We went through DBS Singapore Galleries 1, 2, and 3 on Level 2. We saw the Chief Justice’s Chamber and Office, as well as UOB Southeast Asia Galleries 1, 2 and 3 on Level 3. We’ll have to go back another time and see galleries 4 to 15 and the Wu Guanzhong Gallery.
I especially liked:
a portrait of Hugh Charles Clifford, Governor of the Straits Settlements
My husband and I went to the Asian Civilisations Museum.
We walked through all the exhibits that were open. We saw the Tang shipwreck exhibit, the Chinese scholar exhibit, the Chinese ceramics exhibit, the performing arts exhibit, the trade exhibit, the Islamic foyer, and the ancient religions exhibit.
This bookshop in Clementi does not sell ANY books.
None. Zero. Not even the bestsellingest of the bestsellers, like you’d find in an airport.
What does it sell? A third of the shop is electronics, another third is stationery, and the last third is full of rectangular objects that are made from paper, ink, and glue and resemble books but are actually test-preparation materials, created for the sole purpose of keeping up with the Joneses—or rather, getting ahead of the Lees and the Tans.
I scowl but I feel like wailing.
THIS is what a bookstore should look like.
That’s the Barnes & Noble near where my parents live. It’s not the biggest bookstore in the city. It’s just a bookstore. One of many—a couple dozen, at the very least.
Okay, so probably all those retail bookstores are struggling, and maybe someday, possibly even soon, Barnes & Noble will die. Certainly many companies have fallen and will fall before the might of the mighty Amazon.
What Barnes & Noble will certainly never do, however, is turn into some sort of awkward amalgamation of Best Buy, Staples, and Kumon.
Hopefully other Popular stores in Singapore will continue to sell books as well as electronics, stationery, and test prep stuff. The one at Marine Parade still does.
Here she is launching her book at Kinokuniya, Singapore’s best-known downtown bookstore. She answered questions posed by another writer friend, Elaine Chiew, read an excerpt aloud, answered audience questions, and signed and sold all the copies she brought with her. It went great!
On the way into the store, I noticed Jo’s book on one of the tables in the aisle. She’s in good company, wouldn’t you say?
Interestingly, the cucumber package shows ‘salads’, ‘sandwiches’, ‘stir-fry’, and ‘sushi’ all in the correct form, even though ‘salad’ requires an ‘s’, ‘sandwich’ requires ‘es’, and ‘stir-fry’ and ‘sushi’ are uncountable.
Why, then, was it so hard to give ‘cucumber’ its plural ‘s’?