Utterly Indiscreet

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Crap drivers in Singapore

Friend gave me a ride home on his bike and twice cars cut us off!! What the fuck is wrong with drivers here? It's bad enough that they can't even stay in their own lane. The least they can do is watch out for other people on the road.

Read somewhere that two people die every day from motorcyle accidents. Don't think they are all the fault of motorcyclists. There are some pretty careless drivers too.

Think they should pass laws here which make it illegal for bikes to weave in and out of traffic or drive on the shoulder. But most of all there needs to be laws so that cars have to treat bikes like cars. i.e. Give them as much space as a car would take. No tailgating or cutting them off.


Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Perils of Eating Black Pepper Crab

Yep, one of the best dishes ever greated by man(or woman) is Black Pepper Crab. Had a craving and invited a friend out for dinner at East Coast Park Seafood Centre. Unfortunately, my favorite crab place, Jumbo Seafood, is still being renovated. So we ate at another restaurant.

Can't remember the name of the place, but turn right as you go in and go all the way to the last restaurant on your right. The food was excellent. But I suggest that you go there before eight or you may have to wait for 10-15 minutes.

So what did we eat? A HUGE Black Pepper Crab, Sambal Mussels, Kai Lan With Garlic, and steamed rice. It was awesome! Loved it. Definitely like BPC better than Chilli Crab. I think that the Chillies kill the crab flavour and is too heavy. Tons of eggs in that dish, so I don't like it that much.

Does anyone know how to eat BPC without making a mess? It is a fairly perilous procedure. Someone could get splattered with crab flesh i.e. my eating partner across the table. Or injured by fragments of broken crab shells.

If you have the secret to eating Black Pepper Crab gracefully, then let me know.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Speaking Poor English

There were lots of letter to the editor or public forum sections in the newspapers lately about whether Singaporeans should speak proper English or use grammatically correct English all the time. I have to agree with most educators who say that children should be taught proper English. Also, adults should use proper English to set an example. Children will pick up bad habits from the people around them.

Sure, if you speak Singlish other Singaporeans will be able to understand you. But what if you are talking to someone who is a foreigner or you go abroad? You are going to sound like an illiterate idiot. We use language to communicate and if you don't use standardized English, a lot of meaning will get lost. That's why people should follow grammar and pronunciation rules.

Of course, every country has its own bastardized version of English. That's is only natural when English is not the original language of that country. Language does evolve and change over time.

But when I can't understand what the hell a professor in my university is saying in a graduate lecture (where English is supposed to be the language of instruction), then that's a problem. When I can't understand someone's email because there are numerous mistakes in it, then that's another problem.

If everyone just said or wrote what they wanted, then eventually no one will be able to understand anyone anymore. There needs to be an acceptable standard of English.

BTW: Don't use "revert" in your emails. REVERT DOES NOT MEAN REPLY! Use reply instead. If you don't know what I mean, then check a dictionary. I am surprised at how many professionals use revert when they mean reply.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

The Art of the Smile

Nobody smiles in Singapore. I was getting my haircut today and my hair stylist mentioned that I am always smiling.

I smile because:

a)I am happy.
b)I am trying to be friendly or polite.
c)I like the other person.

Of course, I was smiling at my hair stylist because I know my hair is going to look great afterwards.

So I got into a discussion with my exceptionally talented hair stylist about why Singaporeans don't smile very much. Oh yeah, my hair stylist is Chinese Malaysian, so he does smile back whenever I smile at him.

However, I don't think he smiles at Singaporeans because.........well, that's just not done. Singaporean customers will probably give him crap for not paying enough attention to their hair or think he is hitting on them (which he would never do because he is very professional).

Btw, he also said that if he talks to customers they also give him crap because they think he can't cut their hair and talk at the same time. That's complete BS. He knows what's he's doing. He hasn't accidentally chopped anything off of me when we talk.

So why don't Singaporeans smile very much?

I think there are a few reasons:

a)They aren't happy. (They work a zillion hours every week with little vacation time and with slave-driver bosses, so there's not much to smile about.)

b)They aren't friendly. (Many other nationalities have labelled Singaporeans as rude and selfish. However, I have met some friendly ones even though they don't smile.)

c)They don't think smiling is important. (Like many other Asian countries, nonverbal communication is different. It may be dangerous to smile or make too much eye contact with someone.)

d)They are shy. (Find that hard to believe considering how they can be so direct with people in their conversations.)

So do Singaporeans smile too little? I will be watching my friends very closely the next time I see them.