Wednesday, August 25, 2010


If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Long Way To Go

Now a great meal is one that evokes emotion. And I gotta say, the invite from TK to the Tiffin Club evoked several.

Envy - I have no idea how in the world chef Iskandar came up with his menu. But I gotta say, it was inspired. I wish I had the same inspiration.

Demoralized - The road is LONNNGGG for me to even think about going professional. He set the bar ridiculously high.

Motivated - The hope that SOME DAY I'll be able to cook at that level, if not with the same style.

For an actual review of the food, check out my food blog. But then again, it's no foodie page. It's just my own little space to mess around with food, and concentrate all my food related stuff.

Nevertheless, thank you, TK for the opportunity to try the food and open my eyes to the ONLY fusion food that I actually ever liked. Thank you siren and ting for the lovely company, and thank you chef Iskandar, for a meal that stretched the imagination of what is possible with food.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Let's Not Get Personal

Right, so the YOG has started and personally I echo Seinfeld's sentiment that any sport that brings nations together is a good thing.

Let's again make this clear. I am FOR having the YOG organized in Singapore and for all the inconvenience that it brings us for the 2 weeks, I'm actually pretty alright about everything. Then again, I usually take the MRT so I have not actually seen the YOG buses with their mobile "get-the fuck-outta-the-way" cams.

In a strange way, I'm even okay that we blew our budget and overshot by 3 times. It's fine. This is the first ever Youth Olympic Games and frankly if that is what it takes to put up a good show, I say go for it.

Now the ONE thing I have a bone to pick, is the ORGANIZATION of the event.
First up, I don't know when the preparation for the YOG started, but it sure as hell sounds like a lot of things are only done last minute.

Sure, there were a fair amount of hype a couple of years ago when we first got the YOG hosting. The committee asked for volunteers, got some things in place, then everything tapered off and it was all quiet for a couple of years.

What we see now, seems to be a hodge-podge of last minute efforts by people who's trying not to fuck up too badly under scrutiny.

Sure, it's the first ever Youth Olympics, and Mr. Murphy is always at play. But still, some things just should not happen. Really.
  • The food is ridiculous.
  • The athlete's village look like a concentration camp and is all the way over in NTU because somebody decided to comandeer the halls of residence.
  • Last minute raises in budgets. Come on folks. If you have been planning and putting consistent effort into the whole organization, you'd see a consistently increase in the budget, not a last minute spike like this.
  • The YOG cheer song by JJ Lin. I don't blame him actually. I blame the tone deaf midget who approved it.
  • The whole marketing effort is slipshod and last minute, and frankly, simply BS.

I am concerned, that the best story that come out of the entire gig, was Low Wei Jie. If the National Sports Council had half a mind. Enlist this boy to be a national runner dammit! 15km in the rain, carrying a camera, in slippers, UNDER 2.5 hours? FUCK!
Now I'm proud of our boys and gals who are competing in the sports, whether they win the medals or not. I am proud that they trained, and lived the dream. Even for a while. I am proud of each and everyone who put in blood, sweat and tears who in one way or another contributed to the spirit of the Olympics.

What I am NOT proud of, is the way we screwed up the organization of such a historic event, the politics, the red tape, the bureaucracy and all the BS that led up to it.

PS. You think we can install the "get the fuck outta the way" cams onto ambulances, police cars and fire trucks once the YOG buses are done with them? It irritates the hell out of me that there are stupid drivers who would block the way of the REALLY important vehicles.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's Not Me, It's You.

Let me make something clear.

This is not a rant about the state of the public transport system in Singapore. In fact, over Tao Huay with my buddy Ridz I actually defended the quality of the Singapore public transport.

For the record, I think the bus and MRT network in Singapore is pretty good. Not great. Not flawless, but pretty good all in all.No. This is a rant about the arrogance of the powers that be, and the way they talk down to the rest of us like we're either stupid, blind, ignorant, resigned or all of the above.

On a separate note, let me again state for the record, that I understand the necessity of privatization and a good working relationship between government watchdog bodies and privatized monopolies in Singapore. I do not condone the cronyism but that's another story for another time.Now why do I think the powers that be are arrogant bastards who, after lifetime of sitting on the laurels of that our forefathers have worked their asses off to put our country on the map, have become complacent, snobby and pretty much treat the rest of us as lambs for the fleecing? Let's review.

1. Over the last few months, we have been loaded with just how wonderful the new distance-based fare system is.

Suddenly, inconsistencies start surfacing. Expected really. Nobody implements a nation-wide public transport plan without glitches. In fact, the fact, that they can roll it out with so FEW is a feather they can put on their hats.

But COME ON GUYS, SMRT boasts that it moves 2 million people a day. You'd think someone would notice by now after about 80 million commuter trips that there's SOME discrepancy between actual price paid, and the ads that inundate us at every turn yes?

So when problems with pricing are brought up, ADDRESS IT. Don't shoot yourself in the foot and give bullshit reasons.

2. Just to add onto the questions abt public transport, why is it that if you get onto the same numbered bus right after getting off, it's immediately considered a new trip?

3. An informal poll among friends tell me that the 30 odd percent of people who pay more have their fares increased by at least ten cents. The maximum trip on buses have been raised from $1.30 to $1.90.

The ones whose fares are reduced dropped by five cents or under.

No change in cost. Simple math shows, (Ms Loi would be proud of me) Profit maintained or increased. The implications? Go figure.

But then again SBS, SMRT and TIBS are privatised organizations whose bottom line needs to be maintained.

4. In July, SMRT mentions that trains are already pushing optimal limits when the trains are running between 2 to 3 minutes.

Suddenly, during YOG, the optimal limits get revised, and we have 300 extra trips a day.

Makes one wonder just how much extra capacity SMRT actually has.
5. Weren't our bus and MRT fares revised upwards last year or the year before because oil prices rose? Somebody help me with this. Now that it's down by half, any difference in the fare price?

6. Originally, the intention of EZ link cards when it was first launched in 2002 WAS distance based fares. or rather that was what I remembered. The distance based fares took 8 years to implement. Well done.
Eventually, when it comes down to the crunch, Singaporeans will have to suck it up won't we? And the cost of every other option is way more expensive. So what can we do? Walk?

Still, all in all. There is a cost for living in Singapore, and this is it. As is always been my policy when it comes to all the BS that comes out of government or government related organizations. Live and let live.

If I want to stay here, there's nothing I can do, nor am I willing to go the distance to attempt to change the SYSTEM in Singapore. I don't expect the powers that be to do me any favours, neither am I gonna do them any. But seriously, you think it's possible for SMRT to at least consider using a tad of that $306 million profit to hire a new PR agency?