Posts about singapore

From Denver to Singapore and back

A nice time lapse video of the journey from Denver to Singapore and back. A point and shoot camera was used to capture the scenes every couple of seconds. The video makes me think of home as I feel like I was in the trip.

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Kallang paya lebar expressway

Free sightseeing trip

Had the opportunity to ride on the back seat of the helicopter and played the role as a lookout man for my colleague’s instrument flight this morning. This is the first time (and expecting many more) in which I am “flying” as a non-flying pilot with no worries and enjoying the scenery! For the non-aviators, an instrument flight refers to flying the aircraft purely by relying on the aircraft instruments. This is the only means of navigating around safely when visibility or weather does not permit visual flying.

During the 2 hour flight as the observer, apart from assisting the crew in looking out for other traffic within the vicinity, I’ve made a couple of interesting observations which I thought one would never realise it when you’re actually flying. In a multi crew environment, there is plenty of emphasis in inter cockpit crew resource management (CRM). For instance, during an instrument approach, the cockpit was overwhelmed with activities such as setting up the instruments for the approach, obtaining the necessary clearances from the relevant ATC agencies, referring to the approach charts. On top of these, the pilots have to fly the aircraft and achieve the parameters as accurately as possible since this aircraft does not have the luxury of autopilot!

The only complain I have is the long ride and backaches. Unlike commercial aircraft that allows passengers to walk down the aisle, I have to remain seated throughout the flight. Otherwise, the ride was definitely an eye opening experience as I get to see almost the whole of Singapore, including some of its prominent landmarks such as the Singapore flyer and the central business districts.

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Tremors

Barely less than 5 minutes ago, I experienced the first tremor in my life! It occurred right after I’ve swallowed my medication and the shaking confused me for a moment as I thought how could the medication effect kicked in almost instantly.

I stood by the table and held onto a chair with both hands as I was feeling very giddy and it seems that the surrounding was revolving around me. I wasn’t too sure if it was indeed the effects from the medication or a tremor. I stood by the window and looked out to the streets but everything seems normal — people were alighting from the buses and walking on the streets. However, I did hear a few screams from the neighbourhood and I hesitated if I should get out of the house.

Then, I saw the standing fan in my living room shaking badly. This confirmed my fear that it was a tremor and probably an earthquake had just occurred in our neighbouring country. Luckily, it didn’t last long and things are back to normal for now.

Meanwhile, I’ll try to poke around and see if there are any news reports on what I’ve just experienced. Stay tuned for more updates.

Update: After repeated tries to load the Channelnewsasia website, I managed to pull out the breaking news confirming that an earthquake measuring 7.9 in magnitude had struck in the sea some 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the city of Bengkulu, Indonesia.

Update 2: Many fellow bloggers seems to have experienced the after effects of the earthquake. Entries are being pinged at a very fast rate

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Happy National Day

I remembered when I was young, I looked forward to every National Day celebration. Over the years, I realized that this special feeling within me is still alive. I have not missed a single National Day celebration and I’ve always make an effort to watch the parade, whether on television or live at the stadium!

Though I did not managed to get the tickets to this year’s parade, I’m glad that I can still catch the live telecast on television. What’s more…it’s held in a new location and the event should be eye catching.

Happy birthday, my home. Though I’ve been out of Singapore now and then and sort of appreciate some of the culture and experience that doesn’t exist here, here’s where I grew up with my friends and family and this will always remain in my heart.

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Singapore HeritageFest 2007 – Childhood memories

Sparklette has exclusively featured an article on the Singapore HeritageFest 2007 exhibition that brought me vivid childhood memories.

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Licensed to drive…

a motor car! After numerous driving lessons and the amount of money I’ve “invested”, I’ve finally obtained my Class 3 driving license this afternoon. I’m in a state of mixed emotions at the time of writing this entry and no words can describe the sense of relief I felt when the examiner finalized my results.

My driving instructor was kind enough to give me last minute pointers just before I went to ballot for my test route. Time seems to tick by slowly as I waited anxiously for the balloting to begin. I looked through the list of testers’ name and the test route they are assigned to and prayed that I’ll be able to get my desire route and a kind tester. As I placed my hand into the ballot box, I simply picked one number and to my surprise, it was the test route and tester I’ve hoped for. I thought God was kind and luck was on my side now.

Everything went smoothly during the initial phase of the test and I could still hear my own heartbeat beating fast and furious. I managed to clam down and proceeded to clear my first obstacle. Next item was parallel parking. I was confident and managed to get the car parked neatly. Just as I was about to reverse the vehicle and get out of the lot, the vehicle struck one of the two poles! My heart sunk by a few thousand feet and I thought that’s it. I wasn’t too sure if that constitute an immediate failure or deduction of 10 demerit points.

I managed to steal a quick glance on the check-list and saw a tick on the 10 demerit point check box. My morale boasted a little and I carried on with the rest of the stations in the circuit uneventfully. The ride at the roads was relatively smooth except for a lane changing sequence which the tester thought was too abrupt. What’s more…I realised that generally, Singapore drivers are patient and kind enough to give way for vehicles taking driving test. The only exception was the very vehicle that refused to allow me to filter to the next lane and cost me demerit points.

I’m glad to have passed my driving test. Special thanks go to my family members and friends for their support and encouragement. Not forgetting my driving instructor for his guidance though I paid quite abit just for his coaching and time as well as to the tester for his kindness.

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Public transport service

Recently, I came across this discussion about our Singapore public transport service both on television and from reading the papers. Apparently, the government has came up with a 10 year outlook for our public transport service and this includes various means of upgrading that includes adding more railway lines, providing better service — all comes with a possibility of increased fares.

If you were to observe closely, one would realise that our public transport fares are affordable and convenient to a certain extend but the rates are climbing slowly by a few cents during each increment. Many would agree that due to many factors such as upgrading of buses, higher oil prices etc warrants the increase of fares in order to stay profitable. However, we all know for the fact that the annual turnover for these operators turns out to be millions of dollars. This makes me and many others wonder if the fare increase is justified.

Next, it is noted that the rider-ship on public transport have continually declined over the years and more people own their own vehicles. As much as the government tries to implement measures such as the infamous Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), Certificate of Entitlement (COE) etc to discourage people from driving, many are still able to own one and lead a comfortable life. This makes me wonder if all these measures indeed serve its purpose.

In my personal opinion, if the government seriously wants its citizen to switch to public transport, perhaps it should first review its own policies. We cannot compare our fare structure (most affordable) with others parts of the world as cars are so much affordable as compared to ours. This in turn caused their public transport prices to soar as there’s generally lesser rider-ship and this would in turn affect the operator’s turnover. Apart from this, there is a need to improve the services provided or even realign the operator’s mission and values to a less profit orientated organisation. After all, they are providing a service that can be considered essential in one’s daily life.

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Future MRT map

Future MRT Map

Stumbled upon this possible future MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)* map of Singapore while clearing my inbox. From the map, we can see that apart from the circle line, which is currently undergoing heavy construction, there are plans to add an addition of 4 other lines which includes the Bukit Timah, Downtown extension, Eastern region and North coast line. Even the operators for each line have been listed way before bidding starts — or it could be that talks are on the table.

Looks like there’s going to be more inconvenience and digging lining up if this source is accurate. However, we can look forward to a more convenient and efficient transport system. Perhaps, in the near future, you could be hearing the following announcement instead:

“Next stop, Marina View (instead of Marina Bay). This train terminates at Marina View. All passengers please alight. Thank you for traveling with SMRT.”

* For the non-Singaporean readers, MRT is equivalent to The Tube in London and Subway in the US.

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Happy 41st Birthday, Singapore

I barely remembered watching last year’s National Day Parade (NDP) that was telecast on television. It seems that time passes at the blink of an eye as I grow older each year. However, I’m sad to say I won’t be able to catch the live telecast this year as I’ll be on my way back to camp. Nevertheless, I made it a point to record the event and I’ll replay it when I have more time to spare.

When I was still schooling, I remembered how we loved celebrating National Day as students in the uniform groups gets to participate in the parade and raise the flag. Most importantly, the next day is school holidays as well! Reflecting back, those were the good old days.

Anyway, I take this opportunity to wish my country, my home a Happy 41st birthday. As this it the last time the celebration will take place at the National Stadium, I guess it would one of the most memorable events in the history of Singapore.

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My country, my home

As I was on the bus on my way to work today, I stand towards the rear of the bus and took a look around the people surrounding me. They came from various walks of life that range from students, working adults to senior citizens. As I looked upon, I suddenly sensed an urge to serve my country and protect these people. Maybe, it’s because I was the only one in military uniform but for unknown reasons, I felt a sense of duty as a soldier or even as a future officer to defend my country.

This is where I was born and brought up. My roots and love ones are here. To certain extend, it may be tempting to migrate elsewhere for a better career or lifestyle but this is where I truly belong. It is my homeland and where all my friends and wonderful memories resides.

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Gone training

Starting tomorrow, I’ll be officially enlisted as a full time National Servicemen. It has been slight more than a month since I’ve returned from my internship program in the United States and I definitely miss life there! I’ll be away for Physical Training in Pulau Tekong* for 3 weeks since I did not take my Physical Test as I was in the states. Then after, it’ll be 9 weeks of Basic Military Training.

During this period, I’ll have no internet access! This means I will not be able to check my emails, launch my favorite newsreader to catch up with the latest news from the IT scene or even post an entry here (actually, I have not been posting much). I wonder what life is going to be like without computers for two weeks. I suppose I’ll be terribly lagged behind the technology scene when I return after 2 weeks of confinement.

On the brighter side, I guess this will be a good experience to learn about military life and to motivate me to exercise! After all, god knows how many times I have actually put on my track shoes and go jogging since I returned from America.

Till then, cya’ and check back in 2 weeks time.

*Pulau Tekong is an island outside mainland Singapore. The island is used mainly for military training.

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