The Minister of Freak Floods may be very busy today. Hold all appointments please. Please don't blame PUB, the poor things. Like last time, they must have been caught off guard by these floods today too.
I was in Malaysia again over the weekend. The whole family went to Sunway Lagoon, a resort near Kuala Lumpur, for four days. When I say family, I meant the entire gang. My wife, myself, my three kids, my two helpers, my mom and dad, my younger brother and his two daughters, and my youngest brother and wife.
Needless to say, it was a circus.
Our trip involved getting three cabs to take us to Golden Mile Complex to catch our coach. Golden Mile is part Little Thailand and part Malaysian/Thailand coach central for Singapore. A grubby building, it is nonetheless the go-to place for your overland trips up north.
The coach was old but roomy. The seats were worn but could tilt almost all the way back. There was no individual TV screens or in-flight service or even an onboard toilet, just your seat and decent air-conditioning.
There are "Super-VIP" coaches with all those amenities but this was not one of them. This was not even "VIP." It was closer to "Somewhat-VIP." (cont'd)
This has to be the single biggest reason for me to upgrade my iPhone 3Gs to iOS4: the ability to use an old Nokia SU-8W foldable bluetooth keyboard sitting in my drawer since I moved from the N-series smartphones.
The upgraded iPhone 3Gs recognised the Nokia keyboard right away and paired with it. And the keyboard worked perfectly. I even managed to use the little pull-out stand on the keyboard to hold the iPhone up, in portrait and landscape mode.
While I can already churn out columns and write long articles with my iPhone, Writeroom and the onscreen keyboard (it is one of my mutant abilities), the Nokia SU-8W will make it even easier.
The keyboard is something I will certainly throw into my gear bag when I am out of the office from now on.
You have not lived until you have tasted real chocolate. I’m not talking about the candy bar variety you get at the stores. Those are nice to eat in their own way – if you like to eat chocolate bars made of sugar, vegetable oil and chocolate substitutes.
No, I am talking about chocolate truffles that are made of cocoa butter, chocolate ganache and dipped in cocoa powder chocolate shell. Handmade and done fresh too.
I recently visited Truffs, a ‘chocolate atelier’, tucked away in Telok Ayer Street. It’s the place that makes these little heavenly morsels. I suppose it is called an atelier because making truffles is machiam like French art.C (cont'd)
I am seeing more of the kids this month because of the holidays. It’s a mixed bag – while I’m thrilled to see them around when I wake up in the late morning (I work late into the night), I’m not too crazy about some of the things I am discovering about their quirks.
Joy, my 4-year-old, for instance, likes to play house and lays out her plates on the floor as if there’s a tea party going on. She also likes to rope her older brother in.
My 6-year-old son can be very sweet to his sister. Other boys may balk at doing something so girly but Isaac is sporting about it (Joy, on the other hand, has firm objections to playing ‘boy-boy’ toys, so no robots).
I thought it was fun to see them play together until I noticed what Joy was using as her ‘food’ in the toy plates and pots. It looked like small pieces of sponge at first. But on closer inspection, I realised she was using small broken up pieces of sponge CAKE. (cont'd)
It was 1.30am and I was sitting at the coffee shop I frequent after work. I had planned to grab a quick bite of fishball noodles at this coffee shop (we call them "kopitiams") which is along my bicycle ride home but then I realised it was airing the World Cup matches and decided to make myself at home.
I belong to the group of Singaporeans refusing to cough up the US$64 (S$90) subscription that the two cable TV companies were charging for the World Cup. So I've been watching the matches in every way possible, including at kopitiams. Tonight, the 2.30am match was between Brazil and North Korea. (cont'd)
Like most people with no lives and an unhealthy fetish for Apple products, I was up past midnight waiting for Steve Jobs to talk about the iPhone 4.0 at WWDC 2010. Given that Singapore is not exactly in the timezone of the United States of America, this meant that I was essentially spending a good four hours of my night staring at the blog of a gadget site as they relayed live Steve's every word.
Here are some of the things I learned about the iPhone 4. Please note that some of the facts and details may be slightly off, due to a combination of lack of sleep, my rose-colored Apple Reality Distortion Field glasses and copious amounts of a probably illegal energy drink.
1. The new iPhone 4 is the thinnest smartphone on the planet, and it can help make you thinner too.
2. The new iPhone 4 can make you thinner AND restore your hair... (cont'd)
I just came back from a road trip to Malacca over the weekend only to read in the news that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had detained eight Singaporeans who tried to bribe traffic cops over the long weekend.
This is certainly a conundrum for Singapore drivers because almost everyone who drives to Malaysia knows that Malaysian traffic cops expect to be bribed.
If you were speeding beyond the 100km/h (62.5 mph) speed limit on the North-South Highway, and got pulled over, that's one thing. But many drivers tell me traffic cops there pull them over even when they are not speeding, asking for kopi (coffee) money.
And I am told the rates are different for Singaporeans and Malaysians too. My Malaysian friend only pays RM10 (Malaysian ringgit, the equivalent of US$3) to traffic police. Singaporeans usually pay RM50 (US$15) or more.
In Singapore, nobody sane would bribe a local cop. You would be afraid to even think of doing it. But it seems police bribery is a way of life in Malaysia.
My Malaysian friend told me that once, he was sitting some distance from a broken public telephone in Malaysia when a policeman came up to him and promptly accused him of damaging public property. (cont'd)
I had a blast covering the event and the run-up to it.
You'd think that it'd be hard to find more than 400 people to dance for this event but you'd be wrong. More than a thousand signed up and the organisers had to reluctantly turn some away because they had too many people already.