Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 (Singapore)

A PARTING SHOT: I glanced out the window this morning and saw a little water ballet going on by the wharf. It included the incoming Los Angeles Express (left) and the outgoing San Francisco Express (second from left) and the outgoing green Lyra, with attendant tugs. I'm going to miss the water traffic. (Both of the Express ships are out of Hamburg and are in the Hapag-Lloyd fleet.)
On a whim, I submitted a photo I took this morning of the Los Angeles Express to marinetraffic.com. Lo and behold, it's on the site. (That's a screen-capture on the right.) As of now this is one of ten photos taken of the ship. Heck that's almost enough for a CALENDAR of FOLD-OUTS. I think that makes me a published ship photographer.

I'LL TAKE THE BREAKFAST BEHIND BANANA LEAF NUMBER 2: I've walked by a small breakfast place often during the last four months and have noticed a number of people buying some food that's wrapped in a banana leaf that's been folded into a pyramid-shaped structure. I never knew what was in it, and I wanted to find out. I assumed it was some sort of rice-based concoction. What better day than today? After all, we fly out tomorrow morning.
I walked up to the counter, pointed to the closest little pyramid, said I'd like to buy one. I think I was secretly hoping it was some kind of rice dish that included some Cocoa Crispies or Corn Flakes. No such luck.
I had some shredded dried FISH for breakfast, with some egg, rice, chilli sauce etc. In addition, as if to make sure I knew it had fish in it, the unwrapped leaf included the fried/dried/smoked/whatever carcass of a fish.
Not used to that.
I'm not sure of the name of the meal. I think it's some form of nasi goreng. It cost only S$3.30 (including the coffee).
No, you don't eat the banana leaf. That's what I was told by a horrified onlooker.

WHAT'S A MOZZIE? As is my wont, I went to boston.com this morning to check up on Boston-area news. This banner-ad appeared on the top of the page. I am sure it did not appear to Massachusetts viewer. It touts a "5-step Mozzie wipeout," connected to efforts to limit dengue fever.
After months of seeing the ad, I decided--on our last day--to find out what this is all about.
I am probably the only person in Singapore who did NOT know that "mozzie" is a nickname for a mosquito. (It's kind of a jaunty diminutive for such a deadly beast, no? Is it a hypocorism?)
Dengue is a big deal here. The government does a lot of campaigning for it, including releasing a booklet called Denque Prevention Tips for Foreign Domestic Maids. It's in English Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia and Singhalese. One tip that really doesn't come up much in New England (when it comes to eliminating still-water breeding grounds) is pictured at right. The wording that goes with the picture is "Cover bamboo pole holders when not in use." It shows how to cover up the ends of bamboo poles that extend from some homes. These hollow protrusions are not designed for flag poles. They support poles used for drying clothes. They'd rather use their precious energy resources on something other than drying clothes.

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