Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

A day in town with CK

A day in town with Chankeet

A day in town with Chankeet

After a long hiatus of not writing anything meaningful, my photo-laden posts are coming back. I find that my entries constantly cycle between photography, design, bookmarks and tutorial – not something that I am particularly proud of because I would love to strike a balance between the four. But since I already getting started on this entry – which is, sadly, yet another photo journal entry – I should just let things take their own pace.

It was last Thursday. My afternoon lecture and tutorial class were cancelled and I only had to attend one plant biology lecture in the morning – sparing the day for myself. I learned that Chankeet, a college classmate of mine whom I haven’t been in touch with until he got a camera lately (which gave us things to talk about, hah), was clearing his leave on that day as well so I asked whether he wanted to meet up somewhere. Since his treated me lunch at Crystal Jade the week before, I am determined to get back on him for that.

The rest of the entry have been tucked behind the read more tag. Oh, and I have chronicled this entry on my Flickr photoset too – check it out if you’re interested or if you’re not intending to go through the entire wordy entry, heheh.

We met up in town around 12pm for lunch. Hoping to beat the lunch crowd, we decided to have lunch early and headed for Astons at Suntec City soon after we met up at City Hall station.

At Astons, Suntec City.

At Astons, Suntec City.

Being people who live to eat, both of us were discussing over IM what and where to get lunch for our town outing. In the end CK recommended Astons because he had lunch there with his NS friends before and said that it’s very economical.

He was very right! Astons looks very simple at my first glance – a non-descript stone wall, floor of poured concrete and a glaring devoid of any other interior decoration. I’m glad that the owner didn’t spend too much on unnecessary flair and extravagance because that will mean passing the cost savings over to customers like us. The atmosphere was okay, the service was average – well, I don’t expect much from them too after reading the reviews of the so-so customer service.

Here comes the bomb – the chicken chop that CK had cost less than $7 while the prime ribeye I had only made me $14 poorer. The combined prices of our food could only get us a measly plate of spaghetti in other Western food outlets around town, considering the high rental, terribly overdone interior decor and unnecessarily attentive staff :P

One thing I had to pick with Astons is that they serve the receipt right up after you’ve placed your order. Not a particularly pleasant thing but then again, I shouldn’t be whining so much when I take the price savings into consideration. It’s funny how much flaws I am willing to overlook for huge price discounts – especially for food!

CK's chicken chop and my ribeye. Omnomnom.

CK's chicken chop and my ribeye. Omnomnom.

Oh and I tell you the sauce that they serve with the rice is awesome. Their fries taste different (at least, from what McDonald’s and many other Western food outlets in Singapore have to offer).. at least different in a unique way. The ribeye was done the way I wanted it to be (medium rare) and I have nothing but praises for that.

I couldn’t really remember what we talked over lunch since we talked just too much that day, but I vaguely remember talking about how his camp life is and, oh yea, the dirty couch in his office that he didn’t want to sleep on.

After lunch, upon his suggestion, we went over to Esplanade to get some photos.

CK and the other photographer.

CK and the other photographer.

Another photographer and his female friend were taking photos of the art exhibition on display at the walkway leading from City Link Mall to Esplanade. Unfazed by our presence, he started taking photos of the lights. CK and I were busy shooting the artworks and occasionally we took photos of each other taking photos.

Radiance

Radiance

Sunlight from a cloudy day filtered through the glass of the skylight and radiates around the opening. Above me was a net hanging from the ceiling. Symmetry was obviously lacking but I’ve tried my best to align the net with the skylight – speaking of which, perhaps it’s the asymmetry that made it beautiful.

The florist's

The florist's

Through the squeaky clean display windows of the shop, I took a sneak peek at the interior of a florist. It’s a little heaven in there!

What's on the phone?

What's on the phone?

Moving our way up towards the Esplanade library, we spotted this huge wall displaying the crayon artworks of little kids right at the escalator landing. How lovely! We stopped for a little while to admire their work and to take some photos.

It has been a long time since I looked at a painting or an artwork, so I examined the works carefully. It’s heartening that the judges chose those that look genuinely drawn by children’s hands as the winners – I’ve seen one too many paintings that look too good for their age, probably created with lots of help from mommy and daddy.

In front of the huge wall.

In front of the huge wall.

The wall exhibit in its full glory!

The wall exhibit in its full glory!

The display adds an interesting burst of colours to the plain brown wall. I love it! :)

We headed for the sky garden at Esplanade, hoping to catch a glimpse of the cityscape but a slight drizzle that starting falling shortly after we set foot on the top floor hampered our plans. Defeated, I suggested Max Brenner Chocolate Bar for a perk-me-up. CK and I were busy checking the menu at the doorstep at Max Brenner’s when a waitress approached us and asked if she could help us out. When CK replied that “we’re just looking”, she chirped “Oh, that’s great!” and disappeared behind the glass facade. This is the first time I’ve received a positive, cheerful response even when we didn’t show much interest in getting anything. Got to love their service! In the end, we still settled for Max Brenner’s.

Multitasking - one hand on the phone, the other on the camera.

Multitasking - one hand on the phone, the other on the camera.

We starting taking photos once we got seated, and took a very long time deciding what to get. CK was on the phone with mommy dearest and he was taking a photo at the same time, haha!

CK's ice blended oreo cookies and my chocolate souffle.

CK's ice blended oreo cookies and my chocolate souffle.

If you’re looking really carefully, you will notice that the ice blended oreo cookies (spelt coockies on the menu and CK insisted that it should be pronounced at COCK-ies but he changed his mind when the waitress asked for our order, lol) drink is served with a metal straw. Perhaps that’s the kind of straw you don’t want to find yourself nibbling on – I have a very bad habit of chewing on them and I will definitely chip my teeth if I do so with this drink.

Photo for the drink!

Photo for the drink!

We spent another good 10 minutes taking photos of our food. My vanilla ice cream happily melted away because I didn’t know that the souffle was that warm, lol.

To the left is a photo of CK snapping away on his drink. To be true, we were still a little too bloated from the meal as Astons (although it seems that the serving at Astons is small, it’s actually very filling). So we talked even more over his drink and my souffle.

I remembered talking about how our friend in JC got harrassed by his project mate at the latter’s home – J was bouncing on R’s lap and R was so freaked out that he left in a hassle shortly after. I LOLed so hard at that. I have no qualms with people having different sexualities but that is really one interesting experience to talk about. Oh CK also shared his shower experience in army, which sounds far from pleasant. Imagining bathing in cubicles without any doors or blinds of any kind, and with a queue of comrades waiting right outside the cubicle pestering you to finish bathing asap. On a side note, my other friend whom I went out with today told me that he was even forced to share a shower with someone else because there was simply not enough time for everyone to bathe. Owwwwwwww mans.

A smile for the food!

A smile for the food!

The last photo taken before we dig in. As you can see, the side of my ice cream in contact with the chocoalte souffle had already joyfully melted into a gooey mess :P

After high tea at Max Brenner’s, we were shivvering so badly from the cold (at least, for me). CK couldn’t finish his ice blended cookie drink so he made me finish the rest of it. Brrrrrr. The weather was a little towards the cloudy side that day and it was freezing cold in Esplanade. We left the freezing hellhole and went out to the waterfront promenade.

A photoshoot in town

A photoshoot in town

On a Thursday? What an odd choice. Perhaps they wanted to avoid the weekend crowd :) A photographer and his assistant took group photos of a bunch of professionally-dressed office workers. Sweet!

We slowly made our way to the floating platform. After climbing a flight of stairs, we arrive at the spectator’s stand. It’s actually pretty huge! I will post a panorama of the place soon when I am finally done with stitching it up.

Array.

Array.

A beautiful array of blue seats at the spectator’s stand opposite of the floating platform. Haven’t been to this place before, I asked CK if the seats are comfortable. He gave me a grin as I tried them out. Not. Then he pointed the other opposite end where the dark green seats were. That’s where I sat with Yueqi for the National Day Parade celebration.

HDR - Singapore CBD

HDR - Singapore CBD

A pseudo-HDR of the cityscape of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD). It is generated from one single RAW file and processed using Photomatix 3 and Photoshop CS4. I hope I didn’t overdo the HDR effect!

At the spectator's stand.

At the spectator's stand.

We roameda round the area a little. This place was packed to the brim during big events like the F1 race and the National Day Parade but it looks so desolate, quiet and peceful on an ordinary Thursday afternoon. Never have I been to a place so big and yet to empty.

Couple by the waterfront.

Couple by the waterfront.

A couple sits by the waterfront near the concert stage outside Esplanade. What a lovely scene!

Are you thirsty?

Are you thirsty?

A peddler at the bottom of the Esplanade Bridge greets passerby with ice cold drinks and ice creams. Chankeet bought the ice cream bread and I had a can of coke instead. I had a hard time choosing what to have – should I settle for a bottle of mineral water? Or do I need some caffeine rush/perk from Redbull? In the end I still picked my all-time favourite.

The chocolate souffle I had earlier is still making me feel nauseous when I see food :P haha. Speaking of having too much food in a single day! CK was trying to make me have some of his bread but I was totally not interested in having a bite :/

RAWR! Ice cream bread!

RAWR! Ice cream bread!

CK is posing for the camera but he was genuinely enjoying the bread.

We walked along Singapore River and took a few photos there. It was a pretty quiet and slow day. I think everyone was totally zonked out after four days of hard work and can’t wait for TGIF.

Skycrapers along Singapore River

Skycrapers along Singapore River

Skyscrapers loom above the waterfront sidewalk along Singapore River. A boat stops at the tiny pier to the right. Building height restrictions in Singapore made the three tallest buildings in Singapore to stand at a height of 280m.

Checking.

Checking.

Double checking his shots before he moves on. CK is one careful photographer.

We arrive at the Parliament House. I played with a stray cat outside the fences of the place as CK looked on. He took a few photos of me with the cat :) the stray smells a little bad and I feel so sorry for it. I washed my hands later at a washroom because I couldn’t bear to touch my camera with all that dirt on it.

Traffic arrows

Traffic arrows

Traffic arrows – In Singapore, they are kind enough to paint arrows at junctions to tell you where to go :) got to love the perspective in this photo! We crossed the junction and stopped by Peninsula Plaza to check out some accessories for our cameras. CK was looking for a cleaning kit for his camera but in the end he decided that he should get it off a photographer at Clubsnap instead of being ripped off here. I finally got a new 49mm filter for my Konica Minolta lens. It was filter-less for the past three months and I was so afraid of getting it scratched.

Dinner @ Xin Wang Taiwan Cafe

Dinner @ Xin Wang Taiwan Cafe

As night falls, we wondered where should we go for dinner – initially I was consdering the prospects of dining somewhere near his home because I will need to get my external HDD back from him, but he was thoughtful enough to bring it out that day. We wanted to head over to Marina Square to get food but before we manage to reach there, we were abducted by the lovely menu at Xin Wang Taiwan Cafe so we picked that place to have our dinner instead.

What's on the menu?

What's on the menu?

We whipped out our cameras, startling the guests seated at the tablesright beside us. We snapped away happily – even when the waitress asked for our order we said we’ll place it with her later. Haha! On the table to my right was a group of girls from NTU, I think. Their timetable looks exactly like mine.

CK browsers through the menu with camera in hand. He picked some fermented chicken thing for dinner. I was a little indecisive with what kind of noddles I should get, so the waitress helped me out by suggesting I should try their sesame oil chicken noodles, their chef’s recommendation.

For drinks, CK ordered their signature milk tea while I chose to have their iced honey lemon tea. Mmmm.

A day in town with Chankeet

CK and his milk tea!

This is the photo I used for the cover of this entry :)

So this is our dinner.

So this is our dinner.

CK’s fermented chicken chop finally arrived! Not any part of his dish tasted like fermented stuff though. Right in front of me is my bowl of sesame oil chicken noodles.

Sesame Oil Chicken Noodles!

Sesame Oil Chicken Noodles!

Here’s a close up shot of my noodles. The chicken is swimming in the soup underneath the noodles so you can’t see them. I’d give it 8/10 for the taste :) Although it’s a rather simple dish it tastes really great.

Yea, hello there!

Yea, hello there!

A last photo to wrap up this entry, a portrait of CK. I’m so going to make him pay me for this nice photo, muahaha.

Have a great week ahead, everyone! Hope Monday isn’t going to be too harsh on everyone.

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