Monday, 25 July 2011

bananas to boost your brain power!!

Banana's are good for you, not only do they boost your calcium absorption but they also help in cases of anaemia, are good for high blood pressure, constipation and they boost your brain power.

Seeing as they are just so good - both in taste and healthwise - here is a simple dessert to help you 'boost your brain power' and to use up those bananas before they go off!

Slice up two or three banana's - depends on how many people are eating of course - and place them in the frypan along with some butter, sugar and cinnamon. Cook gently for a few minutes:

 Set aside and then clean the frypan:

take out the frozen packet of Roti you have buried in the freezer:

add some butter to the pan and cook the roti - one piece at a time:

will take a few minutes to cook a nice golden brown, place on the plate and add the cooked banana's on top:

you can serve it with cream, ice cream or leave it as it is:

Yummy, delicious or what??

and its good for you ..... well the banana is, remember?

it boosts your brain power!!

(hope you enjoyed this quirky little nonsensical blog posting of mine!!)

Lady Gaga in Singapore

Lady Gaga's Born This Way Showcase Tour in Singapore
Lady Gaga wowed fans with an incredible performance at her showcase concert at the Marina Bay Sands on July 7 and we were lucky enough to be amongst that 2,000 strong crowd! 

We were very happy to hear that we had tickets to see Lady Gaga's Born This Way show here in Singapore.  Lady Gaga performed the exclusive showcase to SingTel customers in celebration of the telco's newly added features to its music service, AMPed. Can't say I follow her every show, but I enjoy watching her and the talent that she has. I am a fan of any female performer that has guts and determination, especially when they have the courage to bring forth their raw sexuality to the extent that Lady Gaga does.

My first 'model' (of this type of artist) was Suzie Quatro from the 70's, yes, I know, a long time ago .... but she was 'up there' in those days and her music really rocked. It rocked as much as she did. I would go to every concert that was available to me.... her sensuality on stage was to be admired. Here are a couple of images of Suzie Q:

Then next (for me) came Madonna .... there are many people that do not like her or her music, thats totally understandable. But you do have to admire her for her 'business sense' and her ability to give it her all on stage. These women are artists, you have to admire them for what they do.

and Madonna... 

So yes, we were very happy to have these two free tickets to see Lady Gaga in concert here in Singapore.

The venue left a lot to be desired, but hey, when the music is rocking .. who really cares?

Here are a few images of the concert. Not good by any means, but being short does not help and it does not help when there are rude people moving in front of you, taking photos and blocking what little view you had!  I don't mind if they apologise or excuse themselves for a minute or two ... am more than happy to 'share' my viewing spot ... but standing in front of me because you may think I have no interest in such a concert is very wrong and very rude!

So here are just a few images of the Born This Way Showcase Tour:

 It was loud .... it was fun ... it was energy .... it was power ..... it was great!


Lady Gaga is - to me - a modern mix of Suzie Quatro, Madonna or Cyndi Lauper. Depending on what era you are in! She’s the newest 'wild one' creating a party fashion craze that is taking the globe by storm and who thrives on controversy and pushing boundaries with her music and fashion sense!

You can ask any of the 2000 strong crowd that were there on July 7, as I am sure they all enjoyed it as much as we did:

at her press concert  she  said “I’m so happy to back in Singapore, This is one of my favorite countries in the whole world. Thank you for having me back.” The singer later announced that she will visit Singapore with her Born This Way tour next fall.

So watch out for her next visit to Singapore as it is sure to be bigger, brighter, better AND louder than this one was! 

I sincerely thank SINGTEL and Pat from GOODSTUPH 
for giving us the opportunity to attend this 'invite only' show of Lady Gaga's!  
Really appreciate it.

Caveat and Disclaimer
"This blog resulted from an invitation and represents the thoughts and opinions of the writer. All information on this blog is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy or timeliness and the writer will not be liable for any losses, injuries or damages from the display or use of this information. All text and photos on this blog are the original works of the writer unless stated otherwise."

Thursday, 21 July 2011

taking the bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru - updated

in February 2009 I did a blog post titled
I updated it in Sept 2009 due to a few transport changes. 
That blog post is by far the most popular of all on 
it now has a minimum of 40 hits per day, or since 
I first uploaded it over 9000 hits on that one page!

But it's time for another update ..... in fact I think it warrants a whole new page!

so here goes....

You can travel by bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru quite easily.

You can even spend a day shopping in Johur Bahru (or JB as it is usually known as) all you need is your Passport, your ID card, a few Ringgits, your bus pass and away you go!

The bus will stop at Woodlands checkpoint and you alight there for JB Sentral for shopping.

Or, if you are intending to go further afield, take the bus through to LARKIN BUS INTERCHANGE to catch the coach to KL, Malacca etc. Some buses will also list Kotaraya .. this is a 'suburb' of JB.

Days to avoid - if possible - would be Public Holidays, Fridays, Saturday and Sunday as it gets extremely busy, especially at Woodlands Checkpoint. We have noted that Friday evenings are the busiest. Though leaving a little later, perhaps after 6.30pm is easier.

There are many area's in Singapore to board a bus to JB:


take the Singapore-Johor Express Coach from Queen Street Bus Station to Larkin Bus Terminal in JB. The ticket costs S$2.40.The Singapore-Johor Express Coach runs from 6.30 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. at 15-minute intervals. The Singapore-Johor Express Coach travels more quickly than Bus No. 170, which makes many stops along the way to JB. However, there is no luggage space on the coach, so you'll be asked to buy a second ticket (S$2.40) for your shopping on the return journey!

BUS 170..... The cheapest way to JB. would be to take Bus No. 170 from either Queen Street Bus Station or the bus-stop along Rochor Canal Road (just after Sim Lim Square). The bus fare is S$1.60. The service runs from 5.20 a.m. to 12.10 a.m. everyday. But it also travels along Bukit Timah Road and Woodlands Road and stops at KRANJI MRT.... so whatever is the more convenient area for you to board the 170.  Log onto the SBS Transit website for the 170 bus route.

A central stop (for BUS 170) for many would would be BUS STOP 40091 at the intersection of Dunearn Rd / Stevens Rd (opp the old Copthorne Orchid) would take 50 mins from here and the cost would be $1.41.


Board Bus 160 all the way to JB. Cost is $1.41 and the time will take 45 minutes.

Or take the MRT (from Jurong East) to KRANJI MRT and board bus 160 or 170 from the MRT to JB.  Cost will be $1.49 and the time will take 40 minutes.

the following images are of Jurong Bus Interchange and the boarding point for Bus 160:


take bus 856 - this bus will take 20 minutes.

FROM IKEA (on Alexandra Rd) this one is for Andrea!!

Take bus 961- board at bus stop 10131 Opp block 2 on Jalan Bukit Merah / or bus stop 11021 opp Queenstown Police Hdqrs and alight at Kranji MRT..... wait for bus 160 or bus 170.  All up the cost will be $1.69 and the total time would be 70 minutes. 

Following images are of the bus stop at Kranji MRT:


The Advance Coach AC7 bus service was launched in Dec 2010. The bus runs between Yishun bus interchange in Singapore and Kotaraya II terminal in Johor Baru. It makes numerous stops enroute between Yishun bus interchange and the Woodlands checkpoint. The frequency is 20 to 30 minutes, from 5.45am 11.30pm (Singapore to Johor Bahru) or 5am and 11.50pm (Johor Bahru to Singapore). The bus fare is a flat $2 (if you board the bus anywhere in Singapore) or 2RM (if you board the bus in Johor Bahru).


The Transtar Cross Border Service TS1 minibus (24 passengers) plies between Changi Airport and Johor Bahru. The service calls at coach stands at Terminals 1, 2, 3, and the Budget Terminal at Changi Airport and terminate at Kotaraya II Terminal. One-way fares from Changi Airport to Johor Bahru is S$7 for adults and S$3.50 for children. From Johor Bahru, adults will pay RM7 whereas children will pay RM3.50. Payment can be made using EzLink card or with cash. The first bus leaves Changi Airport for Johor Bahru at 6.50am, Johor Bahru for Changi Airport at 5.00am with the last departures at Changi Airport and Kotaraya II scheduled at 11.50pm and 10.00pm respectively. Frequency is set at every 60 minutes. The bus calls at 5 stops along its route in Singapore (excluding Woodlands Checkpoint) and uses the Tampines and Seletar Expressways.


The Transtar Cross Border Service TS8 double-decker bus plies between Resorts World at Sentosa (RWS) and Johor Bahru. The bus call at 6 stops along its route. The service also terminate at Kotaraya II Terminal in Johor Bahru. Fares are set lower, at S$5 for adults from RWS to JB, and S$2.50 for children. From JB, adults will pay RM5 and children, RM2.50. For boarding at the other points along the route, adults can expect to pay between S$3-S$4, whereas child fares are between S$1.50-S$2. Passengers can choose to pay using their EzLink cards or with cash. From RWS, the first bus will leave at 8am (Mon-Sat) or 9am (Sun) with the last one at 11pm (Mon-Fri) or 1am (Sat-Sun). From Kotaraya II Terminal, the first bus departs at 5.45am (Mon-Sat) or 6.15am (Sun) and the last bus at 9.45 (Mon-Fri) or 10.45pm (Sat-Sun). Service TS8 will run at a frequency of every 1 or2 hrs. The bus calls at 6 stops in Singapore (excluding Woodlands Checkpoint) along its route.

OK ... now we have reached Woodlands Check Point ... 

what to do?  where to go?

If you are on Bus 160 or 170, the driver will let you off on the Singapore side of the causeway for you to enter Singapore Immigration. Take everything off the bus with you, tap your transit card and follow the crowd up the escalator, proceed through immigration and out the other side ...... go down the escalator, and follow the crowd - usually around to the right - where the bus will stop to take you across the causeway:
You can see how 'quiet' the bus area is mid week!!

It does not matter if you were on Bus 160 or on Bus 170, you can take either across the causeway. If you are traveling on one of the express buses, you must board that bus.

The bus will take you across the causeway to the Malaysian Immigration. As you proceed up the escalator you will see a desk on your far right - if needed, this is where you will pick up the white immigration cards to complete your entry into Malaysia.

Proceed through immigration.

Make sure that the customs official has stamped your passport and it is dated.

From here you can continue on to KL, Larkin etc through the immigration building to the bus stops at the far end - follow the signs.

If you are intending to go to JB for a day of shopping, do not continue to the end of the building and to the bus stop, but on the LEFT near the Tourist Information Centre, follow the crowd around to the left as these people will probably be going to JB Sentral too!
please excuse poor quality images - I doubt photography is permitted, so took these very quickly so you can see what the hallways and exits points are like. Once there if you did not have these visual aids, you would be wondering if you were going in the right direction!!

Keep following the signs to JB Sentral and or the crowd!

Malaysia has the most amazing customs complex - it is huge - It is called the Southern Integrated Gateway.  It is super modern, efficient and has interesting architecture!
Continue down these escalators crossing the main roadway via the covered walkway and then you enter JB Sentral. It is a large shopping complex - all the main stores can be found there: Adidas / Bata / City Chain / Factory Outlet Store / Lee Cooper / Starbucks / J. Co Donut etc....... I often go there to the APEX Pharmacy, it is downstairs (just up from J.Co Coffee shop) and past the BATA Shoe Store. They have a good range of vitamins etc and you can email them ahead of time if you have a specific order or items you want to check if they have it in stock.

The Popular Book Store - upstairs - is well worth a visit. They have all the latest magazines at half the price they are in Singapore. If you have a discount card (Popular) make sure you take it with you. It is a fabulous store that carries all the good stationary items that are not found elsewhere.

Birthday / Christmas / Easter cards are all there too ... and a far greater range than you will see anywhere in Singapore. I have seen birthday cards in Singapore for around $8.00 ... in JB I get them for 3.00 MYR. That equals $1.20 SGD.

I usually bring back about 6 cards each time I go to JB. Their Christmas Cards are amazing ... such a wide variety. Certainly well worth going perhaps in November to purchase your cards. Then don't forget, post them after December  5th from Singapore for 50 cents.

See? I give you all this good info that you probably didn't know!

returning to Singapore remember ....

Do not bring back with you any large quantities of chewing gum, cigarettes, DVD's etc....

ONE packet of cigarette's, or better still none at all!

Enough gum for personal consumption only.

DVD's .... not sure... though I have brought back 4 at a time.

Other shopping like books etc there seems to be no limit...... take shopping bags with you (ie the grocery green bags) as it will be much easier for you to carry any large quantities of shopping!

Medication - up to three months supply ONLY - for personal use only - and you must have a letter from your doctor with you at all times. We only bring in one months supply at a time, or if we both go over, we get two months supply.  

and to return to Singapore - retrace your steps and return to Malaysian Customs and back onto bus 160 or bus 170, or whatever bus you came over on!
back home on the bus after a happy day of shopping in JB, 
better still you now have another stamp in your passport!

am sure this blog post has been of help, 
if it has, please feel free to pass it on to others.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Sculpture is an important form of public art!

Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created 
by shaping or combining hard materials 
and an important form of public art.

and that is what I found in Wikipedia when I searched on the word SCULPTURE.
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials typically stone such as marble - or metal, glass, or wood. Softer ("plastic") materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals. The term has been extended to works including sound, text and light.

Found objects may be presented as sculptures. Materials may be worked by removal such as carving; or they may be assembled such as by welding , hardened such as by firing, or molded or cast. Surface decoration such as paint may be applied. Sculpture has been described as one of the plastic arts because it can involve the use of materials that can be moulded or modulated.

 Sculpture is an important form of public art. 
A collection of sculpture in a garden setting may be referred to as a sculpture garden.


The materials used in sculpture are diverse, changing throughout history. Sculptors have generally sought to produce works of art that are as permanent as possible, working in durable and frequently expensive materials such as bronze and stone: marble, limestone, porphyry, and granite.

  to destroy these sculptures at Bukit Brown Cemetery
would be to destroy the artwork
and after our walk through the Bukit Brown Cemetery last weekend, looking at these beautiful works of art and realising that perhaps soon, these will no longer be available for us to enjoy.

These works of art were created many years ago
and were created to be as permanent as possible.

These cannot be lost forever,
somehow they need to be preserved for future generations.

Once these priceless pieces of art are destroyed, 
they will be gone forever.

do read the blog titled
an excellent post on 
Bukit Brown Cemetery

my previous blog post is on