Saturday, October 25, 2008

Day 08: Strays, Being Malaysian, Mandarin, Mug & Sim Lim

You know I’ve always thought that there was something strange about the city area. I finally realized what it was. There are no strays here. No animals. No cats. Nor dogs. Nor rats. Nor birds. Oh wait, there are birds! I hear them amongst the trees at night, making their bird noises…. Hear them. But I don’t actually see them. For all I know, the sounds come from loudspeakers planted on trees to make us believe that they are other living creatures in the city besides us routine zombies. Hahaha, that actually sounds ridiculous, but this is Singapore leh (heh), it could actually happen! But yeah. If I don’t see the birds, they don’t exist. So where are all the strays at? Were they all caught and dumped in KL? Because there's plenty of strays back home!

Why do Singaporeans always ask me if I am Singaporean. -_- Are they not exposed to Malaysians enough to know that there are Chinese in Malaysia? And what is so different between how a Singaporean Chinese and a Malaysian Chinese girl apart from the trendier upmarket clothes and more makeup worn by the Singaporean Chinese? Can somebody explain this to me please?

While ordering food at a hawker stall one needs to constantly remember to order in mandarin. Otherwise they look at you weird. Not the hardest thing to do, but takes a lot of getting used to since most orders made in KL/PJ are made in Cantonese and hawkers there would look at you weird if you speak to them in Mandarin, prompting them to ask if you are from out of town, tempting them to charge you a wee bit higher because you might not know any better, haha.

For such a bustling city/street of activity, the shops here close too damn early. I was looking for food at about 9pm, but many shops in the CBD area were already closed for the day. At 8.30pm. Poor me went home hungry and decided I was too lazy to go out again, so had instant noodles accompanied by my trusty AXN for dinner.

I was exposed to a new brand of rootbeer at lunch. It’s called Mug and it tastes almost like ANW rootbeer… and speaking of ANW and I have not seen a single ANW shop in Singapore! Why ar? Ooh, I’m gonna go try a MOS burger for lunch today since everyone has been leaving comments on my blog raving how they are the greatest thing invented since…… toasted bread with kaya & butter. Wait, is there really anything greater than tosted bread with kaya & butter?

I’ll pop by Sim Lim to check out their wares soon. I really need to get my hands on a camera so I can start taking pictures. It’s so dull to just keep reading words right? I asked around and the feedback was that Sim Lim was Singapore’s answer to our Low Yat plaza. There’s another also, called Funan complex or something.

Despite how we used to be one nation, people here are a little different. In their behaviour, character and mentality. I still can't put my finger on it or articulate it, yet. It was quite evident when I was at a club last night, an upate which will be kept for the next post since this one is getting a little too long anyway. So wait for it. :)

Hmm, so what should I do today? Think I'll go for a pint at Brewerks. Oh shit. Now you know where to find this bitch if you want to pelt rotten perishables at her for slagging off your country. :P


  1. Be careful with the shops at sim lim. Many are notorious for cheating. Make sure you know the camera's standard price and the included accessories before buying from them.

    Do check out saturday newspaper. Got many good offers.

  2. The last ANW outlet closed a long time ago.

    Like what ak said, be careful while shopping in Sim Lim, if you don't know your product well or step into a blacklisted shop, most likely you will get the worse end of the deal. You could head down to clark quay for food next time if you really end work late.

  3. sim lim square aint so good, but you should see funan if you have time. so, on youre evaluation of mug root beer, did you like it better than a&w?????? =D

    FA: I'll check out funan first then. My allegiance is to AnW so AnW still better for me, Hehe

  4. If you need to place a finger on it, most Singaporean Chinese, especially the CBD ones, think they are the best Chinese...not the China ones, not Malaysian Chinese, not Indonesian Chinese; erm they're mostly rich but nope.

    If you're feeling homesick and longing to see strays & public facilities which don't work etc, just get across the causeway to JB. You'll know you're home when halfway across you'll see rusting lamp-posts where the lights don't work and miraculously the queues disappear :P If you're lucky you might just see a stray cat or two.

  5. My bird died.. Too upset to blog about it. *sigh*

    FA: AIYOH. I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING HIS PROGRESS!!! I thought he was eating already!!! How can suddenly DIE ONE! *sniff* poor birdy

  6. i was there at brewerkz yesterday evening .. expensive beer

  7. U want to see strays? Please proceed to the housing estates; i have around 3-5 stray cats in just the high rise block i am residing. Not to mention we have a few hundred blocks in Yishun.

    Stray dogs would be quite difficult to spot though; usually they are nearer to the forested area.

    If u want to see birds, come to yishun block 742 around 7pm. You have thousands of birds flying around, pooing whenever and whereever they are.

    Oo, and if u want food late at night, try the geylang area; plenty of late night foodies around there.


  8. I was in Singapore for a total of 10 years. Great place. After another year or 2 you might find it weird going back to Malaysia.

    However, you are right the food is a disappointment. Nevertheless, there are still roses among the thorns. These are some of my personal favourite whenever i go back to Singapore.

    1. Chili Crab & Black Pepper crab - Jumbo Seafood
    2. White Pepper Crab - NO SIGNBOARD
    3. Crab Bihun - No.3 crab

    Quite a lot of crabs!

  9. Try going to HDB estates, you will sure see more than a couple of cats lying around....some even on roof of cars.

    Sim Lim is a cheat. Go to Funan or Peninsula Complex (or something like that which is next to Funan if you are looking for cameras.

  10. If you know which camera you want, it might be worthwhile to check if it's cheaper at Mustafa centre. Don't know what that is? Ask your colleagues. One suggestion, don't go there in the middle of the night unless you're asking for serious culture shock.

    There are strays (mostly just cats and rats) around in the city area, but they're usually nearer to the food places (or maybe just Clark/Boat Quay. Speaking of which, everything, especially food places, in the CBD area close earlier. The working stiffs have all left the area after a long day of slogging mah...

    Have fun in SG. I think you'll do fine. ;)

  11. But that's the fun of going to Mustfa at 0300 on a weekend night!

    Sim Lim is fine to shop if you know what you're looking for and have an idea of price. I've bought stuff at Song Brothers (ground floor) and it was fine. Funan is more legit and has more variety I think.

    Late night food? Hit Clarke Quay, Little India or Chomp Chomp. I also like Food Republic (VivoCity and Wisma Atria) but not sure when their last call is...

  12. if you are looking for a point and shoot, the panasonic LX3 is a must buy. RM 1699 retail here. Try to bargain cheaper. Midvalley shop trying to sell that to me with a free 4GB SD Card, and a tini wini cost RM 0 tripod.

    have fun

  13. You ever hit the Brewerkz at Changi T3?

  14. Ah, the Singapore/Malaysia conundrum.
    I guess maybe its because you're brought up in Malaysia and that's why you're used to everything Malaysian.
    They always say, 'The grass is greener on the other side' and that applies to whichever side you actually get on. When in Singapore Malaysia seems like paradise with super cheap goods and relatively carefree and simplistic living compared to Singapore.
    When in Malaysia Singapore just seems much more cosmopolitan (this coming from living in KL for about 2 years), organised and well, functional.

    I found Malaysian food to tend to be much sweeter than Singaporean food, sometimes to the point of being somewhat sickly sweet. Wasn't used to the gross hokkien mee which was all squid ink black and other strange Malaysian dishes like Roti Canai, which again, seemed much sweeter and soggier than ones back in Singapore no matter where I ate.
    In SG it tends to be crispier and more savoury, than sweet.
    After a while of bitching to high hell about Malaysia I decided to lighten up when I realised the whole point of going to another country is to experience and immerse yourself in its culture rather than expect similarities in a foreign land - no matter how close it is to your home country.
    Its like going to the U.K for a tour and making a beeline for a local chinese restaurant instead of trying the local cuisine, then bitching about it.
    So when I find something weird, strange, curious, gross, surprising, etc - I just smile and chuckle at the differences. If I like it, great. If I don't, well too bad, you can't like everything. :)

    I guess it all boils down to what you prefer and how open you are to a different culture.
    Relax, chill out and just let it flow. You may find the quirks and differences of Singapore from Malaysia a refreshing or gross change to what you're used to, but a new experience nevertheless.

  15. I dunno. FA, DY etc: I find that personal experiences vary, w.r.t. expectations, attitude and serendipity.

    You might be expecting different things, and you react in line with whether things meet, exceed or are below expectations.

    Singapore can be a freakin blast. I *love* the food at the Takashimaya food courts, Food Republic at Wisma Atria, the duck rice (which you can't find easily in Malaysia), the mee poh, the ice jelly, MOS Burger (they used to be better), and the non-hawker food is AMAZING - Italian, fusion, Mediterranean etc. Gawd, I'm hungry thinking about it. I like Sentosa. I love the shopping - more variety, esp for guys. I love the public transportation. I love the girls, who try to compete with each other on clothes and wear the tiniest of shorts. Ehehehehehehe. Heh. Eheh.

    I hated Paris. Eiffel Tower was full of weird people selling souvenirs like I'm in Petaling Street. It was too touristy. The streets smelled. The food was so so and so expensive. But some people find it extremely romantic. I much prefer the amazing, friendly, laid-back lakeside towns of Switzerland.

  16. there ARE cats! you just havent been looking at the right places ;P also, stray dogs do happen occasionally, just not that often a sight.

  17. Sim Lim is fine, just don't go to the shops on the first floor go upstairs.

    If you know what you want though you're better off going to a camera shop though, the best place to check those out is in Peninsular Plaza (Cathay Photo is great).


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