Tourist Feedback

These were sent to Thomas Cook Holidays – listing some of the guests’ complaints during the 2008 season.

“I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

“On my holiday to Goa in India , I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”

“We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”

A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she’d been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the “do not disturb” sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.

“The beach was too sandy.”

A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.

“Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”

“We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five Euros (£3.50) from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”

“No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”

“It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home.”

“The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the accommodation’. We’re trainee hairdressers – will we be OK staying here?”

“There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners.”

“It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

“I was bitten by a mosquito – no-one said they could bite.”

“My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

STATEMENT ON U.S. ECONOMIC OUTLOOK BY DR. NOURIEL ROUBINI

July 16, 2009

STATEMENT ON U.S. ECONOMIC OUTLOOK BY DR. NOURIEL ROUBINI

The following is a statement from Dr. Nouriel Roubini, Chairman of RGE Monitor and Professor, New York University, Stern School of Business:

“It has been widely reported today that I have stated that the recession will be over “this year” and that I have “improved” my economic outlook. Despite those reports – however – my views expressed today are no different than the views I have expressed previously. If anything my views were taken out of context.

“I have said on numerous occasions that the recession would last roughly 24 months. Therefore, we are 19 months into that recession. If as I predicted the recession is over by year end, it will have lasted 24 months with a recovery only beginning in 2010. Simply put I am not forecasting economic growth before year’s end.

“Indeed, last year I argued that this will be a long and deep and protracted U-shaped recession that would last 24 months. Meanwhile, the consensus argued that this would be a short and shallow V-shaped 8 months long recession (like those in 1990-91 and 2001). That debate is over today as we are in the 19th month of a severe recession; so the V is out of the window and we are in a deep U-shaped recession. If that recession were to be over by year end – as I have consistently predicted – it would have lasted 24 months and thus been three times longer than the previous two and five times deeper – in terms of cumulative GDP contraction – than the previous two. So, there is nothing new in my remarks today about the recession being over at the end of this year.

“I have also consistently argued – including in my remarks today – that while the consensus predicts that the US economy will go back close to potential growth by next year, I see instead a shallow, below-par and below-trend recovery where growth will average about 1% in the next couple of years when potential is probably closer to 2.75%.

“I have also consistently argued that there is a risk of a double-dip W-shaped recession toward the end of 2010, as a tough policy dilemma will emerge next year: on one side, early exit from monetary and fiscal easing would tip the economy into a new recession as the recovery is anemic and deflationary pressures are dominant. On the other side, maintaining large budget deficits and continued monetization of such deficits would eventually increase long term interest rates (because of concerns about medium term fiscal sustainability and because of an increase in expected inflation) and thus would lead to a crowding out of private demand.

“While the recession will be over by the end of the year the recovery will be weak given the debt overhang in the household sector, the financial system and the corporate sector; and now there is also a massive re-leveraging of the public sector with unsustainable fiscal deficits and public debt accumulation.

“Also, as I fleshed out in detail in recent remarks the labor markets is still very weak: I predict a peak unemployment rate of close to 11% in 2010. Such large unemployment rate will have negative effects on labor income and consumption growth; will postpone the bottoming out of the housing sector; will lead to larger defaults and losses on bank loans (residential and commercial mortgages, credit cards, auto loans, leveraged loans); will increase the size of the budget deficit (even before any additional stimulus is implemented); and will increase protectionist pressures.

“So, yes there is light at the end of the tunnel for the US and the global economy; but as I have consistently argued the recession will continue through the end of the year, and the recovery will be weak and at risk of a double dip, as the challenge of getting right the timing and size of the exit strategy for monetary and fiscal policy easing will be daunting.

Mum jailed for killing son

July 10, 2009
Mum jailed for killing son

By K C Vijayan

A DEPRESSED woman who killed her son in a murder-cum-suicide bid was jailed for seven years on Friday.

Kang Ka Li, 37, a single parent, pleaded guilty in the High Court to a charge of culpable homicide for the death of her 12-year-old son Tan Eu-Jin, a secondary one student.

Psychiatrists found Kang to be suffering from an ” abnormality of the mind ” that impaired her mental responsibility for her actions at the time of the killing.

Justice Chan Seng Onn said he passed the sentence” with a heavy heart”, noting the greater pain for Kang was not so much in the sentence but in the death of her son who died by her hands. He described the case as ” tragic and unfortunate”, adding that all that Kang was left with of her son are ” fond memories.”

Kang committed the killing on May 15 last year in their Toa Payoh Lorong 2 flat, the night before she was due to show up in court for forgery charges. She had been living there with her parents and only child.

The court heard she fed her son with sedatives at about 10.30 pm and he kissed her goodnight. She then wrote three letters to her family, boyfriend and ex-husband.

At about 1 am, after a shower, she took some pills with beer and then sat next to her sleeping son. She then tied her son’s ankles and wrists, and then used a towel to suffocate him. The boy woke up, struggled for a while and then became motionless as she continued to press his nose.

It was now her turn. Madam Kang swallowed 50 tablets meant for high blood pressure and cut her own wrists with a penknife. Minutes later she called her boyfriend Andrew Chan on the handphone and he suspected something amiss. He immediately rushed to the flat.

He woke her parents and they found her in the room with her son lying lifeless after she heeded their pleas and unlocked the bedroom door. Both were rushed to Tan Tock Seng Hospital where the boy was pronounced dead. She was arrested.

Kang’s lawyer Edmond Pereira urged the court to consider her circumstances and imposed a lenient sentence.

He said Kang, a divorcee, had been depressed for some time after she lost her job and faced financial problems. She resorted to forging a letter in a bid to obtain credit facilities. When she was found out and due to appear in court she decided to take her own life.

But she wanted to kill her son because she said she could not trust anyone to take care of him when she was not alive.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng had sought a jail term of more than eight years, referring to past cases and stressing that Kang needed long term care. Kang also had a previous five-week jail term for cheating.

Secrets Exposed! How to make a woman happy!!

How to make a woman happy…

It’s not difficult to make a woman happy, a man only needs to be:

1. a friend
2. a companion
3. a lover
4. a brother
5. a father
6. a master
7. a chef
8. an electrician
9. a carpenter
10. a plumber
11. a mechanic
12. a decorator
13. a stylist
14. a sexologist
15. a gynecologist
16. a psychologist
17. a pest exterminator
18. a psychiatrist
19. a healer
20. a good listener
21. an organizer
22. a good father
23. very clean
24. sympathetic
25. athletic
26. warm
27. attentive
28. gallant
29. intelligent
30. funny
31. creative
32. tender
33. strong
34. understanding
35. tolerant
36. prudent
37. ambitious
38. capable
39. courageous
40. determined
41. true
42. dependable
43. passionate
44. compassionate

WITHOUT FORGETTING TO:

45. give her compliments regularly
46. love shopping
47. be honest
48. be very rich
49. not stress her out
50. not look at other girls

AND AT THE SAME TIME, YOU MUST ALSO:

51. give her lots of attention, but expect little yourself
52. give her lots of time, especially time for herself
53. give her lots of space, never worrying about where she goes

IT IS ALSO VERY IMPORTANT:

54. Never to forget:
* birthdays
* anniversaries
* arrangements she makes

HOW TO MAKE A MAN HAPPY:

1. Show up naked or just wearing a cotton tee.
2. Bring beer.
3. Hand over the remote.
4. Discuss how to rank the following women on attractiveness, sexiness, as a lover: Jessica Alba, Megan Fox, Scarlett Johanssen.

Singaporeans have a high regard for Hong Kong and its citizens

Sunday March 29 2009
Letters to SCMP
Singaporeans have a high regard for Hong Kong and its citizens

I refer to the letter by Simon Morliere (‘Singapore is far better than Hong Kong in every way’, March 22).

I assume that Mr Morliere is just expressing his personal opinion and not the opinion of the thousands of expatriates, including Singaporeans, living and working in Hong Kong nor Singaporeans in general. It is rather sad that he chooses to see Hongkongers in this manner.

I have lived in Hong Kong for the past 11 years and I find Hongkongers intelligent, hardworking, enterprising, open-minded, innovative, charitable and, most importantly, very tolerant towards non-Hongkongers.

Hong Kong is probably one of the safest places to bring up a family, with its efficient police and security forces, very high standards of education that provide a multilingual medium of instruction and also a multi-ethnic living environment.

As a member of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong), I am fortunate to have the opportunity to interact with Hong Kong people from different walks of life and I personally feel that Hongkongers are one of the friendliest and most caring people in the world.

They are fast and efficient in their work, and, as far as I know, Singaporeans do not have the impression that Hongkongers are people who talk only and take no action.

Singaporeans living in Hong Kong are very appreciative of the inclusive society that Hong Kong is, where visitors and residents originating from other countries are invariably treated well by Hongkongers.

Vincent Chow, honorary executive director, Singapore Chamber of Commerce (Hong Kong)