Online shopping fail

The other day, I decided to get some supplies from an online Japanese supermarket.

I was wanting to buy some purple sweet potato Kit Kats. You see, I’d been craving purple yam desserts for years because England doesn’t believe in yam, and I thought this Kit Kat could be close enough to do the job.


Purple Sweet Potato Kit Kat


So, I ordered two of those, alongside £75 worth of Japanese groceries to qualify for free shipping.

I also found my favourite peanuts in the world (Kasugai cuttlefish peanuts) in the same shop so I was over the moon.

But never mind that. Here are my Kit Kats:


Very tiny mini Kit Kats!


WOAH. Could they get any bigger??

I guess I should have known better. The product does say “Mini”. And I had actually bought green tea Kit Kat Minis about five years ago.

Still, that was five years ago. I have a bad memory and all the Kit Kats I’ve eaten since have been normal people-sized ones.

Also, the price of the mini Kit Kat is more than 10 times the price of a normal Kit Kat. So you could perhaps excuse my mind for thinking I would get something a tad bigger.

Anyway, caveat emptor and all that. I’m not really complaining, just terrified that Piers will scold me now that he knows what those Kit Kats cost. :O

They were very tasty but did not satisfy my yam craving because they are kind of different.

Then, there was the matcha.


Marukyu Koyamaen Wako Premium Stone Ground Matcha Green Tea Powder


I’d never bought matcha before so I chose this one based on the fact that the packaging is very pretty and it’s the most expensive one in the shop.

(I was worried the cheaper ones would taste gross.)

(And I really do like the packaging.)

Well, here’s my pretty matcha.


Very expensive, almost invisible, matcha


:O :O :O

I had expected it to be maybe three or four times bigger??

Yes, the weight is listed on the product page but who can tell off the top of their heads how much physical space 20 grams of powder takes up?

More importantly, I tend to ignore measurements when online shopping. Who has time to scrutinise everything?

Okay, I just did a Google search and my matcha doesn’t seem very expensive anymore. From what I can tell, matcha prices range from £1 to £20 per 10 grams.

But it was still rather shocking.

Anyway, one more item.

The great Daikon radish, otherwise known as mooli in England. It’s so very tasty in stews and soups because it soaks up all the wonderful flavour and explodes-melts in your mouth (but you have to cook it long enough).


Daikon radish aka mooli


Now, I’ve never bought one in Singapore (I didn’t cook back then) and UK supermarkets generally don’t stock it. So my only experience with it has been eating the final product all diced up and cooked.

I had accidentally found it for sale in Ocado last year, but only managed to buy two before it was gone from the virtual shelves. I’m not sure if it’s because no one buys it or because it went out of season.

After it disappeared, I would check every so often while doing my weekly grocery shop, but it never came back.

(Hey, I just now did a quick check and it’s back! Ocado has mooli again! They actually just stocked it because the last time I checked was a week ago.)

So, anyway, I bought this Japanese mooli even though it cost £4.99. I thought it was really expensive, expecting it to be the size of the one from Ocado (about twice the size of an average carrot), which had cost £0.70.

I bought it anyway, visions of exquisite braised beef with Daikon radish soaking in savoury sauce filling my head.

And, of course, the Daikon radish turned out to be gigantic.


Daikon radish vs regular carrot


I photographed it with an average-sized carrot to offer some scale.

You might think the size of it is a good thing but at the very moment I was fishing it out of the delivery box, I was thinking, “Oh, my God, what have I done?”

What in the world was I going to do with a giant vegetable? Much as I love it, I didn’t really want to be eating it every day for a week.

Yes, I should probably have been clued in by the weight listed on the product page. But again, who goes around knowing what a carrot weighs?

Anyway, we managed to finish it in three weeks. It kept surprisingly well in the fridge even with bits chopped off it, so that was a good ending.

Well, as you can tell from reading this post, I haven’t got time for anything most of the time, so gotta go, no time to waste! Until next time!



Gift ideas round the globe from vPOST


Thanks to my hectic schedule, I’m always leaving present-shopping till too late! Well, I checked out vPOST‘s Valentine’s Day promotion and am reminded that there are only four days left till Valentine’s Day.


Actually, the Goonfather doesn’t expect Valentine’s Day presents from me, but I like buying him stuff.

The problem is, there always isn’t time. I had left Christmas shopping till too late last year and ended up buying a tin of cookies for him on Christmas Day itself.

(I was in Cold Storage with my friends, shopping for last-minute groceries for our Christmas dinner. While we were queueing up to pay for our items, the guys sneaked out to look at girls outside the mall. I chose that moment to grab the giant tin and actually managed to smuggle it back, gift-wrap it and hide it among the presents under our Christmas tree without the Goonfather even noticing, even though he was with us the whole time!)


So, I’ve decided to shop online this time (and all future times – birthday, anniversary, mother’s day, father’s day, teacher’s day, children’s day… um, everything lah) because I doubt I’ll ever have time to go hunting all over Singapore for presents.

Shopping online is a good idea. I found a few things I could get for the Goonfather which I would never have found if I’d randomly gone to some generic shopping mall.

The first one is a Mazda RX-7.


Well, okay, it’s a remote control car but it drifts!

The Goonfather loves remote control cars. And drifting. But his remote control cars can’t drift and it’s too expensive to drift his real car, so he only does it in video games.

Now there’s this! Check out the video. It’s very amazing!!

There are six models to choose from. I chose the RX-7 because that’s my favourite car in Initial D (the anime).

You can buy this item here.

Next item. A missile launcher. It’s so geeky I think all guys will love it.

I love the product description.

The latest from the Department of Desktop Warfare

The office arms race continues, and we think this newest escalation could very well lead to mutually assured destruction on all sides! With the ability to connect (and simultaneously control) an almost unlimited number of missile launchers (well, only limited by your system memory and number of USB ports), the USB Laser Guided Missile Launcher will empower you to unleash something akin to total office annihilation. Not only will you achieve strength with the size of your battery of missiles, they will be accurate too. The built-in laser missile aiming system will allow you to aim and fire your weapons with close to pinpoint accuracy! Just point the red laser dot at your target and slowly squeeze your mouse trigger finger.

I can imagine the Goonfather terrorising all his colleagues with this.

ThinkGeek has tons of cool items you can buy your guy (or for geeky girls… like me)!

There’s also this item he’s been eyeing for a long time. The Gene Simmons Axe Guitar (compatible with Rock Band and Guitar Hero games).

Is that the coolest guitar ever or what?

(Ashamedly, I don’t even know who the heck Gene Simmons is. But who cares. The guitar look nice can already.)

Well, I can’t really decide. Maybe I’ll get everything cos they’re all so cool. Of course, I’m using vPOST for my online shopping cos there’s a Valentine’s Day promotion offering 20% off shipping charges till Feb 28, 2009! Yay!

What I like about vPOST is that it allows you to buy items from USA, UK and Japanese websites (over 350,000 of them) even if those sites do not ship to Singapore. That’s really handy, I think.

You will get USA, UK and Japanese shipping addresses to use for your order so that vPOST can receive the items on your behalf and ship it to Singapore within five to eight working days (upon payment of shipping charges).

(By the way, this service is also available for Malaysia, Thailand, Australia and India users, limited to USA shipping addresses.)

((And vPOST shipping charges are at least 20% cheaper than other international shipping providers.))


Only three simple steps are required to use vPOST:

I suppose that doesn’t tell you very much. Haha. But you can read the fully detailed guide here.

vPOST also provides a vCONCIERGE service which helps you buy stuff. It’s great for people who don’t have credit cards, or for times when a retailer doesn’t accept your Singapore-issued credit card.

Check out this geeky guy explaining the service:

Well, thank goodness for online shopping. Then again, one of the hazards is that you will find so much great stuff without much effort that you’ll start inventing reasons to buy presents for people.

Or maybe that’s just me.

One of my favourite sites to shop at is JBOX, which has all sorts of crazy Japanese things.

For example, how about this ninja sword ear cleaner?

LOL. The Japanese come up with the craziest stuff.

Speaking of which, if you didn’t watch I Survived a Japanese Game Show, you MUST watch it because the Japanese thought up the most hilarious ways to abuse a bunch of Americans and it’s so entertaining! YouTube has the entire season.

JBOX also has lots of irresistable Hello Kitty merchandise which will cute you to death.

I want all these!

By the way, here’s one tip to avoid paying GST on your online purchases:

You will be charged GST only if your package exceeds S$400. So, if you’re feeling rich and buying a ton of stuff from the same retailer, just split up your purchases so that no single parcel is worth more than S$400. (Don’t forget to work out the currency exchange.)

Well, happy shopping! Don’t forget to buy something for me! =P


Online shopping spree

When your friends start launching shopping websites within a week of each other, you know some higher power must be encouraging you to go shopping.

How nice!

Now, if the same higher power would rain some money down on me, too.

I already introduced Xtralicious’ shop last week, but I’ll mention it again because her site now has a new look and a new shopping engine.

She’s enjoying great success even as we speak. Most of her stock sold out within the first few days, causing the poor girl to lose sleep as she went into an unexpected restocking frenzy.

Hot on her heels are “the ambiguously gay duo” (as termed by Cowboy Caleb) of The Cowboy Bar. Chuwen and Dzigna launched Style Damsel three days ago.

Looks pretty spiffy, does it not?

Go, go, support them!

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Random Picture of the Day

A screenshot of my appearance in TV sitcom Living With Lydia (2004). I played a bimbo beauty contestant opposite the late HK superstar Lydia Sum (not in picture).

The Chinese subtitles say, “If you’re a fruit, what fruit would you be?”

What a fruitcake question!