Friday, June 02, 2006

BeiJing : by Carolyn Oei

My contribution from Beijing, the People's Republic of China:

1. Japanese food here is cheap and surprisingly good. Sashimi actually quite

2. The Renminbi or Chinese yuan is worth sweet FA outside of these commie grounds. Even friggin India won't take their money! And changing money here is SUPER leh cheh. So, change money before you enter and spend it all before you leave. No departure tax, don't worry.

3. Go easy on the open-toed shoes, sandals, slippers. It's damned bloody filthy. Not that there are open sewers or anything, but there's a lot of spit around (22 million Chinese in Beijing alone, so do the maths).And when it rains, the drainage systems just can't hack it.

4. No Body Shop! So, change brands or bring a container load with you.

5. Xinjiang food (ie: halal) rocks. Everything else is pants (except,of course, Jappo).

May I add a sixth point? Beer and fags are damned cheap. I am fighting the inevitable slide into alcoholism and a lung-related ailment.

With love
Carol Oei

Hong Kong : Jennifer Wong ( Class of 1972 )

Hi Everyone!

I am still trying to navigate my way around this whole group thing...
sorry lah, brains irrevocably damaged by the whole beauty queen

Come July, I would have lived in Hong Kong for a year, and here are
some things about the Fragrant Harbour I thought might interest you

1. They have Hello Kitty credit cards and sanitary napkins.

2. Nobody stares at you if you walk on the streets in one neon pink
tight and one neon green tight, with high cut shoes, but they all
stop and stare when you breastfeed in public.

3. If you take the mini bus, there are no bells to let the driver
know u want to alight, so you must shout out the name of your
destination... this was the cause of EXTREME anxiety for me for the
first few months, and I often wound up somewhere else because I could
not be understood.

4. HK is not all concrete jungle, there are many beautiful hiking
and biking trails, camping trails and beautiful beaches (watch out
for sharks though, they are striking back after years of the Chinese
eating sharks' fin soup!).

5. Disneyland is opening this September on Lantau island.

Thanks for getting this all together guys!

Take care!

Jennifer ( Wong )

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Global Village Game : by Leigh Pasqual

"Leigh Pasqual" wrote:
Hi everyone,

Maybe I'm abusing this list, because Ling slyly made me a
moderator, but in the interest of keeping things going - and its really
nice that so many of us have signed up, everyone's coming out of the
woodwork!! - I thought I would suggest a 'game' we could all
respond to (or not).

Pam Oei is as we speak visiting me in NY for a few weeks, and I've given her and her boyfriend Terry a Questionnaire/form that they have to fill out while they're here. The form is meant to help them to experience life in NY as NON-TOURISTS, ie basically everyday life for people living here, ie MINUS the broadway shows, the Met, and going to Times Square to look at the pretty lighted billboards.

The form is not easy. Eg. One task is to order food at a deli at
lunchtime in a business-y area. (what tourists often don't know
about NY delis at lunchtime is that you better know EXACTLY what you
want to eat, or get out of the bloody line. or even the bloody deli.
and too bad if you can't hear the server properly over the noise.)
Anyway Pam finally did this today, and she almost died. These are her
exact words via sms "OK just went deli. F%^&^ing F^&*$#%$^ing STRESS. I
don't even know what I ordered man. Will find out soon."
I killed myself laughing.

So here's what I want to suggest: For those of us living in
different countries, or who've lived in different countries in the last 10
years - come up with 5 things about life in those countries that
you just will never find out in some tourist guidebook. I think it'll
be interesting, plus who knows, if any of us visit, we'll be a bit
less clueless. For those of us not living in different countries, but
who have babies (or both)- please apply the 5 points to things no one
ever tells you when you have a baby (not even your mum).

In the interest of getting the ball rolling, (and ending this damn
long email) here are some of my own points:
- before you take the subway in NY (especially over the weekend),
it is HIGHLY advisable to check the subway website for service

I cannot tell you the no of times I've ended up in Brooklyn or
Queens because of announcements that go like this "This is the
cbhasoidyqwyeu NR train tosakdhasuida going express from eweuywauf
to aurabjfbuib. No trains will be running from rweiryaeihrawoiyr to
waerwuihnbasocj." (Vickie, right?)
- if you have a choice, fly into Newark airport, not JFK. The
petty power mongers in JFK will treat you like a criminal even before
you show them your passport. Airport people in New Jersey are 100
times nicer.

- contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers are not grumpy. They are
just impatient. So if you generally walk fast, talk fast, eat fast
and like to honk your car horn for at least 2 minutes at a
stretch, you'll find that they're all actually really friendly.
That's it from me, hopefully some of us will play my game. (Pam?

Leigh Pasqual - Copyrights 2005

Bangkok : The Big Mango Peeled - by Joyce Lim

Dear All,

First things first - this is a great initiative and congrats to those who birthed this idea - I just knew that that the girls in 1972 CHIJ would never lose their edge!!!! Way cool. I remember so many faces when I see the names! I wonder if all of you still look like you did in 1984????

Leigh, this is another one of your swell ideas. So here's my bit on

I have lived in Bangkok (a.k.a Slutsville Central - yes, it is all true, the fat bastard angmohs and the prepubescent Thai girls and boys are sickening) for the past 4 years. A lot of you come to Bangkok over a long weekend and hit the usual routes: Weekend Market, Weekend Market, Weekend Market.

There's a lot more to Bangkok than the Weekend Market for those who are up there for food and shopping, here are a few tips:

1. The Market is known as JJ to locals. The best way to it is the Skytrain (Mochit Station). See, bargain, buy is the ONLY strategy. Forget about coming back later. You will NOT find it!

2. Safe to eat most things in Bangkok, even cut fruit and Som Tam (papaya salad). Mai Phet is what you say when you don't want it too spicy - not spicy does not exist in the Thai vocab.

3. Jim Thompson's house is also nice (National Stadium station) but the silk is overrated. The bags are so-so. Very old lady, if you ask me. The bags from Jim Thompson are good only in their Emporium outlet - less old lady. Forget about coming to the Jim Thompson sale - too many sharp expat elbows to battle for ugly napkins and leftover elephant coasters.

4. Supatra River House is a nice place for a romantic dinner by the Chao Praya river. Ask your hotel for the tel. number and book. Ask the restuarant to have their boat pick you up at Saphan Taksin Pier, that way, you can cruise the Chao Praya to dinner and the boat will bring you back to the pier after. The pier is at Saphan Taksin station.

5. The Marriott Resort and Spa dinner cruise on board the Mahnora Song is a lovely way to experience the chao praya during sunset. Not expensive, I think and the food is quite ok. But not local-local, just Thai for farangs (i.e. foreigners)but good enough. Must book in advance, ask your hotel for the tel number of Marriott Resort and Spa and then book when you arrive.

So dear all, have fun when you come to Bangkok and nice to see that we are all hooked up!

Cheers from the Big Mango,
Joyce Lim
Joyce Lim []

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