Sunday, July 28, 2013

Free and Easy

Excessive planning screws up the travelling mood. My previous trip to Sydney, Seoul, and Bangkok was much more enjoyable because I just went free and easy. All accommodation and travel expenses had been paid for, all activities were already planned for, and no shopping plan was made. I just went with the flow and took care of passport. I did not bring a lot of money or tonnes of gadget so I was not so worried about pickpockets etc. Europe is kinda tricky because there is a lot of traveling between cities and countries, not to mention the vast difference of temperature and the notoriety of pickpockets. All the planning has been very irritating and I got very angsty with the packing. There has been hardly any change to my wardrobe since many years ago. It will be quite embarrassing to wear the same T-shirts from many years back although it will make it seem that I am forever young. I could bring some shirt but they look fugly and that is the reason why I never brought shirt for my previous trip. In the end, I simply can't be bothered anymore with packing: if I bring too many clothes, I will just throw there and if I don't have enough.

I am more excited with the fact that I don't need to work for the next 2 days than with the trip itself. Haha.. Had been sleeping for 5 hours each daily because the packing and the morning shift. Yesterday I concussed and slept throughout the plane journey. I was lucky that the seat next to me was empty. I put my bag at the other seat and I could extend my legs. I woke up feeling very tired and I am glad I managed to convince my parents to take plane and not overnight train in Europe. Can't imagine how tiring it will be.

I did not know what my sister did to my camera but it was not working as what I experienced when I tried it for the first time. Last week I tried using it when my whole room was darkened and the results were shockingly good despite the absence of any light. Yesterday, it only gave black screen sigh.. Tried to fiddle with it until 2AM to no avail. Sigh.. Went to Canon shop today to learn how to manually adjust but it was quite difficult to use. Yes the lighting without flash is okay but the image is always blur. I never get blur photos in auto mode!! I don't know how when my sister will be using it as even in auto mode, she is getting the sign that her hand is shaking. Haiz..

At the trip back home, a motorcycle crashed on to me. I nearly tripped but with God's grace, I did not fall and I did not break any thing. No bruises to my calf which was hit by the motorcycle's wheel too. Sigh.. My sister was scolding the driver although I did not think it made any difference since I was already hit. Bleah.. I just checked my calf to make sure nothing bled or broke and I moved on. Come to think of it, I can just get a police report and claim for my travel insurance actually. Anyway, still glad nothing was hurt.

I will be going to airport soon now :) I hope for a safe and exciting 2 week trip. I leave behind an office assignment but heck it. I only got the email 3 days before my trip, I simply have no time to think and brainstorm ideas. Haha.. Gonna be screwed upside down when I am back but well.. that's in another 2 weeks.

Monday, July 22, 2013


On my way home on Saturday night, I decided to pay a visit to Takashimaya B2 Food Fair. Nothing caught my interest except for one stall near the entrance. There were a lot of people crowding around it, it had an exotic name which I never encountered before, it had colourful food stuff which a range of fanciful flavour, and there was a hammering sound. I found it intriguing as I could not tell whether the food was an ice cream or a cookie.

The name of the food is Schneeballen  which literally means "snowball". It originates from a city in Germany (Deutschland) called Rothenburg. Basically it is a cookie made into a "messy ball shape" with sugar or flavoured icing on the surface. I refer it as flour-ball actually. Each ball is about 8-9 cm in diameter. It is supposedly damn hard to bite and this is where the hammering comes in. You need to put the ball into a paper back and you hammer it till it breaks up to bite-sizes. 

Each ball is quite pricey at $6.90. There were some promotional prices if you buy in larger quantity. I bought 3 for $18 and they were packaged in a long metal tin cum coin bank. This metal tin supposedly worths $5. Unfortunately, there is no way I am going to keep it for long term as the inside has turned rather oily because of the balls. The flavours I bought were banana, cheese, and green tea. Since they did not hammer these balls for me, I "smashed" them against floor before eating. Lol. After smashing, they are not hard to bite. In fact, the hardness is comparable to typical cookies.

I ate the cheese flavoured snowball yesterday. Initially it was quite nice but towards the end, I found it too sweet. I ate the green tea flavoured snowball just now and it was rather disappointing. The coconut taste was too overpowering and I could hardly taste the green tea flavour. Coconut + green tea is a weird combination in the first place, isn't it? Haha.. I am saving my banana as the last for tomorrow. Lets see how it goes.

Anyway, the fact that I am bothered to write about these balls means that they are pretty good although I have to admit that its uniqueness was what drew my attention initially. But if you ask me to buy again with this kind of price: no way! Haha.. I am not a fan of sweet food and I think this is just like a fancy food that tourists eat when they are travelling. It is not something nice to be eaten everyday

On the left is the 30cm-high metal tin container cum coin bank and on the right is the full menu. Just click to see the larger version. They look like ice cream right??

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lucky GSS!!

I am not someone who is usually lucky with lucky dips, lucky draws, etc. It seems that when I aim to win something, I will win nothing. It is my pleasure to share a good news today: I won a lucky draw! The lucky transaction is my purchase of Sailor Moon S.H Figuarts ^^ I am going to skip over the toys as my topic is the lucky draw. That transaction was selected for Great Singapore Sale lucky draw promotion by Standard Chartered. Being selected does not equate to winning so I am glad that I am lucky enough to get a prize. Hehe..

I was aiming for Apple TV or Samsung Galaxy S4 or the stay at Resorts World Sentosa. Even the "smallest" prize of $30 Starbucks voucher is also okay. I got the second lousiest prize: a pair of Golden Village Gold Class ticket. Sigh.. I am not a movie person so I thought this kinda wasted. In addition, I have nobody to watch movie together. Anyway, after I googled about this Gold Class thingy, I changed my mind. I think it is okay to get this prize as I will experience a movie experience that I will never pay with my own money. The cost per ticket is $29 so my prize is worth $58. That is roughly about how much I paid for the Sailor Moon figurine. Hehe..

The ticket will be sent sometime in August. I hope I don't need to use them together because that means I need to find a friend to accompany me. If I can use one by one, I will just be thick skin and watch movie alone for two times. Haha.. The next question is of course: what movie?

Small happy moment in the midst of my stressful packing time. Thank you, God!! I hope I can win more leh!! Haha.. But my subsequent transactions have never been selected for the lucky draw :( Lol..

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bought Galaxy Note 8 ^^

I am abnormal! Normal people get excited when they are going for a long holiday overseas. I feel the reverse. Just to the thought of it already makes me feel very tired. As the departure date looms closer, the reluctance just grows. I am lazy to make a list of what to bring and what to buy if something is still missing. I am lazy to dig out the clothes I want to bring. I am lazy to start packing. I am lazy to clear my work before I go for holiday. And the list of laziness is still long. Sigh.. My ideal holiday is just to relax on my own bed.. I don't mind travelling to a quiet nice resort, just to lie on the beach enjoying the sun, sea, and sand. I get tired with the thoughts of traversing 5 countries in 2 weeks: what to bring, what clothes to bring so that I always look good in pictures, which places of interest to visit, etc. I actually feel kinda excited to go to new places for the first time but at the same time, I am worried about my own safety. Listening to stories of pickpockets, robbery, shooting, etc surely does not help.

After digital camera, the next big thing to get is a tablet. I finally bought Galaxy Note 8 :) Wanted to get it on Thursday but guess what: someone fell down and caused my pharmacy ceiling to collapse! Since I was doing closing shift, I had to stay back for the repair. I did not mind since I can claim the extra hours anyway. Haha.. As Friday was the last day of promotion, I was highly pessimistic that I would still be able to get the Harvey Norman promotion. My luck was still with me and I made a reservation with Millenia Walk branch. Even after making a reservation, I was still thinking whether the promotion was worth it or not. In the end, I bought it as I did not want to think any more about it over the weekend. $788 for the tablet + $112 for 2 year additional insurance + $29 for screen protector. Haiz.. The freebies worth close to $200: Samsung pouch ($48), 9000mAh battery pack ($118), and the memory card (can't remember). I am feeling quite disappointed with the pouch as I actually prefer a book cover. Sigh.. Come to think of it, if I bought it at some unofficial shop, I would be paying about $640 for the tablet + $20 for the screen protector + $20 for third-party book cover + $20 for memory card. 

Honestly I would not buy a battery pack so that "free" battery pack is the one that made me reach the decision to just heck it and get from Harvey Norman. My Samsung Galaxy Note battery is already like shit after only about 1 year. I can't get myself to get an additional battery since I will be changing phone in 1 year time. Spending money for battery is always difficult for me. Anyway, lame shit reasoning. Do not want to buy battery but do not mind getting "forced to buy free battery pack". I don't know whether it was a good decision to buy the tablet since I don't know what I am going to use it for. I have not really played with it but I am quite impressed with the S-Pen when I tried it for a while yesterday.

Today I went out with my best friend since junior high school days in Indonesia. She finished her 1 year course in Beijing and is going back to Jakarta. She is on transit here for about 1 month because her sisters are here. It is always great to be able to meet an old friend after a looong time and we can still talk as if we just had a meeting on the day before. With our age, of course the topic of getting married will not be far. Haha..

Seriously, why do people associate a guy staying single as being gay? It is not that I am not interested in girls, I just want to date someone which I am sure that I will be marrying. Sounds very old-fashioned but that's me. I also still enjoy my freedom and I still love my money. These are my reasons for not being interested to be in a relationship yet. On top of that, I am extremely picky! I have a long list of inclusion and exclusion criteria for a girl. Anyway, now if a guy ever wonders if I am gay because I am still single, I will just reply "Oh so are you interested in me?". And if I am being questioned by a girl, I will reply "Can you bear my 4 children: 2 guys and 2 girls?". That's one of my criteria because my vision of an ideal family is to have 2 sons and 2 daughters. Lol.. Anyway, thanks to my friend who believes strongly that I am not gay. Lol.. Yes you have to be close enough to me to know my selfish reasons for staying single. Having said that, I am very open to a relationship. If anyone has a girl who can fits into my criteria, I don't mind getting introduced to her. Hehe.. And by the way, so far, all the girls that I think of "having potential" to be my soulmate are always taller and richer than me, and are always non-Catholics. Haiz.. When will I ever find that special one? T_T

Thursday, July 18, 2013


It is another emotionally-charged week for me although sadly, there are more down moments than the up ones. Firstly, I lost the battle against the v(uck)POST. I finally got someone capable to give me an explanation. I really appreciated her effort to explain to me. The company is just too fucked up that further argument is simply wasting my breath.

Below is the summary of the explanation given to me and I do hope if people are reading this (or reading my post in the forum), they will think twice.. or rather they should ban.. vPOST altogether. vPOST has nobody to sort out mails so small items (weighing less than 2kg are dumped together in the same  shipment with items weighing 5kg and more). Not surprising that my items looked like they had been run over by a truck.. Ironically (I would say ridiculously), normal post (be it normal mail, registered mail, and of course EMS) is better than vPOST. Why? Because normal post is sorted based on the size and there is no way that small items will be damaged by large items in the same shipment. I also asked whether it made a difference if I insured my items and the answer was NO. Insurance claims will only be accepted if the package seems to be ripped open. Yes, even if the envelopes arrive torn, if the tears are not due to someone ripping it, insurance claim will be denied. I also asked what is regarded as "sufficient" packaging and for vPOST, a "sufficient" packaging is something which can withstand their lack of sorting. So what did I get in the end? (Useless) apologies, refund of shipping fee (a pathetic $30+ compared to $300 items), and 20% off for next shipment. Yeah, as if I am going to use this v(ucked-up)POST anymore in the future. Hell no!

My credit card bill was due on 15 July. I tried to make payment on Sunday and to my horror, I could not make a full payment because the total amount exceeded my debit card limit!! It was not because I spent a lot but it was because I set my own pathetic limit! Haha.. Kiasu just in case I lose my card ma.. Haha.. Anyway, the expense was a bit more than usual as I helped my family to purchase air tickets and train tickets for our trip to Europe. I paid the remainder on Monday. I was worried that I would be slapped with late payment fee and I sent an email. The reply freaked me out: it took 2 working days for payment via AXS machine to be processed. Die liao!! Not funny if I am fined $60 x 2 even though I paid on time.. I asked for waiver but the bank could not "waive" anything when there was nothing shown in my bills yet. I was asked to wait another 2 days. And hallelujah, my payment was not considered late!! Fiuuh...

I have less than 2 weeks to prepare for my trip and I am absolutely unprepared. I am glad that I did not think twice and immediately bought 1000 Euro and 300 Swiss Francs last week. I heard that Euro is getting more expensive this week. I thought I got the money matter done. Guess what: my dad psycho-ed me that 1000 Euro is not going to be enough -__- Sigh.. Should I change more??

I have borrowed some winter clothes from my aunt but I am still undecided with what to bring. Sigh.. Still waiting for that green pants from Uniqlo getting discounted also. I still have not purchased my tablet yet. And digital camera was giving me headache on Sunday. I was absolutely irritated with my sister over the weekend. Everything has its pros and cons. I don't need to hear what are the pros and cons of each camera that I suggested, what I needed was a decision on which model to buy! Jeez.. 

I had no issue with whatever model because I am a pretty good photographer. The issue is I can't take photos of myself. I wanted my sister to choose and try the cameras to find the one which suits her lousy photography skills. I need her skills to take good pictures of mine. Lol.. No point choosing the camera which can't withstand her shakiness and poor angles. Right till the end she could not make the decision so I made it. I bought Canon Powershot S110 from Harvey Norman on Sunday. The main reason was it was put on sale and it also came with lots of bonus. Just tried it yesterday and I am swooning over it. Hehe.. It beats any camera phone hands down!! Even when I switched off all light in my room, the pictures taken are still so bright. I hope it shows equally good results outdoor too.

And today was the mother of all emo-ness. I am absolutely disappointed with my pay rise of 3.6%. I think inflation rate is even higher than that. Sigh.. I think it should be called a pay EXCREMENT instead of increment. In addition, I only received 0.9 months for performance bonus. I expected at least 1 month. Sigh.. I heard issues that the bonus is lower this year bla bla bla but I heard that it was 1.25 months last year. The drop can't be that much so the only explanation is that I suck at work. Call me shameless but I think I am not faring badly as compared to the other first year staff. I was given a lot of shit stuff that someone has to do. Necessary for daily things but not good enough to score brownie points. I am extremely sore, angry, upset now. After doing so much shit, I am given a shit increment and shit bonus too! Sometimes I wish I can just take revenge and quit.. and perhaps commit suicide.

My life sucks.. I suck.. my work sucks.. everything sucks...

Friday, July 12, 2013

vPOST = vomitbloodPOST

I have been using vPOST many times and have always been pleased. My latest experience, however, simply changed everything. Ultimately, vPOST is a subsidiary of SingPost and when problems arise, what I get is simply shitty customer service.

My latest shipment with vPOST contains 3 items. Each item containing 1 book: Young Avengers Present (paperback), Young Avengers Ultimate Collection (hard cover), and Sailormoon Art Book 5 (hard cover). All 3 arrived damaged and I am particularly upset because the last 2 items are rare and out of production. Not to mention that they are expensive too.

Here comes the horror story. Upon receiving the damaged item, I sent a feedback to claim for compensation. I only received reply after 2 weeks and after 2 separate feedbacks requesting an update on my case. My claim was rejected on the ground "insufficient packaging". Of course, I am not satisfied. Prior to this, I purchased several books from overseas be it via registered mail, EMS,, and Book Depository. These books arrived in perfect condition and they were packed in either cardboard envelope or padded envelope (envelope with bubble wrap in the inside). Thus I don't see why this time around vPOST regarded padded envelope and cardboard envelope as "insufficient". In addition, I asked them what, then, they regard as "sufficient packaging" just to ship a book.

I also pointed out about the state of the envelope upon arrival: bent into two in the middle (despite a big warning DO NOT BEND by the sender), gross folding and crumpling on all 4 corners, torn envelopes, and black dirt all over the envelope. To me, these are signs of poor handling and I can't accept that vPOST refused to see these sings of poor handling and simply blaming on "insufficient" packaging.

I explicitly stated twice that I wanted to know what constitutes "sufficient" packaging. The first reply totally ignored my question while the second reply stated "lets not go into details". Great, they are not going to explain their "insufficient" packaging and they are also unable to say what they expect as a "sufficient" packaging.

Initially, vPOST refused to look at the fact that even the envelopes arrived damaged. In the latest reply, they admitted that my items should had been handled more carefully. Great.. finally they admitted their mistake. So if it is their mistake, where the bloody hell is my compensation??

It is getting ridiculous when vPOST always changes their answers with each reply. One thing that remains constant is their avoidance to explain their stupid packaging sufficiency. Initially they offered 15% off for future shipping. Go eat shit! As if I will ever use their stupid service anymore. Then they increased the bar to refunding of the shipping fee (which is only about $32). Lastly, they upped the stake to shipping fee refund + 25% off for future shipping.

I am not gonna give in so quickly when I am not in the wrong. I spent close to $300 for my items and I would get a $30 compensation for their incompetency? No way!! Not sure whether I should go down to a post office to ask for alternative feedback channel as their email and phone service are just bullshit. Not sure if I should involve external party such as CASE. I wonder if that is useful. And the most drastic measure will be the use of media. Sigh.. I hope I can get my $300 peacefully.

Here are the pictures to show how shitty the envelopes look upon arrival:

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Come on a my House

About 2 months ago, I posted a video of Hey! Say! JUMP performing a new song called Come on a my House in Shonen Club. I am not linking this post to the previous post as the video has been removed from Youtube due to copyright issue. Yes, Johnny's Entertainment and NHK are so anal for this kind of thing. Apparently, I was wrong to say the title is not grammatically corrent. In fact, there is another song with similar title "Come on-a My House" released in 1950s sung by Rosemary Clooney. I still don't quite get what "on-a" means anyway.

The song is chosen as a new single released on 26 June. Yay! It is another number 1 single so that's another yay! It has been quite sometime since HSJ released a single and it has been a looong time that they have a cutesy single and PV which I enjoy. Their most recent cute single prior to this is Magic Power which I don't particularly like as a song. The PV takes place in HSJ's house. Typical to an all-boys environment, the house is messy and they have to tidy things up because this "jumping girl" is coming over. I am sure the fangirls are going ga-ga over the prospect of seeing their idols' house. But I can tell you that based on my personal experience, guys' share house is definitely not a nice place to be in. Haha.. especially if the guys are messy and unhygienic.

Great acting from HSJ here, especially Yamada's expression when receiving the phone calls. I like the text bubbles which depict a story. The home clothes and pajamas are quite realistic and I find them better than the formal clothes they wear at the end of the PV when welcoming the girl. And it is definitely nice to have all 9 members get plenty of exposure here. Previously in SUPER DELICATE, Keito and Inoo only get like 5 seconds of air time each -_- But Keito seems like humming, rather than singing, in the PV. I know that in PV making, singers are always lip-synching but when audience watch the end product, we always want to see as if the singers are really singing mah. The dog is cute but I find its lack of response to be very irritating. Despite being cuddled, pet, etc, the dog remains emotionless and does not even look at the person holding it o_0

The house itself does not look realistic. It is just messy but it is not dirty. That is an impossible combination in real life. Haha.. How can things be messy but not dusty? And how can clean crockery being piled up on top of each other? Haha.. When I went to my friend's house, it is always a pile of dirty and unwashed plates, pots, etc. Complete with the smell and certain flying insects. Lol.. And as messy as we boys are, we certainly do not throw our clothes up to the windows ledge. Haha.. But overall, still a great and enjoyable PV. In fact, I was tempted to purchase the single because of the PV but unfortunately, the first press was already sold out. Not the best quality here but enjoy it before Johnny's claims for copyright infringement again.

I was pretty excited to read positive reviews on the other songs in the single. But I was disappointed. The other songs are just not my cup of tea I guess.

Some updates about AKB48, their latest single (which I thought was horrible) almost hit 2m in sales so it seems that their stars are still shining brightly. I am growing ambivalent towards them as I don't quite enjoy their last few consecutive singles. According to latest news, Mariko Shinoda is graduating from AKB48 in a month time. With her and Tomomi Itano leaving, I don't think there any other girls which I like. It is great to see Yuko Oshima and Minami Takahashi still around but they are not my favourites. They had their 5th election and surprisingly Yuko was not number 1. The number 1 is Rino Sashihara. I have no idea who she is. I googled her pictures and I really cannot recognise her face from previous PVs. So that was a bummer for me. Lets see how good or bad their next single is to decide whether I am still a fan of AKB48 fan :p