Thursday, September 29, 2011

the days of a Singaporean.

Six little stories to share about the days of a Singaporean.

1) Bendemeer Food Center blk 29, #01-74 新路 Teochew fishball noodle.


Tuesday – Sunday. Morning and early lunch only.

Fresh, big bouncy fishball, not other starch ball. I wonder how she did it ensuring the whole fishball was cooked. Because of it’s size, if the center of the fishball is cooked, then the external part of the fishball will be overcooked.


Review from this web:

2) Then, somewhere near my house, Clementi, there was the famous chicken rice from Tanglin Halt. Sam and I walked down. While we were looking around the shop, we were hosted by a guy. He guided us to the cash counter. We were looking at the menu on the wall, looking for the cheapest meal that we want to eat but there were NO PRICE indicated. From our experience from eating chicken rice for 2 person, it would be cheaper to order 2 individual plate rather than to have one big plate to share. We paid first without knowing how much was it.

2 x $3.50 chicken = $7.00

2 x $0.70 rice = $1.40

total = $8.40

we took the receipt and walk to a table. We had our own water bottle. Another guy came and asked me if I wanted any drink and I smiled and shake my head. This guy shouted to the cashier:

They don’t want drink.

The food came…

We might be expecting too much from word of mouth and from the advertisment on the wall. I kept quiet and ate the food.

Towards the end, Samantha told me:

The one at Clementi central is better.

After the food, we walked back to the cashier trying to look for a proper menu, the one that they have was a drink menu. There were NO PRICES in it.

I guess it is a place for regular customer, not for poor citizen like us that is looking for cheap and good food.

3) Then, there was skyrise gardening and greenwall. garden being built on walls and roof to save space for greening in this dense city of Singapore. That day Samantha and i saw a roof top mobile garden! i wonder the LTA (Land Transport Authority) has approval to it.

4) Recently, i posted something on my facebook page:

LED or LCD TV better.

For the past years, i had never bought a TV before. Since young, my parent bought the TV, it lasted for a very long time. till recently we came back, the TV at home was a CRT type TV given by my sister.

when it was on, it buzzed for 1 minute to warm up before the screen is visible. There were also other reasons on why we wanted a new TV but the interesting part was to shop for a new TV.

We went to a big shopping center that opened for 24 hours. there were everything for sale. Electronics, jewerelly, food, clothes, bags, computer, accessories, watches. they had a wide range of selection. they sell at very low price because their customers were usually foreigners from other country. these foreigners wanted to buy things cheap and bring it back to their country. it may be about 30% cheaper than other shops because there are some 'export' models that were being sold without warranty. it is a very successful mall.

When we enter the mall, there would be a filter. this filter will scan all customer. if any of us is carrying a plastic bag and walk in, this filter will shout:

oei! OEI!

then we have to go to him, he will use a cable-tie to secure our plastic bag.

Then we browse the item on the shelf. the stuff wasn't very friendly. we witness a foreign worker wanted to buy a charger from the salesman behind the counter. the salesman spoke to this guy with his left palm resting on the display shelf at waist level and right hand tucking on his hip. He didn't have eye contact with his customer. the way he was pointing out on where to find the product to his client is like asking him to go away.

why is he treating his customer like that? is it because he is a foreigner that looked like a laborer? i supposed they come from the same country.

some time after, i went closer to looked at the things on his shelf and he looked at me and smiled: yes sir, anything you are looking for.

i smiled and shake my head.

The way he treated me and this foreign labour was different. This foreign labour did not have any reaction on how the salesman treated him.

anyway, one of the system in this shopping mall that worked out is that the salesman were not allow to collect payment. WHY? don't ask me...

when we have selected our product from the salesman, he would give us a written ticket and we were instructed to get this ticket to the cashier to make payment, by ourselves. Then, we take the payment receipt back to the salesman, he will verify that we had made the payment, do some writing on a big book and gave us the product.

it seems that every salesman in this mall is not friendly, and some of them were even RUDE and why they are so successful? Because they are selling electronic goods without warranty and it would be very cheap as compared with the outside market?

Why do we have our bags tied up with the cable-tie?

Why the salesman not allowed to collect payment?

Why is there a filter-guy at the door?

Why do they give different attitude to different customers?

why are they so popular?

5) good recommendation:

if your sink / sewage is stucked, you will call your plumber.

by the way, the plunger, the hot water, the chokage bio chemical didn't work.

i called the recommended contractor from the Town Council. A guy at about his mid 50s, seems like a loan shark, knocked at my door. he came in and looked at the situation. he said he need to cut the pipe and do something about it to clear the choke, then join the pipe back. the quoted $100.

I rejected.

then i called a neighbourhood contractor. he send a PRC man with a big machine and quoted $180, no less.

I rejected.

Thanks to my friend Jackson Goh, he recommanded someone and i got a number:

ISS Pest Management Pte Ltd.

They cleared the choke without any hassle.

They gave me a service report,

it was done by a local (not by FT or loanshark),

it comes with one month warrenty,

and it only cost $80!

Please note that they are not plumber. they specialized in clearing chokage. what is the name of the machine in the picture?

William Lim 92777106, 62681188.

6) This is one of the most grand chinese funeral that we have witness so far. it must be someone important to a society that had passed away. it's not a usual funeral.

All pictures above were taken by HTC Desire S mobile phone except for alibaba.JPG

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Diary on 17 July 2011

17 July 2011.

I learned 2 words today.


The plan was to meet on 1230pm at the POSB, Toa Payoh Central for lunch. I was 10 minutes early but fellow supporters were there before me. Not long after, Mr Sindu came with his caregiver, Ms V R Sara, and friends. Ms Sara was a long time friend of Dr Tan Cheng Bock for more than 3 decades. With Sidhu's mobile disability, he would still encourage Dr Tan’s activity, not by mouth but to come on ground with us.

Almost everyone living around Toa Payoh would come to this place for a scroll in for lunch or activities. Looking among the crowd, I saw Dr Tan and his wife walked towards us. Immediately, the crowd turned their attention towards us, even the main attraction on the hall was the indoor kite flying exhibition.

Passerby stopped their routine and came to our crowd, trying to stretch their hands to greet Doc. Young family having their Sunday off scrolling the shopping center, saw us and wanted to take picture with President and First Lady hopeful, and would proudly post it on their facebook. Shop owners, hawkers and lunch crowds would place down what ever was on their hand, stood up to feel the texture of a President to be’s hand.

One came over and said,

I know you! I used to see you in your clinic when I was very young.

The lady was in her late 30s was very glad that she could see Dr Tan again.
Another one was an elderly man in his early 70s, limping on a walking stick. I saw him walking very fast from the rear, squeezing in between the crowd and appeared in front of Dr Tan:

Cheng Bock, nice to see you here!

I talked to this elderly and found out that he was Dr Tan’s senior when they were in Raffles Institution. I wondered it must be a very small school because after graduating half a century ago, this elderly still remembered Dr Tan even they were not in the class. Later he disclosed to me that they were living in the same kampong when they were young.

We also witness members of public came forward and told Dr Tan:

I know you, Dr Tan Cheng Bock. I used to stay in Teban Garden. You were my MP.

Some even step forward to greet him, even not staying under Dr Tan’s constituency, like Bukit Batok, West Coast, knew the existence of him. I could see that these people have something in common. They were very glad to see Dr Tan again on the street and want to come forward to greet him.

There must be something that Dr Tan did, leaving deep memories to these people. Either he had prescribed them with a wrong medicine or they had helped them in some way that they had remembered for life.

There was a key maker at Toa Payoh. He said,

Yes, last time I was staying at ‘Yung Toh Hng’ (Chinese dialect for Starfruit Garden,
which is the existing Teban Garden).

The journey from POSB to Mac Donald’s became an hour’s toddle, which I could walk in 5 minutes. It was these citizens that remembered Dr Tan that made him wanted to meet more. He told me he was a little tired because he spent 3 hours in the morning, walked the railway track from 10 Mile Junction to King Albert Park with his buddy, Chiu San.

He smiled and told me:

We were a little ambitious.

Chiu San laughed. I could smell that these 2 elders had a little adventure this morning.
I asked Doc why in Toa Payoh, he could meet so many people that had known him for good? This is not Teban Garden or Lim Chu Kang. Sometimes, even at Bedok, he would meet familiar people on street that were rejoiced upon seeing him. He explained to me about the word, Diaspora. Doc quoted that these people that he met were the diaspora from Teban Garden and especially Ama Keng, when this village was taken back by the authority.

What was the 2nd word that I learn? It came from the key maker.

After the lunch when everyone parted, Sam and I went back to the key maker and asked him why did he remembered Dr Tan? I watched him duplicating a set of key for an elderly and refused to accept his money. He then turned to me and said,

I remember in Yung Toh Hng, i studied at Huai Nan Primary School. I was primary 3. Yes, Teban community was well known and strong in supporting charity, with Dr Tan Cheng Bock. He was one of the good MP in Singapore that we could remember. He was one of the very few MP that can:


This was the second word that I learned.

It was my 6th time meeting Doctor Tan Cheng Bock and his wife.