Thursday, October 27, 2005 

london calling

*sniff* back in London *sniff*

wasn't planning posting today but what can I say....jet-lag and this annoying cold that just seemed to dramatically worsen today, have other ideas.

couple of things. I reiterate.....

1. that Singapore Airlines is handsdown my top pick as a carrier. no contest. y'see, I went through this phase where I experimented with different airlines to break the monotony of being....ermmm...consistent (coz what's the fun in that?). think I'll stick with SIA from now on.....the previous forays have always been disappointing in one form or another. food and entertainment aside, lets just say that the attendants bent over backwards to make sure that #2. below was as painless as possible.

2. that I'm still violently allergic to Channel No. 5. some cockroach of a fine lady on the plane decided to drench herself in the stuff. if I wasn't blinded by a pair of swollen and teary eyes, I would've been able to make my way to her seat and *add random ill-tempered behaviour here* must admit that I'm still reeling from it. actually methinks (actually I'm sure) this brilliant cold I have now was spurred on by this allergy.

3. thanks Duane for picking me up from the airport.

Its odd being back. feels as if I've been away for much much longer. but then again, walking into my apartment brought everything back as NOTHING was touched from the moment I closed the door. whoosh, actually I liken it to the moment when I entered the old bedroom at home. guess the one constant was the very apparent (albeit heart-wrenching) urge to move on.

anyway.... we met up with Brock and Ted when I got back into town for a pint before some MUCH needed rest. great to see those guys....looks like I'll be around to witness the birth of Brock's second child. very cool that.

had a rather impromptu breakfast session with Liish this morning. good to be back with our somewhat regular breakfast routine. she brought something to my attention concerning my err...habits? that I don't really give out much about my thoughts/plans/opinions/details unless directly asked. hey, the way I see it, if you really wanted to know, you'd ask, and I'd be glad to tell you. but apart from that, who am I to impose my thoughts and plans onto others who might not particularly want to know. guess I didn't really make public of my exact plans for this return trip : ) as she put it "you're so random like that."

yes. yes I am.

asked if it was an annoying trait, she hesitantly replied "nnyyaahhh....I'm....used to it"

hey...I'm working on it ok? ; ) no seriously.....

didn't really do much for the remainder of the day. sorted out some stuff here and tried to get better ("tried" being the appropriate word).

so sick.....

anyway.

b.

Friday, October 21, 2005 

sick and tired

no really....I'm quite literally sick and tired.

my sinus problems haven't really eased up since I got back here....in fact, methinks it has gotten worse. hmmm, anytime now, my nose is just going to pack up its things and leave. in fact, its going to go a 'lil something like this:

nose: hey, we gotta talk
me: yah sure what's up?
nose: these past 25 years have been great but I'm not happy. I've not been happy for weeks now.
me: but I've tried EVERYTHING....vapour sticks, herbal teas, and lets not even get started on the anti-histamines.
nose: I'm sorry, I'm leaving you...its just not working out. and bringing me near that dog yesterday was the last straw.
me: come on....you know how I feel about dogs. if it makes you feel better, I promise it won't happen again.
nose: face it, you're just a fuck-up. its just too late...goodbye.
me: *thought bubble: I think nose is seeing another face*

moral of the story? my nose and southeast asian air just don't get along all that well. oh...and be constantly attentive to the needs of your body-parts. anyone know a good surgeon?

k, now to the tired part. this one's a real pickle. I've not had a good night's sleep in WEEKS. figiting....lots of bloody figiting. well, actually, that's a lie....I slept well when I stayed over at the Shang during my KL trip. but then again, on that bed, you'd be able to sleep through a stampede of mongol hoardes....riding on elephants....during a soccer riot....(hmm, I think I might have taken this a bit too far). point is, between a bad case of insomnia, and a mutinous nose, lets just say I now have some serious bagagge....eye baggage that is.

right well....2 things I'd like to talk about today.

1. getting my single entry Canadian visa. this is going to be in point form coz well....I'm lazy ; ) keep in mind that this is all in Singapore too.

day 1: pick up form from consulate
day 2: fill out form, get documents.
day 3: was told I was missing a document that the checklist did NOT specify.
day 4: (the security guards and myself are now on a first name basis) everything seems to be in order. I ask if I can pick it up later in the day. I'm told to wait while she checks. she comes back and tells me that my passport is damaged and due to the Malaysian government being absolute fucking geniuses and designing a ultra-high-tech passport that's only scanable in Malaysia, which hence leads to it being one of the most forged passports in Asia (not to mention the alarming rate and ease in which new/replacement passports are isssued - I did some research, I was that pissed), I'm told I have to get a new passport. they told me to allow one business day for processing when its all set.
day 5: malaysian immigration. I get my new passport within the span of 3 hours after some "string-pulling" from my dad. and you wonder why foreign governments are weary.
day 6: they told me that everything is in order. ahh...but wait, they drop THIS on me, "we'll need your passport for 2 days...you can pick it up on friday" what they did NOT realise was the fact that I was a foreign national stuck in Singapore without my passport.

awesome.

fortunately for me, my mom managed to get me a hotel room in the city.....during exhibition season.....in the middle of Singapore fashion week. you can imagine what the room rates were like.....
managed to meet up with my cousin Carolyn at some point the following day....and she offered to put me up (yesss). nice condo....very emmm.....yuppy-ish?? anyway, we caught up over a bottle of wine last night. good time that....good good time. nice dog she had too....a siberian husky.

in any event, picked up the visa today.....now I'm home.

right...on to "thing" number 2.

received a job offer yesterday....its a writing/training position with some international school. I'm still chewing over it. there're a few things I'm still going to have to think about. I mean, the money's quite alright but damn man, the hours are fucked. try this out for size: 6 days a week, 1pm-10pm, the day off being a weekday.

hmm...might be something to do while I wait on something with a more promising career path to come along. and...of course, something that fits what I want to do better.

at any rate, must think long and hard.

k....well, I have this one other rant. it concerns kermit the frog's birthday being on the news....but I'll save that for tomorrow.

me eat dinner now.

b

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 

fact: GOD hates fanboys

*this post is LONG....so some of you with Windows-based browsers, to view it in its entirety, u might have to first click the on the last time frame under "archives" and then in the same place after its reloaded, "current posts"*

whao....its been quite a few days. for once, its a case of "bett.....err...I mean, more pressing" things to do. hey, better late than never.

here's a quick recap of the weekend (should actually do this now before the next weekend arrives huh?):

Thursday:
-went to Singapore to get a haircut. *snip snip* frigg'n Toni and Guy is NOT cheap lemme tell ya. the result? well, I tend to like it quite a bit but as Diana mentioned later, "you got a haircut??"
-met up with Al, Alvin, and Diana at Starbucks....caught up for a bit (well, at least with Al - the other two were first-time encounters). proceeded to Mos Burger shortly after where there was a rather interesting encounter with the old lady who worked there. case in point:

old lady: move over here lah! more space!
me: *jokingly* are you trying to say that I'm fat?
old lady: YES! c'mon lah move.
*people at the table looking at each other as if to say "WHAO"*

yah and there was this one other instance where I went to wash my hands and when I returned, was greeted with a...
old lady: you go toilet ah?

I mean seriously....what the crap? I'm staying the fuck away from Mos Burger.
at any rate, Alvin and Diana left coz well...long story short D was still suffering from motion sickness from the busride from KL and we later found out, POISONING from Al's, albeit well-intentioned, "medications".

anyway...we walked around for a bit, Al bought some comics, I got some shoes (heh, guess some things never change). we met up with Julian at the bar at the Marriot, drank grossly overpriced beer (note to tourists to the area, whenever you see gorgeous local women alongside Jabba the Hut type foriegn businessmen in the establishment, expect to pay twice as much), and watched people strut down Orchard road. the most interesting ones were the idiots in scarves, touques, sweaters, and jackets. as Al put it "better watch out, when the sun goes down, winter is upon us!"

anyway...went to some Taiwanese dumpling place for dinner thereafter.....yum. what else...coffee, HMV, home.....

Friday:
went up to KL for the weekend....this next bit was "thieved" from Pat's blog.....*nyuck nyuck* thanks buddy.

"Got off work relatively early and hit the gym and then went to the Shangri-La Hotel to pick up Boon where we hung out in his room for a bit catching up over cigs (hey, its been two years). Dashed back down to Hartamas to pick up Vikram and we went down to the local kopitiam for dinner (mmmm... fried kueh teow with venison and raw egg...). Sneexe joined us there as well while Chen Hoe spent the better part of an hour circling around the area in a futile search for parking."

-oh yessss....I got a great deal at this hotel thanks to....errr...family contacts ; ) hands down, best hotel ever stayed in.

"Being a bit aimless that night what with the majority of people being down in Singapore and all we spent a fair amount of time (actually, the time it took Chen Hoe to look for, and ultimately give up on, parking) and we ended up at Bangkok Jazz... Where, once again, Boon wasn't allowed entry because of the sandals he was wearing - which is, oddly enough, EXACTLY what happened the last time he came down. :p"

-at least I BROUGHT shoes this time. but still....my bad.

"So we left Chen Hoe and Sneexe there and went back to the hotel and, after ogling the elevator's poster of two rather fetching Filipino lasses from the local band performing at the Shang, we discovered - much to our boyish delights - that they were performing live, short skirts and all, at that precise moment on a stage atop the hotel bar..."

-it was pretty much "perverts row" at a five-star hotel. I seem to recall that it was Vikram's idea to sit there....*pfft* along with his advice on "real manhood" and trips to Thailand. *shifty*

"So... 30 minutes, a beer, and some primo seats later (right... *ahem*... 'under' them at bar of course) we rejoined a baffled/bored Chen Hoe and Sneexe back at Bangkok Jazz for the remainder of a night filled with wine, jazz, and some pretty exemplary exemplary singing from the live act (i quite liked her take on 'Knockin' on Heaven's Door')..."


Saturday

-hung out in the hotel room soaking in the view for most of the day.....walked down to the KLCC (for those who don't know, that's the mall underneath the Petronas Towers) for a bit. interesting observation: 1. the mall is huge. 2. the mall was jammed. 3. 90% of the people there would never be able to afford or would want to spend money in the stores between levels 1 and 4. back to Pat.....

"Anyhow, we had dinner at Top Hat! Most of the usual bloggers were suspiciously absent so i guess its up to me... 20 people in all showed up for the event (with another one or two showing up later as well) and, i must say, the private room was VERY nice - complete with our own private bar, a two for one happy hour beer discount, a small lounge area, and what may have been the biggest table i have yet seen... ;)

Alas, the food was somewhat lacking that night. :(

I can't speak for the others but compared to my previous outings to Top Hat i was pretty disappointed with the quality this time around. It might have been a combination of being in a large group with only one chef cooking but... still. Reputations are at stake dammit!

Anyhow, i shared a seafood sampler appetizer with Boon. At RM30 (making it the most expensive appetizer there) and coupled with the generally accepted belief that anything that has the word 'sampler' in it equates to 'many choice samples of said food' we thought this would be a safe (and hopefully filling) bet.

We ended up with two small prawns, a tiny piece of lettuce (ostensibly with crab in it) and a top hat filled with... something. Divide THAT by two 6 ft guys and you'll also come to the conclusion that this was a less than auspicious start to the evening. A far better, and popular, choice that i would recommend would be their signature 'Top Hats' - 12 hats, in a sizable bowl, for RM10.

*sigh*

When it came to the mains i wasn't much better off... I had the cod, which - while being tasty - also had the unfortunate side effect of causing me to continuously pull fish bones from my mouth. Charming.

As for the much vaunted lamb... well, according to those who ate it its, i quote, "...not too bad, but not really worth the RM60 tag. In other words, nothing really special. Lah."

Recommendations? Go for the beef stew. Not only did it smell divine and look substantial (bread and all) but it also had the benefit of being one of the cheaper items on the menu.

Dessert was great though! But then again, i've always had a soft spot for mud cakes... Heck, i tried everything and they're ALL good. Just make sure you try the crumble! :)

Final verdict time. Despite the rather lacklustre performance, i think it may be worthwhile to mention that i might be a tad harsher in my judgement than i would normally be... After all, this would be my 11th time eating there. Still, thats no excuse for a drop in the quality they previously offered (its been downhill for a while now), while maintaining their high prices. If anything, just go there for dessert. Service was good though and the decor was pleasing, and they even offered individual billing - something that always scores a lot of points with anybody organising a large dinner outing!"

-touche...the deserts were good......the app WAS quite dismal. I had the lamb and like he said, "nothing special lah".

"Anyhow, we ended up at Cynna as planned and - wow - i quite liked this place! It had an interesting atmosphere to it, what with the constantly shifting patterns from the big screen on the wall, rose petal strewn tabletops, and yuppie crowd while the drinks were reasonably priced. That, and the cheong-sam clad waitresses provided for some nice eye candy... ;p

Heck, Boon and i even got to meet two former Miss Malaysias that night - thanks to a certain friend from work who happened to be there at the time. I'm going to let Boon describe the exact event but the one word that springs to mind when i look back would be:

Awkward."

-fanboys. we were pathetic fanboys. they wanted nothing to do with us....heh. we walked off feeling this big *leave an inch between your thumb and index fingers*. dude, it just occurred to me! they were as tall as us!! who's the freak now huh?? *pans down and sighs*.
-anyway, the night turned out pretty well.....good time all in all.

Sunday:

caught the early bus home....slept.


as for the past few days since....been hella busy with career-related endeavours. mainly sending out resumes, confirming information, arranging/attending interviews, getting involved in volunteer orgs.

whoosh....I'm done here. gotta start my day. hmmm, the phrase "same shit different day" certainly applies to my day to day week.

later.

b.

p.s. if you're ever in the Central Business District in Singapore. check out this Thai rest. called "YingThai". my mom took me there yesterday.....a bit (OK al lot) pricey but hands down the best Thai food (hell, meal in general) I've had in years!

Monday, October 03, 2005 

wha????

two posts in a day?? disbelievable!!

well actually, due to a wicked case of jet-lag, I've not slept since dinner time yesterday. so....I'm quickly approaching 24hours here. god I'm tired. teh-eered I say. *yawn*
this past 24 hours has been interesting, yet ordinarily Malaysian.

I spent much of the wee hours of the morning hunkered down in a trans-continental job search and initiating some networking contacts. we shall see what this round of "fishing" brings. there's a couple of development projects that my aunt brought to my attention backed by the EU in 3rd world countries that sound kinda interesting. great for experiance methinks. sounds a lot like that Armenia trip Pat keeps talking about (dude, are you even going now?)....although, these projects are in places like Bhutan and other Central/Indo Asian nations. truth be told, I'm a little confused about the EU relation though.....heheh, "hinterland" anyone? at any rate, I fired a resume in that direction, and with a little selective nudging, my life might become really interesting.
as with everything in my life right now, we shall see.....although....I hope to be going to Singapore very soon to chat with a few people.

think tomorrow I'll concentrate on volunteer work and possibly PhD applications.

I spent much of the day, ermm....eating. lets just say that by tea time, I had 4 meals. at this rate, I think my inner lard-ass might be making a comeback. lets see....the day included:

-breakfast with dad .... mamak goodness.
-second breakfast with Boon Ping and Annette....wonton mee.
-fixed the gapping hole in the fence. I know what you're thinking: he's FIXING stuff?? before you get too confused, although it was successfully patched up, I now have 6-7 cuts on various spots of my body from accidently brushing against the fencing wire. oh and another thing, the only tool box I could find was purchased from IKEA. let me get something straight here, buying tools from IKEA is analogous to buying an encyclopedia from a tobacco store. "FIXA" just did not cut the mustard.
-looked into getting a dog for the house. pretty stoked about that. aside from various breeds of toy dog puppies (chihuahuas, pugs, shit-tsus (sp?), cocker spaniels etc) which I wasn't too interested in, there was this amazing golden retriever (HUGE, handsome creature) and apparently its offspring was to be available soon. again, we shall see.... (this one is more of a concrete possibility as the house DOES need a dog)
-lunch with dad....mee rebus
-starbucks (as an aside, there is now a starbucks in my pants as well) with BP. had a tripple espresso cappucino in the hopes of staying awake. considering my zombie-like state at the moment, I might be losing that battle.
-tea with BP....tauhu bakar and cendol.

I'm supposed to be going out with Yongqiang (some of you might know him as KK) a little later. methinks there might be more food involved there. *bllluuurrrgghhh* hmmm, if we go for drinks, I could avoid food....*hatching beer plan*

anyway....gonna nap. stoopid jet-lag.

b.

track of the day:
"stay or leave" -Dave Matthews

Sunday, October 02, 2005 

quickie

real quick.

I'm home.

its hot.

food is great.

job hunt is in full gear.

to my people in Canada: thanks for the memories. I expect to see some of you here really soon. (well, at least if I'm here for the long haul)

to my people here: lets get pissed.

b.

p.s. because I promised: HI Bubela ; )