The music they play in hell

We had to go out to Paragon today because Kai had to see the doctor to get some medication for his cold.

We’re all a bit under the weather, but we managed to soldier on because Paragon’s common areas didn’t play that infernal racket known as Chinese New Year music. The individual shops and the supermarket were another matter. We had instantaneous severe migraine to add to our flu the moment we stepped in to pick up groceries for dinner.

President Obama, I give you the solution to the war in Afghanistan: just send your humvees and choppers into the mountains blaring this the music they play in hell, and I guarantee you, the Taliban will be flushed from their caves, surrendering in shock and awe.

Click here and bleed from your ears

Unthinkable Singapore


So we might not get to watch the World Cup.

They say you can feel the pulse of the nation on, and yesterday, a heartfelt plea from “Rogue Trader” summed up the disbelief and desperation among soccer fans around the island.

Dear singtel and starhub,

i writes to you as a football fans. Please show us all world cup matches this year.

Please note that I write only “matches”. We don’t needs any other channels like:
1) “bench area” view for the both sides’ substitute bench and managers,
2) the “tactical” top-down view where we can only see which player is balding.
3) “Beckham” view to show him for full 90 minutes (or “Christiano Ronaldo” view etc).

I know singaporean telco/ISP very high tech can show all this. probably last time you can charge us more for these channels we didnt choose to subscribe.

Just show us the Live game from the match camera view. This way your bid can become cheaper. And then we can all watch the world cup this year.

Thank you!

The other unthinkable thing I read about was how Sassyjan and her family were harassed by loansharks who struck – the usual paintjob, phonecalls and ripping her front gate out – with apparent impunity, because her calls to the police resulted in merely ineffectual advice (install a CCTV) while she and her family cowered in fear, half-hoping that our Home Team would be on the job, and that the Investigating Officer had a very, very good reason not to return her call for an entire week.

Maybe they should change the name of the “The Home Team” to “The Go Out and Protect Our Citizens Team”. That might do the trick.


Vegetarian food can taste this good

Once in a while I hanker for a steak, done medium-rare, and I used to think I wouldn’t survive a day without meat. I also have a sensitive stomach, about which Naomi loves to talk with some glee to her friends and relatives.

We read somewhere awhile ago about ‘eating for your blood type’, and that because I’m type A+, I should avoid meats, especially red meat. And though it’s been rubbished by some people, I decided to give vegetarian diets a try about two years back. Wouldn’t you know it, the tummy aches and explosive diarrhea more or less disappeared.

You’d think it’s as simple as converting oneself right away to a completely vegetarian diet, but when you’ve got meat eaters in your family, it’s hard not to put some meat on your plate. Plus, I like my steak, roast pork, charsiew, and sometimes, I feel like it’s worth the tummy ache.

But Naomi and I have decided again, whenever we’re at home – because it’s usually just Kai and ourselves, to eat as much of a vegetarian diet as possible, with just a little meat on the side, instead of the other way around.

If you’re omnivorous like us, and you’re considering switching to a vegetarian diet, don’t think of it as having to give up good tasting food, or having to suffer Chinese vegetarian horrors as “mock duck”, “mock abalone” and “mock pork” at some vegetarian eateries. I think it’s ridiculous that vegetarian dishes are made up to be facsimiles of meat ones. It’s not supposed to be a sacrifice.

We’ve been fortunate to have friends who’ve given us tips on where and what to eat – and the restaurant we lunched at yesterday is one of the places we’d recommend highly.

Naïve is at 99 East Coast Road, opposite Katong Mall, and when Naomi called to make a reservation, she was told not to worry about that and just walk in. Walk in we did, and stand and wait we did for a table for about 15 minutes before we over-ordered, overate, and then lugged our full vegetarian stomachs around for the rest of the afternoon.

If you were teetering on whether to turn vegetarian (for whatever reasons – to save the planet is a good one), a meal at Naïve could tip you over the edge. The food is that good. It’s even more amazing that not only are their dishes meatless, they’re also MSG-less, egg-less, onion-less and garlic-less.

If you over-order and over-eat, expect to pay about $30+ a person.

Cheeky Monkey - monkey head mushrooms with crispy oats

Olive brown rice

Sambal broccoli

Hong Kong fried noodles

Mac the Dog’s visit to the vet

Mac waits for walkies

Mac the Dog’s chronic itchy paw problem may have a solution. Thanks to a tip from our super doggie mommy friend, we visited Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre at Sunset Way, where the vet told us that almost everything Mac’s previous vet told us was bunk.

Mac probably doesn’t have a thyroid imbalance causing skin problems. Nor is he likely to be having hormonal problems caused by food allergies caused by chicken and meats. Nor does he need long term steroid and thyroid medication.

A sigh of relief all round, you might think. But knowing how dogs understand what we say even if they don’t quite speak human, Mac has mixed feelings about yesterday’s visit because the new vet also says that there is no issue with him being neutered because there is no hormonal imbalance, and even if there were, it has nothing to do with his reproductive organs.

Oh well.

Why Tanglin has a Halt

Block 80, Tanglin Halt

Yesterday, someone tweeted something quite innocuous – about food and about how she was about to eat food – but the locality she tweeted about – “Tanglin Halt” – piqued my interest.

I’ve always wondered who Tanglin was named for, and why there is (or was) a “Halt” in Tanglin. It isn’t exactly a burning question, so I’ve left it aside for the best part of three decades, until now.

Googling “Tanglin Halt History”, I found the NHB site, “Heritage Trails“, which explained:

This area, bordered by Stirling Road, Queensway and the Malayan Railway, derived its name from Tanglin Road and the Malayan Railway, which used to have a stop (thus the word ‘halt’) near the junction of Tanglin Halt Road and Tanglin Halt Close. ‘Tanglin’ came from “Tua Tang Leng” (Hokkien: Great Eastern Hills), a name given by the Chinese to the hilly area around Tanglin Road. Tanglin Halt was also known as ‘Tanglin Halt Chap Lau’ (Hokkien: Ten Storeys), after the ten-storey blocks which make up the estate. Today it is called Tanglin Halt Green with three new 40-storey blocks towering over the original Chap Lau which are still standing

So now I know: The Ten-Storey Blocks on The Great Eastern Hills where The Train of the Land of the Malays (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) used to Halt.