Sunday, November 30, 2008
Look around. Singaporeans seem to change cars every 3 years! Are cars really THAT cheap here? Or that Singaporeans are blardee rich?
"These cars aren't expensive... Merely affordable," So they say.
Compare the prices of our cars as compared to that in other countries. We can get ourselves a luxury car elsewhere, with the price that we pay for our Honda here! The COE alone can easily get us another small car or allow us to upgrade to a higher-end car elsewhere, too. Need I mention the road tax?
Reason for my gripe...?
My car's starting to act up. It's the norm. Wear and tear. HEllo?! 5 years already, ok?
Others I know, sold their car off before these problems even start to arise. It's no wonder that the turnover rate for license plate numbers is pretty high.
You know, maybe my car was being grateful for our loyalty. Berjasa la katakan...
Last Saturday, from morning to afternoon, I've been driving around JB without a problem, even enduring both the morning AND afternoon jams at the checkpoint. Only when I drove out of Woodlands Checkpoint into the expressway, did I sense a change.
I manage to drive us home despite feeling some jerks; where the needle on the tachometer can go from 2000rpm to 3000rpm suddenly and drop immediately after. The radio intermittently switched off.
It didn't cross my mind that it's the battery. Had it been at night, the lights would have dimmed when this problem arose. I did notice that the signal light seemed weak and the needles keep vibrating, though.
A check with my uncle confirmed it so that night my dad and I went down to try again. The alarm seemed fine, the radio still played but the lights were horribly dim. I drove it around the carpark and the jerks were getting worse. I parked it.
My uncle came down an hour later. The car can't even start. Battery dead, liao.
Even jump-starting it can't help much. It's been past the 2-year mark already and the previous workshop that I last sent it to didn't even check to see if my battery needs to be changed. Ass!
"Go change to a new car, la! COE is so cheap now!" my uncle remarked.
I widened my eyes at him.
"But do it after the wedding. You wouldn't want to spend now." Luckily he add that in.. Hmph!
The car's still sitting at the carpark now, dead. Will get it sent to the workshop when my bro's free.
He simply asked for it to be towed away. I berated him, telling him that the $50 to tow the car to a nearby workshop is SO not worth it. Best if we purchase the battery ourselves, get the car started and drive it over to the workshop for further servicing.
Time to replace the timing belt & delmo. Check the suspensions, refill the engine oil... Maybe top up the air-con gas etc....
I can see all the $$$ with wings flying out of our pockets....
Now about the new car... It's just soo tempting, isn't it?
Purchasing it after the wedding won't do much for me. Despite my bro's pleas, I am SO not bringing the car over to my future place. The teeny-tiny carpark there won't be able to house another car. Even the big carpark at my current home gets filled up pretty fast, much less that constrained space over at Pasir Ris.
It's just too frustrating. Not worth it, I say.
My bro wasn't too happy about it. He claimed to be too busy and the poor car will just remain park for the longest time.
I know that the issue for him will be the side expenditures. Fuel, cashcard top-ups, servicing charges, coupons etc. It's gonna be a burden for him.
I remind him that the purpose of the car is for the convenience of my parents getting around. He should try ferrying my parents around whenever he can. I've done my (big) part for the past 5 years.
I know I'm gonna miss driving around. Maybe I'll drop by and drive my parents around once in a while. Old habits die hard. Need to wean off it slowly, I guess.
My parents were already sighing away the last Hari Raya, remarking that it won't be so easy getting around without their 'driver' (that's me). Then there's the constant wedding invites that they will have to attend on weekends.
Or deciding to eat out on a whim. Or shopping in faraway shopping centres like Jurong Point, VivoCity, Compass Point or even Causeway Point. Not to mention J.B.
I'm not getting myself a car after I'm married. Not going to consider it until a certain SOMEONE gets his driving license. Sheesh!
Friday, November 28, 2008
And since the exams finally ended last Tue, she's been asking if we're gonna celebrate with her. Sigh...
Thought of bringing her over to Spize at Simpang Bedok but then again, at the back of my mind, I know that nothing can satisfy her more than white rice with her favourite chicken & prawn dishes.
My mum decided on the newly opened Enak Rasa Seafood, just a stone's throw away from my block.
keledek (sweet potato) as well.
My bro never failed to order this whenever we are here. It sure helps that these goodies sold out pretty often so the hawker had to fry a fresh batch every now and then.
Piping hot and crispy, a must-have commodity!
Chap Chye - Mixed Vegetables w/ Seafood
Surprise of all surprises! This dish was chosen by the girl herself. The very person whom I know to detest vegetables in general (she only eat cabbages).
I believe she got tempted by the idea of it being mixed with seafood. Well, as long as she eat her vegetables, I sure dun mind...
Hotplate fried chicken
My mum had my bro point this dish out from one of the pictures that they displayed on the walls of the eating house.
For all the chicken dishes in the menu are the fillet kind and my mum claimed that those types are usually so shriveled up, they're just not worth getting.
This one here was stir-fried with this tangy & sweet sambal sauce which makes it really appealing. Kinda' remind me of the crispy chicken dish from Razack's Kitchen that I sorely missed.
Spicy BBQ stingray
The whole table agreed that this dish was delicious. Just too bad that we only had a small portion, considering that there's another fish dish that we've ordered.
My mum thought it tasted like the BBQ seafood that we got in Malaysia (where exactly, I dunno), while my dad said this dish reminds him of the one from Ah Nam BBQ Seafood at Changi (his fave stall).
We never thought of requesting for cincalok. We really should have. With the onion slices being on the little side, the cincalok could have added some extra zing to this dish.
The butter prawns here were cooked a little more differently that the usual buttery-egg strands that I used to get from other seafood places.
One look and the prawns seemed to be doused heavily in powdered parmesan cheese. A second look reminds me of infant milk formula.
Another different rendition of it
This somewhat reminds me of the ribs that ieat had. May not be seen here but underneath all the prawns are really crispy curry leaves & cut-up chili padi (bird's-eye chillies).
Despite the novel taste which does come off as a tad sweet for my tastebuds, I find myself yearning for the butter prawns that I had at BaliThai instead.
Be careful about the powdery bits eventually clumping up due to prolonged exposure to moisture in the air.
Just like powdered milk.
Thai-style steamed fish
This time we chose seabass. The seabass was pretty fleshy at parts but definitely not as jelak (ovebearing) as the grouper previously.
Not surprisingly, my bro refused to even touch it. He's pretty grossed out by steamed food. "Soggy, limp and mushy," he said.
The sauce was nice, actually. Despite the really red appearance, it's hardly spicy due to the sweetness that overcame it. Wished they had been more generous with the sauce, though.
I actually came to a part where I got a heap of the white fish flesh and no more sauce to accompany it. Had to turn to the sambal belacan (shrimp-paste chili) instead.
My cousin Imah surprised me yet again when she tucked into this dish. I wonder what else about her eating habits that I've yet to discover...
Did I tell you that she ordered hot tea?
Anyway, the bill came to around $90++ but after using their privilege card, we got 10% off and the final bill came to only $80++.
Worth it, I'd say.
parting shot of my bro carrying back the 5kg pack of rice that my mum bought after dinner. On his ever-reliable head, no less.
I wonder how long this pack will last. I remember that there was once a time when my family hardly ate rice and my mum bought a mere 1kg pack, which actually last the whole month!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Apparently, Bas, who had been away in Perth for some months had missed eating Indian food.
You won't believe the exorbitant prices they charged for that over there!
So his gal had made arrangements for his friends to gather and greet him in the restaurant when he came by for dinner that day.
Imagine, when the key person (Bas) arrived, the table wasn't even full. So much for wanting to surprise him.. Haha!
Amazingly though, he DID get surprised.
He had expected a quiet dinner for 2 and yet, he was greeted with the sight of 2 different groups of his pals seated at the same table.
We don't even need to scream out, "SURPRISE!!". HE was like, "Eh, what are you doing here..? And you? You too?! WOW!"
Key ingredients would have been green chillies and mint. Goes really well as dips for the papadoms that's served on the side.
The same papadoms we relied on to satiate our famished bellies while we waited for others to arrive.
Fried cottage cheese with spinach paste gravy. Something that's a bit of a novelty for me.
cottage cheese - also known as the 'Indian tofu'.
See the similarity?
Excuse the pungent aroma though. When it somes to that, it's very much like 'chao tofu', that stinky Chinese rendition of it.
Spicy mutton gravy with potatoes.
I don't know if it's because I was still recovering and that my taste buds have gotten mild somewhat but this dish here was really spicy!!
Maybe it's the heavy usage of chili powder. Or maybe they use chilli paste. Whatever it it, the heat sure got to me.
This thing was awesome! Smooth, creamy and bursting with pistachio goodness.
I had initially expected a plain kulfi (Indian ice-cream) with a generous sprinkling of chopped pistachios but this turned out better.
I still wish I got to taste the crunch of some pistachio bits, though.
Definitely better that CBTL's offering. But this made me miss the masala tea that I usually get at that little corner-shop at Bussorah Street.
If you're wondering, yes, we ate more that just that. Thing is, by the time the food came to me, the presentation leaves much to be desired.
There's the basket of nibbles and grilled cottage cheese for starters. Also the famous fish head curry, tandoori chicken and chicken tikka.
Good food, good company. What's there not to like? Ok, fine. Save for the pretty steep price...
Monday, November 17, 2008
I've had it said/asked in my face many, many times.
RP: So, what school are you from?
me: *wide eyed* No, I'm no longer schooling/Finish school already...
RP: Oh, now just looking for job?
me: -_- "I've been working for almost 6 years already..."
RP: What's your age?
RP: *wide eyed* I thought you just finished school!
(Dad striking conversation with his old pal at carpark. I took out the car keys and unlock it. Turned the ignition on and got in the driver's seat).
RP: Oh anaknya yang bawak? (so it's your daughter who drives?)
dad: Ah, cuma dia dgn abang dia aja yang drive (only her and her brother can drive)
RP: Baru dapat lesen? (Just got her license)
dad: dad 5 tahun lebih dia pass (she passed her license more than 5 years back)
RP: lah, ingat umur dia belum masuk 20 lagi (I thought she's no past 20 years old yet)
me: *under my breath* I dun even have my probationary plate displayed, like that also he think I just got my license..?
Last weekend, my mum and I attended the wedding of her ex-classmate's son. She then strike a conversation with her friend's hubby when her friend got distracted by other guests.
And note that my mum had every intention to inform him of my upcoming wedding next year.
RP: ni anaknya yang **kecil (this is your youngest child?)
mum: ah, yang tua si abang (yes, the eldest is her brother)
RP: sekolah mana dia?
mum: *wide eyed* oh, dia dah lama dah kerja.
**'kecil' literally translated; means 'small' which is a totally wrong way to describe me- what irony! but it's also roughly used to describe the youngest in the family.
She then talked of other things, obviously her main intentions got swayed by her surprise at that question.
And only before we part, did she made a mention of it.
mum: tahun depan, saya pulak yang jemput awak. (next year, it'll be my turn to invite you)
RP: abangnya nak kahwin? (your son's getting married?)
mum: takdelah. ni dia ni. dia dengan 'A' umur tak jauh. setahun aja. (no. it's her (directing her thumb at me). she and your daughter 'A' (his daughter - 27 and married with 3 kids already) their age difference is only 1 year)
This is my conversation with my mum, prior to that.
me: I can't believe he asked that! DO I really looked that young?! It's not like he don't know you.
mum: I don't know what to say. To think that you're about to be married..
me: mum, you should have told him straight on, "School? But she's getting married next year!"
mum: but that would have been totally snide and rude...
And here comes THAT final straw.
Taken place at the wedding of of the son of my dad's colleague. I was done taking food from the buffet counter so I put down my plate on the table. The kendarat (hired helpers) placed the bunga telur (wedding favours) of cupcakes in front of my parents.
Since parents were already seated, I proceed to get them drinks.
I came back to see that I have yet to receive any bunga telur. I sat down and and drank some tea. The kendarat finally came by and put small box of CHOCOLATES in front of me.
The small chocolates were meant to be given to ONLY the children of the guests. Meaning: KIDS.
AND I GOT THAT. wtf??!!
"Mum, how old do I appear to be? I'm wearing baju kurung (traditional malay garb) with high heels and face all made up. Do I look like a kid..?!"
. . . .
Come to think of it... hmm...
I guess I only have myself to blame. Remember the phrase: "Be careful what you wish for.." I often joked about always wanting to remain young and I guess those jokes come off as a subconscious wish, somehow..."
Sigh. Doesn't help that my ic has my 12- year old face... So much so that my fearful fiance request that I had it changed, just in case the people at ROMM thought me to be underaged.
Friday, November 14, 2008
There was once a time when there was a steady stream of people patronising the eating house (or coffee shop) at blk 136, bedok reservoir rd. Most of them were there for the 'tze char' seafood stall.
I dunno what happened later on but the crowd slowly trickled down until the stall closed shop (I suspect they replaced the chef).
Months back, the premise was closed for renovations and we got all curious as to who could have taken over. It's such a waste to see such a good location go down that way. It faces the main road, yet was set back a little so the vehicular traffic from there wasn't much of a nuisance. Then there's a playground that can keep the kids entertained while the others eat their meals.
We got really intrigued to see a Halal establishment taking over the premise (yay!). And even more intrigued to see that they're pretty known; seeing that there are many newspaper articles and reviews on their food. . .
Every plate of white rice comes with a small dish of this. Taste pretty good, I say. Oh, a little fiery, too.
I can't really recall the actual name for this. Fu-Shou, Fu-you? There's crabstick and mushrooms inside.
The way it looked and taste, very reminiscent of the one I had at Teh Tarik Eating House.
I dunno if I'm getting tired of these cereal dishes or maybe the squid version had done me in. I should really order the prawn version before I declare that I'm over this cereal-esque dish.
Although I prefer the cereal squid at Chai Chee Seafood Restaurant where the batter wasn't so overwhelming that the squids appear like nuggets. Their batter was light and what coat the squid rings is the cereal itself.
Ikan 3 rasa. I supposed the three flavours being: sweet, sour and....
The server had asked for our choice of fish. My family weren't really choosy so we hemmed & hawed until she recommended the grouper. Seriously, we were only told to choose between the grouper and seabass and we took so long to decide!
I wished we had chosen seabass instead.
My pleased mum happily remarked that the fish was really fleshy. Well, she only nibbled at the bones and the fish head. I was the one who had to finish up the abundant flesh and gosh, it's not exactly a pleasant experience.
It would have been better had they cut into the flesh or slice it a little on the sides so that they can fry right through the deep flesh.
It wouldn't have been much of an issue with the usually thinner seabass. Next time, please remind me to choose that one instead, aite??
My mum ordered the large portion. I have no idea what came over her but there were only 4 of us! Even the server asked her over and over again, "Large..?"
Since we our bill came to more than $50, they offered us the membership for free. I told my parents to take it anyway since we live so nearby, there's high chance that we can utilise this opportunity.
Saw a lot of newspaper cuttings that they displayed, which highlight their crab dishes. Hmm... Gonna give it a go one day.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Despite the rainy weather during the whole of yesterday, my colleague Sri thought of eating ice-cream that evening.
Sri got herself the hot fudge sundae while I was seriously considering the Mudpie McFlurry that my cousin recommended.
The operator told me that it's no longer available and recommended their new offering, the 'Cornetto' version instead. Yes, that Wall's ice-cream.
I was like, "Huh? How's that? What's in it?"
"Oh, there's choc fudge, peanuts and chocolate chips. It's really nice!"
I wasn't really keen on the peanut part but I'm game for new things anyway so I took it.
mcD's 'Cornetto' McFlurry
Imagine my surprise when I saw loads of biscuits crumbs in my ice-cream instead. But they looked suspiciously like crushed ice-cream wafers.
Not that I mind. I love crunchy stuff! And I dun really fancy peanuts anyway. Maybe it's a slip of the tongue on the operator's part.
Those teeny-tiny choc chips were just so cute!
I was contented with just these 2 ingredients. After mixing in the hot fudge at the bottom of the cup, I got this sick feeling- the kind you get when something was too rich, too sinful.
fish-shrimp & chips
Move away LJS! When it comes to shrimps, I got another winner (the other is Popeye's). Fresh medium-sized shrimps which retain their juiciness, coated with crispy breadcrumbs and fried till golden-brown.
Fish is a tad limp, but it's nothing that the crispy breadcrumbs coating can't rescue.
And the best? They accepted my request for unsalted fries. I got them piping hot cos' they fried a new batch for me.
Man, suddenly thinking of the Popeye's popcorn shrimp burger that I have yet to have.... And their Mashed Potato. ANd coleslaw. And cajun fries.... Need-to-go-there!
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Oooh, I love it when my mum prepared this!
I don't know exactly how much mussels she used to prepared this. Despite the fact that my mum, dad and bro have already eaten their dinner, there' still almost a good kg of these left in the pot.
I didn't even bother to heat this up. I just drank the soup - straight from the bowl. Ahhhh... refreshing!
It's simply mussels boiled with - lemongrass, ginger, birds-eye chilies, red chillies, onion, garlic and white pepper.
We last bought these kind of mini dried squids wayyy back when we were holidaying in Langkawi.
Recently she saw someone hawking these somewhere and got them. And made a pot of sambal sotong with these.
A little warning, though. These babies are to be soaked a little longer than your regular dried cuttlefish. A tad salty and more chewy to the bite, these things.
My mum request that I made some gratin out of some mussels, for my bro had seen a chef preparing it on AFC (Asian Food Channel - family's favourite!) and asked her to do it.
But she got a little lazy. Knowing my penchant for preparing cheese-based dishes, she knew I wouldn't mind.
mussels gratin - closer
Seeing that the mussels already absorbed much flavour from the broth that it's prepared in, I simply used mozzarella, & parmesan cheese, some dried herb-mix and black pepper.
Otherwise, for plain mussels, I would have use butter or olive oil, cheese, garlic, herbs and pepper. Oh, fresh parley would be good!
Friday, November 07, 2008
Since I blogged out about my cousin Dzul previously, guess I gotta talk a bit about last Fri, the day that some of my paternal cousins gathered for a little reunion before Dzul depart the day after.
Hung around at Bugis Village & Junction while waiting for time to pass until the main-man himself was done with his dinner at Orchard Road. Meanwhile the rest of us (inc. my bro) end up sharing these puffs from Chewy Junior.
A dozen Chewy Junior puffs
I dunno what's the deal but this one here seems to be the latest Singaporean fad?? Check out the queue!
I recall the days when we all go bonkers over random foods like bubble tea, Mexican buns (Roti Boy), doughnuts and now this..?
And to think that there's a similar offering right next door in the form of Beard Papa; which had been around for some time now.
I guess the fact that this one here is halal and Muslims have no qualms about buying them. And I notice a little similarity, i.e varieties. Once your product boast a pretty decent variety, its definitely gonna be a hit with S'poreans.
Decided to hang out at Arab Street since it's the only place that's still bustling and alive at that hour on Halloween Night.
After the long walk from Bugis, we dicided to hit the upper storey for some good a/c.
Karkadeh is simply Hibiscus tea. I remembered that when I had the hot version of this previously, I got a decent amount of the roselle bits nestling nicely at the bottom of the glass.
The amount here was pretty measly. Hopefully they're not compromising their standard with their booming business...
Iced Mint Tea
I had hopes for the tea to be really infused with the mint's scent & flavour but I guess not. But tastes good enough for me.
I was surprised when a cousin of mine, who wasn't really a fan of fruits or veggies, actually ordered this.
So it wasn't a surprise when she took a sip of it and made a face. I happily traded my Iced Karkadeh for this. It's REAL fruit juice, ok? Not out-of-the-carton kind.
I expected a basket of simple potato wedges so these that come on a plate and topped with chilli sauce, hummus & chopped cilantro was a pleasant surprise.
The chlli sauce was really spicy with a slightly tangy taste, similar to tobasco, albeit of a thicker consistency.
You may realise that I nit-pick the beverages here a lot. Well, judging from the REALLY exorbitant prices that they charge, I should expect a little bit more, shouldn't I??
However, judging from my last visit here for dinner, I have to admit that the food here is pretty good. Gonna bring my parents here again someday. On a WEEKDAY night.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
oh gosh, pardon the extremely fannatic-cal sounding entry previously. I have to admit that on the evening of 4th Nov, I felt at least 8 (if not 10) years younger.
Ok, another thing... This entry is soooo long overdue!
I finally got to writing this up after receiving a call from the guy himself. I was very cautious about picking up overseas calls and just let it be but I got a strange feeling about so it I looked up the country code and found it to be from the Jeddah/Riyadh zone.
Aghast, I almost wanted to call the number back but was apprehensive about the costs that I might incur. I just whack it after some hesitation and called him back anyway....
Anyway, my cousin here is one of the lucky 10 who got selected to study at the famed Islamic University of al-Madinah al-Munawarah. The whole batch of them finally got to fly off to Madinah on 1st Nov, due to some delays with the visas.
And other kids from other countries had the same issues too. By the time they arrive, school would have started for a couple of weeks already.
Managed to meet him 2x on the week that he left. Once when he joined my bro and I at Bugis and another, during a gathering organised by my other cousins, which saw us chilling out at Al-Tazzaq at Haji Lane.
If you think that the 3rd pic looks weird, wait till I tell you what it is!
It's his bantal gentel/busyuk. Ok, how do I translate that? Well, you know some people find it REALLY difficult to discard the pillow that thay had slept with since their childhood? Being deprived from it can cause insomnia at times (really!).
Well yes, seeing how STAINED it is... and if you look closer, one corner had to be tied with a rubber-band! And the pillow is sooo worn out that there's ain't much of the filling/cushion left, till he can actually ROLL it up! lol
And you know where he placed it?
In the very haversack that he DIDN'T check-in. Near the top. Yes, he brought it over to Madinah with him. I wonder if he secretly took it out during the plane ride and hugged it to help him sleep during the flight....
The last few pics were the tearful goodbye-moments. His sister, Fatimah (in blue), 'cleverly' wore eyeliner on her lower eyelids, knowing very well that she's gonna cry later on... Sheesh!
No point for guessing which 'bear' she resembled, prior to that!
Anyway Dzul, I hope you are able to adjust well to the (much) different environment there. Don't be too picky with the food. And study hard ok! You know that thay can easily kick a student out o'there!
Take care dude! Signs, *hang-loose*
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
It's was fantabulous! So surreal! Felt like a dream come true! I thought that I was part of the audience in KBS's Music Bank or Mnet Countdown or something..
Effy (the cousin I went with)! I'm sooo darn glad we went...! NO big freaking regrets whatsoever!
Ok, tired already. Losing voice also. Scream/sang too much. Wayyyy too much.
It was disappointing, though, to see the main audience in front being soooo sombre while us in the terrace and balcony zone were so loud & hyped-up. Such a waste!
Hope this will be an annual affair or seeing the strong response will encourage DBSK to put Singapore in their tour list. They alone can command their OWN concert, without any others for back up.
Oh, and Big Bang! Geez, how could I forget them? I want to see T.O.P live!
The MCs that night
Park Jung-Ah (Jewelry), Andy (Shinhwa) and Tan Li Yi
the sexy Chae Yeon
I've been a fan of hers for sometime now. She's just so... pretty!
Still prefer her over Lee Hyori.
I can't believe that this is the only decent picture that I had of them. Too excited, my hands shook.
Maybe too busy singing.
I can't believe they performed Beautiful Life! I listened to that song on my mp3 almost everyday. Man, that performance is my highlight of the night!
Their voice... *sigh* sooo dreamy! Kinda' remind me of SG Wannabe.
Screamed like crazy here. Them and their sleek dancing. Another highlight for me, this band.
Can't help screaming, "10 points-out-of-10!" in Korean when it comes to the chorus...
They're soo fair and.... and soft. No offence to their fans. These boys (yes, young boys they are) are cute..!
I remember when my mum saw their mv on KBS, she asked, "Are these boys or girls? Look like girls, dance like girls, pose like girls...!"
He performed both his hits, 'Proposal' and 'Love Song'. I missed taking a pic of him doing the 'heart' with his hands. ) ;
The No. 1 girl band in Korea actually came! I screamed out the chorus to both their songs, 'Nobody' and the huge hit, 'Tell me'.
SO tempted to dance to the latter.
And Wonder Girl’s voice quality..? Forget it. Especially when it got to SooHee. We just love the songs.. and dance. Whoever in there who doesn't sing/scream along to their chorus must have wasted their bloody time.
I was having some hiccups due to all that screaming on an empty stomach so if you see some funny jolts of the screen, you'll know why.
Or that my cousin Effy, in her excitement, had knocked my head numerous times with the inflated clapper... -_-