Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Quick Update

K I just got back from Tokyo, had a blast there, will upload pictures as soon as I can. That means this weekend because I am off to Shanghai in the afternoon. Will be back on Sat at 2 pm if anyone wants to welcome me at the airport. Now am off to bed!

Arigato Kosaimas!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I met an angel today

Quick update from me , it's my first day in Tokyo. Didn't get any sleep last night because I was trying to finish my slides for work before I left. Didn't get much sleep on the plane as well (my flight was at 6 am) because I can't sleep on planes. So by the time I reached Tokyo 8 hours later I was as stoned as a ....stone.

But then there was this amazing angel who met us at the airport. It was the friend of my friend, and she basically drove us the whole day around Tokyo. And she even paid for everything (despite our protests), from the tickets up to the Tokyo Tower as well as to the most delicious dinner spread that I have personally tasted in a long while. And I am pretty sure it wasn't cheap either.

I have to say I never thought before this that anyone could be that nice, especially to a stranger (I didn't know her before this) and to a casual acquaintance (she met my friend only once before). I can only hope she comes to Singapore soon so that I can return the favor.

But yeah I guess that's what I like about travelling. You get to meet people who just keep surprising you, and who are so different from what you expect back home.

I came here to Tokyo feeling tired and pretty cold.
But then an angel swept down and saved us two poor souls.
She drove us from the airport and brought us to Tokyo Tower.
All in all the entire day she drove us for almost 6 hours.
And in the evening we were treated to a fantastic dinner.
I ate so much that my stomach bursting became a real fear.
So ended my first day in lovely Japan
Thought it was just ok my first time, now am a huge fan.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Off to Tokyo

Alright am off to Tokyo in half an hour. Will be back on the 27th.

Talk about bad luck. I actually arranged for this trip to go see Red Hot Chilli Peppers who were supposed to perform there this Friday, but Anthony Kiedis got pneumonia (damn you pneumonia) and they had to cancel. Anyway still am gonna enjoy myself, I need a break.

Only thing that sucks is I am gonna miss local food again for a whole week. I really missed it when I was in Taiwan, and I been back in Singapore for only 4 days. I missed it so much that on the evening I came back from Taiwan, I picked up the phone and ordered Sarpino's pizza! Nothing says home like Sarpino's I tell ya.

Alright I'm off. Will update from Tokyo if I can!

Sayonara!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Kiss and Ride

Was in Taiwan for the whole of last week for work. Saw this sign at the station on Friday as I was waiting for the bullet train to get from Tainan to Taipei.



Of course I started wondering what Kiss and Ride meant. Pondered it for a while, then I got it. It's basically a place outside the train station where you pick up hookers. You basically drive up to that place and call one of the hookers standing there. She would then give you a kiss, you know like letting you sample the goods. It is then up to you to decide whether you want to avail yourself of further services rendered by her.

I then asked my Taiwanese colleague where my hypothesis was correct. He looked back at me in horror, like I was some kind of pervert. Apparently I was pretty off the mark. It is basically a temporary drop off point. But seriously, any of you who don't read Mandarin would have come to the same conclusion wouldn't you? People can be so judgmental, it's sad.

But the bullet train was pretty fun, it was the first time I took such a mode of transportation. Here's a picture:



The train is so fast that you won't even see it entering the station, I actually took this picture at 1/8 second shutter speed otherwise it would just be a total blur. Pretty amazing eh?

Stayed at the Westin in Taipei. One thing I never get, it's the most expensive hotels that always charge for extra room amenities (wireless/porn/breakfast), cheaper hotels always provide them free. What's up with that? Considering you pay top dollar shouldn't it be free? Well Westin did have a porn channel where you could watch a preview for like 20 seconds before you get the pay screen, but ingenious me found a loophole around the system! Basically you just need to switch channels, wait for a couple of seconds then switch back, and you can watch another 30 seconds.

I contemplated telling the hotel staff about this glaring loophole, being the honest person that I am, but then decided against it in case they charge me for it or something. Spent the next hour switching channels every 20 seconds and being really pleased with myself (in more ways than one), but then it dawned on me - what I was doing was actually kinda sad. In my defence I was suffering from diarrhoea, cold and lonely. But yeah I need to get a life.

One final picture. This is the view from where I was most of Friday night:



I FREAKING hate diarrhoea!!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Movie Outing: Post-mortem

All things considered I would deem last night's outing a success, so I decided to send out an email to all those who were involved.

--Start of email---

Hi all,

Yes I think last night's outing went reasonably well, except for that
one fiasco where the participants did not seat in their assigned seats
as requested (repeatedly) by me. I am not naming any names because I
don't have any concrete proof, but I think a certain girl who kept pestering me to change her ticket was the instigator of that chaos in the cinema.

Nevertheless, this will be rectified in the next movie outing as I
will be writing down the names of the participants on each individual
ticket before I hand them them out, and will check them again in the
cinema to make sure no one tries to swap seats.

Looking forward to the next outing.

--End of email ---

I was a bit pissed at myself at losing control of the situation in the cinema, but a good organizer learns from his mistakes. It will NOT happen again.

But the movie was pretty amazing. Oh yeah I went to watch 'The Lives of Others', Winner for Best Foreign Film at this year's Oscars. I was a little disappointed that Pan's Labyrinth didn't win, but after watching the movie last night I have to agree that it was worthier. I hate reviews so ain't gonna give one, just go watch it!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I love organising events!

Yes I really do love it. The sense of accomplishment when the event goes successfully thanks to all the effort you put in, it's really an amazing feeling. Yesterday, I was asked to organize this event that was going to happen later this week. Despite my hectic work schedule, I put all my heart and soul into it and came up with the schedule in like 1/2 hour. Here is the schedule which I sent out to the participants of the event.

==Start of Itinerary==

This is the itinerary for the group outing.

1930 Dinner at Plaza Singapura (place to be confirmed but no Thai Express due to someone's bad experience there recently)
2100 Proceed to The Cathay
2110 Reach Cathay Cinema
2115 Collect your tickets from the outing organizer i.e. me.
2130 Movie starts
1150 Movie ends
1155 Group photo outside cinema
1156 Requests for individual pictures with the Stallion
1200 Free and easy


Notes:
1. Movie seatings are random. Please let me know in advance if you wish to sit beside me. Requests will be served on a first come first served basis.
2. The movie is 2 hr 17 mins long. We are seated 4 in Row C , and 4 directly behind in Row D on the center right side of the cinema. Short people can request to sit in front.
3. Latecomers to the movie please collect your tickets from the usher.
4. There are 8 confirmed participants. Me, J, N, S, J2, J3, J4, T. 4 others to be confirmed by the end of XXXXX. No further requests for tickets (by men) will be entertained after that. Requests by women will be subject to the organizer's (aka ME) approval pending a phone interview.

Regards,
Gilbert
Movie Screening Group Organizer
== End of Itinerary ==

Now you know who to call whenever you want to organize a movie outing.