Huat the fish! We actually came back for this!

When this post was written, the England match against France was well over, and surprisingly, both Huats got the correct prediction of a draw. (Update: they predicted Sweden to win England in the last English game, but unfortunately England prevailed 3-2 last night!)

Kenny Yap (Qian Hu’s Managing Director) must be so happy now that his little dragons are no mere copycats of the celebrated deceased Paul the Octopus, yup so they were both wrong last night, but what the heck!

Call us foolhardy, call us unworthy business students, but the temptation to see what the heck was going on with the 2 arowanas got the better of us. The head says it’s a marketing gimmick but the heart refuses to waste a beautiful Sunday simply by lazing around the house (remember: we are audit interns during the weekdays. It was simply a sin to not utilize our weekends fruitfully before facing the barrage of paper work on DIM (Dammit, It’s Monday).

Carpe Diem first

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before

Monday!

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The hesitation cost us though, but luckily, we were not penalized in any way. We arrived at Qian Hu at 2:03pm, slightly later than the time of commencement (which is 2pm btw).

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JIT (Just in time)!!! PHEW!

The crowd gathered there was neither too large nor too pathetic fortunately. The chartered bus arrived just as we got out, and we already sighted 3 Newpaper journalists. Yea, this is where we will witness what (pronounced ‘huat’, pardon the pun) the heck is really going on.

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And XL makes the trademark ‘twist’ sign. Cliche to the max!

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Being a typical kancheong spider, we rushed to the front of Big Huat’s tank. We couldn’t get too close though due to temporary barriers put up by the farm. On our left, we sighted what looked like the leader of the journalists, and 3 who looked conspicuously like interns. EL would gladly have taken up a journalistic internship, but due to personal principles (let’s leave that for another day), he went on taking an accountancy degree instead. Lo and behold, as others were milling around the farm, we had A class seats (or more like standing positions) right in front.

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Big Huat getting ready, looking majestic as always.

Personally, we felt that the prediction event could have been done with more panache. Qian Hu could have done better to spruce up the occasion, and the fishes could have been given more decorated tanks (and maybe place them inside the House of Dragons), instead of the austere tanks that they were now given.

The Qian Hu staff approached the tanks, and in their hands we could all see the mechanism which is going to be placed inside the tanks where the 2 oracular arowanas would be choosing their grub from.

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Qian Hu employees spotted, show’s gonna start!

I shall let the pictures do the talking. First up is our ‘Grand Champion’ (where he got that title from puzzles me, seem like Qian Hu and their marketing fluff again ><

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The grub

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XL displaying proof of her Singaporean descent. Suaku Singaporean Syndrome strikes! EEKS!

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Prep for Ops

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Putting the partition in (Overheard during the media interview. This was done because Big Huat tends to eat  faster than Small Huat, so it sort of slows down the eating pace)

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 In goes the mechanism

So basically, it works pretty simply, the first prawn eaten is the country that the fish picks to win. Three choices, win lose draw. First up is Big Huat. Eggcited eggcited!!! It is just right in front of us! elson was the photographer of the day and he began snapping photos faster than the Newpaper journalists on our left. And almost a split second after the ‘weighing scale’- like mechanism is put in, Big Huat had a result, a draw! What an oracle really, swift and decisive! Crowd groans, for what reason I dunno why (England should really ought to be happy with a draw, really!) We barely caught sight of Big Huat when he got the grub immediately from the ‘Draw’ canister of the mechanism.

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Big Huat is very efficient!

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We proceed to Little Huat next. Unlike his dearest ‘uncle’, Little Huat did not appear as a fish with a voracious appetite. He came us waiting like a Madonna star, like really. We snapped many pictures, and everyone in the crowd was even egging him on. The area was apparently filled with more England fans, because everyone was holding their breaths when the fish caught close to the England flag (bear in mind this little fella predicted a wrong result for the opening games). So everyone wanted it to pick France in hope that the reverse would come true.

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Like a boss

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elson was totally unamused, while XL being the ever supportive England fan, began to cheer it on, with some support from the crowd. It was beginning to test our patience, but suddenly, it ate a prawn from the ‘Draw’ canister. EH both HUATS predicted draws.

Qian Hu’s boss must be sweating now, because we have always had a conspiracy theory that 2 fish were chosen instead of 1 in order to increase the probabilities of at least one fish making the right decision. It is all or nothing now for Kenny the Fish (that’s the nickname of Qian Hu’s boss) The moment Little Huat made his choice, audible shouts of  ‘sian lah, ta pai poon si draw eh’ ( meaning: Haiz, why is it always a draw? In hokkien) Well, they have already made their call, and it was time for us to make our call to leave too.

Pictures of the crowd!

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TNP Journalist beside us

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 ‘Post-match’ press conference

We have lots of stuff planned up for the rest of the day, including a recce of the area around Sungei Tengah, where we will dig up more happenings for everyone.

Oh ya, here is the schedule for fans who are interested in witnessing another prediction event. Note that the predictions are mostly for England games.

The Good:

  • Interesting for those who do not have an opportunity to head down to Germany during WorldCup  2010 to see Paul.
  • Great outdoor place highly therapeutic for those who work in the concrete jungle.

The Bad:

  • Weather can get hot especially since it is in the afternoon. No prior announcement/addressing of the crowd before event commenced. Totally zero engagement of the audience to explain what was going on. In short, poor public relations
  • Poor ambience, as we said, it could be better decorated to suit the occasion (More Euro’12 deco,  anyone?)

And for convenience sake, we have repasted the way to get there here again (:

Getting there! (For the benefit of those who did not read the previous post)

By car: From the KJE, exit at Sungei Tengah Road/Bricklands Road exit.

From Sungei Tengah Road, turn left into Old Choa Chu Kang Road.

Head straight until you spot the Home Team Academy. Before that, you will get to see this sign board

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Turn right into Jalan Lekar. Head straight all the way until you see the gigantic Qian Hu logo.

By Public Transport:

Take an MRT train to Choa Chu Kang station. Qian Hu has shuttle buses ferrying all of us into their farm!

This is the detailed schedule.

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Alternatively, a detailed schedule can be found here :

http://www.qianhu.com/content/phase1/corporate/contact/busscheduleCCK.asp

Signing off,

elson

Categories: Events! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something auspicious (read: fish) for our new blog

Being Chinese, we believe in auspicious starts, what better than to start it off with a 年 年 有 鱼? Hope this auspicious ‘HUAT’ post brings a good start to the many adventures we will have!

Whenever TGIF draws close, we will never forget life’s main purpose, which is CARPE DIEM, meaning to seize the day in English. As Philosoraptor once quipped,

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Yes indeed, being poor and pathetic little low-life undergrads who have no $$$ :(( (Yes very sad IKR), we have decided to scour more places in sg which charge very low, if better free admissions! YES that is our goal! And this week, we might just have something interesting swimming by!

With the Euro 2012 brewing on, the most happening event is definitely lazing around your usual watering holes, enjoying the beautiful game, right?

Yet someone disagrees, and that certainly sounds fishy to us, yes! It may have occurred that there might be copycats trying to emulate the success of Paul the Octopus during the Worldcup in 2010. Now however, local aquarium Qian Hu is leading the charge, bringing to us not an oracular octopus, but 2 golden crossback arowanas to predict the scores for the Euro 2012.

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OK, enough of these politically correct salesman talk, we head down to see for ourselves what all these brouhaha is about!!! Let us bring you back one week!

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Here we are at the characteristic fish farm (actually, no need for introduction right! the ginormous logo of a high fin loach fish gives it all away).

We are accompanied by not just XL’s bro, but also her awesomely, heart-melting, uber cuddly, so-fluffy-I-want-do-die Shih Tzu. Yeshi! Apple the shih tzu will be joining us today! Of course, being the gentleman there, elson is tasked with the responsibility of carrying the Apple around. And don’t belittle this little thing, she sure is heavy! Ehh that’s worth at least one gym session in Maju Camp for him. *XL grins evil-ly*

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The plethora of fishes distracted us from heading straight to the main attraction; we went towards the west of the farm and caught glimpses of the all-too-common kampong fishing paired with fish spa combo. Sighted were a few children looking rather amused and another visibly bored couple having their dead skins eaten by fish. We will pass. We, the dynamic duo, are only interested in the wild and dangerous. Longkang fish? Bleah!

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Apple makes contact with kois!

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Say Hi to Apple!

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Care for a swim?

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Guess what’s in the bag?

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In front of the Kampong fishing cum fish spa thingy

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Apple asks for the more ‘advanced’ fishes. Let’s go guys! 😀 woof!

This is the fish gallery, basically it’s an euphemism for the fish store. And yup we get to see more dangerous fishes right over here!

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elson and Apple are eggcited toooooo!

This is a birchir over here, and it is a kind of prehistoric fish. Hey take a closer look at this because it would cost you upwards of $20 to see it at the Underwater World. This is a great lobang for us today.

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prehistoric birchir. some ppl pay more than $20 to see this. it is free here, beat that. :p

Along the way, we spot more weird fishes, including the weirdly skinny Green Spotted Puffers. elson keeps them at home and they are definitely much fatter and rounder than what we see here!!

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(XL: like owner, like fish! 😉 )

And here we see the Qian Hu logo in the flesh! The high fin loach.

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Couple of archer fishes (left) and a baby goliath tiger fish(right). The latter packs a mean bite! OUCH!

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Awwwww… do not disturb the sick fishes, how sweet!

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After the myriad of photos, let’s head on down to the main reason we’re here.

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We humbly seek an audience with your majesties, Big Huat and Little Huat!

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Yes, the two golden cross back aros that Qian Hu have been swooning over. And alas! Here they are. Behold the two ‘Huats’!

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Huat the fish! To our bewilderment, we were shocked that the fishes did not appear as majestic as we had expected. Their sizes were definitely not imposing, but they look good enough, period. For fish enthusiasts who love aros, do not be disappointed by their appearances. Perhaps they have something up their erm, gills.

And here is Little Huat, who according to Qian Hu, is the nephew (???) of Big Huat, the bigger fellow who got his predictions right for the opening games of Euro 12.

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And… here is ‘Big’ Huat. Not exactly big by arowana standards but yup, definitely bigger than his, erm ‘nephew’.

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Ah crap! There will a prediction even just one day after today, which is.. tomorrow, how unfortunate! We must be back tomorrow to see how these fishy little slim rods predict the winners of the England vs. France game. Yep, guess we have to come back tomorrow, what a bummer! :((

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Without the prediction marketing hype thingy, nothing much is happening in the two Huats enclosures. Apple was nudging us into a corner (EL had let her down to stretch her furry lil paws, and mainly because his arms are getting damn shagged!) where we saw the gaudy neon lights shouting ‘House of Dragon’ which is just another creative moniker for their arowana enclosures. We jumped right in, dog leading the way, while human only got to follow.

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Upon entering, the most obvious difference is that the darkness within is long gone. We are enveloped by whitewash florescent lights. A big no no and the ambience for admiring the fish is all gone. How could you do this Qian Hu? We so wish that it was like in the past, where the Chow Yun Fatt arowana was still there. Anyway, Apple wanted to pee too, and coupled with a new sense of disappointment, we left the enclosure.

Almost the end of whatever happenings possible here, we went on to the snack bar to grab bottles of drinks after Apple was done with her business. As we walked back to say our sad goodbyes to the ‘Huats’, let us share with you our 2 cents pertaining to this fish farm.

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The Good:

  • Plenty of interesting species of fish for those who do not have the privilege to enter the now-defunct Van Kleef aquarium.
  • If you are on a budget, and want a completely free admission into an aquarium, this is the closest you can get. Plus, the species of fish on display changes from time to time, so one will never get bored!

The Bad:

  • Sections of the Fish Gallery are under re-construction, and we highly suspect that the flagship House of Dragons are still work-in-progress, so it may do you well to visit it somewhere in the near future.
  • The two ‘Huats’ oracular arowanas might just be objects of media hype. Do NOT expect fantabulous, uber attractive arowanas with high levels of psychic powers.

Getting There!

By car: From the KJE, exit at Sungei Tengah Road/Bricklands Road exit.

From Sungei Tengah Road, turn left into Old Choa Chu Kang Road.

Head straight until you spot the Home Team Academy. Before that, you will get to see this sign board

Turn right into Jalan Lekar. Head straight all the way until you see the gigantic Qian Hu logo.

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By Public Transport:

Take an MRT train to Choa Chu Kang station. Qian Hu has shuttle buses ferrying all of us into their farm!

This is the detailed schedule.

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Alternatively, a detailed schedule can be found here : http://www.qianhu.com/content/phase1/corporate/contact/busscheduleCCK.asp

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bye bye fishes!

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On the way back!

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Apple bids good night!!!!

Adios! Kindda sleepy after this post *Yawns* TGIF TMR! WHERE TO GO???

Signing off,

elson

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Greetings to all!

Hi guys!

If you happen to be one of the early birds at our new blog, WELCOME! We are in the midst of setting up our new wordpress, and to be honest, we are pretty noob with this thing as it’s our first time using wordpress. :p But we will be up and running real soon, and as the blog title suggests, talking about what to do in sg, budget friendly! 😉

So in the meantime, here’s some cute little penguin picture!

Have a blast! 😉

-XL

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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