Lost and found at Changi airport

changi airport

After landing at Changi airport, I got into a taxi and was on my way home when I realized my laptop wasn’t with me. I asked the driver to pull over and opened the boot, but the computer wasn’t there.

With a sinking feeling, I then remembered I had put the computer bag down on a chair in the arrival lounge while rearranging my luggage on a trolley. Continue reading “Lost and found at Changi airport”

Gong xi fa cai! And a poem on Singapore

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his Chinese New Year message says:

Ultimately we all want to make Singapore the best home in the world for ourselves, our families and our children. We all want ours to remain an inclusive, meritocratic society where every child has the chance to realise his dreams and aspirations. We all want our children and grandchildren to enjoy many opportunities in Singa­pore and beyond, even as they remain rooted by a deep sense of belonging in Singapore.

He could have been speaking for everyone in Singapore — and for everyone who loves Singapore.

Gong xi fa cai! It’s the Year of the Dragon from tomorrow.

“The Year of the Dragon is likely to see more uncertainty in the global economy,” said PM Lee. So, here’s wishing everyone good luck.

To sign off, what could be better than a poem on Singapore? Continue reading “Gong xi fa cai! And a poem on Singapore”

Flash floods, Paul Theroux and loving Singapore

Waterlogging at Liat Towers
Waterlogging at Liat Towers

Flash floods hit Liat Towers and other parts of Orchard Road, reported AsiaOne, but PUB, whose tasks include flood prevention, begged to differ. No floods in Orchard Road, just “ponding”: Pub, said the headline in Today. “Flooding” did occur in a section of Cambridge Road/Owen Road, according to the PUB website, but not in the Orchard Road shopping district, where there was only “ponding”.”The affected areas are mainly low-lying areas,” Today reported, quoting the PUB, as if that explained everything.

I loved this quibble over words, it’s so like Singapore. I haven’t seen anything on the latest “flooding”/”ponding” yet on The Online Citizen or Singapore Daily, which takes a break on weekends, if I am not mistaken.

There were no blogs, of course, in the Singapore described by Paul Theroux in The Great Railway Bazar (published in 1975) which I happened to be reading again yesterday.

Theroux, who taught at the university, had mixed feelings about Singapore. “The North Star Night Express to Singapore”, the chapter on Singapore, ends with the words, “Like me — like everyone I knew in Singapore — he had just been waiting for his chance to go.” “I had felt trapped in Singapore,” he says, complaining about government control and press censorship. But he also admits: “I felt kindly towards Singapore.”

It’s impossible not to love Singapore.
Continue reading “Flash floods, Paul Theroux and loving Singapore”

A Singlish poem

I just came across this Singlish poem in an article that appeared in Salon way back in 2007.

Wah! I heard we all now got big big debate.
They said future of proper English is at stake.

All because stupid Singlish spoil the market,
want to change now donno whether too late.

Aiyoh! Ang mo hear us talk like that also want to faint.
Even our “U” graduates speak like Ah Beng, Ah Seng.

Singlish is like rojak, everything throw inside anyhow mix.
Got Malay, Indian, Chinese and English, can give and take.

Continue reading “A Singlish poem”

Melvyn Bragg on Singlish

Melvyn Bragg
Melvyn Bragg

This may be my last post for about a month. I hope to be blogging again from the middle of November. So, before the hiatus, one last post about Singapore. Here is Melvyn Bragg writing about Singapore English. He is an eminent British journalist, who edited the recent issue of The New Statesman magazine, which included a poem by Ted Hughes about Sylvia Plath.

This is from The Adventure of English, Bragg’s history of the English language and its continuing evolution, published in 2003. He discusses Singlish in one of the later chapters and seems to quite like it. Here is what he says:

Continue reading “Melvyn Bragg on Singlish”