Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wow, this is Geylang.

I was in Geylang for dinner, had very good lobster, Chilli Crab, Cereal Crayfish, Pomfret, Tofu Prawns, Scallops with asparagus. Pretty satisfied.

However, when I was going to get some durians, I witnessed a man opening a car door at the traffic lights and pulling the driver out and speeding off with his car. No one else on the street seem to be bothered and as I was looking around for cameras, I just realized that this was REAL.

Damn it! Where are my cameras? But anyway, I saw the man took out his phone and called some people, and noticed what seemed to be a handle of a pistol at the back of his shirt. Wow! I guess this guy does not need help.

I guess, this is life. And when I was eating some durians moments later, my friend complained to me that a week ago, a "China lady" entered his car at the traffic lights and started stripping. She asked him if he wanted to go to a hotel and she would give him a "discount". But when he refused, she threatened to scream. "RAPE" if he does not pay her.

She took $200 in cash and left the car, all within the next traffic light change.

I did not realize that it is so bad now at Geylang.

I guess the moral of the story is to lock your car doors at all times in Singapore. For your own safety.

--Iron Bowl

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Singtel tricked me to a Singtel store.

I received a mail with a $100 Voucher for any mobile phone purchase with a 24 month contract. I currently have a mio TV, Singnet, Wireless Singtel subscription, and a prepaid mobile.

I finally decided to go and get a Singtel line (I have one for my office handphone) for my personal use as there are a few phones which I am interested in getting and the $100 voucher seemed like a good deal.

I live in Novena, and I drove to Nee Ann City through the ERP gantry to park at the carpark only to find from one of the staff that somehow the voucher was applicable to people who transfer their lines from Starhub or M1 to Singtel.

Let me type out everything on the voucher.

Terms and Conditions
1. Promotion ends 31 December 2009
2. For redemption of mobile phone using the voucher featured in the mailer, you must sign up a new 24 month mobile exuipment contract on Singtel mobile price plans. Temporart suspension of service, downgrade of price plan and termination of line within 24 month contractual period will be considered as a breach of contact. Early termination charges apply.
3. Original mailer and NRIC must be presented for redemption. This offer is NOT transferable and is valid only for the person whose name is listed.
4. This offer is available only at all SingTel Retail Shops and SingtTel Exclusive Retailers, It is NOT valid with other promotions or premuims which may be offered above the line at the outlets.
5. Voucher is good for one time redemption. Only one voucher is allowed per transaction. Balance amount of the voucher if any, can be used to buy mobile phone/accessories at list price.
6. Trade-in is available only with eligible mobile phone models specified by the participating outlets. There is no refund of balance if trade-in value is higher than the offered price. The trade-in GSM mobile phone, original battert and charger must be in good physical and working condition.
7. The participating outlets reserve the right to reject any trade-in at their discretion. SingTel Mobile reserves the right to amend terms & conditions without prior notice. All SingTel's General Terms & Conditions of Service(s) appy, as listed in

In no where did the voucher state that it was ONLY applicable to people who transfer their lines from Starhub or M1 to Singtel.

I went to the SingTel store at AMK hub and the same thing happened.

I know that clause 7 states that "The participating outlets reserve the right to reject any trade-in at their discretion. SingTel Mobile reserves the right to amend terms & conditions without prior notice." But what is the point of giving me a voucher when I am a loyal customer who does not own a cell phone from their competitors and not allowing me to use it to get a new line.

I have just wasted parking fees and ERP charges because the SingTel store decided to use a clause on the voucher and apply a new rule not stated on the voucher.

Thanks SingTel.

--Iron Bowl

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Taxis in Singapore.

Many of you have probably encountered REALLY bad Taxi drivers, but have you experienced the following?

1) There are the taxi drivers that speed up and close the gap when you decide to filter into another lane, preventing you from doing so.

2) The taxi drivers that crowd around MRT stations and popular bus stops which causes traffic to back up. (Example, peak hours at Novena MRT and Toa Payoh MRT)

3) The taxi drivers that refuse to pick you up when you are just outside the ERP areas (because the yget more $$ if you are inside)

4) The aggressive taxi filtering of lanes from 4th lane to 1st, just to drop or pick up a passenger.

5) The taxi that reverse on expressway to get off the exit that he missed.

6) The taxi that double park, or block other parked cars, because the driver is buying 4D

7) The taxi driver that wants to pick a fight with @wahliaodotcom @belindaang and @mangomangomango

8) The taxi with a cloth over license plate to drive across several ERP gantries (unpaid - with the help of a disconnected IU)

9) The taxi which drives extremely slow to try to pick up passengers.

10) The time when you really need a taxi, but all of them are occupied!!

--Irob Bowl

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Learning vs Education.

Learning is defined as acquiring knowledge, skills and abilities by study, experience or being taught. But that is the result. What is the process? How do we learn?

Learning always involves self-development – learning to act differently, think differently and act differently. Learning is natural. We learn as we life and it is part of adapting to changing circumstances.

We may learn things by being taught directly in schools and in sometimes we may come to a conclusion that we are not very good at learning, when in fact we are not very good at being taught.

Learning differs from education. Education describes the results of learning and is often tested by examinations. Teaching cannot exist by itself. It is a two way process and it makes no sense to say, “I taught the subject but the student did not learn it.” This is the educational equivalent to the medical joke. ‘The operation was successful, but the patient died.”

Education is often seen as the teacher pouring knowledge into an empty vessel – the student. This is not education. This is knowledge injection. Having this presupposition leaves the teacher literally ‘drained’ and the student feeling ‘knowledge bloated’ only to take an examination where everything in the vessel is regurgitated at the right time to clear space for the next binge.

In Singapore, the education system fits this description perfectly. Many students are excellent vessels for injecting knowledge for a short period of time, and expelling the knowledge as an exploding diarrhoea -- leaving nothing much behind, just a satisfaction after the exam, knowing that it is all over.

Is this education system good? Do the student actually retain knowledge and learn? I believe the answer is dependent on the student.

Let me leave you with this thought: Education system is just like a diarrohoea, you can hold it in for a while, but you know, when the time comes, you've got to let it all out to be satisfied.

-- Iron Bowl