Please bear with the music

I went for a cof­fee break just now, and dis­cov­ered a lit­tle, oft-forgotten quirk in our cof­fee shops.

As I was prepar­ing to pay for my kopi-o, I wasn’t sure if the price had gone up from 50c to 60c or 60c to 70c, so I laid my coins out on the table for the aun­tie to collect.

She told me it was only 60c, and then asked, 你有 shilling å•Š?‘, point­ing at the coins on the table, and ask­ing, “can change shilling for me?”

What she meant was, she wanted to give me a $2 note in exchange for the two $1 coins I had on the table.

Fair exchange, I thought, but it struck me strange that so many decades after we’ve stopped being a British colony, and even more decades since the British started using dec­i­mal denom­i­na­tion in their oddly named cur­rency, the cof­fee shop aun­tie still refers to small change as ‘shillings’.

Pod­cast: the mrbrown show 1 May 2006: the per­sis­tently non-political pod­cast no. 6
(MP3, File­size: 1.5mb, Time: 00:02:58)

Sub­scribe:[feed][iTunes]

Tech­no­rati Tags: , , , ,

Tagged with:
 
  • Pingback: 2007: a blog odyssey

  • http://www.bohemianphilosophy.com Lisa

    I was laughed by an aussie in Sin­ga­pore when I used that word. I never used it since.

  • http://www.bohemianphilosophy.com Lisa

    I was laughed by an aussie in Sin­ga­pore when I used that word. I never used it since.

  • http://la-guinevere.livejournal.com/ guin­e­vere

    is the pil­lar really refer­ring to the music from the per­son basking??

  • http://la-guinevere.livejournal.com/ guin­e­vere

    is the pil­lar really refer­ring to the music from the per­son basking??

  • http://restlessly.blogspot.com nur

    Well, coins are called “syil­ing” (shilling) in Malay, so I guess some of us still use the word.

  • http://restlessly.blogspot.com nur

    Well, coins are called “syil­ing” (shilling) in Malay, so I guess some of us still use the word.

  • http://shellylives.blogspot.com Shelly

    Most of the cof­fee shops these days, par­tic­u­larly those run by the older gen­er­a­tion, still term “coins” as “shillings”. Or if you look Chi­nese, then you’ll know that other term they use, “doon kia”. :p

  • http://shellylives.blogspot.com Shelly

    Most of the cof­fee shops these days, par­tic­u­larly those run by the older gen­er­a­tion, still term “coins” as “shillings”. Or if you look Chi­nese, then you’ll know that other term they use, “doon kia”. :p

  • dr.lowem

    shillings ok mar! i still say it what. wahliew… young kids nowa­days… tsk­t­sk­tsk. if like that, words like ‘bas­ket’ and ‘bloom­ing’ can put in his­tory books liao :

  • dr.lowem

    shillings ok mar! i still say it what. wahliew… young kids nowa­days… tsk­t­sk­tsk. if like that, words like ‘bas­ket’ and ‘bloom­ing’ can put in his­tory books liao :\

  • http://curlywurlybooboo.blogspot.com/ ajab boo­boo

    Old habits die hard. Same thing when some mem­bers of our Malay com­mu­nity still say “ring­git” and not “dollars”.

  • http://curlywurlybooboo.blogspot.com/ ajab boo­boo

    Old habits die hard. Same thing when some mem­bers of our Malay com­mu­nity still say “ring­git” and not “dollars”.

  • suertes

    Actu­ally, Sin­ga­pore inde­pen­dence came ear­lier than dec­i­mal­i­sa­tion, which was in 1971: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shillings

  • suertes

    Actu­ally, Sin­ga­pore inde­pen­dence came ear­lier than dec­i­mal­i­sa­tion, which was in 1971: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shillings

  • http://miyagi.sg Mr Miyagi

    Thank you, I stand corrected.

  • http://miyagi.sg Mr Miyagi

    Thank you, I stand corrected.

  • http://www.projectbetterman.blogspot.com pc

    *slaps head*

    Your post made me real­ize that I’ve been uncon­siously say­ing things that REALLY reflect my age…

    Exam­ples :

    shillings”, as you’ve men­tioned.. “func­tion”.. was hav­ing a chat with some kids… and I was ask­ing them if they had “func­tions”.. *blank stare*.. and what about this.. was talk­ing about the “Banana Split Show”… *ultra blank stares*

    *sigh*

  • http://www.projectbetterman.blogspot.com pc

    *slaps head*

    Your post made me real­ize that I’ve been uncon­siously say­ing things that REALLY reflect my age…

    Exam­ples :

    shillings”, as you’ve men­tioned.. “func­tion”.. was hav­ing a chat with some kids… and I was ask­ing them if they had “func­tions”.. *blank stare*.. and what about this.. was talk­ing about the “Banana Split Show”… *ultra blank stares*

    *sigh*

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.