Halloween @ The Night Safari

Posted in celebrations, Singapore with tags , , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by Aloysious Wong

Spend my very first Halloween in Singapore @ The Night Safari on friday together with a group of close friends and I must say, it would had been much more fun without the rain… While I was roaming around, I encountered some of the lost souls wandering around the foodcourts, souvenir shops and ticketing counters.  Some of them even looked like characters from bedtime stories gone wrong e.g. Tinman from Wizard of Oz with his exposed heart. We then proceeded to have our cocktail and cuisine onboard the train of terror.

Cuisine

Train of Terror cuisine

During the ride which lasted for about 30 mins, we got to see nocturnal animals going about their daily business, albeit with a twist in the guide’s commentary.  She told us gruesome details on the various way how these animals could injure or kill when provoked e.g. trample, pierce, crush. Very interesting… The train of terror then took a detour from the normal route to the Gate of the Neverland where we got to see the so-called victims from previous train rides being viciously killed with their bodies decapitated and bodies could be seen hanging on the trees and even the murder of a mermaid by the fishmonger. After the ride, we went to the Bridge of No Return at the Forest Giants Trail – a short suspension bridge where more “eerie” characters would be seen. At the end of the day i must say, it was quite a disappointment as most of the “eerie” characters were no where to be found. I guess they were afraid of the rain.. haha.. Anyway I hope my next halloween experience will be much more fun and exciting 🙂

victim of previous rides

victims from previous rides


Commuters behavior when taking the MRT

Posted in Singapore, transportation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by Aloysious Wong

Sometimes I’m just glad that I do not have to take the MRT to travel to and fro my workplace and home even if it means having to wake up damn early in the morning just to be on time for work on certain days. I do not have to subject myself to the rush hour where Singaporeans and foreigners come together and rear the ugly side of humanity. I am no angel but I think I might be be given an associate membership into the hall of saints when compared to the kinds of people I see on the MRT.

I’ve always felt that the yellow markings seen in MRT stations are an embarrassment and an insult to our intelligence. That the authorities need to draw big bright yellow lines and arrows to teach us exactly where to stand and where to walk . But do the authorities know that commuters here don’t give a freaking damn about them. Your arrows don’t scare them!! We will stand exactly where we please, thank you very much. Isn’t it painfully obvious that the yellow lines and arrows in MRT stations do not work? People don’t even know how to use them. As far as I can see, there are only two things that the markings and arrows accomplish:

1) Make them look stupid for needing markings to tell them where to stand

2) Make them look stupid for appearing not to know how to use the markings.

But then again, maybe the commuters here are just plain stupid so I suggest that every commuter should attend a lesson on how to use the lines. Oh, and whenever I’m trying to get out of the train, I just wish I was a bowling ball.

I have always been amused by how well behaved the commuters are before the train arrives at the station, but as soon as the train appears in sight, all hell break loose.. people will start stepping into the “keep clear” area and will start to crowd around the edge of the platform (beyond the yellow line) and pack themselves like sardines.. Until recently, due to the many cases of people falling onto the tracks, platform screen doors have to be build.

It may not be the number one thing that I hate about taking the MRT but it certainly ranks WAY UP there. For those of you who frequently….. Hmmm….. wait…. let me rephrase that. For those of you who EVER taken an MRT before, there is a 99.99% probability that you will encounter the following scenario.

If you are IN the MRT cabin and when the train arrives at the station even before the doors open, you will start to see humans through the glass panels. And once the doors open, even before you can say “Excuse Me”, these humans will start to POUR IN faster than you can GO OUT.

These strange human beings can’t logically come to a conclusion that it is better to actually let the passengers move OUT of the train first so that that is space for people to GO IN. But these illogical strange human beings have very good skills too! You will be impress. They have super fast processing skills and fast reflexes. In the space of a couple of seconds, they can do the following:

1) Move into the train cabin at super speed

2) Scan for corner seats.

3) Conclude if the seat will be affected by the sun.

4) Check if the seat is dirty or too warm

5) Sit down

6) “CHOP” seats for their mother, father, brother, sister, friend, friend’s sister, friend’s brother, friend’s parents, friend’s sister’s    friend.

7) Turn on their “Eye-Filter” so that they cannot see all the old people and pregnant ladies even if they are standing right in front of them.

Gracious society”? Think again…

Anyway, the picture below is why I think commuters act this way.

mrt-lines

After living in Singapore for over 20 years, I would like to give my 2 cents worth. I present to you Aloysious list of MRT Tips:

01) When SMRT says they are increasing the number of train trips, it doesn’t mean that you can wake up later. If you can’t board the train when you’re running late for work, you only have yourself to blame. Earth won’t stop revolving and time won’t stop for you just so you can get to work on time.

02) When you are waiting on the platform for the train to arrive, please refrain from looking at the screens telling you how long is the next train going to arrive if you have high blood pressure.

03) When on the escalator during rush hour, either keep left or you follow the rushing commuters on the right. Don’t stall the fast lane and tempt me to grab you and toss you over the side.

04) If you want to get into the train cabin and you do noT intend to let the passengers in the train cabin out first, you totally deserve to be whacked by a grouchy old man with an umbrella.

05) If you will not give up your seat to a pregnant lady or a senior citizen, please I’m BEGGING you, at least PRETEND that you are fast asleep. Stop looking at the lady’s stomach and mentally weighing it against your beer belly and deciding who has the heavier load.

06) The vertical poles in the train cabins are for passengers to hold onto with their hands to stabilize themselves. If you lean on them with your whole body, to get a firm stance, I might need to separate your left butt cheek from your right to secure a holding spot and I do not have that much Dettol to cleanse my hand with afterwards. So do use only your hands.

07) If you are blasting away your choice of music through your phone speakers, please make sure that your taste in music is at least accepted by 80% of the people who are within earshot. If you are not sure how you can figure that out, please purchase a device that had been invented in the 19th century called earphones.

08) The fare you pay for travelling on the MRT entailed you to a limited space. If you need space to hold a newspaper and to opened it fully in front of you during peak hours, do consider buying an EZ-Link card for the newspaper as well.

09) If you really need to fart (especially if your ass-hole is not equipped with silencer) or burp inside an MRT cabin, have the courtesy to say ‘excuse me’. If you think people will get angry and wallop you because of it, practice the habit of laughing like a hyena as soon as you fart. At least you can have a good laugh first before getting wallop by angry people.

10) Do not scold me if the train is packed and I am poking your butt from behind. The one who you should scold is the one who is poking my butt. Don’t ask me to push back as well because it will seem as though I am reciprocating.

Michael Jackson new song debut (This is it)

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Aloysious Wong

On Mon (12/10/09) at 1200hrs in Singapore, radio station 987fm, aired Michael Jackson’s brand new song “This Is It” for the very first time during its V-Spot programme. It marks yet another exciting moment in music history for one of the world’s most revered artists; featuring backing vocals by MJ’s brothers The Jacksons. “This Is It” was to have been the title of Jackson’s 50-concert comeback in London, which would have kicked off in the summer had he not died on 25 June at his Hollywood home.

michael-jackson-this-is-it

It is said that Michael Jackson has recorded more than 100 songs in secret, but is refusing to release the tracks until after his death, according to biographer Ian Halperin.

The singer has amassed a stack of tunes but only wants them to be heard by his children, 11-year-old Prince, 10-year-old Paris Katherine, and five-year-old Prince Michael II, after he dies, said Halperin, author of forthcoming book “Unmasked, The Michael Jackson Story”.

Fans can definitely expect more from the King Of PoP even after his death with rumors that Mj had been working in collaborations with artists such as will.i.am and Akon for his unreleased materials. The tracks, many of which were at an “advanced stage” of production, have now been played to record company executives. The source said: “A lot of the material is good enough to release as it is. Those who’ve heard it say it is the best stuff Michael has ever done.

Sony is said to be keen to release at least one track within weeks. The source said: “There is a plan to get his brothers and sisters, including Janet, La Toya and Jermaine, involved to finish off the other fragments. Other singers – including Justin Timberlake and Will.I.Am from Black Eyed Peas, who has worked closely with Michael – might also be invited to complete the songs as a tribute.

In his latest song, I felt that Michael sounded calm throughout the song, which is unusual, although not unprecedented. What do you think of what could be the last new song (if all rumors about there being unreleased material ain’t true) ever to be heard from one of the most influential entertainers in human history. Check out the video below to hear the track for yourself:

A little humor for you

Posted in bo liao, humor with tags , , , , , , on October 7, 2009 by Aloysious Wong

How has the week been for you so far?? Good??!! Fantastic… For those of you who are feeling down, stress, sad,  bitter, blue, despairing, bereaved, cheerless, dejected, despondent, dismal, distressed, downcast, forlorn, gloomy, glum, grief-stricken, heartbroken,  heavyhearted, in the dumps, languishing, low-spirited, lugubrious, troubled, out of sorts for whatever reasons they may be, I hope to bring a smile to your face. So take some time off, relax yourself (make yourself comfortable) and put aside whatever you’re doing for a while to read this entry. I had came across a couple of interesting, funny and weird newspaper headlines and advertisements that I wanna share with you guys:

Mistress of the universe… wow!! What a title to have..

Mistress of the universe… wow!! What a title to have..

so smart of the Feds..

so smart of the Feds..

Ok, that’s just cruel

Ok, that’s just cruel

wonder which are the ones that are not OK

wonder which are the ones that are not OK

I didn't know that.. now I'm smarter

I'm getting smarter each day

he must have been pretty bored

he must have been pretty bored

“I wouldn’t do it again” says the hero, “she’s been a pain this week”

“I wouldn’t do it again” says the hero, “she’s been a pain this week”

What goes around, comes around!

What goes around, comes around!

I can tell

I can tell

were they expecting something else?

were they expecting something else?

And you wonder why…

And you wonder why…

how useful..

how useful..

smiling yet??  huh..

no…???

wah lau eh… can’t be lei…

hmmm….

ok.. here’s more

wonder which country's newspaper it's taken from

wonder which country's newspaper it's taken from

sounds so wrong.. lol

sounds so wrong.. lol

let's hope it's not the president

let's hope it's not the president

anyone interested??

anyone interested??

special offer

special offer

I wonder how it did it..

I wonder how it did it..

wah.. like kana con like tt...

wah.. like kana con like tt...

seems like they were expecting to find something else

seems like they were expecting to find something else

hey… I think I’m seeing some smiles and hearing some giggles already..

that’s good..

for those of you who are still having the same expressionless look on your face just like before, I just got one thing to say to you..

YOU HAVE NO SENCE OF HUMOUR AT ALL

Have a great week ahead and SMILE more as it puts you in a better mood and raises your self esteem 🙂

Okay, before I end this entry,

For those of you with datelines to meet, you better stop snooping around and get started with whatever  that needs to be  done before your bosses starts breathing down your neck…

Smiling won’t help when your boss wants to give you the boot…

History of Singapore Grand Prix

Posted in Singapore, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2009 by Aloysious Wong

2009 Singapore Grand Prix - Sunday

F1 Singapore Grand Prix 2009 came to an end on Sunday (27/09/2009) after 61 laps of the Marina Bay Street Circuit with Lewis Hamilton emerging the winner for McLaren-Mercedes. It was his 12th victory of his career.

The race had became part of the F1 calendar since 2008 and was the very first Formula One’s night race. However did any of you actually knew that prior to this race becoming part of the Formula One calendar,  the Singapore Grand Prix was already in Singapore in the early 1960s to the early 1970s?

Singapore Grand Prix in the earlier days We had our first grand prix in 1961 and it proved to be an extremely popular event. By the late 60s it was estimated that over a hundred thousand spectators attended the grand prix.

The grand prix was held in the Thomson Road circuit. This 3 mile circuit covered the stretch of Old Upper Thomson Road from Sembawang Hills Circus to the other end where it met Upper Thomson Road and continued along this road until it reached Sembawang Hills Circus again. This bend was called “The Hairpin” or “Circus Hairpin”. It was here that one driver was killed when his car overturned. Altogether 7 fatalities were recorded, which also involved road marshals. The race was discontinued from 1974 onwards, in part due to the problems of managing the increased traffic and fatalities involved. The Thomson Road circuit was reputed to be one of the most dangerous tracks in the world.

A friend’s father told me that back then, the Grand stand seats cost $5 a day and for this you had the privilege of sitting on wooden benches elevated above the ground and under cover which sheltered the spectators from the sun and rain.

There were two favourite spots among spectators along the Old Upper Thomson Road stretch which were the Snakes’ Bend and the sharp V-shape Devil’s Bend. Many accidents happened at these notorious bends which account for their popularity with the spectators! To see the skills of the drivers expertly maneuvering these bends were simply a joy to watch.

Singapore_1961_GP

There were several categories of races for motorcycles, saloon cars, vintage cars, sports cars and the main Gran Prix event for motorcycles and racing cars. The highlight of the 4 day event, was the Formula 2 Grand Prix race which sees overseas participants hailing from all over the globe.

My friend’s father recounted the fond memories of being at such races and seeing the tired but happy faces of each spectators that were filled with excitement at the end of each day events. Thousands of spectators will stream out of the front entrance at the Upper Thomson Road end of Sembawang Hills Circus. For the locals of Sembawang Hills Estate it was only short walk home. Lucky them..

Taylor Swift moment on MTV Video Music Awards 2009

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2009 by Aloysious Wong

kanye west & taylor swift

Any of you guys caught the latest VMAs award?? The most talked about moments of the night must be the Taylor Swift acceptance speech incident. Kanye West just had to ruin it for her.. what an asshole… It happened after Taylor Swift’s victory in the Best Female Video category for “You Belong With Me,” which beat out Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).” Just moments after Swift accepted the Moon man (MTV award) and began her acceptance speech, West went onstage the stage, grabbing the microphone from a shocked Swift to announce Beyoncé deserved the award. He declared, “Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’m gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.”

You guys should have seen the look on Taylor Swift face… she was so shock and too lost for words. Everyone looked stunned including Beyoncé who looked astonished and horrified in her seat. It was Swift’s very first VMA and she didn’t get to enjoy it.. To add insult to injury, after West handed the mic back to Swift, her time was up. I’m going to quote what Pink said: “Kanye West is the biggest piece of shit on earth.”

Subsequently after being Booed heavily, he left the venue, Radio City Music Hall.

According to sources at the VMAs, Swift was seen hysterically crying backstage after Kanye’s outburst, making it convenient that the first part of her performance of “You Belong to Me,” which immediately followed the acceptance speech, was prerecorded.

beyonce_taylor_swift

After winning a VMA for Best Female Video earlier in the show and having her acceptance speech interrupted by the egotistic Kanye West, Taylor Swift was invited by Beyoncé to come back out onstage to have her moment. Beyoncé took home the biggest award of the night, Video of the Year.

Both exchanged a hug before Beyoncé passed the mic to the country teen artist.

beyonce_taylor_swift_1

I really felt that it was a wonderful and gracious move by Beyoncé to give up the stage to Swift, so kudos to her.

West had since apologized on numerous occasions including his official blog and several public apologies, however I just felt that it still won’t make up for his outburst at the VMAs. In an interview backstage, Taylor said that she was excited that she had won the award, and was very excited that Kanye West was on the stage and then she wasn’t so excited anymore after that. And she was even a fan of his. I would really feel lousy like the whole world seems to be crushing down on me and really really disappointed and hurt if my idol was to did that to me..

You’re such a jack-ass West!!!

His initial post on his blog which was subsequently removed:

I spoke to her mother right after and she said the same thing my mother would’ve said. She is very talented! I like the lyrics about being a cheerleader and she’s in the bleachers! I’m in the wrong for going on stage and taking away from her moment! Beyonce video was the best of this decade!!! I’m sorry to my fans if I have let you guys down!!! I’m sorry to my friends at MTV!!! I will apologize to Taylor 2mrw. Welcome to the real world!!!! Everybody wanna booooo me but I’m a fan of real pop culture!!! No disrespect but we watchin’ the show at the crib right now cause … well you know!!!! I’m still happy for Taylor!!!! Boooyaaawwww!!!! You are very very talented!!! I gave my awards to Outkast when they deserved it over me … That’s what it is!!!!!!! I’m not crazy y’all, i’m just real. Sorry for that!!! I really feel bad for Taylor and I’m sincerely sorry!!! Much respect!!!!!”

Can you believe it??!! You even call that an apology?? It wasn’t even sincere if you ask me…

Click on the link below to view the video clip of the incident

http://dailycontributor.com/kanye-west-taylor-swift-at-vma-video/7268/

Do Singaporeans Speak English Badly??

Posted in Singapore with tags , , , , , , on September 15, 2009 by Aloysious Wong

Over the years, Singaporeans have always been criticised for their poor command of English and even our very own brand of English (Singlish) which is labeled as WEIRD and SUB-STANDARD by some, can create misunderstanding at times especially when communicating with expats… Once again this topic had found it’s way into the Sunday Times recently, with headline news on our very own beauty queen Ris Low video interview.  With the government efforts to discourage the use of Singlish, and for Singaporeans to speak better English to enable more effective communication with other english users through the Speak Good English Movement over the years to emphasise the point, it all just seems futile to me …   At the recent annual National Day Dinner at the Tanjong Pagar constituency, MM Lee also mentioned “The command of English is the decisive factor for the career path and promotion prospects of all Singaporean.” Coincidentally a couple of weeks back, Deejay Soowei from 98.7fm was taken off air because her English language isn’t proficient enough and was offered to return to being a promotions executive and radio programmer which she rejected. She then deciding to leave the radio station. She claimed that the station’s management had also told her to ‘listen to American radio jocks and learn an American accent. OMG!!! Do we really need to speak with an American accent to attract listenership?? I personally feel that we shouldn’t discourage the use of Singlish. It gives us a sense of identify and I’m definitely proud of it. It has become our culture and an infusion of all things Singaporean. Singlish is uniquely Singaporean and it incorporates the elements the 4 national languages forming a one common special language that is common to all Singaporeans. Its our heritage and it’s what makes us true Singaporeans!!! So to those “ang moh” wannabes, away with those fake accents!! We can still speak beautifully without having an accent. Nevertheless, I must also stress the point that speaking good English is equally as important and that Singlish should only be used at the right time and place.  Generally Singaporeans are fluent in the English language and can hold good converstion even with expats but not always accurately. That’s just because we are more comfortable communicating in the way we do, be it whether it is in Singlish or English with a mixture of our mother tongue. So we just got to work harder on our syntax and to improve on our vocabulary. Gosh, this entry is getting way too lengthy so I better stop here. Do check out the video.. I simply enjoyed it 🙂