austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,

In the library garden Sunday afternoon

I had mentioned getting a goodie bag from the Singapore Day activities. Actually, among me, my mother, and my father, we go three goodie bags. These bags were described as traditional or classic style, by which I think they meant they're paper bags, with string handles to hold onto and be convinced they're about to snap (at least, I always think that with string handles), and the ``I (Heart) sg'' logo on the side. The bag unfolded doesn't quite sit flat; there's a tilted side, so the edge looks vaguely like a part of an octagon. The bags were given, with the goodies inside, flat, although my father opened his up. My mother kept hers flat; mine, I kept flat and put inside my bookbag.

One supplementary bit of goodie was Yeo's Chili Chicken Rice Sauce, used to make chicken rice taste less like chicken with rice. I've mentioned my not-excessive habits in eating chicken rice and actually hadn't picked up a bottle, but Dad got two, which should last -- assuming we start making chicken rice occasionally -- until the end of time. We also picked up a bottle of Yeo's Fried Rice Sauce, which Dad retrieved under the impression it was kaya bean jelly; I'd just introduced them to the tastiness of kaya roti, made of softboiled egg, kaya bean jelly, and butter on toast. It's that good. From a distance it looked like a plausible color for jelly.

Within the goodie bag proper were: a one-for-one discount coupon/postcard good for flossy bread at BreadTalk, the snacks chain in Singapore; a card with discounts for staying at and eating at GoodPark Hotel (``Relive the Opulence of the Colonial Era''); and 20 percent off Osim silly vibrating chairs at Manhattan stores. From Overseas Singaporean group there's a business card-size, but thick, plastic box of mints. There's a bag of ``Five Stones'' beanbags (it's a kind of jacks-like game). From the Port of Singapore Authority there's a palm-size clear plastic case shaped like a person; inside, are six colored plastic paperclips, each of them shaped like a person. And finally there's a bag full of rubber bands. My parents asked what the rubber bands were for, and I really don't know. Maybe they want people to think of office supplies.

Trivia: In 1971 the Port of Singapore Authority projected it would handle 190,000 containerized cargo boxes by 1981. In 1982 it handled over a million. Source: The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, Marc Levinson.

Currently Reading: Uncommon Carriers, John McPhee.


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