About Me

My photo
We are what we think & my blog entries reflect how I think. Have a sip of the poison of my mind.. It's not always lethal.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wet Misery

It's a drenched world out there


Lots & lotsa rain. Just like a dysfunctional free-flowing tap in overdrive mode. A fucking misery.

A misery because with rain that can last through the entire day and into the night and continue ad nauseum into the next day, I can't go for my runs and because I travel about the country for my work, the blasted rain just bogs me down.

It's been raining hard like this constantly for the past few days and I'm quite sick of it already. The monsoon season of December has been pushed a month forward. It's called Global Fucking Warming.

Just when I thought it would stop pouring whenever the rain seems to taper off, another wave of wet ferocity would come crashing down. Just how much water can the sky hold anyway?

I used to love the rain. But that all changed the first time I experienced lovely snow in Hokkaido followed by rain in Tokyo. Comparing the two, snow doesn't make you feel drenched, rain does. And since I love the cold, I can enjoy snow while feeling peachykeen in the icy embrace of winter. And since I hate humidity, rain over here in the tropics can sometimes make me feel as if I'm trapped inside a microwave. I'm not sure about many things in Life but I'm damn sure I was made for winter.

And I absolutely hate how rain puddles can cause dirt to splash up onto my legs and pants. It makes me feel dirty. And then the wet slush would dribble down to my feet. If I happen to be wearing socks, you can be sure as wet hell to catch me cursing.

And my Lioness told me today that the wet weather is causing our washed clothes to take more days to dry. Upon hearing that, I think I gulped at the thought of running out of dry clothes to wear for the week ahead.

And to top it all off, once the sky runs out of water, there will be nothing stopping the sun from burning us all up here with its murderous rays. Not only will that cause unnecessary lethargy for me, bogging me down with quick tiredness but one of the things I HATE the most is to be drenched in my own perspiration and feeling sticky all over. Why did my ancestors choose to migrate to the damned tropics?

So I hate the rain and I hate the sun. I know, I'm a hard man to please, but we all have our own preferred standards, yeah? So what kind of weather do I like? They say the truth lies somewhere in-between, so my favourite kind of weather is cooling / cold weather with gloomy overcast dark skies.


I cannot help but smile at the thought of the throng of people caught in the rain over at Chinatown. Chinese new year is just 4 days away and so, the place ought to have been bursting at the seams with people.

Take that, overpopulation.

Why would people behave like a herd of pigs by willingly placing themselves in an overcrowded situation and rubbing sweaty skin upon sweaty skin with others while having to take like 5 minutes just to traverse one meter? And at the end of it all, trying to get home would be hell. I can never fathom the stupidity of it all and it's not like the festive mood still exists after all these years of economical crisis.

Crowds in clubs and pubs, however, is an entirely different matter for me :p

However, the thought of the vendors in Chinatown makes me feel sympathetic. They ought to have stocked up on lots of new year goodies but the constant hard rain which ought to reduce their customer flow is gonna hit their business really really hard. Not pleasant.

I really hope it will not rain tomorrow during work, but I ain't holding my breath. That dysfunctional tap in the Big Blue seems seriously persistent.

And for the irony, here's a song brought to you by my favourite band:

Stay dry.

- De Lion Speaks

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Sip of Serenity At Vivo City

I have just finished work at Harbourfront and Vivo City. As is my self-created custom, everytime I finish work here, I'll pop by Serenity pub & restaurant here at Vivo City for a mug or two of Heineken. So that's what I'm doing now, sitting here enjoying my beer while marvelling at the lovely view of Sentosa island across the strait.

The picture you see above is exactly the view before me now from where I'm seating at the outside seating area. I always take the outside seats everytime I'm here because of the view. Looking at the buildings & structures of Universal Studios across the narrow strait makes me reminiscent of the time when me & my Lioness went there to see the sights and enjoy the rides. Makes me smile everytime. How lovely it is that simple things like this can be so enjoyable.

But I didn't quite had an enjoyable lunch earlier. You see, when I went over to collect my plate of Char Kway Teow from the stall at the hawker centre opposite Harbourfront, I forgot to bring my wallet with me. So I went back to my seat, placed the food on the table, took out my money & went back to the stall to pay.

Just after I made my payment and turned around to head back to my table, a flock of Minahs descended on my food. Wow, leave my table for just seconds and birds come out of nowhere to rob me of my lunch. I started to dash back to my table but in a flash, realized the futility of it; the birds already got to my food. Everyone else who saw what happened sported sympathetic looks on their faces.

So I returned my plate of food to the stall and ordered another new one. I told the cook to cook my food with lots of chili and I wonder if the birds had their little throats burned as a result. Oh well, can't blame them, birds need to eat too and table manners don't apply to them.

So while I'm sipping my beer here at Serenity, I reminded myself about the books I'm gonna start writing one day when I retire. The things I'm gonna write about are mainly social commentaries and novels set in the local scenario. Social commentaries because I enjoy taking a piss at society and novels because I love a good story.

I am in possession and have been told about my quite unmatched cynicism & sarcasm at least when compared with the natives here and thus, I hope I can piss exercise these talents marvelously here within the local context.

Cynicism is easy, all you need to do is to look at the underbelly of things where the ugly side of the truth is hidden. There is always one since nothing except God is perfect. Most people just refuse to acknowledge the existence of said underbelly. As for sarcasm, it's just a byproduct of cynicism and the line between the two can sometimes be blur or indiscernible. Let the two hold hands and you have a mighty double-whammy like a flurry of punches to the gut.

Since I'm killing time here, I begin to mentally craft a draft about the first novel I'm gonna probably start with. I love crafting stories which are parallel to my own life. So I begin to craft a draft about the story of a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep since I'm one. To be exact, my profession's title reads 'Sales & Marketing Executive' ever since my last promotion but the bulk of my job is still a rep's job.

So I think I'll probably entitle my first novel 'Rep' until I think of something better in the future if at all. 'Rep' is short, I know, but it's short-cool, just like [Rec], that Spanish horror movie which is one of the best horror movie this decade. 'The Rep' just won't cut it and sounds amateurish.

I have also decided to make the protagonist in my novel some sort like my alter-ego: he's a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep just like me living a similar life but he's allowed to do things which I probably have to restrain myself from doing in real life.

Gosh, that sounds like some sort of therapy. Anyway, humans need fantasy for a reason. I suppose that is why novels and movies exist.

Anyway, I cheers to my own fantasy and my enjoyable retirement plans of writing. I just hope that can come true. Buy my books if you see them one day, I'm quite sure you can also find them to be usable as one of the best books of insults you will ever come across.


- De Lion Speaks

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cosplay Company Dinner

My company won the E50 award, so we are having a dinner celebration tonight at Parkroyal Hotel over at Beach Road.
The theme is Superstar Night and we are supposed to come dressed as superstars. But since some of my colleagues come dressed as movie or renowned novel characters (Captain Jack Sparrow & Sherlock Holmes), or famous historical personages (Napoleon & Cleopatra) and they were all nominated for the best-dressed award, I think the whole theme got derailed towards the cosplay direction instead.

The best-dressed winners; Luke & Tini
Some of my colleages did try to pry from me what I'll be coming as and my answer was: "I'm coming as myself, duh. I'm my own Superstar." When I began to suspect that the whole thing is reeking of cosplay at the last minute, I told them: "I thought of coming over as the Invisible Man but I don't think that would work."

Honestly, I didn't know that the theme is cosplay until the last minute. Apparently, somebody couldn't tell the difference between his or her star from his or her costume. Anyhow, I never liked the idea of dressing as somebody else. I happen to like my own fashion sense. I won the best-dressed award for our previous D&D, so I'm already satisfied :) Besides, it wouldn't be politically correct to let the same person win the same award twice in a row.

First-Person view of the mighty yells
As is the Law of the Universe, the Sales Division is the life of the party in every company that has a Sales Division. So my fellow sales peeps sharing the same table with me took the initiative to yum seng and the whole ballroom got enveloped with our voices, shouts and shrills since we mightily yelled our hearts out, probably to release some frustration at the same time too.

We did that multiple times till we attracted the other party animals like our GM David to come over and join in the fun.

I bagged the 5th prize - Wii

I remember that during our D&D, the much coveted top lucky draw prize was the Wii. I was hoping I could win that then but I didn't. So now that the lucky draw for tonight is in progress, I'm having a 'whatever' perspective on the whole matter.

It's now the 5th prize and the emcee announces it's the Wii. So they begin to dig into the pile of lucky draw entries and... the host announces my number. I just won the Wii. Springing from my seat, I marched up the stage, shook hands with Big Boss and he hands me the Wii.

The coveted top prize of the past company party is now mine. First thought that comes into my mind as I walk back to my table with my Wii in hand is Resident Evil 4 and the Resident Evil Remake of Resident Evil 1. It took a moment for the reality to sink into my mind.

So that's that for the Superstar company dinner. We drank much beer & wine past the point of satisfaction. I drank a lot of beer. Another incident of interest: when I waited for a cab outside the hotel, a group of China men came and tried to rob me of the next cab which I was entitled to since I came before them. They leapfrogged me and cut me in the queue.

So I walked past them till I was ahead of them in our leapfrog queue and I turned towards them and stared at every one of those fuckers in the eye, challenging them to leapfrog the queue again or come beat me up as I analyzed in my mind if I could pull out the road sign next to me and use it as a weapon should those wankers come charging at me. There were like 5 or 6 of them. They relented and started booking for a cab using the phone themselves and didn't pick a fight. Bullies are cowards at heart.

If they had taken the step to ask me politely if they could take the next cab, I would have gladly stepped aside to allow them to. But since they had no manners about them, I spared no quarter.

Anyway, the Wii I won is the newer black one and I got it soft-modded the very next day. It's good to be a gamer.  


Oh, and Jacelyn, my colleague-sister from the Specialist Team whom I heart to bits won the first prize: the iPad. I honestly think that both of us won the best prizes of the entire lucky draw. As my colleagues like to tell us; It's always the CHC & Specialist Team.

- De Lion Speaks

Friday, January 21, 2011

Yee Peng & Stanley Tie The Knot

I've been with my present Pharmaceutical company for 4 years servicing the Pharmacists at the retail outlets all over the country. When I first started this job, I was shopping for a knee plaster guard for my mum at my customer's outlet at Lot 1. During that time, the Pharmacist on duty there was Yee Peng (before she moved on to other pastures). She was my very first customer who gave me, one of her suppliers, a 10% discount with my purchase of the knee guard. Without me even requesting for it too. I'll never forget that.

And 4 years later, on this very day, Yee Peng ties the knot with Stanley. Finally, one of my favourite Pharmacists gets married off and Hooray for that!

So the wedding dinner was supposed to start at 7:30pm over at Swissotel Merchant Court. At around 6 plus in the evening, I raided my wardrobe with haste for clothes to wear for the wedding since I was running late. I didn't even have a blueprint of an idea about what to wear and in the end, I mixed & matched and threw this on myself all in the space of like 10 minutes:

And with that, I was ready to roll.

So I hustled & bustled to the train station and by the time I reached the venue (almost went in the wrong direction too), it was already past 8pm and the guests reception outside the ballroom was devoid of anyone, leaving me stranded with no knowledge of which table I was supposed to sit at. Gosh, why is this always happening to me at wedding dinners?

Yee Peng & Stanley were already in front of me getting ready for their march-in. My heart leapt when I saw Yee Peng with her prince :) What a lovely sight. After congratulating the couple, I told them not to worry about me, I'll find my table in one way or another.

Lucky me, Yee Peng's elder brother came out and he took over guiding me, their lost guest. So after sifting through the guests list, he pinpointed my table number and after thanking him, I dashed into the ballroom.

But I had to dash out immediately again: "Erm, they took away the table numbers." That got Yee Peng laughing out loud. Hey, I felt good making the bride laugh. Her brother then escorted me in and became just as lost since the table I was supposed to sit at was fully occupied. Somebody from another table must have usurped my throne.

With both of us lost in front of the whole ballroom which was showing the couples' romantic history photos on the screens, I retreated to the entrance door of the ballroom and stood there looking at the screens while her bro looked for a way; didn't wanna stick out in front of the whole ballroom like a sore thumb while everybody else was seating down.

When Yee Peng's brother came back to me, I said to him: "It's alright. There is an empty seat at the next table, I'll just take that." The table I was referring to was occupied by elderly folks but I didn't mind that at all. I'm cool with it. Besides, what else could we do, wrestle my usurper and uproot him or her from my originally allocated seat?

Just like at Derrick & Regina's wedding dinner, the folks who were strangers sharing the table with me were kind & thoughtful, making sure that I could reach the food and that I had enough to eat. I appreciate that.

But like a tragic comic, I made a blunder for myself: when they served the fried chicken, I couldn't tell which part of the chicken was which since the flour (must have been flour or perhaps breadcrumbs) covered the parts up entirely in fluffy blobs. So I just dived in and picked a part.

Turns out that after scraping off the bulk of the fluff, I got the chicken's head. Well, I couldn't eat that and just left the head on my plate while the chicken stared at me with those fowl eyes as if questioning me: "Dude, are you gonna start eating me or what?".

Out of every part of the chicken, I had to randomly pick the head, heh.

As is customary, the bride & the bridegroom went to every table to take pictures with everyone and I took the opportunity to snap pictures of them. In the midst of it all, I interacted with some of my other customers who were invited there too.

It's a pleasure indeed to witness one of my favourite Pharmacist get married and partake in the celebration. I then left her a WhatsApp message telling her what a beautiful bride she makes and sent my blessings again to her and Stanley. They will have a fruitful marriage, I just know it in my bones :)

- De Lion Speaks

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

'Delete' Buttons Shrink Memory Lanes

A few weeks ago, I was wondering why the earlier half of my blog entries failed to load their pictures on this blog site while the rest of the newer entries were fine & dandy. Needless to say, the thought of all my photo-taking gone down the cyber drain made me shudder. That's a BIG No-No.

Since I created every one of my blog entries on my iPhone using the BlogPress app, I fired it up in an attempt to figure out if there was a way I could rectify the problem. Looking at the number of uploaded posts within the app, I noticed that the number of posts made shown in the app was lesser than the actual true total (earlier entries made were not displayed).

Since the posts not shown in the app still exist on this blog site, that got me thinking that perhaps the app within my phone could only show so many entries due to memory issues. That actually made some sense to me: imagine that 40 years down the road, how would the app be able to handle 40,000,00 blog entries?

Therefore, I arrived at the deduction that perhaps my older blog entries which were 'pushed' out of the list within the app got their pictures deleted somehow.

And then I did a really stupid experiment: in an attempt to see if I could bring back the missing pictures of the older entries which got pushed out of the list, I deleted one of the December entries of last year which was still within the list titled 'Stuck In The Rain In The Middle of The Night', thinking that the entry would still be stored in the blog's server itself. The picture on the right is just a demo of how the delete process of a blog entry looks like within the app.

So did that solve my problem & bring back my missing pics? Nope, it didn't. And then I discovered that the mentioned entry I deleted to conduct this experiment was GONE FOR GOOD. It disappeared from the blog server as well.

The purpose of my blog is to record my memories since as a collective whole, they weave my life story. So one of the recorded moments of my story is now gone just like that because I touched that freaking 'Delete' button. Such an innocent little act gone so wrong.

Sure, I can rewrite that entry but it wouldn't be the same. The thoughts & feelings during a rewrite weeks after the incident would be different from the thoughts & feelings during the moment when the happenings of that entry were occurring and first-person perspective would become third-person. I would become my own spectator instead of being the participant involved in the moment.

And in the end, the solution to the missing pics problem turned out to be clicking the round 'Refresh' icon on the upper right corner under the 'Edit' button. That made all the old pictures come back up again on the blog server.

Precious lesson learned. So simple but yet so costly. Imagine if I was even more stupid & deleted more than one single entry for the experiment.


I'm still mighty pissed about it. It's like I tore off a page of my own story by my own hand. Actually, that was exactly what I did. It was entirely my own fault, Blogpress is still a wonderful app.

Fuck it. I can't even kick myself in the butt for it because that would give my legs a nasty cramp.

- De Lion Speaks

Monday, January 17, 2011

Arrows & 5 Stars Food

That's me with a bow & arrow. Nay, I have not quitted my job to live in the forest waylaying the rich & robbing the poor. Oh wait, that doesn't sound right. Anyhow, today is the first of 2 days of my company's Sales Cycle Meeting in 2011 for the sales anslysis of the previous year. The first day of the cycle meet is for fun & team-building games. The number crunching is reserved for the morrow.

So, the very first event of the day is playing Robin Hood at Dm archery range in Orchid Country Club over at Yishun.

The Instructor. Arrows would
bounce harmlessly off him
The archery instructor taught us the basics except for one obvious thing. So when he asked if we had any questions, I raised my hand & asked: "What are the guidelines for aiming?" I was surprised to see that he looked stunned there for awhile and he replied: "We will go purely by feel today when it comes to aiming. That's actually good enough. Formal teaching on aiming would take an hour plus."

At that, I felt my hunches telling me that perhaps he has deliberately left the techniques of aiming unexplained at the behest of my managers who organized this event. Maybe they wanted us to grope through the dark there & rely on team spirit or something. Good enough for me, I'll start groping then. Makes me glad I exposed their hidden agenda which they must have hoped nobody would notice, heh heh heh.

First-Person Shooter view of my score sheet
So we started off an individual competition to see which among us would emerge as what they call 'The Star Shooter'. What began as a lousy start for me (lousy as in I shot the grass in front of the target instead of the target itself like twice) soon escalated to the point whereby I won the individual competition and emerged as the Star Shooter with 90 Archery points. My Colleague-Homie Jacelyn was 2nd place with 80 points. As some of my colleagues like to say, it's always the CHC & Specialist Team. CHC stands for Consumer Healthcare. That's my job.

Well, whaddya know. Perhaps the fact that I could emerge as the winner has something to do with the fact that one of my all-time absolute favourite games I've been playing to death is Thief: The Dark Project.

The next archery event: they put up a series of targets depicting different animals and we took turns down the line each declaring which animal everyone should shoot. I'm glad the instructor had the decency to ask if anyone of us was uncomfortable with the idea of shooting simulated animals. I would never bring myself to shoot an animal if they were real, unless they wanted to eat me alive unprovoked. That's the only condition for me. In this case, I have no qualms about shooting animals made out of cardboard here.

I found it really boring that everyone else just said on their turns: "Blah blah animal, number blah blah from the left (or right)." So when my turn came, I shouted: "Fellas, I don't like the way that ram is looking at me, so let's kill it. Fourth animal from the left (if I recall correctly the order)!" just to break the ho-humness of the situation.

The final archery event was a 2-teams competition. Jace was the leader of one team and leaders get to choose their underlings, so I was the first guy she picked. I'm charmed, Jace. It's always CHC & the Specialist Team.

Each team was supposed to come out with a war cry that we were supposed to throw in the direction of the opposing team. So when the competing team chanted a tribal "Oogah Oogah blah blah blah" war cry at us, I just waved my hand and commented: "Man, that was so uncivilized." A little jeering at the opposing team just added to the fun. My team's war cry which I suggested was just a simple & thunderous "Bullseye!". Short, sweet and to the sharp point (pun intended).

And it was during this competition that I scored a direct dead-center hit on the target board as depicted in the pic above. Did I enjoy the archery? Oh heck, yes! And I absolutely loved the sound the arrows made when I let them loose from my bow and sent them flying as well as the solid 'Thunk!' sound they made upon impaling themselves with kinetic force on the target boards.

Always wanted to try Archery in real-life as opposed to just simulation playing PC games. It's quite physically taxing on the arm when done for too long in a row though. More so on the arm holding the bow than the arm drawing the string for me. Anyway, the pic on the left shows the prize awarded to me for winning the 'Star Shooter' title. It's a pen with an arrow quill.

At Kbox
And right after the archery shoot-out, we went to the Kbox KTV over at Kallang Leisure Park for the second event as well as to have Bento lunch. Lester gave me a ride there. Seems like he's always giving me rides lately.

By the time we reached Leisure Park, everyone was already kinda tired. Did I mention that archery can sap the juice out of you physically (strength to draw & steady the arrow) & mentally (concentration is required to aim properly while you perform quick mental mathematical gymnastics to predict the flight & path of the projectile).

My Bento lunch
Right after lunch, we divided ourselves into 3 opposing teams. Given just a $13 budget, each team was supposed to buy stuff to create the tallest & most creative structure (which I forgot to take pictures of). Whichever team could market their structure and convince the judge (Jason, our country manager) that their structure makes for the best purchase wins the competition.

So me & my 2 team mates went to Cold Storage to buy aluminum foil for the tall structure (with the idea of wrapping the foil round & round to create a tall flexible structure) and some tapes for holding everything in place. All these with just an initial budget of $3. Later when we were given the rest of the $10, we bought decorations to spice up the structure.

Each team was supposed to assign a presenter for the marketing and one of our product managers was in the same team as me. When we asked if she could present, she looked at me and told me that this is a job for the sales rep.

Jeez, this is just a game without hard and fast rules that lock us in our official roles. This is a team-building game, not a joint sales call. Some people just have to bring official work into everything even though it's just for fun. Either that or they just like using rank and title to get out of situations, however irrelevant. So I told myself that if she was too chicken about it, I'll do the presentation myself. And I think I did a great job at it even though my team didn't win.

Big Boss came down and joined us some time after the competition was over. We then proceeded to Equinox Restaurant in Swissotel for buffet dinner.

Our table at Equinox

Equinox chow
The food here is not bad and the highlight of the place is the gorgeous view overlooking the integrated resort area. It was drizzling and the view was a little obscured by a slight precipitation in the atmosphere on this day though.

So now that the dinner is over, I'm quite sure that upon reaching home later, I'm gonna take a shower and crash. I actually did. Might as well, there are number crunchings to do tomorrow. Gotta be on my toes since I didn't do so well for 2010 because of no-stock issues for 2 out of my 4 core products last quarter.

I always wanted to try archery because of Thief: The Dark Project which is one of my favourite all-time games, but I never thought that I would emerge as the ace archer for the day. Garrett the Master Thief would have been proud. That's something for me to smile about as I drift off to sleep.

Good night.
*1 arrow.. 2 arrows.. 3 arrows.. Thunk!*

- De Lion Speaks

The Machine Ate My Card

Machines can be like people. They seem to have the capacity to get hungry and are capable of swallowing things.

Time check: it's 01:31am now as I'm writing this. It's my daily ritual to have coffee before retiring for the night and since I needed to draw some cash for the morning later, I went over to Boon Lay Shopping Centre where I can buy coffee and use the teller machine there.

So I inserted my card into the machine's inviting gaping metallic mouth and proceeded to key in the amount I wanted to draw. And when I heard it making strange noises which only a machine having constipation could make, I found myself muttering "Uh-oh" under my breath.

What machine constipation noises, you ask? Come on, everybody has experienced hardware failure, especially if their machines happen to be running on Windoze. It's that kind of 'Kkrrr Kkrrrr' noises. That ATM machine was making that kind of noise as if it couldn't decide to swallow or spit out my card.

I suppose the bank engineers have included the following programming conditions on the teller machines:

void main();
(Yada Yada)
if (in doubt);
Just swallow;
(more programming Yada)

So the teller machine ate my card. And there's a reason why they printed the bank's hotline number on the machines. So I called the line and was told they will cancel the card immediately and I was given 2 choices:

1) Either they can mail a new card to me which will take at most a week or

2) I can pop down to any of the bank's branches and get a new card processed for me on the spot.

So I opted for option 2. I can't imagine how I could cope without a card for a week and I do not wish to trouble my Lioness to lend me enough cash to tide over the waiting period.

Throughout my life, friends have told me about the same thing happening to them. I'm now 38 and this is the very first time this has happened to me, warranting the reason for recording this event in my blog. I mean, it's akin to my cash withdrawal card losing its virginity to the teller machine after all these years, you know.

So this ought to be a significant first-time event but nah, there's nothing exciting about it and no fireworks went off. In fact, it's gonna be a damned hassle.

Rant over. Carry on.

Oh wait, in case you are curious, the machine didn't had the cheek to burp in my face. Otherwise, I would have fucking kicked it or something to return the courtesy.

- De Lion Speaks

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Letting Go

There is no reciprocation.

For every single step that I take to advance, I'll retreat 2. Soon, I'll let go completely and be free again. And while all these happen, I don't think you will even know.

A storm is brewing inside me but it makes no noise. Just like a silent Carol during Christmas. Winter is especially cold this time.

I'm tired of dancing alone.

Edit: Thanks to my Homies who have WhatsApped, SMSed, called me, used telepathy and asked me in person whether I'm having relationship problems with my Lioness. That is NOT the case. This is about something else that I'll keep secret & take with me to my grave. Unfortunately.

- De Lion Speaks

Thursday, January 13, 2011

An I.O.U. Meal of Gratitude

Because I woke up late today & had to mad-dash to the office, I didn't have enough time to draw money earlier in the morning. So I made a mental note to do so when I leave the office later.

Apparently, mental notes can be highly volatile. What are thoughts made of anyway, Acetone? You see, I just left the office to make my way to my customers and I'm at one of the coffee shops outside my office because I've decided to have some coffee & food first since I'm getting really hungry. I rarely eat breakfast but today is an exception.

I have just ordered a plate of $2.50 wanton noodles and a 80 cents cup of coffee when my forgotten fickle mental note came crashing back on me. Realizing that I have not drawn any moolah yet, I whipped out my wallet in near panic to see if by some miracle, I have at least $3.30 on me.

So mockery shows me I have just 2 dollars plus on me right now. I have more than enough for the coffee but not for the food. Imagining a cartoon exclamation mark flashing above my head, I dash over to the wanton noodle stall telling them to cancel my order because I forgot to draw enough money.

Too late, the cook has already started cooking my order. So I'm really surprised because the cook as well as the stall helper assure me that I can always pay for my food another day. They want me to eat my food and they are telling me it's ok.

I'm feeling really bad about this and begin to heap upon them a shower of apologies & gratitude. Each apology & expression of gratitude is returned with a smile & reassurance that it's ok even though I told these kind folks that I will only be returning here next week.

$2.50 is a small amount but their generosity is priceless to me.

The woman who sold me the coffee also tells me not to worry since she already knows that my office is nearby as I buy coffee or the occasional tea from her quite regularly. So she knows that I will be back.

Sitting here eating my wanton noodle, I'm now making a calendar note with alarm alert dated 18th of January on my phone to remind myself that when I next come back to the office on that date which is next Tuesday, I'll have to pay the kind folks the money I owe them.

I'm really pissed with myself but on the plus side, this incident reminds me not to give up hope on people. Generosity & kindness have not entirely gone the way of the Dodo Bird.

- De Lion Speaks

Monday, January 3, 2011

Company New Year Lunch Eurasian Style

Quentin's Eurasian Restaurant is situated at the Eurasian Community House over at Ceylon Road and this is where the Marketing department & the Sales division (except for the Wholesale team) will be having our company new year lunch with Big Boss today. The lunch starts at 12:30pm, so all of us in the Sales division participating in the lunch came here straight from the office since we figured we won't have adequate time to make much sales call before the event. My new colleague Lester from the GP team gave me a ride here & we had a great chit-chat session on our way here.

So um, according to the pic of the restaurant's main entrance at 3 o'clock right, it says 'eddie's place' right under the signage which reads 'Quentin's the Eurasian restaurant'. So what do we have here, an identity crisis? Well, I'm sure there is a reason for this but it got be baffled there.

I'm one of the firsts to come in and I made my way to one corner of the long table. Then the managers & Big Boss who were trailing right behind me seated themselves at the same end of the table. Seeing my fellow Sales reps having to take the other end of the table, I'm telling myself I want to be seated with them since they are more fun & livelier.

Besides, I'm not in the mood to be interrogated about work issues. I just want to relax & have lunch. Figured the chances of getting interrogated is higher when one seats among the Top Guns (but by the end of it all, that didn't really happen during this occasion).

So I got up and went over to the other end but shortly after, Martin, one of our managers beckons me to go back to their end. I will not delve into the intricacies of mathematics here but the reason for this is because each dish will be served in sets for 4 people each and they want me to make up the set of 4 on their end.

So I'm now finding myself back in my earlier seat. I was actually beckoned twice just now to come back to my seat and during the first time, I whipped out my mobile and pretended to be using it while not budging from the chair & making the 'gimme a minute' gesture in hopes that they would forget about it and just let me continue seating where I was. But get beckoned twice and your first trick becomes obsolete.

I'm finding myself walking about the restaurant snapping random pictures here & there with my phone while waiting for the food to arrive which seems to be taking forever. All of a sudden, it started raining big time and that added a nice touch to the East meets West ambience. It feels like Christmas again.

Goodness knows how long later, the food finally arrives and let me tell ya, the Eurasian food here is yummylicious! See those big round meatballs (beef) on the right? Oh man, especially those! And the fish not pictured here gave my tongue a delightful orgasm.

Alright, you may be thinking that since we had to wait so long for the food, our appetite just shot through the roof resulting in our tastebuds making a biased judgement in favour of the food. I really don't think that's the case. Come here and make your own judgement.

Angela from the Specialist team who is in the middle of enjoying her maternity leave finally arrives midway through the lunch and it's really great to see her & chat with her again. She gave me a ride after we split.

If you run out of ideas about where to eat or think you've tasted them all and are like me who didn't know that there are restaurants specializing exclusively in Eurasian dishes, just pop by here for something fresh for a nice change.

And don't forget to order them beef meatballs. Man, writing this blog entry makes me wanna sink my teeth into those round crispy yummies again..

- De Lion Speaks

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year Lunch of Grandeur With The Family

It's the first day of 2011. You know what I'm gonna say here first, don't you? Well, Happy New Year. Cliché, yes, but appropriately so nevertheless.

The interior of The Carousel
Truth is, I'm uploading this entry now weeks after the new year and my calendar tells me it's the 15th today. I've prepared the pics on the 1st itself but either life's commitments delayed me or I just can't catch up with myself.

Anyway, it's the tradition of my family to have new year lunch together and for this year, we went to The Carousel at Royal Plaza on Scotts for lunch buffet. The hotel is situated just across the overhead bridge from Far East Plaza.

3 musicians playing Classical pieces graced our presence the minute we walked into the place. I was delighted at first with their fine display of musicianship but upon closer examination, I noticed that for some reason, the expressions on their faces were that of dead-pan gloominess.

And no, they weren't playing dirges or sad love songs. Perhaps they had too much to drink the previous night on New Year's eve or their pay just got cut. I'm a Hard Rocker but I dig the discipline that goes into mastering Classical Music. But in this case, the emotions which ought to flow into the playing just wasn't there. So I decided to go appreciate the buffet instead.

Too much plate real estate
Anyhoos, the food here is great and I enjoyed the chicken rice with riceball as pictured on the right. What I mean by that is: the chicken was really yummylicious & real juicy but the riceball was meh. When it comes to chicken rice, the rice has to be fragrant but in this case, it wasn't. Maybe the chef forgot to add in some sesame oil into the mix.

And finally, I saw Mr Goh Chok Tong having his lunch there as well in one of the private rooms & 2 of his bodyguards were standing guard at the door. I hope they weren't hungry. This is the first time I saw Mr Goh in person and yeah, he's really tall alright, the pictures & footages of him were spot on.

So there & then, I updated my Facebook status:

"Having lunch with Mr Goh Chok Tong at The Carousel, though he's in his private room while the rest of us peanuts are outside. You know where to go if you need an autograph or file grievances."

All in good humour.

We had a great lunch & a great time, after which I brought my Lioness across to Far East Plaza for some shopping. Hunted for a new clip-on nose ring for myself but no dice.

Anyway, Happy New Year. Oh, I said that already? Take that as a double dose of happiness & well-wishing then.

- De Lion Speaks