Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

The Perils Of Air Travel

I feel we take air travel for granted. We get into this great big bird either of Boeing or AirBus make or model and get from point A to point B.

As a commercial passenger, I only fly full fare and this means no Budget Air.

Not because I am a snob but because of my spinal implants and health issues, I cannot be lugging my own bag like a back backer nor be crammed in a seat that is smaller than the normal cattle class. LOL!

I do admire those people who gamely fly budget air and there is no lack of brands like Scoot, Jet Air, Air Asia, Silk Air etc. So cheap is the common exclamation!! SGD48 can get you to Perth before taxes.

No inflight service and I am unsure if the plane is even maintained properly is my view. There is no FREE Lunch says Adam Smith, as cost must come from somewhere and it has to be addressed, I feel!

Plus no free drinks, free food and I do not even mean alcoholic beverages as all I do need is a hot cuppa tea or a bottle of drinking water to hydrate.

My Nephew returned from a flight from SIN to Hanoi and he complained bitterly on code share airlines and that though his parents paid full fare for him to fly SQ or Singapore Airlines, they “cheated” and he ended up on code share Silk Air, poor cousin of SQ.

” My seat did not have a TV and the common one in the aisle had no sound from my headsets – basically broken”

Thankfully the flight he took on return was on SQ. The TV was on the back of the seat in front of him.

I reflected. This happened last evening when I picked him up from Changi T2 yesterday, where the commotion and tension was running high for the bereaved families of the missing Air Asia flight.

This was over and on top of Bird’s messages to me that she was fighting tooth and nail with the help line for Air Asia for her missing Batik Bag with belongings of hers. I told her Air Asia had a bigger fish to fry now as they are managing the loss of 157 persons and 7 crew on board the ill fated flight from Surabaya to SIN.

Yes, we all take air travel for granted. We board a plane, we disembark on reaching our destination. Most of us ignore the Emergency briefing video or “live” demos by the cabin crew.

I was often told my the Rig Manager on board Jack Up rigs, Semis or Deep Drill ships that the oil rig is safer than we think. Safety ranks high as it sits out in the open sea, drilling for oil.

I have been on board a rig and must admit that it is a sophisticated piece of USD150 billion equipment, or more depending on the type of rig. Tenders and Jack Ups drill in shallower waters and tend to be cheaper than Semis or Deep Drill ships.

There is lesser opportunity for survivors on an air craft. Flying up above in the skies, there is little opportunity to survive when compared to a rig in the open sea. Unless of course, there is a major blow up.

Losing anyone is terrible. But the fact of not knowing if the airplane landed safely or crashed or is missing at large can be a worrying time for the affected families.

Tonight my sister and her family returns to Kiwi Land. Like any traveler, we can only entrust faith in the well maintained aircraft, good weather for flying and a good pilot, co pilot and his team with no terrorist background, full sanity and good heartedness to bring the plane with all passengers on board safely home.

I will anxiously await my sister’s what’s app when she reaches Kiwi Land so that I would know she has reached home safely!


Bird’s Saga With Air Asia Continues

Whilst Bird arrived in Singapore, her luggage which is a brand new batik bag is “her missing aircraft”.

We suspect “foul” play of the most vile kind – potentially possibly “premeditated theft” based on statement by Bird as she exchanged with check in officer of the airline.

Inspector Clouseau asked Bird.

“Why did you go on board if the officer did not tag your luggage?”

“Aren’t you aware that civil aviation laws disallow untagged luggage on board flights?”

Bird was nonplussed. Her Birdie brain believed the officer saying the bag would be tagged. Officer assured her “your bag will arrive safely, board plane”

Inspector Clouseau added after hearing her reply! ” Trust….you meant the officer of Air Asia said to TRUST him and that the luggage was assured to you that it will arrive safely?!”

No baggage stub for you to hold….hmm…so much in TRUST for Air Asia officer….facts speak for itself, bag missing. Bird Bird….wake up & smell the coffee!!

Good news is Bird is not on that missing Air Asia flight. She is alive and well. Batik bag is M.I.A.

Small consolation as Bird is alive which is precious.

But it left food for thought to me. It is scary that the budget airline did not adhere to rules of civil aviation as the purpose of tagging luggage was to ensure no bombs get checked into the belly of air craft.

In this case, the officer was not daft to see it was a brand new bag and it contained camera, all her prized goodies bought from Bali.

I told Bird you will not see that bag nor its contents. It is stolen. File a claim and be grateful you are ALIVE!

As for that officer, hopefully the law will catch up with him. Stealing is not right and cannot be condoned by any airlines.

Hopefully Air Asia will convince the officer to return the bag such that it is “found” & teturned to Bird, its rightful owner! 🙂

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Air Asia Plane Lost From Surabaya To SIN

My heart skipped a beat when the radio reported that an Air Asia flight from Surayaba enroute to Singapore has “lost” contact after asking for a deviated flight path!

My first instinct was Bird. She was due home this morning and I did not know which airport she was hubbing out of as all I knew was she is on an Air Asia flight!

I sent a Whats App message to Bird.

As soon as the two ticks appeared to signify sent and read, I breathed. When I saw the words typing…I heaved a sigh of relieve after reading her message that she had just safely touched down at Changi!

Her Birdie reply was no wonder her mum was frantic when she called to let her know she was back.

Bird then said she felt lucky….but her baggage went missing!

Fraility of life was what raced through my head.

If indeed Bird was lost in that fatal
flight…she apped me her reply, “died and join the birds in the sky!”

Well Bird….I would be sad to lose you if you perished like a roasted bird….but for now you will live to be 150 years old as per your wish….a Birdie Old Hag 😀

My personal best wishes to the passengers on that missing Air Asia flight and that hopefully they managed to land safely somewhere and that it has not crashed.

3 days before New Year’s and it had to happen to the affected families. Very very sad ;-(

I pray for safe return of this Air Asia flight!


Sunday……3 Days Before New Year 2015!

My little red dot celebrates SG50 on 1 January 2015.

SG50 is coined to celebrate Singapore’s 50th year of independence. Yup, as an island state we are rather “young” when compared to the delicately aged USA! We gained independence from the British Crown Colony on 9 August 1965.

I find it odd that they use SG to denote Singapore as we have always been know as “SIN” heh heh…we are all living in SIN and probably SINNERS and this could be why when the great marketers of our 50th anniversary decided that SIN will not sell to tourists and homeland people! 😀

SIN as in our flights to and out of Singapore is noted by aviators. Our national carrier is SQ or Singapore Airlines – superb inflight stewardesses decked out in their unique Pierre Balmain Sarong Kebaya that is iconic and uniquely SIN.

But those slender ladies take great effort at staying slim and to be able to squeeze into that tight fit of a Sarong Kebaya! Else, I was told, they will be grounded and not allowed to fly!

So, it seems that babies born in this year, 2015, will be given specially designed birth certificates, goody bags, scholarships or bursaries for education and a whole host of other goodies! Lucky them!

Aah, but there is a marketing ploy to all this – to ENCOURAGE baby births as our population is not replicating fast enough. It seems that we ain’t rabbits but stubborn minded humans who know the cost of having children is a life long burden. So much for the Gen X, Gen Y and Gen Z culture. ME before all else.

I ain’t complaining as I am one of those singletons who do not believe in children. Most of them I have seen are spoilt rotten and if they are adults, they are equally selfish to disregard their elderly parents. One reason why I serve as a volunteer for seniors. UGH! Painful to see the elders neglected really.

Apparently the TV stations are also joining in on the bandwagon. They have what they call “Local Upsize” – conveniently learnt from MacDonald’s or is it Burger King, everything must be UPSIZED!

I call it stinging on producing local sitcoms and soaps, saving on paying Korea for soaps for Hollywood for my sitcoms! Sad and huge sighs as we are quite deprived of foreign productions. What we have is repeats from yesteryears and if they feel generous, they will throw us a goodie of a film along the way.

I do not subscribe to cable and watch free to air TV as most times slaving as minion and so that daily 1 hour dose of TV or 3 hours dose of weekend K Pop soap suffices.

We have little acting talent I must say. The English channels are quite “dry” when compared to the Chinese channel and so, I tend to use the Chinese channel a lot more to brush up on Chinese and be entertained.

Well, we shall see what SG50 brings in 3 days….Until then, this roving reporter from blogosphere signs off on this topic, only to return and blog to the world on how my little red dot celebrates with countdown parties across the island and people drinking like sots! 😀

Hopefully these sots return home safely and do not drink and drive!

Wishing all an early Happy New Year 2015 and may 2015 bless us all with good health, great jobs, happiness, peace and joy.

P.S. I cannot ask for world peace as it would be so cliche sounding like Sandra Bullock in the movie where she is an undercover cop posing as a beauty queen contestant, saying ” world peace” as her wish!


Weird Habits That Can Be Amusing

I admit I have weird habits or I tend to call them hang ups.

So, I like observing others to see or catch their weird habits and then, I feel less weird or feel “normal” LOL!

I like buying fresh loaves from bread and upon reaching home, I would plonk them in the freezer.

People call me weird as bread can be bought daily and expiry is usually 5 days. Still, I feel with the muggy humid weather, best kept in the freezer, frozen fresh 😀

But when I lived in America and even in the dead of winter, I still plonk my breads in the freezer. My housemate called me weird!

Today my German bro in law is worst or weirder. He bought two fresh chocolate covered doughnuts and plonked them in the fridge. I don’t do this for doughnuts as these are best eaten at room temperature. HA! Someone else is weirder than me! I like! 😀

I love chillis and must have chilli with each meal.

Today at dinner with family, my German bro in law scooped two Chinese soup tablespoons (bigger amounts than regular tablespoons) of chilli paste sauce for roast meats and mixed it with basmati rice. HA! He upped the ante for me! I was elated 😀

Tomorrow Nephew returns from Hanoi and the entire family will return to Kiwi Land on Monday.

I will be sad as I cannot have new thoughts on blog ideas from the antics of my nephew or German bro in law.

I am not being mean here….but they do indeed give me great humorous ideas to blog about and keep me fairly entertained 😀


Tonight’s Humor

Today’s update from Bird in Bali was a scream.

First she tells me that the bus driver thinks she is a “pretty boy” and keeps calling her “Sir”.

I keep reminding her to heave her bosoms in his face so that her gender is explicitly clear.

Instead she replies me via Whats App that even her mum’s frustrated with her as “she is looking like a tom boy” and with an LOL!

Bird is good natured I guess.

Next she tells me that a man on the street approached her and asked if she would like to buy a drug called “mushroom”.

Indignant she text me to say, “HA! I am now mistaken as a drug addict! Oh Man!!”

I laughed and told her via return text, more like a drug lord than an addict since you are a pretty boy!”

Bird brings me delightful humor each time.

What a nice way to end the evening….with a laugh! 😀


Why I Love Indian Foods

For the life of me, I always get confused between Northern and Southern Indian Foods.

But what I do know is that I love Curry Fish Head and this is terribly yummy with pappadams and rice with veggies.

The Banana Leaf Restaurant and Muthus are the places to go to for curry fish heads but I do not like the way they cook the veggies as it is so mashed up, unlike the fresh leafy standards I prefer.

Originally from them, the local Chinese have learnt to make their own version and these days, across from where I live, there is a mean fiery Curry Fish head Restaurant that I love to eat at.

The local version is cooked in nonya style curry with coconut, mixed with yams, tomatoes, okra (ladies fingers), brinjals or aubergines that adds to the flavours.

Another great simple Indian food is Roti Prata, made like unleavened bread. I go to Mr Prata for this dish. Thanks to the expat communities residing in our Little Red Dot, they have created onion prata, mushroom prata, cheese, chocolate, ice cream, pizza – you dream it, they can make it!

I prefer the old fashioned original version – plain with curry. You can buy this dish cheaply at Hawker stalls selling this at SG0.90 cents a serving. It comes with Fish, Vegeterian or Mutton/Beef curry gravy.

I sometimes binge and have an added chicken drum stick with it though I am not supposed to eat chicken!

Plain Roti Prata Served With Curry & A Chicken Drum Stick

Plain Roti Prata Served With Curry & A Chicken Drum Stick

The other type of indian foods are Chicken Masala, Chicken Tikka or Naan breads (quite like wraps, no oil). My ex boyfriend loved Indian foods too and he used to take me to Rang Mahal, Song of India and another restaurant near the old Somerset conserved shophouses.

Still, cannot figure which is Northern Indian (maybe it is the Tikkas, Masalas) and Southern Indian food are the curries, vegetarian dishes served by Komala Villas in Little India perhaps?

However, I do not like any of the Indian sweets as they are literally a tad too sweet. Eg their yoghurts or kulfis or anything that is listed under desserts!

But Rang Mahal and Song of India has a nice box of condiments that is served after tea with Chai or tea. I suppose this is Northern Indian style perhaps?

Whatever it is, don’t even begin to count calories as each of these dishes must be lethal – remember my old saying, whatever tastes good is bad for you!!! Whatever tastes bad is good for you!

Sigh….bland foods….salt free, sugar free…..healthy but tasteless! 😀


Today’s Weekend Hullabaloo…..

My day started early as my Nephew sent me a message via FB Messenger at 4.30am to tell his dear Yee Yee (ME) that he will be off to play paintball with his friends in Hanoi.

Paintball and he wakes me up for it! Awww Nephew, time difference!

You forgot! I am in my little red dot and you are in the land of the red star!

An hour behind and if he finds something interesting enough, he would get up for it else he would snooze through 50,000 alarm clocks and not wake even if the sun shone on this rear butt as we Chinese say! LOL!

Anyway, I replied for him to have fun with his friends.

It is nice to be a kid I think. To run around obstacle courses with guns that emit pellets of ink and if you are “shot”, then you are out! 😉

This game has not taken off quite well in my Little Red Dot. The only venue that hosts this is actually at the Grandstand, Turf City.

Largely attracting expat communities, I guess only their parents would allow them to be pelted with ink pellets.

To Singaporeans, I guess it is UGH! Laundry! We are a different breed as we relish in cleanliness and having kids all smothered in red ink would reek of germs, contaminants and what nots is not at all relished!

Yes, we are not that adventurous….though there is an 88 year old man who finished his 101 marathon!

Different strokes for different folks I guess but then again, there is land constraint in Singapore and racers have to drive to Sekupang driving circuit to rev their cars and reprise their personal roles as Van Diesel in Fast & Furious series.

I never can understand racing around a circuit. They call it doing laps! I think I will get dizzy going in circles and smelling fumes literally. I remember being given F1 tickets or Formula 1 Grand Prix. As I was important enough (though I dunno, “important” in what? LOL!) to be invited to the private box where people would jostle to be first in line for – free flow champagne, caviar and best foods! I gave it a miss as these things do not excite me!

Hmm, if there was an exhibition of my inanimate fur ball Garfield or if Jim Davis is personally appearing to draw toons of Garfield, I would whoop a doo and race to the front line 😀

The job scene is lean as I scoured through the job boards. Perhaps the seasonal festivities have not quite ended yet and people as staying put till they collect their year end bonuses to move. Well, little to do except keep trying.

How I wish I could afford to retire and be a life long student. I would relish on doing nothing but going for classes and sitting in front of a Professor and learning new nuggets of information.

Good news is I am not hacking up so much fur balls this morning *touch wood* – Coughing like a banshee is not fun and with the inhaler in use and other meds, I am hoping this ugly wicked cough migrates and find a new victim of sorts or just disappear! Now that is a wish…..

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I Dream A Dream….

Sorry folks to disappoint you….but I ain’t the great Martin Luther King but a loony  bin king ha ha with guffaws! 😀

I dream of owning and driving a Maserati. But…..I cannot handle stick shifts nor hand gears. I am one of those idiot drivers who only drives automatic cars and can only reverse park. My paddle hand gears for extra torque in my car are virginal 😉

Besides with 10 screws in my spine, the suspension for my imaginary maserati will never be comfortable for me! LOL!

I dream of finding or working for a boss with the kindest heart. A boss whose corporate social responsibility program begins from his or her heart and that each staff is a human & not a digit! This is an impossible dream.

I dream of being a role model and helping society at large, with financial capabilities to help the less endowed and educating them with life skills. Sadly, I am not a tycoon. Nor am I a philantrophist! Sigh! I can only do what little I can! ;-(

I dream of designing great architectural beauties that are oohed and aahed the world over. Unfortunately, I cannot even draw a straight line LOL!

These as basically just dreams….as if in arid sands of Gobi Desert and seeing a mirage and after tanking up at an oasis, realising it does not exist.

Still, I can dream from my sofa I guess 😀


Christmas Is All About Food Really & At SG$20 A Head, It’s A Steal!

Bird in Bali land was sending me photos real time as she chomped down on her Christmas meal.

SG$20 Where in the world in Singapore can we have 4 delicious courses of food she text me!

The setting was pretty as shown.


No hints of Indonesian heritage as the table setting befitted the Italian meal served.


Extravagant Menu


Soup Presented Like An Art Piece


Pasta As Main


Bird Eating Fowl Ha! Ha! - Chicken As Main Course


Dessert To Finish Up

Bird ate at The Portabella and showed me her colorful mint drink.


Cocktails Are Getting Prettier Sans Alcohol

Seriously at SGD20 a head for the 4 meal course was a steal!

Indeed value for money I told Bird as she is indeed enjoying her Bali holiday