The Gambling Problem – It’s Only Going To Get Worse

I am sure that every Singaporean knows that gambling is a serious problem in Singapore. Everywhere you go in Singapore, you will find those 4d booths, even in housing and neighbourhood areas. Although...

I am sure that every Singaporean knows that gambling is a serious problem in Singapore. Everywhere you go in Singapore, you will find those 4d booths, even in housing and neighbourhood areas. Although gambling is actually illegal in Singapore, legal forms of gambling like buying lottery tickets and betting on soccer and race horses is allowed. And now, with the casinos (or Integrated Resorts) going to open in 2009, we will see even more forms of gambling.

Even now without those casinos, we can see that there is a serious gambling problem. I know that for a fact. Several of my friends cannot control themselves. They spend all of their salaries gamlbing. Yes, well, sometimes they do get lucky and make a few quick bucks here and there, but overall, they are still losing tons of money to gambling. And even if they win, they will probably spend it on something stupid instead of investing or saving their money. Luckily for them, they are single, so at least they don’t have anyone that depends on them for food. But how about others with families or perhaps parents who depend on them for their daily bread?

The problem is greed. And in Singapore, we are flush full with it. Just look around you and you will have to agree with me that Singapore is a paradise of greed. Our leaders are greedy and by definition, the people will be greedy too. It’s both a good thing and a bad thing. Singapore is economically strong, but the problem is there is no satisfaction. We just want to make more and more money, irregardless of the actions. Thus, a lot of people turn to gambling in the bid to get rich quick.

I myself think that the casinos will cause more problems than it will solve. Of course, there are experts in the Singapore government that think otherwise. Or they just think with their wallets and don’t even care about the social problems it will cause. Just imagine, the gambling problem is already so acute with so little forms of gambling. Come 2009, the casinos will open and just think of the ways people can gamble away their money just a stone throw away! And now, they can spent it in just one night in one place. Those big money and high risk gambling tables are just waiting for these people to throw money at them. How do we cope with this problem? Gambling is addictive, there is no doubt about that. People get a thrill at the chance of winning big and living off those winnings without the need to work. But seriously, how many people will be lucky enough to win so big? Very very few, I would gather.

So this is my advice to you gamblers out there. Think of your family and your children. Gambling is not the solution to your financial woes. In fact, we all know that it will most probably make it even worse. If you have a gambling problem, admit it now and go seek help before it is too late and you lose everything.

Below is a list of sites where you can get some help:

http://www.camp.org.sg/gambling.cfm

http://www.ncpg.org.sg/faq.html

http://www.care-centre.org/RayOfHope/index.html

Visiting Singapore – Talking About Food

Hi there, I am pretty sure by now, you guys know that I live in a tiny island called Singapore. And in Singapore, what we do best is eat. It’s like...

Hi there, I am pretty sure by now, you guys know that I live in a tiny island called Singapore. And in Singapore, what we do best is eat. It’s like a national past-time for Singaporeans who are willing to travel for hours just for some great food. Of course, these group of people are probably not working, perhaps due to being too rich or being too retired and should be shot or sent to some concentration camp in Jurong. Anyways, before I get distracted again, I am here to introduce to you Singapore’s great variety of food. We have all kinds of cuisines from India, China, Malaysia, Australia, France, Italy and so on and you will be pleasantly to see what Singapore can offer you. However, if you are think that the prices of food in Singapore is cheap, you are probably smoking too much weed. The food in Singapore is, well, I have to say, a bit on the high side. I won’t say Singapore’s food is expensive as compared to the Europe, but it isn’t cheap either.

The best place to taste the local cuisines, you have to visit the hawker centers. These are just clusters of stores selling food but seats and tables are shared about the tenants. I am sure a lot of you know about the “food-court” concept you see nowadays in the shopping malls. It’s sort of like this, except that it is dirtier and you get to share your seat with birds, cats and dogs. And sometimes, there will be friendly people walking around asking you to buy tissues or donate to charity. Oh, the hawker centers are usually open air and with the Singapore weather, it can get kind of hot in the hawker centers. But Singaporeans like it there, so you can expect crowds there during lunchtime/dinnertime.  What is amazing is that nowadays, we can find exotic food like French food, Italian food and so on in these hawker centers as well.

If you are more in restaurants,  Singapore has a lot of them too. You can find restaurants everywhere, in town centers, in the city area and even in museums. Restaurants are like locusts which you cannot get rid of. And usually they are the most expensive of the lot. But to be fair, if you want some of the best fare you find in Singapore, you can only taste them in restaurants. Those evil hotels have stolen all the best chefs in Singapore, give them fancy unpronounceable names and force them to work in the Hotel restaurants, leaving us mere mortals with nothing but crap food. Okay, I am exaggerating of course but still I have seen it happen.

If you would like to read up more on Singapore and the cuisines we have here, please take a look. Better yet, come to Singapore and enjoy all the great food you can find. Or you can always try Malaysia, where the prices there are much cheaper and the food a lot better.

Extreme Warm Weather In Singapore

It’s looks like it’s going to get warm again right here in Singapore. After weeks of rain and more rain, Singapore is actually getting warmer. The weather the last few days...

It’s looks like it’s going to get warm again right here in Singapore. After weeks of rain and more rain, Singapore is actually getting warmer. The weather the last few days is all sunny and even with forecast of slight rain (in fact they say thunder and showers today), I never see a single drop of it. I just love forecasts don’t you? And they even claimed that they are seldom wrong in their weather forecast. Wuhahaha, ego and more ego. The meteorological service of Singapore is another great example of why our government is so damn competent that they need even higher paychecks and bonuses. Oh, they did get in right on Saturday, it did rain heavily for a while. For that, I am glad that my tax dollars is actually working and providing me some benefit.

Usually December is the rainy season in Singapore, perhaps that’s how they “predict” the weather – by taking historical data and compiling it and getting the result. Whatever it is, I am sure the following weeks will also be sunny and warm. Not really good for someone like me who hate the heat. But I hate the rain too. You mean, you get wet and cold and stuff. But warm weather is great for gobbling down ice cold smoothies or ice cream. Cold weather is great for sleeping, if I have don’t have to work that is. But you know, if I don’t work, I don’t eat. So, cold weather or not, I still need to work.

Ok, back to the warm weather thing, I think that Singaporeans should be prepared for the warm spell. I have seen a lot of people carrying umbrellas and raincoats along, which was alright the last few weeks. But now, I really doubt that it will rain that often and mainly passing showers. So keep your umbrellas at home and enjoy the fine (but hot) weather. And the holidays are coming. This Tuesday, it’s Christmas, next Tuesday, it’s the New Year. And in February, we will have Chinese New Year! Yup, two days of holidays and a much needed break from all the stress of Singapore.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) A380 Photos

Take a look here. This is one huge monster of a plane, right? It’s a double decker plane, which means that it’s just like a double decker bus with two floors...

Take a look here. This is one huge monster of a plane, right? It’s a double decker plane, which means that it’s just like a double decker bus with two floors of seats. The first flight route will be from London to Singapore to Sydney. And it looks good, especially if you have the money to board one. Even the economy class comes with bigger leg room (very important!), large LCD monitor (TV) and it is supposed to be ergonomically designed, which simply means that it is more comfortable. Yes, it should be. I always hate taking budget airlines. These are really crappy planes with no service to speak of. Not to mention, we get delays and delays without any explanation or compensation. Everyday in the forums, you will see people complaining about budget airlines. However, I always believe that what you pay is what you get. Don’t expect good service from budget airlines. Some flights cost like S$70 per trip and a taxi trip can cost up to S$40 per trip right here in Singapore. So guys prepared for the worst when you travel budget airlines. I still think SIA is one of the best airline service in the world, even though they are pretty expensive and the management are probably rich, greedy corporate types.

Is it also interesting to note that the prices for economy class should not be too expensive compared to SIA’s other plane tickets, which is good news for people like me. I guess it is because they still need their planes to be full in order to make profit. Understandable. However, the prices for business or “suite” class is another thing. Be prepared to pay a lot, and I mean a lot. Looks like they have cabins, beds and other shit for passengers who are loaded. I wonder whether I will have the means or the opportunity to take one of these planes in this lifetime? And I never took first class (business class as well) before in my life.

Take a look at SIA’s offical website on the A380!

The Cost Of Living In Singapore

Oh it’s the time of the year where we all sit down and think of what has happened during the past year. I guess it has been okay for me. Sure,...

Oh it’s the time of the year where we all sit down and think of what has happened during the past year. I guess it has been okay for me. Sure, I had to change job because one of my former company’s directors stole a lot of money and fled to China and the company had to shut down. But other than that, it has been no much problems for me.

However, I have one serious complain about the general economic situation in Singapore – the rising cost of living. I don’t mean a little inflation here and there, but massive increases overall. Just look at our bus and train fares, the prices of tickets have increased by around 10-20%. No kidding! How about taking taxis? Yes, the prices for cabs have also increased and is set to be increased yet again. How about food? Well, officially bread prices have increased by 20%. Officially means that the prices are controlled by some baker’s association. I am sure that you will see some bakeries increasing by more than 20%, those greedy bastards. How about food and groceries? Of course the prices for food and groceries have increased. No longer are vegetables considered cheap alternatives, they are now costly! Even made in China products are now very expensive. Expensive in Singapore of course, but not in other countries. How about shop rentals? Yes, that has increased as well, so this result in the same old vicious cycle of price increases. And let’s not forget about the recent GST increase, which was supposed to “help the poor”.

Well, everyone blames someone else for the price increase. Bus companies blame the raising fuel prices. Taxi too. Food prices, they blame the weather. But if you look at Malaysia and our neighbouring countries, you don’t see any price increases there. Weird right? Weather changes is supposed to be global and should affect everyone. And you know what is the weirdest thing, we get our food sources from Malaysia and Indonesia! And the easiest is to blame on the high cost of rental. There is no denying that one, but those rentals are actually controlled and manipulated by the government. I guess when you increase prices is it best not push the blame to someone else, than to admit that you are greedy.

For me, I guess it’s still okay. I don’t mean I earn a lot, just that I am single and without much commitment. However, there are others who are not so lucky. In fact, I believe that a lot of people are affected. Their salaries are already so low, yet everywhere they go, they see price increases. How about those who have a lot of commitments like family, elders and children? Those too are seriously affected by this artifical inflation. Well, that’s life in Singapore, just have to accept it or the alternative is to vote wisely which most Singaporeans cannot do.

Why SBS Buses Are Slow?

For the poor Singaporeans who takes the public bus to work everyday. You can find the explanation here.  I have quoted a portion of it here. Why does the Bus Captain drive so...

For the poor Singaporeans who takes the public bus to work everyday. You can find the explanation here.  I have quoted a portion of it here.

Why does the Bus Captain drive so slowly?
We hope commuters can appreciate that traffic conditions on the road can vary. Our schedules, however, can only be planned to meet what is usually the expected traffic condition at the various times of the day. There will be times when the traffic conditions are unusually clear or congested and this often results in buses being too early or late.When traffic conditions are especially clear, our Bus Captains are required to regulate speed if they notice that they are ahead of schedule. This ensures that the Bus Captains keep the arrival times at the bus stops as close to the planned schedule as possible to avoid any disruption like bus bunching.

So now all of you understand why the buses are so slow? It is because of unexpected clear traffic in Singapore, a country the size of a dot and with more than 4 million people squeezed in it. Yes, nearly every non-elite lives in an high rise pigeon hole, but seriously, what do we mere mortals know? You can get unusually clear traffic in Singapore everyday. In fact, you can get unusually clear traffic even if there are probably tens of thousands of vehicles on the road everyday. And it also happens at the peak hours with “unusually” low traffic as well. Although I myself never faced such things in Singapore, everything is possible. We don’t know everything. So we have to forgive the bus drivers for driving slow and their thoughtfulness in preventing “disruptions” like “bus bunching“. Yup, we sure don’t want that to happen in Singapore, a very efficient first world society. What would foreigners think when they see such things happening on our roads? Two buses plying the same route arriving at the same time?! That would be shameful to our government and to Singapore on the whole. It would be much better to let foreigners see crowded public buses full of people in the morning “rush” hour take their own sweet time to travel their route right?

I am sure that the SBS is ensuring everything will be running smooth for Singapore communters. You see, SBS has Singaporeans in the hearts. They plan all their bus schedules to ensure that Singaporeans will able to meet together in the buses. I mean, Singaporeans are always so busy, rushing here and there trying very hard to make a living, they seldom meet and enjoy each other’s company. So SBS has planned it such a way to ensure that you will always meet a lot of people on your way to work or school. The more people you meet, the better he chances of you meeting someone you know. And even if you don’t know anyone, you could start a conversation with a stranger in the packed sardine can bus. The idea of “misery loves company” is the motto of SBS. I for one certainly look forward to more great years ahead with SBS. They are the greatest! Go ahead and increase the salaries of the big bosses and directors there. They really deserve it.

Library – The Palace Of Information

Hello guys, I am back here again to introduce to you yet another useful stuff. It’s called the library. You know what a library is? Well for the less adventurous, it’s...

Hello guys, I am back here again to introduce to you yet another useful stuff. It’s called the library. You know what a library is? Well for the less adventurous, it’s sort of a bookstore where you can find all sorts of books, magazines, media and stuff. However, you can use it for free. yes, you heard me right, you are borrow the books and magazine in the library for free! It’s just like the Internet, just that it is free and has less spam and hardly any porn. All you have to do is to register as a member (usually it’s free) and start borrowing books home to read. It’s that simple. However, note that some reference materials cannot be borrowed home, it’s for reference only.

If you are living in Singapore, you can find libraries in most of the regional centres. For example, I am staying somewhere in Ang Mo Kio, so the nearest Library is at Ang Mo Kio Central. Just a 10 minutes bus ride from my house. Of course the bus ride is expensive, but it just takes too long to walk. And in Singapore, if you walk under the blistering heat, you are asking for a heat stroke. As you guys know, I am a bookworm, so I spend a lot of my time at the library, like once per month. The rest of my time is spent online, trying to find ways to prevent hunger and poverty around the world. Well, someone got to do it, might as well be me right?

You can all sort of information in the library as well. I usually go there to look for books on body building because I am planning to be a body builder. If you are looking for old newspaper articles, you should be able to find it in the library. Although not all regional libraries have the complete range of information, you should be able to get partial information. And if you are looking for movies/documentaries/cd-roms, some libraries do keep a lot of variety. A lot of students did their school projects right there in the library. Often you will find students huddle together trying to piece together information for their projects.  When I was a student, I used to go to the library to study. But during the exam periods, the library will be packed with hordes of students. So if they make too much noise, do everyone a favour, go over and smack them in the head, hard.

SBS Premium Bus Service

  I find that Singapore is a very weird country. We are a country which is very dependent on the public transport which carries the majority of Singaporeans to work, school...

 

I find that Singapore is a very weird country. We are a country which is very dependent on the public transport which carries the majority of Singaporeans to work, school or everywhere. The cost of owning a car in Singapore is high, too high for most people to afford. You know, we have this thing called COECertificate of Entitlement. It supposedly allows you to own cars in Singapore. And it can cost like S$15,000 for just a piece of paper. It’s purpose is to reduce the number of vehicles in Singapore by making it more expensive. And they have this called ERPElectronic Road Pricing. You pay as your car enters one of these gantries on certain “congested” roads. Although it is designed with greed in mind, I think it’s a good idea, Singapore is way too small to have so many cars.

But since not many people can afford cars, it make sense that there should be another medium of transport for Singaporeans. And it should be affordable to all. Yet, in Singapore, public transport is not subsided by the government. The ERP charges and the COE is not used to subsidy the public transport like buses and MRT (Mass Rapid Transport). I am surprised that the government takes money from car owners in the excuse of reducing car traffic yet don’t even use those money to help pay for public transport. And if you think that the public transport in Singapore is already cheap, think again. I can spend everyday around S$5 for transport alone. Worse for people travelling long distances. When I travel to my reservist camp, it cost more than S$8 for a 2-way trip. And since most people have no choice, Singapore’s public tranport is overcrowded. In the mornings, you can see trains and buses packed to the brim with people squashed like sardines. In fact, you don’t need to wait till morning, it’s packed even at non-peak hours. And I need to say, the public transport is slow. It would take you 1 hour to travel from Ang Mo Kio to Bedok in a public bus, if you are lucky. I think the bus service would like to squeeze as much passengers they can into a bus per trip so as to maximize profits.

And now, our great bus service – SBS has come up with a brilliant idea to help those people who hate crowds and have tons of cash to burn. They call it “Premium” service. Which means that you pay more for a “faster” bus and since it is way more expensive, it will be less crowded but no guarantees. Also it is supposed to be more comfortable. So guess what, it means that you pay more for something which they should have provided in the first place. Although they call it “premium”. The great minds (whom never took a public bus in their life) at the top of the company SBS believes that a normal bus service should be crowded, slow and uncomfortable. They are asking commuters to pay up to S$5 per trip to prevent all that.

Oh, if you don’t know, Singapore’s bus service is a profitable business. No, it’s not really owned by the government. But it’s a “private” entity with stocks and shares and shareholders. But it’s sort of a monopoly so you know how that will end up to be. You would think that the Singapore government will be shocked and pissed off with the behaviour of these businesses but they are not. But it is no surprise to us Singaporeans.

Fact: There Is No Grill Pan In Singapore

I have been trying for weeks now to get a real cast-iron grill pan but I don’t seem to be able to find it. It looks like using grill pans is...

I have been trying for weeks now to get a real cast-iron grill pan but I don’t seem to be able to find it. It looks like using grill pans is not very popular in Singapore. Nope, not that crappy little edged pans but a real cast-iron grill pan. Those types with real ridged grills in them. The reason why I am choosing grill pans is that it is more healthy way to cook stuff. Oil and fats and whatever juice will flow off the ridges to the bottom of the pan and not into the food. And it also leaves a very nice charred mark on the food. I am actually looking for non-stick grill pan which can handle a lot of heat. The first one I bought is now warped after a few grills. That’s Singapore quality for you. Sure, it looks good and modern in the beginning, now it looks lopsided. Note that I maintain the grill pan very well, I don’t pour cold water on the hot pan. I let it cool down and clean with slightly warm soapy water and it still warps. My friend told me it’s because the metal is too thin for high heat grilling. My grill pan is actually aluminum and not cast iron. Heat heat grilling is needed for cookings thick steaks and making nice charred marks on the steaks.

I mainly use the grill pan to cook steaks. Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish and vegetables can all be grilled on the grill pan. If you like, you can also grill burgers with the grill pan, but you should always use a cover when grilling burgers. Why? Because burgers tend to get dry easily, and using a cover stops moisture from escaping and keeps the heat in. And yes, those charred marks look great as well. Heck, for your burger, every ingredient can be grilled on the grill pan. Put your buns, tomatoes, onions and patties on the grill pan and let them cook. Oh, you can’t grill lectuce though. It would simply burn away.

And I love grilling. Don’t you just love it when you put your steaks in and the sizzling sound comes in! That’s the sear! And I love the smell of a well-cooked grilled meal. Just think of the rubs, marinades, baste, sauce and the lovely juicy steaks that come out of your grill pan……wow! I am feeling hungry already.

Anyway, I tried many shops and departmental stores in Singapore. I even tried those specialized for cooking and kitchens. But no one sells a real cast-iron grill pan. Yes, they have a lot of grill pans, but most are poorly designed with poor quality finishing which will ultimately warp in no time. Someone tell me where you can find a good grill pan!

Rainy Season Is Here Again!

Yup, it looks like it is the raining season again down here in Singapore. It rained the entire day on Monday and Wednesday. And today, which is Thursday, it looks gloomy...

Yup, it looks like it is the raining season again down here in Singapore. It rained the entire day on Monday and Wednesday. And today, which is Thursday, it looks gloomy and it has already started drizzling. It’s going to be yet another wet day I gather. It seemed to me that the rainy season came earlier this year, usually it is from November to December or January but this year, it started in September. Oh well, we just have to make full use of it. And the weather in our region is always so unpredictable. So, the next week we could get hot weather again. But the overall weather pattern should be rainy, I suppose.

One thing great about raining in Singapore, you won’t get the oppressive heat! Although you need umbrellas or raincoats, you won’t be sweating like a pig everytime you leave an air-conditioned place. Singapore is always so hot and stuffy, a little rain would help a lot. It’s just too bad that instead of rain, we get gales. And it’s so strong that umbrellas are useless. You seen rain moving towards you horizontally before? Yes, that’s what we get sometimes. The shelthers we have in Singapore are not enough even block the rain! And we get flash floods in the low lying areas. The worse effected are those shop-houses built a while back which offers no protection against such flash floods.

For me, I think it’s time we celebrate the cooler weather by staying indoors where it is more cozy. Why leave the house and get wet when you can stay at home and chat on the Internet, right? Or you can just surf the web like I do. Almost everyday. You should also think again on the plans to go to the beach at the weekends. I would suggest you to cancel it and try for somewhere indoors. The best thing for Singaporeans is to go shopping in the shopping malls, that’s what Singapore is famous for anyway right? Just don’t forget to bring your umbrellas or raincoats. You won’t want to be caught in the rain, you will bound to get sick.

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