A new nightclub, The Cannery, opened up at Clarke Quay. It's got a couple of different themed places. One of them is ``Aurum'', which the news claims was the only restaurant in Southeast Asia to specialize in ``molecular gastronomy,'' whatever that is. Downstairs at the restaurant is The Clinic, with eight different rooms based to themes like ``Anthrax'' and ``Morphine'', where ``your drinks will be served on tables shaped like a pill.'' The depicted places do, indeed, look vaguely like trays on which pills are set out, or like the space Hilton from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's probably just as well I'm not really a nightclub or an anthrax kind of guy.
Starhub Cable I noticed has a new promotion for people who start new accounts or who extend their existing accounts, if they come with cable modems. Discounts with the subscription (I don't know how long the subscription is for) includes waiver of the $5.25 ``Smart TV fee'', ten percent off the cable modem service, a free cable modem, a free digital video recorder (the Tivo concept is finally working its way in), and, oh, a 20-inch LCD TV. And to think all I've ever got out of them was a CD player and a free wireless router. I wonder if in six months or so they'll have resorted to just giving out huge bags of cash to people who stand nearby the mall counters.
As it happens I had some business I needed to chat with a Starhub representative about, but we couldn't get it straightened out. Way back when I opened my account they dropped a letter from my last name. But payment works out just fine so I figured fixing it would lead only into a strange anecdote with a modest chance of getting the name fixed. And this was fine as a strategy except the woman on the counter wanted to look up my name as it was properly spelled and wouldn't accept that their records had it wrong. So we talked in general terms instead, and I got my anecdote without fixing the record after all.
Another mall display came from the OCBC bank, which had a couple of people dressed in Santa outfits with signs promising, ``Free Breadtalk Bun with your OCBC Credit Card.'' (Breadtalk makes various baked goods -- tuna buns, chicken floss, that sort of thing; I think the last time I mentioned them they had introduced the 9.0 Bun, a really large gob of bread dough, to raise money for tsunami victims.) I hope that was just a ``show your card and you get a certificate for a free bun'' item, since signing up for a credit card to get a tasty but pretty cheap snack seems like worse financial planning than the DBS investment plan I saw that came with a free McDonald's value meal.
Trivia: In December 1937 the King of England, as Duke of Cornwall, received from the Mayor of Launceston rent of 100 shillings and one pound of pepper. Source: In Quest of Spices, Sonia E Howe.
Currently Reading: The Pirate Coast, Richard Zacks.