Tuesday, March 29, 2005

sexist? or just discrimination?

as reported in China daily and other newspapers, a restaurant in Wuhan posted an advertisement in its window stating it would pay "ordinary looking women 3 yuan (36 US cents) per hour, beauties receive additional pay".

needless to say, the women there were up in arms, they viewed it as gender discrimination and an insult to them but the restaurant defended its actions.

having been in Beijing for a while, I'm not that surprised. This is an reflection of the employers market situation here, probably not just in Beijing but elsewhere in China. There are tons of people waiting for jobs, so the employers will not just pick and choose, but also implement what might seem to us as exploitative rules. Many employers will dock their workers pay for minor infractions, like taking leave (good grief) or not hitting sales quota. Not that they are being paid a lot in the first place.

Monday, March 28, 2005

laoshe teahouse

We visited Laoshe Teahouse on Saturday evening courtesy of an excursion organised by our apartment management. Apart from offering an experience of a traditional tea house, the place also puts up a programme of Chinese music, Peking Opera, acrobatics, magic, cross-talk, dance and the fantastic split-second mask changing of Sichuan Opera.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Chick flickr

(back row: Melissa, Robina, Nisi, Linda; front row: Devika, Sherry, Melinda)

Robina and company went for a group photo session to commemorate Linda's soon-to-be departure from Beijing. They shot a lot of candid photos and got everything complied into an album as a souvenir. for more pics, check out my Flickr site.

mr brown has cited an useful short tutorial on Flickr, one of the better photo sharing site.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Hunting Dog strikes!

Sally the silent hunter strikes terror in the hearts of cat toys! the ultimate predator brings down its furry prey, taunts and toy with it before eviserating and skinning its dinner...

Robina bought Sally some cat toys to keep her stimulated. These are either small wind-up cat playthings that buzzed and move or are squeaky bunnies (quite cheap at RMB8!) Sally can dismember the small furry mouse in less than 5 minutes. She plucks off the feathery tail and proceeds to skin the furry mouse.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

legs n paddles 2003

I was reminded by Otterman's post about Legs n Paddles 2005 that I used to participate in Legs n Paddles, a canoe biathlon organised by NUS Sports Club during my undergrad days. When I returned to Singapore from Taipei in 2003, I tried to round up my previous team mate who's now a senior teacher and a mother. She laughed at me when I asked her to join again for old time sake. Finally managed to get Mark to team up with me. Needless to say, both of us didn't train much except for running. But we still met our objective of not ending up last!

Mark (5km): 30min 48s
Mark-Alvin (4km canoe): about 30 mins
Alvin (5km): about 33mins
Overall timing: 1h 34mins.

It was a gruelling race in the scalding mid-day sun but we managed to complete the course. Mark ran 5km, then the two of us paddled 4km around Kallang Basin, after which I finished the last 5km leg. The organisers used permanent markers to write the number tags on our arms and legs. It was so hot that the numbers were "branded" into my arms.

Monday, March 21, 2005

dengue fever

Otterman posted about the prevalence of Dengue Fever in Singapore. According to NEA, the number of people infected with dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease, soared last year in Singapore to the highest level in 10 years in line with the trend in Southeast Asia. In January alone, 1,145 people in Singapore came down with dengue fever.

My father and mother came down with Dengue over the Chinese New Year. Fortunately, it was not that serious for them. Both developed rashes without high fever and was just warded for two days for observation. My parents stay in Tampines flat which is a high risk area.

Even in our Punggol neighborhood, the NEA has been very responsive when I called to complain about mosquitoes. Their officers will check out our precinct for mosquito breeding and even called me to inform me about the situation. So, just pick up your phone call the NEA hotline: 1800-CALL-NEA.

I recalled similar outbreaks in Taiwan during my two years there. Kaohsiung in South Taiwan was similar facing a spike of Dengue cases. over there, the authorities deployed the usual methods of fogging, plus novel methods of releasing local fighting fishes (Betta sp.) into ponds and streams. But even then, it did not make a dent into the epidermic. The local mayor told the incredulous populace that perhaps they should just wait for the colder winter period to reduce the number of Dengue cases!!??

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Persian architecture

Check out this 3-D animation by spanish animation artist, Cristobal Vila. this is a stunning interpretation of Persian architecture and islamic art based on concepts and ideas from mosques and buildings from Isfahan, Iran. the geometric forms and stylised islamic art is similar to what you see on a finely woven persian carpet.

Friday, March 18, 2005

where you can't have KFC in peace!

wah lau eh! and assorted hokkien swear words %^@%$%!)*~*^!_*

just read this China Daily article, about KFC withdrawing New Orleans chicken wings and Chicken Burgers from all their China outlets due to the Sudan 1 dye scare. there has been another food scare in China recently over some foodstuff being contaminated with Sudan 1 food colouring which is suspected to be carcinogenic.

the reaction from Robina and I was: bleddy hell!
followed by a sudden urge to tickle my throat.

on an impulse, I bought KFC 5-piece and New Orleans wings for dinner just a few days ago. Robina and her girl frens will usually makan at KFC when they go to Carrefour for their grocery shopping.

now Robina is SMSing her KFC kakis. one of the response:" NOooo! but eat oredi how?"

Alvin's spiel

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