Sunday, June 25, 2006

jovien birthday

Jovien celebrates her second birthday!
with Joyce, Robina, Sherry and Ethan
and Sally too!

Friday, June 23, 2006

intense soccer weekend

this weekend would be an intense soccer feista with the last of the group matches (Korean Kimchi vs Swiss choc) and the beginning of the delicious second round matches (esp England vs Ecuador).

I was able to watch the titanic struggles of US vs Ghana and Italy vs Czech. thanks to CCTV 2 and CCTV5, I was able to catch the two matches back-to-back since all 4 teams' fates were intertwined. It was poignant to see Petr Cech being rounded by Inzaghi, the final nail into Czech's advancement hopes. But their dreams were oredi crush by Ghana when they defeated the talented Czech team 2-0. I hope to see Ghana go far, but they are up against mighty Brazil in the second round, but I feel that gutsy Ghana will give Brazil a run for their money.

but first must wake up at 3am for the Korea Swiss match.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Aussie veteran

met an Aussie who was in Beijing for a meeting. When he knew that I was from Singapore, he told me that his dad was an Aussie digger in an artillery unit stationed in Singapore during WW2. Their unit covered the north of Singapore. He knew about the guns in Sentosa and had visited Singapore and the Kranji War memorial several times with his dad. After the fall of Singapore, his dad was a POW in Changi for several months and was later sent to Thailand to build the death railway. His father had survived the toughest ordeal in Hellfire Pass. My Aussie friend was very glad to hear about the new museum at the old Ford Factory and promised to visit Singapore just to see that!

just like my feelings after watching "Band of Brothers", we owe our present freedoms and prosperity to the blood and suffering by the young men (at that time), whether British, Aussie, Kiwi, Indian, African and Americans.

Henry V's St Crispin's Day speech: "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother..."

Sunday, June 18, 2006

bird nest

the Beijing Olympics Stadium is even more impressive when up close. the model at the Beijing City Planning Exhibition (like own URA gallery) shown here. the stadium is still under construction, completion by end of 2007.
we were told the the vertical struts weighed abt 800 tons while the smaller pieces weighed abt 30 tons (like those lying on the ground). the steel was about 10cm thick! as Darth Vader would say: "Impressive!"...
the workers were scurrying like ants all over soldering the pieces of the lattice like superstructure. the interconnecting struts provides structural support without pillars that will obstruct view in the stadium.

Monday, June 12, 2006

beidaihe weekend

We went to Beidaihe over the weekend. 256km away from Beijing, it is the nearest beach for landlocked Beijingers. Expecting the worst, I discovered that the beach was not too bad. But probably this is because the main summer hordes had not descended on the beach yet.
I guess anything was better than the smoggy pollution in Beijing. sunshine, fresh sea breezes and the beach would be a perfect antidote to the greyness in Beijing.
we feasted on seafood and visited historical sites nearby, like Shan Hai Guan and the Great Wall.

Friday, June 09, 2006

unfortunate incident

received a phone call from SS that PW's father had passed away in Guangzhou during a tour. PW flew into HK and was now in Guangzhou. I quickly returned to office and checked for the contact of our consulate in Guangzhou. it turns out that PW was oredi in contact with the consular officer there, when I called her. our consulate there is helping her with the paperwork and arrangements to send her father's body back to S'pore. unfortunately, I'm not much help here in Beijing (equidistant betw GZ and Singapore). but it seems that PW was in a good presence of mind. she had the foresight to bring supporting documents which would be useful to minimise red tape.

I told her that blogging can wait for now, she should comfort her mother and sister who was on the tour with her father. but she should put down her experiences later. u never know that it might help someone who might be in similar unfortunate situation. losing a loved one would be traumatic in the best of circumstance. having a loved one passing away overseas would be even more stressful for the family who would have to navigate strange environments and paperwork.

Alvin's spiel

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