Update: Some of you said I ngeow, and asked for more photos of our new place. Who am I to say "no"? Haha. Go see them at mrbrownshow.com.
We are lugging our computers over to the new studio. The movers will be taking the heavy stuff in the morning, but the PCs and the lone Mac (mine) are to be hand-carried. Wait the computers spoil by the movers we cannot do work, ok? Or worse, cannot play DOTA, Call of Duty and Battlefield 2.
Good thing the new place is just one block from our old place.
After 8 months, it is time to move the three businesses to larger premises. The three bosses sit on the newly installed carpet, absorbing the atmosphere of an office with no furniture yet. It is as if the office is waiting to be filled with hope and prosperity.
We sit with relief at the completion of the renovations. And with some fear of the future. But also much anticipation.
It is the culmination of many months of searching, planning and worrying. It is the end of one phase of our businesses. It is the beginning of the next.
I've arrived at the Nokia event where they are revealing some exciting new stuff, and I just had the experience of travelling in a coach that had chandeliers and escorted by armed cops! More later. Stay tuned.
It is always nice to get into the transit area early to browse the shops before a flight. But I have one gripe about the place.
Why is it so hard to get free wireless internet at our airport? Am I standing in the wrong places? I have a wi-fi enabled Nokia N93 with a great camera, beautiful screen, and widescreen mode, but no wi-fi signal to be found. In the end, I had to use the free terminal with the flaky worn-out laptop trackpad to check my emails. Sianz man.
I'll be in Manila for two days (got exciting stuff happening there), and I'll post updates here and at mrbrownshow.com when I get there. Getting on the plane now, laterz.
So I'm flipping through the tv channels at my in-laws' and I came across this TV show, a comedy, I think, set in the finals of a singing competition.
One singer, the stronger of the two finalists, just butchered the song "Through the Wire" "Through the Fire" (I got it mixed up with Kanye West's version) and the judges had to say nice things about his singing while keeping a straight face.
Stuff like "That was a great interpretation of the song" (...too bad it was off-key?) and "You must be picky about who you fall in love with" (...I hope the one you fall in love with is not picky about your singing because it sucks?) and "I don't want to say anything negative under the circumstances of tonight's atmosphere" (...your rabid tone deaf fans might tear me limb from limb?).
It was hilarious stuff.
Oh wait, it's not a comedy show, it's a real competition. Sorry, my bad.
"Jus now saw tis boy abt 2 yrs old on mrt. He cried n fought violetly to keep still on his mum's lap. E mother was so frustrated she slapped him! He was wearing a bib too. I felt v sad. Do u think he is special?"
We continue talking in the car today on the way to work.
"Poor thing, the boy," I say.
"Ya, I don't know if I should have done something, I felt so helpless," the wife said, "And the grandmother who was with the mother and boy just pointed at him and called him '坏孩子!' when the mother slapped him. Do you think they know?"
"At 2 years old? It is possible they may not know he may be special. And even if they did know, these things happen too," I reply.
"Seeing the mother slapping the crying boy in frustration reminded me of me, and remind me of what not to do with Faith."
"Ya," I nod.
The wife looks out the window at the passing cars, and says, "And after I saw that, I went home and just cuddled Faith all evening."
Gayle Goh drops by Hong Lim park where the Chee protest/face-off is happening and speaks to Gandhi Ambalam of the SDP about censorship and "bravery". Oh and she also gets videoed by a handsome police officer.
I turned around to find myself face to face with a young chap holding a big big video camera, only a few metres away from us, directly and very obviously filming the interview (there was no one else in our vicinity and he had the equipment pointed straight at us). I gave the camera my most brilliant smile and waved in several different poses. Then I whipped out my own camera and snapped this:
(see photo above)
...and after a few moments, he wandered off, now apparently filming the greenery at Hong Lim Park. I turned back to the interview, dismissing any discomfort with amusement, and we continued.
yawningbread writes about "how we delude ourselves about what a wonderful and efficient place this is".
I don't know how much we've spent on wooing the World Bank and the IMF to hold their annual meetings here, nor how much has been spent for fleets of limousines, the banquets, the tarting up of the city and the heavy (but in these times, necessary) security presence, but it must certainly be considerable.
And what have we got in return? Lots of bad press about how authoritarian, unreasonable and paranoid this place is, simply because we cannot allow Singaporeans to protest against the government, thus foreigners cannot protest against the World Bank and IMF either. Getting so much negativity in return for a massive investment of time, trouble and funds, is not exactly my idea of efficiency. Hosting this summit must rank as one of the most inefficient things we've done.
Sze Meng of Singapore Angle asks if there is impending crisis to our Singapore reputation from offending the international CSOs.
Yes, Singapore can argue that she has the right to enforce the blacklist because the foreigners are entering our country. Singapore can also argue that all foreigners must abide by her law not to hold outdoor rallies.
However, the more important question is whether the organizing committee should have a more well thought through strategy to deal with the international CSO and did the committee underestimate the CSOs' power to organize, advocate and influence the international community? However, as Singapore's economy becomes more connected to the rest of the world, her reputation is increasingly important. Maybe the Singapore Government has grown so used to docile local non-governmental players that it has forget there are individuals and organizations who will go out of their way (i.e. boycott an event after spending their time and resources coming to Singapore) to prove their point, even though it does not affect them.
When you IMF-ers are done IMF-ing, be sure to get some Almond dessert at Mei Heong Yuen located at Temple St, next to the sensual massage place.
After taking Faith and grandma to buy our lanterns and mooncakes (大中国's mooncakes rule!) in Chinatown, we dropped by (the dessert place, not the sensual massage place) and really enjoyed the carrot cake and bowls of almond and peanut paste.
It should not be difficult to find your way around Chinatown, delegates, as there are many big yellow signs welcoming you guys there. Especially you accredited protesters, you should be quite free now that you protesters are boycotting the talks in er, protest, against our gahmen's banning of protests.
Don't worry, no need permit to eat traditional Chinese desserts here one. What do you think Singapore is? Authoritarian?