Dawn of realisation

Al fresco at the Imperial CafeFor more than four years, I’ve been buying my takeaway coffees from the Imperial Cafe & Pub on McCallum Street, and it’s only just now that I realised why the tables and chairs are placed so that patrons who dine in get to face McCallum Street and the silver-grey office block across it.

When a traffic police patrol bike comes along, as one did this afternoon, ridden by the shortest traffic policeman on motorcycle I have ever seen – his boots could only touch the ground one at a time when he was on the bike – the patrons are alerted by the proprietor of the Imperial, who simply mumbles ‘lai liao, lai liao’.

There’s a mad dash across McCallum Street by about half a dozen courier riders and deliverymen who run off to move their vehicles which are illegally parked on the street as well as on the side lane.

No one gets booked this afternoon, as the policeman seems like a nice enough fella, standing around till all the illegally parked vehicles have cleared the area before getting back on his bike and riding off.

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Viva Vivo City

I have seen the future of retail in Singapore and it is big. And looks like any other mall in the U.S. or Australia. Or Malaysia. Or Taiwan. Or Thailand. Or every other country in the world I’ve been to.

But no, just because it’s big doesn’t mean Vivo City is soulless. It’s got a Gap. And my colleague tells me there’s a man-made beach on the roof, where you can pretend you’re not several storeys off the ground kicking sand into the kid’s face next to you. I wouldn’t know. I didn’t get to the top floor. And even if I did, I wouldn’t have found the feature without a GPS.

That's not encouragingIf you drive, there’s the cavernous car park to negotiate. No, wait. There’s the driveway to the car park where you wait an eternity before you see the electronic signboard telling you that there’s one car lot left, then none, then one, then two, then none again.

About a week later, you get out of your car and make your way to a lift lobby, labeled ‘Q’. This gives you an indication of how big the place is going to be, because you can’t see where lobbies A to P are.

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Continue reading “Viva Vivo City”

As regards the mrbrown show

DigitalLifeTo Terry, Kormmandos, Annibrow, James and everyone else who’ve noticed and emailed me lately asking why I haven’t been heard on the mrbrown show. Thanks for asking.

Well, I haven’t been on the mrbrown show for a few weeks now because it’s time to move on to other things.

But it’s been a great year and a half writing and performing the silly skits that have made the show popular, and I’ve really enjoyed my time collaborating with mr brown and some of our guests (as well as being the hapless customer in the Zhng My Car series, and the hapless ‘customer’ in the Bak Chor Mee skit).

I have to thank Kin Mun for coming up with the crazy idea of having a podcast in the first place, and remember, we started out with an iPod and one of those plug-in mics you buy from the iShop or Apple Centre. Nothing stopped the occasional recording, and I remember a serious bout of flu keeping Kin Mun at home, necessitating the complex set-up of Skype and other software which allowed us to remotely ‘host’ a thirty minute show talking about such important national issues as ‘what is toilet paper called in Mandarin’?

The answer I offered (that we used to call toilet paper ‘shit paper’ in Mandarin) made Kin Mun laugh so hard he coughed himself off the chair, knocking out cables and having to set up the setup again. At least that was what he told me. I couldn’t see for sure, and had to take his word for it.

As for the very popular character ‘Johnny’, played inimitably by Kin Mun, credit is due to our friend Daryl Sng, who, on a pub outing with us, said, ‘eh, you know it would be very funny to have a Singaporean version of MTV’s Pimp My Ride, called ‘Zhng My Car”, or something. I paraphrase, but you know what I mean lah.

ZaobaoWorking on the podcast also made me realise that people take nonsense seriously, and it was both stressful and humbling to have guests ask to appear on the show. To date, we’ve had radio djs, film-makers, actors, singers, bands, writers, fellow bloggers, and according to Kin Mun, we’ve also stashed away recordings of taxi drivers, colleagues and the laksa auntie downstairs of the mrbrown show studio in Katong.

I’ve had friends who’ve made jokes, laughed at their own jokes, and then paused to ask me, ‘eh, is that going to be on the podcast?’ Nothing was sacrosanct, except things deemed sacrosanct at common law and acts of parliament.

I’m now looking forward to doing my own stuff again, and that includes writing (hint: if you’ve got writing gigs, let me know), and I’d like to thank every listener who has been supporting the show all this while. Youse rocks!

Mr Miyagi’s last mrbrown show podcast: the mrbrown show 25 Oct 2006: robo-beng

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In case of emergency, break glass, take key, unlock cabinet, take out fire extinguisher, and, hey, where da fire go?

In case of emergency, break glass, take key, unlock glass cabinet, take out extinguisher, and hey, where da fire go?Because our friendly bank tells us to look out for, among other things, suspicious objects attached to the card slot of their ATMs which may be used to ‘skim’ your ATM card details, me and my wife noticed this cabinet attached (or merely adjacent) to the ATM I was withdrawing our dinner money from.

Above the locked glass paneled cabinet containing a fire extinguisher was a smaller one containing a key.

I suspect the same system is in place in many Indonesian fire departments, so you might want to wait out the Haze a bit more while they muster their resources to battle the forest fires.

iTunes is playing an illegal copy of I’m on Fire from the album “Born in the U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen of which I have the original CD.

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