Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Tom Cruise (Ghost Protocol Mission Impossible), Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F SG store Orchard Road)

1) Just back from watching Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise has aged a lot. I still miss him as the vampire Lestat in Interview With a Vampire (with Brad Pitt).

So handsome back then. Eyes so ice blue, face so pale... hands so long and elegant... teeth so cold. *faint smile* Sad, lonely, sexy, handsome, beautiful vampire.

At that time, Kristen Dunst was still a newbie and this movie made her famous. She was only a young girl then, playing a living doll, long blond tresses... can't recall the name of the role she played. But so lucky to be playing beside 2 of the handsomest and sexiest guys at such a young age.

Mission Impossible.... good overall. Still maintained the standard even after the first few movies. So, that's good.

Movies like Pirates of the C are really bad: first one good, second one not so good and last one horrid. (brings to mind Bro's opinion on Matrix as well).

Tom Cruise needs a rest. Needs a sleep. He looks haggard, not just due to his age, but... he has really pushed it to the limit.

He is fit, but it's visible that his body has aged. In one scene where he is without a shirt, standing on a ledge outside the window, he looked like other older men, the top bigger than the lower body (not due to muscles or workout).

Don't know why that happens when Hollywood men get older. Happened to Sean Connery as well.

Tom Cruise has lost much of his physical magnetism and attractiveness. But the movie is still good, because ... it makes sense and the action is very tight and rivetting, edge of the seat exciting and you really feel the adrenalin, especially the height at 130 storeys in Dubai.

Quite a few people in the cinema audience expressed their fear and concern when "looking down" at that height. The vertigo made my hands and feet sweat.

Imagine having to climb up further, outside the window, on the window pane, on nothing except a pair of gizmo gloves that haven't been tested, your arms and normal shoes.

That's what Ethan Hunt (Cruise's character) did to get into a room upstairs, on the outside, with a time limit of some minutes. With his hands not even sweating.

"Blue is glue, red is dead.", said the computer guy who provides the gloves that look suspiciously flimsy and floppy.

So, the guys cut out the window and Ethan goes outside and starts walking on vertical glass.

What happens when while climbing, the blue light on the right glove starts suddenly blinking for no reason? Then suddenly turns red? And ultimately, even the left glove fails just when Ethan managed to get into the room?

The only thing lacking, is a label that says, "Made in China". Never depend your life on things made there.

Of course, they can't put that label, unless they want China to make noise.

But we all know why the gloves failed, and where it came from. So putting a label is actually not necessary. The gloves speak for themselves.

I miss Tom Cruise's beauty. Age is a cruel thing. I fully sympathize and still want him to tuck me into bed with a goodnight kiss. That's what I said to the companion accompanying me today. But she didn't think it was a good idea.

He's still handsome, just not as handsome. :) I said after he takes a nice nap, he should be looking good again. My companion doubted it. I said all he needs is a good sleep, and he'll be fresh and look rejuvenated.

Sleep does wonders.

The other cool effect, besides the excitement of the gloves, is... the moving screen with a very cool gizmo that follows the view's eyes. So, the viewer sees the same image at the same distance, even though in fact, the screen (and the guys behind it) are moving closer and closer.

Notice it is "viewer", singular.

The gizmo only works its magic on one person's visual perception. More than 1 person and the gizmo starts adjusting to different viewpoints, with the result that the image starts "jumping", thereby exposing itself.

It's a very believable technology that is believable to be available now because of this limitation.

Crusie produced this movie, and I think he grounded it more realistically to present time in this way, instead of some futuristic gizmos that are way too incredible.

A nuclear threat is also very real. And it's realistic to hear the cover-ups in the "news reports" in the movie. A nuclear warhead that knocks off a side of a building is described as a meteor that fell in the day time. A major detonation at the Kremblin is described as problem with gas pipes under the building.

Ghost Protocol is nice, but it made me miss Lestat more. I might have to see Interview With A Vampire again, to see Cruise's beauty once more.


2) Speaking of beauty... Before the movie began, my companion and I dropped by the newly opened A&F store. :)

Last night while looking for a A&F jacket in the official website, I was surprised by the high prices. I didn't know A&F was so expensive.

At Taiwan websites, a A&F furry jacket costs much much less.

While Googling, I saw the publicity about the A&F store in SG.

A giant poster that I've been admiring every time I saw it at the crossroads at Orchard Road has been labelled "Too Sexy". And the authorities wanted it removed.

Of course, I'm not the only one who feels the poster is so beautiful, and someone went even further than me to say:

"Yes, we should complain. How can you tease us like that with the pants slung so low and offer nothing else? Not even a strip of fuzz? It's indecent of A&F to leave their ads like that. COMPLAIN!"

Indeed. My sentiments exactly! Bravo.

I never thought of the fuzz until I read what this person said.

Actually, come to think, where is the fuzz at such a low... position?

Unfortunately, I think it's been shaved off.

The poster makes/made me want to pull down the pants...for more.

Then there was another Google result on "shirtless greeters". I didn't read that one, but saw a photo of a row of shirtless guys standing in a line. Apparently, that's a publicity for the store's opening.

The companion with me today, informed that they were there before the store's opening, and the fact that they are no longer posed outside, means the store has already opened (since I asked if the store was already open).

According to the Google result, the store is supposed to open this month.

I saw 2 guys in blue Ts, jeans and sandals on either side of the store's entrance. Just normal-looking guys.

Upon entering, naked guy on my right. Ok, shirtless with just jeans. Now, I wasn't paying attention if he wore any footwear... so interested was I in his ... upper body.

He had a nice front body, not too much gym, just nice. Very tight abs, but not 6 packs. Very tight, lean, smooth, perfect skin that made me want to touch his stomach.

His chest was most prominent, protruding with some muscle.

I looked at his body first, then up to his face. Hmm... Ok face. Not very handsome, but Ok, goes with his body.

European face? American? Australian? Light brown, very short, neat haircut. Nice smile and eyes.

(I know it's hard to get both beautiful body and face to match. A&F are doing their best, I know).

I guess I wasn't being polite in looking like that. It seemed he looked a little embarrassed and looked down.

Well, forgive me for looking at him like he was a piece of...meat.

He had put himself on display after all. (Doesn't he feel cold, standing in the air-con store? Does he need something to cover his chest?).

How much are they paying him, anyway?

He was taller than average, so... most of the shoppers entering the store were definitely shorter than him.

Later, I saw a lady stand beside him and he put his arm around her, for photo-taking by another lady. Tourists.

So... I was thinking... Could I... ask him if I could touch him? I have the urge to poke him with my fingertip on his ab, just to feel if he's real. And.. if possible, run my hand down his abs.... :) Can?

Later on the way out, I walked nearer to him, to look more closely, and again he seemed embarrassed and looked down. I don't know if it was because he noticed I was looking. There were many people walking in and out of there.

From the side, he actually has a curved back. So, it's only the front that's nice. I mentioned it to my companion and she agreed he looked hunched. Later, when I got back, I told my bro that it might be because he didn't watch his back while gym-ing with weights.

Due to these weights, his back curved forwards. Either that, or... he has been carrying a sling bag or school bag that's been too heavy for him for years.

Bro thinks it's bad posture during sitting... But I said I don't think his type sits much.

I don't know. Maybe during his school years, he modelled part-time...

Whatever it is, I now regret not having asked him if I could touch him.

My companion said touching would be sexual harrassment. But I said, I'm asking for his permission, not just touching. So... it's not sexual harrassment.

Makes me consider going back one of these days to ask...

That aside, there are a few problems with the store. Their concept is good, but as a gay club or night club, the store would be classy.

A night club like Attica don't even look half as good.

#1 = Decor and ambience too dark. Lighting poor. Makes it difficult to see the merchandise on display. A black skirt when lifted up... I could hardly see the design. The yellow lights do not help because of the glare and reflection.

#2 = Mirrors are dangerous in the darkness. Due to the small size of the store and connecting passages with large showcases between, and confusing darkness and lights, it is possible to walk into one of the mirrors.

This is a safety issue the store needs to seriously amend/consider.

#3 = The stairs have lit steps, but due to the poor lighting overall, the staircase is unsafe. Have to walk carefully and slowly and hold onto the handrails.

#4 = This is a store, not a museum. There shouldn't be so many glass showcases with the merchandise inside as if it's a showcase of museum artefacts.

The showcases also take up a lot of walking space. The store is small enough without such large display cases that are dangerous due to the lighting conditions.

#5 = Lighting is very poorly done. Doesn't enhance the merchandise at all, but directs away from the items instead. A person does not know where to look and it's actually quite discouraging with the bad coordination of shadows, light and darkness.

#6 = There are actually very few items in the store, with the same design. Not a variety of styles. Just the A&F logo on every piece of item that looks about the same as another.

For the sort of prices charged, it's not very attractive (which would explain why before I went in, I saw customers walking out without buying anything. I'm guessing now this is partly due to the bad lighting.).

#7 = Perfume in the store. My companion liked the perfume fragrance they used in the store, so I asked a guy. And he was very friendly, said it's "Fierce" that can be found at the bar counter downstairs.

Perfume is like putting music on a website. Personal taste is very subjective. By putting a masculine fragrance for the entire store, it can drive away some people who don't like the scent. Personally, I don't like it and would prefer they left it unscented.
I said to my companion, "Why would anyone want to wear a perfume called "fierce" when they should wear one called "sexy"?".

Overall, the decor and lighting aren't conducive to making people want to buy, because the concept they created is more of a museum quality, look and touch, rather than buy.

The store would be perfect as a club, or night-spot to hang out and be seen.

The staircase makes a perfect entrance or exit for any hot/young/sexy man/woman in the club. In fact, I'd rather it were a classy gay club or classy unisex club. It's very sexy.

With all the guys hanging around and the merchandise designs catering more to guys, I guess A&F is more of a guy thing. I didn't know that until checking out their store today.

On the plus side, the store's staff (a lady who asked my companion if she needed any help with getting the right size, and the guy whom I asked about the store's perfume) were polite and good.
(Before that, checked out H&M, which loses to Pull & Bear in terms of classy outfits and designs. H&M was a disappointment, yet people were buying. Prices affordable but very bad-looking clothes.).

Saturday, 24 December 2011

I Need Ramune!

It's 10.30 pm and I need Ramune. No, it's not a man.

It's a soda. Japanese Soda that Nanairo@ Liang Court basement used to sell for just $2 a bottle, in only 1 flavor.

The last time it was out of stock a few months back, I asked the Japanese boss when the shipment was coming again.

He shook his head, saying, "Not coming.".

I thought he meant not shipping it in anymore. But he said, "seasonal" "summer" and "next year".

Next YEAR??????????

My god. How can the Japs do such a thing? (I'm sure it's an often-said phrase in the war).

How can they possibly sell something ONLY for Summer?

Isn't this a business? Don't they want money?

This is a man-made drink. It Is Made. Therefore, it can be year-round. Why only Summer?

*groans* I can't believe it. Where to get Ramune?????? *weeps*

Why do I suddenly need it?

*sighs* I don't know. I want to drink it now.

I looked online, and discovered, there's even more flavors that Nanairo wasn't selling. A different brand. Melon, Strawberry, Blueberry, Yuzu, Hello Kitty flavors, Mango, Banana... (oddly, they are not selling what Nanairo sold).

At Asian Food Grocer website (US site), I added 15 bottles to cart and looked at the airmail. $149 for express international mail...

I removed 5 bottles. For 10 bottles, the airmail is $105....

That's just insane for a few bottled sodas.

Somehow, I need...to see if anyone is selling it in the countries where I have contacts.

Bro said the US websites cater to US people, so if you live in the US, delivery is cheap. But not so for us living outside...

I need Ramune... RAMUNE!!!!!

The drink with a marble. The bottle with a marble. A marble inside a bottle! A drink with a rolling marble inside a bottle!!!!!!

You Tube has many videos on how to open a Ramune bottle and drink from it.

Someone even went through the ... wu liao (for nothing) trouble of getting out the marble without breaking the bottle.

My take is, what the hell is the marble for without the bottle?

I had actually thought of keeping the marble with the bottle, rather than just extracting the marble.

The significance of the marble is lost without its bottle. Out of its bottle, the marble has no purpose and is just any marble (yeah, only the person who took it out knows it's not just a marble, but it's still just a marble without its function).

Intrigued and fascinated, I also did a video of opening a Ramune bottle.

The first time after buying it, Bro and I didn't know how popular it was, or that how to open it was already in plenty of You Tube videos.

So, I looked at the plastic blue cap that it came with, after opening the wrapper, and wondered how to use it.

Surely, it was meant to be used for opening the bottle that had a glass-sealed convex top. The cap's the only thing accompanying the bottle (besides the white ring that now I remember was there, after seeing my own video now).

I didn't think the cap was meant to be a frivolous throw-away. Somehow, the white ring... didn't fit into the opening process, so I figured it was probably useless.

The cap had an extension at the end that seemed to fit into the top of the bottle, but unlike the usual bottle opener... it was intriguing how it could be used.

Placing the cap with its extension onto the bottle opening and applying a little pressure, didn't seem to do anything. I was more afraid of shattering the bottle or worse, so I stopped.

However... that position is actually the correct way to open the bottle. And more pressure must be applied more forcefully to have effect.

Bro said maybe we should bring the bottle back to the shop and ask the Japanese man how to open it.

( I know he just wants the excuse of seeing the Japanese man talk. He gets a kick out of seeing how the man would respond, and how the proceedings would go when I do the talking.).

I wasn't going to do that. Come on, how hard can this be? It's just a soft drink bottle. Surely they didn't make it that complex.

Absurd to bring it just to ask how to open it. We'll figure it out ourselves, unless it really cannot be opened.

After a while of figuring... I began to think the Japanese didn't want people drinking it.

It was the worst... most devious...most devilish.... soft-drink bottle I've Ever come across.

Why can't they just make it like any soft-drink bottle with a cap that can just be opened with a bottle-opener for old times' sake?

But noo.... Trust the Japs to come up with something like this. Are we monkeys or mice?

That's what I felt like when trying to figure out the bottle. Like the Japs were making fun of us...in making a soft-drink bottle like this. Like the way scientists do to the animals under study, by giving them food in gizmos that they have to figure how to get out to eat.

It was not really frustrating, but a little annoying.

Now, I ask my Bro while typing this here in my room, "That time, I opened the bottle after seeing online one, right?".

Bro in his room, "Yeah lah.".

Me, "Not we open ourselves one, right?".

Bro, "Of course.".

There you have it. We are not geniuses. Or rather... I nearly was, if only I had applied more pressure and if Bro hadn't stopped me from trying too hard in case I broke it.

I already figured it out when I placed the cap downward into the bottle opening. All that was needed was more guts to push down hard.

And that's what this is about. Guts. To drink the Japs' soda drink. The samurai spirit. He who is not afraid.... will get to drink.

Here is the video after knowing how to open it. Taken a few months back, the first time opening.

(Bro figured that the 2 indentations of the glass bottle were meant for something, maybe to help in opening, but seems to be nothing.

I'm wondering why the Japs did something like this. How did this idea come about?

I know from watching a Japanese man mention in his You Tube video that he had drank it when he was a kid. So, this drink has been around for many years. Who invented it and what was the rationale behind it?).

How does the soda taste? Well, at first, it was surprisingly ordinary after all that amazing trouble. But after a while... *nodding*... the taste hangs on.

It's lighter and less sweet than the usual fizzy drinks. But it's nice.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Early Morning ...Disturbance

Early Morning...Disturbance
2011-12-20 12:09

To me, it's early morning because I wake only in the afternoon.

I was waiting for the Speedpost man to deliver some stuff. Speedpost is late. Usually, they are faster. As of yesterday, the package was still at their sorting center.

These days, I feel very restless, distracted from what I'm doing. Don't know why. I think I'm restless for distraction. It's a very bad trait of mine. Like coming here to post, when I'm supposed to be working on my stuff. -.-

It's 11.16 a.m. for heaven's sake (after I brushed my teeth and washed my face and replied to an e-mail). AARGhhh...

I was sleeping, when there was a light knock on the main door. The knock sounded a little too light, I thought.

Usually, Speedpost man knocks a little harder. Our doorbell is spoilt, it keeps spoiling even after "fixing" and putting in new batteries.

I rushed out of bed, looked into the peephole and saw a man with 2 thick, dark straps around his shoulders (haversack). Seemed to have a long (name) tag around his neck. No box.

It didn't occur to me that this was NOT the Speedpost man.

Usually, I'll just look into the peephole and open the door almost automatically, as though looking is just a procedure.

This time, I looked and even though I saw signs that it wasn't the Speedpost man, I still opened. -.- That's how bad I wanted to see the Speedpost man.

After opening the door a little, Bro went to see the man (I just got out of bed). My rushing out is to intercept the Speedpost man before he walks away with my undelivered package.

I stood behind the door and heard the man say he wanted to check our kitchen.

Bro looked at me annoyed and said in a low voice, "You shouldn't have opened the door.".

Bloody hell.

I was displeased with the what-the-heck was standing outside. Woke me up from my sleep, Not the person I'm waiting for (who the hell is he?), rudely asks to enter our house to check the kitchen (without showing or introducing his ID).

Bloody Hell. If I don't scold him, consider himself lucky.

Bro and I didn't say anything.

From behind the door (without the man seeing me), I pulled closed our gate that was ajar, closed the door, locked it, leaving the man standing outside.

I don't care if he waits there.

Bloody Hell. Wake me up early in the morning and dares to say he wants to come into our kitchen.

Number 1: No notice was passed about this. Even if it was put into the mailbox, I don't care.

This is our house. He has no right to enter.

Not even the gas man can come in. I read the gas meter inside the house for him and report to him the numbers. I don't know what the numbers mean, but that's what he gets.

In the past, we used to let in gas men, but not anymore.

Number 2: Even if we were to let him in, I'll need to call first to check his credentials. Who the hell is he? And why should I spend effort checking him when just shutting the door would do?

For all we know, he may be fake. I'm only assuming I know where he's from and what he's checking.

And where the hell is the Speedpost man?

Bro kept saying I shouldn't have opened the door, which annoyed me further. He said, "There was no box what. You could see he had no box.". Tsk.

After a while in the kitchen, where I voiced my upset opinions while brushing my teeth and washing my face, with a lot of "Bloody Hells", Bro went to look into the peephole again.

He said the man was gone. I said if he's not, let him stand outside and wait. He can knock all he wants. If I don't open the door and scold him, he should consider himself lucky.

These days, I don't have much patience. It feels as though I'm just waiting for someone to step into my line of fire.

I said he probably went to find reinforcements.

Bro said not likely, since we didn't let him in the first time, and there was already a second man with him.

Second man? I thought I saw only 1.

I said even he gets reinforcements, I won't let him in.

I'm sure we are not the only ones not letting him in (that's why he knew to walk away). Also, there are people working and not at home.

When it comes to real safety issues like the MRT trains, they don't do, don't even have back-up ventilation and lighting. 127,000 people trapped for hours in darkness and no air.

Construction sites, the stagnant water, they don't check either.

Instead they waste money and manpower checking individual kitchens, disturbing people early in the morning. Disturbing Me.

I hate it when I'm waiting for the Speedpost man and some crap comes instead. Especially when I was sleeping.

Now, I'm woken up earlier than usual.

And it's going to rain again. And I've to get to the post office before it does... And I've my own things to do....And I need to jog.... And I cannot find a damn good swimming pool!!!!!

In short, it is never good when I am awakened before my usual time. If it's for the Speedpost man, the package will just be accepted and I'll go back to sleep.

But not when I'm disturbed. Bloody Hell.

And now I've a headache.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Doc... Something Stuck In My Throat

Tonight, at about 8 or 8.30 p.m., arrived at Tori Q @ Takashimaya with Bro.

Before this:

Warning #1 = A Fridae contact was earlier there and e-mailed me via her phone that Tori Q had a long queue. I thought maybe there wouldn't be a queue by the time I got there in the evening/night.

Also, we had been messaging about porridge. Later, you'll see how strangely premonitory it is when I explain.

Warning #2 = I've been wondering maybe Bro and I should go back to eating at Yayoiken @ Liang Court. But because we've been eating there too often and the food is too salty and expensive on a regular basis, we decided on the cheaper Tori Q tonight.

Warning #3 = While the super slow bus made its way to Taka, I wondered if perhaps we should get off at Clarke Quay for Yayoiken instead.

Warning #4 = When we arrived and queued at Tori Q @ Taka, I saw the burnt chicken and told Bro that maybe we should eat the Teriyaki chicken noodles @ the Ajisen restaurant nearby instead. But he said it's salty. So, we continued queueing.

Despite these 4 warnings, I still ate what I should not have tonight. Next time, must trust my judgement/premonition.

As usual, Bro ordered 2 Set B (all chicken). And we stood at the semi-circular table near the ice-cream shop (opposite the bakery).

Was very hungry and started eating fast as usual. Some of the chicken meat was a little burnt but still Ok. (I try to avoid burnt parts. Tori Q is not my fav).

About halfway through my meal, this man put his food packet on my left, so I made a little space for him. Bro stood on my right and already no space near the trashbin.

But this man had 2 other friends, one of them a woman. This silly woman leant forward tbeside me to eat his fried noodles and it totally stressed me because the space was already small. She wasn't squeezing in, but her presence was very disturbing.

On the left of the man, were 3 women who had just finished eating and were leaving.

Why can't this man and this woman just move more to the left, instead of standing beside me in this small space?

Totally stressed, I ate as fast as I could, hoping to get away asap. I chewed, but apparently it wasn't enough.

I tasted something burnt in my mouth while chewing and assumed it was just a burnt crust and swallowed it.

After that, I just kept eating the rice. As I ate, I felt there was something stuck at the bottom of my throat. But assuming it was just clumped rice, I just continued eating the rest.

When finished, I threw the packet into the bin. Then started walking with Bro to the supermarket.

He said he needed to get water and I agreed that I needed a bottle too. Something seemed lodged in my throat and chest.

I hammered my upper chest with the thumb end of my fist, but it didn't help.

Walking into the supermarket, I told bro to hurry get the water because I was starting to feel a little sick.

He hadn't even paid for it, but asked me to drink first. I drank some, but it didn't seem to wash whatever it was down.

After he queued and paid for the water, the feeling of something stuck down in my throat remained.

My upper chest, in the middle, started to hurt as well.

Weird. What the heck was wrong. It's just a damn Tori Q for heaven's sake. Can't even trust Tori Q to make a decent, safe meal.

I worried if it was a piece of splintered wood from the chopsticks. But I was sure there had been nothing in the rice, and I chewed the meat very carefully before the man came. It was just plain rice and sauce.

But sipping the water, made me feel there was definitely something in there.

Bro suggested I try pushing whatever it was down with a Japanese baked fish-shaped cake. I chose the round Kaya and Cheese flavor.

After chewing and swallowing a bite, it felt like it pushed against something and hurt. But whatever it was, was still down there.

Then I suggested "sliding" it off with some ice-cream, and bought a Raspberry Cheesecake scoop in a cup for $3.80.

The ice-cream slid down, but that was it. Whatever it was, remained.

Bro started looking at the mall directory to see if there was a clinic in the mall. My thought was, if there was... it would be too expensive. His idea was to get an X-ray.

I said let's just go home and go to the clinic there if it's still open. Most likely, it's closed already.

Taka was too crowded anyway, on a weekday night. No point hanging around so many people when I wasn't feeling well.

Better to head home and see what can be done.

We were supposed to get a packet of potato chips but Cold Storage didn't have the brand, so we left.

In the bus, bro said if the clinic was closed, we'll go SGH to get an X-ray. I was kinda reluctant. I don't like SGH.

When the super slow bus reached our place, we got off and sure enough, the clinic was closed.

Bro said another clinic is open and we went in. The 3 counter women were eating and very free. Even the young doc was sitting behind them, wearing a white mouth mask.

The first one asked if I had been there before. I said no, and said something seems stuck in my throat.

She asked for my I/C but before I gave her, I asked if they had an X-ray machine.

She said no, and I elaborated on my problem.

She said clinics don't have X-ray machines, need to go A&E (polyclinics closed). I said I was thinking maybe they had some medication to wash it down or something, but she shook her head. (Bro had said maybe they have some kinda syrup to slide whatever it was down).

I said I was thinking of waiting till tomorrow. But because I mentioned some pain in my upper chest, she said it's better I get it checked at A&E tonight. "You want to wait ah?", she said in a warning tone.

I asked where's the A&E, and she said Alexandra or SGH.

Do I just walk in when I get there? She said yes, and the doc sitting behind them nodded as well.

I'll just look for the department? She said I could take a taxi and tell the driver A&E and he'll drop me directly there.

After that, Bro and I took a bus to Alexandra.

Upon arrival, it was 9.33 p.m.. according to the number slip I got.

After explaining a little to the receptionist, she asked for my I/C to get me registered, then asked for $75 (even before being seen by a doc).

I didn't know it was a "pay first, then see doc". Since when? And why? Afraid the person will walk away after registration? Or walk away after seeing the doc?

According to the plastic standing sign on the receptionist counter, $75 covered consultation, investigative stuff (X-rays etc...) and medication.GST of $5.25 covered by the government.

Compared to the downstairs clinic I went to earlier this year, the doc had charged $80. So $75 was... already ... reasonable.

I was reluctant to get X-rayed partly because I'm concerned they might mess up the dosage. X-ray is supposed to be safe, but what if.

Then, if it turned out to be nothing, I would pay for nothing.

And, I didn't think an X-ray would be cheap. Bro thought it would be something like $40. I said, maybe $100.

So, I had hoped to avoid spending money. Maybe after sleeping the night, I would be fine next morning.

Still, it felt there was something stuck down in my throat and might be getting worse.

We waited a few minutes, and was seen by a young Indian woman, probably still an intern, on the left side of a partitioned, open cubicle.

She asked my name to confirm it with the paper she held, then straight away took out the blood pressure machine pump and wanted to put me into it.

Seeing that, I asked if she knew what was wrong with me, and whether I needed to explain.

She seemed a little displeased and said, yes of course I needed to explain what was wrong.

While explaining, she still plugged me into the blood pressure measuring machine, putting a plastic finger thing on my index finger.

After noting my ailment, she removed the blood pressure stuff and said to wait outside for the doctor to attend to me, and something about getting an X-ray.

I asked if my blood pressure was normal? She said yes.

So... if I had to wait outside for a real doctor to see me, what was she there for? Preliminary checking? Or... weed out those who are not really sick?

We waited for another 10~15 minutes, during which I wasn't sure what I waiting for. The X-ray?

So, I went to ask the receptionist who said yes, wait for the doc to attend to me.

In another 5 mins or so, my number came up again in red on a black LED panel and I headed into the right side of the same open cubicle.

There, the doc had been sitting all along (except when he went off earlier for something and returned shortly).

A young man, with black-rimmed glasses who was very bright and jovial, said my name in a friendly way when he saw me entering.

I sat and explained to him my problem, pointing out the feeling in the middle bottom of my throat and upper chest.

He asked what time did I eat the stuff (same as what the intern had also asked earlier).

I said about 2 hrs ago, dinner time. He nodded. (Why do they ask for the time?).

His diagnosis: He didn't think it was something lodged in there, because things (e.g. fish bone) usually get stuck on the left or right of the throat, not middle.

But then why do I feel this discomfort in my upper chest as well? Where is the connection?

He agreed it needed explanation and could not give an answer as he typed into his computer.

But he was quite certain, it was not something stuck in there, not when it's in the middle of the throat.

He asked whether I was eating very fast.

I said yes.

He nodded with a smile, and said he won't say it's 100% nothing, in case he had to retract it later if proven wrong.

He took out a wooden spatula and a light, asked me to open my mouth, and say "AHhhh...".

He looked in, said "good" and confirmed nothing was stuck in the upper tract.

When he said "Gooood", I couldn't help feeling praised and happy that I did a good job :) Hahaha... even as an adult, I felt like a child being "patted" for good behavior. Good doc rapport with patient.

I said, "Can I don't want X-ray?".

He said it's fine if I don't want it. He still thought it was nothing in there and explained with a round surgical tape roll with a hole it.

"The throat is like this with a hole. It's like a tube. When you push food inside, it widens. It has widened too much and now the muscle is sore.".

He put two fingers of his hands inside the tape roll and demonstrated pulling the hole apart.

I said it's been 2 hours, surely it should have subsided. He said it's like doing 100 push ups, you're bound to feel the effect for a while.

He said if the middle was really lodged by something, I wouldn't even be able to swallow.

Reaching out his hands, he lightly pressed one side of my throat, knowing it would cause no pain, "No pain, right?". I said no. Then he pressed the other side, "No pain, right?". I said no.

But I was still skeptical. Every time I sipped water, I could feel something there. "So you think it's just soreness?".

He said, to confirm, we'll do an X-ray.

"Is it safe?". I asked, already knowing the answer. They always say it's safe.

"It's even safer than taking a plane." he said. "You take plane before?. I nodded. "From where to where?".

"Singapore to Taiwan.", I replied.

"Then don't take plane, is it?". he reasoned.

I kept thinking he meant the X-rays in the air and in space, and didn't know whether he was referring to plane crash.

Well, I was Ok with an X-ray now, since I still felt something was stuck there, and I didn't believe him.

He issued a printout for me to take to the X-ray room.

Just before I went, he asked, "How was the meat ball? Good?".

For a moment, I didn't know what to say as I thought about the taste.

Amused and chuckling, he said, "Worth it, right? If it's good, it's worth it. Worth suffering for it. Hahaha... If it's from a street stall,", he grimaced, "then not worth it.".

I was... well, that's the strangest thing I've ever heard a doc say. :)

I said, "Nooo, I'm not going to eat Tori Q again.".

Then he said he'll see me later after the X-ray.

His name was on the printout.

The X-ray room had 1 woman and 1 man, and they were polite and friendly, even though foreigners.

The man showed me to a small room to change into their blue gown, and a few lockers for putting clothes.

After the X-ray, Bro and I waited a while more, before my number was called again and we went back to the doc.

I said, "So, were you right?".

He showed me the X-ray of my throat on his computer screen.

It's always funny seeing your own X-ray of your inside. It's like it's not mine. Are you sure that's me?

Well, it looked like mine, taken from the jaw down sideways. I could see what looked like my throat vertically, and the vertebrae.

He pointed out the column of throat and said, "Nice and clear airway.".

"Nothing there?" I asked.

"Nothing. Nice and clear. See.".

But... I still felt something there. "So weird," I said, and he nodded, as if agreeing the human body could be weird like that.

"How about my chest?". I asked.

"Chest is also fine.", So saying, he opened the file for that X-ray on his computer. "See, nice and clear.".

I was truly perplexed. Not that I wanted something there. I was afraid there would be something that would require a tube to suck it out, or a pair of tongs like what Bro said...

"What's that big thing?".

"That's your heart.". he said. "Big heart, good good.".

He continued, "This is air bubble in your stomach."

I saw a strange, dark, horizontal, triangular shape in the upper right part of a white thing, and grew concerned thinking it was causing indigestion.

He assured me, "It's meant to be there. If it wasn't, I would be worried.". Right away, I was thinking if I were an alien, it wouldn't be there.

Why would the stomach have an air pocket? What's it for?

Anyway, the X-ray proved there was nothing in there, even though I felt most definitely there was. So weird.

I said, "So, I just need to relax and I'll be fine tomorrow? No need to take anything for it?".

He said, "Tomorrow, you'll be better."--emphasis on "better", rather than "fine"--and advised to take soft food, like soup or porridge that's slippery and slides easily down the throat, at least for a few days.

It's that bad? A few days?

He felt it was bad enough.

"I'll give you some muscle relaxant to ease it."

"Any side-effects?", I asked, adding that I have gastric and asked whether the medication will cause it.

"No, nice and safe, nice and safe. Only a relaxant.".

Mm. Ok. I said, "Thanks, thanks" and left to get the medication at the pharmacy with another printout from him.

Bro later said when we were on the way to the bus-stop home, "That's the strangest doc I've ever seen.".

Yeah.. I have to agree. :) But, also a doc whose joviality puts people at ease, calming them so that an ailment is not so fearful.

I feel this is a good doctor, even if he's not genuinely warm or personal. I know he's trying to hold the fort for the patient, in a way, and that's admirable in a place where other doctors just don't care and can say the most horrible things to a patient.

We were at A&E for about 1 hr. By the time we left, it was around 11. p.m.

At the moment, even the air released from my throat hurts like there's something down there. I'll try to sip water later.

His relaxant seems to work after an hour after taking a white tablet. Supposed to take 2 tablets, but I took 1 in case there is side-effect.

I can't help imagining that it would cause my muscles to relax until I melt on the sofa.

Bro also made the astute comment that by saving money to eat Tori Q instead of at Yayoiken restaurant (where we would have spent around $40), we ended up spending even more at $75.

Lessons learnt :

#1 = never stand and eat. Need chair and table. (I don't want to eat Tori Q again). Just as what grandpa and dad used to say when they saw me standing and eating. They always told me to sit down.

#2 = always heed gut feeling/premonition.

#3 = water must go with food

#4 = Bro said I shoved the food in my mouth without chewing. Never wolf down food. Eat slowly. CHEW.

I still think it's all because of that man and the silly woman. Had it not been for them, I wouldn't have hurried with my food. *pouts*

As for a "big heart", I wasn't sure if the doc was kidding, as in big-hearted generosity. Or was the comment based on something medical?

Bro said maybe because it's big, that's why I have been able to exercise despite my anemia. A bigger heart is more powerful (his theory).

This year, I don't know what Chinese Zodiac sign it is... just a thought, I asked Bro and he didn't know also.


This year, I went to doctors 3 times. One for food poisoning early this year, one for gastric recently, both times the doctors discovered something else.

And now another for suspected food stuck in throat.

There was a 4th doc but that was a referral from the 2nd doc, so not counted.

Not an entirely good year.

Update: Today Thurs 15 Dec

Bottom of the throat still hurts after eating.But less like there is something stuck there. It feels more like a soreness now.

I ate Japanese rice for dinner with a little food. I ate slowly and carefully this time.

Wanted to order the Udon to slide down the throat, but wanted more to eat the egg plant miso dish with rice.

The doc was right that the next day (today), I'd feel better (not "fine" as I thought). He also said it'll take a few days to heal... so I hope tomorrow will be better than today.

I stopped taking the muscle relaxant because I found it does have 1 minor side-effect (woman's problem).

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Eclipse More Predictable than Human Life

(First posted in Fridae)

2011-12-10 22:47

Bro and I were walking home from the bus stop, coming home from Meidi-ya, when saw this Malay guy pointing his handphone up at something.

Ignoring him, we continued walking until Bro noticed the moon up in the sky to our right, and said, "Eclipse".

That's when I remembered reading about it being on this weekend in Yahoo news a few days back.

The guy heard, and said, "That's the lunar eclipse.". He sounded excited, still filming with his handphone.

Oh? Lunar eclipse now, while we were walking home? What a coincidence.

So, we stayed a while to watch, standing by side of the open carpark.

It was slow.

At first, the shadow of the earth curved over half bottom of the full moon. Then very slowly increased a little to cover three-quarters, leaving the top of the moon bright white. The bottom of the moon in shadow but still visible and cannot be mistaken for cloud cover because the curve of the shadow is distinct and forms a curved line.

We stayed for about 15 mins, while the guy continued filming, and I suspect uploading to twitter or facebook.

He spoke to a Chinese uncle who asked what he was doing. The uncle didn't get it at first, but the Malay guy spoke some Malay and the uncle was able to understand.

To bro and myself, it is interesting that a Malay guy is interested in Astronomy and so excited as well. Unusual.

When we left, he was busy looking into his handphone with a serious face.

To me, eclipses come and go. I used to try being excited over lunar and solar eclipses, but that excitement was not really genuine, although I appreciate the reminder that we are on Earth.

This eclipse is said to be the last total lunar eclipse until 2014. Between now and then, we are supposed to be content with partial lunar eclipses.

http://shadowandsubstance.com/  (motion pic of how it happens)

Fact is, eclipses are even more predictable than human life.

The moon, the earth, the stars will still be here millions and billions of years from now.  Their lives speak of billions. Whether we gaze upon them in appreciation or not, does it still matter?

Like an ant gazing in awe at a human. Whether we gaze or not, we are still crushed by our destiny.

Why should I admire and appreciate something that outlives me?

In 2014, the moon will be eclipsed by earth's shadow, right on time, on schedule.

But I don't even know if I will still be around in 2014. Such is the unpredictability of human life.

Just to pass 1 year intact, alive and in good health, is difficult as it is. I used to take for granted that year after year, it will be the same, things will be the same, people will still remain.

That is not true.

This time, 4 years ago, someone left. Just 1 week before X'mas. Not even 1 second more, not even to see the next dawn. Not even another minute.

That is how precious life is and how short human time is.

Do you understand: you who smoke, have sex, drink alcohol, wear chest binders and laugh away? You poor pathetic imbeciles.

This is also the first time I mention it.

For someone who wants to live, it is very difficult to understand why life is denied to this person, when so many others waste theirs away on useless and frivolous things.

I sometimes wish-- a life for a life.

If possible, the life of someone who does not value his/her life or someone who feels empty, put into someone who is dying and wants to see the next morning.

If this were possible, I think this world would be a better place.

Bro said, we will still be around in 2014, hopefully richer. :) I would like to think this. But these things are not for us to say.

I certainly hope my loved ones will still be with me, and I with them. All of us in good health. And my work finished and published online. I think that is as good as my New Year's wish.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Yayoiken Japanese Restaurant Review Singapore @ Liang Court (Authentic/Delicious)


Beautiful website. I just googled it because I didn't bring my camera to the restaurant.

Grand opening was on 1 Dec.

Today (3 Dec), is their 3rd day of business. The flower arrangements are all outside the restaurant, just across from Meidi-ya supermarket.

And what a lovely restaurant it is.

Quite a big area for the place, cosy ambience, very attentive and friendly staff with at least 3 Japanese waiters.

Bro and I were supposed to try this restaurant on opening day, but didn't go. Been planning to try soon.

Tonight, wasn't cooking, and it was decided last night that we would be dropping by.

So, at 6.38 p.m. tonight (Sat), we sat in a nice, romantic two-seater in a corner, near the cashier.

The lady who led us sounded Singaporean, very polite, very on the ball with her Japanese service training. Always smiling and attentive.

When we arrived, there wasn't a queue at all. So we were led to our seat immediately.

Every since they had flyers of their menu at supermarket cashier counters, I've been wanting to try.

When they started setting up shop a week ago, with the menu and prices already outside on the menu stand, even before opening, I have been waiting.

The very first photo in their website is the one I ordered from the menu. It is the Shima hokke set--Grilled Atka Mackerel--at $12.90.

Comes with the most delicious and authentic miso soup I have ever drank. Beautifully thick and solid miso soup.  Plus, a small crucible of sweet white grated raddish, a small square of tofu and a small bowl of rice.

The pickled vegetable is in a container at the tableside that goes very well with the plain rice.

#1 - the rice is authentic Japanese rice from Japan, confirmed by the nice lady who led us to our seat. It is not California rice. You can  taste it. I was telling bro that for the first time, this rice has superceded Don's rice counter-top just across it.

However, Don's rice is has more flavor and sweeter, probably because of the sake they put inside (that's the secret ingredient).

Yayoiken's rice is plain, bland, but 100% high grade Japanese rice. That's what it tastes like.  Beats all other Japanese restaurants we have tried hands down.

The staff will inform you that the rice is free flow and you can help yourself to the rice cooker at the center of the restaurant. That's the most unique thing I've ever heard for a Japanese restaurant. Free flow authentic Japanese rice!

Although it was stated in the flyer, I didn't see it the "free flow" part that's circled at the side.

When the Japanese man served me the set while leaning forward, I glanced at his name tag hanging from him--Taro...something.

I couldn't read the rest of it because it was swinging. (Bro demonstrated how he must have purposely swung his body back and forth so that I can't read his tag.).

As Taro looked closely at me while gently explaining in a thickly Japanese-accented English regarding the free flow, I had to look up from his name tag to his face to be polite.

Handsome man. :)

When he finished, I said "thanks".

Then when he went away, I said to bro, "Did you get what he said?".

Bro said, "No, I thought you did? Then you said 'thanks' when you didn't understand?".

"Haha...Well, I kinda got what he meant... something to do with free rice at the center...". But "free rice" didn't seem possible. Maybe I misunderstood.

Nevermind, I called the Singaporean lady to come and explain to me what it was about.

Instantly, she knew what I was talking about and repeated that there was free flow rice at the center of the restaurant.

I said, "Wow, how nice.".

#2 - the miso soup, already mentioned is the best ever. Strong, solid, authentic.

#3 - the fish, has a lot of bones. Be aware that if you don't like bones, don't order this. Very dangerous meal. Every piece of meat has bones. But the flesh has no smell, soft, perfectly grilled, bland but nice taste.

#4 - Bro ordered Tekka don--rice topped with raw tuna--at $13.90. According to bro, it was nice fish when dipped in their soy sauce. Without the sauce, it tastes a little siap siap (whatever that means). I don't know what's the English equivalent of "siap siap".

I gave him half of my Mackerel and he liked the fish, but not the bones. Said next time don't order this.

I was actually supposed to order the Oyako don (chicken rice egg), but decided to try fish.

#5 - For dessert,  ordered the Milo pudding--milo pudding with vanilla ice-cream and glutinous rice balls at $6.90. Did not taste at all of Milo. And came with only 1 rice ball (don't know if bro ate one).

The rice ball was bland flour. The ice-cream was...where's the vanilla?

Whipped cream and crushed nuts topped the pudding, but that's about it.

Japanese desserts like these are never nice. Somehow, Japanese people don't like sweet things. Ironic that desserts are not sweet.

#6 - I miss Calpis water in a plastic bottle for $2.50 at the Meidi-ya supermarket. Waiting for them to ship in again. It's sold out.

So, lack of it, I ordered a glass of iced Calpis water for $2.40. Somehow, this Calpis tastes a little more sour than those I buy from the supermarket.


So, Grand Total for tonight's dinner for 2 persons:  $42.45, and I topped my rice bowl once.

I left my seat to ask a waitress in her counter whether I needed to take my bowl with me, or were there bowls already there? She said she would do it.

So we went back to my table, I gave her my empty bowl and I was about to follow her, when she said she'll bring it.

How nice. I said, "thanks.".

At the end, bro asked for the bill, the local lady came to us and settled it at the cashier. I took the chance to ask whether the Taro man was a supervisor.

She didn't know which one, thought it was the plump one and mentioned his surname. I said, "no" and pointed to him walking around.

She said he was one of the kitchen staff.

Kitchen?? Such a nice serving waiter, a kitchen staff? Seemed a little hard to believe. Usually kitchen staff don't come out to serve.

Earlier, I had asked and she had said the rice is 100% from Japan. Now, we started talking, and she said the boss in Japan wants the restaurant to be as authentic as possible.

Right now, they are gathering customers' feedback regarding the food to adapt a little to local tastes, but the boss wants to retain much of the authentic taste.

I was impressed. :)

It also means they will have quite many Japanese people eating there. Already, as bro and I ate there, the Japanese were there.

She said the Japanese staff are on rotational basis, and will return in 1 month's time, so the next batch will come from Japan to take over. Kinda like a training course.

Meaning, there goes the handsome Japanese man named Taro.

I asked whether the kitchen staff are all Japanese. She said 4 are not, 6 are Japanese.

Wow. I am impressed.

I said the food is really authentic and nice, and we'll be back.

She was happy, smiling with rosy cheeks and wished us goodbye.

On a side note, a Thai man in a dark khaki polo, sat beside us and when presented with the menu, flipped through a page or two, before asking the nice local lady which one she personally thought was nice.

I was surprised by this because this gesture gives the impression of a cultured, civilized, generous world-view type of person with no class distinction. He, as a customer and a man, is asking an opinion from a waitress. I never thought a Thai man would do that.

(In fact, I was thinking he had money to eat here meh. I can be such a snob.).

Even the lady was surprised and shyly pointed out an item. "This", she said.

When the item arrived, it turned out to be what I had ordered--the Shima hokke Mackerel set.

But unlike me, he ate it with gusto, with a bit of noise, easily peeling aside the surface layer, seemingly without having any problems with bones.

With that nose sound he made... I began to doubt the "cultured, civilized" part.

He had a Thai friend in a red shirt, who sat with him at the start, but kept getting up and standing beside the seat. The friend didn't order anything, and I was wondering if perhaps they have money only for 1 man.

I said to bro that he should just sit down instead of blocking the path.

Bro said that friend is an employee of the restaurant.

An employee?!

I see. But...his Thai is so good, he doesn't seem to speak English to incoming and outgoing customers. How would I know he's an employee?

So, perhaps, they are friends and the employee recommended his friend to come try. As an employee, he looked very worn out as he stood there near the cashier. I wondered what the Japanese hired him for...to make him do so much work?

At one point, the guy eating the set left his seat to fetch more rice and that was when he experienced backache. I thought he had hit against the table corner or something, but I saw him just get up and cringe with pain as he rose.

His friend gave him a slight smile.

At the end, after he finished, he got up, holding onto the left side of his back. The poor man.

I think he had backache and the soft seat made it worse.

I watched to see if he needed to pay since his friend is an employee... yes, he opened his wallet. Had a rounded face, a little plump.

He seemed very satisfied with his meal.


Update 6 Oct Sat 2012: 
We stopped going to Liang Court Yayoiken because their standard and service dropped some months ago. Many of their older staff quit.  The last time we went there, the items I ordered were poorly done and I had to request for a discount. The local senior staff there at the time, knew me well enough to give a complete waiver of an item. He has since quit as well.

Also check out = http://therevolutioner.blogspot.sg/2013/10/meidi-ya-supermarket-disappointment.html

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Ebay SG Buyers Need To Learn How To Deal/Talk Properly

These are not the first times I get such cheap and very bad people who make such bad offers. They don't know how to negotiate/deal properly. 

Even at Sungei Road Thieves Market (when it was still there), I heard that a seller had sarcastically retorted a buyer who asked for a lower price. What's more this is Ebay and I am selling new items with tags, not some secondhand bargain junkyard. 

Postage, wrapping paper and tape, are not free.

The items were purchased at higher prices than what they are being sold for, so I don't make any profit. Just want to clear them, even at a  financial loss.

For an already low price, these buyers still have the gall to make such ridiculous price reductions on their own. And look at the tone of voice. As if the seller is so desperate to sell. There is no respect for the seller. 

True, Ebay does not respect/protect sellers, but as a buyer, if you want something, talk nicely. If you are not serious or sincere in wanting an item, please just shut up. 

These people need to learn how to talk to sellers better than this. Youth in no way is an excuse for such buyers.  Their messages rarely contain even just the simple word, "Hi".

DO NOT send me such messages anymore (these are the latest I received):

1) I sell a brand new skirt with tags, for only $12 (bid price) or $13 (buy now price), inclusive of normal local post. 

This is the reply from someone called "lisamraz":
i will take this if u sell this for $8.
I did not bother replying.

2) I sell a new long sleeves sweater-type T with tags, for only $10 (bid price) or $11 (buy now price), inclusive of normal local post.

This is the reply from someone called "ccpwen":
May ask the condition of the item over /10?
Deal at S$8.00 incl postage?

Email me via ccpwen@yahoo.com.sg
#1: Item condition already stated: New with tags.
#2: When you buy bubble tea, do you say, "I will buy at $1 inclusive of pearls"? You see what the seller will do to you.

Since she used the words, "May ask" (should be May I ask) and "Thanks", I replied:

This is a new item. Normal postage alone costs $. Wrapping also costs $.
Bid at $10 or Buy at $11 is already very cheap.
Will increase price once this bid closes.

3) I sell a beautiful, unique pair of chocolate/dark brown heeled boots for $37 (bid price) or $38 (buy now price), inclusive of postage. It was worn only once and good as new. 

This is the reply from someone named "pan_shuai_bang":

willing to deal at $25? i can meetup during the weekends. contact me at 83332106.
I did not bother replying. 

4) A new short knitted skirt with tags, for $10 (bid price) or $12 (buy now price), inclusive of postage.

From "mycrystal1980":

Hi, can we deal at $8 inclusive post? Thanks
My reply:

Hi, this is a new item.
The prices with postage are already very low.
Consider wrapping paper cost + masking tape + postage (not to mention time going to post office).
The actual price of the item was higher.
It's already discount price.
Buy it now @ $12.
Or $10 for bid.

5) A new tank top for $10 (bid price), inclusive of postage.

Someone named "secret.gene" bid for it but did not pay. Did not send any message to apologize or cancel, despite my 2 messages to her/him/it.

Ebay does not allow sellers to leave negative feedback to buyers.

Update add-on:  27 Jan 2012

Buyer bids successfully for a set of new cosmetics from Korea.
I send her the payment details and thank her.

Reply from Joanne Ong joanne.chiam@gmail.com:
Sorry but I did a wrong click.

As a consequence of her "wrong click", I am unable to re-list the item. Ebay has this new and stupid policy where only a certain number of items can be listed all at once. Once a listing is taken down, it cannot be re-listed until the entire batch has expired (then it can be re-listed together).

Fed up with Reds Salon @ Takashimaya

*not happy*

After going to a few salons, the conclusion is so-called hairstylists are all weird. Attitude problem. Bro says it's because of the low pay.

Reds salon Celia told me she gets no lunch breaks because she has customers waiting. Someone among the staff brings to her takeaway food.

Well, then does that mean it's Ok for her to display an attitude problem with her customers?

Tired of going to her everytime, I went to JCut @ Suntec. Mr Paul Tan was worse than Celia. Worst haircut I ever got.

Tonight (Thurs at 8.05 p.m.), I went back to Reds salon. The receptionist was rude. I asked whether there would be a long wait to cut my hair. She and another girl at the counter did not even look up even after I had spoken.

When one of them looked up, she said, "Huh?" in a rude tone.

I have had it with receptionist women as well. Untrained, uneducated, most likely foreigners. All they have is a head of large hair. It amazes me why I don't just tell them off right then and there.

It's because I don't bother telling off such people. They are of a lower...level. In other words, unrefined, coarse. Their world is small, their view is small. What is there to argue with such people?

I realize the salon looked empty, but I did not know it was near to closing time. There was no need for her to behave in that way.

Reds Salon, you need to train your front line staff and hairstylists.

Oddly, the only thing good about Reds (so far), is their hair-washing ladies who are pretty, polite, friendly and down-to-earth.

Even at Jcut, the hair-washer was polite and her skill excellent.

Tonight, when the rude receptionist asked whether I had a particular stylist I wanted and I said no, and she said 'Celia'-- I said "don't want Celia".

So, gave me another stylist.

I didn't know her name at first, but she seemed busy and frowned while walking about. Not a good sign, but she was called forth and accepted the job.

Led me to a chair where she asked how I'd like mine cut. I told her and she said Ok. She'd get someone to wash my hair first, because right now, it's too "messy" to see a style.

The word "messy" jabbed me a little.

Shouldn't a hairstylist have better public relations than saying a customer's hair is "messy"?

Looking in the mirror... Ok, admittedly, my hair is quite messy, because of what Mr Paul Tan @ Jcut did to it previously.

After the wash and dry, she returned later with apology because she had been attending to a man to my right. She was handling 3 customers at the same time, including me.

I said it's Ok.

Her cutting was Ok. not much styling, done fast. In between, she went back to the man on my right and came back with apology again.

Again, I said it's Ok.

When she was done, we went to the back to get my hair rinsed out. I had wanted to ask for her name earlier, but thought to ask later.

She was still rinsing my hair, when I asked, "What is your name?".

Instead of replying, she walked away, telling a girl to continue on me, because she was very busy.

I think she heard my question, but still, just walked away. I said it loud enough while she was still rinsing my hair.

The excuse would be she was in a hurry and so didn't hear the question. But I don't think so.

She has a keen sense of hearing.

#1: I was surprised she knew I had been to the salon before, that this wasn't my first time, and she pointed to the receptionist counter, saying she heard. The only thing she could have heard, was my comment that I didn't want Celia. But at that time, she wasn't near the receptionist counter but hovering around behind.

#2: she was cutting my hair when she suddenly added her comment to what a woman said in the background, when I had not heard any raised voices.

So, she definitely heard my question while rinsing my hair. But chose to walk away. I only asked so that I could name her, if I should require her again next time.

After the young hair-washing lady took over from her and completed the job, I went back to my seat. The hair-washer followed and I asked what was the name of my stylist. She said Rita and spelled it.

Later, I picked the namecard. Rita Ho. She had sounded like a Hong Kee with a Hong Kee accent.

Displeased with her. Displeased with Reds all over again since Celia.

Mm. Fine, take it that she did not hear me.

The haircut alone is Ok, no special scissorings or whatever, the back was done rather well. $42.80...

Mm.... (hungry)....

No, I'm still displeased.