terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Observations From a Cab Ride

Saturday was one for observations. Or maybe it was because I was all dressed up and had nowhere to go on Friday night.


Observation The First

There’s a maid training centre near my place and I passed it on the way to the ECP on the way to town. It’s completely encased in glass and from where I was, I could see imperious Singaporeans engaged in administrative jobs and maids-in-training having lessons on ironing.

Kinda like the California Fitness Centre* for the socially-disenfranchised and menial labourers of fair Singapore.

All very demeaning, if you ask me.


Observation The Second

It now costs me an additional two dollars to cab it from home to The Adelphi in town (where I get my prints done) since Nicoll Highway was closed to traffic.


Observation The Third

It must be easier nowadays for kids to get their CIP (Community Involvement Programme) hours under their belts: they work half an hour, toss a few sheets of stickers away and then spend the rest of their morning having a good time taking pictures of each other on their cell phones while eating a healthy Burger King breakfast at the Peninsula Plaza branch and get the six hours counted towards their university admissions.


How about this? It might be revolutionary, but perhaps we could make them work a lot harder for their community service requirements? I don’t know, maybe teachers shouldn’t arrange for these things to ‘just happen’ but leave it to the kids to make use of their own initiative to do good? It is supposed to be volunteer work after all.

What d’you think? Pretty good way to separate the wheat from the chaff.


Observation the Fourth

Was commenting to the cousin about the appearances of two churches along my route back to the east. The first, the Armenian Church, now looks absolutely gorgeous. Someone did up the lawn and the walls have been repainted a beautiful white. Brings a lump to my throat, actually.

The second, St Joseph’s, wasn’t as pretty. Apparently someone didn’t get the clue that pastels are so passé. Especially if it’s for a house of worship and it’s been painted light blue with sky blue trimmings.

He told me to write in to the Straits Times Forum to comment about the use of colours in buildings.

Well, what’s the point in that? As I’d told him:
[T]hat’s not going to change anything. Bad taste is a terminal condition.

Which is quite sad. It used to be a rather dignified looking building.

* The California Fitness Centre in Singapore opened in Orchard Road some years back and features large bay windows where pedestrians may watch some overpaid yuppie sweat it out.


  • At 12:18 AM, May 25, 2004, Blogger tbh said…

    you're a bit behind the times there. nowadays, all you have to do is turn up, collect a can at 8am, and return that same empty can at 2pm... and chalk up the points.

    yeah, it's quite easy to blame the students, but it's as if some people could be bothered to enforce a bare donation minimum.

  • At 12:31 AM, May 25, 2004, Blogger Terz said…

    I don't think we can enforce a minimum without having parents up in arms over what they consider to be 'volunteer' work. The ST has tons of Forum letters about that.

    I say scrap the whole community service requirement for university. If one is truly the sort to volunteer, they'll do it, with or without the damn requirements.


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