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Saturday, September 02, 2006

July Trip
11/7 - Florence

I'd previously gone on the normal guided tour, and now I went on the secret routes tour. The guide was the same, and 2 others had also been on her earlier tour.

Unfortunately there was a small amount of overlap, and I was hitting diminishing marginal returns. I should've skipped this tour and seen another church.

Francesco's Writing Room. This room is in the shape of a treasure chest. Stuff was kept in the walls, panels of which could be pulled back to reveal cabinets. How sneaky.

Ceiling of Francesco's writing room

Cosimo's writing room had 3 types of stone in the floor - one each from Pisa, Florence and Siena, and symbolic of the rule over Tuscany.

Statue in the Big Room. This is quite a homoerotic wrestling pose. I call it 'disadvantages of wrestling naked'

Fake David and Probably-fake sculpture (the originals are in museums) in Palazzo della Signoria.

I then went back to the Duomo. The dress code only prohibited bare shoulders - they were giving out blue surgical-style smocks at the entrance (long blue sheets of tracing paper which had holes cut in the middle and which you lowered on your head, leaving your arms uncovered). Somehow I didn't see many midriff-baring ones, but those in such outfits were let in.

The Duomo in Florence has the third longest nave in the world, after St Peter's and St Paul's. Inside, though, it wasn't very nice. A few churches are too adorned, but this was too spartan.


Wall painting


I then went to the Church of Santa Croce.

Santa Croce

Dante statue. If they can't have his tomb, they can at least erect an overblown memorial.


Assorted Giotto frescoes which for some reason I didn't note the names of (I think they weren't labelled). someone helped me look them up. The first is in the Peruzzi Chapel: Scenes from the Life of St John the Evangelist: 2. Raising of Drusiana, Scenes from the Life of St John the Evangelist: 3. Ascension of the Evangelist.

Life of Christ frescoes

It was horrendously and unbelievably dark inside. And they didn't have the "insert coin for light" machines despite, or perhaps because, of the €5 (?) entrance fee.

Allori - Deposition of the Cross. 1560.

Rossellino - Leonardo Bruni's Memorial Monument
"After Leonardo departed from life, historia mourned, eloquence fell silent, and it is said that neither the Greek nor Latin muses could hold back their tears."

Tomb of Machiavelli

Michelangelo's tomb

Dante's monument (hurr hurr)

Galileo's tomb

Rossini's tomb

Donatello - Tabernacle Cavalcanti Annunciation. 1433-5

Perhaps a reason why modern religious art is so grotesque is that, in a manner similar to painting, photography and the documentation of the world, instead of communicating ideas to the faithful because of a lack of literacy, modern education has freed it to unleash the horrors of the imagination.

Brunelleschi - Pazzi chapel

Brunelleschi cloisters


Andrea della Robbia - Ciborio con San Francesca, San Bartolomeo, San Raffaele e tobiolo

Giotto - Polyptych of crowning/Baroncelli polyptych. 1329-34

Wall of one chapel

Tomb of Giuseppe Farina (a racecar driver - wth)

Main cloisters

Florentine street

For breakfast, I'd had 2 chocolate chip cookies and gelato. My lunch had also been gelato. So for dinner I felt justified in splashing out less than €10 for a pizza:

Pizza della Casa - Gorgonzola, sausage and red salad. Irregularly shaped, it had a very thin crust (the sort someone likes). Unfortunately, I came just after 5:30, so they only had pizza or salad, or I'd have had a carbonara (in the end I didn't have any carbonara in Italy). The disadvantage of thin crusts is that they get soggy quickly because moisture seeps down.

There were people selling the dancing magnet figures here as well. They weren't dancing to music, but to a radio channel with someone talking. Doubtless this detracted from their appeal!

Luckily, on Tuesday nights from 7-10pm in July, the Galleria Academia was open to the public for free - there *are* some advantages to going to Italy in July. The best part for me was not that I'd get in free, but that I'd get to squeeze more into one day; not everything was on display during this night session, but all the important stuff was, and I'd probably seen enough stuff similar to the works not on display before.

Someone behind me in the line to the Galleria Academia: "Everything in Aldi either breaks or rots". Somehow, I could emphatise with that sentiment.

The Galleria Academia was possibly the scummiest museum I'd ever seen. Normally I'd be inclined to excoriate it more, but since entry was free, the air-conditioning was powerful and everything had English translations, I would've closed half an eye, even with their no photography policy (I'd had pictures of items from most categories/genres of art that I wanted). What drove me over the edge, though, was how the museum required visitors to put their cameras into "special plastic bags" (presumably tamper-proof) before entry (presumably this was only for normal sessions and it was too much trouble to enforce this rule at night).

All these scummy museums should be spited - high resolution pictures of their artefacts should be scanned in and distributed online for free, or better yet, people should be equipped with spycams and sent in to snap away. One thing they could do to earn even more money would be to sell photo passes - for €2 or something you'd be allowed to take non-flash photography or film videos. This would get them even more money, since most of those who'd buy postcards/merchandise anyway would still buy them. And people like me would be less pissed off as well.

Lorenza Monaco's St John the Baptist and St Paul were the first times I'd seen disembodied heads with halos.

Monaco's "The intercession of Christ & the Virgin", c. 1400 was weird. With her left hand she was pushing up her right breast, and her flesh could be seen under her veil.

Zenobia's Ideal head (Michele Tosini), 1560-70 unfortunately didn't have an ideal bust. Pity.

The highlight of the collection, of course, was Michelangelo's David. The detail was amazing - you could see the veins on his right arm, his member appeared circumcised.

Behind David there were many aircon vents in the floor, so a draft was blowing from below. 1 girl got up and then she got to do a Marilyn Monroe.

While I was admiring David, I got to see the museum's Gestapo in action, and this pissed me off even more since they were vigilantly patrolling the area and pouncing readily on people who were getting their money's worth (hurr hurr). God, you'd think they got paid from revenues from the sales of postcards and other merchandise. Originally I decided I didn't have the energy to play games with them, but I got so incensed that I drew on hidden reserves.

Cunningly, the museum guards didn't have any special uniform and so blended well into the crowd, giving them a chance to sneak up on unsuspecting tourists with nary a warning. Poor tourists - they never had a fighting chance! I was more prudent, and so spent time in a preparatory recce observing their patrol pattern: I noticed that it was very thorough, but I located a few spots and times in their patrol cycles during which I reckoned I had a fighting chance. I also saw a few others who were being similarly cunning and playing punk with the system (as opposed to just storming in with guns [or cameras] blazing and getting caught with only blur images to show for their troubles, sometimes even before taking their shots). One guy got a very good shot, which I saw when I went behind him. I chuckled, smiled and flashed a thumbs up at him.

The first time I struck, I only got a blurry shot, so I deleted it and prepared to strike again. A museum guard walked past just as I'd gotten my shot, and I'm sure she saw me skulking around and hiding my camera, and started watching me, for just after my second shot, she pounced on me and started scolding me and yapping in Italian.

Me: "I don't speak Italian"

Her: "You're in Italy... 3 times and you go out"

I think what pissed her off the most was that I was smirking very obviously at my little snubbing of that scummy establishment and the Gestapo (ie Her, since I knew she knew that I knew that she'd seen me the first time). Some interesting responses I could've provided:

Response 1: Me: *takes 2 pictures of her* There, I've taken 3 pictures. I'll be going now.

Response 2: Me: KNNBCCB.

Her: I don't understand what you just said.

Me: You're talking to a Singaporean.

The product of my endeavours. Michelangelo's David.

"san marinis - counter for light" - When I figure out what this means I'll write it out.

Statue in the Piazalle Michelangelo

View of Florence from Piazalle Michelangelo

There was a motorcycle accident just before I reached the Piazalle Michelangelo. 2 motorcycles were on the road in pieces. The 2 riders were not. 4 paramedics were manoeuvring one of the riders onto a spinal board (damnit, I only had 1 buddy to help me last time!)

The most annoying thing about camping, I think, was that we had to walk to central points for toilets and showers, light, water and electricity.

The second entry of my July secret diaries is out. If you can't access it, contact me.

"Washing Machine Cover"

Damn Japs.
My favourite periodical always gets the funniest letters (these are from last week):

SIR – It might interest you to know that not a single serious study has ever been able to demonstrate a link between “emotional intelligence” and leadership effectiveness. The most robust and consistent single predictor of leadership effectiveness is, simply, intelligence. Emotional intelligence sells well, but scientific evidence supporting it is almost as solid as that supporting the effectiveness of homeopathy.

Erkko Autio
Professor, department of management
HEC Lausanne
Lausanne, Switzerland

SIR - Only a man could fail to mention the real advantages that men have over women: an ambition for success, even at the cost of their own health; and a parasitic ability to utilise the domestic and child-care labour of their women without feeling guilt. Forget about empathy and emotional intelligence—they just get women sidelined into personnel departments. The only way to attain real power is really, really to want it and not to care about the cost.

Hilary Potts

SIR – Or is it madam? As a male engineer, I read your thoughts on gender differences with new-found resolve. At work today, I had ample time to contemplate my impending obsolescence after switching on my computer so that it could set about the passé task of designing aircraft. In the past it was slide rules and T-squares that did this work, but the tremendous amount of muscle power needed to wield these instruments saved me from redundancy. Clearly, what I need to do to get ahead is to work on such social skills as going behind people's backs, staying angry for long periods of time and spreading bitchy rumours—teamwork and technical skills be damned.

Paul Gush
Madison, Alabama


[Student: Do we do the essay in class or (at home)?]... It's a free country. You can do it in class if you want.

[On skipping working and jumping to the answer] To minimise risk... 2 w a sigma a square - so you know right? So I just show you this [the final answer]

Risk air verse / air worse investors (averse)

[On a monstrous equation] Can you memorise this formula? [Student: No]. This is going to be a 25 point (?) question. If I give you 10 points for writing this formula, can you do it?... See? You can do it. This is the risk premium.

If you know that textbook inside out, you will have no problem with this part of the course, but you probably will have no time for anything else.

It's really important to say something about policy so that, among other things, they can feel good about themselves... Economists like to be employed.

Let's have a recipe for building an engodenous growth model. Something you can do in your spare time.

This is where technology gets growed (grown)

Bob loo kaas (Lucas)

[On R&D] Paul Romer really believes in his work, because after writing some articles he took a break, to make some money. He is now writing software for economics students.

Jonos describes that as stepping on each others' toe (toes)

How do you guys find the pace?... [Me: Is this your first time lecturing?] Yah. *To himself* 'Learning by doing' [Ed: Arrow, 1962]

Shoom peter's assumption (Schumpeter)

[On a regression explaining GPA] K may be number of male friends and female friends, number of disruptive friends, and so on.

OSS estimator (ELS)

Tenure identify the relationship between y and x 1? (Can you)

[On a simple regression plot] The wildest estimator will be: you connect all the dots

The notes are getting more and more disgusting. [Me: I thought you said 'the girls are getting more and more disgusting'] I don't even need to say that. It's been like that from Day 1.

The correctness of dementia'n (dimension)

If one assumption is broken down (violated)

hypothetical testing (hypothesis)

Now we move on to a little bit more poignant analysis, which is [the] normal distribution.

I am reminded of the po sawn distribution... He was a cavalryman in Napoleon's army. He counted the number of men kicked to death by horses... That's how the po sawn distribution originated. (Poisson)
"Never tell anyone that you're: writing a book, going on a diet, exercising, taking a course, or quitting smoking. They'll encourage you to death." - Lynn Johnston


I saw $10 Happy Tree Friends T-shirts being sold in the bazaar. Considering they're priced at US$19.99 on the online store, and even the best special offer is $9.99, I was very skeptical. I saw one girl wearing one and asked her if it was from there. She said it was, and her friend read the label which said "Voodoo".

Some people complained that they gave us one lecturer who has no PhD. But I suspect that on the whole, non-PRC TAs are better at teaching than lecturers.

Some people want to put on nail polish, but don't remove it. So when it wears out and when the nail grows out, it looks very ugly when they wear open-toed footwear.

The current batch of USP Year 2s likes to converse in Chinese a lot.

I saw a sign for "NUS StompAIDS" - "Don't encage yourself from the truth about HIV". So I wrote in to the email address provided: "I saw one of your posters in Block ADM (USP Block). I was thinking that maybe, like some foreign universities, you could put free condom dispensers in the student dorms. Or if you don't have enough funding, maybe condom dispensers providing them at a low (student) rate would be helpful too. This would have additional contraceptive benefits as well (I don't suppose there's a "NUS Anti-Pregnancy" group you could team up with)."

After I sent the mail, someone pointed out "Pregnancy Awareness" would sound better. Oh well.

Someone: "there;s such a grp in nus? wow..".

Someone else: me likes this pic

Someone: The Sexuality Department at ANU [of the student union] provides free contraceptives.


I was at one of the 2 Halal outlets of Sakura, a most curious restaurant opposite NUS where the buffet had, besides cold prawns, oyster, sashimi, teppanyaki and abalone with dou miao, also chicken feather sausage (more familiar to Singaporean readers as "hot dog") pizza, fried rice with chicken feather sausage, chicken feather sausage sushi, grilled whole chicken feather sausage, nuggets, samosas, breaded crab claws (the cheap ones which are mostly surimi) and crabstick salad, all washed down with kordial and complemented with palm oil ice cream (for which plastic spoons were given). The teppanyaki lamb came with a spoon of FMV (Frozen Mixed Vegetables). It was $20 nett (weekday lunch), so that explains it. Incidentally, the chef was setting the dou miao in abalone with dou miao on fire - I thought you could only do that if you added alcohol to your food. I must try the non-Halal outlets one day and see how different they are.

I was at a Yami Yoghurt branch at maybe 9pm, and when I asked for a small cup, the woman opened the freezer and gave me a pre-prepared cup of frozen yoghurt. This is indicative of why Singaporean food sucks.

I think I ate less in Europe. This is because my parents eat early, then later I feel hungry. Damn.


The case of the USSR shows how National Identity imposed upon a people from above by force, instead of being allowed to evolve naturally and gradually, will evaporate once the imposition stops.

The trailer for Chai Lia Angels has a hair flipping scene. Gah. The towel upskirt scene looks funny though.

Ever since upgrading my counter, I've found that my hits have gone down a lot, so actually this is quite an unpopular and small-time blog. I suspect that this is because the old Extreme Tracker counted hits on all my pages, while the new one only counts hits on some (but I'm not sure which - it's definitely not only the main page). The hit to my ego notwithstanding, the only damage done is that I can't track all my search referrals. I suppose I should get a better tracker sometime soon to keep a finger on the warped pulse of the Internet.

The English like to boast that their island has not been successfully invaded by a foreign power since 1066. How come no one ever talks of William III?

I think I shall make a new resolution. When I have no time or more important things to do, don't send out mass messages and don't get pulled into long, drawn out and ultimately pointless conversations. Other people are good at this skill, which is why I get ignored all the time.

The next time someone criticises me based on my age, I will come up with a similar argument to slam them back. "You're too set in your ways", "You have too many preconceived notions", "Your mind is slow due to your advanced age" and "You're too jaded - you can't see the world for what it really is" sound promising.

The results of eating organic and living naturally

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
"Something's just not right - our air is clean, our water is pure, we all get plenty of exericse, everything we eat is organic and free-range, and yet nobody lives past thirty."

I think they left out their not ingesting unhealthy, artificial medicines which slowly poison your body.

Keywords: "I don't get it", "no one lives"
Getting There (Shanghai, China)


Special Note to Women
Some past participants have found that Chinese nationals had a distorted and stereotyped image of U.S. women, often acquired through advertising, television, and movies. Many Chinese do not understand that the U.S.-style familiar manner with strangers is merely a gesture of friendliness. Outgoing behavior may be misconstrued as something more.

Special Note to Minorities
Students that are members of ethnic minorities, students with disabilities, gay and lesbian students, or overweight students may face particular difficulties in the study abroad setting. Chinese society is very homogeneous, and Chinese stare at people who look different. They also stare at Asian Americans and don't understand why they can't speak perfect Chinese. Our resident staff is sensitive to these issue

Participants say...
People stare, point, and may even touch you. They are usually just curious. Watch and observe others and see what works. Try everything and get to know as many Chinese as possible."

Sounds like going to China on exchange is like being part of a traveling freak show.

The invitation is going to be from me. Where is ***? Please give this to your father... 'The letter is given to a student who would appear to know you. You can ask her for more information.' I don't know if he will be embarrassed or you will be embarrassed.

[On Kipling's "If"] Triumph and disaster. Both are imposters. Just like universities these days. They talk about 'pedagogy and passion'. Both are imposters.

In the south of France, near Spain, they have a curved bridge. Not the crooked bridge that Mahathir is talking about. Malaysians build crooked bridges.

t tie / t tar (theta)

In Bangladesh, what happened to the reverse (rivers)

Boys girls fruits flowers was a game we played. Have you heard of it? *laughs*... Boys and girls play similar games these days. I'm sure you've played something like that.

[On Ned Herrmann's 4 quadrant model] By doing this he earns a million dollars... Who knows, it might be crap. It's up to you to sort all the crap from the not-so-crap... A lot of people get where they are with crap.

Next to 'pedagogy' and 'passion', 'holistic' is the third most popular word. When people see someone using the word 'holistic' they just copy it. They don't know what it means, I think.

If I see you in the corridor, I probably can't recognise you. I'm very bad at names and faces. Unless you've been very naughty in class. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

*Fires toy gun with plunger dart at sleeping student* Can I have my bullet back?... I don't know if we are allowed to carry these things now... Could be trouble if you go on a flight.

When you burn yourself, why do you put your thumb in your mouth? [Student: So that other people can see that you burnt yourself] That is lateral thinking.

If you're an agricultural engineer. I don't know what that means, maybe you're a farmer.

[On the Sports and Social committee] Actually most of the time we eat. We seldom do other things than eat. (things other)

[On the chalet] We also drink. Oh, we're not supposed to drink. No, we don't drink.

They move mainly in the same duration (direction)

If you make your own double glazed glass, I recommend you put nitrous oxide inside instead of air... When the window breaks you'll be laughing.

When my daughter was in primary school... "My father goes to the 'blank' for breakfast... [Student: Toilet]

"My father goes to the market 'blank' breakfast"... Those who put 'for' were marked correct. My daughter wrote 'after'. Because she knows I won't step out of the house before breakfast. She got it wrong... I made her go to the teacher.

*OHP makes noise* How do you get rid of this noise? [Student: Switch it off] Absolutely. No. *Hits OHP* That's how you get rid of this noise.

This was an article I wrote 2 days after the Tsunami. I sent it to the Straits Times. They didn't publish it, because nothing was stolen, no one got molested... Now I'm forced to give the article to my students.

Mathematics was, is and will always be an arts subject.

That's the problem with scientists. They explain everything in maths and the layman cannot understand... It's uselesss.

In most universities, maths was taught in the arts faculty - before your father was born.

*** was reprimanded by the Anglican bishop 25 years ago for going onto the pulpit at St Andrew's cathedral and preaching that non-Christians can go to heaven... If heaven had only Christians it would be a pretty boring place. Praying and singing hymns all the time.
If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you, when through no fault of your, something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
Then, you are almost as good as your dog or your cat.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I may be unable to wander Europe anymore, but wanderlust still strikes me from time to time, so today I went to the Bukit Timah campus to do some sightseeing.

The whole place is in a mess; everything is under construction. If it was like this today, at the end of Week 3, I can't imagine what it was like when school first started. Either Law was in a big hurry to get out of Kent Ridge, Kent Ridge was in a big hurry to get them out, or both - "Good riddance to bad rubbish!", as I'd imagine the cries went up from the twain. Right now the inhabitable space is still small and quiet, but once the dust settles and LKYSPP and friends move over, it's going to be more lively.

Walking through the place, I found that it'd been renovated to match or at least complement the decor and colour scheme of Kent Ridge. So at least the Landscape of Exclusion doesn't exist (yet), but then, with it being in a different location altogether, such measures are probably no longer necessary. The place might not be in a ridge, but the area is hilly and so climbing to get around is still necessary (dang). Some of the staircases are screwed up - they can be entered from any floor, but you can only exit from the first floor since the handles on the inside are disabled. The corridors are wider than in Kent Ridge, which is good in case there is an influx of SNAILS, but otherwise I don't see what's so good about moving, especially since the library is now so far from the student block (though then again, the steepness of the staircases in the library was pointed out to me, so this will be good for those who are into certain forms of wildlife spotting). I hope the moving was really necessary, since with the renovation, new shuttle bus, maintenance of the new campus et al., I forsee that school fees are going to rise. Yet again.

Unfortunately, the cafeteria sucks, at least from what I've been told; I only ate a little there but the results were not promising - most of my fruit juice was ice and the "tomato ketchup" for my fries was extremely watered down. The price for NUS students is like what you'd get in a hawker centre (I'd imagine you're paying for the air-conditioning), so essentially you're not saving anything. One stall has Makansutra and Channel U approval but one person told me it sucks. Meanwhile another has newspaper writeups, but I think it's not supposed to be very good either. On the up side, Serene Centre is within walking distance (maybe not if you're in catwalk attire and stilettos), and Coronation Centre just a bit further. [Aside: Island Creamery at Serene Centre provides good quality ice cream for a low, low price of $2.50 a scoop. It's much better value than the BJ I had on Sunday which cost me my brother-in-law, who is anal and insufferable enough to complain to me about a "factual inaccuracy", insists that I change it, and then wonders why I do not rush to fall at his feet and gush about his munificence and then perpetually tries to act as a travel agent for a guilt trip, bitches and attempts to emotionally blackmail me all the time, $4.50. Though the Apple Pie ice cream didn't have enough apple bits in it.] The services at Bukit Timah also aren't very good - there's a co-op branch but it's only open from 10-2 or some equally insane time (this is the price they pay for exclusivity).

The shuttle bus service BTC1 has a frequency of 15 minutes during normal times and comfortably whisks visitors between campuses within about 20 minutes (in normal traffic conditions). Which means that some people are going to use it as a SBS service 151 substitute. I forsee that this bus is going to become more utilised than intended.

All in all, moving to Bukit Timah just reinforces the divide between SNAILS and SLUGS. They get a gym all to themselves (still unopened - it better not be Law-only) while SLUGS have to jostle with each other in the MPSH. The SLUGS will rot away and everyone will forget about them, since they have evidently forgotten about us; no one told the rest of NUS that the Sports Complex was available for our use from 2-6pm on Fridays (we pay school fees too, ok?) Also, the new distance does nothing to encourage integration: Law students in normal ECAs, for example, will have another reason to quit, thus leaving the path of one of the avenues for inter-faculty cohesion and understanding. Consider too that the SNAILS are still coming in (I saw 2 people doing chemistry in the cafeteria), providing one more source of tension and potential escalation. Very soon, I say, we're going to have racial inter-faculty riots!

I plan on going on another factfinding journey around the exam period, and see if SNAILS are still hanging around in the library.


SNAILS = Students Not Actually In Law School
SLUGS = Stupid Law UnderGraduateS

Other reviews of the NUS Bukit Timah Campus:

Welcome to the Bukit Timah Campus

[Addendum: Oh, about the only advantage of the new campus is that we finally have a quadrangle!]
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Someone remind me again, why am I doing this module?!


Damn monstrous equations.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I think 2 months might've been too optimistic an estimate for the travelogue. In lieu of a real update, again:

Foreign Talent (3)

Creature - Mercenary

When Foreign Talent comes into play, put a Singaporean you control into graveyard.

"I get their job, I get their girls, I get their house. Best of all, I don't have to serve NS."
- Bill the Foreign Expatriate


"Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops." - Kurt Vonnegut


Someone: Where did you go for exchange?

Me: I went to the land of Pot, Hookers and Euthanasia.

Someone: Canada?

Someone else: the parallels between your relationship to truth and other people's to god are fascinating

Someone: i treat all boys the same way =p
it's the girls that i'm always more wary about

i interact very well with guys, in sense i'm more comfortable talking with them

well on one hands girls are bitchy, on another they're unpredictable, have fragile egos

it's difficult talking frankly to them
for example, i wouldn't talk to them the way i do to you

be cordial
everything has a standard answer
am i fat? no
does he like me? of course
what if he doesn't? oh it'll come

Me: what will come?

Someone: love. or whatever she's expecting
'it' is a good word for the ambiguity

Someone else: ad hominem is Singaporeans' defence of choice, because they've never learnt to debate from young
so when losing, just say "AIYAH YOU SUCK LAH"

Someone: hey, do girls usually discuss whether or not another girl is pretty?

because i was forced to overhear an appalling bit of conversation in the bathroom today, and i'm wondering if it'snormal

girl 1: do you know "So-and-so"? She is so pretty!
girl 2: yeah! she really is damn pretty, and you know who else is really pretty? "So and so 2"!
girl1: yeah!! I can't believe it! You know, the other day I saw the two of them walking in the forum together! She's a lot prettier than "some other person"

there was more, but i was reeling and didn't register anymore.
it's abysmally ridiculous.

Me: of course.
well better than bitching about another girl right

Someone: bitching is more normal though
less worrisome.

i don't know! just less... bizarre!
bitching i can understand, compliments too, but about... looks?! O_O

if the other parties are involved, it makes sense. to talk about looks
but to talk about looks at all when the people concerned are not within earshot is just damn weird!


someone: there is this shop in cambridge which is run by devout muslims. it sells 'asian and continental foods'

they do not stock anything with pork or alcohol. but despite that i walk up the hill to go to this shop once in a while

becoz they sell really high quality food. like crusty bread. wide selection of breadsticks. wide selection of spices. wide selection of italian antipasti and pasta sauce which u cannot get anywhere else

which is a v nice counterpoint to this malaysia halal-low quality shit.

the pointbeing that in sgp. when they go halal the quality goes down
but it doesnt hv to be so. here, this halal shop represents high quality
u just work with foods that are naturally halal
In lieu of a proper blog post, pictures of food from Rome, courtesy of Andrew!

Pasta we had on the first night in Rome (or at least the first restaurant meal) - a recommended restaurant near the hostel

Piss House wine

Pizza from the pizzeria near the Vatican

The pizzeria itself

Lethal Vongole

The worst Calamari in the world

Pizza from the Vatican Museums cafetaria

[Andrew: "pizza from the vatican museums cafe was fantastic, especially with the Danish (Tuborg) beer that accompanied it"]
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