Author Archives: Syafiqah Hamid

The Fall of ‘Becaman’

It used to be Singapore’s main form of public transport. But this age-old vehicle has long ceased to be used among locals, and is now struggling to maintain its presence here, even among tourists.

Yes, I am talking about the trishaw – the ingenious three-wheeled invention which used to be our parents’ mode of transport back when they were in primary school, and what our grandparents took for their daily trips to the market, many kilometers away from their kampungs.

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Elephant invasion

They are currently the world’s largest land animals, come in many different colors and patterns, and you can buy them from any TANGS Department Store. Elephant Parade has invaded Singapore!

If you have walked around town lately, you are sure not to have missed the life-size elephant structures adorning the shopping centers and streets of Orchard Road, City Hall, Marina Bay, or even Vivocity.  These 75cm elephants have been in Singapore since 11 Nov this year, and will be here as part of Elephant Parade Singapore until 12 Jan 2012.

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Anime Festival Asia back for its fourth year

Colorful and elaborate costumes: check. Hordes of fans singing and dancing in unison to a larger-than-life-sized hologram: check. Up-close sessions with some of the top character designers from Japan: check.  And not forgetting the exhibits and booths full of merchandise and toys, all catered to whet every anime fan-boy’s (or girl’s) appetite: check.

Where else could one experience so much Japanese pop culture in one place, if not at Anime Festival Asia?

Anime Festival Asia, or AFA, is the biggest anime convention in Southeast Asia, held annually at Suntec City Convention Centre since its debut in 2008. Hosted by Danny Choo, arguably one of the most popular bloggers of Japanese pop culture in the world, the event returned once again to Suntec City this year, bringing what all anime fans eagerly anticipate: anime, anime and more anime (and perhaps a maid café or two).

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1Q84 – a world with two moons

On the night of October 24 this year, queues snaked out of bookstores all over London as avid readers counted down to the release of one of the most anticipated book translations ever. Critics were surprised as the hype surrounding this English translation was comparable to a Harry Potter novel. The complete translation of renowned contemporary novelist Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 had finally arrived.

A Murakami reader might initially think that the novel would be similar to a love story of sorts, comparable to his earlier work, Norwegian Wood. But the attraction between the two protagonists, Aomame and Tengo, is questionable, especially since they have not seen each other for the past 20 years, nor have they exchanged any words even when they were back in school. But this attraction is exactly what the two are holding on to in order to get the story going.

In 1Q84, the city of Tokyo has two moons (of which one is a mossy green color). The world is controlled by unearthly creatures which emerge from a dead goat’s mouth. Read the rest of this entry