Starlight Express

What do you get when you combine psychedelic lights, 80's rock and disco music, roller skates and trains? Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express! The way it was presented was definitely different than any other musicals I have every watched, so it definitely caught my attention when the show started.  

However, as the minutes go by, the story line was predictable, the songs not too catchy, and I found myself drifting away and feeling bored. I guess I expected more - what with it being an Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. Overall, it was still an interesting musical, and I am sure that it was beyond its time when it was first shown in 1984. 

Caught the musical when it was playing at the Marina Bay Sands in November 2013. 

Universal Studios Singapore in Sentosa Island

I am not a fan of theme parks, and I have probably been to a just handful of them. So, it should not come as a surprise that after more than 3 years, I have just stepped foot on Universal Studios Singapore a couple of weeks ago. It was a day out with my colleagues, and let's just say that I am still not a fan of theme parks. 

I love movies and performances, and theme parks love those too. Maybe, they love them a bit too much. They bring movies and characters to life, and let you be part of the whole experience. But I don't get it. I do not get why people would pay so much money to be scared, and (almost) thrown out of their seats. 

Guess, I am just one of those who would rather be a spectator than a participant. 

Matchbox Twenty

3 A.M. 
If You're Gone
Bright Lights
She's So Mean

These are the songs by the rock band, Matchbox Twenty. 
And some of the songs sang in the first rock concert I have ever been to!
The concert was the last of their North Tour.

Scrapbook: playground injuries, graffiti art and travels

Caught the quirky play Gruesome Playground Injuries by Pangdemonium - a local production company that I hope can continue to grow and expand, bringing more great productions to the local Singapore theatre scene. Buy the 2014 annual ticket to support them!

Read a post on surprising locations of the where the Berlin Wall ended in after the demolition of the wall. Well, a part of it was actually in Singapore's Bedok Reservoir Park for 3 years. It was housed in an impressive case in the middle of the park. That was definitely a world's apart from how urinals were mounted on them in a men's room in Las Vegas.

Watched Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown. It can be classified as a travel programme, but it is definitely not your typical feel good shows. It is engaging, controversial at times and not shy to show the not-so-touristy and pretty sites.

Graffiti is getting very interesting and the series of graffiti in New York for the month of October has come to an end. Check out Banksy's whereabouts and latest art pieces on his website. Another graffiti artist to follow is Ernest Zacharevic who has done many pieces in my hometown Penang (like the one above).  Of course, the Berlin Wall was full of graffiti art too!

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Travel Tips: Where to eat in Penang, Malaysia

Here's the second part of the Travel Tips series for Penang. I will continuously update this list, so do come back often to check. Do start with What to do in Penang, Malaysia if you have not done so.

This is a list of recommended places to eat in Penang - most are my favourite places, while some are recommended by others. This is by no means the full list. Explore the city yourself, and start your own list! Do remember to eat without expectations, as some food may have the same name as those found in other parts of Malaysia and Singapore, but they will be different! 

Hawker Centres

{ Gurney Drive Hawker Centre, Gurney Drive } Lots of choices, with some good food even though it may be packed with tourists. Prices may be a little steeper than other places. Lots of laksa stalls (walk around, and try to sniff for the best stall!), char koay teow (look for the one with long queue), ‘jiu hu eng chai’ (Cuttlefish Salad with Kangkung), rojak (Ah Chye’s Rojak). Only at night.

{ New World Park } Variety of hawkers food. Recommended ones are rojak, ais kacang, “bak chang” (dumpling) and cucur udang. All day long.

{ Hawker stalls in New Lane } Lots of food along the road, but price is generally higher.

{ Pulau Tikus Market } By the road side, next to the Pulau Tikus market. Recommended food are lok lok (similar to steamboat, in skewers), char koay teow, roti babi, “or-chean” (oyster omelette), koay teow th’ng (soup) and satay. Only at night.

{ Kopitiam in Kimberley Street } The coffee shop in Kimberley Street has lots of food choices.

Food stalls

{ Cendol }
Penang Road Teochew Cendol, Lebuh Keng Kwee, Off Penang Road (11am to 7pm). Lots of choices, with some good food even though it may be packed with tourists.

{ Asam Laksa }
Air Itam Asam Laksa, Air Itam Market Pasar Road (early morning till afternoon). Beside the Air Itam Market, with tables and chairs by the roadside.

{ Curry Mee }
+ Lorong Seratus Tahun Curry Mee, off Macalister Road (lunch time)
+ ‘Squatting’ Curry Mee, pathway to Ayer Itam Chinese Methodist Church, Off Jalan Air Itam (after the bridge) (early morning to early afternoon). Two old sisters crouched on a tiny wooden stool, surrounded by pots of noodles, curry and condiments. Curry mee comes with cuttlefish, tofu puffs, beansprouts and blood cubes. The chilli is very spicy - so eat with care!

{ Hokkien Mee }
Green House, 223, Jalan Burma (Mon-Sat 8pm-4am, closed Sun). Also sells Lor Mee. You can try asking for a mix of Hokkien Mee soup with ‘Lor’ – that’s how some Penangites like it.

{ Lor Mee }
Next to Kuan Yim Temple, Masjid Kapitan Keling Rd

{ Ah Thooi Mee Suah } Duck drumstick wheat flour noodle soup
Roadside Stall at Jalan Sungei Pinang in front of Boon Siew Honda workshop

{ Rojak } Penang's style is mainly cut fruits with prawn paste
+ Ah Chye Rojak at Gurney Drive Hawker Centre
+ Rojak stall at New World Park Hawker Centre

{ Char Koay Teow }
+ Lorong Selamat Char Koay Teow, off Macalister Road (afternoon). Quite expensive by Penang’s standard. With big prawns. Can find good char koay teow in most places! A few coffee stalls along the road with many hawker food.
+ Sisters Char Koay Teow, Macalister Rd (lunch time). Quite expensive by Penang’s standard. With crab meat.
+ Siam Road (Jalan Siam) Char Koay Teow, located at the end of Siam Road (3pm to 11pm, closed on Mondays). Stall will shift to along Anson Road after 8pm. Need to wait an hour. Eat at coffee shop opposite the pushcart (by the road side).

{ Zhu Cheong Chok } 猪肠粥 Pig Intestine Porridge
+ Lebuh Cintra (Cintra Street). Nice yam cake and "bak chang" (glutinous rice) in the shop opposite the porridge coffee shop. Will serve over.

{ Char Koay Kak }
+ Pushcart stall outside Seow Fong Lye Cafe at 94C, Macalister Lane (7:30am to 12:30pm). Also try the Chee Cheong Fun.
+ Pushcart stall outside Suiwah Supermarket on Jalan Air Itam (morning).

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Which city will I choose to live in?

That was the question I asked myself and my husband. Of all the cities in the world, if we were given a chance, which city will we choose to live in? It does not have to be permanent. It could just be for a couple of years.

Well, it did not take us long to both came to the same answer - Paris, the city of lights. A city so pretty and beautiful, that it is long associated with being love and romance. A city which I was so excited about while planning the trip, and I was even more excited when we were there. Everything about the city surpasses my expectations (well, except for the smell under the bridge by the Seine River). It is arty, it is beautiful, it has an air about it and yet, still friendly enough to draw me in. Of course, if we live there, we will definitely take the chance to hop on the train (or flight) and travel around Europe!

Now, all I need is to figure out how get us there and to learn French.

Gruesome Playground Injuries

What a title. I have to admit that I do not know what the show is about when I bought the tickets. We were out having brunch with some friends when we were wondering what we can do for the afternoon. I remembered that Pangdemonium has a show on, and that it is a play. That was all it take for us to decide to hop to the Esplanade to catch the play. 

Right before the show, I quickly read up the synopsis from the website, and here's what it says.
LOVE HURTS. And in Gruesome Playground Injuries Pulitzer Prize finalist Rajiv Joseph has crafted "a perfect dissection of contemporary love-lost relationships." (Idaho Statesman), and one of the most startlingly original and screwed-up love stories of modern times. 
We follow Kayleen (Seong Hui Xuan - Pangdemonium's Rabbit Hole) and Doug (Alan Wong - The MTV Show) from age 8 to 38, leaping back and forth over the course of their lives in a deliriously disjointed time-continuum. Doug is full of life and absurdly "accident-prone"; while Kayleen hates her life and hides a painful secret. And for each of them the physical wounds they endure turn into emotional and psychological scars that never truly heal, and come to define who they are. As they careen and collide into and out of each other's lives, they become damaged goods for life, but are forever bonded together by bloodstains, broken bones and bandages.

While examining two tortured lost-soul-mates in search of each other, we discover a bittersweet, savagely funny and achingly romantic love story of the most bizarre and surprisingly poignant kind. "Layered with quirky humor and poignant intensity - a crash course in growing up, getting hurt and the healing power of love" (The Washingtonian), Gruesome Playground Injuries is hilarious, haunting and heartbreaking.
Well, the reviews are spot on. The play is on a simple stage, and it starts to engage you right from the moment you stepped inside the theatre. It goes back and forth, telling the story at different times of their lives. You try to piece the story together, to try to understand what happened to these two tortured souls between those times. You laugh with them, you cry with them, and you cheer them on hoping that everything will turn out right. The play is superbly executed by the two actors, and as always, Pangdemonium's productions have not disappointed me.

To all of you in Singapore who love a good theatre production, do support Pangdemonium. It is a local theatre company created by local artiste Adrian Pang, with his wife Tracie Pang, and it brings some of the best local actors on stage with affordable ticket prices. Do catch the beautiful and messy Gruesome Playground Injuries, and check out their 2014 productions. Remember to book a date with them! 

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