Sunday, June 25, 2006 yesterday i tagged along with ian and family to watch Mandala, a charity concert put up by the people of Mission Angkor. their mission : to buy an anesthesia machine for the Angkor Hospital for Children, so that sweet and innocent little children of Cambodia can get their hearts repaired properly. because waking up in the middle of open-heart surgery to a masked man poking around in your chest is not one of those early-in-life experiences you want to remember right along with reading Green Eggs and Ham for the first time. at the end of it all, not only did they raise enough money for an anesthesia machine, but also an autoclave machine, a pulse oximeter, an electric syringe pump, an espresso machine, a Dawn of the Dead 4 arcade game machine, and other important and complicated medical equipment needed to preserve young lives.
i honestly didn't expect a charity concert, much less one headed by people just out of jc, or still in jc, to be anything really fantastic. most of the time charity concerts are just a night of polite and pleasant entertainment as a token of appreciation for your $50 ticket donation. but this concert really surprised me with the really high standard performances, the sincerity of the performers, organisers and MCs (the hilarity-inducing duo of jireh and amogh who i remember seeing acting with xingning back in jc, when xingning was being a chaste yet hot nun). it was totally entertaining all the way through, with rjc unearthing a bunch of really oustanding singers, ian's friend hideg (whose name is apparently the result of an unfortunate spelling error) who was just spinning all over the stage and astounding us all with her vertical splits, a really funny one-man-show about the dreams of stardom of Macik-donna the malay floor sweeping auntie, and little kids who sound like they popped out from the womb playing a joyful tune on the violin. congratulations to the team that put up the amazing show and who gave us a better reason than the mango sale to pop open our wallets, and to the kids of the hospital who will pass through life with new and improved little tickers.
i wonder whether any humanitarian youth group will ever travel overseas and be inspired to run a charity concert for the Timbuktuian National Hospital for the Toothless Old Men With Missing Limbs Who Are Also Absolutely Incontinent (TNHTOMWMLWAAAI, which also coincidentally happens to be how the name of the hospital is pronounced in the local timbuktuian dialect). maybe charity concerts are successful only when held in the aid of the very young and very cute.
tomorrow we start school again, which is bad news both for us and for the patients fearfully awaiting a fresh barrage of medical students invading their personal space. i can only hope that the little bit of knowledge we accumulated during the 6 short weeks in eclinics hasn't been forgotten already. knowing me i will probably kick off my first physical examination saying something terribly observant like "and moving down to the abdomen, we have... AAGHHH! there is a hole! there is a hole right in the middle of his abdomen! for God's sake someone get a band-aid! it is a gunshot wound! it is an open bedsore! it is... oh hold on, it's just his belly button."
| mando | 5:55 AM
Monday, June 19, 2006 last week, me and ian decided to assume the alternate identities of just-off-the-boat chinese immigrant girl, and head-vobbling astounded indian tourist from Mumbai, and walk around our little leafy island to see it with fresh eyes. instead of walking around orchard road, battling the combined perils of teenage flag-seller, lightning-handed flyer distributer, and yellow-undergarmented street eyebrow plucker, we decided to head over to little india to experience the finer things in life : Khulfi, cheap bangles, and South Indian food.
The Khulfi Bar is a little ice cream parlour that advertises its wares as being a healthy dessert, able to improve the constitution, raise low blood pressure, lower high blood pressure, evacuate a constipated bowel and cure cancer as well as male pattern baldness all in the same creamy spoonful! maybe i exaggerate just a little. but the indian ice cream is a healthy alternative to the Ben and Jerry. the Khulfi served is all natural, and is made of low fat milk (unfortunately not fresh from the udders of a sacred cow, to increase their overheads), fresh fruits and nuts, indian spices and honey to create a tasty treat encased in an aluminium cone.
Located along Upper Dickson Rd in the heart of little india, it's easily identified as the most cheerful little house in its row, with its relak-relak yellow umbrellas inviting you into the courtyard to enjoy a dish of ice cream, while being watched over by the five headed cobra being suspended from the second floor.
The ice cream is fresh and tasty and it is served in cute little metal cups that are so pretty that you want to put them into your bag and take them home! but you can't do that, because it is against the law. and if you break the law, boys and girls, santa will come down your chimney on christmas and not give you any presents, steal your tv, kick your dog, and put you in a ziplock bag and smack you silly with a celery stick. so don't take things that don't belong to you, little children, including airline cutlery.
i wish i could put onto this blog a medley of delicious-sounding lipsmacking noises like "ooh! mmm! yumm! mwah! ummm!" but technology has its limitations. actually technology doesn't really have any limitations, but i do. thusly, you will have to try the khulfi for yourself.
Khulfi Bar 13 Upper Dickson Rd 6294 7554
After that, ian took me to his family's favourite non-oily indian restaurant for dinner. the chicken briyani is possibly the most delicious and non-oily briyani in the universe, and everything tastes really natural and clean, like it has been saturated in its own juices. a horrible fate for the chicken, but good news for our tastebuds.
we were highly amused by the last picture. ian probably thinks that the menu is a homage to him.
| mando | 6:39 AM
Sunday, June 18, 2006 Flight of the Conchords - Business Time
I now present to you New Zealand's fourth most popular comedy folk-parody duo, Flight of the Conchords! They are probably New Zealand's second most popular comedy folk-parody duo whose members include one regular singing funny guy, and one singing funny ex-hobbit. It is true, one of them was in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, and he was originally credited as "Tiny Hobbit #23", but he gained a large following of fans who christened him Figwit. That's actually a really good hobbit name, Figwit. I think i will spend more quality time naming every nameless hobbit in all three movies. Unfortunately due to my lack of creativity and my predisposition to plagiarism, my hobbits will probably be named a variant of Fogwot, Fugwut, or Fagwat. Vowels are the source of my creative power.
So anyway, these two guys are brilliant comedians. I have no idea what folk normally sounds like, but they are indeed a very stellar folk-parody duo. They play guitar and sing silly songs they wrote in their apartment that will make milk come out of your nose if you are so inclined to drink milk while watching a funny video.
The cute one with the glasses is called Jemaine, and the other cute one with the large amount of curly hair is called Bret. I want to marry both of them, but that is illegal, so i won't.
Saturday, June 10, 2006 so one day, one of us pulled the little chain attached to a little lightbulb above our heads and said "heydiddly-doodles, why don't we take a stroll to that treetop walk thing that was on the news a while back? it ought to be a mighty relaxing day. i mean, old people were doing it. on the news! and we'd get to see monkeys!"
and so, totally neglecting the fact that we get to see monkeys every day by turning on the national geographic while fishing around in a bag of doritos for the biggest chip, or looking in the mirror, we armed ourselves with a bottle of water and a never-say-die spirit, and decided to seek out the macritchie treetop walk.
the first thing we realised was that the elderly nature lovers on tv must have been specially choppered in, or carried into the canopy by great swarms of butterflies, because it is highly unlikely that the kindly octagenarian pointing at the scarlet breasted woodpecker with his walking stick took the 7km forest jogging trail without breaking a hip. or maybe it's just that i refuse to believe that some punk 80 year old could make it all the way up there while looking like he was fresh from a day spa, while i almost had a minor heart attack.
the 7km walk, although laden with bricks and stones and sweaty joggers who seem to bound from rock to rock as if descended from some species of mountain goat, is a good chance to get acquainted with all the leafy things that our good God created. it is also a good chance to sing out-of-tune hiking songs to ourselves, look out for wildlife, and to see who can massacre more of the buzzing winged things that our good God also created. halfway along the trail, what did we see but a whole bunch of gibbering little monkeys! we cursed ourselves for not bringing our wallets so that we could offer them a citibank credit card to hoist our lazy asses to the top of the hill in a banana-leaf palanquin. those damned monkeys do nothing for free.
at the 5km mark, we froze in shock and horror that we had hiked all that way only to find that we had made a terrible terrible mistake!
"noo! it's a terap!!!"
a few more kilometers on, along a path laden with tantalizing signs promising the treetop walk a couple more metres away, we finally discovered the holy grail, the goal of our quest, the treetop walk.
although ian was terribly excited about seeing species of bugs that lived twenty metres above the bugs we had been swatting on our way up, i couldn't help but wonder to myself, what's so fascinating about forest canopies anyhoo?
the obvious answer to my question : they are pretty.
it was great to have the whole bridge to ourselves, because normally they allow only a certain number of people on the bridge at a time in case our combined kilos cause us to fall to our doom and join the great circle of life by becoming forest floor fertilizer. so if there are a bunch of people behind you, you have to get on and off the bridge chop chop without having half a second to look for the scarlet-breasted woodpecker. unfortunately even though we stayed up there for a good half hour keeping our eyes peeled for the elusive bird, he was a no show. all we got to observe was the awesome majesty and beauty of the scarlet-breasted woodpecker treetrunk holes. but nevertheless, it was nice and peaceful to kick back and relax twenty metres in the air surrounded by green.
| mando | 2:42 AM
i was also able to observe the cruel mistreatment of wildlife. i present to you exhibit A : golden monkey caged in his own environment, unable to run wild and free and pick the lice off the gleaming backs of his fellow simians.
on the concrete path leading to the Singapore Island Country Club, we had one last encounter with wildlife, a beautiful farewell gesture from the great forests of singapore. in other words, we were scared completely shitless by a big fat monitor lizard leaping from the path onto the grass.
as intrepid explorers, we forged a path out of the wilderness (ie : called a cab to pick us up at SICC) and decided that after all that exercise, we were due for emergency calorie replacement therapy. stat.
| mando | 2:39 AM
Thursday, June 08, 2006 i'm still in the process of putting up a photobucket gallery of austria. with my amazing dedication and intense focus, i can safely say they will probably be finished by the time all the albino tigers in the mandai zoo learn how to do complex algebra. so in the meantime, while those big white man-eating kittycats learn how to cross-multiply, here are some collages to keep your eyes busy.
| mando | 8:17 PM
Wednesday, June 07, 2006 luohan had her birthday chalet last weekend, and spent the day being happily boggled by the hordes of people who turned up to celebrate her twentyfirsting! there was sun and sand and sea and food and luohan's dad telling everyone to whoohoo in honour of luohan (and sam yang bonding with papa luohan in the whoohooing process), and in chek's case, there were many many bapoks. luohan was looking muy gorgeous in the first dress she has ever worn, and makeup courtesy of serene (evidence below)! at the instruction of all her party guests, luohan spent the day trying to walk in a beauty queen fashion, waving her hand at the adoring crowds like the queen of ubequistan! being the queen of ubequistan is a pretty tiring job and soon she transformed back into cute little luohan again. i love judogirl birthdays because it's a good chance for us to gather and talk rubbish and play cards and attempt to eat all the food at the buffet table, and to hog the mahjong table when none of us know the rules of mahjong and are prone to mistaking the one of bamboo for a flower tile.
luohan's gang helped her decorate the chalet with tons of balloon art, and arranged elaborate birthday surprise plans involving luohan's grand celestial descent from the second storey of the chalet, sparklers, and a big crowd of woohooing people!
happy birthday fishy! you're one of the funnest, nicest, kindest people i have ever known, always ready to help anyone in need, never judging anyone, grand mistress of making balloon flowers, and ever-eager to show off your cheek tumour to all who desire to see it! i wish you many more happy birthdays, lots and lots of whoohoos, and many more preety dresses!
| mando | 7:39 PM
lots of photowhoring opportunities have recently come up, one of which is thanks to Randal Low (not Randall Tan the tcs5 actor who is 30+ but still looks like he's in poly) the 21 year Old Eligible Bachelor, who celebrated the neverending aging process at the Acacia restaurant in Bishan Park with good friends who desired nothing more for randal than a bright and prosperous future, everlasting love, and a large amount of whipped cream up his nostrils. here's to randal the mandal, who always provides us with a healthy amount of "HELLO!"s accompanied by the signature randal handwave.
us and the bouncing birthday boy, pre-cream; randal and big juicy blackforest cake, flanked by two blackforest-dwelling monkeys; what was originally a photo of Randal and His Girls, transformed into Randal, his girls, and jumping boys in background; Randal and DQ covered in cream, after a heartwarming embrace; hungry happy people awaiting dinner; the gorgeous blackforest cake : randal foresaw the great truth that the prettier your cake, the less people will feel inclined to cover your face in it; girls! ; me and pek jen heng, one half of the dynamic duo that is Pek & Chek; Randal wonders if by keeping his face this way, girls will flock from far and wide just to lick him on the nose.