• I'm using y'umor
    January 31, 2016
    The most I’ve laughed was when Steve and I were learning to rollerblade in Melbourne back in the 90s. It was that painful laughter when you can’t breathe, you can’t stand up (and not because you hit the concrete hard), you just want it to end but it goes on and on and you think you might actually die from laughing.
    Everyone knows I love Seinfeld but other obsessions are the Office (UK version only) and Kath & Kim...
  • Operation of the machine
    December 28, 2015
    One of my favourite bands is Linkin Park. And one of my favourite Linkin Park songs is Wretches & Kings  which begins with one of my favourite speeches of all time known commonly as the ‘operation of the machine’ or ‘bodies upon the gears’ by Mario Savio.
    Savio was an American activist and spokesman for the free speech movement at Berkeley University in the 1960s. At the time students across the USA were taking a stand against racial injustice...
  • Campaigning for courtesy
    October 16, 2015
    I love living in Singapore – everyone who knows me knows that much. You would also know that I have little or nothing in life to complain about other than pedestrian etiquette or rather the complete absence of it. And since I/we walk everywhere this is a regular irritation.
    Pedestrian etiquette requires people who are walking two or more abreast to assume a single file during a passing manoeuver ie when a pedestrian is on approach from the opposite direction. It’s...
  • In search of shade
    August 17, 2015
    There are a few signs that you’ve lived in Singapore way too long: (1) the 32 degrees (celsius) in ‘winter’ feels significantly cooler than the 32 degrees in summer and you find yourself reaching for a cardigan (or ‘jumper’ as we say in Australia). (2) You pronounce the number ‘three’ as ‘tree’ and pluralize words that are already plural eg underwears, and (3) you have a profound fear of the sun. 
    This fear of the sun will have you...
  • Pedestrian etiquette
    June 16, 2015
    I love living in Singapore as everyone knows, and have practically nothing to complain about, except for one major gripe—pedestrian etiquette. Since I/we walk everywhere this is a regular irritation. There is no pedestrian etiquette in Singapore, as there is in Australia, and in case you are not familiar with the protocol, I'll explain. 
    Footpaths as we call them in Australia (or sidewalks in the USA), are generally wide enough for two people to pass comfortably. If you are walking two or three abreast, pedestrian...
  • Sleep is for wimps
    February 16, 2015
    Apparently I need a ‘sleep coach’ which is a disturbing concept in itself. I’m hoping this person would not be in my bedroom with a whistle watching me not sleep apart from which, I don’t understand why my erratic sleeping habits need coaching into ‘normal’ anyway.
    36% of our lives are spent sleeping. If you live to 90, that’s a whopping 32 years of sleeping. Imagine what you could achieve if you cut that back to just 16 years...
  • Dude, where's my phone?
    January 16, 2015
    The first step for any addiction is to admit you have a problem. I don’t have a problem but in our household of two, someone seems to think I do so I’m about to dispel that belief.
    Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile phone. The number of sufferers is on the rise which is not surprising as it no doubt correlates with smartphone uptake rather than a growing inability for otherwise 'normal' people to cope without...
  • How to make a baby courtesy of taxi driver #42
    November 17, 2014
    I’ve mentioned before that I do not like taxis – I’d rather walk, catch the MRT or an ambulance. Taxi drivers in Singapore tend to assume when picking up an Ang Mo (foreigner) that you would like the island excursion as opposed to the direct route. And since I am not a tourist, know where I am going AND am process-obsessed, nothing irritates me more than a well-crafted best-practice plan of getting from A to B thwarted by a cunning...
  • Sayang ah! (Such a pity!)
    October 16, 2014
    Watching TV and movies in Singapore, in particular the kind of shows we like is an art form thanks to the rigours of Singaporean censorship laws. Swear words, even words the average person might no longer consider a swear word like bloody or Hell are edited as are scenes involving sex, drugs or violence. Quite often we’re left staring blankly and confused as a scene jumps inexplicably over the good parts to something more acceptable, thankfully or we would be...
  • Opening the Gates of Hell
    September 16, 2014

    It is that time of year again for the Gates of Hell to open so the souls of the dead can once again roam the earth. If you are in Singapore at this time of the year you will come across food and other offerings in the street for example mandarins, roasted pig, bowls of rice and especially made Chinese cake.  It is considered very bad luck (and disrespectful) if you happen to be on your way home from a...

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