Tuesday, October 25, 2005

yes, Prime Minister

a whole bunch of Singaporean expats, students and business people met with PM (who was in town for an state visit) during a lunch reception today. it was wonderful to see our national flag fluttering along Chang'an Road and outside Tian'Anmen Square. not bad for "a little red dot"...

oh btw, we managed to snap a pic with PM...
poor PM must be seeing stars from all the flashes! but since he was the star of the event, everyone was queuing up for their photo op with PM.

it was nice to meet and chat with PM and other ministers like George Yeo, Lim Hng Kiang and Tharman. all the Singaporeans were glad to share their trials n tribulations of studying, working and earning a living in China.

it was also a good excuse for the Singapore community to meet and mingle. We don have much chances like this apart from national day. Robina met a young Singaporean lady was studying guzhen (Chinese zither) in the prestigious China Central Music Conservatory. this was just nice since we have a guzhen sitting in our spare room, gathering dust and Robina was keen to start classes.the good food was a bonus, especially the chicken rice! thanks to Chef Rocky from Traders'.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Abstract Factory and his baseball bat

biologists and their bloodthirsty thots usu involve a baseball bat:

"The only debate on Intelligent Design that is worthy of its subject

Moderator: We're here today to debate the hot new topic, evolution versus Intelligent Des---

(Scientist pulls out baseball bat.)

Moderator: Hey, what are you doing?

(Scientist breaks Intelligent Design advocate's kneecap.)


Scientist: Perhaps it only appears that I broke your kneecap."

some of the comments are hilarious as well:
"I remain uncovinced. Could you run through that demonstration again?"

first seen on cowboy caleb, apparently it was linked by pharyngula as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

no wonder (again)

just when I was rejoicing about be able to access blogspot sites, Big Bro (I mean really BIG bro) bricks up another chink in the Great Fire Wall. turns out I could not reach Wikipedia. I tried a few days ago to check something (obscure facts) but thot that it was another glitch (happens very frequently).

discovered that RSF has reported this side has blocked Wiki. had to learn abt this thru a meta blog since u cannot access RSF from here (I rest my case...)

one thing our gahmen could learn from here, if and when we wan to lock down the web...

update: wiki to be unblocked this week. wu yar bor? really?

Friday, October 14, 2005

no wonder...

found out a few days ago that I could access blogspot sites. I was hoping that it was not transitory. just discovered the reason why. apparently, now I can read lekowala etc without resorting to annonymous clients, bloglines or AOL. but still cannot access tripod or geocities.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

can eat meh?

grilled starfish and sea urchins on a stick (pics from Reuters). many pasar malam style stalls sprung up during China's National Day "golden week" holidays, especially near the Tian'anmen area. We drove past with Oi Yee and So Wah but we never tried (suspect hygiene standards).
but there's a food street in Wangfujing where such street fare is available to tourists whole year round. Everything is on a "stick" from "safe" stuff like chicken and the ubiquitous mutton "yangrou chuan", which is somewhat like our satay. There are also exotic stuff like scorpions and various innards. but like starfish and sea urchins, what is there to chew on? beats me...

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

what a load of crab!

This pair of extra large hairy crabs was auctioned off for RMB54,000 (about S$11K) in Wuhan, Hubei. rather than ending up in the pot, the fortunate pair was subsequently released in the nearby Liangzi Lake, famous for hairy crab production. tis' the season for eating steamed hairy crab with Shaoxing wine. yummy...
Spotted this huge set of crabby furniture (table and chair set) in Panjiayuan antique and furniture market with Oi Yee. only RMB96,000 (about S$20K). looks like Scylla serrata, our mangrove or chilli crab.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

the cubicle terrorist

bugged by your office idiot once too often? had it up to here with your moron boss? bleach eating freaks has the answer: the micro-claymore mine, manufactured with easily available office products.

at first, I thot it was one of those neo-anarchists or Columbine wannabe sites teaching people how to make pipe bombs or home-made claymore mine, but what harm can paper clip wire projectiles or hurling toner powder do? actually it's quite hilarious!

Peck Wai, you can use this on your office trespassers! wonder if it really works, hmmm...

Monday, October 03, 2005

10 fords

Braving the golden weekend crowds, we made a trip to Shidu at the outskirts of Beijing. Oi Yee and Frens, plus Robina's fren, Melissa and her sister Veda joined us as well.

Shidu means "ten fords". It referred to the ten fording points along a river that visitors on horseback (in ancient times) had to cross before reaching Beijing. nowadays, the place has been turned into a typical Chinese resorts with blaring music, cable cars, bungee jumps and trinklet stalls. Incidentally, Shidu is better known for its geological landscape. The eroded mountains and cliff faces were actually quite scenic.
Here we are on the top of a hill overlooking Shidu. Oi Yee was as usual way ahead of us. Robina and I were feeling really out of shape climbing up! must be missing all the Bukit Timah hill walks! Pausing to catch our breath, a 74-old grandad overtook us (he was helped along by a young man, probably grandson).
Snapped a pic of a praying mantis right on top of the hill.
All along the hillsides, persimmons were dangling temptingly on the trees. so much so that many Chinese were either up on the trees, or roaming the woods searching for the fruits.
Tired from the climb, we head downhill for a sumptious lunch at a farm-style restaurant. I read about this restaurant from an internet article. we tried some of the recommended dishes. Most of them turned out alright, like this delicious grilled trout. But the lily bulb soup was a tad strange since it was sweet. We decided to treat it as a dessert.
the Deep-fried freshwater shrimp was quite nice (probably came from the river itself) but we were longing for sambal belacan to go with it.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Oi Yee in town

Oi Yee and her frends, Soh Wah and Mui Ching flew into Beijing on Thurs evening. This was after their 2 weeks Silk Route tour in Western China! Robina and I were in awe at their stamina. Anyways, this was not surprising since Oi Yee and Soh Wah were always sprinting ahead of the pack during our Sunday morning MacRitchie walks while the younger folks were huffing and puffing behind.

We brought them on a sampling of the good food in BJ. starting with Yunnan cuisine. This was a dish of very delicious spicy chicken!

Yesterday afternoon, we brought them to browse thru the sprawling Panjiayuan antique market. The three ladies were in their element, thrawling the nick nacks and jade pieces. Pretty soon, we figured that they do not need our help in bargaining since they were much more viciously in chopping prices.

Mui Ching was enchanted by this old lady from the Miao tribe in Guizhou. The granny was very jovial and had a dazzling smile. She was selling Miao ethnic costumes.

We tried vegetarian food last night. Everyone enjoyed it and was amazed at the chef's ability to create tasty dishes and soup without using meat! like this mock chicken in lotus leaf.

Alvin's spiel

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