Face-to-Face with Adri (aka Popagandhi)

Adri and friends smiling finally...

Adri (far right) is now a proud owner of a Nixon watch, which looks like this but with a brown leather strap instead. We don’t seem to have a lot of them in Singapore, so I also brought back a nice white Nixon called “The Vega” for my then girlfriend. Obviously I still have it, and I am thinking of getting rid of it. It’s a damn pretty watch, but I can’t wear it unless there’s a hidden closet I’m supposed to be coming out of.

So yesterday I finally got to meet Adri (aka Popagandhi) in person. She’s that traveling photographer blogger we’ve all heard about, especially if you’re a traveling aficionado, photography geek or mac evangelist. While haggling over a black Nintendo DS Lite at Funan (a surprise for my brother since it was payday!), I got the call from Adri that her class was over around 3pm. Made my way to SMU where she introduced me to her friends sitting around TCC. The rest of the kids over there seemed to be the “loaded” kind. I even spotted a kid dropping his classy Acer laptop on the concrete floor and not batting an eye about it (he could probably afford ten more).

Adri, her gf (I keep forgetting names) and I left the scene cause we were too cool for school (or so I thought) and as we walked to Fortune Center for a late lunch, we chatted a little. I must admit that it felt weird, since unlike other bloggers I’ve met, we didn’t have an incredible lot in common. It was only when we talked about Blogs, Nokias and Macs that the conversation flowed smoothly.

Not before long, we reached her favorite foodie on the cheapie, Basil Alcove located at 190 Middle Road, #01-07, Fortune Center. Serving a chef recommended menu of Italian / French delights, prices were in the affordable range, which is why you’d find Adri there every other day. Basil Alcove’s chef (picture left) whipped up a tasty Cauliflower Garlic Puree Soup for starters, followed by an entree of aurora sauce pasta which consisted of clam and oyster bits.

As we chatted more, she talked to me about how she worked part-time at MrBrown’s studio. She painted a fascinating picture of an office filled with arcade machines, game consoles, pool tables, toys and comic books, literally a geek’s dream workplace come true. Sharing the place with other creative sorts, it sounded like an office back in the dot.com days… I remembered visiting SilkRoute Ventures (the most prominent web design agency back in the day) where project teams of four were made up of people from all walks of life, where passion was all you needed and where energy was pumped through a McDonalds-like loudspeaker announcing every sale the company would clinch, much to the cheer of these unorthodox workers.

Knowing the most popular question off the top of our heads, Adri started answering my question before I could finish: Does MrBrown actually make a living from all this… ?

The short answer was “yes”. There’s a whole untapped business in social media and apparently local companies are starting to open up to the idea of blogs and podcasts. I’m not surprised, and in fact I’m glad, that should anyone be pioneering the commercial aspects of social media, it should really be by people who live and breathe it. Perhaps I’ll get to visit the studio in future… perhaps more can be said then.

  • http://unclesu.com unclesu

    Whew…!

  • http://coolinsights.blogspot.com walter

    Looks like you can also be counted amongst Singapore’s blogerati? Its heartening to know that mr brown can depend on social media entrepreneurship to make a living. I am personally interested in hearing stories of people who take the off-beaten track and are able to do what many of us just dream of. Hmmm… maybe its time to make that dream a reality.. ;-)

    BTW, I am seriously thinking of doing some MBA somewhere which is affordable yet respectable enough. Something that includes social or new media as well as more traditional marketing and business areas. Any recommendations?

  • http://popagandhi.com popagandhi

    That’s not my gf! Actually I’m not sure either. :) but I’m glad you liked the food.

  • http://sabishi-cat.blogspot.com Catherine

    oooohh.. pretty watch. mayb u can give it to mi. lolx.. cya on mon, mister kevin! have a (hopefully) fantastic weekend! all work n no play might make u a dull man. =)

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    UncleSu: Ha!

    Walter: I still owe you a link back! I’m not as familiar with MBAs, though if you wanted to do research in the social media domain, I can recommend a few places like UMich’s School of Information.

    Popagandhi: Really? You two sounded like a “couple” to me. :)

    Catherine: Sorry lady, but thanks for the kind thoughts. I’m still thinking of what I should do with it. Perhaps I should sell it off since it wasn’t cheap.

  • nuMentally

    Your watch is only worth so much on its own. You have add your soap story so that when you sell the watch, it will fetch more.

  • http://space-action-hero.blogspot.com Kenny

    I went down Fortune Ctr after the library visit and I couldn’t find Basil Alcove. Am i really going blind?

  • http://sabishi-cat.blogspot.com Catherine

    yep.. auction it! u can sell it off at a profit. :p

  • http://popagandhi.com popagandhi

    Kenny: It’s by the side of the road facing Sculpture Square. That means from the Library you just have to walk down, and not actually enter Fortune Centre. Once you see the 7-Eleven just walk down somemore. They’ll be closed for an extended CNY rest so do call ahead.

  • http://space-action-hero.blogspot.com Kenny

    That’s really odd. I went as far as Sunshine Plaza but didn’t see Basil Alcove. I’ll check it out the next time I’m in the area.

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    Kenny: It’s a small shop outside Fortune Center, with some tables outside for smokers. Quite easy to miss without a guide like Adri :P

  • http://space-action-hero.blogspot.com Kenny

    Omg then I must really be blind. I went around the outside of Fortune Ctr twice and didn’t see the shop!