China/Fujian & Hunan

29 Oct 2009 – Happy Bdays LAM Kwok Lock & Kiera CHUA


Xiamen/XMN 厦门: The boat ride and tour to the small island of Gulangyu 屿, where Peggy TAN’s mother was from and the only piano museum in China was pleasantly refreshing as cars are not allowed there. Appreciations to TAN Kah Kee/TKK’s 陳嘉庚 descendants, Management, Committee and Staff of the TKK Museum, Overseas Chinese Museum & Jimei Schools for all their hospitality and kindness throughout the XMN stay. Thank you for all the books, DVDs and postcards. Without Peggy, this China visit would have not happened.


Changsha/CSN 长沙: app 80mins flight from XMN where the recorded history in CSN can be traced back to 3,000 years. Two names that earn CSN’s reputation among tourists are Chairman Mao Zedong (photographed in the restaurant he frequented) and Yuelu Academy. Otherwise it is just another big bustling modernized city with loud noisy crowds, still spitting everywhere and the traffic plus pollution uncomfortable for the ears, eyes and nose! Cannot imagine how the lungs will look like living there.


Zhangjiajie/ZJJ 张家界: app 4hrs drive from CSN, ZJJ is known for its mountains and National Forest. The weather and views were wonderful but unfortunately the loud pushy spitting crowd has no concept about queuing! Places of interest visited- Huanglong Caves 黄龙洞, YuanJia Jie 袁家界, HeLong Gardens 贺龙公园, JunBianCi 金鞭溪, ShuiRaoShiMing 水绕四门, BaoFeng Lake 宝峰湖, Tianmen Mountains 天门洞景区, where the longest cable-way ride in the world is located, 7.4km. Due to fog or maybe smog, 4hrs delay at CSN airport on route back to XMN. Our charming young local guide, Tina did a good job taking care of our group of 12 demanding and whiney senior citizens 🙂


Food was on the greasy and salty side, otherwise tasty. Unless one wears ear-plugs and oxygen masks, be prepared for the noise and smog. The only times I wish I was a male was when public restrooms had to be used. Chinese, more or less, what an eye-opener but no doubt more Overseas-Chinese. As for being fully Chinese of race, there are more doubts every time I see my grandchildren who are completely blond and blue-eyed. But there are less doubts to the observations on the new China and her people today where I feel uninviting. Common Sense to Self-Censor (posting 28 Jun 2009) are less in today’s so-called civilized over-populated world with the consequences and reality where everyone for themselves and survivors of the fittest are more 🙁

Learn without thinking begets ignorance. Think without learning is dangerous – Confucius

October’s Eateries


18 Oct 2009 – Oyster Surprised

Asia Grand@Odeon Towers**** specializes in the finest Cantonese cuisines. Love raw oysters and do not usually eat them any other ways. But for some reason, decided to taste this and to my surprised, savored every bite of it… lightly battered with salted-egg yoke, a tasty combination. Of course what is a 95th Bday dinner without suckling pig, one of my favourite pork dishes. The way we indulge ourselves with food in SIN is no wonder that cardiologists like my brother are in good business!

Pariss International Seafood Buffet@Marina Square**** has a good variety but missing the Norwegian varieties of marinated, smoked, pickled salmon & herrings. If you have the time to enjoy a 3 hours lunch in good company, this place is certainly worth both the time and money. The stomach did not have space to taste all the seafood, not to mention the rest of the non-seafood buffet! Another time… thanks to Charles CHONG for introducing Pariss.

Food Opera@ION** upscale food-court style with food tasting similar to most food courts but more expensive to make up for the rents! Another new mall but this one with mainly brand-named goods… waaaay over-rated with over-prices for the novae rich!!

Thank you to Aileen KOH for the SPA invitation, was so relaxing and to Les & Ivy for a peaceful stay at their Sentosa Cove condo. Last night was the first game with the SIN Monopoly version. What used to be the most expensive Monopoly property, Park Lane in our childhood is Sentosa Cove for the SIN version! Hope that Darryl NEO (grand-nephew) enjoyed the game and guess who won? Hint… someone who owns the real Sentosa Cove 🙂

Heading to China tomorrow. Wishing you all a good week ahead. Updates will be done when I return end of the month. I wonder what China has to fear about WordPress to block it?

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside – Mark Twain

October’s Movies

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16 Oct 2009 – Happy Bday Patricia LAM

Thank you to Lucy for her 15 Oct write-up in http://xingrencha.bizTrekking her way back home…

Coco Before Chanel*** French drama revolves around one of the fashion history’s most well known icons, Gabrielle Coco Chanel. Chronicles Chanel’s early years from her humble beginnings as a Parisian orphan before she came to be known as one of the world’s most famous fashion designers. Reminded me of another French movie about Édith Piaf, La vie en Rose, .

Paper Heart** US comedy/documentary on a journey to document what exactly love is. Interviewing various people, the determined young girl attempts to find definition and perhaps even experience the mysterious emotion. But her pessimistic denial may hinder her chances at finding real happiness. More for the younger generation!

Time Traveler’s Wife** a dashing librarian who travels involuntarily through time. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap. Too far-fetched for my imagination!

Haeundae** the deadly tsunami, quite realistic effects in this Korean flick. Reminded me of some of the effects from Titanic!

Dear Zachery**** only for SIN Film Society members. See titled posting dated 11 Oct.

Imagine That*** have always enjoyed Eddie Murphy’s acting and here again he did not fail to make me laugh. Entertaining, a fairy tale ending with the message that all you need is love and love conquers all.

Julie & Julia*** two separate memoirs about two different women in two different era with food & cooking as their common passion and interest. Since Julie is living in today’s technology, she blogged about her challenge to cook all the receipts in Julia Child’s first book within one year. Must remind myself to do a posting as to why I blog!

Anybody who believes that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach flunked geography – Robert Byrne

Chinese: More or Less


14 Oct 2009 – China

Will be heading to China/Xiamen厦门 (Fujian), Chiangsha长沙 & Zhangjiajie张家界(Hunan) next week, 1 day for work and 8 days to tour. That is how I like my working trips!

China has blocked WordPress, thus no updates from 19 – 28 Oct. Have always been interested about China but will only travel there with small selected groups. The first time was in 2004 with cousin David WONG and the U of HI group and we toured the northern silk route. Glad to have tagged along to Ürümqi 烏魯木齊 (Xinjiang) when it was peaceful. Taken rolls of pictures then, but have not scan them for uploading yet, someday it will be done!

Researching the ancestral backgrounds, Jiangmen (Guangdong) in May this year was my next trip. If John CHENG did not accompany me as my translator, would not have gone. Shanghai上海 in Jun, again if cousin LAM Cheng En was not in Shanghai, would have just transit at the airport on route to US. Being Chinese of race but unable to read chinese and not speaking or understanding the language properly makes me feel uncomfortable in China. Can relate to this poster at the Nanyang Technological University/NTU Heritage Museum, the tag line – Chinese: More or Less.

This time round, all the pictures will be digital and will be updated when I return. Let’s see if I still feel more or less 🙂

China is more prosperous than before. The people have better lives but they are not happy and confident because the scars are still there – Jung Chang

Dear Zachary*****


11 Oct 2009 – A Letter to a Son about his Father

Joined the SIN Film Society over the weekend and was introduced to this most thought-provoking and mind-bogging documentary I have ever seen. It brought real sadness and tears to the eyes and besides being human, like Kate, I am also a mother and grandmother. My heart goes out to Kate & David Bagby with full admiration and respect for what they have been put through; how they dealt with the situation and David’s best selling book- Dance with the Devil.

Synopsis: 5 Nov 2001, Dr Andrew Bagby was murdered in W Pennsylvania; the prime suspect, his ex-girlfriend Dr Shirley Turner who promptly fled the USA for St John’s, Canada, where she announced that she was pregnant with Andrew’s child. She named him Zachary.

Begun as a sort of cinematic scrapbook on his best friend, Andrew Bagby, to his son Zachary, film maker Kurt Kuenne cobbled together the film from hundreds of hours of footage into a deeply personal yet investigative film on his friend’s murder. Although it is a documentary, it plays like ‘a true-crime story so gripping, devastating and ultimately unforgettable that it easily trumps any thriller Hollywood has to offer this year’. The film ultimately goes beyond criminal investigation into a reflection on the Canadian justice system.

To family, friends and your friends in Canada, please try to watch the whole of this documentary. Then question your Canadian justice system. To try to prevent any more similar incidents, please write in with hopes that the flaws in the system will be amended. & Dear Zachary (2008) Movie Trailer. to buy the DVD.

Crazy World

9 Oct 2009 – Taletelling Headlines

art.lcross.nasa5c2d9e40-1b62-4b63-ba08-08b6a1f762fd.hmedium20091008.075144_mingyi – Bombing the Moon! (even less offerings to future MoonCake Festivals) Somali pirates held after mistakenly targeting warship!! SIN monk faces jail for fraud

And a good joke to start your weekend! The men will enjoy this…

A senior citizen drove his brand new BMW Z3 convertible out of the car salesroom. Taking off down the motorway, he floored it to 140kph, enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left.

‘Amazing!’ he thought as he flew down the M4, enjoying pushing the pedal to the metal even more. Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a police car behind him, lights flashing and siren blaring.

‘I can get away from him– no problem!’ thought the elderly nutcase as he floored it to 190, then 200, then 220kph.

Suddenly, he thought, ‘What on earth am I doing? I’m too old for this nonsense!’ So he pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the police car to catch up with him.

Pulling in behind him, the police officer walked up to the driver’s side of the BMW, looked at his watch and said, ‘Sir, my shift ends in 10 minutes. Today is Friday and I’m taking off for the weekend. If you can give me a reason why you were speeding that I’ve never heard before, I’ll let you go.’

The man, looked very seriously at the policeman, and replied, ‘Years ago, my wife ran off with a policeman. I thought you were bringing her back.’

‘Have a good day, Sir,’ said the policeman 🙂 🙂 🙂

You all have a good weekend.

Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquillity – James Thurber



7 Oct 2009 – Happy Bday Leslie LAM

Leslie & Ivy were in Rome for a wedding and have returned and probably jet-lagged. Looking forward to see some pictures. Came across these exciting gadgets which amazed me and hope to see them on the market very soon. Have been looking around for a notebook but if the D-Roll succeed, will drop the notebook! Word of caution: Cyber-crooks have managed to hack into Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail accounts, so take precautions.

Hot Prototypes: Tomorrow’s Coolest Gadgets Today//D-Roll Laptop (image courtesy of Hao Hua)

Flexible displays mean exciting new product designs that can look beyond books for inspiration. As a student at Purdue University in Indiana, Hao Hua came up with a design for a laptop that rolls up into a shape similar to that of a mailing tube. The screen and keyboard slide out, and the open design relies on airflow to keep the electronics cool and quiet. A built-in shoulder strap provides a fashionable and convenient way to carry the machine.

Can’t wait till this cool D-Roll laptop is on the market at a reasonable price. Check out the latest from this site

As men get older, the toys get more expensive – Marvin Davis

Mother Nature


6 Oct 2009 – Climate & Other Changes

Happy 95th Bday to 4th aunt, LAM Poh Kow who is the eldest surviving member from my father’s generation. Glad to see cousin WONG Wai Kit who is here from Hawaii to celebrate his mother’s bday. Kit & I used roamed every inch of Temenggong Road and Mt Faber areas in the 1950s. He lives in Honolulu with wife Pattie & son Daniel and it was only recently that he has returned for visits since he left SIN in 1960.

The 2004 tsunami when so many lives were claimed and so many families were affected are still fresh in the memory. 2006/7 Linn & family were in Banda Aceh where Jeff helped to build up the medical clinic were one of the most worrying times for meJohn W was just born then and he will be 3 next month.

Mother Nature is again throwing her fury. Today, Indonesia is devastated with earthquake, Philippines flooded with typhoon, Samoa’s tsunami has also claimed some deaths, World Bank calls for urgent deals on climate changes and guess what is happening in SIN? Convicted of credit card fraud, Miss SIN is serving probation. She is no longer Miss SIN but Miss LOW… her name being Ris Low! People like her is a bad rep for women. Instead of apologizing and resigning discreetly she stoops lower by being defensive, thus adding fuel to the fire! What an embarrassment to those for not doing their research and homework in their jobs!

This has really sunken to a new Low! any more attention given to them is a complete waste of time, especially in the face of life and death issues in the region. These “beauty queens” should also grow up and concern themselves with how to do some good to those who need help now. Posted by: sophisticat1 at Mon Oct 05 07:23:19 SGT 2009

Mid-Autumn 2009

3 Oct 2009 – Mid-Autumn/Lantern/MoonCake Festival 中秋節

Happy Bday to CHONG Siong Yin who worked for Kwong Lee Bank (LAM family bank which has been acquired first by Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp/OCBC, then Malayan United Industry/MUI Bank and now Hong Leong Bank/HL Bank), as did his father and grandfather. Thank you for three generations of loyalty and services.

Safely back in SIN in time to celebrate the mid-autumn, 15th day of the eighth month in the Lunar/Chinese calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumn and spring Equinoxes of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties as there are with stories and legends for this festival. My preference is the simple plain old- fashioned mooncake.


This day was also considered a harvest festival since fruits, vegetables and grain had been harvested by this time and food was abundant. Food offerings were placed on an altar set up in the courtyard and the memories of this scene is still very intact! Peaches, pomegranates, melons, oranges and pomelos are the usual… the offerings lessened after men set foot on the moon 🙂 Special foods other than the mooncake for the festival are cooked taro and water caltrop 菱角, a type of water chestnut resembling bulls’ horns, impossible to crack without a hammer!


Fond childhood memories of animal-shaped lanterns beautifully made of coloured cellophane paper decorated with a variety of coloured glitter. After the sunset, candles lit inside these lanterns gave an exquisite sight. Walking and balancing with these lanterns was a skill and inevitably somebody’s lantern would catch fire resulting in tears. Magically there were always spare ones and tears were soon forgotten and the celebration resumed.

I don’t know if there are men on the moon, but if there are they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum – George Bernard Shaw

October’s Dates


1st Oct 2009 – Greetings from Chiangmai/Thailand

Three intensive and productive days sourcing out manufacturers to make gift items for a new company.

3rd Happy Bday CHONG Siong Yin

5th Happy Bday LAM Poh Kow

7th Happy Bday Leslie LAM

8th Happy Bdays Larry LAM, Audrey WONG, KONG Heng Sun

12th Happy Bday Karen SCAF-BENHAM

13th Happy Bday David YUNG

16th Happy Bday Patricia LAM

27th Happy Bday Ellen HALD sr

29th Happy Bdays LAM Kwok Lock & Kiera CHUA

31st  Happy Bdays Adeline LEE, Mark BOROWSKY and Happy Halloween

If any names of family & friends are missing, would appreciate a comment or feed-back to update the special dates.