Gotong Royong

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Had the privilege of bringing this author around the Gardens. We exchanged books that we wrote and of course she got the shorter end of the deal.

My, this was one of those books you don’t want to finish so fast, so as I was reading it, I kept eyeing the remaining pages with anguish that it wasn’t many times thicker. Do books come with different speeds? Why did I read the 236 pages in such a short time? It was such an enjoyable book, like kachang that once you started eating is very hard to stop.

I was transported in time to a kampung in Potong Pasir set in the 1960’s mainly where the author lived and grew up as a child. Little things like how her mum cooked nasi lemak and how she described the smells but yet could not have the satisfaction of eating it because it was meant to be sold off as a means to make ends meet really gave the book the “dramatic arc” the author had mentioned about writing to me.

You also get a glimpse of the political history of Singapore as the stories and struggles of kampung life she writes weave the kampung peoples’ lives with Singapore’s independence and how aspects of their lives are affected by the riots, konfrontasi, elections and separation from Malaya. Tan Howe Liang’s sporting achievements are featured especially in the last chapter “The Lion must learn to roar again, 1965”.

Not only did I appreciate water running from taps, books that litter my home and flushing toilets after reading her book but the greatest take-away from the book was mostly about soul, the kampung spirit, friendship where no one is afraid or inhibited to lend a hand or to share in burdens and joy. The paperback is light in the hands but you can feel its weight in its words and stories.

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There is a God!

This beauty of a cloud formation stopped me in my tracks as I was going back. Well it didn’t have to do much to stop me cos I was dragging my feet and pushing my bike wearily.

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Well, so this sight was a good excuse to celebrate the day. Steam.

Jen says she can see an evil skull somewhere in the picture… Actually I can see someone taking a drag on cigarette and blowing the smoke away.

The Paper Airplane Guy is here

The Science Centre is a regular place we visit with the kids – but today, there was a special treat; we got to see the Paper Airplane Guy – John Collin showing us how to make various paper airplanes that left the audience mesmerised with a craft that was both clever in terms of the science of flight and artful incorporation of Origami into the making of paper airplanes… This must rank as one of the most entertaining demonstrations I have been to.

See what I mean here

Almost all the airplanes are folded from a single sheet of US letter sized paper. My favorite are the planes built from phonebook pages which stay in flight when he walks with cardboard to create a draft below the craft and the bat plane, which flaps like a bat.

Catch him at the Singapore Science Centre (2 more days left) – see below

Singapore Science Centre: Events|The Paper Airplane Guy Show

Josh and Matt waiting for the autographed paper airplane book by John.

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[He inspires a new category – “wow” in this blog]