Archive for June, 2007

Man’s “wife”

Most men treat their cars especially their first car like or better than their wives. For me, it’s already a thing of the past since I’ve been driving for the past 20 over years and driven more than 10 over brands/models of cars.

My dad’s first and only car was a Peugeot 404 bought for only S$3,500 in the early 70s. It was a 3yrs old car and most people go for a Continental car instead of a Japanese car then – the reason guessed Chun See had mentioned it before in his blog.

The thing I remembered well was that my dad would start the car engine about 15 minutes beforehand so as to warm up the car! We enjoyed the drive from Serangoon to Changi Point for our usual swim; there wasn’t any expressway then.

I got my first car (a 3yrs old car also) in the early 80s and it was a Ford Laser 1.3L. Luckily there wasn’t such a thing as COE then.

Don’t know why men like to pose with their first car? Also many of us like to spend hours waxing and washing our cars. Now I can’t remember when was the last time I go for a car wash hehe.

I recalled after collecting my first car, I drove into Joo Chiat those small One-Way street and went against the traffic. I hit my headlight against a lamp post while doing a 3 point turn out! Fancy getting into an accident on the first day of driving my own car.

Throughout my years of driving, I’ve only bought one brand new car and that was during 1991 when COE was introduced recently then. My first brand new car was a Subaru Viki 800cc, a car which will trembled when a lorry drove past you. The COE then was less then $10K and thereafter it escalated sky high. After driving this car, I wouldn’t settle for any car less than 1,600cc.

Now with the COE, ERP, Insurance, Parking charges, Rd Tax, Petrol tax, etc… it’s really a heavy burden to own a car.

ALS to ERP

I guess many of us have long forgotten the above ‘ugly’ piece of paper that had given us so much trouble in getting it before entering a certain place called the ‘restricted zone’. One has to go to certain places to purchase it at $3 or buy one that gives you free access for a month – the place to get it is shown behind the above paper;

Below is a typical ALS booth selling it;

Photo credits : http://web.worldbank.org

You may read more on here and here.

You need to display this ALS ticket on the top left hand corner of your car windscreen. This ALS (Area Licence Scheme) was implemented in June 1975. At that time, words like RZ (Restricted Zone and CBD (Central Business Districts) were very popular. Of course with this ALS, you can enter the RZ during the peak hour without 4 persons in the car. The price for entering is $3 for daily access and $60 for a month’s access.

You will be amazed by how that lady (usually) standing near the ‘sentry box’ monitored those cars with the ALS ticket on the windscreen. How she can spot those without and take down their vehicle numbers. Understand that these group of people are specially trained for these jobs!

Photo credit : LTA Academy

After about 23years, we discarded this manual system and go for the ERP (Electronic Road Pricing);

Not so troublesome as the ALS as we don’t have to purchase that ticket anymore, yet there are always drivers who forget to insert the cashcard into the IU (In vehicle unit);

Photo credits above : LTA Academy, LTA.

Here is how the ERP system works in detail. Anyway, whichever system it is – it’s still Pay and Pay!

White Rabbit Sweet

This sweet has been selling for a long long time and it’s still selling well now though we are in the 21st Century, 2007. I remember eating these sweets especially during the Chinese New Year at my Godmother’s house in Beatty Road.

What so special about this sweet is that – it’s one of those few sweets that has an edible wrapper paper. It just melts in the mouth!

And all these while I thought that this White Rabbit Sweet comes only in White (Vanilla) flavour, but my daughter pointed out to me at the Museum Shop that it has a new Chocolate flavour – new to us at least;

Anyway, I still prefer the original white! Haha, I’m not the only one that like this Rabbit Sweet I guess. For those that have not try it before, only the translucent wrapper is edible – not the printed rabbit wrapper.

Singapore Zoological Garden

Haha when I said these words “Singapore Zoological Garden”, it will reveal my age too! Why? It’s already been renamed as “Singapore Zoo“. Since when? I don’t know. I remember it’s also locally known as “Mandai Zoo” too. The zoo was opened on 23 Jun 1973 and built at a cost of S$9m.

Is Zoo short for “zoological garden? Let’s guess… yes it is.

If you take a second look at the above photo again, the word ” Gardens” is in Plural, why?

Do you realize that the Zoo entrance decoration always change? Below shows the new name probably taken by someone in 2004;

When I was young, visit to the Zoo is usually thru school excursion. The entrance fees then was so much cheaper compared to now. Of course, there was only 1 zoo then and the Night Zoo (Night Safari) was still not opened yet.

And here is my Zoo fridge magnet souvenir in 1998 (25yrs of conservation);

Blowing Balloon

Most of us would have played these – blowing balloon with;

Luckily it’s still commonly and easily available at around 40cents to 50cents for a few sticks. Shown above are the smaller size sticks where once opened, it must be finished. Anyway, the content inside is very little only.

We used to buy them from ‘Mama’ stores and at provision shops in the past. It’s much cheaper then, and it’s really fun to play it with the neighbours. The most enjoyable part is to join 2 or more balloons together. My son learning the trick here;


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