Friday, April 22, 2005

Your bak kwa or your pancreas

Sadly, bak kwa (a Chinese kind of pork jerky) is bad for your pancreas. On the other hand U.S. customs doesn't allow it to be brought into the U.S. because it's not considered to be processed enough (and there is a 100% chance the customs dogs will smell it), so maybe it's not so bad.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Yellow lines don't mean the same thing in England

These wavy yellow lines would be dangerous in the U.S., where yellow is used as the color that divides opposing directions of traffic.

Singapore takes its traffic rules from the British. This means we have roundabouts, or, as they are known in the U.S., death traps. Personally, I would rather have currency with Queen Elizabeth's face on it if we have to be sentimental about something. It also means that lines on the road have more to do with parking rules than separating traffic. Though I recognize that we are shaped by the culture we grow up in and passing judgment on one system of habits over another has its perils, I think this is stupid. But the alternating white and black paint on the curbs makes it seem like you're going really fast, and reminds me of the videogames of my youth.

I think this is what the different lines mean:

  • Double yellow line at the curb. No parking.
  • Wavy double yellow line at the curb. No parking and no stopping.
  • Yellow box with an X. No parking and no stopping.
  • Single white line in the middle of the road. No parking except in the middle of the night.
  • Single white line at the curb. I don't think I've seen this, but I wouldn't park there.

You might wonder what the marking is where parking is allowed. I don't think there are such places in Singapore. It's best to look for a parking lot. Or take a bus, train, or taxi.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Your rich, innumerate masses yearning to be free...

...of their money.

In possibly the worst-kept secret in Singapore's history, casinos are on their way!

It will be interesting to see how casinos will do in a country known for scoring well on math tests. But just in case math education isn't innoculation enough against gambling, it will cost locals more to enter the casinos, and there will be some kind of test to see if you are on public assistance. It will be fascinating to see what kind of form Singaporeans will need to fill out to gamble.