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  1. #5203
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    I WILL BE ON LEAVE FOR THE NEXT TWO WEEKS.

    CURRENT NEWS ON SINGAPORE CAN BE FOUND ON:

    * CHANNEL NEWS ASIA - http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...157578/1/.html

    * THE STRAITS TIMES - http://www.straitstimes.com/

    * TODAY - http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore


    ENJOY YOUR NEWS
    CHEERS!


  2. #5204
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    I'm now in Sheraton Boston Hotel with two of my varsity friends.

    We've been here for 3 days already and will leave northwards for Montreal by car this morning.

    We spent some time at Harvard University and I was quite surprised to see many students gathering at the lawns on chairs or on the grass, either relaxing, chatting away or doing some work on the computer, etc.

    We also met a Singaporean male doing Economics in his fourth year. Apparently he got a scholarship from Harvard and has learned to speak with a heavy American accent.

    The trains in Boston made it easier to move around but the subway system here is very old and they made a lot of noise especially while negotiating corners. While a great number of trains travel underground, some stops are at road level, just like the one outside the Museum of Fine Arts which we visited and saw some of Degus' nude paintings, for which he is famous.

    We fell in love with Thornton's Restaurant with their sumptuous breakfast. They are just situated near our hotel.

    But for dinner last night, we ate our last and best meal at Legal Seafood at nearby Prudential Mall. We took lobster and downed it with white wine. Unfortunately, the night before, the Chinese food cooked by a Vietnamese restaurant at Chinatown proved to be disappointing. The adjacent road where some Chinese restaurants are located was closed to the public. It appeared that a wall had fallen and the area was cordoned off.

    Yesterday afternoon we followed a group for the "Freedom Trail" on Beacon Hill and was fascinated with some of the colourful stories the guide told us while we were at Old Granary Burial Ground. We stopped near Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall Market Place where we enjoyed the buzz and activities of this unique place.
    Last edited by Loh; 10-10-2011 at 10:07 AM.

  3. #5205
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Trip to new york

    Actually we started last Friday, 7 Oct on a long, long Emirates flight from Singapore at 0140 hrs.

    We were in transit in Dubai at around 0430 hrs and departed for New York at 0830 hrs. NY's time is exactly opposite Singapore's. Day in NY is night in SIN and we arrived NY at 1415 hrs which was early morning in SIN. So we had to adjust to the different time zones quickly in order not to suffer from the ill effects of the jet lag.

    The JFK customs at NY took around an hour to clear us, much to our disappointment.
    We took the AirTrain (equivalent to SIN's SkyTrain) to collect our rental car at Budget four stops away. By 1600 hrs we were on our way to Boston in our hefty white Ford Taurus.

    Our driver, Johnny was not familiar with "left hand" drive and made a few fumbles along the way, even knocking a few kerbs. Fortunately the GPS direction gadget helped immensely in finding our way with "Mansur" as navigator. Despite that we took much longer than expected to reach Sheraton Boston Hotel, with practically no time to take our dinner, except for a quick bite at good old MacDonalds.

    We checked into Sheraton at sbout 2300hrs and tried to get a good night's sleep without avail.

  4. #5206
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Yesterday we rented a Ford Edge from Budget to drive northwards to Burlington where we will stay for the night at Sheraton.

    Our first stop was Manchester but it seemed Johnny went to the wrong one in the south with a similar name. This is a small town with memories of the Vietnam War by those who fought and died.

    There is a small river with some boats near the town square and we adjourned to Christo's Coffee Gap, a family restaurant for a humble meal of pasta.

    The Johnny our driver got impatient and hurried us to get on our journey as he realised he had made a mistake to the wrong destination.

    We back tracked to Highway South 128 to head for Sheraton Burlington, stopping by the small airport to gather information on the Greyhound buses to Montreal, about 90 miles away.

    Along the way, we had our first experience of the colourful foliage that lined both sides. These are trees with different coloured leaves - yellow, burnt brown, red, orange, etc that made the sight delightful.

    We arrived at Burlington at about 7 pm and walk around the town before settling down for dinner at a Thai restaurant to savour the more familiar dishes. We were served by a Vietnames lady who emigrated here with her American husband in 2003 and she seemed to be happy.

  5. #5207
    Regular Member george@chongwei's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that u are enjoying yourself in USA right now
    Btw, can you please empty some PM messages, uncle loh? I try to PM u but to no avail..

  6. #5208
    Regular Member nokh88's Avatar
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    Uncle Loh, your trip seems to be haphazard but good to see you are enjoying yourself. Must have taken loads of photos. Enjoy yourself. The stock markets are fine. Don't worry.

  7. #5209
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nokh88 View Post
    Uncle Loh, your trip seems to be haphazard but good to see you are enjoying yourself. Must have taken loads of photos. Enjoy yourself. The stock markets are fine. Don't worry.
    Thanks guys.

    Yes, I managed to recover some gains in the stock market when I checked with my buddy in Singapore this morning.

    It is day 7 for us today after arriving in Toronto by train from Montreal yesterday. The ride was smooth but long, about 4 hours. And we were delayed when our train had to stop for about half an hour for the paramedics to attend to a lady who ran into fits and had to be sent to the nearby hospital. Luckily I had granny Grace, a retired nurse, to chat with and the trip became more agreeable.

    I'm now writing from Glen Grove Suites, an old but charming hotel at the very long Yonge St.

    We did not have much adventure yesterday with most of our time spent on getting ready for the train journey to Toronto via Rail Canada. But breakfast at the station was relatively cheap and good before we boarded at about 10 am. We did not take lunch but had coffee in the train.

    My two friends took some time to retrieve their luggages but I had mine with me all the time as it is smaller and can be hand-carried. But the subways or metro in both Montreal and Toronto are relatively old and many are without lifts or escalators but only stairs for making your way through. We therefore had to climb steep stairs with our luggages in hand, quite an effort on our tired bodies.

    Fortunately, Toh, a Singaporean varsity mate who has resided in Toronto for the past 20 years, married a Malaysian girl and now blessed with two teenage boys, visited us at the hotel around 6.30pm and drove us for a sumptuous buffet dinner at Dragon Hill (?) Restaurant. While the many dishes are Chinese, there is also Japanese sushi.

    Today Toh will drive us to Niagara Falls and he will lend us his raincoats and jackets.

    That's all for now before Toh arrives at 10 am.

  8. #5210
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Niagara Falls

    This Friday, Oct 14, Toh came an hour late at past 11 am to drive us to Niagara Falls as he had to finalize some work matters beforehand. He would spend the rest of the day with us.

    We arrived at Niagara-on-the-Lake about two hours later to enjoy the scenic beauty of this enchanting place that is laid out with many English colonial heritage buildings. As we were hungry we adjourned to Starbucks for cakes and coffee. We then visited two wineries and purchased two bottles of ICE wine from one of them.

    Then we proceeded to Niagara Falls just a relatively short distance away. Apparently there are two giant waterfalls in this area, the American Falls and the Canadian Falls that are divided by geography. Both are a sight to behold but the Canadian Falls appears to be bigger and spouts out more water sprays and mists that give it a more mysterious appearance. A long semi-circular bridge joins the Canadian side to Buffalo on US territory. Crossing this bridge will enable one to take closeup pictures of the Falls. However we did not bring our passports and had to contend ourselves with taking pictures from the Canadian border.

    This tourist spot is well-supported by 5-star hotels, famous eateries and a casino that is well-patronized. The Marriott name is highly publicized. There are also motels and inns in the vicinity to cater to various needs.

    After Niagara Falls, Toh brought us to the factory outlets where branded goods like Nike, Reebok, Tommy Hilfiger, Sony, etc, could be bought at attractive discounts.

    Our late dinner was at Applebee's before Toh drove us back to Glen Grove around midnight. It is unlikely that we will meet Toh again in the foreseeable future.

  9. #5211
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Toronto Downtown

    Today Sat, Oct 15 is Day 8 of our US Trip.

    We are on our own, without our Canadian PR friend Toh to bring us around.

    At about 10 am, we took the metro from Lawrence Ave to Union Station and walked to the Harbour Front where we had a delicious 'dim sum' brunch at Pearl Restaurant an hour later.

    It had turned colder and the sea winds made the day more miserable. Toh's rain jacket came in useful for Mansur who borrowed it from him last night. Johnny and I were adequately prepared with thick jackets but the strong winds managed to penetrate our face and naked fingers. We escaped the weather forecast of rain throughout the day as we experienced only a slight drizzle, but not the cold.

    Two hours later saw us at St. Lawrence market where we were delighted to see a wide variety of foods, both dry and 'wet', being displayed in orderly "supermarket" setting. There was even space and furniture for visitors to take their meals in relative comfort.

    By three in the afternoon we needed an escape into Tim Horton's to sample their brand of coffee before we moved on to Eaton Center to look for bargains. Unfortunately none appealed to me, unlike those we purchased from the factory outlet at Niagara. It was a weary walkabout around Eaton Center's numerous shops but we still had to proceed to Chinatown for our dinner.

    The wanton mee soup served by our Chinatown chef was completely tasteless although the roast duck meat and roast pork were satisfactory. The lady cook came from Canton about 20 years ago, yet she hardly learned a word of English. During all this time, she stayed in Chinatown and spoke only Cantonese with her neighbours.

    Early tomorrow morning we will be driven to the airport by taxi and depart Toronto for Washington in the US.
    Last edited by Loh; 10-15-2011 at 09:04 PM.

  10. #5212
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Washington - here we come

    We woke up early this Sunday morning to prepare for our flight to Washington.

    The cab arrived at 7.20 am and we were at Toronto's international airport in about 20minutes, exchanging information with our Ethiopian driver along the way. He has been in Canada for 20 years and is now a citizen with a wife and four kids. He has also brought his parents and siblings over to live with him. Being coloured he felt his opportunities here are limited although his kids will enjoy free education up to high school.

    It took half an hour to clear Customs and security here is very tight. One has to take off his belt and shoes and laptops have to be take out separately. All things with metal content will have to be cleared. As in the US, one is finger-printed on both hands and a photo of your face is taken.

    We were cleared by 9 am. And I have some time to post and check on the Dutch Open results. I hope Shinta and Yao Lei are able to take the WD title today against the formidable Thai pair.

    It is boarding time now at 10.05 am for AK304 and I shall end here of the time being.

    I doubt we will be met with protests and demostrations that we witnessed last night near Chinatown. Protestors seemed to be angry with the corporate leaders whom they felt were too greedy and the poor were ignored.

  11. #5213
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Washington

    By mid-day our Air Canada plane touched down in Washington and we made our way by train to Dupont Circus and then proceeded by foot to Baron Hotel, where we will stay for the next two nights.

    As our room was not ready until around 3 pm, we decided to take a simple lunch at a nearby eatery owned by a Chinese couple who came from Burma about 20 years ago. They have not returned to Burma (Myanma) since but will do so once the political leaders decide to open up the country to the world.

    At six in the evening we had a dinner appointment with Mansur's lady friend, MK, who picked us up at the metro and drove us to her bungalow home at Fairfax. MK has left Singapore for the past 20 years and is now a US citizen. She also had her NJC (National Junior College) friends and varsity mates visiting her at the same time and together with Ted, her Chinese American hubby who was born and raised in the US, and his two friends, we were entertained to a homely BBQ party. The long dining table was able to accommodate all of us as we ate the delicious meats and salads prepared by Ted, peppered with conversation, updates on Singapore and other interesting tales.

    The party ended just past 9 pm and Ted drove us back to the metro where we made our way back to our hotel.

    It was a relatively homely affair on our first day in Washington but we hope to venture out to some of the interesting places tomorrow.

  12. #5214
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Walk, walk and walk in washington

    This morning we decided to go our separate ways to explore Washington DC.

    After breakfast at The Baron, the receptionist suggested that I just take a walk straight down 22nd Street NW, where the hotel is located, towards Potomac River to reach the Lincoln Memorial. Then I should walk along Constitution Ave NW to visit a host of other attractions including the Smithsonian museums and finally Capitol Hill at the far end.

    So with a map in hand I took to the streets and followed her route which she had prominently marked out in felt pen.

    I diverted to George Washington University medical campus for a while before proceeding southwards, passing the US State Department, the Navy Medical Centre,
    US Institute of Peace before reaching the famous Lincoln Memorial. There are many prominent statues and sculptures along the waterfront that add a sense of history and nostalgia to this place. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the National WWII Memorial are closeby.

    Further away stands the very tall and prominent Washington Monument which is closed to the public in view of a recent earthquake in August that had affected its structure. Repair work is underway to strengthen it.

    After the Monument come the many museums that should appeal to all and sundry.
    I visited the Freer Gallery, African Art Museum and Natural History Museum, which I found the most interesting but could not sample the others as closing time was 5.30 pm.

    By which time my feet and legs seemed to give way. It was beginning to get dark, but I must see Capitol Hill before it got even darker. The many joggers sharing my side walk gave inspiration for me to continue my long walk and when I reached the Hill, the natural light had almost gone. Thanks to the brilliant lighting at the Hill, I managed to capture its full splendour and magnificance even from afar.

    Then the thought of having to walk back to where I first started almost completely dampen my spirits. My tired legs and body wanted to give up but my silent brain told me otherwise. Slowly I plodded on until I reached George Washington University campus cafeteria to refresh and re-energize myself.

    By the time I found my way back to The Baron, it was well past 11 pm.

  13. #5215
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Default Former PM Lee Kuan Yew is 1st Asian to receive Lincoln Medal

    The Straits Times

    Published on Oct 19, 2011


    Mr Lee is the first Asian to receive the annual award. Previous winners of the Lincoln Medal include top US diplomat Hillary Clinton, South African activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Hollywood director George Lucas. -- PHOTO: US DEFENSE DEPT.

    WASHINGTON - Despite the tough economic situation it is in, the United States' core strengths and resilience will help the country come out on top again, said Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at an award ceremony in the United States capital in Washington.

    'I am confident that America's innate creativity, resilience and innovative spirit will allow it to confront its core problems, overcome them and regain competitiveness,' the visiting Mr Lee said in a speech at the historic Ford's Theatre on Wednesday morning.

    He was presented with the Lincoln Medal, which honours those whose accomplishments exemplify the legacy of Mr Abraham Lincoln, the 16th American President. Mr Lincoln is revered as one of the greatest American presidents for his leadership in the US Civil War and in ending slavery.

    Mr Lee is the first Asian to receive the annual award. Previous winners of the Lincoln Medal include top US diplomat Hillary Clinton, South African activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Hollywood director George Lucas.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  14. #5216
    Regular Member nokh88's Avatar
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    For a moment, I thought you were present during the ceremony.

  15. #5217
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    Former MM Lee Kuan Yew receives Lincoln Medal

    By Simon Marks | Posted: 19 October 2011 1543 hrs


    WASHINGTON: Singapore's former Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, urged the United States and China to find a way of working together on the global stage.

    He was speaking after being awarded the Lincoln Medal in Washington DC - an honor that is reserved for people who have exemplified the legacy and character embodied by former US President Abraham Lincoln.

    The Lincoln Medal is awarded annually at Ford's Theater in Washington DC, a site of the assassination in 1865 of President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the city's major tourist attractions.

    Lincoln is revered in the United States as he's held by many to be the nation's greatest former President for leading the country through the Civil War, ending slavery and promoting economic modernisation.

    Former Minister Mentor challenged the United States to be forward-thinking about one of its modern relationships.

    China's rise, he argued, will be the most dramatic global event of this century.

    Mr Lee said: "To grow, China needs American markets, American investments, and with it American technology.

    "China also wants to send thousands of her students to American universities and research institutions, to work and learn the kind of intellectual milieu that enables Americans to be so innovative and creative."

    China's development, said the former Minister Mentor, should not scare the United States.

    The Chinese, he argued, are in no hurry to displace the US as the world's dominant power, and prefer instead to operate within larger groups like the G20 and the UN Security Council.

    The relationship between Washington and Beijing has been marked by tensions of late, over issues like the value of the Chinese currency, the Obama administration's decision to modernise Taiwan's stockpile of F16s and China's massive holding of US debt."

    But the former Minister Mentor said there's a chance for both sides to manage the relationship in the interests not just of themselves but of the wider world.

    Mr Lee said: "Although America is currently facing tremendously difficult economic times, I am confident that America's innate creativity, resilience and innovative spirit will allow it to confront its core problems, overcome them, and regain competitiveness.

    "Beyond that, the US should not see China's ascent as a zero-sum game, but should find a way to work together, which will call for a combination of regular dialogues, hard negotiation and mutual reassurances".

    Equable relations between the two countries, he said, are the most important for peace and stability in the Asia Pacific region, and the whole world.

    - CNA/ck

  16. #5218
    Regular Member Loh's Avatar
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    NEW YORK, NEW YORK

    Quote Originally Posted by nokh88 View Post
    For a moment, I thought you were present during the ceremony.
    Ha ha, we missed the ceremony as we were on our way to New York by Megabus nearing lunch time on Tuesday.

    We started early on Oct 18 and after a simple breakfast in the hotel, we checked-out of the Baron by 9.30 am.

    Our short walk to the nearest metro Union Station to get on to the Megabus depot was hampered by the non-working of the escalator that travels a long distance deep down into the cave-like structure before stopping at the train platform. As we were carrying our luggages, we decided to take another entrance by crossing a park and the escalator there worked.

    We then took a long walk to the bus depot where others were already waiting under the sun. By 11.40 am we were on our 4-hour journey to NY, soaking in the sights and taking a nap or two as we went along.

    "New York, New York" the family tune rang in my ears as we took a cab to our hotel driven by a young man from Turkey. Times Square, Broadway, Wall Street, UN and many other famous names came to mind. Our driver said NY has changed with more constructions and more people moving in to support the economy and he seemed quite satisfied as his income had probably risen.

    World Centre Hotel is smacked right in front of the 9/11 Twin Tower disaster area and we had a splendid view of Ground Zero on our 18th Floor room.

    We took our long-awaited meal nearby and shot off to Times Square by 6.30 pm. TS did not disappoint. The brightly coloured neon lights were all over the place. Advertisements, addresses, signages, titles of movies and broadway musicals, etc, were all jostling for attention in this huge square full of friendly tourists. Open-air cafes and restaurants were all making good business.

    I decided to watch "Jersey Boys" which was touted to be Broadway's Best Musical, having won the 2006 Tony Award. But when I reached August Wilson Theatre at 7.45 pm, I was told the show had started at 7 pm. It seems most shows start at that time but Johnny was able to watch "Spiderman" at 7.30 pm. I finally settled for "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" exhibits.

    We retired rather late last night and this Wednesday morning, we were greeted by the rain. But the crowd still lingered at the Ground Zero Memorial sites in their raincoats and with their umbrellas.
    I am not going there as I can witness everything from my hotel window.

  17. #5219
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    Hi uncle Loh, good luck with your trip

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