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Culture Shock - Arriving in singapore

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the lynx
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Postby the lynx » Sat, 11 May 2013 8:27 am

zzm9980 wrote:
JR8 wrote:- No birds flying in the sky. Almost no birds at all. Just an occasional sparrow hopping for a dropped crumb around the pool-side.

Funny, I see so many outside my windows where I live. Come by East Coast Park. I'm a good five stories above the tree line, and I watch the birds a lot. The interesting thing is, it looks to me as an American (who may be loud but isn't obese!) that a local pet store had a fire and all of the pet birds escapes. The birds are all bright yellow, green, red, and various different colors. Sometimes they land on my aircon and make a lot of noise too.


Same. Around BV and HV, there is a reservoir of budgerigars and they are a lovely sight to watch (and to listen to) in the morning and also in the evening, just before the sun sets. Good thing they didn't cut down all of the big old trees around that area when they were developing the BV Circle Line and Biopolis/Rochester area. I believe these budgies have their nests all over these trees for ages.

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Postby Brah » Sat, 11 May 2013 9:26 am

zzm9980 wrote:I've also only been to Japan as a visitor, but I would say some of the Sushi I had in Vancouver was on par with what I had in Japan. It is possible that I only went to a so-so place in Japan. But Vancouver and Tokyo Sushi to me was 100x better than anything else I've had anywhere.

I haven't been to Vancouver yet, hope to some day. My opinion on this is, it comes down to 4 basics - ingredients, freshness, preparation and culture;

For ingredients, I would assume the seafood in Vancouver must be pretty good, and better than here, or I might be misleading myself about cold water fish being better than warm water fish, or at least in terms of sushi.

For preparation, while study they may with Japanese chefs, in Japan it's a lifetime profession and an honorable one, and while there will always be exceptions with non-Japanese sushi chefs being good, I'll get mine from a Japanese or not at all. According to Wikipedia Vancouver is ~30% Chinese and >2% Japanese so to odds of getting a Japanese chef is low (well, compared with Japan...).

At the risk of sounding like a sushi snob*, having the real thing by people from that culture and in its origin kinda kills it for anywhere else. Sushi is not an every day or every week kind of thing for most. In fact most people would only have it if it is very good and the place is reputable.

I feel the same way about Italian food. A place in our neighborhood had an Italian chef with local staff, and had the best pasta I've had here and some of the better though not best pizza I've had here; they did the usual get the foreign guy to train the local guy and fire the foreign guy-thing, and we went back a few times but the decline in quality (and vibe of the place) became enough that we won't go back.


*which I'm not, but it's something one has to be exposed to with frequency to fully appreciate the subtleties. Also I would only have it once every 2 months or so and usually only after a late night out (used to be a ritual to hit Bikkuri Sushi for a round of kaiten in Roppoingi around 3am) or after a surf session in a local seaside town, or lunch at a famous place in the Ginza area where the fish is fresh from nearby Tsukiji.

For culture, there is a vibe about being in a sushiya-san that I want when I have it. I've been to more than a few sushi restaurants in Singapore and there is no such vibe. And the freshness has always seemed comparatively dubious here. Anything less than ultra-fresh sushi is to be avoided at all costs - the Japanese get this, it's in their DNA; the Chinese, I'm not convinced....

...and then there is the issue of cleanliness......

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Postby Sergei82 » Sat, 11 May 2013 3:22 pm

JR8 wrote:- Many young women who look like men.

Those might have been men who resembled women.

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Postby JR8 » Sat, 11 May 2013 9:27 pm

-----
Brah:
Sort of. They only like look sorta like men.
So what is more weird - a woman who desperately tries but still does a poor job of looking like a man, and ends up looking like something that is neither, or, a normal looking woman that is a partner with that person - how does one define the attraction?
-----

JR8:
Well I think that requires one to understand the inner-psychology of homosexuality... so pass...


-----
JR8 previosly wrote:
Great value and range and quality of sushi etc!
Brah:
Could not disagree more. Sushi is everywhere here, and almost none of it is good, most of it drek, sorry, am probably just spoiled by the real thing, can't eat it here, nor can the better half.
-----


JR8: This seems to be a point you return to: Being unwilling to eat a cuisine apart from where it is at it's absolute best. The trouble is that were it a workable and common rule no-one would have decent sushi outside of Japan, Haut-cuisine outside of France, lobster vs New England, pasta outside of Italy and fish and chips outside of the north of England, etc *1000. I expect you've enjoyed many cuisines ouside of their home-turfs though, so I am surely misunderstanding you ...

------
JR8 previoslly wrote:
Loud obese Americans yelling at each other next to the pool.
Brah:
I guess I dig this one somewhat less.
-----


JR8:
Please don't get me wrong; I don't like Americans less for it - this is all about observing differences, rather than passing judgement. Americans have a commute-car culture, so walk/excersie less. They tend to work long hours, so do less home-cooked food, and more take-aways. They tend to be more vocal and rumbuctuos too. Add it all up...
Nothing wrong with that, in fact I rather enjoy it, just I have not witnessed it for several years, so it really struck me.

-----
Brah:
These are my experiences, there may be better ones from others, to me it's kinda like bagels - you can get them almost anywhere but they don't taste right from most places outside NY.
-----

JR8:
Ah so I was wrong to enjoy bagels in NJ. I should have only eaten and enjoyed them when I crossed the state-line into NY ah? ;)


------
ZZM:
I've been to Japan only as a tourist but undoubtedly what I had there was the best sushi ever, before and after and indeed it was like this every place we had it. In Singapore it is random at best and I have the impression it's getting worse. Hard, compacted rice (not fresh enough) is probably the most frequent failure.
-----


JR8: The hard rice 'loaves' are (at least in the UK, and here, to an extent in Sakae Sushi etc), because the rice is machine pressed, rather thsn hand-pressed.
The other thing to consider is that in JN sushi is usually (IME) made to order... they'll have display boxes of what you can get, but order one and it is freshly made to order. The rice has no chance to re-harden.


-----
JR8 wrote:
- Family groups in from Brunei. All over scarves with just eye-slits. Heavily made up eyes though! Loud perfume. High pitched squeaky gabbling voices as they proceed in a gaggle fussing over their brood.
ZZM:
How do you know they're from Brunei? Just curious. By the description if I saw that, I'd assume KSA or UAE.
------

JR8:
They spoke all Malay which tipped me off. The wife (native) confirmed it...

-----
JR8 wrote:
- Loud obese Americans yelling at each other next to the pool.
ZZM:
Ok Jeremy Clarkson. We get your point about American stereotypes.
-----

JR8: See my previous. And do note that I was married to a 'Merican, and worked Wall St for 15 years, so have some insight into the culture and so on. But more importantly these are 2c face-value instantaneous impressions.... not judgements. I'm really quite perplexed why they seem to ruffle feathers... and the willingnes to shoot the mere casual observer.

-------------
JR8 earlier wrote:
- No birds flying in the sky. Almost no birds at all. Just an occasional sparrow hopping for a dropped crumb around the pool-side.
ZZM:Funny, I see so many outside my windows where I live. Come by East Coast Park. I'm a good five stories above the tree line, and I watch the birds a lot. The interesting thing is, it looks to me as an American (who may be loud but isn't obese!) that a local pet store had a fire and all of the pet birds escapes. The birds are all bright yellow, green, red, and various different colors. Sometimes they land on my aircon and make a lot of noise too.
-------------

JR8: I know there are further out, But right now I'm in D9, and this is all that I see. It is far less than I used to in the equally central location of the major world city from where I have just moved [Hence my observation!].

-----
Brah: *which I'm not, but it's something one has to be exposed to with frequency to fully appreciate the subtleties. Also I would only have it once every 2 months or so and usually only after a late night out (used to be a ritual to hit Bikkuri Sushi for a round of kaiten in Roppoingi around 3am) or after a surf session in a local seaside town, or lunch at a famous place in the Ginza area where the fish is fresh from nearby Tsukiji.
-----

JR8:
Sushi, in Roppongi at 3am... eeeh, that can't have been very authentic. Surely it's Tokyo's Tsukuji fish market at 5am or nothing, you know, go to the mother-source or abstain altogether? ;)

-----
JR8 earlier wrote:
- Many young women who look like men.
Sergei:
Those might have been men who resembled women.
------

JR8:
It's pretty confusing. There appear to be a great number of homosexuals here... [just a first impression!]...

p.s. hey go easy on me peeps.... this took forever for me to type ok? :)

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Postby Brah » Sat, 11 May 2013 11:51 pm

JR8 wrote:-----
JR8 previosly wrote:
Great value and range and quality of sushi etc!
Brah:
Could not disagree more. Sushi is everywhere here, and almost none of it is good, most of it drek, sorry, am probably just spoiled by the real thing, can't eat it here, nor can the better half.
-----
JR8: This seems to be a point you return to: Being unwilling to eat a cuisine apart from where it is at it's absolute best.

Brah: Not really, and that would be kinda inconvenient. Especially for Middle Eastern and Indian food which I need in regular instances. It's just after having sushi more than a few times over the years in Singapore it's always been unpleasant on multiple levels. I think sushi is in its own category, but there are surely other examples.

-----
Brah: it's kinda like bagels - you can get them almost anywhere but they don't taste right from most places outside NY.
-----
JR8:
Ah so I was wrong to enjoy bagels in NJ. I should have only eaten and enjoyed them when I crossed the state-line into NY ah? ;)

Brah: Much of NJ & NY have the same water, so bagels are pretty good and pretty similar about anywhere in the tri-state area. Of course with so many bagel shops some are better than others.

-----
Brah: a late night out (used to be a ritual to hit Bikkuri Sushi for a round of kaiten in Roppoingi around 3am) or after a surf session in a local seaside town, or lunch at a famous place in the Ginza area where the fish is fresh from nearby Tsukiji.
-----
JR8:
Sushi, in Roppongi at 3am... eeeh, that can't have been very authentic.

Brah: It is/was as authentic as anywhere else in Tokyo, having said that kaiten shops are a known step down from proper sushiya-sans, more causal and generally cheaper.

JR8: Surely it's Tokyo's Tsukuji fish market at 5am or nothing, you know, go to the mother-source or abstain altogether? ;)

Brah: Nothing is better than Tsukiji when the freshly-caught stuff goes up for sale, but the stuff in Roppingi like just about anywhere else in Japan is pretty good.

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Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 12 May 2013 10:38 pm

Brah wrote:I haven't been to Vancouver yet, hope to some day. My opinion on this is, it comes down to 4 basics - ingredients, freshness, preparation and culture;


The fish is extremely fresh, and it probably helped that I had wild salmon which all pretty much comes from there. I'm told there is a big difference between the taste of fresh wild salmon and the "non-wild" (bred) salmon.

I'm not a sushi aficionado but I'm told numerous famous sushi chefs opened their own shops in Vancouver, which upped the 'game' for all of the sushi places in that city. Apparently the guy that 'invented' the California roll has his shop there. And yes, I know that's not real sushi, but still.
http://www.tojos.com/Bio___Awards.html

[quote]
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Postby Hannieroo » Sun, 12 May 2013 11:55 pm

I don't think there are more gays here than anywhere but there is a lot of androgynous fashion. There was in the UK. It's part of the whole emo thing.

I'd love no birds, I keep getting them in my kitchen.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 13 May 2013 8:53 am

Be thankful that you don't live on old Thompson Road along the MacRitchie Reservoir. Those birds would be monkeys instead, and those monkeys are a real nuisance and are dangerous as well. A pack of wild monkeys is a lot different than a flock of wild birds, unless Alfred H. got a chance to work with them. :wink:

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Postby Sergei82 » Mon, 13 May 2013 10:42 am

Those monkeys travel quite a distance sometimes. My friend took a picture of one in his block at Telok Blangah a while ago.

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Postby the lynx » Mon, 13 May 2013 11:03 am

Sergei82 wrote:Those monkeys travel quite a distance sometimes. My friend took a picture of one in his block at Telok Blangah a while ago.


There are monkeys at Mount Faber too.

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Postby Sergei82 » Mon, 13 May 2013 11:29 am

the lynx wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:Those monkeys travel quite a distance sometimes. My friend took a picture of one in his block at Telok Blangah a while ago.


There are monkeys at Mount Faber too.

I've never seen any - was living right next to that mountain for a year.
In any case, if they are there, for some reason they do not procreate as much as in the West of Singapore, so you won't see them often (if ever).

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Postby Hannieroo » Mon, 13 May 2013 10:30 pm

There was a bunch of them on the roof of a covered walkway on Bukit Timah today, a fair bit from the park.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 13 May 2013 11:17 pm

- guys in pork-pie hats (very 'ska')
- durian ice-cream
- people texting while walking
- 'M)Phosis', the brand - apparently a play on the word 'emphasis'
- Card/gift shop - 'Chocolate rain'
- 'Gracious Aires' - Handbag shop
- visiting the shop Uniqlo... 20 people chant 'Welcome.. to... Uni-qlo'. Lazy, disinterested. It gets tired, very quickly.
- Gelateria. 14 Trays of raked up exotic looking ice-cream. Wah, nice, we have a couple... yum
- Everything at the shops is bagged and double-bagged.
- Luxury brands. Is there anywhere I can go today that is NOT a luxury brand?
- People (old men) doing huge sneezes, like they're expelling a demon or something rather than just spreading their own germs to you)
- Girls walking with duck-feet
- False eyelashes. Coloured contacts.
- People wearing germ-masks
- The pharmacy/drugstore, Watsons. Angled aisles, cramped, like an obstacle course.
- Plastic surgery, tai tai grannies.

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Postby Sergei82 » Tue, 14 May 2013 10:30 am

JR8 wrote:- Everything at the shops is bagged and double-bagged.

And those bags are quite small (why???) - they need to use a dozen of them each time to pack your stuff.

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Postby bgd » Tue, 14 May 2013 10:34 am

[quote="JR8"] - people texting while walking
quote]

Is that not common elsewhere? Guess I should spend more time outside Asia.


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