Monthly Archives: March 2008

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The Cute Shih Tzu Puppy Named Ribena

Some of you might know that I had intention to keep a dog for the longest time. Recently an opportunity showed itself and found myself trying out to keep a dog.

At first, it was merely a visit. Soon, it was a weekend home stay.

It didn’t take long for this adorable little furball to tie up my heart and claim a somewhat permanent place in my house.

She is so tiny!

Her name is Ribena. Why Ribena? Because I wanted a cute name that starts with R (and that’s because my name starts with R too hehe).

Like all puppies Ribena is all cuteness and cuddliness and adorableness. Let me tell you what makes Ribena soooo special.

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Tales of Hong Kong

Views of Hong Kong - on the way back to Central

After much procrastination, I have finally completed my blog entries and photos from my recent business trip to Hong Kong!

Read all about them by clicking on this link

I have included some nice photos to go with each of the posting. You can view the entire photo gallery here on Flickr.

Let me know what you guys think! :D

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone for the Uninitiated

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone

I will be the first to admit – I am no fan of Japanese anime. Not that I hate them, but my interest in them just wasn’t there. I distinctively remember my last anime was Spirited Away, and to be honest, although it was a beautiful movie, it didn’t compel me to add Japanese anime to my “to-try-out” list.

Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone changed that.

In an explosive animation bringing the anime creation Neon Genesis Evangelion to the big screen, Eva 1.0 got me tethered to the edge of my seat. Literally.

You can read all about the movie on Wikipedia, but here’s a take from someone like me – the uninitiated.

The movie revolves around Tokyo, which was under attack by a battalion of monsters named as “Angels”. The fate of Japan, and the human kind, lies on the shoulder of a young boy Shinji Ikari, who struggles to do what is right for his people and what is right for him.

As the “fated child” to pilot Eva One, Shinji was put to the test between his ultimate yearn for his father’s love, and his terror in piloting the gigantic soldier robot in battling the onslaught of Angels.

The ensuing battles outlined the technology superiority of the Japanese – not only in the fight to protect their people, but also in the design of Tokyo 3.0 – their fortress city.

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The Plight of a Mistreated NS Man

Found this story from a friend’s blog. In fact I discovered that it was also listed on Tomorrow.

Read on and discover how a young man life is destroyed because of the misdeed of his SAF superiors.

I am not privy to stuff on NS – I am no local – but his heartfelt poem on the tragedy that befall him spokes volume.

Go on and read this, then share it with everyone you know. We need to draw attention to his story so that those who wronged him will be brought to justice.

To him, loyalty to his country comes with too high a price.

To Hong Kong With Love – Part 6

Views from around the HK CBD area

And so the final day of my HK trip dawned on me. I woke up with a start with a call from my boss, who was obviously afraid I was hungover from my night out.

He wasn’t wrong. Hahah…

Had a super quick shower before packing up all my stuff to prepare for check out. Headed down to the restaurant for a buffet breakfast. The spread was alright, nothing to scream about, but I was still happy to try the buffet at least once.

After a fuss-free check out from the hotel, we took a cab down to the office, before we had our final meeting with the executive director. Everything went very well, and we wrapped up the discussion ahead of schedule.

Lunch was at this Shanghainese restaurant nearby the office. HK is really confusing. You have residence flats, office building and typical neighbourhood building all squezed onto a small plot of land. The food was pretty nice. Different from what you can find in Singapore.

And soon it was time to go home. Both my boss and I were looking forward to our flight back to Singapore. HK has been a whirlwind of experience, work wise, and nothing beats the familiar comfort of home.

But if all goes well, I would expect myself to spend more time in HK for the months to come. I am not too sure if I am exactly thrilled with the idea. Oh well! I will take it one day at a time :)

(more photos after the jump)

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To Hong Kong With Love – Part 5

Views of Lan Kwai Fong

A wonderfully cold morning heralded my third day in Hong Kong. Took a short stroll from the hotel to the office, before the commencement of yet another day-long meeting.

As expected, it was a day full of debates, debates and more debates. At the end of it, my head was bursting with all the conclusions that we have drawn up, and I looked at my to-do list with some apprehension. Oh well, at least things are really moving now.

A HK colleague, the boss and I went down to have some happy hour pints at a bar a stone throw away from the office. Chatters were easy, and we deliberately stayed clear of work topics since we have been doing that for a full day! To my amazement, my boss downed four bottles of San Miguel while I haven’t even finish my two pints (it was one-for-one till 8 p.m.!)

While my boss was contemplating what to do to mark the final night we are in Hong Kong, my mind was made up. I need to shop! Before the shops close! So after a quick farewell to my boss and colleague, I rushed back to the hotel to shower and change….

… after which, I was too tired to rush anymore and decided to head down to Lan Kwai Fong instead :P

It was a good decision. Cooling down after an intense work day with your boss is one thing; chilling out on your own terms is another. I was bar-hopping from one place to another, enjoying the chilly weather and the mostly-expat crowd.

Soon it was close to 12 p.m., and I decided to head back to the hotel.

So I walked out of some club, and spotted this roadside stall selling some kind of noodle. My stomach grumbled, so I walked over and asked the stall owner if they sell wanton noodle (I can’t read their Chinese menu)? The lady looked at me strangely, and said, yes they do, and would I like one bowl. I smiled, and placed an order for one.

The noodle was deliciously light and tasty. It cost me S$7 though. Lan Kwai Fong is really an expensive area for Asians like me.

Then I took a cab back to hotel. Did you know that HK cabs have no midnight surcharge, unlike Singapore?

It was close to 1 a.m. when I was finally back in my hotel room. On a wimp I decided to order a room service supper. Angel pasta with baby lobster. LOL.

There goes my diet! HK doesn’t count :P

(more photos after the jump)

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To Hong Kong With Love – Part 4

Views from the office at mainland HK - Growing Plants

What a day it was! Packed with meetings, talks, discussion… and of course sights of Hong Kong that I never seen before.

My boss and I cabbed down to the office – only to discover the location is really mere minutes of walking distance from our hotel. Haha… and the weather is (finally) cold! It was windy, and people around me were donned in stylish jackets, coats and scarfs. It felt like walking in an Asian version of downtown Paris. LOL.

We were early, of course, and apparently the people in our HK office rarely show up on the dot at 9 a.m., since most of them work late every night due to their job nature.

Our first meeting of the day was a “strategic” workshop of sorts. It was an eye opening experience, and I really learned quite a bit from the facilitator of the workshop, whom validated our local strategies against market data collected for the past few weeks.

Lunch was a foursome affair at a nearby Thai restaurant. I must say Thai food in HK is much milder compared those I had in Singapore – even those at Thai Express possess stronger flavour.

Then again, the huge number of expats working around the area might explain why the chefs are light-handed in their cookery.

The afternoon session was with the technical team, and for that we have to take a one-hour shuttle bus ride into New Territories. For those who are unfamiliar with Hong Kong, the New Territories are located at mainland HK and is a large area relatively undeveloped compared to the central area. Here are where all the industrial buildings and factories are located at.

I was gasping at the unfamiliar side of HK that I couldn’t stop snapping away through the window of the bus (see photos below).

The technical discussion in the afternoon was yet another eye opening experience. Won’t elaborate more – work stuff la! Hehe :D

The journey back to the center of civilisation took yet another hour, and by the time we reached our hotel it was already past seven. Both my boss and I were dead tired. The night was chilly and I left my precious jacket in the office!

Decided to head for a pint at the hotel bar and chatted.

After that, I am too tired to venture out of my room now for proper dinner. Most likely will just order room service, and then have an early night. Tomorrow will be an all-day strategic discusssion, with some really really senior people.

Plus we have arranged for a 9-person dim sum lunch, and we will go for a drink after work. Yay! Can’t wait!

P.S.: I miss you, sweets. I want you to know that *hugs*

(more photos after the jump)

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To Hong Kong With Love – Part 3

Views from my hotel room

Good morning, babes!

Had a fitful sleep last night. Somehow my heart was beating very fast – was it the coffee? – and I was tossing and turning trying to get some sleep.

Perhaps my late night supper (Hoi Yat Fried Rice) has got something to do with it.

I knew I must have been deep asleep because I was having many different, vivid dreams. Woke up several times not knowing where I am, and (bloody hell!) I was having toothache!

So I popped two extra strong panadol when I woke up this morning at 7 a.m., before heading down to the restaurant to have breakfast with my boss.

Had a nice little chat with him over my plate of mushroom omelette. Stories about his old company and mine.

Now back in my room, typing this, and soon will get ready to go to the office. The last time I was there was for my interview. Right now I am going back as a staff.

Somehow I feel nervous of what to come. Wish me luck!

(more photos after the jump)

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To Hong Kong With Love – Part 2

Hong Kong International Airport

So I arrived to Hong Kong with little fanfare – and a little hot.

The flight was uneventful, as usual, except for one small difference. I am so used to traveling alone that I totally forgot what it will be like to travel with companion.

So I spent most of my 3-hours flight splitting my attention listening to my boss (Malaysian politics, anyone?), watching No Country for Old Men (it was a fantastic show) and taking my customary photos inside the plane (see below).

We landed at Hong Kong International Airport on time, took the express train to Hong Kong. Surprisingly the weather wasn’t cold or anything. In fact, I was perspiring lugging my suitcase around. Hmmm…

Took a cab to Harbour Plaza North Point, which will be our accommodation for the next three nights. Thank goodness my company has the foresight to book separate rooms for my boss and I. After my last job, I was kinda expecting a three-star hotel and a twin room, shared.

The hotel was good. Not luxurious like the ones I used to experience when I was still with the conference company, but good enough. I was told that it was a short cab ride away to the office.

My stomach was rumbling by that point of time, but apparently there were no eateries around the hotel area.

So after settling down in my room (including ironing my clothes for the next three days), I did what I vowed not not to do.

I ordered room service.

A plate of Hoi Yat Fried Rice for HK$80. It’s overpriced, it’s oily, it’s fattening.

But it soothed my hunger, and now I am like a contended bear sitting on my bed typing this.

Oh, Internet connection in my room is charged by the hour, and I seriously don’t think my company will pay for the access. So I am typing all these offline, and will upload them the moment I have a moment to spare from my endless scheduled meetings.

The next few days will be rounds of discussion with some directors and big shots of the business. Really hope things will work out.

(more photos after the jump)

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To Hong Kong With Love – Part 1

Now reporting live from Changi Airport! :D

The check in to Cathay Pacific was a breeze. I was done within 2 minutes – I timed myself to see how efficient they are!

The custom clearance was a bit tricky though.

Custom Officer: (in Malay) Can you please remove your glasses?

Me: Huh?

Custom Officer: (narrowed his eyes, still speaking in Malay) Can you remove your glasses?

Me: (Puzzled) Oh! Okay! (Removed glasses)

Custom Officer: (Looked at me and looked down on my passport) Hmmmm….

Me: (Gave my most winning smile)

Custom Officer: Okay, you can go

With that he slapped my passport on the counter a little unceremoniously. I was still puzzled – that never happened to me before.

So I flipped open my passport and looked at myself.

*GASP*

I look so different! No wonder he was suspicious. Granted, the photo was taken in 1999, so it has been like… nine years.

Nine years.

How time flies. And I definitely prefer my current look. Hehe.

Walking around the aiport was a fun experience. I always loveeeeee airport. The buzz, the music, the shops, the cafes… it signal the fun stuff to come.

I had always travelled alone. No complaints ’cause I preferred it that way. But right now I wish I can share this… excitement with someone.

No, not my boss. You twit. LOL. Someone special la!

(Photos to come)

(Yes I always take photos at airports)