Tea in Singapore


Now that I’ve been in this Island City for a week, I already know what I really want from back home – a decent cup of Tea!!

The hotel where I am put up has the most outrageous (well, outrageous to a tea-addict like me!!) teabags in the room – Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Peppermint Tea!!!  Of these, English Breakfast is tolerable if I add a minimum of 3 teabags in a cup.

And for breakfast, they have Lipton Yellow Label teabags – again, tolerable with at least 2 teabags. But they never have hot milk and water….it’s almost always lukewarm (probably ‘coz its too close the aircon) and I gag nearly everytime I try to drink the tea I make. Imagine drinking cold milky tea! Bleh!

Thank God for the Teh-Tarik centre near my office….atleast they have a fairly decent cup of tea – Teh-Halia being my favourite (that’s ginger tea for my non-Malaysian speaking readers). The tea in office is another story – they have this huge vending machine – a Hot and Cold Cup Machine – which lets you decide how much sugar, milk and concentration you want, but even after setting it all to the highest setting, all I got was a sugar-water syrup.

Coffee and Milo seem to the beverages of preference here in Singapore – being available in all shape, colour and size. And I detest coffee. Milo is okay, but how many times a day can one drink chocolate?

Is it just me who is facing this problem in Xing? Does anyone know where I can get a good cup of tea (sans me making it)?

 

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Off Work for 7 Days


I am finally off work for the next seven days!!!!!

Did you hear that? SEVEN whole days off work, without telephone calls (well, that’s hoping a bit too much), no client escalation emails – Wow! Its going to be a treat for my tired eyes.

All I plan to do during these days is to eat, sleep, catch up on my blogger friends and put in a bit or writing myself.

And watch out, for a contest coming soon to celebrate my 100th blog post. So, stay tuned and keep reading.

Tired from Work


Nowadays I am so tired from work, that I hardly know when or where to start blogging. All I want to do when I get home is to sleep, sleep and sleep.

And tough luck, I am supposed to be working this weekend as well. We have a release planned for this weekend and I and a couple of colleagues are supposed to be testing it for any defects.

All I want is a very relaxed week where I can just put my legs up and do whatever I feel like – sleep, read, browse, blog – anything at all, with no interruptions by anyone.

A week in a secluded cottage with internet connectivity, plenty of food, a cool climate, and complete seclusion would be perfect bliss.

The Family on the Way to Work


Everyday on my way to work, I see a little family staying on the roadside pavement. It consists of a Papa, Mama and 3 kids – a girl, a boy and a baby (I think thats a girl too). They have a small lean-to made from a flex poster of the Congress party and some plastic sacks.

In the morning when I walk that way, the kids are busy performing their morning ablutions around 100 m away from their home, while the Mama is busy stirring a pot over a fire, always with the baby lying across her lap.There are coconut husks and shells strewn at another corner, and it is like the whole pavement belongs to them.

The Papa is sometimes there helping with the cooking, but more often not. Continue reading

A Bit of Chinese @ Office


Now that I am into the 4th week ( can you believe that? 4 weeks have passed since I arrived at the Garden City), maybe I can tell you a bit about the Office.

The office is located in a prime area dotted with restaurants, colleges, shopping malls – all at walking distance. The famed Forum Mall is just a stone’s throw from here, though I haven’t visited it yet.

ReceptionNow let us go inside the office – the reception is manned by three – 2 security guards and one receptionist. The Receptionist is an all-in-all – he takes care of the office switchboard, connecting calls, stationery requests, finding accommodation for newcomers and is a veritable directory for the best eateries in the area.

The ground floor has the HR, Finance and Systems people together. I guess they have been banded together being the Support functions of the organisation.

Then comes the Mezzanine floor, where the Center Head and head of various departments are seated. It also holds a huge Conference Room.

Levels 1-3 house the different projects and its members. Yours truly is seated at the 3rd floor. And the pantry covers all of the 4th floor, with some part allocated  to a Gym and a library.

The Lift is an abominable thing – tiny and cramped and always 3 floors away from where I am stationed. So, I usually use the stairs to walk down and the lift to go up.

Since there are just 320 people here in office, everyone is very helpful and friendly. That does not mean that in places where there are more that 320, everyone is very frigid. But, the smaller group makes for more closeness among the employees.

There are 8 people in the room where I am seated – all techies – along with their Project Manager. The PM keeps them on their toes with frequent admonishment, and she reminds me of how a Mother keeps an eye on her kids:-)A2B

Right in front of the office, there is an Adyar Ananda Bhavan which serves piping hot dosas, idlis and vadas, as well as a good variety of sweets.

At Home, the mornings and nights are chilly and we cuddle up in a great big blanket to keep warm at night. However, Baby is an extraordinary creature – he seems to thrive in the cold. The moment one places a blanket on him, he has arms and legs shooting out to get it off him (even in his sleep :-))

Chinese RestaurantLast Friday I got a taste of authentic Chinese food at a nearby restaurant, where I stuffed myself so much with the starters, that I had no space left for the main course!! In retrospect, maybe I should have been a bit more discreet about my gastronomic tendencies, especially since I was out with my new colleagues.

More on my food adventures in upcoming posts…..signing off for now.