Thursday, September 21, 2006

I saw a big rat at the Jurong East hawker centre

Rating: 10000
I barely began to dig at my claypot chicken when a big, gray-brown rat (not a cute little mouse mind you!) scurried across from the empty stall beside me to the stall across it.

The chef looked unimpressed at the rat's brazen display of machismo and proceeded to scoop some water into a tabo and splashed it under the cooking counter to where the rat was now hiding.

The rat apparently got wet, left its hiding place and ran back to where it came from expertly dodging the legs of the patrons who were blissfully oblivious of the whole affair.

I have eaten at a lot of hawker centres in Singapore and this one at the Jurong Centre is one of the worst.

Let's start with the ambience-- During the afternoon, it's stifling hot. Despite the heat, i noticed a sizeable number of professionals who work at the adjacent offices dining here. The evenings are a lot less crowded but dotted with uncles drinking and smoking. Apparently, the government's no smoking laws are not enforced here.

The whole place has this rundown, dirty-kitchen vibe to it. It's bigger than most hawker centers i've been and it's the only one i've seen that have the cleaners dragging pails on the floor with a piece of string as they roam about clearing the tables. It's sort of like watching someone walk their dog but instead of a cute barking pup, it's a filthy pail full of dirty bowls and plates. Then they bring their loot to the washing area that occupies the whole length of a wall and is in full view of the dining area. Yummy.

There is a lot of variety in the food but mediocre quality. A dish that i've not seen at other hawker centres is the fish in apple stew... Try it. Not my favorite thing in the world but let's just say that... it's different. The rojak's pretty good because it's the first time i've had it with chopped lime. The dumplings as well as the Japanese food are safe bets, too. The Bak Kut Teh, chicken cutlet noodles, economical mixed rice and claypot rice did not impress me.

One pawikan point. I have had many firsts during my short stay here in Singapore and this is another I will add to my list: the first time I've encountered vermin at a food centre.

Between the roving pails and the big rat... this is just unappetizing (don't even get me started at the state of their toilets!)

If you must eat at Jurong East, go to the airconditioned (and more expensive) Kopitiam at the 2nd floor of Jurong Centre instead.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Durian Yoghurt Freeze, Jurong Centre

Rating: 11100
After a particularly spicy meal at the Kopitiam on the 2nd floor of the Jurong Centre (get off at the Jurong East MRT station), I decided to try the Durian Yoghurt Freeze which is basically ice, yoghurt, syrup and durian bits thrown into a blender.

Durian isn't my favorite fruit but this just sounded too exotic and sosyal to pass up!

It's got a smooth, thick and creamy consistency and a lovely yellow color that makes you want to drink it! The first sip is very refreshing and there are just hints of the yoghurt because the Durian overpowers it.

I guess that's an understatement. The Durian overpowers everything! It instantly cleared the aftertaste of my spicy dinner and left my burps tasting like durian hours after I finished the drink. Yuck!

Three pawikan points. I recommend sharing this treat if you're not used to the fruit because there's only so much of it you can drink in one sitting.

Friday, September 15, 2006

One stop shop for Lasallian Alma Mater song remixes, music videos, mp3's and ringtones

There are a lot of Lasallian related media all over the internet and I thought i'd try to get them all together on one page.

The latest i've seen are some pretty cool Lasallian videos produced by the Philippine Lasallian family.

One of my favorites is White collar job (shown on the video on this page). There are others such as Sports Brothers, Jeep ni Kuya, Be the Man and commercials by Our Own Little Team La Salle.

Another oldie but goodie is the funny song I'd Rather Be Green Than Be Blue by Randy Santiago and Ogie Alcasid (MP3 courtesy of Mico) which has recently been resurrected and making the rounds of the internet because of a music video supposedly produced by some students at CSB.

The video is corny but it has a certain cute, homegrown charm to it. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it on google video then show it to your *ehem* blue friends.

You can also dress up your Nokia phone with some DLSU themes by Bnycastro. The De La Salle Alumni Association also has some ringtones, wallpapers, songs and cheers on their website. It's a paltry selection and hasn't been updated in ages but it's better than nothing.

But my favorite Lasallian songs are the remixes of De La Salle's Alma Mater Hymn produced by the Silverde Foundation and released in 2004 during Batch 79's 25th anniversary. Astute readers will figure out that Silverde is a play on the words silver (as in silver anniversary) and berde (green).

Have a listen to these MP3s (courtesy of Enoe): R&B, Disco, Hard Rock, Pinoy, Reggae, Rock and Roll, Rap. My favorite is the reggae version and I use it as my phone's ringtone.

I wish there were fresher material as most of these have been created years ago. This is the age of the mash-up and i'm excited to see some new content... but where is it?

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Watching Singapore Idol Live at the Mediacorp Theatre

Rating: 11100
Since I so thoroughly enjoy judge Jacintha's comments at Singapore Idol, I decided to hop on over to the Mediacorp Theatre at Cairnhill road for some more of her philosophic musings and watch the "last 5" results show live!

How to get tickets to Singapore Idol's results show
I got my tickets through Ton, cousin of my friend Fritz (who is a HUGE fan of SI) but as I soon discovered, you can just show up at the studio by 7:15pm (even without tickets) and they'll inevitably let you in to fill up the empty seats.
We got there by 7pm and were in our balcony seats a couple of minutes later. However the whole section was soon asked to relocate downstairs near the stage to make the place look full. Even after the show started, I could still spy some empty seats.

Who watches the show live
The audience was made up mostly by screaming female tweens and teenieboppers (some even in their school uniform!). If it weren't for that big blue logo up on screen, you could've thought that it was Nickelodeon. But this didn't stop us twenty-something corporate slaves from joining in the fun.

So i grabbed a Hady poster that they were passing around and proceeded to cheer along with the electrified crowd. I wouldn't have imagined that one day i'd be on the other side of the TV and in a weird way I guess people were watching me at home instead of the other way around.

Behind the scenes
But what you don't see at home are the quirky things that make live TV "look" fun. What they don't show is see the radio personality who works the crowd prior to beginning the show and during commercial breaks so that when the camera begins rolling, everyone is shouting and you at home are wishing that you're with us, too!

What they don't show are the Mediacorp cheerleaders distributing leaflets with the 'lyrics' of the chants:
H-A-D-Y! What do you get?

What they don't show are the ex-idol contestants Nurul (who was booted during the last show), Gayle, Emilee and Mathilda who I sat about two seats away from.
They don't show on TV how Nurul cups her hands across her mouth, shrinks into her seat as a video montage of their antics are shown up the big screen. You don't see how her moist eyes betray that sense of tragedy, that sense of loss, that starstruck-ness and tragedy of "that could have been me!"

Contrast this with Gayle and Emilee who were both blasé and Mathilda who reveled in her stardom, gamely signing autographs and posing for photos and I think that you've got the recipe for compelling TV. But hey, what do I know...

Three pawikan points for watching the show live. It's a great way to spend a Thursday night. I went into the studio jaded and bored but went out chattering and smiling-- it's hard not to get infected by the audience's excitement. (BTW, it's hard to get a cab and the MRT station isn't near so make sure you're first out of the exit to avoid the crowd.)

Minus points for the nazi, power-tripping floor director who was terrorizing the teens near the stage (Move here! Move there! Step back! Don't sit there! blah blah...) and by zealously threatening to take away their phone cameras for violating the no photography rule.

C'mon man, get a life and let us enjoy the show.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Gone to the great croc zoo in the sky

(check out the video coverage from Australian tv on youtube.)
September 19, 2006 update:
I was listening to some of my old MP3s and I came across a bootleg Davespeak of Dave Matthews talking fondly about Steve Irwin.

Ilse says: "This world is full of jaded fakers. He was the real thing. Silly, baduy, but real."

hellopagong says: "...He was on the job, doing the things he loved the most. It was a death that defined the life he lived well.... Focus back on us, if we had our own version of a Steve Irwin last hurrah, it would probably be getting an aneurysm or something while staring at our inbox..."

Mike A says: "I guess it would take a bull ray barb to the heart to kill this guy. Anything less would've just made him go "Crikey!"

Wikipedia's got some interesting trivia about him, too. Did you know that he trained grappling using Gaidojutsu?