OUR ARTICLES & GALLERIES
Support local businesses while you shop using your American Express card and earn cash back! American Express is giving Singaporeans more reason to spend at local businesses with its global American Express Shop Small.
From 1 December 2020, cardmember can get $5 cashback by spending at least $10 at any of the 2,000 businesses that are part of the Shop Small movement in Singapore. The cashback is limited to three redemptions per registered card.
This movement complements the SingapoRediscovers campaign that encourages Singaporeans to support local tourism and lifestyle businesses. The businesses participating in the Shop Small movement can be found in 11 CapitaLand Malls as well as precincts such as Kampong Glam, Telok Ayer, and Tiong Bahru when many hidden gems can be rediscovered.
We have gathered 10 local businesses that you must visit during this Shop Small movement. From food to retail, these hidden gems will amaze you.
The White Restaurant is home to the Original Sembawang White Bee Hoon. They serve many local favourites that are great for family dinners with a wide range of selections. From Chili Crab to Hotplate Venison with black pepper, you will be spoilt for choices at the restaurant.
Address: 2 Jurong East Street 21 #02-24 Singapore 609601
Cat & The Fiddle is Singapore’s first and foremost premium Halal-certified Cheesecake retailer. Founded by Celebrity Pastry Chef Daniel Tay, the patisserie offers a selection of over 20 varieties of gourmet cheesecakes. Cat & The Fiddle caters to every cheesecake lover with their Fickle Feline, an assortment of the store’s bestsellers. Try it today!
Westgate outlet – 3 Gateway Drive #01-18 Westgate Singapore 608532
Junction 8 – 9 Bishan Place #02-32a, Junction 8 Singapore 579837
The Wok Master offers customers an affordable yet authentic premium ‘Tze Char’ experience. Indulge in the seafood goodness of their signature ‘Yi Pin Guo’ which uses a slow cooking claypot method that brings out the rich flavours of the food. Let them surprise you with their range of innovative east-west fusion dishes that are bound to give you a surprise twist.
Address: 3 Gateway Drive B1-09 Westgate Singapore 608532
Described as a hipster version of a Kopitiam Yong Tau Foo store, Fu Lin Bar & Kitchen serves Yong Tau Foo by day and transforms into a bar at night. Grab a plate of Yong Tau Foo and some cocktails to hang out with your friends. It is a hidden gem that you must visit.
Address: 127 Telok Ayer St Singapore 068596
The Paradise Dynasty specializes in Oriental cuisine where you can satisfy your cravings for the finest northern and southern China cuisines. Indulge in gourmet xiao long bao with eight first of its kind flavours such as foie gras, black truffle, and crab roe. It is a restaurant where you can eat and feel like royalty.
Address: 3 Gateway Drive #02-13/14 Westgate Building Singapore 608532
If you are craving for some Bak Kut Teh, head to Old Street Bak Kut Teh where they pride themselves as the local specialist for the well-loved traditional dish. Even though Bak Kut Teh is their specialty, the restaurant offers a wide range of soups and noodles for you to choose from. This is great for those cold evenings when you just want something warm to fill your tummy.
Address: 3 Gateway Drive B1-25 Westgate Building Singapore 068532
Looking to cook some seafood? The Seafood Market has got you covered! You can find exclusive items such as King Crab Leg, Lobsters, and Crayfish at reasonable prices. Whether you are cooking for a Shell-Out or a steamboat, you can get all your ingredients at The Seafood Market. They even have pre-packed ingredients for recipes such as Braised Claypot Tofu and a Confinement Starter Package for post-labor mothers.
Address: 1 Jelebu Rd #01-32 Bukit Panjang Plaza Singapore 677743
AKEMI is where you can get all your bedroom necessities. The store believes in creating special moments between families through an array of bedding, bedding accessories, and bath essentials. Check out their AKEMI HeiQ Viroblock bedding that is not only gentle on the skin but also has bacteria and viral control.
Address: 2 Jurong East 21 #02-20 IMM Mall Singapore 609601
Decorate your home with a wide range of products that HOOGA has to offer! Enjoy the simple pleasures in life as you decorate your cosy home with Danish-inspired furniture. If you can’t decide how to style your home, look through HOOGA’s showrooms and videos that can be your inspiration.
Address: 3 Gateway Drive #01-30/31/32 Westgate Shopping Mall Singapore 608532
Hock Hua Tonic is a recognizable brand to every Singaporean. Known for their traditional health supplements, Hock Hua Tonic has been around since 1986. Whether it is traditional health supplements or herbal teas, Hock Hua Tonic aims to provide high quality and healthy products at reasonable prices with good service.
Bukit Panjang Plaza – 1 Jelebu Road, #01-10/11 Bt Panjang Plaza Singapore 677743
Lot One – 21 Choa Chu Kang Ave 4, B1-17 Lot 1 Shopper’s Mall Singapore 689812
Junction 8 – 9 Bishan Place, B1-09 Junction 8 Shopping Centre Singapore 579837
Singapore Post Centre – 10 Eunos Road 8, B1-123 Singapore Post Centre Singapore 408600
Bedok Mall – 311 New Upp Changi Rd, B2-19 Bedok Mall Singapore 467360
Tampines Mall – 4 Tampines Central 5, B1-13a Tampines Mall Singapore 529510
Be sure to get your cash back by spending at these stores with your American Express card and enjoy what local businesses has to offer. Spend at least $10 to get the $5 cash back! This promotion is until the end of the month so remember to Shop Small!
Is the upcoming annual office gift exchange stressing you out? Too busy with actual work and don’t have time to shop for somewhat meaningful gifts that won’t burn a hole in your wallet? We got you, fam.
Look through our list of 7 budget gifts under $20 guaranteed to make your co-worker smile.
You’ve drawn a name out of the hat and you’ve selected the person that’s always first to arrive in the office. Always upbeat and perky in the morning when the rest of the office is half-asleep, mornings clearly agree with them. Get them this Good Morning mug, modelled after the iconic Good Morning towels seen in every kopitiam.
Click here for the product page.
The opposite of the morning person, this co-worker is either always late or nearly late. They simply cannot function in the mornings unless they’ve already had a cup or two of coffee. Sometimes, they also need a cigarette. If you know someone like this, then get them this notebook that proclaims that no, they are not late, everyone else is simply early.
Click here for the product page.
Modelled after Singapore’s parking coupons, this calendar is pretty to look at and reusable. Simply slide the tray as the days go by to keep the calendar accurate. Measuring 11.5cm by 10.5cm by 7.2cm, this calendar is just the right size to keep on the work desk.
Click here for the product page.
You are the Secret Santa to that one guy in the office who cannot stop talking about National Service. If that guy also happens to be a grump, then congratulations – you’ve found the perfect gift for him. Whether he has his own room and therefore, his own door or not, you can get this for him to display as a warning to all potential trespassers. After all, he can always pin this to the outside of his cubicle.
Click here for the product page.
If you have absolutely no clue about what the new hire likes and you’ve picked their name out of the hat… Fear not. This would make a perfect gift for anybody since nobody wants to keep wearing the same 3 reusable masks. The colour and design is also pretty, without being strongly gendered in any way. Plus, Lynn of Lavender Crafting Corner places a huge emphasis on all-day comfort. Read our interview with her to learn more!
Click here for the product page.
You meet people at work and then you say bye to them. If you’ve picked the name of someone who is leaving the company, then get them this funny and sweet card. Pass it around the office on their day off so everyone can write in it and then, bam! The perfect send-off card.
Click here for the product page.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Secret Santa Gift Guide as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together for you. Now you can simply order what you need and get on with work without the gift exchange hanging over your head!
What was the funniest gift a co-worker has gotten in your office? Tell us on our Facebook page here.
If you were a child in the 90s, you likely played with Pokémon cards and Tamagotchi growing up. It’s also likely that you wandered that aisles of Toys R’ Us on a Saturday, looking in wonder at all those toys. There’s a chance that the toys you loved so much back then can now fetch a small fortune!
It’s funny how the area outside MRT stations seem to attract Pokémon enthusiasts. Back then, it was teens sitting in a circle duking it out using Pokémon cards. Now it’s more likely to be a handful of retirees playing Pokémon Go. Whether you merely collected the cards or actually played the card game yourself, you would have seen them around. Back then, they were so popular you could even get them at 7/11!
Want to sell your old collection and put it in your BTO fund?
If you have a Charizard foil card, it can net you thousands, although this one seller is listing it for on Carousell for no less than $37, 000.
Back when our pencil cases were all humungous, some girls from more well-to-do families may have proudly displayed their Polly Pocket pencil case on their table. They may have also had a collection of the tiny clamshell dollhouses at home, featuring dolls less than inch in height and bright funky colours.
If you have any Polly Pocket toys still safely stored in its wrapper, they could net you a pretty penny. For example, take a look at this Enchanted Storybook set in mint condition that’s going for $1,500 on Carousell.
Marketed to boys instead of girls, Mighty Max featured the same dollhouse theme but instead of houses it was dungeons and lairs. Monsters and Mighty Max himself took the place of regular dolls.
Like Polly Pocket, Mighty Max also had its own animated TV series.
Unfortunately, Mighty Max never quite reached the popularity of Polly Pocket. But if you have any lying around, you can still sell it for a few hundreds. Look at this brand new Mighty Max Dragon Island toy on Carousell for instance, which is going for $400.
In the year 2000, a disaster the likes of which McDonald’s Singapore could’ve never predicted unfolded. After announcing that a pair of Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel collectibles would be available along with any purchase of an Extra Value Meal, crowds of Singaporeans swarmed McDonald’s outlets all over the island and emptied it of plushies depicting a pair of mouthless felines. According to this National Library Board site, the glass doors at a Boon Keng McDonald’s outlet shattered as the weight of the crowd came to bear on it.
If your aunt and uncle have their whole set saved up to pass on their children, they may be disappointed with its value today.
For just $300, you can get the whole set on Carousell. Not really a great investment, in my opinion.
Kids love plushies and in the 90s, the hottest plushies were Beanie Babies. The initial line-up of Beanie Babies featured 9 designs, including a lobster named Pinchers and a platypus named Patti. The toys were produced by Ty Inc and their soaring popularity meant that the founder of company, Ty Warner, soon became so rich that he was able to buy The Four Seasons Hotel New York.
Today, a stay at the Ty Warner Penthouse Suite would set you back approximately $50, 000 USD per or $66, 865.50 in Singapore dollars.
If you have a first generation Beanie Baby lying around, they can fetch up to $239.99 on eBay.
In the 90s, there were two types of kids. One that let their Tamagotchi screen fill up with virtual poop and the other who religiously rids the screen of poop as soon as it appears. Though it is an iconic toy of the 90s, the Tamagotchi’s moment is far from over.
For instance, Tamagotchi partnered with Demon Slayer to release a line of Demon Slayer Tamagotchis. You can get one for just $34 on Lazada.
Long before the advent of LAN cafes and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, kids doused each other with water guns. The kids who had Hasbro’s Super Soakers had all the advantage. The neon-coloured toys had superior water reserves, power and range.
The Super Soaker 50, which was released in 1991 became a best-seller, eventually earning the Super Soaker a place in the Toy Hall of Fame in 2015. If you happen to have a whole set of vintage Super Soaker 50s lying around in your home, you can offload it to a collector on eBay for $2250 or more.
What do you think will be the iconic toys of the 2020s? Will it be something like the Nintendo Switch or some apps we’ve yet to hear of? Tell us your thoughts on our Facebook page here.
A community cat in Chinatown has taken ill and desperately requires a fosterer. A common fixture at and around the staircase leading up to Pearl’s Hill Terrace, the cat’s name is Tommy. Anyone who works in the building will have seen him snoozing away on the stairs.
His community feeders include a man, who is a web designer who works in the same building as well as a retiree who lives in the area. His admirers and friends are numerous, who bestow upon him treats as well as pets and words of praise.
Lately, however, Tommy’s stomach began to bloat and the more his stomach swelled, the less appetite he seemed to have. Yesterday, a group comprised of concerned people who work in the building and one of his community feeders managed to put him in a cat carrier. He was then sent off to the veterinarian.
Tommy was subsequently diagnosed as having septic peritonitis. The condition causes fluid to accumulate in his stomach cavity, which then presses down on his vital organs, such as his kidneys and liver. The discomfort caused by his peritonitis in turn led to his poor appetite. Tommy was warded and the next day, 80ml of fluid from his stomach was drained.
As his community feeders currently have other obligations, they are not able to care for him at this moment.
His medical fees are currently being funded by well-wishers and admirers. They are now seeking a fosterer well-versed in the way of cats.
Want to help Tommy out? Here’s what you need:
Think that sounds like you? Or do you know anybody who fulfils the criteria? Leave us a message on our Facebook page so we can help to contact Tommy’s friends.
Singaporeans who grew up during the 90s will surely remember the Tamagotchi. How many of us have had our precious, handheld virtual pet confiscated from us after it made one too many beeps in class? And how many of us never stopped playing with our Tamagotchis? For Rachel Liew, owner and sole proprietress of Fuzzy N Chic, it’s an ongoing love affair that began when she laid eyes on her first Tamagotchi as a child.
Describing the birth of her business as “almost an accident”, Fuzzy N Chic was set up in 2015 after demand for Rachel’s one-of-a-kind knitted protective covers for the toys surged. Other than covers for Tamagotchi, Fuzzy N Chic also sells customized faceplates and Tamagotchi accessories. The website also serves as a resource for fans of virtual games looking for how-to guides and translations for Japan Only releases.
Here’s our interview with Rachel, condensed for clarity.
Hello Rachel, thanks so much for agreeing to do this interview. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am an avid video gamer and Tamagotchi lover. I work in IT by profession. Outside of work, my passions are, in no particular order, my cats, Tamagotchis, video games, good food, Netflix, arts & crafts, music, and travelling. Tamagotchi is just one of my many hobbies. I also enjoy creating handmade resin crafts, doing intricate manicure nail art, and playing the Kalimba, a handheld musical instrument.
On your website, you mention that you are a HR Technologist by day. Do your friends and colleagues know about Fuzzy N’ Chic?
Yes, as a HR technologist, I configure and implement HR systems. Yes, of course everyone knows. I am proud of what I do! I also bring my Tamagotchis with me to the office. They’re good companions and provide good emotional support especially during stressful times at work.
Do you have many local friends who are into Tamagotchi?
Yes, in fact, I got to know them precisely through this hobby. We used to have a Whatsapp group for Tamagotchi owners in Singapore which started with 3 people but grew to 50 people at its peak.
We also used to have gatherings once a month but it has died down now.
Your Business Development and Creative Director, Grace, is also a Tamagotchi fan. I think it’s really sweet how the Tamagotchi played such a big role in both of your childhoods. How did you get to know her?
She was in the Tamagotchi Collectors Facebook group, which is an international Tamagotchi community. It consists of mostly Americans and Europeans but there are Singaporeans inside too. That’s how I got to know Grace. She also stood out to me because of her handmade Tamagotchi covers!
When I talk about Tamagotchis, the Zoomers in my office look so confused. They’re probably thinking, “Why would anybody want to play with a calculator?”
That is one of the biggest misconceptions which I wish more people would be aware of! Tamagotchi is still alive, and the latest Tamagotchi model was just released by Bandai last month. People think Tamagotchi is ancient and died a long time ago, but Tamagotchi is actually still very much alive!
What are your best-selling products?
When I first started Fuzzy N Chic, it was primarily focused on selling handmade Tamagotchi covers.
But ever since we came out with our own line of products, the Tamagotchi Zipper Pouch with Window became the ultimate best-seller!
Recently, the Melbits Pod, which is an augmented reality virtual pet, has also been selling really well. It’s only been only 1 week since I announced it and it’s almost sold out as of today!
Which Tamagotchi character is the most Singaporean?
Mametchi is probably the closest?
He is an intelligent character who loves science and innovation, reflective of our smart nation.
Modern Tamagotchis can go on vacations, marry and do all sorts of cool things. If there was a Singaporean Tamagotchi, what would it be able to do?
It would be able to apply for a BTO flat after getting married! Then if the player doesnt marry it off by age 35, it would be able to get a BTO flat under the Single’s Scheme.
What generation Tamagotchi is your favourite?
Tamagotchis can be broken down into 3 main generations: the Vintage, which relates to toys released from 1996 to 1998. Then, the Connection series, which were released from 2000 to 2010. Finally, there’s the Modern generation with full colour displays, basically anything released from 2010 onwards till now.
The Modern generation is definitely the most attractive and the toys themselves also have the most content. So, I definitely enjoy playing with them but it doesn’t have the same charm and nostalgic as the Vintage series. Speaking of the Vintage ones, they don’t hold my attention for too long because they are so simple.
So my favourite generation would be the Connection series. I first played with them as a teen and they’re still in black and white – so there’s definitely that sense of nostalgia. My favourites are the Connection V5 and also the Tama-Go.
Which Tamagotchi character is your favourite?
Oh, definitely Kuchipatchi!
He is one of the 3 original characters that were first introduced with the first Tamagotchi. Hence, he is also considered one of the oldest characters in the Tamagotchi world. Initially, I never really thought much of him but my husband told me he likes Kuchipatchi, which made me realise his appeal.
He also has a lazy personality and enjoys eating, which is reflective of my personality as well.
To be frank, I feel that the characters Bandai has released in recent years are not as appealing. It’s like Bandai is trying too hard to make them cute but instead they just look overly complicated and fanciful.
Kuchipatchi is very simple looking and his whole body is one colour. His artwork is simple too, reflective of how the vintage Tamagotchi is: simple without any unnecesary fluff.
Finally, which Tamagotchi are you currently using as your EST (Emotional Support Tamagotchi)?
Currently I am running 3 devices, the Human Player, the Sumikko Catch, and the Melbits Pod.
None of them are Tamagotchi although I intend to do a Christmas run with my friend to raise Tamagotchis on the Tamagotchi 4U+.
Thanks so much again for doing this interview! Before I end this, anything else you’d like to tell our readers? 🙂
Did you know that there are some in the Tamagotchi community who use the devices as a way to cope with their mental health issues? I know it’s still very taboo to talk about mental health in Singapore, but I think if Tamagotchi can be a coping mechanism and if we can talk about Tamagotchi, then we can segway into talking about mental health.
And finally, I want to say: Tamagotchi is not ancient!! Anytime I see or hear people talk about how Tamagotchi is back, I get really triggered.
How can something be back when it was never gone in the first place?
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That’s the end of our interview with the founder and proprietress of Fuzzy N Chic. We hope this article gave you some fuzzy childhood memories. Intrigued by Rachel’s shop? Why not stop by her Instagram or Facebook page? If you like our content, follow our Facebook page so you won’t miss any of it!
Singapore hawker culture has been nominated to be part of UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list but when will the younger generation deem Kopitiams as the new and cool hangout spot?
The term Kopitiam comes from the word ‘Kopi’ which is coffee for Malay while ‘Tiam’ is a Hokkien or Hakka expression for shop. According to Epicure & Culture, this was where the older generation gathers and socialize back in their day. This still continues until today.
This is probably why when you think of Kopitiams or hawker centre, you would always think of old uncles drinking in the corner. However, there is nothing wrong with youngsters drinking and hanging out there as well.
While hawker centres may not look like the trendy cafes or pubs that we frequent, they have a lot more to offer than you might expect. Nowadays, hawkers have revamped their style to be up to date with current food trends. This means you can enjoy cool modern dishes as well as traditional hawker foods while hanging out with your friends.
Here are some hawker centres you should visit with your friends!
If you love café hopping and enjoy artisanal coffee, consider Golden Mile Food Centre for your next cup of coffee! Kopi More is definitely a must-try for local coffee lovers.
Unlike other drink stalls, Kopi More makes their traditional Nanyang style coffee with an espresso machine. This makes the coffee smoother with less acidity and consistent mouthfeel. The coffee is still roasted the same way traditional hawkers do – with sugar and margarine!
Catch up with your friends over a cup of coffee and if a meal is too much, grab a couple baguettes from Mr. Baguette! The stall offers over 20 different baguette flavours to choose from, in all shapes and sizes. From the sweet chocolate filling Baguette Lava to the savoury Carbonara Baguette, these baguettes will make you forget that you are actually in a hawker centre.
You have to hurry to try out these stalls because Golden Mile Food Centre will be closing in December for a major renovation and will only reopen around March 2021.
After work drinks are usually at bars near the office but we all know how expensive it can be to order food from bars. Why not head over to Street Smith Taps at Chinatown Complex Food Centre to enjoy some craft beers while munching down on a hearty meal from a traditional hawker stall?
Street Smith Taps features 20 premium local and international craft beer, serve straight from the tap or in a nice cool bottle. If you wonder what beer pairs well with a plate of Char Kwey Teow, ask the Street Smith taps and they might give you a great recommendation. Cold beers and good local food, what is a better way to unwind on a work night?
If you are looking for restaurant-quality food at an affordable price, The Bedok Marketplace is the hawker center for you. There is a wide range of food selection that you can find there.
Halal grilled burgers from The Social Outcast, grilled ribs from The Burning Oak and Satay from Wow Skewer Bar, you cant find a spread quite like this in any bar or restaurant. Additionally, the way The Bedok Marketplace is decorated will make you feel like you are in a huge outdoor café.
Grab your friends to hang out and chat over some good food and beers. You may not even feel like you are in Bedok when you visit this hawker centre.
The local hawker centres and kopitiams are full of hidden gems with affordable prices. Additionally, they offer a wide selection of food that you will never get tired of. If you are craving for Indian food while your friends want some Chinese food, get it all at the hawker centre so you can still hang out together!
Reward yourself with beer while you run! SoleMates’ Beer Run Round The Bay is having a beer run that allows you to enjoy a scenic route around the bay while redeeming beer along the way. If you love beers on a Sunday night, this is the run for you.
The event has started and will be held every Sunday till 27 December. Book your slots here so you will not miss out on this beer run! All participants must be above 18 since this run involves alcohol.
The Beer Run Round The Bay route is around 4km with three pit stops and a celebratory plate of tacos at the finish line. This exciting evening cost $38 per person which consists of two 150ml beers, one 500 ml beer, a set of three tacos, and a Solemates Beer Run card that illustrates the running route and F&B pitstops for participants to redeem their beers.
This run is organised by Chimi’s with collaborations from Le Noir Marina Bay Sands and L’Entrecôte Customs House to create a fun Sunday night activity as part of the SingapoRediscovers Campaign. The route will let you enjoy the night view of Marina Bay Sands, Esplanade, and Fullerton while having a nice cold beer.
Participants will start at Chimi’s and move to the next pitstop, Le Noir and subsequently L’Entrecôte before ending the run at Chimi’s. The run will begin at 5pm and participants are required to finish the route by 7pm to redeem their tacos and last beer. In 2 hours, you will have plenty of time to drink and enjoy the route without rushing.
This outdoor run is subjected to weather conditions which include light, intermittent, or potential rain. Remember to prepare an umbrella or a poncho if the clouds look heavy that night!
In the event of heavy rain with chances of lighting, the run might be rescheduled, and buyers can use the ticket on another date, arranged by SoleMates. Participants will be notified of any cancelations and an SMS or email will be sent out latest by 4.
What is a better way to motivate yourself to join a run than beers? Be sure to book your slots and grab your friends to join this fun alcoholic night run. Tacos are waiting for you at the finish line!
Looking forward to that Christmas party with your friends and family but not loving the planning? We are here to help! Here are 5 scrumptious festive treats sure to impress your guests, no matter who they may be.
Log Cakes are one of those Christmassy things that pop up everywhere from Four Leaves to Bengawan Solo once the festive season is here. But when was the last time you saw a log cake that wasn’t either chocolate or expresso flavoured? Enter Fullerton Hotel’s magnificent Ondeh Ondeh Yule Log Cake, covered in a soft blanket of shredded coconut. Bite into it and you’ll taste Gula Melaka mousse and coconut crème all wrapped in a layer of the finest chiffon cake. We’re sure your guests won’t forget this log cake in a hurry.
Price: $69.00 for 900g
Click here for the product page
One of the most adorable Christmas treats of all time is the Gingerbread cookie. You’ll find variants of people-shaped cookies and cosy houses for sale when the malls start playing Christmas music. But have you ever seen a whole tower made of Gingerbread cookies? Pulse Patisserie has whipped up a 37 cm tall, 23 wide tower made entirely out of Gingerbread cookies and swirly meringue. To my knowledge, no one has attempted to make a Gingerbread HDB flat yet, so this is the closest we’ve gotten – for now.
Price: $78.80 for approximately 44 pieces
Click here for the product page
Only eat people-shaped cookies? Check this out. It’s $75 for approximately 25 pieces. Vegan? We got you, fam.
You know that friend, the one who only eats organic, gluten-free, vegan products? And how sad they look when you’re at a party together and they can’t eat anything there? Well, wipe that frown off their faces with Vegan Gingerbread Cookies from Bud of Joy. Each measuring 9cm tall and made only from all-natural ingredients, there’s no way they can refuse these cute little guys!
Price: $5 for one piece
Click here for the product page
Here’s another log cake with a local twist to add to your list. Raffles Hotel’s Kaya and Pineapple Log Cake looks so pretty it’s almost like a sculpture. Enjoy the melding of traditional French pastry secrets with uniquely Singaporean flavours as you bite into the creation of Raffles Hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef, Tai Chien Lin. There’s the juicy and spicy flavour of pineapple compote and the combined creaminess of kaya Chantilly and coconut dacquoise. Oh and, don’t forget the coconut crumble.
Price: $85 for 1kg
Click here for the product page
Are your friends blessed by a fully stocked fridge with a kitchen overflowing with Christmas sweets from friends and family? Then they need to sit down and have a drink. Time to introduce Rachel The Rabbit Meadery’s Kopi-O Liqueur to them. Featuring distilled rum blended with Kopi, it’s even filtered with the traditional kopi sock before being sweetened with black sugar. It’s the perfect bottle to share while having a sit-down, to contemplate life’s pleasures and mysteries with your close ones.
Price: $48 for 500ml
Click here for the product page
This is the year plant-based proteins or veggie meat became so popular that Singaporeans queued for Impossible burgers. If you can’t get enough of the Impossible patty, the Fullerton Hotel has what you need. Imagine a giant puff pastry filled with Impossible meat marinated with wild mushroom sauce. And when I say giant, I mean an entire kilogram of the that good stuff.
Price: $139 for 1kg
Click here for the product page
Now that you have a clearer picture of what to serve during your Christmas party, we hope you’ll be able to savour that anticipation instead of feeling stressed out by it. Take care during this festive season and don’t forget that we’re still at Phase 2! According to government guidelines, this means no more than 5 visitors to each household.
What’s your Number One Christmas dish? Tell us on your Facebook page here.
School holidays have begun! If you are not sure what to do with the kids, head down to Jewel Changi Airport, and enjoy the thrilling attractions that Jewel has to offer. These deals will help save your wallet!
The Jewel attractions are great for some quality family time as you bond over your fear of heights or release stress by jumping on the bouncing Sky Nets. If the high-rise attractions are not your thing, take pictures at the different attractions available at Canopy Park. The attractions are fun for both adults and kids to experience.
Get free entry to Canopy Park when you purchase tickets with Klook to any attractions like the Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze, and the Manulife Sky Nets (Bouncing and Walking). Without buying tickets to the other attractions, entry to the Canopy Park would cost $4.50 each for both kids and adults with the original price being $5.
The Canopy Park alone includes Discovery Slides, Foggy Bowls, Petal Garden, and Topiary Walk. Paying $4.50 is quite worth it when there are multiple attractions in the park.
If you want to save further, get your tickets on the Klook app to enjoy $1.70 off your first booking with the promo code ‘mobile10’. You can collect credits on the Klook app to get more discounts on your next bookings so you can enjoy great food and attraction while saving money!
DBS is currently offering three promo codes that you can use when you purchase the tickets online with your DBS card. Enjoy up to 25% off your purchase when you get your tickets here with these codes.
Get 20% off Bundle Package 1 includes:
After the discount, an adult ticket will cost $30.40 (U.P $38) while the kids and senior ticket will be $21.60 each (U.P $27). Be sure to enter the promo code ‘DBSBP1’ when you are making your purchase.
Get 20% off Bundle Package 2 includes:
The discounted adult ticket will cost $43.20 (U.P $54) while the kids and senior ticket will be $31.20 (U.P $39). Enter the promo code ‘DBSBP2’ to enjoy the 20% off.
Lastly, enjoy 25% off regular price ala carte attraction tickets with the promo code ‘DBS25’. This promo code excludes the Canopy Park. This promotion with DBS is only valid till 28 February 2021 so make full use of the promo codes this school holidays!
If you are a healthcare worker, get ready to bring your family to Jewel! Redeem up to four complimentary tickets to the Manulife Sky Nets – Walking attraction from 25 November 2020 to 25 December 2020.
This is a gesture of appreciation from Manulife Singapore to the healthcare workers for their efforts during the pandemic as part of SG Cares Giving Week 2020.
All you have to do is flash your vocational passes at the level 5 Concierge Counter at Jewel and redeem the tickets. Remember to be quick because this is only limited to 2,000 redemptions!
Have a fun-filled day at Jewel with your family. Everything is available under one roof – from food to fun attractions, Jewel is a great place to spend time with your family.
A big Christmas tree may not be suited for a BTO flat. Space may be limited but there is always a way for you to bring out the jolly Christmas period in your living room!
Traditional Christmas celebrations will always include a tree with decoration and lights for the presents to rest under till Christmas morning. Here in Singapore, we may not have the space to follow every single tradition. However, that does not mean we have to abandon the Christmas tree.
Here are three Christmas tree ideas that will fit right in your BTO house!
Instead of going out and buying a brand-new Christmas tree, why not use the house plant around your house? Hang ornaments and lights to make your Christmas tree lively and bright. You can place your house plant on the coffee table and store presents underneath the table so no one will trip on the presents!
Use battery-operated Christmas lights so you will not have to worry about hiding the wires. It would not be any different from those plastic miniature Christmas trees you find on sale.
If you have house plants with weaker branches, create your own paper ornaments to decorate it! This could be a family bonding Christmas-themed activity and you could save money instead of buying a new Christmas tree. All you need is colourful craft paper, thread and a pair of scissors.
While a house plant Christmas tree may be small, try hanging a wall Christmas tree for a bigger decoration. From afar, no one can even tell the difference between a wall tree and an actual tree. It would have the same effect but takes up much less space in your living room.
Grab green tinsel, Christmas lights and some clear wall hooks to hang the decorations up. The best part about this is you can control how big you want the tree to be.
Refashion your bookshelf into a Christmas tree by rearranging some books. Not only will this save you space but you can also store your presents on the bookshelf. Hassle-free and can be very useful too. Alternatively, you can also use a display cabinet. A few ornaments and Christmas lights and your bookshelf will have your living room looking festive.
If you don’t have enough green books, flip the books around to create a snowman or a white Christmas tree. Hang green tinsel around the and Christmas lights to create the same effect as the wall Christmas tree. It is definitely a fun new way to redecorate your home this Christmas.
Having limited space is no longer a reason to not have a Christmas tree in your home. Whether your house is a BTO or not, you can space some space for your family to enjoy Christmas morning without having to squeeze. Try out these new Christmas trees today!
Just like that, we’re almost at the end of the year. If you’re already formulating plans to give your house a makeover, chances are you’re thinking about when to go to IKEA. You know, to just have a look-see to come up with ideas.
Whenever you’re planning to go, we feel like it’s our sacred duty to inform you that IKEA Bistro has just launched all-new items!
Here are some of the new items.
Love crunchy, flakey pastry and think it’s the perfect container for putting yummy food inside? Then you’ll love the Tom Yam Puff. Small and very snackable, it will give you much-needed energy to get back on the floor and shop.
The Tom Yam Puff is priced at $1.50 each.
IKEA’s hot dogs are great for when you just need to eat something. The fact that you can put as much ketchup and mustard as you want is an added bonus. Enter the Veggie Hot Dog, which is made from wheat protein, quinoa, kale, lentils and onions. Now you can snack healthier and relish the fact what you just ate is held in high regard by Singapore’s best-selling author, Neil Humphreys.
The Veggie Hot Dog is priced at $1.20 each.
Note: The Veggie Hot Dog is only available at IKEA Tampines.
If you need to sit down after all that walking, don’t worry, the IKEA Restaurant is here for you.
You’ll be able to get a coffee and cheese tart set for $2.50 instead of $3.10 until 31 December. Too hungry for small bites? How about lamb shank?
IKEA’s Lamb Shank is served with soup and you can expect the meat to be tender and falling off the bone easily. Plus, black pepper sauce goes really, really well with the mashed potatoes on the side.
Originally priced at $19.00, it’s now going for $17.50 from now till the end of the year.
Did you know that vegetarians can now officially tuck into IKEA’s famous meatballs, now that they have Vegetable Balls?
Made of the same stuff as the veggie hotdogs, they are likely some of the healthiest meatballs ever put together. IKEA has been known to whip up the Vegetable Balls with ingredients like cous cous and Tom Yam gravy.
Currently, they are serving it with Coconut Curry sauce and vegetables for $5.00.
Also, news flash – IKEA Restaurant now serves breakfast from 9 – 11am!
Singaporeans will notice many old favourites like Mee Siam, Vegetarian Bee Hoon and even Carrot Cake. So when you next visit IKEA, don’t forget to try out some of their new dishes! Follow us here on our Facebook page so you can effortlessly stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in Singapore!
The most wonderful time of the year is almost here.
With family time being on everybody’s mind, maybe you have plans to surprise a special someone. Despite everything, you and your special somebody made it through, shall we say, an especially interesting year.
There’s that pandemic, leading to Singapore’s first ever Circuit Breaker, where Singaporeans stayed home and collectively went a little stir crazy. Remember how Singapore Pools had to close its doors? Or how even McDonald’s had to do the same?
So how about planning a little surprise to let them know how glad you are that you both came through 2020 unscathed?
How does a staycation at one of Singapore’s most luxurious serviced apartments sound?
Right now, Pan Pacific Serviced Suites at Beach Road is offering 20% off on all bookings for their one and two bedroom premium suites. That’s 20% knocked off your total bill, for a stay at a tastefully decorated, fully-furnished serviced apartment with one of the best views in the country.
Instead of $336 a night, you’ll only need to pay $268.80 per night, should you choose to stay in a one bedroom suite. This offer will only last until 29 December so go for it before every suite is fully booked!
You’ll also enjoy these perks as a resident of Pan Pacific’s Serviced Suites:
It’s safe to say that you and yours will be well taken care of at Pan Pacific Serviced Suites, so you can focus on each other, instead of chores or work obligations. If you want to show your commitment to each other, the time is now!
To up your game, there’s also a Black Friday sale going on at Far East Flora. Whether your beau is more masculine or feminine, there’s a floral arrangement of some sort that will appeal to their sensibilities.
All ready to pop the question?
How about the Unicorn Blossoms arrangement? Bursting with roses and carnations the colour of blood, it even comes with an elegant unicorn dish, where you can position an engagement ring on top of the arrangement.
Already married? Keep the dish for your accessories or go for more colourful arrangements. Ultimately, the key is to surprise your partner with an unmistakable sign that they are appreciated and loved.
How has your relationship changed after this rollercoaster of a year? Would you do anything differently if you could live 2020 again? Let us know what you would do differently here on our Facebook page and follow us for more great deals like this.
Let’s get crafty these rainy days! Make new home decorations in the comfort of your own home with these three best online workshops.
Minimize the travelling time and forget about figuring out how you are going to bring home your art piece. Everything can be done in your own living room. In fact, these classes offer kits that are sent to your house so you will not have to leave the house ever!
It is great for all of us stuck at home due to rain and being socially responsible. You can even gift your works as Christmas presents next month.
This watercolour floral class with The Workroom is great for beginners to pick up watercolour painting as a hobby. The best thing is everything is available online! You can always pause the class and get back to it when you are free. No class booking is required unless you opt for the 1-on-1 consultation.
Upon signing up, you will receive a printable 17-page PDF and access to 10 instructional online videos for a single-person usage per purchase. The Basic package with Starter Kit cost $160 and will include a Fine Pentel Aquash Water Brush, a small palette and a mini 12 colours Pentel Watercolour round palette. Watercolour paper is not included.
Create your own floral watercolour painting to hang on your walls or make Christmas cards for your friends and family. Sign up for the online class here. Currently, you can get $30 off any online, virtual or open workshop for 2 pax with the code ‘BRINGAFRIEND’ (T&C applies).
Try a different medium and explore batik painting with Kamal Arts. Give your home a more local feel by hanging your own batik paintings on your walls. There are eleven designs for you to choose from and everything is super affordable. You only pay for the batik painting kit!
Each batik painting kit cost $12. It includes a pre-waxed cotton cloth with the design of your choosing (20cm x 20cm), a window frame cardholder for mounting display, a plastic palette, a set of dyes, and a brush.
You can refer to their free instructional video on their website while painting. This is an affordable family bonding activity to try out with kids or even friends that is great for a rainy day. Get the batik painting kit here.
Forget plastic flowers or high maintenance real flowers! Try decorating with crepe paper flowers to brighten the room. Misspetalandbloom offers seven online crepe paper courses for different types of flowers. The sunflower course is currently free! All you have to do is get the Crepe Paper Flower Material set on the Etsy store for $35.
This kit for the mini sunflowers includes floral wires and 5 Italian 180gsm crepe paper in black, brown, yellow and green. You would need to get your own scissors, hot glue gun, wire cutter and wire glue for this craft project.
Why buy sunflowers when you can make your own! Enroll into the online sunflower course here.
Fill your home with colour this rainy season with these art and crafts online workshops! You will definitely save more money with these online classes. Have fun creating your own deco in the comfort of your own home.
Light, crispy toasted slices of bread. Sweet kaya. And a hearty helping of good strong Nanyang style Kopi-O. That’s a traditionally Singaporean breakfast, the likes of which has not changed for years. The number of coffee shops still offering this most classic of Singapore breakfast is a testament to its timeless appeal.
Japanese snack giant Pocky and Ya Kun Kaya Toast have partnered together to tap into that market. Now you can officially put the quintessential Singaporean breakfast in your bag and have it on the go.
That’s right – Kopi-O and Kaya flavoured Biscuit Sticks!
Now available at under $2 in selected Fairprice and Cheers outlets, as well as Ya Kun Kaya Toast outlets, you can indulge in your kaya or kopi craving anytime. Or if you want to buy a whole carton, perhaps to spread some Christmas joy at the office, it’s available for $19 at Lazada for 10.
In the mood for dessert instead? How about the Cendol flavoured Pocky, originally a Malaysia exclusive but now available through third-party sellers on Lazada?
A fan of mango? How about Thailand’s Mango flavoured Pocky?
Or perhaps you’re a fan of Chicken Rice? Pretz, which has the same parent company as Pocky, has joined up with legendary Chicken Rice chain Wee Nam Kee, which first rose to stardom with its parent store in Novena.
More of a Chili Crab fan but don’t want to go through the hassle? Pretz has you covered.
Whichever flavour you pick, know that you’ll be supporting a company that was first founded not as a snack conglomerate but as a health-focused food manufacturer. In fact, their objective in 1922 was “enhance health through food”. The founder, Mr. Ri-ichi Ezaki, founded Glico because he believed that glycogen extract (a by-product of Oysters) should be a part of everyone’s diet.
The reason for his fervent belief in the health benefits of glycogen extract? His typhus-ridden son’s turn for the better after having some glycogen-imbued food.
Though we can’t guarantee that these snacks will do your health any wonders, moderation is the key to enjoying any food. Don’t you think so? Let us know about your favourite Pocky or Pretz flavours on our Facebook page here.
It is that time of the year again when Starbucks fits the joys of Christmas in a cup! Toffee nut and peppermint enthusiasts can look forward to their favourites returning this month. Starbucks is also offering a new Christmas drink this festive season and a 1-for-1 deal this week!
What is a better way to start off the Christmas season than a festive drink?
This week, Starbucks is having their famous 1-for-1 deal on Venti-sized bestselling drinks when you pay using your Starbucks Card. You can choose from your favourite Frappuccino drinks – Chocolate Chip, Java Chip and Green Tea Frappuccino.
This promotion will be from 23-26 November 2020 (Monday – Thursday). Be sure to check your Starbucks account on the
You can choose if you would like to store the free drink in your card or redeem it right away. Each member will be limited to 3 vouchers, each for one-time use only. You have to hurry because the promotion is only valid till tomorrow, 26 November 2020.
If these drinks are not your cup of coffee, try out Starbucks’ festive Christmas drinks!
Returning Christmas favourites like Toffee Nut Crunch Latte and Peppermint Mocha are back with a brand-new drink – Jolly Baked Apple Latte.
Available as a hot, iced, or blended handcrafted beverage, the new latte is made from a creamy blend of Starbucks signature espresso with steamed milk and spiced apples. It is topped with whipped cream, a drizzle of baked apple sauce and candied apple sprinkles that would be sure to prepare you for the festive season.
Head down to your nearest Starbucks outlet to get your 1-for1 deal or try out the new Jolly Baked Apple Latte today!
The holidays are coming. And with that comes expectations of presents!
We know what it’s like to agonise over what to buy for who, so we’re going to make things a bit easier for you. In this series of posts, we’ll offer five different suggestions on what to get for a particular family member.
Today, it’s all about sisters.
This adorable cat-themed shoulder bag comes in several colours and all of them are hand-made in Singapore and vegan. It’s also gotten rave reviews from many happy customers with many praising its quality of construction and its quirky, cute look. This is the perfect bag to accompany your sister on her daily trips anywhere and everywhere.
Price: $107.10 (U.P. $153.00)
Click here for the product page.
If your sister happens to be one of the Gen Z’ers who is new to the workforce, maybe get them this pin. Your sister deserves some applause – after all, the cost of living is higher than ever, the global average temperature is rising and there’s a pandemic going on. There’s only one thing to do, make like comic artist K.C. Green’s dog in a café on fire, sip on some coffee and repeat to yourself, “This is fine.”
Click here for the product page.
This moisturizer by First Aid Beauty is good for all skin types and doesn’t feel sticky or oily. It’s also fragrance free. We recommend the pump dispenser over the tub, as it’s much easier to use. Help your sister to look good so she can feel good.
Price: $40 for 50ml
Click here for the product page.
Nearly everyone joined the Animal Crossing bandwagon during the Circuit Breaker. Some people are still at it, contributing to Tom Nook’s island economy even as they take a break from work IRL. If your sister is one of those people who are still obsessed about her own little virtual island, get her this case so she can protect her precious Nintendo Switch.
Price: $41.30 (U.P. $45.00)
Click here for the product page.
Is your sister always reading something? Do her books take up all the real estate on your shared bookshelf? Then get her the Singapore Siu Dai Box Set, if she doesn’t already have it. A collection of short stories by Felix Cheong, featuring all things weird, wonderful and uniquely Singaporean. It’s like a cup of tea for the soul, in book form.
Price: $32.00 (U.P. $40.00)
There you have it – five different products handpicked specially for sisters. We are confident that you can pick one from this set of five to satisfy her. What are you thinking of getting for your sister for Christmas and why? Tell us on our Facebook page.
It has been raining quite heavily the past few days. While most of us can find shelter within offices and malls, community cats don’t have that luxury. One woman, known only as Mui Mui on Facebook, took to the streets in the pouring rain to look for her feline friend.
She brought an extra umbrella to shelter her furry friend from the storm and even prepared warm cat food. She also wrote, in Mandarin, “Is this acceptable? You won’t get wet like this. Since it’s rainy, I cooked some hot fresh chicken for the precious, rain-soaked fur kids.”
I mean, how many times have you longed for some fish soup or kway teow soup during rainy days?
This lucky cat isn’t the only one to benefit from the generosity of Singaporeans.
Previously, umbrellas were “donated” to a napping cat during an equally rainy day earlier this month, in Jurong West.
An unnamed individual even donated their own sweater to a street cat. Although we may never know who the sweater donor is, their action has undoubtedly warmed the cockles of our cold, dead hearts.
By the way, if you’re worried about the welfare of your community cats during this rainy season, you can always donate to the Cat Welfare Society (CWS). Did you know that besides funding the sterilization and healthcare of community cats, your donation also enables CWS to do more education, outreach and mediation?
The latter helps CWS representatives resolve cat-related disputes in a humane fashion. The former helps produce resources for distribution to the public, including information on responsible cat ownership and feeding.
CWS even has a selection of posters, available for free, to educate well-meaning people who leave food out for the cats, without realizing that their good intentions may be endangering them.
Do you have community cats in your area? Do you name all of them? Because I do. Tell us about your favourite cats on our Facebook page here.
We have all heard of odd superstitions that we do not understand. Christmas superstitions are not at all common in Singapore. In fact, Singaporeans hardly even follow regular superstitions.
The Christmas season is usually one of the best parts of the year. With 2020 being as crazy as it has been, we’re determined to avoid bad luck at any cost. If you feel the same, here are 5 odd Christmas superstitions you will not believe exists.
Fish is not a common dish in Singapore for Christmas dinner. In the Czech Republic, it is believed that putting fish scales under the plate or tablecloth could bring wealth and prosperity to a person. According to The Motley Fool, some Czechs even put fish scales in your wallets or pocket throughout the year so that they will never run out of money.
This is because the fish scales look like silver coins. If you want some wealth or earn even more money next year, save a few fish scales from dinner.
The normal Christmas eve snacks usually include cookies, eggnog, or gingerbread man. However, in China, people give each other apples for good luck. According to Asia Travel Writer, it is a big tradition in China that no one knows the true origin behind anymore.
A theory is the phrase ‘Christmas Eve’ is a homophone, words that are pronounced the same, to apple in Chinese. ‘Christmas Eve’ in Chinese translates to ping’an ye (平安夜) which quite literally translates to ‘Peaceful Night or Silent Night’. On the other hand, the Chinese pronunciation for apple is pingguo (苹果).
The Chinese believe that homophones bring good luck so you should grab a couple of apples for Christmas this year.
Mariah Carey might want to take notes. Singing or even listening to Christmas carols before the festive season might be the reason you are unlucky. It does not really make much sense but apparently, there are studies to back this one up.
The Mirror explains that listening to too many Christmas songs might actually affect our mental health. The psychological impact of listening to too much Christmas song is known as the ‘mere exposure effect.’ It could make you lose focus and even ruin Christmas for some of us.
It is hard to listen to Christmas songs without singing it but if you need the extra luck, consider listening to another genre for now.
In Greece, it is believed that burning old shoes during Christmas will prevent misfortune for the coming year. It is one of the few precautions for the Greeks to keep the Killantzaroi away. The Killantzaroi is a half-animal, half-human monsters that will wreck-havoc in a household that does not prepare for it.
Old shoes are burned because of the strong smell but it could also signify that you probably need new shoes for the new year. What is the cost of a pair of old shoes compared to a new year of good luck?
Please note that we do not advocate arson in any way!
Christmas decorations have a way to brighten your house, making it more festive and fun. However, it is considered bad luck to leave your decorations up after 5 January or the Twelfth Night.
According to the Sun, the 12th day of Christmas is called Epiphany which marks the end of the Christmas season. It celebrates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and the visit from the three wise men.
It is not an odd superstition, just a religiously respectful practice that we should follow. At the same time, you would be able to get rid of all the dust accumulating on the decorations. Your immune system would thank you for it.
While these superstitions may be a little bit odd, it is not that crazy or hard to follow. Burning old shoes and walking around with fish scales may be much but you can definitely eat apples and take down decorations in time. Rake in a little more luck this Christmas with these superstitions so that maybe 2021 would be a lot better.
Chances are that a decade later, you’ll still remember what it was that you did to pass the time during the Circuit Breaker of 2020. For Etsy shop owner Lynn, it was learning how to sew. An avid arts and crafts enthusiast, she had just decided to switch from scrapbooking to sewing. Her newly acquired skill allowed her batik masks to join the 50, 000 cloth masks that Masks Sewn With Love, a grassroots initiative, dispatched to those in need.
A picture she posted of her masks on Instagram then prompted a question that would change everything, “Can I buy these?”
Figuring that there was no harm, she made 6 masks and posted a picture of them on Instagram with her prices.
They sold out within the hour.
As demand grew, she set up her shop on Etsy, Lavender Crafting Corner (LCC). Her shop sells not only masks but also notebooks and tote bags. Many of her products feature Peranakan designs and motifs. Since then, she’s often been overwhelmed by the response of her friends, neighbours and fans from all over the world. I spoke with her on the phone, to understand more about her process and the origin of Lavender Crafting Corner.
Q: Hello, thank you so much for giving us some time to talk to you today.
A: No problem, thank you for talking to me.
Q: Looking at your shop, you seem like a very busy woman. Is this your full-time job?
A: No, I’m also a freelance consultant. I am a licensed professional company secretary for a number of years. I would say that my Etsy store takes up 1/3 of my time.
Q: How did you learn how to sew?
A: YouTube tutorials! I’m self-taught.
Q: Where do you get your sewing patterns or blueprints?
A: I adapt them from the ones in the YouTube tutorials and also, from the masks distributed by the government.
Q: I saw in one of your posts on Instagram, that you decided to gift a hawker who sells roasted meat his own mask. What made you decide to do that?
A: I saw that his mask didn’t fit properly because it kept slipping. I wanted to give him something that would stay on as well as something comfortable because… as hawkers, they work such long hours and they need to wear their masks all day long.
Q: Tell me a bit about your process, from selecting a design to having the finished product in your hands.
A: Making the product is fast but the selection process is what I’d say is the most time consuming. Traveling around Singapore to take photos, doing research at the National Library, choosing the correct patterns, tiles or orchids… It all takes up a lot of time. And then, I still have to make sure each selection is a good fit for the product. For example, my orchid batik series. I had to choose the right orchids to make sure they would look good on the masks. They have to be the right size and colour.
Q: Why Peranakan patterns?
A: I fell in love with Peranakan tiles during a trip to Malacca. When I got back to Singapore, I went around Joo Chiat to look at the old Peranakan shophouses. I’ve since become a collector of Peranakan tiles, which are getting harder and harder to find.
Q: Tell me a bit about getting started on Etsy.
A: I started by selling notebooks in 2015. I never planned on selling masks. But then, COVID-19 happened. People liked the masks I made so why not? I put my masks up for sale and promised 3-day shipping. I never could have anticipated the amount of orders that came in, especially from the U.S. To fulfil them and get everything out on time, I stayed up sewing until 3am!
Q: Oh no! Do you do all the sewing yourself?
Q: How about your shop’s name, Lavender Crafting Corner? Where did that come from?
A: I like the lavender plant, a lot. And I like Arts and Crafts. Corner is from… Do you know the movie You’ve Got Mail?
Q: The one with Meg Ryan?
A: Yes, in the movie her shop is called The Shop Round The Corner. Also, corner is derived from the word cornerstone. Which is what people in biblical times used as a foundation and standard building their homes!
Q: Has the response from your customers been a surprise?
A: Yes… I feel so happy when I see people telling me how comfortable my masks are. When I see my makcik friends from the hawker centre tell me they’ll save my masks for wearing on special occasions. I tell them, no need! I’ll make more. But they like them so much.
Q: Thanks Lynn. I know I’ve taken up quite a bit of your time.
A: No, it’s okay! Thank you.
And with that, our interview with Lynn is over. If you’ll like to see more of her crafts, do visit her social media pages, on Facebook, Instagram and of course, Etsy. Follow us on Facebook if you’ll like to see more content like this. And don’t forget to tell your friends about us!
Why would anyone wear an ugly Christmas sweater in Singapore? After all, we live on a tropical island where sunshine is only interrupted by occasional, very brief showers. Well, as anyone who has stepped into a mall or office building here can tell you, it’s like switching seasons. One moment it’s like being in a sauna situated in the devil’s armpit and the next, it’s like being hugged by a snowman.
So if you’re thinking of donning an ugly Christmas sweater to that Christmas party in the office, we’re here to help. After one whole morning spent combing the web for the ugliest Christmas sweaters available in Singapore, this is what we have.
Do you love cats? Do you collect cats like primary school kids collected country erasers back in the 90s? Then, this one is for you. If you want to up your game further, consider rolling in cat hair for an authentic “Crazy Cat Person” look.
Price: $13.25 (U.P. $17.86)
Click here for the product page
Maybe the Shiba Inu isn’t your favourite dog but isn’t this sweater great? Who would have thought that a dog would become such a meme that Dogecoin ever became a thing? If you like your memes and your pups, this is the right sweater for you.
Click here for the product page
Do you wish that you and your bae could be always together? Do you get anxious when you two are separated for any extended amount of time? Then you need to get this sweater that both of you can fit in. Now, you can announce at the party without using words that you and your bae are one unit.
Price: $25.49 (U.P. $48.98)
Click here for the product page
There’s clearly something wrong with this deer on this Shein sweater. Its eyes are clearly mismatched in size and the proportions look very troubling indeed. Maybe it’s based off a real, mutated deer living near the Chernobyl no-go zone.
Note, if you’re unsure what Pa-Jiao means, blogfather Mr. Brown kindly defined this for us way back in 1998:
Click here for the product page
If you are the kind of person who radiates confidence and basks in the secure knowledge that you have all that you need… How about this sweater? Wear it proudly to show the world that you acknowledge and accept the fact that you are, in fact, god’s gift to this world.
Price: $14.90 ($49.99)
Click here for the product page
Love messing around on Photoshop or Illustrator? Spend your day watching YouTube tutorials on how to improve your craft? Then, you need this sweater, so you can tell everyone how the designer for this sweater missed the memo. What did they use to draw the dinosaur, Microsoft Paint?
Click here for the product page
Can you feel yourself slowly transforming into one of those aunties or uncles that lug around 4 – 5 mobile phones, just so they can play Pokemon Go? If so, you may want to signal your devotion to the franchise in a big, bright red manner by donning this sweater.
Click here for the product page
2020 was a strange ride largely defined by the plague of our times. If you spent most of the year wishing for dinosaurs to re-inherit the earth so they can wreck everything, including civilization, this rad sweater is just the one for you.
Price: $14.90 ($49.99)
Click here for the product page
Saw a sweater so ugly you’re shocked it’s not included here? Share it with us on our Facebook page here. And be sure follow us for more fun reads!
Uniqlo is reopening at Plaza Singapura with a new experience for the customers. Pick up embroidery and learn about upcycling clothes when you visit the store.
The new outlet opened on 20 November 2020 as part of UNIQLO TOWN, a unique retail experience only available at Uniqlo Plaza Singapura, ION Orchard and Orchard Central.
The new Uniqlo Plaza Singapura’s theme is The New Family Hang Out. It is a family-friendly store for people of all ages to hang out and find out more about sustainability. The outlet will be at a new location in Plaza Singapura, spanning across two floors – #02-26 and #03-11/30/32.
A section of the store called Sustainability Corner is dedicated to featuring sustainable initiatives and local partnerships. The structure of the Sustainability Corner will be made from 100% recyclable cardboard by a local cardboard design agency, Paper Carpenter.
This section will have different themes and topics every month to educate and engage customers. The theme for November is Upcycling with uncycling activities available at the store.
Sustainability enthusiasts can enjoy embroidered pre-loved UNIQLO clothes designed by local embroiderer, Inez from Inez Designs. Customers can even scan a QR code where they can watch a video and learn basic embroidery techniques to spice up their old clothes.
Additionally, customers can learn from environmental social enterprise, Terra SG, through their displays and videos about upcycling. Save money by upcycling your clothes! You will no longer have to throw or donate your old clothes away.
Store activities are also extended to Instagram where kids can submit drawings using the hashtag #ReUniqlo. Two to three winning designs will be chosen every month to be embroidered on Uniqlo’s Eco bags by Inez Designs.
For the first two consecutive weekends, customers can receive limited-edition novelties when they spend a minimum of $80 in a single receipt. The first 300 customers on 20-22 November 2020 will receive a 2-way Uniqlo U tote bag.
On the other hand, the first 100 customers on 27-29 November 2020 will receive a special handmade notebook by people with disabilities from the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD).
Uniqlo Plaza Singapura will also have exclusive store discounts you can look out for on selected items. Look through their online lookbook to have a feel of what they have to offer.
Remember to keep an eye out for the new and improved Uniqlo ION Orchard store as part of the second installment to UNIQLO TOWN. Similar to Uniqlo Plaza Singapura, the ION Orchard outlet will be focusing on expression with a showcase for different local artists to display their works every month.
Uniqlo ION Orchard will reopen on 27 November 2020. It will include an in-store wall art installation by local visual artist Mindflyer which captures the evolution of Orchard Road.
Head down to Uniqlo Plaza Singapura this weekend. Bring your friends and family to hang out and learn more about sustainability!
We all miss going to conventions like Comic-Con and Anime Festival Asia. Big conventions are canceled due to Covid-19 but there are still three great toy sales in Singapore going-on this November.
Singapore Comic Con announced the convention’s cancellation on 19 October 2020 while Anime Festival Asia is moving their event online this December. Toy collectors might be a little bit bumped out over this. The feeling of browsing through toys in real life is different. You cannot really examine the toy properly or feel the rush of getting a great deal online.
Toy collectors need not fear losing out on finding hidden gems during conventions any longer. We found three toy sales with the best deals you can go to and relive your convention shopping moment.
Located at level 4, Takashimaya children’s department, the Takashimaya Collectible Toys Bazaar a range of figures you need to add to your collection. From Iron Mans to Zoids, it is definitely worth checking out if you love collecting figures to display in your home or office.
The stunning workmanship and intricate detailing of these figures are worth every cent save. The toy bazaar will be available from 14 November 2020 to 25 December 2020. Head down to Takashimaya to add these to your toy collection.
A distributor warehouse is full of hidden gems for you to look through. The Toyz Outlet Warehouse Sale is located at Blk 203A Henderson Industrial Park #02-09, Singapore 159546 and will be open from 11.30am to 6.30pm. Details of the sale were posted on Facebook by Singapore Toy Sale on 14 November 2020. It is not specified when the sale will end so it is best to hurry and grab the best toys they have to offer.
Pick up these Angry Birds Darth Vader to add to your Star Wars collection. For only $1, the pricing they have to offer is definitely a steal! You can even pick out early Christmas presents for kids here.
If you are a big fan of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba or anime in general, you must check out the AFAShop Moving Out Sale. The sale is located at 12 Tai Seng Link #08-02 Singapore 534233 and will be open from 11am to 6pm. They have a wide range of merchandise selections from animes like Demon Slayer, Attack on Titan, HUNTERxHUNTER, and many more. The sale offers up to 50% off the retail price and it even includes some new stocks at 5% off.
The sale is only from 21 to 22 November 2020 so you have to be quick if you want to grab any Demon Slayer merch they have to offer. With the hype of the new Demon Slayer movie, Mugen Train, still going on, it will be no surprise if they quickly run out of stock.
We all miss going to conventions this year but that does not mean we have to miss out on the best collectible toy deals in Singapore. You can even do a little Christmas shopping at these sales for your friends and family if they are huge fans of figurines and anime.
You will never know what you will find at these sales. Head over this weekend for a little toy shopping!
The North East side of Singapore is huge, by Singaporean standards.
For example, Chek Jawa, Punggol Water Park and Coney Island are all considered to be part of the North East. For what are locales in supposedly the same region though, the difficulty involved in getting to each place can vary a lot. So it’s not at all surprising if you consider yourself a son of Punggol but are not familiar with Punggol Plaza.
Opened in 2004, the mall is no towering giant or sprawling behemoth. For what it lacks in scale though, it makes up for it by being a charming, small neighbourhood kind of place to shop. A go-to place for people in the know. A place where locals can depend on.
This festive season, we’re recommending for all North East siders to shop at Punggol Plaza. Why waste time traveling to town when everything you need is right here at Punggol Plaza? How would we know that? Because we’ve got the coupons to prove it. Here are just some of the deals available.
Have some dependents of the four-legged, furry variety? Pets’ Street has everything they need – from toys to food and more. For just $19, you’ll also be able to snag a carton of good tuna for your cat(s). We can confirm this is a good deal – we did a quick search online and the same thing is selling from anywhere between $25 – $30.
If you like looking at watches, you’ve probably seen a few Alexandre Christie pieces around. Striking and elegant, putting on a Alexandre Christie watch is the perfect gift for anybody always striving to look their best. Get a whopping 40% knocked off any Alexandre Christie watch with this coupon!
Singapore is a hotbed for tuition and enrichment centres of all kinds. Set up in 2012, The Write Connection now has 9 outlets across the island, all of them focusing on getting youths to communicate confidently and effectively in English. If you’re looking for a place to send your child to give them a leg’s up for school in 2021, why not sign them up and use this coupon to waive the $53.50 registration fee?
We’re sure that all this shopping would make anybody hungry. Sarpino’s is offering what is basically a 1-for-1 offer. Buy 1 pizza and get another one free – as long as it is equal in value or lesser in value. I mean, more pizza is never a bad idea, am I right?
If you wear spectacles, you’ll know that the cost of everything quickly adds up. So you’ll appreciate that Lens Vision is currently offering free upgrades for anybody who’s bought Pentax Single Vision lenses. What kind of upgrades? Thinner, more comfortable lenses, which is a big plus when your prescription goes into the high hundreds.
Nothing beats the feeling of a good find, for people who love shopping for their clothes in unlikely places. Thrift stores, holes in the wall, pop-up booths… What if Little Kim Shop is your next gold mine for some good looking threads? They’re currently offering 15% off plus another 10% off for the purchase of any item of clothing in their store.
It’s easy to get to Punggol Plaza. The nearest LRT Station is Coral Edge, which is located beside Punggol Field. You can also take a shuttle bus, if you prefer. Do note that there are 2 looping routes. There is an interval of 30 – 35 minutes between each bus.
As you can see, there’s plenty of places to see and shop at in Punggol Plaza. This is only a fraction of the deals available. Want to see more? Follow us on our Facebook page to stay tuned!
*This article is a paid partnership with Punggol Plaza
Located in Rochor, just a stone’s throw away from Sim Lim Square and the now defunct Sungei Market, LaSalle College of the Arts is always bustling. There’s always something happening on campus, no matter the time of day. This year, one of the biggest events lined up for the year’s end is the Rock and Indie Festival (RIF), now in its third iteration.
This time though, there will no audience – thanks to the pandemic.
Still, there’s no reason to miss the show, since you can now enjoy it from the comfort of your home. RIF 2020 will be streamed live from Facebook and YouTube on 20 and 21 November. A lineup of 19 bands will be featured during the show, all homegrown artists and most LaSalle alumni.
Subsonic Eye describe themselves as a dream pop band from hazy, rainy Singapore. Since their debut album, Strawberry Feels, was released in 2017 on Bandcamp, the five-piece band has gained followers from all over the world. They’ve been featured in articles by Bandwagon Asia, Popspoken and AsiaOne. They’ve played at Baybeats, the Esplanade and now they’re coming to RIF 2020! Maybe they will play some tracks from their new album, Bedroom Sessions, released at the end of April this year.
Fun fact: 100% of the proceeds from Bedroom Sessions is going towards TWC2, to benefit migrant workers who have been especially hard-hit by COVID-19.
Watch their music video, Sun Kissed Skin here, which was shot, directed and edited by Zo Fan.
Although Astreal lists themselves as “everything. but nothing” on their About page on Facebook, they are far from inconsequential. Started in 1992, they’ve been through several lineup changes but have remained on the forefront of Singapore’s indie rock scene. So far, they’ve played at ZoukOut, Laneway Festival SG, Bangkok Rock, Baybeats and the Esplanade. Astreal is also known for their myriad musical influences and as well as their long hiatuses. This time, they are returning after a two year sabbatical.
Fun fact: Astreal was one of the first Singapore indie bands fronted by a female vocalist. That vocalist is currently Ginette Chittick.
Watch Astreal perform Wallflower live at The Substation in 2015 here.
Soul and R&B singer Marian Carmel’s debut single ‘Might Never Get Better’ was handpicked to be in 10 Spotify-curated playlists in 2019. Although she is only in her early twenties, her love for singing means she’s been busking ever since she was still in school. She counts amongst her influences Panic! At The Disco, Hiatus Kaiyote and Emily King. Marian has performed at the Esplanade and Flock At The Nest, alongside such acts as Benjamin Kheng and lewloh.
Fun fact: Marian picked up pole dancing a few years back and is using that to build some muscles while feeling empowered while being in a room full of strong women.
Watch the official music video for “Might Never Get Better” here.
With genres ranging from EDM, rock and blues, we can guarantee that RIF 2020 will keep you entertained and on your toes. Once again, the festival is on from 20 November, 6pm – 9pm and on 1pm – 4pm on the next day, on 21 November. Follow RIF’s Facebook page to learn more about the show and give us a follow here too!
The holidays are coming. And with that comes expectations of presents!
We know what it’s like to agonise over what to buy for who, so we’re going to make things a bit easier for you. In this series of posts, we’ll offer five different suggestions on what to get for a particular family member.
Today, it’s all about the Mums.
If your Mum is a Cool Mum™, then you might want to consider getting her a bottle of perfume from local perfumers OoLa Lab. Established in 2016, they describe themselves as a craft fragrance lab, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Lately, they’ve partnered with artist Mojoko to create an exclusive line of products titled Sick Scents. New and old come together in the form of essential oils and elements like bubblegum. Each bottle also comes with exclusive artwork that is arresting and stylish.
This one in particular is called Mind Control. It’s described as smelling like white flowers, amber and oud or agarwood infused with oriental elements.
Click here for link to product page.
Is Mum always fussing and complaining about dust and dirt? Get her this Mini Vacuum Cleaner, which is rechargeable via USB and comes with a 4 feet long cord. It also comes with a reusable filter, which Mum can take out and wash whenever she thinks it’s necessary. Comes in three colours: red, white and blue.
Click here for link to product page.
La Mer sells very, very pricey cosmetics. La Mer sells what are basically luxury products for your skin. No wonder why they can afford having saltwater aquariums full of exotic fish at every single one of their booths in big box departmental stores. Their Treatment Lotion Hydrating Mask is conveniently and elegantly packaged in a little green sachet. So why not get Mum some exquisite spa sessions she can take with her on the go?
Price: $50 for one mask / $255 for six masks
Click here for link to product page.
Lavender Crafting Corner sells some of the best handmade masks in the local market. Their designs often include some Peranakan flavour, like intricately detailed linework featuring shophouses or equally detailed and beautiful batik prints. Nothing says, “I care about your health and I want you to look good” like a pack of masks from Lavender Crafting Corner!
We are smitten with Lavender Crafting Corner’s Orchid Batik Masks!
Price: $30 for 2
Click here for link to product page.
Lana Cakes has been around since 1964 and they’ve been acing their cake game ever since. Unlike other confectionery chains which focus on relentless expansion, they’ve kept to just one outlet to keep the quality of their cakes as consistent as possible. Delicious, decadent, soft and moist without being too rich, Lana Cakes never disappoints.
So why not get a whole cake from them for Mum this Christmas?
Price: $60 for 1.5 kg of cake
Click here for link to product page.
There you have it – five different products handpicked specially for Mums. We are confident that you can pick one from this set of five to satisfy one of your life-givers. What are you thinking of getting for your Mum for Christmas and why? Tell us on our Facebook page.
Food waste is a global problem. Here in Singapore, there are three apps that you can use to reduce food waste and get a free meal out of it! Start your cheap and free food waste journey with these apps!
Most foods in supermarkets are held to a high standard. No blemishes or dents are allowed on fruits and even food packaging. In some places, they throw away these foods. Fortunately, some brands keep these ‘ugly’ food and sell them at a cheaper price.
You can find good deals on these foods on apps like Treatsure and even free food on Makan Rescue and Olio.
On Treatsure, there are three sections you can explore – eateries, groceries, and lifestyle. Each section caters to reducing food waste and sustainable living.
Before the Covid-19 safe distancing measures, the eateries section was dedicated to hotel buffets in Singapore that offers takeaway bento boxes to help reduce food wastage. This is where you can get cheap but high-quality hotel food for around $12 per box. Currently, on the app, you can find Cheeseburger from Grand Hyatt Singapore from 10am to 8pm.
The grocery section has the best deals from Treatsure’s partners. Brands like Ugly Food, Atasco, and Confetti Snacks sell unattractive products and upcycle snacks for a lower price. You can find vegetable bundles and cheese slices at a discounted price.
They even have Crust, an R&D food-tech company focused on upcycling food waste, that offers craft beers made from surplus bread ingredients.
Makan Rescue allows you to find free buffets to help reduce food waste. Often times, caterers and event companies would have to resort to throwing away the excess food. Anyone with the app can swing by to help clear the food. You can even post a ‘mission’ that offers food to others on the app.
The app’s main focus is on local universities like NUS, NTU, and SMU where students can find the buffets but additionally, there is the other option that you can use to give away excess food from your family gatherings or dinner.
Olio is another app where you can find cheap food or groceries in Singapore. They even have a whole section dedicated to giving away free food. From canned food to sourdough starter, the app could be useful when your pocket feels a little tight. It is great for your wallet and the environment.
Bear in mind that these apps are about reducing wastage so let’s not be kiasu about it. Instead, add missions and offer others your food wastage. Try not to over redeem things from the app.
You can help reduce food waste in Singapore and have a great meal from it. 2020 has been tough and many of us have been tightening our purse strings. With these apps, we can continue and enjoy great food at good prices. It really does not matter how the food looks or where it comes from as long as it tastes good in your tummy!
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Head down to Punggol Plaza to soak in the festivities! Find exciting promotions such as a weekly redemption of $5 Punggol Plaza vouchers as well as an amazing lucky draw with cool prizes like iPhone 12 Pro, Dyson vacuum cleaner and more! Check out the event poster above for more details.
Punggol Plaza is located at 168 Punggol Field.
LRT – Coral Edge
Bus – 3, 62 & 85
Free Shuttle Bus – Route A & Route B, serving residential estates in Punggol East & West (operates daily from 9am to 9.05pm). For more information on the shuttle bus service, visit https://bit.ly/2JsUsi6
Every Singaporean probably has an IKEA item or two in their home. The furniture superstore excels at designing easy-to-assemble, fun furniture that’s affordable. Everyone seems to love IKEA and even people who don’t have IKEA furniture rely on IKEA for something. Whether it’s their large, blue reusable bags, their lint rollers or their tealights, IKEA always has something you need.
Though IKEA has always had tealights and some scented candles, this time they’re upping the game by collaborating with luxury lifestyle brand Byredo.
Byredo, which is also a Swedish brand, specialises in personal and home perfume. Their product names have unforgettable and evocative names. Here are the names of some of their candles for home: Bibliothèque, Apocalyptic, Fleur Fantôme and Loose Lips.
Here’s a description for Loose Lips:
“A scent evoking a velvety lipstick imprint. A vintage fragrance of rose and violet petals reminiscent of the vibrant makeup of the 1980s, enriched with a touch of Morello cherry, iris root and rice powder.”
Intrigued? You’re not alone.
If you’re curious, the Bibliothèque candle will make your house smell like a distinguished, grand old library. As for Fleur Fantôme, the scent makes use of ingredients like heliotrope, rhubarb and tulip extract, just to name a few, to add a subtle, sublime floral scent. I’ll leave Apocalyptic up to your imagination.
IKEA’s scented candle series developed in conjunction with Byredo will be called OSYNLIG. There will be 13 different scents but so far, IKEA is holding the details close to their heart.
According to IKEA’s U.S. website, the collection will debut in November. No word yet as to whether this limited collection will come to Singapore though. I’ll also be interested in looking at OSYNLIG’s price range because Byredo’s candles range between $50 – $90 and their perfumes range between $200 – $300.
Meanwhile, if you’re curious about Byredo, here is their website. For now, it seems as though the only products they have available in Singapore are personal perfumes you can purchase through Zalora. Bibliothèque seems to be one of their most popular scents as it is only available in bottled form. Which means you, dear reader, can smell like a walking encyclopedia if you want to. Here are the names of some of their other perfumes, because I just can’t get enough: Eleventh Hour. Oud Immortel. Mojave Ghost.
What are some of your favourite scents? Would they fit right in with your home aesthetic? Let us know in the Facebook comments!
Did you know that Among Us was originally released in 2018? It’s difficult to guess if it would have been such a hit if a good number of people worldwide did not have to go into quarantine. After all, it is the perfect lockdown game. As a 2D game with simple graphics, it doesn’t require a whole lot of power to run so you can play it on your mobile phone. A degree of randomness keeps each round fresh; will you be a crewmate this round or an impostor?
It’s kind of like the card game Saboteur, except instead of a pointy hat and a beard, everyone’s wearing spacesuits. Plus, everyone’s behind a screen so all the detective work and detection has to happen online. If you’re a veteran player and are looking forward to playing another round with your pals with something new thrown in…
How about a whole new dimension?
A VR developer named Jar has made a 3D version of The Skeld. You don’t need any virtual reality gear to play, just an internet connection! Here are some screengrabs from the video Jar has posted on YouTube.
If you need to see all of it, you can watch the whole video on YouTube here.
Among Us’ popularity has not shown any signs of abating. As recently as last week, United States House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made Twitch history with her live-stream of herself playing the game with several popular Twitch streamers. Her stream is now among the top five most viewed streams on Twitch, putting her shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Drake. The goal? To get people to vote in the upcoming U.S. Presidential Elections.
If you still can’t get enough of Among Us, fret not. Though the sequel may be cancelled as of late September, you’ll be happy to know that InnerSloth only did so because they want to improve Among Us’ outdated codebase, to better support the addition of new content.
That’s definitely worth celebrating!
What’s the best round you’ve played in Among Us? Was it with strangers or with friends? Share your experience with us on our Facebook page.
Despite it being located in one of Singapore’s oldest malls in Chinatown, the Golden Dragon store is older. For comparison, the Golden Dragon Store was founded in 1949 and People’s Park Centre was completed in the mid 1970s. As their staying power might suggest, the Golden Dragon Store is much larger than it appears as they also provide wholesale services.
Anyway, if you’re into arts and crafts, especially you love needlecrafts, this is the place for you!
Hidden behind a row of feng shui and foot massage shops, it’s not particularly obvious. But once you’re there, you will be greeted by a vast array of knitting, felting, beading, crocheting and cross-stitching goods. When I visited recently, there was also a small pile of faux leather for bookbinding purposes. They also had tiniest plastic plants for adding a little something to your terrarium or maybe your tabletop model.
Besides from selling craft supplies, they also sell How-To books. The only problem is that most of them are in Japanese.
But if you can’t understand Japanese, you can always join one of their workshops that pop up from time to time. Want to organise some crafting workshops for teambuilding? Or perhaps a Needlecrafting 101 for schoolkids to bond over some handicrafts? You can see how to go about doing that here.
Perhaps best of all, the store seemed to be entirely staffed by aunties. There will be an auntie on standby if you need anything but mostly they leave you alone to your browsing.
Did you pick up any crafting habits during the Circuit Breaker? Or are your perhaps looking to start learning something new?
Nearly everyone is guilty of using their phone on the toilet. After all, what’s the first thing you reach out for when you wake up? Looterature wants you to read books instead of texting while you’re seated on the porcelain throne. The campaign is a collaboration between Swedish audiobook service StoryTel, British creative agency WPP and local ad agency Geometry.
Basically, what I’m saying is, brains all over the world were pooled together to ponder this question: how can we make reading books on the loo a thing again?
What Looterature came up with was decking out a bunch of port-a-loos in themes consistent with the books they are representing. Feeling the Halloween spirit? How about listening to Dracula while you’re relieving yourself? Feel like you’d rather go down the rabbit hole than stay in 2020? Alice In Wonderland’s available to listen to as well. There’s also War of The Worlds and Moby Dick.
Here’s what the cubicles look like:
By the way, some Singaporeans have already made deposits in these colourful port-a-loos earlier this year, when they were in service at the Garden Beats Festival at Fort Canning Park.
The idea is that if the book resonates with the user, they’ll be able to scan a QR Code to receive the book on their phones. They can then continue reading at their leisure within the 30-day free trial period!
You can see Looterature’s campaign video here.
Personally, I feel that the campaign needs a little tweaking to captivate Singaporean audiences.
How about copies of old Old Master Q put on a string inside the port-a-loo, secured by wooden clothes pegs? The outside could be done up to look like 70s Singapore, with a ramshackle wooden kampung finish.
Or a selection of tales from Russell Lee’s evergreen True Singapore Ghost Stories series. Select the oldest, most beat-up port-a-loo. Drape red string and banana leaves all over the outside and slap on a Chinese talisman on the front door for good measure.
What kind of books would you like to listen to when you’re doing No. 2? Have you ever read while on the loo?
Screen printing has been with us for a long time. There is debate as to whether it first originated with the ancient Polynesians or the ancient Chinese. As Singaporeans, we are probably most familiar with Batik screen printing, where wax is selectively applied with dye to create patterns on fabric.
There’s a good chance that screen printing first became widespread as means to print repeated motifs on clothing.
If you’ve always wanted to make your own designs, whether as part of a t-shirt or as a painting, the renowned Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI) is holding a workshop!
Situated at 41 Robertson Quay, on Level 2, STPI is housed within a restored 19th century warehouse. Their namesake comes from American arts educator and master printer, Kenneth Tyler. It was he who suggested Singapore have its own large print workshop and paper mill. STPI was officially opened in 2002.
The screen printing workshop is two hour workshop, which STPI recommends for ages seven years and up. Called A Rose Tinted Glass, the two hour workshop aims to get you to re-create the rose motif in the famous stained-glass window as seen in Beauty and The Beast.
Tickets are $37.39 each and the classes are held from 10:30am in the morning until 12:30pm in the afternoon. Dates still available for booking are available on STPI’s web page here.
By the way, if you’re considering signing up with your friends and family to learn about the art of screen printing, you may also want to visit their gallery.
Their current showcase, Shaping Visions, features five Cultural Medallion winners from our own sunny island. You’ll get to gaze upon artworks by masters of collage, watercolour, Chinese ink, even performance art! The showcase will end on 15 November. Don’t miss it!
You might have sampled roasted chestnuts outside of Singapore, perhaps across the causeway in Malaysia or in nearby Thailand. But did you know that people all over the world enjoy roasted chestnuts as a streetside snack?
In places as faraway as Italy, chestnuts are roasted and sold to passerbys in little brown bags or paper cones. Outside of Europe, the snack is also popular in Korea, China and Turkey. Once, it was also a popular snack in the United States, before a blight struck and caused the American chestnut tree to nearly go extinct.
Back in the old days, chestnuts roasting over a charcoal-powered fire was the smell of Christmas to Americans. Some in Korea roasted their chestnuts in a pan in a shallow pool of water. Here in Singapore, the chestnuts are tossed in a wok and roasted along with pebbles and sugar.
Described as slightly sweet and nutty and a cross beyond a yam and a cashew nut, it’s a treat that’s much beloved by the older generation.
You may have glimpsed a cart or two selling gao lak, as it known in Hokkien, but they are getting increasingly fewer and far between. Today there are only a few left. The most well-known and long-lived is Bugis 102 Roasted Chestnuts, located in Chinatown. Its sole proprietor, Ah Orh, has been selling chestnuts for four decades.
Many chestnut roasters cut into their chestnuts to prevent the chestnuts from exploding during the roasting process. But Ah Orh says it affects the taste of the chestnut. Instead, he roasts his chestnuts with black pebbles and a bit of sugar at around 250 – 300 degrees celsius. He believes the sugar helps to prevent any chestnuts from splitting and also enhances the flavour of the dish.
Ah Orh believes that his is a dying trade.
He says the rising cost of rent, raw materials and import fees are all barriers to entry. It’s also hard work, stirring the chestnuts as they are roasting but at least now it is mechanized. Back then, taking a break from the stirring would mean a chance of burnt chestnuts. Now, Ah Orh can take a more laid-back approach to tending to his chestnuts, although he hardly ever takes a holiday. He works 360 days a year.
Have you seen a streetside chestnut hawker? What other dying Singaporean trades can you think of?
In every neighbourhood in Singapore, there are community cats. Some are pets looking for outside stimuli. Some are street cats who have grown accustomed to humans. All of them have their own distinct personalities. No two cats are the same. Since I’ve moved around our fair island quite a bit, I thought I’d rank all the kitties I’ve ever known, from worst to best.
Aside from describing them briefly, I will also rank them according to five attributes that determine their overall personality. You can think of them as the feline equivalent to the Big 5 for humans. According to the Denver Post, these attributes are: skittishness, outgoingness, dominance, spontaneity and friendliness.
Lives in western Singapore. A clinic cat that lives in one of the oldest condominium estates in Singapore. Used to be chonky and eventually got to a healthier weight after a couple years of dieting. A neurotic cat that other cats seem to instinctively dislike. Will steal the food of dogs in the ICU because he knows they’re too sick to retaliate. Will also try to steak your food. Phil is an accomplished escape artist and can open doors.
Phil isn’t evil per se but he is extremely annoying to deal with and therefore the worst cat on this list.
Lives in northern Singapore, near a general practitioner’s clinic. Someone’s pet. A big, chonky orange and white cat with an extremely fluffy tail. Enjoys watching birds, such as pigeons, go about their daily foraging in the grass but never pounces, presumably because there’s too much work involved. Not particularly interested in human affection but will approach you to determine if you have food. Easily distracted.
Like Phil, Freddy isn’t evil. Or at least, not that we can perceive. If Freddy were a person, there’s a chance he might be that high-performance psychopathic CEO who doesn’t ever show their hand. Or in this case, their paws.
Lives in northern Singapore, just a block away from Freddy. Street cat. Thin, solid grey cat with green eyes. Unfortunately, she’s always squinting as it always seems too bright for Cotton. Sometimes Cotton has staring contests with Freddy during the evenings, maintaining a minimum distance of three feet. Cotton can be friendly, especially if you have food. She also likes to follow people, but this is independent of whether you have food.
Cotton isn’t a bad cat, she’s an okay cat.
Lives in central Singapore, near an ancient hawker centre and mixed residential and commercial development. A street cat with face full of scars and a meow softer than a baby’s hair. Light green eyes. Has a habit of sleeping on the stairs, which is the only way my colleagues and I can get to work. Nevertheless, people make way for King because he is royalty. Sleeps an alarming portion of his day away so I can only assume he is quite old. Will happily accept scritches along his chin.
Lives in central Singapore, in an aging HDB estate filled predominantly with old people. A pastel calico street cat that clearly has some Persian ancestry. Estimated to be around 5 years old of age. According to her feeder, Ginny has that funky bald patch on her back because someone poured boiling water on her. She’s since made a full recovery and emerges at night to lord over the bicycle racks. Spends all night compulsively rubbing her face against all the tyres.
Despite her compulsions and her slight standoffishness, I had grown rather fond of Ginny and her headbutting.
Bast is an elderly pet cat who lives in central Singapore. She is a grey mackerel tabby cat with arresting green eyes. Despite her regal bearing, she will allow herself to be picked up. She believes, however, that vocalizing is only for peasants. Therefore, if she needs a door opened, she will stand in front of it and stare at you until you notice.
If she likes you, she will want to be near you all the time, even if you’re working. She will also come to you when called, even if you don’t use her name. If you are among her favoured children, she will care for you like you’re her own kitten, mostly by guarding you and also grooming your arm with her sandpaper-like tongue.
And that’s the list!
Are there many cats in your neighbourhood? Do you and your family give them names? I always name them but my partner thinks this is very strange and will only serve to confuse the cats.
Singaporeans love curry. Whether it’s rendang curry, dhal curry, Chinese chicken curry, all curries are great in a Singaporean’s eyes. So it’s not surprising that curry is featured along with many of our national comfort foods. When I was a kid, my Dad would buy jiam tao loti or baguette from Giant and the family would finish the entire loaf with a pot of curry. You’ve probably had bread dipped in curry yourself.
So when Mum’s curry buns became the talk of the neighbourhood and orders started pouring in, the Lee family decided to start a home-based business. As a family of freelancers, they had been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic. The start of the Circuit Breaker period signaled lean times ahead. Selling curry buns became a lifeline.
The next thing they needed was a name.
Although they initially rejected the name, they eventually settled on Eat My CB because they were unable to get it out of their heads. It was suggestion from a family friend, who was barely able to keep it together when saying it.
Based on the matriarch of the family’s personal recipe, the curry bun from the folks of Eat My CB is huge. According to them, it feeds up to 3 people. In other words, it’s the perfect food for an average-sized family to share while working-from-home.
As demand continued to rise, each member of the family took on specialised roles to help keep the business running smoothly. There were logistics of delivering curry buns to deal with. There’s the company’s online presence, extremely vital since they do not have a physical storefront. And of course, the food. Each bun takes two and half hours to make. Each member of the kitchen team, which for now consists of the matriarch, Annie and daughter-in-law, Charmaine, spends more than 12 hours in the kitchen every day.
The texture of the bread must be just right – crusty and flaky. The chunks of chicken and potatoes as well must be just the right kind of bite-sized.
Though Eat My CB is a rising star in Singapore’s ever evolving foodie landscape, the Lee family are uncertain about the future. Will the company exist beyond the pandemic? Right now, they don’t know. All they know is they’d love to continue serving you their family’s CB.
Although they sometimes face awkward questions when delivering their food.
Condo Security: Eh, which company you from?
Delivery Lady: Eat My CB.
What’s your view on curry? Do you like it spicy or mild? Just in case, I thought I’d better let you know that Eat My CB does not offer any options with regards to spice level. As the matriarch of the family says, Eat My CB is not Mala Hotpot.
You can order the curry buns by direct messaging @eatmycb on Instagram. You can visit their website here to learn more about the Lee family and their famous curry buns!
Just like that, COVID-19 has shut down another event. Originally supposed to take place from 5 – 6 December at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Comic Con (SGCC) 2020 has now been cancelled. One of Singapore’s biggest conventions, SGCC has run for the past 13 years with little in the way of hiccups.
The SCCC team referred to restrictions on large-scale consumer events and travel restrictions as factors in their decision.
To celebrate SGCC for providing a safe place in Singapore for fans of all stripes, here are some of our favourite costumes from SGCC throughout the years.
The baby looks pretty nonplussed in the photo. That combined with the intense expression on Darth Maul’s face makes the photo.
How does one even see in that? This is the kind of costume that cries out for video footage. Anyway, Spider-Woman looks pretty rad too.
According to SGCC’s Facebook page, her name is Auntie Shirley and she’s already into her 70s! Power la, Auntie.
Finally, I noticed a trend when looking at all the cosplayers at Singapore Comic Con. There seems to be a big fast food theme going on with some friendly rivalry. See if you can spot which fast food companies these cosplayers are representing.
OK, I didn’t know that Colonel Sanders carried such big guns. Is open carry legal in Singapore now or something?
Other proponents of getting swole through the fast food diet are some McDonald’s supporters. I love the detail of the Mcdonald’s straw-sword and those socks! I also wish we had a better angle on Hamburgler so we can see what exactly he’s burgling.
Finally, the biggest let-down this year with regards to SGCC being cancelled is that we’re all missing out on Among Us cosplays. Singaporeans can be a creative bunch. I mean, I’m sure we’ll come out with something that’s better than this dude’s interpretation:
What are your thoughts on dressing up for Comic Con? What costume will you put on if you had a limitless budget?
Goodwood Park Hotel in Singapore is famous for a few things. Firstly, the historic and elegant building has been around seemingly forever – since 1900. That makes the building 120 years old! Secondly, the owners of Goodwood Park Hotel, the Khoo family, are well-known figures with director Eric Khoo perhaps being the most prominent. His father, Khoo Teck Puat, for whom the hospital in Yishun is named over, is likely the second most well-known. Finally but definitely not least, there is the hotel’s famous annual Durian Buffet.
This year, Goodwood Park Hotel will hold their Durian Buffet from 17 October to 15 November at Coffee Lounge. If you know someone who cannot live without fulfilling their monthly durian quota, this buffet is a must. For $58.80 per person, you can satisfy your need for durian via a full spectrum of durian-filled pastries. From éclairs to swiss rolls and crepes to mousse cakes, Goodwood Park Hotel’s buffet has it all. You can stroll in during lunch from 12pm to 2:30pm or for dinner from 6pm to 10:30pm.
By the way, Coffee Lounge is also a popular place to go for Taiwan Porridge. If you think you will have space in your stomach for both porridge and durian, you can opt for the set meal, which gives you access to the buffet and one set of Taiwan Porridge at $72 per adult and $43.20 per child.
If, for any reason, you’re working on having less durian and need to physically separate yourself from a room full of durian-filled treats, worry not. You can still grab a pastry or two of your choice at The Deli. You’d also be happy to know that these treats will be available beyond the buffet, until 30 November!
Here are the prices for the individual treats:
For those who’d rather indulge in private, note that pre-orders and deliveries need to be placed five days in advance. You get free delivery if your order hits $120 or above. Minimum order for deliveries is $50 with a delivery fee of $50. If you work in the central area though, you could always pick it up yourself – no minimum order required if you do so!
To place a reservation, you may call the hotel’s hotline at +65 6730 1746 and do it via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit the hotel’s website for more information on all durian-related offers here.
Do you know any durian lovers? Are you a durian lover? Time to make a date and head on over to Goodwood Park Hotel and then offset everything with lots of “cooling” drinks afterwards.
This year has been a bummer for all of us. Few have the luxury of saying they have been unimpacted by COVID-19. More Singaporeans than ever are in the gig economy, doing food delivery and freelancing to shore up their income. This is why I am unsurprised to hear that there have been more Budget 2020 grocery voucher thefts.
In an article published in April this year, The Straits Times reported that food delivery riders were earning less than they used to, due to there being more riders than ever. Also, the Singapore University of Social Sciences observed from statistics provided by the Ministry of Manpower that the number of freelancers in Singapore is trending upward, year after year. This number will only increase as full-time and contract workers lose their jobs in record numbers transition to freelancing to boost their income.
With such a sluggish economy and an uncertain outlook for so many, it’s no wonder that people are worried about their future. When it was announced that $150 in grocery vouchers would be released in early October, it must’ve been a relief for some.
According to the TodayOnline article, a total of 38 people have been arrested or investigated so far for stealing grocery vouchers issued by the government. A photo of a back-scratcher was attached to the same article. It had apparently used by one of the thieves.
You know people are desperate when someone looks at their back-scratcher and wonders, “Can I use this for crimes?”
I say this not to make light of anyone who is struggling due to the pandemic, but to bring to your attention that somewhere, in a police precinct, some officer had to tag and bag this object for evidence. There’s something sad and absurd about this whole situation.
Meanwhile in parliament, actual adults are debating over the necessity for a basic minimum wage of $1,300 in Singapore. Have we not learnt anything from this pandemic so far? About appreciating essential workers, also known as the folks that keep the gears of our society turning? The retail assistants, cooks, factory workers, food production workers, cleaners that never got to work from home? What was all that clapping and cheering for during the circuit breaker then?
Stealing is wrong. It’s a bad idea, especially when what you’re planning to pilfer is marked. You will get caught and end up in a worse situation than you were in before. There are only 150,000 of those vouchers and they all have serial numbers. Plus, mailboxes below HDB blocks all have cameras around them. CCTV cameras are everywhere in Singapore, multiplying rapidly like the white-vented mynah. But that ignores the question of why somebody would do something so foolish. Why anyone would be that desperate.
The answer is probably connected, in my view anyway, to why McDonald’s still pays some people $6 per hour. It’s probably intertwined with why a place in Bukit Timah is offering to pay full-time housekeepers $1,200 a month. Come to think of it, it’s also probably linked to why packers in the warehousing industry earn up to $1,000, according to a report by Kelly Services.
I mean, it’s because they can. It’s because minimum wage isn’t a thing. It’s because a living wage isn’t a guaranteed thing in this day and age in 2020 here in Singapore. If you can even call $1,300 a month a living wage.
What’s also worth taking a look is the mental health aspect of the grocery voucher thefts. Which is, are the people doing it even okay? Crime is not about knowing that something is wrong, therefore it shouldn’t be done. Crime is about weighing risks and rewards. When the risk of being caught is 99.99%, why would anyone in their right mind do it?
What do you think?
By the way, there is a grocery voucher hotline, which is 1800-2222-888. You can call the number if you need your vouchers voided because you suspect they’ve been stolen. They will then be replaced and mailed to you.
Singaporeans who have glumly accepted that there will be no vacations this year – listen up! Yesterday, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) was the first to announce Singapore and Hong Kong’s decision to implement a quarantine-free travel bubble between the two city-states. This decision might be a world’s first, according to both the SCMP and Minister of Transport Ong Ye Kung.
Details are yet to be announced, so here’s what we know so far, in easy-to-digest bite size pieces.
1. How soon will you be able to book your flights? Singapore was eager to get it going but Hong Kong was like, not so fast, we have legislative things to iron out. Minister Ong had said he hoped the air bubble could become official within weeks.
2. Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) chairman Pang Yiu-kai sure knows Singaporeans well. He is now smiling ear to ear because the board’s advertisement campaign, 100 Reasons To Miss Hong Kong, will now bear fruit in the form of hungry tourists. Spoilers, the reasons to miss Hong Kong were mainly food. Such as egg rolls by Hang Heung and congee from a heritage shop opened in 1979, named Mui Kee.
3. Travelers from both sides will need to test negative for COVID-19 based on PCR tests.
4. The air bubble will be carefully monitored and adjusted based on the COVID-19 situation. Flights can be adjusted upwards, downwards or suspended – if the situation calls for it.
5. Hong Kong is the 10th country to have special arrangements made with Singapore. Some of the other countries include Australia, Brunei, New Zealand and China.
6. Flights to and from both sides will not allow transit passengers.
7. There were 34 flights between Singapore and Hong Kong in October this year. Last year, there were 532. That’s a drop of 94%.
8. The bubble will be open to anyone who’s lived in Singapore or Hong Kong for more than 14 days. There is no age or nationality requirement. According a Straits Times article published today, however, foreign workers living in dormitories will not eligible for travel.
Minister Ong has said that the workers may be included “in time”, if the situation continue to stabilize.
Now that you know all this, keep an eye out for more offers from the HKTB! You can check out some of them here on their official website. And if you’re still looking to go for your vacation, you can start your planning based on what you’d like to put in your mouth. Hey, it’s the Singaporean way.
Are you feeling a pull towards Hong Kong? Where would you like to go if you could be there tomorrow?
International Plaza is one of the older places in the Central Business District (CBD). Completed in 1976, it’s been dominating the skyline in the CBD for a while now. But now, it shares the skyline with bigger, shinier monuments to commerce and finance. Still, it houses a good size of CBD’s office workers and some very good food.
One of the most unassuming places on the first floor is Dor’s Nyonya Place.
The first thing you notice about the stall is the deep green countertop which separates the kitchen from the customers. Bar stools are pushed up against the countertop, their round plush seats sporting barely discernible geometric shapes. Ah, the 90s. The next thing you’ll notice are the bowls of noodles displayed on a shelf. Each bowl is only moments away from being a complete meal.
Then there’s Dor herself, an older lady with a full head of short hair, her silver-speckled fringe curled elegantly upwards. When I complimented her on her coiffure, she haughtily replied, “It’s natural.”
Now, if you let Dor know what noodles you’d like, she’ll grab a bowl and pour homemade gravy in it and sprinkle some green onions and fried shallots on it.
The set up is essential for speed. Dor, which is short for Doris, says there used to be three of them working the stall. These days it’s just her and her husband. They are both in their 70s.
As someone who has worked in the area, I can confirm that there’s brisk business to be done selling breakfast to people on-the-go. For anyone wanting a tasty, home-cooked Malay-Chinese breakfast that is also economical, Dor’s has been their go to for years, sometimes decades.
Dor says she doesn’t come to work so early anymore.
“No point,” She huffed. “No customers.”
While she used to come to work at 5 am, these days she settles for 7 am. It’s enough time for her to cook batches of barley for drinking and make her own sambal and mee rebus gravy.
Doris told me she started Dor’s Nyonya Place because her husband’s trading business flopped. Her mother taught her to cook and she must have been a similar, hard woman of high standards, because Doris became a great cook herself. So much so that her friends and neighbours nagged her into setting up her own stall. So she did.
With the start of the Circuit Breaker came the beginning of Doris’s woes.
It’s not an unfamiliar story, since so many in the Food & Beverage industry were hard-hit. But for Doris, it’s different because she’s been there since 1983. Dor’s Nyonya Place survived the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, the SARS epidemic of 2003 and the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. It was the little place that could. But it wasn’t easy, because Doris has always been, in her own words, a “fussy woman”.
She is uncompromising when it comes to the quality of her food. She is steadfast in her belief that her food must not only be good, it must also be affordable. It is a point of pride for her that hers is one of the most economical places to dine at in the area. There was a time, she said, when Dor’s Nyonya Place sold $1 porridge in the mornings, with ikan bilis. She also sold Nasi Padang for a time.
But health concerns forced her to simplify her menu. Some years ago, she had to have a coronary bypass surgery to unblock three arteries supplying blood to her heart. It was her husband who convinced her to cut down on the menu, to reduce the possibility of overwork.
But keeping her food affordable is something Doris will not budge on. Her four main dishes, Mee Rebus, Mee Siam, Assam Laksa and Lontong are all $3.80 each. For comparison, a bowl of pork or beef rice from a stall a mere 10 paces away would cost you $10.
When I asked her how long it took her to decide to call it quits, a steely look came into her eyes. It was a quick decision, she said. Her husband and herself were getting older. The Circuit Breaker, implemented earlier this year in April, prompted them to shut their doors for two whole months. They lost all that income and they were still losing money. Why not quit before they went completely under?
There were also other factors, which I suspect had chipped away at Doris’s will over time.
COVID-19 might be the bale of straw that broke the camel’s back but it isn’t the only factor. Even though she is a clearly a tough old bird, everyone has feelings. Dor clearly works very hard at her craft and her success hasn’t come without its share of pain. Regulars who’ve eaten her food for years have balked when she gently reminded them that she would need to raise her prices, in light of the price of produce going up. Neighbours have pestered her for a particular recipe. When she eventually relented, tired of being hassled, they went right ahead and set up shop next to her. Fortunately, Doris will have the last laugh – she did not give the complete recipe away.
As for what will happen to the rest of her recipes, she told me she will be holding on to them. A friend of her eldest son is thinking of taking over the business but so far it is only an idea.
“What will happen to Dor’s Nyonya Place?” I asked.
“When I am gone, you will still find Mee Siam,” She told me. “You will still find Mee Rebus. But it won’t be the same. It won’t be like mine.”
When I say Tamagotchi, depending on your age and interests, you might say tama-what? But if you grew up during the 90s or even the early aughts, you might recall a small egg-shaped electronic toy that was everywhere. They might have been so popular that your school was forced to ban them, to stop their incessant beeping from disrupting classes.
The first ones developed by Bandai, were released in Japan in 1996. The following year, the creators of the Tamagotchi were awarded the Ig Nobel Prize, in Economics. The official site of the Ig Nobel Prizes state that prizes are awarded for making people laugh and then think. The Tamagotchi impressed the Ig Nobel community because its makers had invested so much time, money and effort into the husbandry of virtual pets.
But it was an investment that paid off handsomely. After the success of the Tamagotchi, a media empire in the form of comic books, animated TV series, movies and video games followed.
But what of the Tamagotchi community today?
Today, a quick look on Carousell shows a first generation Tamagotchi going for $50. Newer models go for as high as $250. For perspective, a regular Tamagotchi would have cost around $30 in the 90s, adjusted for inflation. When it comes to limited edition Tamagotchis however, you might end up spending half a grand. Especially if you’re hoping to buy one of these in mint condition:
This is the Devilgotchi, or debirugotchi. The unique point about the Devilgotchi is its propensity towards disobeying its owner. In that sense, it can be a frustrating character to care for but the fact that it is highest value Tamagotchi shows how loved it is by the community. There is also an active Tamagotchi modding scene. Crafters make custom shells, or protective covers, for Tamagotchis and they also make cosies.
In fact, one of the most popular places to buy handmade Tamagotchi covers, Fuzzy N’ Chic, is based in Singapore! Its proprietor, Rachel Liew, is a HR Technologist and also an unabashed fan of video games and Tamagotchis. She owns almost a hundred of the little eggs!
Present day Tamagotchis have the function of connecting to our mobile phones through Bandai’s Tamagotchi’s app. Through this app, you can connect to your friend’s Tamagotchi and marry each other’s characters! Present day Tamagotchis are also able to visit more than 10 separate locations and even take vacations. The latest addition to the Tamagotchi family, the Tamagotchi On, was released in 2018.
Looks like the Tamagotchi empire isn’t going away anytime soon. Have you ever played with a Tamagotchi toy? What are your fondest memories of the Tamagotchi?
As it turns out, being green isn’t easy. Yesterday, TodayOnline published an article which stated that in Singapore, it is more eco-friendly to use plastic bags than you think. The unlikely conclusion was drawn by scientists at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
Because waste is incinerated in Singapore, the time needed for waste to biodegrade is irrelevant. Sure, paper breaks down a lot quicker than plastic but if they’re both headed to the incineration plant, it’s better to focus on other metrics. Such as the process of making, distributing and transporting the bags we use every day. Where do the bags we use when we buy from supermarkets, pharmacies and eateries come from?
Plastic bags are a by product of making petroleum. The crude oil that is processed and keeps cars running is the same crude oil used to make plastic. Because no oil reserve will last forever, we can’t keep making plastic bags.
Paper bags are produced by chopping wood, which comes from trees. But the process of making a paper bag actually uses three times more water compared to making a plastic bag. Paper production also causes major air pollution, so major it produces up to 70% more pollution than making plastic.
The study published by NTU also emphasized something that is echoed by many environmentalists. Being green in a city all comes down to how much you re-use that bag.
In 2019, the BBC published an article on the environmental impacts of paper and plastic bags. This graphic was included to illustrate how many times we have to re-use a bag, to offset the environmental impact making it caused.
For clarity, a “bag for life” is a typical re-usable bag you can find at Cold Storage, or NTUC.
A non-woven PP bag refers to a non-woven polypropylene (plastic) bag. Fun fact, the iconic IKEA blue FRAKTA bag is made from 100% polypropylene, with a minimum of 60% being from recycled materials.
Such bags can be made from recycled plastic as well as melted down for recycling.
Lastly, a cotton bag is most commonly seen as a promotional tote bag.
Cotton bags have an atrocious score because they are the most carbon intensive to make. At least they are durable, which means we can keep using them.
What’s not included in the chart is how many times you will need to repurpose that plastic bag to offset the environmental impact making one bag creates. According to the NTU study, the answer is four times.
Four times is a lot.
I’m honestly not sure if anybody reuses their plastic bags twice, let alone four times. Apart from using the bag as a bin liner and bagging your pet’s poo, there isn’t really repurposing you can do with a plastic bag.
My view is that we should all learn our usage preferences and adapt them to be as green as possible. For example, maybe you’re the kind of person who prefers to wipe down their bags when they get dirty. Then you should get a non-woven PP bag, to bag your items when you go shopping for your necessities. Or maybe, like me, you prefer to throw things into the washing machine and let it do the work. In that case, you should get a cotton bag but use it forever.
Until the big corporations that use plastic say no, we as individual consumers, can do our part by carrying our stuff in something that’s not plastic, whenever possible.
Located near the entrance of International Plaza, occupying the corner opposite Watson’s, is Trung Nguyen Café. Most people are likely more familiar with their coffee than their food, as it is widely available in supermarkets. And for good reason too. The taste of their extremely finely ground, highly aromatic coffee is head and shoulders above most Western style coffee. At least, to this coffee drinker, who primarily drinks Kopi Os and Americanos.
At the café, the usual range of Western style coffee is available, along with Vietnamese snacks and food. I stumbled upon their Dry Beef Pho one day, after being told that their Vegetable Rolls were unavailable.
I have to admit, I was apprehensive at first. Everyone around me was eating and slurping Beef Pho with Soup and here I was, going for the brothless option.
To my delight, it was everything I was looking for. It was an especially hot day which was why I was reluctant to have a bowl of noodles in hot soup. All I wanted was a simple bowl of beef noodles that wasn’t too oily or heavy. And the café delivered.
My bowl of Dry Beef Pho was made primarily of thin, white rice noodles resembling bee hoon. Like Zhajiang Mian, there was a good helping of sliced cucumbers and carrots. There were also crushed peanuts, fried shallots sprinkled on top with chopped green onions and bean sprouts. Last but not least, there were the slices of thinly sliced, well-seasoned beef. A small saucer of gravy was provided on the side. The colour was roughly akin to that of light soy sauce. As the staff at the café were friendly but did not speak much English, I was unable to ask them what was in it.
The gravy was amazing. It tied everything together beautifully. It was savoury with a slight hint of vinegar. I can only guess as to what was in it. My best guess is light soy sauce with a dash of fish sauce thrown in? Maybe even a pinch of their beef broth. Because the flavour was so full and rich, I only needed to add a little.
Note that if you love chili, the café will add a smidge of chili oil to that magic gravy. This is actually the default setting, which I had to opt out of because chili makes my tummy angry.
The flavour is hard to describe. It’s not as salty as Zhajiang sauce, which is fermented soy bean paste stir-fried with minced pork. It’s lighter in taste yet not light on flavour. It would honestly make a pretty good dip for Chinese dumplings, or sushi, or vegetables. It was… really good.
My other favourite dish from Trung Nguyen Café would be the Vegetable Rolls which eluded me the other day. If you are an avowed carnivore, you can also opt for prawn or beef. Your chosen meat is packed inside fresh rice rolls, together with carrots, pho and cucumbers. If you like it spicy, they have a sweet chili sauce. If you’re one of the rare Singaporeans with a digestive system that disagrees with chili, have no fear. They have hoisin sauce dip with grated peanuts on top.
The only caveat is that your expected damage will hover around $10 and that’s excluding drinks. My bowl of Dry Beef Pho cost $8.90. For nearly half the price, you can get a good bowl of Ban Mian from the nearby coffee shop, called Pin Yi. Not only is their ban mian good, they have some of the friendliest staff you’ll ever meet. The only drawback is that their ban mian, like so many of our traditional noodles, tend to be excessively oily. Well, I have to admit that’s what got me thinking about trying out Trung Nguyen Café in the first place. And I’m glad I did.
Are you a fan of pho or Vietnamese coffee? Or are you completely new to Vietnamese food? Trung Nguyen is a good place to start, if you happen to be near or in the Central Business District area.
Expect an uptick in sentiments related to “east side best side” in the coming days. For East Coast Park has gotten a big upgrade. The popular park is among three parks in the east that are now connected to Changi Airport, via a new park connector measuring 3.5km. The other two parks are Changi Beach Park and Bedok Reservoir.
Avid and recreational cyclists alike will love Singapore’s newest park, as it comes with many amenities for those who like peddling. Joggers and brisk walkers will also have a new place to stretch their legs. Plus, there’s a 1km stretch along the way that’s filled with life-sized dinosaurs.
That’s right, dinosaurs.
Singaporeans have already flocked to the island’s newest park last weekend, with many families bringing their children in tow. Because everyone loves dinosaurs.
Here are some things that you should know about our newest park.
Or if you prefer, the park will also have do-it-yourself bike repair stations.
So you can rent from East Coast Park and cycle to Changi Airport Connector and drop it off there!
This is to keep crowding in check, after all, we’re still living in a pandemic. Click here to make a booking for this coming weekend.
Are you looking for somewhere new to go this weekend? Why not make a date with some dinosaurs and that special someone?
Singapore chain Killiney Kopitiam has set up shop in the United States. This year, despite the pandemic, a Killiney Kopitiam has appeared in tech-hub Palo Alto, California. According to the Los Angeles Times, the state of California (CA) logged more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. The weekly average as of now is over 3,000 cases daily. So understandably, eateries are only allowed to do takeaways at this time.
Despite that, Killiney Kopitiam saw brisk business upon its opening. According to The Hungry Onion, a food lovers community site, people waited for an average of 70 minutes per person.
Perhaps bolstered by the chance to try something completely foreign or bullied into queuing by homesick Singaporean friends, people swarmed into Killiney Kopitiam. Somebody had Kopi C for the first time instead of a latte and had a life-changing experience. Some Singaporean, after queuing for ages, no doubt balked when told at the check-out counter that their bowl of laksa will be $18.98 USD, thank you very much.
Because we as a people are obsessed about food, the Palo Alto Online’s page on Killiney Kopitiam has been inundated with dire warnings to not change the original recipes.
If you’re curious about what additions the Killiney Koptiam in CA has made to their menu to cater to Americans, consider these. Garlic Noodles at S$13.56, which sounds like Asian spaghetti aglio e olio, is egg noodles stir-fried with butter, garlic and parmensan cheese. For the vegetarians, there’s also Mixed Vegetable Stir Fry at S$14.92, fried in a wok with garlic sauce and served with jasmine rice. Mmm. I hope it includes kai lan. Honestly, as someone who tries to eat as little meat as I can, that would 100% work on me if I wanted to splurge on lunch.
Of course, the old favourites are also available. Namely, char kway teow, nasi lemak, chicken curry, chicken rice and mee siam. Craving for kaya toast and soft boiled eggs? That’ll be S$10.56 please.
My favourite part of the whole thing though, is how Killiney Kopitiam has put up a kopi chart so Americans know how to order the Singaporean way. After all, if we can call a large kopi o kosong in Starbucks a Venti Americano, why not?
Singapore has a rich cultural well to draw from when it comes to horror, yet our horror writers and film-makers largely remain under the radar. Older readers may recall with some fondness the Pontianak movies by film studios Cathay-Keris and Shaw Brothers back in the day.
Younger readers may recall Incredible Tales, presented by the incredibly photogenic DJ Utt and Russell Lee’s True Singapore Ghost Stories. The latter is still going strong today, by the way.
As we all get into the mood for Spooktober this year though, why not take a look at other tales of horror whipped up by those familiar with the darker side of our sunny island?
Classic Singapore Horror Stories by Damien Sin
Russell Lee has a way of taking horror and processing them into highly digestible, uniquely Singaporean bite-size snacks. It’s like Pringles but horror stories set in Singapore. So, if you’re looking for more of that, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that one of his ghost writers has penned a series of his own. There are four books in the series. That’s the bad news. There are only four books because the writer, Damien Sin, has since passed away in 2011.
Nightmares series by Pugalenthi
Much like the never-ending Troublesome Night movie series from Hong Kong, the Nightmares series is prodigious. Some of the books are organized by themes. For example, there’s a Army Nightmares book every Singaporean male can relate to. There’s also School Nightmares, Office Nightmares and Night Shift Nightmares, just to name a few. Hey, some of these are so popular they’ve being used in Malaysia in English Language classes!
The Gatekeeper by Nuraliah Norasid
What if Medusa of Greek legend was Singaporean and what if she had a sister? And what if she had to flee, after turning people who wronged her into stone? What if she was rediscovered, after a long time, when Singapore the fishing village becomes Singapore the city? What then? These are just some of the things this award-winning book seeks to discover. Speaking of awards, The Gatekeeper was the winner of the 2016 Epigram Books Fiction Prize, as well as the winner of the 2018 Singapore Book Award For Best Fiction. It was also shortlisted for the 201 Singapore Literature Prize For Fiction. Woah.
Bitter Suites by Otto Fong
From the mind of Otto Fong comes Bitter Suites, a Singaporean tale on the intertwining of horror and social media. For something published in 2013, it’s extremely early 2000s-esque, reminding one of movies like The Ring, One Missed Call and to a lesser degree, The Signal. The premise is this: what if an aging tourist attraction (ahem, Haw Par Villa) somehow fuses with a social network site to wreck havoc on Singapore’s unsuspecting population? Or, if you’ve already seen The Ring, what if Sadako had access to Friendster? Dun dun dunnnn!
Marina Bay Sins by Neil Humphreys
Did you know that Singapore’s best-selling author, the Brit who wrote Notes From An Even Smaller Island, has written a lot of other stuff? Aside from writing children’s books with his daughter, he is also the author of the Inspector Low crime thriller series. A detective series set in modern Singapore, you say? You bet. Humphrey’s wry observations on local culture and cheeky sense of humour is widely stamped on every page. It has everything. A spate of very bad for business, no good murder-suicides at Marina Bay Sands. Glitzy self-help grifters, who may sound a little familiar. Marina Bay Sins is definitely a page-turner. What’s more, the book has a sequel, called Rich Kill Poor Kill.
That’s it for our list of 5 Singaporean horror books to read this Halloween. Are there any books on this list you’ve already read? Did we miss out on some of your favourites? Let us know by commenting on our Facebook page!
How likely is it that Singaporeans will set up a Twitter account based on simping over criminal hotties? Will a fandom spread up around Natalie Siow, now that she is a legit micro-influencer? Or will she go the way of Serina Wee of City Harvest fame, out of sight, out of mind?
If you’re not sure what I’m on about, let me offer you a news refresher on the events of 9 July, 2019.
On that night, a fight broke out in the infamous Orchard Towers, outside of a nightclub called Naughty Girl Club. A 31 year old man succumbed to his injuries that night, in Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Although seven individuals excluding the victim were involved in the incident, the one who received the most coverage was the sole woman involved. Her name? Natalie Siow.
According to TodayOnline, she has pleaded guilty to consorting with the leader aggressor, a man named Tan Sen Yang, as well as voluntarily causing hurt to the victim. A part-time waitress at the time, she has since gained micro-influencer status and is advertising beauty products on her Instagram account. It’s hard not to compare this to Serina Wee, who famously set up a blogshop in 2014 with Sharon Tan, while both of them were undergoing trial for criminal breach of trust in the City Harvest Church case. Why not leverage the infamy gained and turn a profit?
Much like what they did for Serina Wee, a forum thread discussing Miss Siow’s physical attributes have been set up on the popular Hardwarezone forum. The thread’s title is not subtle.
Instead of talking about what she did, the comments are 99% about her appearance. Currently, the thread, which was set up last year, is at a staggering 353 pages. It is also very much active, with the most recent comment being posted just yesterday.
However, this is only a small drop in the ocean compared to the Twitter account set up by one California-based Josh Jeffrey, in the United States. Called @mugshawtys, it’s dedicated entirely to posting mugshots of smoking hot female criminals. The account currently has 235, 000 followers.
Like Serina Wee and Natalie Siow, some women convicts are trying to leverage their fame and turn it into dollars. They send him their mugshots, hoping he will post them. On the chance that more exposure equals more followers and cash.
Something wholesome has come out of it, though. Jeffrey says he’s learnt some things about the US justice system. Perhaps the most striking is that not a lot of other countries have publicly accessible mugshot databases!
Do you think one day some Singaporean could set up a Twitter or Instagram account with content that is 100% hot criminals? Based on how Serena Wee’s star has waned, I doubt it. Plus, we don’t have a public database of mugshouts to kaypoh over. Maybe one day, we could have our own convict-turned-model, a la Jeremy Meeks or Mirella Ponce. But I doubt it.
It’s still Spooktober, even though Halloween Horror Nights has been cancelled this year. If you’re heading to a socially-responsible Halloween party and unsure what to wear, we’ve got your covered. Here are some ideas for costumes this Halloween.
This year has been very in-your-face when it comes to piling on the bad news. The biggest and baddest and most world-spanning one of them is undoubtedly COVID-19. It’s no surprise then, that this cute dumpster on fire wearing a mask has resonated with so many people. I think it would make a great costume.
A very low-effort, low-budget costume. All you need is a lanyard attached to a card with “Safe Distancing Ambassador” emblazoned on it. Sure to be a hit at parties if you use your costume to your advantage, to cheekily harass partygoers to maintain their distance and ask random people to check their IC.
During GE2020, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat alluded to an East Coast Plan many times in his speech on Nomination Day. Unfortunately, he made a bit of flub during the speech, which quickly gained meme status online. Stickers of what DPM Heng’s cue card for the speech were made and quickly sold out at $2 a pop.
To make this work, you also need a dead koi fish prop. Not sure why? Well, earlier this year, it was reported that Singapore’s beloved otters had killed some of Sir James Dyson’s koi fish. Last year, the naughty otters also sneaked into someone else’s house and bit off the head of each of their koi fish! Aiyoh.
The Apple store at Marina Bays Sands received so much hype, someone went through the trouble of photoshopping it launching off into the skies. You too, can now bet the hyped Floating Apple Store. Imagine making a Daft Punk style helmet in the vein of the floating MBS store. Bonus points if you buy some Apple gift cards and give them out to people who correctly answer questions regarding Apple-related trivia.
That’s it from us now. What will you be on Halloween, if you do Halloween? If you had to pick a costume from the five presented here, which would you go for?
Kueh. They come in multiple shapes, colours and are more often than not, sweet. They often decorate the shelves of many snack stalls in hawker centres and shopping malls. Flash quiz, aside from Bengawan Solo, can you think of any other place that you can readily get kueh? If your answer is a negative, that’s hardly a surprise. Kueh has fallen to the wayside in terms of popularity and prestige, despite being of strong cultural importance.
Christopher Tan, a culinary instructor and professional food writer, wanted to change that when he set out to write The Way Of Kueh. Speaking to the Singapore Tatler, Mr. Tan referred to the disparity between books on Western confectionery and kueh. For every 10 books on Western baked goods, he said, there is one for kueh.
So he spent five years researching recipes for The Way Of Kueh. Each recipe was tested from 4 – 20 times and photographed in his own home. The final tally of recipes that made it into the book is 98. They include traditional Chinese, Eurasian, Malay and Peranakan kueh. To achieve that, he had to interview 40 individual kueh makers.
Aside from the hows of kueh, there is also material on the whys and whats of kueh. Consider the banana leaf – why is it so commonly seen as a kueh wrapper? Also, what other type of leaves are used? The answer: banana leaves are used because they can help prolong the shelf life of food as they have antimicrobial properties. They are also used because they are flexible and aromatic. Other type of leaves used are the leaves of various palm trees, lotus leaves, bamboo leaves, just to name a few.
Mr. Tan’s hours spent in the kitchen, national archives and homes of kueh masters is not in vain, however. Singaporeans are loving the kueh bible and it has gone on to win multiple awards. The Singapore Book Awards has bestowed upon The Way Of Kueh 2020’s Book Of The Year award. It was also the winner for the best illustrated, non-fiction category.
Has reading this made you yearn for kueh? Here are some places in Singapore where you can get your hands on some traditional, hand-made goodness:
Molly’s Nyona Kuehs | Website
This humble shop has been around since 1971 and generally opens before the sun rises, at 5 – 6am!
Address: Block 104, Hougang Avenue 1, #01-1121 Singapore 530104
Ji Xiang Confectionery | Website
This confectionery run by Mr. and Mrs. Toh started out from a HDB kitchen, churning out kuehs for hawkers around the neighbourhood. The popularity of the kuehs eventually necessitated them setting up a proper shop in 1988 and they’ve been at it ever since!
Address: Block 1 #01-33, Everton Park, Singapore 081001
Lina Confectionery | Website
Like Bengawan Solo, Lina Confectionery was founded by an Indonesian immigrant. Linawati Sukhamta founded the place in the 1980s. The shop’s speciality is in kueh lapis, although they make all manner of traditional Indonesian snacks.
Address: Block 124 Bukit Merah Lane 1, #01-138 Singapore 150124
Do you remember what you liked to nibble on as a child? For one Singaporean in particular, it was mee jian kueh. A breakfast staple in Singapore, mee jian kueh is a soft pancake with crispy edges with crushed peanuts inside. A sprinkling of sugar is also included, adding to the crunch.
Most mee jian kueh stalls will also stuff their pancakes with any fillings you choose, as long as it’s in stock. Some common fillings are sweet corn, cheese and chocolate.
It was the fond memories of the pancakes that led redditor u/milesonmybones (hereby shortened to Miles) on a quest to locate it once more. They logged onto social media site Reddit, to post whatever they could recall of the stall. The original stall they had visited with their family every Saturday had closed down years ago. All they could remember was the name of the stall, QQ Vegetarian Pancakes and that it was in Sin Ming. And the lovely elderly couple who ran the stall.
Less than a week later, the stall was located. And so, Miles brought their family with them to have mee jian kueh together just like old times.
And the best part? The hawkers recognized Miles!
Miles made a final update on the mee jian kueh stall on the subreddit for Singaporeans, r/singapore, noting the mee jian kueh was just as good as they remembered. In fact, it was so good they bought several more to bring home. The elderly lady who runs the stall together with her husband revealed that they had been approached by food bloggers but declined to be interviewed.
She just wants to be able to make her pancakes at her own pace. The idea of large crowds and long queues did not appeal to her at all, despite the prospect of additional revenue. After all, they open in the mornings and are usually sold out by noon. So, it’s not like they need the extra help or anything.
Curious about the pancakes? If you happen to stay around the Sengkang area, why not go to Anchorvale 303 Foodcourt to give QQ Pancakes a try? If you’re curious about Mile’s mee jian kueh journey, click here to read about it on reddit.
The Sin Ming chickens are once again in peril.
In 2017, a number of them were culled following complains from residents in the Sin Ming – Thomson area. The uproar was swift. Many Singaporeans felt that the culling was excessive, even cruel. Even public figures like the former dean of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Donald Low, weighed in.
This year, the free-roaming chickens have again become the subject of contention. Revealing that a number of noise complains have been received residents working from home, the Thomson Sin Ming Court Residents’ Committee (TSCRC) announced its intention to send some of the chickens packing. An unspecified number of birds will be moved to Lee Heng Garden Services, in Seletar.
The TSCRC’s decision to remove some of the birds is definitely a little strange. A poll was held last year amongst residents showed that more than 90% of residents voted in favour of keeping the birds.
Cages have been set up yesterday, on 8 October, to catch the birds so that they may be trapped and relocated. So far, they have only caught pigeons. According to Mothership, the chickens had been chased away from the traps by chicken-loving residents.
One of the most vocal proponents of the birds is resident and film-maker, Jun Chong, who actually made a short film about the chickens of Sin Ming. Comments on r/singapore, a subreddit for Singaporeans show also widespread appreciation for the birds. One spoke of how the birds are adept at hunting down cockroaches. Another suggested the Residents’ Committee bring them to Woodlands, where apparently the call of the “uwu bird”, or Asian Koel is often heard. Others made cheeky suggestions for noisy (human) neighbours to relocated instead.
The Asian Koel, for the uninitiated, is the bird that makes the piercing calls that is often heard in the mornings and evenings. Its name, in fact, comes from the call made by the male bird. Clearly though, they do have their fans as the Asian Koel is the state bird of Puducherry, in India.
The plight of night shift workers who may be woken up by the noisy birds during the daytime have also been brought up by some commenters. An AsiaOne article also referred to residents who are supportive of the impending removal of some birds. A man expressed relief that no birds will be culled during the population control exercise, while a lady had concerns about the chickens being “dirty”.
Do you have wild chickens living in your area? What is it like and how do you feel about them? What bird do you think should be Singapore’s state bird?
If you were looking forward to taking up Singapore Airlines’ offer to go nowhere, chin up! Cruises to nowhere have officially been approved by the Singapore Tourism Board. Two cruise lines will set sail in early November and bob leisurely up and down on Singapore’s waters. They are Genting Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean.
Strict measures to maintain the safety of all passengers will be adopted by both cruise lines. The measures are part of Singapore Tourism Board’s new CruiseSafe certification process. Some of the measures include the installation of high-grade filters throughout the ship, which will scrub the air continuously. The ships will also be kept at 50% capacity to facilitate social distancing. Additionally, all passengers will be required to take a COVID-19 swab test 48 – 72 hours before boarding the ship.
In the event a case is confirmed while the ship is sailing, Royal Caribbean will utilize Bluetooth contact tracing to isolate the close contacts of the infected passenger.
Tickets for the cruises for a four day, three night stay average out at around $360.
Both cruise lines are utilizing state-of-the-art, high-tech entertainment to delight its passengers.
Passengers on board Genting Cruise Line’s ship, the World Dream, can look forward to taking part in Virtual Reality (VR) enhanced games and rides. Think exploring the werewolf-infested streets of London or exploring Ancient Egypt as depicted in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Aspiring rally car drivers can strap themselves into a full-size, Formula 1 chassis and try out the world’s most advanced racing simulator!
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Passengers who board Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Of The Seas will have access to a sky-diving simulator as well as a 12 metre long surf simulator. Then there’s the North Star, a capsule that provides a 360-degree view of the outside world as it raises you up to 100m above the sea level. There’s even the Dodgem Cars, basically Royal Caribbean branded bumper cars the whole family will love.
That is a far cry from the cruise ship I was on with my family as a child. The adults had casinos – all I had were tuna sandwiches! What about you? Would you be open to booking a cruise to nowhere?
A new Japanese restaurant is coming to Singapore. But unlike most Japanese eateries, it specialises in pancakes. To be specific, Flipper specialises in impossibly fluffy soufflé Kiseki (or miracle) pancakes that melt in your mouth. They also serve fries, sandwiches and bubble tea.
Flipper’s first outlet in Singapore is set to open in November this year, in the heart of Orchard Road, in Takashimaya mall.
Flipper currently has 12 outlets in Japan. They have also expanded to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Last year, they opened their only outlet in the United States so far, in New York. And the hype was huge. Part of it, I suspect, were the queues. Many Americans reported having to wait from 20 minutes to a whole hour before they could set eyes on their food. Waiting was a guaranteed affair if you wanted Flipper pancakes, even if the restaurant was half empty.
While I’m not sure if that concept would work here, I’m sure Flipper will garner its share of fans who will spread the word about its food. Flipper’s intriguing menu, which includes both savoury and sweet options will likely draw in some curious souls, who might become Flipper converts. A peek at Flipper’s menu reveals items like Soufflé Pancakes with Fresh Fruit, Waffles with Chicken and Lemon Ricotta Pancake With Meringue.
The bubble tea gang can meet up at Flipper for bobba and gossip.
Trendsetters can bring their friends to the latest food to be seen and ‘grammed.
Self-professed foodies can revel in show their pals exactly how to eat the pancakes as well as explain how Flipper does their pancakes.
According to Insider, a New York publication, the waiting time for Flipper’s famous pancakes is not without reason. The pancake has to be monitored carefully as it is cooked from side to side and given time to rise. The pancake batter is also poured into a circular mold for that perfectly round shape.
Have you tried other Japanese soufflé pancakes in Singapore, like that of Gram Pancakes and Café? Did you know they also employ a similar concept of slow-cooking their pancakes to fluffy perfection? How long is too long when it comes to waiting to try new food?
Gather round kids, gather round. Once upon a time, there was no internet. No Instagram. No TikTok. No Spotify. If we wanted music, we had to turn on the TV and tune into MTV. Or listen to the radio and hope our favourite songs came on. If we wanted music at our fingertips, we’d have to buy cassette tapes or CDs.
It was only 30 years ago but the world of everyday tech has changed immeasurably. The size of the gadgets we put in our pocket have shrunk and it seems crazy to think that text messages used to cost a fortune.
Here we’ve put together a visual list of 90s tech relics that live on in the hearts of every Singaporean born in the late 1970s to the 1980s.
Short for Video Home System.
Fun fact: The 3 1/2 inch floppy disk released in 1997 can only hold up to 240 megabytes.
Did you know that there is a niche market for arcade machine restoration?
Were you around in the 1990s? What are some of your fondest memories from the 90s?
Lovesick Girls by South Korean all-girl quartet BLACKPINK was only just released on 2 October. Today its accompanying music video is the #1 trending video on YouTube, with over 127 million views and counting. Its popularity doesn’t come without some controversy though. The Korean Health and Medical Workers’ Union issued a statement on 5 October appealing to BLACKPINK to edit their video, citing its opposition to “sexual objectification of women and nurses”.
The Union’s concern is that ongoing portrayal of healthcare workers in the media as hypersexualized will add to sexual abuse, especially among women nurses. They then implored BLACKPINK to match their global reach, popularity and influence with “responsible measures”.
While initially dismissive of the Union’s statement, BLACKPINK’s management company, YG Entertainment eventually came around and announced that they would release an edited version of the music video. All footage of Jennie in a nurse costume will be removed.
The announcement was met with some degree of skepticism.
Some BLACKPINK supporters, or Blinks, as they call themselves, felt the Union was being too sensitive.
Indeed, Halloween is right around the corner but the pretty girl on the street in the nurse costume likely doesn’t have the world at her feet.
Other Blinks posted pictures of other South Korean girl bands in nurse costumes. The girl bands in question are Girls’ Generation and Mamamoo. The supporters asked why the two groups did not face similar criticism when they donned similar attire.
Some K-Pop fans noted that all three girl groups are under separate companies.
However, there were also Blinks who pointed out BLACKPINK released Lovesick Girls in the middle of a pandemic and felt the Union’s criticism to be valid.
What do you think about BLACKPINK’s newest video? Do you feel that it was disrespectful towards healthcare workers
Most Singaporeans work in tall, gleaming buildings of steel and concrete. Think office building or megamall. Their office neighbourhoods consist of similar superstructures, clustered together like teeth in a giant’s mouth. But there are some of us whose offices are located in heritage buildings. My office building, which is located in Chinatown, is only three storeys tall. It is also over 80 years old! The building is part of Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) list of more than 7,000 buildings to be conserved.
It’s certainly an experience to work in place where so many souls have visited, slept and dreamt. For your information, this Neo-Classical style building was used to house all manner of policemen since 1934. Here is a list of good and bad things about working in a building that’s literally older than my parents. (Yes, my grandmother, who is nearly a centenarian, is actually older.)
Let’s start with The Bad.
There are no lifts. Good things there are only three storeys. Though, we do have a rather steep staircase to climb on the way up to the actual building itself. True story, I have a colleague who complains about this every day.
The condition of the building overall is in fairly good shape although there are signs of age everywhere. For example, some steps on stairs that are chipped.
Animals occasionally take shelter in the building, which means the occasional smell and sight of poo in the corridor. At least, I think it’s animals.
As with all buildings of a certain age, the building changes drastically at night. It feels different. The corridors become really dark and your mind is liable to start wandering as you make your way to the washrooms, alone.
And now, The Good.
It is a really interesting space, not just because it’s a heritage building but because of the people that inhabit it. There are potters, yoga people, travel agencies, creative agencies, a jamming studio and even a café albeit one that isn’t exactly great…
As I mentioned, the office building is in Chinatown, which makes it quite a central location. It’s moments from the Central Business District and from town. It’s at once a hipster place but also historic.
The animals. Yes, I know I mentioned the poo earlier. But I do appreciate our wildlife.
I’m quite certain that generations of little brown squirrels have lived here, since the British first arrived. Nearly every week I see one in the towering trees outside, munching on something. There are also the community cats, in particular, the one that sleeps on the stairway up to the building itself. Though its face often bears the signs of perhaps a tussle or a self-inflicted scratch, it also has the gentlest meow. It has become a familiar and endearing sight.
My final point again touches on the aesthetic of the place. There’s something to be said about working in a building so old it seems to have a soul.
There’s something special about having trees so old outside that their green fingers nearly touch your windows. There’s something about small offices side by side, their individual characters accentuated by eccentric signboards or the potted plants they let sit outside their doors. There’s something special about working in a building where nobody wears a tie.
As Singaporeans, we spend a lot of time at work. Where do you work? What are some things you like your work neighbourhood and some things you dislike?
The pandemic has shuttered many businesses in Singapore. Just ask the entertainment, hospitality and aviation industries. Yesterday, an article on Yahoo! News spoke of how some DJs in Singapore went from five figure incomes to literally zilch. But Swedish furniture group IKEA is seemingly pandemic-proof.
Instead of cutting costs, they are expanding by opening a new megastore in Jurong. The new store will have three storeys and IKEA is looking to hire 200 people to help run it. The megastore will open its doors in 2021. Finally, people in the west in Singapore will have easy to access to Swedish meatballs and easy-to-assemble furniture.
Happily, nobody in IKEA Singapore lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
IKEA currently has 445 stores worldwide and the number is set to increase – the company plans to open 50 new stores worldwide.
Perhaps IKEA is so good at weathering this storm because they had a bumper of year just before 2020 began. Indeed, they reported a record of above 44 billion euros in 2019. The Swedish giant is also benefitting from their huge investments in 2017 and 2018 towards online and delivery services. Part of this investment went towards developing an IKEA app, which has been trialed in France and the Netherlands. The app is set to be available worldwide in the near future.
During the circuit breaker, Singaporeans went online to place more than 525, 000 online orders. IKEA revealed that in 2020, Singaporeans placed so many orders that web sales more than doubled compared to that of the year prior. An impressive feat.
Do you enjoy browsing all the make-believe rooms in IKEA? What do you enjoy most about browsing their store?
Although women rarely become bald, hair loss isn’t unusual for women. One-third of all women will experience it at some point in their lives. Because a greater emphasis is based on a woman’s appearance, hair loss is often harder on the fairer sex.
The most likely culprit. Hair loss tend to affect women later in life than men.
Sometimes, your body literally rebels against you. Your body’s immune system can sometimes becomes overzealous, perceiving threats when there are none. In this case, they target your hair follicles at random, resulting in a patchy-looking appearance.
Temporary Hair Loss
A normal hair cycle has three stages: growth, resting and shedding. Did you know that a strand of hair can live from 2 – 7 years? When the stages are growth are disrupted by major life events, surgery or crash dieting however, severe hair loss can occur.
When our thyroid gland, kidney or liver is impaired, you may experience thinning hair. Not having enough iron, zinc or vitamin D can also result in hair loss.
An infected scalp can become dry and itchy with accompanying hair loss. The source of the infection can be fungal, bacterial or it could be some localized disorder.
Some women realise they are losing their hair as they are tying their hair. Gradually, the number of loops required to secure their ponytail in that hair tie increases. The way you do your hair can also be a factor in hair loss. Excessive traction, like overly tight ponytails, pigtails and cornrows can cause hair to fall out. Hot oil hair treatments are also known to cause hair loss. Perms and curls can also exacerbate things.
Singaporeans Have Formed A Support Group
Diagnosed with alopecia arereta at 20, Chan See Ting started losing her hair young. She began treatment and her hair would grow back and then fall out again, when it all seemed to be getting better. This happened again and again, dealing blow after blow to her self-esteem. Still, she went ahead and gave an interview to The Straits Times – because she didn’t want other people with alopecia arereta to suffer in silence. After being formally diagnosed, she founded an informal support group for Singaporeans with alopecia arereta.
Singapore-based fashion house Minor Miracles selected Chan to model for them. The backdrop of the shoot features Chan in their trademark loud colours, against aggressively ordinary backdrops.
When To See A Doctor
Hair loss becomes excessive when you start shedding upwards of 100 strands a day. But nobody is going to start counting so it’s really more of a feeling. If you feel like you are losing hair too much or too fast, you should see a doctor. To be specific, you should see a dermatologist, or skin specialist. He or she will be able to tell you what treatment you need. Because hair grows slowly, results only start becoming visible in about a year’s time. So, you should go ahead and make that appointment!
Click here to go to the National Skin Centre’s page on hair loss and then book an appointment with a specialist. Or, google away and find a specialist practicing in a private setting you trust. Know someone experiencing hair loss? Share this article with them!
World Mental Health Day is on 11 October. The World Health Organisation (WHO) sets a theme for when that date rolls around every year. Last year, the theme was suicide prevention. This year’s theme is increased investment in mental health services. With the pandemic leaving no one unaffected, our collective mental health is at stake. And so, the WHO is calling for a massive scale-up in mental health services worldwide.
On 10 October, The Singapore Mental Health Film Festival (SMHFF) will hold screenings and panel discussions on their Facebook page. Their theme this year is Making Visible The Invisible, which is about highlighting the mental health struggles of marginalized communities. They will be talking about mental health among the elderly, migrant worker, LGBTQ+ and the sex worker communities.
Below is a short summary of two of the movies the SMHFF will be screening:
When American journalist Nellie Bly infiltrated an asylum in 1887, she did it to look at how a segment of a population which is often unseen and unheard from lives. This 67 minute documentary, commissioned by the Lien Foundation, features Anita Kapoor, a Singapore-based TV presenter who goes for a two week stay at Salvation Army’s Peacehaven Nursing Home. There she is treated just like any other patient who is suffering from the indignities of advanced age. Through this documentary, we get a first-hand look at what the nursing home environment is like and what it does to your mental health.
When a migrant worker is injured in the course of his job, he goes on a quest to land another job so he can continue to send money home. He decides to try to help out at a hawker stall. Directed by Chen Huiyi, an NTU graduate in Digital Marketing, it’s a little bottle rocket of a film under 20 minutes. Why do I say it’s a bottle rocket? It’s already won Best Picture in Singapore’s National Youth Film Awards in 2018.
The goal of sharing these movies and panel discussions with the public is to facilitate casual discussion of mental health. After all, if everyone feels like it’s okay to talk about it, then it becomes normalized. And once that happens, seeking help would be second nature, like going to the doctor for a cough.
Curious about the full line-up of their movies and events? You can click here to go to SMHFF’s website. Why not share the link with somebody you’ll like to talk mental health with? The movies can be a good starting place.
With Phase 3 seemingly on the horizon, with details coming in the near future, it would be good to know where to collect your TraceTogether token. According to an article published by TodayOnline, being in possession of a token will be made mandatory in the future, should one attend “large gatherings” or “high risk events”.
High risk events would include sports, religious or entertainment gatherings where large crowds may congregate. For the corporate world, high risk events would also include business-related events like seminars or company retreats. These corporate events have already been given the green light, as of 23 September, though the company has to keep to 50 persons or less.
Currently, Singaporeans may collect their TraceTogether tokens at pop-up booths that will appear throughout Singapore during the weekends. Previously, you would have to head to a community centre to collect your token. This weekend, you’ll be able to collect your token at City Square Mall, Causeway Point, Chinatown Point and Raffles City.
However, one unlucky Singaporean has already damaged their TraceTogether token through their sheer clumsiness. According to reddit contributor u/sv335, the token was attached to the outside of their sling bag. They accidentally smacked it against the wall as they put their bag down, upon which it cracked like an egg.
For a full list of where you can go to collect your very own token, click here. If you are also a klutz, you may want to put your token into a soft protective shell. When are you thinking about picking up your token? How long do you think contact tracing will be a thing?
As Singaporeans, we associate fan art with the youth and their likely muses, such as Korean pop culture or villagers from Animal Crossing. But some utterly gorgeous fan art has emerged out of love for an unlikely subject of adoration: Singapore’s old taxis.
Enter Jeffrey Abdullah, contributor to the Singapore Memory Project. In each of the miniature taxi models he has submitted, he confesses to having a “deep interest” in old Singapore taxis and reveals that model is hand-made by himself. He volunteers no other information.
Did you know that Comfort DelGro taxis used to be called NTUC Comfort taxis? Nowadays, we readily associate Comfort DelGro’s brand with blue but did you know their taxis used to be in cream and red?
Set up in 2011, the Singapore Memory states in its FAQ page that it aims to “collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials, so as to tell the Singapore Story”. Users of the site can submit content to the site in various mediums. The project is primarily an initiative of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and the National Library Board.
Here is the rest of Jeffrey’s work:
According to Jeffrey, this is an Austin Cambridge A60, which was made by the Austin Motor Company in England. These cars were produced from 1961 – 1969. These classic beauties likely ferried many of your older relatives in the 1960s and 1970s, as they were en route to watch Easy Rider or the very first Godfather!
This is how a Mercedes car looked like in the 1950s. Produced in 1953, the Mercedes Benz type 180 was produced by then Daimler-Benz.
Did you know that Comfort DelGro taxis used to be called NTUC Comfort taxis? You associate Comfort DelGro’s brand with blue now but did you know their taxis used to be in cream and red? Here’s something else younger Singaporeans may not know – SBS-Transit was once in the taxi game!
This beautiful drawing was made by an artist with Glimpses of Eden which is a Singapore-based online art gallery. What sets it apart from other galleries is that it features work by differently-abled artists. It is run by jtmuses, or Joyce, as she calls herself.
In 1976, there was no cell phone you could dial a cab with. But 1976 was the year when dialling a cab became possible, with the advent of the radio taxi service. Back then, phone numbers only had six digits.
Little booths all over the island processed these calls, such as this one you see here, in Sembawang.
Before we had Hyundai i40s and Renault Latitudes taxis on our roads along with the Toyotas and Nissans, we had these.
According to Remember Singapore, yellow top taxis have been a fixture in Singapore before we were called Singapore, since the 1930s. Do you recall the last time you saw one?
This was the first London type taxi available in Singapore. Back in 1949, taxi drivers aspiring to ferry their passengers around in one of these would have to fork out $7000 Singapore dollars. In today’s money, that would be over $77000. Little wonder that few could afford to buy one.
According to statistics compiled by the Land Transport Authority in 2016, the average taxi driver makes 28.6 trips a day. Each trip averages out to 9.6km. Going by my extremely rudimentary calculations, at this rate, it would take a cab driver the better part of a year to get his money back.
Do you remember the last time you took the taxi? Can you imagine getting nostalgic over the look and smell of the taxi one day?
Maybe you know somebody who works in healthcare or someone with ailing relatives in long-term care facilities. Maybe you are that somebody. Then you know what it’s like for the patients in hospice care, who are often shuttered from the rest of society. We don’t see much of them on our TVs and nobody likes to talk about their fading loved ones.
But what happens to those who have no one? Surely, as fellow human beings, they deserve the best care available in their twilight years? Nobody should receive less care just because they have no any living relatives or friends left to fund their healthcare. Nobody should be lonely as they wait for the great unknown, just because they outlived their circle of friends and family.
This year, HCA Hospice Care (HCA), which has been providing medical care for terminal patients for free since 1989, is organizing the The Vertical Challenge 2020 to raise $300,000. The funds will go directly to provide care and comfort for their patients and to bankroll 1,000 home visits. Although they have a care facility, they also look after patients at home.
Since HCA’s Vertical Challenge officially kicked off on the 1 October, it has already raised more than $41,000 up to date! To take part, you have to sign up on HCA’s website here. Every participant will have a unique link which they can share with supporters to raise funds. Once a minimum amount is raised, the participants can start the challenge at any time.
As HCA says on their site,
“This is to encourage participants to garner donations and aim to raise $300 (for individuals), $600 (for family and friends) and $3,000 (for teams/corporations). By doing so, participants help to raise funds and awareness of the importance of palliative and hospice care.”
So if you see a rise in the number of folks in your neighbourhood clambering up the stairs, you know why! Or perhaps you will see your coworkers heading to the stairs in your office building instead of the gym downstairs. Of course, you should make sure before you begin that you have a device with a barometric sensor, such as an Apple watch or a FitBit, to log elevation gain.
HCA’s Vertical Challenge will run until 30 November. Finishers get a medal and a t-shirt, which will be sent to them within two weeks of completing their challenge. More importantly, they’ll get the satisfaction in the knowledge that they’ve helped someone to meet their last days with dignity, in the presence of their loved ones, if they are still living.
Physical stores or online retailers are not the only options for our Gen Zs these days. Instagram shops are the go-to to find a piece of apparel or accessory which resonates with our sense of individuality.
In fact, some youths have utilised this social media platform to build a brand that is set apart. Their concepts are like no other. Let us fill you in on some low-key brands which could use more hype.
Think about Winx Club, Barbie, or The Sailor Moon — the vibes this brand gives off are simply ethereal and whimsical. The shop’s page is filled with pastel hues and pop-culture visuals from our childhood. Channel your inner fairy with her wonderful creations.
Ka-ka-ka-kawaii! Contrary to its name, the vibrance radiated off each lovingly handmade product is off the wall. Their wacky creations are made with passion and an artistic vision by Natasha Elle, a Singaporean creative based in Japan. She translates each of her visual ideas into multiple forms — earrings, prints, bags and even temporary tattoos!
Don’t the bright colours put you in a happy-go-lucky mood?
With a number of art installations under her belt, this visual artist is pushing the border by letting her creativity flow through her brand as well. From mock ears, to even a vibrator? (I am not kidding.) Her shop which first started out selling unimaginable earrings has broadened to a greater variety of products – I can imagine adorning one of her accessories to a music festival or an indie-rock concert!
What a name for a brand which sells vintage and thrifted clothing! This store levels up the thrifting game with their studio-shot apparel. The marketing effort is definitely an A-plus! Managed by a group of dedicated students, this passion project of theirs hopes to progress into a cafe with a boutique in the future. If you’re a Harley Davidson T-shirt collector or simply an old soul for fashion, follow their Instagram page or Telegram group for updates on the latest drops!
This brand right here is clear cut in their vision and mission. Many Instagram shops in the thrifting community share about the importance of Sustainability. Besides looking like the cool kid in town, more youths are conscious about the impact of their consumption habits.
The thing is, THREADLIGHTLY breaks it down further for us! They have three lines of apparel – Rework, Rehome, Reclaim. The ‘Rework’ line presents items which have been upcycled from used clothing and textile! To add on, they receive donations from the public which will contribute to their ‘Rehome’ line. However, here’s the catch: the brand does not receive any fast fashion items even if they are brand new! They are firm on their stance of discontinuing the fast fashion cycle. How about the unpicked donations you might ask? The owners will send them over to a textile centre so nothing ever goes to waste! Lastly, the ‘Reclaim’ line is for all you vintage clothing connoisseurs. A curation of premium pieces priced from $25-$120.
Lucky for you, they have a physical store at Queensway Shopping Centre so do drop by if you’re interested.
Location: 1 Queensway, 02-22, Queensway Shopping Centre
Opening Hours: 11am-8:30pm, Mon-Sun
Maskne, also known as mask acne, is a small side-effect of being socially responsible when wearing face masks. Masks are currently mandatory in Singapore because of the Covid-19 social distancing measures put in place, with no end in sight. However, that also means we should take precautions to prevent maskne.
Singaporeans have been wearing masks since April 2020. While it has become a daily norm, some of us may start to realize acne forming. Puberty flashbacks aside, having acne under the mask can get a little uncomfortable. The steps to prevent acne we found are actually pretty easy and could be effective if done right.
The most basic and important step is mask hygiene. Cleaning your mask regularly is a must! The amount of oil, sweat, and even nasal mucus sitting on your face might be a contributing factor that causes acne.
Remember to wash your mask with gentle soap after each use. It is important to make sure you use gentle, non-irritating soap as heavily scented washing detergent and softeners might cause skin irritation. Keeping them somewhere clean after drying is a good additional step to take. This ensures your masks are always clean when you need to use them.
Consider using Seventh Generation Free & Clear detergent to wash your face masks. It is a plant-based hypoallergenic detergent that is made for sensitive skin.
A lot of people might not know this, but the material of the mask could be the root of all your maskne problems. According to Hopkins Medicine, some commercially made face masks are pre-treated with formaldehyde to disinfect them. Your skin might find this chemical a bit harsh which leads to an allergic reaction causing acne to form.
Instead, opt for a face mask made from cotton or polyester blends that will be gentler on your skin. It will cause less irritation on your face. The best part is these masks are reusable so your skin and the environment will thank you for it.
Support local custom face masks from creators like Anwar Rafiee. It is 100% polyester with two layers of cloth and a filter pocket for you to insert your own filter. His designs are great for everyday use.
Just remember to get the right fit for the mask to avoid any chafing or extra friction between your skin and the mask. Uniqlo AIRism Face Masks comes in 3 sizes that you can choose from. It is great for those who want to get a breathable mask with the right fit.
Maskne Skin Care Routine
Adopting a regular skincare routine is essential to stay away from acne if you don’t already have one. All you need is a gentle facial cleanser and a moisturizer. Mayoclinic recommends using noncomedogenic or non-pore clogging products as well as a water-soluble moisturizer so that it will not get in the way of the mask’s function.
Try out Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser as your facial cleanser. It is gentle on sensitive skin and is also moisturizing. Psst.. Use Foodpanda’s Shop Orders discount code to get $4 off from selected stores like Guardian. It is only valid till 30 November 2020. You can find the codes here.
Remember to moisturize your face before and after wearing the mask! An additional step you can adopt is using a barrier ointment on the areas that the mask rests on your face. This can protect and soothe your skin if it gets chapped from wearing the mask for long hours.
Try out Botanic Heal Derma Ceramide Gel Cream for your moisturizer. However, do remember to do a patch to test for any skin allergies or reactions to the product.
If you do get acne, make sure you do not pop them. Popping pimples can cause inflammation and after being trapped under the damp and sweaty mask all day, it could possibly lead to an infection. Instead, treat the acne immediately using a pimple patch.
Consider using Oxy Anti-Bacterial Acne Patch to protect and heal your pimple while wearing your mask.
Always remember to seek professional help if your skin starts to crack and bleed or is having a severe reaction to any masks or products. The steps may seem simple but can be quite effective. While we wait for the restrictions to be lifted, we should take precautions to prevent maskne.
Out with the Hokkaido Salmon Burger and in with the Samurai Double Beef Burger and the Ninja Chicken Burger. With these Japan-related promotions McDonald’s Singapore has been offering, does it make you wonder – what do they have in McDonald’s over in Japan? Let’s take a look together, shall we?
Here are 5 items from McDonald’s Japan we wish were available in Singapore.
This beautiful, thicc (thick)burger has two beef patties in it drizzled in garlic pepper sauce. That sauce looks like it would go extremely well with some crunchy lettuce, onion slices and tomatoes. We wonder if it’s anything like Samurai Double Beef Burger. Hmm.
The Garlic Pepper Beef Burger is priced at ¥490, which is about $6.30.
Not satisfied with just plain ol’ seaweed, McDonald’s Japan is currently selling their fries with sachets of cheeseburger-flavoured seasoning for a limited time. Intriguing! Will there also be the taste of chopped onions and dill pickles? Will it be anything like Pringles’ New York style chips, which are also cheeseburger-flavoured?
The Medium Shaker Fries will set you back ¥310, or about $4.00.
This little slice of fried gold looks a lot like the MOS Chicken from MOS Burger, except maybe a little more uniform in shape? It’s also available in other flavours, such as cheddar cheese and red pepper. Just pour in the seasoning and shake!
All versions of Shaka-Chicki are priced at ¥150 each, or about $2.00.
In Singapore, we have the Caramel Macchiato at our McCafés. In Japan, they go next level by offering up the Crème Brûlée Latte. Which means that if you order the Crème Brûlée Latte in Japan, you’ll get the deliciousness of the caramel with the added bonus of some custard cream. Umm, yes please.
A medium Crème Brûlée Latte would cost you ¥390, or about $5.00.
In Singapore, we’ve had several variations on the evergreen Apple Pie, including the most recent Coconut Pie and the Taro Pie back in 2013. In Japan, they currently have a promotion involving a triangular pastry pie filled either with Tiramisu or good ol’ chocolate for ¥150, or $2.
By the way, if you’re reading this article, chances are you eat at McDonald’s. So mark your calendar for 19 November because awesome things are on the horizon!
In just 2 days, you’ll be able to taste the Samurai Double Beef Burger and Ninja Chicken Burger at McDonald’s. The Samurai Double Beef Burger, for the uninitiated, contains two slices of quarter-pounder beef patties slathered in teriyaki and mayonnaise sauce served with lettuce. The Ninja Chicken Burger, which is a new item, features a juicy chicken patty bathed in Japanese tartar sauce and sweet Nanban sauce served with white cabbage.
The crowd-pleasing Seaweed Shaker Fries will also return. There’ll also be a new dessert flavour: Coffee Milk Tea. If you love coffee, you’ll be able to choose between having a coffee milk tea Sundae, ice cream or McFlurry.
Which variation of Apple Pie do you wish would make a comeback? Or are you still not over the Pandan Ice Cream? Tell us on our Facebook page.
National Gallery of Singapore or National Museum of Singapore will definitely come to mind when we think about contemporary art. However, there are still hidden gems yet to be discovered by the mainstream crowd. Here are 5 underrated art galleries in Singapore you’re probably sleeping on.
Near the go-to indie cinema, The Projector, lies another gem on the fifth floor of Golden Mile Complex – Coda Culture. Founded by Singaporean Seelan Palay, whose identity doesn’t lie in his past as a school drop out or ex-convict but in the art he lives and breathes everyday. Solely through word of mouth, this gallery has built a community that is inclusive and a culture where local artists come together to bring their expressions to life. A number of visitors-turned-volunteers even help out in maintaining the operations of the place.
It is not too late to catch “Shoe Shufflers” which will be running till 3 October. Admission is free.
Situated at the heart of Bencoolen Street lies a non-profit visual house which has been running in its 17th year. Even the blur sotong will be able to spot a bright yellow chapel gallery as they walk past. Not just known for its photography and filmmaking workshops, Objectifs houses curated artworks and showcases of local photographers. Besides the insta-worthy chapel gallery, a lower gallery as well as courtyard are spaces used for exhibitions too.
Visit their latest exhibition, “Immaterial Bodies” which ends on 1 Nov 2020. Admission is free.
If you’ve gone to Art Box before, you might or might not be intrigued by this art gallery which is housed within 19 shipping containers. Step into The Deck, a creative space for contemporary photography. Recently, “This Connect: Threading Worlds” garnered quite some media attention due to its theme of mental wellness and suicide prevention. Although the installation has recently ended, follow them on Instagram and Facebook for more content and updates on their show in December. The conversation should not stop!
The Deck is currently holding a fundraising project – “#SAVEDECK”, to rebuild its existing structure and claim permanence in the space it currently holds. If you would love to support their vision, do check out the link here for more information.
For the arts scene to grow even more, we need to believe in the potential of our young blood. NAFA proudly showcases different bodies of works varying from fashion to the visual arts. The works are done by their students and alumni, displayed at spaces of the campus which are opened to the public.
Two exhibitions exploring the culture of Southeast Asia are ongoing at present. More details on “The Dream of Ayutthaya: NAFA’s academy-wide project” and “Exploring Southeast Asia” are found here.
Less than a week ago, there were a flurry of news reports, including by the Straits Times, reminding people to fold up their flags for the year – or risk being fined $1000. Here’s some good news for those who haven’t done so.
It appears that nobody has ever been fined for displaying the national flag beyond the allotted time period.
In an article published by Today Online yesterday, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law, Edwin Tong assured the nation that the law was not put in place to punish Singaporeans who are proud to display the flag. He explained that the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem (SAFNA) Act is meant to “safeguard the dignity” of the flag. Further, he stated that he does not know of a single person who has been fined for leaving their flags out.
In a Straits Times article published on 27 September, Tin Pei Ling, who is a MP for MacPherson SMC, said that while the flag should be displayed in accordance with the guidelines, “Our love for Singapore cannot be measured by months. I think Singaporeans should have the choice to express our love for Singapore… ”
In the same statement, MP Tin Pei Ling also referenced the pandemic and how the national flag could act as a symbol of solidarity and a reminder of national values.
The shared values, by the way, were formalised by the Singapore government in January 1991. You might remember seeing them printed on the back of one of your primary or secondary school exercise books. There are five of them in total. They are as follows: nation before community and society above self, family as the basic unit of society, community support and respect for the individual, consensus not conflict, and finally, racial and religious harmony.
Have you noticed any changes in your neighbourhood regarding the display of flags? Have your neighbours been moved to fold up their flags or are they still out there, rippling and stirring in the wind?
As the Chinese saying goes, you’ve got to eat so you’ll have the energy to work towards losing weight. Okay, so it’s not as catchy in English but the principle still applies. With everyone’s increasingly unpredictable and busy schedules in light of the pandemic, food delivery services are more essential than ever before.
So without further delay, here are some codes and promos you can make use of this October, courtesy of foodpanda.
Good Taste Mala Hotpot
If this is your first time using foodpanda, you can use these codes to save big!
SAVE50 – Get 50% off up to $8! Minimum spending of $10 required.
MART50 – 50% off up to $8 on first Pandamart order! Minimum spending of $15 required.
SHOP50 – 50% off up to $8 on first shops order! Minimum spending of $15.
All of these codes are valid until 31 October.
REAL10 – From 5 – 25 October, get $10 off Health and Beauty brands if you hit the minimum spending of $25. Each foodpanda customer can use this code 2 times!
FLASHHWK – Get 30% off up to $5 when you order hawker food! Minimum order of $12 required. Valid from 6-8 Oct & 13-15 Oct only, from 1-5pm. Limited to first 2000 redemptions per day so act fast!
FLASHBGR – Craving for a good burger? Get 25% off your order, up to $5 with a minimum order of $12. Valid from 20-22 Oct & 27-29 Oct, from 1-5pm. Also limited to first 2000 redemptions per day.
Now that you know all about these codes and promotions, you can focus on tackling work or the household without worrying about going out to buy food or supplies! What will you be ordering for your family or office get-together this week?
Think Mid-Autumn Festival and chances are you’ll think of mooncakes and lanterns. Maybe it will also conjure the images of the moon and its purported inhabitants, Chang’e and her bunny rabbit. Chances are that you won’t associate the festival with bubble tea.
But that’s what Koi The wants you to do.
Yesterday, Koi The announced its new tea flavours, although these will be in packets you can take home to brew and not bubble tea that’s brewed on demand.
Available exclusively at Signature Koi, Koi The’s Moonlight Tea Set will feature 4 flavours. They are Rose Oolong Tea, Dark Oolong Tea, Sea Fog Oolong Tea and Ruby Black Tea. Each Moonlight Tea Sets will contact 6 packets of each flavour, which means each set will contain 24 packets in total. That means there’ll always be a perfect flavour to go with that mooncake!
Currently, there are only two Signature Koi outlets in Singapore. Not to be confused with Koi Express, Signature Koi outlets are all about Koi’s most premium products and the setting reflects that. Its refined and elegant design makes one feel like they are entering a top-tier patisserie. The first one of its kind is located in Jewel Changi Airport. The second, which only recently had its grand opening on the 9 September, is located in Star Vista, which is in the Buona Vista area.
With the recent rainy water, some new tea flavours to sip in between bites of a scrumptious mooncake sounds like just the thing! Which of Koi The’s flavours in their Moonlight Tea Set excites you the most?
Everyone has bad dreams from time to time. During the age of COVID-19, bad dreams may become more common, as everyone struggles to adjust to the new realities of living life in a pandemic. A Straits Times article published on 12 July described various bad dreams Singaporeans suffered as a result of increased stress during these strange times.
One lady dreamt of hand sanitisers and toilet rolls falling from the sky. Another lady dreamt of an anthropomorphized virus-person serving her pizza. A man dreamt he was barred from sitting for exams because he forgot his face mask.
In this article, we tell you about 5 types of bad dreams everyone has had sometime or another and crucially, what they may mean.
Being chased by something. According to a study published in 2010 by the European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, falling and being chased are the top two most common bad dreams. Richard Nicoletti, a psychotherapist trained at the Jung Institute in Boston, describes these dreams as “universal” and “natural”. According to him, dreams of being chased may indicate that the dreamer is avoiding an issue or person that makes them feel fearful, annoyed or pained.
Feeling like you’re falling. This strange sensation, which tends to happen just before you fall sleep, is called a hypnic jerk. When your brain is preparing for sleep, parts of it begin to shut down for the night. Sometimes it accidentally turns off the part that helps you to process gravity, so you get that feeling like you’re sinking through space.
Looking for something. Maybe you dreamt that you’re about to travel to an important event but you can’t find your ez-link card or your wallet. You’re turning your pockets and your bag inside out and panic is setting in. What could it mean? In an article published by The Guardian in October 2018, researchers stated that stress dreams may serve a function. They could be the brain’s way of rehearsing bad outcomes, leading us to anticipate and avoid them. This is called threat simulation theory. For instance, the article described a student who woke up from a bad dream where she was sitting for her exams and realized belatedly that there was an important chapter she had yet to digest. So she woke up and began to study.
Amazingly, students who’ve had stress dreams the night before the exam scored better.
Insects. In the same Straits Times article mentioned at the start of this article, the woman who had dreams being served pizza by the coronavirus itself also started to dream about little green bugs. It turns out that creepy crawlies are another common theme of bad dreams. According to Steve Joordens, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, bugs may translate into fears relating to cleanliness, viruses and losing control of our environment.
Feeling trapped in your body. Again, like the hypnic jerk, where you feel like you’re falling, this one isn’t related to dreams per se. Instead, it’s a quirk of the brain where your brain hasn’t unlocked your body yet. When you go to sleep, your brain locks down your movements so you don’t act out your dreams. Sleep paralysis happens when your body is in sleep mode but your brain is active. Although it is terrifying, it is also harmless.
That’s it for this article. These are the top, run-of-the-mill bad dreams your brain either will or has already thrown at you. Do you tend to remember your dreams? What was the last dream you had about?
Did you know that Singapore’s $10, 000 note is amongst the world’s most valuable banknotes? The only other bank note that rivals it in value is Brunei’s $10, 000 note, which is equal in value in terms of Singapore dollars. Currency between the two nations have been interchangeable since an agreement signed between Brunei and Singapore in 1967.
However, in 2014, the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that it would stop producing the $10, 000 note. The $10, 000 note had been part of Singapore’s legal tender since 1967, from the Orchid series all the way to today’s Portrait series. The reason for ceasing production of the bank note? To prevent money-laundering by organized crime. High value bank notes are an efficient way to move money. With the $10, 000 bank note, one could theoretically have a million dollars in their pocket since the stack will only be 1 cm thick and under 200g in weight.
Although the bank note is no longer in production, it is still legal tender and remains so indefinitely.
Just last year, in October, a 61 year old man was arrested for trying to deposit a fake $10, 000 bank note. He had been persuaded to do so by an unknown foreign man, who offered a monetary reward in exchange. In August last year, a pair of male suspects aged 34 and 55 years old were apprehended after it was discovered that they had sold a fake Orchid series $10, 000 note to a man online. The victim had paid $11, 500 dollars for the counterfeit bank note.
The Orchid note series were produced between the years 1967 – 1976. They were followed by the Bird series from 1976 – 1984 and then the Ship series from 1984 – 1999. From 1999, Singapore has been producing the Portrait series, with the face of Singapore’s first President, Encik Yusof bin Ishak, gracing our money. What are your thoughts on Singapore’s currency notes throughout the years? Which is your favourite?
Singapore’s tropical heat rarely goes above 35 degrees Celsius. Combined with our relatively high humidity though, it can be nigh unbearable as sweat is slow to evaporate. So it’s hardly any wonder that air conditioning is so prevalent throughout the island. Gone are the days that there were public buses with no AC units!
But is air conditioning actually good for you?
An optimal temperature, which AC units help to maintain, can improve cognition. In 2018, PLOS Medicine published a study by Harvard University that found that students without AC units did worse compared to their air-conditioned peers in the summer.
Do you prefer to sleep with the AC on? There’s a reason for that. AC units make it easier to sleep when it’s hot, since they help us get a little closer to the optimal temperatures for sleeping. According to Dr. Janette Nesheiwat, who is a family and emergency physician, that optimal temperature range hovers between 17 to 20 degrees Celsius. While I know it’s easier to fall asleep when I’m cold, I’m not sure I would particularly enjoy being that cold.
And now, for the bad news.
Have you noticed how air conditioners are installed? It is a sealed system that goes from inside an enclosed space to outside of it. The refrigerant in a AC unit is constantly being circulated and what it does is absorb heat from inside and cast it outside. Because of all the air movement, it’s important that AC units are monitored and maintained regularly.
AC units that are contaminated, whether they’re in a vehicle, home or office can cause adverse health effects. For example, they can cause allergies and even worsen asthma problems.
Epidemiologists speak of Sick Building Syndrome, a sickness that typically afflicted office workers who worked in poorly designed AC systems. According to a document published in 1996 by the Institute of Environmental Epidemiology (IEE), an arm of the Ministry of Environment, sufferers of Sick Building Syndrome recover quickly once they exit the building. Symptoms include perpetually blocked noses, breathing problems, fatigue, skin irritation and headaches.
The problem could lie with microorganisms growing in the AC system, or with indoor air contaminants. For example, in the same document published by the IEE, it is said that common indoor air contaminants include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and even formaldehyde. According to the IEE, formaldehyde can lurk where you least expect – office furniture, carpet glues, paint, even ceiling tiles!
So while air conditioning is generally good for you, don’t neglect the harmful effects it could cause if the AC unit in your home or office is not well-looked after. Do you remember when the AC unit’s filters were last washed or when the unit was last inspected in general?
A new app targeted for persons living with dementia and their caregivers was launched in Singapore yesterday. Called the My House Of Memories app, it was created by National Museums Liverpool and launched in the United Kingdom in 2014 but has since been adapted for use in the United States in 2018.
Although short-term memory loss is prevalent throughout all forms of dementia, long-term memories have a stronger foothold and is present well until the later stages of the disease. My House of Memories uses the staying power of long-term memories to help persons living with dementia to forge bonds with their caregivers by looking at familiar everyday objects together.
Localized by the National Heritage Board and the British Council in Singapore, the app will feature two sections, Museum Memories and My Memories.
Museum Memories will draw from everyday objects sourced from Singapore’s National Collection and the Alzheimer’s Disease Association. Some examples include a photo of a Setron television set, which was everywhere in Singapore during the 1960s and 1970s and a cup and saucer set, commonly seen in kopitiams from the 1960s to today. A caregiver for a person with dementia can use the content provided by Museum Memories to jumpstart conversations and form connections with them.
My Memories is a personal catalogue of significant items that caregivers of patients living with dementia can build through snapping photographs. Looking at familiar objects and images has been shown to help people with dementia stay connected with their past.
My House of Memories SG is available for free on both the App Store and Google Play Store. For now, the app is only available in English but there are plans to release it in Mandarin, Tamil and Malay next year.
The app has been downloaded by 33, 000 people all over the globe and upwards of 12, 500 health and social care professionals and caregivers have received dementia awareness training developed by the House of Memories team. The app has also netted the team behind it multiple awards, including the Exceptional Achievement Award in 2018.
Do you know anybody who is living with dementia or caring for someone who lives with dementia? You can help them by letting them know about this app!
Attention, Singaporeans who still have their flags out! Did you know that if your flag is still out after 30 September, there’s a chance you might be fined under the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Rules (SAFNA)?
This fine will set you back $1,000 so don’t play play, okay?
By law, the timeframe for flags to be displayed is from 1 July to 30 September. This year, the timeframe was brought forward due to the pandemic, in order for Singaporeans to show support for each other during these extraordinary times.
In the past, the flag was required to be displayed either with a flagpole and or set up in such a way that it could be illuminated at night. This rule was done away in 2007.
In contrast, our neighbour across the causeway has no stipulated timeframe for the display of Jalur Gemilang, the Malaysian national flag. However, a letter to national broadsheet The New Straits Times in August this year suggested that Malaysia could implement a recommended period for the flag to be displayed. The letter writer, V. Thomas, believed that this would mean less flags left out in the wild to deteriorate in the elements.
How do you feel about having a timeframe for our flag to be displayed? How would it feel as displaying the flag was legal year round?
What did you do for your weekend?
This family of five planned an outing to a neighbour park and brought supplies to help clean it up. Their actions were captured on video by redditor u/Raftel88, who posted it to the subreddit for Singaporeans and Singapore residents, r/singapore.
Armed with trash bags, plastic bags and a pair of tongs, the parents brought their three kids around to pick up litter. Though it was only a brief video, the family’s altruistic actions gained widespread praise in the subreddit, picking up 1.9K likes, or upvotes, as Reddit terms them. The post also got multiple community awards.
Singaporeans also chimed in with descriptions of their brushes with good parenting in the wild, such as one redditor who used to work in the Tourism sector. He described his experience witnessing a mother teaching her son about personal responsibility and the consequences of littering.
According to u/Raftel88, this park is located along Gangsa Road, which is in the Bukit Panjang area.
If you are thinking of getting out there to help keep Singapore clean, why not consider joining up with some friends? You can register at the Public Hygiene Council’s website for a park or beach clean-up session with four other individuals. Safe Management Measures apply so be sure to read up the rules and familiarize yourself with them before registration!
The pandemic has changed the way we do everything, including work. Singaporeans famously spend long hours at work. Based on my own, admittedly, very limited social circle, my peers spend anywhere from one-third to half of their day working. As the situation evolves in Singapore, our new normal at work keeps changing. Now it’s about to change again.
The Manpower Ministry announced that its requirements for safe management measures will be eased. From 28 September, you’ll be seeing more of your colleagues as those able to work from home return to the office. Still, to minimize unnecessary exposure at the workplace, the Manpower Ministry requires no more half of the company’s workforce to on the premises at any given time. Employers also have to ensure that their employees spend half of their working time working from home.
Bad news for people who hate being stuck in anything resembling a meeting: the Manpower Ministry has approved the resumption of conferences, Annual General Meetings, corporate retreats and seminars. Of course, the company will have to ensure the people involved do not exceed 50 persons. Safe Management Measures also applies.
Unsure about what applies in your workplace? Not sure about the details? You may refer to the Ministry of Manpower’s webpage on Safe Management Measures at work here.
This article was written by guest writer Megan Lye.
ThisConnect: Threading Worlds, an art exhibition by local artist duo Hunny and Lummy, was held in conjunction with World Suicide Prevention Awareness Month from 10 to 27 September. This art exhibition aimed to raise awareness about the issues surrounding mental and emotional health in the context of rising suicide and depression rates, accelerated by COVID-19 circumstances.
Two works, “Tipping Point” and “I Feel You”, make up the exhibition. When you enter the first room, three chairs line the wall, facing three separate TV screens. On each chair is a card with a question that we don’t really ask ourselves enough – “Are you present?”
I visited the exhibition two days in a row, and here’s what I have to say about it.
You pick a chair based on the one that draws you in the most and begin to get immersed in the world that is “Tipping Point”, an examination of the way we deal with our daily lives, thoughts, and emotions through the performative act of blowing a balloon.
At first, it seems abstract and repetitive – the sound of a balloon being blowed against the daily humdrum of chatter, cars, birds, and MRT announcements – but it soon begins to feel strangely familiar, and for me, it started feeling like I was looking into and experiencing my own life from the outside.
Physical sensations start creeping up my body – my chest starts feeling tight and my breathing starts to get heavy alongside the rhythm of air being forced into the balloon. There’s a lethargic haze that seems to descend upon me, I’m more present than ever to how eerily accurate a depiction of my life this first work seems to be – and it is confronting.
Every couple of minutes, a balloon pops, a startling noise in the otherwise quiet room, and while everybody present will pay attention for that one moment, the video moves on almost immediately, and the attention from that moment is quickly lost as well.
It’s a 24-minute long video, but it passes by in a flash. I don’t know how many balloon pops I’ve heard, but it hits me just how fast that moment passes, because that is obviously representative of somebody snapping under pressure, but it is only given a second’s worth of attention that is quickly grabbed by whatever comes next.
It is rather reminiscent of the way we react and respond to suicide and death. You mourn the rising statistics for a bit before the hustle and bustle of the world demands your attention again, and life goes on. How many lives have come and gone, people unnoticed, and stories unheard?
It’s a scary feeling that accompanies me as I stand up and move to the next room.
Beyond the curtains lies the second work of the exhibition, “I Feel You”, and it feels immediately intimate. Ten TV screens with headphones are arranged across the floor in a dim room, with a main video projection on an empty wall.
In this piece, two strangers stand facing each other, hands clasped together, as they take turns sharing and listening to each other. When one person is talking, the only thing the other person is allowed to say is “I feel you”.
The underlying question this piece of work seeks to answer is this: Will two strangers, who don’t know anything about each other, be able to connect wholeheartedly and be present to each other’s stories?
One visit is not nearly enough to fully experience this exhibition. There are 20 different stories shared across the ten TV screens, and each person does a deeply intimate sharing of the deepest pains and losses they’ve experienced in their lives for 10 minutes. It is wrought with emotion, authenticity, vulnerability, and very real struggles that many of us face but may not have the space to express.
You would think that these stories would be shared amongst close family and friends, but a common statement kept coming up:
“I’ve never really talked about this to anyone before… and I’m not sure why I’m talking to you about this, but it feels good. Really good. Thanks for listening. Can I give you a hug?”
It makes you wonder about how lonely it must be for a person to be surrounded by people, yet feeling so unheard, misunderstood, and unable to speak out about their struggles, feelings, and things that matter to them.
It’s not as if these are special cases – in fact, the participants of I Feel You are people like us. Students in school. Undergraduates. Fresh graduates. Working adults. Your everyday Singaporean trying to get by in the rat race to achieve the Singaporean Dream.
As I’m experiencing the exhibition, one question keeps coming to mind – When a close family or friend confides in you, what do you say, or what do you do?
The work shows that people are looking for a listening ear and an open heart. The simple act of holding someone’s hand and saying “I feel you” when appropriate creates that safe environment.
Our natural instinct is to respond with well-intentioned advice, opinions, and thoughts on the matter, but this piece of work challenges that instinct with documented, unscripted, hard evidence that a person can easily go deep into what’s really weighing on their hearts if all we do is be there and listen to their struggles, acknowledge them, and thank them for sharing.
Advice is only useful when asked for, and our opinions and thoughts about how people are and how the world works are purely our own – they serve no purpose other than to prevent someone from feeling comfortable and safe enough to open up about what really matters in that moment.
Depression and suicide are stealthy and sneak up on us over time. More often than not, we don’t know what the people closest to us are facing inside until it’s too late. A statistic by the World Health Organisation states that one person dies from suicide every 40 seconds globally.
When that happens, you’re left with all the ‘what-ifs’: what if you had just reached out sooner? What if you just made that extra 10 minutes to reconnect with people who matter amidst your busy day, every day? What if you just paid more attention to what this person was trying to say the past few times you talked? What if there was something more you could have done to make this person feel less alone? Just, what if?
ThisConnect: Threading Worlds as a whole paints an elaborate picture of how anyone of us can easily succumb to depression and suicide. Every day, we bottle up stress and negativity in that inflatable, expandable balloon we think is our infinite capacity for pain and hardship, not realizing that our balloons have a finite capacity, and deflating it is the only thing that will keep us alive and going. Without that, we would eventually reach our own tipping points and possibly go down the path of depression and suicide.
I Feel You shows exactly how you can deflate your own balloon of pain and hardship, and help others around you do the same. While the stories shared are emotionally heavy, the exhibition ends on an uplifting note. There’s a survey form given out to all visitors that helps them integrate their insights and realisations from the two pieces of work so that they can apply them and make a change to the way they relate and connect with others, and conversations with the artists themselves make the whole experience one that empowers us to empower others.
A single visit is barely enough to experience the entirety of what this exhibition offers. I’ve visited twice, but each time, I walked away with different realisations about myself and the way I relate and connect with others.
The intention that the artists put behind these works powerfully came forth in how a safe space was created for visitors to reflect and have deeper conversations with each other about themselves or what they realised.
It stripped us of our masks, gave us the courage to be vulnerable, and you walk away with deeper connections with the people you came together with in that timespan of one to two hours.
This is only a prelude to their main show in December.
The exhibition doesn’t end when you leave DECK.
In fact, the conversations, the stories, and the connections stay with you long after, and they build upon each other to show you a different possibility of what our lives could be like, if only we gave each other the space to be ourselves, unapologetically and authentically.
Register for the exhibition here: shorturl.at/EOSVZ
Find out more about ThisConnect: https://thisconnect.today/
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This guest article was written by Megan Lye.
Yesterday, while on his way back to his car, Tong Yee saw what he thought was a parking ticket. But it turned out to be a note from the man who inadvertently dented the back of his car. The thoughtful man had left a hand-written note of apology with his contact number on it.
What happened next was an earnest exchange between two strangers. It ended with Tong Yee proposing to treat Shamsul, the man who left the note, to a meal to thank him for his integrity.
Tong Yee, who is an ex school teacher and current Executive Director of The Thought Collective and Common Ground posted about his experience on Facebook yesterday.
He wrote in his post, “And if you really are a foreign national working here, then bless you. It’s a privilege to have you working with us. Grateful for you. And I will do my utmost in making sure your time with us is honored.”
Unsurprisingly, the post has since gone viral, gaining over 6, 400 likes and 5, 900 shares. It’s safe to say that Singaporeans are very interested in what will happen next.
Who knows, this may be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Have you ever been had to take personal responsibility for accidental property damage?
What would you do if you were Tong Yee? If you’d like to see more of Tong Yee’s post, including screenshots of his heartwarming conversation with Shamsul, click here.
Pilgrimages to Kusu Island from the main island of Singapore and beyond began even before Stamford Raffles ever saw the island with his own eyes. At its peak, Kusu Island was visited by 23,000 people in a single day. This year, however, the crowd will be limited to 500 people per day due to the ongoing pandemic.
This pilgrimage season, which is based on the ninth month of the lunar calendar, will begin on 17 October and end on 14 November. Pilgrims that make their yearly visit usually make their way to the Tua Pek Kong temple or to the shrines of the three Malay Saints. This year, all pilgrims are required to use SafeEntry for mandatory contact tracing purposes. They will also have to make a reservation via this webform. The safe distancing measures that have been put in place on the mainland of Singapore will also apply here: each applicant is only allowed to register up to five people. Bookings start on Monday.
Upon successful booking, a confirmation email will be sent to applicants, who will then have to present it to the counter staff at the Singapore Island Cruise & Ferry Services. Pilgrims will also have their temperature taken before they board the ferry.
As there will be an enforced maximum capacity of 30 people for the temple and 15 people for the shrines, the Singapore Land Authority anticipates that long queues may form. If possible, pilgrims are advised to visit during the weekdays to reduce the possibility of waiting in line.
Curious about the history of Kusu Island? Don’t know why it’s called Turtle Island but decidedly not turtle-shaped? Check out our article from August on Kusu Island to read a quick run-down on the whys and hows of Kusu Island!
As Singaporeans, it is in our DNA to seek out discounts and bargains. Now that 10 October is approaching, every major brand and retailer has a deal for you. Here in this handy article, we’ve collected all the best deals and put them in one place.
Have a look and don’t say we didn’t tell you!
From Asics to foodpanda, here are deals exclusively for DBS/POSB card users.
Get $5 off with a minimum spending of $25 with promo code DBSOCT
New to foodpanda?
Get $8 off your first order with a minimum spending of $15 AND a $8 voucher for your 2nd order with promo code DBS8NEW.
Only valid from 1 to 31 October!
Did you know there’s a Madame Tussauds at Sentosa?
You can visit the world famous exhibits now and get a tour of the museum. There are even hands-on activities where you can learn how the exhibits are painted and attend a live demonstration! With DBS/POSB, you can get 40% off your tickets at just $25!
Enter the promo code DBS25 to enjoy your discount.
Only valid from now till 31 July 2021!
Looking for some new sportswear or shoes? Asics is having a promotion from now till 31 December 2020!
With a minimum spending of $150, you can get 15% off items in your card by entering DBS15 with the first 6 digits of your DBS/POSB card!
Sephora is offering 20% off everything in their stores for 10.10, with a minimum spending of $150. Customers who don’t hit the minimum can still enjoy 15% off. This is a great time to stock up on your skincare and makeup products!
Psst… Did you know you can get 50% off Fenty’s Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipstick? At only $14.50 and rated 4.5 stars by over 3000 shoppers, that’s a heck of a good deal.
Here are some deals exclusively for Citibank users.
New to Shopee? Get $7 off with a minimum spending of just $15. Simply enter promo code CITINEW7.
Existing Shopee users can get 10% off, capped at $4 discount per transaction. Just use promo code CITITEN4!
Both of these great deals are available until 31 December.
Running low on pet supplies? Kohepets would like to offer you 10% off your first order. Enter promo code PRICELESS to take advantage of this deal.
The offer is valid till 15 April 2021.
Want to look good and feel good while working out? Puma has sitewide 20% off discount just for you with a minimum spending of $200. Enter code PUMAXMASTERCARD to enjoy the deal.
This offer is valid until 14 November 2020.
Know other friends who love retail therapy? Share this article with them now!
There seems to be no end in sight for the ever-growing durian craze in sunny Singapore.
A few days back, Sunshine Bakeries surprised the public by announcing the launch of a new, limited-edition bun filled with real D24 durian for only $1.30 each.
Dubbed The Legendary D24 Durian Cream Bun, this confectionery will join the shelves with other all-time favourites many of us have grown to love over the years.
This one is spotted by eagle-eyed netizens and uploaded onto Singapore deals Facebook page Singapore Atrium Sale, at a Hougang Prime Supermarket.
Durian lovers, salivating yet?
If you’re hitting the supermarkets, remember to check out this flavourful addition. The Legendary D24 Durian Cream Bun is available in all authorised Sunshine Bakeries retailers at $1.30 per bun.
According to AsiaOne, Sentosa’s beaches were packed last weekend.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, the weather was good and stable, which is a rare commodity these days. There were no sudden showers, no ominous rumbling in the sky. Also, everyone probably had that announcement on 23 September in the back of their minds. You know, that announcement about having to make a booking in advance, should they want to enjoy some time on the beaches of Sentosa.
If you haven’t heard, visitors to Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong beach zones will have to make bookings up to seven days ahead of time on Sentosa’s website. There are two time-slots, 8 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 7 pm. Reservations can be made for groups up to five people.
Or perhaps, the crowd was there in part to take advantage of ongoing promotions. Such as Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa’s Daycation package. For just $75, those over 18 years of age can enjoy a range of activities ranging from very stationary to very kinetic. The $75 package includes $50 of dining credits which you can make use of to fill your stomach after some kayaking or paddleboarding. Or you can simply choose to lounge on the beach with a good book and a cocktail.
Adrenaline junkies can also choose to check out Singapore’s only bungy tower at Siloso Beach. That would be AJ Hackett’s Giant Swing, which is 50m tall and can take up to 3 people per swing. Be warned though, this swing is perfectly capable of barrelling you and your friends skywards and back towards the ground at speeds of above 100km/h. One ticket costs $49. Two can take the swing for $99.
Of course, it goes without saying that safe management measures will have to be taken at the beaches. No fun can be completely guiltless, after all, in this strange new pandemic world. Visitors can expect familiar measures in place to protect them, capacity limits in each zone and designated entry and exit points. Plus, something that seems quite unique to Sentosa for now: “safety rings” where groups of up to five people may gather.
Sort of like an imaginary box drawn on the ground with tape.
Will you consider spending some time at Sentosa with your people? Why not take some time away from the main island to enjoy some sea, sun and sand?
Live in the heartlands? Craving for something beyond the borders of your neighbourhood? Thanks to Deliveroo, you can order whatever you like as long as it’s within the acceptable bounds of civilization.
From now till 11 October, if you open up your Deliveroo app and look up restaurants filed under “Extended Delivery”, you can satisfy that craving while enjoying free delivery!
This is only the first part of Deliveroo’s four-pronged campaign to expand its business in Singapore.
Deliveroo is also partnering up with British retail store Marks & Spencer, which is launching their delivery service on 12 October. To further excite Singaporeans, Deliveroo will provide $30, 000 worth of discounts once this service launches.
Speaking of discounts, Deliveroo plans to release promo codes every week that will be available for redemption at restaurants like Teppei Syokudo and A-One Claypot House. Up to 300 restaurants that Deliveroo has partnered with will also offer discounts funded by Deliveroo. This promotion will last until 25 October.
On top of that, Deliveroo is aware that the feel-good factor is a great way to motivate people to spend. As such, they’ve teamed up with Food From The Heart (FFTH) to support the Clean Plate Campaign, which aims to raise awareness about food waste. After all, food waste is a huge issue here, what with the waste generated only growing in the past decade, up to 20%!
From 28 September to 16 October, Deliveroo customers that take part in the #CleanPlateChallenge can tag Deliveroo and FTFH and every submission will net the charity $1.
Planning a food party? Maybe a farewell party? You can consider using Deliveroo, especially if you’re been thinking of some tacos from town or treats from the other end of the island.
Pictured above: Display of bak kwa at Lim Chee Guan | Credit: @limcheeguanofficial
Most Singaporeans would have heard of Lim Chee Guan, or at least seen the snaking queues which line the entrances of their outlets every Chinese New Year. It is no surprise as they have been making delicious bak kwas by hand since 1938, at a pushcart stall at the foot of a staircase on Chin Chiew Street.
So we are extremely excited when we heard that they are offering free delivery islandwide with a minimum spend of only $10!
With bak kwa prices in Singapore typically starting at a double-digit, it is not difficult to meet the minimum spending. To make the most of your purchase, you may be glad to know that Lim Chee Guan sells other food items such as crispy prawn rolls, meat flosses and even bak kut teh spices!
There are three ways to order:
Due to their popularity, delivery slots do go fast, but they have indicated that they usually require one day notice to get the order out. Nubbad!
Pictured above: The former Lim Chee Guan stall at 191 New Bridge Road, taken sometime between the 1960s and 1980s | Credit: Lim Chee Guan
Going to get myself some Lim Chee Guan. Bye!
Pictured above: Kim Go-eun and Lee Min-ho | Credit: Kdrama Kisses
The most highly-anticipated K-drama of 2020 will premiere on SBS tomorrow (17 April 2020), and Netflix users are in luck as the series will be made available on the same day as its Korean release!
On 22 March 2020, Netflix dropped a teaser on the drama, The King: Eternal Monarch. Watch the trailer here:
Dashing as ever!
The show comes as a sweet relief for many K-drama fans cooped up at home due to the circuit breaker measures, and while the wait for every episode should be excruciating, here are some fun facts (according to soompi) about Lee Min-ho to keep you entertained.
In an interview, Lee Min Ho was asked who he would rescue first if Kim Rae Won, Kim Woo Bin or Jung Il Woo were drowning. He replied that he really can’t swim.
Most of Lee Min-ho’s films portrayed him as a strong man who escapes all sorts of dangerous situations. Yet, it has been reported that he was involved in two vehicular accidents with both being almost fatal.
In 2006, Lee Min-ho and Jung Il Woo were on their way to Gangwon province for a vacation when a car hit them head-on and the impact wrecked their car. Subsequently it was revealed that the car that hit them was involved in a hit-and-run situation and had veered off course. Out of four people whom the driver hit, the two actors were the only ones who survived.
In 2011, the actor was yet again involved in a horrible car accident, this time on the set of “City Hunter”. Lee Min-ho described that incident as a near-death experience and that “it was a miracle (he was) still alive”.
Despite having the magical ability of charming thousands of girls with just his voice, Lee Min-ho revealed that he is actually quite uncomfortable saying cheesy lines in rom-coms. He prefers to take on manlier roles, like the one in “Gangnam Blues”.
Lee Min-ho has tripped on the red carpet a few times, and this was caught on tape.
He went to an all-boys school, and he has claimed that he gets along better with guys. This brings back memories of the another hit drama ‘Boys Over Flowers’, which stars Lee Min-ho and has churned out several international remakes.
In the early days of his acting career, Lee Min-ho actually took on a screen name ‘Lee Min’ for about two years, and he changed it only after realising it meant ‘immigration’ in Korean.
The King: Eternal Monarch will see Lee Min-ho returning to the screen after a three-year break. The last show he was seen in was ‘Legend of the Blue Sea’. He subsequently enlisted into the army and served for two years before he ORD. This new K-drama is expected to come with full-blown heart-throbbing romance based on previous works its writer, Kim Eun-sook, who also wrote ‘Goblin’, which stars Kim Go-eun who is his co-star in this drama as well.
Catch The King: Eternal Monarch from tomorrow, every Friday and Saturday, on Netflix!
Pictured above: Chashu-don from Takagi Ramen | Credit: Takagi Ramen
Takagi Ramen is offering a $2 Chashu-don promotion at all their outlets to satisfy those Japanese food cravings!
At a full serving size, this dish is guaranteed to fill you up. Each bowl comes topped with two large slices of delectable chashu, creamy egg mayo and spring onions which help boost the umami flavour. The rice is drenched in teriyaki sauce which is fragrant but not salty.
This humble ramen place is no stranger to cheap food. In fact, they pride themselves in bringing authentic Japanese food to ordinary Singaporeans. Despite its wallet-friendly pricing, quality is not comprised.
Now, $2 may seem like nothing much to most of us, but there are some who worry about where to get their next meal from. Takagi Ramen is offering free meals to those who are a little tight or are unable to pay for whatever reason – just approach the staff, no questions asked!
We ordered our Chashu-dons (along with a side of octopus takoyaki balls) from Grabfood like good stay-home people do. After being tossed along the journey, the food presentation is nothing to shout about, but boy does the food taste yummy. And they are not lying about the full-sized portion!
Though you can’t see it, each slice of protein in palm-sized and oh-so-soft. The takoyaki balls are also the softest we’ve ever eaten and they literally burst in your mouth. The octopus filling could be a little bigger, but given the price it still extremely reasonable.
This promotion is available at all their outlets, as well as takeout and delivery. Visit Takagi Ramen for more details.
Pictured above: Rojak and prawn noodles from Geylang Prawn Noodles | Credit: @katiepoh
Social media is inundated by hawkers and the rest of the community sharing food-related posts – and this is understandable. As the Covid-19 infection numbers rise across the sunny island, people are forced to stay home and most are not allowed to consume their meals in public spaces.
If you, like me, are a horror hazard in the kitchen, then dabao is the way to go. Luckily for us non-domestic Goddesses, Singapore has a wide network of delivery services such as FoodPanda, Grabfood and Deliveroo. These days, we see more delivery persons coming on board and as these people zoom around to pick up and deliver our food, we should also remember that they are braving the virus outdoors so we can fill our tummies.
Sorry you had to risk yourself for my McSpicy…
Geylang Prawn Noodle, a popular eatery situated in Paya Lebar, is now delivering islandwide. So for those who are craving for quality, rich hei mee, here’s the place to look out for. And instead of keeping part of the delivery fee, they are promising that 100% of the delivery fee will be disbursed to the delivery drivers to help them during this difficult period. How nice!
Back to their food.
Apart from their prawn noodles, there is also a good selection of wu xiang (five-spiced crackers) and rojak available.
Pictured above: Display of prawn noodles and wu xiang | Credit: @cassakating
If you are a hawker food lover, you’ll agree that hei mee and wu xiang makes the best combination ever! And if you love the rice vermicelli a little thicker than the usual bee hoon, this is the place to order from.
Their prawn noodles are highly customisable and you can choose options such as no beansprouts and ask that the de-shell the prawns for you. It’s like you are ordering on the spot yourself!
To place an order, you may WhatsApp them at +65 9117 7527. Payment for the food is via PayNow or PayLah, and the $10 delivery fee is paid to the delivery drivers directly.
Geylang Prawn Noodle
Address: 325 Paya Lebar Road, Quemoy Building, Singapore 534946
Opening Hours: 9am to 7.30pm (closed on Mondays)
Pictured above: Knick-knacks at only $1 | Credit: odo.com.sg
Lelong lelong! (Singlish for cheap sale) It’s not easy to find items you can buy with just a golden coin. Pop in to your favourite mama shop and a packet of Milo would have already costed you about at least $1.20!
We sniffed out some of the best deals online and found a shop called ‘One Dollar Only’ where you can get gifts, stationery and retro knick-knacks in Singapore for just $1. There are also products priced slightly above a dollar, but it is a wallet-friendly way to get some cool toys and stationery which you (or your children) can bring for the new school term, or if you are looking for something to keep the family busy during the stay-in weekends!
Pictured above: Five stones game | Credit: odo.com.sg
Long before the invention of computers, iPhones and Nintendo Switch, five stones was the game that our ah gongs and ah mas would play during their kampung days. It was the ‘Animal Crossing’ of that generation. Five stones is not only a fun and easy game to introduce to your child, but one that carries a little of Singapore’s history and culture too!
Pictured above: 3-pc metal straw set in fabric casing | Credit: odo.com.sg
Sustainability starts with self; learning starts from home. Gifting your children their first reusable metal straw and educating them of the benefits will only allow your child to appreciate nature even more.
Pictured above: Mini board game | Credit: odo.com.sg
Growing up, the biggest lesson I had learned from playing ‘Snake and Ladders’ is: life is unpredictable. You gain some, you lose some. Therefore, in life, don’t ever ‘jiak zhua’ (‘eat snake’, a Hokkien phrase to describe skiving at work and slacking off).
Instead of shooting enemies or baking pies virtually, why not consider this portable board game that is ideal for the whole family?
Pictured above: Positive stickers with dispenser | Credit: odo.com.sg
Sometimes, all it takes to let your children know how much you love them is not through a tight hug, but stickers! Yes, everyone love stickers – whether it’s on their exercise books, their palms or on the wall. $1 for a box of 150 stickers is better than ice cream, if you ask me.
Pictured above: Positive stickers with dispenser | Credit: odo.com.sg
A little weekend sunshine with the family at the beach or park sounds like the perfect Sunday to me! Kite-flying may seem daunting, but all you need is an open space, strong winds and a $1 kite.
Pictured above: Children playing rope skipping | Credit: Care.com
There is no better time to keep fit then now! We know the idea of exercising can seem like a chore, but even a 10-minute workout is better than nothing! Kids love to jump and run around, so bust out a skipping rope to keep them busy for 10 minutes sounds good, no? You may also consider skipping along your HDB corridors instead.
Pictured above: Unicorn stationery item | Credit: odo.com.sg
Is the unicorn trend over yet? I don’t think so! The little girls and boys are going to love this, adding post-it notes on their school books and files. A pretty good way to encourage the younglings to categorize their worksheets properly.
Pictured above: Person playing pick up sticks | Credit: gameonfamily.com
5! 6! Pick up sticks! This is another traditional game that tests the physical and mental skills… and well, sportsmanship too. We’ve seen adults losing to children in this game, so don’t give your kids an advantage because they truly have what it takes to win!
Pictured above: Clipboards in a row | Credit: odo.com.sg
Your child may or may not need it, but I think I do! You probably won’t need a clipboard as much as a file for school or work, but from personal experience, this is the physical way of ‘pinning’ important notes, such as the class timetable! Sorry kids, no more ‘the dog ate it’ excuses.
Browse more $1 items at onedollaronly.com.sg. To help alleviate the boredom and trouble of staying home during the circuit breaker period, some items are going at 80 cents!
The holidays are coming. And with that comes expectations of presents!
We know what it’s like to agonise over what to buy for who, so we’re going to make things a bit easier for you. In this series of posts, we’ll offer five different suggestions on what to get for a particular family member.
Today, it’s all about the Dads.
If your Dad is always fussing over his facial hair, you need to get him this shaving set from MÜHLE. Although MÜHLE’s products tend to be on the higher end of the price bracket, their quality never strays. Their products consistently achieve five star ratings on Amazon. Perhaps that’s no surprise as they’ve had plenty of time to refine their products, since they set up shop in 1945. Now, wouldn’t you want the best for your Dad?
Click here for the product page.
Homegrown brand Benjamin Barker was founded in 2009 by Nelson Yap, one-time film student and skateboard enthusiast. The brand serves up timeless, refined style for every gentleman so you’re bound to find something suitable for your Dad. This shirt in particular caught our eye because of its relaxed and stylish fit. Definitely not your usual plaid shirt associated only with uncles.
Price: $71.92 (U.P. $89.90)
Click here for the product page.
Does your Dad talk often about his days growing up watching old-school cartoons, such as Masters of the Universe? Is he perhaps just as enamored as you when it comes to DC and Marvel comics but reserves a special place in his heart for He-Man? If so, then you need to get him this set of two from Zha Huo Dian, which is located at #03-16 in Far East Plaza.
Price: $200 for a set of two
Click here for the product page.
Dads are all convinced that their music is the best music. Therefore, it stands to reason that you should also get your Dad the best audio products. Bang & Olufsen, a Danish luxury electronics company with a focus on audio products, has been in business since 1925. Their focus when it comes to design is perhaps second to none in the audio industry. These wireless headphones of theirs looks cushy enough to wear at home and good enough to wear outside.
Swee Lee is currently selling this at a steal compared to some other local electronics shops.
Price: $345 (U.P. $460)
Click here for the product page.
Perhaps your Dad has a bottle of liquor stashed somewhere for a special occasion. Because this has been one very strange year, maybe you should get your Dad a bottle of whisky. This can be the bottle you open up and share together to chit chat about life, whenever there is a long weekend. The Whisky Shop is currently selling a bottle of Glenfiddich Fire & Cane, which is a special edition bottle from its experimental series.
Whisky lovers have praised the smokiness in its flavour profile as well as the sweetness and toffee notes present in every sip. Mmm.
Price: $137.80 (U.P. $205)
Click here for the product page.
There you have it – five different products handpicked specially for Dads. We are confident that you can pick one from this set of five to delight one of your life-givers. What are you thinking of getting for your Dad for Christmas and why? Tell us on our Facebook page.
Singlish is the one language that every Singaporean speaks, regardless of their demographic. Its charm and ubiquity is such that Singlish phrases have made their way into the Oxford English dictionary. Of course, the Singlish we speak depends a lot on which generation we belong to. There are terms floating about that are so specific to our age bracket that others outside of it would “catch no ball”, as some might say.
Heck, just this week, I learnt a new Singlish term – swee chai. According to my younger colleagues, it’s synonymous with swee (nice, pretty). The addition of chai is superfluous, aside from adding a nice ring to it. Sort of like the phrase bom bom at the end of fatty bom bom.
In no particular order, here are 5 Singlish phrases Zoomers might struggle to comprehend.
A combination of the word “horrible” and “incorrigible” to denote that something, or someone, is beyond horrible. Famously used in the 1996 movie, Army Daze.
Many iconic Singlish phrases, like Own Time Own Target (OTOT) come from the military. Lobo is one of those phrases that seems to have fallen out of favour in recent years. Purportedly, it comes from the term LOB or Left Out of Battle. Describes a lazy guy who doesn’t carry his own weight.
Up until the late 1970s in Singapore, National Servicemen were separated according to the language they speak. Naturally, you’d be asked if were English or Chinese educated. For some men who belong to the latter group, they struggled to answer. According to the BBC, educated became helicated, which eventually became helicopter. Thus, a Chinese Helicopter refers to a Chinese educated National Serviceman.
A game of competitive rope skipping, played by children. But it’s not just any skipping rope they use. Instead, the skipping rope of choice was made entirely out of rubber bands.
There are also a dizzying amount of rules that accompany the game, such as when you are allowed to touch the rubber band and the manner in which you must hop over the rope.
Completely unrelated to SPC, the Singapore petroleum company. Instead, SPG stands for Sarong Party Girl, a trope so established it has its own Wikipedia page. This one is especially interesting because the Zoomers in my office were completely unaware of the term and we millennials had different ideas of what it meant.
For one guy, he thought the term referred to party girls who loved going to the beach and hanging out with white guys.
Another girl concurred with myself that any Singaporean girl who will only date white guys qualifies as a Sarong Party Girl.
According to Wikipedia, the SPG is also found in Malaysia and Thailand.
Want to brush up on your Singlish? Consider getting The Singlish Coxford Dictionary, written by the very same folks who brought you Talkingcock.com. Fun fact: they later went on to make the 2006 movie, Singapore Dreaming.
Have you heard of any of these phrases mentioned in this article? Do you have a completely different understanding of what they mean? Tell us on our Facebook page.
It was an extremely sunny morning when we went to Katong to meet fashion designer and owner of The Emporium Group, Sylvia Lim. As we waited for her to make her appearance, the sunlight bathed us and everything in her boutique store in warm, vibrant hues.
Surrounding us were handmade apparel, bags, crockery, paintings, and trinkets, like hand-painted tingkats (stackable lunchboxes), and python skin purses. Motifs of shophouses, Singaporean snacks and rattan baskets were immediately recognisable. A print of Peranakan-style beaded shoes, or kasut manek, flew like a flock of birds out of an old wardrobe on a white dress. Hovering over the racks of clothes were mixed-media pieces featuring old shopfronts and shophouses. Up on a shelf sat a round mirror in the shape of the most tangy and refreshing of tropical fruits: the Pineapple.
Madame (/məˈdɑːm,ˈmadəm,French madam/)
Def. Used as a title for women in artistic or exotic occupations,
such as musicians or fortune-tellers.
As she strode into The Emporium, Sylvia beamed at us and exclaimed happily about her many guests.
She was, of course, dressed in her own threads. On her skirt were the outlines of Katong shophouses in bold red and white colours. Her top was comprised of a black and white, repeated motif reminiscent of old-school Peranakan tiles. Her bright, shrewd eyes shone through a pair of clear cat-eye glasses. On her ears were artfully mismatched silver earrings; their contemporary style creating a pleasant dissonance when matched with her outfit. One of them was in the shape of a paperclip, the other: a safety pin.
When she speaks, her voice is stately and rich, the kind of voice that carries without becoming noise.
When asked what she loved about designing clothes, her answer surprised all of us.
“I don’t think of myself as a fashion designer,” She deadpanned. “I think of my fabrics as what I use to tell my stories.”
“I am a storyteller.”
To understand the kind of stories Sylvia tells with her threads, we have to look at who she works with and why she does what she does.
Like many creatives, Sylvia has an unusual and demanding schedule. She begins her day at 7am and her first order of the day is making sure her customers have what they need. Fittings need to be penciled in. Alterations need to be catered to. Orders need to be checked against the inventory.
Meetings with her team happen around noon. She spends the whole day at the shop. Drafting new designs at the table only happens in the still of the night, when she will be left undisturbed. That usually happens anytime from midnight to 3 or 4 in the morning. Sylvia hardly sleeps.
When I ask what kind of food fuels her busy lifestyle, she says matter-of-factly, “Oh, I don’t eat.”
When I express confusion, she cheekily admits that she is particularly fond of coconut-filled tutu kueh. She laments that it is becoming a challenge to find. This is unlike the png kueh, a staple of Singaporean breakfasts and coffee shops.
The png kueh’s iconic bright pink hues were borrowed for The Emporium Group’s collaboration with The Breast Cancer Foundation. The eye-catching kueh was applied generously to playsuits and cheongsams, set against a backdrop of interlocking tiles for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For the campaign, Sylvia handpicked a whopping total of 60 different pantones of pink to be included.
Sylvia revealed that the png kueh collection has become a hit with customers.
“They would call,” She said, with a wry smile. “And they would say, hello? I want png kueh.”
Other work The Emporium Group had done that Sylvia is particularly proud of concerns their partnership with the disadvantaged. Her one-of-a-kind, intricate tingkats are hand-painted by single mothers living in Malaysia. Her team of master seamstresses, which is comprised of only aunties, are wholly responsible for putting The Emporium Group’s pieces together from start to finish.
There are about five of these elite seamstresses and they are scattered all over the island. It took Sylvia six years to find the right “golden girls”.
“They are above 50, 60, some of them are in their 70s,” Sylvia tells me. “They all have decades of experience behind them.”
When you talk to her, it becomes clear that Sylvia believes strongly in Singapore and Singaporean’s capacity for style and creativity. She wants everyone to know that there is so much to love and discover about Singapore. That’s why The Emporium Group’s goods are saturated with local flavour. It’s also why she used to teach future fashion industry professionals at the Textile and Fashion Industry Training Centre. And why when The Emporium Group needed a logo, she got the then nascent &Larry to do it.
Together with her team of women, Sylvia has been keeping the Singapore story alive in the global scene.
Since 2013, the year The Emporium Group first came into being, they have been part of many fashion shows, which has helped to raise profile of the brand. For instance, The Emporium Group was featured in the Audi Fashion Festival in 2014 and the Maritime Silk Road Fashion Culture Week, in 2019.
When she graduated from Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design in London during the 1990s, it was a different world. It seemed to Sylvia then, that very few people, if any, looked to Singapore brands for fashion.
Now, she says, there’s more interest in local brands, which shows a maturation of the scene and the increased pride and confidence Singaporeans have today in local fashion design.
When asked what she sees happening in Singapore’s fashion scene in the future, she predicts a continued shift away from big box fashion brands.
“Maybe people will head back to the tailors. We always have everybody’s sizes,” She says. “The future of fashion will move from mass production, to mass customisation.”
“Perhaps it already has!”
*This article is a paid partnership with The Emporium Group
Pictured above: Harvard University at Cambridge | Credit: bjaglin
The boredom is starting to sink in, and you feel like your brain is in a mush. This is what being in a #circuitbreaker may do to you these days. There’s only so much Netflix you can watch, Dalgona coffees you can make and social media you can browse, so why not do something more productive and scholarly?
Harvard University recently announced that they are offering 67 free online courses during this pandemic period. They are not low-grade online courses. You can get access to quality courses which range from 1 week to 12 weeks! They are self-paced, so you can do it OTOT.
Here are 8 courses you can take with Harvard University online:
AI is transforming the way we live, work and play – but have you ever wondered how they really work?
CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python explores the concepts and algorithms at the foundation of modern artificial intelligence, diving into the ideas that give rise to technologies like game-playing engines, handwriting recognition, and machine translation.
Isn’t this cool? And if you are running a business or are a manager, it is worth checking this course out as many firms are already applying AI to transform how they run their businesses.
The Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python course runs for 7 weeks, requiring 10 to 30 hours per week.
If you, like me, have watched The Mummy Returns 7452901 times, this course is for you! Become an archaeology master (or at least someone who knows what he’s talking about) by learning about the Old Kingdom pharaohs and elites, tombs, the Sphinx, and the technologies behind some of their most magnificent structures.
The Giza Plateau and its cemeteries — including the majestic Pyramids and the Great Sphinx — are stirring examples of ancient Egyptian architecture and culture. They provide windows into ancient Egyptian society, but also contain mysteries waiting to be solved.
And if you are having wanderlust withdrawals, why not travel to Egypt digitally through this course?
The Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology course runs for 8 weeks, requiring 2 to 4 hours per week.
Sometimes all it takes to protect the little ‘uns is someone to speak up for them. The world can be a disturbing place, so why not learn how to protect children from violence, exploitation and neglect through a structured framework?
Join Harvard faculty, practitioners, and a global community of learners to master a child-centered systems approach to preventing and responding to violence, exploitation, and abuse against children.
Led by Jacqueline Bhabha, Research Director of the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, this course will teach you the causes and consequences of child protection failures.
Now go, Mother Theresa.
The Child Protection: Children’s Rights in Theory and Practice course runs for 11 weeks, requiring 4 to 6 hours per week.
Food is one thing all human beings share among each other, and there are countless of cuisines worldwide so it is no surprise to get lost in the world of culinary science. Take cooking to the next level with chemistry and learn to make magic like those you see on molecular gastronomic shows!
The lab is certainly one of the most unique components of this course — After all, in what other science course can you eat your experiments?
This can’t get any better, can it?
The Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science (Chemistry) course runs for 6 weeks, requiring 5 to 7 hours per week.
Don’t be like Homer from Simpsons. He gets caught off guard because he cannot predict the weather.
In this course, you will learn to forecast the weather just by looking out of your window, so you can be the Umbrella Man!
Can the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas? Take this course to find out!
Now this is one handy skill to boast about.
The Backyard Meteorology: The Science of Weather course runs for 6 weeks, requiring 3 to 5 hours per week.
It may sound dry, but productivity is highly valued in Singapore. Enhance your employability by learning how to keep projects organised and produce useful reports for yourself or your company.
You will be introduced to the version control systems git, a powerful tool for keeping track of changes in your scripts and reports. We also introduce you to GitHub and demonstrate how you can use this service to keep your work in a repository that facilitates collaborations.
Blah, blah, blah but I dare say this course is a must-go!
The Data Science: Productivity Tools course runs for 8 weeks, requiring 1 to 2 hours per week.
Japan lovers, fall in! Be the saiko no hito (Japanese for highest master) of Japanese linguistic culture. This course expands the definition of the “book” to include scrolls and albums, focusing on the reading experience of a variety of formats in Japan. You will begin by examining rare and beautifully preserved manuscripts in the Harvard Art Museums in an introduction exploring the material properties of Japanese books and scrolls, binding techniques, and important terminology.
Drawing on the rich collections of Harvard’s libraries and museums, this course is part of a larger series on the history of books, where learners explore the book not merely as a container of content, but as significant physical objects that have shaped the way we understand the world around us.
The Japanese Books: From Manuscript to Print course runs for 9 weeks, requiring 1 to 2 hours per week.
Are you an introvert or simply dislike speaking up in a large group of people? Surprise your colleagues by coming out of this #circuitbreaker a super speaker! Although this course is anchored in American politics, you can still gain critical communication skills and master the art of persuasion – so this can be useful for salespeople as well or if you want to escape from signing another beauty package!
Built around Harvard Professor James Engell’s on-campus course, “Elements of Rhetoric,” this course will help you analyze and apply rhetorical structure and style, appreciate the relevance of persuasive communication in your own life, and understand how to persuade and recognize when someone is trying to persuade you.
Perhaps a particular orange-y person should go for this.
For more free and paid online courses with Harvard University, go to their website.
Spread the love and make someone’s day by belanja-ing (slang word for treat) them a drink. Singapore Kindness Movement and Starbucks Singapore have collaborated to organise a Pay-It-Forward initiative, encouraging customers to pass on the act of kindness.
From 10 – 13 March, all Starbucks outlets will be giving away two cups of coffee on the house to kickstart this campaign. To keep the ball rolling, customers are encouraged to pay for the next person’s drink, in hopes that this kindness chain will not be broken. Baristas will also be wearing the ‘Overcome as One’ badge to show their solidarity in fighting the COVID-19 virus with kindness.
Pictured above: Starbucks outlet at Chinatown Point
We have heard stories where people in the United States and around the world share their own versions of various Pay-It-Forward campaigns, so it was quite an exciting trip down to the familiar coffee place during our lunch break.
A group of us went down to our nearest outlet to participate in this meaningful initiative and to learn more about it.
“Hi, one Mocha Frappuccino, grande, please.” I ordered my usual go-to drink.
“The lady before you had paid for your drink. Would you like to pay it forward and buy a drink for the next person? It’s $6 per drink. We are collaborating with Singapore Kindness Movement…,” the barista shared.
Of course, I agreed. My friend followed suit.
Singaporeans have taken up creating Instagram Augmented Reality (AR) filters since the past Circuit Breaker to not only express ourselves but talk about what is going on in this little island of ours. Many have used some of these Instagram filters without even knowing that it was created by Singaporeans.
Instagram AR filters are slowly becoming a norm in our everyday interactions on social media. It can visually communicate a person’s mood and thoughts, sometimes without the person even saying a word.
In fact, some AR filters are slowly becoming memes. Silly filters can brighten a person’s day and keep you entertained. Humor yourself while working from home or even in the office with these filters!
Zoom by @hyde.lee
Are you tired of Zoom meetings every single day? Join in this disco-theme zoom call with these cute and wholesome animals! @hyde.lee features two other filters that you can check out. This is what the younger generation nowadays would call a mood. No stress, just vibes.
Click here to try on the filter!
Instagram account: @hyde.lee
Potato Head by @kittybriee
Working from home got you feeling like a potato head? Slap on this Instagram filter by @kittybriee. It will surely lift up your mood for the day. Additionally, @kittybriee has two other filters you can check out. An Among Us filter that is literally to die for and a Pickle Rick filter from the animated series, Rick and Morty.
Click here to try on the filter!
Instagram account: @kittybriee
Yummy Bears c: by @benmatchap
Add some colour to your day with this cute, yummy bear filter. This filter is perfect to celebrate your long work week with your friends. @benmatchap has 26 Instagram filters up on his account. From super cute colour changing filters to a spider beauty filter you should definitely check out his account.
Click here to try on the filter!
Instagram account: @benmatchap
Drawin5seconds by @chamnda
Test out your nose drawing skills with this Instagram filter by @chmnda! The filter will give you an autogenerated theme to draw and you have exactly 5 seconds to sketch it out with your nose. @chmnda has over 40 Instagram filters you can try out on his account. His filters range from straight-up meme-worthy filters to fun interactive games.
Click here to try on the filter!
Instagram account: @chmnda
Warrior3030 and My Fellow Citizens by @dude.sg
Destroy the bad vibes during the week with @dude.sg’s Warrior 3030 filter. It may help alleviate any stress you have. @dude.sg has created many viral filters and you might even recognize some of them.
During Circuit Breaker, you would have seen the My Fellow Citizens filter appearing on your Instagram story. This filter definitely marks a significant moment of Covid-19. @dude.sg has created several Instagram filters that are quite relevant to the current topics in Singapore. In fact, his account currently has 30 filters that you can try out.
Instagram account: @dude.sg
Supporting local does not have to just be buying Singaporean-made merchandises but also using locally made content by Singaporeans for Singaporeans. Get to know your local AR filter creators and follow them on Instagram.
Don’t forget to follow Spotted Media on Instagram too!
BTS Army, are you ready? BTS is finally opening the pop-up showcase in Singapore today, 14 November 2020.
Located at level one of Plaza Singapura (beside Muji), the showcase entitled The Map of The Soul will include around 300 products. It features exclusive BTS merchandise as well as items such as clothing and household goods.
This showcase will be one out of three physical pop-up showcases in Asia including the one in Seoul and Tokyo. It will be open from 10am to 10pm daily.
The BTS Singapore pop-up showcase will be decorated in the signature blue colour of the BTS “Map of The Soul: 7” album, similar to the showcases in Seoul and Tokyo. According to Scoompi, it will include various recreations of the concept and music video sets from the latest album that fans can take pictures with.
Before you hurry down to the showcase, make sure you book a pre-reservation slot via the morningKall website. Pre-reservation slots will be open every Friday. Visitors are advised to arrive 15 minutes before the selected time. There will be an entry queue-verification through the registered mobile number OTP.
The 15-minute early queue-verification system would not be something new for the BTS Army who waited almost 7 hours at the BTS concert last year, 19 January 2019. As part of the enhanced crowd management measure, Singapore Sports Hub issued advisory notices for the sold-out concert that drew 45,000 concert-goers.
This pop-up showcase is no exception especially with the extra safety distancing measure in place. A limited number of visitors are allowed in the BTS pop-up showcase and are always required to wear masks. Visitors are only allowed a maximum of one hour in the showcase, so you must hurry when taking pictures and grabbing your merch!