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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reasons to get Facebook

Bizarre HR: Candidates without Facebook “suspicious” | Human Resources Online

Global – Human resources professionals are becoming increasingly wary of candidates who aren’t on Facebook, because it makes them look 'abnormal'.

With the social networking site becoming such in integral part of modern society, HR departments are doing double takes at job candidates who don’t appear to have a Facebook profile, Forbes reported.

The biggest concern from employers is that a lack of a Facebook page – or other social networking sites – could mean the applicant’s online account contains so much inappropriate content that it had to be deleted.

While there could be many reasons a person does not have or want a Facebook page – whether it’s too addictive or they crave privacy – owning one is a sign of having a healthy social network, psychologist Christopher Moeller told Forbes.

Other psychologists, and German magazine Der Taggspiegel, go as far to point out accused theater shooter James Holmes and Norwegian mass murder Anders Behring Breivik, both do not have Facebook profiles, implying keeping yourself away from online social interaction could be a sign of dysfunctional, or even dangerous, ways.

Advice columnist for Slate.com, Emily Yoffee, wrote young people also shouldn’t date anyone who isn’t on Facebook for the same reasons.

“If you’re of a certain age… and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag,” she said.

Straits Times Forum Letter of the Day

Do Malay husbands know something the Chinese don't?

THE total fertility rate of Malay Singaporeans last year was 1.64, followed by Indian Singaporeans at 1.09 and Chinese Singaporeans at 1.08 ("Get married, have babies"; Sunday).

Most incentives - maternity leave, maid levies and discounted taxes - are aimed at women, and may be working better for the Malays than for the Chinese.

Perhaps the Government should find out why Malay women are more willing to have babies.

Are Malay men more romantic, persuasive and less stressed out by life's perceived demands than Chinese men?

Do Malay couples have a more viable network of caregivers?

I would like to believe that a man with confidence is attractive to women. He can better influence his wife to have more babies, especially if he believes he can adequately provide for the family.

How can Chinese Singaporean men attain more confidence? In this modern age, the ability to provide translates into how much a man earns and his job security.

Greater confidence may well encourage Singaporean men to take the plunge earlier, and increase the potential for having babies sooner.

Ivan Goh

Another good one:

Not as sports-crazy as China? Imagine these...

"MR CHRISTOPHER Ong is sceptical that Singaporean medal achievements in the Olympic Games will create a surge of national pride or unite the people ("What's the worth of an Olympic medal?"; last Saturday).

He concluded that the notion of national sporting accomplishments uniting the nation is overblown.

Allow me to show, with examples, how wrong he is.

If Singapore were playing against Brazil for an Olympic football gold medal, my bet is that almost every Singaporean would be watching the match on TV. The roads would be empty; every pub with a TV set would be packed; life, as we know it, would stand still while Singaporeans cheer on the Lions. And if Singapore beat Brazil... need I say more?"

(the joy of social thought experiments is no one can prove you wrong)

And finally:

Govt must lead with changes

"The ministry should revamp the leave system with regard to maternity and paternity leave.

It should designate a fixed number of weeks in which both parents can take such leave interchangeably.

Such a flexible parental leave policy sends a strong signal that child-rearing is a task that involves both parents, and will gradually move us away from the traditionally male chauvinist tilt."


Monday, August 13, 2012


Update: All tickets to the event have been given out!



• Send an email titled “Voices Clear and True launch – I want to go!” and include full name and mobile number in the email body to contact@checkpoint-theatre.org.
• Alternatively, send a text message to 9040 4675 in this format: “VOICES LAUNCH! Name: [Full Name] Email: [Email Address] No. of pax: [Number of people attending]”.
• Registration Deadline: by 11.59pm on Thu, 16 Aug 2012.
• Admission is free and by prior registration only.
• Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.


As part of Checkpoint Theatre's 10th anniversary celebrations, we're launching our inaugural book publication, “Voices Clear and True: New Singapore Plays Volume 1”!

This is the first volume in a series of play collections published by Checkpoint Theatre that showcase the exciting work of a new generation of the following Singapore playwrights: Christine Chong, Kenneth Chong, Lucas Ho, Dan Koh, Cheryl Lee, Laremy Lee, Faith Ng and Shiv Tandan.

Their plays were written under the mentorship of acclaimed dramatist Huzir Sulaiman, Checkpoint Theatre’s Joint Artistic Director, and produced by Singapore theatre companies.

The plays are by turns lyrical and hilarious, and are marked by their intellectual rigour, emotional honesty, and refined technique. These plays are evidence of the burgeoning renaissance in Singapore playwriting.

The collection of critically-acclaimed plays includes wo(men) and The Good, the Bad, and the Sholay, which were both nominated for Best Original Script in the Straits Times Life! Theatre Awards.

“Voices Clear and True: New Singapore Plays Volume 1” is edited by Huzir Sulaiman, Lucas Ho and Laremy Lee, and includes an introduction by Huzir Sulaiman.


“Voices Clear and True contest – Let me win!”

Join our contest as part of the lead-up to the launch!

Answer these two questions correctly in order to win attractive prizes:
1. Out of the eight plays in Voices Clear and True: New Singapore Plays Volume 1, how many plays were nominated for Best Original Script at the ST Life! Theatre Awards?

2. Based on your answer in (1), what are the full names of the plays and the playwrights nominated for Best Original Script at the ST Life! Theatre Awards?

Send an email titled “Voices Clear and True contest – Let me win!” that includes your answers, their full name and mobile number in the email body to contact@checkpoint-theatre.org by 11.59pm on Mon, 13 Aug 2012.

Two lucky winners will each walk away with the following prizes:
• Two invites to the book launch; and
• One copy of the book signed by all the playwrights.

(Terms and conditions at http://fb.me/1eax8t3y8)

Links - 13th August 2012

Woman slammed for giving free meals to poor - "A woman, who has been cooking food for the needy, has been criticised online, with one netizen even calling for her arrest. Rachel Lim Yan Xuan, a 34 year-old dance instructor, has been preparing meals and distributing them for free to people begging or selling tissues on the streets of Geylang and outside a temple at Waterloo Street... “Someone threatened me, saying that as I do not have an AVA licence to cook from home for public distribution, and that as giving the food to the poor is [supposedly] illegal, I may end up in jail”... Ms Lim said that her overseas friends were startled when they saw the comments. “They wondered why a developed country like Singapore would have such unreasonable people,” she said in her interview with Lianhe Wanbao. Some of the netizens who made scorching comments have since removed their posts from Ms Lim’s Facebook account"

I laugh with my friends about how bad Mediacorp shows are on Twitpic - "Mediacorp has been more than happy to be able to do our bit to help us bond"

HAHAHA Hippo gets explosive diarrhea! - YouTube

Italian laws: Court rules it is a criminal offence to tell a man he has 'no balls' because it hurts male pride - "The ruling, which comes after years of legal dispute, did not specify whether any insults against women should now also be considered crimes"

The Freakish Faces Of Synchronized Swimming

If Video Games Were Real | SMOSH

Hypocrisy of the rich liberals who buy their way out of the schools calamity their dogma created - "Sir Jonathan’s profound aversion to private education is well known. In accordance with his principles, in the Seventies he sent his own children to Pimlico comprehensive school in Central London... Now William says that he and his wife have decided to educate their primary school-age children privately to ensure that they, too, do not become — as he has characterised himself and his siblings — the ‘victims of the most cavalier of social experiments’. And his father is helping foot the bill... They were the victims of their parents’ ideological fixation with abolishing privilege — a fixation expressed by refusing to give their children the educational advantages that all too often they themselves had enjoyed... through an utterly misplaced idealism, they resolved that if everyone could not benefit from such schools, then no one should. Accordingly, the principle of equality of opportunity that lay behind selective education — including that provided in the state system by the grammar schools — was replaced by the doctrine of equality of outcomes. The result was a disastrous confluence of comprehensive schooling with child-centred educational theories, which in the interests of eradicating both ‘illegitimate’ adult authority over children and equally ‘illegitimate’ differences in achievement, simply undid the very concept of education altogether. The result was countless numbers of children abandoned to ignorance and under-achievement... The damage done by this experiment has been incalculable. The further irony is that it actually increased the numbers going to independent schools"

Looted Afghan artefacts returned to Kabul - "More than two thirds of the exhibits at the National Museum in Kabul were stolen or destroyed during the civil war... there will be concerns about the fate of the artefacts, given the unpredictability surrounding Afghanistan's future"

Sesame street- MANAMANA - Original 1969 version.flv - YouTube

best running gag ever 2816 - YouTube - "on the muppet show there were strange funny phone calls"

Man writes to Cathay CEO to ask them to stop pilot from having sex with his wife - AsiaOne Forum

The Imbibing Idiot Bias: Consuming Alcohol Can Be Hazardous to Your (Perceived) Intelligence by Scott Rick, Maurice Schweitzer - "Alcohol consumption and cognitive impairment frequently co-occur. We propose that the relationship is so familiar that exposure to alcohol cues primes expectations of cognitive impairment. Across five studies, we find that in the absence of any evidence of reduced cognitive performance, people who hold an alcoholic beverage are perceived to be less intelligent than those who do not, a mistake we term the imbibing idiot bias. In fact, merely priming observers with alcohol cues causes them to judge targets who hold no beverage at all as less intelligent. The bias is not driven by a belief that less intelligent people are more likely to consume alcohol. We find that the bias may be costly in professional settings. Job candidates who ordered wine during an interview held over dinner were viewed as less intelligent and less hireable than candidates who ordered soda. However, prospective candidates believe that ordering wine rather than soda will help them appear more intelligent."
Ahh Americans!

Beyond initial attraction: physical attractiveness in newlywed marriage. - "In contrast to the robust and almost universally positive effects of levels of attractiveness on new relationships, the only association between levels of attractiveness and the outcomes of these marriages was that attractive husbands were less satisfied. Further, in contrast to the importance of matched attractiveness to new relationships, similarity in attractiveness was unrelated to spouses' satisfaction and behavior. Instead, the relative difference between partners' levels of attractiveness appeared to be most important in predicting marital behavior, such that both spouses behaved more positively in relationships in which wives were more attractive than their husbands, but they behaved more negatively in relationships in which husbands were more attractive than their wives"

South Korean gold gymnast vaults from rags to riches - "Nongshim, the manufacturer of Yang's favorite instant noodles, has also said it will provide his family with "limitless amount of instant noodles""

Wrestling the Troll : Sam Harris - "You might think that it’s the triumphant ill will expressed here that gets under my skin—but you would be mistaken. What bothers me is the persistence of misunderstanding. I can’t shake the feeling that if I just wrote or spoke more clearly, this sort of thing wouldn’t happen... people like PZ Myers continue to malign me as an advocate of “racial profiling.” I have written to Myers personally about this and answered his charges publicly. His only response has been to attack me further and to endorse the false charges of others... Simply raising these issues—even to clarify misunderstandings—does little more than inspire trolls... generally speaking, I’m at the limits of my bandwidth and have to draw the line somewhere"
Addendum: "If my daughter one day reads in my obituary that her father “was persistently dogged by charges of racism and bigotry,” unscrupulous people like PZ Myers will be to blame."

Why I don't have comments - "First, I feel compelled to clarify or to answer every objection or to point out every flaw in reasoning. Second, it takes way too much of my time to even think about them, never mind curate them. And finally, and most important for you, it permanently changes the way I write. Instead of writing for everyone, I find myself writing in anticipation of the commenters"

The Macrobiotic Diet: Eat Tiny Portions of Foods You Don’t Like - "Lack of energy (and/or self-righteous bitchiness) may result from following the macrobiotic diet too closely. One look at Gwyneth Paltrow’s self-satisfied blog “Goop” is all the evidence you really need to see…."

delanceyplace.com 5/6/11 - theater acting vs movie acting - "The modern film actor knows that real people in real life struggle not to show their feelings. It is more truthful, and more potent, to fight against the tears, only yielding after all those defense mechanisms are exhausted. If today's actor emulates film, he'd be better off watching a documentary. The same is true of drunkenness. In real life, a drunk makes a huge effort to appear sober"

delanceyplace.com 5/8/12 - the stallion sacrifice - "The stallion was then smothered to death, presumably to avoid damag­ing its body, whereupon the king's first wife, his queen, symbolically coupled with the sacrificed horse under covers, while the royal court gave her encouragement with obscene remarks"

delanceyplace.com 6/12/12 - bible sales vs. bible knowledge - "So biblical literacy is low to zip, even while biblical reverence remains high and Bible sales rise. What's going on? Could it be that biblical literacy is being replaced by biblical consumerism? In today's consumer culture, we are what we buy, wear, and carry. We identify ourselves by our patterns of con­sumer choices, by the market niches we buy into. It's gone beyond that post-Cartesian proof of existence, 'I shop, therefore I am.' Today, it's closer to 'I shop for what I am.'"

FLIGHT RISK! Vietnamese airline fined for staging in-air beauty-queen bikini show

Send Anything to the Edge of Space, for Free

Is there an 'obesity paradox' in diabetes? - "overweight and obese people who get diagnosed with the blood sugar disorder tend to live longer than their leaner peers... it's probably not that excessive pounds are protective, said Carnethon, but rather that lean people who get diabetes are somehow predisposed to worse health"

Cough Medicine: Should You or Shouldn’t You? - "We've never had good evidence that cough suppressants and expectorants help with cough"

Sushi Bullies - WSJ.com - "Geri-Ayn Gaul had her first encounter with a raw-fish autocrat in August at Ino, in San Francisco. First, she tried to add some soy sauce to her seaweed salad. Big mistake. Chef Noboru Inoue scolded her, she says, telling her, "No, no, no. No soy sauce!" Then, she had the temerity to scrape some wasabi off a piece of sushi, because she doesn't like spicy food. The chef's response, she says: "'No. It needs the wasabi.'" She obeyed, and choked down the fish. "I was so nervous, I spilled my miso soup," says Ms. Gaul, whose meal for two, with no alcohol, cost $75 -- before tip. While unaccommodating service may sound like a recipe for a failing restaurant, these domineering sushi chefs can have lines of supplicants out the door... They reserve special enmity for spicy tuna rolls -- typically made with scraps of raw tuna, mayonnaise and chili powder -- which they say were only invented so that restaurants could mask the taste of substandard fish... Some patrons are so chagrined over being banned that they try to come back disguised in baseball caps, sunglasses, and, in one case, a wig"

Texas Gov. Rick Perry: 'political correctness has to stop' - El Paso Times - ""When conservatives are offended by a corporate policy, we simply choose not to give them our business." He added that offended liberals "try to keep everyone else from giving them business""

LOCAL - Columnist blasted online after piece on 'chestless, man-like' female Olympians - "Aytuğ said the Olympics forced women to "look more like men" in order to be successful and wrote about an ongoing "sporting violence against women," while criticizing what he called an understanding of "the manlier you look the more successful you are.""
This portion of his criticism actually sounds like feminist analysis

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Observations - 12th August 2012

How to get $6 all day parking at Marina Bay Sands: pretend to be from New Creation Church.

"ur ex is pretty. really. by sg girls standard"
Me: "hahahahahaha damning with faint praise"

Someone told me that restaurant food in Philadelphia was cheaper in Singapore. I suggested that places with similar concepts and pitched at similar levels didn't cost too differently, but the quality was different: restaurant food in Singapore is quite bad.

Theory: Thai restaurants with a portrait of the King are good

Sociology graduate: "you just blame the social institutions for all the social problems in soci"

Amused contrasting the reaction to the lack of French actors in Les Misérables with the reaction to the lack of Japanese actors in Memoirs of a Geisha.

Colour is an appropriate analogue to race not just conceptually (gradients) but lexically (just because we come up with the categories using subjective criteria doesn't mean categorisation is nonsensical; one person's magenta is another person's red).

Americans talk even when they've nothing to say. East Asians keep mum even when they've something to say.

Rollercoasters are only fun/scary when you scream. Not when you're singing motets.

Forgot to remove hair clip before entering shower #longhairproblems

Amused by a Malay saying Malays are very fake so he prefers befriending Chinese.

Amused that in Singapore Muslims are not allowed to cohabitate with the other sex ($500 fine and/or 6 months jail) (it's in the Administration of Muslim Law Act)

I couldn't find the literal translation of "gey zhua" (doing something extra) online. Apparently it's "extra squirt" (for peeing)

Sometimes the best way to help the mentally ill is to get them committed.

Amused that one would get engaged a year after one's wife dies.

Told telemarketer I don't do spas on principle. She was asking me to ask my wife when I hung up. Should've said I was gay. The next time I get offered a free spa, I'll ask if they do happy endings.

Me: "Men are like wine"
"Sour, bitter and overpriced?"

"If u watch Annie i wld hv thought geena ratio wld be higher ma. Its not Tranformers the Musical"

RT @hellovirnnnn "I looked around at my girlfriends and realized that the truly happy ones were those with men they never saw themselves with."

QUILTBAG: Quit Using Idiotic Liberal Terminology Because it’s Asinine and Gay

"So everything has got more expensive except Tissue Paper. 20yrs ago, it was 3 for $1. Today 2 aunties came by seperately, selling 5 for 80c"

RT @THEDAILYFUCK: I called my girlfriend a whore during sex once, She made me pay for that afterwards

RT: @sickipediabot: My goth son died doing what he enjoyed doing most.
Trying to kill himself.

RT @capricecrane We're happier when we're young because we don't know any better.

RT @dk: What about LTA? They should fine themselves too RT @STcom LTA fines SMRT $2 million for December breakdowns

RT: @TravLeBlanc: I'm a big believer in karma so if I'm ever a dick to you, you probably did something horrible in your past to deserve it.

RT: @MinuteSexe: 43% des Américaines qui démenagent à Hollywood pour devenir actrice terminent dans l'industrie du porno. #MinuteSexe

RT @ImLeslieChow: "Dont worry the spider is smaller than you" "Yeah? So is a grenade!"

RT @FlareonRRRAGE: @maarimekko isn't the point of fasting to do so without complaint? To deny your desires in the face of temptation?

RT: @GodlessAtheist: If your faith can move mountains, it should be able to withstand criticism #atheism

Europe CNY 2012 - Day 3, Part 4 - London Chinatown

Europe CNY 2012
Day 3 - 21st January - London Chinatown
(Part 4)

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Spikes on fence. Also, the road up. KNN.

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Antenna tower

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The Osteopathic Clinics inc. The London Frozen Shoulder Clinic
The London Frozen Shoulder Clinic??? According to the website "Frozen shoulder is a painful condition in which the shoulder becomes painful and stiff due to inflammation and thickening of the capsule (sack) around the shoulder joint". Must be a common ailment to warrant mention.

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Municipal noticeboard with some dodgy ads. I was amused by "Apple Mac Assistance". So much for "it just works".

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QR code in an inaccessible place (I had to perform some acrobatics to take this picture). I also scanned the QR code, which leads to: http://1cp.ca/24c0bb567a2c (the website of the bulletin board on Scanzai)

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"The Prince of Wales Thai Kitchen
Real Ales
Beer Garden
Thai Food"
I forgot to see if they had Chang Beer

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"Pineapple & Coconut. Exotic blend"
It didn't taste very exotic (and left a sticky residue on my fingers)

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Walking Church

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Fertility: the Musical
"Finding it difficult to get pregnant? Over 3,500 visitors last year"
The $1,000,000 question: how many of them got pregnant?

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"Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things"
I'm not sure what Kabbalah (syncretic Judaism) has to do with love advice

I then went to Chinatown to buy some duck.

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"Mary's Team". It sounds better in Chinese.

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"Kubar. Award winning gay bar"
They were playing gay videos inside.

I saw some Northern Chinese food in Chinatown, but less than in Singapore's.

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Chinatown gate

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Authentic Foods specialist

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This sign in Chinese doesn't address the reader as "您". Tsk.

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Four Seasons (Queensway), of the famous duck
There were lots of ducks in the window but they told me "no duck today". So much for my trying the "best duck in the world" (according to the news clipping). I suppose the even of Chinese New Year's eve was not the best time to buy duck.

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"Save the Sharks. Shark's Fin Soup is no longer available"

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Wedding photography

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I went to New Fook Lam Moon. They supposedly had Peking and Cantonese food, but the menu is kinda suspect.

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Mr Wu Chinese Restaurant Hot Buffet. Eat as much as you like. Lunch & Dinner £6.50"

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Mr Wu's queue

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"Xiaoming Unisex Hair Salon"
One of my fantasies was to open a place with "xiaoming" in the name. I suppose I'll have to give that one up.

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"IP MAN & CO."
They're accountants, not intellectual property specialists.

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"Mini karaoke booth. Free *Bubble Milk Tea. Complimentary *Snack. Private Booth *2 hours.
Do Not Miss Promotion. Early Bird - 30% Discount Only £10.50"
It's actually cheaper than some places in Singapore.

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This sign is quite amusing: they've rolled out a new menu and boast about good Chinese food and offering authentic hometown food in a foreign land.
Behind you see a place offering "more than one hundred cuisines". I didn't know Chinese food had such variety.

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"You are here". The walkable distance circle is quite helpful.

For dinner I decided to indulge in a spot of nostalgia at Belgo. They boast of being "The world's greatest Belgian restaurants", and indeed it's better than what I've had in Belgium.

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I came for Beat the Clock, but only noticed the fine print about Monday-Friday after ordering. Oops. Anyhow the normal price was not expensive actually (after conversion it was still cheaper than Singapore, for example Brussel Sprouts).
I love the fine print: "Olives may contain stones... All dishes may contain ingredients not listed in the menu descriptions"

Belgo had 2 1/3 pages of Belgian beers - and 3 beers under "Rest of world".

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Dinner. Mmm.
As ever, they were the best moules frites I'd had. Not huge, but bouncy, and with a flavourful white wine sauce where I could still taste the wine quite strongly in the sauce at the bottom of the pot (at most places the sauce is too piss weak). And all the mussels were open (unlike the horrifc Mussel Guys)

The only downside was that it was damn noisy - there was a bar.

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On the left is chantilly, which was excellent (due to the lighting I couldn't tell the difference between the two till tasting it). The waffle itself wasn't good though as it was dry and not sweet. It was kind of alright with the chantilly and ice cream though.

I was quite impressed by the service. When I asked for water the waitress saw me taking a pic and went "enjoy". Even though it was damn noisy and crowded, and she was busy she asked me if I liked the mussels. Ahh, American service in a Belgian restaurant in London. So I left a tip (on top of the discretionary grautity); she being a cute French girl was neither necessary nor sufficient to warrant the tip (I'd left a tip at Medlar too despite the staff serving me being male).

I was very surprised that they actually charged me the Beat the Clock price (£6.20) even though it was a Saturday. I didn't complaining.

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Belgo loyalty card: "Vegetarians may substitute the moules for any similarly priced food items"

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Dating Republic: "Busy are you? Work, friends, pretending to go to the gym, keeping on top of the chores and remembering to check in with Mum every now and then?"

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"Is this bin locked? See it. Sort it. Report it"
They take security seriously.

I took the train up to Cambridge.

There was a woman picking rubbish from the train. Her jacket read "train presentation".

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National Express East Anglia encourages you to snitch on fare dodgers by texting details to a number

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From the previous picture: "please do not put your feet on the seats. It is an offence under railway byelaws"
Also: leggings!!! Leggings are not pants!

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"drama is part of everyday life. let us help you through it"

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"The incomparable Chinese State Circus"
Of course they aren't really the Chinese State Circus, having been started in the 1990s for British consumption.

I saw some pub with an "autumn menu", despite it being January. Right.

There's something vaguely reassuring about the musty smell of a hostel.
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