Tuesday, May 31, 2005

29th May: Rainy day

On my way back from church today, the Singapore skies turned nebulously ominous within a time span enough perhaps to consume one ching teng, and gave way to a torrential downpour so heavy I started thinking if it was ever mentioned in Revelations that Singapore was to be destroyed by flood or similar means. But then I remembered the covenant of the rainbow, and thought that scenario impossible.

If you were taking snapshots of me at 1 minute intervals, you would see me in the bus -

dull-eyed; awake, but nonchalant; quite awake; very much awake and staring in amazement; jumping about the bus wishing I had a video camera; panicking; deep in concentration (initiating a traveling salesman problem of least cost path back to house);

I have never seen such a sudden and unrelenting rain storm (maybe I have, but let’s not dwell on this exaggeration) – water overflooded the drains (I’m talking about those 1m deep drains by the sides of pedestrian paths running parallel to roads, not those itsy bitsy small drains easily clogged by two or three condemned umbrellas), and the delineation of road and drain became obscenely blurred.

Sooner than later, we were in a precarious situation – the bus was effectively a ship cruising on land, sending waves reaching up to the height of the window I was peering out from. Do you ever notice the trailing v-shaped waves that follow the path taken by a ship? The bus driver must have felt irresolute on continuing his intended route, for I am quite sure he does not possess a boat licence, or a license to drive a bus as a boat. Either way, it’s rather illegal to use an automobile in an unintended manner, and I am absolutely sure a bus is not meant for the open sea on the roads of Singapore.

Reaching Upper Bukit Timah, I was half-expecting the sight of baii-s and thambi-s balancing pots and belongings on their heads in the flooded pedestrian paths, a sight familiar in the Punjab floodplains (Hmm.. I’m being racist here...), while cats and dogs were paddling their ways to safety 450242km away, somewhere else on the continental plate.

By the end of the rain, I am of the opinion that Singapore would have enough water to tide over the next month or so without utilising any NEWater. Thank goodness for that.

28th May: 3 am.

Finally finished Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Filled with introspections. Stepping out of the vacated room that my mom once slept in till she preferred the balcony, I found my sister sleeping on the couch in the unlit living room.

The other two rooms are lit. Are they awake? At this hour?

My father was sound asleep in our room. He had been waiting for me, for I had switched on the light before started reading in the other room.

My brother was sound asleep in the other room. He had been waiting for my sister, the other occupant of the room, who is now snoring away on the couch.

Sometimes we do careless things in our lives, which cause others to wait in vain for things that will never come. False hopes.

But sometimes they do come. Just a tad bit too late, to add to the misery of the given up wait.


It has been some time since I last blogged, primarily because I was away on my Taiwan trip (6-14th) and my China trip (16-24), secondarily because once I came back to Singapore, blogging about the events in both trips seemed too gargantuan a task for me, best left as a homework which are, as normal, best left delayed till kingdom or deadline comes, whichever first.

I'm not sure why, but when blogging becomes a scheduled task, it's no fun anymore. Perhaps the innate sense of responsibility within this very responsible individual does not allow him rest, but torments him in conflict with his lack of discipline... Nevertheless, I endeavour to capture the events of both trips in a non-dullish fashion (perhaps in the manner of Gulliver's Travels or the likes, only more satirical), but makes no promise to churn them out, if at all this ill-disciplined individual gets his ill-disciplined bottoms whacked by his responsible self.

And here starts Day 1 of Taiwan Trip....... not.

Hah, I'm too lazy to start. Time for dinner. =P

But above's a few other backtracked blogs, just to keep my ardent fans interested.

Monday, May 16, 2005

They don't call it St. Anthony's fire for nothing...

Ladies and gentlemen, I am down with Herpes Zoster. Too much gallivanting and frolicking around in Taiwan might be the cause of this extreme discomfort which I have to endure with for the next 3 weeks. Sigh, such is the price one have to pay for his reckless actions.

No, it is not Herpes of the sexual kind. Rather, it is what we commonly know as Shingles. For more information, look here

When the rashes first came out, my immediate thoughts dwelled in the hotspring of Beitou and all the dirty stuff associated with the nature of hotsprings (other than kinky behaviour[s], there are also mega communities of bacteria/parasites/lochness monsters). Could it be parasites? Some form of allergic reaction? Too much glorious junk food? But it turned out to be sheer bad luck, or whatever unexplainable reasons that I can explain off.

Yup, so I'll be a contagious walking diseased tourist in China from Tuesday on, happily spreading Herpes to all those in contact with me. Joy joy joy.

A most refreshing way to introduce yourself to someone you know by MSN only

It is quite a necessity to have a good memory to prevent awkward situations, such as the one I had recently, described below.

She: hi..do i noe ya?
Me: no you don't
Me: but I think you are cute
Me: hahah... no lah
Me: your friend told me you can help with planning for me taiwan trip...
Me: thing is, I forgot which friend
Me: argh.
Me: ok ok, I'm in NUS comp engineering. you know any friend there?
Me: USP?
She: xinmei?
She: kevin tai?
She: eugene?
Me: eugene ng? don't think it's him..
Me: I think it's a her..
Me: errr..
Me: shit, this is bad..
She: nopez..not eugene ng..mine's eugene lek
Me: orh
Me: ok, this is getting awkward.
Me: I can authenticate myself :$
She: ah huh..
Me: cherry?
She: ???
Me: zhiqing?
She: OH
She: zhiqing
She: you are??
Me: is that right?
Me: ok, I am Frank, a friend of zqueen's thru exchange program in Canada..
She: yupz...hi~
She: think i heard your name b4 also
Me: phew... authenticated!!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Getting myself lost silly

I'll be in Taiwan from tomorrow till 14th May, and I won't have the time to write anything while I'm happily gallivanting there.

Another matter,
I'm interested in watching The Return or Lovepuke @ the Durian Structure we call Esplanade (DSE), dates are between 8th to 12th June. For more details, can go www.esplanade.com to check 'em out.

Those interested to watch together, please call me... maybe organise some outing or whatever...

A rather quiet wednesday...

I have quite a crazy friend in Chee wee. Crazu in both his mentality and his lousy driving skills.

Asked me out for breakfast at4am when I saw him online, and I crazily agreed to it despite being half asleep and rather in need of sleep. We drove and Prata-ed at Upper Bukit Timah stretch near Beauty World, before going to NUS for a mini-tour of the undulating terrains. Nah... the minitour was an excuse to get him to drive me to school and clear my lockers... I always have a cunning plan. That sucker... heh heh. =P

Most cunning plans are never perfect in execution, and mine wasn't an exception, due to a lousy-sense-of-direction accomplice I have in Chee wee - we spent quite some time getting to the TUAS CHECKPOINT after that, not quite enroute from NUS to NTU. In Chee wee's hostel room in NTU, we talked on matters not particularly interesting to people not interested in relationships matters.

Because of this morning activity, was late to meet up with Ginn for lunch @ Sushi Don Funan, and was she fuming when I got there.... Note to self: Never ever be late to Ginn again. She quite fierce when she not enough sleep.

Spent the later part of the afternoon in Esplanade library listening to music and reading Ishiguro's novel. Rather peaceful and nice way to spend a day.

Walked down to Outram park in the evening for yummy duck rice dinner @ Hong Lim Food Centre, before changing money for my taiwan trip.

Petals around the rose

Petals around the rose puzzle to see how dumb you are.

Took around 15 min, and a clue from the internet to solve the problem. To think I copied down several instances to compare values and test for patterns..

So, how dumb are you? =)

Makan outing last saturday

Was bringing mom around to eat good food around Singapore last Saturday (ok, I was feeling slightly guilty for not being home from all those all-nighters during exams.)

Started off with kway chap at the Blanco Court stall @ Holland Drive Food Centre, and then took bus 32 down to Katong for laksa.

Did you know that there are quite a few famous ‘Katong Laksa’ in Katong?? We tried two of them (stall 49 and 51), before embarking on an insane journey (prompted by mom) to Fengshan hawker centre, where the ReAl Katong Laksa old man is said by his offsprings (who sold us one of the laksa we ate at Katong) to be operating.

Mom lost the appetite for laksa when we got there (the weather was blasted), and we treated ourselves to ching teng/jelly cocktail ($1/ea) before heading home.

Fengshan hawker centre.... is a hawker centre with hidden dragons and pouncing cats. There’s quite a lot of stalls with acclaimations from makansutra/channel U/Greenbook ++..


PS: There is a price war between 2 adjacent Nasi Lemak stalls at Fengshan Food Centre.
One started selling set meals for $1.90, and have conspicuous signages complete with bright lights that perpetually scream '$1.90' to everyone in the neighbourhood.
The other stall was under renovation when I was there. The renovation seems to be fashioned following that of its friendly neighbour, albeit the signages are slightly different, with $1.80 on them all.
Oh joy joy joy to cutthroat competition and falling prices...

I should have used up my lifetime quota

for 'birdshits on a person', if God did set such a quota.

How many ways have I been bombarded by innocently-looking (but really devious in nature) birds? Let me count the ways -- there are so many over the years that I have lost count.


My virgin experience was during my JC 2 year, under the Kaki Bukit Expressway, near Upper Bukit Timah Road. It was during my JC prelim exam for physics S, if my recollection is right. Was going through perhaps the electromagnetic equations in my head, and watching for the bus, when a blasted pigeon landed his prized excrement on my head. It was a heinous crime to which I wish the pigeon eternal happiness as a chinese wedding dinner dish in some fancy chinese restaurant.
Lesson learnt:
- Avoid places like directly under MRT tracks where pigeons set their home in nooks and corners. They tend to do their business from the convenience of their home - perhaps a form of telecommuting.
- Avoid histories. That is, observe the grounds where you are standing/walking past/parking for past evidences of heinous crimes. Birdshitting (I have found out from my vast experience, no doubt) has an unfair distribution, and where there was shit once, it is most likely to happen again. We too, have our preferences of toilets (don't you), and so do these devils.


Ok, this is not really a birdshit event, but it’s of a similar nature. This was an occasion right after one of my exams too. Hmm... I think it might just as well be another physic exam, I cannot be sure. Physics meant so much to me then.

This time round, it was a crow, that I’m definite. It was outside RJC, near the front gate. Apparently there had been shooting of crows by some environmental group (they [the crows] were disturbing the Ghim Moh area quite badly, it seems) and it might be a case of hate-crime when a crow came swooping down onto my then-botak head, giving my head a minor scratch. Thinking it was a case of mistaken identity, and understanding it’s feelings of probably having lost some relatives to the human species in the prior event, I was forgiving. But not when it tried swooping down at me another time. Waved my file in attempt to shock the bloody aviator, and it grew the wiser after that – it crowed at me from a distance.

Lesson learnt:

Avoid places where there had been crow-shooting like a plague. That is, if you don’t want any crows having fun at your expense.


Avoid trees with birds in them. No matter how innocuous the birds chirp, how sweet/cute your girlfriend(s) say they are, birds will always shit. That is a fact of life. This time round, I forgot where it was (in the Paya Lebar region, I vaguely remember). Washed it off at the MRT station sometime after that.

Lesson learnt:

Avoid trees with birds in them.


The first of 3 shits in Vancouver, 2004. Suspiciously, Eu was in all of them...

First was a greeting at a busstop in downtown Vancouver, waiting for transit to Stanley park. It was a huge dollop! This was the case that zqueen was referring to in one of the past comment, cos it stained my new Goretex MEC jacket...

Lesson learnt:

Sea gulls eat a lot and shit a lot. Avoid them at all cost. When they come flying at you, take cover.


In Stanley park. Was an indirect hit, from the giant splatter off our picnic table.

Lesson learnt:

Shit happens.

Avoid picnic in open air spaces patrolled regularly by pesty minions of the air. Sometimes, they connive together in attempts to force you away from your precious food using toxic weapons of mess destruction, of the organic sort.


Chinatown, Vancouver. Classic bird on tree situation. It was a silent sniper, deserving of accolades for its stealth and accuracy. Lucky for me, it was low on ammunition.

Lesson learnt:

Shit happens.

I think there was 1 other situation in Vancouver where I avoided artillery bombardment by a close shave, having noticed the payload from the sky. But I can’t remember exactly where, since it was null damage to me.... It might also be a figment of my imagination, having gone through these trying ordeals which left indelible accounts in my mind forevermore.


Latest one, was in NUS Business canteen, after my last exam paper (CS3211). Lunching is a joyous occasion, and the sad birds may have felt left out and was thus malicious.

By now, I think I have grown quite accustomed to shitty situation, and there was no panic involved. I know the drill by hard::

Take out tissue and wipe off bulk of the stuff in my hair

Proceed calmly to the nearest washing point

Wet the area to wash off whatever residue left

Give your hair a thorough wash using whatever cleaning agent you have.

Lesson learnt:

Don’t panic. It’s really useless in situations like these.

To end this whole gloomy discourse, here’s a shit-related joke that you might have, or have not heard before:

Bear and rabbit were walking along in the jungle, when both of them felt an urge to shit. So they proceeded to a bush to do their business.

Bear: Rabbit ah?

Rabbit: Yes?

Bear: Do you have the problem of shit sticking on to your fur?

Rabbit checks if there’s shit sticking to its fur. There wasn’t any.

Rabbit: No leh

Bear: Good.

The bear proceeds to use rabbit to wipe his backside.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


How is this possible???

Midterm marks
20 12
10 6
10 5


Was privately amused by a speck of dust on the window today, while taking a bus. It resembled a person bent forward in an active posture that implies forward motion.

The fun part came in when I closed one eye and parallexed the figure onto the sidewalk, to see a stick figure running as fast as the bus is going, on the sidewalk. It really is quite interesting, especially since it's a stick figure that's breezing along faster than all the other pedestrians....

Perhaps my fellow commuters took joy in seeing an insane fellow closing one eye and looking out of the window for most part of the journey, but I too was entertained by the stick/dust figure, so we're fine with our roles.

I think I might just bring a marker and vandalise some bus windows with similar dust figures, just to make our mundane commuting more interesting. =)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Looking back

at my past blog entries which really started off on a dunno-why-I-was-writing note, I think I've come to realise (or at least come to find some benefits) why I started blogging.

I have a lousy memory, and blogging helps me remember the me that I once was - in happiness or sadness, in riches and poorness, till death do me part: I cannot be anyone else other than the me that I was, is, and will become. Marriages can fall apart, but you can never divorce yourself due to irreconcilable differences.

There is that part of you which you will forget is you, and knowing that you have been that before, wells up a feeling of ambivalence. It tells if you have grown wiser/childish; if you have changed for the better/worse; if you have had things to be happy/sad about; it tells you of happy/sad times, of memories that will always remain with you, even if forgotten.

I think I've never been happier than the period that I was in Vancouver for my exchange program. Sure that there were things screwed up for no better reason than Murphy's Law, but in general I loved the feeling of independence associated with it. No one to stop you from doing what you feel is right, no one to tell you this is nonsensical and out-of-proportions. Life should be that way. It's quite adult-ish compared to the life I live now. Sigh... Reminiscing...