Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone! I'm in Bangkok, Thailand this week and heading to Phuket, Thailand next week to spend some time on the beaches. So, my blog is likely to be quite empty for the next few days! Will post pictures and notes as soon as I'm back in Singapore.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Nativity Scene, Commercialized

Wow, time is really disappearing here..again, an entire week since my last post.

I thought Christmas was commercialized in North America, but wandering through Orchard Road yesterday we saw the strangest of Christmas scenes; the nativity scene, commercialized. Crowds of people rushing through the streets of Orchard Road to see the display, "Bethlethem: 0 to 5 BC), with statues, angels and wisemen. People even took photos with their fmailies, inside the nativity scene. Unfortunately no pictures of this yet...I'll leave it to your imaginations.

Have you ever seen Chinese wisemen in the nativity scene? How about a Chinese Santa Claus?? I almost died laughing; really something I had never thought about. And if you Canadians think our malls are crowded at Christmas time, check this out...not to mention the Singaporean government's warning against high voltage Christmas trees!

A BLUE Xmas Party

BLUE has moved to an awesome office building, the top floor of a tower in Harbourfront Centre. We had our moving/xmas celebration on Friday night, complete with an Christmas tree on which every employee decorated a blue ornament. A pool table, bar, large patio, and view of a beautiful Singaporean skyline will make work an interesting place.Not to mention, we can spend all day staring at Sentosa Island from our windows.

Monday, December 11, 2006


ZoukOUT, Singapore's biannual all night beach party this Saturday was a blast! 8pm to 8am...or in our case, 10 am, hanging out in 30 degree celsius weather in December. Shorts, bikinis, loud music and drinks in the sand. Sunday was a writeoff and work Monday morning felt like a disaster zone after a tsunami, but it was worth it! We hung out at the beach and watched the often do you get to watch sunrise on an island after a really cool party? Well, ok, maybe not so uncommon if you're not from landlocked Alberta, but still a sight to see!

Waltan's B'day

Friday night was a great party at Sean & Waltan's place. Tim the bartender whipped up a concoction of Abosolut Peach, Bailey's, Kahlua, and perhaps some other ingredients...the Timothy shot, for lack of a better name. Delicious!

Eugene cooked up some pasta and salad (and chicken for the omnivores), which was absolutely amazing; haven't had a real cooked meal in forever. Unless you think that microwaved pasta, raw salad and cheese sandwiches count! Considering the fact that Hall 11 at NTU has ONE "kitchen" with a burner, that has been run out of gas (or broken) for the past week, pasta & salad was absolutely gourmet. Actually considering moving out next semester, getting a more expensive room in an apartment in the city, just so I can have a kitchen. Four months ago I would have dreaded cooking.

Really hard to believe it's December already. Christmas seems so far away and yet there are xmas trees everywhere. Will be enjoying xmas and New Year's in Thailand this year.
Without the white stuff!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Eski Bar!

Saturday night Dennis, Joanne, Adam and I decided to check out the Eski bar, the only place where Singapore will get below 5 degrees celsius. It was cold, but still about seven times warmer than Edmonton's -14 degree weather. It warmed up I guess..I heard low -20's last week :-)

Brrr...well, I thought the 2 degree weather was a nice change, but the British boy was complaining :-) Although, it was Joanne that succumbed to the jackets that Eskibar provides first. How do you like the boys with Heineken in pink?


December: Looking forward to Singaporean Winter

Wow, it's December already!(Look at what I'm finally missing at home!) A week and a half since my last post...time in Singapore is flying way too quickly and work has been like a misguided tornado spiraling through my free time and crushing the 9 to 6 weekday only assumptions I maintain to be fair and normal.

Nonetheless, I'm not letting that stop me from my fun! I'll use this post as an unusual "whole week in one" post. Check out the FlickR badge (scroll on the left) for all my pics. Will get back to my regular posts within the week; hopefully that tornado turns into a simple wind storm!

Highlights last week...

Sunday's Gamelan Shokbreker was the most interesting musical combination I have ever seen; a group of 10 Indonesian muscians, using local instruments, and 3 Norwegian musicians playing jazz-type music, together. Musician alone doesn't fit; they were entertainers and comedians as well. A full house at the Esplanade for their last stop on their first tour.

Wednesday was Ladies Night at Zouk (free entry!!)...a very late night, or early morning, whichever you prefer. Funny, three months into our stay we finally check out Singapore's most renowned clubs...I guess those Hawker centre bars were appealing for a while! Quite the drink specials, and really the first time I've seen drinking straws in a jug, i think...!? Marike, Dennis, Joanne and I partyed it up that night Too bad Damien couldn't make it, Marike was giving us a lesson on Damien's favorite hard-to-pronounce word "Streudel".

Can you do it the German way?:P

Thursday, November 23, 2006

No "Sex & This City"

Dear Sex & the City Fans,

You won't find your beloved show here in Singapore. Seeing as Hall 11 at NTU has only one tv, which has only one working channel, I am completely clueless in tv world, and will be for the while. (I miss Prison Break!!) However, an Australian colleague couldn't find the show on tv. Naturally, DVD's are the next best thing, so she looked for the Sex & the City DVD set at the HMV on Orchard Road --the most touristy, non-Singaporean part of town. The response she got "We don't sell that in Singapore; it's censored". . Which lead me to think, what else is censored in Singapore?

Reporters without Borders ranked Singapore 140th out of 167 countries for freedom of the press; here's a handful of censored items:

  • Movies and tv shows with whatever is deemed as too much sexual content. Apparently they had a R-18 rating, to allow most Hollywood movies after a few cuts, but "due to public objection" the movie rating has been raised to R-21.
  • Any "party political film" made by anybody (political party or not) whose purpose is to discuss and voice opinions on politics in Singapore.
  • All scripts of plays shown in Singapore must be reviewed by the Media Development Authority, and are banned if they have content "contrary to public interest".
  • Playboy
  • The Economist newsmagazine
  • Malaysian newspapers

So, like most shoppers looking for DVDs, clothes, gum, or real newspapers, my Australian co-worker went to KL--where she found the real, legitimate ENTIRE DVD set (yes, all 6 seasons, all 94 episodes, almost 50 hours of tv) cost $300 SGD. Might have to head to that movie store before I leave!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

An Orchard Xmas (5 weeks early!)

Orchard Road is ready for Christmas, a few weeks early, ofcourse. Beautiful light display at night. After that long bus ride from Malacca, the four of us headed to Orchard for dinner. Food Republic has a good variety for a local food court; we had a mix...Chinese, Japanese and Indian all in one meal :-)
A bit of a strange site at the outdoor live need to use your hands to clap, they give you clappers!

Dinner in Geylang

Another note on Friday night; visited an "interesting" area of Singapore, known for two street full of great local food (if you're not a veggie :-)), and one street full of crazy traffic...and prostitutes.

Seeing as this is Singapore, it's still a safe area, but quite the juxstaposition. We stayed on the food side! Ofcourse, it makes the game we invented more fun. Stand on the good side of the street & take your guesses...Working, or not Working?

(Again, forgot the camera that night, dinner pics coming soon!)

Melaka: A (Short) Historical Tour

Dennis, Joanne, Lynn and I spent Saturday on one of those pre-packaged day tours to Melaka. Ofcourse, the downside of tours is they don't really let you hang out on your own and discover the place; would definitely spend the night the next time around. It was still nice to learn a bit about Malaysia's history. I've recorded a Gabcast below.

Instructions: Set the slideshow to 4.5 seconds (top right hand corner), then press play. Next press play on the "Gabcast!" voice button. (I'm sorry about the sound quality, still trying to figure out how to make it more clear!)Ofcourse, you can choose to just view the pics without sound. Enjoy!

Gabcast! Singapore Lizard #6 - Melaka: A (Short) Historical Tour

Timbre Friday

Enjoyed some live rock music Friday night at Timbre, with some Heinkens, pretty good music and great company. The band definitely didn't even come close to the UnXpected, but I'm sure we'll be trying to find a bar they're playing at soon. Most of the night is a bit of a coming as soon as I get them (forgot the camera, oops) we've got a few pics I'll scan from Dennis' not-so-digital camera :P
P.S. Any guesses on why "timbre" has an accent???

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Karaoke @ Crazy Hours pub

Vodka slimes and fun times!
Last night was some karaoke fun at Crazy Hours pub with some friends here in Singapore. Most of the songs were in Chinese, although we got Dennis to sing a couple of tunes!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Resfest--Crazy Short Films

Resfest is an international festival of short films, that stopped by in Singapore this weekend. Apparently it's 10 years old; not knowing much about short films, I'd never heard of it. Interesting to watch some random, short episodes. I think the sound effects created the atmosphere for most of them. Takes quite a bit of talent, I think, to portray a theme like that in such a short amount of time.
Saw a few cute cartoon films, a couple of artzy ones with anti-war messages, and some random memoirs of people that frequented places like a New York bar called "Terminal Bar".
The creepiest one I saw, was an Australian one (2004) "We Have Decided Not to Die" by Daniel Askill was surprisingly simple, yet creepy at the same time. It was about 3 rituals of birth and dying, yet had no storyline. Must have been the sound and music that made it so emotional. There are more pics on the film's official site: for anyone that wants to check it out. (Don't check it out too close to bed, wouldn't want to sleep with those images in mind!)

Cafe Menotti: Found the Italy in Singapore!

Wow! is about all I have to say. After cups and cups of wannabe cappuccinos, and countless imitation chocolates, I found the place where Italy's at, in Singapore. Yes, I'm still a wannabe European, despite the fact that I'm trying my best to discover Asia.

Cafe Menotti at Raffles City (yes, the touristy, business area), is a stylish cafe with real tiramisu and divine chocolate. Perfect girls night out, perfect moment of solitude, perfect date place all at the same time (now I just need the European boy :) Probably the only Asian thing about it is that it's 50% off deserts (after 10pm, every night). Sometimes you just need a European break, right?

Manco molto parlare italiano e manco il cibo, il caffe e la gente . Mi sembre che devo li andare subito perche si no, mi dimenticharo tutti!