Friday, 29 May 2015

Funniest Thing I Ever Heard About an SBS Bus Driver

Friday 29 May. About 4p.m., Bro boarded #145 at Maxwell Food Centre bus stop. (I wasn't with him).

China bus driver didn't understand what his dashboard was saying (maybe light flashing or panel in English).

He pointed to his dashboard & asked my bro in Chinese what it meant. At first, Bro who was seated, didn't know why the driver was suddenly talking to him some distance after driving away from the bus stop (Bro had paid for the correct fare with his EZ link card). Then he realized the China driver was pointing to the dashboard & asking him what the dashboard was saying.

When Bro ignored him, he asked an old man (who wasn't able to help.).

How can an SBS bus driver be asking passengers what his dashboard is telling him?? Didn't SBS train him?? Why would passengers know what his dashboard is saying???

This really takes the cake for all the stupid China drivers recently mass hired by the Singapore bus company.

In all my years as a Singaporean, this is the first time I've heard of an SBS driver asking passengers what his dashboard is saying.

Another case would be complete ignorance of a destination in English when you ask a China SBS bus driver. You either have to get off the bus or ask fellow passengers. That's how useless China is, in Singapore.

Singaporean uncle bus drivers never have this problem. They know many destination names, even when a landmark is no longer there:

Once, a man came up the bus asking "World Trade Center?".  Good heavens. The Singapore World Trade Center was demolished how many eons ago.  Yet the Singaporean uncle bus driver nodded (that he was going there.). Now, how's that for a top-class SBS Singaporean bus driver?? I was so proud of him. And also amused with a sense of pride for this passenger who has not forgotten the World Trade Center that used to be where Vivocity now stands.

Why is a Singaporean uncle bus driver better than foreigner-hired bus driver? Because Singaporeans have memories of Singapore history & landmarks. English, Singlish, Hokkien, Malay, no problem. Singaporean bus drivers understand & will drive you there.

Foreigners know only shit. They come to Singapore just to make money to send "home". They know nothing about Singapore or the background history of the landmarks. Neither do they care.

Why is the government doing childish & stupid ads to promote foreigners in Singapore?? Reprimanding Singaporeans for not accepting foreigners & therefore causing themselves "labor shortage".  What crap!

What benefit has it been so far, to hire uneducated, unqualified & unskilled labour?  Nothing but social problems.

More & more, the ads & campaigns in Singapore are in very poor taste, as if Singaporeans are kids. What's wrong with the governing bodies in Singapore? Or rather, it's the persons within the governing bodies that have regressed into imbeciles. Hormonal problems? DNA damage? Too much iphone? Some years ago, it wasn't like this.

Singapore Sports Council, HDB, Town Council etc... They are all infected/affected. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Bak Kwa: Kim Joo Guan vs Kim Hock Guan

Kim Joo Guan tastes better & fresher than Kim Hock Guan.
The only thing better about Kim Hock Guan is that the slices are not burnt at all. 

Kim Joo Guan @ South Bridge Road (behind Chinatown & near Maxwell Food Centre):  
# Thinner slices but burnt sides & corners. The last time, half of a slice was burnt & I had to throw it away.
# Fresher
# Australian meat
# Sweeter & tastier flavor
# More moist
# Excellent service from the ladies

* I find their Bak Kwa is better than their Bacon strips. Bacon strips very burnt. 
** Kim Joo Guan is better than Bee Cheng Hiang.

Kim Hock Guan @ Bencoolen Street (opposite the road from OG):
# The only thing good is no burnt bits at all.
# Slices too thick
# Tough meat
# Slices have weird fried blobs on them (tumors?)
# Not fresh. Stale smell & taste. Texture falls apart into a pork floss texture while chewing.
# One man remained seated glued his phone, didn't even look up from start to finish. Another man holding his phone from outside the shop came over & attended to my order.

P/S: I don't like Bee Cheng Hiang.  Thin slices, rather dry, hard meat although no burnt bits (from Taka basement).  The company is smart to open in malls, making it very accessible. And very active publicity on buses etc...

Saturday, 23 May 2015

99percent Hair Studio Salon Haji Lane (review)

Friday 22 May 10.22 p.m.

What's wrong with all the hairstylists in Singapore? 

Very sad & tired. Did not get the hairstyle I wanted. Is it my "very fine" hair or is it my face? Salons have never been able to give me my heart's desire even after I explain or even with photos.

Been to so many hair salons. La Coco, Shunji Matsuo, Monso, Kim Robinson, Gataomo, MJ Tokyo, Reds, Jcut, Fox... 

So expensive but never getting what I want. Just like never getting a perfect massage. Every hairstylist's haircut is depressing. When I walk out, I'm not happy.

It's the hairstyle that the hairstylist likes. Not the hairstyle I asked for.

Limited by their own mediocre skills & lacking the creativity & ability to cut what I want, they can only cut what they know or copy. Outside of it, they can't.  Yet they want my money.

If a hairstylist is good, he/she can do any request because it is within the realm of Hair.

At Kim Robinson, when I showed the hairstylist 6 photos at different angles of a hairstyle, he said it's just hair styling products.  He didn't say he wasn't able to create what I wanted.  I even wore a punk outfit to match the hairstyle I wanted. Yet in the end, I paid more than $100 for a haircut that was wrong.

Now at 99percent, so-called "creative director" Jaron said it's just curlers & styling products when I described to him Japanese punk hairstyles (such as Gackt's).  He didn't say he didn't know what I meant &  didn't say he couldn't cut it. In the end, I paid $55 for a hairstyle that he copied off a woman & anyhow put on me. He "created" nothing.

When out of curiosity, I asked him about creating "tramlines" or track patterns on the scalp, he said I have to go to the "tattoo shop next door".   He thinks everyone is a fool like himself.  Even though I don't know about tramlines, I hardly think it's done in a tattoo shop.  Just because it's called hair tattoo doesn't mean it's done in a tattoo shop. There are salons in SG that can do tramlines, and it's done with just a shaver.

And he didn't even brush the cut hair from my face after he was done. He was going to let me walk out of the shop with hair all over my face. When at the cashier, I asked him if there was hair on my face, he then looked up at me & said no. But then said there's tissue that I can use and went over to get a tissue box.

Next time, if a hairstylist tells me it's all about hairstyling products instead of a haircut that he cannot do, I am going to walk out.

Fed up of giving money to such inferior hairstylists. 

Unable to cut the hairstyle I wanted, Jaron simply cut what he thought was a "funky" style. I already emphasized the word "punk", Japanese rock style such as Gackt's.  I said, "punk, not funky.".  I even described the look with my hands.

No. The salon cannot use "miscommunication" as an excuse.

The stylist don't have the ability & creativity to do it but still want the customer's money. So he proposes another hairstyle that turns out to be totally unsuitable & totally different from what the customer had in mind.

It's my fault. He had communicated to me how he wanted to do the style & while I didn't like aspects of it, I still allowed him to go ahead, hoping it might turn out well.

When I give chances & the result is bad & I ask the stylists to correct certain parts of it, they will give reasons why it shouldn't or cannot be done.  Then I end up stuck with a hairstyle that I don't like.

Even before I disagreed with the finished haircut, Jaron didn't bother putting any heart in styling my hair. Just briefly used a hair straightener (yes, straightener) to give a bit of "wave" & applied a little clay. He himself pointed out the whole thing flopped even while he was talking about the hairstyle.

Kept telling me to create "volume" on my own with curling tongs.  I said it's not "volume" that I want.

I said, "I know you like the flow in front. But I wanted something more boyish.".

He said this look is "unisex". 

(How can it be unisex when it's obviously a woman's hairstyle?? And a bad-looking one?)

The soft heap to one side of the head & worse when it's tied sideways as he suggested. Women in the Elvis era with curly blond hair tied sideways with ribbon. So 1960s.  So boring, old-fashioned & out-of-date!

If I follow his idea of using curlers & styling products, one side is going to look like "Ban Bing Shan" (hairdo in a Taiwanese drama):

I didn't know he copied the hairstyle from a Hong Kong singer GEM Tang until he mentioned that I could style up my hair like hers.  When he smoothly said her Chinese name, I was thinking he must be Chinese educated.

Since I'm not into Chinese singers, I had no idea what she looked like. When I went home to check Google images, I was totally pissed. 

Our hairstyles are the same. Shit. Who the heck is GEM Tang??  I don't want to wear another woman's hairstyle! I hate this hairstyle!! I hate Jaron!!! How am I going to get it off?!!

Why couldn't he have created a hairstyle specially for me, even if he couldn't do a punk haircut?? Why copy it off some woman?? Don't even suit my face & personality!!

If he could copy GEM Tang's hairstyle, he should've copied Gackt's!!

After spending $55, I don't have money to give to another salon to fix it. $55 is a lot of money. More than half a hundred dollars. This haircut is not worth $55.  Should be $35.

I endured the hot weather for more than 1 year for my short hair to grow till past shoulder-length. I had intended to cut Takizawa Hideaki's hairstyle & bring his photobook to show hairstylists. But by the time it grew long enough, I changed my mind. I drew the new punk hairstyle that I wanted but lost the paper.

If showing 6 color screenshots of a hairstyle couldn't even enable Kim Robinson's stylist to cut it for me, showing a pen drawing of the hairstyle I wanted would be even more useless. So I didn't bring it to 99percent & instead described it in words to Jaron.

If a hairstylist is good, he'll know what I mean & what I want.  Unfortunately, 99percent's hairstylist is as bad as Kim Robinson's. Paying more or less makes no difference.  Poorly skilled hairstylists are everywhere.

It's true that my hairstyle is now lighter & less warm, reasons why I wanted a haircut. But it's not a hairstyle I wanted. Not a hairstyle I like. And now I have to hide it with a cap.

I sigh to think of the time it's going to take one side of it to grow back to original length. That side has been shaved close to the scalp.   I have to hide it with a cap.  $55 & I have to hide it with a cap.

Why can't hairstylists cut hair according to people's desire just like the handsome stylists in the Taiwanese drama?

(The only thing good about this haircut is that Jaron cut it such that it's easy to comb through the hair without entanglement. I had noticed the cutting technique & asked him about it. ).

99percent hair salon/studio @ Haji Lane:

1)  Previous night, made appointment with excellent receptionist. Best receptionist on & off phone I've ever met.

2) When I arrived in the morning, Jaron took a few minutes before attending to me. 
Staff were gathered near the entrance discussing something. But such meetings should have been done before shop opening. According to their opening hours, they were open for more than half hour already. So, there should be no excuse for having a meeting when a customer has entered the shop.

Friday morning. No customers except me. I was prepared for a crowd according to the reviews I read. Shampoo guy couldn't be sure if there would be a crowd later. And the phone booking had been easy. I wondered if it was really true the salon is so popular that bookings have to be made days in advance.

3)  Shampoo didn't smell nice.

4) Polite shampoo guy. But too gentle. No technique, no massage, very weak shampooing hands, too fast ended, no-feel washing.  One of the worst hair washes I've experienced.

5) Seems that those working in salons don't know about the internet.  In this instance, shampoo guy asked how I found the salon & why I was familiar with the hairstylists' names at Haji Lane & Katong when it's my first time to the salon. 

6) Jaron the hairstylist neglected to sweep away cut hair from my face at the end. For $55, I didn't expect this neglect.  He even said there isn't any hair on my face when I asked just before walking out.

7) He communicated very well with me regarding what his style would look like. There were aspects of it that I didn't like. It was completely different from my style that I described to him. But I accepted his design to give it a chance.

Already been telling him I wanted a cool-looking, punk style that's different.

Although I said I wanted low maintenance & don't like messing with curling tongs although I have one, he insisted that using curling tongs & some effort was necessary for "funky" hairstyle.

I emphasized it's not funky that I wanted, but "punk" (like Japanese rock musician Gackt) which he seemed unable to grasp.  He began "designing" his idea for me. Unknown to me, it's actually a Hong Kong singer's hairstyle.

When I tried to salvage the final product with a bit of suggestion, it was impossible. He gave reasons why it shouldn't be done. But if I wanted to, he said he could "chop off" that part & it won't be nice, even though I didn't say anything about chopping off anything.

Since he intentionally used the words "chop off" to put me off, then of course, it's better to just leave it as it is, isn't it?  That's how they make the customer accept the hairstyle & pay for it.

8)  While considering whether to go to Jaron (Haji Lane) or Danson (Katong), I wondered if Danson might be able to do what I wanted (since he did a hairstyle for a male blogger that I really liked). But Haji Lane is closer to me & I felt Jaron just might be able to do it. That's why I went there.

Before narrowing down on 99percent's hairstylists, I was considering between 99percent & Plan B @ Far East Plaza. But I've seen Plan B's hairstylist Ricky & his creations online. He himself don't look creative & his haircuts are boring. He's too straight & not creative enough.  I noticed he cut the same design for 2 different women. Certainly, I'm not going to walk around with the same hairstyle as another woman. Using the same design for different women reveals a lack of creativity (even if he conscientiously replies to beautyundercover reviews).

I chose 99ppercent. But won't be going back.

9)  Luckily, I made sure to tell Jaron not to cut all short.  I knew the likelihood of mistake is high. If there's a mistake, at least it's salvageable.

10) The hairstyle he cut is actually quite ugly. The side that he cut short to the scalp is not suitable for my face & head shape.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

No Religion is the New Religion

Governments are actually useless. If they were so effective, humankind would have progressed far by now.  Money has stifled genius, creativity, innovation & progress. Religion has done worse.  Only fools fail to see it.

Were it not for the objective & observational intelligence of men & women over the centuries, religion would have loved to keep everyone still in the Dark Ages where those in religious power are in total control.

Expecting the older generation to die out together with their antiquated beliefs, is expecting nothing because they have insidiously ensured they contaminated their offspring with their beliefs & practices. Therefore, it will go on. Generation after generation.

A country can be almost 100% literate with internet connection & the latest gizmos, & still be stuck in a circle of uneducated religious practices that are damaging to their own health.

Incense and joss papers are cheaply made in China, Taiwan, Malaysia. The paint that is used & the materials that go into making the paper, contain substances that are possibly carcinogenic. When these things are burnt, the chemicals are released. Take a breath & feel religious.

We have, on the one hand, a country that shuts down electricity for a certain amount of time during "Earth Day" & prides itself on being environmentally conscious.  And on the other hand, the same country allows the burning of such materials that release toxins into the air.

Individuals who value their lives & their clean air, have a right to protest.  But such protests typically done in good citizen fashion have no weight in an environment where the authorities are not on anyone's side except their own.

If you're tired of being a good citizen as I am, there are of course many things or at least a few, that you can do.

Creatively & tastefully done, graffiti can look very nice across the fascade of a mosque or church. Adding color to very drab religious crap, is the best thing a human being can do.

There are no spiritual repercussions. The idea of spiritual or heavenly consequence is man-made, fabricated to make people pretend to be good. In fact, pretending to be good only makes people worse. Fact is, religious people watch more porn than non-religious persons.

As for Joss paper bins, I have seen an older Chinese man throw his trash into it.  I've seen umbrellas sticking out of them as well. So, obviously, I'm not the only one who gives "no respect" to such things.

Hypothetically speaking, if a person is burning something at a bin, just pour water from the top down. Ice cold water or syrup water.  The goal is to drench everything but nobody is to get hurt because then it'll be a nuisance.

Then there's of course the very nice option of knocking down all bins with your foot or something worse.  Brings to mind American boys whacking off mailboxes with a bat while zipping down a lane in a car.

If the above methods sound all too mild & isn't enough for your satisfaction,  you can do more that you can get away with.

Aspirasi Chicken Penyet Seah Im Food Centre Harbourfront

I was actually looking for reviews on the Chicken Penyet stall facing the bus interchange. Turns out it's not called Aspirasi. I just saw it this afternoon & can't recall the name. But it's not Aspirasi.

Aspirasi is on the other side of the hawker center, a stall that I haven't seen before.  I actually don't know these stalls exist.  Don't know when they started business. Seah Im has been around for many years.

Bro & myself seldom eat hawker food due to a few reasons, one of which is that we were raised on home cooking.

Both the service persons at these Chicken Penyet stalls are polite.  The one facing the bus interchange politely informed they ran out of Nasi Lemak when I asked. So I went looking for Aspirasi.

A blogger had mentioned she loves the sambal rice there.

First off, I like the name "Aspirasi". Don't know what it means, but it sounds very fresh & fizzy.  The name is a good sign.

Since bro wasn't in the mood, I ordered the $5.50 Tomato Fried Rice with Sambal Chicken. A dish that that blogger was afraid to try because she was scared it might be too spicy.

Short queue. Service very fast. The lady saw me standing there, asked for my order & started frying it the moment I said it.

So, it's made to order. I see.

While she was frying, a man asked me if I had already ordered (as I was looking up at the photos on their signboard to see what else they had).  But he asked me in Malay. I guessed what he meant & replied in English that yes, "I already ordered.".

Nice, on the ball service.

When I told bro that he had asked me in Malay, he said they could be Malaysians. Well, that would explain why they didn't seem to look like our local Malays (maybe they are, I can't be sure). Our downstairs Malay hawkers used to be rather rough in their service that can be quite funny due to their impatience & tiredness.

It took about 5 minutes for the dish to come out. But there was no queue behind me. I was thinking if there's a queue, won't the people behind have to wait whenever someone orders the Tomato Fried Rice?

The lady asked me if I wanted cucumber. I said yes & as expected 2 slices were put on the side of my plate.

Portion was big enough for 2 to share.

(why am I typing this for nothing? *sleepy*)  

The sambal chilli spread over the chicken is not hot (not spicy). I've eaten better or I'm sure there's better. I didn't even order any drink.

The chicken ... well, it's chicken. It's soft. Or softened. Smashed? Quite boneless although there are still 1 or 2 small pieces, be careful.

The tomato rice... not evident tomato. Even bro who hates tomato didn't even realize he was eating tomato fried rice when I gave him the portion I couldn't finish.  Rice grains have a little hardness to them that I don't like.

Overall... passable.  Those who love it are probably people in their 20s who missed the good times back when there were better stuff downstairs.

Bro with his typical high scoring that he gives to almost everybody, said we might go back to try other dishes.

After the meal, we walked across to the other side where I ordered the very nice & refreshing sugar cane drink for $0.70. S size with ice. For 2 persons, it's too little to share. Should've ordered the large.

Strangely, this sugar cane stall is always dark. No lights. As I walked to it,  I thought it was closed but it shouldn't be since I saw his glasses on the empty tables on my way there. The stall don't look bright & hygienic but the man seems like a nice solid guy with a nice solid quiet voice that I can trust.

Another older man was handling the flattened sugar cane stems behind at the machine.

I miss the sugar cane drink already. So thirsty...

Friday, 15 May 2015

Why I Won't be Buying from Lupicia (Tea Japan)

Inferior tea.  Some of them stink. I never thought tea would stink, but Lupicia does.

When prices are low, can't expect the best quality.  But even Clipper Tea SG with their low prices, smells better than Lupicia. Even Twinings tea is better. Even TWG is better. Even supermarket brands Lipton & Dilmah smell better. Even our local Gryphon Tea smells nicer.

I was at Vivocity, browsing the Lupicia teas for the first time. Their fragrances are too light, too weak to be quality teas.  Teas from Japan, Germany, China, Kenya.  Not even organic.

Those who buy Lupicia must be tea newbies. Not really tea lovers or tea connoisseurs.

I have considered that the tea samples have been exposed too many times, thus their fragrances are lost. Also, the sample containers are too large & the amount of sample too little, contributing to greater loss of fragrance. (In which case, the sales staff should change the samples or put more to ensure quality).

Yet even with these considerations, the scents are too thin & poor to be good quality teas.

When the sales woman offered me samples to taste, I didn't bother & declined.  After that, she just left me alone. That is actually a very poor way of doing sales.  Can't sell such products by leaving the customer alone.  Just because the customer declined to taste doesn't mean you can't sell anything. She didn't even try.

Another case of poor staff selection by management. She looks like a foreigner (Burmese?) although she didn't seem to have any detectable accent. I noticed her fingertips had a darkish skin tone to them, didn't look clean.  But she was friendly to three Indian girls asking for directions.

I prefer they employ a Japanese lady who will do her utmost in presenting the products the Japanese way. Or at least a Singaporean. (I have just read that it's 2 Singaporeans who opened Lupicia in Singapore, so all the more the staff should be Singaporean.).

It seems that there aren't many good tea brands in Singapore. They all taste the same. Nothing extraordinary. I'm looking for a tea that will wake me up with a whole new special taste.

Lady M's Chamomile tea that tastes refreshingly different from the usual, is their "own brand" & isn't sold in Singapore. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Avoid Sri Nada Barber Outlets (haircut review)

Dishonest. Smiling Cheats. Malay barbers who smile, cheat & still go to mosque. Which part of heaven do they think they are going to?

In the past, Sri Nada @ Marine Parade used to have long queues.  Not anymore.

Back then, they were very skilful & quick.  But I stopped going because they became impolite.

Now all the young skilful barbers are gone. Replaced by completely different men who are dishonest.

Bro has been having difficulty finding someone to cut his flat-top ever since we stopped going to Marine Parade. It's very far for us to go by bus. In the past, it was a chore going there for a haircut.  Now it's still a chore.

But no other place has been satisfactory, so we went back to Sri Nada @ Marine Parade recently. 

On their glass panel outside, the prices are stated clearly.  But we discovered these dishonest Sri Nada barbers are not following the pricing.

It seems that flat-top is a haircut where they can charge as they please (just like salons randomly charge ladies for perms & dyes).

The first time, we had no complaints.  The barber "Bunso" did an excellent haircut.

Second time, the same barber charged $5 extra for the same flat-top as the first time. No reason given.  I was shocked when bro told me how much it was when he walked out.

$17 wasn't even stated on the glass panel outside. How did the barber arrive at $17 when this wasn't the price before?? Bro didn't even want razor.  So, it should in fact be cheaper than the stated price (if not the stated price).

I told bro that he should have told the barber that it wasn't this price previously. Why was it so different this time? But bro wasn't in the mood to argue with the barber & I had to leave it at that. 

Today Tues 12 May, we decided to try Sri Nada @ Jurong Point.  A very small place with just 3 seats.

The glass panel clearly said $14 for flat-top.  I told bro to be aware that it was $14 just before he went in. But he didn't hear.

When he came out with a bad haircut, he told me the fat old Malay barber with glasses charged him $15.

I said "On the glass door, it says $14 for flat top.". What's with the extra dollar???

We were just across from the shop & I really wanted to ask the barber. But again, bro wasn't in the mood to return to see that man's face.  Besides, he felt the barber with intention to cheat wouldn't return the $1.

He said during the haircut, he had told the barber that the cut wasn't straight. The barber's excuse was that it was because that part of his head was curved.  Bro said even if we went to ask about the price, the barber will just find an excuse not to return the dollar.

The haircut was below standard. For an old experienced barber to cut so badly, it's surprising.

The top sides of the flat-top are not even & are curved instead of straight. The flat top has been cut too low & almost gone.  Mistakes done by newbies & barbers who don't know how to cut flat-top.  And that stinking barber dares charge more than the stated price on the glass door??

We were both very unhappy over this cheat.

Bro said if that fat old barber thinks he can get rich over $1, let him have it.  Sri Nada is so hungry for money, it means they are financially doing badly. Only a matter of time before they close down.

I am really upset with such Malay cheats. If they want to charge whatever they like, they shouldn't put the pricing clearly on their glass doors.

We actually wanted to try Sri Dewa. But Bro has decided no more Malay barbers for him. We will try QB or EC next time, even if they can't cut a nice flat-top. Bro had previously looked at QB but he said the women looked "so green", he doubted they could make the grade.

The upside to QB & EC is that such "salons" charge a fixed price put into a machine that won't cheat.

Kabe no Ana Japanese Pasta @ Shokutsu Ten Jurong Point (review)

When I didn't finish eating my Chicken Mozzarella Cream pasta & dabbed my lips with the paper napkin, I said, "Boring pasta.".

Since I asked him to try, Bro ate the small amount that remained & pronounced, "Nothing special.".

Luckily, he didn't order anything because he wasn't hungry after looking at the menu. He was actually hungry before looking at the menu but wasn't in the mood for pasta, pizzas or baked rice.

That was boring pasta with little pieces of chicken (not chicken cubes) at an expensive price of $13.90 without GST.

The pasta was a little too dry, resulting in some stuck pasta. The sauce wasn't enough. I was expecting something creamy or a little soupy.  I really dislike stuck pasta.

The taste is homemade. Like my own cooking. Which shouldn't be the case since this is a professional restaurant. I expect better. Why is there stuck pasta??  Even when I cook my own, my pasta is not stuck together.

I dislike paying $13.90 for pasta that's worse than my own cooking.

I doubt this was prepared by the Japanese chef (as one website said). More likely, it was done by a young punk who can't cook.

The chicken pieces too little. Pasta is cheap, so even with a passable amount of it on the plate, it's not something to rave about. When ingredients are little, the large amount of pasta can't compensate.

I have not come across a Japanese pasta restaurant that is generous with ingredients. And there isn't a Japanese restaurant that has been able to satisfactorily make western cuisine.

They should just stick to making their own Japanese food.

After ordering the pasta, I caught sight of the Iced Coffee with Coffee jelly. With some persuasion, Bro agreed to my ordering it..

Now, this Iced Coffee is very solid, very refreshing & nice. Good enough that we asked the male staff what brand of coffee they used. It's Italian espresso.  The brand?  The pronunciation of his words wasn't clear so I asked him to write the spelling. He wrote it on the piece of paper menu on my side of the table. (I'm keeping it a secret).

We also asked how the Iced Coffee was made. And the small, bitter coffee ice cubes for those who want to suck on them.

They get the coffee beans & grind them themselves. After which, they use paper filter. As for the coffee ice cubes... he said they used the "water" to make these cubes. I didn't understand what he meant by "use the water" but never mind.

At $8.80, that's pretty solid Italian espresso.  Expensive but worth paying for on a hot day. Wonder if the brand is sold in Singapore. (I've checked. No, it can't be found in SG).

Total bill = $26.72. Just 1 boring pasta & 1 drink that saved the experience. Expensive.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Chateraise Patisserie SG @ Westgate (review)

Sun 10 May

After the first few times, you'll get bored of all their cakes that taste the same. I totally am, after just about 4 times.  Now I just walk by the queue without feeling anything. On the occasional chance I feel like buying their Dango, the staff are so slow, I walk away.

I've tried most of their cakes, their Mochi, Dango & little Chestnut cake (tastes like a mooncake but less so).

The only thing I like is their Dango in a plastic cup. Very sweet & soft. Plucks off easily with your teeth from the stick that they have conveniently & uniquely broken into 2 each. Reminds me of Japan except that those I tried in Japan are different. This very soft & chewy Dango is probably unique to Chateraise. At $2.20 (or $2.10), this small, plain, very sweet & lightly toasted Dango is a little expensive but a very sweetly satisfying treat to eat. Better than chocolate.

The staff are so slow. I really hate slow, inattentive staff. So slow even with just 2 persons in front of me. Twice or three times, I've walked out of the queue. Chateraise got no money from me on those occasions.  How long can such a shop last?  Japanese management is always so lousy in Singapore.

Well, Singaporeans get suddenly tired of a novelty easily.  When they just opened, I raved about the fabulous taste & thought they might last. But now, I'm not so sure if they will last.

I already did 2 reviews in Japanese in April. This is my English review.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Why I Hate Japanese Hair Salons & Japanese Hairstylists

Japanese hairstylists always make the lady look older than when she came into the salon.

Instead of making the person appear fresher & younger, their designs emphasize the woman's age & make look her true age or even older. Very un-sexy & these Japanese stylists don't even realize what they are doing.

I have not seen a Japanese hair salon deviate from this.

That's why I hate Japanese salons. And will avoid going to try one, even if it's new & has good reviews.  These women don't know what is good & what is not. They think perms are everything.

When you go into a salon, you should come out looking better, youthful & fresher. If you go in as a young woman but come out as a married-looking woman, how can the salon be good?? 

Japanese people (like the Koreans) have a fixation with a person's age & have very rigid, outdated & old-fashioned ideas of women & feminine beauty. So unconsciously, they make a woman look her age. They make a woman unattractive & boring.

This is different from western/Caucasian hairstylists who are bolder & more creative in giving fresh new looks to a woman, regardless of her age.

In the hands of a western/Caucasian hairstylist, an older woman can emerge looking younger, fresher, sexier & runway fashionable. But not so in a Japanese salon.

(Personally, I've been to Japanese salons & they were expensively lousy. Shunji Matsuo & Monso.).   

Take a look at this video below: 

At the beginning when she is first seated, she looks like a young woman. Her long, soft hair frames her face & makes her look younger in her case.  The long hair softens her jawline & blurs her age. I would guess she is in her twenties. Credit goes to whoever did her hair.

But look what happens when the Japanese stylist cuts her hair short. The camera closes in on her face. I see she is not as young as I thought.  At least thirty & more likely older.

When the short hair is finally done (without hair cream), she looks totally like a married woman. He said now she looks more "adult". Yeah. He means now she looks older. Precisely.

Which part of his terrible design is "fashionable"???  After he added the hair cream, it's even worse. She looks like a mother of 2 or 3 kids. Shit.

His haircut has completely destroyed her youthful appearance. Now I can see clearly the thick layers under her eyes, the lines down her cheek, her high forehead, the hard angular cheekbones highlighting the fact that she isn't a young woman at all.

Big age jump up. This is the kind of hairstylist I hate.  For turning a young woman into a married-looking woman who has years on her face... I definitely want his shop to close down.

What he has done is not stylish at all. It's shit. And I would say he dares charge expensively for it.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Anime Boring to Watch

I stopped watching:

These are so boring from the first few eps.
--Brave 10
--Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love 2000% (sequel to 1000%)
--Arata Kangatari

(6 May Wed 2015 Singapore time. The blog dating is incorrect for this post.)  

The above list was done in 2014 & put on the right side of my blog. I'm transferring it here.

I've been watching more anime (anime has no plural form) since then, & there are quite many more that are boring from the first episode. I didn't make a note of them.

Brave 10 is actually quite a pity because the drawing is really good. Bishounen & bishoujo (pretty men & sexy ladies).  Too bad it didn't/don't seem to be going anywhere with exaggerated fights.

There are also quite many anime that I've watched since then but haven't made a list of or done reviews on. I just saved screenshots.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Why Didn't Singaporeans Fight for their Right to Keep National Theatre?

Was at Westgate & saw these stands depicting history of Singapore. A stand said many Singaporeans were sorry to see the National Theatre demolished in 1986. It was built using the money contributed by the people in a "a dollar a brick" campaign.

I didn't know that River Valley 5 diamond-shaped structure was built by the people's money.  Bro & I assumed it was the government that built it.

Well hell. If it was the people's money, then they had a right to stop the demolition. In fact, the building belonged to the people!! Why just feel sorry to see it go?? They could have stopped it & demanded that it be preserved! 

Why let it become a memory?

Even back then, Singaporeans were soft. Don't know how to fight for their rights. Just like the dolphins of Taiji Cove. Massacred.

The people as a mass, are always stronger than any government or any organization. The government is just 1 person. The people are in the millions.

Why sit back & let something that they loved & contributed to, be destroyed?

The loss of that River Valley structure is a grand pity.  Its unique diamond-pointed fascade is unforgettable. Van Kleef Aquarium beside it.  (The stand at Westgate spells it wrongly as "Cleef".)

I remember we went into Van Kleef once or twice & it was just like what a man said in the stand at Westgate: the aquariums were like TVs playing National Geographic & entering there was like stepping into a different world.

The aquariums resembled TVs because their glass had a bulging appearance.

Bro's memory is better. He remembers the hand-shaped fountain (in a cupping shape) outside the diamond-shaped fascade.

Nothing of it is left, except for a pathetic scaled-down model of the diamond-shaped structure on a little grass patch across from Fort Canning Park near Liang Court.

Bro said why have such a pathetic little model when we could have had the real thing in all its glory? If the government hadn't stupidly destroyed it.

Now it exists only in photos & memories.

I didn't know that it was the National Theatre. Didn't even know that the 5 points of the diamond shapes & fountain represented the stars & crescent moon of the National flag.

Do you know how much of that is worth now? So priceless. Yet the government demolished it. For what? Nothing.  It has just been left as empty grass.

Singaporeans could have saved their National Theatre & Van Kleef Aquarium. All reasons for not preserving them are just excuses.

How to Save Taiji Cove Dolphins

Petitions are for wimps. Take action.  Inhuman actions must be dealt with likewise.

Whatever the dolphins' reason for returning to the cove despite the annual massacre, any human who hates what the Japs are doing can stop it in any way.

These are just a few ways:

#1 Destroy the cove. Dynamite. Just blow it up. No cove.

#2 Teach the dolphins to overturn boats. Grab fallen humans, bring them down to the depths or just hold them down underwater until motionless. Easy peasy.

#3  Quietly assassinate the heads behind the dolphin hunts. Take out key positions along the chain of Taiji community leaders, brokers, buyers. Do the same to any replacements to these positions.

#4 Destroy the entire Taiji population. Slowly as they are now or down their generations, or overnight.  Pretty easy to do since they are a small coastal town dependent on fresh water & food supply.

#5 I'm sure there are even more ways than the above.