Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I love this year's fall season TV

Did I mention how much I love this season's TV? In fact all good things begin with P. PlayBoy. And Pan Am.

In fact, do I love Red Bunny or Blue Bunny? Hmmm...Definitely Blue Bunny. If there is anyone from USA reading this blog... I am going to be damn pissed if PlayBoy gets cancelled so start watching it already!

I have also decided I like french accents.

Damn Playboy is cancelled. I am now officially pissed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Letzten Sonntag besuche ich meine Großmutter am die Altensheim. Mutter hat gesagt, Grossmutter jetzt erkennt niemand. Sehr traurig. Sigh.

>>Großmutter<< Ich hocke vor ihrem Rollstuhl.>>Erkennst du mich?<< 

>>(Meine Name)<<.

Gott sei dank. Sie noch kennt mich. Wieder denn, wie viele fetten Enkelinnen hat sie? (Drei, eigentlich *haha*).

Sie leider erinnert mich als mein 26 Jahre altes Selbst. Sie denkt das, arbeite und studiere ich jetzt am abend im Universität.

letzten sonntag besuchte ich meine großmutter im altersheim. Mutter hat gesagt, dass großmutter jetzt niemanden mehr erkennt.sehr traurig. seufz.

Sie kennt mich noch.Aber wie viele fette enkelinnen hat sie denn?
sie erinnert mich leider and mein 26 jahre altes selbst. sie denkt, dass ich arbeite und jetzt abends in der universität studiere.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Coropata for Dummies - Level 49 Solution

Coropata for Dummies - Level 48 Solution

Kem Trang Tiens Eis

After dinner, still very determined to show us what the locals enjoy, Ductuan brought us to Kem Trang Tien, the famous traditional Vietnamese ice-cream. It had many flavors, and came in a box. I tried the coconut flavor.

The place was so popular that people were thronging the streets outside and opposite the shop, trying not to let the rapidly melting ice-cream drip on their clothes.

Nach dem Abendessen, hat Ductuan uns gebracht der Eisdiele. Der Eisdiele verkauft traditionellen Eis in Kisten. Da hat vielen Geschmäcker. Ich habe Coconut Eis gegessen.

Der Eisdiele ist sehr beliebt. Menschen essen Eis am der Straße.

Schnappi's correction:
Nach dem abendessen, hat Ductuan uns in eine Eisdiele gebracht. Die Eisdiele verkauft das eis traditionell in Kisten. da gibt (gab) es viele Geschmäcker/Geschmackssorten. Ich habe Kokusnusseis gegessen

Was siehst du, kleinen junge?

Coconut eis

Adresse: 35 Trang Tien Straße, Hanoi, Vietnam

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I must cut back on my Company of Heroes

I thought that I have finally cured myself of my addiction to CoH with my 14 days of withdrawal (while in Hanoi and later flu). Apparently not...since Friday I have been playing a lot of Steinwall, but that is with my usual group (I added two more friends, a Daddy from HongKong and another, a History major from US).

B1 is nagging at me to do my next game (plus I opened a can of worms, by telling the South Koreans that I was going to upgrade my Burger Stacko). Well, my next game is a bit more complicated, so I need to break down into two parts. So I will be building a simple puzzle game, leveraging on code from Juzzle (this game will be free on Android, if completed), before I move onto build the more complicated version (which I will definitely be charging).

That aside, I had an interesting conversation with Hongkong Daddy, who is a friend of Ductuan (my Hanoi friend). I had played once or twice with him because of Ductuan. He knew about my visiting the latter because he told him. I was waiting to start a Stonewall game with my English friend, when this guy joined with his USA friend (the History Major). I didn't play with them though because with his friend, they closed the number of slots available for the game and I had promised NoNick that I would play with him so I had to exit the game (but not before this guy requested to be my friend).

So later when we played together, I asked him what else did Ductuan tell him about my visit. He told me that Ductuan told him that I was a lady (remind me to tell Ductuan to keep it a secret, but I think it is already a very badly kept one). Then he invited me to visit him in Hongkong and said he would treat me to dinner. *???*

Watching Slam Dunk! again

Slam Dunk! was a Japanese anime that used to be played on Singapore tv on Saturday afternoons. Since I was seldom allowed to watch tv, Saturday afternoon anime, in particular Slam Dunk, was very precious to me. I used to hanker after Slam Dunk's music, especially this ending theme. Needless to say, I was devastated when the series ended. 

So some weeks before my uni buddy's wedding, I went over to his house where I discovered that he had the complete series of Slam Dunk! Turns out it belongs to his fiance, now wife, but he got her permission to lend it to me. And B1 and I have been studiously watching it on Saturday afternoons. We are still at Disc 1 because we wanted to savor the show in its entirety.

My favorite characters in the show were actually Hisashi Mitsui (三井 寿) and Kiminobu Kogure (木暮 公延). Mitsui, because he is so sexy, especially on the court (I love 3 pointers, because I can't do it myself) and Kogure, because he is my type, looks wise (I find his character a bit too gay for my taste).

~50% of men will dump their chicks if they get fat

[old draft now completed and posted]

Read this article from Daily mail (click on the link to read yourself, I don't want to get flamed for a great wall of text). 
"Talk to the hand, bitch." [source:]

To further elaborate this point, this morning I was reading an article in the ultra trashy The New Paper, where this matchmaker with 3 decades of experience was listing out his criteria for customers. I quote from the paper, "good looks are a top requirement. Mr Li said he does not accept overweight female clients nor men who earn less than $2,000 a month. From experience, most women want their men to earn at least $3,000 a month." ( I don't think so, I think it is at least $4,000, seeing how high inflation is in Singapore today. $3,000 won't even help to service the loan for your bloody HDB flat).

This proves something I mentioned before, I once did a mini survey among the women in my office to rank characteristics about a man that they cannot accept. Other than me (who thinks like a dude almost all the time), the other women in my office don't think there is anything wrong with being with a fat guy. I think it has to do with a CLEO "true story" I read some years back about this girl who was with a very plus-sized guy. She said she didn't mind at first, because he would put on a lot of cologne and dressed fashionably. However the first time they did it, it felt as if he was a giant whale beached on her body and she could hardly breathe, because she caught whiffs of his true male "fragrance". Needless to say, she was traumatized, and they broke up.

That aside, I guess it has to do with the fact that women are delusional enough to believe they can help their other half become and stay slim/fit. This has also got to do with why most men either knew the women can't, have no patience to help, or simply look for easier prey.

You see, if a woman wants to attract a guy, what does she do first of all? She loses weight. It's harsh, but it's the truth. I have yet to witness a case where the girl eats more to attract a dude. I am as guilty of the myopic perception, because last week when I was attending my cousin's kid's first birthday celebration, Mutter remarked that my younger cousin seemed to have lost weight. I immediately cast her a speculative look and thought about interrogating her about her latest crush.

Shallow. *haha*

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A promise is a promise

I was really infuriated when I found out the others went ahead and bought bags without me while I was exploring the streets of Old Quarter by myself. It was the last straw in a series of frustrations I endured the whole trip, especially since I was the one who told them where the shops were.

So after dinner on the last night we were staying there, I stalked to the shop where they had procured their stuff to buy the backpack I had promised to get my mother. There I tried to cajole, charm the salesgirl with a smattering of bad French, and excuses, to get the price down. It was quite fun because the lady played along, even though she wasn't the same girl who sold to the group earlier than the day (or that's what she said).

In the end I bought three backpacks, a huge "Crumpler" for B1 (because I had torn one of his backpacks before), two smaller "Kiplings" for my mother and myself (I was starting to give up buying my "Smelly Cat" bags. 
It was next to 31B? Or 41B? or 37B Đinh Tiên Hoàng Street. Anyway the white shop on the left...
It was 1.1MVND for the three. If anyone buys or has bought from her at a lower price, do tell me =D. So I used up almost all my Dong and had to switch to USD. Turned out she didn't like transacting in USD, due to proliferation of fake notes, and she tried to "smoke" me and said she didn't have enough USD in change. I told her sadly then I could not buy (which was the truth) then she said, never mind, she got! In the end she went to the next stall, where another bag seller lie indolently in her own little chair, smoking and asked her to check the authenticity. The other lady leant back against the light, cigarette still in her mouth, and narrowed her eyes with an expert air before declaring my note as authentic. *roll eyes*

Still the lady was a cute charmer, so I said I was going to blog about her when I returned to Singapore, and asked her to smile. She did a few poses, which were unfortunately let down by my shit camera (Canon, you are not delighting me as always). This was the best. Sue me =D
The shop is located on Đinh Tiên Hoàng, facing the lake.

Shitty bun?

 I can't decide whether the Vietnamese are a humorous crowd, or that they are very literal. This is what we call a 馒头, i.e. a bun with no filling. I was trying to take a photo of a whole pile of them steaming on an open flame but the Tante tore into one with her bare hands to show me, "oh look, no filling."

I was like "eh, good for you?" What was I supposed to say?
Then she gestured at my wallet.

I am not brave enough to eat something touched by someone's dirty hands. But her son? toy boy? appeared and looked somewhat threatening, and she looked very impatient, so I became the proud possessor of a dirty bun @ 5000VND.

Friday, September 16, 2011

So this is by Roy Leichtenstein

I stood in the rain outside a Hanoi art gallery, "Classic Street", which specializes in Reproduction Art.

The painting I was staring at was this one:
I thought the message was a bit too depressing. So I asked for another one. The other one said "I am going to turn 40." Wtf.

Anyway I admire this style a lot and kept hunting for the artist name. Looking at the colors used, I guessed that it would be in the same period as Andy Warhol, and that it would be Pop Art. But I didn't know who was the artist.

Turns out it was Roy Leichtenstein. I managed to find him after finding another painting done in his style

Held against His will

Mr B was being strapped in for the flight to Hanoi. He seemed to have a better inkling of what to expect than I did.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Scenes of Vietnamese Agriculture

The tribal people in Sapa seem to subsist on rice, pumpkins and other leafy vegetables. If they are lucky or slightly well-to-do, they have meat from their buffaloes, chickens and pigs.

This was from the Temple of Literature garden in Hanoi
Beautiful pile of shit. Schöner Scheiß

Monday, September 12, 2011

Wedding Cakes

My second cousin's wedding cakes were delivered while I was away. As meine Eltern are considered family elders, they receive a box of the wedding cakes, which are traditionally part of the bride price 聘礼 provided by the groom's family.

Aren't they cute in a very retro way? My Vater used to buy these when I was a child for breakfast sometimes. I used to look forward to Frühstück. Vater complained that nowadays they use margarine with icing sugar to make the butter cream instead of actual butter. Well, sorry Vater, I think it is more likely to be shortening.

Anyway, the stupid thing was that I should have eaten this last night when I came home, instead of scalding myself at 4am with hot water for my cup of instant noodles. Dummkopf. It was later when I put away my half-drunk Coke (my ostensible attempt to cool down my scald) that I noticed that the cakes in the fridge...

What is the First point of a Holiday?

To forget whatever is happening at work. Obviously.

I hadn't had a good break for a long time (since May last year). So when I was going on leave this time, I made arrangements so that my work was covered (no one is indispensable, according to our Prince).

Guess what? Work still caught up with me. Because Miss Piggy felt the need to check Facebook and talk to our colleagues back in office and update me on the happenings. And my vendors and clients kept smsing me even though I told them I am away. At least for the last part, I could pretend I couldn't receive the calls and smses, but I feel that others are missing the point of holidaying.

I came back with a burning desire to travel again. Damn.

Monsieur Blau wishes everyone a Happy Vietnamese Mid Autumn Festival!!!

Full posts start tomorrow. I just flew back. Midnight flight.

Monsieurs Blau and Ductuan were my heroes throughout this entire trip. Monsieur Blau kept me company throughout the entire trip, obliging me with his frozen *always ready* smile, even when I was very sick last night with a bad flu. I was so sick, I ignored my colleague's warning that I should not expose my teddy to the Vietnamese bed bugs.

As for Ductuan, my CoH buddy, he was the best. 

First of all, he was so patient and thoughtful. He brought a colleague who could translate English and Vietnamese. I think he was a bit uncomfortable with the fact that I am a female playing CoH, and he tried his best to be a hospitable host even though my colleagues were collectively an unappreciative bunch. 

Second of all, he helped me acquire a prepaid SIM so I could call home, and then when he discovered the old man cheated me (Viettel was supposed to be 50% off, so I think the idea was that the old man sold to Ductuan the idea that a 55KVND card would have a 110K credit, but I think by right, the bad old man should have charged me 27K5VND for a 55KVND credit), he actually bothered to help me top up by 200KVND, which must be very expensive for him. His reasoning was because I was travelling to more secluded parts of Vietnam, I might not be able to buy top-ups easily. Wasn't he sweet? Totally saved my life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Planning Hanoi Trip - Shopping Guide to Hanoi's Old Quarter...

The travel mags and books tell you what each street used to sell, which influenced their names.

However what they do not tell you is what kind of principal products that the streets are primarily selling now, which is so much more useful. 

Based on my one day of traversing the streets, I have come up with a new map on what to buy:
[pic source: travelfish]
Hang Dao - Jeans and trendy clothes (you need to be super small size though, if you are a chick)
Cau Go (stretching to Hang Be) - Fake bags, specifically Crumpler and Kipling. It will cost more to have the gorilla. Also excellent for backpacks (e.g. The North Face, Deuter). Remember to get those with rain guards/ backpack covers.
Hang Gai - this remains Silk (local friend and CoH buddy recommends Tan My, but it is EXPENSIVE)
Hang Giay - Coffee and the local drip coffee percolator (price for one cup percolator is ~15KVND - 20KVND. 3 cups percolator will be 40VND)
Hang Bo - Millinery, e.g. sewing scissors, lace, zippers (I bought some stuff there).
Hang Bo
Luong Van Can - toys, mostly MIC (made in China)
Luong Van Can
Hang Quat - Religious artefacts, e.g. altars
Hang Quat
Hang Hom - Wall paints
Hang Bac - jewellery (mostly)
Lan Ong - rather bewildering, towels (on one side) and medicinal herbs (on the other side)
Thuoc Bac - Hardware stores selling locks and torches
Thouc Bac
Hang Dieu - Upholsterers and bedsheets (mostly). The shop at 38 Hang Dieu I ordered my cushion covers from was pretty shit, they got the measurement wrong even though I gave them a sample. Wasted my time and then on top of that, they wouldn't give me the scraps. And they obviously did not employ any intelligence or QC when sewing. Why would a cushion be 4 cm thick, and why didn't they check against the sample which I left with them?

Note: you must speak passable French or English, as most of them would rather not work with you. Or buy ready-made from them. Much wiser thing to do.
Gia Ngu - groceries and fresh meat
Hang Dau - Shoes (buy slippers, and sport shoes. The women shoes are *ahem* a bit too classic for my taste).
Thrang Thi (technically French Quarter) - Electronics
There was a street selling cloth but I lost the location, can someone comment and tell me which street it is please?
Do not be intimidated by this. The seamstress shop is right down this dark alley to the extreme right.
Ethical Seamstress (found by someone in VietBank, when I couldn't find a seamstress shop in Quang Trung, as recommended by Ductuan):
There was a super friendly lady located at 37 Lo Su Street (shop is hidden behind this innocuous entrance) whose son was as friendly and can speak & understand decent English. She said she couldn't do the furniture covers for me but she offered me alternative locations instead.

Other recommendations:
- You can find some reproduction art and propaganda posters at Dinh Liet and Lyong Ngoc Quyen streets.  
- At the intersection of Hang Buom and Hang Giay, there is the famous Bach Ma temple.
Bach Ma Temple Entrance
- There is a weekend night market from the Hang Dao street (lake entrance) all the way to Dong Xuan Market.
- Instimex supermarket's entrance is next to Playboy, but its actual location is behind the latter. If walking from the Old Quarter, you will pass by ANZ bank before it, and Fanny's ice-cream after it. Excellent for buying local coffee and teas (if you are as cash strapped as me). Else buy them at Hang Giay, where you can get Civet Cat coffee (for some reason, they call it Weasel coffee here).

Best Pho Bo (according to Ductuan and soundly agreed  by me) - Pho Gia Truyen, 49 Bat Dan Street
2nd Best Pho Bo - 31 Hang Buom street (unfortunately remains untested by me).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thoughts about Sapa (while standing in the Sapa Summit Hotel lobby)

Just three more days before I come home.
What I have learnt from this trip so far is never to complain about how terrible my life is. Well, it might still be terrible but in a different way.
I have a huge respect for the Hmong and other tribal women in Sapa. Despite having a lesser status in society, they remain so tough, brave and entrepreneurial, and great at multi-tasking. They could carry a child on their back, follow you for many kms down to different villages, help you down slippery slopes, find some medicinal grass that can heal your wound and still be able to weave wild grass to make their traditional woven bags which they endeavor to sell to you at the end of the trek.

The lady who escorted me down the hugely slippery 12km to her village today was the bravest of the lot, I might say, especially since I am such a hefty cow. I leant heavily on the bamboo pole (sharpened into a natural treking tool, and was excellent for digging new paths into the slippery slope). In the end I just tipped her 50KVND without buying anything. She had to put up with me alot, especially with my cursing in English and German whenever I felt like it. I wish I could give her more (I'd think that my life costs more than ~S$4, but I have a ton of stuff I need to buy for the house and I still haven't gotten started. And I had already been conned by one of her compatriots yesterday. In the end, I had to change more $$)
My Savior
I also learnt that maybe French is a more useful language than German. Hahahhahahaha. I was practically throwing "s'il vous plaît", "Merci beaucoup" and "Parlez-vous anglais?" (they were the only three phrases I know *haha*) everywhere I went, especially in Sapa.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Darling

Even though I can't be here to celebrate your birthday, I love you once and always.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A question of perception

Recently, being very late for work, I decided to take a bus instead of walking from the usual place I alight from. I was very worried about the time and kept looking at the front of the bus (I was not standing in that direction), so I think the uncle standing near me thought I was looking at him. And smiled at me?

I was like huh? I gave a quick smile back, not to be rude, and looked straight ahead until I alighted. Creepy. I refer to the other time where this uncle was staring at me.

I told Boob Bro about it. He said "I think it is a culture thing. If you are in USA and someone smiles at you, you will smile back right (well I did... despite being creeped out)."

"...And you are just shallow. If it is your favorite Ang Mo (Caucasian) with blond hair, you will be salivating back."

When B1 learnt about it, I got 7 levels of Hell for smiling back at the uncle. He warned me about all the bad things that happen when naive chicks smile to strangers on public transport.

See, one situation, 3 different perceptions

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Balloon version of Mr B

I happened to pass the post office on Friday and there was a lady outside making balloon figurines. She asked us what did we want. Miss Piggy wanted a piggy, and me, natürlich, Mr B.

I was a bit confused that he came out looking like a Beary Dog? But cute nonetheless.

Yoshimoto Nara @ 8Q

Note: Backdated Post *oops*

On one of our visits to the Singapore Art Museum, I was waiting for B1 at the counter when I noticed the beautiful artwork by Yoshimoto Nara in a brochure. It said that his work was on display at 8Q... 8Q?

The security guard told us it was at the building diagonal from the museum (the NTUC Income building is perpendicular to both buildings). Since we were near closing time, we decided to go there the next Friday.

I can't remember much about the visit, except *rather vainly* I remember the lonely stamp art I did of the sad octopus, which was supposed to me (this I remember to blog? WTF)


I went to the Borders sale

For this book.
 One of the other books we bought was this:
I was going to say, hmm, must link to the post I did for the Yoshitomo Nara exhibition I saw at the 8Q earlier this year, when I realized, I never blogged it in the first place. Now searching through and writing...

B1 is a big fan (oh now he says he thought I was the fan), that's why we bought it even though it was an eye-watering S$50 after 50% discount.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Blogger Interface

I was reading on Mashable that Google has finally done something to Blogger. So I was watching out for the changes while logging in. Now that I am trying it out, I am thinking, it looks awfully like Gmail? Google doesn't reinvent the wheel huh...

I like that now that I finish an entry, it goes to the dashboard instead of the blog.
It is now easier to label my stuff, as Blogger autosuggests the labels.
Cool, I can change language on the interface.

I wish I can see the stats more readily.
I thought that they would add new things that will show which country is accessing your blog at any time, just like those free live feeds.
Blogger stats - not sure it can be believed. It seems to be changing everytime (even old Blogger). Note: I mean the All Time tab obviously. There is now a count against each entry, but I am not sure what is it counting? The accumulated, methinks. Still not accurate, when you compare the entry's total against the "All Time" total.


Is there any stats for labels?
New Post Page => Good to have a "edit posts" or have a side panel for accessing the posts I have written before, so that I can access or link if necessary. 
All Posts => Can we sort the entries by stats or date or name or label?

I removed my nick and email address, but otherwise here is most of the new interface. To be updated.

TGIF Specials 18: Why does No One love a NERD?

[source: flashasylum]
So ironic. Part of my COH nick is mentioned. Well, I am a female nerd and proud of it. So suck it, bitches!!!


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