Monday, February 26, 2007

Hong Bao Draw

Have you joined the queue yet?

From Singapore Pools

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

The Sunday Times last week had a big segment on nostalgia. Actually, it was the whole life section. Though an interesting read, I was rather surprise at the choice of topic for the first day of Chinese New Year.

Anyway, the headline on the main paper, promoting the article said: “You can't be very young if you remember them.”

Shoot! I know all of them except the Malay singer.

Ok.. I'm officially not very young. Sigh.

Anyway, since they started the ball rolling about nostalgia, I thought I'd do a bit of nostalgia writing about Chinese New Year myself.

Once upon a time, restaurants, coffee shops and almost every shops would shut for CNY. I mean it was really a complete shut down for at least 2 days....for most shops...even longer.

But there would be quite a few makeshift stalls, set up by some very enterprising Malays or Indians. They's be selling mee rubus, mee siam or satay etc. Not only were these stalls popular with their own fellowmen (who were also denied of their food source like the Chinese) but they were also very much welcomed by the Chinese (who were sick of the Chinese festive food after the umpteenth rounds). They're not something the people from the Ministry of Environment would approve but back then, things were a lot less strict. It may be my imagination, but somehow food from these 'temporary' hawkers tasted better too.

Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, I almost always have a new set of pyjamas for CNY. And they would almost always be pink, though there were the occasional yellow or blue. They would be plain, except for maybe the little bit of lace or motif stichings at the pockets. I'm not sure if they're still available now. Grandmother used to buy them either at the wet market or the Chinese Emporium. And I would always wear them on CNY eve. Wearing these new pyjamas marks the start of the CNY.

Nowadays I wear t-shirt and shorts, plus an assortment of 'others'. ^^

Back then, when grandmother was much younger, she would always bake carrot cake (Chinese carrot cake) or yam cake on CNY eve afternoon. We would then have it for breakfast on the 1st day of CNY. It had lots of 'lap cheong', dried prawns and mushrooms. I can the kitchen, the round dining table in the kitchen and the tatse of the fresh yam or carrot cake.

My grandmother is too old to do that now. She's 91 years old this year. So my aunt has taken over the job but it's done after the first few days of CNY because she doesn't have the time. Somehow, though they're still delicious, CNY seems a littles less CNY without the carrot and radish cake on the first day.

I guess, Chinese New Year to a kid..would always seemed magical and wonderful and amazing and great. Alot less headache and many times less tiring.

But hey... enough with reminiscing. It is still CNY, so let's all look forward and be happy. Maybe I'll strike the Hong Bao toto next week. Then I can retire a little earlier. Hahaha!

Happy Chinese New Year everyone.

And Happy Birthday everyone.

今天是初七, 是人日。祝大家生日快乐乐。 永远幸福。^^

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

It's the 14th February now - Valentine's Day....

True Love

True love is a sacred flame
That burns eternally,
And none can dim its special glow
Or change its destiny.
True love speaks in tender tones
And hears with gentle ear,
True love gives with open heart
And true love conquers fear.
True love makes no harsh demands
It neither rules nor binds,
And true love holds with gentle hands
The hearts that it entwines.

Despite all the advertisements and hype about flowers, presents and candlelight dinner......they are not the most important things in a relationship.

The test of a true love is how he treats you for the remaining 364 days in the year.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Friday nights's Friday night... the start of a weekend.

Last week, as I was leaving the office, my new colleagues asked me: "Where are you going (tonight)?" I said I was going home. They were surprised: "But it's Friday night?"

"Yeah, I'm married."

Seriously though, I don't mean this answer to be a negative one.

I enjoy being at home. As I get older, partying and staying out late isn't my idea of fun and relaxation.

Having a glass of wine, watching the TV (preferable good looking men in Korean dramas), dressed in my comfy t-shirt and that's my idea of a relaxing weekend.

Hope you all will have a good weekend too. ^^

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The year in review - Oct to Dec 2006

Gosh, it's almost the 1st of February 2007 and I'm still writing my review of 2006. I apologise to all those who had to listen to strains of 'Auld Lang Syne' everyday for the past 3 weeks. Sorry...I was away for about a week and the period before and after a trip are always stressful. I've changed the song, so please don't kill me, ok?

Ok... better wrap this up quickly.

October 2006

I wonder if anyone has ever sit down to count the number of friends they have? Of course, there are friends and there are people you just know.

Why I always look so fat???

I've got to know these 3 girls about 4 years because of that one particular Korean actor. You know who lah. Never did I imagine I would be able to make friends via internet. You keep reading horror stories about people you meet via the internet. It took me a lot of courage to go and meet a roomful of strangers that fateful day in March. I was thinking.. what if they turn out to be a bunch of weirdos? Who in their right mind would meet up strangers because of an actor? Hehe! A weirdo like me.Today, not only do we meet up very often, we also took up a stall at a flea market.

Speaking of flea mart.. that was my virgin try selling at a flea mart. I dreamt of all the extra money I would be making that day. But as they say, you think money fall from the sky is it? So easy to make money meh? Sigh, I only managed to sell 2 pieces. Enough to cover the rental but I don't think I can do this for a livelihood. I'll probably be down on my knees, begging people to buy from me. But how come got so many flea marts and push carts? How do these people make money???

Green restaurants
Organic/ health/ vegetarian food is gaining popularity, particularly organic food. Even NTUC, the local, everyday supermarket sells them now. And that's saying something.

Anyway, because of hubby's vegetarian diet, we are always constantly on the lookout for eating places. The Green Room is an organic, vegetarian cafe (you cannot get any healthier) and is part of the Aramsa -The Garden Spa. It's the first and so far only spa to be located in a park. Quite a novel idea.

Anyway, we decided to check out the cafe and found the food to be quite good. no, serious. Really. It wasn't too expensive either, considering that they were serving organic food. And the environment is very pleasant. I think it will be even prettier at night. Not a bad place to have a meal. Valentine's Day, anyone? Then can take a walk in the park after that. Just remember to bring mosquitoe repellent if you intend to get romantic in the park. Haha!

The Green Room:
Aramsa- The Garden Spa
Bishan Park II
T: 6556 1533

November 2006

It's been ages since I've been to Sentosa. The last time I was there, it was for a camp and I had to help supervise 100 over kids. Hardly the time for relaxing. It's always amazing how you almost never go to the places that's near you. But because of work, I went to Sentosa 3 times last year. It's a record beaker for me.

I don't think there's many changes but with the casino (sorry, Intergrated Resort) being built there soon, I'm sure the changes will come. Universal Studios will be there and not Disneyland, thank goodness! There seems to be a few more beach bars... but somehow the whole place still doesn't have the lazy, carefree feel of Phuket or Langkawii. I did hear that the beach volleyball matches on weekends draw quite a bit of crowd. I don't know, I've never seen one. My weekends are spent trying to clean up the house. Haha!

Anyway, I was helping to organise a dinner event for an overseas company. They wanted a beach venue but wanted it to be a little more formal. The whole event turned out quite well and my client was happy because their clients were happy. Thanks David! And oh... must show you the grand, brand new toilets at Sappahire Hall. This one under lock and key and is only open to the guests attending event at the hall. Must pay extra to use it...Wah!

Arab Street
Arab Street is fascinating. I've never really explored the place until I had to because of work. It still has many of the old shops but it is also intersped with a sprinkling of modern, cool shops and restaurants.

And look, a mama store. There aren't many of these left. I think many of these 'mamas' have packed up and went back to India alraedy. I don't see many of them nowadays. It's totally amazing how a very small mama stall can have almost everything.

December 2006

10km run
For 2 years running (no pun intended), I participated in the 10km run of the Standard Chartered marathon run. Of course, I didn't really volunteer lah...hubby signed up for me. I used to run alot in my younger (way younger) days. But nowadays, I much prefer to do a K drama marathon. haha! Anyway, I went slightly more prepared this year- I had 2 practice runs. Haha!. Must say I'm rather satisfied with my result. At least I'm the last. ^^ Yeeew! I took 1 hr 24 minutes to earn the medal.

For those who've never participated in this before, I really, strongly urge you to try it out at least once. When you see a sea of people, all getting ready to run...the feeling and the atmosphere is totally intoxicating. Many people walk, so there's no worry that you'll be the only one doing so. I heard they had to close the registration early last year due to overwhelming repsonse. So book early if you want to join in.

Neptune Theatre
Neptune Theatre was finally going to shut. It had been around for over 30 years and contrary to popular belief.. it is not well known for the topless dancing but for it's dim sum. Yet, I think most of us only remembered about the topless dancing part. Haha! I think the last time I was there was more than 10 years ago at my company's annual D&D. Remembered the senior management was sitting in front of the stage and lapping it up. Hehe!

Anyway, the building will make way for a grand new building, many times higher. It is after all on prime land. But it is an amazing establishment, not just because the entertainment survived the ultra strict, conservative Singapore government, but that there were actually enough paying audience to keep it going. I know it became a bit of a struggle later but's quite amazing Crasy Horse didn't even last a year. 2 of the ladies at my table held their weddings there at the restaurant. It held much precious memories for them.

And so, a few of us joined many others in celebrating the last dinner at this place. Boy, did we have fun. ^^

2006 ended well with both of us just chilling out at home for a whole week. Ahhhh....

Let's hope 2007 will turn out great. ^^