Wednesday, 30 November 2011

I wanted to kill something

After all my positive blogs, I believe I am officially entitled to some major whining. Not everything went according to plan over the last 2 weeks.

Whining episode 1
For instance, the harddisk of my one week old computer crashed some two weeks ago. In a modern, network connected environment, this is usually not such a big problem. It would be repaired, and the data restored. I got a replacement laptop, which however crashed three days later during my trip to Indonesia. So.. I had to wait from my other laptop. Fortunately, after every ten days, we get an automated message to back up the data. But wait: ten days... what happens before that? EXACTLY! It was then that I found out that a starting backup had never been made. A back-up of my data that go back some 10 years in history. Yes, I should have asked! The last resort was retrieving my data from the old laptop that was sent back to NL. After enquiry, we found out that fortunately it was not reformatted yet, so they sent the data on DVD by regular mail. This never arrived in Singapore. Then it was sent by courier. This did arrive, today. Only with the wrong data, so we are still trying to find out if my data are still existing somewhere.

Whining episode 2
Of course, there will be a blog soon with photos from my new apartment, furnished, shiny, tidy. But not now.
I moved a week ago on Monday; the movers brought my stuff in, which had come from overseas. At 4pm I had to kick them out to catch my flight to Indonesia. Arriving back home Thursday night, boxes piled up to the ceiling, I ws not able to find anything! I got some things unpacked over the weekend, but it is still a mess!!! I wore my last ironed shirt today, so I cannot go to bed today before having finished my quest for a clothes iron. The iron board was, by its size, easy to find.

Whining episode 3
So yesterday evening I had prepared to unpack. But then, as I wanted to go home, I found out I lost my wallet, probably in the taxi, with all my bank cards, credit card, working permit, public transportation chip card, sailing club membership card... I reported it over the phone at the taxi company, who told me to report it to the police as well. The police told me to file it online. The bad news: I had no internet. The good news: the mechanic was due to arrive at 8 for installation of wifi! This, surprisingly went flawless! So I filed the police report (1.5 hrs, this could be Whining episode 4). Then I had 30 mins left to do some shopping for food before my 10pm telephone conference. As I opened the door, my door lock jammed, and there was no way I could lock it again. It was at that point, that I wanted to kill something and throw things against other things with the full intention to break them. Fortunately, I do not seem to have any neighbours that understand Dutch.
Anyway, in the store, while choosing my sushi (and sake, I really deserved it) I phoned the land lady, who showed up with a locksmith at 10:30 pm, as I was doing the phone conference. It is fixed now.

Today, the taxi company called, they had found my wallet. Everything was still in it.

End of whining.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Let me introduce you to my new pet

Let me introduce you to my new pet: he is white, fluffy, furry, lively... he grows like crazy since I first got him. He thrives on warm, humid weather. Just like me in fact. At first kind of cute, the way he attacked my shoes. But then as he grew bigger, he started to become interested in other things: wallets, bags, even the walls...His name is: MOULD!!! I thought of calling him Mouldy, like a term of endearment, ("Where's my little Mouldy?") but then I decided he is not so dear to me after all. He is growing more powerful as I write. He is creeping up on me like a heinous creature of the dark. Soon I will be nothing but a substrate of his greediness.

The picture I added shows a part of a late suit, god have his soul. I know he fought bravely.

Tomorrow I will get the keys of my new apartment. Maybe a dehumidifier will be a good investment.

Friday, 11 November 2011

I realize that beside being his friend, I am also his key account

Mark picks me up everyday at 8:00 am. Mark is 'my' taxi driver. The first time that I prebooked a taxi in the morning, he happened to be the one to pick me up. Soon he asked the question: do you need another pick up tomorrow? This triggered the current daily routine. I am learning a lot about Singapore from him. He also offers me to help with internet/phones (his sun-in-law works in a phone store), with moving (he can borrow a van), tourist info (of course, he is a taxi driver) and with female company (he partly owns a little night club). Also, he often brings me food in the morning: all kinds of local noodle dishes, plus local soy drinks, coffee (with condensed milk), tea or even a blend of the latter two. This coffee + tea blend is called yuan yang and this, contrary to the average Westerner's expectations, turns out to be a very pleasant drink!
My attempts to pay for all this, including 'hidden moves' like giving high tips, all fail. "You are my friend, it is my pleasure" I feel somewhat awkward, because I know the taxi drivers do not make a lot of money. And I realize that beside being his friend, I am also his key account. So I just stay loyal to him to return the favour. Mark understands the concept of customer relationship building.

Mark has some flaws though... one of them is being impatient in traffic. OK, this may apply to all taxi drivers around the world. But his main complaint is that drivers in the fast lane are too slow. Tailgating is his usual move to get them out of the way. Two weeks ago however, he was doing 150 km/h (90 allowed) in the middle of the night, as asked by an asthmatic passenger who needed his medicine (as Mark all explained). Mark tailgated another car away from the fast lane, after which a lively exchange of improper gestures and angry faces followed. The tailgatee then decided to get back at the tailgaiter by sending an angry email to the taxi company, who in return decided to end the contract with Mark. He showed me the letter. Apparently there had been another complaint against him, some two years ago. "You do not comply with the service standards of our company" etc. He will lose the taxi by next week. Mark tells me it is no problem, he will get another car.

I am sure he will manage, one way or the other.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Arguably the easiest job in the world

I always wonder what the job skills are for a weather men in Singapore. And I know I am not the only one. I guess the job description should look a bit like this:

Education: Junior highschool or equivalent.
Skills: Comfortable in coping with recurring patterns
Proven track record of copy-and-paste skills

Yes, this is arguably the easiest job in the world; take a look at the forecasts underneath! OK, maybe I am underestimating it, as on Monday and Tuesday, the minimum temperature is actually 26° instead of 25°. Fact of the matter is, the weather is pretty much similar all year round, the difference being merely some 2-3 degrees warmer in June and July, and more rain from Oct through Dec.

Many find this weather too hot... I actually enjoy it! And yes, that is probably one of the reasons why I am living here now. Especially the evenings are very comfortable; You can always sit outside for dinner/drinks without having to put on a sweater, shawl, coat...Having said that, I do wear sweaters here, but that is mostly inside, where the air-conditioner temperature is often set at temperatures that would made me call the central heating repair man back in the Netherlands! Nineteen degrees (measured) just does not do it for me, especially not if you are dressed the normal weekend Singapore dress code: shorts, flip-flops, t-shirt.

But at least I did not bring my fleece sweater for nothing.

Weather Forecast Singapore
weather forecast for Saturday is Thunder Storms Thunder StormsMax: 31°C
Min: 25°C
weather forecast for Sunday is Thunder Storms Thunder StormsMax: 31°C
Min: 25°C
weather forecast for Monday is Thunder Storms Thunder StormsMax: 31°C
Min: 26°C
weather forecast for Tuesday is Thunder Storms Thunder StormsMax: 31°C
Min: 26°C
weather forecast for Wednesday is Thunder Storms Thunder StormsMax: 31°C
Min: 25°C