When I spotted this Korean drink called baekseju (百歲酒) on the menu at the very excellent and formerly close to my house Jang Won Korean Restaurant, I thought it might be a version of the famous Chinese alcohol called báijiǔ (白酒), which is sometimes called ‘white wine’—though not by anybody who’s ever had any.

Nope. The Chinese word bái (白) is ‘white’ and the Chinese word bǎi () is ‘hundred’.

Silly ang moh, those are obviously two totally different words.



Wait, hang on, that text on the Korean menu looks, um, rather similar to what’s currently on Wikipedia…

I didn’t photograph the whole menu page, though, so it’s not clear whether those prices are subjected to service charge and tax.

Happy Year of the Monkey!

That’s New Bridge Road at Cross Street, the focal point of Singapore’s annual Chinese New Year celebration.

This is South Bridge Road at Cross Street. We used to live less than a block from here, on Mosque Street. You can just see a bit of the green entrance to the Mosque on the right.


Note the new tower going up in the background in Tanjong Pagar. That red circle tower (the PS 100 Green Tower) and the dark one next to it (Carlton City Hotel) weren’t there in 2011. In fact, I used to walk straight through the empty lot that is now the PS 100 to get to work.

It’s not for nothing that people joke about Singapore’s national bird being the construction crane.

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Before it was an award-winning sci-fi novel, it was an award-winning sci-fi short story. It’s commonly studied, deep, and poignant. (I’m not really a fan of poignant.)

Flowers for Algernon tells the story of a retarded man named Charlie who undergoes an experimental surgical procedure to increase his intelligence. Algernon is the mouse whose success has convinced scientists that the procedure should be tried on a human test subject. It is clear early in the book, if not from the title of the book itself, that the procedure ultimately fails. Hence the poignancy.

For more on the format, plot and themes, continue reading.

Continue reading Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes