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!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Updates to my Blog!

Ok, so FINALLY I have updated my FlickR with new pics. More sets of pics and descriptions to be added, as I get pics from friends and take more of my own.

Here is that long promised KL/Penang slideshow. I'll add voice through Gabcast. Just click on the play button, and hopefully you'll be able to see the pics and hear about them too! (Make sure you set the timing on the slideshow to 4 seconds per slide, top right hand corner) so that the words match the pictures!

Gabcast! Singapore Lizard #5

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Singapore @ the Movies

Went to see The Covenant Sunday night. Really hot boys, but the plot was a real disappointment. Had the potential to be good, but lacked substance. One of those movies where you walk out, and think of at least 3 endings that would have been WAY better to end the story. C'mon Hollywood, really!!

The Banquet, Chinese movie in Mandarin was beautiful and is a must see for my fellow foreign film lovers.Really beautiful take on a Hamlet style plot. I'm sure it is available for download; check it out!

Sunday on a Yatch

Spent this past Sunday on a yatch trip to Big Ghost Island, a few hours off the coast of Singapore. They say you can't go to the toilets alone, bring a friend just in case! Honestly, some of you I know would have been haunted by the stories we heard at night from some of the local people on the boat. Ghosts in Thailand, visions of the afterlife and Chinese superstitions that will make your blood curl. The signboard warns you must leave the beach by 7 pm...didn't have time to stick around and see what happens at 7:30!
Beautiful boat though. Had a bbq lunch while anchored in the middle of the sea. Amazing to feel a cold, rather than sticky hot, wind, finally. Confirms that I will never settle in a landlocked place! Goodbye Alberta!

Evelyn and friends on boat Mandy decides to drive
Check out our invention, Coconut Baseball!

By the way, I'm sorry to those of you waiting for my KL/Penang slideshow from a previous post. Not enough slack time at work :) It's been two weeks since I returned and I haven't had the time yet! If I can pull it off, it'll be a talking slideshow. I've upgraded my FlickR and that will be more organized too. Coming soon, promise!

Been stuck with a nasty cold I probably picked up on the yatch. Ya ok, alcohol, wind, and tired ppl don't mix. Heads up to those of you travelling here, I am sooo glad I brought Buckleys! Wish I had thought to bring more Advil, and Halls. Apparently they don't get colds that require Halls to actually have medicine inside; here they call it candy. Even Strepsils here don't make your throat numb. I am sticking to my regular stubborn plan; I get over colds in 5 days max! Will be chugging the Canadian Buckleys!