Wednesday, December 28, 2005
... happy holidays.. happy holidays... what a wondrous time of year...
a line from my favorite KFC christmas jingle.... will often bop my head with the rhythm everytime i hear this song while in the restaurant. (btw, besides this line, the rest are in japanese.. hehe)
anyway thanks so much for still sticking by... as you know i have been busy lately.. finally today is the last day at work for 2005.... so i will get a breather until 2006... and when i start work.. it will be a rush for time once again...
i wish i can, but dun expect me to blog during the hols... hehe... paiseh ah.... will try to resurrect this when i can ;)
here's wishing you guys an advance Happy New Year!
with lotsa love,
posted by winz at 9:21 AM
Sunday, December 25, 2005
2 blessings in the form of xmas cards arrived at my mailbox just in time!! thanks dearies!!
really made my xmas sweet... even though i am still alone, listening to sad xmas songs in my room... thank you!!
posted by winz at 6:12 PM
will feature an email from Toby, an ex-exchange student in NTU here... hope he doesnt mind...
when i read his mail, it somehow struck a chord in my heart.... i guess there are really wonderful memories that each of us hold dear to our hearts.... and as i have mentioned briefly in my previous post, it is not so much about the location, but more about the people...
hope this will touch many of you people as it had touched me...
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year first of all. Now my little reflection on my short trip to Singapore enjoy:
Nihao ma from Singapore lah,
to relief you from my unbearable loquaciousness I have been refraining from writing you as much as I did in Singapore. When I went back to Singapore a few days ago though I was somehow overcome with the urge to share with you my short melancholic flashback into the miraculous experience of last year. The garden Eden of Singapore in midst of the tumultuous South East Asia of disorder.
After one year of restlessly running against the time, hasting through the modern business lifestyle to which I remain such freshman, one year of a constant feeling of jetlag without having actually flown, I suddenly found myself in Singapore again. The strange discomfort of similarity but not being like the Singapore I remember, I was overcome with the fact that Singapore was nothing like it used to be. It was deserted to a degree because it all appeared all so familiar but in the end so strange because there was none of us, which actually means Singapore to me. A bunch of young adults from every corner of the world, even from San Diego or “Trnto”, a melting pot of nations that could not wait to battle its transatlantic dissimilarities over a game of “ball” or mindless drinking competitions in “00”, actually was Singapore, as strange as it might sound! It was not the tiny island itself!!
I first landed in the gigantic Singapore Changi Airport on an early Friday morning and already here was impressed by the diversity of faces. Arab families with 20 members, German businessmen in sweaty collar shirts on their mobiles to report the latest developments, Australians with their singlets and shorts, Americans with the thick leather soled shoes and the jeans rolled up and the girls in their tank-tops, the Canadians with the flags on every peace of fabric so everyone can identify them not as being American, the Indonesians with the dark skin and women wearing veils, the French couple in the boutique store using their impeccable English trying to purchase as many cosmetics as possible as they are so cheap in comparison to the Parisian shops in Les(not bound) Halles or the Japanese with their uncountable fashion accessories attached to every part of the body which nicely holds up every security check in.
Even myself, whom I would call rather affluent in English, was struggling with the staccato English of Singapore when I was asking for the toilet of which you could “potentially” eat from. To get the first taste of the Singapore climate I climbed up to the sunflower embedded rooftop to smoke a cigarette in the blinding equatorial sun. I forgot about the little water dusters that spray air to cool the air but even that didn’t help the Norwegian girl in her winter jacket, as she just came from the freezing Scandinavian latitudes on her way to the sun-kissed Australia.
After the immigration border check-out that less than 5 seconds, typically Singaporean, I was standing in the “free” land of independence, Singapore when I was led through the perfectly streamlined taxi queue to be welcome with a heart warming “TAXI LAHHH”. My charming “yeah MATE” response to one of the 2 taxi-calling-co-ordinators directly put me ahead of the queue of 2 people. “PIE Lah, downtown to Beach Road, ok lah?” did wonders and within 20min, traveling along the road we NTU Bike Rally Cyclers all know so well, I arrived in Bugis MRT in no time. Tranquil!
After I met with my friends in the hotel, that kindly offered me to use their room to get changed and have a shower, which I could not possible realize after those few hours on the road ;-), I was already back out of the front door and into the bustling Singapore city. Through the cornered streets of little India full of little Indians with moustache and American-flag bearing leather jackets straight out of Top Gun, I saw the first KFC and McDonalds which launched me into the tunnel of time back into the times of McDo in BoonLay. Arnau(l)d and Olivier, yes, they are still there, yes, they are still as cheap and yes, still put much ice into the coke! I had to dive into the freezing air-conditioned public transport systems after having purchased my beloved ezylink card. FYI: they are slightly more expensive now and less frequent but still as reliable. I drove direction Boon Lay and changed train at City Hall Interchange direction North, destination Orchard Road.
Funnily I realized that actually we didn’t go to Orchard Road that often after all but of course Lucky Plaza and the other key locations still looked awfully familiar. The McDonald below Lucky Plaza, the green Starbucks Coffee on the corner, or even the corner from which we watched the Chinese New Years train with Jackie Chan dressed all in white, on one of the cars. For all those impressions to sink in I decided to have a seat and reflect on the newly refreshed old impressions. 1 minute later I moved on in Singapore fashion, sweaty!
Was it 179 or 197? 179! I jumped on the 179 after my little MRT ride to Boon Lay and took the bus to NTU Canteen 2, where I first met two Swiss exchange students. For my greatest pleasure I was excited that they couldn’t really stand NTU and Singapore and were happy to leave, which only makes me feel better J We simply rocked. Canteen 2 is still the same but unfortunately the shop did not have any of the famous NTU memorabilia left. In my frustration I took a little walk to Hall 8 and Hall 9, where I was to discover that they are building a huge Arts and Design Complex next to that something IT Lab and Hall 9, where Andreas and I walked through the huge rain drain that ran through the mountain! Hall 9 and Hall 8 is the same and the cleaning ladies
still watch us as always, the are still the little geckos all over the bathroom and yes the toilet paper still sticks to the sweaty legs, for those that ever cared! ;-) Btw we did live it up in Singapore because a short time after our departure they actually enforced that hot water could only be used at certain times.
On the way back to Boon Lay and Bread Talk, where I was going to eat my beloved multigrain roll with a cup of orange juice, I had to realize that even now you still can’t take a proper photo in the fast bus from the red access-restriction signs on the left side of the driveway to NTU. My favorite shopping center in the world, Jurong Shopping Center in Boon Lay has not changed at all either and the shop on the second floor still has the best beanies and Arnaud, the best IPod pouches in the world.
Nothing sparkling happened in the last few hours of my stay in Singapore. ALL Malaysians still wear Chucks shoes, tight jeans, dark t-shirts and wear Mohawk haircuts with the shaved sides and if they are lazy wear the trucker caps. The Chinese still wear shorts, flip flops and t-shirt and you still can’t tell the difference between boys and girls in most cases. The Indians still look 20 years behind with their moustaches. The expatriated businessmen still sweat as much as I did and they still try to look more local than the tourists, often supported by their long phonecall highlighting that they are locals and live locally in Singapore. Total Local!!!
Long live that Singapore dream and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy-like-me New Year 2006! See you out there from Perth, Australia!
posted by winz at 3:13 PM
i must be one of the few losers around posting blogs on Christmas day....
ah well, no ppl close frens to go out with... and so i am spending the whole day in my room perhaps.
christmas generally do not mean anything to the japanese. i asked a band fren of mine what she will be doing today, and she said "stay in dorm, cos xmas dun mean anything to me"... felt kinda sad after hearing that. i asked another fren the same, and she said that she will be going back to band room to practise together with another fren of ours.
although japanese dun do treat christmas with importance, it doesnt mean they dun do anything special. the latter gal asked me whether i will be having lots of cakes. i was stumped when i first heard... but later realised that she was talking about Christmas cakes. yes... when it comes to christmas, the streets will be littered with booths selling Christmas cakes and chicken (be it bbq or fried)... i swear i could smell chicken when i walked on the streets last nite. they treat such eating practices with such great importance that i was surprised that most of japanese have not eaten turkey before.
perhaps one of the more recent christmas days that i can recall well was the 2002 christmas... i remember i was at washington dc/ new york city at that time. it was a very simple christmas eve dinner... at wendy's eating fast food. but i guess the food wasnt important.. it was more about the frens ard you rite? 2 of my best frens, keli and huiting, were there as well... and it was indeed a very heart warming christmas dinner.... and we drove back down to NYC that nite, and just went we thought that it wont be a white xmas that year, it started snowing when we were at Rockefellar!!
shall dedicate the song below to every of you family and frens who are dear to me... may you have a merry little Christmas now....
just when i was thinking about keli and huiting just now, one of the cards i received was from keli!.. surprise surprise... hope she's having a wonderful xmas with her boy boy now in singapore ;)
posted by winz at 2:42 PM
Have yourself a merry little Christmas...
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light
From now on,
our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the Yule-tide gay,
From now on,
our troubles will be miles away.
Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.
Through the years
We all will be together,
If the Fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.
my favourite christmas song...
posted by winz at 2:39 PM
Friday, December 23, 2005
here's wishing the Emperor of Japan a Merry Birthday!
but not so merry for me... still gotta work, when today is supposed to be a public holiday... sigh... :(
posted by winz at 9:19 AM
Thursday, December 22, 2005
bonenkai last nite...
last nite i had my bonenkai, at this nice izakaya located at some 21st storey of some building. as such, the view there was beautiful.. really... but then the 5k yen that i paid was not really worthed it. the food was little and not filling, even after racing to have more food (in doing so, depriving some japanese who shared the table).
there was this bingo game they had, and the first prize was a PSP, and the 2nd, an iPod nano... i of cos, was aiming for the nano, since i already own the former. i came in 2nd fastest in getting a bingo, but some strange twist of fate saw the prize slip away from me... they decided that being fastest is not good enough. those who get bingo will still need to draw numbers from a bag, some lucky dip thingy... and i got the 9th prize (which was the worst)... and so... came back only with a pack of medicated thing you put in your bath, instead of my nano.... sigh... and somewhat cruel - the nano was won by the kacho, ie. section head... the biggest f**k among those present, hence arguably the richest among us.... sigh. money really attracts money. part of my 5k went to his pocket... how unfair :(
also, the japanese that sat beside us kept suanning us the whole nite through. firstly, he told the other japanese seated at the table that our japanese improved a lot. because we are always dilligently studying japanese at work. READ: slacking off work.
afterwhich, he mentioned that CK (who wasnt present), is always early for work. READ: we are always late for work. then he went back to saying that we study a lot of japanese, and he can see lots of japanese notes photocopied for studying. READ: using company's resources for own use.
he also mentioned that whenever he walked pass us (he is seated at the same row as me in office btw), he could see that we are hardworking at work, looking at waveforms and such. READ: he knows we were always surfing the net, emailing etc.
sigh... he is really quite a good hat (hat as in asshat hat) at that... should learn his subtlety in suanning next time... heh.
anyway in the end, i bought some kfc back to eat for post dinner cum supper....
and that's that for bonenkai.
posted by winz at 9:46 AM
remember slam dunk?
if you don't, you're not a manga fan... hehe... anyway news reports that takehiko inoue, the mangaka of slam dunk, is being sued over slam dunk for plagiarism... for closely modeling his characters to some real-life NBA players.... ironically, he earlier successfully sued some other mangaka who allegedly plagiarised his work.
interesting to see how this goes. the other guy who was sued, his whole 25-book series was pulled off the shelves. so if inoue is also found guilty, the same may happen.... good thing will be that my old series sitting back in my singapore shelf will rise in value then.. haha.
read more about it here.
posted by winz at 9:39 AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
during yesterday's japanese class, my teacher told us something about kimonos that i didn't know beforehand. so thought that i will share this info to all of ya too... very interesting...
for those keen observers, you will know that there are kimonos with long sleeves, and kimonos with normal length ones... those with long long ones, we see many of such especially in seijin no hi (adult day), when gals who turn 20 that year will all wear kimonos and attend some municipal function and visit shrines upon reaching adulthood. initially i had thought that the long sleeves ones are for young gals... but i was wrong... turned out that they are worn by female who are unmarried, i.e. a 40 year old spinster can also wear that, though i have not seen any yet ;p wearing that will be equivalent to declaring to the whole world (japan only) that you are unmarried...
that's not all... this cultural practice dates back many many years ago. make it 1500 years ago (as estimated by my teacher). during that time, japanese don't have futons (those mattress and blanket combos japs use to sleep on their tatamis nowadays) and tatamis. more specifically, they do have tatamis, but they dun line the whole floor with it, unless you are real rich. they usually have 1 tatami mat just to sleep on, and a few half sized ones to sit on. so no futon how to survive in such a cold winter?
their kimono doubles up as their futon.
because during that time, kimono is the standard wear, they do have lots of kimono outfits, and so, they have many blankets to use. and of course, those with longer sleeve (maybe broader is a better term) can offer more surface area to cover oneself with. so why would unmarried gals need more blanket area?
to attract guys to come share their blankets with.
my teacher was saying, if gals are walking along the streets swaying their long, broad sleeves, it will mean that they are announcing that they are available, and are trying to attract guys to share their comfort with at night... realised i just wrote that in present tense, although this may not be so in the present era... but people who know about this get this idea when they do see gals nowadays swaying their sleeves obliviously.
and one more thing. in the past, even after marriage, the man and the woman live separately. the man will go over to the wife's house at night to spend the night, and return to his own house or work during the day time. this would of course mean that the men at that time can have many "wives"... interesting to note that once they get married, the woman's kimono size will decrease, hence "incentive" for the guy to look for another woman who offer a larger kimono.. heh... easy to pick up new ones, just need to see who is swaying their sleeves offering to share their kimonos with in the night. the man and wife will only need to stay together if they have offsprings.
should be able to find some info regarding this over the net, but not now lah.. maybe if any of you can, let me know ;)
posted by winz at 9:41 AM
Monday, December 19, 2005
2 more weeks to year end!
had a long day on saturday and sunday (tennis in the morning, band sectionals in the afternoon).. i went back to dorm after dinner at about 1020, and after showering, immediately went to sleep... cannot tahan liao.. sectionals keep playing wrong notes because i dozed off while playing.. hehe... and that earned me a few stares from the japs ;p
anyway, hopefully i will get un-busy soon, so i can do some stuff here to update you guys on my life so far. in the meantime, have a happy xmas and a merry new year!!
just for kicks, here's my Sexy Name...
get your own Sexy Name here!
got the link from CG, and hopefully she won't quit writing...
posted by winz at 9:40 AM
Thursday, December 15, 2005
As many of you may know, I went to Canada for exchange during the Fall season in 2002. The university that I attended there was the University of Western Ontario, UWO for short. Students from the school fondly call it Western. So if you hear someone from Canada saying "I'm studying in Western", you know where now.. ;)
The school totally rocked, it was so much fun being there... and the people were hot too. A canadian friend I met there told me that UWO was ranked the top university in USA and Canada, when it comes to having the most number of hot babes (he claimed that it was an official survey finding by Playboy magazine). I didn't disbelieve, because a look around the school and I could see that it wasn't a baseless claim... ;p
Anyway, why am I talking about UWO all of a sudden? I remember the hostels were generally mixed-gender types, ie. you can actually find yourself staying next to a gal. During bathing hours, you could see gals and guys alike, walking along the corridoor wrapped only with a towel to and fro the bathroom... no lah.. not that I always bio... heard from my friends, since I didn't stay in the school hostel during my exchange.
And of course, you see many people sharing the same room, ie. couples in one single room. Or even 2 couples in a double room. Happening place... but this latest news I think tops it all...
--- Quoted from tonypierce...
Apparently what happened was some freshmen wanted to celebrate their buddy's birthday by hiring a stripper, but they realized they had very little cash and they didnt know any strippers.
One of their friends said, no problem bros, theres some girls down the hall who strip on the side.
And sure enough they DID strip on the side and they marched down the hall and did a nice bump and grind for the boys for allegedly $40 (canadian). This was in October and all would have been a fine little tale if it hadnt been for a few dozen pictures that were snapped.
--- from Toronto Star
Canadian universities have no business, it seems, in the bedrooms of the campus dorm.
Yet thanks to the Internet, everyone else can take a peek.
The University of Western Ontario is investigating an incident in which a female first-year student performed a full striptease and lap dance last week for several males in a residence bedroom, with graphic photos soon sent out over the Internet.
A Google search on 'saugeen stripper' reveals several x-rated photos.
The incident raises questions about how far a university can go in protecting students, particularly younger ones from themselves.
But because the young woman apparently performed willingly in the privacy of a residence room and no one filed a complaint, the school says it likely has no cause for discipline.
"We certainly regret this has happened; it's not something the university condones and we are very disappointed in these students, but rooms in residence are considered to be students' homes, and what goes on between consenting adults in the privacy of their homes is considered to be their business," said Susan Grindrod, Western's vice-president of housing.
"What's different in this case is that these pictures are going all over the world. With the Internet and personal blogs, pictures can be circulated very quickly, and I'm not sure how we would regulate students' blogs and websites even if we wanted to," said Grindrod.
As soon as the raunchy images came to the attention of the administration, officials approached the young woman to ask if she had been forced to strip or tricked into being photographed without her knowledge. She said she had not.
"We were immediately proactive because we wanted to know if there had been any coercion and she told us she was a consenting participant and she was aware that pictures were being taken," said Grindrod.
"If there had been any coercion, there absolutely would have been repercussions. We do plan to talk to the other (male) students involved and continue to review the situation. It's still early in the game for us to have figured out how to proceed."
University dorms have codes of conduct that forbid students from breaking the law. Many take a zero-tolerance approach to students taking drugs and underage drinking, for example.
Western has a policy that forbids the circulation of "objectionable" material such as racist, homophobic or pornographic images, either written or electronic, with extreme cases leading to the student being asked to leave residence.
Yet most universities warn today's highly involved baby boomer parents that campus dorm supervisors will not serve as party police or morality monitors for their children, but will enter a student's room only if there is reason to believe a law is being broken or someone is in danger.
"We're not the alcohol police and we're not sex police, and I'm not sure we would want to be," said Grindrod. "And we recognize that many young people in first year may try out new things that can lead to errors in judgment. I'm not sure some of these misbehaviours haven't gone on in the past. It's just that today, the images can get sent around the world.
"I actually feel badly for all the students involved in this incident. It's a very sad situation."
Why feel bad? I think the guys enjoyed it, and the gal was paid and willingly did it... hmmm...
hmmm... why didn't I have such experiences then? ;p
Oh, and by the way, Saugeen is the name of one of the Halls of residence... so i guess she's called Saugeen Stripper cos it happened in Saugeen?
okok... for those who wanna see the X-rated pictures... here's the link. I haven't seen it cos it should be NSFW, and I am at W. ;p Don't get too excited, boys and gals...
If you are under 21 -> click HERE.
If you are above 21, and wanna view the pics at our own risk (eg. being caught by gahmen or something) -> click HERE.
via tonypierce (more links to the saugeen stripper at his page)
posted by winz at 9:33 AM
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
home sweet home...
this is the first day in a very long time that i am home so early during weekdays... ;)
jap class was cancelled due to some ppl having bonenkais (forget-year-parties)... and i restrained myself from wondering aimlessly, and so here i am back in my dorm room....
hmm... i wonder whether i should clean up my room or whether i should just indulge myself into some game...?
maybe i will upload some photos for you guys to see.. hehe...
later lah... first of all... gotta go do some big business ;p
posted by winz at 6:39 PM
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
isogashii, isogashii, isogashii....
busy few weeks for me... no rest even after JLPT... rushing on my work... so less blogs than usual.. paiseh...
maybe will consider blogging a little at nite? hmmm.. shall see.... ;)
posted by winz at 10:47 AM
Monday, December 12, 2005
of practices and ktvs...
whole day of practice on saturday.... and then ktv on sunday. well, ktv was supposed to be the saving grace of the weekend, but we kinda lost touch with ktv, haven not been to any for some time... so all of us took a long time getting used to it, and into the mood... however, we got chased out after 3 hours (should be freetime until 8pm) because there were a lot of ppl coming in... so that sucked big time...
met desmond again though, and we had great yakiniku buffet... a tad expensive, but still delicious and enjoyable... truely recommended for those who wanna try some bbq-ing jap style (or maybe korean?)....
well back to work for me... sigh... gotta rush still.... :(
posted by winz at 10:14 AM
Friday, December 09, 2005
i need one of these too!!!
just 2 months back, i posted on a great grenade-alarm clock, now theres one that is even more interesting!!
you set this alarm clock, activate it and sit it on the dock. when the alarm is activated, it flies off and screams wildly... and the only way you can turn off the alarm is to get up, catch the flying clock, and put it back to its dock!
now, if only they make it golden, and increase the speed of flying 100-fold. then we all can play a game of quidditch every morning... heh.
from yankodesign (via gizmodo)
posted by winz at 9:48 AM
happy but broke...
finally got a new pair of jeans after a long time yearning for one...
happy but broke... cos it costed me ard 10k yen (140 SGD)... well at least it is Levi's (my first Levi's pair after like 8 years??!?!?!), and it's made in Japan ;p
went for a bit of shopping last nite... gotta relax a bit since i have been working rather hard for these few weeks... tired after work everyday, and even now, still tired.. sigh...
ok.. just a short update here... gotta get back to my work... ttyl!!
posted by winz at 9:40 AM
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
colder and colder
getting colder... today, highest temperature is forecasted to be 9 degC. heard that some parts of tokyo snowed the day before yesterday... but none of such over here yet. nite time nowadays are of course more chilly, about 6 degC last week, and maybe lower now that it is december.
hmm... not that i dun like the cold or winter, but somehow miss a bit of summer - the sun, the beaches, picnics, fireworks, theme parks, etc....
too bad i wont be in japan for another summer. ah well. perpetual summer for me when i get back to singapore... that time, i think i will miss winter instead ;)
better enjoy this while it lasts.
posted by winz at 11:11 AM
Monday, December 05, 2005
all i can say about the JLPT yesterday was, well i dun wanna talk about it.. ;p
will let u guys know come february.
totally relieved after the test... huge load off my mind.. hehe... now gotta clear up my work before the end of year... ;)
posted by winz at 9:58 AM