Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bad Ass Chick's A Series of Unfortunate Events

I was never a superstitious person so it seemed weird to friends when I started commenting that I am being haunted by bad lucks nowadays and to think that I was just thanking my lucky stars last month at how wonderful life had been to me lately. Christmas was approaching and everything just seemed so merry and bright. Songs and dances seemed to be the order of my days. Little did I know that it was the calm before the storm, the high before the low, the lift before the fall. Ok, so you get it the picture.

My high spirits all came crumbling down early this month when I discovered that a prized possession of mine was not worth what was paid for it. What a heart-wrenching, jaw-dropping moment that was. Never mind that, the very same night, I lost the final round of a contest which I was winning only the day before. I won a lousy T-shirt instead which was no consolation to the time and money already spent. So what if it's limited edition? Arghh!!! Two huge financial losses in a day.

A few days later, a visit to the doctor had me on medication for the next two weeks. Hopefully the nice lady doctor would tell me that I have no major health complications when I go back for a check-up next month. Still, I tried to put all negative thoughts aside to enjoy the Christmas parties I was attending. But even then, bad luck followed me wherever I went. The satays I brought was overcooked for one potluck Christmas party, rained the whole evening at another and luckily another one went by rather uneventfully.

I was trying to get tickets for King Kong and managed to actually get a booking, only to misplace the booking number. My new Sony Ericsson Z520I's camera and call-out system wasn't functioning on the very day I unwrapped the box. Two of my colleagues got the exact same phone from the exact same dealer and theirs are working fine. Good thing the SE people managed to get it fixed in like 3 hours.

My programs at work kept running into errors as the server was running out of space and I didn't get a new ID tag at work as the security team misplaced my photo when everyone else had gotten their new ID tags and so I had to sign in and out everyday, including lunch time. I have to call my other colleagues to open the door for me every time or slyly follow other people in when they do.

I was praying hard for the string of bad lucks to go away but apparently God must have had some other plans for me as I got into an accident on the way home from work 2 days ago. We were just 3 minutes away from home and a drunk driver come crashing into the side of our car as we were turning right into our housing area. The lights was green to turn right, you nincompoop!! And you have no business overtaking when it was a double-lined road and cutting in from the other side of the road too!!! The bugger dragged a motorcycle under his car for a short distance before hitting another car, both of whom were from the opposite side of the road waiting at the red lights as cars turned right from our direction.

That was the last straw! All these bad lucks in the space of 2 weeks?!! I’ve had enough! Seriously. Hope 2006 will be a better year for me. Since this will be my last posting for this year, I wish all the readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

P/s: If you see a girl walking with a black cloud over her head, stop and say 'Hi', it's probably me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Mobile Phone Ownership Evolution

Looking back over the years, I realized that I was not as lucky or as rich as some people who change their mobile phones like they change their clothes. Nonetheless, I realized that I have been using quite a number of them and about to change to a new generation of phone soon.

I remember my first mobile phone purchase vividly. I was a student then, saving and skimming on expenses to buy my first Nokia 3210. I love it back then because it was one of the first few phones in the market that did not have an antenna jutting out. Also, it was rock solid. I've dropped the phone so many times from varying heights and still it was working perfectly. I remembered how I broke out in cold sweat once upon realizing that I've lost my phone. I searched high and low for it and was lucky enough to find it in the safe keeping of the librarian of the college library. Phew!

The Nokia 3210 served me well for a couple of years until I got hold of a Nokia 8210. The phone had been modified with white back lights + white casing and was SO blindingly bright that I occasionally use it as a torchlight! Hehe. Unfortunately, my 8210 was bugged with problems and I eventually got fed-up with it after too many visits to the repair shop that I trade it in for a Samsung SGH C100 not long after.

I loved the C100 for the nice colour screen and animations. Such a big difference from the dull black and white screens I had been used to seeing but then it was lacking a camera. The phone was fine except that you can't turn it off and on again. It'll definitely hang. You'll have to on and off it many many times before it will start up properly. My phone is on 24-7 but then it can get pretty frustating when sometimes you need to change the SIM card for example.

I used it for a while before I got the Sony Ericsson T630. I wanted the black-colored one but ended up with the white as black was out of stock then. Now this one has a camera, bluetooth and infrared and served me really well for the past year or so. Was pretty happy with it for a while but this too is lacking something - MP3. I guess human beings are just never satisfied, or maybe it's just me.

So yesterday, I got a Sony Ericsson Z520i. I simply love flip phones!!! So nice to just slam down the phone when I'm pissed off with the other party on the line. Somehow, pressing a button to end the call just don't do it for me. Not as dramatic. Hah! However, being the generous and filial daughter that I am (*ahem*), I am going to give this phone to my dad.
Now, I'm spoilt for choice as to what mobile phone to get next. I've never owned a really high-end mobile phone before but I figured I might as well this time around. As such, I have set my sights on 3G Smart/PDA phones. There's the Sony Ericsson P990i which I simply adore. Don't see what I can do with such a small keyboard but it's a nice touch. The Motorola A1000 is also very attractive, as are the Dopod and O2 phones. Choices, choices, choices!

Poll Question: What phone should the Bad Ass Chick get next? Vote now!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

6 Pussycat Dolls, 2 Moffats and 1 Serena C

The week before my Singapore trip, I was in Bangkok, The Land of Smiles. Literally went to hell to get my passport done in time so I was really happy when we finally touched down in Bangkok Airport (Immigration horror stories coming up soon). We were immediately whisked off to our hotel but the van driver got the hotel wrong as there are 2 Holiday Inns in Bangkok. Plopped down on the bed in my room as soon as I got to the right hotel in Silom and took a nice warm bubble bath. With map in hand, we took off to Siam Square and MPK using the Thai-equivalent of the LRT called the Skytrain. I found MPK to be a lot like Sg. Wang in Malaysia except that the stores there are concentrated with mobile phone sellers in one corner, goldsmiths in another and so forth.

From there, we took a tuk-tuk to the Ratchadamnoen Stadium intending to watch the famous Thai kickboxing called Muay Thai. The ride was an exhilarating one for me and scary for some with the F1 tuk-tuk driver zigzagging everywhere and even going up the other side of the road regardless of oncoming traffic. However, we were disappointed when we got there as the ringside tickets which was said to cost 1000 Baht in online and other tourist guides had escalated to 3000 Baht when we tried to make our purchase at the counter. One plan down the drain we then make our way back to the night market near Patpong. Not as huge as the night market would have been if we went to the Chatuchak Weekend Market.

There were loads of pubs featuring Thai Girl Shows or also known as Tiger Shows along the road. We went for one which costs us 300 Baht per person. No tigers, but I'm amazed at what some of these girls can do. I didn't know the female reproductive organ can smoke, blow darts/trumpets/whistle/candles/you-name-it, drink water, play ping pong, etc. For the innocent wide-eyes, I suggest you stay away as it can get pretty darn disgusting after a while. Especially when you start seeing a string of razors coming out one after another or a string or glow-in-the-dark stars.

"Don't cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?!"

Honestly, we got bored as the novelty wore off pretty quickly and were amusing ourselves watching the other patrons that came in. One Mat Salleh caught our attention. He was alone and was immediately swarmed with girls. It was pretty clear to us that his internal rating system of hot girls was not working properly. Bugger was happily hugging and kissing a few of them. Not long after that, we watched as one particular girl brought him to speak to an older man seated just near our table. We presumed he's the boss or pimp if you like. Lone Ranger handed him some cash and disappeared out the back door with the girl whom had changed into street clothes. One cheeky showgirl came up to us and shouted, "They're going to fuck!". Such honesty was embarassing, really.

Not 5 minutes later, the same couple walked back in. This time the guy looked upset. Went straight up to the boss and wild hand gestures punctuates every sentence he spoke which was out of earshot for us. The girl changed back into her bikini and took to the stage and poles again. After some discussion, the boss actually handed the white guy back some money. I didn't know that pimps practise a refund policy for unsatisfied customers!

The next day, we had a hearty brunch and walked a distance to the Oriental Hotel to take the Chao Phraya Express Boat. It was fun to have the sea breeze blowing the hair away from your face after the sweaty trek while the tour guide explained the various attractions we see along the river.

From left: Kimberley Wyatt, Jessica Sutta, Ashley Roberts, Nicole Scherzinger, Melody Thornton and Carmit Bachar

It poured cats and dogs as we tried to go to the Grand Palace later that day. We held umbrellas to keep from getting wet in our tuk-tuk and I was so relieved when we got to the palace. I figured there's finally some shelter from the rain. So there we were, with our jeans rolled up to our knees, boots and socks in our hands, we waded knee-high water to get to the ticket counter.

As I was in a sleeveless shirt, I had to buy a collared T-shirt to wear before I could get in. The umbrellas we're holding is pretty useless now as we're more or less all wet already. I turned behind and looked at a stream of Caucasian and Japanese tourists in similar predicaments with us wading their way into the palace wearing raincoats and holding umbrellas, all eager to find shelter. Little did we all know that the palace has many open courtyards! What a laugh!

Still, we did not regret going to the Grand Palace as it is one of the most magnificent place I've ever seen. Truly beautiful. Truly befitting their beloved royal family. Such grandeur everywhere. Damn the rain! However all is forgiven as we rushed back to change into our clubbing attire for we were to attend the Pussycat Dolls' showcase at a club called Route 66 that same night. We ended up having delicious tomyam dinner opposite the club and we got to meet the sexy ladies themselves for a photo shoot! We got to party with Serena C from Hitz.FM and even spotted 2 of The Moffatts in the crowd!! What a night to remember!!!

From left: Serena C, Moffatt 1, one of our travelling mate and Moffatt 2 (I don't know The Moffatts' names)

We got back to the hotel and decided to go to the bar for a drink as it was our last night there and it proved to be a fine decision for we were treated to a great performance by the in-house quartet who performed energetically to the latest hits. What a memorable trip indeed. I haven't had enough of Thai food so I'm definitely going back for more in the near future.

Tom Yam, here I come! *slurp*

Monday, December 12, 2005

Treasure Treasure, Where Art Thou?

I was in Singapore recently to join the Singapore's Half-A-Million Ringgit Race 3 which kicked off on 21 Nov 2005 with 4 other team members. We were all working late till like 10pm on the night before, rushed home to pack our bags and off we go around 3am on Saturday. Reached one of the rest stop near the Johor-Singapore border just in time for our breakfast and the entry riddle brought us to the Raffles Country Club not far from the Tuas Second Link for the registration process.

"A premier spot for a golfing game,
That proudly sports our founder’s name.
Neighbours, look for its location,
Near the second link between two nations."

Once registered, we were all so excited and just can't wait to claim our RM100,000 or so we thought. The first clue given read like this:

"Sitting along the quiet path,
This is hardly nature's wrath,
If you strain your sights hard enough,
You might glimpse a fruit that's just so tough."

The elusive fruit had all 5 of us racing to the Esplanade building by the Marina Bay which looked like a big durian. For those of you who don't know, durian is a tropical fruit with greenish, spiky outer shell and is known as the King of Fruits. A common saying is that the durian smells like hell but tastes like heaven. It was a sight to behold at how fast the 4 of us jumped out from the car with the thought of getting to that 2nd clue and raced toward the building as the driver went to park his car. We circled 'The Durian' to no avail. Not to be discouraged so fast, we searched every quiet path or walkway around the area. Nada! We searched inside the building too, up down, left right and center, you name it! Still zero! We took a break for lunch and back to the search again.

Searching for this elusive 2nd clue brought us to not just the Esplanade but we also ended up in the Marina City Park, Merlion Park, Clifford Pier, Boat Quay, Supreme Court and City Hall, Parliament House, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Raffle's Square, Asian Civilizations Museum, Fort Canning and everywhere else in between them on FOOT! Unfortunately for our aching feet, our search still ended up fruitless (pun intended). By nightfall, we were too tired and decided to rest for the night in our hotel at Orchard Road.

After a quick shower and scrumptious dinner, my gal pal and I were off to be dazzled by the bright lights of the shopping haven as the boys headed back to our room. We're fascinated with the cozy little pubs and quaint little cafes we found tucked in small alleys and old lanes. Even as we pose for pictures along Orchard Road, we didn't stop thinking and analyzing the clue. We found meaning even on the manhole covers we saw along the road which bear pictures of various kinds of fruit! As midnight approaches, we decided to retire to bed before we lose our sanity over the damn fruit.

The next day, with our spirits renewed and bodies healed, it's off once again for the hunt. Our search on the 2nd day brought us to Raffles Hotel, Eskibar, Sentosa Island, Haw Par Villa, Kent Ridge Park and we even paid a visit to Chijmes and Villa Bali in Gilman Village for good measure. 3 of us even climbed up to a God-forsaken watch tower all to no avail. Heads dizzying from the narrow spiral staircase we were climbing, 3 of us ended up laughing our arses off as we ascended the tower. I bet not many Singaporean had even stepped foot on this tower, let alone take in the magnificent view from atop. Below is a picture taken from inside the tower itself. You can see the big durian building in the distance.

Disheartened that we didn't even manage to find one clue, we headed back to the starting point for some answers towards the end of the 2nd day. To our disgust, the clue at the starting point had been changed to now hold a very important point and that is that the location of the 2nd clue is only open from 9am to 6pm! This vital piece of information was missing from the original clue posted up on the day of our registration. Tsk tsk tsk! Till today, we're waiting to find out where the clue we had been searching for is hidden.

Still, the 2 days had been great fun with great company. Not a total loss after all. *winks*