Saturday, April 11, 2009

the ching ming, or qingming, festival had just passed. the cemeteries are now clean with the weeds and long grasses all gone whilst the offerings are still left behind for the spirit of the ancestors.

i used to do a charter during this festival many years back when i was a cab driver. oh yeah...i don't think i ever mentioned of being a cab driver once. it was a long story, long ago. anyhow, i used to help this one lady to find all the lots she was visiting. she was old and couldn't remember how to get to the graves of her deceased relations. she was old and her sight was failing her quite badly. she simply handed me a piece of paper written with the lot numbers, requesting for my assistance.i managed to bring her personally to the respective 'resting places', waited for her to finish her prayers, helped her back to the parked cab and moved on to the other few old cemeteries in her list. i doubt the lady is still around kicking. and if that is sadly true, i wonder if she had anyone else in the family who helped to continue the custom, or if anyone burnt some paper money and brought offerings for her every year.

i provided the same transport service yesterday to new customers, and that brought my memories crawling back to her.

i didn't take any picture yesterday as i don't wish to offend anyone.
the picture inserted was an
ancient Chinese painting, extracted from a site, showing how the ching ming festival in the old days used to be a quite busy occasion for the chinese people.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

i have been called for few airport transfers for the whole of last week. flight departures were as early as 3am. it has been a tiring and fulfilling week with few quick naps in my nissan in between jobs. one of those few jobs was a last minute call after their failing attempts for a cab. luckily i had just finished my shower when i received their call, and was feeling fresh to go for this long hour drive.

i normally do the pick-up two hours before flight departure, and it was usually a one-way trip. in my last airport job, a group of factory personnels booked my transport service to see their friend off. i was requested to come back to the airport after two whole hours to pick up my customers for a return trip back to their homes.

it was already midnight when i headed for home after the last drop. it was a good drive and the cool breeze was still fresh in my mind. i enjoyed the pleasant night cruising with perfect temperature before calling it a day (or should i say 'night'...or 'morning'...whatever). it helped me to relax my mind.

before i started to ferry passengers to and from airport, i took the initiative and surfed airport site for information pertaining to its facilities, terminals, pick-up/drop-off points and so on. but the changi airport site was overloaded with more information than i needed, letting me know that the place is more than just a transit point with flights and people. it also revealed all the relaxing surprises. my favourite happens to be the nature trail with all the tropical garden layouts -

  • butterfly garden at terminal 3, level 2 transit mall
  • bamboo garden at terminal 1, level 2 transit mall
  • cactus garden at terminal 1, level 3 transit mall
  • fern garden with koi pond at terminal 1, level 3 transit mall
  • orchid garden with koi pond at terminal 2, level 2 transit mall
  • sun flower garden at terminal 2, level 3 transit mall
unfortunately, not all airport visitors can enjoy the tranquility of these gardens as they are situated in the transit mall itself. i think it is not a good idea for such facilities to be restricted and under utilized.

and for those who love to get wet, can give it a try and pamper themselves at the balinese-themed swimming pool and jacuzzi at terminal 1 transit mall east near transit hotel.

all we need is to google.

Monday, February 2, 2009

the other day i was called to pick up passengers of two families from jurong bird park and what i saw was a good reason enough to share. jurong bird park had undergone few face-lifts since i last visited with my family many years back. and this cosmetic surgery doesn't aim at only beautifying the whole place but also about how much they have facilitated it with the convenience for all guests.

they have now a pick-up/drop-off point for guests who come in coaches.

above: at the coach bay

below: sheltered walkway from coach bay to the jurong bird park entrance

a pond of ducks and geese extend a welcome greeting to all its guests arriving at the coach bay. i can't help it but anticipate more behind the entry gate.

coming home, i quickly access the internet browser and visited their website. i know i must make the time to visit when i saw their highlights -
  • underwater viewing of pelican feeding, pelican cove
  • lory loft flight aviary
  • walk-in aviary with man-made waterfall
  • panorail train to enter a station within a walk-in aviary
  • collection of south east asia birds including hornbills
  • humboldt penguins bred in captivity
  • bird show
and one of the attractions that i heard so much about is the suspension bridge in the lory loft aviary, for great bird's eye view and photo shoots.

Monday, January 26, 2009

pasir ris park

we went, had fun on the beach, enjoyed the sea breeze, pat the horses, had a joyful bicycle ride...pasir ris is the real place for family bonding.

but first, let's find a place to park your vehicle...if you wish to visit the gallop cafe & bar, you can drive and have your vehicle parked at car park c. it is also few minutes walk to the mangrove boardwalk. and if you walk straight up you can enthrall yourself with the harmony and serenity that the coconut trees have created along the sandy beach. but if you wish to go straight to the beach or playground for a picnic, i would advise that you get a parking spot at car park d or e.

and talking about picnic, do not bring any light disposable cutlery because the wind can really blow them away easily. but if you have to, please remember to hold on to them. and i do encourage you to bring along some warm jackets for your younglings because the place is windy and quite cold.
my two wonderful visits to the park were equally enjoyable and i'm glad that my family shares the same view.

one thing that i really love about the whole place is its difference from the other beaches here in singapore. despite the sunny afternoon, every area in the park stays cool with the help of the never-ending blowing wind and the canopy of shady trees. and even the sea water could make you shiver under the afternoon sun. if the other beaches make you all sweaty, pasir ris park will make you wish you had a jacket with you.

and turning to the playground, i suddenly wish my children have not outgrown the rides. it really looked fun with all the children and their parents laughing and playing. i saw few families having a picnic within the area watching their kids running around trying on the rides. but one thing that that can make the fun place more complete is a children paddling pool.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

eating curry at wishart road

i'm not quite sure if you heard of lakshmi vilas restaurant located at wishart road. it's a great place for a fan to indian cuisine (like myself) who prefers to enjoy a quite meal in a secluded area and out-of-the-way to busy traffic and buzzing people.

the thing that i admire about indian food is the non-compromise-spice. the spices contribute a fragrance so strong that it stays lingering on our hand (do forget about the fork and spoon) for hours after our meal. try to cup your hand over your nose after eating and you will know what i mean.

ok...before i start drooling while typing this, here are some pictures to guide you ~

above: turning around morse road, the restaurant is behind this telok ayer chinese methodist church building

above: lakshmi vilas restaurant
there are car park lots across the eatery (behind the church)

above: a simple layout

Singapore : Wishart Road
No Address (S)000000
lat 2.286175 long 106.888493 District : Telok Blangah
Singapore » Landmark » Street
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Thursday, January 8, 2009

travelling to the east

i used to hear whining from our locals about the limited interesting places here in singapore. but when asked about their visit to this or that place, some would fumble and hesitate to admit their ignorance, while others would bluntly admitted that they 'never heard of the place' or 'not sure where it is'. thus, i assume it's our own different interests that made certain places unpopular. and if we gave such places the chance, we will allow ourselves to see the bigger picture of our small island.

but our friends from the east have so much to brag about. pasir ris alone has lots to offer for fun or relaxing family recreations. we can find beach, resorts, chalets, camp-sites, eateries and nightlife sites. i believe downtown east , chalet and wild wild wet are already famous among us. but only few may know about the mangrove boardwalk built in pasir ris beach park, bringing nature lovers closer to its inhabitants. for those who love to preserve nature through camera lens, don't forget to bring along the tripod, because the whole place serves a beautiful backdrop for a beautiful outdoor family photo. other attractions in the park include beach, bicycle and skate rides, kayaking, children playground, pony rides and the rest is up to our own creativity.

we can find out more about pasir ris park and its map HERE

Sunday, January 4, 2009

bringing service to you

it's really cool to blog about my nissan . i will try to post some pictures from time to time of interesting places in singapore and pick-up/drop-off points for certain locations, eg. airport.