Saturday, February 09, 2008

handbags and gladrags

Over the past week here in Amsterdam I've learnt that one of the smartest things the Singapore government could have done was to issue 2-dollar notes. And the EU really ought to think about adopting it too. If I collect any more 2 euro coins my coin pouch will be in danger of ripping through the floor of the container I call home.

This has been an amazing week so far and finally I'm properly settling in. Went down to Ikea on Monday for some much needed supplies. Like Slo for example! :))))

See he's waving hello! Wave back! :p

If you think the Ikeas in Alexandra and Tampines (honestly what kind of street name is that?) are big wait'll you see the one here. The self service warehouse can probably house an A380 and a herd of African elephants at the same time. Bedspreads, cooking utensils, shelves, meatballs, cookies and friendly marine animals were the order of the day. I'm still not sure how on earth I managed to get all that crap back on my shoulders. The Slovakian guy who came with us was dying....and he works out!! You'll notice I don't have many pictures...that's cos I only managed to get servicable batteries for my camera like 2 days ago.

Anyway the highlight of the week was tuan yuan fan!! Went down with Teck Wee to the wet markets (WET MARKETS!!) to get food for dinner. I've got to get a photo of all those stalls selling some of the freshest fish I've ever seen. Gosh they sell whole trouts for 2 euros a piece! And huge fish I've never seen the likes of before. At least not in Singapore! Oh and there was a stall selling electrical appliances for 2 euros! The owner basically just set up a makeshift stall beside his van and kept shouting "2 euro, 2 euro! working or not, I don't know!" I took the 2 euro gamble and got an electric kettle and it works! Well sorta. It turns on, but it won't turn off unless I pull the plug on it so I've gottta be a bit careful with this one. Then again, I got a working kettle for 2 euros! Beat that Harvey Norman!

Chinese New Year was an absolute blast. I think this is the first time I have ever felt any connection whatsoever to being Chinese. There were 8 people there at the table, 4 Singaporeans, 2 Australian Chinese, 1 German Chinese and a girl from Hong Kong. Perhaps it was the realisation that though we all came from different parts of the world and almost completely different cultures (the German Chinese guy speaks German and very little Mandarin), there we were partaking in a ritual and eating food that was familiar to us all. Two pots of boiling soup, 1 clear and 1 full of red hot ma la. Prawns, wantons (which I made!), meatballs, the usual meats and veggies and then a bowl of tang yuan after to usher in the new year. No visiting, no ang pow and no relatives, but this tuan yuan fan probably meant more to me than the other 23 I've had so far.

Well yesterday was a trip down to Media Market for some much needed supplies. My iPod earphones have finally died and buying new earphones has made me realise what pieces of crap those "earbuds" are. A sports mega store was next door so we stopped by and lo and behold they were selling dive equipment at unbelievable prices!!! Fins for 15 euros, wetsuits for 10 and masks for 6!!! OMG! Even better, the Heineken Music Hall was across the street and THE STEREOPHONICS ARE COMING TO TOWN!!! 2 March! Anybody interested??

Ok readings call. Later!


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