Saturday, February 21, 2009

My Saturday Event

When I came to Singapore, I have always wanted to take pictures of these elaborate conceptual structure and today, I just had the chance of capturing their silent beauty.

I actually had quite a busy day. I woke up around 9AM and directly defrosted the fish meat I bought from shop and save. I just had it there on a basin soaked in water for 20 minutes and after that, I fried it. But of course, I sprinkled it with salt and pepper to taste. After an hour, I decided to go to the gym. Then after an hour, I went home and had at least 3 hours of hibernation. Hibernation for me was like surfing the net and chatting with friends from the Philippines.

At around 5PM I went to Lucky Plaza to send money to my friend I owed. Then came the moment to take some pictures. I took only three pictures and decided to just post one. And here I present to you this nice piece of art, I guess. I did not know the name or the artist of these sculpture so I gave it a name and it's called, "Enchanted Trio". I had another name of these piece like I was thinking of naming it, "The Hoppers" but it sounded weird and bug-ish, and so people might think they are bugs. Another thought was naming it, "Free Spirited" - I actually thought of naming it with that but after a few minutes of hard thought, I ended up with, "Enchanted Trio".

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day isn't for lovers.

Yesterday, Olga, Mamul and I had a chance to actually celebrate Valentines as single and available individuals.

We went to Novena church and said our simple prayers at around 6PM and went to Chin Hua Live Seafood - a steamboat restaurant just across the street. Mamul had a tongue for delicious food so I guess that's why she also suggested the place. You guys have to be very patient though because people were in a queue. If I am not mistaken, we queue ourselves for about 15 minutes or more. When it was our time to be served, it was kind of exciting as it was an eat all you can food house.

The waiter guided us where to sit. It was the second table at the right side of the main entrance and we were like at the hallway. Basically the place was crowded and there was obviously no air condition. The fact that we were like cooking the food we eat, much like Japanese shabu-shabu, made it even a little hotter. Going to our exciting belly feast, the two girls decided to take the food and I was left on the table to see things. The waiter actually had set up the steamboat cooker. It was actually getting a little paranoid because the gas tank was beside me and just "what if" something might go wrong.

Any way, these two girls were actually carrying this plates of seafood. It looks not much but when we started to dip this and that, it came out plentiful. It was a Valentines feast. Our faces were very sweaty. We actually spent 2 hours in that dinner of ours. Everything has a price though and it would cost 25SGD per person. Kind of expensive for a meal but very much sumptuous and well deserved. I was wondering if ever the waiters have noticed us that we were really like taking time on that meal and if they were furious already because were like just plain talking and laughing so we could rest a bit. It was gluttony already for the simple reason that the final food which were these live shrimps and three half piece of crab were difficult to finish. But we have to because there's this 15% charge on food wastage.

What added the more fun is that, Mamul gave us Ferrero Rocher chocolates and a cactus. Ofcourse one for me and another one for Olga. We were actually in gratitude for that and thanks to Mamul. After a long belly feast, we decided to watch a movie. We planned to watch at Dhoby Ghaut. We then walk away from that indulgence (hehehehe) and went for a bus ride going to our next destination.

We arrived at Dhoby Ghaut at around 9:30 and we decided to walk so that we can can bur$n the food we just ate? Yeah we did and it was quite a long stroll. We decided to watch "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button".

Since the showing will be at 11:30, we just walk around the store and I purchase a bracelet at Otakuhouse. We also had this wishlist game. We wrote some of our best wishes to our close friends. After that, it was viewing time....

It was an interesting movie and a good one. I can't spoil this one for those who have not watched it so I will leave it at that. One thing I did not like was the Cinema at Plaza Singapura. The screen was like at the top and the seats are not in a riser. We just thought that we will have a not-so-serious case of stiff neck after the movie. Anyway thanks again to Mamul for the treat. Imagine Mamul got so generous on that day. Sigh :) I wish everyday is Valentines. Hehehehe.

We actually got out of that movie house around 2AM and there were no more regular buses. We decided to just stroll the street of Orchard. We were aching tired. Wahahahha. But had a ton of fun. We then decided to call it day or no, another day :P Taxi ride was a bit expensive for us but we had no choice.

I was actually thinking of changing the title to my firsts something because it's my first time to watch a movie here in Singapore, my first time to eat at steamboat and my first time to visit the Novena church. But, it was all for the glory of our singles date in Valentines day and I shall leave it at that.

Friday, February 13, 2009

We are moving out @ Holland Village

This is going to be the shortest post I have ever made. This deserves to be just twitted but I like to blog it here.

Instead of denying the fact that we are getting a bad service, might as well move out in order for us to preserve our state of sanity.

We have a decision, and I think we are going to move out already. Our future address hopefully, will be at Holland Village.

That's it! We are moving out :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Biking at the East Coast Park

My friends and I agreed to go biking yesterday - Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009; and it's going to be our fifth attempt more or less, to get our legs kicking with these bicycles.

When I got up, I hurriedly check my phone as I had an appointment with my agent to view a flat at Holland Village but he cancelled the appointment. So, I decided to go to the gym. I had few hours to do some cardio and weights. After the gym, I got so tired but did not have much time to rest as Mamul was sending me some SMS about the activities for that afternoon. Mamul and Agnes together with Christian, actually went first somewhere (I forgot the name of the place LOLZ:P ) to check some electronics and then they sent messages that we would meet at Expo which was a station away of Tanah Merah. Anyway, I did not much have rest after the gym but I managed to watch Discovery discussing Taboo, which was pretty interesting. It was showing some food stuff and they were disgusting, which made it taboo. From the Cobra wine to actually drinking the cobra's blood, to eating insects like hoppers and crickets, to eating friend scorpions, then dog meat in Vietnam - where they sort of have a dog livestock, to puffer fish in Japan - a very deadly meal, a Russian Rollet kinda thing in dining. I was a little shocked on the dog meat thing and I hope I won't offend some culture about it by mentioning this one in my blog.

Anyway, Olga was already ready for the trip and I was hurrying myself from washing my face and then changing my clothes. You might be wondering if I took my bath already and the answer is yes, after the gym (hehehe). Olga and I went out of the flat at around 4PM and walked our way to the Buona Vista station. Tanah was really far. I was standing up until Commonwealth and got a seat at Outram. I told you I was a little tired so I managed to get a bumpy nap. We reached the interchange in about 45 minutes maybe and from a station away, we arrived to our destination which is at Expo. Olga and I went to this Nike Sale and the queue at the entrance was a mile long. When we got inside, it took us 15 minutes on the queue right after we could enter the actual rummage of Nike goodies. I got dizzy of which things to buy. I got a cap and a polo shirt and I was trying to fit some good looking shoes. They were actually all marked up and all of them were made from China. I got so tired and dizzy with all the people. I guess I am not so used to it - some people in different sizes and smell? Plus the fact that I was a little tired which I pretended I wasn't (hehehehe). I had my stuff ready and was about to pay and got discouraged by the huge queue again. I guess Singapore loves to queue things.

Anyway, I decided to go out of the premise instead and did not buy anything. I was so exhausted of the flock and the breeze outside which was telling us that it would rain was a refreshment that I have waited.

Olga got out of the building and had her jacket purchased at 20$ which was a really pretty bargain. Mamul suggested to let Olga try the new jacket and it was really cool. Mamul then had over the KFC meal Olga requested through me and I had a piece of fried chicken which added a boost in my waning energy level.

We then decided to go to our destination at Eunos. Did I mention I was so thirsty? Yes, I got a pack of orange juice from the ever reliable 7Eleven which is also ubiquitous here in Singapore.

We arrived at Eunos around 6PM and one of the member of the group had to discharge something (wahihihi). So while waiting near the exit of the station, we checked our route and then got some pamphlet of maps. I took one and I think Agnes got one too. After that, we checked this mobile phone center. I have my very old SEK700i and Agnes was surprised and same as I, finding out that our units were valued at just 25$. Though I have another phone which is low tech but it has served the main purpose of the phone which is for some SMS and calls.

Anyway it was time to proceed to our destination. We actually walked some few blocks going to bus stop # 3 and rode the Bus No. 55. It was getting dark already but the idea of being lost and finding our way was kind of exciting. Mamul actually told the bus driver to stopped the bus near East Coast - thanks to this kind fellow.

We arrived at this place and didn't really know exactly where. We then started to climb in this skywalk and then saw these two ladies in their jogging outfit. We thought of following them. We were then going to a hawker which was not East Coast and so we changed routes - this time not following the two ladies. There was this guy in his 40's and Mamul asked some directions and he was like pointing somewhere which was a little helpful actually. We then came into this corner after passing some HDBs and asked another man. This time he's pointing straight ahead and this time we're getting close but not lost. After some more minutes of walking we saw the light, the light from McDonalds and that was it. The East Coast park. We crossed the street using the underground tunnel. I call it a tunnel because it was such a big walk way and there were few people and the tunnel looked to WW2 to me - a remnant of the past perhaps. Then we arrived at the park itself at the other end of the tunnel and we hurried our pace going to this bike station. We got the bikes for 5$ a piece and a bottle of water. The attendant then attached the back lights in our bicycles and also the baskets. We then headed to this bicycle experience. There lots of people mostly at their 20's. The scenery was that exciting because it was dark and you would hear music along and the sound of the sea splashing in the shore. Anyway it was a great experience. Something that made me love biking. I was learning how to bike when I was in fourth grade and after a year stopped. Anyway it was fun biking with friends and just screaming and singing along. Wahahahha. Yeah I was able to do that because at that time it was like 8PM and there few people. We managed to actually reached the end of the other side of East Coast. Agnes had some issues with the bike so she had to stop from time to time but that did not stop us from enjoying the night.

We were to return the bikes by 9:45PM so we just had to return it by then, otherwise, we will need to return it the next day, at 8AM. So we need to hurry a bit our bike pedal. We managed to return the bikes on time.

I thought that we were hungry so we checked out some place to dine. While doing so, we check this inline skaters doing a show and then we followed this strip of merchants and I bought a fleece blanket at 7$. It was getting late for dinner so we need to get settled already. We were able to track the restos and were still undecided so we went on going back, rounding the food shoppe (Hehehe). At last, we found our haven at this Japanese and Korean food house. We got ourselves served and it was a great dinner. The food they served were simply delicious.

It was time for us to go home and it was like 11:30PM already. It was getting late and our feet were screaming to death :D

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hocus pocus in this HDB flat

It's not really the house itself but rather the agent who looked for this house. Right now the things that I am about to say are pure speculations or can be considered as hearsay.

We actually assumed and thought that the house we got is legal - that's it period. And right now we are very much in doubts.

When we I arrived in this unit, my first complaint was that my bed is really hurting me. I can feel the steel bar on my back everytime I sleep. So that was a major concern for me. I then told our housemate about it and we planned to discuss it with our agent. She actually came to our flat. We discussed issues that were actually valid in a customer's point of view. There was a confrontation and I hated it. She kept on saying that fully furnished unit would not mean new furniture or appliances. She has appoint but the thing is, it was not comfortable for me or with my other housemates. We were actually complaining about the sink that they have installed, my bed and another housemate's noisy bed. We were complaining of the couch they provided us. After the confrontation, she agreed to buy some bed foam and promised to fix the sink. She then informed our other housemate who were the main tenants that, she did not like me or us who talked to her. She said that we were disrespectful. To my defense, I was not disrespectful, she was just doesn't want to listen nor help us relay the message to the actual owner of the house. The comments that we had was not for her to answer but rather to relay to the owner our concerns.

Well after two weeks she did bought the foams for the bed. They actually fixed the sink which was not what we wanted. But for the effort of making the sink at least stable was a little fine with us. She did not consider the noisy bed of one of the housemates to be replaced. She even told us that the foam purchases for our bed was from her pocket. To my curiosity, why would she have to buy the foam, it should have been the owner doing that. Anyway, I was a little mad and don't want to deal with her anymore.

Few weeks passed and we had another issue. The light in the shower room got faulty and the washing machine was leaking. Come on, after a month of stay things were getting faulty. Based on the contract, minor damages are to be shouldered by us so we followed that. And the leaking washing machine? Hmmmm. We called her attention about it and she told us someone will fix it. And indeed after a week someone fixed it. One thing that got our nerves already is that, that someone could just come in and out of the unit without us present in the house. And another thing is, the utilities or equipment or appliances they provided us were not in good condition. If during end of contract we will be replacing and paying for those things that were damaged which by the way will be sourced from our deposit.

We still had one issue actually. And sorry for making things so negative today. We were asking about the receipt of the rental for the month of January and owner can't provide one. We kept on following up the owner about it and he has so many alibis. We then asked our agent about the receipt. She told us to buy a receipt at a bookstore and then let the owner sign it. I was amazed at how she had the nerve to suggest that. It could be an honest suggestion but it was distasteful to me. So what I did was asked her number from one of the main tenants and sent her an SMS. To be specific, this is what I asked her:

"Good afternun. Sori 4 disturbing u at this time of the d day. This is genesis 1 of d tenants. I would just like to knw f bakit kami pa ang bibili ng receipt kasi gusto ko po yung official. Pag nagkaganun hindi makabigay ng resibo there cud be somethng wrng na sa business na kaduda which cud lead me to ask f registered ba yung flat as 2-1-1 pls po Paki enlighten para po walng doubts at klaro po. thanks and god bless".

For the benefit of those who would not understand what I just wrote above, below is the translation:

"Good afternoon. Sorry for disturbing you at this time of the day. This is Genesis one of the tenants. I would just like to know if why are the ones to buy the receipt. What I want is an official receipt. If in that way, a receipt can not be presented then there could be something wrong of that business which is suspicious, that could lead me to ask if this flat is registered as 2-1-1. Please enlighten so that there would be no doubts and things are clear. Thanks and God bless."

I hope I did the translation understandable.

Anyway, she did not reply to my SMS and instead, sent an SMS to one of the main tenants. She actually told the main tenant that she does not want to talk to us except the main tenants and if I really wanted an official receipt, she suggested that I go directly to the owner's agent. She added that if I want friction, she bets I will have it.

Actually I got so dismayed about it. I was then beginning to think of really looking for a new place and I was asking my housemates about it. I was asking them because if I decide to move out on my own, I need to look for a person that would replace my slot. It can be done actually but it's going to be a hassle as I have work and it's difficult. So I proposed if they'd like to also get another flat for us and I was suggesting that if the majority would decide yes to the idea then we will look for a place. We are at a losing end in this actually because we won't get back the money we deposited and we would again shell out some cash is really difficult at this time.

We are actually planning to scheme and that is a last resort. To entrap the agent we hired to say the words that this unit is not approved so at least we have a proof that we were cheated. The thing is it's their words versus ours and that fact could be twisted and used against us.

I hate these things as I don't want any kind of this mess. But justice has to be served. The agent that we hired who we trusted to look for a unit, if she really was indeed had a bad scheme, conspiring with the owner's agent, just to get a sale or money, then she or they have to be stopped. We were easily cheated if were really cheated just by the plain truth and an admission that we did not expect there are things like this in Singapore. And the biggest mistake we had was trusting everything to the agent we hired.

Next time, we need to be very careful and really asked questions about the background of the agent and the certification of the house and just really check documents.

One last thing, I will reveal the identity of this agent in the near future, if we can see evidence that she was playing us in her palms, to warn others about her acts. I was actually getting paranoid about this. In fact, I was reading about legal stuff about the issue. Too bad I don't have the luxury to hire a very good lawyer. Waha$a$a$a! Wish I had :P Then my lawyer can take care of any legal remedies to this issue.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A little bored then from messy and having to sing "Linger"

Yes, I am a little bored. For the past month already, I have been reading so many documents and did not have any programming action. Sometimes I would be very sleepy and since I have hypertension, I can't take coffee as it is really bad. This week would have been the actual development and testing of the codes and let me elaborate.

Last Monday, I should have been doing the code verification with the hardware but then the usb connector from the hardware to my workstation is missing. I was just amazed at how did the verification team tested it and so then I knew, they have not done any test yet. Today, my technical lead was able to secure a cable for the hardware and when I have to test it, it is not working. When we tried to debug it, it does not have any proper logging so I suggested that we try to access directly the hardware through the code examples in the manual. I actually have the code already so we just need to run the code in debug mode. The thing is it prompted us that it's evaluation product has expired already. It was a little frustrating for me though I did not show it to my technical lead. Hoping things would get better and brighter with this project.

Still today, I had to go to the infamous Lucky Plaza to send money for my brother's tuition. Going there was a tough one hour ride and walk. I arrived at the remittance center just on time as they were about to clos e in about 30 minutes. My after-office itinerary was succesful as I was able to send money. Then I went to McDonalds after that to eat dinner. It was kind of messy. When I got my order I proceeded to the condiments section and got a ketchup and when I pressed the machine it all splattered into my hand. I was so clumsy and I felt stupid. Anyway, I just pretended that nobody was looking at me and I just got so many tissue paper to clean my hands. I did not even bother to go the wash room. So messy I was during that moment. Anyway I let it pass since I was so hungry already. I ate and finished everything in a snap. My stomach was satisfied with that chicken burger and fries plus the unhealthy soda.

After that simple dinner or was it even a dinner, I went to a bus station bound to Ghim Moh which is my place. It was a big bus so went to the rear seat at the second floor or deck of the bus. I was the only one there and it felt so lonely. I then remembered the song "Linger" by The Cranberries. Just want to share also this video, of one of my very fave band:

That's it for this day guys :)