Saturday, July 16, 2011

The month away (part 3)

The last time I was back in Singapore was in January last year and since then, things have apparently gotten so much more expensive and with the worsening overcrowding problem and the weather that I am no longer used to after staying in Sydney for some time, I really felt like I had enough towards the end of my stay. But still there were many enjoyable bits and I encountered many new things, which is always a nice thing. Here is a slice of that experience I call home.

Uniquely Singapore

Using a standard can drink for comparison, here is an idea of the small portion-sizes available for snacks in Singapore. I always believe that one of the biggest culprits of Western obesity is the huge food portions (the more unhealthy the food is, the larger the portion!). If smaller portions were available, perhaps we will have more BMI-compliant inhabitants on this planet.

This is a curious liqueur store I came across during one of my aimless wanderings in the shopping district. It is funny that in a country like Australia with one of the highest alcohol-abuse rates in the world, there isn’t a shop like this here in Sydney. I guess alcohol is marketed here not so much as a specialty product but more as a common necessity like any other grocery item.

There is nothing too interesting in this picture except for the blatant nature of it all. FYI, this street is famous for its many transvestite prostitutes and brothels. I am also assuming that here they understand what is meant by "hookers".

I had to capture this shot as one of the guys on the banner is my friend. This supermarket is famous for its cheap-because-you-buy-in-bulk feature ie. a chain that tends to not evoke a sense of sophistication in people. In that regard, I feel a little sorry for my friend.

The label says it all. These meringues are twice as large as a fist–who eats those? A single bite would already be too sweet and too much for me. By the way, I was not allowed to take that picture but I am not one who follows stupid rules.

The former French Embassy abandoned only for a few years, which was all it took to degrade a perfect historically-significant building to such a state in the wet hellish Singaporean climate. This would be SUCH a good shoot location but alas my photographer didn’t like the “haunted house” notoriety that came along with it.

For the first time in my life, I visited the Raffles Hotel museum (one of those touristy things that you only do when friends come to visit–in this case, I was accompanying my Sydney friends visiting Singapore–so was I a host or a tourist?) and this circa 1933 letter caught my attention. In case you are unaware, when I was living in the States back in 2004, people thought that Singapore was part of China as well so this is an alive-and-kicking phenomenon of at least 70 years old.

Dumplings in 8 flavours and colours–a visual and gastronomical orgasm even for the lay person. I can only imagine what this menu item would do to Ision, a dumpling connoisseur and fanatic. They should bring this to Australia–I want to see his expression when the dumplings are brought to the table and his mouth!

Singapore is well-known for its many fines and signs but this is the first time I have seen this one. I guess the dog-rearing culture is maturing thus making dog poo a problem only now. I see many inconsiderate people not cleaning after their pets even in Sydney so this problem is indeed a pesky and global one.

It was the thick of the election season and I was in the nation's favourite constituency (on the side of the opposition). The huge permanent banner-attaching fixture in the background was reserved only for the ruling party and the opposition was relegated to whatever space available. But as predicted, despite the odds of dirty politics stacked against them, the opposition emerged victorious and left two ministers out of a job (YAY). We need as many opposing voices as we can garner in the government in order to keep the increasingly-complacent and -arrogant ruling party in check. The inset shows the aftermath of the elections–propaganda posters taken down from the abundant notice boards littered throughout the housing estate meant only for the ruling party. By the way the opposition won without my help at all as I was in Bangkok on polling day (well I tried and went to the Embassy but Thailand is too small to have an overseas polling station).

This is the first time I have seen something like that–wake-boarding without a boat pulling the boarder. I think it is rather ingenious to use motorised cables as the required pulling force.

To randomly run into a vehicle with such a bumper sticker ad, there must be a huge-enough demand and market for such services. We all know that cheating cuts across all ethnicities and geographical areas but maybe Singaporean spouses are more bitter than the rest and want to catch their cheating counterparts in action more desperately? Well go on to that website to find out more (it looks really professional and globally-connected)!

This was taken at a small wine bar in the posh district of Singapore where the rich (and the wannabes) congregate. I was so shocked that they could actually find a wine to pair with food as strong and overpowering in taste as rojak. Anyway all menu items have their accompanying wines so I am not sure how much thought had been put into the recommendations.

The pride of joy of money-hungry Singapore masked by a veneer of posh interiors and upmarket shops. Though over-the-top at times, there are easily-observable typical traits all casinos in the world have–ATMs just outside of the entrance (and I bet plenty more inside). Incidentally there is only a Chinese translation for the word “casino” on all the signages–no prizes here for guessing where the major clientele comes from.

The rules of entry into the casino. Singapore must insist on being the first in everything–I think this is the first casino in the world where the local citizenry has to pay a $100 entrance fee (to curb gambling problems in the country) whilst the poorest-of-the-poor foreign labourers can (and they do) go in at no charge. Social engineering a la Singapore at its best!

I stupidly went north of the border with my Mum for a day-trip over the Vesak Day long weekend only to discover that the Malaysian customs even more stupidly chose that peak period to introduce their new biometric passport system. As a result of this brainless decision, the checkpoint saw unprecedented queues–we had to stand in line for more than three hours! Luckily there was air-conditioning but still it was bad enough that someone actually went into a seizure (!) just from queuing. Never again would I go there without an assurance that this will never happen again–what one can find there is just not worth it!

I am sure Japan and many other Asian countries have more high-tech toilets but this is yet another thing that I have seen for the first time in my home country! How great is technology?! The video below shows how the wash-your-anus stick shoots out when a button is pressed. Amazing!

The next video below shows how a long and heavy flexible pipe section was craned up more than 13 storeys in such a tight space. I must say that I am quite impressed with how clever people can get when faced with unique challenges.

On the last night in Singapore at the airport, I had a nasty shock when I learnt that "00:30 21 May 2011" on a flight itinerary means that you had to check in on the night of 20 May, not on the night after! I actually had missed my flight! I must thank my lucky stars that there were still vacant seats on the flight that very night and that I was offered one at no extra charge! Everyone gets a lucky break like that from time to time so I wonder after cashing that in, when will I next get something as great as that?


Anonymous said...

OMGGGGGGG do you live in serangoon north ave 1 ??????? omg i just saw your blog post and now then i notice that serangoon north here got a hottie!!! i am definitely turned on right now. :DDDDD im living at blk 147 serangoon north ave 1 !!!! see me around yeah! im a secondary boy. :D look out for me. hahaha OMG HOT STUFF AROUND ME.... so horny now~ please reply this comment!! :D

Kim said...

Yes, I used to live there but I have moved to Sydney more than 3 years ago. I was back for a month in May this year to visit friends and family.

Thanks for you "OMGs", I am glad to be able to get you so excited (especially down there). Do visit my blog and Facebook now and again as I update them very often.

Stay horny always!

Kim said...

And one more thing. Remember to "Like" my Facebook page to get updates in your feed!

Anonymous said...

OMGGGG YOU REPLY SO FAST!!! i like i like. whyyyyy you move~ now i cant see any hottie already~ i liked ur fb alr~ can leave msn? we chat? plsssss u r HOT STUFFFFF omgggg im melting~~~~~~ when you come back, must post on ur blog! so we can meet up and chat, at 147 coffee shop :DDDDDDD