Monday, April 28, 2008

Auf Wiedersehen, Citibank.

As many of my friends would know. I hate Citibank. It drives my blood pressure up so badly I think I need to claim medical fees from them.

After the fiasco I suffered at their hands while I was in Australia back in March 2006, I was already quite ticked with their apparent system of non communication between the Ready Credit and Credit Card departments.

So back in December last year, I was made to effect a double payment. The cause of which I shall admit that I had a part in. I had signed up for e-statements, but that did not work for me as I ended up missing payment deadlines. So, after one particular time when I had already made payment online, I was called up to make immediate payment. Thinking that there was a technical glitch, I proceeded to process the payment and realised that it was a double payment.

I called them up and eventually, a nice CSO handled my case which I shall not go into details. She was very nice, which was why I did not ditch them at that time.

However, I was given to understand that I had no outstanding balance with Citibank as of Jan 2008.

Fast forward to March 2008. Another double payment fiasco. When I checked my statements online, I realised that I had been charged for late payments for the months of Jan and Feb! I then decided to clear all my accounts and cancel my shittybank relations.

Today, I called to do just that. So it turns out that I still have a little bit of outstanding balances with them. No problems at all, I can just pay it online. After offsetting my credit balances with my outstanding balances, I was told that I owe shittybank $0.49 and that minimum payment at the cash deposit machines would be $5.

I told them that I would be paying online and I was told that I could do just that.

So I tried to pay the $0.49 just now and guess what. I saw this lovely notification: "The amount is too small."



Wasn't I assured that I could pay the $0.49 online? So what's this "Amount is too small" nonsense??

So I called them up again. CSO was like waiting for me to say thank you and hang up after 2 sentences. No such luck dude. I just gave him the low down. "If you can't handle my case, please escalate and let someone else do it."

He then decided to look further into my case. Finally he decided that I did not owe $0.49, but $15. Imagine my frustration. Can someone please just give me a piece of correct information for once? What if I had duly paid the $0.49, as advised... and 50 years down the road they tried to claim a million from me in late charges and all that. The CSO then told me that he would check it out and get back to me.

So I received a phone call, I think it was the guy who initially told me I owed $0.49. NOW, guess how much I owe the darn bank? $20.26.

It just gets nicer as we go along doesn't it? Loansharks charge interest by the day, these people charge by minute or what?

This time I am yet again 'assured' that this is the final and correct amount. Let's see what answer I will get when I call them on Thursday to cancel my accounts. How much more do I owe them???

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Synchronised Goldfish Swimming

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Zinging Zonging Bidi Bong.

Been on a mildly frustrating streak these days. While there are a lot of happy things (e.g. Japan Trip) there are also quite a few things that push my buttons. Mainly dealing with friends and feeling all guilty about it.

Well. Can't help it I guess.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Japan Dates Set!

Well, we finally decided which dates we want to be in Japan. Our current plan is from 6th September to the 22nd September. We'll take 23rd September as another day's leave so we can rest.

We've agreed that we'll be going to Osaka first. Might spend a day in Osaka. Next will be a few days in Kyoto. Ooh I can just see the photo ops!

After Kyoto, we'll be headed for Tokyo. I'll work in Hakone or something in the area. We're poised to spend at least 1, like 2 weekends in Tokyo. Weekends are critical for the Tokyo portion because.. the SE Character goods store only opens on weekends!

I went to Suntec today and happened past the Nam Ho tour booth so I filched their travel itineraries. Always good to have reference material!

And we've also decided on where to stay in Japan. In both Tokyo and Kyoto we will be staying at K's House. Looks clean and relatively cheap. Some of the rooms come with LAN too! Might need to find a place to stay a night in Osaka.

When I mentioned that we're trying to fit a budget of $2500 (My initial budget was $4000 but we're just trying to see if we can plan a budget to about $2500 for airfare, accomodation and land travel) one of my colleagues immediately declared it Mission Impossible. She said that when she went to Japan many years ago (when it was supposedly cheaper) she'd spent more than that and she stayed in a Twin room with four people, thereby cutting accomodation costs. Well, she couldn't tell me how cheap that room was so I can't really gauge if I can keep my initial budget to $2500.

Currently, for around 17 days in Japan, Airfare plus accomodation looks to reach about $2100. I used SIA fares and added a premium over K's House rates to get this amount, so I don't expect that we will break this number for airfare and accommodation.

Well, I guess what is left now is how 'cheap' we want to be. Though I'm not inclined to go all the way and take the dorm option, since the twin / single room looks really good.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Let the Flame Burn Bright and Cheery

Since the Olympic Torch Relay began, we've been hearing reports on protests along the route that the torch is taking. We've also read that one of the torch bearers attempted the relay wearing a Tibetan flag but the flag was removed against the torch bearer's wishes and this caused alot of bad flak on the handling of the issue.

For anyone who is reading this, I will make it clear that on this topic of protest during the torch relay, I am not talking about the rights of the Tibetans nor any wrongs China might have done. It's only about the torch relay.

In my personal opinion, I feel that it is not right to utilise the torch relay nor the Olympics for protests of any form. The Olympics is an event to celebrate, for the world to come together and appreciate what the human can achieve and also, even when one does not win, we celebrate the effort made to try.

It is about friendship. It is about respect. It is about coming together amidst any differences that may exist.

I feel that the protests are very unsportsmanlike. Take the case of the torch bearer wearing the Tibetan flag. The torch bearer wasn't being respectful to the Olympic flame.

While they may feel that they are merely expressing their opinion, they may have forgotten that while China is hosting this year's Olympics, Olympics truly belongs to the world. By disrupting the torch relay, or by making it look bad, it does not hurt just China. It hurts anyone who loves the Olympics and what it embodies.

I wish people would just keep sports from politics. So what if they have human rights issues? Resolve that politically, not through sports. I do understand that given the potential economic benefits that can be derived by hosting the Olympics, the Olympics a politically sensitive issue. Let's just say I would like them to be separate, anyway this is my personal opinion.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Han Gul and Crab Shack

So... my friend asked me on Monday if I wanted to go take Korean classes. I said I would at least take the basic classes and see how it goes. We decided to take a weekday class and there is only a weekday class at Tanjong Pagar. So we went down on Wednesday to confirm our registration and classes started on Thursday!

Please note that I have absolutely no idea about Korean.

First lesson was kinda alright (if you disregard the rain). The teacher was talking about a lot of stuff for an hour or so before we got into the basics. One of the first thing my friend commented on when we got into the classroom was that the entire class was female. I told her that sounds about right since there is this K craze. She then said " but that there's this whole group of aunties".

They were not all that old actually, but I told her:" Yeah, that's exactly right since the ones going mega gaga over K Drama are aunties."

My friend was doubtful but when the teacher asked us why we chose to pick up Korean, it turns out that my deduction was 100% correct. Man, I love being right.

I almost had to pinch my mouth shut when a couple of comments like "I love K Drama, like everyone else here." were made.

I'm like :"No... I don't like K Drama, K Songs, and I dislike Korean Food!!" which of course I did not say out loud. Don't think that would get me any brownie points with the teacher.

Then there's this joker, or so I think, who included the comment that she would like a Korean husband, to which the teacher said "but they never say 'I love you' and stuff like that. If you ask then if they love you they will say you're crazy!"

Anywways, incidentally it turned out that I passed by Crab Shack 3 days in a row. Had crab Shack dinner on Thursday, this time it wasn't too bad. The last time I ate at the city outlet it was kinda bad.

Time to stock up on stationery again lol.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008


Picked this up from the list of shows available. Overall I liked the show.

With a huge flood threatening Central London, it's more about the national efforts , than the individual struggle to stay alive. Decisions made to sacrifice large numbers people in order to save others, etc.

Nothing much else to be said since it's a disaster film.

There is the obligatory family issues being resolved thinggy, people volunteering to die etc but overall I think this show was not too bad.

Rating (Max 10): PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Bringing My Own Breakfast....

Well, first off I've been eating pretty much the same breakfast everyday. There is a mobile canteen that will come around at 0900hrs and the selections are pretty standard. For the longest time, my daily breakfast has been a packet of wantan mee.

They also have fried rice, fried noodles and fried beehoon which are so oily, even I am scared (though the only reason I eat less of those is because it doesn't taste that nice). However, with the recent increase in oil prices, the oil content seems to have dropped.

Not too long ago, they raise prices of the wantan mee. It's now $2.20.. AND only comes with 1 piece of wantan now. They used to have two. >.<

Anyways I was thinking if I should start bring my own breakfast to work. However, I am lazy so I have to think of easy stuff to bring. So, any of you who have a good suggestion, please feel free to let me know. My current ideas are cereal (but I don't know if I should store the milk at work), sandwiches, any stuff I might feel like preparing the night before and bringing to work to heat up.

I've thought about an egg salad, but I don't think having that everyday is such a palatable idea.

Stuffed eggs is another one but needs more work.... and the winner of easy choices is... INSTANT NOODLES. Cheap, easy and convenient.

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