When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

How different demographics draw the male body

"Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another." - Anatole France


How girls draw the male body: Very boyish with little to no muscles, and a childish face. Designed more for romance than sex.

How women draw the male body: More muscle, and a friendly and open face. Designed for romantic sex.

How gay men draw the male body: Much focus on the chest, groin, butt, mouth and muscles. Soft shapes and an open face. Mainly designed to evoke sexual desire.

How straight men draw the male body: Hard and solid. Not designed to evoke sexual desire, just raw power.

A joke from 1856

"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire


A gentleman sitting in one of the boxes in company with the late Lord North, not knowing his lordship, entered into conversation with him.

Seeing two ladies come into an opposite box, the gentleman turned to Lord North, asking:

"Pray, sir, can you inform me who is that ugly woman that is just come in?"

"Oh," replied his lordship, with great good humor. "That is my wife."

"Sir, I ask you ten thousand pardons; I do not mean her, I mean that shocking monster who is along with her."

"That," replied his lordship, "is my daughter."

—From The Repository of Wit and Humor by M. Lafayette Byrn, M.D. -- Boston, 1856!

(via JumboJoke)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Macau - Day 1, Part 1

"I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex." - Jack Handy


Day 1 - 26th February - Macau by Night (Part 1)

My flight to Macau was at 6am, so I got to go to the Budget Terminal in the wee hours of the night. Queuing up to check in, I found a lot of PRCs with me in what (thanks to them) passed for a queue, so it was not a very pleasant experience.

After I had gotten to the gate and when a few of us had already had our boarding passes scanned, we were suddenly told that our flight had been delayed by an hour. With insufficient seating space at the gate area, I just sat on the floor and got forty winks.

I got to catch up on even more sleep, since we spent a few hours flying around above Macau; there was lots of fog and it was preventing them from getting a clear view of the runway. In the end, after two aborted descents, we were diverted to Hong Kong.

There, we found out that they had also stopped the Hong Kong-Macau ferry. So even if they had let us off the plane in Hong Kong (Hong Kong immigration was not allowing this to happen, possibly because there were a lot of PRCs on the plane), we would not have been able to get to Macau anyway (there's probably a land route through China, but I don't think anyone takes it).

Hong Kong International Airport - the last time I was there, it was in happier circumstances. Hopefully the next time I am there it will similarly be in happier times.

Our situation was complicated when many of the Mandarin speaking passengers (mostly PRCs but with a couple of Singaporeans as well) got into their heads the strange idea that Tiger Airways was going to send us to our dooms by crashing through the fog into the runway in Macau. They started shouting excitedly in Mandarin, "我们的生命也是宝贵的!" ("Our lives are precious too!" - even a boy who could not have been more than 10 got to shouting this) and demanded to be let off the plane (not heeding the fact that Hong Kong Immigration would sooner deport them to China than let them into Hong Kong). They then spent some time walking on the tarmac and sitting in an airport runway bus that was not going anywhere.

Causing trouble for everyone

While the Mandarin speaking passengers were being unreasonable, the lack of communication from the Tiger Airways staff did not help. There had been no announcement in Mandarin about the diversion to Hong Kong - only a message in English from the Captain. Also, on hearing the commotion, they should've explained the situation - and the fact that safety procedures (not to mention a healthy concern for their own lives) would not allow them to send us to our dooms. Even more annoyingly, some of them kept entering and then leaving the plane, leading some other passengers to advocate closing the airplane doors to keep them out.

One ang moh, instead of shouting, talked to the Station Manager in Hong Kong to complain about the "very bad decision making" on this flight. Half an hour too late, the Station Manager made an exhaustive announcement to reassure the passengers.

Tiger Airways was unable to persuade some of the passengers who'd gotten off back onto the plane, so we wasted some time selectively unloading their baggage (some of them refused to give their details either, possibly due to Immigration worries, making it even harder to offload their baggage). In all, the additional delay due to the trouble they caused was about 1-1.5 hours.

Although we had landed in Hong Kong at noon, they only fed us a bun at 2:40pm (previously they had been selling food). Wonderful: Tiger Airways.

Finally, at 3:50pm, we landed in Macau.

While waiting for the bus to the mainland (Macau's airport is on one of its islands), I saw a girl in hot shorts and calf high boots. I would've gotten a record of this horrible fashion statement, but I knew my priorites and puzzled over which bus to take while she got on another. Then again, the next bus is predictable, but fashion follies not so.

First view of Peninsular Macau

The fog was so bad that while my bus was on the bridge to the mainland, I saw some buildings which only had their tops visible through the fog.

Fisherman's Wharf. This looked like a theme park - it was probably one of the hotels/casinos.

Given that the temperature was in the mid-20s, I saw a lot of women in boots - but none in hot shorts.

Despite the temperature, I was the only one on the minibus to open my window all the way, since I found the breeze (it didn't qualify as a chill) invigorating. Luckily this was not Germany, or people would scold me.

Slum. Most of the housing looked like this. From the looks of it, Macau makes Hong Kong housing look luxurious.

I realised that my skills of taking buses in strange lands had eroded, when I was unceremoniously dumped at:

Border Gate with Zhuhai (China), final stop

I had imagined that I would have been able to identify the old buildings near which I would've had to get off, but apparently they were too well-hidden (or the bus didn't go that near them), and I only saw slums everywhere. Then again, it was not as if I had much to do anyway, having been landed in Macau so late (6 hours later than my original arrival time of 9:40am, to be exact).

Uggs and shorts - ugh. These weren't as hot as the shorts I'd seen in the airport, but they had to do.

The old border gate

The disgusting blob that is the Shanghai Expo 2010 mascot. I saw it again in Vivocity this past weekend.

Advertisement for Resorts World Sentosa HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Statistics on the number of people passing through.

Humidity was 85% (i.e. unbearable), though the temperature was 23-24 degrees (I knew this thanks to the temperature/humidity sensor on the bus - I think only relatively humid places report the humidity). It might have been due to the ocean, but Japan had been around this temperature but much less humid. Maybe it was the monsoons?

"Spitting, littering rubbish and cigarretes are liable to a fixed fine of Mop 600"
Macau to PRCs: "Stop dirtying our city!"
This sign was notable by its absence at the airport.

I then took another bus from the border gate, making sure to ask the bus driver to inform me of the correct stop.

Amusingly, though Portuguese and Chinese are the official languages of Macau, I saw some signs aimed at locals in English, like "Don't get a pet on impulse".

Cute sign animation. I like the way the strokes of the Chinese characters are animated.

I saw a sign: "Hong Kong Employment Company"; Hong Kong and Macau have the same relationship as Australia and New Zealand (respectively).

Somehow, shorts, leggings and boots are not as dumb as shorts and boots. Somehow, leggings are a minor concession made to the weather - one can (barely) make a respectible case about the vagaries of the weather, which is nicer than the choice of garment being due to a misguided fashion sense.

While I was pondering the above, I also had cause to wonder which is more stupid fur-trimmed boots or heeled leather boots. Ah, judgment calls!

I saw a sign for a "health centre". There was a red cross on it. I think they meant "clinic".

I got off at the other end of the Macau peninsula, near the Grand Lisboa hotel.

Grand Lisboa hotel. There is only one way to describe it: Damn Ugly. Vegas has camp, but Macau is just plain vulgar.

Wynn hotel

Casino Lisboa - preceding the Grand Lisboa

The Grand Lisboa in its full ugliness

My hostel - Augusters Lodge - was possibly the worst hostel (facilities/lodging wise, anyway) I'd ever stayed in. Even the cramped Khaosan Annex in Tokyo had been better. But then there hadn't been many alternatives - Macau is not a place for budget lodging (at least Osaka, has cheap budget hotels).

View through the window in the stairwell of the hostel

Recuperating in the hostel, I mentioned the Lisboa's Shark Pit to the owner but he didn't know what I was talking about. He told me that before the market had been opened to competition, there had been no free shuttle buses and no free drinks and dim sum in the casinos. Ah, competition!

I then went to walk around Macau at night.

Huge LCD screen for Grand Emperor.

Macau Street

Hong Kong Steamboat on a Stick

I'd gone before the 14 days of Chinese New Year were up, so unfortunately there were Chinese New Year decorations disfiguring the World Heritage Sites.

Senado Square (Largo do Senado), with CNY Decorations. The building in the centre now houses the Tourist Office. And Watson's.

Municipal Hall (former Leal Senado - Legislative Assembly), with CNY Decorations

Travessa do Roquete

Further on in the square

Santa Casa Da Misericordia

Industrial Gao Laak Making Machine


Colonial Era Pharmacy. Okay, "Colonial Era" is not the best term, given that it ended less than 11 years ago, but "Strolling in Macau" assures me that it is "old".

Travessa da Misericordia

Bust at end of the Alley

Alley from the other end

There were quite a few stray dogs.

I had run out of AA batteries at home (for my camera) so I popped into Watson's to buy some more.

Leopard Prints Baggage. Wth.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Counter

They had Black Sesame Almond Cakes with Pork Jerky inside. Err.

Jackie Chan's more important than their founder

St Dominic's Church

Coconut Flesh Milk Tea I had, which was nothing special. The flesh was a bit tough.

The bubble tea shop

Pork Chop Bun shop

Pork Chop Bun I had. It was... alright. The bread was crusty, unlike at the place where I've tried it in Singapore, but otherwise it was unspectacular.

Lots of Bak Kwa. I never knew so many varieties existed. Among others: Wild Boar, Jeans Cow (?!) Cowboy Beef, Ostrich, Pig's Head. The nice guy gave me some Ostrich. It was very tender.

Bak Kwa

Luckily there was a shop with English translations (though you can tell you're not getting the full picture): (Normal) Pork, Beef, Spicy Beef Fillet, Garlic Chicken, Spicy Veal, Veal, Spicy Piglet, Piglet, Fillet of Beef, Wild Boar.

"Affordable Luxury"
Confused Haagen-Dazs branding


I saw a lot of schoolgirls walking around but very few schoolboys. This begged the usual question: where were the boys?! Furthermore, ponytail was a very popular minimum hair length - I saw a low single digit number of girls with hair shorter than that length, a mid-single digit number of schoolboys, but a good 3 digit number of other schoolgirls.

Macau only has 500,000 people. With the population density you'd think it'd be a lot more.
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