Minejima & Co. Hits The Road

I’m very happy to announce that Naomi’s new business ‘Minejima & Co.’ will be ensconced at Block 71, Loewen Road, Dempsey Hill, from now till 16th December. Please come by to say hi, and do some of your Christmas shopping here. It’s a great Christmas Market that the folks at Dempsey Hill have put up. It’s far from the madding regular mall crowds even if it’s just 5 minutes from Orchard Road.

Minejima & Co Logo

I’m very happy to announce that Naomi’s new business ‘Minejima & Co.‘ will be ensconced at Block 71, Loewen Road, Dempsey Hill, from now till 16th December. Please come by to say hi, and do some of your Christmas shopping here. It’s a great Christmas Market that the folks at Dempsey Hill have put up. It’s far from the madding regular mall crowds even if it’s just 5 minutes from Orchard Road.

Plus, if you’re a history buff like myself, you’d appreciate being in the area, once known as Tanglin Camp, and remembered by those my age as where we went for our pre-NS medicals and where our parents dropped us off on Enlistment Day (more precisely we reported to Block 15 Dempsey Road, and the old three-tonners came to the parade square to take us away after we swore allegiance to the SAF). The area has a much longer history than I can remember, of course, and you might be interested in looking at who Dempsey, Ridout, Loewen, Harding and the other roads are named after.

Anyway, back to Naomi’s Minejima & Co.. A few people have asked why we sell the stuff we do – and that’s been easy to answer. We want other people to enjoy¬†the same stuff we use at home, whether they’re toys that we like Kai playing with, or reusable shopping bags that are durable and don’t look ugly. Our business philosophy is simple: We’ll sell something only if we like it.

It’s also been really encouraging so far, that people have enjoyed the products we’re exclusive distributors for: Quut from Belgium, RuMe from the US and Handlebar Heroes from the UK. We did have a bit of difficulty classifying the ‘type’ of shop we were going to be, whether it was an eco-product shop or a kids’ stuff shop or a homeware shop. But eventually, we settled on being sellers of ‘Playfully Useful Things’.

We’ll continue to sell online at minejima.co while we work on supplying retailers with our products. In the meantime, do come by Loewen Road this fortnight for your Christmas shopping, and have fun with our now-famous interactive sand display. Our only rule is, please keep the sand within the box or our pop-up hosts will be very upset!

Thank you all who’ve supported the business so far, and don’t forget to follow us:

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Free Dempsey Hill Shuttle Bus Schedule

More than half of toys tested unsafe

The Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) tested a basket of 50 toys sold in Singapore, and more than half were found to be unsafe. Naomi and I are not surprised.

But what I’d like to know is, what kind of crap toy is this?

The pictorial list of toys is here, and I kinda agree with the toy gun / cuff set being unsafe. A friend of mine handcuffed himself to the fence when he was five years old, and was only released by his laughing parents when they got home several hours later.

A few days later, he shot himself in both nostrils with the dart gun. Actually, he was the sort of kid who’d manage to injure himself even if you put him in a straitjacket in a padded room.

In defence of Sim Lim Square

Sim Lim Square back to old habits?
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

Geek Central isn’t so bad, at least not when I was there last week to get some stuff for my brother in law in China (because it’s worse over there – you can hardly get any non-pirated stuff for a reasonable retail price, apparently).

At several shops on the fourth and fifth floors, I found sales staff to be polite and helpful to the point where, when they saw me to be on the verge of overspending on a particular product, asked what my (or my brother-in-law’s) purpose for the product was, and then recommended a cheaper alternative because what we intended to get was, in their opinion, a bit of an overkill.

Of course, customers unaccustomed to Sim Lim Square Salesspeak might find the way they help you rude or intrusive, because the conversation went something like:

Salesman: So you want to buy the Seagate Barracuda 1TB?

Me: Yes. And an external combo casing – with firewire and USB.

Salesman: Firewire and USB, can. Wait. You want to take this HD (brandishes HD) and put it in an external case?

Me: Um.. yah.

Salesman: Har? What for?

Me: To use as external drive lah.

Salesman: Har? But this HD is server grade one leh.

Me: Yah, I know.

Salesman: Also can lah, up to you lah, but if me hor, I won’t use so high end HD.

Me: Then what would you use?

Salesman: Cheaper drive lah. Also will last quite long. How many people in your house? 2, 3? Good enough lah.

Me: OK, if you say so.

Salesman: Yah. I get for you the lower end one. Eh? Wait wait wait. You want to use for external drive is it?

Me: Yah.

Salesman: Haiyah, then get the all-in-one lah. Maxtor or Seagate also have. Good enough for your use. Cheaper also.

Me: Issit?

Salesman: Yah. But up to you lah.

Me: You say what is what lor. OK, Maxtor one how much?

I dunno. I didn’t find it pushy. Plus, I got further discounts when I paid by NETS at several shops.

[poll id = “6”]

I’d be lost without the mobile ingterneck

The GPS says the King has left the building

When members of my family visit from far flung places, they understandably want to sample foods from far flung places within Singapore – like the best Hokkien Mee I know of.

So I went and drove to Beach Road, to the last place I bought Hokkien Mee from, and to my shock and horror after battling traffic for half an hour, found that they had converted the place to a steamboat dinner restaurant because every other shop along the street was a steamboat dinner restaurant.

It’s known as Bubble Tea Fever, and for the proprietors of the new steamboat dinner restaurant, may you pack up and regret a month after this, because that’s the dumbest move you’ve ever made.

Anyway, undeterred, I looked up the ingterneck on my N78’s search interface, which is very neatly positioned under all the other standby apps (good job, Nokia), and found that Kim’s Famous Fried Hokkien Mee still had their HQ over at Eunos. I noted the address and bookmarked it in Nokia Maps, and set a course at Impulse Speed to the corner of Jalan Eunos and Jalan Kechot.

While looking up the address for Kim’s, I stumbled upon ieatishootipost’s post about Kim’s, and how the famously clad in office attire Hokkien Mee Man was rumoured to have several wives, and how he disappeared for a while in the 80s before reappearing all over the island.

Kim's Famous Fried Hokkien Prawn Mee

There is history in this Hokkien Mee. And when I got to the stall at Eunos (announced smugly by the female voice on the N78 – “turn left and after 100 metres, you have reached your destination, and remember, you couldn’t have done it without me”), I continued reading and chuckling over the debunking of the many myths surrounding Mr Tan Kue Kim (the Hokkien Mee Man).

Then, a middle-aged man in long sleeved office attire appeared and shouted a few things to the staff at the stall before putting a Good Morning Towel around his neck, picking up a spatula to clang away at the wok. The Man was frying my noodles. How cool was that?