Flat

just today i would like to sound incoherent and vapid (like most of my post titles)
I think i’m just tired. Have been meeting people all week (and i’m not done!). also i took care of a little girl today and man! parenting? it’s not for everybody.

today i discovered that hawkers put lard in their carrot cake. and that i hate the taste of lard. or of pork, really. i like it in fried rice where you can taste the wok hei, but not in my carrot cake.

also i discovered that the price of my dignity (in the presence of my friends) is $1.
and the price of my dignity (in the presence of strangers) is 50 cents.

you can measure the price of your dignity by the smallest denomination of money you would deign to pick up from the floor. xingyan and ze and i tested this out before in the ion food court. we placed coins of diminishing denominations on the floor at some distance from our table and observed who bothered to pick them up. all the young looking punks with their iphones and all didn’t bat an eyelash. perhaps it wasn’t enough money. this cleaner lady picked up all the coins we left behind, like hansel and his pebbles.

since i care more about what my friends think of me than what strangers think of me (as evident by my dress code) i’ll probably only bother to pick up $1 coins in their presence but 50c coins in the presence of strangers. what’s the price of your dignity?

we were discussing this today because i remarked that there is less and less money just lying around on the streets nowadays. five years ago i could still chance upon $2 and $5 and $10 lying on the sidewalk, and my breakfast with caroline in j8 would be funded by some unfortunate soul. now i get nothing. perhaps people are getting more careful while handling their money, or that the population of singapore has ballooned so that any dropped money is almost immediately pocketed by someone else. there was a time when kids used to go scavenging beneath the (late) spacewalk in the zoo for dropped coins and shiny jeans plates (back when jeans still had embossed plates sewed onto their back pockets) from all the parents and kids jumping up and down, loosening many treasures from their pockets.

(Sorry Mr. Yelnikoff, but) those were the days.
***
here’s a brilliant quote from one of my favourite directors:

“In America they have summer camps for everything. Rich kids, basketball camp, magic camp, tennis camp, movie director camp — they should have a concentration camp. Two weeks mandatory for all kids growing up so that they could finally understand what the human race is capable of.
— Whatever Works”

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