All posts tagged: Signs of life

The difference between nice and polite

It is difficult to like hospitals, and government general hospitals are even more unlikable because of their labyrinthine nature. You could walk for hours and end up in the same place and then ask someone in uniform where a particular ward is when it just so happens you’re standing right next to the ward you want to go to. Today, during a particularly busy hour, I found myself jammed at the back of the lift going down to the third floor lobby. The passengers who got in with me on the top floor had just come from visiting patients at the maternity ward, and were naturally smiling and chatty. The lift then stopped at the floor with the oncology wards, and two passengers get on board, and it takes a couple of seconds before anyone notices that they’re sniffling, stifling sobs, and dabbing their eyes with tissue paper. Later, the car valet at the National University Hospital’s Kent Ridge Wing car park says, “eh, boss how are you? Your wife ok already?”, because he’d seen …

Who wants to be a superhero?

Captain Obvious We’ve had Survivor (1997 – yes, that old!), Big Brother (1999), Fear Factor (2001), American Idol (2002), America’s Next Top Model (2003), Beauty and the Geek (2005 – a favourite), amongst many, many others. Granted, the format’s nowhere near new, but there are now so many “reality” tv shows that the makers of reality tv shows are running out of real things to make reality tv shows out of. So how, like that? Running out of reality? Turn to fantasy lah! Which is exactly what “Who wants to be a superhero?” is trying to do I suppose – get people to break out their spare spandex, toss a lasso, spin a web, leap over tall buildings and so on. Quite fun if you’re keen on reliving primary school games. One of my primary school classmates who went on to become a Channel 8 actor used to lurrrrve playing Wonder Woman when we played at being superheroes during recess and between classes. It didn’t matter a tiny bit to himself that he was a …

Mr Loh’s national song

As I rushed to find a wireless hotspot to sit down at and email urgent work to a client, I heard a familiar tune in one of our great city’s many underpasses, and so decided to trace the source. But when I got to it, the busker had just finished his harmonica rendition of one of the tune. I rummaged through my pocket and produced some money to put in his basket, and said very nicely to him, “Uncle, can play that song one more time?” “You like that song? OK, short one ah, I play one more time”, he smiled and said: After he was done, he asked me why I liked that song, and so I explained that I lived in Australia for a period in the 90s. “So did I”, he said, beaming, “but before you were born, probably”. Mr Loh then went on to tell me that he went to Sydney in 1962, studied Mechanical Engineering at Sydney University, and moved to Melbourne for a while before returning to Singapore in …