Featured post

Pinned post: What you WOULDN'T find in this blog

1. Porn : there are loads of online sexperts providing an excellent hand-y job in this area already.   2. Personal porn : you can hav...

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Train rides are fun (part 2)

 
When official signage (as opposed to ads) start to appear on the ground, it is not in response to an ageing society of crooked backs and low eye level. It is to cater to a new generation of screen addicts (低头族) who have forgotten the colour of the sky.



The civic-minded train passengers like me will queue up diligently at the platform by the side of the door. But there are always those sneaky ones who will cut queue and rush in when the door opens. Years of watching soccer has taught me defensive manoeuvres and man-marking tactics to ensure that I don't let in an early goal without a fight! 

*****

Our bodies pressed against each other, while she breathed on my chest. Her perfume lingered even at the end of the day. I'm blushing just starring at her. How I HATE squeezing into a packed train at rush hour like sardines on my way home, standing next to an old woman with pungent perfume and bad breath! 
*****

A pint-sized granny sat next to me on the train today and immediately assumed the self-appointed role of 'Life Guru' scrutinising the fellow commuters around her. She pointed to one lad's 'improper way' of holding the hand strap which could lead to 'dislocation of the wrist', and discreetly to another girl to inform her of her peeking bra strap. By then I had immediately sucked in my gut, half-expecting her to poke her finger into my love handles and proclaimed to the train "Ah boy, too fat!". Luckily I've arrived at my stop.
*****

My rush hour commute in a packed train is like visiting a Chinese temple where rows upon rows of imposing and immobile buddhas, deities and door gods materialise around me. And when I need to exit, I have to squeeze past them with whispers of "excuse me" or "sorry" to get their blessings. And you'll be cursed for life if you ever bump or step on them. Maybe I should have an incense stick on hand to pay my respect the next time, and the statues will give me a wide berth on my way out of the train. 
*****

I observed with much amusement at the train ticket office lady counting her stack of ten $5 notes a whopping five times. Two times is being meticulous with three pushing it, and five times is just plain OCD. Same as the guy who counted in his mind five times with the lady in order to make this observation. 

Train Rides are fun (Part 1) 

 

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

10 things I learnt in New York

 
This being a humour blog, I'm putting my most hilarious photo that I took during my trip. This is it.


1. Almost all major apparel brands have their global flagship stores here. Even the Japanese casual wear Uniqlo.

2. Security at Statue of Liberty and Empire State Building are on par, if not stricter than the JFK airport. 


3. All American set meal portions are as large as the US continent. For an Asian like me living in a little red dot, one set is good for two.


4. Patience is not a virtue found in any drivers in Manhattan. Once the green light is on, so does the honking. 


5. If you get homesick in New York and crave for that familiar taste of home, just look out for the Golden Arches.


6. It pays to change your greenbacks from legitimate money-changers. All my crisp new $100 bills were subjected to scrutiny by the cashiers who would mark them with a special pen to determine whether that Benjamin Franklin is the real deal or a doppelganger.

7. Police officers are useless in pointing clueless tourists to the right directions. Street-vendors are often friendlier and more knowledgeable.

8. McDonald's and sandwich shop Pret A Manger restricted me from taking pictures of their food preparation and display areas respectively. Are they worried that I'd report their poor hygiene practice to the authority or steal their secret recipe?

9. An apologetic smile goes a long way in defusing any awkward or embarrassing situations that NY first-timers find themselves in. Works every time.


10. On the morning when I was in front of my workstation after more than 10 days away on holiday, I momentarily forgot my log-in password. That put a smile on my face knowing that the money was well-spent. In life, we often forget that there are things not worth remembering.


 More on my New York trip:
(Mis)adventures in New York:

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Final musings on World Cup before the final match

 
My neighbourhood coffee shop is a lifelong Argentina supporter as seen from their uniform's colour combination. Luckily it wasn't green & yellow

 
The best World Cup teams in each continent are Germany (Europe), Japan (Asia) and Mexico (Americas)... which are judged purely on the design of their cool jerseys decked on toned torsos under the sweltering heat. The matches have evolved into a 90min catwalk for me looking at the next jersey to buy while the legions of female fans would wait for the jerseys to come off at the end of the match for the real show to begin.

 *****
At least one advantage of being jet lagged is that I have no trouble waking up at 4am to catch the World Cup match since my body has no trouble thinking it is 4pm.

 *****

Please be more forgiving on the train if a fellow passenger is dozing on your shoulder. Most likely this person is holding a temporary month-long contract work as a World Cup fanatic which will end on Monday. Those fresh-faced people without dark eye bags are either not soccer fans, or supporters of England or Spain.
 ***** 

Semi-final match Netherlands vs Argentina
First time I'm disappointed at a World Cup result. Penalty shootout is such a cruel 'anti-soccer' gesture and should be abolished. Might as well do a coin toss to save the time and trouble. The Beautiful Game should be played until there's a result no matter how long it takes, even if a player decides to score an own-goal to end the nonsense.
  ***** 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

(Mis)adventures in New York

 
Here's the most famous woman in the world - Lady Liberty from the inside -  where you can see the eyes and nose.

Isn't it ironic that for my New York trip:

- I did more research than anything I've done in office.
- I had muscle ache and sunburn within one day more than I ever would in one year in tropical Singapore.
- I was more exhausted in one week here than my month-long company teamwork event that I organised.
It begs the question whether I'd be better off working than holidaying.

*****

Dear New Yorkers,

I speak with a different accent doesn't mean I know less English than you. I come from a foreign land doesn't mean I know less pop culture and current affairs than you. I carry a camera and map doesn't mean I am gullible and easily conned by you. Having said that, though I'm Asian, it doesn't mean I'm smarter than you.

*****

Soundtrack of Manhattan streets

Car drivers' impatient prolonged honking; siren from police car, ambulance and fire engine- all feature different tone and rhythm; and chatter from a dozen different languages. Glad I can temporarily mute this soundtrack at 20 floor above street level in my hotel room and get some peace and quiet from this loud metropolis. NY, please be gentle to this first-timer.
*****

Subway

Managed to commit all the mistakes on the massive and massively confusing Manhattan subway system on the first day here despite having made detailed pre-planning. We attempted to pass through the same toll gate twice by mistake, missed our stop, and entered the wrong direction platform. My tip for first-timers like me: Only a true-blue New Yorker can navigate the maze. For the rest of us, just treat the detours as part of the fun and enjoy the ride!
*****

Spending the entire 24/7 with another person on holiday can be a helluva experience. Here's our typical conversation:
Me: You shop too much!
Wife: You shoot too much!
Me: You spend too much!
Wife: You speak too much!
Me: sigh...

 *****

Surprised to find my suitcase lock code at position 000 which could only mean one thing: it has been violated. This slip of paper found inside my suitcase proved I was right. I'm glad to buy a TSA-approved suitcase for my trip since I don't want to take the gamble in having my non-TSA suitcase forcefully pried open. I'm so 'lucky' to get this final gesture in my Great American Experience.

 *****
It was a pity I wasn't able to meet my family in New York who were in the Chan Bros My Star Guide tour with Elvin Ng. However our truckloads of chocolates bought separately are able to meet at our house. Right now, they are having an emergency meeting to determine the Sequence Ranking of Consumption prior to the family's 2-day weekend feasting. Reese's peanut butter cup looks worried.


More on my New York trip:
10 Things I Learnt in New York