Saturday, 29 December 2007

Feeling.. not too rich

Year-end bonus is in and this year, I didn't bother to check if I had spent all of my 2007 bonuses. Too scared :p

Yet, I am still not careful in my spending.. It's like, the more you earn, the more you spend. When I had an increment this year, my percentage savings did not increase by the same proportion. Likely due to the recent wardrobe renewal, an increasing appetite and my preference for cabs after 9pm or so..

Wednesday was the first time I took a cab after the fare hike. I was dismayed to find that it took $11.60 to get from Orchard to home; last time, it cost about $7-8 =(

Granted, taking a cab in Singapore is still very cheap compared to other cities in developed countries. I just can't get over the rate of increase - my salary doesn't grow by 40% overnight...

* This is different from the GST hike, also a 40% increase from 5% to 7%, cos that is a rise in a percentage of the price of the expenditure item..

The only good thing is that there seem to be more cabs on the road these days. Actually, one road - Orchard Road. Last night, before midnight, we were in City Hall and there was no cab until we walked a bit further to reach the CBD boundary, i.e. $3 city surcharge applies. Well, if I were the cab driver, I would of course hang out in the CBD area for that surcharge and if you are outside the CBD, call for a cab and I will gladly drive in to bank the calling charge!

But I will still take a cab - time is more important, especially resting time..

Oh, milkshake at Macs costs $2.75, at least in the city area; last I had milkshake, it was in Tomato Town and I paid $2.20... I think that one of the few things that remained at 2003 dollar is foot reflexology - $20 for 45min. I shall go do that today :p

Friday, 28 December 2007

Happy, I am

There was a line. There was a crowd. But you queued and jostled anyway. Cos it is (going to be) my birthday.

Thank you for that, and for other thoughtful gestures that leave me with a grateful smile =)

And of course, thanks for the first present of my 28th birthday =)

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

mf is back (again)

This time, I am back with a relaxed mind, a smile and a slight tan :)

Ok, and a patch of sunburnt skin too.. Fell asleep with my back exposed to the mid day sun with no sunscreen and *gasp* my face turned to one side! Woke with a shock, checked my face - phew! No 阴阳脸 :p

Spent the past four days in Turi Beach Resort in Batam with Sito, barely knowing the passage of time; our phones were switched off the whole time, and the only watch between us stayed in the room while we stayed under the sun :)

But we didn't get a serious tan (and the burn) until Sunday cos we only caught the last rays of the sun on Friday and the sun gave way to rain on Saturday.

Dinner on Friday was at Nagoya Hill, this mall 30min away by cab.. Simple meal and dessert but we were most tempted by the cinema - imagine, a movie at 15,000 rupiah or less than S$3! But we were not sure if we would be watching Nicholas Cage running all over the White House and Buckingham Palace sprouting Bahasa Indonesia..

Stayed in on Saturday for the pre-Christmas dinner included in our package. Took some pictures :)

mf, hiao as usual


Sito in thoughts.. (mf made him pose :p)


Close-up of mf!


Then we had some fun playing foosball but I lost twice - baaah! I need more practice.. Still remember that Valentine's Day so long ago when eight of us spent £15 on foosball and pool in the depths of Teddy Hall...

Went to this place just 10min away for seafood dinner on the last evening. We were disappointed to hear that they had run out of crabs! =( So we (just) had fried garlic butter prawns, prawn balls, grilled cuttlefish, furong eggs, hot pot tofu and mee goreng.. Oh and fruit juice too.. I know - a lot!! :p And they came with rice.. But guess what? We finished everything except the carbs! Seriously, it was enough for a family of four... We are good :)) *oops, double-chinned already*

Tried a traditional massage after the suntanningburning session and it was good! So unlike the last resort massage in Bali, where I felt like I was being touched by weak arms and scratched by uncut nails rather than massaged.. Hours later, my calf muscles were still oooh-ing and ah-ing :)

Speaking of muscles, there was quite a bit of climbing in Turi Beach. In fact, Batam seemed to be quite hilly; on the first night when we were coming back from Nagoya Hill, we went down a slope so steep I thought the roadside trees in front were actually reflection in the puddle on the road and it felt like we were sliding into a pool! In the resort, it was a steep walk to our hut from the junction between the steps to the lobby and the pool and restaurant. But I shouldn't complain cos we both needed the exercise after all that food..

Effectively, we didn't have lunch cos we took late and big breakfast. Strictly speaking? We had many meals! :p Calamari and chips by the pool, fried chicken and chips at an offshore deck, plenty of snacks from Singapore and Nagoya Hill during the rain and while alternating between Disney and Discovery channels in our lovely room, which was a hut on stilts. I fell in love with the bed with its white canopy immediately (although I still prefer my pink one)! Then the balcony too - it looked to the sea and it was just nice to stand there but we stayed in mostly to keep the mozzies out..

We had heard of the pest problem before we went, since the rooms were individual huts in the open. But it was alright mostly. So on Sunday, I commented to Sito that despite what we had heard, mf the super attractor of mozzies was bite-free!

Spoke too soon.. That night, I fell asleep watching the TV. As Sito turned off the lights or something, I woke a little and heard buzzing sounds next to my ears.. In my state of drowsiness, I ignored and returned to dreamland, only to wake in the morning to find bites on my forehead and cheeks =( Luckily, the itch was gone quite quickly..

Got back to Singapore feeling rested.. Still feeling rested and refused to switch on my work laptop :p Instead, watched Warlords in Tomato Town with Sito just hours after coming back from Batam! :p Passed by the MRT station on the way to the movie, and found many ghoulsyoung people decked out in party gear! Sito said half the train alighted at Orchard as he was coming up.. Good that we were very "heartland" =)

Stepped out of the movie to find ourselves peckish and headed to S11 to share some fried dumpling noodles before an icecream treat from Macs - yummy =) And then, we decided to go for mass at the church near my place - it was the second time I stepped into this church in 27 years; first time was to get to a toilet for emergency! :p Got there after 1130pm and it was very crowded. They were singing already and we joined in. A short sermon followed after midnight. The priest was quite funny so it was rather enjoyable..

And today, Na came over, like she did last Christmas! But this time, we didn't make dessert; we went facebooking instead! Fighting Kel and YX, haha! Was telling them - Na, Kel, YX - after Golden Compass the other day, that the peace in my life was disrupted when Hup discovered facebook and fighters' club, and started fighting everyone!!! But it got worse when Kel came around and joined hands with Hup in fighting me! :p

We thus wasted three hours on facebook, amid mochi icecream and chips with salsa.. Oh and Sito on Skype chatting with us in between his Kim Possible epsiodes - we watched quite a bit of Kim Possible (and Totally Spies! and American Dragon Jake Long!!) in Batam :p

Think I am ready for work tomorrow.. Merry Christmas! :)

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

What you don't know..

a) won't kill; or
b) will haunt you forever (or at least a while)?

I was walking up the stairs when I noticed this little dollop of shit on a step near the hand rail. Then I realised it was a tiny snail whose shell (if it was one) looked soft, like a round lump of flesh just smaller than a Chupa Chup.

It turned slightly away from me as I walked past. I thought it was cute :)

Then I worried. It was so small people might not see it; already, you see half crushed snails twice its size. Maybe I should carry it off the step.. But eeks, I wasn't about to touch it - no matter how cute it was, it was a bloody snail!

How about guiding it towards the corner of the step where it would be safer? But as I was thinking about it, I was already way past the snail..

Then I remembered that I passed by an old man on the stairs. I turned and saw him inching his way up along the hand rail..

The snail could die!!!!

But I walked on, heartlessly.... Now I don't know if the snail is still a cute round ball or a flattened mash =(

Monday, 17 December 2007

Best friends

A question popped into my head just now: what are best friends?

Best friends seem to be something that people create to feel good about themselves; I have a best friend, hence I'm also a best friend to him/her.

But is that true? I have seen a case once, a few years ago, where someone was quite amused as to why this chap thought of him as his best friend; the feelings were not mutual.

How do people become best friends? It couldn't be just the amount of time they spend together else we would be best friends with our colleagues (there are but rare), our siblings (unfortunately not the case all the time) and the computer (but some people do have the computer as their best friend, right..?)

But then again, isn't it the quantity of time that makes you learn more about your friends and appreciate them for what they are? I would think few people start out a friendship thinking, hey, I just found my best friend! It's similar to the whole argument of whether you believe in love at first sight.

With best friends, I don't even need to spend quality time, say doing something useful or worthwhile, or discussing something of significance. With best friends, I just enjoy spending time with them; I can do and enjoy doing the silliest things on earth! I may have said this a year ago when I came across this line in some newsletter: time spent wasted with friends is not wasted time.

Oh, and you notice I said best friends, plural. Really, unlike a life partner (who can also be a best friend), why should there be just one best friend? I recall a note from a colleague who was an English teacher, something along the lines of the word "best" being a superlative and there has to be a comparison. But if I were to name a best friend right, I would be having a big headache (in addition to the hunger pangs I'm having now cos I had only cup noodles for dinner) cos whoever I choose, I wouldn't be fair to many others!

I remember that CY and I bought a pair of best friends pendants. You know, the two halves that come together to form one? I still have that in my jewel box and I'm sure CY still has it too - they hold lovely memories of walking home together, sometimes with icecream. But we must both have other "best friends" too, and I am glad to be able to count more than a few - blessed, I am :)

Saturday, 15 December 2007

While watching dorama

I just re-spent last Saturday, well, most of last Saturday.

For two consecutive Saturdays, I woke at 7.10am to jog. And, in the same pair of socks! I admit I didn't wash them last week, horrible mf! :p Then I had fusilli in pesto for brunch and went to JAS. Then I braved the rain to get to the bus stop for the bus home. Hungry mf headed immediately for the kitchen and found melon soup. I watched dorama.

The different bits were that I met Mdm last week after jogging but I was working and reading this week. I won a little purse in a lucky at the 納会 today. The melon soup last week had only crab sticks and prawns with too much eggs while today, it also had pork slices with just the right amount of eggs, yummy..

It is very seldom these days that I repeat a schedule. There are always so many things to do and these things are always changing week after week; movie, shopping, karaoke, facial, massage, kopi, dancing, office work, house work.. My Saturdays are now rather different from Saturdays just a couple of years ago..

Hmm, things really change ah.. The empty space in front of Grams's shophouse became a carpark. Even the shophouse changed, giving way to a beauty salon and some laboratory, which later became another beauty or hair salon.

At least it wasn't torn down like Na's old place would be; passed by the other day and it was partially torn down.. I remember spending some good times there, #06-04.. SZ too, right? - We were 19 :)

And we're 27 now.. With mf going to 28 :p

Oh well, year end, always a time for some thinking, however trivial it may be.. After all, it's fluffy mf! Enjoy the season, everyone :)

Monday, 10 December 2007

10%

Some time at work today, I was thinking that I had been working for four years, which seemed awfully long..

Then it hit me that it was probably just the first 10% of my working life! TEN! And going by the trends of retirement age and life expectancy, four years could actually be less than 10%..

Unless I could earn 40 years of income in 20 years? Which just doesn't seem quite possible or realistic at this point..

How totally disgusting..

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Do you smell plastic?

Did quite a bit of shopping with Na today - a top, two pairs (two pairs!) of shoes, eyeliner, mascara, facial mask.. We even went into a couple of shops to look at diamonds - she wanted earrings and I suddenly remembered I was going to buy a pair for Mother one day.. Learnt a bit about solitaires but Na was very funny - she could not tell the size difference between two stones! Anyway, it was a leisurely shopping trip, with lunch and tea thrown in.. 楽しかった! :)

But was a bit late for dinner with Grams.. Grams of course didn't mind :) So I stayed a bit longer to watch TV together..

There happened to be this Mediacorp 25th anniversary thing on TV - part of the star awards or something.. I had not been watching star awards for years but I thought this one was rather touching. I guess only people who have grown up with SBC-turned-TCS-turned-Mediacorp may feel touched..? I still remember many of the old drama series from my childhood, as young as maybe three or four? But I have lost touch with current Mediacorp productions already..

They really got the whole troupe from the old guards of the 1980s (whom I recognised) to the newbies of today (many of whom I didn't even know existed!) to show up, showcasing memorable characters and scenes. They even had two really really old actor and actress on stage; the old woman could barely walk! Hmm, do I count among the older generation already??

Speaking of seniority, I passed by the otah stall and was thinking if I should get some otah for dinner with Grams when..

Otah man UNCLE: 大姐,otah 来,三个一块!

大..大姐.. o_O

I quickly walked away and pretended that he called me 小姐 but I didn't want to buy..

Friday, 7 December 2007

Left, right, left

Was listening to Tanya Chua on the way home just now, and suddenly, I felt this urge to walk in a way like I used to.. You know, with a swank...

:p

So I put a bounce in my steps in sync with the rhythm of the music.. Lalala...

Decided to term that the "MTV Walk" - guess it was almost like that movie Enchanted where Giselle was prancing around in Central Park.. Um, maybe not.. I doubt I have the guts to prance around suddenly in the centre of Tomato Town!

Anyway, I think I have been quite frumpy for a while.. I could only trace this as far back as April 2006 or so when I threw away my lovely but terribly worn pink strappy heels - I've never had such a pretty yet comfortable pair since, and I attribute my super aunty *gasp* walking posture to the lack of a pair of pretty heels!

I need to go shopping!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Sweet stuff

Today I went to a reception at Fort Canning for the 90th Independence Day of Finland. The Ambassador gave a short speech, followed by a toast to the our president, i.e. the string quartet played the anthem. And guess what? I immediately drew in one foot to stand to attention! I suppose that was my NE? :p

GOH gave a short speech and also toasted the Finnish President.. Protocol fulfilled, the crowd scattered for dinner.. It was quite a crowd; heard that most of the 250 Finnish households in Singapore showed up, and there were other guests like us as well.

Now, I want to talk about the dessert. Didn't think I would actually but it has been doubly sweet today..

The dessert was GOOD.. To be more specific, the cheese lollipops and the chocolate cake were simply heavenly.. Ok, I am a sucker for chocolate but imagine, cheese lollipops! Maybe I will try to make them some day..

The second sweet now. Waitress. Jenna, yes, the waitress, she dreamt up pies by her moods, like Bad Baby Pie, Earl Murders Me Because I'm Having An Affair Pie.. She did more than dream pies; she made lovely pies - you should hear Old Joe describe her chocolate strawberry pie..

And she sang this:



Sweet :)

Lyrics of the Quincy Coleman song:

Baby don't you cry
Gonna make a pie
Gonna make a pie with a heart in the middle
Baby don't be blue
Gonna make for you
Gonna make a pie with a heart in the middle
Gonna be a pie from heaven above
Gonna be filled with strawberry love
Baby don't you cry
Gonna make a pie
And hold you forever in the middle of my heart

Baby here's the sun
Baby here's the sky
Baby I'm your light and I'm your shelter
Baby you are mine
I could freeze the time
Keep you in my kitchen with me forever
Gonna be a pie from heaven above
Gonna be filled with strawberry love
Baby don't you cry
Gonna make a pie
And hold you forever in the middle of my heart

Gonna bake a pie from heaven above
Gonna be filled with butterscotch love
Gonna bake a pie from heaven above
Gonna be filled with banana creme love

Baby don't you cry
Gonna bake a pie
Hold you forever
Hold you forever
And hold you forever in the middle of my heart

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Yummy...

mf: Should I have beer...
YS: Yes!!

I am sipping on Hoegaarden now, and feeling the effects.. So fast! Maybe cos dinner was cup noodles at 5pm and soya bean milk at 8pm..

Heh heh *balancing head on weak neck*

No la, not drunk yet! Giving precious advice to YS ok... Effectively selling out my gender! Oooh, bad mf, you.. :p

I am happy today, managed to get out of office by 710pm! It was still raining then - been raining the whole day, so it is quite cool now, and I am making my beer last... Why am I talking about beer again? Another sip then....

So, I got to the MRT station expecting a crowd, which I thought should be still there but thinning out compared to the 6+ crowd.. But I was wrong! The crowd was a lot worse! It extended to the central space between the two platforms! It was so amazing I almost took out my phone for a photo... I only got on after missing one train, not bad, I guess...

Sito is in Egypt now, on a solo journey.. LH said that was strange; first I went to Japan on my own and now Sito's turn! Well, we are adventurous? :)

I think I really need to sleep now.. Beer is almost gone..
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