mardi, février 26, 2008

Waiting for the King's Bounty

I like to play games. There were a few computer games that I really enjoyed. I loved playing WORMS 2 with my brother. It was so cute trying to kill each other with bazooka, homing pigeon, napalm strike, baseball bat, shotgun, handgun, punch etc.... Yeah, I said CUTE. You really must play it to understand it.

I liked building with SIM tower. I preferred that to SIM city. Recently, I was addicted to Mario Galaxy and had finally rescued Princess Peach with my WII console. With great graphics, Seb had managed to convince me to change our TV set to a flat screen one.

Yet, my all time favourite game is the DOS based King's Bounty (see picture above). I guess it was more for nostalgic seek but I do really enjoy this simple graphics game. From time to time, I would start a game of King's Bounty. Seb would be puzzled. He would recommend me to get new games. But no, I just like it. A new 3-D King's Bounty is going to be in the market soon. I really look forward to getting it. But nothing will replace the original one.

mardi, février 19, 2008

Maid to order

The other day, I was explaining to my colleagues about the family nucleus in Singapore. In an ideal singaporean family, there is a young married couple with a kid and a house maid. Usually they would be staying near one of their parents.

I started explaining the unique situation of having a house maid even for the middle income family. The maid's salary was low and these young girls from under developed countries were often greeted with culture shock. There were cases of girls falling down from high rise buildings while hanging out the clothes or cleaning the windows. I remembered my granny's maid asking for wood to start a cooking fire the first day she arrived. In the newspaper, we read about maids being abused and also abusing maids.

Out of curiosity, I started to search for the low wages of the maids and I found this interesting paper written about the work condition of maids in Singapore. I think the study was rather one sided as it highlighted only extreme cases. I know of a few maids who were really happy working for my friends and my relatives and were treated like a family member. However, as the title said "Workplace Abuses in Singapore", what else can you expect from this report. Read more in:

It is really long but worth reading. It highlighted the working condition and missing labour laws to protect these maids. With no off day for Indonesian maids, with no fix working hours, with no min wages, some maids entered into salvery without leaving the house, without having enough sleep, without being paid. Really sad stories really happening in Singapore.

jeudi, février 14, 2008

Fitness Center

I joined a fitness center recently. I never like the idea of running on a threadmill nor having to follow the steps of an aerobics coach. However, I no longer joined the badminton club and I had been too lazy to go swim. With age catching up, I felt weak and lethagic.

A few months ago, a fitness center for ladies-only opened just two blocks from my office. A few of us went on a free trial session and we were satisfied. Now on every tuesday and thursday, my three colleagues and I would head down to the fitness center for 30 minutes of exercise.

In the fitness center, there were a spa machine, a suntan bed and the usual fitness equipements. There was also a TV room where we could do stretching, aerobics etc following a video. What interested us was the coaching class. Each day, there was a different theme. It could be toning, silhouette, slimming etc. We had a pretty coach and during 30 mins, we would be working out on different equipements. Every 1 min, we would change equipement. The coach was not demanding but encouraging. She guided us to tuck in our tummy and reminded us to breathe. She showed us how best to operate an equipement. It was never boring as the music and sequence of workout changed often.

We had been regulars since a month. Each time we did the chest theme, our arms and underarms would be aching the next day. I like this fitness center as it catered only to ladies. I noticed a number of Muslims women in the center.

My goal is to be able to carry the grocery bags packed with milk, juices and fruits.

mercredi, février 06, 2008

Chinese New Year

Today is Chinese New Year's eve. This is the year of the Rat.
I am in office working. Seb will be back from Spain tonight and we shall have a simple dinner togather.
On Sunday, we went to Chinatown and it was jammed pack with cars and asians. We were desperate to get out of Tang Féres. There was hardly space to manoeuver the trolley. I grabbed the essentials while Seb joined the parking queue.
These were what I bought from Chinatown.

I wish everyone a prosperous chinese new year. Got to get back to work.