Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Idol too soon

The 2nd season of the Singapore Idol is over, as the people voted with stamps on their eyes...

I'm not a fan of SI, especially not the last season's.

But this year the hopeful was on the bad boy rocker Jonathan Leong. At least that's what I think.

The least is he looks like a star with charisma of a star.
like I said... stamps over the eyes of the people who think otherwise.

Anyway, this post is not about them.

My elder daughter don't watch the show as I don't tune to it often. But from the bombardment of commercials and advertisements and even her little friends, she has come to know who's who pretty clearly.

On Sunday night I thought it would be interesting to watch the 2 idol wannabes battle it out for stardom. I was surprised when Isabel turned to me and said: " I hope Jonathan will win."

I was like: "...uh... ok"

So, for the fun of it, my wife and I splitted into 2 teams cheering for different contestants with Isabel joining me to cheer for Jon.

Last night the result was out and Jon lost.

Isabel looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked: "Why Jonathan never win?" I tried to explain that its a game, and every game there will be winner and loser. But still she buried her head in the sofa and cried quietly.

Took us a while to explain it and get into her head.

I'm glad they are considering to axe the show after this season.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ally: "Ally...me..."
Isabel: "Yah, the Mommy Poko baby looks like you Ally."
Ally: "Ally..."
Isabel: "Come Jie-Jie show you what I used to wear..."
I never noticed there is such a wide range of brands of diapers in the market, but at the same time I think we've tried them all... I mean we've tried them on our kids la.

Isabel and Ally are 2 different personalities...

Ally at 19 months shows a great love for books and reading instead of TV programs, food is her favorite. She won't cry when getting a jab, never shed a tear when she falls down, but will cry in frustration if deny her of snacks.

Isabel on the other hand is still a cry baby. Less attention span for books, but can watch hours of TV at a go.

Making her write and practice the alphabets can drain her of her whole day energy. After 2 lines, she'll say she can't finish, or she's sleepy, or too tired to go on.

But straight after I let her off, she's wide awake like a dragon. Play her toys, disturb her sister...

If I make her continue, she'll have more excuses like backache and headache.

What would be the best way to arouse her interest?

How to maintain her interest?

Now even Superdaddy is at lost and also lost power over this.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Selfish act

This father stacked 2 baby chairs together for his daughter in Macdonald.

I know parents love kids... I'm a father of 2 myself, I know how precious kids are, but you won't see me taking 4 baby chairs for them!!??!!

But some parents love their kids to the point that they have forgoten that there are other people around them, or they think the world revolves around them and their kids.

Please remember there are 4 million other people in Singapore.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Phuket fun in the dusk

What's for fun in Phuket after dark?


There's great sea food...

Walking on the street where there's a row of seafood stalls is like going through the 18 Luo-Han Lane in Shaolin Temple. (十八罗汉)

The "Snake Fist", "Drunken Fist", "Chin Na Hand" all must be used to ensure a clear path. Because the waiters are always blocking our way whether we like it or not, stuff the menu in our faces and drag us to their stall...

Night-life... one of the highlights of the island for the horny men looking for some honey.

See the girl in mini skirt doing the sexy dance on the table top? I have to admit she's real "hot". So hot that not only guys are staring at her, many women are watching her too, taking pictures and video. Then I suddenly remembered: "The pretty girls may not be real girls". So I stood and joined the "staring competition" to see if I'm right... Not long after, my wife noticed me staring, gave me a nudge on the elbow saying: "Nice to see is it?" I defensively said: "No lah I just... I just... Never mind..."

Thai Massage...
One of the best past time after a long day of physical activities. There's at least one massage palor in every lane and every street on the island. We walk closer, they are like sharks sensing blood, coming in for a kill. Different groups of girls in different uniforms will approach us, holding up a laminated paper stating the price for the different services.

Me and my wife went for one brightly lit, properly and professionally dressed palor and took a promotion package "Foot and Thai" massage 450 Baht (S$19.56) for 2 hours. Before we start, we made sure its the original Thai style that bends and twists the body in those odd positions kind. We like the torture... (just kidding)

Night Bazaar...
This is a tiring process to buy things there... mentally stress...
Because every item we buy, we have to bargain so hard to get the cents worth.
Language may be a barrier, but math and numbers are universal.
Shop owner punch a set of numbers and show the buyer...
Buyer will counter with another set of numbers...

But me and my friend stood aside and watched our wives in action.
Lets watch:

The ladies discussing how much the item is worth...

Shop owner: "This one good ma-ti-real... good buy, good buy...
750 Baht"
Wives: "Wah-lao... please la... you see this (point at her own shorts) same same... 200 baht over there (point somewhere down the road).

Shop owner: "No same, no same... Ok, give me more... "

Wives punch another set of numbers and showed him.

Shop owner put on an act of disbelieve: "Cannot... give me more"

Wives: "Ok, we buy 2 for 500 Baht"
Shop owner: "550"
Wives: "500"
Shop owner: "ok la ok la 500 Baht"
See what I mean? Its so stressful, just for 2 pieces of garment. After sometime, our friend become so "Pro" at it, she bargains just about anything she buys... from garments to souvenirs to sweet corns from the roadside... ha ha ha
Most of the shops in the tourist areas are owned by either Indians, Myanmas or Vietnamese. I don't know did this happen after the Tsunami or before, but it just don't feel right anymore. I like the hospitality of the Thai, the smile and warm greeting just make me feel welcome.But now the Indians will mock at you if you bargain too much, harass you to buy a suit...
"Why would I want a suit?"
Its just not the same anymore.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Phuket fun in the sun

I just came back from a short trip to Phuket with my lovely wife and another couple. Well... Phuket is not the same as I remembered it to be, especially the people... I'll explain in the next post "Phuket fun in the dusk". This post is all about the sun the sand and the sea.

We went to the airport at 5.30am in the morning to catch the 7am flight from the Budget Terminal.

The name "Budget Terminal" I wonder if it means the terminal was built on a budget or is it for people flying on budget because the terminal looks like a warehouse converted with metal roof and struts. Do they have to remind us we are flying on budget?

We were made to walk to the plane in the rain as there was no shelter... Budget lah.

The traveling was pretty smooth. Once at the resort, I then realized my wife booked our names under "Honeymooners". They showed us to our rooms and behold... flowers are arranged in a heart shape on our bed... ha ha ha.

Later there were more surprises... In the evening we came back from sight-seeing, our friends found a plate of sweet pastries in their room, compliment from the resort, but we did not, as I itchy hand placed a "Do Not Disturb" sign at our door.

The Thai are very proud of their beach, they also put in effort to keep it clean. Everyday they will lay out the chairs and umbrellas for the tourist to enjoy, then by evening they will keep it stacked neatly.

The equipment like the jet-skis are very new, probably due to the Tsunami destroying most of them 2 years ago.

Riding on Jet-Ski cost 1000 Baht (S$42) for 30 mins
Para-Sailing cost 700 Baht (S$30) for 5 mins

I found an adventure company, Anda-Adventure, that brings us a whole day event for 1350 Baht (S$59), it includes:
Water rafting, lunch, swim in the water fall, visit to a monkey cave. Transport to and fro our resort.

After a 1.5 hours of drive up north, we reached the river and began out safety briefing.

The instructor tried to scare us by giving scenarios of rafts capsizing, rafters falling off the raft and broke their teeth when they hit face first on the rocks... He kept saying: "I dun noe the future, maybe no raft capsize today, maybe your raft will capsize, I dun noe... "

The river water is icy cold, but very refreshing. We pushed off the bank and started rowing at our guide's command... "Forward... forward... backward...backward..."

There were several dangerous looking drops, but our guide maneuvered very well for us. Our raft is the most noisy group with our wives screaming at every rough drop, but ride which lasted almost an hour was very exciting. Worth the money.

After the raft event, we were treated to a very generous lunch with 5 dishes plus Tom Yum Goong, my favorite. The dishes were free flowing, you can ask for it as many times as you like.

We rested for a while, letting the lunch settle in our stomach, soon they invited us to the water fall for a swim.

Its a 10 mins ride on their jeep, with a short stop for a photo opportunity along the way with a beautiful valley as backdrop. I was wearing only a swimming trunk and nothing else because I thought we were going straight to the water fall for a swim, they did not mention anything about taking picture along the way. I stood half naked and awkwardly took picture before hurriedly hide back in the jeep.

The water from the water fall was refreshingly cold, after a few dips, the body adjusts to the temperature, it feels just right.

We went to 2 water falls... the 1st is smaller but water is deeper. At certain point, nearer to the fall, our feet couldn't reach any footing, the current is very strong, any miscalculated move will cause us to be drifted away.

The 2nd water fall is at higher ground, the water falls strong but the current is weak. But the water is just as cold.

We guys went to show our machoism by swimming to the bottom of the fall and stand there for a few moments. Its really not easy to act cool with cold water splashing in my face and hitting hard on my back and smile at the camera.

The things guys will do to be macho.

You can visit: Anda-Adventure for more detail of the eco-tour

Monday, September 11, 2006

Death of more than a TV Star

The death of the well known TV host Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin shocked the world...

He is an icon in what he believes in, a "Wildlife Warrior" is what he called himself. Not fighting against the wild animals, but fighting to protect them, introducing the beauty of these untamed to the people.

He set up zoo in the acres of land he bought. In a TV interview, he revealed that he has plans to buy more land so that more rescued animals can benefit from it.

We have seen his daring ways of approaching wildlife, we have also felt his passion for them. Hopefully this passion doesn't stops here...

Some people are sad to hear his sudden death, some say he deserved it for fooling around with nature.

For me... its a lost...
Lost to the TV world that they have one less money making name.
Lost to the Wild Life Preservation world that they have one lost a strong voice to speak for them.
Lost to the Irwin family, especially the small children he left behind.

In the news, his wife was still trying the come to terms about his death, the children are trying to understand why this is happening.

Its never easy for sudden lost, you'll never be ready for it. You'll also never know how much you depend on the person until it happened.

The best way to live a life is to plan it like you'll live to a hundred, but also like it will end tomorrow. Love people with no regret, do not let anger or hatred linger till the next day.
Forgive and forget.

Lets be mindful... look around you, have you forgiven everyone yet?

Saturday, September 02, 2006

This is the way I brush my teeth...

Getting Isabel to brush her teeth used to be such a drag for her, but I'm persistence... as much as I can, I try not to miss a time for her to brush teeth.
All I ask for is 2 times a day: First thing in get morning, and the last thing before she goes to bed.
But in reality...

Me: Bel... time to brush your teeth and go to bed...
She: Wait...
Me: Why... please hurry up...
She: I just want to finish watching this show...
(This is the part where Supernanny's training kicked in, always giving them time to react, give warning first)
Me: OK... Once it over, I want you to come brush your teeth.
She: OK...

But once in the toilet, she'll have her ritual...

-She'll wait for me to set the toothpaste and brush with her glass of water nicely the call her "it's ready"... then she'll make her entrance. Followed by:

-Make funny faces at the mirror (maybe to practice facial expressions)

-Hold up the toothbrush and set it down cos suddenly she got the urge to pee...

-Sing a little song, then ask some questions about this and that...

Finally she starts brushing...