Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dear Botak Jones

I had specially planned my dinner at Botak Jones Woodlands last night because firstly, it is near my house and secondly, Botak Jones had introduced a new dish on the menu which I was interested to know - Char-grilled Mahi Mahi.

As a marine biologist, I am aware and concern of the current situation of declining wild fish stocks and your Mahi-Mahi dish fascinated me. I am very glad to know that you guys had made an effort to let consumers know the source of your Mahi-Mahi and that your Mahi-Mahi came from sustainable fishery, as clearly stated on the promotional menu. *thumbs up*

I then approached your staff to ask if fish from the other fish dishes such as Fish & Chip and Alaskan Pollock also came from sustainable fishery, just like that of Mahi-Mahi. One of your staff, who was manning the cashier, however, did not understand what 'sustainable fishery' means. So I explained the term 'sustainable fishery' by asking if the fish used in these 2 dishes are caught the same way as Mahi-Mahi. She replied that she wass not sure and added to explain to me that Mahi-Mahi is a dolphin fish which belongs to the dolphin family. Almost immediately, she grabbed another male staff next to her and asked him where the fish came from. Fortunately, this male staff seem to know what I was asking and had told me that Botak Jones use cultured catfish for Fish & Chip and wild-caught Alaskan Pollock. He, however, did not mention if Alaskan pollock is from sustainable fishery as I know, Alaskan pollock is heavily fished.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Botak Jones for making the initiative to raise public awareness of fish that come from sustainable fishery. By knowing where these fish come from, it put ease in consumers who are environmentally conscious. It would be good that, in the future, details of the fish such as species name, country of product, wild-caught or cultured, sustainable or not, can be inserted in the menu so that consumers know what they are eating.

I would also like Botak Jones to, however, train their staffs on the knowledge of the fish they serve. For your information, dolphin fish is not a cetacean. This is a major mistake. I really appreciated the male staff who knew his stuffs and the source of fish though and I hope all staff in Botak Jones can answer customers' questions correctly in the future. It would be good to let your staff watch 'The End of the line' by Rupert Murray( as well. It is a documentary film that talks about the current status of fish stocks due to overfishing.

Good job, Botak Jones. You've made the first step to save the declining fish stock by using fish from sustainable fishery and culture. I hope my feedbacks have been valuable and I hope to see more of them coming soon in my next visit.

4 hours later
They replied on my feedback

I think they deserve national recognition
& I will write into Straits Times when I'm free

Thank you Botak Jones. I hope other big seafood restaurant can do the same too.

Friday, October 30, 2009

You must be kidding

This is the amount of notes/papers that I'll have to read for exams in 9 days time?
It's even thicker than my research references!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A TV commercial just sparked me to talk about this
A promotional commercial by Itacho sushi (ION Orchard) where they were happily showing off their frozen blue-fin tuna in the background

DarDar pointed out to me first while I was typing on my assignment
& when I saw it
I was damn disappointed

First of all
They are selling blue-fin tuna
It's by Itacho sushi from Hong Kong
Itacho sushi is condemned in HK because they use the endangered blue-fin tunas that had alerted WWF(HK)
& now it is present in SG!

So what does it say?
The expansion of its branches means more demand for the endangered species!!

This is the HK version of the commercial

Singapore's one only added the photo of ION Orchard at the end of the clip

I used to get excited when I saw such a large piece of meat over the small ball of rice
Which I think is economically advantageous
Who would wanna pay $1.50 for the ball of rice anyway?

But I'd stopped thinking that way
I'd reduced my sashimi consumptions in Japanese restaurants too
Only ordering poultry dishes

I attended the screening of 'The end of the line' months ago
& WWF (SG) said they're aware of the fishery problems worldwide
& is taking actions to increase public awareness in Singaporeans
They're going to make tiny booklets that have lists of fishes which are sustainable, endangered & vulnerable to extinction
They are still going round the island doing market research
& no idea how long it will take to come out with one

I heard from DarDar's cousin that there's one restaurant in Greenwood Ave
That sells all types of seafood
Including orange roughy

Orange roughy is endangered due to overfishing
& is replaced by Hoki
Which is also endangered!

I need to go to that restaurant & see the menu for myself

I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo disappointed by WWF (SG)
WWF(HK) had already made their first move
They have it on the web
& even came out with a petition

What are the officers in WWF (SG) doing?!
They should take priority to stop or mitigate the impacts
Instead of dwelling onto their current project which take years to complete!

I'm writing in to Itacho sushi (SG) to feedback
I know chances of them listening are low
Because the boss is from HK!
But with increasing opposition voices from the public
It's just hard for them to retaliate

Same thing for The Cove
to those who'd watched it
Cetaceans slaughters had ended (hopefully)

Sad future for the fishes if this carries on
Likewise for our source of food in the future
When fishes are gone
We can only stick to chicken, pork & beef
Who knows we'll start eating each other too!

I urge you, my friends
To be aware of what you're eating every meal
Whether it's the calories amount or whatever
Try to know where they come from
Especially fishes
Are they from a sustainable captured fishery or sustainable aquaculture?

Think for the future

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Grandpa had passed away on 24 October 2009
After a long fight with colon cancer
I only received the news on 25 October morning
Because I was in JB
& my mobile cant read the Chinese SMS that Dad sent

Mum rushed back on 18 Oct
I arranged the flight for her
Grandpa hung on till she was back
& left peacefully after seeing all his children

My relationship with Grandpa was weak
My grandpa was a quiet man
who made communication with anyone minimal
I was shy to talk to him too
All I had been saying to him was 'Grandpa, I'm going out'
When I was back in Hong Kong

Grandma died on my birthday
13 years ago
Now Grandpa & Grandma are re-united in their own world

Mum lost both her parents
I'm standing strong with her
When she's old & gone
I hope my children stand strong with me

The cycle repeats

It feels sad to have lost someone forever
But this is inevitable
One has to learn to let go
& remember the wonderful memories left behind
So that the world ahead moves on

I learn about birth and death
& I'm feeling it as I age
I'll be experiencing it

There's probably nothing to be afraid of
If you've achieved most things in life
Sentence like 'Live life to fullest' is not just a passive sentence
It really means it

I hope Grandpa is happy
& will always be

So will all of us

Thanks for being my Grandpa, Grandpa

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm back in JB with DarDar & Seh Chin
Went to Danga Bay after a late dinner
My previous visit was on a rainy full moon night
The grounds were wet so we didnt explore much
Just now, we explored the place from one end to another end

It is so happening
One can hardly believe he/she is at JB for that moment
Because it didnt feel like JB at all!
There were convoys at the big carparks
Where car drivers show off their bombastic woofers, car modification, etc
& large crowd moving from car to car to look at it
Just like scenes from 2 Fast 2 Furious!

The fun rides, the sea side, the pubs
For a moment I thought I would look like a haggard old woman due to lack of sleep
The place looks fun
But I dont think I'd want to mingle in there for long

DarDar then brought us to his favourite wanton mee store for supper
Just 2 hours after dinner!!
Now I'm so full
& I'm waiting for partial digestion before I shut my eyes & brains to sleep


Friday, October 23, 2009

Today is a havoc day!

I had field trip to MacRitchie Reservoir with the students

Where they were introduced the primary and secondary forests
By identifying the height of the canopy
& some tropical plant species

Had nice chats with the students
They were interested in my research
As well as my nationality

Apparently they realised I'm not local
Donno heard from who though

Had a particularly long chat with one of the students
She was worried about her revisions
Especially about terrestrial habitat & plant diversity

So somehow
I became her mentor for half hour

After a 2.5hours in MacRitchie
Dr L sent me back home since he was on the way to Woodlands

Had a short break
& headed to Dairy Farm Nature Park with another group of students

They were having class in the Wallace Educational Learning Lab (WELL)
& also a walk-about outside the room

This is my first time to DFNR
Not every impressive with the place
Probably I didnt have enough time to explore this place
Or that I was already damn sick of trees this morning
But I like it
Coz it's near

It took me 20 mins to walk to the park at normal pace!
Probably 10 mins to cycle

At the end of the day
My legs were damn tired from the whole-day walking
But the trips definitely woke my brains up

I'm so ready to charge at my assignments NOW!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm addicted to instant porridge lately
Especially that by Knorr, bought from Phuket

I'd tried those by Maggi
But they are so salty!
As if they are processed with 100 tonnes of salt making 100 parts per thousands

But Knorr ones are just right
The taste is there with generous amount of toppings such as dried minced meat, veggies, etc
& the toppings depends on the flavour you buy
Flavours such as carrot, broccoli, corn & mushroom are those available in Phuket
& I bought them all!
I bought 2 each & each only cost 10THB (~SGD0.40)


Best of all
It is low in calories
Good for maintaining low-fat diet

DarDar also said it is nice
& regretted for not buying the whole box back

We will
Next year
40kg of luggage full of noodles, porridge & other food

People go Thailand to shop for clothing
We go shop for groceries
I know I am very late
But this movie really is good
Watch it if you havent watched it

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I just came back from a dim sum buffet with DarDar at Hotel Miramar
It was a very in-promptu decision
Because I was craving for dim sum last night

We were, however, full when we were on our 4 dishes out of the 9 ordered
We even wanted to resort to hiding food under the table or dumping them into the bins as we pass by toilet
Because we will be charged for uneaten food
But in the end
We managed to complete all


Went for a stroll along The Quayside
since it's along the way to our bus stop back home

Nice place
Wonder why I didnt visit there before

We made our way to Liang Court
A place where i lasted visited 12 years ago
We went to the Medi-Ya (a Japanese supermarket)
& the beef that they're selling made DarDar so tempted to buy

It's not those normal beef from Malaysia or wherever
It's U.S Black Angus, Rockdale & Wagyu beef!!!
The price was a shocker though
$28.90 per 100g for Wagyu

We also headed to Audio House
Which they claimed to be the largest electronics store in Singapore
Selling all types of electric branded models
I was, however, very fascinated by this aquarium that has Olympus underwater cameras in it

I wasnt interested in the camera
Because I already have my lovely Fujifilm
I was in fact interested in the organisms in the tank!
The sand goby is so cute!
It filters sand grains to feed
& it amazed me so much thinking how it does it!

DarDar said his previous sand goby died because it suffocated itself with the sand grain
That was what I was wondering about
Simply, how does he do that effectively without choking?

We continued our walk towards Central
Stopped to have Hokkaido ice-cream
Which melted at a rate of 5ml per 5 seconds
Is it because of its special promotion of having 2 flavours at only $2.60? (U.P. $3.80 per scoop)
Cheap price = low quality?

Weather's too hotttttttttttttttttttttt
I bet the ice-cream must be hard frozen back in Hokkaido

Sleepy feeling kicked in on the bus journey
Eyes closing to the standard 4pm nap

Another afternoon gone
With a short day out with DarDar

For the next 2 weeks
Other than school trips
I will be mugging at home (I hope unless strong temptations lure me away)
Must acclimatise my brains to 'Animal Behaviour' & 'Fisheries'
Too much snails in the way

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday was hot
I was not really that excited about the field trip
It made me melt almost instantly
The class is having a beach seining session
I was amazed by how 'well-dressed' they are
Do they really think they are just coming to the beach, without seining?

It took them near 1 hour to get started
Because no one bothered to answer Prof's questions
& Prof's way of teaching is - if no one answer, she will not proceed
& when a reply is heard & ready to enter the water
No one wants to go in
Because they do not want to get wet


After the 1st group went in
& saw what interesting stuffs they had in their nets

The rest were anxious to get in

The students had fun, I could tell

At the end of the day
Everyone had enjoyed the session
Learnt something new
Brought back new knowledge

& me?
I brought back a mysterious bug bite that swelled to a diameter of 6cm
Not itchy
But painful when I walked

Saturday, October 17, 2009

This is so interesting

Pregnant woman says man ignores her in MRT, then female friend snatches seat

Last time
When no one gives a pregnant lady a seat on a crowded public transport
People will feedback, saying how bad that idiot was
That guy should burn in hell, blah blah blah

When no one gives a pregnant lady a seat on a crowded public transport
People asked the pregnant lady :"Did you open your mouth to ask?"

This is funny, in a sense

Do you feel how materialistic Singaporeans had become?

Mediacorp just end all their charity shows asking for donations coz in fact, no one will donate voluntarily and will only donate because it's tax-exempted!!

Did I hit the BINGO?

Jackie Chan was right about his opinions on Singaporeans
Singaporeans do not respect themselves, nor the country
They take things for granted
& so make government place more restricted law & order!

In Taiwan
As seen on TV
Public buses have this priority seat that's catered to people with needs
& NO ONE will sit on it

In Singapore
'Aiyah, no handicapped people will come take bus one la'
That's their reply
& down their ass on the seats
'Aiyah....wanna sit, tell me lo!'

In fact
How many of us ever ask for something from a public?
Have you asked someone next to you if you can use his phone because yours died?

With silent actions
No one will notice the benefits you gain
If one ask
People will notice that it's your shame that you couldnt get it in the first place!

This is total rubbish. Since when are we taught to ask for seats and not give up seats to people who need them?

Singaporeans are getting more & more inconsiderate. Do you even respect your country & yourself as a Singaporean?

Adding onto that, if the answer is No, no one has the right to comment about Zhang Yuan Yuan, who got her PR and left for China in the end.

At least she know who she really is
She is too ashamed to be a Singaporean

I must agree that Americans love to speak their minds so much
That in a way
We do fear every word they say because it could be a demand that we cant supply
But their words tell us what they want
So we can better equip ourselves in the future

'So what?' is the reply to whoever's request
& a rejection is like a life-sentence that no one would want in the first place

Oh man
I think Singaporeans must really wake up
We'd been taught to give seats to people who need them
& not the other way round

*p/s: I'm ashamed too. I have the pink card, but so what? I correct people who call me a Singaporean as I know I'm definitely different from any plain Jane here. Even my personality isnt local. So agreed by my hubby too.

**p/s: if whoever pass by this article and want to comment further or intend to STOMP it, think before you do. Is STOMPing any Tom-Dick-Harry issue worth a big discussion involving 4 million people? If it's the $50 that you're eying for, I can trade a pink paper clip with you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yes I'm back from Phuket
& I should update about my trip as I'd normally done


I'm rushing my assignments
& rushing my revisions
All due in 3 weeks time!

Pictures are up in my Facebook though
& 'Pictures tell a thousand words' are definitely true when I have no time to narrate in details

Enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My first time using WiFi FREE & UNLIMITED from my hotel room
No needa worry about people not able to contact me during my overseas trip

Phuket's damn wet today
It had been raining since morning till now
The car rental guy said it's due to the hurricane
Our plane was delayed due to low visibility during landing
& our plane has to circle for 30 minutes since there were also 2 planes waiting to land before us
Patrick's plane arrived after we landed

Our Toyota Vios survived the flooded road
Luckily we didnt get the Jeep

We met our Vietnamese friends!
He & another guy were the only two left in Phuket
So happy that he still remembered us

Phuket is one hour behind Singapore time
No wonder we're so tired at 10pm
Because it's already 11pm!

Out for an offshore fishing trip tomorrow

Monday, October 05, 2009

I'm heading to Phuket later in the early morning
& will be back on 12 Oct morning

Hate to remember that I still have lecture on the 12 Oct evening!

Dont envy me
It's not a vacation
I have to wake up early every morning for field trips around Phuket

Luckily DarDar is going with me
At least I have someone to sleep with & go shopping at night


See you all!

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I had a late night gathering with my boys last night
The bunch whom we went Kukup with 3 years ago
Miss them dearly

We had very interesting talks about almost everything
& finally
We're planning to go Bangkok together in December
After 4 years of procrastination!!!!

Finally into the the land of thousand smiles

As we were happily chatting
Something caught my attention

There was a table before me
An adult man & 2 boys, aged +/- 7 years old
What caught my eyes initially was one of the boys
He was fat & had those super chubby face
& he was peeling chocolate coating off the ice-cream
& feeding himself piece by piece
The other boy, thin, was also munching on the ice-cream
The man, then, sat close to the thin boy
Talked to him with close proximity
& then giggling beside his ears as he talked
& suddenly
He kissed the boy


I nudged DarDar beside me
He said nothing
But he knew what I wanna tell him
I continued to observe

The man then disappeared for a moment
To the toilet, probably
& surprisingly the boys sat there playing PSP

I thought
'Why didnt they run away?'

The man came back
This time
His back faced me
He was talking to the fat boy now

I wondered if they're father & son
But their looks are so different!

The man suddenly sat closer to the fat boy
& moved closer
& grabbed the fat boy's arm with force
& pulled it over to touch his dick!!

The fat boy did not retaliate

The man then use his other hand to touch the fat boy's dick

The fat boy froze, did nothing AGAIN!

Pedophile in action!!!

The thin boy reacted abit slow
He stood up minutes later
& called the fat boy to go home together
The man refused to let them go
He grabbed the fat boy by his arm
Hugging him tight at his waist while he was seated

I could see that the shorts of the fat boy was torn with shags
Did he molest the fat boy?

Both of them left in the end

I seriously wondered
Was he a pedophile?

Oh man
Cant believe what I saw

To all parents out there
Please take good care of your kids

I hope the boys are alright

Friday, October 02, 2009

Time flies like F1 when it's entering the last quarter
Why such a rush to enter 2010?

Packed with tutorials to teach & lead
Indoor experiments halted
Updating outdoor fieldwork report
Make-up classes clash with sample collection days
2 assignments yet started
Exams approaching in 1 month's time, not yet read anything
Drafts for 2 papers due in December


Really f.u.c.k

& I'm heading Phuket in 4 days time
Gone for 6 days
Only 3 weeks left for everything above!

Heart is thudding harder & more frequently lately
The word 'EXAMS' is killing me

No rest for the remaining of the 3 2 months, I guess