Friday, November 28, 2014

Biking in the Rain @ Pulau Ubin

Carly, a colleague from Canada, is in Singapore for the month, so we played tour guide and brought her to an island called Pulau Ubin, which is one of the few non-modern spots in Singapore. We decided to go biking there one Sunday afternoon. It looked like it was going to rain that day, and I wasn't sure if we should push through, but everyone was still up for it despite the ominous clouds in the sky. "Let's try going anyway. What's the worst that could happen?" she said. This Carly is cool.

So Mike drove us to the Changi Point Ferry Terminal where we rode a bumboat for about S$2.50 each. The ride took only 15 or so minutes. When we reached the island, we saw a storm brewing from a distance, there was a cyclone-like thing in the sky. It hadn't reached us yet.

We walked around and found a bicycle rental shop which also offered rain ponchos for sale at 2 bucks. The bike rental was 6 bucks. The rain wasn't too bad yet, so we put the ponchos in my backpack and pushed off.

Now the last time I had gone biking here, I flew off my bike and ended up with bloody knees. I was so scared of that happening again, so I was extra careful on the rain-slicked roads. I had told my companions about that, and Gui, an avid biker, said that it was probably because I had used the brakes wrongly. "When you brake, you should use both the front and back, otherwise your bike will go - " at this point he demonstrated a bike flipping over with his hands. See, I didn't even know that bikes had two brakes. So I bore this info in mind and gripped my hand brakes so hard, my hands hurt a lot more than my legs at the end of the day. Paranoid much. LOL.

After a while, the rain caught up with us, so we got off our bikes to put on our ponchos before pedalling on.

The picture above is not us, but other people. We weren't the only crazy storm chasers biking around the island in ponchos. We were glad we bought them, because they actually kept us a bit warm.

But the rain grew a lot worse, so when we reached a shelter, we decided to sit it out for a bit. We had not brought any plan b stuff, so the guys walked into a nearby store and bought some snacks and a pack of cards. We sat down on the ground and Guo Hao and Mike taught us how to play a chinese game called big 2, which seems similar to a game called pusoy dos in the Philippines.

After 2 rounds, the rain started to let up, so we got on our bikes again. We ended up at this place overlooking a gorgeous view of a lake and a quarry. The last time I had been there, the sky was blue, so it looked more beautiful. This time around the lake could only mirror the dark clouds above. But it was still a beauty. See for yourself.

We cycled away from the place and found a strip of beach just in time for a glorious sunset.

Here is a group shot of everyone, thanks to Guo Hao's amazing talent at taking group selfies.

We decided to head back before the sun disappeared completely. We returned our bikes, but still kept on seeing one picturesque scene after another.

Then we road the bumboat back to the main land.

Upon landing, we walked to the nearby Changi Village Food Centre and had the tourists (okay, so Gui isn't really a tourist, but is new here) try their famous nasi lemak and a few other dishes. They loved the nasi lemak, but were not too happy about the desserts, which were mostly weird stuff on shaved ice. Carly was especially not happy with the durian flavour, which she had talked about wanting to try because she kept on hearing about it. Haha.

As if that wasn't tiring enough, we took a walk to explore the nearby beach, where we found a wandering child who ran towards the main road. I told Guo Hao to tackle him before he got hit by a vehicle. We eventually found his parents whom we wanted to give such a scolding for not paying attention to their kid, what the hell.

After that Mike drove us to Tampines mall, and while he went on home, the rest of us walked around the mall. Then we finally had enough and called it a day. And what an awesome day it was!

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

30 Lollipops & Love Notes for Dred's 30th Birthday

It was my friend Dred's 30th birthday last Tuesday, so we came up with a surprise just before midnight - ask 30 people to write 30 notes and hand them to her with 30 lollipops.

The idea of finding 30 people to do this was a bit daunting, but luckily Dred is the supervisor of a huge team, so that took care of almost half the number. Since Dred is a very friendly girl (the most cheerful girl in the office, as my boss once described her) and we have a pretty huge office, we were able to fill up the rest of the slots.

We even got a couple of big bosses to write notes, and there was also one from Hollywood - a note from "Matt Damon" - who quoted Dred's favourite line from his latest movie Interstellar. LOL.

We asked most of the people to drop by Dred's desk one by one and hand her the notes with lollipops themselves.

Dred said she was very happy. #SurpriseSuccess!

We decided to go somewhere special for lunch and opted for Yum Cha.

They have really delicious dim sum there!

In the afternoon, her team had a surprise for her too - cake! I happened to be refilling my water bottle from the cooler when this happened, so I volunteered as tribute to take their group picture. They were surprised when I did so, like it hadn't even occurred to them to have a group photo. I have one question for you people: WHY???

Later on, Dred's bosses allowed her to leave work early, so we both went to the mall and went shopping. She found a sparkly top for her D&D outfit, and we both found great bargains at Pretty Fit - they were selling sandals discounted at 70% off, or only $21 a pair! Yay! :D

Finally, we made our way to a restaurant, MOF, where we split a sumptuous teriyaki salmon dinner and a sundae.

The next day we audited the notes and found out that there were only 26. WHAT?!?! Who are these 4 people and how dare they not fulfil their assignment?!?! So I quickly found 4 more to take their place, because you can't just leave projects unfinished like that, right? In the end, Dred was happier with one of the last-minute notes, so I'm glad those original people messed up LOL. Everything happens for a reason, am I right? :P

For more birthday surprise ideas, check this out.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nantoy's Sherlock-Themed Pub Crawl Stag Night

After we successfully pulled off Monica's surprise bridal shower, there was another surprise in store, this time for her groom-to-be Nantoy: a Sherlock-themed stag night!

In case you're not a Sherlock fan like our dear friend Nantoy (and me), let me explain: in the TV series Sherlock, Sherlock had a stag night for his best friend John Watson, in which they went on a pub crawl until they got so hilariously drunk.

Since Nantoy prefers to be Sherlock over John, we had to give him props - Sherlock's signature look, a scarf! :D

Meanwhile we girls ended up wearing dresses which were either black or green.

We headed to Clarke Quay, Singapore's pub district.

We were amazed to discover that Singapore has its own locks of love now! You know those famous bridges in Italy and Korea where couples would write their names on a padlock and stick it on one side of the bridge? We have it here too!

We walked into our first pub, one called Elephant Room.

This was my first time in this bar. They had a live band which played oldies, and we were really amused by the jokes that they flashed on screens all over the pub. We ordered a tower of Hoegaarden beer which I found to be surprisingly tolerable, because I normally hate beer.

After a while, we walked out, fully intending to go to a specific bar, but somehow ended up getting waylaid by Le Noir, after we were told that they had free entrance that night.

Now I've passed by Le Noir several times before, but have never set foot in it because always had a long queue and I got the impression that they charged an entrance fee. That night was an exception, I suppose.

We ordered a tower of Tiger beer and enjoyed guzzling it down while dancing to our hearts' content. There was no live band, just really awesome dancey songs played by a DJ. We were so happy that a lot of people got attracted to our energy and danced along with us. It was here that we stayed the longest.

But we had to leave at some point because you can't call it a pub crawl if you've only been to 2 pubs, right? I mean, what would Sherlock say? So we left and stumbled into Highlander, which was one of our favourite hangouts before.

There was a live band, which we love, so when we couldn't find a free table, we just made our way right to the front, which was surprisingly empty, and started dancing and singing along with the band.

Again, we could not stay there forever, so we eventually exited and plopped down on a table at the pub right next door, which turned out to be Paulaner.

They had a happy hour promo, so since they didn't have a beer tower, we just ordered a pint of beer for each of us. I forgot which brand it was, but it was so bitter that I wanted to puke when I drank it and could not finish my glass and somebody had to help me with it.

We also ordered a pork knuckle, which was really crispy and tasty. Yum!

After polishing everything off, we walked into the bar where they also had a live band and we danced one last time that night. 

Okay so maybe 4 pubs is a measly pub crawl count. But at least we tried. At least this night did not end up as a cafe crawl which was a very likely scenario at one point coz some of us are not sprightly young 'uns anymore!

Not everyone ended up being Sherlock-and-John-Watson-drunk, but one person did, and that was enough! It's funny to watch drunk people's shenanigans, isn't it? At one point I was doubled over in pain from laughing so hard when she actually started running through the water fountains, pulling others along with her! They ended up getting their shoes wet. When we asked her why she did it, she said, "Because it's fun!" while jumping up and down like a kangaroo. LOL.

Well she has a point, and she wasn't the only one who had fun that night. But we were jealous of her, actually, and we said we're all gonna follow her lead at our yearend D&D. So watch out, Singapore! :D

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