26 September 2009

Old Singapore Quiz (12) - Circus, circa, circle...

Circus, circa mid-1960s

After an octagonal quiz, I thought it would be refreshing to have something round instead. The word "circus" usually means "a travelling company of entertainers; including trained animals". However in Singapore's context, the word is also synonymous with "rotary" which means "traffic circle - a road junction at which traffic streams circularly around a central island".

And as if that is not enough, taking us around in circles several times is Chun See. You see, he has a series of quizes called "Roundabout Quiz", the first of which is here. You may have noticed that Chun See had used yet another synonym for "circus" i.e. "roundabout". Well, I hope that you are not giddy from all that turning by now, kekeke. Also, I think it is not too late for me to jump on the merry-go-round bandwagon. This circle circus game is just as entertaining as an animal circus, I assure you.

So here are my questions for the above "circus, circa mid-1960s" photo:

1. What is the name of this circus?

2. What is the name of a landmark which you could identify from the photo? Beside and besides the circus, that is.

As usual, I will reveal the correct answers in a week's time.

21 September 2009

Old Singapore Quiz (11) - Answers

Fuzzoo, YG and Icemoon got one of two answers right, i.e. the photo is a shot of a building's ceiling. But nobody could identify the location of this building. (In this regard, I ought to apologise to Icemoon for saying that the 4 "dots" in the photo are not lights. At first I thought that they are water sprinklers but after taking a closer look at another photo, I think Icemoon was right after all - they are indeed lights - spotlights, specifically.)

So where is this place? Maybe you could tell after seeing the photo below:

Still can't? How about if I tell you that the bust is a 1973 work of Mr Wee Beng Chong? Or that the bust is that of Mr Tan Lark Sye (1897-1972)? Mr Tan was a prominent businessman and philanthropist from the Hokkien community. He was noted for his many contributions to education, not just in Singapore but in the region as well. However, his most outstanding contribution must have been the founding in 1953 of the Nanyang University or Nantah (now known as the Nanyang Technological University).

Singapore Chief Minister David Marshall accompanied by Minister for Education Chew Swee Kee and Minister for Labour Lim Yew Hock taking a tour of Nantah in the rain. David Marshall and the other ministers were met by Tan Lark Sye, Chairman of the organising committee. (Photo credit: Chinese Heritage Museum.)

Before the opening of the university, this Nantah landmark building served as an administrative office. Later, it was used as a library. (Photo credit: Chinese Heritage Museum.)

The building as it stands today.

By now, you should have an idea where I took this photo. Yes, it was taken in the Chinese Heritage Centre:

The shot was taken from the ground floor towards the ceiling, right in the middle of the octagonal air well:

The Chinese Heritage Centre is actually a museum. When I was there in early June this year, there was an exhibition titled "Chinese More Or Less - An Exhibition on Overseas Chinese Identity" running. The exhibition was supposed to answer these questions:

1. How Chinese am I?

2. In what sense am I Chinese?

3. What does it mean to be Chinese?

Did I walk away with the answers to the above questions? Er... sorry, I was more interested in taking photos.

The museum's opening hours are as follows:

Mon-Fri: 9.30am to 5pm
Sat & Sun: 10am to 5pm
Closed on Public Holidays
Admission is free

You can find out more about the Chinese Heritage Centre from the following links:

1. Chinese Heritage Centre website;

2. Visit Singapore - Chinese Heritage Museum

13 September 2009

Singapore's First Topless Car Wash

Today's New Paper headlines caught my eyes:


What? In Singapore? At first I thought it meant a car wash specially dedicated to washing convertibles otherwise known as "topless cars":

But no, it really meant topless the way lecherous men know it:

Let's hope that it is only a joke like this one:

12 September 2009

Old Singapore Quiz (11)

This is my 2nd "polygonal" quiz. (First one was about a hexagon. This figure has 8 sides and if I remember my maths correctly, it is called an octagon.) Chun See and Icemoon had suggested in an earlier quiz that I should give multiple-choice answers for my quizes. I am glad to accede to their requests.

So for the above photo, could you identify the object and the location where the photo was taken? Is the object

a. A Chinese lantern?

b. A gate in Singapore's Chinese Garden?

c. An entrance to a public toilet?

d. A light housing for round fluorescent tube?

e. An "Eight Treasures Box" (an octagonal tray used to hold candies/snacks during Chinese New Year)?

f. None of the above?

However, if you choose answer "f", you must still tell me what you think the object is and where do you think the photo was taken.

(Side trivia: YG, this a good example of a "non-googleable" quiz.)

06 September 2009

From My Inbox - "DB1688" writes

I believe it is the desire of most bloggers to receive compliments about their blogs. I got an email on 27 Aug 09 which is quoted below. The nice surprise really made my day although I seriously don't think I deserve all the accolades. Thank you, DB1688. Now can I also claim that my blogging reach extends around the globe too?
Hi Victor,

Kudos for creating and maintaining a most wonderful blog. It has brought back many heart warming memories of my childhood in Singapore. For some reason, perhaps due to middle age crisis, I have been reminiscing a lot about my childhood. Have been perusing the web for nostalgic Singapore web/blog sites. You are a very gifted writer as I find your writing skill and humor the most entertaining. Do you write professionally?

I have a lot of catching up to do, having read most of your recent posts, I have started to go all the way back to your first post in May 2005. Based on what I have read so far I think I am slightly younger than you are. Nevertheless, I feel we are the same generation having grown up in Singapore in the 60's and 70's. Love reading about and seeing pictures of Singapore from days gone by when life was simple. Oh, and I also enjoy reading about your favorite topic. :) Hehehe.

I was born in Singapore in 1960 and my family migrated to the US (Boston) in 1972. In the mid 1960's, my family moved into the brand new public housing apartments on Lower Delta Road. Our unit looked directly out onto the Delta Circus/Roundabout (or rotary as we called it here in the US.) I attended Delta West Primary School from 1 to 6. (Did not sit for the secondary school entrance exam as the day my classmates took the exam was the day I left Singapore.)

It's sad so many sentimental places I knew from my childhood no longer exist as Singapore has undergone an extensive transformation in the span of one generation. It has been many, many years since I have been in Singapore.

I am very happy to have discovered your blog and will follow it faithfully. Hope we can correspond via e-mail and share our memories. I don't know if I have time to blog as I work full time and have 4 young kids.

Warmest regards,
After reading the email, I smiled broadly like this:

03 September 2009

Woman Hit By Killer Litter Survives

Early this year, I wrote about a woman hit by killer litter. In the article, I mentioned, "I hope that the woman was not seriously injured and the culprit would be caught soon."

Well, "Reporter Koo" (as I have been so undeservingly named by YG) has news for you. First, the good news - the woman survived. The doctors reported that her condition stabilized and she was "recovering from the treatment". (Emphasis mine. Hmm... strange way of putting it, right? Shouldn't it be "recovering from the injury" instead? Makes you wonder what kind of trauma treatment she was subjected to in Changi General Hospital. Talk about speaking good English.)

Now the bad news besides the bad English - the culprit seemed to have got away scot-free. "The fan was left in the lift lobby by families who had done some spring cleaning on that fatal day." (Don't ask me. I am still wondering how many families shared that fan and who died that day.)

The article went on to say, "It is worrying to know that there are individuals in our community who do not care that their actions can cause serious injuries and death to innocent victims." In my opinion, the offender probably is mad has a disturbed mind. But perhaps what is even more disturbing is the number of English errors in the article?

The source of the news:

And the page which I proofread (Chinese text not included):

Being a typical Singaporean, I also have another complaint constructive feedback for the Editorial Committee of the publication - why did the news come 7 months late? If not for Reporter Koo this citizen journalist, this incident would have been stale news.

And I wonder if the photo with the flower pots would still deserve a tick if the mad man comes back, throws one down and causes another fatal near-fatal accident incident.

(Apologies for the many corrections in this article which are caused by my relentless search for the most appropriate words to use.)