Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Italy v England: 30 Cultural Differences Between Italy & England

It's an Anglo-Italian super-battle in the Champions League last 16 as Juventus take on Chelsea, Roma meet Arsenal and Inter play Manchester United. It is often said that the two countries and leagues are poles apart, so here are 30 comical cultural differences between Italy and England…

23 Feb 2009 18:00:26
On The Pitch

1) In Italy on Sundays, it's church, match, home for supporters. In England, its pub, match, pub.

2) In Italy, pasta and meatballs with a glass of red wine is the pre-match meal. In England, kebab and chips with a pint of beer on the way to the stadium does the trick.

3) In Italy, the police will allow you to throw oranges at a team bus. In England you'd go to jail.

4) Italian fans behave when going abroad, but go berserk at home. English fans behave at home, but go stark-raving mad when in Europe.

5) In England, fans sit on the stadium seats. In Italy they use them as weapons.

6) In England, the stadium stewards watch the crowd. In Italy, the stewards watch the match or, as in the case at Catania, are actually club Ultras.

7) In England, if you want something to eat at a game you have to go and buy it from the stadium snack bar. In Italy, you just shout 'A Bibitaro' at the guy selling snacks 20 metres away, and then push your money along the row of fans as he passes a cornetto back.

8) In England, if you are fast, strong and powerful, and can run nonstop for 90 minutes you are a great player, even if you have the touch and skills of a donkey. In Italy, if you are tactically and technically excellent, you are a good player, even if you have the speed and mobility of a snail.

9) In England, if SKY Sports says that Peter Crouch is the best player in the world, the whole country believes and preaches it. In Italy, if SKY Italia says that Simone Loria is the best defender on the planet, the whole nation cancels their satellite subscription.

10) In Italy, ‘the end justifies the means’, and shirt-pulling, diving, cynical fouls and fooling the referee are seen as important parts of the game. In England, these things are seen as cheating, and the philosophy that ‘the means justifies the end’ is followed, with fair play more important than winning at all costs.

11) In Italy, defending is an art. In England, defending is anti-football.

12) In Italy, if a team is 3-0 down, the players all give up, while the fans abuse the team, smash up the worst player’s car, and invade training the next morning. In England, if a team is losing 8-0, the players continue to fight and chase every ball until the last minute even though the cause is lost, while the supporters continue to sing and cheer on their heroes.

13) In England, a bad referee is incompetent. In Italy, a bad referee is corrupt.

14) In England post-weekend football shows are 99% highlights and 1% analysis. In Italy shows are 1% highlights, and 99% analysis (or slow-motion replays).

15) In England, you rarely hear from chairmen, who often mind their own business and stay out of the press. In Italy, the presidents are utterly insane at times, regularly making controversial remarks, with Palermo’s Maurizio Zamparini the most infamous.

Off The Pitch

16) In Italy, bribery and corruption is a part of life. In England, a backhander is a tennis shot.

17) In England, you are innocent until proven guilty. In Italy, you are guilty until proven innocent.

18) In Italy, children are first given alcohol when they are nine months old, and learn how to respect and enjoy liquor. In England, children are banned from drinking alcohol until they are 18, and then proceed to massacre the stuff.

19) In Italy, sons are cradled by their mothers until they are 40. In England, sons have their own house and are looking after themselves at the age of 16.

20) Italian men are already shaving before they are 11-years-old, and need to use a razor every day to stay smooth. English men don’t start shaving until they are 18, and then have to wait five years just to grow a little bit of stubble on the end of their chin.

21) In England, punctuality and timekeeping is extremely important. In Italy, being on time is arriving 30 minutes late.

22) In Italy, no one who travels by train buys a ticket. In England, everyone buys a ticket, even though the prices are a scandalous rip-off and it would be cheaper to take a taxi.

23) In England, breaking the law is something you usually keep to yourself. In Italy, breaking petty rules is a source of amusement and something worth boasting about.

24) Italians who go on holiday blend into the surroundings and will turn brown in the sun. The English, who spend most their holidays recovering from sunburn, have ‘tourist’ written all over them as they trudge onto the beach with Hawaiian shirts, and socks and sandles.

25) In Italy the idea of wearing head-to-toe sporting clothing is considered unfashionable. In England wearing anything other than head-to-toe sports clothing is considered feminine.

26) In Italy, no one queues up, instead pushing in at the last minute after pretending they know someone at the front. In England, people queue up for hours, and then when they are still turned away at the end, they leave without a fuss.

27) In Italy, politics is a matter of life and death depending on which side of the fence you are on. In England it is not as important as 'Big Brother', a show where a bunch of talentless nobodies do nothing all day.

28) In Italy, it is normal for two people of the same sex to greet each other with a hug and kiss on both cheeks. In England, you are not heterosexual if you do this.

29) In Italy, if you go to a dinner party, you are guaranteed a six course meal, a doggy bag, and you have to refuse even more food at least 10 times before the host finally accepts no for an answer. “Are you sure, you don’t want some more?”…”Yes, I am bloody sure!” In England, you are asked to bring a bottle with you, the sausage rolls and Quavers run out after 10 minutes, and you have to make a stop at the McDonalds drive-thru on the way back home because you are still hungry.

30) In Italy, TV babes include Juliana Moreira, Ilary Blasi, Christina Chiabotto, Ilaria D’Amico and Michelle Hunziker, to name just a handful. In England it's Jordan or Jody Marsh.

What are your views on this topic? Any other cultural differences between Italy and England that you can offer? would like to know...

Carlo Garganese,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Well, here we go again, the magical Champions League is back again. Exciting matches in bold in anticipation from all of us. The most anticapated of them all is the Mourinho VS. Ferguson clash. There are 4 English clubs, 4 Spanish clubs, 3 Italian clubs, 2 Portugese clubs, 1 French club, 1 German club and 1 Greek club.

Arsenal VS. AS Roma
Internazionale VS. Manchester United
Atletico Madrid VS. FC Porto
Lyon VS. Barcelona
Chelsea VS. Juventus
Sporting Lisbon VS. Bayern Munich
Real Madrid VS. Liverpool
Villarreal VS. Panathinaikos


Sunday, February 22, 2009


Real Madrid 6-1 Real Betis

FC Barcelona 1-2 Espanyol

So now, 7 points difference and 14 matches left in the La Liga. Barcelona have 60 points while Real Madrid have 53 points from 24 matches.

Interestingly, Madrid will host Espanyol next away and later Atletico Madrid at home. They will still have to meet Malaga away, Sevilla FC away, Barcelona at home, Valencia and Villarreal away. Barcelona have to face the same rivals too except Espanyol. Well, to me, it is still hard to chase the invincible Barcelona. 7 points is still a lot and requires a lot of consistency to keep up the pressure. The Champions League will resume this coming week and that itself will make everything a lot more complicated.


Unexpected Hope for Real Madrid
By Eduardo Alvarez
Feb 23, 2009

Saturday night, Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Almost a full house to welcome the same brave Betis squad that drew against Barcelona a week ago. The crowd sounds upbeat. Real Madrid are on a roll in La Liga, but before the match most conversations focus on the next Champions League match against Liverpool. Will Gerrard play? Is Benítez really leaving at the end of the season? Who can possibly stop Torres?

A couple of minutes before kick off, a respectable-looking man sitting on my right, his face bearing a striking resemblance to Clint Eastwood, rises and screams off the top of his lungs: "Come on lads, by the end of tonight we'll be three points closer to Barça!" Most people around him simply laugh.

The Madrid media have spent all week talking about how Barcelona are supposedly starting to feel apprehensive after their draw at Betis, but the Real Madrid fans and their gaffer know better. Ten points behind Barça, La Liga is clearly out of reach and the Champions League is their last chance of silverware this season. The Spanish Eastwood is clearly an optimistic, as the league leaders host bottom-of-the-table Espanyol in what is probably the most uneven encounter so far in La Liga.

Every madridista refers to Espanyol as the Equipo Hermano, their brother team, almost a sibling, a member of the family. Given the fierce rivalry between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, it almost seemed logical that long ago Real Madrid supporters chose "the other club from Barcelona" as their pet team.

The fact that the club was called "Espanyol" only made it sweeter to them, politics always mixing well with football here. In the Bernabéu of old, radical supporters from both teams used to stand and sing together whenever Espanyol came to play against Real Madrid.

The brotherhood between their fans grew even stronger two La Liga seasons ago, when on matchday 37 Raúl Tamudo struck twice against Barcelona to draw the match even, stealing two points from Barça and leaving Real Madrid at the top of the table. Fabio Capello's side went on to win the title, and Tamudo became a cult hero for Real Madrid supporters in the process.

But this time it was different: Tamudo had been injured for months, Espanyol had last won 14 matches ago and their previous Liga victory at the Nou Camp happened in 1982 (you read that right, 27 years ago). Espanyol to win tonight? Surely the Spanish version of Dirty Harry has to be joking...and Real Madrid still needs to beat that disciplined Betis squad first anyway...

And then the match kicks off and we see nothing of that fighting Betis side we expected. Very poor defending sees them fall 3-0 behind in less than 25 minutes, as Ricardo looks like a shadow of the almost unbeatable goalie we saw only a week ago. Ricardo Oliveira manages to pull one back, but a certain Raúl González hasn't quite joined the party yet: he decides to finish it off for good with two spectacular strikes.

His second was a trademark palanca (lever) goal, Raúl's classic chip over the goalie that we hadn't seen for a while and that I, for one, thought I'd never have the chance to see again in my lifetime. When Raúl got the ball from Fernando Gago, 99.9% of those present at the Stadium knew exactly what he was going to do, with the surprising exception of Ricardo, who took three steps off the goal and facilitated the striker's effort.

Besides Betis' poor outing, Real Madrid were simply terrific. After just a few matches played in Spain, Lassana Diarra looks like a younger Marcos Senna, and his partnership with Gago in midfield might not be extremely creative, but it is indeed solid and very hard to beat.

With an amazing 6-1 scoreline at half-time, the optimistic Mr Eastwood and the rest of us turned to Barcelona through our radio receivers. Espanyol was surprisingly holding on to the 0-0, a side motivated because it's always fun for them to spoil Barça's party, because they wanted to get back at Sergi Busquets ("I don't care if they go down," he had said about Espanyol's troubled situation during the week), but most importantly, because they were bottom of the table and desperately needed points.

And then, once again in La Liga, the seemingly impossible happened. Barcelona, looking anxious all match, lost their composure after Seydou Keita was harshly sent off at the end of the first half. They had fallen for Espanyol's mind games. Their defensive unit looked out of place or nervous several times, such as in Iván De la Peña's first (he spent a good ten seconds unmarked waiting inside the box), or his second, when Víctor Valdés erred first with his feet and then with his positioning. It was 1-2 after 90 minutes: the leaders had been defeated by the bottom-of-the-table team.

But to the majority of Barça fans, this defeat should not be their most worrying issue. The utter feeling of despair both the team and Guardiola himself conveyed during the last 30 minutes of the match must be their real cause for concern. Barcelona had come back in several matches this season, and had done so by sticking to their way of playing football: fast passing game, getting Henry and Messi in dangerous positions, Alves and to a lesser extent Abidal going forward&

This was not the case on Saturday. The team panicked, opted for a direct football approach they don't master, and Guardiola only made it worse with questionable substitutions (why take off Eto'o?) and weird tactical decisions (why send Busquets forward as a striker with over 20 minutes left?). Espanyol easily held on for the win, climbed off the foot of the table and added more solid arguments for another week of Madrid media putting pressure on Barcelona.

The distance between the top two teams is still seven points, but for the first time this season Espanyol made Barcelona seem human, beatable. The tournament, already fantastic at all other levels, would become mouth-watering for the neutrals if the title race becomes relevant again. And then we have the Champions League fixtures...

At the end of the match I asked Mr Eastwood (his real name a very Spanish Paco): "How did you know?" His smiling answer: "I didn't, but isn't this the reason why we watch this (expletive) game? You just can't take results for granted!" And I have to agree: you can't indeed...

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Sometimes, not all things go up only in Singapore. I will be able to cheer a bit with this good news. I hope this will last long, not just for a while. I want to be happy for a bit...

Lower EZ-Link bus and train fares from April
Posted: 19 February 2009 1047 hrs

Singapore: EZ-Link bus and train fares will be lowered from April 1.

The Public Transport Council (PTC) announced Thursday that there will be an overall 4.6% reduction in fares, comprising both a fare rebate and an increase in transfer rebate.

The transfer rebate for all adult and senior citizen concession EZ-Link journeys will be increased by 10 cents, to 50 cents from 1 April 2009.

The existing 10-cent transfer rebate for child/student concession EZ-Link fares will remain unchanged.

However, all adult EZ-Link fares for buses and trains will enjoy a reduction of 2 cents per trip, across all fare bands.

As for child/student concession EZ-Link fares, these will be reduced by 1 cent per trip, across all fare bands.

This balances out to lower fares overall.

EZ-Link fares for adult and senior citizen concession journeys for instance could see a fare reduction of 2 cents for a direct journey with no transfer, to a reduction of 14 cents for a journey with 1 transfer.

Journeys with multiple transfers will see correspondingly greater fare reductions, of up to 38 cents.

Chairman of the PTC, Gerard Ee, said due credit must be given to the transport operators for their decision.

“The PTC is pleased that the operators are mindful of prevailing economic conditions... not only are they not applying for a fare increase, they have decided to give a fare rebate to commuters."

The PTC said the public transport operators decided to bear a larger share (two-thirds) of the cost of this year’s 10 cent increase in transfer rebate to benefit commuters. The move translates into a permanent revenue loss of $22 million per year for transport operators.

Mr Gan Juay Kiat, Chief Operating Officer of SBS Transit, said: “These are difficult times and we believe in doing our bit to help our commuters."

"As commuters are increasingly relying on public transport for their travel needs, we believe these measures will bring some relief to them, and in part, help lower their cost of living” added President of SMRT Corp,Saw Phaik Hwa.

In addition to the fare adjustments, the pricing on all monthly concession passes will be reduced by between $1 and $4.

The monthly primary and secondary student bus and train concession passes will become $1 lower while the student hybrid concession passes will be reduced by $2.

As for tertiary students and National Service-men, their monthly bus and train concession passes will be down by $2 while the hybrid concession passes will see a $4 reduction.

There is no change to all cash fares for buses and single-trip ticket fares for trains.

The PTC said the 4.6% fare reduction package which stretches over a 15-month period (from 1 April 2009 to 30 June 2010) will cost public transport operators about $80 million.

It comprises a fare rebate of $52 million, of which about $37 million are the savings from the Government Budget measures that the transport operators are passing on to commuters. Another $28 million is the amount over a 15-month period to fund the transfer rebate increase.

It was announced in January that both SBS Transit and SMRT would not apply for fare adjustments in 2009 and instead work with the Public Transport Council to pass the savings from the 2009 Singapore Budget to commuters.

The next time train and bus fares can be adjusted will be in July 2010, and the full implementation of distance-based through-fares could take place then.

Transport operators in the past submitted fare revision proposals to the PTC in August for changes to be implemented in October.

However the PTC said Thursday that it has decided that submissions and approvals for fare revisions will be brought forward in 2010 to May-July in view of the rapidly changing economic conditions.


Public Transport Council expected to decide on new fares soon
By Asha Popatlal, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 18 February 2009 2121 hrs

SINGAPORE: The Public Transport Council is expected to decide on new fares this week and commuters are hoping for some cuts in bus and train fares, especially with the gloomy economic situation.

However, transport analysts are not expecting dramatic drops and they said fare reductions will probably be in favour of concession groups.

Transport operators SBS Transit and SMRT responded to the Budget announcement last month by saying they would pass on savings from government rebates to commuters.

"If they cut it by 20 cents or 30 cents a day, I think I can save around S$100 a month," one commuter said.

"At the moment, normal fare from one end to the other is about S$2. So 30 per cent is around 60 cents, so that will be good," another added.

"I basically think they should reduce public transport fee by another 20 per cent – back to '04-'05 levels, before inflation kicks in."

Terence Fan, assistant professor, Management, Singapore Management University (SMU), said: "As the economy is in early stages of slowdown, it's likely that prices may fall even more later on. So it's also possible that in the middle of the year or even next year, we'll see a further reduction."

Transport economists said cuts serve two purposes. One, they help those currently taking public transport, and two, if well-crafted, they could stimulate demand for more trips which could help to stimulate economic activity.

"For example, retirees who would normally be home would now say, 'Hey, hang on a second. I could perhaps use this opportunity to go to that restaurant or kopi tiam to have lunch', so that might stimulate economic activity," said Professor Fan.

A formal announcement on the new fares is expected soon.

- CNA/so


Hmm, in Asia Pacific, National University of Singapore and University of Melbourne top the charts with an estimation of $24,000 and $20,200 per year. I don't know exactly the figure of the tuition fees now but I know it has increased tremendously from when I was in undergraduate. They are also raising it again and again every year. Soon, going to university will be only affordable among the richest in the society.

The Most Expensive U.S. Colleges

Brian Wingfield and Daniel Indiviglio, 02.03.09, 10:00 AM EST

The U.S. remains the priciest place to obtain a university education.

Washington, D.C. -- With a global recession unfolding, it's tough to come up with funding for college these days, perhaps even more so if your destination is one of the world's most expensive universities.

Aside from the general problem of rising tuition fees, the credit crunch has dented endowments. Not good news for many private American colleges and universities, which are the priciest in the world. The most expensive in terms of tuition and fees: Washington, D.C.'s George Washington University, with a sticker price of $40,437 for the 2008-2009 school year. Others in the top five are Sarah Lawrence College ($40,350), Kenyon College ($40,240), Vassar College ($40,210) and Bucknell University ($36,652).

This shouldn't be too surprising. These schools were also the five most expensive for tuition and fees last year. By contrast, expensive colleges in other countries include Canada's Quest University (about $20,500 for tuition in U.S. dollars), National University of Singapore ($24,000) and Imperial College London ($27,800 for non-British and European Union students).

What about elite Ivies, like Harvard and Yale? They're in the same ballpark--$36,173 for Harvard, $35,300 for Yale--but not quite as pricey as many smaller private schools. Factor in cost of living, books, transportation and other expenses and they're about the same as the U.S. schools listed above. Other institutions, like Carnegie Mellon University, Wesleyan and the University of Chicago are in the same league as far as overall costs go. Bottom line: If you're paying more than $45,000 for a college education, you're attending one of the world's most expensive universities.

American-style universities also fetch the highest dollars abroad. For example, Franklin University, located in the hills above Lugano, Switzerland, is fully accredited in the U.S. It costs $33,100 per year to attend; add another $7,510 for housing and $2,900 for a meal plan, mandatory for all freshmen, according to the school's estimates. The American University of Paris, located near the Eiffel Tower, runs close to $33,000 per year in tuition, fees and health insurance. Need books and a place to live? Budget in another $13,000.

That said, there are still some pretty expensive non-American style schools overseas. The University of Melbourne, is one of the priciest in Australia at about $20,200 per year. The cost of living in Melbourne could tack on another $20,000 to the bill. And the National University of Singapore, considered one of the world's elite schools, is among the most expensive in Asia, at an estimated $31,000 per year.

In compiling our list of the priciest four-year colleges and universities, we relied on The Chronicle of Higher Education's 2008-2009 ranking of tuition and fees for U.S. schools. In many countries, higher education is subsidized by the federal government. However, we scoured dozens of private schools abroad to obtain a snapshot of the priciest colleges overseas.

Last year, readers took us to task for not incorporating financial aid, room and board or a school's estimate of total cost in our rankings. We maintain that tuition and fees are the most transparent aspects of a college's sticker price. Other factors vary too much from school to school. Some charge a comprehensive fee for tuition, room and board; some are more generous than others with financial aid; many don't incorporate travel expenses or the cost of living in places like New York, Chicago or Washington, D.C., in their calculations.

Whatever their differences in cost estimates, the price to attend is going up, even as the economy slows down. For the five U.S. universities with the highest tuition and fees, those items increased by 4.8% from 2007 to 2008. That may sound like a lot, but it's less than the 6% or 7% tuition hikes that schools like Dickinson College and Villanova University have imposed, says the The Chronicle. Meanwhile, university endowments fell by 23% from July to November 2008, according to information released last week by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, which surveyed 435 schools in the U.S. and Canada.

Not all news is bad, however. For example, GW plans to increase institutional financial aid this year to about $120 million, from last year's $118 million. Last spring, President Bush signed a bill that increases the amount of federal loans students can apply for by $2,000, taking some of the pressure off the need for pricier private funding. The stimulus plan the House of Representatives passed last week includes a $2,500 tax credit for college tuition and $490 million in funding for work-study programs.

Of course, for students having trouble coming up with the cash for private schools--particularly those who aren't among the most elite--there's always the public route.

"You may find the selective, competitive public colleges are now looking better for those families," says Bruce Johnstone, a professor of comparative education at the State University of New York-Buffalo.

Monday, February 16, 2009


Two goals in the latest match against Sporting Gijon gave Raul a total of 309 club goals in all official competitions, surpassing the previous record of 307 held by the mythical Alfredo Di Stefano. It was Raul who introduced me to Spanish football in 1998. I was so excited at watching him scoring those goals in front of goal that I took him directly as my favourite footballer. I don't even know how big Real Madrid were, how many goals Raul had scored before I noticed him or whatever records that the club and the player are having. I just like to watch him play and score goals then. It was funny how I started watching Spanish soccer in such a way. It is the same way how I noticed Alan Shearer back in 1995.

Oh well, Raul may not have scored as many goals as Di Stefano if you count by the amount of matches played but you are comparing two totally different eras. Puskas in those days had probably the most incredible goal/match ratio of all time and probably of all footballing history (953 goals in 971 appearances,from the age of 12 until 40 years old, his efficiency is 98.146%). Raul's record came late because of the purchase of Ronaldo, which forced him to play a supporting role behind him and at times becoming an attacking midfielder instead. Raul could have done more if he was given his original role in the club. He is still not given the many chances he deserves for Spain. Despite all these obstacles, Raul can still achieve so many incredible records. Hats off to him!

AC Milan’s Paolo Maldini who himself last night took part in what should be his very last derby, said: “Raul is an icon of Spanish and world football."

“He has won everything with Real Madrid and he has always been a reference point for all young forwards. He is a positive example of a football champion.

“His professionalism and his constant dedication in training is just one of the many characteristics of a true champion.

“Of all the goals he has scored and the successes he has had, surpassing Di Stefano’s record is, of course, one of his most important achievements and he has now rightly earned his place in the club’s history books.

“I congratulate him and I send him my best for the future, as I believe he still has a lot to give to Spanish and international football,” the 40-year-old affirmed.

The Juventus captain, Alessandro Del Piero, widely regarded as Italy’s version of Raul, believes that ‘El Siete’ will continue shattering more records.

“308 official goals is an historic, unique and incredible achievement and surely it is just another step for a great champion who has demonstrated, over the years, his great qualities,” he told news agency.

“I am sure he will continue to show that for a long, long time,” he added.

The Arsenal captain, Cesc Fabregas, and the future of Spanish football, was equally in awe of his countryman.

“For my generation and the younger generation of Spanish players, Raul has always been an example. His goals, his determination, his work ethic has always been at the same level for many years and he represents continuity,” he professed to EFE.

Cesc then went on to recall one of the striking memories he shared with Raul: “I remember this one moment very well during the 2006 World Cup [after were eliminated by France].

“I could not bear being so helpless after losing and Raul, who had already changed after he was substituted, came to the pitch to console me. He was always there for us when we needed him.

“Raul is a reference to all football players around the globe. In every corner of the world, his image is synonymous to that of Real Madrid. I congratulate him for creating history by scoring so many goals,” he concluded.

In addition to his record 309 goals for Los Blancos, Raul is also Spain’s current leading scorer with 44 goals, the Champions League’s top marksman with 64, and the highest goalscorer in all UEFA official club competition with 66. And with 685 appearances for Madrid, he is closing in on Manuel Sanchis’ record of 712.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Alright, I really don't know the formal spelling or name of this fish in proper English. Bungalan is the spelling I give literally from how we pronounce it locally. This fish is the second most expensive fish in Sarawak. It costs RM600 per kilogram. I know the most expensive fish is RM1000 per kilogram. Damn, it is more expensive than eating cod fish or Wagyu / Kobe beef!

(RM600 = 128.43 EUR / GBP115.18 / USD166.21 / SGD250.34)
(RM1,000 = 214 EUR / GBP191.97 / USD277.01 / SGD417.19)


It is very risky to cook this fish up to the standard. Imagine if you are to spoil it with your unskilled culinary arts. You better give it to a more qualified cook to cook or you will waste a lot of money paying for this fish!


I don't know why this fish costs so much. It must be very rare to find them these days which caused the price to shoot up to RM600 per kilogram now.


It looks like any ordinary fish I can find in the market. Nothing spectacular or special which you can tell that it is so different.


Well, I tried the fish and basically the flesh is extremely tender, sweet and soft. However, too much of it will make me sick. I was probably full that day. The bones are quite big so it is not too difficult to consume every part of the fish.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


May you all have a wonderful day with your loved ones!

Enjoy the romantic day!

This was how a conversation with my friend goes:
My friend: So, how are you gonna celebrate with your ex-girlfriend?
Me: My ex-girlfriend?
My friend: Your ex-girlfriend lah!
Me: Chey.....

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! May love overflow you today!

For those who are not celebrating, Singapore also has the same celebration of Friendship Day on the same that. Well, basically it is to make sure that you can still send the same gifts to friends too. I guess it makes perfect sence for extra income earnings. Therefore, Happy Friendship Day to the rest who are not celebrating Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009


One of the major reasons why we are willing to pay thousands of Ringgit just to return home for Chinese New Year, apart from the very important reunion dinner, is the firecrackers and fireworks. It has been two years since I failed to return for Chinese New Year and my fingers were extremely itchy from not able to play these things.


The biggest headache had to be the rain. The everlasting rain with minimal sunshine created a lot of hazzle for me to keep watch to bring them out and in a million times a day. For achieving successful and powerful explosions, you need to really make sure your arsenal are fully heated up by the sun to reach their full potential. I was more confident of the performance of my ammunition since I managed to expose them to some hours in the sun.


The photos basically show the things I played with on the New Year eve countdown.





The biggest challenge was also to light them up since we were facing quite amount of rain by 12 midnight. I knew many firecrackers among the neighbours were having problem halfway to finish firing or even to be lit to fire. I decided to shield the floor with the cardbox of the firecracker box while I made sure I managed to light it up before it was exposed to the rain.

Here are some captures of videos of the countdown in High Definition (HD) video. Don't play play, this blog is using HD video already!

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Well, I have always been a fan of the Spanish since I watch the La Liga. They are currently literally unbeatable which is really something I am still trying to get used to. The underachievers of Europe (England and Spain) met in Spain and England were beaten. Germany were beaten 0-1 by Norway, Argentina beat France 2-0 and Brazil beat Italy 2-0. Is it just me or does it seem like the shift of power in Europe is slowly changing from Italy, France, Germany to Spain and England? As for England, it is fine, take it as a good measurement of how much more they need to improve. As for Spain, keep on improving as I have great hope in them for achieving great things in the upcoming World Cup.

Hiddink joined Chelsea as they try to bring back the glory days of Mourinho. Will he adapt fast before the patience of the rich owner is gone again? Real Madrid are again still mentioned to be interested in Cristiano Ronaldo. I really urge the club to think twice, thrice and even more of this decision. What really makes him so special to qualify for the €70m price tag? Come on people, there are more decent players you can buy with that kind of money.


Well, it has been raining in Sibu since December 2008. It continues to rain till after Chinese New Year. Many visitation plans were canceled or delayed because of the flood here and there. Sometimes when we want to go visit somebody, we need to call to check if their residences were flooded. Others we need to think what is the best way to reach a destination with the least chances of getting wet.


Tiong Hua Road is among the lowest areas in Sibu and we intended to visit a friend who stayed nearby, just a road away. At first, we went with the Perodua Kelisa and it was impossible to go through. We had to return and change to a Toyota Hilux to get through the flooding zones. The last days of my visit during Chinese New Year in Sibu is either using the Toyota Hilux or the Toyota Land Cruiser. There is no choice, you will only dare to go through with those big tyres of the four wheel drives.


As you can see, we have to use boots to go into the house to do the visiting. The photos show my mom to my brother to my sister to myself taking turns with two pairs of boots to enter the house.




Well, the flood also caused major jams at the roads. I canceled my plan to go to watch a movie many times because I could not enter the cinema using the Kelisa. I should have switch to the Hilux instead. As Sibu is located at a very low swampy area as well as among the lowest altitudes in Malaysia terrains, it is very easy to get flooded. Some houses are even more unlucky as their ground floor is flooded. They have to spend time moving things to the upper floor. For those single storey houses, I really don't know what they can do. I had seen vehicles stuck in the flood with water as high as the level of the windshield. No kidding! What an experience!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Well, there are many opportunities for nursing home business in Johor Bahru. However, I forsee one simple problem which the Singaporeans know that they are not keen to invest - Security. If you are to build a nursing home or resort to lure Singaporeans over, you really need a top quality 24-hours gated security system to assure the safety of the old folks and the disabled.

I am sure the Singaporeans who plan to put the old folks and disabled family members or relatives over will be worried of their safety naturally. You need a really good security system to protect these homes and resorts. You never know crimes can happen everyday and people could even die faster.

Another concern is of course quality of health services. Unless it is provided by a well-managed private sector with qualified people, forget about it. You may get all sorts of problems like food poisoning to accidents to all kinds of incredible troubles you will never imagine in Singapore. Finally, air and water pollution. It is very normal to get very bad quality air and water once a while here which can easily kill weak old folks. You need a really good air and water filtration system in the nursing home / resort to give them better quality air and water.

'Nursing home in JB' remark only a suggestion

Khaw says he just wanted middle-income families to know that such an option exists

Feb 11, 2009
budget debate: MINISTRY OF HEALTH

HEALTH Minister Khaw Boon Wan had a suggestion on Monday for Singaporeans: Consider staying at a nursing home in neighbouring Johor where prices are lower.

Yesterday, it received flak from two opposition MPs.

Workers' Party (WP) chairman and Non-Constituency MP Sylvia Lim said the suggestion was 'quite a bad indication of affordability of our own health-care services here and also a reflection of our national values'.

Fellow WP member Low Thia Kiang (Hougang) asked: 'Is the minister suggesting that Singaporeans who cannot afford medical treatment or step-down care here should now consider such facilities in Johor?'

If so, is the minister 'outsourcing the Government's responsibility to provide affordable health-care service to Malaysia?' he asked.

Their remarks riled Mr Khaw.

'I'm not saying that if you are poor, I will put you in an ambulance, send you across the Causeway to a Johor nursing home. That is not what I said and please don't twist my words,' he said.

In fact, the Johor option is not for the poor, who are heavily subsidised in Singapore. 'Everybody can afford health care in Singapore, whether acute care or long-term care,' he pointed out.

The suggestion was aimed at middle- income families who need to pay for the care themselves. It gives them a choice.

'I just wanted to point out to Singaporeans that there are options like this,' Mr Khaw said.

Cost of nursing home care will always be more expensive in Singapore, as doctors and nurses are paid more and construction cost is higher, he said.

He had said on Monday that since many people visit the elderly in homes only on weekends, it makes little difference whether the person is housed here or in nearby Johor.

It is part of globalisation and is happening with Singaporeans going to Bangkok for Lasik to treat short-sightedness and Americans and Russians coming here for treatment, he noted.

It is also not something that should, or can, be prevented, he added.

Singaporeans are crossing the Causeway for cheaper petrol and medicine.

'By allowing the flexibility of consumers walking across the Causeway...they benefit. I don't think we should constrain them from doing so.'

Pointing to the United States, where 40 million to 50 million people cannot even afford health insurance, the minister said that in Singapore, even the unemployed or those with low incomes can afford a standard of care comparable to that in the US.

To a question from Ms Jessica Tan (East Coast GRC) on whether more can done to make health care affordable in these difficult times, Mr Khaw said cheap, or even free, health care was always possible.

But what standard of care would that provide, he asked.

'To keep health-care costs affordable is the easiest thing in the world, but to keep it also of a high standard and yet affordable, very few countries have done so.

'I like to believe that we are one of them. We are not perfect but I think we have done a fairly good job.'

He referred to a story in this month's Japan Echo on the country's health-care system, which 'screamed that it is on the verge of collapsing'.

Said Mr Khaw: 'I felt sorry for Japan because for a long time, it was among the best health-care systems in the world.'

He recalled a recent newspaper story about a seriously ill pregnant woman in Tokyo who died because several hospitals said they were too full to take her in.

He added that in the Echo report, the Japanese Health Minister blamed all the problems on pandering to politically populist measures.

'My job is to make sure we don't walk into that hole,' Mr Khaw said.

Singapore has already 'done a lot' for long-term care.

'If it's not enough, we will do much more,' he promised.

He also said that people must do their part too, by staying healthy and, if necessary, changing their lifestyles.

Feb 12, 2009
Main factor is the lower fees; some also have facilities comparable to those in Singapore
By Melissa Sim

WHEN civil servant Gordon Yong, 39, needed to find a nursing home for his mother following her stroke, he found the ones in Singapore too expensive.

They were charging between $1,200 and $1,800 a month - far more than he could afford on his salary of under $4,000, which also supports his three-child family. His working wife also has to look after her parents.

He did the next best thing and got his mother a place in a home in Johor Baru (JB) for $600 a month. This is how Madam Leong Mew Peng, 80, came to live in Spring Valley Homecare, less than half an hour's drive from the Causeway.

Fellow Singaporean Alison Low, 58, checked herself into Spring Valley over two years ago - also for cost reasons.

The three-year-old home has 11 Singaporeans, making up one in five residents there. Of the 10 other homes The Straits Times inquired at in JB, eight said they had between one and 10 Singaporeans.

Checks with their kin showed cost savings to be the main draw of these homes.

A plug for these homes came in Parliament on Monday from Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who said Singaporeans could save money by using JB nursing homes. For what it costs to board someone in a private nursing home here, 'you can stretch it easily to pay for at least 21/2 months of nursing home care in Johor Baru', he said. The facilities there typically charge between $450 and $1,000 a month, compared to those here which ask for between $1,000 and $4,000.

Mr Khaw said another perk is that JB is 'near enough for relatives to visit'.

But 57-year-old supervisor Mohamed Waris, whose father is at Spring Valley, said he has problems finding a cab to go there. Nonetheless, he makes the journey every two to three weeks.

Those who check out JB homes are also finding some with facilities that are comparable to those here.

Spring Valley, for example, follows Singapore regulations and provides one toilet for every four beds. Its high ceilings and large windows make its rooms airy.

China Healthcare, previously known as Econ Healthcare, will open a 200-bed home in JB within two years, following its 100-bed facility in Kuala Lumpur. Its chairman, Mr Ong Chu Poh, said a home in JB would appeal to Singaporeans due to their familiarity with the town, its proximity to Singapore and the lower fees.

Mr Yong would agree that JB is still the best choice for him now for those reasons. 'I'm just unable to afford the rates here. But I do wish I was able to bring my mother back.'

Additional reporting by Jalelah Abu Baker

Twilight in JB, Forum


OK, I board these buses a lot to go to Singapore or sometimes back to Johor Bahru for work purposes. It is scary that even bus drivers are targeted now in this crime capital city of Malaysia and the crime happened in broad day light. Well, it is not surprising since I had witnessed myself live two different incidents of crime in broad day light in the midst of many people around. A friend who was robbed recently at a busy street told me the policemen nearby didn't even dare to chase the motorists eventhough they were in the car. You also see a report further below of a criminal fleeing the prison. Well, don't expect too much from the authorities or much protection from the police. Just be careful and protect yourself as I expect an increase of more daring crimes with the economic recession coming to hit us hard.

Now, back to the bus driver robbing incident. I think now those bus drivers in SBS will be begging the management not to let them drive bus 160 and 170 as they have to drive into the crime capital city of Malaysia with parangs everywhere demanding money. Maybe they have to consider equipping them with some defence weapons or do the China taxi style, a protective glass wrapping him away from any possible attack. As for passengers like me, I have to be careful not to board the bus from any location inside the Johor Bahru city if possible. I need a shield or something...

Men with parangs slash, rob bus driver

Published: Wednesday February 11, 2009 MYT 2:06:00 PM


JOHOR BARU: Two parang-wielding men slashed a bus driver and robbed him during an attack inside a Singapore bound transit bus.

The attack, believed to be the first involving the (SBS) Transit Services bus number 160, occurred at about 3.45pm Tuesday near a mall along Jalan Tun Abd Razak when the two men, posing as passengers, boarded the bus at the Kotaraya Terminal.

It is learnt that as the bus reached the mall here, the men took out parangs and demanded money from the 28-year-old driver.

Sources said that when the driver refused, they slashed him on the arm and took cash amounting to RM260 and S$50.

As the driver slowed the bus due to his injury, the two men jumped off the bus and fled. The two passengers on the bus were not robbed or hurt.

The Malaysian driver, who is also a Singaporean permanent resident, then sought treatment at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital.

He then reported the matter at the Central Police station at about 7pm the same day.

Johor deputy CID chief Asst Comm Che Yusoff Che Ngah confirmed the incident and said on Wednesday that police were in the process of identifying the suspects.

Meanwhile, on another matter, ACP Che Yusoff said that the hunt was still on for the 21-year-old suspect, who escaped police custody on Tuesday.

"We are still searching for the suspect," he said.

On Tuesday, the suspect escaped as he and other prisoners were being transferred from the Ayer Molek penitentiary to the Johor Jaya police station.

The incident occurred, as the prisoners were about to arrive at the station at about 11.50am.

ACP Che Yusoff urged anyone with information to contact the police hotline at 07-2212999 or the nearest police station.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Football seems to be taking a backseat at this blog lately. Yeah, I don't see anything interesting to comment or complain about. Everything seems to be slow because of the transfer window and the lack of big stage European football competition. Anyway, I'm shocked that Scolari has been sacked so soon. He blamed the inability to capture Robinho as a reason why they cannot revive the old squad. Well, I don't know whether capturing him will make such a big difference but it is true Chelsea look like an old tired squad to me currently. Scolari to Manchester City and Hiddink / Grant / Rijkaard to Chelsea? Let's sit back and watch.

As for Mijatovic, I hope he gets the sacking soon. I am tired and sick of his stupid comments and excuses. Please just admit that you suck at football management and get out of the club for the sake of the club. As for the possible return of Perez as president, I don't really like that piece of news at all. Please find more better candidates to be president. I don't want a repeat of another long nightmare in Real Madrid. Ribery is currently linked with a summer move to Madrid for next season. At this point of time, I am not convinced and I believe there is no credibility in that piece of news / rumour.

As for Beckham, will he or will he not be staying at the old folks' home? I do not dare to say whether Milan should recruit him as it is just too early to say he will be vital for the squad. Beckham has the chance though to show his worth with the incoming derby match against Inter. Striker Arshavin finally signed for Arsenal and it could be the best timing for Wenger as Adebayor could be out for three weeks. Let's see how good this Russian striker can be in the Premier League. Meanwhile, The News of the World claims that Cesc Fabregas, Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie will hand in transfer requests if Arsenal finish outside the top four this season. I don't know how true that piece of news is but I know many players are losing their patience with Wenger.

Friday, February 06, 2009


Well, a 20+ years old hard liquor is sure to bring the best out of its taste. We decided to open up this bottle to have a chance to enjoy the taste during the Chinese New Year. It is definitely extremely smooth and we enjoyed it very much. The best thing is you don't easily get drunk with these high quality liquor.






Thursday, February 05, 2009


Three turns at F1 circuit along Marina Bay set to be named

By Ian De Cotta, TODAY | Posted: 05 February 2009 1020 hrs

SINGAPORE: Ayrton Senna. Alberto Ascari. Jim Clark.

All of them Formula 1 world champions, all speed demons immortalised at some of the world’s most famous racing circuits, fittingly along some of the most challenging corners on asphalt.

Naturally, Brazil’s Senna, widely regarded as the greatest racing driver of all time, is on Turn 1 at his hometown circuit at Interlagos, called “S” do Senna.

Turn 12 at Estoril in Portugal is called Parabolica Ayrton Senna.

This year, in the second edition of Formula’s 1 spectacular night race on September 27, the Singapore street circuit along Marina Bay will have names for three turns along its 5.067-kilometre track.

The corners selected by organisers Singapore GP are Turns 1, 7 and 10 and readers are invited to send in their suggestions in a contest where attractive prizes are on offer for the winning entries.

Turn 1, under Benjamin Shears Bridge, was a natural choice as the sport regards the first corner as the most watched and crucial corner of a race.

Located at the corner of Suntec City and Nicoll Highway, Turn 7 was where some of the most dramatic overtaking manoeuvres occurred last year.

Turn 10, outside the old Supreme Court building, saw a number of drivers come unstuck, including then reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.

TODAY’s sports editor Leonard Thomas, along with the likes of Singapore GP deputy chairman Colin Syn, managing director of Performance Motors Simon Rock, Singapore Motor Sports Association chief Tan Teng Lip and former Singapore racer Lee Chiu San will be among the judges.

Said Colin Syn: “The Singapore street circuit, with its stunning cityscape backdrop, was one of the most memorable images of the 2008 Formula 1 season.

“To add even more local flavour to the circuit, we have decided, in association with TODAY, to launch a competition to name three of the turns that will see some of the hottest driving action this September.

“The judges will be looking to choose names that are punchy, have a strong local connection and are easy to pronounce. With a global race weekend television audience of more than 110 million and with 600 foreign media in town, it is a great opportunity to highlight our local icons throughout all the action-packed 61 laps.”

Drivers are not the only names for famous racing corners.

The famous Le Mans circuit in France in the 1920s started the tradition of naming corners after landmarks, and White House and Red Roof became synonymous with the track.

With Formula 1 now the pre-eminent motor-racing competition in the world, the sport’s various circuits have gained prominence.

Perhaps the most famous and glamorous of all is Monte Carlo’s Casino, the third turn at the Monaco Grand Prix. The stream at Spa’s L’Eau Rouge — Turn 3 — in Belgium catapults drivers on a steely ride up a steep slope.

Monza’s Parabolica and the Corkscrew at California’s Laguna Seca pay tribute to the dangerous character of the two turns.

The three turns of Singapore’s street circuit earmarked to be named this year all have their own unique character.

They are all set to become members of an exclusive club, Formula 1 corners with special names.

Readers have until the end of the month to send their names in.

It’s your turn at the Singapore Grand Prix

If you have a great name to immortalise turns 1, 7, or 10, email your suggestions to from now until February 28, explaining to the judging panel your choice in no more than 50 words.

Three winners will each receive a three-day 2009 Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix pass for the grandstand closest to the turn they have named, as well as a pitlane tour.

The best overall contributor will also get a two-night star in a five-star trackside hotel.

Names must have strong local flavour and be no longer than three words – that includes the words “Turn” or “Corner” – and cannot incorporate commercial names.

The contest in opened to all individuals, regardless of nationality or country of residence, except for employees (and immediate family members) of Singapore GP, TODAY, authorised agencies and principle sponsors associated with the Singapore Grand Prix. - TODAY/yb

Track Info

Singapore street circuit


The incredible stories surrounding Malaysian politics these days should inspire script writers to create movies to depict the interesting events. The Red Cliff, the famous battlefield story from the Three Kingdoms, is a good example of how strategies determine the victory or defeat. In fact, the whole Romance of the Three Kingdoms is about strategies, no matter how much cheating is involved. The whole story can be summed up as backstabbing. The amount of backstabbing in the story is incredible although there are some form of loyalty too, but very minimal.

The latest drama in Malaysian politics, The Fall Of Perak, should also be turned into a movie. It could turn out to be a great blockbuster hit! It has so many twists and turns that it should interest the world. Now, let's get back to reality. Will Perak fall or will it not? What will happen to Perak? Everyone is eager to know the Sultan's decision. The fate of Malaysia's democracy is at stake here.


The famous Mexian coffee-flavoured liquer. We got this one with 26.5% content of alcohol. We tried eating it with ice-cream and fresh milk. Both methods are equally good to bring out the best of the taste. I gave my coffee crazy auntie a try and she loves it so much! I personally do like this stuff. It has a nice aroma and is excellent with fresh milk.





Wednesday, February 04, 2009


The reunion dinner is the most crucial and important event for Chinese New Year eve. This year, the family decided to just order from the restaurant instead of cooking themselves. This is because grandma was planning to cook a gigantic meal on the night of the first day of Chinese New Year to invite many relatives to eat together. It is great to see cousins coming back from Taiwan and Australia for this important occasion. The food is alright so no complaints there.










Tuesday, February 03, 2009


I use to watch Malaysian football back in the good old days during my teenage years. It was exciting to support your state football team. However, since they try to mix politics with football, everything has gone downhill from then on. It has to be separated, just like how mixing religion with politics is very dangerous.

Comment: Change Is Needed In Malaysia

03/02/2009 03:59

Asian Editor John Duerden writes that enough is enough in the increasingly desperate world of Malaysian football...

It was inevitable. A month after a disappointing first round exit at South-east Asia’s regional championship, you don’t lose 5-0 at home to UAE, blame the local football league for the result and expect to keep your job – no matter what the mitigating circumstances may be. And Sure enough, B. Sathianathan was fired as Malaysian national team coach last weekend.

Coming into the job after the debacle of the 2007 Asian Cup when Malaysia, as co-host, lost all three games with an aggregate of 12-1, the only positive thing was that at least expectations were low. On the other hand it showed that there were major problems. Sathia was never really in a position to be able to solve any of them – the serious ones anyway.

Not long ago I wrote an article asking if it could get any worse for Malaysia. That 5-0 defeat was worse. It almost seemed to be the end. It was certainly the end of the coach’s patience. After the game he blasted the local competition.

“The M-league is not football,” he said, telling how just three of his players passed an independent fitness test. “If I have to go, I’ll go,” he thundered.

Despite the scoreline and the outburst, or because of it, Sathia got a good deal of sympathy from fans, media and professionals. Much of the ire has been focused in the direction of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).

In response to the question from local journalists as to whether he was fired for results or his commenhts, FAM deputy president Datuk Redzuan Tan Sri Sheikh Ahmad said, “It was overall. There are conditions in the clause to terminate the coach’s contract if the performance of the national team is not up to the mark.”

“Well, what can I do ... I accept the decision but it does not solve anything,” said Sathianathan. Newspapers such as The Star, a rational voice in domestic football matters, believe that Sathia is paying the price for the failings of those above him.

Both coach and paper are probably right. Following the Asian Cup disaster, the powers-that-be in Kuala Lumpur decided to "go back to the drawing board" and ban clubs from hiring foreign players from 2009. In one fell swoop, the league lost many of its best players, continental competiveness and credibility.

It wasn’t always this way. Malaysia used to be a power in the seventies. As often happens, stars players that retired- such as Mokhdar Dari and Santok Singh - haven’t been replaced on the pitch.

But it is off the pitch were the real problems can be found. Cronyism and politicians using the game for their own ends are common complaints among fans. The belief that some players are chosen not for their skill but because of race is also widespread. If that wasn't complicated enough, corruption is perceived to be rife.

The inefficiency of the Malaysian system, with state FAs often more concerned about their own power and interests rather than the good of the game, doesn’t help and neither does the national FA’s past propensity to fire coaches who were actually pretty good – the sight of Claude Le Roy lifting the Gulf Cup with Oman in January should be a lesson to those in KL who fired him in 1995.

The Frenchman is in the past, as now is Sathia.The future starts now. There is much work to be done at the grassroots, local, regional and national levels. The appointment of a new coach is important but is just one of a number of necessary steps. It is also the easiest, though far from easy to get right.

FAM have already said that they want the new guy in place quickly. Debate has started as to whether he should be local or foreign.

Perhaps he could be a combination of both. Peter Butler is currently coaching in the Malaysian Super League with Kelantan and has in the past been at the helm of Sabah. The former West Ham United midfielder has also managed in England, Australia, Singapore and Indonesia.

I should also say here that I know the 42 year-old and like him as a person (he contributes to However, that also means I know that he is passionate about the country, speaks the language (conducting training in Malay), is forward-thinking and could hit the ground running.

Butler is not the only choice by any means but he ticks many boxes.

Whatever happens, in this respect and others, Malaysian football can’t keep making mistakes.

John Duerden

Asia Editor

Monday, February 02, 2009


The 7th day is the day of celebration of men's birthday, which is known as 人日 (human day if translated directly). The Chinese believes that it is the day humans were created. The legend says that the goddess created many different animals on different days. The chicken was created on the first day, the dog was created on the second day, the boar was created on the third day, the sheep was created on the fourth day, the cow was created on the fifth day, the horse on the sixth day and the human on the seventh day.

In Malaysia and Singapore, this is the day the chinese toss the colourful raw fish salad called Yusheng (鱼生) and make wishes for blessings of wisdom, heath, wealth and prosperity. Yesterday, we decided to celebrate the 7th day because we enjoy eating some ingredients in the yusheng. I don't really like yusheng that much but tossing it once a year is fine. I find the dish generally too sweet for my liking and eating too much of it can really make me sick.

For more info, read Yusheng.

We went to buy a ready made Yusheng dish from a restaurant. It costs us RM37 (there must be a 7 in the price!). You can find them in department stores nowadays but they normally taste bad. Lee Ling loves the crackers and the pamelo so they are the compulsory ingredients for the yusheng we will eat. Since we are poor, we cannot afford salmon fish.


The have a special plastic dish made just for yusheng, with a custom-made plastic bag to wrap it. Talk about commercialization!



Here's how it looked after unwrapping the packaging.


In the good old days as a poor student, I remember we used sea asparagus instead of expensive raw fish so I decided to add them in since we do love it.


Get them boiled.


They are ready to be mixed.


We brought back some traditional Chinese dumplings, shaomai ( ) made by grandmother so we defrosted them as well.


The yusheng dish with all the ingredients.


Added the crackers.


The raw fish that comes with the whole package with the green and red packets filled with spices.



Parsley. Some people may not like this so you can get rid of them if you don't want them.


Some jellyfish.




Of course, it comes with a packet of angpau. Inside it we find a Big Sweep Jackpot ticket. Well, I wonder people ever win anything from these draws. It is literally humanly impossible to win the grand prize if you do some simple probability calculations. Too many zeros. Wait.....look at the previous records. The biggest winner was recorded on 22 December 2002 with the number 0+55-6670 with a win of RM16,500,000 from Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. Whichever super lucky dude or duddete who won this amount should be enjoying his/her life away everyday like a king/queen while I work my ass off with my lousy salary. Some people just have all the luck in the world. Imagine what you can do with RM16.5 million.


We added in the sea asparagus.


Cut them into small pieces for easy consumption.


Tossed them like no tomorrow and shout all the lucky 4 characters chengyu (成语) phrases we can think of along the way. Chengyu are chinese idioms or proverbs. Of course with my high skill level of chinese command, the words I shouted out are so simplistic even kids understand them. This dish of yusheng plus the chinese dumplings are enough to fill us overloaded for the 7th day dinner.