Hi folks, if you’ve been following me on my social media channels, you’ll know that I went to Cameron Highland last weekend for a wedding.
As much as I like to write about the road trip, I kept getting writer’s block so I give you another post instead.
I’ll be talking about my current obsession (apart from playing Skyrim and improv which I’ll get to these one of these days)–fountain pens. I have these little spurts of obsessions from time to time. I can’t really remember my other obsessions (um, travel?) so I’d better jot this down.
Strangely, there is no official job title for it since the stuff on my name card doesn’t really match my real job. So I introduce myself professionally as a “Content Marketer” but the actual duties are that of a “Blogger”. It’s still unbelievable today that I’m an actual Blogger (with a big B).
Fun things I’ve been doing
Enough about boring work stuff, now it’s time for the fun stuff.
Since I was hired in March, I couldn’t take long periods of leave for travelling so I had been stuck in Singapore for a while.
I might have Stockholm syndrome since I don’t think life was that boring in the previous months:
I went to a friend’s wedding in May
I travelled to small town Raub in Pahang for a friend’s wedding. It was great meeting my old friends and getting to feast at the wedding dinner. Om nom nom.
I went to another friend’s wedding in Singapore
More happy things happened!
My sister is getting married
The official wedding dinner is happening next year but they’re going to register this year. More and more happy things happened.
I discovered that Singapore has improv classes
I absolutely adore improv ever since I saw it on Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Improv-A-Ganza is awesome too, with the same cast). I didn’t know it was a real thing that I could actually do.
Then I found out that The Improv Company teaches improv. I’m going to sign up for their longer course when their schedule suits me.
Even though I’ve stayed in Singapore for almost nine years, I didn’t know that it was possible to buy cheap tickets to various attractions. I always thought that I needed to pay full price, and thinking about it makes my miserly heart cold.
Luckily, my friend Lilian showed me where I could get discounted entrance tickets. Lilian who is now back in China (and whose wedding I attended) wanted to visit the South East Asia Aquarium (SEA Aquarium) before leaving.
Even though I grew up in multicultural Malaysia where Malay, Chinese and Indian are the three biggest races, I am terribly unfamiliar with Indian food. It’s because we don’t have as much Indians where I live.
To tell you the truth, the only Indian dish I can order confidently is plain roti canai (which is yummy and flaky).
So when my friend Debbie introduced me to the wonderful world of Indian food, I was curious. And now, I am proud to say that I have a favorite Indian dish: ghee dosa.
Hello everybody, it’s YQ writing from Singapore. Yes, I am back in the land I am most familiar with. Yes, I’m more familiar with Singapore than my hometown Kota Kinabalu.
It’s been more than a week since I came back and I am now in full job hunting mode. I’ll update you guys on my job search if I have any happy news. Oh, if you know anyone in Singapore hiring writers, do drop me a mail at email@example.com.
There’s a side of me on the internet that I’ve not shared on YQ Travelling, until today.
Back in December 2012 when I was in Singapore, I created a Tumblr called The Overexposed Model (OEM) to record ads which I’ve come across that feature an ambiguously raced young lady.
The tumblr was actually a follow up of a blog with a similar goal. The blog was called The Overexposed Big Mouth Model but it disappeared when I was trying to submit my sightings.
Since OEM was in so many ads as the generic smiling women, I thought it was fun to chronicle my discoveries. I shared the blog link with a few friends but I mostly kept it as a semi-private collection.
Then one day, a freelancer from the Phillipines asked if he could interview me about the blog as part of a feature on the model. I can now honestly say that I was in Esquire Philippines (or something like that), however not as a bikini model.
In March, the Singapore media ran out of story ideas and featured The Overexposed Model in various print and web outlets. Some readers started submitting their own sightings of OEM to the tumblr. I put those up too.
Naively, I thought that the tumblr will hibernate while I go on my four-month journey. I still keep seeing OEM.
In the beginning, it was fun spotting OEM but now it feels kind of like a nightmare. Each time I see her, there’s less giddy surprise and more “NOT AGAIN!” Of course, I still obediently take out my camera and snap her photos.
Overexposed Model in Malaysia
My first overseas sighting of OEM was back home in Sabah in a clinic. She was in a ulcer medication ad.
Overexposed Model in Greece
In Greece, I found OEM hawking glasses in Athens.
Overexposed Model in Argentina
I thought I was safe from OEM but I found her at Buenos Aires airport, selling some sort of travel card.
Overexposed Model in Peru
I found her on a bus company’s website, ready to go for an unplanned weekend travel.
In Arequipa, in a lonely building, I found her in a life size printout. I thought I should stand next to her to prove that I spotted her.
Then I saw her again in the papers.
Overexposed Model in San Salvador
When I was out window shopping, I saw her outside a supermarket.
I don’t think I will ever get used to seeing OEM in an ad. It’s funny how she’s featured in so many different countries. Does her looks makes her the everyday person of the countries she’s been featured?
Have you seen the Overexposed Model? Share where you’ve seen her in the comments below.
My favorite meat is chicken so I want to introduce a chicken dish for today’s Food Friday: Samsui Ginger Chicken.
The chicken is served cold (versus steaming hot). You can wrap the chicken inside a sheet of cabbage, dip it into ginger sauce before eating it. (I would prefer inhaling the whole large plate of chicken.)
The chicken is slightly oily but very soft. The chicken skin melts in your mouth too.
Soup Restaurant explains what is Samsui Ginger Chicken:
A traditional Samsui dish consumed by the Samsui women in Chinatown. Due to their low income, the Samsui Ginger Chicken was only consumed once a year, during the Chinese New Year. Chicken was steamed without much seasoning after which, dipped in ginger sauce before consumption. The ginger sauce is a fragrant and tasty compliment to the chicken. Ginger and sesame oil, as believed by the Chinese, removes excess wind from the body. You may wrap the chicken in lettuce to achieve that crunch when you bite into the popular Samsui Ginger Chicken.
I suspect this dish was an invention, and not really a Samsui dish. Or it could that the restaurant hyped up the dish.
The price of Samsui Ginger Chicken at Soup Restaurant is a little expensive for what is simply steamed chicken.
Do note that the Samsui women were real people in history and they played important role in the literal “building of Singapore”. The wiki for Samsui Women has a very good explanation of who they were.
Besides encouraging comments, I’ve also gotten A LOT of questions about this particular train route. Some questions were stuff I didn’t think about when I was writing the post while others were questions about stuff I’ve already mentioned in the post (this drives me nuts).
Instead of answering the repeated Qs, I’ve gathered the questions here.
1. Where can I book train tickets from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur?
If you are booking online, the link is https://intranet.ktmb.com.my/e-ticket/Login.aspx Sign up for an account and you can check past reservations.
You can also visit the train stations to buy the tickets but I don’t recommend doing that for night trains.
2. My online booking didn’t go through. HELP!
Check your bookings in your account. I’m not sure what the phone number for KTMB is.
3. I picked Kuala Lumpur as my destination, why isn’t there a night train?
Pick Sentral Kuala Lumpur, not Kuala Lumpur (which is one stop after KL Sentral).
4. Is it safe to travel on the Malaysian train?
Have you watched too many wild wild west movies? I don’t think there are any robbers ambushing the trains. It’s safe.
It’s funny how I’ve been in Singapore for so long but I have not had a Glutton post on the food here.
Since I’m leaving Singapore next week for the world, I thought it would be apt to have a post on food in Singapore, especially food that I love.
To be honest, food in Malaysia (especially those served at dingy restaurants) are a lot tastier than food in Singapore.
In Singapore, I usually eat at food courts where the cook is someone hired to put everything together and get it out of the stove as quickly as possible. This leads to disappointing meals.
Why don’t I go to nice places with nice food? Well, I don’t have a car and I don’t want to pay too much money for nice food. However, I have been having a lot of nice food this week as part of my many farewell parties.
Anyway, here are a few dishes and food places which I will miss if I leave Singapore:
When my friends were organizing a farewell party, one asked what food I would miss from Singapore. It took me a while to think about which dish but in the end, I chose “chicken rice”.
When I was a kid, there was a chicken rice branch called Singapore Chicken Rice. I loved that place. The chicken was tender and the soup that they served always had bits of chicken feet and vegetables.
While there are famous chicken rice stalls in Singapore, most of the time I just have it at a regular food court. The chicken rice comes with a bowl of rice decanted onto the plate and a few bits of chicken. That said, it’s one of the cheaper (less than $4) dishes around so I go for it frequently.
I love coffee. Even though local coffee in Singapore and Malaysia are served similarly with condensed milk, I like how easy it is to just get a papercup of kopi to go.
In Malaysia where I live, I usually have kopi when I am out at the kopitiam, not as a pick me up in the late afternoon.
Mee hoon kueh
A stall at Compass Point serves really good mee hoon kueh. It’s a noodle dish where the noodles are flat and squarish.
Ayam Penyet or ayam anything!
Near my old workplace, there was a Malay stall which served ayam penyet (fried chicken hammered flat and served with rice) every Tuesday and Thursday. I loved that place but having fried chicken almost every week wasn’t such a good idea.
Eateries I will miss:
Saizeriya is a Japanese-Italian family restaurant. The food is quite cheap for a restaurant environment. If you pay a few dollars extra, you can have unlimited drinks from the drink bar. I love drinking non-alcoholic drinks as much as eating.
I usually go to Saizeriya with friends and we chat over our glasses and glasses of cordial orange. I don’t have a favorite dish there but I do like their seaweed.
Botak Jones have branches serving affordable Southern US food. When I was in university (that was 4 years ago?), their portions were crazy large (or what is considered normal-sized in the US) with fries that spill over the table if you accidentally bumped into a plate.
Now, the size has shrunk but I do like their cajun chicken. I had a Botak Jones branch near my old workplace and I usually pick that spot for online dates (less walking for me).
What is your favorite food in Singapore? Share them in the comments below.