Monday, February 20, 2012

Some Singaporeans like...

... Shopping malls! The shopping malls in Singapore remind me of the ones in southern California, with their sub-zero temperatures and maze-like structures. Some Singaporeans will spend the whole weekend at the mall in "retail therapy". New bigger and better malls are constantly being built, so I worry that soon all the malls may converge into one humongous mall and there will be nothing left of real Singapore.

... BBQs. Our friend Sierin Lim invited us to her lab's BBQ at the "Palo Verde Commons" of NTU. There was lots of good food, including chicken wings, chicken and mutton satay, stingray, squid, fish, hotdogs, rice, and noodles. For dessert we roasted marshmallows California-style, and enjoyed durian-free chocolate birthday cake and refreshing watermelon.

Bioengineered and Applied Nanomaterials Lab BBQ at NTU

... The Lottery. It seems that nearly every time I go grocery shopping at FairPrice I see an endless queue of people waiting to buy tickets. I wonder how much the average Singaporean spends playing the lottery. I've recently read an article that says the poorer people are made to feel, the more likely they are to play the lottery. The lottery is like a tax that favors the rich, because a much higher percentage of a poor person's salary goes towards paying the lottery. The gap between the rich and poor in Singapore is perhaps bigger than people realize.

Queue for lottery tickets at FairPrice

...Fishing. The two guys in the picture below are fishing in man-made Jurong Lake right next to a very narrow pedestrian bridge where many people go for a leisurely stroll. I've seen a lot of urban fishing going on in Jurong, especially on weekends, so stay on the lookout for flying hooks when walking near lakes and rivers!

...Durian! Pre-packaged and ready to be devoured. The stench of this fruit is even more overpowering than usual because they have already been cut open.

... Food. Yes I know I've already mentioned BBQs and Durian, one of which involves eating lots of food, and the other of which is a type of food. Nonetheless, I need to mention food again, because some, if not most, Singaporeans really love eating. It's one of their national pastimes. Everywhere you turn you can find a vast array of food courts, hawker centers, and restaurants to suit everyone's taste and budget. No wonder obesity and diabetes are on the rise. 

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