Month: January 2010

Gold 90 FM, Home of Brian Richmond

I was slightly offended when I turned on the radio and heard, “Gold 90 FM, Home of Elvis Presley”. It was read out by Brian Richmond, the doyen of radio presenters. Then I realised that they really should have a promo/announcement that says something to the effect of “Radio Singapore – Home of Brian Richmond”, for he is nothing less than a living legend, an institution, and a life story that mirrors this country’s own history – an Englishman, an orphan of Empire, adapting to local climes, flourishing, maturing and evolving into the voice of Oldie Goldie Radio, with his slow, deliberate sentences and flat vowels that bely his enthusiasm when he introduces Glenn Campbell’s and other country songs. If I had a hat, I’d tip it to you, Uncle Brian. Tweet

The salty salesmen of the Dead Sea

The sales tactics of Vardi & Migdal – the Israeli company with pushcarts in malls all over the island – used to work. They use pushcarts instead of renting a shop space because if you were a salesman in a shop, you wouldn’t be able to roam a mall’s thoroughfare and accost passers-by. We have some nail buffer thing we bought about two years ago thanks to a salesman who insisted on buffing Naomi’s and my nails. I agreed to buy the item just so he’d stop holding our hands like we were conducting some seance. One of their (presumably Israeli, I don’t know for sure, I’m just assuming based on my racist profiling of what they look and sound like) salesmen struck again yesterday with the same aggressive approach. Well, not quite the same. He approached Naomi and startled her by declaring, “Your skin has a lot of blemishes!”, followed by an enquiry, “What skin care product do you use?” Thankfully for him, before I could smack his presumably Israeli head with my shopping …

Female circum… whaaaaat?

I was shocked to learn from Naomi yesterday that female circumcision is practiced in Singapore. I had no idea. You learn a lot from motherhood forums, where Naomi stumbled upon discussions on whether to circumcise, where to circumcise, how to do it and how much is done and how much is charged. I’ve always thought that female circumcisions were only carried out in some tribes in Africa, and that there was never any religious basis for doing so. Further googling the subject: In Singapore’s small Muslim community, female circumcision involves nicking the prepuce, the skin covering the clitoris. It is markedly different from the practices of some Muslim communities in Africa and the Middle East decried by human rights activists as female genital mutilation. In those cases, a young girl’s clitoris is clipped and burned. In a few communities, all the external genitals are cut off and the remnant tissue is sewn up to leave only a small opening. Those practices originated 1,400 years ago, before the birth of the Prophet Mohammed, says Noor Aisha …