Saturday, September 29, 2007

Have FUN At The FAIR

I have been quite busy lately, and I was neglecting my children. I can feel it by their responsiveness when I talk to them. But I didn’t know what to do, it is men’s weakness, we are made to be less sensitive and reactive to such situation. Luckily my wife have the solution (she’s the patch to my weakness), she suggested a walk at the fun fair.

I can still remember the joy I have when my dad brought me to one, when I was much younger. That’s always one rule to follow, we are not allow to play any “dee kam” (game). His explanation was pretty simple, the game is the first step to the gambling world, so it is to prevent us from cultivating the risk taking habit in our life.

Now that I am a father, I too avoided most of the game unless with close guidance. But these days, the focuses of the fun fair are mostly on necessities and foods. This is the first time I actually tried the fried ice-cream (炸雪糕), price is on the high side in my opinion, but nevertheless, I got two for the two elder girls. The taste is rather interesting, the girls enjoy it anyway.

One store I wish to mentioned, I previously tried this one store selling Teochew meat puff (潮州香饼). As far as I know, it is the only one in singapore, maybe JB and Batam too. I like particularly the one with oyster, definitely worth chewing on.

Then, there were the fun rides, and my wife lures them into take up a new challenge, the Viking (海盗船). My two elder girls enjoy the ride but the youngest one was too afraid and has to drop out half way. But I am delighted that they have the ride, because I had my first Viking ride after the age of twenty. The evening has at least eased the tension I have build up in the pass few days, and I slept well that night.

One Life, One Apology

Myanmar Apologizes For Journalist's Death: Kyodo
Published: September 28, 2007

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan strongly protested to Myanmar over the killing of a Japanese video journalist during an anti-government rally, and Myanmar Foreign Minister Nyan Win offered apologies, Kyodo news agency said on Saturday.

Fifty-year-old Kenji Nagai was fatally wounded in Yangon on Thursday, and pictures smuggled out of the country showed him clutching a camera as he lay dying.

Japanese Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura made the protest when he met his Myanmar counterpart at U.N. headquarters in New York on Friday.

The death of Nagai "was extremely regrettable and we will lodge a stern protest," Japanese officials quoted Komura as telling Nyan Win, Kyodo said.

Nyan Win told Komura he was indeed sorry for the death, telling Japanese officials: "Demonstrations are beginning to calm down, and we would also like to exercise restraint," Kyodo said.

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

Nagai was the first foreign victim of the protests that began as sporadic marches against fuel price hikes but have swelled over the past month into mass demonstrations against 45 years of military rule in Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.

Blood Or Freedom?

The world has responded, so did junta. Breaking the links is a shocking news to the online community, it’s like switching off the lighting in a dark alley. Internet connection has proofed to be a fast and effective tool for providing information but everything has its weakness.

Wear red, sign a petition or apply to hold peaceful protest, along with the leader of many nations that have stood up against the squelching operation but the other end of the line remain silence.

Following the lost of links, a more intensified crackdown may be inevitable. Like what Lucky Tan have mentioned in his Blog, the people in Myanmar will have to stand united and get their freedom and rights back from the bullies, with their bare. For now, we could only pray for the best of our ASEAN brothers and sisters, and hope that the history do not repeats itself anymore.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Access to Web appears cut in Myanmar

Yahoo News,

YANGON, Myanmar - Soldiers in Myanmar pounded down on dissenters Friday by swiftly breaking up street gatherings of die-hard activists, occupying key Buddhist monasteries and cutting public Internet access. The moves raised concerns that a crackdown on civilians that has killed at least 10 people this week was set to intensify.

By sealing Buddhist monasteries, the government seemed intent on clearing the streets of monks, who have spearheaded the demonstrations and are revered by most of their Myanmar countrymen. This could embolden troops to crack down harder on remaining protesters.

Efforts to squelch the demonstrations appeared to be working Friday. Daily protests drawing tens of thousands of people had grown into the stiffest challenge to the ruling military junta in two decades, a crisis that began Aug. 19 with rallies against a fuel price hike, then escalated dramatically when monks joined in.

Soldiers and riot police moved quickly to disperse a crowd of 300 that started marching in the country's largest city, Yangon, sealing the neighborhood and ordering them to disperse. Elsewhere, they fired warning shots to scatter a group of 200.

Bob Davis, Australia's ambassador to Myanmar, said he had heard unconfirmed reports that "several multiples of the 10 acknowledged by the authorities" may have been killed by troops in Yangon. Scores have been arrested, carted away in trucks at night or pummeled with batons in recent days, witnesses and diplomats said, with the junta ignoring all international appeals for restraint.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations expressed "revulsion" and told the junta "to exercise utmost restraint and seek a political solution." Demonstrations against the junta were seen in Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and elsewhere.

But by Myanmar standards, the crackdown has so far been muted, in part because the regime knows that killing monks could trigger a maelstrom of fury.

Southeast Asian envoys were told by Myanmar authorities Friday that a no-go zone had been declared around five key Buddhist monasteries, one diplomat said, raising fears of a repeat of 1988, when troops gunned down thousands of peaceful demonstrators and imprisoned the survivors.

Gates were locked and key intersections near monasteries in Yangon and Mandalay were sealed off with barbed wire, and there was no sign of monks in the streets.

"We were told security forces had the monks under control" and will now turn their attention to civilian protesters, the Asian diplomat said on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.

The government's apparent decision to cut public Internet access — which has played a crucial role in getting news and images of the pro-democracy protests to the outside world — also raised concerns.

The World Is Responding ... ... At Last

The situation has taken a great turn since the first warning shot was fire. I couldn’t help but feel heartrending about the loss of life in the crackdown. It started as a peaceful protest, and now the junta has advance its operation to a point of not return. Now they are firing automatic weapon at the people, with 9 deaths including a Japanese journalists, the international community is responding more vigorously. But the crisis have not ended, will the people of Myanmar be free ultimately is still a question.

Kenji Nagai of APF tries to take photographs as he lies injured after police and military officials fired upon and then charged at protesters in Yangon's city centre September 27, 2007. Kenji, 52, a Japanese photographer, was shot by soldiers as they fired to disperse the crowd. Kenji later died. (Stringer/Reuters)

Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee. India is walking a diplomatic tightrope, juggling energy and strategic concerns with a commitment to democracy as military-ruled neighbour Myanmar cracks down on pro-democracy protesters, analysts say.(AFP/File/Pornchai Kittiwongsakul)

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State and envoy Christopher Hill speaks to journalists after returning from six-party talks aimed at disarming North Korea's nuclear weapons program, at a hotel in Beijing,Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. The United States called on Myanmar's military leaders Thursday to open a dialogue with peaceful protesters in the reclusive Asian nation and urged China to do what it can to prevent further bloodshed. 'It seems that people are sending a very clear message to the regime there that they need to begin a process of genuine dialogue and above all refrain from any use of force,' Hill told reporters earlier on Thursday, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Canada's Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier seen here during the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Sydney, on 05 September. In a statement, released by Bernier's office, Canada's government has condemned Myanmar authorities for using "deadly force" to suppress mass protests led by Buddhist monks against the military regime.(AFP/HO/File)

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, 2nd from left, and Rama Yade, left, the junior minister for human rights, face Burmese exiled opposition leader Sein Win, 2nd from right , and British-born actress Jane Birkin, right, at the Elysee Palace, in Paris, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007. Sarkozy met with opponents of the Southeast Asian nation's regime after France and Britain pushed for more international sanctions against Myanmar, saying the world must unite to punish the southeast Asian country for its crackdown against anti-government protesters. (AP Photo/Eric Feferberg, Pool)

Demonstrators gather to protest outside the Myanmar Embassy in central London. The United States demanded that Myanmar's military rulers end an "outrageous" and deadly crackdown on anti-government protestors and called for more global pressure on the junta.(AFP/Shaun Curry )

A monk calls for support during a protest against Myanmar's military rulers in front of the Myanmar embassy in Paris The United States demanded that Myanmar's military rulers end an "outrageous" and deadly crackdown on anti-government protestors and called for more global

Buddhist monks from Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka chant during a demonstration outside the Myanmar embassy in Colombo. The United States demanded that Myanmar's military rulers end an "outrageous" and deadly crackdown on anti-government protestors and called for more global pressure on the junta.(AFP/Sanka Vidanagama )

A protester holds a sign during a demonstration in Taipei September 28, 2007 against the violence in Myanmar. At least nine people were killed in Myanmar on Thursday as soldiers and police cleared the streets of central Yangon by giving protesters 10 minutes to leave or be shot, tightening a two-day crackdown on the largest uprising in 20 years. REUTERS/Nicky Loh (TAIWAN)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Myanmar Forces In New Crackdown, 9 Killed.

I can’t believe the situation have develop so fast and so far, Myanmar - Security forces actually fired automatic weapon at their people, hurting and killing them. One reporter is also dead. Read this.

YANGON, Myanmar - Security forces fired automatic weapons into thousands of pro-democracy protesters for a second day Thursday, and the military government said nine people were killed and 11 wounded.

Tens of thousands defied the ruling military junta's crackdown with a 10th straight day of demonstrations. Security forces also raided several monasteries overnight, beating monks and arresting more than 100, according to a monk at one monastery.
The protests were the stiffest challenge to the generals in two decades, a crisis that began Aug. 19 with protests over a fuel price hike and has drawn increasing international pressure on the isolated regime.

Ye Htut, a government spokesman, said the riot police clashed with anti-government protesters in the country's largest city Yangon, killing nine and injuring 11 people. Thirty-one government troops were also injured, he said.

Among the dead was Kenji Nagai, 50, a journalist covering the protests in Yangon for Japanese video news agency APF News. He was confirmed dead after his father and company representative identified him in a photo, a Japanese Embassy official in Myanmar told The Associated Press by telephone.

Nagai, who had been covering the protests since Tuesday, was one of several people found dead Thursday, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry officials, citing Myanmar officials.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

All Wheel Drive BICYCLE

This thing look interesting to me, I have never heard of AWD bike before. But, I hope my brother will see this, this is his hobby.

The CHRISTINI AWD is equipped with standard mountain biking components. Pedaling, shifting and braking are just like on a traditional bike.

A handlebar-mounted switch controls the AWD "shift on the fly" clutch. When the clutch is engaged, the rear spiral gear interlocks with the rear hub and power is transferred via internal shafts to the forward spiral gear set, which drives the CHRISTINI freehub.

Due to a slight gearing differential, the front wheel is not actively powered on smooth level ground. However, the moment the rear wheel slips, power is instantaneously transferred to the front wheel. Similarly, the moment that the front wheel decelerates, as in hitting a rock or starting to wash out in a corner, power and traction are transferred to the front wheel.

The effect is awesome. Instead of stalling when the rear wheel slips - the front wheel hooks up and you keep climbing. Instead of glancing off a slippery root - the CHRISTINI AWD tracks right over it. Instead of washing out the front end in an off-camber corner - the front wheel literally chews it's way through the turn. The CHRISTINI AWD is simply the best climbing mountain bike on the market.
The CHRISTINI AWD has the capability to take you places other bikes won't or can't follow... and the durability to get you back.

In over 4 years of testing, the AWD components have required far less routine maintenance than the primary drive train (which is comprised of top quality sprockets, high-end shifters and standard hubs). The best corrosion and wear resistant materials are utilized and we have "designed in" extremely simple service procedures. For instance; should the sealed bearings ever need to be replaced, the entire internal drive system can be disassembled for complete overhaul in less than 10 minutes.

Police Fire Warning Shots In Myanmar

Breaking news today from here and here.

YANGON, Myanmar - Police in riot gear fired warning shots to disperse more than 100 Buddhist monks who defied the military government's ban on public assembly Wednesday by trying to penetrate a barricade blocking Yangon's famed Shwedagon Pagoda. The junta had banned all public gatherings of more than five people and imposed a nighttime curfew following eight days of anti-government marches led by monks in Yangon and other areas of the country, including the largest in nearly two decades.
Firing shots into the air, beating their shields with batons and shouting orders to disperse, the police chased some of the monks and about 200 of their supporters while others tried to stubbornly hold their place near the eastern gate to the vast shrine complex.
Some fell to the ground amid the chaos and at least one monks was seen struck with a baton.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Military Cooperation Between Vietnam And Singapore

Found this today.

People's Daily Online September 25, 2007

Vietnam, Singapore to enhance military cooperation

Vietnam and Singapore have agreed to promote military cooperation, and exchange more military delegations, local newspaper Vietnam News reported Tuesday.

The two sides reached the agreement during the meeting between Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh and his visiting Singaporean counterpart Teo Chee Hean here Monday.

During the meeting, they also discussed the army construction in each country, anti-terrorism, humanitarian assistance and peace- keeping, and reviewed the bilateral cooperation on socioeconomic development, national defense, security enhancement and language training.

Teo's visit would enhance mutual understading and the friendly cooperation between the armies and peoples of the two countries, Thanh said.

Source: Xinhua

Harvest Moon

The Mid-Autumn festival falls on the fifteen day of the eighth lunar month, which according to the lunar calendar is also the exact middle of autumn. At this time, the moon's orbit is at its lowest angle to the horizon, making the moon appear brighter and larger than any other time of the year. In the Western tradition, it is also called the Hunter's Moon or Harvest Moon.

But today is also my in-law’s birthday. It is going to be a busy night though. I will have to attend the dinner, and then hopefully I will still have a bit of time to bring my kids for a walk. My wife have brought three lanterns for the kids a week ago, the two elder daughters got the traditional ones that uses candle to light up. I can remember that when I was much younger, this is a good time to play with fire, under the consent of my parent, I never fail to expend each of my lanterns.

According to a widespread folk tale, the Mid-Autumn Festival commemorates an uprising in China against the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty. As group gatherings were banned, it was impossible to make plans for a rebellion. Noting that the Mongols did not eat mooncakes, the advisor to the Chinese rebel leader Zhu Yuanzhang, came up with the idea of timing the rebellion to coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival. He sought permission to distribute thousands of moon cakes to the Chinese residents in the city to bless the longevity of the Mongol emperor. Inside each cake, however, was inserted a piece of paper with the message: "Kill the Tatars on the 15th day of the Eighth Moon." (八月十五殺韃子) On the night of the Moon Festival, the rebels successfully attacked and overthrew the government. What followed was the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), under Zhu. Henceforth, the Mid-Autumn Festival was celebrated with moon cakes on a national level.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The most unfortunate alcohol accidents of all times

Really sad!!!

Most of us have heard a sad story about an accident involving alcohol. In my life I have never encountered an alcohol related accident as tragic and devastating as this one. Just looking at the picture brings tears to my eyes. It's so painful to see some thing precious wasted

SAD Isn't it?

Inborn, Personal And Harmless Behavior But Still A Criminal Offence.

This is what I read in Sunday’s news, because the majority of Singaporean didn’t understand or accept this fact, gay sex is still a criminal offence. But since it is inborn and it is personal, why would anyone wants to punish them for natural human behavior. I thought our government will fix things if they are not on the right side, even when some Singaporean may not understand or accept it, like our CPF scheme. I am quite confused now. I could not understand why we do not decriminalise an inborn and personal behavior which do not cause harm to others.

The Straits Times, 23 Sep 2007
View Divided, So Law On Gay Sex Stays.

Mr Lee said, many people in Singapore were strongly against the viewpoint espoused by the undergrad and this was something that has to be recognised. He said that the government's view was that it should not push forward on this issue, but follow along as societal views shifted.

"Mt view is that gayness is something which is mostly inborn. Some people are like that, some people are not. How they live their own lives is really for them to decide. It's a personal matter," he said.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Botak Jones Going North

Went for lunch with my colleague again, but this time there are five of us. Lunch time is obviously a better slot to try the food, not as crowded like the evening. All five of us ordered different set from the menu, the presentation is still good, just as the cooking. Check out the steak, you can’t ask for more.

Anyway, we were told that Botak Jones is preparing to open a new branch in the north, in Woodlands. So people in the north, get ready.

Now You Smell It, Now You Don’t

Not so long ago, I have learned from somewhere this method of eliminating odor when you are unloading in the toilet. I tried, it works.

In fact, I have tried many ways and at least a dozen products, but none work well and last. I do not know what is the theory behind and how it kills the smell. Some of you might have heard it before, but anyway here is how it works, by lighting up a lighter or burning a candle even an unscented one. You’ll be amazed how simple, fast and cost effective it is.

When we use fragrances, air deodorizer or fresheners, it practically masks the odor which does not last long, and after a while, we sort of got used to the fragrances anyway. Air or carbon filter fan seem it be more useful in removing the smell after the event. The candle is obviously one cheap but effective solution to toilet odor.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Why Frown?

I read this article “7 in 10 frown on homosexuality, NTU survey finds” yesterday morning in The Strait Times and felt disturbed by it. I am rather uncomfortable with the way the information is presented, the use of words like frown, disgusting and anti-gay seems to impose negatively on the subject. I really admire how positively Mr Wang accepted the facts. But at the same time, I am surprised that in a country like Singapore where more than half attained secondary or higher education, we are not that open after all.

We all know that gay didn’t choose to be one, they are just different in certain ways, and that’s all. You can see from here and here. In a similar scenario, if your friend is colour blind, flat footed or bald, have premarital sex and is divorced, would you frown or find them disgusting? I do not believe that there is anyone who is perfect genetically or mentally. In fact, a lot of time, gay can be better friend than straight. I know because I have these friends too.


Mid-Autumn Festival is only less than a week away, my earlier order for two boxes of mooncake have been delivered, there were meant to be a gift for my mother and In-laws.

When I send a box to my mum’s place, she immediately cut out one for us to try. So far I have also tasted some from Goodwood Park and KLT 錦綸泰 in my office, comparing the price of this 大中国月饼 with many others, it is actually cheap and good.

The box is a very simple one unlike the rest which explain the price. At below twenty five dollar per box for the double yolk type, it tasted better than many selling above thirty, or even forty dollar. Anyway, this is one popular shop that is responsible for one of the long lines in chinatown year after year, and they has never disappoint me so far.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Let Your iPod Fly

There's nothing more than frustrating when your handphone or iPod ran out of power while on a bus or MRT when your are still half to one hour from home, but this problem will become history soon.

And the solution, The Energizer(R) Energi To Go(R).

The charger offers more than 46 hours of music playback on the iPod nano and more than 32 hours of music playback on the iPod with video.

It features a licensed Apple iPod tip and is adjustable so that it's compatible with fourth-and fifth-generation iPods, iPod nano, and iPod mini. The Instant Cell Phone Charger offers phone tip connectors to fit approximately 100 phone models across top manufacturers, and include most Nokia, Motorola, Sprint, LG, and Samsung cellular phones, as well as mini-USB devices such as the Razr, Blackberry, and Palm Treo.

The only question now is when will it land on this little red dot.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My Sexy Toy

I have just found a new widget, a search widget, the BlogBar. I install this because it is simple, nice and at the same time very functional. Most search widgets would only enable us to do simple search either on the web or in your own blog, BlogBar can do more! In fact, you can customize it to search only your blogs, your links, the web or the blogosphere. The search engine include Google, yahoo, MSN, Askjeeves, Technorati and many others. It is also available in more than eighteen colours and eight languages. It can even be link to Adsense. It really is sexy, I really can't help not to share this.

IBM, And The FREE Symphony!

At last, after a long wait, IBM has come out with Symphony, a “enterprise-grade”suite that will compete with Microsoft Office, and most importantly, it is free.

The suite consist of three applications namely Documents, Spreadsheet and Presentation, which will function similar to Microsoft’s Words, Excel and PowerPoint. It is capable to run on Windows XP and Vista, some Linux platforms, with “support for Apple Macintosh in the pipe line.” Symphony will support Open Document Format (ODF) and PDF, and Microsoft native file format but be warned that not all Office-created documents will open flawlessly.

IBM is offering Symphony in beta version so the community could suggest improvement for the software, thus allowing the suite to evolve faster. Symphony is presented on the new web site, and it is ready for downloading too.

More details on this news can be found on this sites, Ars Technica, Yahoo and Infoworld

Hey, hey, it's a free world.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Future Of Singapore MRT

Singapore has been building our national rail network the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT) from 1983, the digging never stop since then, it really makes me wonder how far it is going. I did a search on Wikipedia and find out the amount of new stations on the way. The whole system is simply amazing, it will cover a total distance of 540 kilometers and is going to end only in 2030. These are certainly good news, especially for contractors and people taking up MRT jobs, at least for the next twenty years.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Gphone, Forget the i.

There are so much rumors about GPhone on the net. Sounds like a big hit, check it out!

The Gphone is coming; how Google could rewrite the rules

If done right, the Gphone and not the iPhone will be the one to change the face of the wireless industry.

Forget iPhone, Think Google Phone
Google Phone, if you think about it is a reasonable speculation. Google has been aggressive in developing location based services, has amp-ed up its local search and mapping services. In addition, it has also been mobilizing its applications such as GTalk and GMail. YouTube, the video arm of Google, is beginning to embrace the mobile ecosystem.

Five Facts About Google Phone
The story talks about a handful of Boston entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who have seen the phone, but are under NDA and can’t talk about it.

Getting Inside Google”s gPhone

A source familiar with the situation tells that Google may be preparing a new mobile platform, a would-be rival to the Nokia-dominated (NOK) Symbian OS, Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Mobile, mobile Linux, Palm (PALM), and other operating systems.

Google spending hundreds of millons on mobile-WSJ
Anian, a Reuters company that tracks industry trends for institutional investors, reported last month that Google had engaged Taiwan's High Tech Computer Corp (2498.TW: Quote, Profile, Research) to design a Linux software-based phone for launch in the first quarter of 2008.

Google Pushes Tailored Phones To Win Lucrative Ad Market
A Google spokesman yesterday declined to comment on a Google phone project, but noted: "We are partnering with almost all of the carriers and manufacturers to get Google search and other Google applications onto their devices and networks."

The future for Orange could soon be Google in your pocket
The collaboration between two of the most powerful brands in technology is seen as a potential catalyst for making internet use of mobile phones as natural as on desktop computers and laptops.

Cina Kambing Soup

Saturday lunch at Adam Food Centre is normally not a comfortable experience. With limited number of tables and quite a few popular stalls around means that it is always crowded during meal time, it is especially difficult to find a table when you have a bigger group of say four people or more. But it is different this month, because this is the month of Ramadan, and our Muslim friends will not be taking lunch since they are fasting. We can see that the place is at least 30% less crowded than other days, but don’t misunderstand me, it still takes some minutes to settle down.

I have tasted the Indian kambing soup at this place before, it is good, but today I am trying the Chinese herbal mutton soup from 亞當羊肉湯. I ordered the $4 soup with rice, and later realized that the portion was actually quite small. The mutton was well cook, and though the smell of herbs was not very strong but it did manage to cover the distinctive smell of mutton which many Chinese didn’t like. It is not an easy task to eliminate the smell, this is a secret the stall owner will never reveal, and that’s also why there are not many Chinese stall selling mutton soup. The one thing you should not forget is to get a small disc of the chili mixed with vinegar, it will really enhance the taste of the mutton. As this is not a food commonly found in hawker centers, I would try it every now and then when I am come across it, even though I know some better ones on this little island.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

It is Butter? NO, It's DURIAN!!!

The last minutes before ending the day’s works, my friend gives me that funny looking face again. My monitor screen show his massage, “Ready to go!” And yes, since our last durian marathon , I did promise to bring him to one more such stall that offer the best durians you can find in Singapore, and for weeks, he’s been harassing me.

The stall used to be located beside one Chinese temple along Balestier Road, now, it is along the pavement right in front of Ruby Plaza. The stall is not very prominent, but with the strong lighting, you should have no difficulty identifing the yellow signboard in the tentage that reads, 亞蘭榴梿.

The helper told us that the stall has been around for more than three decades. And they have been selling this breed of 毛山王durian for years, they named it Butter Durian, one would only understand why after you put it in your mouth. Though selling one of the best durian species you can find in Singapore, surprisingly, it is not the most expensive one around. At $16 a kilogram, most would find it well worth. The fruit come with very small seeds, and the flesh was soft, giving you the “melt in the mouth” feeling. The smell is unforgettable. But there is one thing I hate about these breed of durian, it has spoil my taste bud, it is very difficult to find better or equivalent durian anymore.

If you are a durian lover, you really should try this. And one more thing, the boss were allocated limited numbers each day, the Butter Durian would normally be out of stock quite early. So, be early, or be sorry.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Generous And Spendthrift, Same Or Different?

I was pursuing a Hong Kong Cantonese series 学警出更 last night with my other half. In the last few episodes, a couple went their own way even when they still love one another very much, with the common excuse many use, differences in character.

I remember quoting an article to my wife when I encounter a similar situation before our marriage. The article descried the contradicting differences in the character of a good boyfriend and a good husband. It says that one generous boyfriend, upon marriage, would be considered a spendthrift husband, a boyfriend with the righteousness character would likely be blame for not caring enough for his family, an easy going boyfriend turn out to be a husband that is not firm or easily influence, etc.

The strong points in ones character sometime turn out to be weak links when he or she plays a different role in life. At the end of the series, the girl finally realizes that she was being selfish. She initially felt in love with him because he was a good man, one that is caring, generous with the righteous mind, one who would go very far, do many things for his friend, but the expectation changed after she became his wife, she expected the guy to turn his focus to her, to only her, which he didn’t, giving her the reason to divorce him. It is ironic that the very reason that brings them together also breaks them apart. Although they finally have the same understanding, the girl met with a mishap and died. Seem like they are just not fated to age together.

At this point my wife said to me, “Luckily, you are not like that, I don’t like this type of guy.” Well, whatever you like, whatever I am like, I am happy that my wife has loved me for who I am.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bravo! OTTO.

A respectable teacher, but more than just that, a courageous person to openly disclose his gay status. I am touch and really admire his courage when I read this open letter, but at the same time, I am also worried for his career.

Our society may not be very forgiving at times; in fact, I would have felt uneasy if my children’s teacher belongs to these groups of brothers or sisters, until lately. I get to know this someone which gives me a chance to know, to understand and to accept them as friends, as part of our community. I used to have these classmates, though kept very low profile, was always targeted by some notorious boys who will never give up any chance to create jokes at their expense. Most others would just stand around and watch, afraid of being tag as a gay if we stand on the “wrong” side. I could feel their miseries since I was once a target of bullies due to my size, I didn’t understand them but I felt sorry for them.

Anyway, I do believe that all human are equal, so best wishes to you, Mr Fong.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A Final Episode

I don’t see my grandmother often, in fact not even a dozen times, and though I wasn’t very close to her, still it is a painful loss. The wake lasted for seven days in Batam. I was there only on sixth day due to my work commitment. It is been years since I last went, I realize only when I saw the age prints on the faces of my aunties and uncles. I couldn’t recognize them all, but they were happy to see me. They just hold my hand and smile and I can feel the closeness of our heart, the bond of our blood.

I could see from far the lantern were red signifying longevity. The Chinese believes that if one hit the age of seventy, or has five generations under them, then one is consider to have enjoyed longevity and the death is not a sad event. The setup was more or less similar what we have in Singapore. Unlike here, there are some restrictions to be followed very strictly, one of which is all forms of gambling activities are not allowed, this included manjong or card games which the authorities in Singapore would not enforce most of the time, so we could only spend the night chatting or sleeping.

After midnight, it was consider the seventh day, everyone have to kneel around coffin to wake the decease up for a shower, change to her new cloths and take her meal, we then burned the paper house, car and money for her to bring along before she move on to her afterlife.

The next day which was the last day, I found out that Band is also in the restriction list. We went through the Buddhism ceremony, before the coffin is transfer to a van, a police petrol car would clear all traffic lights along the way and escort the convoy non stop from the funeral parlour to the crematorium.

I was told that the crematorium uses kerosene and not gas. After a short prayer, the coffin was send into the funnel. The memorial tablet was then brought back and setup in one of the uncle’s house. The ceremony is then considered as ended after we change into our daily clothes. In Buddhism, the living is supposed to let go the sorrow and move on as death is just part of life.

My aunty drove us to the jetty after a short rest, where we book the 5.30pm ferry to Singapore. It was full of people that were there for the “Batam one day tour”, we could see many tour guide holding the little flag, shouting all over the place. Thanks to the human traffic on this last day of the school holiday, our ferry was late for one hour. The sky was almost dark when the ferry left for Singapore, I took some photo with my K810i to kill my boredom along the way.

When the Rasa Sentosa Resort came in view, I know home is near, I am back in Singapore. Each time I attend a funeral, it keep reminds me how importance and precious life is, I must learn to treasure the times I have with my family even more.