Health Goddess

Run away with me

“!(imgcenter)!(Running running)”:

I finally took the courage to splash out significant dough for a good pair of running shoes today.

Being the sort who likes to look around to check out prices and designs, it took me a while before I finally picked out something that I liked and was within my budget. Initially, I was contemplating a pair of Nike Free for their lack of weight and good looks but after A advised me against doing any heavy duty running in them due to their lack of support around the ankles, I decided otherwise.

The nice boyfriend then took matters in his own hands, having gotten sick of my constant commenting that I would like a really nice pair of running shoes, and decided to drive us down to Queensway shopping centre, also known as the haven for sporting gear. Call it the Sim Lim Square for sports, if you will.

After going round in circles, looking at prices and sizes (most shops don’t stock my US 5, bloody sizists), I plonked my money down on a pair of Asics Gel-1110(D). The shoes were pretty light, had good support on the ankles, had cushioning under the soles and fitted well. Best of all, they were a lovely shade of purple. Purrrrfect!

I plonked down $126 for it and was happy because the original price was $169 and the boyfriend bargained it down for me. Yay to bargains!

Tomorrow is the litmus test and we shall see if they are worth every penny I spent.

Now that I have gotten proper insoles for my high arches (cost me a pretty $59 too), all I need is a nice running vest and a decent pair of shorts and then I will be all set for my first 10km run of the year!

*Of course, I had to get that pair of chili red Converse sneakers. Simply because they fitted, looked cheerily bright and were a steal at $29.90 (being kids shoes and all).

[Let’s play tag! , , , , ]

Geek Girl

Objects of lust


The new Sony Ericsson Z610i is so gorgeous and it comes with (almost) every single geeky function that I so covet: 3G capabilities, Bluetooth, 2 megapixel camera and an expandable memory slot. And look at the external OLED display, it’s such a thing of beauty and class. It’s time to ditch that aging and increasingly wonky K700i for a sexier, younger phone.

For a “live” viewing of the phone, go here.


The new Canon EOS Kiss Digital X DSLR is an update of the popular 350D. The new camera features a 510 gram light body, 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, 9-point autofocus, 2.5 inch wide and monitor. Gaaaah. DSLR DSLR DSLR! It’s supposedly retailing at about US$780 so that works out to be about S$1,500 for the body (no information about kit lens, the Canon websites are horrible to navigate).

Thing is, my lovely FZ10 is still functioning well and performing admirably and valiantly despite its relative old age in the technological world. After all the useful and enhancing filters and step-down ring I bought for it, it seems such a waste to dispatch it to electronics heaven.

Oh, be still my heart.

[Let’s play tag! , , , , ]

Everything Else

Shanghai Tan


I have been back for a while and all this time, I have not properly articulated my infatuation with Shanghai and its glittery lights.

Perhaps its the metropolitan in me but the allure of Shanghai is truly irrestible. My first glimpse of it was when we landed there for a few hours, long enough for us to stow our bags at Grand Somerset Shanghai and have a good meal of hotpot before we board our sleeper train to Huangshan.

But those few hours proved enough to pump adrenaline and excitement into my tired body. As we sat in the car while our wonderful host navigated the car in the tedious and seemingly haphazard traffic, I looked out of the window and thought about all the fun we would have when we come back and explore the place proper.

“!(img)!(Happy boys in their room)”: “!(img)!(View from our apartment)”:

When we came back again four days later, it felt just as exciting. Our apartment at Grand Somerset was cosy and well-equipped and it felt almost as if we were back in Singapore again.

Shopping took on a whole new dimension when we hit Changle Lu. I’ve always believed that Singapore’s Orchard Road concept to be a decent one – a row of malls lining the streets. But Shanghai opened my eyes. A long avenue of tiny little shops right next to the road, selling everything and anything. In between, restaurants and little dessert shops offer a resting sanctuary for the tired and hungry.

Nanjing Lu at night White Almond Jelly Shanghai Old Town The Thing

Unlike Singapore, where malls do not have any distinctive identity as each carry the same brand and stores, it was fun exploring individual shops along the road, picking out gems from the junk. And there were plenty of gems, especially in stores set up by the talented local graphic designers.

Nanjing Lu was another eye-opener. The car-free zone, just like in European cities, took us all by surprise but we recovered quickly and proceeded to hit the shops in high rise department stores that go by names like “Number One Department Store”.

It wasn’t just the thrill of shopping that got us all excited. Somehow, there was just something in the air that seeped into our pores. The vibrancy of life, bustling cityscape and glorious lights of the Bund, the beautiful mix of old grandeur and new modern – everything just screamed out “we’re alive!” in the city.

I just wanted to stay in Shanghai and soak up the atmosphere. To explore the different sights and different roads and different parts of town. To stroll down the Bund at night and feel the breeze in my hair. To look down on Shanghai’s bright lights from Oriental Pearl tower. To sit and chill in Xintiandi.

Nevermind the sometimes rude and downright obnoxious locals (some of them are real angels though) or the frightful traffic or the blazing summer skies. There was something in Shanghai that made me feel alive.

Now that I am back, Singapore shopping feels boring and lacklustre. And the excitement has faded, the old world meets new glamour has receded.

And I miss Shanghai tremendously.

[Let’s play tag! , , , ]

Health Goddess

Saturday morning with Dr Kajal

Despite all the obstacles, I managed to wake up bright and early enough to make it to Dr Kajal’s yoga class at Capital Tower in the morning. I was a little late and when I stepped into the classroom, everybody was sitting on the floor facing an Indian man who had his eyes closed and was breathing into his microphone.

I should have known then that his yoga class was going to be different from the others’. Serena, one of my favourite instructors at Fitness First, emphasizes a lot on asanas. Her idea of a workout is to put together a combination of asanas with about three repetitions on each leg. She does focus on posture and breathing but barely.

Dr Kajal, on the other hand, never fails to remind us to “breathe normally” – with our mouths closed and directing the air deliberately past our throats with each breath to produce an odd humming noise. In fact, he spent a good ten minutes teaching us to breathe and going to each individual to listen to their breathing. And the man is good. His control of his breath is amazing and as he said, “My one breath is probably three to five of yours.” Woah!

And as we move into the different asanas, he would use visualization instead of the usual instructions to get us into the right posture. At the tree pose, he would say: “You are a tree growing tall and straight into the sky. Now, imagine your arms are branches that are sheltering the world, bend them at 90 degrees at the elbows with the palms facing up.”

He makes an interesting picture, with his mop of jet black hair and white muscle tee tucked into his white track pants. As A says, he looks genuinely retro, almost as if he bought all his apparel back in the 1980s. Hilarious.

I’m sticking with his class. Somehow, I didn’t feel as if I was going through a torture chamber as some of my yoga classes are wont to go, and I practically skipped out of the room feeling light and refreshed despite the lack of sleep.

It was a nice way to start the Saturday. Now to buy that gorgeous purple yoga mat from Nike to match my gym tote.

[Let’s play tag! , , ]

Geek Girl

Sony Ericsson K800i

It’s been a while since I have had the K800i for the review and it was with some regret that I handed it back to the editor.

I have come to enjoy using the phone a lot – its beautiful clear screen, the improved functions over my rapidly deteriorating K700i and most importantly, the 3.2 megapixel camera. Since my Panasonic FZ10 is rather bulky, especially with the added step-down ring and the two filters, I seldom carry it out with me unless I know specifically that I would be snapping pictures with it. Hence, I have been toying with the idea of buying a small ixus-like camera for those days when I just want to carry a pretty, small purse. With the 3.2 megapixel camera built into the phone, it instantly solves my problem!

What I liked: the 3.2 megapixel camera with auto-focus, the sleek dark looks, clear and vibrant screen, improved functions and user interface, more entertainment options in the form of games and applications

What I didn’t fancy: the sliding tab that hides the camera lens (lose precious battery juice when you accidentally dislodge it), the bare minimum camera (lack of manual options), harsh flash, soft speakers, lag in receiving messages (but could be fault of green service provider)

To sum it up: “Power packed with features and blessed with good looks, the K800i is definitely a coveted toy. However, desires do not come cheap and neither does the K800i. Currently priced much higher than many 3G phones that come with 2-megapixel cameras, consumers might think twice before splashing out their dough on the good looker.

Okay, pick up a free copy of Tech3C if you see it and read my review!

“!(img)!(Ticket counter of Hangzhou train station)”:

Panorama shot taken by the boyfriend

“!(img)!(Me me me)”:

Narcissistic shot

“!(img)!(GQ’s birthday)”:

Night shot

[Let’s play tag! , , , ]

Health Goddess

To stretch a pretzel

I finally hit the gym after a three-week hiatus.

Over the weekend, my body had felt tensed and scrunched up and I was badly in need of a yoga session. But the change in my work schedule meant that I could no longer go for my favourite yoga classes on Monday and opted instead for Bodypump. Plus, I have been dying to try out Dr Kajal’s yoga class ever since the sista and A raved about him. Apparently, he is quite the guru and his classes have been drawing crowds. Pity then that his classes start too late for Cinderella me.

Thankfully, the strenuous walking that we did on Huangshan and in Hangzhou and Shanghai paid off and my fitness level has not gone down the drain yet. The two itsy bitsy lines down my front are still there, hurrah!

But strangely enough, what I am really craving for is some spot of sunshine and a dose of outdoor exertion. Blading by East Coast Park, going for a run down Bukit Timah (yes, Cat, we need to train), biking around Ubin or just chilling by the beach at Sentosa. Topping it off would ne a sumptious seafood meal of chili crab with fried man tou and an ice cold Hoegaarden. And perhaps a scoop of gelato.

How lovely is that?

Everything Else

Happy birthday, my island home!

“!(imgcenter)!(Happy National Day)”:

When I was in that school with the blue pinafore (and nothing else, and I’ll have you know that I am very patriotic to my alma mater so no jokes there), we used to have this saying that you can take us out of SCGS but you can never take the SCGS out of us.

We held on very strongly to that belief because we loved our school dearly. And now that it’s been almost 10 years since I last donned the pinafore, I have come to realise that the saying applies to me as a Singaporean too.

You can take us out of Singapore, but you can never take the Singapore out of us.

When we stood with our chins held firm under the spotlights and sang with our hearts and souls during the World Choir Games, we weren’t just doing it for Victoria Chorale. We were singing under the name of Victoria Chorale – Singapore, we were doing our utmost to represent ourselves as singers from that tiny little island in the far east, where people still ask, “Singapore? Speak English/Mandarin?”. And Nelson Kwei was that amazing conductor from Singapore who led two Olympic Champions choirs.

Before the awards ceremony, we were already in the spirit of National Day, loudly letting loose all our favourite national day songs to all and sundry who would listen, waving our little flags furiously and energetically.

And oh, how much pride it gave us to see our own flag hanging up on the wall with the rest of the world, knowing that Singapore has a place in the international choral arena.

That is how much we love our country.

Maybe it is not a reciprocal relationship. Perhaps given that our endeavours were not in the scientific or mathematical fields, we were largely given the dismissal by our favourite newspaper holdings.

But, no matter. We know what we have achieved and we will always be proud of ourselves. We did it for us, and we did it for you, Singapore.

And to answer Huckerby’s question, I think my favourite National Day songs will always be those that I learnt during primary school, when we were all sitting in the hall as our teachers flashed the lyrics on the OHP on stage.

Who could ever forget “Chan Mali Chan”, “Count on me, Singapore”, “Di Tanjong Katong”, “We are Singapore” and “Stand Up for Singapore”? Forget recent nonsense like “Reach out for the Skies”, nobody can remember lyrics to that.

For those who want to relive your happy days of old, here’s the official NDP website where you can download those perennial favourites.

And a special gift from me to you: Kit Chan’s live rendition of the evergreen “Home”.

Happy 41st National Day!

National Day 2005
National Day 2004

[Let’s play tag! , , , ]