Monday, April 19, 2021

Cavalock and The Pacific Golden Plover Pitstop

I swear I can't remember when was the last time I stepped into Orchard Plaza. It must have been three or four years at least. But I was back there again last week and in the evening too. That part of the day when one doesn't really step into the building unless you are hard-working, hard-drinking Japanese salary man looking for good food and you-know-what-kinda entertainment, preferably with the company footing the bill. Anyway since the pandemic, all the KTV lounges have closed but me and the Baker-at-Home did managed to spot a couple of legit watering holes still open. But what drew our attention were the many fascinating hole-in-the-wall Japanese eateries on almost every floor. I knew they were there but we never really thought of dropping by until now. They are all so quaint and inviting that we promised ourselves that we'll definitely be back to check them out. Although I bet you definitely need to make reservations since most were already full when we peeked in. 

So where did we end up in Orchard Plaza? Well, we had dinner reservations at Araki, another small Omakase joint tucked in the corner on the fourth floor. The experience and company was great, the food was good, some dishes better than others. I think prefer the cooked fish more than the sushi, yah, not something I thought I would say but go figure. It was fun while it lasted but I don't think we would rather try out some of the other little dives in the building than here again.

So me 87-year-old Dad took the train and bus by myself last week and headed to Bedok to join a group of local and foreign photographers for these bird pix. Apparently a few Pacific golden plovers decided to make a pitstop at Bedok canal. According to wiki, its breeding habitat is in the Arctic tundra and it's migratory, spending winters in South Asia and Australasia.

Quote from me Dad: "Wait for them to fly, never fly. Basket!"

Monday, April 12, 2021

Cavalock and That Overdue Easter Post

Last Easter weekend was pretty exhausting but in a good way. While the Baker-at-Home made some slightly boozy hot-crossed buns with fruits soaked in rum, me and the guys made our way hiking from Kent Ridge Park to Labardor Park to Vivo City. Started at 7.30am and finished in time for an early lunch at Shake Shack. The rest of the guys have all made the trek before but it was me first time through that neck of the woods and it was quite a sight. Some really cool views like the Keppal jetty. I never knew there was a horticulture park or HortPark right up there, complete with chili plants and other veggies. Weather was hot and humid even for that time of the morning. We didn't run or jog, it was a pretty quick walk and no strolling allowed.

Current favourite boardgame is Hallertau, a slightly more complex game where each player manages a small Bavarian village in the Hallertau. The Hallertau in Bavaria, Germany is the largest continuous hop-producing region in the world and it prides itself upon being the first in Middle Europe to cultivate hops. Your objective is to increase its wealth and prestige by supplying the local crafts folk with goods from agriculture and sheep breeding. 

There's a quite a lot to manage in this game. Most of the decisions you make will be where to send your workers during your turn. What do you want to do? Plant different crops or breed sheep or buy tools? There are about 20 such choices waiting for you. You will also get to draw cards that will give more resources at a cost and even affect the decisions you make. I know it sounds cliche but it's one of those 'easy to learn, hard to master' kinda game. By gaining specific resources like barley, milk, wool or hops, you get to move your community centre and score points. The trick is in managing all your resources, knowing how and when to get those resources. 

It's a really amazing game and one I would recommend to anyone looking for a good boardgame challenge.