29 May 2006

I Should Be So Lucky 2

You can say that I unabashedly got the inspiration for the title of this post from Chris' I Should Be So Lucky post and Jack Neo's latest blockbuster movie, I Not Stupid 2, for which Chris also wrote a post about here.

Talking about Jack Neo's films, those of you who have watched his 2004 film, The Best Bet, will probably recall the following hilarious scenes in which God(s) Of Wealth appeared:

Besides me, it looks like someone else also got an inspiration from that Jack Neo's film. You see, I was at the food centre at Blk 131-135, Lor 1A Toa Payoh on 26 May 06 when I got lucky. I actually met a God Of Wealth in real person, er... I mean real God. (Oh dear, what am I saying?)

(Boy, am I confused. And if my convulated words here are considered blasphemous to anyone, I am sorry. Since I also happen to believe in "sorry also must explain" for some sorry cases, let me explain.)

Although I was confused, there was definitely no mistaken identity - this God Of Wealth was no God Of Health for he walked with a noticeable limp. He looked like he just walked out from a Mediacorp movie shoot. He had his face painted red and was in a full red outfit complete with matching headgear. He was carrying a basket. Inside the basket were not flowers but angpows (red packets) which I believe contained lucky 4D numbers. Not 4D tickets, mind you, but 4D numbers. (I think it is illegal to resell 4D tickets for a profit in Singapore, even if the seller had obtained the original tickets from a legal source.) For the benefit of people like Chun See, who don't buy 4D, the 4D numbers are usually written or printed on pieces of paper and they merely offer dubious tips on what are the 'lucky' 4D numbers to buy. Of course, the Law Of Averages still work here - for every 10,000 4D numbers which the God Of Wealth sells, on the average, one is likely to hit the first prize, another the 2nd, another the 3rd and so on. So these few lucky people think that the God Of Wealth is really God.

He approached stall holders and customers alike. A few people who believed in him in their luck actually bought the angpows from him. (Notice the angpow in the little boy's right hand.)

I think that God Of Wealth was selling the 4D-number angpows for a minimum of S$2 each. I say 'minimum' because you are always welcome to give more. When it comes to donating to Immortals, no amount is too much. Whatever amount you give in excess of S$2 will be readily accepted. You will notice that the loudness of the 'thank you' coming your way is directly proportional to the amount that you have donated.

I didn't buy any 4D number from that man God Of Wealth mainly because I don't believe in him that I can be that lucky. Besides, I have no lack of 4D numbers to buy. There are already so many that I just can't keep up with - numbers coming from flat units, HDB blocks, car registrations, birth dates, identity cards, handphones, receipts, etc of people like family, relatives, friends, colleagues, ex-girlfriends, mistresses, and so on.

23 May 2006

Mothers' Day And What It Means To Me

I know that I'm a bit late to blog about Mothers' Day but I have been busy lately and I just have to get this off my chest. I can't remember when mothers started to share a spot with the racing horses on the same calendar:

Also occupying the calendar this year are over 50 other such commemorative dates. That's an average of about one a week! To get an idea of how many such occasions there are, just take a look at this local florist's URL. (Caution: I think the dates are meant for a previous year since those indicated for Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day are wrong - they should fall on 14 May and 18 Jun respectively this year.) If you ask me, the only days that seem to be missing from the list are Mistresses' Day and Myself Day - two days which I would very much like to celebrate.

The reason why there are so many commemorative dates is probably to remind people that the restaurants, florists, shopping malls, jewellery/gift shops, card makers, and loan sharks need to survive and not just the mums, dads, bosses, secretaries, youths, children and mistresses. While this is a noble cause (keeping the economy alive that is and not the mistresses), many people, including yours truly, feel that all these occasions have been over-hyped and over-commercialised. For those who not only have the love but the money, everyday is Mothers' Day. On the other hand, for those who do not have the love, every Mothers' Day is a normal day regardless of whether they have the money or not.

Make no mistake, I am not questioning the need for a Mothers' Day. In fact, I think that you should show your appreciation to your mum while you still can, not just on Mothers' Day but everyday if you can. (Sadly I have lost that chance.) This year, I celebrated Mothers' Day on behalf of my children at a very appropriate place - My Mum's Place. (Not my mum's place - if I went to my mum's place, I would be out of this world.) My Mum's Place is a humble, nondescript and homely eating place that serves dishes that are, in my opinion, closest to a home-cooked meal. Although there is air-conditioning, it could have been cooler. You get to sit on the same types of tables and plastic chairs that are used in a neighbourhood coffeeshop and at funeral wakes. The price is cheaply reasonable reasonably cheap - a small grouper steamed Teochew-style, enough for 4 small-eaters, costs S$15. Although, it is not a swimming-in-the-tank grouper but a swimming-in-the-soup one, it is fresh enough. The bill for a simple meal for my family of 2 adults, 1 young man and 1 child comes up to about S$40-$50. Best of all, there is no 'plus-plus', i.e. no service charge and GST.

They also serve my favourite soup - what the Cantonese call "gau gei tong". This is a simple soup cooked with egg, anchovies and a type of vegetable leaves which are of similar size and shape to curry leaves. When preparing the dish, you have to be very careful when you pluck the leaves from the stalk because the stalks of this vegetable have many sharp thorns. I remember this dish because my mum used to cook this soup and I used to help her pluck the leaves. I obviously have a lasting impression of the thorns because I was painfully pricked more than once by them. This soup brings back memories of my mum.

The "mum's specialty" in this restaurant is fried tau foo stuffed with meat. The taste is simply out of this world, just like my mum, I mean my mum's cooking. You ought to try this dish should you visit this restaurant in Joo Chiat. My wife liked the food so much that our family ended up having dinner at this restaurant two days in a row:

But then again, that is my wife. A few years ago, she just fell in love with the food at a restaurant called "One Place" located in the former Shell Club in Paya Lebar Road. She liked the cooking so much that our family ended up eating most of our weekend meals at this restaurant. It happened so often that I frustratedly renamed the restaurant 'One And Only Place'. One Place has since closed down, obviously not because of poor business since my family kept their tills ringing. It had to make way for a condominium which is almost completed now.

Disclaimer: Neither my wife nor I are related to My Mum's Place, One Place or any other place.

16 May 2006

But We Survived The Thrills And Spills

In my last post, I mentioned about the reverse bungee ride (called G-Max) at Clarke Quay and the recent incident which illustrated how dangerous the ride really was. I also said that some Singaporeans would not ride the G-Max even if someone offered them $100 to do it. However, as the title of this post suggests, you may find me contradicting myself here. Actually, I do believe in giving most things a try. This includes death defying and heartstopping rides. (I didn't title my blog 'Taking Up The Challenge' for nothing, you know.)

In Dec 2000 (when I was much younger and more adventurous) our family visited Gold Coast (not a massage parlour but Australia). My elder son was almost 9 years' old then while my younger son was only 4. Many of us know that just like old Singapore had 3 very well-known Worlds, namely Gay World, Great World and New World, Gold Coast too has 3 very famous 'Worlds', namely Seaworld, Movieworld and Dreamworld. Dreamworld was opened in 1981 and claimed to be dedicated 'to the happiness of all people' because it has a lot of interesting rides with varying difficulty levels from the very mild to the extremely adrenalin-pumping ones. When we arrived at Dreamworld, the first thing that we saw was the imposing 115-metre tower. We also saw the gondola falling but from the ground, the fall seemed to be deceivingly slow. (We later found out that this was an optical illusion.) From the ground, we also could not hear the riders screaming - most riders just couldn't help it.

I don't know what made me do it but pointing to the tower, I told my elder son, 'If you dare to ride that one, then you don't have to ride anything else here.' Much to my surprise, my son took up my challenge. Maybe he was too naive then. After he agreed to take the ride, I was too shameful to back out so we queued up for 15 minutes to ride the Giant Drop. Most of the people in the queue were Westerners, probably locals. Although there was a minimum height requirement of 1.2 m, some of the children looked even younger than my son. There were even some very young girls in the queue. I really admire their guts - while my heart was racing, they were casually chatting away.

The Giant Drop and the Tower of Terror are the two most terrifying but also the most exciting of the rides (depending on how you take to the rides). The two rides operate from different sides of the same 115-metre high tower:

For the Giant Drop, 8 tired-of-living individuals are shackle-locked side-by-side onto the seats of the gondola. Your feet dangle freely and there is nothing in front of you. As we found out, once you are strapped down, it is too late to back out (unless you are as strong as Incredible Hulk and could bend the steel shackle to escape). The next moment finds you being hauled up and up at a quite leisurely speed. You try very hard to admire the scenery around you fearing that it might be the last scene that you will ever see. Finally, the gondola reaches the top of the 39-storey high tower and pause for a while. Your heart does the same. Then it happens - the twin cable grip is released and you plummet at up to 135 kmh back towards the ground. Like a ton of bricks, you just drop. So does your heart. Although I've never tried ending my life, I don't think that I'm exaggerating if I say that the feeling that you get is like committing suicide. However, in this case, you are not prepared to die. You just have to scream your heart out. You brace for the worst. Then a few seconds later, the sophisticated magnetic braking system kicks in and brings the gondola to a safe stop which I cannot describe as gentle.

Glad that we survived the Giant Drop and quite certain that it was not because of luck, we were prepared to toy with our lives again. I brought my son to the entrance of the Tower of Terror. The entrance was actually the gaping mouth of a giant white skull with red eyes. Ignoring the message behind the skull, we went in and joined the queue.

For this ride, you are strapped in what looks like an open-top sports car together with 14 other people. The car is propelled by a powerful electro-magnetical force which accelerates to 161 kmh in just 7 seconds and you experience a 4.5G force which is comparable to the force experienced by fighter pilots on take-off. The car reaches the top of the 115-metre tower within the next few seconds. At this moment the car is vertical and it pauses momentarily. Then it slides back and the feeling is the same as the Giant Drop, except that it is in reverse.

Well, my son and I survived both rides and we have the photos to prove it. They didn't pay us for the rides but neither did we pay them - the admission ticket to the amusement park which the tour operater paid for includes unlimited rides. But once on each is more than enough for me, my stomach and even my son. It was an experience of a lifetime which neither of us would ever want to go through again.

12 May 2006

When Thrills And Spills Can Kill

On 7 May 06 at around 11 pm, one of two cords of a reverse bungee ride at Clarke Quay, snapped just before the launch of a ride with 3 tourists in the steel capsule. This was the first safety incident for the New Zealand company which operates such rides in 6 countries. Until this incident, the company has maintained a 100% safety record with over 1.5 million jumps to date. In fact, when the ride was opened in Nov 03 in Singapore, it was touted as very safe:

The 14-cm diameter bungee cord is of premium grade, with each cord having 4000 individual strands of rubber compared with 650 strands used in conventional bungee jumping; the bungee cords come with steel webbing for added safety; they are replaced every 500 launches, well before they need to be replaced; it is checked and maintained daily by experienced and well-trained staff; blah, blah, blah ... in short, it is as good as saying that an accident can never happen.

As usual, when such a safety incident happens, the company tries to reassure the public that the system is very safe. See if you follow or agree with the company spokesmen's logic:

A company spokesman claimed that although the capsule was poised for a launch when the incident happened, the safety measures in place ensured that there was no chance of a launch after a cord is broken. Another company representative went on to say that there was "no chance" for the cord to break once it has been launched. He said, "That's because the cord is under maximum tension when it's being stretched before a launch - which is when the capsule is locked safely on the ground. Once it's released, the tension is released, and the load goes to zero. So it's absolutely impossible for the bungee rubber to break while it's in the air."

What do you think the 2 company spokesmen would have said if any of the riders or by-standers was whipped and killed by the recoil of rubber cord when it snapped? That the riders should have been aware of the risks involved when they take such an extreme ride even though they could no longer be aware now since they are dead? That by-standers have no business to be standing by and they should not have been watching the bungee jump as it was not a spectator sport? If they insist on watching the ride, they should stand at least a mile away and watch with binoculars?

In my opinion, it was just extremely fortunate that no one was hurt in the incident. As if by premonition, on 28 Mar 03 at around 11 pm (same time of the day when the incident happened), I was at the scene of the crime to snap the bungee cord this photo:

Luckily the cord didn't snap then, otherwise I might not be around to blog this post. And if the snapped cord hit my car which was parked illegally nearby at the roadside, it might have ended up like the one in the photo below. There wouldn't even be any suggestion as to where my suggestive number plate could have flung to:

I think that it is because of incidents like this which makes Singaporeans very scared of taking such rides because we are very kiasi (afraid to die). The other reason is because each ride costs a prohibitive S$35 per head - Singaporeans are also very kiasu (afraid to lose, the S$35 that is). Why, some Singaporeans wouldn't want to take such a ride even if you offered them S$100. They literally don't want to be caught dead in it. (It is no shame to say that I am one of them as I am a typical Singaporean.) As I mentioned in my Who Started The Revolution post, most Ang Mohs (Westerners) usually take a very extreme different view of such extreme sports. They are mostly thrill seekers and no ride seems to be too dangerous for them. As such they are more than willing to take any challenges thrown at them. Therefore, for people who think that the ride is too lame and tame, may I suggest that the company should consider implementing the following 3 new rides which are more thrilling:

1. The Semi-ultimate "Life's Hanging By A Thread" Ride;

2. The Ultimate Rolling Good Times Ride; and

3. The Ultimate Taste of the Singapore River Ride.

"The Semi-ultimate Life's Hanging By A Thread" Ride

One of the cords is detached after launch. The steel capsule hits the tower structure, surrounding trees and buildings several times when bouncing up and down. Riders need not worry as this is all designed as part of the ride. You will not get hurt but will only experience more thrill as our steel capsule is incollapsible. (Remember our 100% safety record?) Note: The company reserves the right to upgrade any normal ride to this ride without any notice at all. Riders should consider this as a bonus since the ride will be more thrilling than the normal ride with 2 cords yet they don't have to pay anything extra for the upgrade.

"The Ultimate Rolling Good Times" Ride

Both cords detach themselves after launch and the steel capsule is projected towards the top of Fort Canning Hill. Depending on the prevailing wind strength and direction, the capsule may roll down any side of the hill. You may end up in at Fort Canning Rise, Hill Street or River Valley Road, depending on which slope you roll down. This is a built-in free bonus tour of the city for those in a hurry. Riders need not worry about safety as our steel capsules are built with industrial strength stainless steel and will not buckle under any circumstances. Remember, we have a 100% safety record.

"The Ultimate Taste of the Singapore River" Ride

Both cords also detach themselves after launch but in this ride, the steel capsule is projected towards the Singapore River just in front of the launch site. Riders would be submerged in the river for 1 minute. They would get first-hand experience on how successful our clean-up of the rivers has been. After 1 minute, the capsule would be retrieved by our naval divers who are very experienced and well-trained in retrieving objects and bodies out of our waterways, even in pitch darkness. (Remember our 100% safety record?) For those who would like to stay a little longer to admire the bountiful aquatic life in the river, we provide diving masks and scuba tanks at no additional cost.

06 May 2006

Making My Own Kite

On 5 May 2006, the eve of Singapore's Polling Day, PM Lee described other political parties as follows:

"They fly a kite and see if it catches the wind. If it doesn't, they let it go, fly another one. (If it still) doesn't, fly another one, and finally if it doesn't fly or no wind, then they give up flying kites and go play with some other games, marbles or something like that..."

PM Lee could well have been describing my childhood hobby of kite flying. In the 1960s, the phrase "go fly a kite" had a very different meaning from what it means today. It literally meant that we went kite flying. In those days, many Singaporean families were poor and ours was no exception. Hence we made or improvised most of our toys ourselves, usually from recycled materials which were free of charge.

I will describe how I made my own kite even though very nicely-made painted ones were available from the neighbourhood mama shops for only 10 cents a piece. In comparison, the cost of my self-made kite was next to nothing. The time spent to make the kite was only about 5 minutes as I was a fast worker. However, perhaps the most important thing was the great satisfaction and pride which I derived from making my own kite.

First, the materials required:

Tracing paper, 2 Sapu Lidi sticks, glue, a pair of scissors and a reel of string.

a. Tracing paper.

This item was actually the wrapper which came free with our French loaves. No Delifrance in those days, only the humble neighbourhood bakery which supplied them hot and fresh from the oven at only 15 cents a loaf. Sometimes I had to fight with my siblings over the tracing paper because they needed to use it for tracing maps while I wanted it for making my kite. For this demo, I bought the roll of the tracing paper from a provision shop for 20 cents.

b. Two Sapu Lidi Sticks.

These sticks were obtained from the sweeper's broom. Don't ask me why the broom was called Sapu Lidi. Sapu is a Malay word which means "sweep". Maybe Lidi happened to be the name of the sweeper lady then. We stole these sticks from the broom by just pulling them out. The neighbourhood kids pilfered so much of the sticks that when the sweeper picked up the broom the next morning, all the remaining sticks just fell out of the broom. (For those who do not know, the sticks actually come from the coconut leaf.)

c. Glue, a reel of string and a pair of scissors.

These items were kindly "donated" by my mother. Actually I sort of helped myself to the items in the drawer without asking my mum.

Now we are ready to get down to business.

What To Do

1. Cut out a 14-inch square of tracing paper. You can do this more easily by folding across the diagonal of the square first before cutting:

2. Break off enough of the thinner end of one of the sticks so that the longer stick that remains is about 2 inches shorter than the diagonal of the square. Place the stick on a diagonal of the square so that one end touches one of the corners of the square. Glue and fold the other corner of the paper over the stick to secure it. Cut out 2 little pieces of 2-inch square tracing paper and apply glue one side of the 2 pieces of paper. Use one piece to secure the other end of the stick and the other piece to secure the middle of the stick.

3. Bend the other stick into a curve and break off the extra length of the thinner end of stick so that the ends of the remaining thicker stick is long enough to just touch the other 2 corners of the big square tracing paper when the stick is bent into a curve. (The purpose of bending the stick is to make the kite taut enough to catch the wind when flying.)

4. Apply glue at the other 2 corners of the big square paper and fold them over to secure the bent stick in place.

5. Punch tiny holes in the kite at the positions indicated and thread a doubled-up string through the holes and secure the string. The string should be tied such that the front section of the string is slightly shorter than the rear section. (If both sections are of the same length the kite will not fly and if the rear section is longer than the front, your kite will fly backwards.)

6. Cut the remaining tracing paper into long thin strips, join them together with glue and attach the strips to the tail end of your kite to make a long tail. (The tail makes the kite more stable in flight.)

7. Paint the kite if you want to, attach a reel of string to the kite and you are ready for your kite to catch the wind.

If it can't fly, make another one. If after several attempts and your kite still doesn't fly, then go and play some other games like marbles.

01 May 2006

Election Hustings

This may look like yet another sensitive topic to blog about. But so long as what I write are facts and not scandalous or defamatory to anyone, I guess I have nothing to worry about. Most of the details here have been reported by the media anyway.

I have been living in the Bedok Reservoir area for the last 17 years. This area was previously under Eunos GRC. Now it is under Aljunied GRC. In the 1988 elections, the Workers' Party contested in the then Eunos GRC and won 35,221 or 49.11 percent of the valid votes. Their team comprised of Dr Lee Siew Choh, Mohd Khalit bin Mohd Baboo and Francis T. Seow while the PAP's team was lead by the late Dr Tay Eng Soon. Though the PAP team won that election, it was by a nail-biting and razor-thin margin.

This year, the same two parties are contesting in the Aljunied GRC and it looks like the contest will be no less interesting to observers and voters alike. The PAP team is led by political heavyweight BG George Yeo while the Workers' Party team is led by its charismatic and photogenic Chairman Ms Sylvia Lim Swee Lian. (By the way, Ms Lim is still single and maybe also available.) One of Ms Sylvia Lim's team members is the now infamous and ever-forgetful Mr James Gomez. Frankly, if not for the minority certificate fiasco, not many people would have noticed Mr Gomez. Maybe he purposely created the incident for the much needed attention and publicity.

When this incident happened, several PAP ministers were asking through the media why Mr Gomez didn't apologise or clarify his actions. The Workers' Party's Secretary General and elected MP of Hougang Constituency, Mr Low Thia Kiang had also remained mum about the episode. Mr Gomez finally did apologise 2 days ago with Mr Low by his side doing the Mandarin translation. Later, one of the PAP ministers asked Mr Gomez to explain what he had done wrong. For if he had done nothing wrong, why was there a need to apologise? It was like 'damned if you do, and damned if you don't.

Like what SM Goh said, the PAP should just move on. No point harping on this issue. For all you know, it may work against the PAP. After all, it is human to make mistakes. Just as there are people like Mr TT Durai, there will always be people like Mr James Gomez. Don't be mistaken, I have nothing against the minorities. We all know that some Singaporeans have a tendency to side the underdogs and give a sympathy vote to them. We only have to wait till 6 May 2006 to see if this is true. It will be an interesting contest to watch.

Update on 5 May 2006 (eve of Polling Day)

Chris just sent me a podcast from www.mrbrown.com which I suspect takes a dig at a recent incident. Listen to it as it is really funny.

Nationalities Stereotypes

Don't be misled by the title of this post. I'm not writing about the sensitive issue of race. I know better than to do that in Singapore. Instead, this post was inspired by a recent article (reproduced below) which appeared in Net Buzz, a regular feature of the New Paper whereby readers submit amusing short articles which they spotted on the Internet:

Your cook is French
The policeman is English
Your mechanic is German
Your lover is Italian
And everything is run by the Swiss

Your cook is English
The policeman is German
Your mechanic is French
Your lover is Swiss
And everything is run by the Italians

Since the Internet article was reproduced in one of our national newspapers, it should be safe for me to put it back on the Internet via my blog. I can't verify how true are all the claims but we can scrutinise one aspect - how good are German cars versus French ones? I quote the survey results from the following BBC website:

Top 10 Unreliable Cars According to Topgear Survey

According to the survey, the top 10 most unreliable cars amongst a total of 142 cars surveyed in 2005 were:

Citroen C3 (133rd)
VW Polo (New) (134th)
Citroen Xsara (135th)
Citroen C5 (136th)
Fiat Stilo (137th)
Renault Megane (New) (138th)
Mercedes M-Class (139th)
Peugeot 307 (140th)
Renault Laguna (141st)
Renault Espace (142nd)

Out of the list, 7 were French cars and 2 German. So the French 'won' hands down in this dubious category. Perhaps the French should switch to selling lemons instead of cars. But then again, the British might be bias. (Note that according to the short article quoted at the beginning of this post, the English are bad cooks. So could they have cooked up the bad figures? Maybe. I personally find it hard to believe that a Mercedes is also in the list. But I couldn't help feeling worried because I drive a French car:

So far, the car has not given me any problems (touch wood). But then again, who would expect a 5-month old car to give any problems?

Recently I visited a German expo in Singapore to find out more about the Germans:

The Germans are no doubt very innovative and ingenious designers and engineers. They came up with the bionic car:

For the uninitiated, bionics translates nature's solutions into human technology, for there is no doubt that nature is the best engineer and the most ingenious designer of all. For example, how is a water spider able to swim and dive without getting wet? Real solutions from bionics include self-cleaning surfaces based on the properties of lotus leaves, self-sharpening cutting tools that copy the principle of rodent teeth. Even the Velcro fastener originated from a bionic inspiration.

The shape of the bionic car is based on the boxfish (also known as puffer fish in the local context):

It is found that a model of a boxfish in a wind tunnel test produced a very low Cd (Coefficient of Drag) value of 0.06. (The bionic car has a Cd value of 0.19.) A low Cd value translates into good fuel economy - extremely important with today's high fuel prices. (The 1991 cc bionic car has a fuel consumption of 4.3 litre/100 km. In contrast, my 1598 cc Renault Scenic could only manage 8.0 litre/100 km. What a shame!)

More details about the bionic car are available from this URL:


The Germans not only make very good, prestigious (and expensive) cars:

And unlike the Englishmen, they are very good cooks as well:

They also brew very good beer:

And they are very proud of it:

I also wonder why did a Japanese car brand employ Germans to endorse their cars in a current TV commercial. In this commercial the people were having a conversation. It all sounds like German to me (i.e. I couldn't understand a word) and all that I can understand, if I don't read the English subtitles, is when they utter the brand of the car. Now isn't this a tacit acknowledgement that the Germans know more about good cars than the Japanese? Why didn't the car makers feature Japanese in the commercial?

However, I must say that their vacuum cleaner sucks, literally. At more than $400 for a normal vacuum cleaner, it is guaranteed not only to suck up with every speck of dust and any puppy that happens to be in the way but also all your savings too. So what if it has HEPA filters and the air it blows out is supposed to be cleaner than the air it sucks in? In my opinion, it is all hot air (pardon the pun). A vacuum cleaner does not carry a status symbol, unlike a Mercedes Benz and therefore the price is not justified. Only a sucker will buy that sucker.

So in comparison, what do the French have to offer besides their cars of dubious quality?

Only their loaves:

And a product (a type of cap) which has a name associated with them:

So what do the nationalistic and proud Frenchmen have to say?