Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Laura and a couple of icons would like to wish you Happy New Year and all the best for 2008!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Laura in Bali

Over the holidays, I went to Bali, which was filled with rain, temples, clouds, sculptures, and greenery. There are more pictures here than average, but you're on holiday, try to strengthen your attention span.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy Holidays

Laura in Singapore wishes you all the best for the holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fruit of the Week

The fruit of the week is the pomelo. Since I'm studying marketing, I've come up with some slogans for the pomelo. Do you see a career for me in citrus marketing?

1) Pomelo, a great big fruit experience.
2) Pomelo. Super-size it.
3) Pomelo. Compensating for something?
4) Pomelo, a freak of natural goodness.
5) Pomelo, kicking the ass of smaller citrus.
6) There's a little Pomelo in all of us.
7) Pomelo, making lil' citrus weep.

The vegetable of the week is shown below. While I believe it is some sort of turnip, googling its Chinese (Pinyin) name yields only, um, nudity-oriented sites. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Exam Strategies

Right now, I am studying for exams. To help with our grades, my group and I have come up with the following strategies for achieving high exam grades:

1) For all questions, regardless of what is asked, calculate what you know. Then elaborate on said calculation. If no data is available for this, make something up.

2) Once you do that, randomly multiply and divide different numbers available. That will look good and hopefully get partial credit.

3) Do calculations very neatly so as to appear confident and in control. Use a ruler to draw lines places, signifying subtotal, cost, etc. Avoid erasing incorrect calculations. Instead, just demonstrate your subject mastery by re-starting the question via an "alternative approach".

4) Use verbose explanations in between calculations to explain what you're doing. Try not to relate these to actual calculations in order to break up the flow a little. Use words like paradigm and streamline.

5) Carry all incorrect calculations to at least 4 decimal places to prove that you're diligent and accurate in your ignorance.

6) Draw at least one whale diagram, even if the question does not ask about customer profitability. Such diagrams are pretty, and help the marker with his self esteem. Conversely, do not draw the death spiral, no one wants to see that.

7) Liberally use the acronyms and terms between the numbers, that will confuse the professor into thinking that you really know something.

8) Ensure that all 16 pages of the booklet are full of numbers and acronyms for a high quality exam.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Boat Quay

Here are some pictures of Boat Quay by day and night.
Boat Quay is a row of bars and restaurants along the river, at the Elgin Bridge, Singapore's first river crossing. While Clarke Quay has taken some of Boat Quay's allure, Boat Quay is much more romantic.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Monkeys in Singapore

Since I love long-tailed macaques, I went to see them at Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, which is a rainforest park in central Singapore. There was more to see in Bukit Timah than the monkeys. This is the view from the highest point in Singapore, whose hills have mostly been removed to reclaim land from the sea.
Surpsingly, the first thing I saw at the park was this sign, which I've used before for our office rules (do not feed the Darryl) so I knew it was serious business. More monkeys here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Little Baggies

Singapore makes good use of little baggies. You put your umbrella in a little baggy when you come in from the rain, but don't forget to take it out later!
Takeout, including coffee and drinks (yummy lime juice shown here) is also served in little baggies.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Merlion

Here I am with Singapore's official tourism icon, the Merlion. While I have seen the Merlion several times from afar, I foolishly failed to realize that the Merlion was indeed half fish. It is confusing enough, I suppose, to understand that the Lion city is so known because it once had tigers. More pictures.

Patriotism in Singapore

This week, we Canadians bid for Canada week (a week at school dedicated to Canada, involving many fun events, see Korean week below). In order to gain votes and seal the deal, we promoted our country based on free Canadian club...
...and demonstrating our support for same-sex marriage. (Oh, the things I do for my country.)
Obviously, we won our week. (The Americans, sadly, did not.)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Me and Stam

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingly Raffles and me. Old and new settlers in Singapore.


Do you think North America is ready for Vietnamese fashion?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Culture Shock Delirium

The other day, I had a taxi driver who frightened me because he looked so much like Shawn Mc. Is Shawn, shown here, perhaps part Asian? Or am I, in my attempted integration into Singaporean culture, losing my mind?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bonus Features of the Help

For various reasons, I pay four times the rent I did in Ottawa for a lovely condominium with maid service twice weekly. Normally, though I make few messes, I find it pleasing to never do dishes. This, however, is the traumatic story of how I had to do my own dishes yesterday.

I came home late in the afternoon to see shoes at my front door, well after when the usual maid should have gone. I entered, and a maid I hadn't seen before was there, music, fan and air conditioning were blaring. Not only that, but she wasn't wearing any pants. So there was a stranger in my house wearing nothing but a long shirt. I saw cellulite. What exactly is a girl to do? I tried to mind my own business, but then there was a knock at the door, to further disturb my privacy. Naturally, I had to answer it as I was the one wearing clothes. (Furthermore, the maid is Malay and cannot be seen without her hijab on). Anyway, it was a man at the door wanting to give the maid a key. I believe he is the boss of all maids, known as the maid pimp. Embarrassingly, I had to explain that my maid was "changing", which likely made him suspect we were having some kind of affair, though she wasn't really my type. He left, and my maid took off her pants again. I do not believe this is normal in Singapore. After flinging the mop around for a while, she got dressed then asked me if there was anything else she could do for me. Naturally, I decided that it was worth doing my own dishes in order to regain my privacy and sanity.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Divali!

Why is Laura always at festivals? Well, Singapore celebrates the traditions of its people, who come from the world's two most populous nations. This week was the very important Divali (Deepavali), the Hindu festival of lights. To mark this occasion, we ate preposterous amounts of yummy Indian food for about $5. The picture below shows my surprise at learning that this is how big my belly will be after eating. More non-festival pictures of little India coming soon. Pics click.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

After School

School's done for the day, where should I drive?
(Yes, contrast with previous post is intentional.)

Saturday, November 3, 2007

People in Vietnam

This album is dedicated to Tony, who always wants pictures of the locals. Somehow, this is easier to accomplish in a developing country.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Laura in Vietnam

From the chaos of Hanoi, we travelled to Halong bay, where we spent the night on a Junk boat.Then, we travelled via bus, boat and cable car to the Perfume Pagoda. The pictures here are set two of three for Vietnam, stay tuned.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Engrish in Vietnam

I'm currently overwhelmed with various things, including the number of pictures I took last weekend in Vietnam. So, for today you get part one of three: Engrish in Vietnam.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Happy Durga Puja!

This week my friend took us to the Bengali festival of Durga Puja. This is to pray for Durga, shown below. Much like the modern woman, Durga is a beautiful and powerful multi-handed goddess who fights evil, makes hand gestures, and cares for her five children.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Laura in Singapore Rated

This blog is rated R. Children under 17 require an accompanying adult due to use of the words pain (8x), sex (5x), hurt (4x), drugs (3x) and ass (2x) and steal (2x). While I enjoy this rating, I'm concerned about the ratio of pain words to more fun ones. Aiming to please, I will work on this in future posts.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya!

This Friday, we went to Arab Street and Malay Village to witness the end-of-Ramadan festivities, known as Eid, or Hari Raya. The festival chaos was enchanting, and there was much to be seen. Several pictures for you.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

This Saturday, twelve Canadians in Singapore got together for thanksgiving. Here are the challenges that were skillfully overcome:
Cranberries. These are North American and are generally only available as craisins. Cans were found in a crevasse at the bottom shelf of grocery store.
Turkey. This is not available unless the butcher happens to overhear you talking in Canadian French, in which case you can special order.
Pumpkin. Available here is some kind of Australian squash-like vegetable, as well as Monsieur le Canuck:Pumpkin pie. Special supply for Canadian expats shows up in local grocery store. I bought 1/2 of these. Oven. Very rare: only 1 Canadian apartment of 10 had one. I baked pies at a friend's friend's house. Luckily she welcomes strangers in to use her oven.
Culture. French Canadians, who are the majority here, don't tend to celebrate thanksgiving, but led this event in the name of patriotism.
We had a fabulous time, spoke Franglais, and according to tradition, ate way too much:

Saturday, October 6, 2007

More Tourism shots

Clarke Quay is a covered restaurant area on the river. We went there in a semi-successful attempt to address our huge lingering shawarma craving. Here are some more high-saturation night shots called "Tourist walking to Shawarma".

Monday, October 1, 2007

Korean Day

I was going to do this post in Korean and make you translate, but Blogger is xenophobic. So here's what I said. And here's the translation from babelfish:
We Korean day were in the last week school. My Korean name is the [as shown]. My friends and I eat the Korean food absurdly and there was a fun. You who drink the bomb mixed the soju at pulse [beer] week and assuming me you learned. That time it throws the napkin which gets wet in the ceiling which it spreads out (or at your friend). Me it wears the traditional Korean dress with a rice shock [pounding] man from Belgium. The helpful and brilliant Koreans gave us tea. We promptly followed these instructions:

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Colonial Singapore

Today, I went to the colonial district of Singapore. Can you tell whether these pictures were taken in Asia?

Fruit of the Week

Vietnamese Dragonfruit. I like Vietnamese Dragons.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Signs of Singapore

More handy instructions. I'm ok, you're ok, together Singapore's ok.
All three of the signs below were found in the same bar washroom. I tried not to lose my joy to crime.
And when search of Engrish, turn to trusty Japanese products like my new hairspray. Can you think of other potential uses?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Holland Village

I live near Holland Village, which is neighbourhood of shops, restaurants, and my local grocery store (though this week I had groceries delivered). In response to the "show us more local pictures" request, here is Holland Village by night.
Above is the toy store, below is the sub-freezing eski-bar.Adjacent Mexican restaurantsHolland Village's hawker center