Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Singapore: Most Expensive City in the World

"I should be charging for this."

According to The Economist, Singapore is the most expensive city in the world. Of course, this dubious honor comes as no surprise to those who like cheese. And, I'm not talking about burrata imported from Puglia...but a simple mozzarella stick (at $2 a stick that tiny packet of 10 comes to $20). Frankly, I would like my child's questionable snacks to cost a lot less. Which reminds me of a conversation I had with Eliot as we walked to school yesterday.
"Mommy, how come we don't have a car?"
Well, considering a Toyota Corolla here costs as much as a Porsche elsewhere, let's just say, we choose to go green and leave it at that. Think of your parents as environmentally conscious people who like using public transportation.
"But when we move back to Italy we'll have to get a car, right?"
Most likely yes.
"Can we get a safari?"
A what? Wait, do you mean a Ferrari?
"Yes, a safari."
Eliot, do you have any idea how much a Ferrari costs? No, we are not getting a Safari, I mean Ferrari.
"Oh, okay... can we get a Lamborghini then?"
Have you been talking to your brother?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

If "Breaking Bad" Was Set in Singapore

"I said Katong laksa."

1) Instead of cooking meth amphetamines, Walter White would be cooking pork dumplings.

2) Instead of using Pollos Hermanos as a front, the drug cartel would be using Din Tai Fung.

3) Instead of Albuquerque, New Mexico, the plot would unfold in Woodlands.

4) There would be way more taxis and construction work going on.

5) Instead of rehab, Jessie Pinkman would have gone on a farm stay in Perth.

6) You wouldn't need to deal drugs to break the law, carrying a durian on a bus would suffice.

7) Instead of a drug lord, crazy gun-wielding Tuco Salamanca would be a landlord. One refusing to return your deposit.

8) Most of what Jessie Pinkman says would be censored.

9) Instead of: "Yo!" Jessie would be saying: "Aiyoh!"

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

This Is Naples

                                                                                         (photo Mario Gargiulo)

Years ago, I found myself alone, broken hearted, and hungry in Naples. I was staying at my parent's empty house in the middle of the summer and there was nothing to eat. I went around the corner to buy some tomatoes from a grocer. He asked me what I was intending to make for lunch. A fresh tomato salad? "It's the day before Ferragosto, all stores are closed. You'll never find any bread."  I mumbled something under my breath as I slowly walked away with my tomatoes.  I was his last customer and after I paid, he lowered the heavy saracinesca of the shop. Then he called me back: "Signorina! Wait here." Then, he went upstairs to where he lived with his family and brought me back two slices of casareccio bread in a napkin. "You can't eat a tomato salad without bread."
This is Naples.

Anni fa, mi trovai sola, sconsolata, e affamata a Napoli. Mi trovavo nella casa vuota dei miei genitori durante l'estate e non c'era niente da mangiare. Uscita di casa, sono andata alla fine della via per comprare dei pomodori dal fruttivendolo. Voleva sapere cosa intendevo cucinare. Un'insalata di pomodori? "Ma e' Ferragosto, tutti i negozi sono chiusi. Non trovera' pane." Mormorai qualcosa mentre lentamente andavo via con i miei pomodori. Ero l'ultima sua cliente, quindi abbasso' la pesante saracinesca del negozio, e mi disse: "Signorina! Aspetti qui." Poi, sali' le scale dove viveva con la sua famiglia e mi riporto' due fette di pane casareccio in un tovagliolo. "Non si puo' mica mangiare un'insalata di pomodori senza pane."
Questa e' Napoli.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Monday, February 3, 2014

Science Camp-Day 1

"Science is fun when you understand words."

"Mommy, did you know our tongues are covered with thousands of taste bugs?"
I am pretty sure your teacher meant taste buds, Eliot. (But, thanks for the image.)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Growing Up in Singapore

"No Chinese homework?!"

"Wait...where am I from again?"

"Or we could order a pizza." (photo Martin Spreckley)

"I forgot...is January supposed to be cold?"

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Signs You Have a Big Brother

"Shoelaces, again?"

1) You play Minecraft.
2) You wear cleats around the house.
3) You own a nerf gun.
4) You want an app for Christmas. Any app.
5) You know the difference between normal lego and nano lego.
6) You are the first person in your class reading the Percy Jackson series.
7) You're not too bothered about laces (see above).
8) You get to hang out with the guys (see below).

"Good times!"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Previously...on Breaking Bad

"I have a plan on how to make some quick cash..." (photo Martin Spreckley)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

If "The Luminaries" Was Set in Singapore

"Great book...I just wish there were more characters."

This post will only make sense if you:

a) Have read The Luminaries, 832 pg (who's counting?) Man Booker Prize by Eleanor Catton,
b) lived at some point in Singapore,
c) have been to New Zealand (preferably the west coast of the South Island);
d) none of the above, but have a twisted sense of humor.

So here goes,
If "The Luminaries" was set in Singapore:

1) Instead of being called prospectors, people seeking fortune would be called expats.

2) Instead of looking for gold in the Otago fields, those people would be working in the IT industry.

3) Instead of drinking brandy at the Dust & Nugget discussing weather forecasts, they'd be drinking espresso at Suntec City discussing sales forecasts.

4) Instead of arriving on a ship called Godspeed, they would arrive on Singapore Airlines.

5) Instead of placing ads in the West Coast Times for barmaids and missing trunks, they would scan ads in The Straits Times for chinese tutors and coach trips to Legoland.

6) A night out wouldn't be a seance in the Gridiron Hotel, but a musical at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

7) A dissolute night out, wouldn't be an opium den in Chinatown, but a karaoke bar in Orchard Towers.

8) Instead of hiding gold in the hemlines of her dress, Anna Wetherall. would be hiding frozen rib eye steaks at the bottom of her valise.

9) Instead of settling down in Hokitika, they'd be looking for a cluster house on Chancery Lane.

10) Instead of misunderstanding Maori slang, they'd be misunderstanding Hokkien slang.

11) And finally, instead of hoarding gold, they'd be hoarding cheese.