March 22nd, 2011

birthday croc from TTG 07

(no subject)

i_am_zan has sent me an 'Old Singapore' calendar with reminiscent notes written in the margin. Like the rice seller who sold cooked rice, since it was apparently too expensive for many people to cook their own. That traffic-directing cops are also a by-gone intrigues me, though I see her point. We leave it to the lights here too, until the lights fail as they frequently do, and then a patrol car rolls up and the guys get out and direct. And the fishmonger who, in Grandma's time, measured in taels and catties, if you want a blast from the past. ("Fish was and still is expensive?' But LRD is on the ocean. That's like fish being expensive in Newfoundland-- though with the collapse of the cod fisheries twenty years ago, for all I know fish *is* expensive there.)

Most fascinating to me are the Samsui women, who came in great numbers to work in Singapore's construction industry. Hard work and poverty, but also independence, companions, and a secure identity. There are worse ways to live one's life.

So thanks very much, Zan. I note the sad 'hubby promises me internet by the weekend' note written two weeks ago; and in the same mail delivery, I got your post card from that internet cafe. Ganbatte, ne.

(Observe also that it's an August Ramadan this year. Vicarious moan/ tremble.)