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Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Life Worth Living

I was handed bags of rice packets and told to go out and scour the streets to distribute in Rattanakosin, Bangkok. An area where the poor buy or sell second-hand items, items so broken that one'll be appalled that they are even for sale/ will be purchased. 
Anything broken imaginable for sale

The rice packets were bought from the local vendor for the street people in the neighbourhood. I peeked in the rice packets to check out what i'm distributing; jasmine rice with stringy bits of pork or jasmine rice with a tad more generous serve of vegetables.

With each hand carrying 10 packets, we begin our distribution route.

The Street Sex Workers
A lady in her 70s sat on a bench with her belongings packed neatly around. She dressed reasonably well for a street person, lightly made-up with sunglasses perched on her head. She was jovial, alert and bright for her age. She immediately struck a conversation with my friend as she is a regular squatter in this area and they've got acquainted as he does his regular distribution rounds. She fussed over our rice packets before deciding she won't have any. "What is her story?" I asked as we walked away from her.
"She is too far away from home with children overseas. She is a sex worker for some reason we can't quite figure."
Two teenagers, faces painted with cheap make-up, sat cross legged by the road. They were within arm's reach to each other, but they were not friends.
"Have you eaten?" they looked away as we attempted to chat them up. It was late afternoon, we were in their way of attracting "business". They were both introverted and quiet, avoiding eye contact. When we repeated our question and gestured we want to give them a rice packet, one girl gingerly accepted. The other followed suit. As i stretched out my rice packet, she reached forward gingerly. She lifted her chin, and her eyes finally met mine. Eyes big, wide and a little wet, as if a silent plea.
Her look was haunting.
The next few sex workers we meet on the street divider, by the pollution of whizzing cars, are of a more mature age. They were readily accepted our handouts but weren't too forthcoming in interaction. One chubby lady with gaudy make-up in a cheery bright yellow dress,  asked politely for an extra cake while she put aside the rice packet for later. She clearly enjoyed the rare treat.
A scrawny dark skinned woman, both cheeks powdered with talcum, body covered in plasters saw us distributing food and approached us while lugging her folded cardboard box. When she reached us, she laid out her cardboard box and sat.
"I'm dying," she said as she dug into her rice packet.
Taken aback at her candor, she shared with us she is dying from HIV and her entire body is in pain. She covers herself with plasters as she do not want to pass the disease on.

Another told us some women are sex workers because
"They've been raped by men they know."
The Unemployed
A man sits on the grass, fixing broken radios. Engrossed in figuring out the broken radio, he didn't hear us asking if he wanted food.
When he finally heard us, he asked if he could take 2 packets as he has a family to feed back home. 
Filled with gratitude, he thanked us profusely before going back to being engrossed with fixing the broken pieces laid out in front of him. A dejected soul who has lost his job, ashamed to tell his family he lost his job.
Most people sat facing the street, even if just to pass time but he faced the bush, his back upon the street. We knelt, and asked how is he. He proudly reminisced the days he was a foreman, told us his glorious days with a toothy grin.
An older man, passed on his wise words. That he as a pauper, has health that riches cannot buy. 
The Abandoned
Many of the street people have family troubles. Unable to return home, or unaccepted by their family, they each have a story to tell.

She is divorced from her husband, forcing her on the streets. All she wishes is that her children will be able to live in harmony with their new step mum. She tells us, she only has one more year to live on the streets. Her eyes filled with hope, her daughter will graduate from university then, get a job and will rent an apartment to be reunited.
They formed a community, watching out for each other. When we distributed food, some asked for extras for their friends and "neighbours". Those sleeping, we pulled a "Santa". 

Whatever they could find, they used to make shelter. Public barricades, broken bedsheets. 
My heart broke with each human story heard. My eyes wept, as i peep into their "home" (or the lack of a home). My spirit humbled by their contentment despite not having much. 

They kept stray dogs as pets. They find ways to feed their dogs, if not themselves first. My heart bled, knowing these dogs give non-judgmental companionship in return for their unconditional love. Which the street people are capable of giving, despite not having a house made of walls and beams. 
A home is built with love. 
It reminded me how poverty isn't a choice. 
We don't get to choose how we are born, but we are given a choice how we live. 
We, who are able, need to give. Distributing food in the past 2 months did not and will not eradicate poverty, but i was there to give a touch, to give a ear, to give time. I urge us to lead a life worth living. 

They all have names.
"Those who have nothing, loved much. Those who've nothing, touched much." Luke 7:36 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Reasons To Love Shanghai

Other than it being the same memorable trip where i went to learn kungfu, i like Shanghai for various reasons.

Water Towns
When in a big city, it is nice to venture out of the city to see a different life. 朱家角 Zhu Jia Jiao, is an absolutely beauty. Ancient bridges and houses line up the sides of the canal as we see boatman still in their traditional get-up, wide brimmed straw hats and traditional Chinese costume, shuttling tourists up and down the canal.
It is a myriad of smells, sounds and sights as we walk the cobbled stone pathway trying all sorts of street food like smelly toufu and buying little knick knacks as souveniers.

Locals visit and release life (fishes) at the Bridge of Life as a Buddhist way of gaining merit.

Smelly toufu; crispy on the outside, silky soft on the inside.
You could even visit the Tang Dynasty's first post office!
Old City
While the city is filled with skyscrapers and a pulsing night life, there is the old city which we chanced upon in the city center. 
Watch a show at the old peep hole cinema. 
Marriage Park
A highly amusing sight, parents bring out their umbrellas and notices advertising their "eligible" children in this park. The notices are very detailed! With information like their education, their jobs, their assets, characteristics and past relationships.
Insect Market
Near the antique market, is the insect market which we also chanced upon by accident. Here, men frown in concentration to select the best fighting cricket.

What is there not to like about Shanghai?

Sunday, June 7, 2015

World's First Magnum Playground in Singapore

Yet another unique activity to do when in Singapore, is to visit the Magnum Infinity Playground on the rooftop of iconic Esplanade.

Open to public from now till 21 August, expect a special MAGNUM Dessert & Cocktail Menu with a mini experience of the Playground to extend the pleasure experience. 

In collaboration with London-based culinary experience designers Bompas & Parr, the larger-than-life adult playground's highlights are the Infinity Slide and Skyline Swings of more than 4 metres facing the city skyline. 

Once you have your heartbeat calm down, indulge in ORGO's creations with the new Magnum Infinity, made rom a rare source of naturally rich Tanzanian cocoa that produce intense premium dark chocolate. 

If not at ORGO, you can certainly find them in convenience or supermarkets available in two indulgent flavours and sizes – Classic-sized Chocolate and Caramel and the Chocolate Mini – both include a combination of irresistible chocolate ice cream, covered in crackling dark chocolate and real cocoa nibs.

Find ORGO at 8 Raffles Ave, Esplanade rooftop. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Sundays at Channel 7

One of my favourite free things to do in Bangkok on a weekend is to join the crowds in Channel 7 recording studio. Muay thai boxing, a national sport, air on TV every Sunday at noon to 3. Little known to tourists, it is free to get a spot to watch these live boxing matches in a very authenthic local atmosphere. 

There are many touts and brochures selling boxing matches but they can't get any more authenthic than the ones televised for the nation. 

How to get to Channel 7 Studio:
Get off at Mochit BTS Exit 4 and walk towards the Bangkok MRT office building. This is located at the end of the street, in a corner.
Turn into the street where the building is located and walk deep into the soi.
Watch out for this building, which is Channel 7. 

Enter freely and head towards the right where you'll see buses (they are mobile toilets), and head inwards where most of the crowd is moving towards.

You'll reach the Studio.
The matches start at noon, so be there before to find a nice parking spot. Locals arrive as early as 11am and mill around to watch the boxers get oiled and prepped. 

There was a low rumble in the studio as the atmosphere builds up. Hands started rising and waving. I learned that these waving hands belonged to bookies taking bets amongst the crowd. I chuckle to myself as i caught a glimpse of the sign "No Gambling" on the wall. 

The crowd roared with each punch and kick. Monies passed from my left to right. Millions of illegal baht was transacted in that studio, with 300, 000 baht gifted to the winning boxer. Seated sardine packed on the bleachers, the yells and gestures from the bookies proved to be more interesting than the match itself. Heart pounding, I felt like i was part of something big, bad and dirty.
It made me feel alive. 
Follow me @chrispytine on Instagram for videos.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Lessons from Bangkok

6 months in Bangkok and i'm loving it. 
I wait a thousand years to cross the busy street with no traffic rules, it has taught me patience. 

My hairstylist is a Japanese female who came to Thailand to be a male. He taught me there is no shame in telling a stranger your secrets. 

A Thai's name is long and complicated. They have nicknames like Meta, Jedi and the most creative must go to Name. Remembering Thai names and their nicknames trains my memory. 

My favourite (illegal) street food stall is at the same spot everyday but one day. The Police works on Monday. 

The Thai straight men love taking selfies and checking themselves out in their reflective mobile case. It taught me not to stereotype gender. 

Taxi drivers who roll down their windows and ask where i'm going is most likely not to take me anywhere. It taught me perserverance. 

The many old farang ( Westerner) and young Thai couples don't disgust me but told me everyone's searching for love in ways they define it to be.  

I went for a massage and they asked if i minded a male masseuse. I hesitated until they added, "don't worry, not a real man." I learned to adapt and not mind to have things my way. 

I meet people all walks of life, most recently a conspiracy preacher who proved to be more interesting than an inflight movie. The French man has a bag filled with gold and silver, ready to run (to the mountains) the next economy crisis or nuclear war. I learned that to live, is to not fear. 

I saw a creepy voodoo spider doll hanging in a taxi, i learned to respect anothers' beliefs. 

The friendliest taxi driver i met was a ladyboy who wouldn't stop giggling and keeps an English dictionary in her glove compartment. She taught me happiness is from within. 

I walk the same route everyday and i see the same beggars everyday. I tell myself not to turn numb any day. 

I volunteer at a shelter for trafficked victims and it taught me i can make a change. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cardinal Sins Couples Commit

They say love is blind, but surely we can fall out of love if love is taken for granted. 

Some friends tell me they end relationships because feelings were gone. What makes feelings last a lifetime and what is the recipe to long lasting marriages that takes little effort to maintain? 


1. Invading Bathroom Privacy
When you live together, it is inevitable that there'll be times you're in a rush or impatient to use the bathroom. In some way, you've achieved the highest level of comfortability in coupledom if you're able to take his/her shit. I had an ex who told me his then-girlfriend wouldn't stop talking even while he's on his golden throne. Lavatory time is sacred time, most people meditate in there. Or, check illicit messages from mistresses. Unless both of you are into the golden shower fetish where its actually a turn-on, i'll say stay out of each other's bowel-time. There'll be chances later on in life, in old age, where either of you have to help each other move bowels. Until then, if you must invade bathroom privacy, make sure its to surprise him/ her in a steamy hot shower. 

2. Criticism Overload
While you are your partner's greatest fan, you will also be his/ her biggest critic. I've seen couples who in their "harmless teasing" hide invisible knives that cut. A friend's husband is always teasing how unfit his wife is. I pointed out that while she isn't as fit as he is, he should be glad he found a partner who joins him in every outdoor activity with much gusto. A relationship still needs tact. 

3. Forgetting "Please" and "Thank You"
The more comfortable we are with someone, the less formal we become. The Japanese have a very sweet tradition where a couple greet each other when one or the other steps through the door with this phrase; "its been hard on you". Its a show of appreciation for the other, hard at work. It could be not entirely sincere because of habit but remember that successful people cultivate good habits. 

4. Disapproval in Public
In relation of #2, it is easy to lose your temper quicker with someone close. Especially when you know you're being loved unconditionally (assuming that's why you're both together). My parents are married for more than 25 years. I dislike the manner they frown, chide and demonstrate their disapproval of each other publicly. My longest relationship was 3 years, everytime there's a behaviour i disapprove, i consciously bite my tongue and keep a pokerface. My mistake though, is not revisiting and talking about it when we get home. It isn't healthy letting the unspoken or forgotten eat you up. 

5. Not Sharing Common Interests
In my opinion, common interests is a pre-requisite before committing to a relationship. However, i've seen couples who are total opposites who remain attached. I can't fathom a partner who doesn't love travelling, trying new things and doing sport like i do. My partners often have opposite thoughts and beliefs which offers friendly (sometimes challenging) debate, but we will always share common interests. Couples who share common interests have a better chance at growing old together. Don't lose the partner who can match your pace in said interest. My parents both like being outdoors but my dad is alot fitter and faster than my mum. This often leaves mum biting dad's dust, which then makes them both feel very alone. 

6. Forgetting Self
When we are comfortable with each other, we stop being vain. There's no need to put on nice lingerie when its more comfortable to hang lose. There's no need to put make-up on because he's seen me without. There's no need to put any clothes on because its coming off. Ok, maybe the last example isn't a bad thing. 

A woman ought to continue putting on matching (and sexy) lingerie. A man ought to continue keeping trim without a belly. When a woman becomes a mother, take time out to love herself. If a woman becomes a housewife, find activities that makes her interesting. Find friends to use the 10,000 word quota than offload it on the husband the moment he steps in. A woman tends to forget herself the moment she becomes a mother. Don't, because you'll grow old resentful as i watch my mother become. When children have grown out of their nest, when your husband will never be able to be as sacrificial as you are (its a different sort), you become resentful at old age. 

7. De-prioritizing Each Other
I'm guilty of lying on a partner's lap and texting while he's also texting above my head. We occassionally share text stories and joke about our friends. This is a special moment, as its only what couples do. 

We've passed the formality stage where a person on his/ her mobile all the time is a deal breaker. However, this couple activity is breeding the habit of seeing your partner less important. When the mobile phone becomes more interesting, when the children demands more attention, when your job/ deadline seemed more important. Today, we see ever more couples on their mobiles at dinner in a restaurant.

Since their children were born, my friend haven't been out with his wife alone since he-can't-remember. His daughter is 16 now, so i asked him what's stopping him from taking his wife out on a date? He gave excuses like, "Naaah. We're too old for that", "I'm not in the mood today." But he did take her out that night, and he messaged me a word of "thanks" after. 

Know that your partner IS human, and unconditional love is something only God or Mum can give. 
I'm not sure about you but I was taught to have only one boyfriend before marriage. It could be religion, or our culture but I definitely wasn't encouraged to go experience love. 
To the Chinese, if we have more than one boyfriend, its condemned as "she's loose/ easy/ slut". My Spanish girl-friend once enlightened me with a different perspective, "doesn't it make you a lot more interesting, having different experiences?" She is currently in a relationship of 8 yrs. 
If we were born as babies with zero knowledge and skill except to suckle or swim, how likely are we to know love and to love without experience? 
I've never used "i love you" frivolously in relationships because "best friends 4eva" written in graduation books were not true. 
When my first boyfriend (age 20) said "i love you" within 3 months of relations, i wasn't sure how to react. He surely didn't know what he was saying, as love was meant to be accepting but he frowned at my dressing, speech and behaviour. 
My second boyfriend (age 30) was abit more like me, we don't use the word love in vain. There were no "i love you" until we broke up. The first time he used the word love, it was with a marriage proposal. But surely he didn't know what he's saying, because of the inconsistencies in actions. If he loved, he wouldn't leave me behind when we were snorkelling. If he loved, he wouldn't mind my bag spoiling his style (by carrying it). 
For all the men who taught me what love is not, there was one who taught me what love is. Love is giving up pre-planned and paid trips to spend more time with you. Love is not minding how uncomfortable, ugly and tiring it makes him so you can be not. Love is asking you for your opinion on everything not because he can't decide but to make decisions with you. Love is making plans with you in it, love is wanting to know and understand everything of you. 
Have i then loved? I thought i haven't, but my friend who've observed me in my times with relations said i have. Love might be a universal language but the ways of expressing love is very different between cultures. The Chinese are alot more reserved in demonstrating love, "have you eaten?" is more commonly said than "i love you." The Chinese's demonstration of love is, protecting you at all costs, ensuring you're well-fed without lack and caring for the finest details of daily life. Love to the Chinese is not words of affirmation and touch. 
Love is not as simple as we wish it to be. There is parental love which is sacrificial, Godly love which is all-accepting and romantic love, filled with lust & more. Love fills this Earth and in this journey of finding love, i learned to love myself & i found i had passion within. 
Born a Gen Y Singaporean, I never had to fight to live. I was groomed to excel in academics, I was not nurtured to think out of the box. I never had a strong passion about a topic, subject or person. We were like carbon copies.  
In the last 6 months, preserverance brought me to Bangkok and passion gave me reason to fight for someone. 
Women wished their romantic life would be like the movies. Mine is like a drama that doesn't end and i'm relishing every twist of the plot. 
They say a son looks for a wife like his mother and a daughter looks for a husband like her father. 
I used to be attracted to chauvunistic men, a total opposite of my father. It turns out they are the worst lovers and i grew wiser. 
As i come of age, i recognise traits of my father in my boyfriends in later years. My father thinks my mum is still beautiful even when she doesn't shave. He massages her legs as they run thick with varicose veins. He calls her perfect when her belly hangs loose with skin after 3 children. 
She yell words of hate and shame, he loves her the same. He goes to work where there are other women, but nothing changed. 
Gen Y's love is nothing like before. We give up too easily when the tough gets going. So i'll wait. Wait Christine. Wait for that "him" who'll wait for me. Protect my heart as its the most valuable thing.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Braces Vs Invisalign

Its been 3 months since i received my aligners. From my visit to Dr Cheng at iDental to collect them, i felt he sincerely cares about making me more beautiful.

The nurses pre-empted me on the discomfort i'll feel in the beginning and advised how to mitigate it. Key rule to slipping on your new aligners without much discomfort is to wear it before bed. In your sleep, your teeth and gum gets accustomed to it. 
I'm not foreign to these plastic things, having worn braces 13 years ago, but in the beginning, i felt the discomfort and i was slurring in my speech. I wasn't drunk, but due to something unusual in the mouth, it takes a week to adapt. There were times i felt like removing them, throwing it to the ground and stomping on them but the Invisalign case taunted me with these text imprinted "Optimal wear 22 hours a day".

I found out that Invisalign wearers were more than i knew. These buggers were keeping secret what's making them more beautiful because its invisible! 

I also found out that many of them were ex-braces patients in our teens! Why did our braces dentists not tell us retainers are for life? This made us our teeth shift over the years and will continue to do so, undoing years of metal teeth pain. 

Having been through both braces and Invisalign, here're my comparisions

1. Time Spent Reduced Drastically
I spent 3 years with metal teeth and it meant 1 visit a month to the dentist to clean, tighten and change the rubber band colours to my fancy. Halloween was purple and black, Christmas was red and green. Retainers have to be worn for a year 24/7 (other than eating), thereafter nightly wear after removing the metal wires. That's 4 years in total having something metal then plastic in my mouth. 

My Invisalign treatment is estimated to be less than a year, visits to the dentist drastically reduced because i could self-serve.

Now that i've relocated overseas, i could take with my all 33 sets of aligners and continue my treatment from a distance.
2. Don't look like an awkward teenager
I remember how self conscious i was when i was wearing braces. Conscious of food stuck in between the wires, it didn't help the wires sometimes cut my gums or the corners of my mouth too. I felt like Ugly Betty. Here in Thailand, i noticed many adults wear braces. I felt so proud i'm one step ahead of them with Invisalign. I don't have to look like an awkward teenager. I can make business presentations and command the room with confidence.
Mr Bean knows my Invisalign secret. 
3. Intimacy with no blood lost
I'm exaggerating here. I didn't make out back when i had braces, but i always had the impression that it wouldn't be comfortable kissing someone with metal teeth. I would know, because it wasn't comfortable feeling the metal against the insides of my lips! Then, there are the risks of cutting your lover. Again, this is me dramatizing braces and i didn't have a personal experience but i have a phobia of that happening!

With Invisalign, you can take it off before making out. Optimal wear for Invisalign is 22 hours though, so keep your make out session short and sweet!
Interested to find out more how you can have this transformation?

Idental is having organizing a free talk to field Q&A. You can get a smile assessment after. 

Date: 27 January 2015 / 26 February 2015
Time: 7pm (Registration starts at 6.45pm)
Venue: Capital Tower, Level 9, FTSE Room

Thursday, January 1, 2015

On New Year's eve, i cycled 54km through Chiangmai's farmer fields, rehabilitation centers and simple lives. 

My year-end post isn't going to summarize 2014's glorifying moments but rather, something i hope that sets the tone for how i want to live for 2015. 

Santhi, my Thai bike guide, struck up a conversation with me while we manuveur around the paddy fields at 10km/hr. 

"What is your life goal?"
"See the world, make a difference?" 

I had to communicate with him in very simple English, a language he self-taught with Youtube over 6 years. 

What i actually meant was my life purpose is to make a difference in the lives around me. Instead of aiming for a Nobel prize, "charity" begins at home and with small actions that makes impact i wouldn't have fathom. Accompanying this life purpose, is the goal to see and feel the world. 

"And you?"
"I want to be ordained (as a monk) when i'm 50."

I am confused. Earlier, he mentioned he wanted to get married at 30 (he's 26). However, with his limited vocabularly, i couldn't clarify. Later, i found out from local colleagues that it is a rite of adulthood to spend days, weeks or months for temporary monkhood, earning merits for parents. 

Meeting all walks of life, random stranger conversations have been most rewarding. It shapes me. 

My greatest achievement before 30 is to have lived in 4 different countries independently. 

Being Singaporean by birth, it has been ingrained in me to study hard, work hard, find a man and marry to get a house. I'm not ashamed to say that was my very naive life goal before i gained enlightened. The more i lived abroad, the more i liked being an international wildchild. Adopting the attitude of an European but retaining an Asian's virtue (and cuisine). 

It takes courage to leave Singapore, an indefinite stay away from family, away from friends. Remove myself from familarity, remove myself from convenience. 

Poverty at my doorstep, cycling past farmers toiling, stepping out of Singapore has been a humbling start. It reminds me constantly how we don't get to choose whom we're born as but we do get to choose how to live life. 

I love Singapore for Singapore, but staying on made me self-centered, impatient and focused on life goals that deep down i doubted. Last year living in Europe gave me a new perspective. Going back to Singapore, i felt the old self creeping back. If i wasn't careful, i would lose that wildchild i prefer to be. 

That wildchild who lives for herself, not for society.  

Stepping out of Singapore, i want to be a better person than yesterday. I want to be myself, as everyone else is taken.

The number 5 has always been my favourite as its representative of my family unit. I found out that its also the number for grace. 2015 will be a year of abundant grace. 

Leaving to find me. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

11 Exotic Food Safe to Eat

They say the Chinese eat everything.
I'm the type of Chinese who tries everything. 

There are times when for a split second, i think about food poisoning and tummy runs, but i've eaten exotic food both at fancy restaurants and street stalls. 

Lived to tell the story, here's my list of exotic food that is safe to eat. 

1) Witchetty Grub
Fish and chips in Western Australia was so boring that i had to look for something that makes my stomach churn. If you manage to hold back the bile rising up your throat on the thought of eating a maggot, you'll be pleasantly surprised that it tastes like buttery mushy crab. I like crabs, so this was tasty. Best eaten hot. 
Find it at
The Coolgardie Safe
101 Edward St, East Perth WA

2) Fish Sperm
Have you seen the very graphic frog sashimi Youtube video where the frog is still blinking and wadding on the plate? I've not reached that level yet, but i've tried the sperm sac of a cod fish that looks like brain. Served cold, like sashimi, it is without any dipping sauce. The sac remains intact, thus its really one bite and its gone. As you bite the sac in your mouth, it bursts, filling your mouth with sperm. Then you get this super creamy bean curd texture with a strong fishy after-taste and smell. 
I was surprised to learn that sperm don't look all the same amongst fish. This is a pufferfish's sperm sac.
A skilled Japanese chef will boil it to optimal before serving you drizzled with ponzu sauce and chives. 
A meatier bite compared to the cod fish sperm, the taste is masked by the sauce. If i didn't know what it is, i would have mistook it for boiled chicken. 

Find it at 
Akashi Japanese Restaurant
290 Orchard Road, Paragon Shopping Centre, Singapore 

3) Newborn Eels
Also at Akashi, newborn eels look like this (chef's finger pointing to its head, do you see the eye?)
It looks like flat rice noodles, which i can't quite chew because it was too slimy. It slides around my tongue before i swallowed. As i bite into its tiny head, it bursts and a tiny bit of tasteless liquid filled my mouth. 

4) Giant Tuna Eye
The Chinese believe that sucking on fish eyes will make one's eyes brighter and more intelligent. I've never sucked on a fish eye, but instead upgraded immediately to a giant fish eye. The eye is grilled (picture is raw) with a lot of meat to pick! Tastes like the regular fish, except that it's staring right back at you. Find it also at Akashi. 

5) Whale Burger
Whale meat is overrated. It is 10 times more pungent than mutton, tough and not delectable like say, wagyu beef. When cooked, it looked almost black. 
Don't Find it at 
Lucky Pierrot Hamburger
Hokkaido, Japan

6) Rabbit Head
While certain part of Europe fancy rabbit leg, the Chinese in Sze Chuan go rabid over rabbit heads.
Delightfully 麻辣 spiced, you have to gnaw at it and train that tongue to get juicy bits of meat from the nook and cranny of that skeleton. There isn't much meat, like fish eye and chicken feet, which is consistent with the Chinese's habit of gnawing at bone. The tongue and the brain of the rabbit head is considered the essence of the entire snack. The tongue tastes foul, and the brain tastes like egg yolk. The little meat i can get out of the rabbit's cheek, tasted like very tender chicken. Instagram video here.
Find it at
双流老妈兔头 (Shuang Liu Lao Ma Tu Tou)
ChengLong Avenue HuaHui Market

7) Snake
When I had enough of dim sum in Hong Kong, and asked my guide for something new, he took me to this famous snake restaurant that even had Gordon Ramsey's picture on the wall. We had snake soup and fried snake chunks. 
Despite the snake meat tasting like chicken, I somehow couldn't finish an entire bowl of soup even though it was just a small one! It felt too heavy on the stomach. I preferred the fried snake chunks as they were spiced. I didn't think i would find bones!
Locals (not everyone) eat snake during winter to keep warm! Not sure if its a self fulfilling prophecy, but i did feel warm and alitttle heady after consuming these snakes. 
The restaurant keeps live snakes (for killing) in wooden drawers and keeps a phyton as a pet.
Find it at
170 Apliu Street,Shamshuipo, Kowloon (HKR Station, Exit A2, turn left)

8) Starfish, Seahorse and Baby Scorpions
Expecting the starfish and seahorse to taste like sand in my mouth, it wasn't. Anything fried always tastes good. The scorpion is my favourite, tasting like salt pepper chicken. Its crisp little body squirt juice in my mouth. The seahorse and starfish surprisingly (or not) smell and taste very fishy. The seahorse tastes like very crispy ikan bilis while the tasteless starfish needs a harder bite. Instagram video here. This night market also have many other hair rising options, but they weren't on display for sale when i visited. Tarantulas and lizards were probably not in season?

Find it at
王府井夜市 (Wang Fu Jing Night Market)
Beijing, China

9) Duck Got My Tongue

I missed out the opportunity to try out monitor lizards in salted egg yolk and shit (not kidding, shit was on the menu) in Saigon

And i hunted high and low for the penis restaurant in Beijing to no success.

For any virgin hoping to pop their exotic-food cherry, i would recommend sampling it in Singapore first. After all, my mother nation is stringent in food safety and hygiene. Every food stall is licensed and has to display the government certificates that grades stalls from A to D. With penalties and pressure, i hardly see any food stalls graded C and D. Most are Bs. 

I love taking visiting friends to the Geylang food trail. Where i introduce them to crocodile soup (cures asthma), black chicken (nourishing), turtle soup (build stamina) and more. 
My favourite is stewed frog legs, otherwise garlic butter escargots (snails) at Jack's Place.
Just the other night, we saw eggs (with shell) pierced on a stick on a BBQ grill on the street. I excitedly bought them (3 for $1) thinking they must be baluk (Philippine street snack of a half grown embryo still in egg shell). I got my camera out, heart pounding, palms sweating, unsure what's going to reveal as my friend un-peeled it. It was very anti-climax when we realized it was nothing what we thought, just egg custard 0_0
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