Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back To Singapore - 25 June ~ 1 July (Part 1)

Yipee! It feels good to be back.

But my week in Singapore is flying by fast. Today is already the second last day and I haven't met up with many friends yet. My schedule has been really really tight and I try to prioritize my time for personal errands and family.

So if I missed catchng up with you, please accept my thousand apologies.

The climate in Singapore is soooooooooo humid that I try to shower twice a day. North African's climate should be just as hot now but not humid. Humid aside, it is a nice feeling to be back from dusty Africa.

- Arrived late in the afternoon. My family was gathered at my sister's place in Farrer Park. I tried to take the MRT there but it's difficult to move around with a big lugguage. I made it as far as Bugis MRT and decided to take a cab from there.

- Had lunch with Xinyi's dad at Turf city. Got a delicious Indian bryani rice treat!!!
- Enjoyed playing with my nephews, Lucus (9) and Angus (0.5)



- Shopping at Mustafa Shopping Center. My colleagues gave me a big list of vitamins and health food to buy for them.

- Hangout day with Jack. Saw Darwin's Nightmare which was a movie about the ecological disaster in some African country with a forgettable name. I'm still wondering why we chose to watch this movie and not a more entertaining one. It turned to be a very good but serious film. But, Oh about Africa again...

- We had our dinner at Botak Jones in Toa Payoh. Here are the photos:

Entree...Fried Stuffed Jalapenos

Viande...Grilled Rib Eye 200gms

Cafe....Iced Coffee (You can't find it anywhere in N. Africa! *shock*)

Jack, trying to eat a fork.

Dude, best of luck for what is to come!


- Busiest day of all. A lot of personal errands to do...including:

  • Buying TOTO to win the 3 million jackpot! Mental note to self, if I struck TOTO, immediately purchase air ticket to return to Singapore AGAIN next month. DO NOT FORGET to SNEER at workaholic colleagues!

Get International Driving License. It cost only $20 to apply for one. Mental note to self, DO NOT FORGET to SNEER at colleagues who paid USD100.

  • Tze Xiang, nice seeing you at the MRT station. Unfortunately we couldn't linger to catch up.

- Dinner at the Sun with Moon Japanese Dinning and Cafe with family! it is quite a nice place located in The Central at Clarke Quay. Check out the pics...

Some of the appertizers:

Ebi Ten Roll (Prawn Roll)

Salmon & Potato Salade

Ton Toro Yaki (Grilled Pork Cheek) I fucking miss eating pork!!!

My order: Yakiniku Kamameshi (Isn't it an upscaled Yoshi Gyu don?)

Dessert: Sweet Box 4 in One (... and all for love =P)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Flying Back To Singapore - 24 June

The east bound flight from Casablanca via Dubai to Singapore could be described as a progressive upgrade in the modern retailing experience.

Casablanca's Mohammed V airport, inferior even to the Algerian airport, occupies the lowest end of the spectrum. It seriously lacks a nice and comforting retailing environment. For a tourist country, its airport is unhygenic and inefficient.

Dubai International Airport occupies the more developed end of the spectrum. Its duty free stores carries products that appeal to people that the airport receives. On one hand, there are branded items for the business class travellers. On the other hand, there are no lack of electronic goods and indigenous souvenirs for the ordinary tourists. When I'm there, I'm always tempted to find something to buy.

In my consideration, Singapore Changi Airport is even one rung above Dubai's airport in the retail experience. There are so much more amenities to be found besides the shops I thought amenities like the nature garden, kid's playground and movie areas really caters to the passengers' varied tastes while in transit.

There's also free broadband access which is a good way to lure in potential customers too. Otherwise how can you explain why Samsung and Sharp want to place many laptops around the terminals for free use by the passengers? Subtle marketing?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Algiers To Casablanca - 22 June

Normally, I don't enjoy visiting Casablanca because it's so darn hot there. But this trip was an exception. I will be leaving for Singapore via Casablanca.

On a different note, I don't own any cats but I'm sure cat lovers will agree that they do the darnest things right?

Saw this cat at the Algerian airport while waiting for my departure. I took a picture of it washing it's face at a mini fountain outside a duty-free shop IN THE MIDDLE of the airport waiting lounge.

Looks like it just woke from a good night sleep and was trying to freshen up. Perhaps it owns the place. Xinyi pointed out that the cat is sporting a square top. How it got past airport security was beyond me.

After landing in Casablanca, my colleague and I decided to follow through with our rightful return to "civilization" by heading to MacDonalds. (MacDonalds is still not available in Algeria). We bought the latest promotion burger known as the Big Tasty.

After tasting, I want to change the name to Only So So Big and Tasty.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dîner Au Restaurant Bon Gerbil

This is one of the few nicer restaurants in Algiers. It has a good ambience and serves mostly French food with a little bit of local twist. We visit this place occasionally when we have guests. I remember being invited here for my first dinner after coming to Algeria.


Some of our visitors from our trading company in Japan with Algerian local staff.

Cozy Interior

Selection of French and Algerian wines

Fireplace for winter season

Al Fresco Dining Area

The restaurant was almost empty when we arrive for dinner (7pm) because Algeria normal dinner time starts after 8.

Al Fresco dining in Spring time

Mixed salade: Octopus, shrimps, lettuce and springrolls

Entrecote: My dinner.

French courses are so slow, by the time my steak arrived, it was already dark...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Listomania - Top 10 MP3s

Here's a list of current top 10 favourite songs that get me through the day, in no order of preference.

1. Never Let Me Down Again - Depeche Mode
Blast from the past. This is one of my favourite DM songs and DM being one of my favourite bands.

2. Bullet With Butterfly Wings - Smashing Pumpkins

Never did gave much attention to SP until now. This song is a classic with SP fans. Heard that Billy Corgan is reviving the SP vehicle this year.

3. In My Life - Beatles
See above comments for SP. I honestly didn't know that Beatles were this good. A meangingful song.

4. Ava Adore - Smashing Pumpkins
It's this song that I adore...

5. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
Made me wanna watch Grey's Anatomy.

6. We Used To Be Friends - The Dandy Warhols
Neo noir high school detective series Veronica Mars theme song. Very nice upbeat and revamp of 80s synthrock style.

7. 君の好きなとこ - 平井堅

8. Girlfriend - Avril Lavigne
I don't know about you but I just enjoy this catchy tune and naughty lyrics alot.

9. 我真的以为 - 张栋梁
虽然没有觉得很好听,不过觉得容易唱. 可惜这里没有KTV.

10. 夜空のムコウ - SMAP
SMAP didn't do it justice because some members have poor vocals but nevertheless still quite a nice song to listen to.

Having a a good selection of music to accompany me during the day can entirely uplift the mood of an otherwise mudane workday. So what are your top 10 song choices to get you through the day?