It’s the weekend, so if it’s Not Safe For Work, it’s ok. Isn’t it?

It’s also ok during reservist in-camp training, but because they’re so strict with camera phones, we were spared looking at stills of Edison Chen’s conquests, because, I mean, who would bother transfering porn from their 3G camera phones to low tech non-camera ones?

All we had to make do with were detailed descriptions from the more passionate troopers. One of us was particularly devastated to discover that Cecilia Cheung did many, many such and such things, because he always thought that she was the pristine, innocent type of Hong Kong starlet. Then he added that if she was going to be photographed by her lover, she should at least “trim her down there”.

Speaking of ‘down there’, I know it’s a bit old, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed this clip of Jim Jeffries and his stand-up act:

(Warning: very strong language and scata scato scatta shit jokes)

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So cold

Photo by Shahram Sharif

So it’s been freezing lately, with night temperatures dipping to 23 degrees celcius. And the constant heavy rain, says CNA (I’ve been on their case quite often lately) this is the fault of La Nina, which is some Hokkien swear word, which is appropriate cos I’ve been drenched a couple of times this week, and it’s a bitch taking the dog out to do his business.

The full Hokkien term for this weather phenomenon is, “Wah lan eh, Lor Hor ah! La Nina Lah!”

At the Jerry Tan Eye Surgery and Gleneagles Hospital, where my father underwent cataract surgery this week, they haven’t turned off the air con from their usual Indoor Singapore setting, which is benchmarked against the Arctic setting at Changi Airport. It was so cold that stethoscopes looked more sinister than usual.

The only people who didn’t seem disturbed by the unseasonal cold weather were the Indonesians at the clinic and hospital. They continued talking as gutterally and loudly. Or maybe it was because there were a lot of them. When you close your eyes they sound like a stampede of turkeys. Which must have been scary to my Dad because he had eye surgery and couldn’t see for a few hours.

Actually, there were a lot of them. So many Indonesians that the hospital staff spent most of the time speaking in Indonesian, and when it came to our turn to be asked to fill up forms and pay deposits, we were spoken to in Indonesian first, then Mandarin, then English, when it was finally clear we weren’t fluent in the first two.

Then I remembered why there might be so many Indonesians in a private hospital in Singapore.

Last week, a platoon mate told me he was having a difficult time with his job posting in Jakarta. Having a young family to look after was the stumbling block, he said. It would have been alright if he were single. But Jakarta’s not the place for families, he said.

The healthcare sucked. His young daughter ran a temperature a few months ago and he rushed her to the hospital where the late former president Suharto was a patient. And it took only a few hours before he realised that even if Suharto weren’t at first ailing, the chances of him becoming the late former president were very high at that hospital.

He said that the attending doctor shoved his 18 month old daughter around like a piece of meat, oblivious to her wailing, and while taking her temperature, held her head down against the table as if to restrain a difficult patient, then said, ‘she got fever, now go outside and wait for medicine’.

I dunno. Maybe the Indonesians just like our air-con.

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Your vote counts (for nought)

The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed a poll on the left sidebar of this blog. For those of you who are reading this via RSS and whatnot, click on the permalink and come on down to this here blog in person and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Ever since Mas Selamat escaped during a toilet break last um… when did he escape? Anyway, after he escaped, quite a few people I spoke to thought he’d fled the country. This week, it seems quite a few people have changed their minds, and think that he may still be in hiding somewhere on the island, which is no consolation, really, to the dozens of NS boys I’ve seen standing in the rain at various checkpoints around the green north-western fringes of Singapore.

So I thought I might put up a poll thingie here for you to have something to click on as your thoughts go out to the folk who are still searching for the fugitive.

Exercise your vote:


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This is duh news

Photo by laffy4k

Seems CNA isn’t the only one that does duh headlines, (or can’t decide headlines).

I don’t know which one I like best:

“Infertility unlikely to be passed on” – Montgomery Advertiser;


“Alcohol ads promote drinking” – Hartford Courant

Read them all here (bitsandpieces.us).

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“Chloe”, called the teacher reading out the class roll. There was no answer. She called several more times, before adding the missing student’s family name.
“Chloe Tan?”

Still no response. And it didn’t make sense because the number on the roll didn’t tally with the number of students in the class. Chloe had to be here and not responding to her name being called, for some reason. The teacher then went down to the only child who hadn’t responded to the roll call and asked, “Chloe? Why didn’t you answer when I called your name?”, to which the child answered, “but that is not my name”.

Pointing to the name on the roll, the teacher asked again, “this is your name isn’t it?”

The child then very innocently replied, “yes, but my father and mother call me ‘Chelo’.”

That and other tales of parents naming their kids Anglo-Celtic-Judaic-European names and then mispronouncing them were exchanged by troopers waiting for our last parade to assemble last Saturday. There was also the story of how people were late for a ‘Jeremy’s‘ birthday party because the banner at the party venue read ‘Happy Birthday Jerome’. It took a while but it was finally explained by the birthday boy that he was named ‘Jerome’, but that his parents pronounce it as ‘Jer-o-me’, and that’s what he has always answered to.

It’s not dyslexia, obviously. Any other non-European, non-Roman alphabet-using ethnic group would have difficulty even approximating the correct pronunciation of their given names, and Mandarin pinyinisation has simply given Chinese in this country names just as foreign-sounding. Add to that parents who embrace the use of names from other than their own ethnic origin, and you’ll get instances of kids telling their teachers, “my name is Penelope and it rhymes with antelope”.

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