Thursday, September 29, 2005

The first memory

It is said that our memories can be faulty. What we thought we remember are actually, well, just what we thought. My earliest memory is one of my maternal grandparents. When I was young, my elder brother and I used to stay at Por Por’s house during our holidays. I have no idea what we did then. I think we ransacked the kitchen and played with pots and pans or just stayed glued to the telly. It was always fun to hang out with my grandparents.

Gong Gong was a quiet, solemn man. I cannot remember much of him. Maybe it was because he was struck down by Parkinson’s disease in his latter years that my memories of him were blurred. As far as I can recall, he was a man of few words. My bro said that Gong Gong was a man of habits. After his shower, he would go to his room, take a cotton bud and clean his ears while on his way out. We never questioned where he went. Perhaps it was to meet his friends. Or maybe he just liked to walk around.

Por Por was a great cook. She would make the loveliest meals when we hung out at her place. Fried potatoes, minced pork in black bean sauce, and her specialty: fried rice. I think it was because she did not limit us to eating healthy food (like mum did and still does) that we liked staying over. Por Por also made a mean chili sauce. We never got to learning the recipe.

So, the earliest memory I could dredge out was one of the sleepovers at Por Por’s house. There was going to be a Cantonese opera in Chinatown which was a stone’s throw away. As usual, bro and I were still eating when Gong Gong left for the performance. My recollections are fuzzy but I remember the route we took. Por Por stayed in Block 1. We would have to pass by the Mama stall at Block 2 to get to the stage. As we passed the block, Por Por bought us a cup of ice-cream each. Of course, being the girl, my color was pink. So I had strawberry while my manly brother had chocolate. They cost 40 cents each. We were, however, not allowed to eat them until we reached the stage.

As we hurried along, I thought only of my ice-cream and how good Por Por was to us. We quickly found Gong Gong seated on one of those orangey-red chairs they used to have for weddings at void decks; the ones where the backings and the seats were orangey-red plastic with bits of white in them from the wear and the legs were black. Finally, we could eat the ice-cream. After finishing the dessert, we sat in our chairs because in those days, children did not run around. If they tried, one stern look from their parents would freeze them in their tracks.

I sat there trying to keep my lids up because I could not understand what they were singing about. It is strange how the din did not seem to dampen my sleepiness then when I see how I have to sleep in an absolutely quiet room now. It is probably the coffee. After a while, I swung my legs back and forth to keep myself occupied because they did not quite reach the ground. I glanced over at Gong Gong’s strong back and noted how he had elegantly crossed his legs. He cut a distinguish figure. Gong gong’s hand was on his thigh, his fingers tapping to the music. I think he was having a good time.

Later we went home and helped Por Por set up bed for the night. We loved playing with the sofa bed because it was a novelty to us. After the bed was in place, we would need to venture into the dark bedroom to get the pillows, or miao miaos as we nicknamed them. It was an adventure in itself. Darkness and children do not mix. Before sleeping, Por Por would fix us a drink of hot condensed milk (ngao nai shui) or milo. Then, we were ordered into bed. I would snuggle up with the tons of miao miaos and they were filled with a special scent that we could only find at Por Por’s house. Later I learnt that this very scent was from Por Por's smoking but it was still very unique, still very fragrant. Por Por would sleep beside us, patting us to sleep.

All these recollections may not be one hundred per cent accurate, but I do know that they give me a sense of nostalgia on the days I recall them. The warmth at the memory and the tinge of regret at not being given a chance to take care of them now leaves a sweet yet bitter taste in my mouth.

If looks could kill

One day, I caught it smoking...


It was surprised at first...



Then gave me dagger looks, asking me to mind my own business...



Finally, it left in a flame of fire...


I am scarred for life.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Something's strange in spring

When I was young, I used to read books that raved about spring. It's supposed to be the season where the animals give birth to the young and everything was nice and all because the flowers will be blooming. No one prepared me for the shock I see around here:


Firstly, the worms invade the ground.



Then the brushes you use to wash milk bottles start growing on trees.



You open your window for the lovely spring air and somehow get a sense that you are being watched by things that start singing at 4am.



After all these, you go mad and start going to the toilet for jam to put on your bread.



I was subsequently told that I look older in spring. *sobs* How old do I look to you?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I cannot go home! *sobs*

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

大白兔奶糖的纸


This is your big rabbit milk candy.



This is the edible paper inside your big rabbit milk candy.



This is the toilet paper in public restrooms of Brisbane.


Say, isn't the idea of using toilet paper not to get your hands dirty? I wonder.

Status-us!

Recently, I have been listening to love stories. Real-life tales about how couples get together or didn't work out and it drawn upon me that there is a crucial difference between males and females. Women want to know where they stand; they want to know what is the correct label. "Am I your girlfriend, friend, hook-up partner, fuck buddy, good pal, friend with benefits or just a fling?" Men, on the other hand, cannot be bothered. "There's Annie. Great! Now we can get a move on."

Why is that so? I guess it is because women have been known to seek security; they know their youth is their biggest draw because men have been known to seek pretty, young things. So what is the resultant? Females want status and "you're with me" simply doesn't count. Males want to sow wild oats so vagueness is the way to go. How do you turn the tables?

Be unattainable. That ought to keep men interested, right? This is when a friend pointed out: if he is with you because you pose as a challenge, will it be to your benefit to succumb to his charms eventually? You will no longer be attractive then because you have been "conquered" right? How long can you play the game? If you never yield to him, will he lose interest?

Life is so fun~

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Boredom


月饼之思

月亮圆啊圆
我心灰啊灰
你还在不在
我的甜月饼

我想要买你
你请不要走
因为很好吃
所以天天思

月饼圆啊圆
融在我嘴里
现在得到了
我却依然思

Friday, September 16, 2005

Rainy days

I love rainy days. The feeling of the earth being cleansed and everything starting anew after that. Completely delusional. In any case, the cool weather is conducive for sleeping or grabbing someone to cuddle with you. Hugging yourself in bed and willing yourself to dream of a hunk/babe is a pretty fine activity too.

When I was younger, I love to get caught in the rain. There were no issues about getting wet. Now you wonder about falling down in the rain and making a fool of yourself. Or not getting admitted onto public transport because you are dripping. There's also the big ugly rheumatism lurking in the back, threatening to make you remember this drenched day in all future rainy days. So you shrink back under your brolly and hurry home before you catch your cold of death.

I think I watched too much advertisements. You know, about how its raining outside and this woman would be dry and warm, sipping her coffee/hot chocolate while lounging in her window seat, looking out with a contented expression. Yeah. Coffee keeps you awake and hot chocolate gives your sore throat. Go ahead. Bottoms up!

More Idiot-Proofed Recipe?

Want to learn how to make faux shark fins? No sharks were harmed in the making of this delicious soup!

Doing death

We were on the topic of death after seeing a furneral ad on telly. I remember there was a documentary on Discovery Channel about this lady in Hongkong preparing for her death. She bought the outfit and a place for her urn in the temple. Her children were in Germany and she felt she was too old to follow along and adapt to a new culture.

Then A remarked that it was so sad that there would be no one to burn incense to her after her death to which B replied that her children would probably come back from Germany once a year for tomb-sweeping festival.

Another thing of interest is the performance at furnerals. You will see people whom you have not seen the whole time you were living with the deceased turning up and sobbing like they have lost their parents. Who/what are you crying for? If you were on such great terms, why did I not see you when I was living with him? If you were so filial, why did I only see you for 10 minutes during Chinese New Year?

I wondered aloud about the previous generations before us: who prays to them? Do their souls get "goodies" from their human descendents?

We concluded that they were probably long reincarnated. So, there should be some rule-of-thumb here right? How many generations ahead of us should we pray to? It's all very complex.


*For your interest, this post is written with a Chinese-Buddhist-Taoist orientation.

黄熊熊's advice

Hello everybody! I is saw this on the milk tea I is drank and think it is very good advice for everybody!

累了

我很累了... 这个世界已经变了... 不管说或做什么都没有用...
为什么我总是这样?
说什么做朋友; 不说话, 不关心还算什么呢?
如果没时间理你, 已经都不知还剩什么...
我真的很累很累...
我要回我开心的日子...
没了, 没了... 什么都已成空白...

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

装可爱手指照片记 Cutie Finger Photo Blog

Ever wondered what to do with your hands and fingers while taking photos? Should they be on the lap or on the knees? For guys this would be especially tricky. Slightly too center and you will be seen as a pervert.

What about girls? If you show the back of your hands while standing and taking photos, your arms look twice as thick. Akimbo? What are you afraid of? Holding your guy's hand? Don't be so clingy la.

I am here to save you! Today, I will bring you my friend's and her friends' "Act cute finger photo-taking skills!" It will be as easy as 123!

Materials

- Fingers
- Act cute face (See below)

Make-up:

- Extreme blusher (It's a girly look remember. Guys can stick to ermmm... Tweezing eyebrows ala Japanese style? Then you look more androgynous and can get away with cute poseur looks.)
- Black eyeliner (So you can make your eyes look wider and thus more kawaii)
- Korean contact lens that enlarge your iris (All in the name of cuteness sweetie! 爱美不要命!)
- Lip gloss/collagen injection (See below)

Preparation course: Act cute face (Yes, this is the (See below) part)

- Tilt head down by 45 degrees from its normal angle when you look to the front. Check the mirror to see that your double/triple/quadruple chins are well hidden.
- Widen eyes. Because this is a widen eye look and because you are wearing the enlarging iris contact lens, remember to have eyedrops handy. Furthermore, dewy 水汪汪 eyes makes people want to protect you.


All together now... Awwwwwwwwwwww...


- Look upwards but ensure that your eyes are not left with their whites only. You want to look cute, not dead.
- Pout lips. If your lips are thin, you might consider using gloss/collagen injection so they can catch the light and are plump up. Subtlety is the key here. Pout, not turn your lips inside out. No saliva please.
=> Summary: 头下, 眼睛张, 嘟唇 - Recite this holy mantra in the future when you need to get your way. Or are itching for a bash from your friends.

So are you ready? Ladies and gentlemen, crack your knuckles.

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.



一支手指装安静 Use one finger, act quiet


两支手指装和平 Use two fingers, act for peace


三支手指装抱歉 Use three fingers, act sorry


四支手指更和平 Use four fingers, act more peace


五支手指不告诉你 Use five fingers, don't tell you


六支手指打电话 Use six fingers, telephone


七支手指爱耍酷 Seven fingers to act cool


八支手指哟哟哟 Use eight fingers, yo yo yo


九支手指是什么 Use nine fingers, don't know what


十支手指象翅膀 Use ten fingers, just like wings


你说好拍不好拍呀不好拍? You say good shots, not good shots ah, not good shots?

***

Since I am very considerate, I have come up with wallet-sized cut-outs for the poems! Complete with dotted lines for you to cut along! Now you simply have to click and Ctrl + P!


Mandarin?



Or English?


Now you know how to handle your fingers when taking photographs! Remember to thank me when you get complimented for your genius! If you are bashed up, please forget that you learnt this from me!

***

If you as bored as me, start a meme leh! Then give me your link I'll help you advertise. :D

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Partying, labbishing and eating (Part II)

So this was where I left off yesterday. The guy walked over and wanted to make friend. I think next time we should try gesturing wildly like we do not understand English. Should be quite fun to see his reaction. There he was, introducing himself and there we will be gesticulating like siao char bors. I don't mind making friends ah but in any case, the summon was too exciting so none of us in the mood to be friendly. We were saved by the driver! Friend turned back at the right time so off we drove, leaving the poor dude in the cold. I doubt he care la! Hahahaha…

Anyway, the main event was up next! Labbishing! Yeah! Even though we had been labbishing so far, no place is better than former chapel turned pancake house to crap to our ass content! Let’s see… what did we talk about? Or what did I irritate my friends about?

I think the first part was persisting in asking them what they would feel if they found a dismembered head. Seems like cleaners are usually the one to discover the grisly body parts. I was saying I would be scarred for life but will pacify myself by saying that I am helping the victim. To uncover the parts would be the start in knowing that a murder has been committed after all. And there are people who actually think that a corpse in the landscape is fashionable. I think the shots are beautiful in a very morbid way. Anyway, I doubt there are places in Singapore where you can dump bodies and not be found out within the year. None of my friends seemed interested in continuing the conversation leh… So my monologue died off after awhile.

Pancake house!


It was really a chapel ah! See the old skool design. A bit surreal. I think if this kind of place is in Singapore, it would be a national treasure or something. So I was really suaku in the ex-chapel, taking pictures here and there.



Artistic shot neh! Look like flower hor. Jugwer! Hahahaha…



Waiting for pancake and crepes! I don’t like this kind of brick wall though. The rough surface is no kick for your hands. Easily grazed then you will look like you have been severely abused when all your knuckles have been scarred. ): Also look like the perfect place for…



Murder! I look entirely too happy right? Tut tut… Must be the stress from seeing the Monty guys. Luckily I was saved by the…



Strawberry pancakes! Not mine though… ): 我很饿了!!!



My meal! How nice! A plate of carrot! I am a rabbit!



Crepe! The cross shape to remind customers that they are in what was formerly a chapel? Hmm.. Don’t care… Dig in first!



But it wasn’t long before I got the crème de la crème! Macadamia pancake! With maple syrup! But sia la! Too into taking photo with the maple syrup on the pancake that I overpoured. +_+ 我的饼饼!


Seeing all these photos make me hungry. So I’ll leave you here salivating and continue with my friend’s 装可爱手指照片记 tomorrow! Miss me!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Partying, labbishing and eating (Part 1)

Here’s the selective account of my night out in a long long while! Got to say that clubbing and screaming like a siao char bor is one of the best ways to destress. And after slogging for so long for my assignments, it’s good to slap some make-up on the face and doll up abit for some partying~ But darn! The partying had to have spoilers! Bah! So we went to this place called “Down Under” in Brisbane City, Down Under. Duh. Initially, I was quite happy leh as you can see:


Note how the hands are in an anticipative position and the hair purposefully disheveled.


Then when you get into the sleazy joint, you go … If you thought clubs in Singapore have a lot of despos, you ain’t seen nothing yet. True, some people club to hook up but there is no need to assume everyone is a free piece of meat mah. One of them even had the audacity of saying that a girl was "asking for it". At least go through the nicety of asking right? Within 5 minutes of stepping into the place, you can easily get approached trice. Unless you are fugly or smelly. No mean feat to be smelly in a stale smoke and sweaty body club. Here’s what it looks like:


Blue light neh… So futuristic! Too bad the people not futuristic. Got quite a few ah peks.


The layout was quite interesting: got about three different leveled platforms, each dominated by a distinct group of people. I was just telling my housemate cum fellow siao char bor about how a guy can go into the club, decide that the dish for the day is going to be an exotic Asian and approach the Asian platform. +_+ Yes, there were quite a lot of cultural exchanges going on there. I think it was SPG heaven. Yours truly was just there to observe and laugh at those chicks who looked all smug at being picked up. Tut tut… it’s not THAT hard sweetie.

It was boring after awhile so we left and headed for other places in the city. Wah! At night still a lot of people ok!


The mall that rich tai-tais can go crazy in. All the branded stuff are here but I think cheaper in Singapore. I was trying to psycho my Malaysian housemate to visit me in Singapore then I can bring her to DFS… To my benefit too! But no definite answer from her… Nevermind, I shall continue to work on it… *cracks knuckles*


Then we saw the 24-hour casino! Fantastic! Can go in laugh at people who lose their whole fortune! The management still tried to be civic-minded ok… In the toilets, there were cards with helpline numbers on them. For assisting the gambling addicts in kicking their bad habit. Maybe Singapore can learn from this though the stack of cards looked like it hasn’t been touched. Hmm…

After the toilet trip, my friend pointed out a guy who has just lost A$200 in a round. He looked entirely too happy at his (mis)fortune. Will be a good "cai tao" if anyone was looking. But then, it’s a relative thing isn’t it? I’m just a poor student so $200 is a lot to me already. Anyway, the live band there was good! And it was free! But there was too much alcohol sloshing so bye bye casino and yandao singer! *sobs*

We tried to get into this other club but the bouncer turned my friend away because he said he was dressed too casually. Tee, jeans and sneakers leh… Then I glimpsed into the club and saw a Caucasian dressed in the same type of outfit. Then another. And another. I wonder why we were outside. This other Asian guy saw us being turned away and hurried over to ask us why. He looked very worried. I wondered why. +_+

So it was back to Down Under because we didn’t know where else to go and we didn't have any lousy experience yet. Hopefully the music would be better. In we went and ta-da! The music stopped. Why? Because there was going to be a full-monty competition where the male winner will walk away with $100 voucher. Got free show sia… Can examine cultural differences? x_x After seeing how un-cute the guys were, it was *tap tap tap* as we waited for the music to start again. Nevertheless, can see what alcohol do (away) with your inhibitions. Oh! I drank this shot thingy called Cowboy. Very delicious. Maybe can see if they have in Singapore? It’s this shit colored concoction with duno what. Heh heh… Yummy!

Finally we got some fantastic songs! It was damn fun dancing with the wall! For some reason, it attracted some guys. +_+ I fail to see why. But we were just fooling around and our poor guy friend had to be our barricade. Heh heh… That was not the end of his woes. In the middle of a great song, he got the third missed call from his housemate. Tada! The efficient traffic police wanted to tow his car away! So poor guy ran out with us trailing behind. Then it was like walking the red carpet of sleaze. You see guys that were standing around start to put their hands out. High-fives? Nope. It was some ass-slapping action. So girls, do not get too drunk until you cannot defend yourself! But we had no major problems because we were all too wide-awake from the full-monty performance. @_@

We stood outside waiting for our dear friend to come round again to pick us up. And guess what? Yes! A guy tried to pick all three of us up! You can see how interesting it was when you realize that he didn’t even have a target: anyone will do. Must be dying for Asian cuisine.

Stay tuned for how we handled the guy tomorrow! I am trying to block out the full monty images now! x_x

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Preview

Back from a beautiful supper place! Was out with some friends for a spot of partying and labbishing then eating. Check out the smashing venue:


Former chapel converted to pancake house with delicious crepes and ermm.. pancakes...



Our seat... I think the scout emblem looks something like this too? Joker-hatish?


So, more details later! When I 爽! ^-*

Friday, September 09, 2005

Is it me or is it strange?

Isn’t the whole idea of traveling to experience other cultures and places? Why is it then that when you are on a tour, the tour guide will arrange food from YOUR culture? You’re Chinese? Then it’s 小龙包 for you! Malay is your spoken language? Then its down the Malaya Restaurant! "It doesn’t matter that we are in Japan; I can cater to your tastes!"

That brings me to a conversation I had with a friend some time back. I was marveling at how he wanted to eat Chinese/Asian food AGAIN. It is strange really because if you imagine yourself having to go overseas for a prolonged period of time, you would be going “SHIT! I HAVE TO EAT MORE LOCAL FOOD NOW BECAUSE I AM NOT GOING TO GET THAT IN XXX COUNTRY!”. So you embark on this whole food trail thing in your hometown in preparation for the bad times ahead.

You get to XXX country and what do you find? Food from back home! And you eat those again and again and again. Local fare? Well, that’s just for emergencies.

Ah… The beauty of globalization.


黄熊熊 was perplexed at why said friend always go for non-western dishes. Resisting cultural imperialism?! Hahahaha...

I can cook!

Today, I just want to show off:


Seafood udon - fusion food neh...



Garlic chicken with butter rice - ang moh dish sia...



Turkey breast and mushroom fusilli in white cream sauce - italian is easily...



Crumbed fish, grilled turkey and cheesy mushroom omelette - within 10 minutes...



Herbal chicken soup for your soul - for your well-being...



Grilled chicken and prawn omelette with steamed rice - with just a flick of my hair...



My style fried rice - not too dry, not too moist...



My housemates are lucky!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Truth

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth!"

Well, sometimes I hear people talking tactfully and I wonder to myself: is the tactful truth still the truth? I mean you get this piece of information and you package it nicely so that the party listening to this potentially hurtful news don't feel AS BAD as he/she might have if you blurt straight out what you REALLY wanted to say. Example?

"You're not opinionated; you just have a mind of your own and are not afraid to voice it."

Is that still saying the person is opinionated? On the other hand, you look at people around you; those that are sitting alone in class/work are most probably the ones who are tactless. No one likes to be friends with a "ca tao". The term "honest to a fault" would probably suit them best. "Honesty is the best policy" they would have you believe. But can you be honest without being blunt and still be considered honest? After all, you already wrap the truth in such lovely words, terms, phrases and tones such that something that is actually not in favor of the other party may sound like music to their ears.

"You're not fat honey; you're just big-boned."

Gambling

I hate to walk past a fruit stall. All the lushly colored fruits just beckon to me. Like a housefly drawn to crap, I’ll be lured in with the promises of a saccharine-filled snack. Strawberries, kiwis, bananas, apples, oranges, custard apples, passion fruits, pineapples, papayas, lychees, cherries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, pears etc will be gleaming in their skins, shouting out to you to buy them.

So there you will be, pressing and poking the fruits, wondering what to get. Following much deliberation, you finally decided on strawberries. After all, they are in season and should be quite fresh. And they are discounted. And you have just gotten advice from your family and friends in the 3-hour conversation yesterday on the finer points of selecting strawberries. Now you turn more fully towards the strawberry stand and crack your knuckles to begin on a task that requires Mensa-level IQ.

Yep, I remember that they should be bright red and not be damp. Strawberries have a reputation of spoiling fast; therefore only get those that have green bits that are still green. Producers are sneaky fellows; they will put strawberries in these boxes and inevitably, there will be some of the less appealing berries inside every box. Then they poke some holes in the boxes so you can thrust your nose again each and every box and inhale the heavenly scent.

Then, you sniff, probe and ponder over which box to get. After making sure you got the best box in the stand, you go home happily, thinking about the sweet sweet strawberries you will get to enjoy after dinner. They can’t be that bad if they look like this right:


Green bits? Checked. Bright red? Checked (saved for that ONE loser). Firm? Checked. Fragrance? Checked. Not damp? Checked.


THEY ARE BLOODY SOUR! FUCK UP! HOW TO FINISH THE WHOLE BOX! NOW I KNOW WHY THEY SELL IN BOXES!!! TO GET RID OF THEM ASAP! I RATHER EAT LEMON! I WANT REFUND!