July 29th, 2006

krazy koati

Selling once, selling twice

The buildup to National Day continues. For the first time, they're having ten thousand taxis and 2500 buses put the flag up. The project was kicked off by the putting of small plastic flags which hang from the windows into a bus and 41 taxi cabs (it's 41 years since Singapore received independence). As it happens I've taken three taxis this week, which is roughly the number I usually take in three months, but none of them had any special decoration. SBS Transit intends to have all their buses flying the flags. SBS Transit is the agency that runs the North-East Line, which had a bit more trouble a couple days ago when the fire alarm went off at the Dhoby Ghaut Interchange. It turned out to be the fogging, which looks a great deal like a smokey fire, at Circle Line construction nearby.

Coincidental, I think, to the National Day festivities is that someone is organizing a Chicken Rice Eating Contest. I don't know whether that's a contest to eat the most chicken rice, or whether it's to eat a set amount the quickest, although I'm not particularly interested. Eating contests have always struck me as ranging between boring and slightly annoying, since I don't feel the ability to shovel food into one's mouth and swallow it faster than sense allows is worth celebrating. I eat quickly, yes, but that's a matter of eating efficiently, not trying to hurry.

Also part of the problem is the chicken rice dish. Chicken rice is sometimes billed as one of Singapore's National Dishes, which would give outsiders a horrible view of Singaporean food. Chicken rice is basically just what the name suggests, slices of boiled chicken served with rice, plus a bit of scallion so there's some non-white material on the plate. There are ways to make that interesting, but they involve the use of sauces, spices, or other toppings not included in any chicken rice I've seen. Maybe it gets its reputation for subtlety, but to my taste buds it tastes like ``we ran out of ingredients for dinner''. There are dozens of more interesting dishes, even to compete rather than enjoy.

Trivia: Manganese in the diet will prevent chickens from contracting perosis. Source: Molecules at an Exhibition, John Emsley.

Currently Reading: Curse of the Narrows, Laura M MacDonald.