30 May 2008

Gugi's (restrained) shopping and food exploits

Monday 26 May to Tuesday 3 June

Items bought over the 8 days, average of 1.25 items per day:

  1. MotoRazr V9 with a 2 year connection

  2. 2 Mobile charms for V9

  3. 2 watches - red and white

  4. Espirit top in black

  5. Emphasis handbag in white

  6. 3 bling hairclips

  7. Tangerine lip balm by Cotton on Body

  8. White hakoba top by Cotton on Body

  9. 3-fold umberella

  10. 3 tops in black, white and grey

Food consumed over the week:

  1. Pumpkin curry soup by Such

  2. Bean and veggie salad by Such

  3. Chicken and cheese burrito by Such

  4. Carrot and ginger soup by Such

  5. Chicken Pepper Rice by Pepper Pot, Takashimaya

  6. Prata by Lucky Prata in Lucky Plaza

  7. Padh Thai chicken noodles in Food Republic, Wisma Atria

  8. Chicken Rice

  9. Sausage rolls by Bread Talk

  10. Crispy soft shell crab by Indochine, Clark Quay

  11. Pasta with veggies and chicken by Such

  12. Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Ice Cream with Marshmellows and Graham Cracker Swirl
  13. KFC chicken popcorn

  14. Murugan Idli

  15. Banana Leaf Appolo Sapaad

  16. Mutton Murtabak

  17. Pasta Pesto with Veggies by Such
  18. enuf aa?

28 May 2008

Three times lucky

Luck never made a man wise. ~ Seneca, Letters to Lucilius

(And am I a living example of that. Read on to know more.)

Friday 23 May, was a landmark day. It was the day that 3 things happened, 3 important things, 3 good things. Listed in order of importance, they are:

  1. My salary got credited
  2. The Singapore Shopping Festival started
  3. The Singapore Arts Festival started

Friday saw me back in the folds of River Valley Road, Such and Cee. Back to office and back to breakfast with my colleagues @ The Coffee Bean and The Leaf Tea. Ah! That's the life. Taste-o-Treat in my tummy and a large cup of English Breakfast nestling in my hand, lying back in one of a winged sofas. Replete with breakfast and a gossipy chat with my colleague, who fills me in on all the latest to-dos in office while I've been in training, we get to the ATM to check my financial status.

As we were walking to the ATM I am surprised to see a bunch of people waiting for the Takashimaya SC to open. I've never seen anyone wait for a shop to open! Banks yes, shops no. Usually, shops open and wait for people. Laughing and admiring the zest with which Singaporeans and tourists in Singapore shop, I reach the ATM and voila! The money is in. I hardly need a reason to start spending now but as I turn around I am smacked with the BIGGEST reason to spend - the GREAT SINGAPORE SALE 2008, my friends, was starting that very moment!

The shop doors glide open and people walk straight to their favorite aisles to pick up what they've been waiting for the sale to pick up. Everything is on sale. Unable to resist, being a shopaholic, and this being my first (earning) time during the shopping festival, I walk in determined to get a bargain. My very restrained first day, first hour purchases were:

  1. 2 pairs of shorts – hey EVERYONE wears them here, why should I be left out?
  2. 2 KAPPA tops, in pale lemon and dark pink with diamonds
  3. 6 pairs of ankle socks (Darsh you were right, I need more socks)

The whole day is spent finishing an assignment at work and running downstairs (read talking the lift downstairs) from 13 floor to shop floor to cull out more bargains and see everything on display. There are softer than soft towels with the most delicate embroidery, bed sheet sets, there are jewellery cases, toys, house hold items, pots and pans and kettles and the works! I know I'm yet to check 4 more floors. At 7 P.M I call it a day and head back home.

I step in and Such has obviously been waiting for me, I have 10 mins to get ready she says, Cee is waiting. I quickly get ready, donning my new dark pink Kappa top, Such looks fetching in a black and black ensemble. In the honour of the occasion we take taxi to Fullerton and it looks like the river is celebrated my return! It is crowded and everyone is expectantly waiting. Bursting with curiosity; I stroll over and find a nice spot to oversee the happenings on the river. Welcome to the opening of the Singapore Arts Festival floats a voice over the river. And then the action begins.

The opening act of the festival is a water theater played out on the Singapore river neat Boat Quay. The reflection of burning boats on water was rather pretty but the fireworks was the highlight of the evening for me. Here is a YouTube on the opening act:

And one more on the final fireworks act:

We dined at an Indonesian restaurant Bayang in Clark Quay on our way back; dinner consisted of the following:

  • Gado gado – a salad with tempura
  • Chicken in pandan leaves
  • Chicken and beef satay
  • Duck roast
  • Coconut rice with chicken gravy
  • Roast chicken (7*s so good this was! Succulent chicken with crisp skin. YUM!)
  • Wine and beer

The night ended at Cee's favorite bar in Clark Quay, Cuba Libre. A live band performing South American music and lots of rum-based alco. (None of which I had thank you, cause the heat is just not getting me in the drinking mood; silly I know but what to do?)

Saturday 24 May, breakfast was @ Epicurious on Robertson Quay (yeah we live on one Quay or the other like some sort of expat fishing family). Next on agenda was Vivo Mall. On the way to Vivo Mall we took a bridge to cross the river and lo and behold what did we see! The whole bridge was covered with rafts – all student-made, hand-made, home-made (ghar pe bana hua), and seemed like they used recycled materials. I was so impressed with these school/college kids, and obviously they were having a good time doing all this. It was such a vibrant and expectant atmosphere there like everything was waiting for the "water test" the next day.

There were all kinds of rafts - some all done up, some coming undone, some real basic, some others were totally tricked out – butterflies, water rat, lobster, tortoise family – very darling. There was also a section for slipper rafts (never got to see if anyone could float it on water and actually manage to stand on it, didn't look like it was possible!). The best of all were the F1 rafts designed to look like, what else, F1 cars. All this was for the River Rating Competition being held the next day I found out. Sunday for us, I realised, was booked.

Vivo mall is 3 stations away from Clark Quay MRT. The biggest mall in Singapore – naturally there are loads of shops and there is tons of stuff. Loafed and loafed and loafed and bought 1 croc chappals. Had lunch @ 6 @ Brotzeit German Bier Bar and Restaurant – beer, sausages, mashed potatoes, and sauerkraut. With a view out into the little stretch of sea separating us from Sentosa island, it was a peaceful and reflective break after a crowded mall.

Back home and it was time for a quick nap. Woke up and met Laks @ Takashimaya where she was making the most of the Great Singapore Sale. Loafed a bit with her, saw Paragon mall across the road from Taka mall and headed out to Blu Jaz! Had their famous Chimichanga and washed it down with a large Jasmine tea. And then it was all socializing with the owners (the owners are the sweetest people), servers (so much fun), musicians (oodles of talent there) – man has that place has got it right! A great let-your-hair-down atmosphere, three floors of party space, each with its unique theme and genre of music, a vibrant crowd, and a dias for amazing musicians - the place is 1000 watts of happiness and energy. We sat there till 2 P.M. listening to musicians jamming and when they shut shop we made our weary way back home.

Sunday 25 May, was supposed to start @ 9:30 to watch the first of the River Raft Races. But as things turned out, we opened our eyes @ 12. Ouch. Cee made us Amsterdam cheese and sundried tomato pancakes which were superlicious and with sustenance in our tummy off we went to watch, what was left, of the raft races. We managed to catch a nice shaded spot on the river edge and saw a few races that were left. And were they fun.

Of all the rafts we saw yesterday, we really could not say if they would even float. Looked like most of them managed to float but there were serious crew issues. Some rafts only moved in circles, not ahead or backward, just round and round, some went forward but only diagonally. It was a riot! Some kids were super competitive the others obviously looked like they were there for the fun of it. Lots of rowing (naturally), a few splashes into the water (hehehe) and overall a great time had by me. We meandered back home with a quick stop in Brussel Sprouts to quench our thirst.

After this I became all serious and ironed my clothes from 5 to 6:45! Time for a serious treat and Such and I headed out to Little India for Murugan Idli Kadai – yes my friends, they have a branch in our own piece of India in Singapore. Have to confess that Little India on a Sunday evening is like Gariahat during Durga Puja, Delhi on Holi, Ahemdabad during Navratri, Tirupathi during a festival, and Gateway of India during weekends all rolled into ONE! In other words utter ROWDY nightmare! But what I will not do for Murugan Idli. Lovely dovely idli was consumed and with a full tummy, a happy heart and a sated soul the weekend was over.

And also all the money in my account, thank you. There's luck for you!

27 May 2008

Training and a book or 3

"I hated every minute of training, but I said, ''Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion." - Muhammad Ali

Well I'm not gunning on being a champion anytime soon, but to a training I did go. And since there was no internet access, I actually ended up learning quite a bit!

My office has a mandatory training on its product that most employees must attend. This is the FIRST time EVER a company has actually spent money, time, and resource training me on the product that I am going to work on and for this alone I really respect my company right now. They’ve got to screw up real bad for me to dislike them after this.

So I am in Semei, living @ Bit's with his wife and baby and attending trainings from 9-6 everyday. Product training is, I have to admit, a dull and tedious affair, especially if you have never worked on the product before or on anything similar to it. And it eats up brain cells faster than anything else I know!

So to replenish the grey matter, I got into a routine of devouring 3 Mills & Boons a day. My timing, between 6PM to 9AM the next morning, with enough time for sleep so I can actually learn something in the training. Thanks to Bit’s wife, who is going through a “Mills & Boons” phase as she calls it (and my good luck as I call it) my routine @ their abode runs thus:

Wake up after too little sleep because of having stayed up reading M&B’s. Put the kettle to boil and start a new Mills & Boons. Enter Bit with horror on his face, “Oh God Gugi, this is the limit, please don’t tell me you read this trash first thing in the morning!” I need to explain that Bit is the closest thing I have to an older brother and he takes his 'being the older brother' job seriously.

“One man’s meat Bit, is another man’s poison”, I reply. “There is a time and place for everything”, is his retort. Dredging up some semblence of intelligence from a sleep and M&B numbed brain, I go into attack mode, “Bit, don’t stop someone from reading, reading expands the mind, and gives wing to imagination, don’t try to stifle it.” I can see it in his face that he’s got a good come back taking shape in his brain, when a horrid crashing-cymbals-drums-and all-the-pots-and-pans-in-rathna-yever-silver-store kinda "music" booms across the living room heralding the morning news.

Bit while arguing with me has done what he naturally does every time he enters the living room - turned on the TV. So what could have been an all morning session between Bit and me (if I could have fired up my brain sufficiently) is nipped in the bud by Bit’s “healthy” habit of watching TV incessantly. So he leaves me blissfully alone to keep abreast of the minute-to-minute details of the Indian Hulk Hogan's every step in Ropad and Bhatinda, and to soak up other stale news of last night with a few more “mock” controversies sprinkled on like dhania patta on last week's subzi.

Since the class begins @ 9 and I take the bus, I reluctantly leave my book and rush through getting ready, eating breakfast, and running to the bus stop. Endure brain-numbing education and am home by 6.30, ready to be seduced... by the Mills & Boons hero, hello?

Plop I go on the sofa, with Bit’s wife on the opposite sofa across and we give each other a knowing smile – of comradeship. Of two drunkards, if you must, recognizing each other and sympathizing with each other. A approving and condoning look. We might be in the same room 5 feet away from each other but we are lost in 2 different worlds created by the highly successful publishers, Mills & Boons.

Morning book completed, I come up for a quick breath and quickly drown again in another M&B. This harmonic peace continues till it is shattered by Bit’s return from office. Guiltily I jump up and start talking rapid fire to him (lest he complain that my reading makes me unsocial). He’s not fooled. His soliloquies (on the evils of M&B’s and the degeneration of our bodies and minds in reading them incessantly, while sleeping on a couch) would put Macbeth to shame. We are not listening.

So we sit to watch TV with him. Oh so healthy I remark and suggest that he take up reading M&B's, he does not dignify my suggestion with an answer. Thankfully in approximately 10 seconds he is no longer aware of our presence. I do not lose the chance to immerse myself again into my book. So while he’s watching TV and the baby running around playing, I manage to finish the 2nd book of the day.

Dinner time and thanks to Bit’s wife’s cooking everyone is a little too full to do anything but vegetate. Am clock watching, I need to yawn and head to bed @ a decent time. Too early and Bit’s will worry me to death about running away and ignoring family to read books. Too late and I’ll barely get any sleep. So as the clock strikes 10 and Bit’s involved in yettanother IPL match, I bid my adieus for the night and the 3rd book begins!

Happy endings!

26 May 2008

So much to say

(As all you clever fellows might have guessed this post was supposed to be ready and up on 24 May 2008)

GAAK! It's been 10 days since my last post… how did that happen?! I'll tell you how it happened, it's been a hectic 10 days, that's how it's happened and yes, not all of it was work. So here the summary:

Thus 15 May 2008 – The honeymoon time in office is over and am loving the work here (?). Dinner was another beautiful salad creation by Such devoured with cold cuts and asparagus soup (awesome stuff!). Again no pics am afraid L

Friday 16 May 2008 – Hard work junkie Cee decided to dedicate this Friday and Saturday to work on a construction work project for Habitat for Humanity. Back breaking real-deal construction work of digging pits, wheel barrowing construction materials, and hand mixing cement, among other hard working construction site things, the girls decided his hard work deserved a party. So that's what Such, Lak (a friend) and your's truly did, all in the name of Cee (while Cee was still in construction camp hehehe).

And off went the beauties to Brussel Sprouts. Have I mentioned Brussel Sprouts? No, well it's this lovely Belgian beer place on Robertson Quay (Quay pronounced "key" don't ask me why) that Such and Cee love to go to. And with good reason! The setting is alfresco, the view is of the river, the staff is very friendly (I think that's cause of Such and Cee are so outgoingly friendly) and the beer – specialty. I have never seen such a long menu for beer, man its longer than most wine lists I've seen in my life! Two tightly packed columns of an A4 sheet, that's how much the choice is. Your's truly had an beer that is brewed by monks in a romantic far-off monastery, and the others has equally exotic stuff. It was a balmy night, with lovely company and some good cheese croquets.

Saturday 17 May 2008

  1. House hunting - Depressing
  2. I become an official member of the bus users - Ecstatic

Started the day @ 9.30 with a house in Tiong Bahru. Awful! Am coming back to India. Did some retail therapy in Great World City mall to cheer self up. Lunch was courtesy Such – a lovely vegetable and pasta toss-up. Faith in humanity restored, I went the next appointment in Bukit Batok – a much better house, but a little too far from office right now and not quite hitting the note. Cheered myself up with a pedicure, in an all Chinese place, where I didn't speak any Chinese (surprise!) and they didn't speak any English. It was comic to say the least, with customers pitching in to translate both ways! That's when I decided to get more local.

First step I walked over to the bus stop to puzzle out the hitherto untried SMRT buses. After staring @ the route maps for 5 mints and projecting my famous i-really-am-lost girl look, which I am devastated to say had absolutely NO effect on any of the locals (but did attract the pity of 2-3 desis, so sweet), I got the lay of the land and the rest my dear friends is history. So to Outram Park (a little tidbid of history my friend pointed me to) it was from Bukit Batok and while the location and price of the place was great, and the building was in good condition, the flat itself was not satisfactory. From there it was another bus to the nearest point to home and a 10 min uphill trek on Killiney to get home.

Such and Cee (back after his back-breaking-in-a-totally-nice-and-bittersweet-way construction site duty) took me to Blu Jaz in Arab quarter. They both need a post dedicated to just them, and I will do that soon, so watch out for Blu Jaz (you can check out their blog for some info) and the Arab quarter. For now all I will say that the food and my large Jasmine tea hit the spot; a perfect remedy to a stressful and not-so-successful day.

Sunday 18 May 2008 – Woke up @ godforsaken 8 AM and made breakfast for me and a friend, gobbled it up and ran (read: took a taxi) to Kallang river to go learn Dragon Boating. Well it was either a wrong place or wrong time but we never found our trainer and the team. So we went cycling instead. My friend Lak, decided I should see the Central Business District, so that's where we went.

I have to say that Sunday mornings are the best time to get introduced to the CBD, it was empty and cycling, I imagine, would otherwise be a non-insurable activity around that area. Tall buildings and so many of them and so close to each other that like a rain forest floor the sun does not manage to reach the road @ places. As with most things in Singapore the buildings are built with a aesthetic eye, the hawker center in the middle of CBD is slightly more up market but with all the essential hawker center characteristics, the footpaths are wide and clean and there is a sense of understated opulence about the place. The CBD area description cannot be complete without a mention of the Fullerton Hotel. It is a colonial style impressive building occupies a pretty spot next to the river in the edge of the CBD and forms a distant background for the Merlion.

The sun was out and I hadn't cycled for a long time and not for this long, so I got home and was out like a light! Slept and slept and then woke up with Indian food hunger pangs. Rushed (via bus if you please) to Little India, packed a rice and curry meal and came home to eat with TV.

Monday 19 May 2008 – Holiday! Woke up @ 12 and Such and Cee had invited friends over for a Champagne breakfast. AWESOME breakkie consisting of the following was consumed by all of us:

  1. Champagne Moet (brought by guests)
  2. Scrambled eggs
  3. Cold cuts – beef, chicken and salmon
  4. Chorizo sausages
  5. Greek salad
  6. Freshly baked whole meal rolls, blue berry rolls, and bread with soft butter
  7. Cheese – Old Amsterdam
  8. Yogurt – Strawberry, Blueberry, Peach
  9. Orange juice
  10. Coffee/Tea

We saw Such and Cee's wedding album, saw a few familiar faces (15 yrs younger) while digesting the spread. And then to the pool (swimming) it was! Played a hectic water throw ball, did a few laps, soaked up the sun a bit and off I was to Semei. Home cooked Indian food @ Bit's place to start a three day training starting tomorrow.

14 May 2008

My first "true blue" rains

My room, temporary room as I've been asked to call it, faces east. So most mornings I am woken up by the sun shining into my face. Which, I have to say, is not my favorite way to wake up. To expand on the subject, listed in ascending order of preference, are the ways I do like to wake up:

  1. Open eyes and realize it's a party day (includes picnics, lunches, offsites, holiday travel start day, etc)
  2. Wake up on my own when my eyes open and I feel I've had enough sleep
  3. By mommy knocking on my door
  4. Long-chat-phone-call from a friend
  5. A knock heralding the arrival of a yummy breakfast

But that is neither here nor there. Getting back to the point, I woke up today and my eyes were delighted to face a blue sky with grey undertones and - no sun! Now some people might consider this awful, but I LOVE IT! True blue skies give me a peachy pink mood, making it feel like a party day!

Even before I moved to Singapore, everyone's been telling me about how it rains daily here, and how the skies are almost always cloudy. So imagine my disappointment when we've been having the driest 2 weeks of weather! My luck so totally changed for the better today with my (almost) first true blue Singapore rains.

So although it's a working day, and I cannot really see the skies outside from where I am sitting in office, am still HAPPY thanks to the rains. In half an hour I break for lunch and then I sneak a peek outside and enjoy the rain with a cuppa of Jasmine Teh. I really wish I could post a pic of the view outside, but no digi cam as yet! Anyone wishing to sponsor a digi cam, feel free to contact me.

So, heh, am back from lunch, which was from the "Whats your Prata?" counter at Food Republic in Wisma Mall and consisted of 2 Pratas ($1.2 each), Potato veg ($1.2 small), Dhall (free with Prata), Nasi Biryani with Fried Chicken ($5.5). Replete with that, I took a cuppa and walked over to one of the entrances of Takashimaya and enjoyed the Teh while watching the softly falling rain. Orchard wore a decidedly wilted look in the rain but to me personally I think it made it more endearing.

Things to procure and soon:

  1. Hat Umbrella
  2. Digital Camera
  3. Chinese teapot and cup
  4. Nice walking cum fancy rain-resistant shoes

12 May 2008

W, Th, F & wknd

It has been a week and no posts from me.

Why you ask? (If you don't ask !@#$%^&*)

Ahem, yeah so anyway.

One week delay because I have again caught the "curse of the drinking classes". No? Didn't get that? WORK!

(Work is the curse of the drinking classes - Oscar Wilde)

Works been hectic, no time to play. Evening life has been even more hectic - no its not what you think heh heh - been busy exercising! Yes, since, last Tuesday was it? I've gymmed, swum and biked - (bicycle biked not motorcycle, hello?) and eaten salads.. for dinner that is. Dear cousin Such (pron: सुच) makes the most awesome salads :) Well 'cept for the weekend, but more about weekend later.

Wed, Thus were okay...

High Points: Found a new place to go eat breakfast (a lovely bakery! YUMM!), found new places in the food court to go eat lunch, made a few friends in office and heard a lot of gossip from them :) Been walking daily to office, down to 3 a day...

Low Points: Not bothering remembering or recounting them.

Friday went thus:
At work the laptop got a lot of much-needed attention by the IT personnel. It feels better, I feel better. So..... since lappy was outta commission, guess who went to play? C'est moi! I loafed in Takashimaya for 3 solid hours with a colleague and was pleasantly wiped out. Of course my Singaporean colleague was dismayed at my performance, she tells me that I really need to build my stamina for the Singapore Shoppin Festival. Well, what else am I exercising for? Heheh. Am sure I covered barely 20% (maybe am being optimistic here) of the shopping space there (Taks is insane!).

Then it was back home by 6 P.M. At 6.30 P.M. two of my colleagues call me to Orchard Road for a bite and a chat - who can resist that! So off I went (read walked - 20 to 30 mins) back to Orchard Street. I have to say Orchard really blooms in the evenings, there are street performers playing lovely music, there are painters, and then there are malls with soft lighting, neon lighting, stalls, and the most important thing - people! Lots of people and great vibes all over the place. Went to Cedele for the bite and chat. Sorry no pics but soon I promise. Had a decent clam chowder, med sandwich, and Teh (tea)!

The skies finally broke and the weather was awesome (first time in bleeding 2 weeks I say). Suj was in from KL so chatted with her and did lunch @ Great World City mall with Suj and Such @ Cedele again! (No I did not like it so much that I had to go back the next day). Back from lunch @ 4 and hey I had to get my beauty sleep. That over we got ready for the evening and did a nice but oh-so-bloody-expensive-that-i-am-missing-1-arm-now kinda Italian place called Trattoria Lafiandra al Museo and this was how I expected it to be but this is how I ended up feeling (well, really, maybe not that much angst). Ate the Capriccioso (I think) basically parma ham and cheese pizza, some free kotre phenyl brushetta... NO ALCO.

Then Cee and I went off to Chijmes and heard some good music, shook a leg and off we went to Cuba Libre on Clarke Quay. Back home @ 2. Have to confess C who is 20 years my senior, seriously partied me under the table! OH the SHAME of it!

Work up later than late @ 12! (I LOVE such Sundays). I was just picking up my handbag to step out to Little India for a Masala Dosa, C made Such and me a breakfast (?) of scrambled eggs, toast and yummy sausages. Washed it down with Green tea scented with Jasmine (heheh thats so ME). Such planned an Indian dinner for some friends and off we went to Cold Storage to shop and shop. Back home and into the kitchen we went and I was the official chopper! (not a helicopter re but a chef's assistant wala chopper, subzi choppper) 4 tomatos, 3 large onions, 2 packets bhindi (vendakai/ladies finger/okra/M-W-A-H), 1 green chilly, 8 cloves of garlic, 4 inches of ginger - chopped, minced, sliced, slit. And I was good!

Apart from making breakfast, Cee also very sweetly fixed up a bicycle for me and took me on a ride. Knowing him I was sure it was going to be up and up and up hill and I was not disappointed (cannot blame him too much Singapore is up-hill down-hill country). Huffing and puffing (that was me, yeah) and after, as he puts it, narrowly escaping with my life, we came back home to begin entertaining.

Sunday dinner menu
Lamb in curry masala
Manglorean style prawns
Bhindi fry
Tomato pachidi
Coconut rice

And it was YUM! Should have taken pictures of the food and table.

The guests were a couple, the man a Scotsman brought up in Australia teaching popular music in a college in Singapore, the lady a Japanese event organizer. Lovely {couple, hosts, lovely, wine, conversation} made for a all in all lovely end to a hectic week.

06 May 2008

Terrible "Tuesday" and other nightmares

All my coolness and urban-ness disregarding, I have this strange distrust of Tuesdays. Do you feel this irrational distrust about something that may really not have particularly done you any harm? Well not more than anything else has anyways.

Well the scientific reason behind my fear of Tuesdays is that all things I consider a nuisance, like conference calls - early morning or late night, leaving home with the house key safely locked inside the house or locking my car key safely in the car, tearing my pants (once), forgetting the office laptop at home and remembering just as I am stepping into the office, chipped nail polish and so on always seem to happen to me with a vengeance on "Tuesdays"! (I wonder if it because I notice such things on Tuesdays or perhaps I psyche myself into being a klutz! OMG what a eerie thought!)

Well today is a Tuesday but thankfully nothing of the above has happened, in fact nothing really bothersome happened at all today but still I feel the day could have exerted itself a bit more for me and made itself a little more happy (its not like I ask much of it on normal days except to have my own way in everything, hello?). BUT it did not. Minor irritations like a 8 am meeting IN OFFICE, 6 restarts on a determinedly hanging computer, climbing up and down the stairs 10 times (thankfully not more than 2 floors) for errands that just didn't seem to get done, useless meetings, and other misc. things, things have been pretty much okay this side of the globe for me.

In its defense I must add that today I found a shorter route to office :D
Which also means that I have NO excuse to take the taxi anymore :(
Unless it rains (big EVIL smile!) Hehehe!

Talking of rains, Singaporeans, like everyone else living in tropical climates, have been complaining how this summer is the hottest ever and how it has not been this hot ever before, how its never not rained, and how the overcompensation of rain in Mynnamar, ruining life there as a result, is really our rain thats lost its way and made a complete menace of itself there! That is, half of the rain legitimately belongs here, over us, where we would have welcomed it! Which would have left both Mynnamar and us in happy spirits, while this inequality has left both of us unequally miserable. (Disclaimer: Please understand that the situation in Mynnamar is horribly tragic and in no manner I am making a jest of it).

In other newses, cousin and her husband are back and I can sell horses and sleep. Dunno why but I can never sleep peacefully in someone else's house if I am the only one in it. I hear noises, creaks, groans, knocks on doors of empty rooms, footfalls, glass crashing noises and all manner of such spine-and-marrow chilling nightmare-on-elm-street-like things and yes, rarely, very rarely, I have even seen shadows. (I don't know why I am doing this to myself as I am home alone right now!) In fact even if the house owners step out to buy groceries I can hear crockery smashing noises every once now and then and am never quite 'it' till they are safely back within their walls, whereupon I am immune to all such hogwash and nonsense. So, the horses have been gleefully sold last evening and as long as someone is @ home with me, the horses stay in someone else paddock.

In other positive newses, a gym routine has begun today, which cousin and I hope to uphold to the best of our honour. Yeah... will let u know... Swimming is soon to be added to the routine to make the routine (or is it us?) feel less like a routine... will let you know about this too... My convictions on such things are as strong as the next person's but usually the next person's convictions are not really strong to begin with.... maybe cousin will be strong, for both of us. At least I hope so!

Office is office, nothing to write home or blog about (apart from everything that has already been said and blogged). So I say, ok, ta-ta, bye bye!

05 May 2008

2nd day and the wknd in the middle!

So its day two @ work and I took a taxi - again! BUT, the good thing was with all my walking around (esp. on saturday) I could follow the taxi route to office and I think i've found a shortcut!! will try it out while going back home today and I think this will be a 10 min walk.... or so it seems when i was in the taxi which btw took less than 4 mins.

the wknd was mixed. on saturday i woke up late (heh wats new eh?) and since there was no commercial street to usher in the wknd mood, i did the next best thing here - went to little india! how desi you say? :-p i say!

i took along, like a tourist, a "walking guide" brochure of little india courtesy changi airport and did the "little india" walk. of course i walked for 10 and sat down for a large (and not so tasty) andhra lunch.

that over and feeling a little more with it, i walked and walked and walked all over little india. and while i was in the walking mode i decided to figure out the way back to river valley (suchi's place) and yes, on foot.

so i walked up and up (saala little india is downhill!) asking directions a few times, following the crowd a few times and in 20 reached a familiar location, dhobi ghaut station. from there you walk straight on to orchard road and from orchard u cut across to river valley. i think i must have walked an hour plus (it was a kinda cloudy day) and when i let myself into the house, i was sure i was never going to get up again! as is usually the case, i was right. i did not budge till sunday 3PM!

ordered in pizza for dinner and ate it watching Anthony Bourdain on Youtube! (Youtube ki jai, Youtube Zindabad!) and watched this cutest movie, Last Holiday - Queen Latifa and LL Cool J - just the thing I needed. Watched more endless TV and crashed.

Sunday dawned nice and bright! So i pulled up the covers and went back to sleep. Surfaced around 10.45, wandered around the house twice aimlessly "आत्मा कि तरह भटकना" as we call it in the वेर्नाकुलर; and lay down on the sofa exaushted with the effort and was soon asleep again. woke up to a msg from N to provide technical details such as what time i was going to get to his house! regrouped for an hour before i could decode that one, and finally called him. that settled, i ate a disgusting breakfast of leftover pizza, (disgusting in how bad it was for health, otherwise it was just fine) and pepsi (shudder!) and watched mindless TV (hey hey 1 minute, all this TV is because I've not found a library as yet, okay?).

Finally at the hour that i was supposed to be @ N's place i got up to get ready. (naveen and i go back to a long way togther.... all the way back to our childhood... where our constant endevour was to outdo each other - in tormeting the other). got ready and pretty and took a taxi (expensive la!) to his place. obviously old habits die hard cause when i get to his place to help him prepare for his BBQ party, he was fast asleep! so before he cud get up i ran off to the mall close to his place to get a manicure (heheh evil laugh!). i think bittu is the closest thing i have to a sibling...

the manicure was the best thing EVER! the bestest manicure. its a small shop in a mall. 3 massage chairs (yes, its not a typo, it is massage chairs) lined up, nice soft music, a glass of warm chinese tea, and a lovely manicure which a complimentary massage by a massage chair thrown in. very proffessionally done massage. my nails look tremendous! base coat, nail polish, top coat, million dollar fingers - i could be a hand model!

BBQ was fun, most people were frends of naveen and wife (naturally!) so all were couples or couples with kids, nice ppl but i don't think i had anything to contribute to the conversation after a point i.e.15 mints into the party. sooo, i was back to suchi's by 8, and read mills and boons - YES! (naveen's wife and i bonded big time on the discovery of this this mutual love - M&B.)

1st day in new job

My first day in new company and so far so good! I have my user name password, accesses up and running, my laptop, docking station, extra monitor, keyboard, mouse all ready for use. Just the phone is taking some time to come up. Will keep you posted on the number. I guess everyone has my mobile number, if not, its +65 guess.

Since y'day was the 1 May holiday 1/2 the office has taken a long weekend so the office is pretty empty; guess I'll see the full strength on Monday. I have a cute one-person cubicle and a very sweet Chinese/Singaporean girl in the cubi across the (small) aisle. The rest of my team sits 1 row away from me (evil smile).

One real sweet colleague (the first to join this place as a technical writer 2 years back) helped me set up - who am I kidding? Ok, One real sweet colleague (the first to join this place as a technical writer 2 years back) set up all my extra applications like FrameMaker, sharepoints, fonts, accesses etc for me :D I think it is a very auspicious start! (hehehe)

Since this is my first day and all that, I have taken a taxi to office. From Monday, its going to be my morning walk! err... at least I hope so!

Ah! the important thing, LUNCH. Since its Friday today, its a team lunch and a sashimi bar is selected! While I've survived a sushi dinner, I think a sashimi buffet, as is planned, is too rare for me. For those who want to google sashimi, allow me:

Sashimi (Japanese: 刺身) is a Japanese delicacy primarily consisting of very fresh raw seafood, sliced into thin pieces about 2.5cm (1.0in.) wide by 4.0cm (1.5in.) long by 0.5 cm (0.25in.) thick, but dimensions vary depending on the type of item and chef, and served with only a dipping sauce (soy sauce with wasabi paste and thinly-sliced ginger root or ponzu), and a simple garnish such as shiso and shredded daikon radish.OKAY, now am off for lunch, wish me luck! If I find a KFC en route, I might just lose my courage and defect.Love

Next 2 days

mwah mwah

i have awoken @ 10am again after making grandiose plans last night of leaving with naveen early in morning when he goes to office. mwah. i've consoled self with jasmine tea and bread omelet. (i looooove jasmine tea hae!)

y'day i've had my first foot-reflexology massage, which has been quite the lovliness. i have come off from family friend naveens' place post brekkie to cousin suchi's place this noon and i have planned a loooong excursion for self in this part of town.

here is details: i am going to slap on my sun block lotion and a (non existant) hat on head and walk all the way to takashimaya mall (my office is in same mall) to gauge the distance on foot from suchi's house to office. it is suposed to be a 15 min walk! i know am pushing myself, but what to do... one has to work hard sometime... plan to catch lunch in mall and find a book store and sit and read :-)

In evening ex-coll sanj will b met - if she is not cancelling and if she can keep self from fighting with me.

may day, i will unite with workers around world and take holiday from my hectic work life. this is final, decision is taken. pls do not try to change my mind on this.

(as u can see the heat has hit me and brain is scrambing)

Reaching Singapore

I have reached off here safe and sound! i have wisely bought off 1 number recharge card in airport and jhungg i have come home and topped it up and voila! phone is up and running. not 1 phone i have found in airport like our ISD, STD, PCO, nonsense. oh BTW apparently i no longer have to fill that immigration card that they are giving in planes when coming to SGP, i can simply flash my EP and walk in thru "special" line!!! (one sweety Chinese fellow in immigration has told me.)

Immigration was KHAAALI when i went, not a daag was there, most fellows from my plane have gotten out and run off to duty free for shopping, so breeeeeze it was. haan so as i was telling, immigration officer has said, next time when u come and immigration is crowded, u can walk into the singaporean line. mere aankhon mein aasun aa gaye. INDIA mein koi mujhe aisa option nahi hai boss!

anyway, so now am sitting in family friend, naveen a.k.a bittu's house; where i have reached for dinner last night, and had chicken curry, gheeya, aalu jeera, roti and rice :D HAE to HAE INDIAN home food as soon as i arrived - have to say it felt good. now am just hanging arnd in their house faffing. plan to go back to cousin's (Suchi) tonight... mayb meet up with ex-coll sanjukta bhattacharya...

brain is all disjointed; feel free to send queries.

i have not done ANY duty free shopping :-p not ANY!