Archive for January, 2006

Food glorious food

Hi everybody. I’m finally able to sit down and write a little about the Chinese New Year. I definitely had a great time this year. With the public holiday stretch starting from Friday for me (lessons were cancelled) and ending on Tuesday, it’s definitely the longest break a university students can hope for during the semester!

Reunion dinner was a blast this year. As usual, I still maintain that the Chinese New Year is a time for food excesses, and you can see that from the spread I had on the dinner table during reunion dinner, a day where the family gathers for a meal to celebrate the coming of the new year. In the centre is the chinese tossed salad, which we call lo hei here. This is basically a dish made of shredded vegetables and most variations have raw fish in it too, as the mandarin pronunciation for fish denotes prosperity. An interesting riot of colours, and something you’ll always see during the Chinese New Year, especially in Singapore.

What strikes me as interesting is the wa y we have somehow fusionised, or to put it in a better way, nativised our food to suit our culture and tastes, and this even starts from the family. From the red wine that’s passed in copious amounts around (did I already mention food excesses?) the table to the prawn and mango salad, these are not traditional chinese fair, but they are still included nonetheless. In my family at least.

I think one of the things that surprises most people not from the Asian continent is the wide range of variety of food which we have here. I had a couple of friends from the States as well as a friend from Wellington tell me that they were initially totally overwhelmed by the choices they were presented with, to the extent that they just ended up sticking to the same dish throughout their first few weeks in Singapore. I guess sometimes too much freedom of choice isn’t a good thing eh?

Over-worked Bus Drivers?

sbs9600k.jpgYesterday I saw something quite disturbing. I noticed that a bus driver had dozed off while stopped at a signal. I pointed this out to a friend and he told me he too has spotted this sort of thing before. We have all too often heard of accidents which occur as a result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Is this a sign of a disaster waiting to happen? I sure hope not, the authorities should take note and make sure that bus drivers are not overworked as the consequence can be tragic.

pvd@zouk


pvd@zouk

Originally uploaded by jeremyfoo.

So while most people were busy having a great family time during this festive season, I headed down to Zouk for Paul Van Dyk’s set.

As much as I wanted to believe everyone was with their families, I was proven so wrong and had to jostle with numerous bodies for space to see the german.

Anyways, it was an awesome time. The trance culture is lost on the younger generation with the more beat heavy RnB hits, but it was cool to soak in everything that was PVD tonight.

Paul Van Dyk was in total control of the crowd and his set, playing hits that he wanted to instead of rushing through everything. The mixes were fantastic and very well coordinated, hinting at the level he is at.

Had a blast. Finally was able to listen to a solid night of good trance. And for the geek in me, pvd actually used 3 Powerbooks. Two 15″ Titanium and quite possibly a 17″ Aluminium as a back up.

Chinese New Years Eve

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I went to Esplanade Park last night to watch the Chinese New Years Eve fireworks. They were breath taking. There was a considerable crowd there to witness the event. I hear the display on New Year was even better, I unfortunately missed those.

On the first day of the New Year…

Dinner, anyone?

I’ve had a somewhat atypical Chinese New Year so far. For one thing, our reunion dinner was at Gordon Grill at Goodwood Park Hotel, where the only yu (fish) consumed was in the complimentary salmon appetizer — no customary yu sheng in sight. Instead of a whomping nine-course Chinese dinner, we had a la carte steaks, sides and starters from the regular menu (yum!). Instead of having to rush through dinner in less than two hours so that the restaurant could seat the next serving of diners, we had a leisurely meal with impeccable service.

Hm. Maybe we should do this every year…

Anyway, here’s a roundup of some of the more typical festivities that went on in Singapore.

Welcome to the Year of the Dog!

Happy CNY!

Being the typical kiasu Singaporean, here’s wishing everyone (well, those who celebrate it, that is) a very Happy Chinese New Year!

Actually, I just wanted to post this early because, like every year, I’m going to celebrate CNY with my extended family in Malaysia.

I’ve never had the chance to celebrate CNY here in Singapore, and I really haven’t a clue what it’s like. I must say though, CNY in Malaysia is always a blast (literally) – there’s just that kampung feel to it. And fireworks, of course!
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Clipper’s Send-Off

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I went to watch the Clipper’s Send-Off which took place at Keppel Bay. It lasted for about an hour an a half. Wern’t as many people as I expected, around 150 or so, might be because its a working day. It was quite entertaining though. The yachts were very majestic and the crew all seem to be very jolly, dancing and waving as they passed by the excited and noisy crowd, with the team song blasting from the speakers.

Balcony


Balcony

Originally uploaded by warheart.

I’m broke from the little shopping trip at Far East Shopping Centre today. After the burning of my wallet, I decided to head down to Balcony to check what the hype was all about. It’s this cute little establishment in the middle of town, complete with their quirky decor. If you guys can’t really see what’s in the picture, the seats placed on the outside of the venue are shaped in such a way that they kind of remind me of little bird cages. Doesn’t help that the image reminds me of those old chinese men and their singing birds which cages they hang at their balconies. Between myself and the nifty chairs lies a artificial water wall, and you can see that there’s an image of a flower or something projected onto that wall. Small matter but I believe that it’s the little things that ultimately add to the mood.

The mood and sense of cosiness is definitely there, made better by the ambient tracks which they played overhead and I would definitely want to check out the bar area( I was downstairs at the dining area) sometime.

“Never take rides from strangers”

You know how parents and teachers warn us as children never to accept a ride from a stranger? All these years, and I finally get to use that little bit of education …..

I was waiting for a cab to get home today, and every one that went by was changing shift. After 15 fruitless minutes, a car pulled up beside me, so slowly that I almost didn’t register it, I was concentrating so hard on trying to spot a cab. Next thing I know, the window winds down and the driver asks “Are you waiting for a cab?”, to which I answered (truthfully, but slightly bewildered since it was quite obvious what I was doing) “yes”.

“It’s hard to get a cab at this time”, he says. “I know”, said I. At this point I was still wondering what what was happening with all this stating-the-obvious stuff. Then came the question:

“Where are you going?”. To which I told him. He thinks for a while. “It’s out of my way, but I can send you there”.

To which I reply “Thank you, but I don’t accept rides from people I don’t know. Have a nice day.” Straight out of the textbook, and the admonishments of a dozen teachers, and my parents … never mind that those are 30 years distant already!

I have to admit I was totally taken by surprise … Singaporeans in general aren’t the kind of friendly folk who will offer rides to complete strangers – especially at rush hour, on a busy road, and when the destination is out of the way. And they probably won’t, not with people like me who refuse them on principle … but I couldn’t help feeling something wasn’t quite right about that situation.

It’s funny how the things you learned so long ago remain, like a sort of ready made script for dealing with these situations – even though you’re not a kid anymore.

Motorola Black Carnival

A friend in her final year of mass communications decided to organise a fashion show as her final year project. So last Saturday saw the product of her efforts, the Motorola Black Carnival.

The Black Carnival brings together 4 local designers, Hansel, Nicholas,Mizu and Baylene into a single runway, joined collectively by a tale of a girl who gradually discovers herself. Being my first time at a fashion show, I was quite surprised to see a modelling event incorporated within a story.

The theme for the night was black and gold, something which I was especially pleased about having just bought a new black tee with gold words on it (hoho), and the concept of a themed event always piques my interest immediately.

To basically sum things off, the event went smoothly, with fire eaters and fire dancers entertaining the crowds between sets of different collections. And the lucky draw segment at the end of the night saw some lucky winners walking away with gift products like handphones with courtesy of the sponsors of the event.

More of this please.

p.s. Sorry for the very unclear pictures. Couldn’t get close enough to the runway and the front was basically reserved for the press and reporters from various magazines and design sites.

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