Date: Wed, 9th May 2007 // Time: 1900-2230hrs // Location: East Coast & Clarke Quay
I don’t know what’s up with some of the folks I meet… they really love overworking themselves. Take Bernard Leong for instance: He has his foot in local socio-politics, as seen in his personal blog (simple.isthereason?), Singapore Angle as well as in local entrepreneurship as seen in SG Entrepreneurs. He’s must be the ultimate busybody (professionals call it networking) to know who’s who in the Singapore blogosphere, especially in the socio-political realm.
Having met him a few time, we finally set some of our plans in motion. We were both interested in improving our general way of life in Singapore, and as with my mantra, we take it from the grassroots. Thus, on Wednesday evening, I made my way to East Coast Road for a discussion at mrbrown’s studio.
Being my first time there since I returned to Singapore, it was pretty refreshing to see life at a more relaxing pace. Lots of old kopitiams (coffee shops) in shop houses, offering plenty of delicious delights, from Laksa to Lontong. Across from me was Katong Village, which reminded me of the Holland Village I frequent in my neighborhood.
While waiting for Bernard to arrive, I chanced upon an popular restaurant called Astons Specialities. There was a line out the door and checking out the menu, it looked to be a continental fare consisting of a wide selection of steaks. The attraction? Generous set-meal portions, comfortable settings, all at prices students could also afford.
Bernard finally arrived around 7.30pm, so we quickly made our way to the studio. After chatting about the project and taking notes, we bid our adieus to mrbrown and grabbed a cab headed towards Central mall, located near Clarke Quay. There, Bernard offered to buy me dinner, so I quickly picked an expensive place (just joking!). Since we both wanted Japanese, he had heard of an eatery called Waraku, so we headed there. True enough, Waraku was really packed even at 9pm, but we just had to wait about 15 minutes before getting a table.
The attraction this time? Just after we found our seats, a girl whom I could have easily mistaken as a student of mine, came close enough to me as if ask for my number. Thankfully all she wanted was our drink order… kind of bizarre since she was dressed more casually than the other waitresses (i.e. her skimpy black dress). Next up were the servings. The sashimi (my benchmark for good japanese) was served on a huge platter filled with ice, rendering the fish slices a little tiny in comparison. While it all looked impressive, the food itself to me wasn’t crazy good.
The crazy good moniker still belongs to Raku over at Holland Village… I was about to lose hope in finding decent raw fish in Singapore, yet this place set a new standard in my sea-faring appetite. Do note that I had the Raku dinner buffet, which was also at a “setting new standard” kind of pricing, so I’ve only gone once.
Anyway, as we sipped down our Calpis soda drinks (I used to buy the glass bottles from Isetan supermarket), we talked about what else we could do to further our socio-political scene. There’s plenty to talk about, but the general idea was that everything seemed too high brow for the masses. Heck, I told him that even some readers I’ve met have told me how they find it hard to understand my blog, let alone his. Thus a new idea was formed…
In an upcoming theorycast (my podcast series), stay tuned to our video called “Introduction to Socio-Political Blogs in Singapore”. Tapping on Bernard’s experience and my interest in promoting the grassroots, we complimented our conversation with a fine selection of blogs, meant for anyone interesting in getting started with politics online. Watch for it!