Is it nice..?

Manners

Posted in Is it Nice..?, Singapore by Ade Chong on September 2, 2012

A friend of ours who is in her late 40s/early 50s was talking to us about manners recently. She said, with her generation, when a woman enters a room, all the men should stand up. The first reason is to acknowledge that she has entered the room, and the second reason, is that they are offering their seats to her.

To this day, I can count very few men that I know who have such manners – men that I can call true gentlemen. I don’t even need all ten fingers to count them all. It disturbs me that basic, sensible manners like that are lost on our generation. It’s become such a norm for people to spend social meals and gatherings on their mobile phones (I’m guilty of this); not to hold the door for others or thank people for holding the door for them; and people who would rather push past you instead of saying “excuse me”.

Recently, I personally experienced driving a person home who sat in the back seat when the front seat was vacant. This person spent the whole journey playing with his mobile phone in silence. I shall quote my parents on this and say, “You think I’m your Ahmad or what?”. I honestly wonder when Singaporeans got so ugly.

I’ve come to realise that this is a large part of why I dislike Singapore. We call ourselves an advanced, first world country but our citizens behave worse than third world ones. Every trip that I make to Europe, I find myself experiencing a bit of a culture shock. It never fails to amaze me how polite the people there are. I was about to open the door to Selfridges once and a man behind me rushed forward to get the door for me. I stood there in shock for a moment before thanking him and walking through. The disturbing thing is that something as simple as that shocked me. That’s just how accustomed I’ve become to the lack of manners here.

I really hope one day Singaporeans will “wake up their idea” and realise that our behaviour is not that far off from the foreign immigrants that we so despise. No wonder I’m so selective about who I call my friends.

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Little Monsters

Posted in Is it Nice..?, Music, Photoblog!, Singapore by Ade Chong on May 29, 2012

Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball Singapore 2012

I actually think I had more fun DIY-ing and preparing for the concert than anything. Still, it was a great first pop-concert and I had my bestest of friends to share it with me.

Hair: Jeremy Yap
Photography: Adeline Chong
Photography direction: Keith Gan
Wardrobe: Models’ own
Hair & make-up: Models’ own

All the harnesses were hand-made by us.

The Steeping Room

Posted in Is it Nice..?, Photoblog!, Singapore by Ade Chong on August 3, 2011

Last month I went down to The Steeping Room to catch them a week before they shut down. I was curious to see what a local pop-up store would have to offer, especially since the pop-up concept hasn’t quite caught on here yet. The result was a tiny set-up in an old building on Waterloo Street. The little room was done up in minimal fashion, but it was air-conditioned and comfortable. A set of long, narrow benches lined the window for waiting customers while a six-seat coffee bar stood in the centre of the room. The two baristas were friendly and welcoming. We had to wait our turn, due to the lack of seats, but I didn’t really mind.

The thing I really liked about the Steeping Room was that it was all about the coffee. The place was unpretentious; it was not over-designed like I expected it to be. It looked like just enough thought had been put into the place. The baristas, Chloe and Marvyn, were confident and had an obvious passion for coffee, they took the time to explain their methods and beans and could answer all our questions without skipping a beat.

(Chloe preparing coffee with a Hario Siphon over a butane burner)

(Chemex-dripped coffee made by Marvyn)

Both the boys had Hawaii Ka’u beans prepared in two different methods. Ben had his pressure-infused with a Hario Siphon over an awesome-looking butane burner while Cheeyi had Chemex-dripped coffee. The point was for us to compare the two results. The Hario Siphon coffee was a clear winner – the coffee was full and it had a lovely roasted flavour to it. The Chemex-dripped coffee on the other hand, was a little too light for our liking.

On a side note, I really liked that Chloe and Marvyn took their service a step further when Ben scalded his tongue on his coffee by offering us sparkling water from their private stash. After that, they also offered Cheeyi a small sample of his coffee in a shot glass while he waited for his it to cool. It was a really thoughtful touch that’s rare in local service.

Also FYI, that great little butane burner is made by a brand called Hotery. Theirs was bought from Jakarta.

The Steeping Room is a project by Papa Palheta, it was open for three months from May to July 2011.

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