Thursday, July 31, 2008

Hunger and Ice Creams

Oh goodness, 8pm dinner in Vietnam means 9pm back home. And this is what happens when the body had yet to adjust to the local time....

Foooooood..... I'm dizzy..

Dinner at Quan Hy (featured in January and March 2008's archive). I'll leave the pics to my visitors to blog about.

Sim says, "Where's my ice cream???"

Le Creation ~ 10 scoops of glorious sinful temptations (Peanut, Strawberry, Rum Raisin, Mint Chocholate, Cookies & Chips, Vanilla, Dark Chococlate... errr forgot the rest, I was too busy tucking in)

Friends in Ho Chi Minh City

Terence, Poh Chin, Siew Keng and Hsin Yee arrived this afternoon for a 4 day tour of Saigon.
We had the company of Ms. Sim for lunch @ Ngon, 138 Nam Ky Khoi Nghia. There they had the first taste of Vietnamese street food, conveniently pooled in a single hygienic location.

Now that you know what to expect, time to go try the real thing.

First tourist thing to do after checking into the hotel - Walk!

Notre Dame, at 12 pm.

The Post Office.

They're not really making phone calls. Those phone booths were air-conditioned!

Paparazzi in action!

This is what happened after 20 minutes of walking. Snoozing in a shopping complex!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I dreamt of him

I fell asleep. Perhaps from the exhaustion and lack of sleep, worrying over his safety. And then the phone rang...

I was talking to Jo on the phone. She found him. He was well. They brought him back home, and I looked forward to seeing him again very soon. I could imagine myself holding him, hugging him.

And I woke up. I was dreaming.

It's now more than a day since he went missing. My friends had been contacted. They are passing out circulars to look for him. Jo and Cheng had placed flyers around the area where he went missing. I hope some kind soul would point us in the right direction. We need to find the owner of that blue car. I hope he treats JD well. I pray he sees the flyers.

Friday, July 25, 2008



My dog is missing in Melaka, around the Taman Bachang Jaya area. If anyone sees him, please call 019 213 1644 (Jo) immediately.

He responds to the name "JD". He's white with black patches.

Last seen was taken into a blue Kancil by a Chinese guy. If anyone knows who he is, please pass him the contact number. Thank you in advance.

Reward offered.

Lost or Find a Dog?

Announce this at Malaysia Dog & Puppy Portal.

I've not felt such loss before. The emotion's in turmoil, rolling and twisting the stomach at every image of horror that flashes across the mind. Losing a loved one couldn't get harder than this. Especially when that happened to be the most loyal friend and companion.

It's 11 hours since he went missing, and 3 hours since I got to know about it. What can I do, sitting thousands of miles away? I've posted for help here. I've posted for help in Facebook. Even wrote to a fellow blogger from town for help, despite me being a stranger to her. Jo and Cheng's out looking for him. Driving the streets and caling his name every now and then.

I hope a good Samaritan would take him in. Not that it would be easy. He does not trust stranger easily. He would go hungry for sure, being house-raised. I wonder where he is? Only at moments like this would I think..

If only...

... I didn't leave him. No one could commit to him like I would. I've heard it time and again.

... I took him walking round the neighbourhood, instead of riding in the car. That would have given him a fighting chance of getting home.

... I had spent more time with him, given him more attention. I know I had not given enough.

... he would appear.

JD please come home. I miss you. I'm sorry I left you behind. I am coming back. Please come home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The rain has come

It's finally here. The much said about wet season of Saigon had landed, yesterday. What started as an afternoon shower of cats and dogs turned into a constant rat (lighter version?) that lasted through the night.

This morning, I woke up to a gloomy sky of bluish-grey clouds. The air smelled of rain, with that about-to-shower freshness. Taking precautions, I had on the jacket, in case it poured enroute to work.

Talk about sudden. The weather turned from bluish to menacing grey. And the rain. Goodness, that's no rain. It's God opening the dam on us.
I stayed dry on the bike, but my pants were soaked thru. Good thing the notebook was well protected by the Targus bag.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Fuel hike in Vietnam

The announcement came.

Fuel hike at 12.00pm today, from VND 14,500 to VND 19,000 per litre (about RM3.50~3.80). That's a 31% increase!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Demand vs Supply - Eggs / Fuel

I received this short lesson in economics via email, which I believe had been circulating around the globe eversince the oil prices started going up. Its logical, though drastic to some measures. Any economic experts want to comment on this?

The Egg Story

A man eats two eggs each morning for breakfast. When he goes to the grocery store he pays 60 cents a dozen. Since a dozen eggs won't last a week he normally buys two dozens at a time.

One day while buying eggs he notices that the price has risen to 72 cents. The next time he buys groceries, eggs are 76 cents a dozen.

When asked to explain the price of eggs the store owner says, "The price has gone up and I have to raise my price accordingly".

These store buys 100 dozen eggs a day. He checked around for a better price and all the distributors have raised their prices. The distributors have begun to buy from the huge egg farms. The small egg farms have been driven out of business. The huge egg farms sell 100,000 dozen eggs a day to distributors. With no competition, they can set the price as they see fit. The distributors then have to raise their prices to the grocery stores. And so on.

As the man kept buying eggs, the price kept going up. He saw the big egg trucks delivering 100 dozen eggs each day. Nothing changed there. He checked out the huge egg farms and found they were selling 100,000 dozen eggs to the distributors daily. Nothing had changed but the price of eggs.

Then, a week before Thanksgiving the price of eggs shot up to $1.00 a dozen.

Again he asked the grocery owner why and was told, "Cakes and baking for the holiday".

The huge egg farmers know there will be a lot of baking going on and more eggs will be used. Hence, the price of eggs goes up. Expect the same thing at Christmas and other times when family cooking, baking, etc. happen.

This pattern continues until the price of eggs is 2.00 a dozen.

The man says, "There must be something we can do about the price of eggs".

He starts talking to all the people in his town and they decide to stop buying eggs. This didn't work because everyone needed eggs. Finally, the man suggested only buying what you need. He ate 2 eggs a day. On the way home from work he would stop at the grocery and buy two eggs. Everyone in town started buying 2 or 3 eggs a day.

The grocery store owner began complaining that he had too many eggs in his cooler. He told the distributor that he didn't need any eggs. Maybe wouldn't need any all week. The distributor had eggs piling up at his warehouse. He told the huge egg farms that he didn't have any room for eggs would not need any for at least two weeks.

At the egg farm, the chickens just kept on laying eggs. To relieve the pressure, the huge egg farm told the distributor that they could buy the eggs at a lower price.

The distributor said, "I don't have the room for the #$@&*! eggs even if they were free".

The distributor told the grocery store owner that he would lower the price of the eggs if the store would start buying again.

The grocery store owner said, "I don't have room for more eggs. The customers are only buying 2 or 3 eggs at a time. Now if you were to drop the price of eggs back down to the original price, the customers would start buying by the dozen again".

The distributors sent that proposal to the huge egg farmers but the egg farmers liked the price they were getting for their eggs but, those chickens just kept on laying. Finally, the egg farmers lowered the price of their eggs, but only a few cents.

The customers still bought 2 or 3 eggs at a time.

They said, "When the price of eggs gets down to where it was before, we will start buying by the dozen."

Slowly the price of eggs started dropping. The distributors had to slash their prices to make room for the eggs coming from the egg farmers. The egg farmers cut their prices because the distributors wouldn't buy at a higher price than they were selling eggs for. Anyway, they had full warehouses and wouldn't need eggs for quite a while.

And those chickens kept on laying.

Eventually, the egg farmers cut their prices because they were throwing away eggs they couldn't sell. The distributors started buying again because the eggs were priced to where the stores could afford to sell them at the lower price.

Finally the customers started buying by the dozen again.

The Fuel Implication

Now, transpose this analogy to the gasoline industry.

What if everyone only bought $10.00 worth of gas each time they pulled to the pump? The dealer's tanks would stay semi full all the time. The dealers wouldn't have room for the gas coming from the huge tank farms. The tank farms wouldn't have room for the gas coming from the refining plants. And the refining plants wouldn't have room for the oil being off loaded from the huge tankers coming from the oil fiends.

Just $10.00 each time you buy gas. Don't fill it up. You may have to stop for gas twice a week but, the price should come down.

Think about it.

As an added note...When I buy $10.00 worth of gas that leaves my tank a little under quarter full.The way prices are jumping around, you can buy gas for $2.65 a gallon and then the next morningit can be $2.15. If you have your tank full of $2.65 gas you don't have room for the $2.15 gas. You might not understand the economics of only buying two eggs at a time but, you can't buy cheaper gas if your tank is full of the high priced stuff.

Also, don't buy anything else at the gas station; don't give them any more of your hard earned money than what you spend on gas, until the prices come down..."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Article from The Saigon Time Weekly, introducing trà đá.

Making iced tea is easy, ya? Get the tea, add ice.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cheddar Pringles

Ta daaa.....

Cheddar Cheese Pringles!

The chips are neon orange! Can you believe it? Look at the amount of "cheese" on it.

Pringles still the best!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

View of the suburbs in HCMC

Photo taken this morning from the apartment's balcony. It's a beautiful, warm day, and the clear blue sky says it all. Pity I couldn't remove the mosquito netting, hence the white banding seen the image.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Junk food...

Spoiling my health. It was a case of itchy mouth, and too much free time at home. I know it's bad....

Bane of imitation

My imitation Oakley broke. Oh well, it's imitation right, so that's expected. However the lens had remained as pristine as when I first bought it. But the frame's definitely made of sub-standard material. Hairline fractures could be seen around the screw hole, indicating a low stress tolerance.

Better go get a couple more to bring back. I wonder if I could get these lens mounted on another frame? Hmm....

Two movies in one weekend...

This had to be one of the most eye-taxing weekend for me. Two movies in one weekend. I'm surprised that the Galaxy Cinema ( at Nguyen Du Street was quite spacious. The interior resembles GSC of Malaysia, albeit with only 3 cinemas.

However, the tickets are costly RM12 compared to RM9 back home.

Inherently funny. highly entertaining. Max Smart is again the fool that saves the day, in his own "unsophisticated" way.

Epic on feudal China. This is a feature of the Three Kingdoms, and the quest of uniting all three. I'm not too familiar with the history, though the names of Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang, Cao Cao do ring a bell courtesy of the 80's PC game - Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wedding / Potrait photographer, anyone?

I came across this photographer's website via the images that he took and posted on Nicolekiss's website. Thought it would be good to share this with the avid photographers from my circle of buddies, as well and up coming weddings that require a good potrait artist.

I am impressed by his talent for capturing stories onto a still life...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Biking in Malaysia?

First Choice - Suzuki Burgman 400 (available in Malaysia?)

Since the last 6 months of scooting around town on two wheels, I think I've come to really enjoy the fun and freedom which a 4 wheel simply could not provide.

And given the rising hike in fuel rates, cost of owning a decent automobile plus the never-ending traffic congestion back home.... I'm seriously contemplating on switching to a two-wheeler as my preferred means of mobility.

Practical choice, but definitely too small and feminine for me - Suzuki VS 150

Of course, getting to that point would put me thru many obstacles. Coming from an Asian background, family always has the first and "final" say. There'll be qualms on safety, practicality, sanity... As it's Malaysia, there's the issue of safety, practicality, security, weather...

Still. It's worth looking into. If there's going to be anything I'll miss from Vietnam, it's the biking.

Preferred Choice - Kawasaki Eliminator 125 (urbanized, comfortable touring use)

Unlikely Choice - Kawasaki Ninja 250R (I'm not a speed freak, plus it's back breaking)

Ultimate Choice - Kawasaki Vulcan 500 LTD (I can just imagine, me and my half, riding the gentle curves of the hillside...)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bacon Omelet @ Highlands Coffee

My Sunday breakfast, amidst a sudden shower in the late morning. I was fortunate to escape the rain, but not the bike nor my helmet. The parking attendant did not bother to cap the helmet onto the seat like I did. Needless to say, I had to wear a wet sponge on my head for the trip home.
Not that I let it get to me. A good breakfast always keeps the spirits up.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Soa Soa Restaurant @ 64 Pham Ngoc Thach

This place had a nice ambience, despite a diminutive facade. Walking in, I didn't realise the extend of this building until we walked up the stairs to a little nook with a glass wall. There, its all three storeys of hungry patrons, easily seating 150 to 200 people at any one time.

Deep fried prawns

Guess what's this?

It's DUCK TONGUE! Yupe, take a bite in, and you'll find the soft bones that formed the "quacks". Surprisingly, I like it (Since when I don't like food anyway).

A feast of kings (that's how I feel... when else you get to bum a free meal?)

Fried rice with tiny beef cubes and pineapple. This is real appetizing.

Fried rice roll... .what's left of it actually. I was so engrossed in tasting the food, I completely forgot to snap the picture.

Shrimp and squid salad. The squid's real fresh, as it's lightly boiled without turning rubbery.

Grilled squid. Yummy!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Night shot of Majestic Hotel, HCM

Experimenting with the features on Zinc II. That's the reception desk of the Majestic Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City. Pic turned out allright using the night mode.