Thursday, 28 May 2009

Wet Picnic with Computer Science Students at Muara Beach

The Computer Science students of UBD decided to throw a picnic get-together yesterday. Who would have thought it would rain on such a beautiful day! But, it ain't stopping these young programmers from keeping the fire burning for the food and the stomachs. With the our hearty cheers and joy, we shooed the rain away and turned the beach into our private, dazzling wonderland.

The beach was almost deserted on a weekday. When the sun came, the waters sparkled a lovely azure. All around, the view was unbelievably breathtaking. The green, green grass with the regal green of the casuarinas. We played some beach soccer and had many gone-wrong kicks and bumps which sent us laughing like silly hyenas!

I have much thanks to the wonderful Computer Science students of all four years for such a delightful event.

Barbecuing under umbrellas

No gloom of any weather shall wipe our smiles away

Let the men do the cooking and the woman do the talking

So we can cook as well as we code?

We love chicken wings with tinkles of rainwater!

So, it seemed we were not drenched enough.

Every child loves to get themselves soaked

Those smiles look dangerous

And, the action began

Alternatives when you run out of water balloons

We just had to have a computer screen on the banner

Before bidding farewell, we placed a bit of ourselves on the banner for remembrance.

Monday, 25 May 2009

A poem by Manuel Blum titled "Fundamentals"

I have to put this here because it seems to be the most assuring piece of message for me right now.

Manuel Blum 05-JUN-96

Bird must soar. Skunk must stink.
Cat must prowl. Man must think.

What sets man apart from beast is his engine of
thought. His mind. His
makes him unique
and gives him his greatest pleasure.

But fundamental as is thought for human beings,
there is stuff more basic still that underlies and
not only man
but all great beasts,

And that is nature's call to each of us... to be special.
To be distinguished in some way. To be
To BE something, to DO something, BETTER than everyone else.

Like the leather nosed chimpanzee,
dragging noisy cans and branches,
frightening peers into submission,

One does not have to be brilliant, a genius, to be special.
To do something better than anyone/everyone else. To be
One has only to choose an END
any END
And then DO IT.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Meow Meow & Quirky Earrings Collection

Before I left for the airport, CT had to pick her dog up from the vet. So, I was to wait at her place. We didn't managed to go to the new mall at Tampines where I may have been able to catch up with CJ at her new teashop. Having chocolate time at Ben & Jerry's took a lot longer than I expected, hehehehe.

This is CT's cat and he's really pampered, which is so adorable. He kept coming to me so that I'd stroke him on his neck. Cats love that. Hmm.. he reminded me of Gingerly. Oh well...

These are some of CT's collection of quirky and funky earrings. Interestingly, she doesn't wear matching pairs. So, she gave me two earrings, each from different pairs.

Vivo City, Singapore

Vivo City is the largest mall in Singapore. And, I have decided to ask TT and CT to bring me there because of this funny argument which V and C had during my previous visit when we were trying to help look for V's wedding shoes. V had wanted to go to Orchard but C suggested Vivo City. In the end, we went to Orchard and I had missed my visit there then.

One of the interesting things about parking storeys in Singapore is they are furnished with these parking sensors that help shoppers spot empty parking spaces from afar when the little lamps flash green. A green light indicates the parking spot is empty while the red light indicates otherwise.

We went to the National Geographic store and there was this amazing structure of a horse made out of wooden twigs.

If I remember reading the label correctly, this cabinet from China is made from a 1000-year old elm tree.

The store was a nice visit as it was not only selling National Geographic merchandise, they were showcases of antiques and paintings of beautiful places and scenes. I am so in love with their brown bags but my pocket was not big enough to have one owned.

I would have thought I'd stopped myself from buying after purchasing several books from the airport bookshop and one at Bras Basah. But, I was so wrong! I caught sight of a literature book on photography and bought it after much thought at Page One. The store has interesting aesthetics, such as the book shelves were designed slanting.

There is CT trying on a shoe which the mannequin was wearing while TT inspects the result.

After a heavy meal at Deli France at Sentosa, I found myself watery-mouthed when we saw Ben and Jerry's at Vivo City! Must have! And, must be chocolate!

These banners were hung by the edge of the mezzanine floors.

General view of Vivo City

And, there are massage chairs for tired shoppers to relax.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Japan-ASEAN Bridge Project

An opportunity to build a network of ASEAN and Japanese friends.
An opportunity to learn how you can help make your country a better place.
Theme: Building Communities through Environmental Sustainability
Objectives: To develop youth leaders in raising the awareness of ASEAN identity, community and unity.
Venue: Pathum Thani, Thailand
Date: 15th to 21st June 2009
Participants: 10 youths + 3 facilitators from each of the ASEAN member countries and Japan
For inquiries, email
To join, you need to register and purchase your return tickets from Brunei to Thailand.
To contact Brunei’s country coordinator for registration procedures, please send an email to xxx
Registration Deadline: 1st June 2009

Unfortunately, we were not able to get funding from the respective authorities and for this reason, JASEAN bridge could not proceed.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Rasa Sentosa Hotel

It was an exciting day for me for 10th May 2009 was the day when my cabin mate, OPP, got married! In the afternoon, CX picked and drove the LPYs and a MaPY to Sentosa for the occasion. TT has booked a room for a night of girlie fun.

SPYs and other PY visitors gathering in the room before the dinner banquet.

SPYs wore their A2 and they were ready with the party poppers while OPP and hubby were just about to walk in.

Sea-view Rasa Sentosa Hotel rooms caught by my misty lens.

Mr J stayed a little later to goof around with us before he had to go back to do some work. It was a hilarious night! We also get to spend some time with OPP when she came over for a chitchat and later learned about the setup!

Elgin Bridge, Boat Quay and Clarke Quay

CT, TT and I were supposed to meet up with Mr J, LPYs, MaPYs and the rest of the SPYs at Cafe Iguana at Clarke Quay. We became very late because we walked all the way there from Bras Basah. The walk was long indeed and painful for my untrained feet but, it was enjoyable. We were a bunch of crazy girls walking along some Singaporean street, taking the scenic night view in and throwing jokes out at one another.

Boat Quay

Elgin Bridge which separates Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. I didn't realise there was a couple (in shadows) on the bridge when I was taking the photo.

Clarke Quay

National Art Gallery of Singapore

It was quite a long walk from Bras Basah to Clarke Quay. TT, CT and I took our time. We were extremely proud of ourselves for having walked instead of taking the MRT. Plus, the night view of Singapore City was spectacular.

This was the Supreme Court Building and City Hall. Currently, it is undergoing renovation to be turned into the National Art Gallery of Singapore in the year 2012.

On the adjacent street, there are buildings that house multi-national companies and banks.

Right in front of the National Art Gallery building.

The Supreme Court of Singapore looks really intriguing. As I looked at the spaceship-like building, my mind couldn't help conjuring thoughts of Sci-fi nature.

This porch area of the National Art Gallery of Singapore was a pretty spot to take pictures. We decided to stop for a bit and soon found ourselves goofing around with camera settings and silly poses.

CHIJMES, Singapore

After staying at Bras Basah for a long while, we decided to have dinner. We had it at Breeks, in one of the buildings in some street. It's really difficult trying to keep up with all these names of shopping complexes in whichever streets, let alone where the outlets are! But, the SPYs do it so well! I know they live there but, knowing which shop is at which floor and which shopping complex in a city full of these?! They know which floors were National Geographic, Page One and Ben & Jerry's at Vivo City! It's just crazy!

I can't remember now if it was before or after dinner when we headed over to CHIJMES to have a peep. The area which was once the courtyard of a cathedral has now been turned into arrays of nice bistros and eateries as well as boutiques by the quieter alleys. Wedding ceremonies are still being performed at the cathedral though it is no longer a church. Suddenly, we have a bit of Europe in Singapore. It felt rather enchanting taking the atmosphere of the place in as dusk was turning into night.

Walk from Bugis to Bras Basah

View Larger Map

1. Head west on Kampong Bugis 37 m
2. Turn right to stay on Kampong Bugis 0.2 km
3. Turn left at Kallang Rd 0.6 km
4. Continue on Victoria St 1.4 km
5. Turn left at Miller St 47 m
6. Slight left at Cashin St. Destination will be on the left

Special Thanks to Google Maps

I met TT and CT who coincidentally wanted to go to Bras Basah Book Complex. I've fallen in love with the place since I last visited it in January when Mr R brought me there. There is one artsy shop there with nice, fancy notebooks and many bookstores selling really old books as well as new. And, what's nice is, they've got lots of discounts, even the latest books! It's probably because TT knows the owner of one particular bookshop but still! Any discount means a lot to any book lovers. I love going through books by my favourite authors, and I even found many classics which were printed in the 1960s. I know too well to keep myself from overbuying because the pile of unread books is going reach the ceiling soon enough! I managed to control myself with just one book by Rudyard Kipling titled Puck of Pook's Hill and it was printed in 1967. I am so thrilled! I've been reading it on several occasions now, trying to squeeze time to finish it despite its thinness.

There is one particular bookshop which has several branches in the same building. The shop is so amazingly packed with books, not only are the books kept in shelves that touch both floor and ceiling, they've got piles blocking the shelved books! If you love books, you will find a wonderful experience spending a considerable amount of them there. It's a treasure cave of books!

I repeat, Bras Basah is a book heaven in Singapore which anyone who loves reading SHOULD go!

TT wanted us to walk along this street to go to Bras Basah so that I can see this beautifully restored vintage building.

One of the bookshops at Bras Basah. I can't remember the names of the shops because they do not matter anymore once you get there. You just want to go to ALL of them!

Pepper Lunch, Singapore

Here we are having lunch at Pepper Lunch, which is another interesting and great business idea! I am constantly being wowed by the clever business ideas that I see in Singapore. This tiny island is like a supernova! So small, yet the place is so volatile and explosive!

Pepper Lunch actually originated from Japan. And, the fast food franchise has branches located in Australia, Indonesia, China and Malaysia amongst other places. I think the most important ingredients in their steak dishes are the honey brown sauce and the special butter. Their products are simple. Heat the sizzling plate and neatly arranged the raw materials. To make it interesting, we leave it to the customers to cook their food. Pepper Lunch have to be sure to use beef with a reasonably good grade and well-tenderised. I enjoyed my meal, it was quick, simple and both very FUN and DELICIOUS!

I was so hungry, I ordered the cut steak with a fried egg. I kinda wanted the best of everything. I wanted the egg. I wanted the rice. And, I wanted the steak. But, if I order the one with egg, it won't come with rice. So, I had to choose and eventually, opted for the one with the egg. It was so yummy!!! I poured SO much brown sauce on to my plate and let the heated sauce cook the beef. Initially, I was put off by the raw beansprouts. But, if you have enough sauce poured over your plate and the contents nicely "stir-fried", the veggies become nicely cooked and took away all the raw taste. Oh, you see the brown cream on the steak? That's Pepper Lunch's special butter. You're supposed to mix them with the meat and the sauce. It was good!

This is the magnificient brown sauce I was talking about. There were two types but I love honey and down enough of it into my food.

We all wanted to have a bit of everything at Pepper Lunch.