Monday, June 24, 2013

23 Jun 2013 - Geylang and Jalan Besar

Met up with CT who offered to help him out with purchase of kitchen and bathroom accessories. Met up at Paya Lebar, and had lunch at City Plaza. First time ever he set foot on that place, and the affordable apparel reminded him a little of Wufenpu in Taipei.

After lunch, they headed to Geylang to check out the shops. Just outside City Plaza, there were many foreign workers having picnic under the huge trees, they even had a catered buffet set right there. Must have been a great Sunday for them all.

First stop was Universal Union, and he would spend about 3 hours in there. Served by Chloe, a nice young lady. Bought these items from her:
- Monic 575 stainless steel undermount sink
- Rubine 7245C tap
- bottle trap
- Oyama corner rack
- 2x bidet sprays
- 2x angle valve
- 2x towel racks
- 2x mirror cabinets

Thanks to CT, he managed to get a good discount from the list prices from Chloe. Chloe was also quite accommodating, despite him taking a long while to think things through.

Picture of the tap that was picked. He had wanted the inverted U-shaped one, but CT highlighted that this one had more clearance as the spout was taller.

After that, they took bus 2 from Lorong 44 to Lavender MRT station, where they made a pit stop at the food centre. Got goreng pisang (fried banana fritter), and avocado shake from Mr Avocado. Good tea-break to recharge before walking to Light Craft at Jalan Sultan.

The light that got his attention. $500+. Explored the whole 3-4 levels of lights and his neck was starting to ache. Before leaving, CT also suggested a light that could really be a key feature in his living room, something that would span almost the entire ceiling of the room. They had a good laugh about it.

The next stop was to Jalan Besar, where CT brought him to 168 Trading. This particular light caught his eye, and there was also a memory card slot to play MP3s. The other customers in the shop gathered around and looked on for a while. This one was about $780++, before GST if he remembered correctly.

Felt hungry and it was time to rest the neck and have dinner. Walked to the famous curry rice near Jalan Besar Plaza, and queued for quite a while before he got his food. Pork chop, cabbage, fried egg, and braised pork belly for $4.60. Lots of curry and other gravy were heaped on for a sinful meal.

Headed back down the opposite stretch of road to Felt bad to have interrupted Gewel's dinner, and he ended up purchasing the cutesy $25 "ice cube" for the aisle to the rooms.


Lesson learnt today. Doing your homework, your market survey isn't enough.
- Be aware of what you need to purchase (ignore prices first), and do up the list with the salesperson. This keeps the salesperson interested. He made the mistake of countering the list prices with his expectations for every item.
- Discuss the price with the salesperson only after doing up the purchase list. The person would be more likely to accommodate discounts as he/she would want to close your deal after putting in all that effort.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

22 Jun 2013 - Collection and recce

Went to his new flat today to see the progress of the tiling. Mom also wanted to tag along, so they went out together.

Pleasantly please at how it was going, but saw some things that got a little... concerned?

1. The sharp corner joints (forgot to take picture) where the tiles met were just laid in a 90 degree fashion. Shouldn't the sharp corner be smoothed with tiling? After googling, it seemed like the term should be a bull-nose joint.

2. The plaster on the skirting had cracks. The tiler assured him that it would be fine after painting over it.

Brought some drinks up to the place for the tilers, to show some appreciation for their hard work. Also collected his Fujioh 792SS hob and FX900 hood ($660, Everjoint), and his Mistral MSH-3 water heaters ($100 each,

Headed to Hoe Kee at Genting Road after that. Took the NEL to Boon Keng, and then 125 to Genting Lane before walking over to the showroom. Mom liked the woven matt finish of the sink, he liked the single bowl while she liked the double one. He did feel that 600mm length should be more than enough, but the models that he liked were all way above that. Decided to visit Universal Union another time before making a decision.

Exited the showroom and headed to Macpherson Road, taking 156 to Jalan Toa Payoh, and then hopping on 145 to Balestier Road. Lightings.

Decided to go back to Dream Lightings to look for Jason, because of a comfortable overall experience.
1. He was patient with his explanations
2. He was willing to do rewiring for bulb holders for the lightings (E27 for easier maintenance)

Jason gave him a discount without him even asking. After checking the prices against another fixed-price shop with price-guarantee, it appeared that Jason matched their prices. Spent some $526 there, bought some 8 lights. He needs another 2, for the dining and living areas. Was unable to decide if he should be getting the $1688 crystal light, really beautiful, but costs 180W to operate, cleaning would be a headache, and of course, the price was too much to stomach. Mom also liked it, and remarked that she would buy it for him. So touched! But he wants to do up everything on his own, and does not want the retirement mode Mom spend unnecessarily.

To the food...

In between the shopping, he had wanted to bring her to Founder Bak Kut Teh, but it was some 50 minutes to opening. So they walked some 2 bus stops to Boon Tong Kee instead. Got half a chicken, some claypot pork tendons, and spinach with 3 different types of eggs (salted duck, preserved duck, chicken).

From Boon Tong Kee, Mom spotted some herbal shop opposite, and wanted to eat guilinggao (herbal jelly). They would return there only after the shopping, and Mom had the Hong Kong style guilinggao ($7), while he had mango sago in milk ($3.50). After some walking, she also wanted to get bean curd, but he thought that it was a little too much for the belly. Took 145 back to Toa Payoh to change to bus 159 home.

It's been a very long time since he's gone out together with Mom. And they even held hands when crossing the road. Weird feeling, but... it was really nice.

Monday, June 17, 2013

the backup

If he were to sleep forever, he would have whatever he owns to be split equally between the surviving members in the group of four, Mom, Dad, Second Bro and Littlest Bro.

If you read this blog and know him personally, do help him out by presenting this piece of information, should the unexpected occur.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

12 June 2013 - Seeing stars again

Applied for activation of utilities (water and electricity), phone-ordered from Ever-Joint the Fujioh 792 stainless steel hob and Fujioh FX900 hood, and also the 2x Mistral MSH-3 water heaters from Shoulders and neck were aching, and then the buzzing sound in his ears came on, and he also started to see some stars. Informed Mom and Dad that he would be heading to the hospital immediately, flagged and cab and headed to Mount Elizabeth at about 5+pm.

The 2 receptionists had black faces, not too friendly to a sick man. Passed his previous doctor's memo over to them, and was told to wait. He would soon go for his interview by a nurse who didn't really want to listen to his story, and was led to a bed to wait for the doctor on duty.

A nurse (Monique) came by to attempt to take his blood. She missed on both sides of the "elbow pits", and apologized profusely. The doctor came by and mentioned that the blood vessels had contracted due to dehydration, hence, it was difficult to hit his vein. He took over and aimed for a spot below the thumb, and boy, that was painful. The little boy at the bed beside him was screaming and vomiting, struggling to avoid the IV needle. Poor kid.

The duty-doctor did not order any IV drip even though he mentioned dehydration, and suggested to wait until they get the blood test results. Monique would return to fix up the IV needle, and again, had issues with location his veins. But this time, she got it right the first time. Again, she apologized profusely for the missed jabs.

Later, the assigned doctor, Dr Anthony, would come over and explain that his blood tests looked fine, except for a "slant" in his white blood cells. That suggested a bacterial infection, but it was too slight to be conclusive. Dr Anthony was very patient and worked hard to listen to the whole story to get the sequence of events right. Hardly meet such doctors nowadays. He was reassured that his vital signs look fine, and could be warded for observation if he would.

There were no single wards, and he had to wait for a two-bedder. It was about 3 hours since he arrived to be finally brought to his ward, bed 5913. It was by the window.

The steward requested for his meal preferences for the next day, and a staff nurse came by to get some medical background. He got dispensed some painkillers for the sore neck and shoulders, and soon got to bed. Nurses would come by at fixed times to take his vital signs, other than that, he had a good rest.

He woke up feeling relaxed the next day, the mefamanic acid really did work. Breakfast came a little earlier than advised, about 7.40am. The steward served him a spread, and upon checking the slip, he realized that he must have checked the option boxes in an incoherent manner the previous night.

Noodle soup, wholemeal bread with butter and marmalade, Milo and full cream milk, apple juice and grapefruit juice, and raisin bran. He returned the raisin bran and full cream milk. As the IV was on his right hand, he could only eat with his left. Had a slow meal, and soon he was served medication by Nathan Li, and started dozing off. Oh no, not before he took a dump and collected a sample for the healthcare team.

Woken up by a nurse to inform him that he would be relocated to another room. The reason was that it was their protocol that transfers from other hospitals should be grouped together. They led him to 5923 this time, also by the window, and he would have the whole room to himself as the other bed was yet to be occupied. Nathan would bring him a portable charger for his mobile on request, but that charger itself held no charge. He would request the other nurses (Yan Shuai and Ong) for help, but too bad, none was found.

Sometime later, he started to sweat profusely, and his cheeks also felt numb and heavy. Asked the nurses if it would be fine for him to take a quick shower to clean up. While they were checking, Dr Anthony came by a while later, and said that he was well enough to be discharged. He also mentioned that those symptoms could be just continued reactions to the allergy, and there was no need to be warded while waiting for his stool and nose swab reports.

At the cashier, he realized that his Letter of Guarantee got rejected by Great Eastern, and he had to pay out of his own pockets first. But the hospital was nice enough to admit him anyway. He as also advised that the final bill would only be mailed to him some 4-6 weeks later.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Seeing stars, hearing buzz

Just got discharged from Tan Tock Seng Hospital's A&E this morning. Why?

Yesterday night, after having a vegatarian ba zhang (dumpling), he started feeling prickly and hot around the neck and chest area. Later, the areas around the mouth and face started to swell and then his whole body started to turn pink and swollen. Hives also started to erupt.

He would then start to feel a lot of pressure in the head, buzzing in his ears and started seeing stars. Immediately, he informed Dad (who was showering) to dial for the ambulance if he was found unresponsive. Dad retorted that he was a weakling. What the.

However, after Dad came out of the shower, he was convinced after seeing his son all red and swollen. and immediately called 995. At the same time, he puked his entire dinner, and shed his pants without being conscious of it. After realizing it, he used every last ounce of strength to wash up. It was lucky that Dad was around to pass him clean clothes. The soiled ones were thrown away.

Came out of the squat toilet and saw exclusively stars. Luckily Dad was outside to help him lay down on the kitchen floor until the medics finally arrived.

Loaded up the ambulance, and they gave him an IV. Successfully inserted, but one of them hit the tube and dislodged the needle. Ouch. So they inserted into another location on the same hand, which was more painful that the other.

After reaching the hospital, he was given some jab medications which were extremely painful (due to pressure?) and made him drowsy. Soon, he gave up struggling and lost consciousness.

Later, he would wake up hearing the beds on his left talking about their dengue experiences, and another one on the right asking for anti-anxiety medication to be dispensed. Another guy opposite his bed was bruised all over his face, and did not know what happened to him. Nurses were pretty, but quite rough with patients. Dad kept vigil at the hospital throughout the night, all the way until he was discharged. What will he do without his family. Heard from him that Mom and Littlest Bro came to visit, but was rejected entry. If he were more conscious, he would has requested to go to a private hospital instead, where all could probably view him in a more comfortable setting.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Finalizing the contract... almost

Met up with Mr D at his shop, where he would be brought to do tile selection at Lian Seng Hin, situated at Balestier.

Checked out the wood-grain homogeneous tiles immediately, and thankfully they were within budget. Requested samples for these 2.

Also looked at beautiful glossy tiles. He picked one that was just slightly off-white, with white smokey marbling. A look at 3 of the samples lined up together.

After a difficult debate spanning 1 1/2 days, it was decided that this would be the tiling for the living/dining room and the bedrooms.

Loved the sparkles promised by the white tile, the grain contrast of the dark "wood" one. Was worried about how the yellowish "wood" tile would turn out. Would it spoil the place?
The blog in the link above gave him the guts to push through.

Also decided to do away with false ceiling/L-box. The poor contractor sure had more modifications to do.

Now, left with ceiling lights to choose, laminate finishes for the built-in wardrobe and kitchen cabinets.