August 31st, 2005

krazy koati

Better look up the number

There's this guy I don't know on campus. But he knows me, and more, he's got to have known me for several years because he makes references to things back in my old graduate school, which he visits on a fairly regular basis. I ran into him again today, at lunch, and we had a pleasant enough conversation, or as pleasant as can be with my mind distracted by trying to think of where I met him, or what he's doing now -- I'm sure he's told me -- and what I can talk about with him. Guessing his name is right out; my mind has a highly efficient name-elimination procedure, to the point I was at least once unable to recognize my mother's name.

Yeah, yeah, the thing to do is confess that I don't remember him and ask who he is. The last time I did that, the answer I got was, ``I was your roommate last year.'' (And we got along great; it was just the cruel hand of the housing lottery that kept us from being roommates again.) This -- particularly as we've had several conversations in Singapore -- would be inherently awkward beyond that. Well, at least I asked him to say hi to everybody back home, so maybe I'll hear from them who it was. I just wonder when I'll see him again.

In local news the rising gas prices have attracted attention. The Straits Times said prices hit S$2.00 per liter at some gas stations; the evening news said while prices did rise up to nine cents today they stayed below the psychological barrier of two dollars per liter. Esso-Mobil (also sometimes Exxon-Mobil; they don't mind using both names) they cited as selling 98 grade for S$1.99; 95 grade for S1.84; and Diesel for S$1.17. This is interesting to me because it's the first time I've heard the price of gas here. There must be some odd regulation in effect, because gas stations don't put prices on their signs. Newspaper articles about gas station price wars will list the discounts and relative price changes, but not the precise amounts. Now, finally, I've got some idea of what's considered an elevated price of gas.

Trivia: Until 1795 the name for the liter was the `cadil'. Source: The Measure of All Things, Ken Alder.

Currently Reading: A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, Barbara W Tuchman.