Cold beer, wet air

People who sell drinks near where people work or relax outdoors in the heat have a technique for making their drinks look particularly cold: They put the bottles in the freezer for a while, which in addition to actually making the drinks a bit colder, makes the bottles look nice and frosty when they are taken out.

Food and drink photographers know that condensation on a drink makes it look cold even if it’s not, so to gain time to capture the perfect shot, they may use inedible glycerin to create “condensation” drops that last longer.

My Tiger beer frosted itself very thoroughly and automatically as soon as it came into contact with the steamy Singapore air.

big beer at Newton Food Centre

Side note: I imagine the stall owners at Newton want to smack whoever bought the first blinking LEDs. That first stall’s obvious advantage kicked off an arms race. The result is that almost all the stalls now have very flashy signs, and none of them stand out. Except maybe the one that has a programmable LED signboard… the arms race continues!

Please push your bicycle across the underpass

This is a grammar post. I think the sign should say:

Please push your bicycle through the underpass.

I would use “through” because an underpass is basically a tunnel.

The light is in the tunnel, not at the end of the tunnel.

Not that prepositions necessarily make any sense, but in my experience, we say you go across things that you are on and we say you go through things you are in.

Thus, if the sign were talking about a bridge, then it could say:

Please push your bicycle across the bridge.

Bras Basah Complex: Art, Dance, Explore, Sports, Book

If you are looking to buy books in Singapore, this is a good place to go. It has several book shops selling new or used books. It also has print shops, art supply shops, stationery shops, and shops selling musical instruments and antiques.

Within the last couple of years, these colorful square signs were added to convey the complex’s status as a cultural hub of sorts.

Bras Basah Complex
* Art * Dance * Explore * Sport * Book

One of my pet peeves is lists of things that aren’t all the same part of speech. “Art, Dance, Explore, Sports, Book” is a fantastic example. See below for why.

Continue reading Bras Basah Complex: Art, Dance, Explore, Sports, Book

Soup Spoon Novena: Cutleries Station is now Cutlery Corner

Last June, I posted a photo of a sign that said “Cutleries Station”. They have improved the sign tremendously since then.

  • In particular, the non-word “cutleries” has been replaced with “cutlery”.
  • The sign has an icon showing cutlery, for additional clarity.
  • The sign is in better shape.
  • It uses cheesy alliteration (of which I am a fan).

I didn’t mention it before, but if you say “cutleries station” aloud, it runs together because of the “s” in the middle and sounds like “cutlery station”. Maybe the similarity in the pronunciation of the two phrases helps explain why the previous sign was written the way it was. The inaudibility of that double s also helps explain “Today Special“.

Junior Page book sale at Novena Square atrium

I just recently bought ten books at an atrium sale, but that didn’t stop me from browsing the Junior Page atrium sale and buying these six.

  • The King Arthur Trilogy by Rosemary Sutcliff
  • How We Learn by Benedict Carey
  • Screenwise by Devorah Heitner
  • Head in the Cloud by William Poundstone
  • Born Reading by Jason Boog
  • Peak by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

The cashier asked me how long it was going to take me to read them, as if either I had a superpower or was biting off more than I could chew. I think most of the people shopping the sale were only buying one, two, or three books at a time. Tough to make back the rental fees at that rate, I would think.

And yet in Square 2, the shopping mall next door, there was ANOTHER atrium book sale running at the same time.

Luckily “Success Shop” didn’t have any books I wanted to buy. (I’d have bought them.)

Times book sale at the Centrepoint atrium

It’s a trap!

I do not need more books, but I love looking through the random collection of not-quite-current titles whenever I see an atrium sale. The serendipity of it is what appeals. I can’t not buy discounted books on topics I find interesting!

I bought:

  • How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
  • The Eighty-Minute MBA by Richard Reeves and John Knell
  • Simplicity by Edward de Bono
  • Neurotribes by Steve Silberman
  • A Field Guide to Lies and Statistics by Daniel Levitin
  • Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan
  • Malaysa Singapore: Fifty Years of Contentions 1965 – 2015 by Kadir Mohamad
  • Passage of Time: Singapore Bookstore Stories 1881 – 2016 by Chou Sing Chu Foundation
  • 101 Books to Read Before You Grow Up by Bianca Schulze
  • The Movie Book by DK

Evita (2018 musical in Singapore)

It is a night of sparkles and shining lights.

A crystal cascade hanging in Marina Bay Sands mall over what used to be a plastic ice-skating rink delivers a magical sound and light show for the benefit of diners at the food court.

The performance itself is less magical than we hoped: the music is cacophonous, we strain to hear the words, and while we don’t much admire the social climber Lloyd Webber depicts, neither do we much like the narrator who mocks her. Nevertheless, arrayed in flashing white jewels, Eva Peron captivates when she sings…

Seen from the rooftop of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, the domes and supertrees in Gardens by the Bay glow below in the darkness: don’t drop your phone.

If you look the other way, skyscrapers downtown shout the names of their tenants in lights the colors of bank logos. Save your pennies! they seem to say. See the 1996 film version instead. Too late now.

Singapore is not in China! How to send mail to Singapore.

The confused US Postal worker who wrote “CHINA” on this envelope must have gotten Singapore confused with Hong Kong.

Technically, it’s better for people outside Singapore to write “Singapore” or “Rep. of Singapore” or “Republic of Singapore” on the last line to indicate that “Singapore” is the country as well as the city. After all, there are a few other places called “Singapore”.

Below are several complete address examples for postal mail to Singapore. All of them include a six-digit postal code. The last line can be omitted if you are in Singapore sending postal mail to someplace else in Singapore—or if you have faith in your country’s knowledge of global geography.

Continue reading Singapore is not in China! How to send mail to Singapore.