Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

THE LAMP-LIGHTS AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL: The search for bedside table lamps took a wonderful turn today. I finally got to Ikea on Alexandra Road. What a store. It has clever furnishings AND a restaurant AND a Swedish food market. I bought three we-dare-you-to-put-them-together-yourself-without-tools desk lamps (S$9 apiece) and took a taxi back home (again, no tipping). I thought things were under control and that we would finally get our bedside lamps. But that's when the adventure really began. As many could anticipate, the DIY aspect of this required a Phillips-head screwdriver. We didn't bring any tools to Singapore. Neither a paring knife nor a corkscrew worked.
No stores in the sprawling underground mall had anything remotely resembling a screwdriver, although I was tempted to buy an eyelash curler and take it to a new level. That sent me to Google. Most searches turned up places that sell sheet metal on the west side of this island-nation. I finally spotted Meng Hoe Seng, aka T.S. Hardware and Electrical, at 111 Telok Ayer, on the fringe of Chinatown, about a half mile away. It will never have a place in any of the tour guides, but the store (right) now ranks as one of the greatest sites of the city. I bought a screwdriver. I built the first lamp. It looked great. However, I couldn't plug it in. The round prongs did not fit into the outlets. I need some rubberized adapter. I think it's called a "plug key." I might have seen one in a 7-11 store that doesn't sell screwdrivers. So, the bedside reading must wait.
But not everything at Ikea meant a delay. At the Swedish food market, I passed on the marinated herring, but I did grab some chicken wieners. They made a great supper. Fortunately, I had all the tools necessary. Very LITTLE assembly was required. But don't get me started on the problems with the salad.

A REAL TIGER MUM: That story about the man in Malaysia who was saved by his wife from a tiger attack had a graphic follow-up in today's Straits Times. The coverage included the photo at right, which shows what the tiger did to Tambun Gediu, 60. The man's name is different from earlier reports. So too was the device his wife, Madam Han Besau, used to beat on the tiger. She didn't use a stick, as an earlier report said. She used a LARGE WOODEN LADLE she grabbed in the kitchen. The place was so remote, that Mr. Gediu had to wait 10 hours for medical attention. The tiger it turns out, weighed 80 kg and 90 kg. Those numbers mean a lot to me after my episodes with the metric-oriented elliptical. I, too, fall into that weight range. One of the great quotes of the day was from Shabrina Mohd Shariff, director of the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Perak state. Shariff said, "The tiger was probably hunting for prey and mistook Tambun for a mammal."
Wait a minute. That was no mistake, was it? Aren't we mammals, too?


  1. Frank,

    'Round these parts that's known as a "Huck's Head" screwdriver!

    P.A. "Huck" Truesdell

  2. Love your tales, keep them coming.