Saturday, September 30, 2006

Hooked on that feeling....

Hooked on that feeling...

yea..

nopz.. not on drugs that turn me high.. but rather.. I have been hooked to the rose petals tea that i bought from Tangs yesterday. Apparent benefits are rose petal tea is mildly sedative, anti-depressant and anti-inflammatory, and can be used to help reduce high cholesterol levels.



Just what I need from all that stress that FYP and school working is giving me..

Friday, September 29, 2006

Chicken Katsu Curry Saga

For those who are interested to find out more about the saga... here is what the manager replied to me today:

===========

Fri, 29 Sep 2006
First and foremost, on behalf of my team, please allow me to express my deepest apology to the unpleasant dining experience at XXXXXX Jurong Point.

We view your feedback with utmost seriousness, upon receiving of your email, I have personally conducted an investigation with the Duty Chef in charge. Apparently, he shared with me that the piece of chicken was to be discarded after he checked it had poor quality. He instructed one of the kitchen assistant to record the weight before he throw but this kitchen staff had misunderstood him and put it back to the chiller. Unfortunately, another Kitchen staff used it with out realizing it when there was an order came in.

The company Product Development Quality Assurance Chef was informed and corrective action was rectified. The outlet chef has given me his assurance this would not happen again by making sure that more follow-up food quality inspection during shift will carry out and also to check on the cook food before it is taken out from the Kitchen to our customers.

As to my teammate who attended to your complaint, I have counseled her not to give irresponsible reply to our customer before she makes any investigation. She apologized for her unprofessional way of behavior and promised she will be more tactful in future. As a head of department I am really embarrassed by my staff poor knowledge and handling skill. With no reservation, please accept my earnest apology.

The boxes of dessert mochi and the coronet (scones) were displayed on shelve and normally they will be consumed on the same day. In additional, we often give advice to our customers to keep unfinished dessert in refrigerator for overnight if they can’t finish on the same day.

In order for us to up keep our promise to provide good quality food to our customers at all time, we have decided to get our new central kitchen to beHACCP certified by December this year and also all our new and upgraded restaurants. HACCP is also called Hazard Analysis and Critical ControlPoint. It is a way to ensure all our food preparation is safe when it reaches our customers.

We value you as our customer and sincerely hope you could give us another opportunity to serve you in the near future. Please contact me at ********* shall you need further clarification or information from us.
===========
to which his email, I replied:
***********
Hi
Thank you for your reply regarding the above mentioned incident.
I applaud your organisations decisions to incorporate HACCP in your central kitchen. HACCP is a preventive system of quality control which when properly applied can be used to control any area or point in the food system that could contribute to a hazardous situation whether it be contaminants, pathogenic, microorganisms, physical objects, chemicals, raw materials. As a Food Technologist, I feel that it is therefore, a systematic approach to be used in food production to assure food safety especially to end consumers.
However, upon reading the details in your reply, it has come to my attention, that the main factor in the incident highlighted to you was due to miscommunication. As you mentioned earlier about how the Duty Chef had meant to discard the rotten piece of meat while the kitchen staff placed it back into the chiller.
Even with a HACCP certification scheme in place in a food processing plant, there can still be miscommunications within the factory staff which can still put food safety at a risk.
This is not the first time I ate something bad at your group of restaurants. I am a regular at *********** Branch. There was once I ate a plate of sushi on the conveyor. The branch manager, *****, did an excellent job then!
I understand that such incidents are isolated and are unavoidable as the plates of sushi keep circulating on the conveyor and it is indeed hard to keep track ofthe actual time the food is on the conveyor, especially in Singapore where our conveyor sushi technology is not as advanced compared to Japan whereby each plate of sushi is barcoded and a flicker would automatically discard plates of sushi that havebeen circulating too long on the conveyor to safeguard consumer's safety. They even have conveyors that help keep the food chilled too, reducing microbial growth and enzyme activity on chilled meats.
Therefore, the point I am trying to drive at is the level of customer service that the restaurant should provide in such a scenario. Instead of pushing the blame to the fact "that the meat was kept too long", more assertive words could have been used. The staff should also have asked the customer if he/she would still like to have a new set of the meal. A waiver of the usual service charge would also have been appropriate, as in what most restaurants would have done.
Fortunately, the chicken was not served to young children or the elderly as their taste buds would notbe as sensitive to detect the spoilage, or a severe food poisoning/intoxication could have occured.
I thank you for conducting the investigation. I would still continue to dine at your group of restaurants as it offers great dining atmosphere.
***********
CASE CLOSED!

Mooncake Madness

Mid Autumn Festival also known as Mooncakes Festival is fast approaching...

To me, the mention of autumn reminds me of falling leaves and dying vegetation. A scene reminiscent of such a feeling took me by surprise today when i was shopping along Orchard Road. The left overs of the plant decorations after the IMF in Singapore.

Anyway, today I ate at this eatery, OmuRice in Takashimaya. Ate chicken cutlet curry rice... Yea.. the bad incident earlier this week does not deter me from one of my fave dishes.

After which, went to the mooncake fair at Takashimaya Square. Lots of vendors, lots of varieties of mooncakes. As usual, the crowd was humungous, and so was the number of used toothpicks on the carpetted floor.

Think the trend this year, is to create healthier alternatives of mooncakes with fruit fillings, lesser sugar, some even created mooncakes from jelly and yogurt. When I was there, many vendors were promoting sugar free mooncakes, but when quizzed on the kind of artifical sweeteners used, many were tongued tied. This shows the importance of product knowledge is of utmost importance is one is to promote a particular product.

I still prefer the good old varieties of mooncakes. Why?

Cos all the other forms of 'new age' mooncakes are not unique to mooncakes. Instead, the represent another form of food.

For example, we have durian flavoured mooncakes, what could be better then eating the real fruit itself? People rather pay more to eat a processed form of durian in the form of mooncakes which probably has flavourings, colourings and even preservatives added.

Flavours like tiramisu are best ate in its original form and not in mooncakes as the orginal appearance and looks are all lost.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A nightmare come true...

A nightmare unfolded before my eyes today when we went to the lab today looking for a particular ingredient only to find it missing!!!! Yes... It's missing!!! Cant find it anywhere at all... That ingredient happens to be one of the basic ingredient for the product formulation. Without it, it would be yet another obsttacle in FYP. Not to mention, a leakage in one of the bottles used to contain a liquid ingredient.
Looks like I really need a miracle for FYP!!! I am seriously disappointed by the apathetic behaviour of my team mates.. but at the same time, trying so hard to motivate and encourage them. I cant wait for the end of the whole thing, but yet at the same time, I fear for the end to come, as there is hardly anything done at all!
Anyway, the Jap restaurant I complained about has finally emailed me... But they got my surname wrong, I really wonder how they read my name!! An excerpt from the email:

==========

Thank you for your feedback. Due to just back from out station, I will conduct an investigation and revert to you asap.

==========

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fancy Glutinous Rice Sticks, anyone?

Had a lab session today where we had to make jellies and 'glutinous rice balls'...

My group attempted to break away from the sterotyped ball and decide to have 2 colours of flour sticks intertwirled with each other to form some kinda new age 'rice ball'..

Purple flour flavoured with raspberry, combined with white flour which was flavoured with vanilla honey. That's the picture of the rice sticks that we made.. in fact the lecturer said it had the nicest texture and interesting flavour... the only thing was that it was not thorougly cooked enough.

For the jelly we made kiwi jelly with real bits of the named fruit in it..

FYP's not moving much.. the labs are all occupied, just cant seem to fit a time slot. Hopefully, will be able to do something conducive really soon!

Oh yah, the haze situation seems to be pretty bad today. I can smell the sharp smell tonight!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Food Poisoning..

Oh No!!! I am developing symptoms of food poisoning/intoxication after eating contaminated lunch today. Was at a Japanese restaurant in Jurong Point discussing some details of my FYP.

Ordered my favourite Chicken Katsu Curry rice. When I tasted it, I could detect sour notes and a odour in the fried chicken. Fortunately for me, and unfortunately for the restaurant, I am trained by all the sensory evaluation... Thus, I raised the issue to the waiter who got the whole set of thing changed without even asking if I still wanted to have chicken katsu curry... They did not even waived service charge as a good will gesture.. Gosh, if i fall sick tommorrow, my letter's going to reach NEA!

This is an email i sent to the organization that manages the group of restaurants, the name of the restaurant has been ommitted to protect privacy of the restaurant:

==========
I would like to highlight an incident that took place at xxxxxx Japanese Restaurant, Jurong Point on 26thSeptember 2006 at about 1330 hrs while I was having mylunch.

I ordered a Chicken Katsu Curry Rice. Upon taking the first bite into the chicken, I realised that the chicken did not have its usual texture and aroma, and tasted a bit sour. Thus I called for the waiter to take a look, to which he got the kitchen to replace the order for me without informing me at all, when iasked to have my order cancelled, I was denied the chance of doing so, as the kitchen was already preparing it.

I waited for about 20 minutes without knowing what had happened to my order until the order was brought to me, and a waitress told me rather hostily that the chicken was not spoiled, it was due to the fact that it was kept in the fridge for too long a period of time.

I am appalled by such an explanation. Firstly, let me define food spoilage. Food spoilage is defined as a disagreeable change in a food's normal state. Such changes can be detected by smell, taste, touch, or sight by the final consumer. (As defined by Dr. Angela Fraser, Associate Professor/Food SafetyEducation Specialist, NC Cooperative Extension at NCState University, Raleigh, NC.)Thus, a food product does not have to have mould growing on it before it is considered spoilt. As long as the consumer is able todetect differences in taste which is deemed unacceptable, the food is deemed is to be spoilt.

Secondly, the fact that the waitress admitted to storage of the meat in chilled condition of the refrigerator, which meant that there could be lack ofproper temperature control, which could be caused by lack of cold air circulating around the meat in the chiller.

If a meat that is meant to be cooked cant be stored properly in a refrigerator, I wonder how safe meats that are eaten raw are kept in the refrigerator onyour premises.

Another issue, I would like to bring up is that at the check out cashier counter of the above mentioned branch, there are boxes of desserts like mochi and scones displayed for customers to buy on the shelf top at ambient room temperature. While it is stated on the box of the mochi that I bought that "the dessert or mini pastry is to be stored refrigerated", I do no tsee such an action being carried out at the point of sales. The scones, having cream filling in them, are extremely prone to microbial growth at such temperatures.

I hope the highlighted issues will be looked into by the management and that a satisfactory answer will be given to me as soon as possible.

==========

Well, waiting for the management to email back with a reply... hopefully soon! Think, this is going to deter me from visiting their branches for quite a while!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lousy Day in School

Today was the first day on the last semster... haha.. cliche hor..

First lesson.. was a language module.. turns out that the lecturer is staying same block as me.. scary leh!!! Can u imagine the consequences of bumping into someone who teaches u everyday!!!

anyway.. had a really lousy day in school today.. cos i accused someone wrongly.. ok.. maybe partial wrongly... Guess I owe him a BIG sorry... sigh.. all cos of FYP.. my FYP is in a serious mess!!! We were the first to start.. but up to now.. still have not finished.. and best of all the deadline is 22nd October 2006!!!! Hope things will change for the better.. really keeping my fingers crossed.

Really.. I should have given myself an additional week of holidays.. just like celeb couple.. M&M.. which is Mian and Mark.. haha

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Last semester of school soon!

I shifted all the posts from my old blog in friendster to blogger. So all entries from29/03/2005 to 29/04/2006 are actually dated entries from my old blog. Shifted the entries over.. cos its much easier to navigate using the arhives in friendster. Wont be deleting the old one, cos the pic links are actually still based on Friendster.. Enjoy!

Anyway, I was out at a market near Taman Jurong today... its a place that I grew up in. Apparently, the market has gotten a facelift and has been upgraded to a bigger and brighter place. What's most evident of the market was the escalators... an indication of Singapore's ageing population, I would say... Pretty sure more and more markets that are being upgraded will have escalators fitted in the near future.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The wonders of Freeze Dry Technology


Was at the supermarket today.. and came across this very interesting product.

FREEZE DRIED DURIAN!


A very innovative product... I would say that it tasted exactly like the real thing when slightly rehydrated. Fibres were intact, aroma present.

Amazing... maybe one day... the SAF will have such freeze dried fruits in combat rations? Or maybe, such technology will make having durians in outer space for astronauts a dream come true...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Another Food Scare....

After discovering E. coli in spinach..

here's another rumour that's affecting Singapore, thankfully, its under control, or at least I hope..

Bread in Singapore safe for consumption: AVA
By Rita Zahara, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 21 September 2006 1545 hrs
SINGAPORE: Bread in Singapore is safe for consumption, says the Agri-Food
and Veterinary Authority (AVA). Investigations reveal there has been no
violations this year. The concern follows reports about bread in Malaysia
containing propionic acid, a chemical preservative, five times over the
permitted level. The AVA says it will continue to monitor the situation closely.
- CNA /dt


This incident reminds me of an experiment i did last semster whereby we studied the atmosphere of modified atmosphere packaging on bread.. We had a control set which consisted of bread packed under normal conditions and sealed in a packet. Those samples were mould free 2 weeks later... *gasp* come to think of it.. It's pretty scary!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Popeye and his spinach no more...

Popeye wont probably be eating spinach now.. ever since the E. coli scare has been associated with spinach...

An extract from CNN:

Washing won't help
The FDA's top food expert stressed the importance of
stopping the bacterium at its source, since rinsing spinach won't eliminate the
risk. "If you wash it, it is not going to get rid of it," said Robert Brackett,
director of the agency's Center for Food Safety and Nutrition.
E. coli lives
in the intestines of cattle and other animals and typically is spread through
contamination by fecal material. Brackett said the use of manure as a fertilizer
for produce typically consumed raw, such as spinach, is not in keeping with good
agricultural practices.
"It is something we don't want to see," he told a
food policy conference.
Meanwhile, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Safeway Inc.,
SuperValu Inc. and other major grocery chains stopped selling spinach, removing
it from shelves and salad bars.
"We pulled everything that we have spinach
in," said Dan Brettelle, manager of a Piggly Wiggly store in Columbia, South
Carolina.
Consumer activist Barb Kowalcyk said fixing the nation's "fractured
network" of food safety agencies could save lives. In 2001, her 2-year-old son,
Kevin, died of E. coli, possibly after eating tainted ground beef.
"How can
we improve communication between agencies? That needs to happen," the Loveland,
Ohio, resident said.
Not all strains of E. coli cause illness: E. coli
O157:H7, the strain involved in the current outbreak, was first recognized as a
cause of illness in 1982. That strain causes an estimated 73,000 cases of
infection, including 61 deaths, each year in the United States, according to the
CDC.
When ingested, the bug can cause diarrhea, often with bloody stools.
Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, although some people
-- including the very young and old -- can develop a form of kidney failure that
often leads to death.
Sources of the bacterium include uncooked produce, raw
milk, unpasteurized juice, contaminated water and meat, especially undercooked
or raw hamburger.


It's amazing how the bacteria can actually remain in the plant tissues. Pretty scary news since you wont know what other organisms can actually be transmitted to these plants..

I guess in the mean while.. I am going to avoid eating spinach... totally..

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Under the weather with flu...

Oh man.. I am down with flu again!!!

No wonder I have been feeling just so lethargic recently. Must have been the stress that i have been facing as well as insufficient rest/sleep...

Hope I recover soon... Hate having the flu.. always makes me so drowsy...

Anyway.. here's a little update of my catfish tank..
added some discus fish to it!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sorry, no cure lar!


I was reading this article on STOMP which is the Straits Times Online Portal about how the phrase 'sorry' is being misused and abused.

Have been hearing this phrase so often that I often wonder... do the people who use this phrase actually know the true meaning of the phrase .. or are they just saying it for courtesy's sake.

sor‧ry  / Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[sor-ee,
sawr-ee] Pronunciation Key
1.
feeling regret, compunction, sympathy, pity, etc.: to be sorry to
leave one's friends; to be sorry for a remark; to be sorry for someone in
trouble.
2.
regrettable or deplorable; unfortunate; tragic: a sorry
situation; to come to a sorry end.


It's quite amazing that people can apologize for what they have done one minute ago and repeat the same old stupid mistake again. And what do they say to you? Sorry...

One more sorry without the sincerity.. and they shall have a piece of mine from me. Really cant take such fake 'sorry' anymore!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

So True....

Got this in my email recently..

I leave it for you to judge whether its true for me... :p

SAGITTARIUS MAN

A man who loves social life and curious about every new progress, new development to make sure he is in the era and always have all up date information. He likes to know what is the latest trend of fashion and make sure he is not out of style. You can easily spot him at the grand opening of new pub, new restaurant for he loves to participate in social activity.

There is a few Sagittarius who is a private person as well, but you could see that he will be ahead of his friends. He will knows what is the best seller book, what are the top 10 hot hit of the week. The hottest movies showing now, he must have already seen it.

He hates routine, It makes him bored. He likes to get to his goals and succeeding in doing so is his true reward. Money making is O.K. but it is not his true joy, for he can easily spent them in a short while. They say if you want the truth, go and ask Sagittarius. They are right, you can ask him and he will tell you all the truth and very straight forward. Even he may speak bluntly, his friends loves him. If you have problems, all your friends may feel sorry for you, but Sagittarius will be the one who will give you a helping hand first and even expect no return favor. That's why he is a real charmer even sometimes big mouth.

When he is mad , he can be quite fierce but quickly dissolve and easily forgotten. He is not a person who will take a revenge, so if he say he going to burn down your house, you can relax. He likes compliments and sweet words, so you can manipulate him easily. If he knows you are not sincere, you will totally become meaningless to him.

Some Sagittarius are gifted musician, or singer. He is a happy soul, has a good humor and has lots of jokes. He loves freedom, lively and very energetic. If he is working, he will take his job seriously. He likes to travel, likes to see new exciting places. Going out or traveling make him happy.

Sagittarius man is like a free bird. He lives as if everyday is Sunday. He will hardly be in a bad mood, but if he is in a bad mood, you will better leave his sight. If you want to talk to him in such mood, try to avoid issue of commenting his life. He flirts like other man, but he has a built in brake, so he will come back to you by himself. If he disappear for a few days, not to worry for he is only recharging his battery to be that same lively person again, them he will be back.

He has allergies to Pretty woman, so in love with many woman for him would be normal. Setting dating schedule is his games and it's fun for him, and this will keep him from being bored. He hates obligations, so the word "marriage" would suffocated him. If you allow him to have freedom, he will not go anywhere.

He falls in love as easy as he catches cold, especially if she is cute, funny and she has a strong personality. No one can tell how long he will be in love each time. If you want to really hold Sagittarius man, act like you are in an adventure movie. At all time, you should make yourself lively, tells him some jokes, always be cute so that it will ease up his allergy to other pretty woman a bit.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Masking Disappointment...

If only there were simple and effective ways of masking disappointment... Just like one can add flavouring material to food to mask off odours.

Someone told me recently that I did not seem to update my blog as often as before when i did so on a daily basis. Why? I've been feeling disappointed recently.

I just had enough of spoon feeding people and telling them what to do. It seems that the younger generation these days have lesser iniative and always require someone to push them in order for them to advance. When you expect them to be concerned about a particular subject matter, they always seem to have a thousand and one issues that they prioritise before this matter. Sometimes, I really wonder, do they have such efficient time management skills to juggle so many tasks on hand at the same time? Many a time, they often do not know themselves well enough, and I always have to clear all the nonsense that is left behind.

Sigh, is that sign of a generation gap, or am i getting older mentally?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Why do i blog?

Got a comment from my ex teacher that my blog is a good read...
many a times, people ask me.. why do i blog?
is life that interesting that it is so worthwhile to record what happen everyday?

To me, a blog is like my diary where i record the slightly more interesting and memorable things in my life.

Thus, lest when i go senile next time, i hope that this blog will jolt some of the memory in me..

Been so tired recently, FYP is taking a toll on me..

Really time flies, when you are having fun.. Just exactly a week ago, I was on my way to Sydney to attend the technical seminar.. Now back in hot tropical Singapore.. no more cool weather of 11-16 deg celsius..

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Worrying, worrying...

Feeling worried today..
cos the exam results will be released tommorrow..
keeping my fingers crossed that all will be fine tommorrow..

Wish me luck, guys!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Feels good to be back in SG

911... 5 years after the horrible incident that took place in New York that took the world by storm. 5 years later, air line security seems to have changed with tighter rules and regulations, the latest one being the ban on bottled perfumes and spirits on flights to the USA and London. Seems like airline travel will never be the same again



Argh.. it feels so good to be back in SG... so glad that i did not end up as fireworks on the way back to Singapore from Sydney!

Coming back, I seem to appreciate:
Shops that stay open after 6.30
People speaking Singlish!
Nice food like laksa and chicken rice!!!

Gosh.. I kinda miss SG after just like a couple of days in Australia..

But at the same time. I am kinda worried for my exam results and FYP!!!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Last Day in Sydney

Spent the last morning in Sydney packing my bag.. having to squeeze all the souvenirs and stuff into my luggage bag is no mean feat... next time i shall bring a bigger bag to pack stuff in!!

After checking out from the motel, took a train down to town.. The train cabin is different from Singapore as it has 2 levels with seats. Train system in Sydney is so complicated compared to Singapore's MRT...

See the MAP.. I boarded the train at Stratsfields.. where there were at least 4 platforms for different trains on different routes..


After reaching the City, managed to find some shops the sold nougats cheaply.. believe or not. the price of nougats can differ to more then 15 dollars per kg!!

Headed to the vicinity of Darling Harbour for lunch again.. before heading to Sydney International Airport..

At the Airport, got a shock of my life at the check in counter when the staff discovered that our names where not registered on the flight!!!! Oh no.. thankfully.. there was another flight to Singapore that was leaving and thus managed to get on that plane. Thanks to our lucky stars!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Relax and some shopping done... finally..

After a few days of seminar and plant visiting..
finally time for some enjoyment in Sydney..

Visited Sydney Fish Market for some good cheap seafood..
the range of seafood there is superb..
they have everything from anchovies to lobsters to yellow tail sashimi..

Had a nice early feast of seafood there.. baked lobster with cheese, fresh boiled prawns, sashimi, seasoned white bait, baked oysters with bacon and cheese fillings.. heavenly!! I think other then the seagulls there.. the other 'birds' that were present were probably us going around 'cheap, cheap, cheap' :p


After the nice seafood treat, we headed on down to Harbourside for some shopping where i bought some souvenirs. Next headed on down to this high end restaurant by Darling Harbour to eat..

The steak proportion is so big...


Enjoying the beautiful scenery at Darling Harbour:

Friday, September 08, 2006

Factory Plant visiting

Today visited 3 factories in all..

First was Michel's Patisserie where we saw how pies were being made automatically.. sorry.. too many pics to upload, if you wanna see them.. tell me.. I will show u my album..

Then went to Red Lea's Chickens which was a slaughterhouse for chickens and they did value addedd processing to the chickens. The chickens were slaugthered on an assembly line operation whereby they were first stunned using electricity and had their necks slit. The birds were then sorted automatically too..

From this stage, some of the birds were processed into food items like kebabs, nuggets, sausages, etc... A truly eye opener for me.. as it deterred me from eating chicken for lunch later.. yeeks..

Next stop was Pendle Ham and Bacon Curer which processed a whole variety of meat products..


An impressive set up from a MEGA tumbler to vaccum tumblers to BIG BRINE INJECTORS wowed us. Such a big set up would cost a bomb in Singapore...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Of Seminar and Sensory Evaluations...

Today had seminar and we had talks on value addedness, flavouring and more..

Had to do sensory evaluations on different kinds of cold cuts and sausages.. and even popcorn whereby new flavours were invented by Heinmann like Wild Buffalo, Sour Cream, Caramel.. Interesting names.. and flavours..


Headed onto Heinmann's factory later in the cool afternoon..


After seeing how some of the products were made... headed on back to motel for more seminars as well as for an Italian dinner.. before visiting the City for some shopping..

Taxi fare is pretty expensive.. to get to the City costs about 30 bucks.. luckily i managed to pool a cab.. phew.. if not there would be a hole in my pocket. One thing about the City is that most stores are closed early especially on a Thursday night except for 7-elevens... Thus decided to head on down to Chinatown in Sydney for some much missed Asian food..

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Flying without Wings..

The following posts from 6-10 sep are all back dated posts.. as i was unable to access the internet during my trip to sydney.

Finally flew to Australia today..
some pics of the view from my plane ... as u can see.. i always prefer window seats.. cos i can take a look at the scenery...





Enjoying the cloud formations as well as the vast desert of Australia below me.. It makes me feel so insignificant and reminds me of a song of my childhood days "On Top of The World"

Sydney airport was so busy that our plane only landed 15 minutes later then the expected arrival time, the flight was a smooth one.. despite the few hiccups here and there..

Thankfully, at the airport, there were people to pick us up to send us to the Spanish Inn Motel...


See the view of my motel at night.. so quiet and peaceful...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Leaving on a Jetplane...

And my bags all packed.. I'm ready to go..

The lyrics of the all familliar song seems to be whizzing in my mind at this point of time. Trying very hard to feel relaxed for the trip, I can help but worry for my uncompleted FYP project which is dangling in the air.

Really wonder what can be done for it. Been working hard on it for so long. Patience and strength is fast wearing down. Hopefully the trip to Sydney will brighten things up...

Also, I hope i will be able to update this blog.. otherwise.. stay tune will i come back to SG!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Packing... Packing

Been so busy packing my bag.. so much stuff to organize and bring to Sydney... Hope i still have space to squeeze back some souvenirs from there...

Wonder if still can bring MP3 there or not.. especially in the midst of such stringent security checks..

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A trip down Memory Lane

I got this email in my mailbox recently, and cos its just a day after my primary school gathering, I am going to feature the email here on my blog as well as to add on some points of my wonderful memories.

Remember these? Well, This really brings back so much memories For those who studied in Singaporean primary schools... Remember these? Heartwarming and a little funny... the things we used to do... 50 things for Singaporean teenagers. Sit,enjoy and think back
about the past...Were you one of these?

1. You grew up watching He-man, Transformers, Silver hawk and
Mickey Mouse. Not to forget, Ninja turtles and Smurfs too.


I remember Sunday mornings always had Disney shows
2. You grew up brushing your teeth with a mug in Primary school
during
recess time. You will squat by a drain with all your
classmates beside you,
and brush your teeth with a coloured mug.
The teachers said you must brush each side 10 times too.
Oh. Back in those of Henry Park Primary School we also had like
yearly dental checks by the dentist.
3. You know what's Bin(1) Fen(1) Ba (1) San(1) is all about.

4. You know what SBC stands for.


That was like Singapore Broadcasting Corporation.
5. You were there when the first chinese serial, the Awakening
was shown on TV.


Think that starred Huang Wenyong and Xiang Yun.. Was it like some show about pioneers coming to Singapore from China?

6.Internet? What the hell is that? So you thought a decade or
more ago.


We had limited use of computers back in school, which were only in the
library.
7. You find your friends with pagers and handphone cool in
Secondary school.


I had my first page in about Sec 2.. It was a Motorola.

8. SBS buses used to be non-airconditioned. The bus seats are
made of wood and the cushion is red.! The big red bell gives a
loud BEEEP! when pressed.There are colourful tickets for TIBS
buses. The conductor will check for tickets by using a machine
which punches a hole on the ticket.


I remember the good old days when the old farecards had to be inserted
into the farecard machine and you had to choose the amount of fare to be deducted.
9. Your favourite actor and actress is Huang Wenyong and
Xiangyun. Next is Lee Nanxing and Zoe Tay and the Aiyoyo woman.


Aiyoyo was part of some Zao An Lao Shi show. Lao Shi Zao, Tong Xue Man Hao.. Wo men Kai Shi Shang Ke Liao... haha

10. You've probably read Young Generation magazine. You know
who's Vinny the little vampire and Acai the constable.

Buying this magazine from the bookshop in school, affectionately known as YG.

11. You were there when they first introduced MRT here. You went
for the first ride with your parents and you would kneel on the
seat to see the scenery.

12. Movie tickets used to cost only $3.50.

13. Gals are fascinated by Strawberry Short Cake and Barbie
Dolls.

14. You learn to laugh like The Count in Sesame Street.

15. You longed to buy tibits called Kaka(20 cents per pack) and
Ding Dang(50 cents per box), that had a toy in it and it changes
every week not forgetting the 15 cents animal crackers and the
ring pop, where the lollipop is the diamond on the ring.

Even meals back in school was like so cheap! I remember lor mee was
going from 30 cents.. What can 30 cents buy you these days man!

16. You watched TV2(also known as Channel 10) cartoons because
Channel 5 never had enough cartoons for you.

17. All that you know about Cantonese is from the Hong Kong
serials you watched on TV2.

18.Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Three Investigators, Famous Five
and Secret Seven are probably the thickest story ! Books you ever
thought you have read. Even SweetValley High and Malory Towers.

I remember Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree too.. It was as magical as the current Harry Potter is now.

19.Civics and Moral Education was "Hao3 Gong1 Min2".

Oh.. This one was like pastoral care.. but strangely enough Singaporeans are still not so civil minded.

20. KFC used to be a high class restaurant that serve food in
plates and let you use metal forks and knives.

21. The most vulgar thing you said was asshole and idiot and THE
MOST EXTREME WAS 'super white'...you just couldn't bring yourself
to say the hokkien relative.


Ah.. this one.. I remember Super White Washing Detergent..
haha!


22. Catching was the IN thing and twist the magic word.

23. Your English workbooks was made of some damn poor quality
paper that was smooth and yellow.

The photocopy room in HPPS used to have a weird smell of that paper!


24. CDIS was your best friend.

CDIS!!! I remember the Maths Problem Sums Cards that Miss Sim made us to do!!! So difficult!!


25. The only computer lessons in school involved funny pixellised
characters in 16 colours walking about trying to teach you maths.

26. Waterbottles were slinged around your neck and a must
everywhere you go.

Haha… Water bottles.. those days where have polycarbonate bottles like these days! The water bottles even had inbuilt straws to drink from!


27. Boys loved to play soccer with small tennis balls in the
basketball court or play something that uses tennis ball to hit
other players known as "HUM TAM BOLA" during recess /after school.

This reminds me of my primary school class mate, Dunstan, always bringing a tennis ball to kick about at the basketball court!


28. Hopskotch, five stones,chateh and zero point were all the
rage with the girls and boys too...


Five stones… Let me see.. who was good at it.. Alvin was good at both
five stones and pick up sticks.. Oh.. I still remember Zhiwen was good at it too. And we even lined up to play ‘Zi, Gou , Ba’!



29. Science was fun with the balsam and the angsana being the
most important plants of our lives.

We learnt so much stuff about the different habitats and communities. I can still remember the rotting leave habitat and the chapter on how seeds are dispersed.

30. Who can forget Ahmad, Bala, Sumei and John, eternalized in
our minds from the textbooks. Even Mr Wally.

Haha… This reminds me of primary 1 and primary 2 textbooks. I still
remember the cover.. with horizontal stripes!


31. You did stupid exercises like seal crawl and frog jumps.

32. Every children's day and national day you either get pins or
pens with 'Happy Children's Day 1993' or dumb files with Happy
National Day 1994'.

I have to admit, I still got some such souvenirs from Henry Park lying
somewhere!


33. In Primary six you had to play buddy for the younger kids
like big sister and brother.

This was so true especially when the primary ones just came in and we
had to bring them to buy food and stuff!


34. Chinese teachers were always old, boring and damn fierce
looking.
Ahha! Mdm Goh… always scolding us for not doing homework..
yikes!

35. Your form teacher taught you maths, science and english.

Our all-in-one teacher, Miss Sim, who else?



36. The worksheets were made of brown rough paper of poor
quality.

37. You went to school in slippers and a raincoat when it rained,
and you find a dry spot in the school to sit down, dry your feet,
and wear your dry and warm socks and shoes.

38. Famous Chinese singers were only Jacky Cheung, Andy Lau,
Aaron Kwok and Leon Lai.

Those were the F4 of that era man!


39. School dismissal time was normally around 1 pm.

Yea.. and we had to stay back in school for higher Chinese
lessons!!


40. There would be spelling tests and mental sums to do almost
everyday.

Like mentals sums is not good enough, we even had to memories timetables back and forth.. 16 times table.. 12 times table… omigosh!


41. Your friends considered you lucky and rich if your parents
gave you $3 or more for pocket money everyday.

$3 was like super big in those days!

42. During class gatherings, parents always tag along in case
someone gets lost at Orchard Road.

Yep, this reminds me of school excursions when we had parents
accompanying our class to places of interest like the zoo and stuff!


43. You freak out when the teacher tells you to line up according
to height and hold hands with the corresponding boy or girl.

What about putting your fingers on the lips.. wahahaha…


44. Handkerchiefs were a must for both genders

45. Collecting notebooks and all kinds of stationery was a
popular thing.

Playing erasers with the flags of different countries.. like Germany,
Argentina.. and having the whole box confiscated by Mrs Toh.. the discipline mistress.


46. Autograph books were loaded with "Best Wishes", "Forget Me
Not", and small poems like "Bird fly high, hard to catch. Friend
like you, hard to forget".
At the end of primary 6, someone was trumatised by the drawing
of a naked woman in his autograph book.. wahaha… and no.. its NOT me.. I was not the victim and not the culprit!

47. Class monitors and prefects loved to say "You talk somemore,
I write your name ah!"

They used to ‘guard’ the corridor along the admin office and say ‘no
passing’ during peak periods.


48. There were at least 40 people in one class.

My class had 44 people…


49. Large, colourful schoolbags were carried.

Yea.. and there were like cartoons and were mostly back pack type. Sling bags and trolley bags were not ‘in’ at that period of time!

50. You brought every single book to school, even though there
was one thing called the timetable.

Ya lar… sure have to bring lar.. if not.. what if miss sim makes you
run up and down the stairs 20 times againfor not bringing the book !!! Oh No!!!


Haha.. Super hilarious.. all of a sudden.. I feel so old…

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Primary School Gathering

Finally.. the day for long awaited primary school gathering has arrived...

Instead of holding it at Vil'age, we held it at LemonGrass Thai Restaurant, because the queue at Vil'age was simply too long... a small group of us were actually waiting for the rest there initially far away from the queue.. and guess what? The queue eventually reached us.. and we were automatically included into the queue when people started to line up behind us.

At LemonGrass for dinner


Chatting over dinner with a stack of photos taken during primary school days (courtesy of Vionne) really brought back good memories and laughter. Omigosh.. I can still remember the photos of Mrs Soon with her trophy and sliding down the slide at the playground... childhood days seemed like it just flew past so quickly in the twinkling on an eye.

Outside Heeren,posing with the cows and having a bull-ish time!


After dinner headed to Alley Bar for a drink and to celebrate our friendship of 12 years as well to congragulate the new tai tai, Mrs Soon Shiqing! It's a real nice place to sit with dim lighting.. ideal for sitting down and chatting for such reunions!

Outside Alley Bar!


Three Cheers for 6E...

Anyway... still on the look out for more of my primary school class mates.. Where ever you are, whatever you are doing, hope you guys still remember us! Drop me an email!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Teachers' Day!

It's teachers' day today! I shall therefore dedicate today's posting to the more memorable teachers in my life.

Let's start from primary school days. I remember my pri 1 teacher, mrs ng, whose a warm, affable teacher who taught us nearly every subject except chinese. The amazing thing about her is that she still remembered me when we met earlier this year on a bus.

Another primary school teacher that I have an impression of would be mrs chang who taught me in primary 4. I still remember how she grouped us into teams and organized lots of activities during lesson time.

The most memorable teachers I had in primary school had to be miss sim boon hoe and mdm goh. Both of whom taught me in primary 5 and 6. Miss sim taught us everything except chinese and higher chinese which were taught by mdm goh. What's memorable about miss sim was learning to memorise time tables both backwards and forwards. Having to run up and down the stairs of Henry Park primary school for not doing homework or forgetting homework. But I really appreciate all those that she has done for me which includes making us write journals (yea, in those days blogs weren't even happening), also she was the one that made me write plenty of lines to improve on my chicken scratchings (at least now my writing is much better, cos most of the work these days are typed out :p)

Moving on to madam goh... She was the iron lady that ruled with the iron fist. Always scolding us for not doing work, being noisy, etc..... She taught us not only about the language but also on the meaning of life, like how to treasure friends especially children friendship as its the most innocent and truthful. How real! Cos as one grows, I begin to realize that there are plenty of people with hidden agenda around. It's cos of this that I truly value my childhood friends, that's why we are having dinner tomorrow.

Ms sim and mdm goh often took the class on excursions to places like the zoo, haw par villa, bird park etc especially after the exams.

Moving on to secondary school days in ACS(I). My first form teacher was Mr Si-hoe Yeen Jong. Hilarious teacher who made us write out the AC anthem as punishments. Told us plenty of crappy jokes too, like how his foreign friends called him sai hole (duh!)

Mrs patricia thong aka hello kitty also left a deep impression on me. She taught us elementary and additional maths back then. Why hello kitty? Cos she had this hello kitty bag full of markers and other barang.

Mr tan see keng, my pastoral care tutor in sec 4 who was also the disciplinary teacher of school. Though stern, he was a very caring teacher who never failed to lend us a listening ear.

Mrs shirley song who taught me English and History. I remember her for being interesting and concerned for our grades.

Mr julian lim jit was my pastoral care tutor in sec 3 and he taught us English too. He was super innovative in his teaching methods. I still remember his dog vicious. Oh, he even invited us to his condo and we had a BBQ there once.

Ms carolyn wong taught us history in sec 4. She taught us the use of acronyms to make memory work much easier and interesting, which is still useful up till today.

Moving on to ACJC, my form tutor, mr ramasamy. He was pretty much a slacker but good at teaching us C maths.

Mr loke wai mun, Chemistry lecturer who helped in tidying up all the messy parts of organic chemistry, which was a real killer!

That's about all for the most memorable teachers I have.

Hope they will have a happy teachers' day! Hope some of them will be able to read this.. :p