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Out Of The Dark is a 1995 horror/comedy film directed by Jeffrey Lau. It of course stars Stephen Chow as Leo, a mental patient/ghostbuster and also Karen Mok as deluded lovesick Kwan. The pair act as a parody of Jean Reno’s Leon and Natalie Portman’s Mathilda in 1994’s Leon: The Professional by way of their dress. Chow in a long black coat, round sunglasses and a baseball cap instead of a beanie and Mok in an olive MA-1. They also have Leon’s carryall and potted plant as props.

The film is a prime example of “mo lei tau” comedy in its near senseless and illogical portrayal of events and conversation. The plot revolves around an apartment complex in Hong Kong and in some ways, is almost an homage to Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express, a clip of which plays in Karen Mok’s bedroom near the start. A couple accidentally kills their mother, who comes back to haunt them for revenge and this descends rather quickly into a macabre bloodbath involving chainsaws, oversized prop axes, guns, dynamite sticks, grenades, clingwrap, Maltesers and a pile of shit that’s censored.

The main gist is that the couple were haunted by their mother and despite being saved end up getting killed by Leo and Mok and the ragtag team of security guards, so they end up haunting the crew.

Frankly, there is no plot. Divergence and absurdity is absolutely key. Everything happens and also nothing at all. There’s a scene in which the wife in the couple is left alone in the apartment and there’s paranormal stuff going on. The TV goes on and she sees herself from behind displayed. She turns around and there’s a camcorder on the shelf, which she promptly picks up and then notices the TV displaying her dead mother instead. It’s this little detail that transcends the idea of reality and hallucinations and film.

It’s not going to win any prizes for being a great film and I’m sure some people just won’t stomach the humour but for me, it’s classic HK slapstick. And it makes me want to dress like this.



九层糕 Gau Cheng Gou / Jiu Cheng Gao / Kueh Lapis Sagu is one of the myriad forms of KUEH you’ll find in South East Asia, particularly in Singapore and Malaysia. It’s made with rice and tapioca flours, sugar, coconut milk and food colouring. Sometimes, you’ll see a few other flours used like mung bean in different recipes. But essentially, you make this slurry batter thing and steam it off and addon layer by layer, with a different colour every layer and there’s usually, 9 layers.

You can obviously just chew through every layer in a single bite but most people would opt to peel and eat each layer individually. I know I did. What I enjoy about this kueh in particular is that it’s interactive and playful. Individually, the layers all taste the same. Sweet, slightly chewy and sticky, somewhat cloying and mostly boring by the time you get to the bottom. Diminishing returns.

This was a feeling I’d get after the 5th or 6th layer. By the time I got to the bottom, sometimes, I’d feel more like I was completing a simple task or chore rather than eating something delicious. I never wondered about the why. But one thing I did figure out was that there were subtle differences to the layers.

Of course, if you think about it rationally, the layers will be somewhat different. On the one hand, I don’t think many makers weighed out exact amounts per layer. They might have but there’s an inconsistency with the cooking technique and quantities, so each layer will inherently have marginal differences. If you were to produce this consistently, you’d weigh up and all that but still, the lower layers get steamed more than the upper ones. You’d have to steam individually and pile layer on layer, most probably limiting you to the possibility of making rather small kueh. Regardless, this isn’t practical and suffice to say, most people (myself included) will not notice the differences too much and anyway, those minute differences are actually a good thing.

Then there’s the colour thing. Whether it’s 九层糕 or M&M’s, your brain wants to perceive each colour as tasting different. They don’t but then they sorta do. I found myself prioritising particular coloured layers over others. Notably 2 layers stuck out more than any other. The topmost typically red layer and the bottom white thick layer.

I’ve already mentioned that the base has to be the foundation so it has to be thicker, harder and cooked longer. All this translates to is a worse texture. So my instinct to dislike the bottom more than the other layers had a real justification. Because of this very fact, I actually evolved my 九层糕 eating methodology and went bottom up instead. I found this incredibly more rewarding than the typical top down approach. Peeling the bottom off and eating it first got the less awesome bit out the way first and it’s just onwards and upwards from there. If you eat the bottom layer at the end, it’s just the downward slog that some people just end up chucking in the bin. Regrettable.

And what of that prized topmost layer? The red one! It was bright, shiny and attractive. Like the bottom layer, it was different from the rest. Again, I never really thought about why this was exactly. I just knew innately that it was. It’s different because of a few things. The first is thickness. The top layer tends to be the thinnest layer. If you peel it off, it’s semi translucent. It feels more like a fruit roll up. The second is the slick of oil that’s sometimes applied to make it shiny. That only goes on top so you get this pronounced smoothness and richness in the mouth, primarily with the top layer. The third is the somewhat plasticky bite to the top. It’s a little less pliable, a little firmer. At this stage, I’m simply making an educated guess that the top layer post cooking is exposed to more air and sort of dries out a little.

I suppose that last bit is down to the kueh maker. If they oil the top right after cooking, it ought to oxidise less and the top will feel more like everything else. All I know is that I preferred 九层糕 with the slightly bitier top layer as opposed to the rest. Again, this feeds into my eating process that goes from bottom to top. I save the best for last. I also appreciate the variance and that last bit of additional texture just cuts past all the same sameness that went before it.

I wonder how many Singaporeans and Malaysians and cultures with similar kueh went through the same thought processes as I did as a child. I also wonder what other methods and ideas people came up with to eat 九层糕. I think it’s a pity to bite through the layers, you lose that fun of peeling and that stickyness and mess. You do gain one aspect. I do admit that occasionally, I certainly went at 2 or 3 layers at once. This wasn’t because I just wanted to power through to the top or I was being greedy. Moreso, I wanted to feel the layers separating in mouth. it’s engaging to smoothly separate two layers with your teeth and tongue and not your fingers. It’s primal, organic. Nearly sexy, except I was naive, innocent. This allowed for variance, which is important because that contrast and juxtaposition is what gets you through palette fatigue. Yet now, I’m also plagued with the idea of how it all works and all the magic and mystery is a little dampened. I supposed you might read this and go one of the following:

a)OH! I never thought about it like that
b)WTF, it’s just food

What I’ve found, of course, is that I had the same ideas about food when I was a child as I do now. I enjoy change. I like menus that take you on a journey. I manage to accomplish this alone as a 5 year old in a 3 minute kueh session. I expect at the minimum, something akin to this for a $100 tasting menu and put the same due diligence into my own food and cooking.

Enjoy your kueh.

Top LPs

  1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
  2. Nosaj Thing – Fated
  3. Jamie XX – In Colour
  4. Beach House – Depression Cherry
  5. Knxwledge – Hud Dreems
  6. Jamie Woon – Making Time
  7. Shopping – Why Choose
  8. NxWorries – Link & Suede EP
  9. Toro Y Moi – Samantha
  10. Thundercat – The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam
  11. milo – So The Flies Don’t Come
  12. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
  13. The Weeknd – Beauty Behind the Madness
  14. Mac DeMarco – Another One
  15. Action Bronson – Mr. Wonderful
  16. A$AP Rocky – ALLA
  17. Drake – If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late
  18. Neon Indian – Vegas INTL. Night School
  19. Petite Noir – The King Of Anxiety EP
  20. Ta-Ku – Songs To Make Up To
  21. Disclosure – Caracal
  22. Tame Impala – Currents
  23. Raury – All We Need
  24. Future – DS2
  25. Oneohtrix Point Never – Garden Of Delete

Top Tracks

  1. Beach House – Sparks
  2. Drake – Hotline Bling
  3. Thundercat – Them Changes
  4. The Weeknd – Tell Your Friends
  5. Kendrick Lamar – Alright
  6. Nosaj Thing – Cold Stares (feat. Chance The Rapper & Maceo Haymes)
  7. Jamie XX – Seesaw (feat. Romy)
  8. NxWorries – Suede
  9. Kendrick Lamar – These Walls
  10. Shopping – Straight Lines
  11. Toro y Moi – 2Late (feat. Kool AD, SAFE)
  12. milo – Song About A Raygunn (feat. Hemlock Ernst)
  13. Neon Indian – The Glitzy Hive
  14. Jamie XX – Sleep Sound
  15. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Can’t Keep Checking My Phone
  16. Mac DeMarco – Another One
  17. Action Bronson – Baby Blue (feat. Chance The Rapper)
  18. Petite Noir – Shadows
  19. Disclosure – Willing & Able (feat. Kwabs)
  20. Raury – Forbidden Knowledge (feat. Big K.R.I.T)
  21. Ta-Ku – Love Again (feat. JMSN & Sango)
  22. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – The World Is Crowded
  23. Drake – Energy
  24. Future – Where Ya At (feat. Drake)
  25. A$AP Rocky – Jukebox Joints

Late Pass (from worst offence)

  • Slum Village – Fantastic Vol. 1
  • Slum Village – Fantastic Vol. 2
  • Pete Rock & CL Smooth – Mecca & The Soul Brother
  • INI – Center Of Attention
  • Talking Heads – Remain In Light
  • The Specials – The Specials
  • My Bloody Valentine – You Made Me Realise EP
  • De La Soul – Stakes Is High
  • Ice Cube – The Predator
  • Evian Christ – Kings And Them
  • Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
  • Echo & The Bunnymen – Echo & The Bunnymen
  • Beastie Boys – Ill Communication
  • OutKast – ATLiens
  • Big L – Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous
  • Wiley – Treddin’ On Thin Ice
  • Kano – Home Sweet Home
  • milo – A Toothpaste Suburb
  • J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive
  • Big Sean – Hall Of Fame
  • SZA – Z
  • Jhene Aiko – Sailing Souls
  • Shopping – Why Wait
  • Black Marble – A Different Arrangement
  • The Mary Onettes – Portico
  • Craft Spells – Idle Labor
  • Lust For Youth – International
  • Real Estate – Atlas
  • The Pixies – Surfer Rosa
  • Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
  • Fleetwood Mac – Mirage
  • Fleetwood Mac – Tango In The Night


Hi, my name is Ivan and I’m a chef. I’m also a food evangelist. All the time I’ve dedicated in the kitchen, toiling away at hot stoves and ovens has led me on this path today, where I’ve just discovered an incredible new food and I’m about to share it with you right here, right now. It’s a food so nutrient dense and good for you that you wouldn’t be able to believe it was true. You’d think I’d be lying because, how could something so incredibly life changing actually exist? Nevermind that it’s even cheap and easy to prepare! Mind blowing indeed.

It’s something that was cultivated since ancient times in the Niger river delta but what’s really interesting is how good it tastes. It’s the first superfood I’ve had that I didn’t stop to think, well I need to work on this. No it’s just perfect by itself and it’s so simple to prepare that anyone could do it.

And you know what? I’m going to share that incredible secret with you. When I first realised what I had worked on, I was overwhelmed. This was it. It was the holy grail. It will bring us salvation and it’s name, is Oryza.

I know what you’re thinking. But… what is Oryza? Oryza is available in a few forms, the two most common being Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima. The former is more suitable for pregnant women and children or the elderly because it’s got a less complex structure and is easier to digest. Both strains are still incredibly amazing because Oryza is an ancient grain that has been known in the past as a cure-all because of how MANY benefits it has but not only that, it’s also incredibly delicious, which is not something you can say for so many other so-called superfoods. This is the real deal, it’s the be all and end all and big business won’t tell you about it because it’s too good to be true.

But that’s exactly what it is. Not only is oryza sustainable and biodynamically produced, it’s a greenhouse gas diffuser and encourages ecodiversity in the natural environment. Not to mention the fact that it’s inexpensive. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, can get on the health train today. The major food producers know about Oryza and how amazing it is but they can’t make much money at all so they’d rather sell you things like spelt or farro instead and keep Oryza on the DL. I’m here to blow that spot up for good because in my personal experience and in my work and my passion, I’ve found that it’s too incredible to keep under wraps.

My friends and family have already started to enjoy the benefits and sublime taste that is oryza. I’ve made them oryza pilaf, oryza puddings, wok fried oryza, oryza salad, oryza dumplings. I’ve served it with raw fish and also, my personal favourite, with 72 hour 65 degree poached chicken. The flavour is incredible. I’ve made a “flour” by grinding oryza and making into noodles and pasta and wontons. I’ve macro-fermented it and used it in marinades, pastes and sauces. It’s gluten and allergen free. It’s virtually fat free and any fat is the good food essential for our bodies. It’s low sodium and high peptide. It’s macrobiotic. It’s probiotic. It’s neodynamic. It’s incredible and there’s so much stuff I want to write but I’ve got to keep it restrained or I’d be publishing my thesis paper on the subject right here!

It’s reduced the chance of cancer for so many people in controlled tests. We did a chemical component breakdown and were just shocked at what we found. It’s packed full of so many essential vitamins and minerals and also the incredibly rare nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, crucial for brain development and liver function. Most intriguingly, it also contains Panthothenic Acid, which helps synthesize coenzyme A in proteins, something that nothing else on earth does, making it essential in aiding our digestion because coenzyme A is better known in the health industry as “skin glow” because that’s what it does. It makes your skin literally glow. Seriously.

So at this point, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself, “Ivan, where can I get this amazingness?”. Well fret no longer because I will tell everyone now. For the low, low price of $9.99 (subject to conditions and approval listed), you too can jump on this right now and see a newer, slimmer, healthier, sexier and more satisfied you. I’ll personally send you 1 kilogram of vacuum packed oryza along with a book chockfull of my recipes and philosophy. But don’t listen to me because honestly, if you’ve had one bite of oryza after following the incredible recipes listed in my book, you’ll know that it just sells itself. Your tastebuds can thank me later.

Did I mention it’s also easy? It’s a no brainer. You just add water and voila, it’s done. No messing about. So simple and so delicious even my kids have picked up how to prepare oryza. Everything, all 365 recipes, one for each day of the year is contained in a well organised book with glossary and simple, delicious, effective and healthy recipes. The methods are simple and you know what, I even provide email support. Yes, you can email me your queries if you need any help at all or even if you’re just slightly curious. And that support is provided gratis, free even if you’re not convinced by the low price and the high value ratio. Absolutely free because I believe one good deed begets another and this is the mother of all good deeds.

If you do have any questions, do email me with them and any other comments you may have along with your bank details to Don’t hesitate because your life could change irrevocably.

The ultimate tea house. This references my mom’s dad’s old coffeeshop and also the HK teahouses like you see in Hard Boiled and actual restaurants like Nom Wah Tea Parlor in NYC. It’s really comprised of 3 spaces, a double storey shop with a hole in the wall joining the kitchen next door. This is a money no object type blue sky thing.

The centerpiece of the restaurant is an edge to edge chamfered cool grey faux marble table top with a filligree covered heavy brown wooden base. Like a classic Chinese coffeshop/teahouse. This is an eight seater with a lazy susan or a 3 x 2 top with a vase carrying a singular fake orange sunflower. The side wall will be a full length mirror with burgundy banquette seating, preferably second hand and patched up with vinyl in a slightly different shade here and there. The back wall is painted in a faded imperial edict yellow with posters of Anita Mui, Faye Wong, Chow Yun Fatt, The Young And Dangerous, Leslie Cheung and a Yue Minjun piece, preferably off TaoBao. Distinctly 90s/00s retro.

There’s also two columns in the middle painted the same yellow, with my imaginary progeny’s 6th place award for violin decomposition as well as one of those awful inspirational slogan posters. Like THERE IS NO I IN TEAM, except it’s in Chinese, which would simply be cryptic and senseless. Or like MOTIVATION or Don’t Let Your Dreams Be Dreams. Also, we’ll have a 1990s style bad photoshop version of a crew photo with Tony Abbott and someone scrawling TONY DA PONY, KILLAH PRIEST in neon pink marker.

Most of the other seating will be simple rectangle linoleum covered tables in some awkward shade of greige with Thonet No. 18s that we will Maarten Baas the fuck out of with Bernzomatic TS-8000s. If they fall apart, we’ll sorta Macgyver them back with sticky tape and bluetack. Each and every table will get a condiment/cutlery/napkin holder with Koon Yick Wah Kee chilli sauce and some vinegar and soy and chilli oil, custom melamine chopsticks and soup spoons and discount store metal and acetate handled cutlery. Upstairs is more of the same, shitty tables, shitty chairs, banquette seating in dark emerald this time and more natty posters and awkward time capsule stuff with little meaning and the odd smattering of something absurdly trendy or funny. Same bloody mirrored wall running the same side as well but a bronzed finish so it’s more old timey Shanghai 1930s but we’ll have neon lights in pink as well on the opposite wall that spell out the restuarant’s name, which is TBD. I’m thinking Cha Lou Zha Fit. At an extensive stretch, it sounds like Chateau Lafite? Cept if you know what zha fit means in Cantonese. You know we gon have our own label of cask wine tho.

Hanging off the ceiling, we’ll have ratty chandeliers that are just not quite straight. Super inspired by Le Chateaubriand. The floor, likewise, will have existing cracked tiles because the workers were careless. The stairs will run over the bar, which will have 3 seats so if you’re by yourself, you don’t feel like a complete idiot next to a stranger because there’s a seat in between. Next to the bar, is a faded pale aqua tea shelf, full to the brim with miscellaneous tea knick knacks, some hypermodern pottery from Japan via plusminuszero and some from flea markets. We’ll stock all the different combos of tea, but we’ll specialize in Pu Erh because duh. Next to this shelf is the entrance to the kitchen, which will have like Wild West style swinging wooden doors to annoy and piss off the servers. Otherwise, this hole in the wall will be painted pitch black and feel like a portal to another realm, which it is.

Once you step through the blacked out passage, you’ll enter an ultra clean and bright kitchen with a man sized stainless steel island workbench you can jump onto with flour flying everywhere. We’ll have all mod cons. Circulators, Induction stoves, 2 wok burners, a charcoal grill, a steamer section, a deep fryer and 20 $6/hr imported slaves or 40 stagiers plus me wielding a conductor’s wand a la Harry Potter. NO ONE sees the kitchen except staff. We’ll have giant black dildos hanging conspicuously off one wall near the entrance as a deterrent.

We’ll serve some sort of pan Chinese modernist style type dim sum/small dishes crap with like cumin lamb brain skewers, Szechuan style hot oil seared aburi white fish and like an egg custard you steam in a rice bowl lined with cling. You sorta unmould the thing onto a plate and you get the tian dish look and then it gets some light soy type dressing. It’ll probably be like king crab on top hiding a emulsion of salted egg yolk and accented with lettuce. There will be no fucking steamer trolleys manned by old ladies. The staff will be old ladies who don’t speak English and trained to be rude and unhelpful. They will wear tee shirts emblazoned with prints of random gangster hiphop acts. The manager is gonna be either a)a dude dressed up like Lo Pan in Big Trouble In Little China OR b)a crossdresser pretending to be Maggie Cheung in In The Mood For Love.

The menu itself will feature a retro style 1930s font for the CHATOUZHAFIT logo and then revert to something legible and simple. All the dishes will have OTT colourful names like Crouching Dragon Sucking The Giant Marble or Invisible Plate Of Food That Burns Hole In Wallet or when we send out nonsense with liquid nitrogen or dry ice, it’ll be like Gimmicky Vapors Swell my Purse.

When we do have our big opening, we’ll blast some Mobb Deep and have a lion dance troupe sliding down the stairs with twin tec 9s and firecrackers going off on a Sonos speaker. Then they like grab the cabbage and we dole out the red packets and shit. Oh yeah and fucking fortune cookies man. Gotta have those for mignardises and with more inspirational quotes hidden within. Like “There Is No Try, Do Or Do Not” – Chinese Guy.

Aziz Ansari’s new sitcom for Netflix, Master Of None, is really just an extension of some of his existing material in his standups but that’s a good thing. It’s very 2015 for lack of a better description. There’s cool music, the ideas are left and progressive, some of the humour is just ridiculously inane and some of it particularly relatable. For me anyway, an Asian dude living in a white country.

Speaking of ethnicity, one of the episodes deals with the issue that you could never have a show with two Indian guys on it because that’s not what the demographic wants to see, it just becomes an Indian show instead of something that could be awesome. It’d just get stereotyped. And whilst MoN has got more than one Indian guy, it is also keenly self aware that the 4 leads are an Indian guy, a Chinese guy, a white guy and a black lesbian. Two in one on that last one. REPRESENT.

Anyway, what I really wanted to get at was this scene where Aziz talks to Rachel about first and second bands and Rachel was like Johnny Cash and Pavement. Aziz was like, no way, that’s too cool to be true. His was the soundtrack to Beauty and the Beast and Vanilla Ice’s To The Extreme.

This got me to thinking about my first album. My first LP on my hand me down walkman was, like Aziz, a soundtrack. Back To The Future from way back in ’85. My favourite track was Johnny B. Goode. My second LP was… I can’t even fucking remember what my second LP was but pretty sure it wasn’t anything cool. Oh maybe Duran Duran and then later Take That.

Gotta say, if I had a sitcom and I had to come up with music, I don’t think I’d get 10% as good as what MoN achieved. Beach House reps the show’s title, there’s fuckin’ Serge Gainsbourg, there’s Aphex Twin, there’s Toto, there’s Mark Morrison, there’s Pete Rock & CL Smooth, there’s William Onyeabor, Emmylou Harris, The Cure… you get the picture.

There’s just so much good music out there. Like there’s so many good things out there. Like if you started life knowing you’d only ever listen to 12841 albums in your entire life… You have to start picking but then you’d spend time picking and waste your life. So, just listen I guess and try to avoid stuff I don’t really like. And get into jazz again. Get into that Ornette Coleman thing.

Also, Lena Waithe is really wise and Lynn Cohen is really cool.

How do I know that I’ve been in Australia for a bit? Well. when I read the spiel on a house for sale, I not only understand it, I know when to ignore it entirely. The following is a brief breakdown of the jargon that real estate agents use consistently to paint a nicer picture of the shithole they’re trying to dump on you.

  • Leafy Surrounds > It’s in the middle of nowhere
  • Urban Setting > Your neighbours are druggies/homeless
  • Quiet > It’s really in the middle of nowhere
  • Popular > It’s next to a pub
  • Quaint > It’s in a shit neighbourhood
  • Heritage Listed > It’s falling apart and you can’t renovate
  • Views > It’s got windows
  • Art Deco > It’s really old
  • Well Appointed > It’s got electricity hooked up
  • Contemporary > It’s painted black
  • Modern but Classic > They painted over something old
  • Superb Location > It’s next to the freeway
  • Architect Designed > So ugly the guy involved didn’t want his name on it
  • Manicured Gardens > It’s overrun by weeds
  • Within A Short Stroll / Stone’s Throw > 30 minute walk to the bus / train
  • Covered Parking > There’s a tree out the front
  • Near Great Restaurants > There’s a kebab shop open late
  • Eat in Kitchen > There’s no dining room
  • Leafy Outlook > There’s a tree blocking your view
  • Stunning Contemporary Design > It’s painted grey
  • European Appliances > Upcycled Former Soviet Era Electric Stove
  • Secure Parking > If you have a padlock
  • Close To Schools > A lot of speed bumps
  • Polished Timber Floor > Previous occupier spilled oil on the floor
  • Air Conditioning > There’s a few windows
  • Built Ins > Creaky cupboards infested with termites
  • Waterfront > It’s next to the sewage treatment facility
  • Split Level > Lots of stairs
  • Tropical Gardens > There’s a palm tree
  • Seamless / Open Plan Living > There’s no walls
  • Generous Bedroom > It just fits a standard size bed
  • Generous Living Room > It fits a two seat sofa
  • Modern Toilets > It’s a sit down toilet
  • Alarm System > The previous owner left the wind chime behind
  • Rare Opportunity > I really need to sell this]
  • Bright > No privacy
  • Private > No windows
  • Sleek > It’s got some stainless steel
  • North facing > The common corridor faces north
  • South facing > You’re not getting any light
  • Industrial > There’s a hole in the wall
  • Solid Timber > Termites
  • Well Orientated > It’s there
  • Ideal for Downsize > It’s tiny
  • Perfect For First Home Buyers > It’s fucking tiny
  • Sun Drenched > There’s a window
  • Intelligent > Someone drew a plan
  • Alfresco Entertaining > The dining room is outside
  • Flow > Lots of corridors
  • Federation > Really old
  • Stunning Period Features > The roof is falling off
  • Designer > They copied the IKEA catalogue
  • Soaring Ceilings > There’s no roof
  • Ornate Fireplace > The old sealed up fireplace is covered in cobwebs
  • Good Sized > Smaller than generous
  • Spacious > If you manage to put the bed in, you can also stand in the room
  • Chic > Leftover IKEA
  • Boutique > Really really really small
  • Genuine > It’s a bit gritty
  • Long Term Potential > No one will ever buy this
  • Short Term Potential > It’s haunted
  • Sought After > Pests
  • Gas Cooking > On a portable stove
  • Shared Laundry > Laundromat nearby
  • Peaceful > It’s not near anything
  • Immaculate > Dusty

I could go on but this was like a 5 minute gander at the biggest website. Just so you know what you’re getting. That quaint, well appointed apartment located at the rear of a boutique block of 4 with the sun drenched master bedroom and good sized study with seamless living is really not all that. It’s a one bedroom no dining no living no toilet no parking with a 30 minute walk to the carpark in the suburb with the highest murder rate and 1900s appliances. That’s assuming you managed to beat off the negatively geared Chinaman by 7 figures and remembered that you’ve got to pay stamp duty and loan insurance and hired the pest inspectors and the fire checks and then you learn it’s rat and termite infested and it’s better to demolish and rebuild so you go ahead except you’re told by council that it’s heritage listed and you’re down 7 figures plus strata fees to pay some outsourced non-English speaker to answer a phone. Happy house hunting!

I just read this ridiculous article that came up with a list of countries where the food is “surprisingly” good. Whilst places like Sweden, Hungary and Georgia would never be top of anyone’s lists for great grub, most of the others are just retarded. I mean, someone actually thinks that food in Mexico, America, China and fucking Japan won’t be good…

You could eat well out of a convenience store regardless of which little town you go to in Japan, nevermind the myriad starred and highly rated restaurants. The cuisine is in the top 5 in the world regardless of whether you’re talking fine or street. It’s arguably the best imho. It’s also dominated the modern culinary landscape in terms of giving the rest of the world new ideas and approaches when it comes to food and cooking. So much of the world owes their newfound creativity to chefs going to Japan, finding out it’s awesome and returning home reinvigorated. You’d have to be some kind of tunnel dwelling time traveller to not expect great food in Japan.

I could go on and on about Chinese food or American or whatever but what really intrigued me was when I posed myself the question where I think I’d find surprisingly good food. Well I’m not so well travelled that I could come up with a convincing answer about places with unexpectedly good food. What countries would defy your expectations?

I suppose if I put it that way, it’s all down to wealth. There is no way in hell that if you find yourself in a rich city, that the food would be bad. You could say that one city has better food than another but you can’t say any big city really has bad food. That’s just nigh impossible unlikely to happen. On the other hand, if you went to a third world country, say somewhere where famine is a major issue, then you’d expect that any food would place emphasis on survival over taste.

Noticeably, the article failed to mention a single African country. After watching Sean Brock travel to Senegal in search of the real roots of American Southern cooking, I think it might be interesting to check out and if I’m far more likely to be surprised by good food there. Or perhaps I’m way more likely to be impressed if I found great food in a place no one really goes to or a place where it is really poor.

I remember a trip to Abashiri in Hokkaido, Japan. It’s a little town that mainly has 2 attractions. One is taking a boat out to sea to look at drift ice and the other is a prison. I had some insane fried chicken, arguably the best in my life there. That was surprising in how good it was but I still expected to find good food there. The obvious choice, the beer hall, has great yakiniku but it was the little takeaway fried chicken store that was surprising.

After my recent travels, I’ve found that no matter where I was, I was always able to find a good meal or at least a decent one, if I put in the effort to do so. Of course, if you drop yourself in a theme park or some other tourist trap, then good luck but you could also cook yourself. Life survives because it tries to and in part, I reckon the lure of great flavour had a part to play in keeping people alive but also keeping people interested to be alive and you’ll find people everywhere nowadays.

I saw a youtube clip of John Oliver on his show where he comes up with a new church called “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption” after his experience with American televangelists who just straight up ask people for money so they can buy private jets and be baller. It’s the age old satire on religion as farce and tax evasion scheme. It’s also sadly, completely true.

Meanwhile, in Singapore, a pastor and his accomplices of the largest church in the country have just been found guilty of all charges in regards to misappropriating church funds and falsifying accounts. Whilst this religious leader fleecing ignorant believers bullshit has been going on since whenever, this is the first time in recorded history that the funds have been used to derail humanity.

A man fools 33000 idiots into giving his church money so that he can spend money to enable his wife’s career in LA. This went as far as paying Wyclef Jean to give a Chinese woman credibility that she somehow developed a Patois overnight and as the dutiful wife of a pastor, is now known as a Geisha.

Let’s not talk about the audacity of a so called man of god to rip good people off. Let’s talk about the real issue, which is the fact that the money ended up destroying many many people’s hearts, minds, souls and ears most of all, in producing some of the worst “music” in existence ever. Sun Ho’s “music” is fucking bad. It’s not on the level of The Shaggs or Kevin Federline shittiness. It’s just straight shit. It’s the very definition of evil.

From the racial stereotyping and inaccuracies to the ridiculous conflation of Jamaican steez with a yellow woman as being “of the moment”, it’s a fucking farce and a bunch of morons paid for this abomination to happen. In the ode to alcohol, “China Wine”, Sun Ho talks about dancing her problems away whilst repeatedly saying china wine whilst Wyclef Jean and some other dudes do their best to give a shit and literally drop a turd of a track. I suppose it must have inspired “Mr. Bill”, where Sun Ho plays a woman clearly dissatisfied with her partner and considers the option of murder. The lines, “Every morning, he wakes up for breakfast. I’m still yawning, he don’t care if I’m restless.” or “You want me to wash and clean, you want me to scrub and mop. I’m sitting on the side of the bed contemplating should I send him to the cemetery rock.” suggest her desire for emancipation but also hint at a much darker and sinister personality.

But that’s not all. Despite the fact that the guilty verdict has been declared, there are plenty while still cling onto some vestige of faith in the same people. Or perhaps they’ve discarded these black sheep, never mind that they were leaders. Anything to hold on to their own illusion of faith and belief. It’s crumbling all around and still, people are fucking stupid enough to persist. Wake the fuck up yo. You got fucking played. Quit whining like a bitch and give up the (holy) ghost. Or do you mean to tell me that “China Wine” was worth it?

This is pure evil.

Singapore’s General Elections just happened. I didn’t vote cos I’m in Sydney and I can’t be arsed to drive 3 hrs to tick a box and then another 1.5 hrs to the Clonakilla winery to drop bills on Shiraz Viognier before getting caught for drank driving on the way back. Point is, my vote (which I will not disclose) wouldn’t change anything anyway. But mostly, yea, petrol costs money bro.

In Singapore, we have the same party that’s been in power since… ever. Which has run the country pretty well I’d say. Third world to first despite the teething troubles. The ruling PAP even managed to increase the win percentage despite the oodles of tripe I see on facebook from people with as much clue as Alicia Silverstone 2 decades back. Look, I’m not saying that the opposition party(ies) are useless but the opposition party(ies)… Maybe someone should legally change their name to Deeez Nutz and campaign.

I digress. So in my home country, there is this continued steady consistent leadership that by and large, manages the country reasonably well, at the expense of some small concessions like absolute freedom of speech and the ability to sell chewing gum if you’re not a qualified pharmacist. Let’s ignore the bigots like the hella geek youtube boy or the hide behind the internet people or random facebook groups with dumbass names. Singapore is movin’ on because it’s really not that bad. At all. Like seriously, the shit you complain about is so first world problems.

Contrast with say, the U.S where a guy with a combover is trying to run for president. A combover! What next? A guy named after a Dr. Dre track? “Daddy, if I’ve got nuts on my chin, are they chin nuts?”.

Or maybe Australia? Which just had yet another leadership spill. See in Australia, you don’t vote the PM, you vote the party, usually one of two unless you’re super xenophobic and dumb or you think you’re an environmentalist. So the ruling party just decided to re-vote who gets to lead the party and hence become prime minister. The public doesn’t get to vote on this. The public though voted that party into power at the last elections. Over 50% of people must have felt that choosing the lesser of two evils involved accepting the fate that Tony Abbott would be PM. This is a damning indictment on Labor. Damning. The Libs put a clown as it’s poster boy and won. Almost like they knew they would, so they’re sending this idiot in to rub it all over your pleb faces whilst they smoke their fucking cigars and get their daughters university scholarships whilst also trying to restructure the university system into a public free for all pricing fuckfest. Like fuck you. You voted me into power. Watch me rape this country for all it’s worth and you can watch!

The silver lining is that the baboon is no longer in charge of Australia. The downside is that the NBN (Nonexistent Broadband Network) exists and the new PM came up with that idea, which blew out in costs and time etc. At least he seems like he has a brain attached. Minus the NBN plan where he decided that FTTN is better than FTTH because cheaper. Except more expensive. But it’s better! Just slower and kinda 3rd world. I have comparatively quick internet connection speed (Oz wise anyway) because I live in a new apartment block. This is crucial for Game of Thronage but It’s like 25ish Mbps down. I think most first world countries have 100+Mbps or some approach 1Gbps or whatever. In real terms, you can’t do liverstream, super high rez tentacle porn in Australia. Also, the Australian dollar is worthless! Oh and um, economic downturn.

What I’m saying is that in Singapore, the choice is nearly obvious. You can spend time listening to the Worker’s Party and you could move/live to/in Potong Pasir, which is kinda like Malaysia, or you could pay for overpriced subsidised modern public housing and moan about it all your life but grudgingly do it anyway like the peon that you are. You could also, flee the despotic regime and move to a country where real freedom and democracy exists and the television will broadcast scenes of children bickering over who called someone or other a nasty name in parliament and your tax dollars go into the drain to pay for helicopters and cab rides to and from one football match to another charity fundraiser. All this whilst nothing gets fucking done. Except empty slogans and bullshit and a one track economy which just got mad exposed.

I’m living the dream down under. Where people are so poor, they eat yeast extract on sour bread and it took over 2 years to rid the nation of an embarrassment that like wearing “budgie smugglers” whilst winking over a radio call in at a pensioner who works a phone sex line. At least the Lees of this world just get on with shit. If you listened to virtually all Australian politicians talk, you’d think you were in a mental institution. The only human ones will never win majority popular vote because they’re either LGBT or ethnic minority or not part of the establishment boy klub or some combination of the three.

Let’s not even get into who votes for the idiots and how the hell people can stand the childish behaviour of it’s national representatives or the fact that entire media businesses run on satirising the politics to a point where the harsh painful reality is so true and you laugh but it also hurts, deep in the psyche but you also have the nagging realisation that this purgatory will likely never pass and the torch just goes from one brainless silver spooned sack to another.