Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Spicy – One Word Prompt

Singaporeans love foods spicy,

Tablecloth from Macy’s all lacey,

Serving Chilli Crab on it is dicey!

Chilli crab is not only peppery,

Chilli crab can also be spicy,

Regardless, it is absolutely pricey!

As Singaporean foodies we love spicy,

Not living life racy or dicey!

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How Lil Red Dot’s Government Housing Looks Like 

I took these photos to share with my friends on WP as to how our government housing looks like.

Government housing is built by Housing Development Board or we call HDB for short.

The one pictured above are a block of HDB flats built circa 1970s to early 1980s.

These come with a 99 year lease and are built as studios, 1 Bedroom, 3 Bedrooms, 4 & 5 bedrooms.

The amount of bedrooms is misleading as the hall is called a room. So a 4 bedroom unit actually has only 3 rooms and a hall.

Today the flats built in 2016 or  2017 are called Built To Order (BTO) i.e. young married couples will describe what they want for fittings.

A higher category of pricier HDB flats is Executive Condominiums.

Only married people without private residential condos or landed property can own these flats. 

Singles above 45 years, without private property can opt to buy from open market.

These units are costly in private sales as it can range from $350,000 for 3 bedroom to a million dollars for 4 bedroom units.

You will also notice our greening policy – trees are planted along roads, highways and in HDB estates. 

These photos were taken from my work place 4th storey carpark.

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Sungei Market Or Thieves Market – An Icon Has Breathed Its Last In Sungei Road

Sungei Market or “Thieves Market” served its last customers at Sungei Road on 10 July 2017. This place was to make way for residential development in the area for these peddlers in a flea market style.

Touted as ‘Thieves Market’ in the days gone by, it was so named as stolen goods were fenced there. I heard stories of how a person whose home got burgled went to Sungei Market to “buy” back all his stolen property.

Good or bad, this is another nostalgic marker making way for development into the new era. Most of these peddlers are in their late 60s to 70s, with the oldest in his 80s. They use this rent free area to eke a living, selling second hand goods.

Tourists and interested passersby would stop to browse and see what is on sale.

Couple of weeks back, I asked MR EX to take me for a drive and to show me this Thieves market as I knew its days were numbered. MR EX used to have a stall there in his young school days as he claimed that he came from a poor family background and that he had to eke a living by selling denim jeans there.

MR EX shared that he would “lie” to customers by claiming that the jeans would “shrink” if the sizes were too big for the customer and that it would ultimately fit the customer after washing.

OR if the size was too small, he would explain to the customer that the jeans would stretch over time.

Call it “lying” or creative sales technique, I think it is both. He is an entrepreneur for sure and as to if he was poor, I really do not know.

Today we were told that a kind soul at Golden Mile Tower was offering each peddler a plot of 1Mx2M for $5 a plot per day at the open air carpark in that building.

Golden Mile Tower is known as “Little Thailand” – I call it seedy but MR EX calls it vibrant. He too took me there for a “tour” one day – yes, MR EX is my local tourist guide as he feels I am living in a sterile world.

I dislike crowds – I find that when I visit crowded places, I attract germs and would return home with whatever flu or colds those people in the crowd may have. Hence, I tend to stay in less crowded areas.

It was the nature of my autoimmune disease and once I had leukopenia i.e. plummeting of white blood cell count – it fell like NYSE…a blue chip tumbling to ground zero that left my doctor really worried for my health.

MR EX disbelieves this and prefers to think it is mind over matter and so, he would try his best to get me in those seedy areas or crowded areas. Good or bad? I do not know his intentions- but I took it at face value ie he designated self as my personal tour guide of lil red dot.

I am sad to see Thieves market disappear from its iconic site and do wish the peddlers new memories at Golden Mile Tower car park till it is time to bulldoze that building down – anything can happen!

P.S. During the time I visited this market, no second hand Garfields were on sale –  ha ha, they were not worth “stealing” to be peddled out there 😉

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Fruits From Japan Is Eye Popping Expensive!

Fridays are my grocery shopping days and lo and behold, I discovered that Japanese imported fruits to lil red dot costs a bomb!

To quantify, the cost when compared to imports from other countries such as Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa (Cape Town) or USA shows fruits or veggies from Japan costs an arm and a leg!

For pete’s sake, Japan is not too far away from lil red dot! 🤔

Cannot be logistics or shipping cost!

Aaah it could be land and labor cost or probably their genetic management of growing “miniature” fruits or “square watermelons (*some years back, I saw one smallish square watermelon sold at Daimaru for $200!)🙄

At Cold Storage last evening, this was what I saw and had to photograph these fruits to show.

Cherry tomatoes  – $16 for a 200g pack.

2 peaches cost $20.

16 small Mikan mandarins in a box cost $60!

*Note: Cold Storage is like USA’s Safeway or UK’s Tesco or Australia’s Coles or Woolsworth – one of our local supermarket chain*

Small watermelons cost $20 and slightly larger one costs $30. Same with cantaloupes or honeydews.

I could whallop the small watermelon in one sitting! My chomps would finish it in a jiffy! But my pocket disallows it ha ha!

American grown watermelons are huge and juicy and so much cheaper!

Malaysian watermelons cost less than $5 for a giant ball….seedless in yellow or red! 

Yet, there are buyers for these exotic Japanese fruits!! So it must be good!

But.. Gee….it was too costly for me to try. 

To me, my rubber mouth would not be able to discern taste like a connoiseur…ha ha wasted on me for sure as I have tasted Michelin star treats and told my host…hey it tastes the same as the one cooked in the food court😉

My host gave me dagger looks!

Same types of fruits from USA, Malaysia, Cape Town, New Zealand or Australia would be so much cheaper!

In fact I bought a pack of 6 rusty brown pears from Cape Town for $4.25. 

It looked like the ugliest of pears, as if bruised beyond recognition…. but it tasted great. 

The advertising worked as it screamed to me andsaid, “I am dirty ugly brown on the outside but am crunchy and yummy like any pear! Try me!”

Try it I did! 

Sold to this rubber mouth and it tasted fine…like a pristine green packham pear 😃

“Live and learn,” said the hamster on the wheel in my brain department….”there is a whole new world out there!”

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Museum Of Sports

I took my parents to walk the Tanjong Rhu Promenade since now I know of this lovely scenic location.

Just a short stroll, a leisurely lunch and shopping – great to keep seniors engaged and have a bit of sunshine and fresh air. Thankfully, it was cloudy and not a scorcher!

We passed by the Museum of Sports which curated all the old sports equipment this lil red dot used to sell.

Given that my parents were not avid sports fans, we gave it a miss. It costs $10 per entry though.

I could see from afar, antiquated Shimano bicycles or actually they were tricycles.

Definitely not on our “interested” things to see.

Mum would be fascinated by plants or flowers whilst dad would be happy to look at the scenery or architecture around this place….and yes…food…tue common denominator of pleasers ha ha😃

About the photos:

1st 2 photos were quilts hung in the lobby of the Sports Museum. Each square of the quilt had a significant milestone history of Singapore, ranging from our campaigns for betterment, down to sports events. 

I loved the vibrant colors of each square and the symbolic significance it carried in message.

The 3rd photo is a close up of the national stadium which is really modern and stylist with the signature retractable dome roof. 

It comprises aquatic center, multi sports arena and of course dovetailed nicely to juxtapose with the indoor stadium by Japanese architect, Kenzo Tange. 

This Indoor Stadium has a seating capacity of 12,000 people and was built at a cost of SGD90 million. (*not pictured)

Built at a cost of SGD1.3 billion,this iconic structure of the Sports Hub – national stadium shown in photo above is built by DP Architects. It is 35 hectares in land size.


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My Lunch Time Discovery

As I took a walk near my office, I discovered a short cut to Chinatown.

Though the area is drabby and old, I saw as many as 5 medical halls selling traditional chinese medicines.

The aroma of gingseng and herbs were overpowering, reminding me of their existence.

Tucked between the rows of medical halls was this quaint buscuit shop that must have close to 100 varieties of local biscuits and preserved fruits.

These fantastic food items can be bought in per 100gm. 

Unlike me buying a tin of assorted biscuits for $7.80 without choice of what I really like!

I was so happy that I bought 6 varieties! 

My damage amounted to $15.80.

I wish I had more bucks to spare as boy oh boy, I would love to splurge and buy up every variety available.

There goes the diet plan😃

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Home Cooked Dishes By Bird Man

Above: Hainanese Pork Chop

Above: Chinese Greens with mushrooms

Above: Kangkong stir fried with garlic

Above: white clams stir fried with chili, garlic and spring onions

Above: coffee pork ribs

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Work Freedom Day 16 – Ben & Jerry’s@Dempsey Hill

Mum and dad had a scoop each of BJ’s – dad had Salted Caramel and mum had Berries sherbert.

Still, mum did not like the taste and vouched that the lime sherbert served at her favorite Thai Restaurant off Eng Neo Avenue tasted best!

The setting was as pretty as a picture in pastels and having my parents sit in it was just picture perfect! As if out of some Hello Kitty type play land.

The sight of iPads on each table showed technology harnessed for ordering method. Save staff cost 😉 and considering the buzz more from BJ’s counter than their cakes and cupcakes section, I’d size that their business is not quite as exciting as BJ’s.

Dad pointed out to me how smart of them to use milk bottles as light holders. Innovative, suited the theme of milk in ice creams and easy to replace.

$13.00 for 2 scoops for a tummy and visual treat😃 – costly but fun!

The customers that came through as we sat and enjoyed the ambience were many.

An experience indeed!

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Bird Man Returns From Sydney, Australia

Bird Man has been silent as he has been busy travelling from Hong Kong to China and to Vietnam for his business in avian matters.

Though he is unable to wrangle a job as the market is quiet, he has been “self employed” doing fairly well for self in the bird acessories business.

In fact he did so well that he went for a week in Sydney with his wife and 2 boys.

Bird Man used to live in Sydney for 6 years as a student there. Below photos are courtesy of Bird Man.

Sydney Opera House – One of the world’s wonders!

Oysters are his favorite…

Freshly shucked oysters….

Baked oysters with cheese…..

Yes…..Bird Man is a true blue Singaporean…..a foodie!!😃👍

And a great sunset to end his trip…

Today we sat and talked over “yum cha” (*dim sum lunch) about old times and we both wondered how long Electrical Lord would last.

We both felt karma would catch up with him in time.

The only good thing that came out of EL’s work place was my friendship with Birdman.

I told Birdman to have faith and believe that he makes a better business man than being an employee!

We all need to believe in selves as it is with self faith that we get to be where we want to be. 

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Work Freedom Day 13 – Exploring Lower Pierce Reservoir

4pm…..34C temperatures cooling a little in the late afternoon, I felt it was the perfect time to explore lil red dot again with my parents.

We visited the heritage trail of Lower Pierce Reservoir that was completed in 1910 and the reservoir was constructed by the British in such a way that it branched across Kallang River. 

A rather faded plaque that describes the history of Lower Pierce Reservoir.

Mum was intrigued by this bush that bore red flowers.

It has been a while since I have seen Bracken Fern going in its natural habitat.

Flanked by the natural forestation, I saw heavily dug up grounds by wild boars that scavenged for food at night and a troop of long tail monkeys ripping off food from the vegetation along the reservoir hedges. One even posed for me!

Cheekily on close up….here’s looking at you babe!😉

Nature at its best! 

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