Every cigarette tells a tale

Every picture tells a story. Some tell more than others. Especially when there’s a blogger involved. Mr Miyagi’s intrepid operatives discovered this discarded cigarette butt at a mall that wasn’t quite a butt, but more a lit cigarette that was discarded after maybe one puff or none at all.

What a scoop! A case of blatant littering! A case of smoking outside yellow boxes in public! Our operatives could’ve submitted the picture to Stomp! but decided that this was the better forum for it.

Every cigarette tells a story

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Neglected – by <3 [ { – a u b r e y – } ]

So football season has begun in earnest, because the half of every local paper is comprised of local news, while the other half is EPL news. I can’t say I was never a football fan. I was, until I attended this school that was sucky at football but good at rugby union.

I suddenly remembered what a big fan I used to be when Naomi asked me how come I didn’t watch soccer like the rest of the country. I recalled the Tottenham Hotspur’s 1980/81 team anthem with glee, then scared myself a little bit because I still remembered a lot of the lyrics:

Ossie’s going to Wembley
His knees have gone all trembley
Come on you Spurs
Come on you Spurs

Come on you, Spurs are on their way to Wembley
Tottenham’s gonna do it again
They can’t stop ’em, they boys from Tottenham
The boys from White Hart Lane

Spurs are on their way to Wembley
The kings are claiming the throne
Everybody will be singing
When the Spurs go marching on

We are the boys of Keithie’s army
And we’re marching off to war
We’re sending our soldiers to Wembley
Under General Burkinshaw


In our ranks there’s Ossie Ardiles
He’s had a dream for a year or two
That one day he’s gonna play at Wembley
Now his dream is coming true

Ossie, we gonna be behind you
Altogether man for man
We know you’re gonna play a blinder
To ween thee cop for Tottingham

Ossie ArdilesThat funny last bit, “to ween dee cop for Tottingham”, was sung by Osvaldo “Ossie” Ardiles, one half Tottenham’s star duo, together with his fellow Argentinian Ricardo “Ricky” Villa. And they wreaked havoc in the first division in ’81 and 82, when they also won the F.A. Cup back to back. Which was a very big thing in those days. Football fans in Singapore in those days lived for two things – the F.A. Cup and the Malaysia Cup.

Ah, the pre-EPL days, when football was a sport and not quite yet a business. Back in the day, I stayed up late with my older sister to watch the F.A. Cup finals ‘live’ via satellite, which was a very big thing because ‘live’ feeds were a bit dodgy and prone to technical mishaps – the 1987 Rugby World Cup final in Auckland had its sound feed mangled, leaving the RTM’s lone Malay language sports commentator to ad lib.

1981 was a great year for Spurs, they won the F.A. Cup for the 6th time (and in 1982 for the 7th), but the reality of sporting businesses began to sink in, when in 1983, it became the first football club to float shares on the London Stock Exchange.

And so, I lost interest in football, starting calling it soccer, and no matter what anyone tells you, it’s not because I can’t play the game. I’ll have you know I’ve been sent off the soccer pitch a few times for ‘boisterous play’.

But go, football season! I’ll be watching. Sorta. Until this starts in a couple of weeks.

Mr Loh’s national song

Mr Loh

As I rushed to find a wireless hotspot to sit down at and email urgent work to a client, I heard a familiar tune in one of our great city’s many underpasses, and so decided to trace the source.

But when I got to it, the busker had just finished his harmonica rendition of one of the tune. I rummaged through my pocket and produced some money to put in his basket, and said very nicely to him, “Uncle, can play that song one more time?”

“You like that song? OK, short one ah, I play one more time”, he smiled and said:

After he was done, he asked me why I liked that song, and so I explained that I lived in Australia for a period in the 90s.

“So did I”, he said, beaming, “but before you were born, probably”.

Mr Loh then went on to tell me that he went to Sydney in 1962, studied Mechanical Engineering at Sydney University, and moved to Melbourne for a while before returning to Singapore in 1972.

“Hmm… Lee ah? I don’t know any Lees there, but I have many relatives still in Melbourne”, added Mr Loh when I explained that my parents lived in Melbourne for a period during the 50s and 60s too.

“I would love to move there again, I can work there picking fruit in the orchards”, said the lively 73 year old as he checked to make sure his mic and amplifier were turned off.

“But I love doing this. It’s not for the money. You don’t have to give me money, as long as you enjoy my music, and I will play for as long as I am having fun”, he said as he told me about busking three hours a day, five days a week in the same underpass.

Before he packed his harmonica wheeled his basket and amp off home, Mr Loh and I stood in the underpass for another few good minutes, talking about other stuff that I’d like to keep between him and myself because he deserves it.

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Bear Force One

“The road ahead isn’t straight”
Photo by Bekah Stargazing

Sometimes, things don’t go to plan, and even when you want to hang out and have a picnic or something, it gets cancelled. Could be the weather, could be anything.

So, for the disappointed fellow citizens out there, here’s a happy music video to put a smile back on your dial.

For those with a more sensitive disposition, I advise that you do not watch the video and then leave comments of a conservative majority nature. For the rest of us, please, enjoy.

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The big and small of it

So small, ok?
“No boss, never bluff you one, the cup is so small only”

Naomi and I always order double espressos when we need our coffee (except when we’re at Caffe Beviamo Tanglin Mall, because Eleen Cai makes a mean latte), and apparently, there are many Singaporeans who send their coffees back when they realise a double espresso isn’t as voluminous as they expect it to be, given the ‘double’ and the extra 50 – 80 cents you pay for an extra shot.

This is why staff at Changi Airport Terminal One’s Caffe Ritazza have been instructed to inform customers who order espressos that, “it comes in this small cup, is that ok?”

I can imagine their concern too, if there were many customers who would protest at the smallness of their $4 something coffee and demand a refund or an exchange for a jumbo long black.

“Must say, because some customers not happy”, said Rajoo the barista/cashier/manager, when we asked him if he always informed customers who order espressos. He seemed relieved that we knowingly ordered our foolish little beverages in their silly little cups.

We also almost suggested to him that he should put up a signboard to inform customers of the size of the espresso cup, but stopped ourselves because, you know, he might just have done that.

Having said that, Rajoo was a very good sport, agreeing to pose for a picture because we told him that we would help him educate the public and save him the trouble of informing every espresso orderer.

So, an espresso, double espresso, macchiato or double macchiato come in this really small cup. Is that ok?


But there are reasons to be concerned about shrinking portions, as Naomi and I realised a few days ago when we dined at what used to be one of our frequent quick fix dinner places. Pictures in the menu (which I rely on a lot because my Chinese, she is the sucks) were grossly misleading as we ended up having a not so satisfying dinner and having a further two late night suppers to make up for it.

While I should know better than to blog about price hikes and how they affect my unborn children, I think it’s ok to talk about how some altruistic businesses have shouldered some of the burden by being absorbent citizens:

Absorbent nation
The Absorbent Nation

But really, the sheer shrinkage of portions is getting ridiculous:

Amazing Shrinking Dumplings!

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