something from the ocean and something from the hills

Read this book in Secondary 1. 15 years on, this part has stayed with me……

Beginning to understand what “something from the ocean and something from the hills” was all about, Totto-chan had doubts whether the lunch her mother had so hastily prepared that morning would be approved. But when she opened the lunchbox, she found such a marvelous lunch inside, it was all she could do to stop herself shouting, “Oh, goody, goody!”

Totto-chan’s lunch contained bright yellow scrambled eggs, green peas, brown denbu, and pink naked cod roe. It was as colorful as a newer garden.

Continue reading ‘something from the ocean and something from the hills’

keep your le bistro, i’ll take kopitiam

I filed a copy of this somewhere and came across it today……

Keep your Le Bistro, I’ll take kopitiam
By Janadas Devan


MANY years ago, an American professor explained to me why he was anxious to visit what he quaintly called ‘the Far East’. ‘I want to see it before what is different about it disappears altogether, and it becomes an extension of suburban America,’ he said.

The gall, I thought, the obtuse smugness! But he happened to be a very distinguished scholar indeed, so I explained politely: ‘Even if the rest of the world looks like America, it remains different. Form should never be mistaken for substance’.

The more fool I. As I soon realised, the professor may not have been altogether right about Asian modernity, but he wasn’t altogether wrong either.

Continue reading ‘keep your le bistro, i’ll take kopitiam’

you learn something new every day

France’s national flower is the iris.

you learn something new every day

I was googling for Queen Anne’s Lace, and naturally stumbled upon the Queen Anne’s Revenge, a flagship of the infamous pirate Blackbeard. In 1718, Blackbeard ran the ship aground at Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina. Almost 300 years later in 1996, a private firm discovered its remains underwater!

death is nothing at all

Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Henry Scott Holland, The King of Terrors (sermon)

last day

My sales were terribly dismal, so today marks the end of my secondment (almost five months) with the tech startup. It was a good learning experience, though! (But I definitely won’t miss the food in Toa Payoh! :P) Next week, it’s back to the mothership!

you learn something new every day

I was reading a local florist’s website when I suddenly noticed that their address was 311 Old Birdcage Walk. Googled that and realized Old Birdcage Walk was actually a thing…… in off-the-beaten-track, countrysidish Seletar. A very poetic name indeed. However, there is apparently no birdcage there, old or new, alas!

you learn something new every day

191015 3Was checking up something on Wiktionary yesterday when I noticed the ‘In other languages’ bit on the usual left sidebar. There was a language that I had never seen before. A simple google search revealed that this language was actually Cherokee! The development of the Cherokee syllabary is pretty interesting too.

you learn something new every day

Watched a whole ton of parrot videos this weekend and discovered that Snowball, a male Eleonora cockatoo, is the first non-human animal conclusively demonstrated to be capable of dancing! Isn’t he the cutest thing? :D

life is but a dream

Went for the funeral of a friend’s younger brother yesterday evening. He was only 24, in his last year of university…… 天有不测风云,人有旦夕祸福…… :(


Dreams that do come true can be as unsettling as those that don’t.

Brett Butler, Knee Deep in Paradise

50 shades of grey

The haze is horrific today! During daylight, you could see that everything outside was tinged with a mist of grey. Closing the windows helps a little, but the foul air is still able to seep in through cracks…… It’s 8.30 pm now, and as of 8 pm the PSI reading for the entire island ranged from 215 to 263……

jewel in the crown

Is it just me or did the annual Formula One (F1) night race appear out of the blue this year? Were we all majorly distracted by the General Election? There seemed to be no sound or fury for the longest time, then hey, F1 is this weekend!

how to fix the opposition

Just read this blog post and I thought this comment (by a certain ‘Hard Truths’) was gold……!

Let us start from the bottom of the list you have provided:
Reform Party [“Singaporeans are stupid”]:: The irony is that the biggest xenophobe of all, Kenneth Jeyaratnam’s, father was an FT (Sri Lanka) and his wife and son are FT (UK). Gilbert Goh, whose wife and daughter are FT (Australia) becomes the xenophobe-in-chief of RP. However KJ and his party’s biggest short fall is that they question Singaporeans’ intelligence. What was KJ thinking when he put Ravi and Roy (whom Ravi accused of swindling money in public) in a team to take on the PM? Singaporean voters paid back by booting out RP with the lowest vote share.

+ How to fix RP:: Not possible, just windup so that Andy Zhu can attend his phone calls anytime

Continue reading ‘how to fix the opposition’

an alternate universe

Something I read during the election campaigning period, written by a certain Andrew Chia on his Facebook page……

Woke up on 12 Sep 2015

Saw the news notification on my iPhone: “History in the making: PAP lost all 89 seats to opposition parties.”

Continue reading ‘an alternate universe’

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