Category Archives: Nations

Day 14: Rain

It rained for the first time since I came to the US. It was bitterly cold outside, and I could feel my hair turning to ice while waiting for a cab outside the hotel. Reminded me of how it was like when I was in UIUC 2 years ago, when the wind seemed to be whipping the skin off my face.

Our solution was to get ourselves some spicy Indian food. We had originally wanted to go to this vegetarian restaurant called Nirvana, but it was closed on Sundays. Fortunately, we found another Indian restaurant (through the yellow pages, very very luckily) just 2 blocks down, called Bombay Palace. The had a buffet special on weekends, although it was only like 7 dishes. They were average, all probably Americanized to make sure it wasn’t too spicy for their caucasian clientele.

We went over to Pentagon City to take a walk, mostly at Borders, and subsequently proceeded to Chinatown (again, in search of soup). This time, we stopped at Le Garden, a reasonably big restaurant (certainly bigger than any Asian place we’ve been to). The food was somewhat disappointing though. The hot and sour soup was neither, the dumplings were too thick to chew through, but the string beans were acceptable. Interestingly, at a table next to ours, this American woman complained to the waitress that her wontons were not hot enough. The waitress mistook that to mean they weren’t spicy enough, until she told the linguistically-challenged one that it was cold, like taken out from the fridge. Certainly made me very glad I didn’t order the wontons.

By evening time, temperatures have reached freezing point. Seemed really meaningless to go out in search of food when it was this cold, so I used this delivery service found on the web. Had originally looked forward to some nice tom yam soup from Bangkok One, but 2 hours after I placed the order, I called to check the status of my order, and to my horror was told they had no record of anyone taking the order. Somehow, this must mean I imagined the conversation right? After all, how else could I have given the item numbers found on the menu, and heard the telephone person match it EXACTLY with the item name? And tell me important details such as “your food will be delivered in 1 hour and 15 mins” and “the total will be $39.46, and this does not include the tip for the rider”. Furthermore, I discovered this morning (Monday, Apr 12) that the hotel bill listed TWO phone calls to the delivery service place –> indicating that I must have called twice, once to order, and the second time to check its status. Freaking hell.

Day 1: China Airlines

New blog for new phase of my life – now on holiday in Lonoke, Arkansas.

Day 2 of my trip to the US. Apparently I woke up too early and woke Randall up, but I actually just wanted to check my mail (and the time) and head back to bed. Wasn’t as tired as I expected to be – the 22 hours of flying had not killed me yet, although I was terribly naseous by the time I disembarked at Little Rock.

Anyway, this particular entry is a rant against China Airlines. I will probably never on free will take another flight with China Airlines ever again. It was certainly true that one gets exactly what one pays for, in my case, poor service, lousy food, and cramped conditions on a Third World ticket.

1) There was little service to speak of. Sure, they brought me my food on time, but the stewardesses never once asked me whether I wanted more drinks (simple Chinese tea, not even beer or wine) on my 12-hour flight to LA. They couldn’t even find the runaway shoe of the passenger seated behind me – it was later found by another passenger 2 rows in front.

2) The food was abysmal. I mistakenly requested for vegetarian food, thinking that they might actually be a little for careful preparing it since there would only be a handful of vegetarians. But I had 3 potato nuggets with stewed broccoli and cauliflowers for lunch, rice with more steamed veges for dinner, and very oily fried noodles with shrunked kailan for breakfast the next day. And I didn’t even get a comforting cake for desert that regular patrons had – instead I was given a few grapes (with seeds!)

3) The conditions were demoralizing, to say the least. I mean, the lack of leg room aside, there was no individual console to watch movies on that even ANA provided the last time I flew to Chicago THREE years ago. The toilets had few amenities to speak of, no toothbrushes, shavers, or combs. Even the hand moisturizer smells like the stuff one washes toilet bowls with. Yucks.

As I later reminded myself when I landed, I wasn’t even sure I was going to reach the US in one piece, which I thankfully did. So, before the heavens decide to take revenge on me for my incessant complaining, I should count my blessings that I am at least able to enjoy 3 weeks of fun before I try to return to Singapore on China Airlines again.

Andrew Phang SC

I had a class with this guy at NUS, nifty he’s advanced so …“Then it was into the City Hall Chamber where two academics were appointed to the ranks of senior counsel – Singapore’s equivalent of the Queen’s counsel.

They are Professor Andrew Phang from the Singapore Management University and Professor Tan Cheng Han, the Dean of the Law Faculty at the National University of Singapore.

Singapore now has 37 senior counsel.

While they represent the best the legal profession here has to offer, the Chief Justice was more concerned with several black sheep.”