Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Groupon Experience - Continued

This is a follow-up post to my previous blog entry on my Groupon experience.  Luckily, all woes with Groupon had come to a more pleasant end.

For my golf course Groupon, the service provider managed to find me a class that I can attend and I had happily attended my first lesson last Saturday.  Well, the Groupon didn't state very clearly the hidden charges, which is you must pay for the golf balls that you hit at the prevailing price of 8 cents/ball.  The Groupon only covers that coaching fee which is S$18/hour.  Anyway, I am happy.

For the Japanese language class, it was a disappointment.  The service provider didn't seem to be interested in those Groupon students.  However, I managed to get a full refund.  The money is credited back to my Groupon account, so that means I still need to spend that amount of money with Groupon.  It is not the best solution, but it is not the worst.

In the future, I will probably just get some deals which is small in total amount, and short in duration.  Or just for some small little goods.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

JooMak Korean Restaurant

The location of this Korean Restaurant is a bit odd.  It is on the 4th floor of Beauty World Plaza, which you reach directly across the pedestrian overhead bridge.  Neighbouring this restaurant, there are two other Korean eateries.  It seems like it is a local haunt for the Koreans.  Directly outside the restaurant, it is a hawker center like eating place, I can't really tell whether it is a hawker center or a wet market.  Anyway, strange place.  We arrived just after a heavy down pour, the sky was dark, the air was chilling, I really wanted to get some warmth in this small little eating place.

The deco inside is amateurish to the best.  On one side of the wall, there is a mural depicting the ancient Korean life.

On the other side of the wall, the Korean character system was used as the wall paper, on top of it, lots of Korean Pop posters, photos, etc.  It is an odd blend of ancient and modern, old and new fashion.

They are quite generous with their side dishes.  Take a look, there were twelve different types!  I like those Korean side dishes a lot.  They are appetizing, but will not make you fill full.

I ordered the Ginseng Chicken, one of the most famous Korean dish.  I was given a whole chicken, with rice stuffed inside the chicken.  The soup has a slight taste of Ginseng only, but the chicken itself at least is tender.

My friend ordered the pancake.  Pancake?  I was surprised to know it is actually a Korean dish.  I have never seen this before in Korea.  The taste?  Like pancake.  It is fried egg with sotong stuffed inside.  If you like fried egg, you won't complain too much about it.

The patrons to this restaurant are mostly Koreans, so it must be one of the famous place to go for those who miss their food in their home country.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Farewell, My Dear Friend TS

The wife of one of my ex-colleagues put up a shocking facebook update today, announcing her beloved husband had bid farewell to this beautiful world, and ascended to a higher, more beautiful, more happy world which we are unknown to all this world's living beings.

Her husband and I worked together on some past projects and we were a good team.  I witnessed him and his wife to go from colleagues to happy husband and wife, to the arrival of their lovely daughter.  His cheerfulness and his quiet personality both left such lasting impression on me.

RIP, my dear friend!

Climb Asia - My First Rock Climbing Experience

Bought the Beginner's Climbing Course voucher from Groupon.sg at the price of S$38 some months ago.  This deal must be very popular, as I had to wait for almost 3 months before I got my chance to get into a class.  And the class started on last Sunday.

Climb Asia is located at the Civil Service Club near Farrar Park MRT station, it is just a 5-min walk from the station, so it is really convenient.

When I arrived, some people were already busy climbing on the walls.  I heard that they were in the instructor's course.  Oh my, they are the gurus.

Anyway, our instructor was Michelle, a very cheerful young lady.  We were supposed to have a total of 11 students in the class, but only 6 turned up.  Out of the 6, 5 were ladies, I had the honour to be the one and only guy in the class.  And we had really young ladies in the class, I mean so young that they needed their parent's consent for taking up this class.  Young they were, they were not to be sneezed at.  4 of them already got the level 1 certification.  I was the only blur sotong :P

We started first with bouldering.  We learnt to climb a low wall, without the need for any ropes.  Down on the floor, there was a thick layer of cushion to soften your fall.  Michelle taught us some basic techniques, pointed out some common mistakes the beginners made.  It was really fun.

Then we went out to challenge the 'wall'.  You can see how high it is in the picture above.  I gave two tries.  Nice, but as I am still a beginner, not really mastering the basic technique, so I ended up very exhausted.  My hands were trembling a bit, a sign that I was not doing the right thing.

Well, it was really a very fun and pleasant experience.  As anything in life, there is always a way to do it right, and speeds up your progress.  There is always something for you to learn.  Nice.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Groupon Experience

Groupon, the group purchase company, has been present in Singapore for quite a while.  I was quite happy to see all those wonderful deals when I first 'discovered' them.  I got my first golf experience, although on simulation, was brought to me by Groupon.  Then my first experience in pawn fishing, was also a Groupon experience.  I was pretty happy with my Groupon experience, until recently.

After my pleasant experiences with Groupon, I further purchased a deal at S$78 for a Japanese language course.  I checked their class schedule, plenty of classes available for you to choose.  I had the perception that maybe I could just join one of their classes.  However, later I found out that they group all those Groupon students in a separate class, and they only have one class available, and it is on a week day night, which I can't attend, due to my long hours of work.  The manager from the school advised me to get back to Groupon to get a refund, which I did.  I first sent them an email.  No reply in 7 days.  I gave them a call, they said they could direct my request to their refund department.  Now 5 days had passed, no news from them at all.

No upset by this first unpleasant experience, I went on to purchase a S$180 golf course for beginners.  This time I also checked their schedule.  Looks like easy to find a time slot for myself.  I bought it, and registered myself.  The school came back to say not confirm that one I choose will start.  I asked them for any alternative, they then went silent.  I hope this golf course will come out to be fine, if not, I think I will think thrice before I will make any further purchases from Groupon any more.  I don't want to make a fun event into a dragful, time and money wasting event.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Lost Symbol

Title: The Lost Symbol
Author: Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol is Dan Brown's latest installation of his Robert Langdon series of novels.  If you can remember, his previous two novels, Demons & Angels, The Da Vinci Code, are now motion pictures on the big screen.

In The Lost Symbol, Robert Langdon went from Europe to Washington D. C. in the United States, and started his adventure in the Capitol building.  Continuing his usual style of writing, Robert Langdon is again equiped with tons of knowledge of history, myths, and symbology.  The story is exciting, and there are quite a number of turns and twists.

However, this book is thicker than the previous, and the story sometimes drags a bit too long and bores the reader.

This book is a pretty good read at leisure.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

How to Get Rid of Ants, Naturally?

I left some food in the kitchen this morning, and it attracted an army of ants buzzing around the food item.  I didn't want to kill all the ants, as they are also living beings, nor did I want to leave the ants going around my kitchen like spoiled children.  What should I do?

It happened that I like garlic a lot and always have some garlic at home.  Just to try out my luck, I peeled a clove of garlic, then cut it into two halves to let the garlic smell to come out, then I dropped the garlic clove to the army of ants.  Guess what?  It was like throwing tear gas into a crowd, the ants dispersed and disappeared in a minute!

I was still wondering whether it was because of the smell of the garlic, or just because they were alerted by the disturbance.  I left the garlic clove in the kitchen for the rest of the day, and when I checked again in the evening, still there wasn't even a single ant in sight.

Next time, if you want to get rid of the ants in your house without killing them, try this trick!  :)

AEI - The IN Word

AEI, Asset Enhancement Initiative(?), seems to be the IN word these days.  Causeway point has been asset enhancement mode for more than a year, and it is still work in progress.  Suntec will start its AEI work soon, which is supposed to increase its attractiveness and asset value.

AEI is not only in Singapore shopping malls, but in Malaysia too.  Johor Bahru's City Square Mall, the most frequent shopping mall by Singaporeans, is also undergoing some AEI.

New malls are popping up everywhere, guess the competition is really fierce, and everybody needs to add some unique features, or contemporary elements to their existing assets.

Let's hope we will have a whole new breed of 'old' malls soon :)