Kev (abr. Kevin)
Irish, Gaelic orgin. Caoimhin.
1. adorable. 2. gentle one

Walkabout (walk-a-bout)
1 (in Oz) - a walk in the Outback by Aborigines that lasts for an indefinite amount of time. 2 (chiefly British) - an informal stroll among a crowd conducted by an important visitor e.g. a monarch. 3 a walking trip.

Friday, 10 August 2007

Happy 42nd birthday Singapore!

It’s National Day today – Singapore’s 42nd Birthday!! My very first National Day outside of Singapore, in Australia. Well, I miss the atmosphere in Singapore, where there is National Day celebrations with all the decorations and hype, with excitement building up as the days go by till the 9th of August. I would always sit in front of the television to watch the National Day Parade, since I’m always the unlucky one with no balloted tickets to watch it on scene – despite applying for it for numerous years in a roll! And I begin to wonder if I’ll ever get ticket to catch it live on scene…

Anyway despite being in Australia, I sorta refused to let the National Day pass by quietly – or at least I tried to make it as loud a bang as possible. So together with a fellow Singaporean honors student, Cat in the lab, I came up with the idea of cooking glutinous riceballs for the lab meeting session that happens to fall on the 9th August as well. We roped in Huifen as well even though she’s a Malaysian – but hey, we’re neighbors (Malaysia and Singapore is just a stream apart)! So each of us will share out the cost of 3 packets of riceballs, while I will do the cooking and Cat and Huifen will be in-charge of carrying the cooked riceballs to school and distributing it etc. Actually, I could’ve brought it over to school on my own, but well… I’m a nice person, but don’t you dare to take advantage of me!

It was my first experience in cooking so many riceballs at a go – all 30 of them! Therefore I had to use a big pot with lots of water to cover the pot to a considerable depth for cooking riceballs. And I added in sugar, lots and lots of sugar in fact – it’s like never ending addition of sugar! Of course that is because there’s a lot of water and thus a lot of sugar was required to make it have a sweet taste. Besides that, added in a bit of pandan essence as well to make the soup have a lingering fragrant sweet taste and smell. So, after the soup was set, throw in all the riceballs – equal number of peanuts, sesame, and red bean-flavored ones. I was so afraid that the riceballs would ‘explode’! After all, these are for the lab people, and it definitely wouldn’t look good on us, especially me the one who cooks it! Luckily, all turned out fine and the non-Asians in the lab were quite receptive towards it and in generally found it to be good. Probably non-Asians don’t use glutinous rice for meals and so these riceballs were quite interesting and yummy to them? Since they are 15 of us in our research lab, each of us was allocated to only 2 riceballs. =( But since Kristen wasn’t here, Cat and I finished the remaining riceballs as well. =)

All right, so much for the riceballs. Since it’s National Day, something within me stirred up my urge of cooking fried noodles to give myself a good dinner treat. So there I go in my usual food preparing and cooking again, at a pace as fast as possible, so that I can be in time to catch the live web broadcast of the National Day Parade – reached home at around 6.30pm and the broadcast began at 8pm local time. The meal wasn’t fantastic, but it was good enough for me – something different from the usual dinner meals. =)

And so after dinner, the time is about right to catch the live broadcast from the official NDP website. I find that NDP 2007 is rather different from the previous year, and quite refreshing I must add. For one, it was held on the floating platform in Marina which is the first in Singapore history of NDP sites. Because of the water-based stage, naval performances showcasing the navy and police coast guard are made possible as well. As usual though, the military display section of the parade was quite as expected with the march-pass etc. One obvious fact jumps out to me when I was watching the parade. Why is it that the president doesn’t sing the National Anthem? Yes, he is the highest figurehead of the country, which makes it even more pertinent to lead by example in singing the National Anthem! This is something which I can never understand. Another section of the parade that I couldn’t understand is where they use remote control ‘kites’ and said that those were kites and intended to enter into the world records of have 42 kites flying at the same time. But I thought kites are to be controlled by strings and driven by the wind. With it being remotely control, doesn’t this lose the essence of kite? Despite these couple of hard-for-me-to-understand events, I find the whole NDP pretty good – the performances with the ‘Water, Earth, Wind, and Fire’ theme. Probably what is lacking is the good old captain planet rising up and out of the parade into the sky! Oh, it lacks the fifth element – ‘heart’ so probably that’s why we didn’t see any superhero in action. And of course, who doesn’t like the spectacular fireworks?

And one final comment, it looks strange to have the uniform groups carrying umbrellas during the parade even though the umbrellas were later used in part of their performance as well. It just looks strange to me...Maybe in future, the St. Johns will carry first aid boxes during the parade as well. And when performance comes, they just whip out wherever coloured cloth or fans etc from the box and be part of the performance! =)


The Bimbo said...

indeed. happy birthday SG. :) Finally did the million dollar tag!

Anonymous said...

Happy B-Day, Singapore! Woo Hoo! I am impressed with your cooking skills, Kev! Do you cook that well in the lab? =)

spookygrace said...

u r so patriotic..:P.kekeke

bokjae said...

Happy Birthday Singapore! Hey we your neighbour is the elder brother lah! We are celebrating 50th come this end August! Cheers kid!

J@n!ce said...

You are in Aus & gets to watch the performance. I din get to watch the performance this year. I heard it was really good compared to previous years :)

Sweetpea said...

ooo... tong yuen! i like!!

Sue Sue said...

wow your glutinous rice ball so big oh! Wei, you good ah some more can watch parade over the web

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