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The Simpsons: Tapped Out
Snippets of Singapore's Life
October 15, 2020 6:45AM
edited October 2020
On 11 Oct 2020, a new attraction, Jurassic Mile, just opened at Terminal 4 of Changi Airport. It was sort of like a walking and cycling track flanked by dinosaurs. This path connects to the East Coast Parkway next to the shoreline on the eastern end of the island.
East Coast Parkway links all the way to Gardens by the Bay with a path for running and cycling.
This is first time I think that we could finally go to the airport by foot. Previously I don't think there is a such a path.
Jurassic Mile is open 24 hrs and is free.
I also made a short video on it.
Recently I also went to Chinatown and this was the main decoration there for mid autumn festival 2020 which falls on 1 Oct 2020 this year. It is a date where people celebrate with mooncakes and lanterns. People would also buy for parents and in laws. Businesses would also gift their clients with them.
I didn't eat any mooncake at all this year as they are very expensive and I don't think they are worth the money.
I usually go to Malaysia to buy for past years. But due to COVID-19 we cannot go there.
A video of my recent visit to Chinatown
On the news 14 Oct 2020, a group of 12 revellers got into hot soup when one of them posted Instagram photos of their 8 Aug excursion to an off shore island. Gathering is limited to only 5 due to COVID-19. The 12, consisting of 10 Britons, 1 Vietnamese lady and 1 Singaporean lady now face fines.
One Briton has been fined 3000 SGD or he can choose to have a six days jail. His job was also terminated by his company. The sentencing for the others are pending.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
October 25, 2020 5:52PM
edited October 2020
Recently attended a small birthday gathering at a very expensive Chinese restaurant here under the TungLok chain
This one TungLok Signatures located at Central in Clark Quay river area. The Signature chain takes traditional Chinese dishes and adds to it some modern touches.
The menu for the day.
When you visit a traditional Chinese restaurant and told them you are celebrating birthday, they would likely serve you complimentary Chinese longevity bao/ pau/ bun/ peach.
In this particular plate served, it contained writings of various good wishes
In Chinese it is called shoutao. It is a type of lotus seed bun mimicking the shape of a peach. The longevity peach is a representation of Peaches of Immortality based on folklore.
In the story of Monkey King, in his early days, he was appointed to look after the garden of Peaches if Immortality but he ate and got into trouble.
The peach was also carried by the longevity god, Shou Xin. He is one of the three gods that traditional Chinese homes like to decorate with to bring in good vibes. The **** Lu Shou gods for Fortunes, Prosperity and Longevity.
Amazing presentation of lobsters in the form of a waterfall. The young waitress posed for a photo.
The portion of lobster I got after dividing. I got no recollections of when was the last time I ate lobster. Maybe more than a decade ago.
Goose liver with slice of duck meat and crispy duck skin.
Close up of the item. It might be the first time I ate goose liver
Top grade shark fins soup served with crab meat and roe. For visual purposes, they lit up a fire at the side of the dish. You can feel the texture of the shark fins. I have not had shark fins in more than a decade. In the past, the only time I had was during wedding banquets but generally the amount of shark fins used in such events were negligible and you could barely feel any.
As of 2018, many top Chinese restaurants here have committed to removing shark fins from the menu. Frankly I was indifferent to the movement and in fact viewed the local celebrities called for the end of shark fin with disdain as I believed they should have had their good share of shark fins while I hardly had any as they are simply too expensive. During food fairs, food stalls would sell shark fins soup cheaply targeted at the common people but we know that there are zero shark fins in it. They used ingredients to mimic the texture of the fins.
A very tasty fish soup noodles. I believe they add carnation milk to make the broth white and milky.
A strange display of the dessert
The happy waitress bringing in the birthday cake which was procured separately. The waitresses were all smiles as the birthday guy that organised this is a regular and he gave good tips on top of the 10 percent service charge.
The chocolate cake is from a popular chocolate cake chain here known as Awfully chocolate.
I don't know how much the feast cost but it should be very expensive. After this I would be eating like a common man again.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
October 31, 2020 9:49AM
edited November 2020
Happy Halloween! Halloween is not a big event here. During normal times, it is mainly celebrated in clubs where revellers appear in costumes. Universal Studios would also celebrate it in a big way. Other than that, no one does any treat or trick.
Nice big hard candies including jelly beans from US are hard to find here. The local Supermarkets hardly stock them. Probably can find them in candy specialty shops but they are generally quite expensive.
Below are some decorations set up by my town community hub. The Simpsons family couch looks like the one used by cinemas back when The Simpsons Movie was screened. I think Homer is missing the remote controller.
I could recognise all except the trolley one from Japan and the Games of Thrones character. Can you recognise all of them?
An example of bad mask wearing on the left and good mask wearing on the right. Mask wearing is still compulsory here at all times outdoors except during eating and strenuous exercises.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
November 22, 2020 6:50PM
edited November 2020
Our National Museum currently has a special exhibition on Doraemon called Doraemon’s Time-Travelling Adventures in Singapore.
These are some of the shots that I had taken.
The bulk of the exhibits are 13 figurines of Doraemon in the compound for photo taking. Due to COVID-19, we are not allowed to remove our masks and they controlled the number of visitors and we have to scan QR for contact tracing to get in.
Doraemon Anywhere Door. This door allows you to go to anywhere you want instantaneously.
Doraemon is carrying a Convenience Purse or Obtaining Bag - Think of a item and the user will be able to get it from the purse. But if item is not available, the user will get an electric shock.
The National Museum was established in 1849 and moved to this permanent location at Stamford road in 1887.
This particular exhibit is housed indoor with an animated background and with the theme song of Doraemon cartoon playing in a loop.
This is the time machine and it is housed in the table drawer of a boy that Doraemon was serving and protecting.
This is another indoor exhibit. This is supposedly the original look of Doraemon, In yellow and with ears.
In the future, due to miscommunication, a robotic mouse bit off the ears of Doraemon, a robotic cat and this caused him to cry so much that the yellow paint was shed away, turning him blue. And this is also why he is so afraid of mouse.
The pouch of Doraemon contains a ridiculous amount of gadgets with all kinds of weird functions.
Doraemon was sent back in time by the descendents of a boy to take care and protect this boy. The boy is frequently being bullied in school. He dislikes studying and is also secretly in love with a girl. Every storyline mainly was about how Doraemon uses one of his gadgets to help the boy to get out of sticky situations.
Octopus ink - When the ink from this octopus is applied on a person, they will be hated by everyone.
Doraemon, a Japanese manga character, was a big icon here for people growing up in the 70s and 80s. This is probably due to the easy accessibility of its comics back then, translated from Japanese to Cantonese Chinese by HK publishers from the collections I have. In fact it might have been the most popular cartoon character in that era.
It is possibly popular for children growing up in the 90s due to the TV anime in that era.
Time Belt. Time travelling functions but location cannot be changed. You will be time transported to the same location, which can be risky.
Substitution stickers mailbox. This mailbox produces special stickers. The stickers allow their user to substitute an item for another by writing that object’s name on the sticker, and applying the sticker to an item that they want to “substitute”.
Computer pencil - When one writes with it, it will write the correct answer no matter what.
Absconding Leaf - Place this leaf on the head of a dog and it will transmit its thought waves to a nearby human, causing him to hallucinate like a dog.
Ace Cap - The user can throw anything to anywhere without fail as long as there is an exact location.
Finding Person Umbrella will point you in the direction of a missing person you are looking for.
This could be a floating scarf, which allows its wearer to glide in the sky like a goddess.
Super Gloves allow the user to perform various physical activities with increased strength, similar to Superman
Sword of Light or Electrical Sword acts as a parrying weapon and also doubles as an instant knock-out finisher.
Copying toast. This is like a photocopier, placed it on any text and it would be copied. When you eat the toast, it would be stored in your memory.
The obedience hat comes in a set of two different hats.
When one hat is worn, it requires the wearer of the other hat to follow all the commands of the user.
A wedding couple taking their photos. Staff didn't chase them. A staff chided me when I took off my mask.
People queuing to get up close to the indoor Doraemon exhibits.
My Doraemon t shirt which I wore to the museum. Luckily I was not alone in wearing such t shirts but I might be the older one.
My own Doraemon souvenirs. Bought as an adult.
A Doraemon snack I saw in the supermarket.
A short video clip I took of the visit.
I realised that I never really know how the story of Doraemon ended as I only read the early stories in my childhood.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
December 23, 2020 9:31PM
edited December 2020
14 Nov 2020 was the Deepavali holiday. This is the decorations at my community hub. The event is celebrated by the Hindus Indians here, the early batch of Indians were mostly from the South and they use Tamil. Tamil is one of the four Official languages in Singapore.
These days there are a lot of Hindi Indians and they called Deepavali as Diwali.
Peacocks and lamps are always used in their decorations.
The Deepavali Decorations at the neighbouring town of Bedok.
21 Dec 2020 was Winter Solstice. The Chinese here celebrated it by eating glutinous rice balls. In old days they did not have filling. But now it comes with fillings like peanuts, yam, red bean paste etc. The traditional religious Chinese would also use it to pray to their ancestors. It is also a day meant for gathering with the family. It is not a public holiday though.
A Xmas decorations at the hub of a neighbouring town of Bedok.
The promenade walk along Marina Bay Sands is currently lined with Xmas decorations.
At The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, the shopping wing of MBS casino, a Gordon Ramsay restaurant operates there. First time I am seeing it.
A advertisement board of a to be opened skin care brand at the MBS. This is a famous Korean actress, Jun Jihyun or Gianna Jun. She shot to stardom in the must watch hit of My Sassy Girl. Once I considered her one of the prettiest actress I ever saw.
Another view of the beautiful MBS Shopee with xmas decorations along the railings.
Over at my town hub, this is the Xmas Decorations set up
The Simpsons has become a permanent decoration at my town hub where free movies are screened.
Free movies screenings has started again since December. It started couple of months back but then stopped abruptly after a week. I suspect it was due to presence of community cases then.
We have to wear a mask with social distancing. The place is not air conditioned but it is quite an open area with gigantic ceiling fans.
A sample of the schedule they would put out on the movies to be screened. This week they just reopened a second screen in a smaller area.
A beautiful Xmas carriage at my town hub. My town Community hub can be considered the largest model hub in Singapore. But the Government never released the cost of the construction and the operations though.
Over at the west end of the island, Jurong Garden is having a festival of lights known as A Better Tomorrow. My friend shared the pictures with me.
I didn't go to this as it is considered far and the MRT journey would probably takes 1 HR 5 mins. And I do not want to spend on the transportation. The event is free though.
Our Government has conducted a third round of gifting it's citizens reuseable face masks from 1Dec 2020. With xmas so near, it feels like a Xmas present. Each pack contains two masks and now it comes with sizes. Based on guidelines, I got a big face and need a XL. We collect our masks via vending machines with our identity numbers
The statistics of Covid 19 in Singapore. Generally for past weeks, we are getting only imported cases from people coming into Singapore. Community cases are zero except for one case.
The current total cases are 58,482, Recovered are 58,322, total Deaths 29. Bulk of the cases are from the outbreaks at foreign workers dormitories.
An investigation is currently ongoing on a imported case of 13 different People serving a stay home notice at an Hotel for potential links to getting infected from a common source.
The Government announced last week that we would be going into a phase 3 opening from 28 Dec 2020.
The Government introduced a tracetogether token using Bluetooth to track your interactions for better traceability. The people are strongly encouraged to collect it. By end of Dec, public places like shopping malls and cinemas can only be checked in via these tokens. Alternatively, we can use an HP app with Bluetooth on for the same function.
In a ceremony on 16 Dec 2020, Hawker Centre culture in Singapore has been listed as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Picture shows kway chap. I ate this quite often.
There are currently 114 Hawker Centres in Singapore managed by the Government. Because they are regulated by the Government, the rentals are cheaper and food can be offered at a more nominal price. Coffeeshop serves similar food but they are private entities and generally are slightly more expensive.
Picture shows Hokkien mee, also known as prawn mee or Sotong (squid) mee
Street hawkers existed since colonial times in the 1900s to serve the needs of the early immigrants working here. During the 70s, the Singapore Government started to implement the concept of hawker centres for better control and hygiene (and to collect rental)
Picture shows a Nasi Lemak set
A queuing scene at a hawker centre. It tends to happen at popular stalls. Some hawker stalls owners managed to become very rich plying this trade.
The hawker centres in the business district areas are struggling during the circuit breaker as their customers were working from home.
With tourism halted, Singapore Airlines offered for those with excess cash to burn, a unique dining experience on board the A380, complete with boarding and in flight entertainment.
The price ranges from SGD50+ to 600+ depending on the class of the seats. The response was very good and all 400 plus seats were snapped up in no time.
The annual countdown and fireworks at the Marina Bay area is cancelled for 2020. Instead, sixty lamps were set up to create an animated light pattern for the whole month of Dec. The show is titled as Shine a Light.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
February 19, 2021 12:31PM
edited February 2021
We are in the midst of Lunar New Year 2021. It is the year of the Ox and this is the main decoration at our Chinatown.
Today is the eighth day of the Lunar New Year
Usually in normal years, a temporary market place would be set up to sell festive goodies and decorations. But due to Covid-19. This was not done this year. In fact, the government discouraged the citizens from visiting the place by turning off the decorations lights during the weekend just before the Lunar New Year / Chinese New Year (CNY).
Above are some decorations sold by permanent shops at Chinatown.
Some street decorations. The design of street decorations in recent years were generally outsourced to tertiary institutions. It frequently stirred up unhappiness and controversy due to the non traditional nature of it. In this case, some people are uncomfortable to see animals strung up in the air.
Other street decorations with a series of different good wishes. In this example, the wish says that May your 10,000 endeavours be smooth sailing.
There was an early gaffe when someone notice an error in the sequence of two sets of phrases. Once in a while, mistakes in Chinese languages occurred even in established museums. This led to widespread unhappiness that the standard of mandarin is abysmal with years.
A samsui woman decoration in front of Chinatown heritage centre, a museum dedicated to the story of Chinese in Chinatown in early Singapore. Samsui women were a group of very hardworking immigrants from Cantonese regions of China who worked in our construction and domestic workers sectors in old Singapore. They were highly respected for their values as they wouldn't want to go into trades of vices. Many of them also took vows of staying single. They were characterized by a red Bandana.
In modern Singapore, construction sector is dominated by workers from India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China.
The Domestic helper market is dominated by Indonesians, Filipinos and Myanmars.
A Samsui woman. The name samsui was based on samsui district of Guangdong, China. Samsui means three water in Chinese.
A God of Fortune decoration set up at the front of Smith Street - a street set up to give you the early hawkers experience albeit a highly sanitised one. A sculpture of how an early hawker operated can also be seen. The street was sheltered with a glass ceiling to protect diners from the elements.
The Smith Street. Actually locals rarely patronise this place and in normal times, mainly tourists visit it. The prices are slightly more expensive than an authentic hawker centre but the ambience is more comfortable.
In Westworld Season 3, they did some shots here as the black lady walked through the city.
The Smith Street back in the 70s. I don't really remember going to Chinatown as a boy as it was like a place so far away and probably too messy.
There were prostitutions in the buildings along Smith Street, which probably explained why hawker stalls flourished there.
Wall murals in Chinatown depicting life in the old days.
Bak Kwa, mainly BBQ pork is extremely popular during CNY. Often used as a gift. They are kinda like Beef jerky but softer and sweeter. Very delicious. I have not bought in many years as it's prices get more and more expensive. The price now is approximately 1 kg for 60 SGD. I would eat a bit if available during my visiting.
I have never taken a closer look at this very low profile building in Chinatown and noted that it still bears the facade of an old theatre previously owned by the Shaw Brothers Organisations.
A video clip I took during my walk
Post edited by 168sean168 on
February 26, 2021 6:20PM
edited February 2021
Last week I went to this annual event known as River Hongbao 2021. Hong Bao means red packet. This is a big festival with lantern display and performance over days during the Lunar New Year. But this year the event was very reduced in size due to the Covid-19. The location was also changed to Gardens by the Bay for the first time. Entry to the place is by tickets only with designated slots.
Below are some of lanterns I saw, mainly the zodiacs
Rat, Ox, Tiger
Rabbit, Dragon, Snake
Horse, Goat, Monkey
Chicken and Dog fishing. Fish in Chinese sounds like excesses, a sign of prosperity
Pig, modelled after the character in the story of Journey to the West (Monkey King)
A beautiful lady with moving eyes
The key highlight, the God of Fortune, in the midst of Supertrees. Behind is a skyway which requires a paid ticket.
A lantern depicting the reunion dinner, which typically happens on the eve of New year
Modern musicians titled Melody of Spring
Different lion dance designs at the entrance of a Singapore lion dance exhibition.
A video I took of the day visit to the River Hongbao 2021.
Last night 26 Feb 2021 is the last day of the lunar new year celebration. It is the fifteenth day. In Singapore the locals called it Chap Gor Meh which means the fifteenth night in Hokkien Chinese.
Most people do not really observe this day but religious prayers to ancestors and deities may be carried out by some. Lovers may consider it as a Chinese valentine's day. It is also a good night to see the round moon. Some families may carry out reunion again.
For me, I was asked to go on a dinner at an expensive restaurant, Yans Dining Fine Shanghai Cuisine in Mandarin Gallery. It was opened by a former Chinese newscaster who came from China.
Newscaster Wang Yanqing
It is the first time I went there and many of the dishes are new to me too. The final bill of this dinner with taxes and service charge is about 190 SGD for two persons. In 2020, this restaurant went into social media to say they were on the verge of winding up if there were no diners supporting in the midst of Covid-19 measures.
Yans Dining Fine Shanghai Cuisine
A duck soup, one of their signature dishes. Very nice. (Old Duck Soup with Dried Bamboo Shoots SGD 38.00)
Braised pork belly meat to be eaten with Bao (Pau). (Braised Pork Belly in the Clay Pot SGD 48.00)
A steamed fish heavily sprinkled with chilli in Szechuan spicy style. (Yellow Croaker Fish SGD 38.00)
A bigger version of the xiao long bao, little dragon dumpling. Shanghai seems to be famous for this. Inside the dumpling, there is hot soup. It is served with a condiment of ginger and black vinegar. (Pan Fried Bun 15 SGD)
Complimentary dessert, glutinous rice balls. In China they eat this on the fifteenth day.
I think the diners in this small restaurants were almost all from China based on the accents I heard.
This year Chinese New Year was very low profile and quiet due to Covid-19 measures. Though I think some people are actually glad that they have more time to rest than going out for visiting and to save on red packet money.
Each household are only allowed to received 8 visitors at one time. And each visitor is supposed to only visit two households per day.
One of the biggest news here happened on the second day of lunar New year when a speeding (like 200 km/hr) BMW M4 coupe crashed into an empty shophouse and burned. Five young men in late 20s in the car were killed. The girlfriend of the driver who was recording the speeding was badly burnt when she tried to save the occupants. Videos of this incident can be found in YouTube known as the Tanjong Pagar accident. Majority of the netizens were angry with the driver but sympathetic to the lady. This accident was said to be the worst accident here in a decade
There are also a few other high profile unnatural deaths that marked this festive season, like murder of ex wife with suicide, another passion murder , a woman killed by a tree, three workers killed and five others in critical condition in a potato powdered starch explosion. And the day before, a death on the track of the MRT.
Hopefully the year would now get better after these incidents.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
March 27, 2021 7:22PM
edited March 2021
This is an island known as Lazarus Island. Some said that it is Singapore's best kept secret. I think it may be true as I didn't know it existed until last year in a Covid-19 related news
On 8 Aug 2020, when Singapore was in phase 2 of the Covid-19 circuit breaker, 12 people got onto that island for a mass party. In Phase 2, the covid law stipulated that only up to 5 patrons could intermingle for social gathering with masks. The 12 people consisted of Britons, a Vietnamese lady and a Singaporean lady.
The Singaporean lady must be so proud and happy of the event and posted a series of photos of their gathering in Instagram. Very soon the photos spreaded in the social media and created unhappiness.
All of them were hauled to court and the case finally had its closure in Feb 2021. All of them were fined 3000 SGD each. All the foreigners lost their jobs and their working passes were revoked permanently and they couldn't work here anymore.
The Singapore lady responsible for the downfall of the Brits. Her association with the Brits brought to mind a sub culture here known as Sarong Party Girls. It is a name given to ladies here who have a proclivity for white men, preferably the rich ones. The name was said to originate from the colonial days when whites organised parties and ladies in sarongs would be arranged to appear for companionship. Sarong is a kind of fashion of wrapping a cloth around the waist.
The Vietnamese lady, a PR.
The famous Singapore Girls' uniforms of Singapore Airlines is also based on a form of sarong design.
These SPGs also like to have mixed blood children coming off the union with a white man. Indeed the children from the union are usually exceptionally pretty and handsome. They generally received more attention and did well in their adult life.
Books on the subject matter have come out in the past.
This book was quite recent in 2016
These three books were from the 90s
The idea of SPG is not really trending in the current context anymore. Most people now are used to seeing such relationships. It was highly talkabout during the 90s and the 2000s.
On 26 Dec 2020, this yacht of merry making people were also spotted off Lazarus Island. All 10 people have been charged and as of Mar 2021, 2 out of the 10 have been convicted and fined 3000 SGD. The 10 are Brits and one permanent resident. The convicted Brit has lost her job and work pass while the PR would also have a shorter validity of his re-entry permit upon renewal.
This is the current status of our Covid-19 situation. Cases are mostly imported cases, people coming into Singapore.
On 28 Dec 2020, we entered phase 3 of the circuit breaker, rules are loosened a little. For example, up to 8 patrons are allowed for intermingling activities like dining out.
Vaccination programme is also in progress here. Priorities were given to front line medical workers and at the moment, seniors. It is not compulsory but I think maybe the medical workers don't have a choice. And military personnel probably also has to get it. We are using vaccines from BioTech-Pfizer and Moderna. The one from China was purchased in advance but has not been approved for use by the local health authority.
In the past 2 weeks, buskers performance are allowed to take place again at my community hub.
Seated audience with masks and social distancing at the buskers performance.
Disney + brought it's streaming service to Singapore and had a huge launch party in the Marina and City area with light projections and artists performance on the night of 24 Feb 2021. Strangely, I wasn't aware of it at all and didn't even watch the live telecast on TV. I think maybe they didn't want the people to crowd the city area.
This scene in Falcon and the Winter Soldier created a buzz here as the Soldier was drinking a Singapore brand - Tiger Beer.
Official Lion Head Symbol of Singapore
The fictitious flag of Madripoor in Marvel comics
City views of Madripoor in Marvel comics, looks like Singapore
Post edited by 168sean168 on
April 19, 2021 10:18AM
edited April 2021
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is the first and only tropical botanic garden on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. It was established in 1859 by the Agri-Horticultural Society.
Actually it might be the fourth time I went there. First two times went there at night with lady friends and once dragged there by a lady to watch a free concert. This fourth time was the first time I really walked through the huge garden in the day light to visit a newly upgraded National Orchids Garden within the Botanic Gardens.
This is cold room inside the Orchid garden known as Cool House. The orchid garden requires a nominal fee to enter but for this reopening, entry is free.
The Cool House feels like a mini dense version of the glass domes at Gardens by the Bay but with a focus on Orchids.
These photos I captured were orchids from places like Ecuador, Peru, Australia, China, India, Vietnam, etc
Entry to the Botanic Gardens is free. I think I hardly go there is because the place is not really at a convenient place for me.
The location of the botanic gardens is in the midst of rich people estate. And I could feel the vibes when I was there. People were dressed better and they engaged in serious conversations.
Many embassies are located around the place which include the United States and China. The Interpol is in the area too. Recently I saw the embassy for the first time in my life. It was majestic like a Fort. I stood at the gates and took a photo. A local guard immediately ran out and demanded to see my photos and asked for it to be deleted. He also forbade me to take a photo of the stone hedge of the sign.
The embassy can be seen in photos in the Internet and Google map though.
Mist would be released in the cold room. The China lady in the background really took her time to take her selfies and of her mother. She was totally oblivious to me waiting for her to finish.
There are many other attractions outside the Cool House. This is called the Golden Shower Arches.
An elderly couple engaging in trick eye shot
A beautiful new extension of the orchid garden to showcase orchids from different altitudes of the mountains.
At one point, I was trapped in a colonial house due to a thunderstorm. I took this picture from the entrance.
In an old colonial building in the orchid garden, there were walls with photos capturing the visits of VIP. Flowers would usually be designed and named to commemorate their presence.
This is a flower for President Joe Biden
China's Xi Jinping
Dendrobium Margaret Thatcher
The Iron Lady
In memory of Princess Diana
An Orchid for the Queen.
Dendrobium Barack and Michelle Obama
The former president.
The entrance of National Orchid Garden
Overall I like the Botanic Gardens. In fact it has its charms, very different from Gardens by the Bay. I do feel a bit out of place though, being a commoner there. The National Orchid Garden is worth a visit too. It was the first time I visited as I didn't want to spend the entrance fee.
My mum used to keep Orchids long time ago. If people visited our block and couldn't find us, they just need to look for the unit with the greatest number of orchids in the common corridor.
Her hobby was abruptly curtailed when one day, thug like guys appeared to throw out the bricks stands so that the plant racks could not be so high. I think it was a Government reaction to a few accidents involving children during an era of Superman and Ultraman and they thought they could fly too
Post edited by 168sean168 on
May 20, 2021 3:45PM
edited May 2021
In the case of 9 Britons & 1 PR caught merrying on a yacht in 2020 boxing day which i had written about, the remaining 8 Britons were each fined 3000 SGD and also banned from working in Singapore. This is for offences of not wearing masks and intermingling when social groups of only five was allowed then.
This Singapore lady was caught on video for refusing to wear a mask when requested by Social Distancing Ambassadors (SDA) at the Marina Bay Sands shopping mall. She asked to see a badge. SDAs are employed to guide people to adhere to social distancing measures. Her video has gone viral and many memes were made. She was a high flyer, an ex Navy Officer and commanded a ship in the past before. Social media found that she was a recalcitrant offender with other videos and photos. She has a pending case and this case is also under investigation.
This is one of the many videos circulating about her.
This Caucasian man was caught on video that went viral for refusing to wear a mask on the MRT. He gave reasons why he wanted to be free. When he sat down, the passengers on his left and right both moved away from him. Another passenger offered him a disposable mask and he threw out an expletive on the mask. According to the news, he was arrested.
In a high profile case which I had written about, of a Singapore lady who claims to be a sovereign and refused to wear a mask back in 2020, a verdict was reached. She was sentenced to two weeks jail and a fine of 2000 SGD. She didn't have to serve the jail sentence due to her stay at the mental hospital here. She was born in Singapore but spent 20 years in Australia before coming back in 2020.
A past video about her.
On 4 May 21, the Government introduced a set of heightened measures to the then phase 3 of Covid 19 opening up. This was because of a sudden rise of community cases. It started at a hospital on 28 Apr where a nurse was infected and very soon more cases appeared. This measure was supposed to act from 8 May to 30 May 2021.
On 5 May, a cleaner at the Changi Airport was infected. He set off the largest cluster in Singapore. Changi Airport announced on 12 May to forbid the public from visiting the airport for two weeks 13 May to 26 May unless a person is a passenger. As of 20 May 21, 100 cases were attributed to Changi Airport.
With multiple clusters appearing and also a number of unlinked community cases, the Government announced on 14 May to move the Covid-19 back to phase 2 and introduced a new set of heightened measures as shown.
The biggest inconveniences are that no dining in is allowed and social interaction has been reduced to 2 persons. Indoor Gyms would also be closed.
This is the statistics of our Covid-19 situation. The community cases are rising. The Government said that the new Indian variant could be very contagious and that vaccination may not help. This was after some of the vaccinated people were infected by the new variant virus. However, they generally exhibited minor symptoms as compared to the unvaccinated ones. Two elderly persons had died from complications.
The Government forbids, with effect from 22 April 2021, 2359hours, until further notice, all long-term visit pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history (including transit) to India within the last 14 days from entering into Singapore, or transiting through Singapore. Only Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents of Singapore will be allowed entry.
On the ground, citizens are generally unhappy that the Government has continued to allow Indians and their dependents to visit Singapore this whole time. For many weeks, the country was generally dealing with imported cases. But Government said that the door must be kept opened as their services are needed to keep the country running. Many menial jobs here are taken up by them. Although a big group of them are also in executive, IT, Financial, white collar roles. News about the use of fake certifications for employment also contributed to the negative sentiments about them, on top of the issues of stealing the jobs here.
Lately I learned the meaning of South Asia. News these days tend to use this term generally to avoid using Indians in their reporting.
The Government released new guidelines on the masks. I am disappointed they took so long to advise against using masks with valves.
A snapshot of the active clusters in Singapore
A chart showing the development of the phases of Covid-19 measures so far.
On the ground, quite many people are predicting that we are heading towards a circuit breaker again (lockdown).
On the night of 15 May 2021, a coffeeshop was clearing away the sitting area to get ready for the no dining measure the next day.
An eatery providing take away services only in the current no dining in arrangement.
Enforcement officers here wearing black. They have the authority to issue fines for failing to wear masks or follow social distancing measures.. It would cost 300 SGD. Repeated offenders would be 1000 SGD. If the person is not cooperative or if the case is egregious, they could be persecuted and fined up to 10,000 SGD, six months jail or both. Repeated offenders could be fined up to 20,000 SGD, twelve months jail, or both.
A chart from a news dated 21 May 2021 documenting the spread of the Covid-19 infections in the schools. Some were linked to a tuition centre cluster and because some students attend multiple tuition centres, it also spread elsewhere and also in their own schools. On 19 May 2021, all primary, secondary and junior colleges are back to home based learning again.
This group of beautiful foreign ladies are from SPA9. One of them was infected with Covid-19 in the current outbreak. A commenter in a forum shared that he used her service, supper and followed with a hotel trip. He said he was in trouble as he received a call to be quarantined and he did not know how to explain to his wife.
On a lighter note, I like to look at animals. I think this is a frog. They generally appeared after a rain and like to gua gua gua. I think she is beautiful.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
May 27, 2021 2:31AM
Sean the Jurassic mile is awesome. I miss seeing your pictures on touk. Hope you're doing alright.
May 27, 2021 3:17AM
Hello Sean! I just spent over two hours looking at your fantastic pictures. Now I need to sleep, I know your pictures will be in my dreams.
I think that is a toad. I couldn’t find a similar looking photo to be sure. Now that I know where to find you, I’ll be back.
May 27, 2021 6:38AM
July 17, 2021 4:06AM
edited July 2021
Singapore experienced a roller coaster ride in its Covid19 measures in the past month. We finally could eat out again from 21 Jun 2021 but limited to a party of 2.
On 12 Jul 2021, the size of eating party was eased to 5 after the figures of infection drops to low levels. But immediately on this day, news of a new outbreak was reported.
It supposedly stemmed from an infected Vietnamese hostess hopping into different KTV lounges illegally to provide companionship and other 'services'. In turn, some of these customers themselves also practised lounge hopping.
These lounges were supposedly only allowed to provide food and beverages during this period under a special license. This KTV cluster has become the largest cluster now with 120 cases. More than 2000 people were quarantined due to it.
The hostesses were able to get into Singapore using special social visit visas for family and close ones. Singapore 'boyfriends' sponsored them in.
Due to this new outbreak, the Government has tightened the measures again to bring down the eating party down back to 2 with effect from 19 Jul 2021.
Benjamin Glynn, the Briton who refused to wear a mask in the MRT and whose video went viral on social media, was tracked down and charged in court on 2 Jul 2021. He faced additional charges for threatening to beat up the police arresting him. He arrived in court without a mask and refused to follow protocols of checking in for contact tracing. Later in court he was reminded twice to wear his mask properly. He later left the court and removed his mask again. He found the whole situation ridiculous and just wanted to return home.
For contravening the Covid-19 measures, he may be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or both. And for using threatening a public servant on duty, he is liable to a fine of up to S$5,000 or jail time of up to 12 months, or both. He is currently out on bail.
Phoon Chiu Yoke, 53, was a former Naval Officer currently faces seven charges over various offences, including failing to wear a mask at multiple public places including turning up to first hearing without wearing a mask. She said that she should be granted immunity as she might cause embarrassments to Singapore Armed Forces as she has certain information that might be released should her case allowed to continue. The court disagreed. She is currently out on bail.
She supposedly had good records during her service and was among the female pioneers to command a ship.
A diner was enjoying her food at a hawker centre. Notice how the additional seats were cordoned off. They were just removed but has to be put back in again after the weekend.
From 1 Jun 2021, it is mandatory to clear the tables here and return the trays and clear the table litter. Table litter includes used tissues, wet wipes, straws, canned drinks, plastic bottles and food remnants. First-time offenders will be given a written warning. Second-time offenders will face a $300 composition fine, and subsequent offenders may face court fines, which can go up to $2,000 for the first conviction. This would be implemented at Hawker Centres and then to food courts and Coffeeshops when the latters have the necessary facilities.
Many young people are supportive of the move but some were unhappy, especially the older ones. In the past, Singapore hawker centres operated like a restaurant. Diners ordered the food and sat down. The onus was on the stall owners to remember who they were, bring the food to them, and then to clear the table after the diners left. Later they implemented self service. In recent years, they encouraged diners to clear the table. Now it is implemented as a law as no one bothered. The savings from the hawker centre management would not pass down to consumers. Price would only continue to rise. And cleaners didn't always wipe the tables immediately even though diners clear the table.
This handsome Canadian, David James Roach, now 31, sent shockwaves in Singapore when he robbed a bank of more than S$30,000 on July 7, 2016 with a piece of note. Then he proceeded to a cafe nearby to get a piece of cake and beverage before getting to the airport to escape to Thailand. He was later arrested in Thailand on other crimes and was detained for 14 months.
After his release, he was detained in London at the request of Singapore while enroute to Canada. He was finally allowed to be extradited after Singapore promised not to cane him. On 7 Jul 2021, he was sentenced to five years' jail and six strokes of the cane though the caning should be waived.
The US embassy flew a rainbow flag on 17 May 2021 and hosted a webinar with local LGBT advocates. In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) “reminded the U.S. Embassy that foreign missions here are not to interfere in our domestic social and political matters, including issues such as how sexual orientation should be dealt with in public policy.” It added, “These are choices for only Singaporeans to debate and decide.”
In April 2021, Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Government, gifted each household 500 ml of sanitiser which we could collect from a vending machine with an empty bottle.
In July 2021, Temasek Holdings gave each household an oximeter to measure our oxygen level in our body. People with low oxygen level are urged to seek medical attention as it could be an lung infection that we may not be aware of.
This is a vending machine that sells salmon. I only recently used it when they ran a promotion. The salmon were supposedly sealed and packed in Norway itself.
These are stone lions used at the gates of a temple and a business shop. The recent game gave us Foo Dogs and I was reminded of it.
A large, putrid flower of an exotic plant known as the elephant foot yam (Amorphophallus paeoniifolius), recently bloomed here and amazed many people. However it was cut down and removed mysteriously. Later gardeners found the remains of the roots and would be replanting it, hopefully giving it another life. This plant can be found naturally in several countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Madagascar, but is non-native to Singapore. I remember our game has this item as a premium item.
On the fifth month fifth day of the lunar calendar in June, we had the Dragon Boat festival. An auntie friend gave me a couple of glutinous rice dumplings to eat. I didn't buy as their prices would be marked up during the period. When we buy outside to take home, we would steam it to reheat it. Coffeeshops and hawker centres do serve them hot in their own steamers. This is a food that is available throughout the year, unlike Mooncake.
There are mainly two dominant types of dumplings that we eat here. One is called Bah Chang in Hokkien/Teochew. It means meat dumpling. It contains ingredients like braised meat, chestnuts, black mushrooms.
The other version is Nonya Chang. Nonya is a term to describe a female Peranakan person here. The ingredients is sweeter and the glutinous rice looks white. This is my favourite.
To distinguish between Changs, we do so by the colours of the straw strings used.
At the moment the durian season is here. The harvest is in abundance this year and the prices are supposedly competitive. This is a scene of people queuing to get whole durians direct.
Alternatively, if you don't want to deal directly with durian sellers, you can buy package ones in a supermarket.
Durian is the best food around but is a luxurious eat. I have not bought any yet.
Buskers performances return to my hub. These are some of the artists.
A stray cat I saw. We call them community cats here. Though at times they could be pets of somebody's. Some owners allowed them to be outside at night. This one has very long whiskers.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
July 18, 2021 7:07PM
edited July 2021
So I didn't want to be left out and bought my first whole durian this year in the current durian season on 19 Jul 2021 1255 am. I was the last customer and the shop was closing.
I went for the supposedly king of kings, Pahang Musang King durian. Pahang is a state in Malaysia. Musang means Cat mountain or Civet Cat. This variety goes for SG23 per kg at this stall. The Musang King durian has a characteristic star shape brown line pattern at the bottom. I saw in current news that in HK, the price of Musang King can be up to USD52 per kg.
The good deal that many people go for at the moment is the 3 for SG20 unbranded variety. The size is not very big. About the size of the open palm of a Chinese lady per durian.
So the stall owner would ask you if you want more sweet or bitter. Then they will choose for you, open it and show you the meat. Generally people would press the meat to make sure that it is soft and supple. Some may even smell it. Some stall owner may even ask the customer to take one seed to try.
Once the customer gives the green light, they will ask if you want the durian to be packed. Some prefer to bring back the whole durian to preserve the taste and smell. They will weigh the whole durian and calculate the price.
Some stall will tell you that you cannot do exchange if you choose the durian yourself. Generally most people leave it to the stall to choose.
In this instance, mine was 1.7 kg and worked out to 39 SGD. I like to eat it with my hands so that I could lick my fingers after that. Stalls would provide plastic gloves if you want to eat there.
It is hard to describe taste. Sweet, bitter, cheesy, garlicky, onion are all in there.
Texture is soft and creamy. I try not to talk when I eat in case I get choked with
the slippery seed. I don't like to eat with friends as I am a slow eater. And they usually are inconsiderate and do not control how much they eat.
Eating durian can be addictive. The only way to be satisfied is to eat until you are so disgusted with the experience that you didn't want to eat anymore. I usually eat it as one meal.
After eating durian the waste you produced, both pee and solid, would smell like durian over the coming hours. Even your sweat pores will smell like it.
After eating, this particular durian only got about 10 seeds. Many of the seeds are irregular in shape. This is good as it means that meat is more. We called such seeds as Took Hood (hokkien/ teochew) meaning irregular seed. The typical shape of most durian seeds is oval. So each seed in my adventure cost about 3.90 SGD.
I need to be more frugal in my food for the next thirty days. Maybe I should skip drinking coffee outside.
There was once I went dancing right after eating durian, my dance partner told me she smelled gas. I told her I just ate durian.
Eating durian according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, is very heaty. Drinking salt water immediately after eating is highly recommended. Some even said to drink it off the husk of the durian for better effect.
To get rid of the smell of durian from the hands, it is recommended to wash it off from water flowing from the tap into the inside of the husk and then to the hands.
I was forced to drink saltwater by my mother once as a boy when I told her that I was already too full. Later I was very uncomfortable and need to go for a walk. I vomited some of the salt water I drank.
Due to the popularity of Durian in Asia, China, HK and Macau, the business of durian is extremely lucrative and produces many millionaires in the state of Pahang. The farmers are mainly ethnics Chinese there.
Recently there were business squabbles there as the Pahang state said that the farmers are farming on state lands and want a cut of the returns for their state owned consortium.
The clash was so serious that the Government proceeded to cut down hundreds of trees recently despite court order that the farmers could continue to harvest until another settlement is met. A big group of farmers were also arrested.
The farmers have retorted that they had been farmers since colonial days when the British gave them the paperwork to be the party to harvest durians from these lands.
A typical tree may take like 10 to 20 years from a seedling to be mature for fruits harvesting. Vegetative propagative techniques may reduce the time to 4 to 6 years.
Actually consumers here are not too happy of the increasing demand from China. They are driving up the prices of many goods. I think 10 years down, only rich people can afford to eat durian.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
September 11, 2021 4:44PM
edited September 2021
I think my yamato shrimp is dead. He looks like a cooked shrimp. Over the years, he scared me a few times after I found his moulted shell.
This is him in happier times. I called him uncle prawn due to his long whiskers. He seemed to live forever as my small fishes came and went. My last cardinal tetra had also gone at about the same time as the prawn as I don't see her anymore. I really love this shrimp. I probably had him for 6 to 7 years. I felt connected with him ever since he swam to my fingers and started to nibble on them during feeding time. I would bring food disc to him.
This was a meal I bought off a bus drivers canteen. It cost 3 SGD. This is a meal that I would buy if I just want to be full and not fussy. It had two vegetables and one meat. We called it Cai Png, meaning vegetables rice in Hokkien. Ironically the Koi bubble tea next to it cost 4.30 SGD. But I got it free due to some promotion. I wouldn't buy it on my own. I feel it is severely overpriced. I drank quite a few of it for three days. I don't think I like it. The pearls stymied my digestive system operation.
Recently I went to the airport and ate porridge as I watched the world's largest indoor fountain. I actually didn't want to go there for fear of Covid-19 but I bought the porridge in advance on an app and didn't know it was not available near me. I went to the airport just to redeem it. I live rather near though but I wasted money on the transportation. The porridge is called Dried Scallop Sesame Chicken priced at 12.90 but I bought through app at 4.90 SGD, from a restaurant specialising in porridge.
While I was there I encountered two wedding couples taking wedding photos. My friends were shocked to learn I went to the airport and said aren't you scared!!
Ate Chicken rice again. This cost 4 SGD from a coffeeshop. Price starts at 3.
Eating Cai Png from coffeeshop near my place. Two vegetables, one meat and one shell dish. 4.20 SGD.
Kim Chi soup with added chicken at 6.50 SGD at a hawker centre. The egg was compliment as the boss said his rice was too soggy.
I ate this wanton noodle this morning at the hawker centre near me. 4 SGD. I actually rarely eat this as the queue is always long. This might be the second or third time I ate this. I came early at 630 am and decided to try it. At 645 am the queue got pretty long as shown.
It is indeed quite nice but not filling for me.
Still feeling hungry I ate this 2 SGD Nonya Chang ( meat dumpling)
And I finished my breakfast with a hot dessert called Tou Suan at 1.50 SGD. I think this is some kind of mung bean prepared in a thick like consistency.
Glutinous rice balls I had on one of the nights. There were six balls in it, with fillings like peanuts, red bean paste, yam, matcha and seasme. Choice of hot soup base includes peanut, almond or ginger. It cost 3 SGD. This dish is especially popular during winter solstice. In my childhood we made ourselves and ate it without fillings. I think it is a dish that teochews like to make. We called it Duck Mother Balls in teochew.
This is called Ipoh Hor Fun. Ipoh is a town in Malaysia. It has shreds of boiled chicken meat and black mushrooms. Nice flat white noodles. Cost 3 SGD at a hawker centre.
This is called fried carrot cake here. A popular breakfast food. I like mine black (sweet sauce) with chilli. Cost 3 SGD
Ba Ku Teh, herbal pork rib soup. Cost 6 SGD at the coffeeshop near u but this dish can become quite expensive if side dishes are added. It is common to spend above 10 SGD, maybe about 15 SGD at a famous eatery.
The mid autumn festival aka mooncake festival is around the corner on fifteenth day of August in the lunar calendar. An auntie friend gave me this. White lotus paste filling but without the eggs. I feel so blessed. In recent years I would go Malaysia to buy if I want to eat. But due to Covid, I didn't buy last year nor this year. Locally the price is exorbitant. A box of four can cost like 40 to 70 SGD or more like 100. There are elaborate designs on the packaging. The situation has evolved such that people are using this as gifts during this festival to build relationships. Like children to parents, boyfriend to girlfriend family, businesses to important customers. There are cheaper varieties of course like 4.50 SGD per piece but they usually are not very nice.
This snack also appears during the mooncake festival. A piglet cookie in a basket. Ate it maybe once in my childhood but never in my adult. It was meant for children I supposed but my mother never wanted me to eat it. Because in the old days, there was no plastic wrappings. I am not too sure the significance of it but it is a depiction of a pig in a basket. In ancient days, this was a capital punishment for adultery in China. The person would be locked in a basket and thrown into the sea.
Post edited by 168sean168 on
September 12, 2021 11:49AM
The Shrimp does look cooked. You will get another?
I recognize the vegetable in the first Cai Png photo as bitter melon. It took me a few times eating it to to like the taste.
I don't recognize the vegetable in the second Cai Png photo. The white half round slice with holes in it.
September 12, 2021 1:36PM
yes you right ! Over here it is called bittergourd. It is kinda of a acquired taste due to its bitterness. It is said to be good for lowering the blood pressure. Also it may also be more hygienic to eat melons outside, that is my personal opinion. As they may not wash leafy vegetables properly. The bittergourd is also used in some fish soup. Only a few pieces.
The white vegetables with holes in it is lotus roots. The truth is this is the first time I ate it in this style. And it is hard to find a stall that prepare it in this way. It's most common and default use is for making lotus roots soup, together with peanuts and pork ribs. It is delicious and is said to help to reduce the body heat. I have had the soup countless times. Used to be a staple dish from my mother.
I left two platy fishes in my tank. I actually bought them as a bag of feeder fishes previously when all the fishes died and left the shrimp. This is so that they could eat mosquitoes larvae if any. I am still not sure if I would continue to maintain the fish tank at the moment. Hmm..
October 26, 2021 9:55PM
thought this was cool:
I like Singapore. I miss Singapore. Made the mistake once of going to Universal Studios on the hottest, most humid day of my stay one year. I used to go quite often, 3-4x a year. Either transit from Dubai to Manila/Sydney to Tokyo or for meetings and just extend for a few extra days. Wonder when it'll be possible to go back...
October 27, 2021 2:19AM
where are you from ?
It is hard to pinpoint the best date to visit Singapore. But I guess it is best to visit during later part of the year like Dec. As rain would be more frequent.
Ironically I have yet to see otters with my own eyes. I did see large monitor lizards on numerous occasions. Wild boars are also a common sight but I have yet to see one. Monkeys are easy to spot when you visit Bukit Timah hill, the tallest natural point in Singapore.
I love universal studios. I went there 10 times on a six months pass. But the roller coaster, Battlestar Galactica was down throughout that six months though
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