Minimum Sentence for SMRT Graffiti

Quick follow up on this story about an SMRT train getting painted, graffiti artist Oliver Fricker has been convicted and given the minimum sentence which is 5 months in jail and three strokes of the cane, but is already appealing the verdict. Of interesting note is that this case hasn’t received the overwhelming condemnation of graffiti that many were expecting, and quite a few people are speaking out, publicly, in Fricker’s defense, including the NUS Student Paper The Kent Ridge Common which is thanking him for bringing this topic and discussion to the forefront.

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Drove past this in a taxi yesterday and was able to snap a few shots from below as we passed. What a crazy structure!

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Singapore Salesman Style

One of my suitcases got ruined on the trip here and I’ve been on the look out for a replacement for the last few weeks. Unfortunately every time I find a luggage store and try to browse around I start getting followed by a sales person who just stands there hovering over me which makes me uncomfortable to the point that I leave empty handed. Now I understand that cultures are different and that perhaps they are trying to seem helpful and attentive, but it really freaks me out. Perhaps it’s the fact that in the US salespeople generally leave you alone until you ask for help, unless they think you are trying to steal something in which case they follow you around staring at you. I feel like I’m doing something wrong by looking at the stuff on display. I asked one saleslady to please leave me alone as I was just looking and said if I had a question I’d ask her and she took about 4 steps back and then just continued standing there staring at me. So I left. Is there anyway to get the sales people in Singapore to leave you alone so you can make decisions about purchases without feeling the pressure of someone staring down on you?

Orchard road floods, Lucky Plaza now has a pool instead of a food court

In case you haven’t looked outside today it’s raining. A lot. I heard via @hungrygowhere and @supclothing that Orchard Road was flooding, and people are posting photos of the flooding. Check out #orchardflood and #sgflood for more updates – Crazy stuff!

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Minster of Health goes vegan

Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who is still recovering from bypass surgery early last month, announced on the Ministry of Health blog that is has adopted a fully plant based diet. After being out of the office for the last 6 weeks he’s trying to catch up and announcing a bunch of office wide changes, including the addition of skype based ‘meet the people’ meetings.

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Run barefoot this Wednesday at blinkBL-NK

I recently picked up a pair of Terra Plana vivo barefoot shoes after thinking a lot about the whole “barefoot” shoe thing and how it makes a lot of sense. It was the Vibram Five Finger shoes that got me thinking about it, but they don’t seem to fit my feet very well. So I was pretty excited to see that one of the speakers at blinkBL-NK this week is giving a talk about barefoot running. “Stephan February is a veteran of two marathons (42.2km), and more 21.1km and 10km races then you can shake a stick at. A catastrophic ankle injury 10 years ago kept Stephan out of recreational running until four months ago. Stephan credits barefoot running with his successful return to the open road.” This is relevant to my interests so I’ll be checking it out for sure. There are two other talks scheduled as well “How to Flirt for Fun and Profit” and “Elevating the Debate on Queer Issues in Singapore: What Can Be Done?” so it sounds like it’ll be an interesting evening all around and well worth attending.

Date: Wednesday, June 16
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Third floor of Blu Jazz, 11 Bali Lane (entrance on Ophir Road)

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Tonight! ROJAK 15

Tonight, June 12th, there is a sort of art and design pechakucha called ROJAK happening not too far from my apartment that I’m going to check out. This is from the e-mail invite I got:

Kelvin Ang and Ng Yi-Sheng will join us once again as the hosts for the night.
Our presenters for the evening, in no particular order:

1. MINDWASABI, Design Strategy
2. Rage Goh, Poetry
3. Nataliette, Illustration
4. Natalie Lee, Graphic Design
5. Liao Jiekai, Film
6. Jeff Chouw, Photography
7. Brian Chia, Graphic Design
8. Dan Prichard, Film
9. Kenneth Chong, Architecture and Arts
10. Chan Mei Hsien, Fine Arts

Bring drinks and beer to share for the beloved ROJAK dingy!
It’s all in the spirit of ROJAK sharing :)
See you there!

This all starts at 8pm and runs till late at Emily hill, which is located at 11 Upper WIlkie Road, Singapore 228120 – come out if you can make it!

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Beancurd Obsession

Rochor Beancurd

Shannon introduced me to Rochor Beancurd last week and now I’m obsessed. That is all.

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It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Bee??

OK, I know it’s not a bird or a plane, but it is HUGE! I found it already dead when I was walking around Mt Emily Park. Several locals came up to look at what I was carrying around in a leaf, and then quickly cowered away. They explained to me that this “bee” or “tiger bee” was very poisonous, some said deadly, and that I should be careful.

I did a quick search and I think it’s a “Black Bumblebee.”

What say you?

Black Bee - top
Black Bee - side

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GTFO Episode 2: Singapore So Far

Tara and I are doing a fun little video podcast about our travels and here’s the brand new episode which covers the last week or so in Singapore:

Tweet Tweet

I did some digging and found some interesting Singapore locals, news sites, blogs, & businesses to follow on Twitter. If you think I did a good job and you like them all, I did you a solid and made a list (aren’t I nice? :D ):

Obviously there are tons more because Singapore likes to tweet! Leave some Tweeters to follow in the comments! Support local tweets!

Bio: World Blogging Award Winner, Writer for Travel Guides, Lifestyle Magazines, Crazy Expat, Hardly Surviving Singapore, Traveling The World Every Day

Bio: Singapore’s Online Art Magazine covers everything arty that’s happening in Singapore, exclusive interviews with artists and commentaries on art trends

Bio: Latest Singapore News.

Bio: Commonpeople is a project to inspire creativity in Singapore.
Note: They haven’t posted for awhile, but I think the vids are great. Tell them to start up again!

Bio: Popular infamous Asian blogger.

Bio: Culturepush tracks cool stuff in art, culture and design in Singapore.

Bio: Your 1-stop SG Swine Flu center – statuses, resources & tips!

Bio: Singapore’s Hackerspace

Bio: The 1st stop for hungry people. We’re Singapore’s best Food and Restuarant guide, listing the best promos & latest reviews- by the community, for the community!

Bio: ieat of Never waste your calories on yucky food!

Bio: Independent Singapore-based post-rock/shoegaze record label

Bio: father of 3, Blogfather of Singapore, satirist, writer, traveler, podcaster, tv host and boss of new media content company. Loves gadgets and bicycle commuting.

Bio: Singapore-based travel writer and food lover.

Bio: I am a cat living in Singapore with a big dream!

Bio: Singapore’s Business landscape, everyday, all day

Bio: The Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games. 14 – 26 August 2010

Bio: Singapore Twitter Incidental Musings. Helping Singapore Twitter users meet face-to-face since 2008
Sad Face! Someone needs to run this account and get the tweetups going again!

Bio: Join The Straits Times’ interactive community and get updates from our breaking news and blogs.

Bio: Singapore’s most popular parenting magazine –

Bio: We cover all of Singapore and a little bit more…

Bio: The Unofficial Twitter feed for Bulletin of Singapore Bloggers. (run by @ketsugi)

Bio: Tweeting and RTing the latest and hottest events in Singapore. Join with #sgevents!

Here are some Twitter Lists that may be of interest to you:

Here are the most “influential” tweeters in Singapore according to wefollow:

And the Singaporeans with the most followers:

Remember to add ones to the comments that you like and don’t forget to include your own Twitter account! Stay awesome, Singapore!

Finding Stuff to do in S’pore

I’m living in Singapore for the month of June with my family and with an extended period of time to explore the island I want to make the best of it.

There are a few tools that I have been using to find the good stuff: TweetDeck, Blogs, and just recently FourWhere and YourSingapore.

As a Twitter user I’ve been using TweetDeck’s search feature for months and setup a new search column “Singapore.” I have found out about good (and bad) restaurants, events and just today YourSingapore (ups to @rikaokd who tweeted it) which is a GORGEOUS website created by the Singapore Tourism Board that allows me to browse stuff to do by category and complemented with beautiful photography. I simply drag and drop things that interest me to a shopping cart and then organize by day and view each day on a map so I can make sure that what I want to do isn’t going to be too much to handle. This is imperative for a place like Singapore where it is very hot and humid during the day and you probably want to limit your time outdoors. This app isn’t just for tourists, I think it’s a great way for locals to find things to do as well. Any time I travel and chat with the locals I usually surprise them with some fun thing to do that they hadn’t heard about. Seriously, every city should have this app.

fourwhere is built on top of the popular foursquare check-in application. You are presented with a map of Singapore and you simply click on the area that you are interested in and list of comments and tips pop up for places in that section of the map. It has definitely saved us from making bad choices in restaurants!


After talking to some of the locals, it became clear to me that one of their favorite pasttimes is eating at the many many incredible restaurants and stands. Even Anthony Bourdain has declared Singapore “food heaven!” There are some good blogs that focus on FOOD like ieat|ishoot|ipost and CAMEMBERU, both of which have mouthwatering pics of food and great reviews to go along with.

I would like to find some local Singapore Tweeters that talk about what’s happening here, so if you know any or can recommend even just one, please add to the comments.

I’m also looking for things I can do with a baby. Next week I am going to hang out with Singapore Blissful Babies and also hope to do the canopy walk. Hopefully I don’t have any run-ins with the monkeys as I heard they can be aggressive!

So far so good in Singapore!

Singapore Really Really Free Market

Tonight we went to dinner at the Post Museum (which had some delicious vegan options -my favorite was the almond milk / date vegan shake thingy) and I saw a flyer which I was unable to get a good photo of for the Singapore Really Really Free Market which is taking place this weekend, tomorrow specifically. If you aren’t familiar the Really Really Free Market is something like a swap meet but no money is exchanged. People bring items (in good condition) or services to trade. There isn’t really any specific genre, just stuff you have that you aren’t using that someone else might be able to use. You bring it and swap it with something that you are interested in and think you can use. It’s a little bit hippie, but kinda cool, and almost like Neighborgoods IRL. Or something. Anyway, Sunday June 6th from 4-9PM at the Post Museum in Little India. Bring some stuff to trade and check it out.

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SMRT Train gets painted


In what might be the first case ever, a Singapore MRT train was graffiti’d while parked in the depot. Train painting has a long history tied to the origins of modern day writers and is fairly common in some parts of the world, but until now unheard of in Singapore. It’s easy to pass something like this off as simple vandalism but in a country which such well known policies against it this is kind of an exciting occurrence, as many people believe that graffiti is an example of the culture of a society being so active it literally bursts onto the walls. Active culture is a good thing in my book, and something that takes a little looking for in S’pore. Here’s a brief documentary about the Singapore Graffiti scene called The Art Behind The Vandalism.

Note to self: Where to eat

Since making the last few posts I’ve been getting a bunch of recommendations from people of places to check out, trying to remember them all has been difficult so I thought I’d just post them here and people could add to them if they wanted in the comments.

I’m supposed to check out the coffee at Oriole and Hungry Go Where is a good local site to find things nearby to eat.

I’ve been recommended to check out The Green Room Cafe, Living Greens, Murugan Idli Shop, Original Sin, Post Museum andEnso Kitchen (for Sunday lunch).

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