Saturday, May 31, 2008

IA farewell dinner @ River View Hotel...with announcements

OK so my IA is ending soon (about four weeks from now), thus my boss decided to invite me and my friend, B (another IA student), along with some colleagues, for a farewell dinner. The venue was set at River View hotel, with the boss being the host. And so we departed after work in three separate cars, me sitting in my friend's car. The journey was conclusively smooth at the beginning and not so near the end, due to congestion and stuff. B's car was tailing behind my boss'...and I tried sometimes to gesture the 'victory' sign so that my boss may notice us in the side mirror. Very dumb I know, guess I was too bored then. Hahaha.

By the time we set down at the table, it was roughly 7.15pm. The hotel is rather grand with 20+ storeys, the bottom five being where all the restaurants and stuff lie. Since the dinner was served buffet-style, there were no hassles in getting the dishes up the table quickly.

And here's what I have plundered from the food trays:

Dish #1 - Hong kong noodles with broccoli and steamed tofu

[No picture 'cos I forgot to take =x]

Anyway! This dish is arguably the best out of the four dishes I took that night, with the vegetables simply mixin' it up very nicely with the natural aroma of the noodles.

Rating: 9 / 10

Dish #2 - Fried rice with curry chicken and nonya-styled vegetables

Comments: Fried rice was a bit on the dry side but the side dishes made up for it. Curry was hot to just the right degree. The chicken meat was a bit tough though.

Rating: 7.5 / 10

Dish #3 - Watercress soup with pork ribs

Watercress was overly chopped, perhaps to allow easier scooping on the customer's part but kinda kills the usual 'feel' of this type of soup.

Rating: 6 / 10

Dish #4 - Good ol' coffee with sugar

[Again, no pics. Haha I guess I should plan my blog better in future. LOL]

Comments: I know it's crazy to be drinking coffee at 8 plus, but apparently they have no other drinks [not counting the 'weird' drinks that are green colour] beside coffee and tea. Obviously not as nice as homemade coffee...

Rating: 4.5 / 10

I am not really a buffet kinda person, having felt kind of 'knocked out' after these few rounds of food while my colleagues kept tucking away and jesting around. Sometimes I just sat there, quietly listening while certain thoughts from the past intermittently flooded into my mind. As for what those thoughts were, well that's for another time.


For the time being, I will be updating my blog only on weekends...this is due to blogs getting blocked in my company, and I am tired at night. =(

Thanks to all readers for supporting my blog!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

It’s been almost a 100 days

…of my internship. Time really flies, I could still vividly remember the very first day when I stepped into the office, looking like a goondoo. Things are much more settled, too settled in fact that’s it’s becoming somewhat stale. Almost everyday is like this:

8.15 am – Reaches office (OK, I know I am late, but I can’t help it sometimes…)

8.30 am – 1 x Milo and 2 x plain water to kick start my day

Bulk of the morning – Glued in front of the computer, doing mostly data entry, coupled with occasional chit-chats on and internet surfing*

12 noon – Lunch with colleagues

1 pm – Back to office, 1 x Milo** and 2 x plain water for re-energizing and re-hydration purposes

Bulk of the afternoon – Glued in front of the computer. Yet again.

5.30 pm – Balek kampong

7 pm - Reaches my den

*Sometimes I read footy mags, just to throw in some spice
**Milo runs out very often for some reason, so sometimes I had to substitute it with coffee or tea instead. Am limiting the caffeine intake to one cup per day maximum

Sometimes I wonder, is this what I am gonna do for the further 30, 40 years of my life? It terrifies me. My brain and limbs are already feeling very numb after these few months…I certainly would prefer something that allows me to do a variety of stuff, move about and be creative. Am a bit skeptical about whether that’s possible in an engineering-related post.

Any good recommendations?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

老板!! 不要再看了!! 我急着 submit leh~~

Hmm in case you wonder who that '老板' in the title is, it was referring to me. =p

So it was another normal day going to work, I had to negotiate an ultra-long, winding but thankfully, rather flat road to reach my office. And once I stepped into the office, my boss was waiting for me with a stack of documents...he required me to fill in the top portion (there are two portions of the document, I was usually required to fill in the bottom part only). So I proceeded to fill in the documents.

I have a habit of multi-tasking, even during lectures in school. I usually can do up till four things at once: paying attention to the lecture and copying, talking cock with my friends, surf net and MSN-ing, so I guess the habit is hard to kick. And hence, I slotted small sessions of internet surfing in between periods of copying.

I couldn't watch the Champions League final last night due to its broadcasting time, so I decided to catch up by reading the post-match reports and such. Then came my boss suddenly:

"老板!! 不要再看了!! 我急着 submit leh~~"

I was like, oops! And so off went the windows. Only then he told me that the top portion was required to be filled in...I was like....duh. OK. Hahaha. Not a big deal actually, just thought it was hilarious.

And on the last note, congrats to Manchester United for conquering Europe after 9 years of waiting!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A trip down memory lane

"We'll meet for soccer for once in eight years. The next time we meet, each of us will bring our wives and babies, let them sit on the sidelines and watch us play." and so BT said. Far-fetched, but hilarious nonetheless.

That was one of the many lines exchanged between me and my pals during yesterday morning's 'weekend warriors soccer meetup'.

It was a typically warm Saturday morning and the weekend warriors embarked on another session of soccer, this time at my secondary school. All except one are alumni of Anglican High. A friend of mine suggested this, as the court below my house is chronically idea which I accepted. It's a tantalizing idea, for I have not stepped foot on my old school since I graduated.

In a typically 'Singaporean' meetup so remarked by CW, all except two (me and him) were late. And to make matters worse, the school compound have now been double-barricaded, so entry from the basketball court area is not possible now. The only way into the futsal court within the compound would be through the main gate - which would proved to be literally an 'uphill' task imbued with sprinklings of nostalgia.

So the 'team' of 12 ambled around the perimeter and climbed the long flight of stairs...which have not changed a bit despite the passing of nearly a decade:

After zig-zagging our way up the slope, we set foot in the school itself - it looks so familiar in some areas, yet so radically different in others. One prominent 'landmark' which had not been altered is the infamous clock tower beside the design & technology room:

Now shouldn't the adjective be 'famous' instead of 'infamous'? Well there used to be a spooky tale surrounding this tower - someone had leapt and died from this tower before. And to add to the spookiness, I have once seen a miniature crucifix placed beside a wall, beyond where the flight of stairs were (and probably are) locked away from unsuspecting public, or rascals who don't know how to spell 'die.

A number of things did not change of which is the indoor basketball court:

...a place where I fondly remember the inter-school basketball matches, as well as those times when I shied away in one corner peeping at my crush. Hahaha. Ah those were the times...let bygones and bygones.

However the classrooms became radically different from what I used to know:

The corridors seem to be much wider and neater than what I used to there are lockers outside too! Kids nowadays are really spoilt...

The soccer session was over in a flash and I only managed to net one goal. But it didn't matter, it's the company that counts. After the session, the 'team' went the reverse direction that we came and down the hills...with the school disappearing into the distant background.

A truly memorable trip down the memory lane.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One of the worst lunch I ever had!! >=(

When it comes to dining outside, my requirements are not high. I just require the preparer of the food to at least have sound basic culinary techniques, decent presentation skills and at least a friendly and customer-oriented disposition towards the customers. But I was not entitled to any of those today afternoon.

As usual, my supervisor did the honors of driving me and a few other colleagues out for lunch. An Indian Muslim outlet was the destination. Although I am not a big fan of Indian food, but at least I could make do with some of their dishes. Once settled down, we took turns to order food…and I wanted a plate of sambal chicken rice. The orders came after some time, considering it was a busy lunchtime. The guy in charge delivered the wrong dish, so I requested for a change of dish.

The dish was taken away and I had to wait. As my supervisor and colleagues ate, I had to sit there looking a little awkward. Then time ticked by…still no sign of him. I tried looking around, but I could not see him anywhere. So a couple of my colleagues helped to alert another helper of my situation. Minutes ticked by, but nothing happened.

After about 15 minutes of nothingness, the guy finally came and laid down the correct dish, which was really just the previous dish with the chicken drenched in sambal sauce. There wasn’t any hint of a ‘sorry’, so I had to stomach my angst for the while. I quickly tried the food, it seemed as if the food had been left somewhere for that period of waiting time, only had the sauce added last minute. Both the rice and chicken were cold and hard, it was barely edible…but I did not request for the food to be warmed, as the others had nearly finished their meal. So I attempted to eat a little, but could not carry on as my appetite for the meal had virtually all gone.

In the end, I had to satiate myself with a pau in the tiny pantry. What an experience.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Life is so fragile

As probably all would have known by now, the Szechuan province of China had been stricken by an earthquake that was the most serious in 32 years. More than 12,000 lives are lost and many are still trapped under piles of rubbles. Chances of making it out of entrapment are slim at best, given the scale of the debacle. It's now two major disasters within the space of two weeks.

Although Singapore is out of the earthquake zone geographically and is almost immune to all other natural disasters, I cannot help but think about how fragile human lives can be. There is simply no telling when the end would arrive. Hence, I guess an important quality one should possess is the ability to cherish and be thankful of the things we have, as well as the people we are with. It's something I have gradually learned to realize as I grow older.

There's an old saying 'live life everyday as if it's the last'. Not an easy task by any means, particularly when everyday living here has the uncanny ability to numb one's heart. Before our heart totally loses its feeling, perhaps it is good to reflect on life occasionally and appreciate the very fact that we are still alive and kicking.

My best wishes go to the victims of Myanmar and China.

Monday, May 12, 2008

United front - an amazing effort (Part I)

OK, so Manchester United won the title eventually. I shan't repeat how last night match went, instead this is a reflection of how the season had went, and how each player have performed...I am no John Dykes or Steve McMahon, so don't treat my viewpoints too seriously. Hahaha~


Edwin van der Sar (Rating: 8 / 10)

Reliable throughout the season, making crucial saves his full-time hobby. However, he is prone to odd mistakes and can look shaky at times...hence the 'adjusted' score.

Tomas Kuszczak (Rating: 7 / 10)

Did well when pushed to the frontlines. Unlucky to get sent off against Portsmouth during the FA Cup quarter-final, otherwise he was reliable between the posts.

Ben Foster (Rating: 6 / 10)

Didn't give him too high a rating as he only played against Derby County away. Hence, his abilities against the top strikers are still relatively...unknown.


Patrice Evra (Rating: 8.5 / 10)

Highly dependable full-back who combines well with whoever playing on the left side. Pacy and showed marked improvement in physical strength and defensive capabilities.

Mikael Silvestre (Rating: 6.5 / 10)

Sat out most of the season due to injury but did well when back on the pitch. Has to stay fit if he wants to give Evra a run for his money.

Gerard Pique (Rating: 7 / 10)

Strong at the back when called upon, an able replacement for Ferdinand and Vidic when either one of them is out. Needs more experience though, his misjudgment against Bolton Wanderers away cost United 3 points.

Rio Ferdinand (Rating: 8 / 10)

Commanding presence at the back who marshals the line well. Still prone to lapses in concentration, but lesser than before.

Nemanja Vidic (Rating: 9 / 10)

Did all the dirty work at the back to ensure United can attack freely. Is definitely on par with the likes of Jaap Stam and Steve Bruce.

Wes Brown (Rating: 7.5 / 10)

OK, he is in peak performance in the past couple of months but the fact is...he is slow and can lose possession quite easily. It would be better for United to get a better defender.

Gary Neville (Rating: -)

Did not play throughout the season due to injury, hence cannot be commented on.


Owen Hargreaves (Rating: 8 / 10)

Plagued by injury at the start of the season, but demonstrated tremendous dependability once he is on the pitch. Versatile, is able to convert to right-back when required.

Michael Carrick (Rating: 7.5 / 10)

Deployed as deep-lying midfielder most of the time but in reality, his attacking qualities are stronger. Needs to score more goals.

Paul Scholes (Rating: 6.5 / 10)

Displays quiet influence in the middle of the pitch but performance has gone down due to his age. However, his experience is beneficial to the younger generation of Red Devils.

Anderson Oliveira (Rating: 7.5 / 10)

Gradually improved as the season progresses. Hardworking, has good technique and passing range, able to tackle as well. The only letdown is his lack of goals.

Ryan Giggs (Rating: 6.5 / 10)

Similar to Scholes, his age had impeded his performance. Used sparingly and sadly, looked out of sorts for large parts of the season.

Luis Nani (Rating: 6 / 10)

Price tag may not be justified as he had a rather erratic first season. Scored a few screamers but still needs time to mature. Needs to control his tantrums too as well as up his physical strength.

Park Ji-Sung (Rating: 7 / 10)

Hardworking player who did what he was told to do consistently. A useful player, especially when United require more energy and defensive cover in the team.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Rating: 9 / 10)

Had a wonderful season which saw him beat records left, right, center. Have matured a lot but can do better to not follow George Best's cavorting ways.


Carlos Tevez (Rating: 8.5 / 10)

The guy with the knack to score goals at the death, an embodiment of the Red Devil's spirit. More dependable than his strike partner.

Wayne Rooney (Rating: 7 / 10)

Mercurial striker with lots of quality but often fails to deliver. Needs to be more consistent although he has curbed his temper very well under the tutelage of Fergie.

Louis Saha (Rating: 6 / 10)

A 'forgotten man' who was scarcely reliable in front of goal, often spurning chances. Looks to be on his way out should a suitable replacement arrives.

Dong Fangzhuo (Rating: -)

Wonder why Man United even bothered to sign him...

Manucho (Rating: -)

Spent the whole season on loan, hence cannot be commented on.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

One Night in Beijing (English Version)

Alright, so I went to K-Box today with my university pals. Hard to go out with 'em these days due to the crazy workload us students have to bear. Anyway, I had a whale of time despite the relatively poor start...due to slight sore throat. Well, I think I sang about...10 songs? Both Chinese and English ones. One of them was 'One Night in Beijing' (Shin version)...and I decided to do a half-assed translation of the song into...English!! Enjoy.

One night in Beijing
One night in Beijing

I left behind lots of love

Doesn't matter whether you love or not

'Cos you will be history anyway

One night in Beijing
One night in Beijing

I left behind lots of love

I do not dare to ask for directions at night

'Cos I am afraid of getting drowned by the flowers

According to people, in the abyss of flowers

There live an old lover who mends embroidered shoes

An amiable old woman

Who is waiting for her Ninja turtle that had gone to war

One night in Beijing
One night in Beijing

No more Chivas Regal for you, my dude

When one loiters near the gates of Di-an

None will not be moved

One night in Beijing
One night in Beijing

I left behind lots of love

The guys who drown in song and wine

Are the lazy pigs from the north

People says those pigs from the north

Will sedia outside the gates, bearing the frigid winds

Donned in rusty armor

Howling outwards in the gates, with tears welling up


I have waited for a millenium

Why are the castle gates still shut?


I have waited for a millenium

Why is my Mr. Good still not back yet?

One night in Beijing
One night in Beijing

I left behind lots of love

I do not dare to ask for directions at night

'Cos I fear I would scar a few sad souls

One night in Beijing
One night in Beijing

I left behind lots of love

I do not dare to ask for directions at night

Don't wanna get lost near the gates of Di-an

Got sick of asking you

Where the hell have you been to?

Got sick of thinking about

Whether you'll be back for EPL finale

Thinking about your heart

As well as your face

Wanna imprison you in my memories

For as long as I can

*Disclaimer: This 'translation' is purely for entertainment purposes only...for a good laugh yeah. =p

I did change some parts of the song to increase the 'fun' factor. Got the idea after I reached home.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My first post!!

Argh. Finally I have my first post. Hmm should I be happy or sad? Well I really don't know...feeling kinda numb nowadays. Work is as usual, monotonous and unfulfilling...but at least I am fetching some moolah, so I guess I shouldn't complain? I probably shouldn't...moolah's hard to come by these years yeah...

Feelin' a bit tired, maybe it's 'cos of the time bah. It reads 10.37 PM on the corner of my screen. Ugh. Hmm luckily I don't have to go to work tomorrow...hmm but I have to wake up early anyway. Why you ask? Look out for updates yeah... =p

Guess I should make my exit le. Bye blog!