Monday, April 30, 2007

Uniquely Singaporean- Food

Hawkers are 'in'. At least, they've been in the news for the last few days.

At the Singapore Day event, which was held in New York last week to connect the overseas Singaporeans, food was an important part of the programme. This despite local artistes like Hossan Leong and Kit Chan entertaining the crowd with our uniquely Singlish. Food always comes first.

But it's not the posh food that Singaporeans crave- it's the simple hawker food that draws us. The chicken rice, the laksa, the carrot cake and the char kway teow.... they unite the Singaporeans- regardless of race, language or religion.

Anyway, according to KF Seetoh, who helped co-ordinated this important event, the first item to sell out was the very, very humble 'chwee kueh'. Not very surprising actually, as even my 'ang mo' husband like it. Actually, he likes the 'chai po' and 'sambal' more than the actual 'chwee kuei'. Hehe! Over at my market here, they cost $1 for 4 pieces...that's about US$0.65.

Just in case you don't know what 'chwee keuh' is, go to this site for a look and a recommendation of the 5 stalls worth sampling.

It has often been lamented that Singapore has no identity to speak of...we are too young and hence there isn't anything to really unite us. Yet, I think many people would agree that food is probably the one identifying factor that connects us all- especially if they are good and cheap.

You only need to look at the number of 'food' tv and radio programmes, the numerous reviews in the various newspapers and magazine to realise just how important this is. And this obsession has resulted in every other stall having won/ featured/ been reviewed in one way or other. These owners proudly ang up the neatly framed newspapers clipping/ awards at their humble stalls. Out of the 3 coffee shops near my place, at least 3 stalls have been in the media.

At this rate, is it any surprising that some of these hawkers are millionaires? In an article in The Sunday Times (29th April), it was reported that some of them earned as much as $100,000 per month. Wow! This attention came about because a few of these hawkers were hauled up by the Inland Revenue dept for not paying enough taxes. I wonder how these officials know these hawkers were under declaring their income. Did they sit by the store and count like the journalists from ST did?

So next time you go to your favourite stall in the kopitiam, don't turn your nose up at the uncle frying the hokkien mee ok. He is probably driving a BMW and has a few Rolex watches stashed away at home.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Recently, a couple of overseas friends were in town for a day. We thought it would be fun to go on one of those duck tours. It was quite fun and along the tour I managed to take a photo of this private esate- Tanjong Rhu.

Nice right? I checked up on the prices and found that it could cost as much as S$2.4million. Wow! That's alot of money.....

Curious, I looked through the property prices on the internet.

For the same S$2.4million, you can also get: A private island of your own in New York.
According to the site, the island has deer, wild animals and ginseng. It is also only about 4 hours away from new York City.
More infor, go here

Don't want an island, then how about a nice country house in Devon, England?

This place has 6 bedroom, 3 bathrooms and 3 reception rooms, 3 garages and a nice big garden. There is a nice meandering stream near the summerhouse.
For more infor, go here

England and US too far away, how about something nearer home then, like a villa in Bali.

This villa has its own tennis court, a separate 2 story guest pavillion as well as a guest cottage. With river view, a huge garden and lawn.
For more infor, go here

So now you know what you can buy if you have S$2.4million, which I do not....

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

25 years

I've known these girls for more than a quarter of a century. It sounds scary, doesn't it? 25 years.

Those times we shared seems so long ago and yet at the same time, I can remember them as if they were only yesterday.

The strict discipline mistress who could whither us with just a look
The stumpy PE teacher
Having our breaks in the school canteen
Making sure that our uniform was fashionably just above the knee
Going shopping in Orchard Road
Having crushes (on both boys and girls^^)
Cramming for exams
Girls talk

But I don't think we ever talked about future..where we would be..what we would be doing..At 15, we were only concerned with now and tomorrow. The future was too far away.

I shared many happy memories with these group of friends during those carefree days. They are a part of me..of who I am today.

Through these years, we've all had our ups and downs, walking our own paths, getting married, raising children, establishing a career. Some of us have children now who are the same age as we were then when we first met. But we've stayed in contact somehow.

I remember watching this Korean movie- the teacher told the class. It went something like that:
Within the universe, there's this earth that we live in
Within this earth, there's Singapore
Within Korea Singapore, there's this school
Within this school, there's this class

It is truely amazing how in this whole wide universe, total strangers could become classmates and friends.

I had a great time the other night girls but let's not wait too long for the next gathering. I believe it's Nora's turn to host? ^^

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Rainbow Connection

The other week, I heard someone doing a cover version of the song, 'Rainbow Connection' and sounded all wrong. There wasn't anything wrong with the singer (who had a rather sweet voice) and the music just lacks that certain something.

Composed by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher and used in the 1979 movie, "The Muppet Movie", I grew up watching The Muppets and Sesame Street as I'm sure many of my peers and those before me did.

I guess subconsciously, it also brought back memories of a simpler life and simpler time. Besides I like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.

Written by Paul Williams and used by Kermit the Frog, of The Muppets, Jim Henson Productions (lyrics credit to this site)

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
and someone believed it,
and look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell,
we know that it's probably magic....

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.
La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa

Listening to Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) sing this song on a banjo, it brings forth and conveys that feeling of the dream and hope that each of us have within us...that certain peace and oasis that we search for in our everyday bustling life.

A truely simple, sweet and touching song.

Enjoy the clip... and may you find your rainbow connection.
(if the clip buffers, just let it run through once and the subsequent viewing will be smooth).

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A splashing good time

In a squeaky clean country like Singapore, most Singaporeans are reluctant to 'get dirty' with nature, and this often extends to their four-legged family members. Quite often I've seen owners walking their dogs dressed in little prevent them from getting dirty.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this scene from my flat...

The dogs had great fun... ^^

Coincidentally, Yee Lee was also blogging about dogs but her post alot more 'cheam'.