Wealth for toil

SydneyIt now looks like we left Sydney at the right time, because she’s got flash floods and thunderstorms resembling Singapore and Malaysia in December.

But really, though, there isn’t ever a good time to leave Sydney. I spent nine good years from 1992 – 2000, and ten days there last month. One difference between the recent stay and the previous one is that everything there’s really really expensive now.

There was a time when the S$ was a little bit stronger than the $A, making many Singaporeans say things like, ‘Wah, drink coffee here damn cheap hor? The cappucino and latte only $1.80 leh, when you convert back’.

But what the heck, Sydney welcomes everyone who’s ever seen the Pacific’s waves lap at her shores in a way that makes you keep longing to come back, whether or not you gain or lose when you convert back.

It was even more special for me (that I had to show Sydney off to Naomi), as I visited the locality I lived in, bumped into my old landlord (who’s still renting out the flat at a premium – $500 a week, and dat’s cheap already!), and many other places of significance (to me).

Again, I’ll have to tell you about them later, because reservist book-in time beckons, and there’s Combat Live-Firing all of tomorrow.

Sydney
Peter the landlord (I forget his last name), who still collects rent personally, as well as tends to the common garden

Sydney
The art-deco Ritz cinema at The Spot, St Paul’s Street, Randwick

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In-Camp


Approved Mindef Photograph

I wouldn’t recommend doing this: Arriving back from a holiday at 4am and having to book-in to reservist training at 7.30am. Which is exactly what I did.

I also got my hair cut by a not-so-skilled barber in camp. I’d say a lot, lot more if not for the fact that I’m very, very tired and need to get some sleep before tomorrow’s training.

Also, because these days you can’t take pictures of what you do in-camp and then post them online, I don’t have any funny pictures of this year’s training to show you.

Nonetheless, there are funny things to talk about, which I will later, in much the same way I’ll talk about what I did for my holidays. All I can say now is that I’m not really suffering in-camp. You can’t, really, when you hear heartening things like this from one of the instructors:

“Gentlemen, just note that the target is not really shooting back at you, so don’t be worry”

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A matter of time

 Bio21 Images CfsemLast week I read about Singapore thinking about legislating biomedical research. I suppose you can think all you want but don’t expect the rest of the world to wait while they find new and interesting ways for the latest biomedical advances.
Yes, in Japan, they’ve come up with stem-cell enhanced breast implants! Now you can grow breasts for other people!

Via Elia Diodati, and the BBC.

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Yay, weekend

skyWould you just look at that? Clear blue skies with only a trace of cloud.

That’s what I saw on my Saturday morning walk around where we live. And, really, how about that weather? I know in other necks of woods, you sometimes get comfortable weather when you’re normally not supposed to, and this is just like that, you know? Not bad at all. It really put a smile on my dial.

There were other things that made me smile. Like this sign beckoning those just starting out a life of crime:

Yay weekend!
Employment opportunities for the not so quick

And how about this shocking pink pig accompanied by two brochure-givers exhorting the benefits of dining at the Hog’s Breath Cafe, but who unfortunately looks more like he’s protesting against the use of pork in Crystal Jade’s Xiaolongbao:

Yay weekend!
Porky Pink

It’s not weird or stupid or unusual, you know? It’s just…

Yay weekend!
Yes… whaddafa..?

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A good run

Yay, flowers!Update: Engie Ho, otherwise known as the multi-tasking production administrator for the show, has diligently informed me that I shouldn’t have left out the following names from my Thank You list: Shao Ann (lightning lighting designer), Mo (the theatre costume industry), Denise Low (The Producer). And the Ang Mo volunteer’s name is Lansell. Good on youse all! So here they are.

Thank you everyone who watched Hossan: Multiple Personalities Disorder. And thank you everyone in the production for making it such an enjoyable experience. Yes, I am understating it, because I really don’t know how to describe how great the whole experience has been.

Thank you to the company: Dream Academy Playhouse, and the MPD production people: Toh Lin, Stanley, Xin’en, Kala, Sofian, Engie, Shah, Bobbie, Ashley, Joo Huey, Fifi, Li Ting, Vivian and dunno who else… oh yah, the siao on Ang Moh who volunteered at Front of House. Champions all!

Hossan and Selena. Thank you!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Love youse all!

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Paper cranes

Origami for charitySometimes, it’s quite hard to help the needy. There’s this initiative by the Southeast CDC (Community Development Council) whose instructions on the little squares of paper read:

“For every folded crane, a bowl of rice will be donated to the needy by our sponsor.

Instructions: Please fold this [piece of] paper into a crane and drop it [into some container presumably, because I don’t think they mean for you to litter…] at any Community Centres/ Clubs in [the] South East District.

This small contribution of yours is a powerful act of giving to the community.”

These squares of paper were at a cafe in Katong, and there was also a poster on the wall with illustrated instructions on how to make a paper crane. Unfortunately, all it got me were a couple of useless folded dunnowhats, and I gave up soon after that. The needy being a couple of bowls of rice short from my efforts.

Origami for charityGood thing for Google and the internet! ‘Cos I found this site that made me feel not so useless as I managed to fold, after half an hour of creasing and uncreasing the square of paper, an origami crane. Voila! Now to find a Community Centre / Club in the South East District. More rice for the needy!

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How about the weather?

Scraping Blue SkiesI’ve been popping into the 24hr Cold Storage at Holland Village to pick up fresh food after work, and I overheard a conversation between the night manager and a customer.

NM: Wah, now the weather in Singapore at night is like Hawaii ah? Cooling, windy.

C: No lah. Colder! They say Chinese New Year will snow.

NM: Har? Hail lah!

C: No. Snow!

NM: No lah. Hail lah!

C: Snooow, I tell you already. [grins]. Snooooow.

I dunno, but the joke’s lost on me there. But good to see these two fellas having a bit of fun.

And the weather has been oddly pleasant too, and I’m questioning it as if we don’t deserve good weather after a year of blazing saddle days and flash flood storms. I think better enjoy while stocks lasts.

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Thick skinned

 Albums V88 Shaoann Mpd4When Naomi asked me last night, ‘how was the show?’, I said, ‘good, Hossan was so funny I kept laughing even though I knew what was coming’.

‘Not shy, some people! Laugh at own joke!’, she said.

What I can say is, the jokes are no longer mine once they’ve been given a life of their own by Hossan. He owns the space. I mean, really! Me and the costume designer Mothar were in stitches, barely keeping our butts on our seats even though we had seen every single skit several hundred times.

And I’m not saying this just because I’m hoping more tickets will be sold. Although that would be nice. So here’s the link. Thank you very much!

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