Entertain Clowns and We Become Part of a Circus

Doppelganger.

Doppelganger.

The Transport Ministry has no shortage of clowns.

Fiasco after fiasco emerges from it and its affiliated organizations.

Some big mouth shot off the term “car-lite” and a slew of initiatives suddenly seemed to materialize overnight. This is very typical of brain-dead civil servants and ball-lickers. Big boss spouts some crap and every mother’s son rushes to push out initiatives, never mind if the people and infrastructure are ready for the accompanying changes. It’s as if they are all bowing down saying, “Yes, boss, the answer is ‘yes’ and now what is the question?” One of the latest initiatives cooked up by these bollocky wankshots to support the notion of “car-lite” includes allowing cyclists and users of personal mobility devices such as e-scooters to share footpaths with pedestrians, which is a frigging retarded recommendation, as evidenced by the number of accidents and deaths this has already caused.

And don’t get me started on the SMRT.

And now something even more ridiculous. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to make this up, even after drowning a bottle of Maotai all by myself.

The LTA is now allowing commuters to haul their foldable bicycles and PMDs onto buses and trains all day as part of a six-month trial. The move is said to encourage more people to use public transport and to adopt mobility “for the first and last mile of their daily public transport commute.”

Our buses and trains are already packed to the gills, allowing such moronic move is totally impractical. Moreover, what’s wrong with good old-fashioned walking? Do note that the last National Health Survey (in 2010) found that 11% of Singaporean adults aged between 18 and 69 were obese.

Before LTA dreamed up such a hare-brained scheme, did it consult with members of the public as to the scheme’s practicability or even with other statutory boards like the Health Promotion Board to determine if it makes sense health-wise? I can’t speak for the HPB but I’m sure it will certainly believe that walking is a lot safer and better than cruising along on PMDs, after all it was the HPB who launched the National Steps Challenge and even issued free step trackers to people.

It is embarrassing to see that the right hand doesn’t seem to know what the left hand is doing.

But then what else is new?

All I know is that if you’re looking for a clown for your kids’ year-end party, you’re unlikely to find any.

They’re all working full-time in the Transport Ministry.

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Eat Lah! Won’t Die!

On November 8th I was drawn to the headline “Kick your char kway teow habit” in MIND BODY section of The Straits Times.

It was written by a Lester Wong who mentioned the dish twice without any explanation as to the “harmfulness” of the dish.

Char kway teow is a humble dish of noodles fried with soy sauce, pork oil, egg, a few slices of Chinese sausages, bean sprouts and topped off with some cockles.

Yes, char kway teow may be oily, but it is somewhat of a national dish with its genesis as an energy-giving means of sustenance to impoverished denizens of a then-developing nation. It has carbohydrates, the pork oil and accompanying tiny bits of lard give it flavor and provide energy, the cockles have high protein content, the egg provides nutrients, the bean sprouts provide some Vitamin C and for a finishing touch of simple “luxury” a couple of slices of Chinese sausage are added. Kudos to the genius who “invented” that dish!

Singaporeans abroad, when asked what local dish they miss most almost always replied “char kway teow.”

For that writer to just mention the dish twice without any reliable clarification as to the “harmfulness” of it puzzles me. Not only that, it insults the intelligence of Singaporeans who have since realized that there are healthy versions of char kway teow fried using vegetable oil and that there are far more “lethal” local dishes than char kway teow. I mean if you think char kway teo is deadly, try laksa! Moreover, no one eats that dish every day; most perceive it as an occasional indulgence, a guilty pleasure if you will. Just as many wealthy people pay top dollars to indulge in the humble Teochew moey or porridge eaten by the coolies of olden days, char kway teow serves to bring us fond memories of those early difficult days of our nationhood.

So please, let’s not demonize and denigrate a dish that has helped build a nation.

What a country! First they came for our smokes, and now they’re after our char away teow!

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Someone’s Dying? Quick, Film It!

Our heroes from Singapore!

Our heroes from Singapore!

Sometime last week, in Iceland to see the aurora borealis, four Singaporeans saw a car turning turtle and rushed to rescue the woman trapped inside.

While I applaud this brave and heroic act, I wondered why one of the four Singaporeans had to film the rescue and posted it on Facebook.

If the person had not spent time filming the effort – the clip was a minute and 34 seconds long – wouldn’t an extra pair of hands be really helpful in the rescue? An accident with an overturned car is definitely a life-and-death situation and surely a person’s first instinct is to assist, not whipping up a camera to record the event.

I read that a numb-skull somewhere has explained that three persons in a rescue is more than sufficient and filming the episode will – among other uses – serve as a recording in case of lawsuits, and in the case of deaths, allow family members a final glimpse of any casualties.

What the fuck?!

I have never heard of anything more ridiculous than that.

When you see a fellow human being in distress, you put everything aside and rush to help. You would want that if you are the victim, wouldn’t you, even if you are a numb-skull. And don’t give me that crap about “citizen journalism” – that’s just a fancy term used by resource-strapped newspapers to make use of nosy readers’ pictures and videos.

In this day of the omnipresent smartphone, let’s be mindful of our actions. Not only do we run the risk of intruding into people’s privacy, we can unwittingly become unhelpful and callous bystanders if all we care about is to quickly capture the misfortune of others just so that we can post them on our Facebook pages. As a matter of principle, I refuse to look at pictures of accidents that people send to me via WhatsApp or email. There are a few retards I know who take great delight in sharing with me gory pictures of accident victims, videos of beheadings, etc and I refuse to look at them not because I don’t have the balls to, but because I think the dead deserve some dignity and the busybodies of the world have no business recording such shit.

Some people need to grow up.

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Don’t You Gain a Wife and Lose Everything Else

They waited till all their friends have died.

They waited till all their friends have died.

I normally avoid attending Chinese wedding banquets. They are long-drawn affairs and expensive both for the hosts and the guests (because our ang pows cannot be too small – the money inside should at least help the wedding couple pay for the table; if the restaurant charges 1200 bucks per table, then your ang pow should contain at least 120 bucks) and nowadays the food quality just isn’t there anymore, plus the prospect of having a two-hour, ten-course dinner with nine other retarded strangers scare the shit out of me. However, there is such a thing called how to zuo ren and one simply has to do some things one detests. If everyone does whatever he or she likes, then there is no social harmony in society.

Long story short, I attended three weddings recently, three weddings I just couldn’t “escape” from and they followed the usual format of cocktails before they let you into the banquet hall, then the mandatory viewing of a corny video detailing the couple’s childhood (who the fuck cares?!) which also showed how they gloriously lived in sin (meaning, out of wedlock; call me old-fashioned) by going on vacations everywhere together, and just before you drop dead from hunger, the couple would then sashay in amidst some loud stupid music and a cloud of mist emitted by some smoke-emitting gizmo, food is then served (finally!) the couple goes on stage to cut a huge plastic wedding cake (whatever the fuck for?!) and pours champagne into champagne flutes or glasses arranged in a pyramid – a completely meaningless and wasteful gesture as no one gets to drink any of that bubbly – then the couple leaves and returns after a change of clothes (is this a frigging fashion show or what?!) blah, blah, blah, you know the drill…

One wedding banquet I went to was at a top-end hotel at the Marina area and there were 45 tables occupied by lots of friends and relatives, business associates of the wedding couple’s parents, etc. I bet it cost a frigging bomb! It was the Ritz Carlton, no less!

I couldn’t help but wonder how many of those friends at the wedding would still be friends one year later.

I wonder because I have known of a few people who, after acquiring a wife, cut off all ties completely with their friends, even friends they’ve known for decades.

One dude not only stopped all ties with all his friends, he changed his barber, his tailor and even his dentist.

Why?

Because his wife didn’t like them.

What?!

If you have a wife like that, I tell you, you are FUCKED!!!

Don’t ever enter into a marriage where you’ll be pussy-whipped.

Let not your wife dictate who your friends should be. She doesn’t have to like them but she cannot demand that you stop being friends with your friends.

Very soon, she’ll be telling you to kill your mother.

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Throw Ungrateful Foreigners Out!

WARNING: I am apoplectic, reeling from rage and I apologize to everyone for the R21 shitstorm that is being unleashed here; if you are a pussy and can’t deal with strong language, please stay away! Here I go! Please fasten your seatbelt while I make an attempt at catharsis!

Last Friday in Chinatown, around Temple Street, at one of the stalls under a shop named Chop Kwong Onn Tong, I was surprised to see what seemed to be Russian matryoshka dolls for sale. Having just returned from Russia, and inundated with requests for those dolls – we bought suitcases full of them to give away as souvenirs but soon ran out – I was naturally intrigued so I approached the young mainland Chinese woman manning the stall for more details but she was in no mood to do business. I asked a question and she showed me a fuck face and waved me off. I was with a client, so I didn’t want to create a scene. Also I refused to be angered by her shitty attitude and walked away. I would have slapped that bitch right back into her mother’s womb but instead, I resisted and refrained. She was lucky it was me she encountered, at the very least, my friends would have taken a photo of her retarded, scatological face and blasted it all over Twitter. I mean, come on, what the fuck?! I was going to give you business and you’re showing me cheebye attitude?!

On Monday I was in Chinatown again, and passed by the same stall, so I thought I would give it another try. The same cum-gargling bitch was at the stall and when I asked if I could inspect the dolls nested inside one of the matryoshka dolls she was selling, she again made a fuck face and mumbled some answer which I could not make out. I then asked if the dolls are genuine Russian matryoshka dolls and she again mumbled something, as if some big dick was stuck in her mouth. (I thought I heard her saying that the dolls were made here in Singapore; matryoshka dolls made in Singapore, what the fish?!) But what got me really upset was her horrendous attitude. Here she is from mainland China and gainfully employed because we Singaporeans are kind enough to let semen-filled cunts like her and other losers and parasites of her ilk into our own country, yet she behaved as if we are the ones who are the vermins. Bitch has a job running a stall but yet she treated me, a native Singaporean – and a potential customer – like I was a major interruption in her fucked-up life. If she had behaved in a similar manner in her own country, her own countrymen would have splashed acid on her face and torched her stall to ashes! (Obviously, though tempted, I didn’t do any of that or else you would have heard about it on the news.)

Too many of us are tolerating too much of this shit and accommodating trashy pus bags like that. We put up with foreigners who are no smarter than us, who can’t even communicate properly – that douche bag who runs our infamous bank, for example, talks like an illiterate and incoherent chai wallah – but who steal our jobs, fuck our women and behave in such superior manners. We Singaporeans are now victims of reverse discrimination!

Imagine, you are here in our country because of our kindness but you have the audacity to ride roughshod over us! What fucking ungrateful dogs you are! Even stray dogs exhibit better behavior! Worst are those trashy failed homosapiens from mainland China who mock us and laugh at us and consider themselves more cultured. My message to these fuckards is this: take your shit and fuck off from MY country! Why are you still here if you despise us so much? Why don’t you writhe back to China, a morally-corrupt putrescent dump that has long lost its moral compass, and eat dog shit and enjoy all the culture you want?

China may be powerful today, but it is still a country of bullying lice-infected buffoons and shitfaces who scratch their fetid scrotums in public and who spit and pick their noses in front of you and – I have it on good authority – whose women are mostly unfuckable because they are mostly nothing but cheap putrid whores with rotting, pus-oozing infected bang holes that smell like pots of cat shit mixed with horse pee. (Heard they know nothing about personal hygiene; not surprising if you consider how these incestuous animals live.)

When crappy foreigners give me shit, I do not hesitate to give them a piece of my mind. In fact, I welcome every opportunity to put arrogant and cocky foreigners in their place. I was born and bred here and risked my frigging life doing fulltime National Service in the army during my youth, and, today, at my age, I have earned my fucking right to be a pugnacious, obnoxious and grouchy bastard. Any motherfucker from outside MY country who can’t stomach MY attitude can go fuck themselves or their mothers or their feral cats.

And yes, go back to the shitholes they’ve crawled from and feast on dog shit. I’ll even help carry their luggage to the airport. I’ll even pay for their taxi fare.

Fuck them all!

Let’s throw these ingrates out!

Some people bring happiness wherever they go, some whenever they go. The day these motherfucking foreigners leave our shore will be the happiest day of my life!

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Grab Cab or Grab Crap?

grab

Grab has been aggressively advertising a taxi booking fee waiver for the month of November. Their ads say that if passengers key in a promo code when they use its app to book a cab, the booking fee will be waived. But when passengers try to book, there isn’t even a chance for them to key in the promo code. That’s what happened to me. And that’s what happened to a lot of passengers. Even Grab drivers tell me that their passengers complain that they have been hoodwinked into using Grab that way.

An email I sent to Grab seven days ago remains unanswered.

If companies have no intention to honor their promises, or make it so difficult to do business with them, they should do a serious re-think. They shouldn’t use gimmicks to entice customers. It’s dishonest, pure and simple. Those Grab ads are just tabloid advertising at its worst, no more, no less.

And consumers should express their anger by boycotting such dishonest companies.

Some people are surprised that while Uber and Grab are actually not allowed in some countries, these ride-hailing companies are operating freely here.

Kopitiam talk is that this is because the government has a huge financial stake in them, but the truth of the matter is that Uber and Grab offer a lifeline to the thousands of unemployed ex-PMETs languishing in Singapore. Allowing Uber and Grab to operate is the government’s way to pass the problem of unemployment to others. What a cop out!

But if you think Uber and Grab are doing the jobless a favor, then you must be very naive.

The blood-suckers behind them are the least bit concerned about being altruistic. It’s time you wake up to the fact that Uber and Grab are here to grab your money, that’s all, and that they are all looking forward to using driverless cars in the future. Uber is already using driverless cars in Pittsburgh, USA, and Grab has driverless cabs here already, albeit in a limited area in the western part of Singapore. To them, drivers are totally dispensable. You are being used, that’s all and soon, you will outlive your usefulness. A day will come when entire fleets of Uber and Grab cars will operate without the need for drivers, and that’s when you are fucked, totally fucked!

It’s time the unemployed and jobless seriously consider other means of income instead of becoming Uber or Grab drivers. One day, you will lose that gig too. Now you already have to give a portion of your earnings to Uber and Grab, but one day you won’t even have that chance. When driverless cars hit the road, you are toast. 

But the first lot of suckers are the taxi-using public; morons like me, who try to get by on a budget of 200 bucks a week, and hence, desperate and greedy enough to try to save a couple of dollars of booking fees each time we have no choice but to book a cab.

The drivers will be next.

Mark my words.

Surely you don’t need a PhD to realize this?

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A Pipe from Armenia

In Russia recently, I purchased a pipe made in Armenia:

pipearmenia

And some Russian pipe tobacco:

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To and From Russia, with Love!

St Basil Cathedral.

St Basil Cathedral.

Last month, youngest son, wife and I flew to Russia.

Youngest son is a history buff as well as an avid fan of historical Russia and the Soviet Union, and was once even featured in the local press for his impressive vintage collection of Soviet-era military memorabilia. His interest rubbed off on us so wife and I decided to accompany him for a trip.

Getting the tourist visa turned out more leche than we thought. We did everything on our own and did not use a travel agent; our itinerary was based on youngest son’s recommendations and we did not go on conducted tours. A helpful friend assisted with the research; for those doing this on their own without using travel agencies, note that serious, accurate prior research is vital because certain places are closed on some days and on the days they open, opening hours are restricted. Some opening days and hours also depend on the season – some places are closed during winter.

To get a visa, one must first procure a letter of invitation from one’s hotel in Russia and because we planned to stay in both Moscow and St Petersburg, we required two letters. Both hotels charged for those letters. Yup, you are paying to stay there and you have to pay them to invite you. Just great, isn’t it? The logic of the illogical at play here, obviously. Making sure that rooms are available on the days flights are available was a bit of a touch-and-go, but we managed to do it.

Then we were gouged again, this time by the visa office here in Singapore, which charged an arm and a leg for each visa, and, famously throw out any forms filled incorrectly. When signing her name, wife’s pen ran out of ink, so she used another pen to sign over the previous, half-completed signature and because of that, her application was thrown out, together with ours. All in all, I made three trips just to get the darn visa done! At the visa office, I encountered people ranting and spewing vitriol because they had to make numerous trips before they could even get their application accepted! A slight mistake and its “Nyet!” and you start all over again!

Phew! Finally we were on our way via Singapore Airlines – what else?! – a direct 10-hour 40-minute flight to Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. We didn’t want to pay S$7,190.20 each for business class ticket and there were no premium economy seats on that flight, so we had to travel economy but paid 150 bucks each for seats with more legroom.

Not traveling on business class is a major departure for me and it was tough, personally. Seats with more legroom were on the front row where they put parents with babies and on the way there, we had to contend with four loud crying babies within earshot! Also, I was almost evicted from my seat-with-more-legroom, because the cabin crew told me that anyone sitting in that seat (next to the emergency exit) must be “able-bodied” and she thought I am a cripple because she noticed that I was carrying a walking stick, something I decide to carry for this trip – just in case – because of my bad back.

Anyway, that was the painstaking prep and the journey; it was a little discouraging, but when we got there it was sheer delight from the very moment we landed. We spent about two weeks having a great and glorious time in Russia. We were at the Red Square, visited the Kremlin, saw the KGB building, marveled at the exhibits in the Kremlin Armory, visited countless churches and spent lots of quality time in some truly outstanding museums and even a couple of monasteries.

First impressions: Autumn has turned everything golden yellow, yet for a place that has every potential to be very drab, colors were vibrant and captivating colors – natural as well as man-made – were everywhere as exemplified here by the entrance to the popular Izmailovsky market:

izmailovsky

Compare that to Disneyland in the US:

Since our return to Singapore, I was immediately thrown into a punishing travel and public speaking regime again and had three training workshops to conduct, plus contents for several more to create; right now, I am in the midst of all that mayhem, but I have been inundated with requests from friends asking about our trip, so in order not to keep them waiting, off the top of my head, here’s a quick summary of our wonderful trip. I apologize if my thoughts are not very well-organized, so be prepared for a bit of random stream-of-consciousness bursts:

Russia is not a visitor-friendly country, language-wise, that is. So unless you know Cyrillic, forget it. Armed yourself with phrasebooks and dictionaries! Most signs (and I mean like 99.9%) are NOT in English. Even museum descriptions are mainly in Russian though headsets with commentaries in various other languages are often available for rent. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit, you should and with a bit of an adventurous attitude, and an ability to picture-memorize the Cyrillic script, you will still have lots of fun.

They’ve got some really really awesome and breathtaking museums that my son and wife and I absolutely enjoyed and spent a lot of time in. Youngest son speaks and reads Russian and without him our two weeks there would have been really tough. (Elder son couldn’t go cos he couldn’t skip classes.) Youngest son is also familiar with Russian do’s and don’ts – that came in very helpful as he guided me by constantly whispering advice, for example “don’t cross your legs.” Great to travel with people who are in the know. Pointing your foot at Russians is a definite no-no; somewhat similar to Thai customs, but at least there isn’t that overly-abused Thai lèse majesté law in Russia.

It was much colder than forecast. I wore a cotton undershirt, a long-sleeve cotton polo and a leather jacket and it just wasn’t enough. For someone from Singapore, the cold reached and chilled right into my aging bones as well as body parts I didn’t know I have. The rain and the windy conditions didn’t help too. The day I paid respect to Lenin at his mausoleum and the day I visited the memorial site to mark the siege of Leningrad, it was raining incessantly, adding to the somberness of the visits.

It cost less than anticipated. We ate at some of the finest establishments recommended by online sites and snooty visitor guides and were pleasantly surprised at how affordable the prices were. One night, we had caviar, a bottle of red wine, and for each of us: soup, salad, a huge, delicious steak, dessert and coffee at a top-notch restaurant and the total was much less than what we would have paid in Singapore. (Perhaps we are used to the high prices in Singapore?) In the supermarket, a can of Coke costs the equivalent of 85 cents Singapore. Not too bad. Didn’t check how much a TV or a stereo would cost though. The rich live it up – saw lots of stretch limousines. They shop at GUM (“Moscow’s ION Orchard”) and pay the equivalent of several thousand US dollars for a tiny jar of the best caviar. If you don’t need Almas caviar, which can cost up to US$25,000/- per kilo, and which is not available in Russia anyway, settle for Beluga, way cheaper but still half the price of the Almas. Then, of course, there’s salmon roe in abundance, which is cheap and everyone can afford that.

The Sapsan bullet train from Moscow to St Petersburg was a smooth 650km ride with professional airline-level service complete with meals with wine and even an “in-flight” shopping catalog. There was also free Wi-Fi. Thankfully, announcements included English ones. Three return tickets in business class cost us US$666/- and the journey took four hours. A journey on a regular train would require twice that amount of time.

Entrance to museums – most are free, some are chargeable and foreigners pay more than locals.

People are not unfriendly, that’s one of the reasons you must visit even if you anticipate language problems. Lots of commuters gave up their seats for me in the Metro – maybe I’m bald, maybe I carried a walking stick, maybe I am old, maybe all of the above – but in general, people have dour expressions but we also encountered smiles, friendliness and helpfulness from strangers. For example, when buying Metro tickets strangers came up and offered to interpret/translate and these were not scammers or pickpockets. Lots written online (check it out) about Russians not smiling, it’s their psyche I guess. Saw a photo online of American astronauts with Russian cosmonauts in some joint missions; the Americans were grinning from molar to molar but the Russian dudes looked as if their children just got disemboweled by Rasputin. My son said “It’s great that the Russians don’t feel they have to walk around with fake smiles.”

Just for fun we checked out KFC – strangely, they only have drumsticks and a drumstick costs less than a dollar Singapore each, cheaper than here, and tastes a lot better! Maybe Russian chicks are fresher? Not one to pass up bargains, wife naturally went nuts.

Metro rides – each ride costs a pittance, no matter what the distance is, the fare is the same – only 32 Rubles! Now, do a conversion and you’ll realize that’s really cheap! People buy one stored-value card, called the Troika, and a group of five, six can travel together using just one card, that is if their destination is the same. Just tap multiple times. The lavish system was built back in 1935 while Stalin was in power. Today it is 339.1 km long and consists of 12 lines servicing 203 stations and transports about 10 million passengers daily. Several Metro stations are worth visiting just to admire and appreciate their grandeur – ornate pillars, marble floors, chandeliers and huge statues everywhere.

The Ploshchad Revolyutsii Metro Station, one of the several we visited.

The Ploshchad Revolyutsii Metro Station, one of the several we visited.

Trains run more speedily than those we have here, there is free Wi-Fi, carriages are longer, frequency faster (minimal interval between trains is 90 seconds) maybe because they don’t have a retired general running it, like in Singapore. In case you are interested, the head of the Moscow Metro is Dmitry Pegov, who graduated as an electrical engineer, but did an MBA, and earned a law degree as well. He started his career as an assistant engineer of electric locomotive depot, then worked as a train driver and even became a driving instructor of locomotive crews, and was eventually promoted to head of the railcar depot Saint Petersburg-Moscow October railway and several other senior positions before being appointed to his present job in 2014.

Most Russian women are pretty – tall, slim, blonde, sensual. Or maybe I only noticed those. Slavic features I guess. Oh, to be young again!

Most menial work – those done by chambermaids, manual laborers, taxi drivers seem to be carried out by people of Asian descent – those from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, etc.

We traveled to Veliky Novgorod and Staraya Ladoga from St Petersburg:

A building at Vitoslavlitsy, Veliky Novgorod, the birthplace of Russia.

I bet we are the only Singaporeans ever to visit those historically important and ancient cities (do a search online to find out why these two places are worth visiting). Those two trips out of St Petersburg were worth the long drives and the costs involved. We hired a driver – too talkative and opinionated for my liking (we called him “The Bullshit King”) – who used a Mercedes Viano to take us there and back.

Staraya Ladoga, ancient capital of Russia, population about 2000.

Ah, Russia!

My son said “One day I will return.” As for me, would I visit Russia again? Yes, for sure! Most definitely! In a heartbeat! And spend more time – lots to see actually. Russia is so big! The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, for example: it is said that if you spend 8 hours a day there just looking at each exhibit for one minute, you would need 15 years! The Central Museum of Armed Forces, oh, that’s really some museum! There we saw the actual flag raised over the Reichstag during the Battle of Berlin in 1945; we also saw at close range, the humongous Nazi eagle toppled from the German parliament and what must have been thousands of Nazi iron crosses recovered from dead German soldiers. Here is just one glass case of iron crosses:

The small eatery inside that museum serves delicious and very reasonably-priced “thematic” lunches, a peek at the English menu; one of the few menus we encountered that was in English:

You may be a general, but like the rest of the troops, you drink soup from a mess tin; youngest son said it’s one of the best soups he’s ever had:

Overall, we all fell in love with Russian soups! Here’s a pot of Borscht, a soup which I ordered at every opportunity I had. Now I understand why a Russian friend told me after he has eaten at a supposedly Russian restaurant here in Far East Shopping Center, Singapore, that “whoever taught them to cook this crap and to call it Russian food should have his tongue cut out.”

And at Vystavka Dostizheniy Narodnogo Khozyaystva or VDNKh, there was a gigantic building for each of the previous 15 Soviet republics, in addition to other exhibits. The entire site covers 2.4 million square meters. We spent an entire day there and it just wasn’t enough.

The famous Rabochiy i Kolkhoznitsa statue near VDNKh.

The famous Rabochiy i Kolkhoznitsa statue near VDNKh.

A full-size bottle of vodka costs something like S$6 in the supermarket – no wonder lots of Russian men apparently succumbed to alcoholism. For youngest son and I, it was heaven! We imbibed, happily and freely.

Russian ice cream is among the best I’ve ever tasted. Putin took some for the Chinese president when they both went to China for a meeting. Got to be good!

The above are my initial impressions. For a detailed “report” you’ll have to wait for my memoirs, I’m afraid.

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Wah Lau Eh, Like That Can Ah?

Poor Mr Lee, he could have been accused of all kinda shit.

Poor Mr Lee, he could have been accused of all kinda shit.

Due to “public outcry” Toggle removed a drama episode which had a short scene featuring a local actor portraying an African by donning a black face and an Afro wig. The producer wasn’t trying to mock anyone, he just couldn’t find a real African to play the role, he said.

Earlier, another local actor had to apologize when shown wearing a turban and makeup to look dark.

Not long ago a woman kicked up a fuss when denied a stall at a mall.

I don’t believe the incidents above arose out of an intent to ridicule or insult.

Yet angry reaction was fast and swift.

And we pride ourselves as a multi-cultural society living in harmony?

Aren’t we carrying our mentally-embedded prejudices too far? Have we psyched ourselves to see and imagine perceived slights at every opportunity? If all we have is a hammer, every problem is a nail. If we think people are making fun of us, we WILL find them and we WILL see them everywhere. And we will suffer outrage that exists only in our paranoid minds.

What happened to tolerance and forgiveness? And maturity?

We are not alone. Disney has halted sales of a costume inspired by its upcoming Moana movie after being accused of racism.

The US has produced a Donald Trump and a Hillary Clinton out of a population of 300 million and they complain about a costume deemed "politically incorrect."

The US has produced a Donald Trump and a Hillary Clinton out of a population of 300 million and they complain about a costume deemed “politically incorrect.”

The costume is based on Disney’s animated depiction of Maui, a key figure in Polynesian oral tradition. It featured full-length brown trousers and a long-sleeved shirt covered in “tattoos,” as well as a “skirt” made of leaves.

And a toothpaste had to change a brand it has used for decades – from Darkie to Darlie.

"Darlie"? Utterly meaningless.

“Darlie”? Utterly meaningless.

I wonder if the legendary Black & White Mistrels show of those days could have existed in this day and age?

He wouldn't have lasted five minutes today.

He wouldn’t have lasted five minutes today.

Probably not.

And we are supposed to be more civilized now?

No, I think we have moved backwards.

And in Malaysia, it seems they have a problem with the word “dog” so now I walk my sausage and my girlfriends ask me “Is that a dog in your pocket or are you happy to see me?”

But that crappy country deserves another post of its own for another day.

Posted in Unforgiven | Comments Off on Wah Lau Eh, Like That Can Ah?

A Very Non-Singaporean Event

f1Once again, an event that few ordinary Singaporeans can relate to is here – the F1.

The hookers have flown in, the stars will be performing and this is the only night race in the world, but if you are not able to fork out exorbitant sums of money, forget about even catching a glimpse because all the barriers are up and no one can see anything unless they pay and get admitted.

Definitely an event for rich foreigners and members of the local glitterati and not for the ordinary people.

Of course it’s on TV but that’s like a wealthy uncle flicking crumbs off his table at you.

Posted in The Good, the Bad & the Ugly | Comments Off on A Very Non-Singaporean Event