Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Party at the Prince of Wales!

Prince of Wales (101 Dunlop Street) is having a Halloween party tonight! Tickets are at 10 dollars and it comes with a free drink. And it's four dollars for selected drinks all night long if you come dressed up. Oh and if you are one of the 3 best dressed tonight, you get to take home a free bottle of vodka as well. For inquiries contact Nethia at 62990130.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I had a near death experience in Hillsboro

It's 3AM. I am at the airport waiting for my flight. My hands are shaking. But not from the cold.

There are some things that you take for granted without even realizing it. Things that have become so ingrained in your daily life that you don't give them a second thought. At least not until something happens, something that just makes you realize what a mistake it was. Like what happened to me today.

I was at the mall near my hotel, and I had just finished with my shopping. There is a free shuttle service at the hotel that drives us to wherever we want to within a 5 mile radius, but the weather was pretty good, so I decided to take a walk back instead. It was no more than 2km away, it would probably take me like 20 minutes. So I began walking.

The pavements were mostly empty, most people got around by cars it seems. I passed a couple of minor traffic junctions that were pretty empty. 5 minutes later I reached this major traffic junction that was pretty busy with cars. I pressed the button and waited for the pedestrian light to turn green. After a minute it did. I started walking. Then halfway, it turned red.

K for the non local readers, this is how the pedestrian lights in Singapore work. Green man comes on, you walk. Then the green man starts blinking, signaling that it would turn red soon, after which you shouldn't be still crossing. It makes sense. Red means stop, green means go. Now back to my story.

The damn light turn red when I half way across. Yes it was blinking, but it was freaking RED. K I kinda panicked. And I stopped once I reached the mid point, between the two opposing lanes. I figured maybe it would turn green after a while or something. (The pedestrian lights only turn green when someone presses the button)

It did not. I could see drivers in the cars staring at me , wondering what the hell an Indian guy was doing right smack n the middle of the freaking road. They probably thought I was crazy. And they wouldn't be far from the truth, I was on the verge of losing my mind. Then a few cars started honking at me. As if trying to goad me into running across and possibly getting run down.

It was pretty scary to be honest. A lesser man would have probably just lost his mind and either tried to dash across or break down in tears. But I remained calm. I closed my eyes and tuned out the horns. The stares. Then I opened my eyes. I realized what I needed to do.

I waited till the coast was fairly clear, and then I calmly make a mad dash for it. I had made it, but barely. There was a truck that might have hit me if I had been any slower. K it was like 20 metres away and slowing down, but it could have suddenly accelerated or something alright.

But yes, only after that I realized that the blinking red man means you can keep walking, it was our equivalent of the blinking green man. Which I still think doesn't make any sense, but whatever.

So that was my ordeal, which by the grace of God, I have emerged unscathed. It did teach me a valuable lesson. Not to take anything for granted when you are in unknown territory. It's a lesson I will never forget.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Howdy from Hillsboro, Portland

Yo what up my brudders and sistas! It's Master G checking in from the funky town of Hillsboro!

K fine no one talks like that here. It's like 5 am here but I can't sleep, so just thought I give a really quick update to you people.

Hillsboro is in fact a really quiet town, not that many people. There is like one building every kolometre, except for certain parts of the town where they have all the eateries and stuff. It's so quiet that I haven't seen any cabs or buses here so far, and the hotel actually drives me by car to wherever I want within a 5 mile radius, for free.

It's freezing cold, like 4 - 5 degrees Celcius, but I seem to be the only one going around in a thick winter jacket, so I quickly dropped it for my windbreaker after the first day. Not that I get out much, I was working for a day and a half straight from the time I landed, as we are working on a really strict deadline. The only time we go out is for lunch and dinner, so it's pretty sucky.

But the service here is amazing, the best I had so far. The waiters and waitresses are really friendly, genuinely so, and it's really a huge difference from what you get in Singapore. And they go the extra mile, like today my colleague couldn't finish his food, so the waiter asked him if he would like to pack it for later, without even being prompted. Tips are usually 15-20% of the bill, but seriously I think it's worth it for that level of service.

Maybe Singapore should follow that lead, abolish the service charge and introduce tipping. It would really improve service in my opinion, at least that way people in the customer service industry (like Genie) would feel genuinely appreciated for the work they put in, unlike now where it's quite the thankless task according to most of them.

Oh and unfortunately I was hoping for free porn in the hotel room, but no such luck. I think they should at least introduce a free porn channel with like more mature or butt ugly women, just to entice people to pay for the "premium" one.

I was originally supposed to be here till the end of next week, but that's cancelled so will be flying back this Fri morning (Sat noon Singapore time) so will only be back like Sunday morning.

I hope to do some shopping before I get back, but if things stay the way they are it's highly unlikely. So for those who asked me to get stuff for them, I might not be
able to ok. K signing off!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Thou shall not ask for a guy's steak if you have nothing to offer in return

K a friend and I went to Phin's Steakhouse at Tampines Mall last week for dinner. I had the New York steak on the recommendation of the waiter, medium rare, while she had the aglio olio.

The steak was heavenly. It was really juicy and mouth watering, and was easily one of the best steaks I had in a while. But then again, I don't really go for steaks that often, and even when I do it's of the "mutton steak" variety that you get at the coffee shops. So yeah don't take my word for it and curse me when it doesn't meet your expectations when you try it.

So there I was completely enjoying my lovely steak, and I realized the friend was staring at me. Probably because I was making this gurgling sound as I ate it, you know the kind babies make when they are really happy. So of course I had to do the gentlemanly thing and offer her a piece, which she accepted.

K it turned out to be a huge mistake, because she absolutely loved it. She offered me a portion of her dinner in return, but I refused because I don't like aglio oglio. I don't like the oily nature of it, and I don't even like the name of it. It's a dish damn it, not a rhyme! Anyway I then proceeded to devour the rest of my steak, but I couldn't help missing the chunk that she had taken earlier. Minutes later...


Her: The steak is really good.
Me: Yes it is. You should really order this the next time you come here.

K there was a long uneasy silence after that, for reasons that I am still unsure of, so I decided to break the silence by doing another pretty gentlemanly thing.

Me: So...would you like another piece?
Her: Oh yes please, thank you.
Me: Errrm....actually I was just being polite.

K seriously everyone knows that the rule is to refuse the second time. Especially if the other person has refused your dish in exchange. I mean it was obviously not a fair exchange, my two pieces of amazing steak for absolutely nothing in return. I did nothing wrong damn it!!

But yeah her demeanor after I said that was pretty upsetting to the point where it was hampering my enjoyment of the steak, so I reluctantly cut off another piece and gave it to her, saying that I was only kidding about the "polite" bit. But of course, I made sure that the piece I cut was as small as it could be, but not small enough that it would be insulting. Hey I am a gentleman after all.

Besides women shouldn't eat so much beef, it's bad for their health. I read that in an issue of Playboy. So in a way I was actually doing her a favor. But yeah next time if you gonna ask for a portion of my food make sure you have something equally good to trade. Like lobster. Otherwise don't even bother alright.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Tip

I am flying off to Portland for work on Monday morning. Really looking forward to it but the only thing that worries me is tips. Yeah here in Singapore you don't usually give tips, so it's gonna be a little weird having to do that there. Weird because I am a bloody cheapskate.

But I have just come up with a plan to avoid paying them. I am gonna act like a country bumpkin from some rural part of India (complete with an exaggerated Indian accent) and feign ignorance when it comes to tips. It will probably go like this :

Waitress: It will be 15.95 sir.
Me : (Hands over the exact amount) Thanks.
Waitress: How about a tip?
Me : No I am full, thank you.
Waitress: No sir would you like to add a tip to the bill?
Me: What is this? I didn't order tip! Why should I pay for a tip? Are you trying to cheat me?
Waitress: Sir, it's usual to pay a tip here?
Me: Who is Tip? Why should I pay this Tip, I don't even know him? Can you call Tip here, I wanna talk to him!
Waitress: Never mind, asshole.

So what do you think?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tip: Do not smile at boys or men at a gym or fitness club

Every Monday when I go for muay thai at the fitness club I see this young 14 year old ang moh* kid there, he usually ends his session just as we begin ours. My lady friend, a closet pedophile, thinks he's really hot. K the truth is he's not that bad looking, blue eyes, blond hair, you know the type. But so NOT my type.

Anyway yesterday I was sitting at the couch of the fitness club, waiting for my friend to arrive. Suddenly I see the kid walking in my direction, he had just finished his session. Our eyes met, so I smiled at him warmly in recognition. The little punk didn't smile back! In fact he just simply glared at me as if he wanted to beat me up or something. I thought it was rather rude of him, but said nothing, mainly because I was afraid he would actually beat me up. The guy was only 14-15 at the most, but the size of his biceps and calves were like double mine.

So I did the smart thing and pretended to check my phone for messages while peering at him from the corner of my eye, but he kept glaring at me. Moments passed and I think he finally realized I was not going to be goaded into staring back (and getting beaten up), so he took the lift down. Yep my anti-bullying tactic I learnt back in school worked again - kids will find you too pathetic to beat up if you don't even look them in the eyes as they surround you.

Minutes later my friend came out of the lift.

Friend: Hey you know that cute ang moh kid we see every week? He smiled at me.
Me: Really? That bloody punk glared at me when I smiled at him. He was lucky he took the lift before I could get up, I was gonna beat the crap outta him.
Friend: Oh you brave macho stallion. Maybe he thought you were gay?

Oh yeah, that explains it. I neglected to mention that the majority of the guys there seemed to be gay. K it's not as bad as the RAW gym I blogged about a while back, but yeah it seems like 2 out of 3 guys I see there are gay. The kid was probably thinking I was trying to hit on him or something, hence him staring at me as if he wanted to beat me up. Seriously, what's wrong with smiling at another guy in a gym? Is it gay to be friendly?

*ang moh - caucasian

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

L6: Update

I finally got around to bringing my malfunctioning Motorola L6 to the service center on Wednesday, after countless requests by women* to get it fixed. Sigh sometimes I long for the days when I wasn't so popular with women. Like when I was the president of the chess club in secondary school.

The queue was thankfully short, and I waited no more than 5 minutes before a customer service officer attended to me. He was a short Chinese guy, fairly cute, and extremely polite for a guy. I detailed my problem to him, which was mainly that the damn interface hanged every time I tried to type out a message or add a contact. He took the phone from my hands rather suddenly, brushing my fingers lightly with his for a quick moment. It was quite uncomfortable to say the least, but I figured it was an accident.

After a few minutes of fiddling with my phone he looked at me, smiled apologetically and said that he would have to give it to his engineers to take a look , and it would take a couple of days. I asked him if they could loan me a spare phone, and he told me he would check to see if they had any.

He came back a couple minutes later with a phone. To call it huge would be a gross understatement, it was almost the size of one of those cordless phones and as long as my the length of my hand. You would think that a company like Motorola could afford more decent phones to loan out to their customers.

I had to call a friend who I was supposed to meet in a bit, so I tried accessing the phonebook, but I still couldn't figure it out after 5 minutes, the interface was that crappy. And the window only accepted like 3 words on one line of an SMS before you had to scroll down. Yes, is was the kind of phone Motorola gives to their customers. Anyway it was only 2 days and I had little alternative so I accepted the phone.

I went back to the office and charged my phone since it was almost flat. 10 minutes later I noticed a burning smell in the air. I checked my laptop but it was fine, and then I realized it was the phone. Yes, the damn phone was emitting smoke. I think the battery must have imploded or something, as part of the keypad was bloated probably due to the extreme heat. So not only did they give me an ancient phone, but they put my life in danger! Hey, I could have gotten a call and placed the phone on my ear and burned myself or something.

Am going back later to get my phone back, going to mention the incident to them, but probably not gonna make a big deal about it as long as I get my phone back.

*mainly my sis and mom.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Jogging at East Coast

Last Friday, I went jogging with 2 friends at East Coast Parkway. One was my guy friend who was training for his annual physical fitness test, and the other was a girl friend that I recently got re-acquainted with after a long absence.

I kept a faster pace than I am usually used to. I blame it on male pride, we always have this need to exert our superiority over women in tests of physical endurance . I expected that sooner rather than later, my friend would tire pretty soon and ask to slow down the pace, therefore effectively admitting to my better physical conditioning. We ran the first 1 km, and quite surprisingly she kept pace with me without any complaints. Brave girl, I thought to myself, but I knew she wouldn't last.

We had now run close to 2km and she still kept pace with me, and even worse, she didn't even seem that tired. I on the other hand, was panting like a rabid dog by this stage. I started to get a bit nervous, it seemed like my plan might backfire on me. She did ask me if I was ok, but I just replied flippantly that this was the "rabid dog panting" breathing control technique that I read from a website and that it really helped regulate my breathing, I couldn't tell if she bought it though, mainly because she probably couldn't hear what I was saying in between all that huffing and puffing. My other friend was behind us for most the way, he had decided to stick to his own pace rather that try assert his male superiority like I did.

We finally reached McDonalds which was the halfway mark and I sprinted ahead as we reached it, raising my arms in victory. I did that because I knew by then that my tank was pretty much empty, I was probably gonna struggle for the jog back to our starting point. But hey at least I could claim the halfway mark win. K I know it wasn't a competition but it should have been, maybe that was why I didn't run as fast I could. Yes I think that's it.

On the jog back I really started to struggle as I had known I would, while she still seemed as fresh as she was when we first started off. I had now gone from "rabid dog breathing" technique to "rabid dog whining while being sodomised" breathing technique, it was not pretty. She slowly pulled away from me despite my attempts to block her from going past me with my body, and I ended the jog like a full 5 minutes after she did. Oh my other friend who kept to his own pace throughout the race also ended up in front of me.

Anyway I learnt an important lesson from this jog. Never let your male pride dictate your pace, or you risk ending up whining like a dog that just been sodomised.