Sunday, April 27, 2008

scenic drive

the is the east coast of usa in marblehead, massacheusetts. we can actually see the alantic ocean

this personal pizza from pizza hut was very very nice. the crust was thin (though it looked thick to me). there were a lot of cheese and sausage inside. it cost U$4 only. cheaper and much nicer than our local pizza hut.

i had lots of clam chowder at different places.

this indian tandoori chicken set from my office cafeteria. chicken was edible. rice was.. er... not very good. it was a big portion though, for a price of U$7

this lobster quesadilla was very nice, though it could do better with more lobster! the lobster meat was very sweet and juicy!

this grilled shrimp pasta was a little weird in taste. sourish, and dunno why they put pieces of pork and corn inside this dish. the combination was weird...

to wrap up my US trip

if anyone is wondering why i am up so early, it's bcos my body thinks it is 6pm...

yes, the amazing jetlag. actually it has nothing to do with the aeroplane i took, save for it took me to my destination. shouldnt it be called time lag? haha..

so, to wrap up my trip, i guess it wasnt as bad as i thought it would be, though i put on 1 kg from all the pizzas and bread and seafood and clam chowder, my colleagues took really good care of me. and in a country like US, most wouldnt go such a way out, to take me out on scenic drives and sunday lunches.

i made a week of roast beef sandwich for breakfast, since eating out was really expensive, and i wouldnt want to spend my allowance on food! the roast beef was very tender and yummy.

when i arrived, the weather was very cold, and the trees were bare.

when i was leaving, the weather warmed up, the flowers were blooming!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

foodcourt food

17 years ago, i visited vancouver and edmonton on the polytechnic exchange program. the asian food at that time was terrible. lots of msg, didnt even taste close to the real thing.

17 years later, i must say i am pleasantly surprised that the asian food tastes better. though not like what we have at home, it is passable, taste similar to some of our coffee shops or foodcourts.

cost is about U$6, expensive, but the portion is huge! 2 persons can share.

chicken teriyaki with rice
fish with rice and mixed vegetables

dinner in downtown boston

we went to a japanese restaurant - wagamama. actually it is not really a restaurant, it is similar to pasta de waraku.

wagamama serves mainly noodles, fried and soup, plus side dishes.

trish (colleague) had yaki soba while i had the teppanyaki beef yaki soba.

i liked the beef (very tender) but typical of yaki soba, the sauce was quite sweet, so half way into the meal, i already felt jelat.


a colleague kindly offered to take me out on friday night.

we went to downtown boston - charlestown and north end. the night view of boston is really nice. i only bright my phone which has a 3.2mp camera.

took 2 pictures of the night view.

turned out like that... haha.. i think i will have to pick up a postcard at the airport.

Friday, April 18, 2008

cat beds

this was in a store (called target) near my hotel. it is something l ike carrefour. the cat beds are all very pretty and cheap. U$12-15 nia!

too bad i cant buy for my cats. got one pee-er who likes to pee on soft material.

every cat bed that i buy gets peed on within 1 hour - 1 day!

office at beverly

so i have been here in Beverly (half hour drive from Boston) for almost a week now.

things have gotten better since the ordeal.

my colleagues are all very nice. julie my US counterpart picks me up from hotel and drive me to office every day (5 mins drive). she also drives me back and even offer to have dinner with me. at lunchtime, there is always someone who will take me to the cafeteria for lunch (yes, they pay and charge back to company).

so, it has been very nice.

only problem is, i keep getting electrocuted!

i seem to have a lot of static electricity, on monday and tuesday, i keep getting 电 when i shake people's hands. so much so, i am afraid of shaking people's hands i will tell them. i met at least 30 people so i got zapped 25 times (last 5 i just tell them i am charged).

the office/factory compound is huge, almost the size of Ngee Ann Polytechnic. cafeteria is very nice. they got salads, sandwiches, pizza, soups, etc. and price is cheaper than mall and fast food restaurants. of course much cheaper than hotel.

tonight the regional planner in charge of singapore took me out for dinner. he is italian and he looks like a younger robert de niro! hehe... he tells me he cooks and bakes. wow... i was impressed.. i told him a lot of things about singapore and malaysia and japan.

these were what we had.

this was asian chicken roll. the skin is flour based. nothing crispy like popiah. it was quite dense flour. the filling is chicken with broken bee hoon. served with peanut sauce. quite nice actually. much better than the chinese food i had in canada 17 years ago!

this was grilled chicken (breast). not dry at all it was quite juicy. i dunno why chicken breast in singapore are all very dry..

Monday, April 14, 2008

the teary flight

i cried a lot during my 19 hour flight. watched the following movies

1) 恋空 a japanese story about a high school girl's love. she went through virgin sex, had miscarriage, later boyfriend broke up with her because he had cancer (but of course never told her), and how they came back together and finally boyfriend died. cried the most during this show

2) Le Grand Chef, korean movie about a talented chef against his evil 师兄, i think this show was in singapore late last year. i cried when the chef had to slaughter his own cow whom he has kept since she was small

3) PS I Love You - a touching story about how a woman cope with the loss of her Irish husband. Husband wrote letters to her to help her cope with his death. Starring Hilary Swank. dunno if this movie was in Singapore? i never watch movies at home one

4) National Treasure 2 - the sequel starring Nicholas Cage

the service on SQ soon to be discontinued executive economy class was very much better than i had expected. there was definitely more leg room and i could cross my legs. also, i had once upon a looooong time ago took business class, and this ee class is almost like raffles class - crew was attentive and there was even a self service snack bar. i had 4 packs of nachos and 1 pack of pretzel!

the meals were however definitely economy. i had chicken breast with risotto (aka nuah rice) for lunch and sauteed prawn for dinner. they offered ben and jerry's ice cream bar for dessert but i skipped cos it was HUGE...

happier post

so the first 2 posts i blogged about usa are bad.

this is going to be a happier post lah. partly bcos my luggage finally arrived, and not without incident lor.

luckily i was hanging around the lobby, when the front desk staff came and tell me my luggage came (i was blogging the other post and COMPLAINING and WHINING). happily i went out to see, only to find the bag WAS NOT MINE. heck, it wasnt even red!

heng the (stupid) driver still at the driveway. then i got MINE back.

during the last 22 hours, besides COMPLAINING and WHINING, i also wondered why a series of suay things happened to me.

i came up with 2 conclusions:-

1) ksn's theory as to why the US airlines keep losing money. bcos they keep losing passenger luggage, they have to pay for claims and courier service to deliver to passenger hotels.

2) the logistics here sucked because my luggage arrived at boston airport at 1pm but it was delivered to me only at 10.30pm. surely this is a sign to make me feel what my customers may feel if the parts they order come late, especially if it is critical? that means i must work really hard to ensure my company's logistics work, and send the RIGHT PARTS

wow, i am so blown away with my 2 findings...

i must have been very bored in the last 22 hours lah. haha.. i shall go take a shower and do my face mask and pamper my body a bit...


bcos of some (ahem) feedback that i am whiny and complain complain only, i must qualify that i dislike the US doesnt mean everyone should, or will.

i dislike the US bcos 1) i dont drive so its extremely difficult to get around

2) i dislike the fake service that is so obvious here

and why should tipping be compulsory?

its personal ok, ie i am personally suay. i am not a complaint queen, like "some other people"

ps STILL waiting for my luggage...

still waiting

it has been more than 12 hours, and i am still waiting for my luggage. it is sunday 3.40pm, and i am stuck in the hotel with nowhere to go, and also i dont want to go anywhere until my luggage come in safe and sound.

morale of the story - do not rely on the reconnecting baggage check-in service here.

better to be on a bit and drag the luggage to another terminal for checking in the usual way.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

10 reasons why i dislike US... and its only day 1

1) must pay (!) for cart at airport - USD3 (no, it is not deposit, like our supermarket trolley, put in USD3 never get back one)

2) must pay for bottled water (USD2.50!!) in hotel room

3) luggage didnt come on time (i am still waiting, it got left behind at Newark airport)

4) cab driver didnt know the town i am staying. i arrived 1.5 hours late (should have been a 20min drive). that is after getting lost at 11pm in some pitch dark town and asking for directions. in the end he gave up and i took another cab.

5) amenities in hotel very poor (it's USD129 per night, breakfast not free somemore)

6) cannot find anything to eat except pretezels, chips, sandwich.

7) no in-room slippers (what the????)

8) no fridge in room - must ask one

9) boston (which i wanted to go) is half an hour away and cost USD93 one-way

10) cab is expensive (which equates to i will prob stay in this miserable hotel most times)

and counting!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

my own room

complete with name on door!

more ramen!

in the vicinity of toyoko inn at otsuka station, there are many small shops specialising in ramen.

this is hakata ramen. the broth is thick and rich, supposedly made from pork bones and cooked for long time. a bit too jelat for me, nevertheless, it was nice to try something different.

the following 2 ramen and chicken karaage is from a cool little ramen shop called sun ramen, which i did not see anywhere else in tokyo. so i dont think it is a franchise (yet).

this ramen is chicken flavour, with lots of seaweed (green stuff), and the cook put a slice of grapefruit inside, which i squeezed and it was pleasantly refreshing!

this ramen is the one i am going to rave about. it is actually the shop specialty - sun cheese ramen, made from tomato paste. you can say it is something like pasta? but it is flavourful with tomato and cheese, but at the same time light and not jelat. very nice!

this karaage (fried chicken) was foc. i redeemed it with a coupon on my 2nd visit there.

the cook and staff were also very nice. the shop is open kitchen concept, so you can see your ramen cooked right in front of your eyes. i didnt take a photo of the shop after the stupid shouting incident at yanaka ginza.

curry rice

this is on of the nicer curry rice i had. cost is abouy SGD7, but the tonkatsu (pork cutlet) had a very thick layer of flour coating

ramen and curry

this was what i had for dinner on one night. there are many such food shops in tokyo. i think they are franchise shops.

of course, taste is not fantastic, but for the price of SGD7, cant complain right? :)

Monday, April 07, 2008

long trip away from home

i will be going to boston for 2 weeks come this saturday.

i will miss my cats, esp lincoln my darling boy.

i hope i meet many cats there...

i am sure i will be blogging often there, as (blah) i dont drive and it is quite handicapping to go around without a car in the states.

pls drop me a line or 2 to ease my homesickness!

Friday, April 04, 2008

cool site

this is a cool site spotting trends in japan.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

my first day at work

was rather uneventful, except the pleasant surprise that i get my own room!

wow, my virgin room leh... hehe...

the hr manager had his 5 week old baby boy photos as screen saver. and i realise that i am not at all impressed with babies. but if i see cats, i will go goo goo and ga ga over their pics.