Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

NIBBLE, NIBBLE, NIBBLE, TICKLE, NIBBLE: Last night, after dinner, Susan, Deb, Sandy and I ducked into a Kenko FISH SPA at the Marina Bay Sands Casino. I had never seen something like this before. The closest was watching a preview for Piranha III (or something of that ilk).
The key operators here are so-called "Doctor Fish" (garra rufa). As the picture shows, they swarm over the available skin and consume things we don't know are there. Total symbiosis on this one. They like it. We like it. The owners of the spa like it. Seems to be a big breakthrough of some kind for Deb. This was NOT necessarily her idea. We were in there for about 30 minutes. Each of us had access to a waterproof laptop so we could keep an eye on Libya. In another "pool" a youngster was DOING HIS HOMEWORK while the fish dined.

THIS IS WHY SOME CALL IT SWINGAPORE: Deb, Susan and Sandy took a break at the Raffles Hotel and got into the tourism mode. They got the obligatory Singapore Slings and whiled away some time on a very hot day in the courtyard of the hotel. By the time we were at the fish spa, I'm sure the drink had worked itself nicely into the blood stream and provided a little jolt to the Doctor Fish.

HOW I ALMOST THREW MY LIFE AWAY AND NEARLY BECAME AN ACCUSED LITTERER IN SINGAPORE: While emptying my pockets today (in a frantic search for our apartment access card AND our two MRT passes), I came across a brochure from The Workers' Party. It focused on the party's "Your Vote Is Secret" campaign (right). I recalled that I had picked it up from the floor of one of the subway cars on Saturday. I don't normally pick up trash like that, but I felt compelled to do so. Here's what happened:
I noticed a folded up brochure on the floor of the subway car near Sandy. I thought that perhaps she had dropped it. I bent down to pick it up, saw it was a brochure from The Workers' Party, figured Sandy was not doing any electioneering and dropped it back on the floor. At THAT EXACT MOMENT, another passenger spotted me dropping it. Furthermore, ANOTHER passenger helpfully pointed out I dropped something. Even though IT WAS NOT MINE, I figured I couldn't leave it there. I was the last one to touch it. That probably made me the official OWNER of the brochure. Technically, that also likely made me a LITTERER. And there are BIG FINES here for littering. (First-time offenders face a S$300 fine.) For all I know, those two "helpful" passengers were undercover litter agents. So, I said, "Thank you," picked up the brochure and stuck it in a pocket.
So, during some downtime today, I read about the party. And I Googled it.
I love the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry: "The Workers' Party of Singapore is one of the largest opposition parties in Singapore, with 1 of the 84 seats in the current session of Parliament of Singapore." Hmmm. "one of the largest opposition parties" ... with ONE SEAT.
Anyway, the lead question of the Q-and-A brochure is quite interesting:
"Why does the election official call out my name and voter number at the polling station before giving me the ballot paper? I find it unsettling."
I think I would find it unsettling. But this is evidently done so party representatives can check off names and ensure that people don't vote twice.
Anyway, I've read the brochure. Now I have to find a trash can. Fortunately, we keep a small one in our apartment.

A NICE BOUNCE BACK FOR THE CRANES: Crane watchers are pleased this morning to report that the number of DOWN cranes is UP, which is a sign of business at the Tanjong Pagar terminal. Today's Singapore Crane Index Limited Economic Indicator allows crane watchers to relax.

Date: March 21
Time: 8:00 a.m. (Singapore time)
Cranes Up (bad): 13
Cranes Down (good): 14
CRANES MISSING (neutral): 1

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