Heh! I did this during my first trip to Singapore to see my mom, there’s a supermarket near my sister’s place that has an outlet for legalized state betting *right inside*, of particular interest being football and motorsports.
This is different from the common lotteries that most countries have, with much lower odds compared to online betting sites as a form of taxation.
It was the start of BPL and I bought SGD 10 for West Ham to win at 2.10 odds. I won this one, getting me SGD 11 nett (after deducting the original SGD 10 – the total winnings was SGD 21).
It’s basically winning a pack of smokes, just did it for fun.
I went for a random K-League match after collecting my winnings the next day while grocery shopping, also with a SGD 10 bet for a return of SGD 28.50.
There are various permutations possible – total goals, HT/FT, etc with corresponding odds (highest I’ve seen is 300 – which will net you SGD 3,000 with SGD 10). The minimum bet is SGD 5.
I lost this one, and stopped playing – the queue was wayyyyy too long and I just wanted to see how Singapore Pools works.
She’s doing another course of chemotherapy and we’re here for her. My dad flew in too and we’ll usually walk to Hola and eat there. Cheap and decent food. The caterers (old skool Tiffin carriers) come weekday nights.
My mom eats separately; she still can’t stand a lot of food, not even the smell of it. That’s her hiding in the room coz she’s so nauseous from the chemo.
2. Went to church
Took a cab to Bedok Methodist Church. Service is familiar but the praise and worship had an unusual twist – women dressed in traditional Chinese garb were dancing and twirling long silk ribbons. How I wish I managed to take a photo…
Got an EZ-Link card so I could use the MRT, bus and pay for food and groceries at places which accepts it.
3. The Gospel of Pool
Poster stuck beside the pool table at church. Words fail me. Sometimes a cue is just a cue.
Mom got temporarily better and asked me to get her a Mocha soy ice blended drink. I bought it and she had a sip and promptly got sick again.
4. Salted egg yolk mooncakes
Dad got this from Sibu. It’s really quite good, there’s an entire salted egg yolk inside that’s almost the size of the puff pastry.
I ate all of them. Heh.
5. Grocery shopping
Got soy milk for my niece. She’s allergic to nuts, gluten, and most other things. This is the brand that we know doesn’t have any additives or traces of abovementioned. Also got reacquainted with the same brand of cigarettes I smoked last time I was here.
Lovely watering hole at 45, Armenian Street with live bands playing every day of the week. You can text song requests in for them to perform. Fiona recommended the Timbre Buffalo Wings – love the hot sauce and nuts topping but a tad overcooked for me. They do good pizzas too – got a half and half with Goodfellas and 53A. They’re both names of bands playing there.
Here’s a cover of Oasis’ Stand by Me.
7. Left my keys with Fiona
Had a couple of drinks and hung out at Timbre. I put my sister’s condo keys and tag card in her bag earlier that night (tend to chuck my stuff in her tote due to lack of pocket space, thanks Fiona) and forgot to get it back from her. I only realized after I got back and couldn’t go in. Went back to her place to get it.
This is my two month old nephew. He’s named Josiah and weighs 7 kg! :)
I love how his folds of baby fat makes him look like a little emperor. Heh. He’s quite heavy for his age, a nice weight to carry around.
…although a pram makes more sense. Haha! I was out shopping with my parents and my sister’s family in Singapore a couple of weeks ago and I can appreciate how hard it is to take care of a baby. I still would love to have one though. :)
This here is my niece Kara, who’s all grown up now. She’s almost 3 years old and she can already string a sentence together very cohesively.
She’s already very mature and it never fails to surprise me how fast babies turn into kids. It’s amazing, the thing she says and does, more of what I’ll expect from a 7 year old than a 3 year old. :)
That just sounds downright dodgy eh? Heh. This photo was taken at around 3 am in the morning. There’s a rather funny story about how we got here from drinks at Orchard Road in Singapore.
…rewind to about 8 hours earlier
I met up with Fiona for dinner – it turns out that she lives quite near my sister’s apartment in Simei. Thus, we met at Eastpoint Mall. She got there about the same time I did and called me saying she doesn’t know if she’s at the right entrance – it’s at the place where there’s a lot of lingerie.
I pretty much knew where that was since I came to the mall the day before with my parents to the supermarket downstairs. :)
Anyway, Fiona is a flight attendant and I’ve known her since her words of encouragement when I was being all emo and shit after the last relationship I was in. I haven’t actually met her though so I only have a vague idea of how she looked like from my Facebook account.
We took a cab to Orchard Road and told the taxi we didn’t have any destination in mind, so he dropped us off somewhere near…er, I can’t actually remember. I know we walked for a bit and checked out the drinking holes around the Peranakan Place area before settling on Alley Bar.
It has the most awesome pork burger ever! It’s called the BBQ Pulled Pork Burger and it’s a juicy and tender mess of 5 hours of smoked pork shoulder smothered in barbecue sauce, topped with a whole jalapeno chili pepper.
Fiona had a bite and she concurred. Actually eating it is a messy affair – it’s like a sloppy joe except it’s not made with minced meat but rather loose meat. It’s the best pork burger I’ve had to date!
We were seated outside at a place simply called Outdoors – Peranakan Place has three distinct areas built around a real Peranakan settlement. Outdoors is the al fresco zone which is a “Designated Smoking Area” (damn Singaporean laws) and there’s also Acid Bar and Alley Bar, which is the main place.
There’s a live band playing – the music is piped to Outdoors for those who’re not inside, loved this cover of Radiohead’s Creep.
I had two pints of Erdinger Beer – there are two, one dark and one white. The “dark” one is Pikantus and the “light” Weissbier. We were eating, drinking and talking and it was around 11:30 pm when the subject somehow changed to pool and Fiona found a place that’s open until 3 am.
We walked down the opposite direction at first before the GPS on her phone told us we’re heading the wrong way so we turned back. The pool place is at Concorde Hotel – somehow that place looks really seedy, it’s full of KTV hostess bars and dodgy characters loitering about who look like they would totally mug you if this was Malaysia instead of Singapore. HAHAHA
It turns out that Fiona is quite good at pool. I wouldn’t say that she kicked my ass but it was a really close thing. Tomatoe tomato.
Speaking of asses, Fiona is left handed, which I didn’t notice until we were playing. I was standing behind her trying to see how she plays. I thought she would think that I was checking out her butt. It turns out that she didn’t, she’s probably used to people ogling at her as cabin crew. :p
See what I did there?
It’s a masterful (wah damn syoik sendiri) way of neither confirming nor denying the statement, just like how Israel’s nuclear ambiguity works, except bombs and butts are two very different things.
Anyway, they don’t sell beer inside, and we were alternately playing pool and 9 ball before I suggested we head to the 7-Eleven outside to get some. It wasn’t a 7-11, it’s a similar concept called Cheers (how apt) and I told her to just scull the 500 ml can before we head inside. It’s a strong beer at 9% and you don’t exactly drink it for the taste.
Look at Fiona’s apprehensive face! ;)
I think we spent more than the 5 minutes we told the pool hall clerk we’ll be away outside, downing that beer and smoking in the rather unusual backdrop of closed shops, dark segments and KTV bars.
We went and played until it was nearly three before heading out for more beer. This time we brought it inside using Fiona’s bag, and using the same to discreetly conceal the two cans by putting it behind and out of sight. That was the first picture. Smart.
The place was supposed to close at 3 am but we were still playing so the clerk started cleaning up. I don’t think he cared about the alcohol anyway, we were the only customers in there at the time. Thanks for the beers Fiona! :)
It was 4:30 am when we finally shared a cab home. I could only spare one night coz I’m here for my mom so I only went out once. I had a lot of fun, one of the more memorable night outs in a long time despite only getting two hours of sleep two nights in a row to wake up for church. Say hi to Fiona if you see her while flying!
Okay, this is one of the most interesting and unique things I’ve heard in a long time. There’s an 8 flavor xiao long bao course at Paradise Dynasty which includes premium fillings like black truffle and foie gras.
I couldn’t wait to try it when I first heard about the concept. I headed down to ION Orchard in Singapore yesterday with Lainey to meet up with Michelle and Ben just for this.
Paradise Dynasty claims to have the world’s first 8 flavored xiao long bao and you have to eat it in order. The restaurant is famous for it – the open kitchen is filled with cooks preparing it and a lot of patrons order this specialty.
The 8 different fillings are:
4. Foie Gras
5. Black Truffle
7. Crab Roe
…and you have to eat it in order to have the optimal experience. :D
The set costs SGD 13.90 and it’s well worth the price. I found the Garlic and Ginsengxiao long pao very flavorful, with the juices bursting from the skin as you bite into it. The Foie Gras and Black Truffle ones are suitably decadent and I loved the Crab Roe filling too.
However, I felt that the Cheesy xiao long pao should have been #7 as the overpowering taste of cheese can be a bit…well, overwhelming. The Szechuan deserves its final spot as the filling is extremely spicy (even for my desensitized taste buds).
It certainly is an epicurean adventure that you MUST try if you’re ever in Singapore. Thanks for brunch Ben and Michelle! :)
Feeling hungry but don’t want to go all the way to Singapore for some awesome food? Check out this MilkADeal offer:
It’s a great deal at RM 15 – there’s even soup, drinks and side dishes in addition to the authentic claypot chicken rice and it feeds 2! It’s an unlimited purchase and redemption offer that just debuted today and heaps of people have already gotten their hands on it. Where else can you get prices like this for good food in the Klang Valley? :)
Singapore Food Trail is located below the Singapore Flyer and aims to bring all the best hawker food in Singapore to one place. It’s kinda like the Lot 10 food court in KL – the crème de la crème of hawker food all represented in a single place.
The setup in Singapore Food Trail has a lot of paraphernalia from the good ol’ days to better set the ambiance. There’s also an al fresco area for those who prefers to eat their food in a more authentic setting.
I was pretty parched when I got there so I ordered a Bird’s Nest Drink for SGD 2.50. You can have it hot or cold and the large one comes in that huge tin mug your grandma drinks tea out of (or at least my grandma did) so it’s a pretty generous serving.
There’s a lot of tempting food around but I settled on High Street Tai Wah Pork Noodle. It has the longest queue of all the stalls and I reckon that if it’s so popular, I might as well try it. The people in front of me all ordered the pork noodle with broth (SGD 5) which is their flagship dish.
I’m not a big fan of soup dishes though so I went with the dry option. I also upsized it to medium for SGD 7. The dry pork noodle is exactly the same as the one with broth, except they seperate the soup into another bowl so it doesn’t saturate the noodles.
The Tai Wah pork noodle broth is really something to behold. You can see the quality of the soup with your naked eye – it takes a lot of boiling to get the marrow and nice bits out of pork bones and it makes the soup really good. I wished I had ordered the regular version, I wanted more of the soup.
The pork noodles is awesome too – it has most parts of the pig inside it and the noodles are nicely flavored with a slightly spicy sauce. There’s pork wantons, pork belly, pork meat balls, pork liver and even a sprinkling of dried cuttlefish. The dried cuttlefish is ingenious – it adds texture and flavor as well as a break from all the porcine goodness in the noodles.
It’s goes very well with a cold Tiger on a hot Singaporean afternoon. Gotta drink the local suds when you’re there. :)
Heh! I’ve always wanted to title a blog post like that. In this case, there is at least some semblance of logical justification for it. I was in Singapore a few weeks ago and one of the things that we did was have breakfast with orang utans. There were also pythons for you to hold, it was a great start to the morning, truth to be told.
However, the highlights of my trip there were mostly towards the arts and theater scene that Singapore has to offer. I bugged Kristine to organize my itinerary around this show by Yukichi Matsumoto which I have been itching to catch. It showed at the Singapore Arts Festival 2011 and this is the first time the Ishinha theater group has done a performance outside of Japan.
Ishinha has very high standards for their stages and choreography. They build the set and props themselves and they’re quite partial about how it turns out. It was one of the most amazing shows I’ve ever seen. It’s held outdoors and I love the passion they put into their work – “This is a rain or shine event”.
I expected this to be a niche show but I was surprised to see the packed. There were two Japanese men seated to my right and a bunch of Caucasians on holiday on my left. The seats are stadium type wooden boards – no frills but we managed to sit very comfortably by NOT sitting on the seats itself but on the one below you and using your seat as a backrest.
I can’t credit myself for that though – the bunch of Caucasian ladies started sliding down and I thought that looked like a mighty fine position to be sitting in. You’re not disturbing anyone and your chiropractor would thank you for it. It’s all about the back support. Thus, I slid down as well and the woman grinned at me and said “It’s much more comfortable this way, eh?”
Yes, it is ma’am. Yes indeed. :)
When A Grey Taiwanese Cow Stretched is a 120 minute performance with no intervals. You have to come in before it starts or the doors close. That’s the way to go about it. No disturbances from late arrivals.
I was actually very surprised by the performance. I expected it to be good but it just went and blew my mind.
The stage structure is built in front of a city landscape which is integral to the story as a juxtaposition. When A Grey Taiwanese Cow Stretched explores a lot of themes from migrants, to the war and occupation of Japanese troops and how it affects their people. It’s all in Japanese and there’s subtitles to the side but what I really enjoyed was they way it was performed.
In lieu of dialogue, they use a form of rap to communicate. Known as Jan Jan Opera language, it’s a kind of Osakan street rap – it goes from a rapid staccato to a slow, ponderous chant. It’s quite unique and a very effective way to get the narrative across.
It’s a very intense performance, especially if you have good seats (Thanks Kristine!). Don’t be surprised to see a troop of performers staring you down and intensely shouting about the pain they feel. One particular bit of dialogue that I found very well executed and poignant is:
You had affairs!
South American women.
With big bottoms!
Did you notice their breasts?
Paradise, isn’t it? *sarcastic
I just wish I had enough money leftover to buy the soundtrack, it’s definitely worth it.
I also visited the ArtScience Museum for Salvador Dali’s work. The museum is shaped like a lotus (though some say it looks like a baseball mitt, including myself) and it’s actually quite vast inside.
I don’t think captions would do the great man’s work justice so I’m just going to post up the photos:
The other thing that I really enjoyed was The Lion King at Marina Bay Sands Singapore.
I’ve seen the West End production but the Singapore one was even better. The acoustics and the seating arrangements beats the one in Lyceum Theater near Convent Garden.
It’s just progress – the Marina Bay Sands theater is just more modern.
I also loved how they localized The Lion King Musical with a sprinkling of Mandarin and references to the Merlion. Don’t expect them to break into a refrain of “The (Mer)lion sleeps tonight” but there’s enough little touches that differentiates it and it’s an awesome performance by a new cast assembled from around the world.
Now, why don’t we get all this stuff in Malaysia? Oh well, at least I can visit Singapore instead of flying all the way to London next time I want to see a good theater performance.
Oh, by the way these are some of the upcoming performances in Singapore:
Cirque Éloize iD – Now until 26 June 2011
Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite Live -29 June 2011
The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber – 7 to 17 July 2011
Korean Music Wave 2011 – 15 July 2011
Paramore Live in Concert – 21 Aug 2011
If you’re interested in all that Singapore has to offer, hop on over to YourSingapore.com where there’s something for everyone!
Sentosa! You know the best thing about traveling solo is that you meet all sorts of people from different countries. This is Mai from Thailand. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here and there’s a lot of new additions…
…like the luge. My first luge experience was when I was 13 while on family trip to New Zealand. The luge in Sentosa is from a Kiwi company too.
I stayed at Studio M Hotel which has an awesome concept – your room basically has two floors – the ground floor is where you work, chill and take care of your sanitary needs and there’s a loft upstairs where you sleep. I was half afraid I’ll wake up, fall out of bed and come crashing down to the ground floor but no, that didn’t happen, so fear not. ;)
Singapore Arts Festival 2011. I was particularly interested in this one. It’s an outdoor arts fest which happens annually and there was one show in particular that I wanted to catch.
When A Grey Taiwanese Cow Stretched. I ran out of hyperbolic adjectives trying to describe this Osakan rap theater performance – moving, groundbreaking, engaging. It’s every bit as I had hoped it would turn out to be. It’s the first time they’re showing it outside of Japan too.
Salvador Dali had an exhibition in the ArtsScience Center too. I love his work. You feel like you’re tripping when you’re not. Hands down my favorite artist overall – my favorite piece of work would be Edmund Munch’s The Scream but Dali is in a class of his own.
Pre-theatre tapas at Santi. I love the Iberico pork. Lovely porcine delights.
The Lion King! Yup, the Singapore performance is every bit as good as the West End cast and they had a lot of localizations too. Gotta love that touch.
Drinks @ Ku De Ta with Joyce and Clem after the show. Amazing views.
Universal Studios Singapore!
I headed straight for the Battlestar Galactica rides – it was a staggering 75 minute wait for the Human and a 90 minute wait for the Cylon but I went for both anyway…
…and got some of the merchandize to boot. Yay! I’m a huge fan.
I ended it with a large bowl of Tai Wah Pork Noodle and a bottle of Tiger in the Singapore Food Trail. :)
There’s so much I still haven’t written about – the trip was amazing, loved the art scene and theaters in particular. Thanks to Singapore Tourism Board for having me!
Dammit! I popped out of Universal Studios for a quick smoke (you get a UV chop for reentry) and the casino was just beside it. I had told myself:
DO NOT STEP INTO IT
last night. I passed by it on my way in but never thought about going in. It had an:
ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTERS HERE
large blinking neon sign in my head.
…but I succumbed. *hangs head
I wanted a mere SGD 100 win – just one bet at the Baccarat table – that was how modest I was vs my 5 figure bets last time. I just exchanged SGD 200 for chips.
Thus, I put SGD 100 on a hot table where everyone else had their chips on Player as well, and also on Tie. I had a STRONG URGE to move it to Banker to ruin everyone’s mojo but I didn’t. I also wanted to bet on Tie since in my last sojourn to the casino it came out as a Tie the first time…but I didn’t.
Remaining chips: SGD 200 (no win or lose)
Banker wins with a fucking natural nine (Ace, 9)
Everyone was still on Player – literally thousands on the Player side and when the Tie came I had an EVEN STRONGER URGE to move my chips to Banker.
This would have ended in a happily ever after story with a small SGD 100 win (my aim) if that had been the case. It wasn’t.
Remaining chips: SGD 100
I moved to another table since there’s this dude exchanging money and I wanted to be fast.
I told myself, don’t let the pitfalls of being attached to Player dictate your bets. I didn’t listen. I bet on Player.
Remaining chips: SGD 0
I topped up another SGD 200 for the buy in. Now I have used SGD 400 (about RM 1,000) in the casino and decided to end it once and for all.
Remaining chips: SGD 200 (after another SGD 200 top up for a total of SGD 400)
I put SGD 200 on Player despite it being an obvious Banker dragon (roll) on the table.
Player came out with a 7, which I thought was pretty safe, considering Banker only had a 3.
Banker drew again for an 8.
Remaining chips: SGD 0 (again)
Considering I only brought SGD 300 over and I lost SGD 400 (which is technically SGD 200 if you recall that I won SGD 200 in Marina Bay Sands casino) I didn’t have any more money to bet since I used some money for topping up taxi fares, drinks at Ku De Ta and a souvenir at Battlestar Galactica.
I think I’m down to SGD 12 or so in my wallet.
I shouldn’t have gone in. I told myself the SGD 200 win at Marina Bay Sands casino was good enough but I went through that door anyway. I lost SGD 400 (about RM 1,000) in the process. It took just 10 minutes to lose that.
It seems that I’m cursed in Genting casinos. :p
I’m totally broke now and it’s all my fault. T_T
Oh well, at least they checked my age to verify that I was above 21. Small consolation. :x
Chaos theory and the SGD 400 text message
You know how chaos theory goes right? Anyway, being broke is no fun, but looking back, if I didn’t lose in the casino, I wouldn’t have gotten a text message from an old friend (13 years since we first met).
It was technically two text messages and a phone call but it totally made my day. I mean, seriously, it’s damn worth it if chaos theory deems that must happen for this to happen. Heh!
Thank you for making my day. You know who you are. I still can’t wipe this stupid grin off my face.
Now there I was, arriving at Santi at 6:15 pm for the 6:30 pm dinner (tend to be on the early side) when this vista greeted me. I didn’t come to gamble though – I just have SGD 300 (about RM 750) on me so I opened the door the Santi…except it didn’t open. The lady came out and told me that they open their doors at 6:30 pm so I had 15 minutes to kill.
…where else can I go?
I strolled down to the casino and I AM SAD TO REPORT THAT NO ONE BOTHERED CHECKING MY AGE. Has my liver been ravaged by my years of abuse that I look my age again (which is 30, btw)?
Saddened by the fact that they only wanted to see the cover of my passport to verify that I was a foreigner (locals have to pay a fee to enter the casino) I morosely trudged down and went to the nearest Baccarat table.
This was a cold table (meaning it’s empty, no punters playing and you’re the first one to warm the seats and cut the deck) so I sat at the lucky Number 6 spot and exchanged SGD 200 for chips.
…now I’m REALLY BROKE this month (and the next) so this is the MAXIMUM I am willing to wager. I sat down on a minimum SGD 100 bet table so I had to bet with a black SGD 100 chip each time. However, that was the plan anyway, I would have bet that amount even on smaller buy in tables coz I really don’t see the point in putting down SGD 25.
Well, since it was a cold table, the female dealer shuffled the cards while I played with my chips. I wanted to bet on Tie since this baccarat table pays out 8-1 for a tie. However, I am also VERY attached to wagering on Player (a weakness that even 5 figure losses has not been able to remedy) so I put in on Player instead. T_T
Buy in: SGD 200
Dealer says: “Cards facing up or down?”
I say: “All face up, let’s make this quick I need to be somewhere in 15 minutes.”
SGD 100 on Player
Player draws a natural 8
AND BANKER DRAWS AN 8 AS WELL
FML it was a Tie after all. >.<
Chips remaining: SGD 200 (no one wins or loses on straight bets if it’s a tie)
SGD 100 on Player
Player draws a natural 9
I didn’t even have to look at the Banker
WIN SGD 100 Chips remaining: SGD 300
SGD 100 on Player
Player draws King
Banker draws an Jack
Player draws a 3
A THREE!!! WTF!
Banker draws a 5
Player draws ANOTHER FACE CARD – QUEEN! (which means I’m still at 3)
Banker draws…a 6
Heh! Well, that was three straight wins in a row.
BTW, that makes Banker 1, lower than a 3. Chips remaining: SGD 400 (nett win of SGD 200)
I didn’t even want to bet anymore – three straight wins in a row (or at least no losses) is good enough for me. I wasn’t even at the table for more than 3 minutes, all in all. The rest of the time was spent accidentally walking out and queuing in to come in again and going to the cashier and I was STILL early for dinner – had to wait about 2 minutes.
SGD 200 (around RM 500) is not that much but it covers some of my Singapore expenses and it’ll help with groceries when I’m broke for the next two months. :D
Yes, this is the infamous toilet shot again, coz casinos generally frown upon cameras – you can bring it in but you probably can’t take photos without getting kicked out. Except in Amsterdam.