Saturday, 15 December 2007
To break the monotony of having the same diet each lunch time I have taken up the habit of having the occasional meal from the 'Western Food' stall. The interpretation of "western" in this case being a desert spoon sized portion of luke warm bake beans and an equal portion of coleslaw cringing on a wafer thin slice of tomato. I use the term slice in the singular.
This accompanies a handful of thin potato chips ('fries' for those with a US bent) and a crisp section of crumbed chicken. Although slightly thicker than the tomato, the meat too has been run through the mangle of life before reaching my plate.
Upon receiving my order the proprietor yells to the kitchen at the back "Chicken Cutret!"
She, for it is a she, has a powerful voice that resonates around the walls of her hawker stall.
While the difficulty of pronouncing "l" for a native Chinese speaker is reasonably well documented, my attempts at Mandarin are far more comical and my Hokkien (a common dialect in Singapore) virtually non existent.
Despite all of the above mentioned , I confess to enjoying my fare at the 'Western Food' stall.
It will however be a different fowl that graces my Christmas dinner plate. Turkey and goose are on the menu at Le Meridien.
Christmas reminds me of the gifts I received as a boy from an Aunt Nancy, my Mother's sister. Nancy lived in various exotic places in Africa (and other far flung outposts of the British Empire). Here husband Ralph was ex-British Army and a senior member of the British Civil Service.
There was always something exotic in my Christmas stocking from Aunt Nancy - a beaded leather belt from Tanganyika or a multi-hued conch shell from African shores, crafted into a bedside lamp. The lamp remained in my parent's house until the day they passed away.
I sometimes think that my dreams of exotic places was first engendered by the gifts received from my far off Aunty. It was she who gave me my sense of wanderlust and I am wandering still.
Chicken Cutret anyone?
Monday, 10 December 2007
I have placed the image on a free virtual drive for ease of access. Click on the caption below the image and feel free to share the link for the free download with friends.
Saturday, 8 December 2007
my yellow eyed
steel jawed existence
at runway's end
I am at at ease with the night
and a blood red Singapore moon
In the solitude of my thoughts
You are asleep to my right
quiet 'neath air blanket blue
and a family below
Sunday, 2 December 2007
We bought some breadrolls at a local Chinese bakery last week and were looking forward to the cheese-topped buns. On closer inspection however we noticed that as well as cheese there was an additional white chrystalline layer - white sugar!
If you are in search of a wholesome, wholegrain then you need to dilgently search the supermarket shelves.
With rice being the staple diet in Asia one simply does not get the variety of breads that are found in the West - a solid slab of German pumpernickel is unheard of.
There are some exceptions. In the basement food hall at Takashimaya we discovered Spek, which sells Italian style bread of good quality. Not cheap but a pleasant change. Our local supermarket, Fairprice also has a 'wholemeal' loaf which has a modicum of grains and linseed in it.
On the subject of shopping, we regualarly stock up our coffee and muesli from Carrefour - a large French chain which is spread throughout Suoth east Asia
Friday, 23 November 2007
A local media channels in Singapore is currently soliciting entries for a show called 'ArtLander'.
I thought I would enter a work and sent off an enquiry with a couple of examples of my work. Yes they were interested could I send an official entry, which I duly did.
Lo and behold as I sat in front of television last night looking at the channel in question - Arts Central - two of my 'enquiry' images flashed across the screen.
This morning I checked their web site and spotted the following on the front page:
Interestingly, the print that I submitted as my 'official entry' was "Can Can" and that does not appear in the tv promo.
The second print of mine that they used was "MRT" (below)
I did not pay too much attention to the paramaters of the Artlander promotion but have since discovered there is a public vote with a prize attached at the end. I am not holding my breath about the result of my entry! Still it is fun to enter.
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Gaunt and leaning against a glass partition, a position that many Singaporean like to adopt in transit, he was studiously studying the puzzle torn from the Straits Times.
I have decided it takes an intellectual focus to endlessly pursue sudoku solutions and I have neither the motivation nor the mind set to spend the time in doing so.
Looking out the window and observing Singaporean life is much more to my liking.
This morning, after passing Commonwealth station I noted once again the collection of headstones which are surrounded on three sides by HDB flats.
It transpires that this is the Yin Foh Kuan Cemetery and they were the first Hakka clan association in Singapore.
Click here to view map
Yin Foh Kuan Cemetery
According to Wikipedia the Hakkas constitute 8% of the Chinese Singaporean population. Probably the most famous Hakka alive today in Singapore is Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew.
I noted as I passed today, a young man in track pants and a yellow T shirt paying his respects so clearly this is still a place of veneration.
One of the principle puzzles of Singapore is not Sudoku but the challenge to discover what remains of the traditional Chinese architecture. Much of it was pulled down in the past for the sake of commerce and renewal.
There are now blog sites dedicated to this rediscovery. One such example is Historic Chinese Architecture in Singapore devised by Kent Neo and I commend him for his excellent work.