Archive for March, 2016

can’t stump the trump

Well I guess I’m kind of a keyboard supporter of American presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Still trying to figure out their convoluted political system though!) You’ve gotta appreciate the man’s passion, gumption and candour. Recently discovered this subreddit, The_Donald, which calls itself ‘the largest, best, and closest thing to an official campaign subreddit for Donald Trump 2016’. People are sharing tons of related links and commenting actively every day. It’s exactly like a non-stop virtual party full of ‘high energy’ (one of their favourite terms)!


you learn something new every day

Recently found out what wassail (mmm sounds delicious) and wassailing are.

a love of……

One of the more curious things that four years of secondary school instilled in me is a love of…… filing. Yes, you read right. Filing.

Back then most of the teachers would collect our files for each subject, in the middle and close to the end of the school year, to check that all our handouts and assignments were in order. Imagine the number of files they would have to go through! We’d get a score for the condition of our file, which would count towards our final grade. It seemed like a really straightforward way to get full marks, so I’d always put my file together diligently. (Proper filing also made it easier to revise when the end of year exams came around – which I guess was probably the teachers’ point.) I’m quite proud to say I usually got full marks or something close to it.

13 years after graduating, I still enjoy punching holes in my documents (mainly personal finance these days) and arranging them in the right files. Ah, the joys of filing!

separating your combustibles from your recyclables

Was looking through my Secondary 4 elective geography stuff when I found this rather entertaining newspaper article on recycling in Japan……


Separating your combustibles from your recyclables
By Kavitha Rao

Taking the garbage out is never much fun, but in Japan it is sheer agony. When I first arrived in Japan, I “oohed” and “aahed” over the exquisite groceries, especially the beautiful packaging, delicate ribbons, and the myriad gift-wrappings. That didn’t last long. Now, when I buy a charming box of rice crackers, I just worry about how much garbage I am going to have to dispose of.

The first thing every resident in Japan learns is how to sort garbage, or gomi, as it is called in Japanese. The second is how not to. How complicated could this be, you think? Very.

Continue reading ‘separating your combustibles from your recyclables’

paper and ink

A few weeks ago, I commenced Operation Clean Room, as one of my New Year resolutions is to clear my study. I didn’t think I could wipe out the whole room in a day, so I decided my strategy was to divide and conquer, attacking one corner at a time. Few days ago, I had fired the opening salvo by pulling out 50 kilograms of old magazines (the karung guni man who came by today thought it was more like 30 though). Today I targeted the stuff from my secondary school and junior college days. (Yes, I have documents dating back 16 years……) The battle is more than half won and I will continue the campaign in the next few days. The amount of paper and ink expended in ten years of education is frankly quite amazing! As I flipped through the pages and pages, I couldn’t help but reminisce about the past……

a year on

It’s the first anniversary of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s death today……

white horse neighing in the west wind

But no matter how brilliant, how learned Habolamu was, there was one puzzle he would never be able to decipher, because even the all-encompassing Quran contained no answer: if the person you loved deeply, deeply loved someone else, was there anything that could be done?

I have never been gladder to announce that my translation of 《白马啸西风》 (Bai Ma Xiao Xi Feng, or White Horse Neighing in the West Wind), a wuxia novella by Jin Yong, is finally DONE!!! At long last! How I’ve waited for this day!

I started working on the piece after my ‘O’ Levels and posted my first instalment to the SPCNET Wuxia Translations forum on 18 November 2003. I had thought my work would take days, if not months, to finish – but who knew! It ended up taking way more time and effort than I had thought!

Continue reading ‘white horse neighing in the west wind’


Never underestimate the joy of biting into a whole sweet juicy mango! :D

don’t hold the mayo!

When I was in secondary school and junior college, we were made to read Newsweek as part of some reading programme. Somehow, out of the thousands of articles that my brain processed, this is the only one that stands out in my mind after all these years. (Naturally I quickly located a copy online and reproduce it for posterity below.) Probably because I’m quite a fan of mayo (especially Japanese) myself!


Don’t Hold The Mayo!

Kouji Nakamura mixes a cocktail in his shaker, squeezes a bit of mayonnaise into it, gives it a good shake and voila! “This is mayogarita,” he declares, putting down a glass of milky white stuff that smells like vinegar. Next he concocts a “mayoty dog,” which is like a salty dog–vodka and grapefruit juice–with the rim of the glass coated in mayo instead of salt. If that makes you flinch, wait until dinner arrives: a pot of mayonnaise fondue, followed by a plate of chopped celery and octopus swimming in tomato and mayonnaise sauce. At the next table, a young couple slices a big, mayo-filled pizza. It’s a typical Saturday night at Mayonnaise Kitchen, Japan’s first mayo-themed restaurant. When Nakamura, 31, opened the eatery in a Tokyo suburb two summers ago, he recalls, “some said, ‘Who would come to a place that just serves mayonnaise?’ ” Plenty of people, as it turned out; Nakamura opened his second Tokyo restaurant last April.

Continue reading ‘don’t hold the mayo!’

flipping prata

When it comes to prata, one egg and one kosong (plain) are usually just nice for me. And somehow they taste best with fish curry. Its sourness cuts through all those carbs and prevents one from feeling too jelak (satiated). Prata and curry…… possibly one of the best breakfasts you can get in this sunny little island!

you learn something new every day

A hippophile is someone who loves horses. ‘Hippo-‘ originates from hippos, the Greek word for horse. And…… hippopotamus is Greek for ‘river horse’!

you learn something new every day

The prongs of a fork are also called tines.

you learn something new every day

So these are what finials are!

you learn something new every day

Jardiniere, feminine form of the French word for gardener (jardinier), is a stand for flowers or a flowerpot holder.

rainy twilight

It was close to 7 pm when I got off the bus, right into the middle of a deluge. Walked through the darkened NUS Central Forum, and suddenly realized the lush green valley that lay beyond it was very beautiful. Somehow, almost misty and magical in the rainy grey twilight……

(Had gone back to my university to attend a personal finance talk organized by my friend Kanghao and his business partner for their new startup. Decided to stop by the arts faculty canteen for dinner. Alas, all my favourite stalls were closed!)

wordpress visitor counter