Archive for November, 2006

Changi Village

Not many places in Singapore can be genuinely called a village any more, but Changi Village still retains a little of that rural feel. I was there yesterday on work, and I took a walk just after sunset. I wasn’t the only one: this old man standing on the edge of the water, watching the boats sail in and out of the jetty. I wonder what was on his mind.

man and boat

The friendly neighbourhood provision stall

neighbourhood provision stall

Originally uploaded by Liangcai.

I was on my way for dinner this evening when I passed by one of those old school neighbourhood provision stalls. This little shop had all sorts of tidbits as far as I can remember eating during my childhood, and I bought something before leaving the place. I still do see shops like these around, but I never thought to stop for a little while and take a look.

Its the most wonderful time of the year

The decorations are starting to come up at Orchard Road.

This means that its about a month plus to Christmas. One of the best times of the year. Now if only it will snow in Singapore, that would totally hit the spot.

What are your christmasy plans this year?

National Library

National Library

Originally uploaded by Liangcai.

While the old National Library was torn down and this built in it’s place (somewhere else), I personally do not like the whole new cosmopolitan design of the whole place. Maybe it’s just me to like old sprawling libraries with red brick walls and shadowy corridors and the like. A much better setting to keep safe the knowledge of the centuries.

sk8 park

sk8 park

Originally uploaded by Liangcai.

I guess the government finally decided that rather than having skaters with no where to skate zip around town and trip up unsuspecting passersby, they decided to provide this group of people with a place for their hobby. Totally dig the graffiti along the walls – gives the place some character.

Spotted on the street

One of the hazards of being a former English teacher and occasional copywriter/editor is that it really grates on me when I see spot clumsy, untidy or simply inaccurate grammar. It gets worse when I spot it in materials produced government or government-linked organisations, because it’s the government, of course, that loves to harangue Singaporeans to speak good English.

Bad grammar strikes again The National Environment Agency, for instance, thinks that “Switch off your lights when not in use” is an acceptable expression in English. I understand the need to be economical with language in an advertisement, but there’s a limit to how economical one can be before either clarity or elegance is sacrificed.

It could still make sense, because it implies that “you” should switch off the lights when you are not in use, but what does that mean — when one is asleep?

“Switch off your lights when they’re not in use”, folks. That one word is key.

Why Vivocity is like an American mall

I popped into Vivocity last night for dinner. If not for Little Miss Drinkalot‘s suggestion that we eat there, I would have waited till the opening crowds subsided before I dared to venture in. From what I’d heard, it’s a madhouse.

Maybe because I made a beeline for the second floor where the restaurant was as soon as I arrived, I avoided the worst of the crowds. There certainly was a good amount of milling and thronging (rather than the more purposeful trying and buying that I’m sure the retailers were hoping for), and the lines outside the eating joints were ridiculous: 10 or so people waiting outside Carl’s Jr, easily double that outside Terra, Swensen’s and Shin Kuriya (where we were going to eat, but fortunately we had a reservation). I’m guessing that there aren’t enough F&B outlets open yet to cater to the kinds of crowds the place is attracting.

At any rate, my short speedwalk through one end of Vivocity was enough to make me understand why it’s been described as a very “American” mall (and a more upmarket one at that).

A little traffic diversion

All cleared out Walking over to City Hall MRT station tonight, I heard the telltale sirens of a Traffic Police motorcycle squad coming down Bras Basah Road behind me. Next thing I knew, there were individual cops pulled up at the intersection with North Bridge Road and frenetic waving ensued to keep the way clear.

I don’t know who was in this VIP delegation, but there sure were a whole lotta white Mercedes-Benzes with SZ licence plates, flanked by a few other shiny white cars and trailed by a less glamorous-looking minibus. Pockets of Traffic Police on motorcycles came in their wake, and it took a good amount of time to all go past and pull into Raffles the Plaza.

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