finish all campbell soupies/canned pasta/meat sauce, when I have effectively 20 days left in Vancouver, with 5 of them to be spent in Chicago? Mama sai~~~~!!! Siao liao lah!!!! Panic panic...


Complains about the weather::
It's getting colder and gloomier, definitely. Temperature hovers around 2 degrees, with drizzles aplenty, and traces of snow. CAn't get enough of the snow, but hate the rain.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Viet Food @ Richmond ++

Went to Richmond for Viet food today, and it was excellent. Thai Son sells excellent Tai Pho at reasonable price that I am tempted to go again for again and again, if it was not located in Richmond where there's so much other nice asian food to eat~!

Must go Richmond again before going back to Singapore.

Complains about the weather::
It's getting colder and gloomier, definitely. Temperature hovers around 2 degrees, with drizzles aplenty, and traces of snow. Love the snow, but hate the rain.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Krispy Kreme's @ Delta

Went for Dim Sum in the morning, followed by a pilgrimage to Krispie Kreme's @ Delta. The place was more accessible than the one we went to in Seattle, but we missed the most exciting icing event of the day (we found that the do that in the morning from 530 to 11)

Nevertheless, we bought some delectable doughnuts and also filmed the whole production process (the doughnuts are produced machine assembly line style, and it's really quite cool to see such an industrial feat, not to mention all those drooling doughnuts...)

Brought some back for further savouring and drooling over...

The video for the production line will be up soon. Anticipate for it. =)

Went to Eugene's uncle cafe at New Westminster and had a triple (yes, triple.) shot mocha. Caffeine overdose, I tell you... He was going on and on about the good points of moving over to Canada from Singapore though I am not the least tempted to do so. Can't stand the blasting weather [yet?])

Anton's Pasta

...was simply overwhelming in proportion. The portion is undeniably enough to feed 2 cows, judging from everyone coming out with styrofoam boxes containing leftovers after a hearty meal there.

The quality of food there? Not exactly a purist's heaven, but to the layman who has no inkling as to what defines an italian pasta or a Tiramisu, it may actually work. Bastardized versions abound in the menu, and the taste's not too shabby. But on the overall, it wins by sheer size. It's quite not possible to come out without experiencing a carbo-high.

Be prepared to wait in line if you are going there at peak periods (between 530 and 9pm.)

Friday, December 03, 2004

Last day of school

Tomorrow's the last day of school and no one's really caring here to even go for class. Except peeps who have to hand up assignments and papers and such. I'm skipping all except one class @ 2-3pm.

We've just had a pleasant gathering over a steamboat dinner, and tomorrow's simply a day to pass for the exam breaks to come. And then what? We study? No... We are exchange students from Singapore. We party. Yay. Where to? Does it matter? It does.

There's so little time to do some much things which we don't know we have to do before we can't do them anymore.

Tomorrow will be going to the famous Anton's on Hastings for dinner, followed by a bus ride west to east on Hastings.

Bro's website

I've got a wonderful brother at here =)

Updated my financial accounts again, can go here to find it. It's the excel file.

Extended budget to 9k, but still got .3K left from that. Looks like I MAY have to use the full 10K from the Lee Foundation Award for the term of my stay here. Haiz, no earnings, but never mind lah, have a good time here count myself very blessed already. =)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

The most important key on the keyboard

One of the most important key on the keytboard is the backspace key. With out the backspace key, we simply cnaoot corrcyt our errors and all oru entries will look very funny, much like what you are seeing now. How do we correct sentences tha t we do not want anymore? Can we simply say >ingnore last sentence? > or something like that? Probably not.

This is much like asking ourselves if we can get a fresh clean sheeat of paper from one really messed up one, without using a n eraser. Simply impossible. Perhaps this is much like what our lifes are withouthte saving frace of God. Full of errors and imncomprehensible. Jesus is the ersaer, the backspace pkey fro us, and o;nly with it can we correct our resally mesesed up lives into correcy allignment with Him.

The most important key on the keyboard

One of the most important key on the keytboard is the backspace key. With out the backspace key, we simply cnaoot corrcyt our errors and all oru entries will look very funny, much like what you are seeing now. How do we correct sentences tha t we do not want anymore? Can we simply say >ingnore last sentence? > or something like that? Probably not.

This is much like asking ourselves if we can get a fresh clean sheeat of paper from one really messed up one, without using a n eraser. Simply impossible. Perhaps this is much like what our lifes are withouthte saving frace of God. Full of errors and imncomprehensible. Jesus is the ersaer, the backspace pkey fro us, and o;nly with it can we correct our resally mesesed up lives into correcy allignment with Him.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Ouch.. static

I am quite confident that the taps in Gage are bearing a grudge against me. You can't get static-shocked 9 times on the same taps and call it coincidence. It would be illegal.

And recently the toilet door is also giving me some nerve-jabbings. It's a conspiracy, I tell you...

Things we left behind

There seems to be an intense competition which I've been either kept in the dark about or I'm just ill-informed about, in Kroener's Library's Level 1 toilet.

I am talking about the increasing number of chewing gum in the left and right urinals in the guy's toilet. There have apparently been active voluntary participation from UBC's guys (awww... how spontaneous and sweet...) in depositing their elastic remains with much accuracy (more accurate than the general aiming at the paper recycling bin in the corner) into the urinals. It's simply a marvellous sight to behold, all those blues, greens, and yellows of eclectic flavours once possessing.