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17 September 2014

The Spin Doktor is IN the house.

"We grew up in the kampong. There were six kids in my family. When I was 13, my father said he couldn’t afford to send us all to school. He said ‘So if you want to go to school, you must come help me in the cinema.’ My father worked in the Cinema. So my first brother’s job was to tear the ticket when people went in. My second brother worked the projector. Then he put me in front of two record players and said, ‘your job is to spin.’ So for half an hour before the show started, my job was to play music - to be DJ. Then he would give me my pocket money.

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17 September 2014
"We live in the neighbourhood and walk by here all the time. So when we heard Uncle Lim wanted to give up the shop and retire, we jumped at the chance. This provision shop is over 50 years old. It’s very tricky running a cafe in this old space because the power to the unit is about half what it is in new places. We have 30 amperes to run the entire cafe and the espresso machine alone takes up 20! So we had to modify a lot of our appliances to make it all work. 

Of course when we moved in, we knew the space would eventually be torn down. But we thought we would still have 15-20 years. Then one month after opening, we heard the news that the Dakota Estate would be closed down in 2016. What to do? We’re still hopeful that the schedule will get set back and we’ll have a bit more time. It is the realisation of a dream to run this cafe.”

"We live in the neighbourhood and walk by here all the time. So when we heard Uncle Lim wanted to give up the shop and retire, we jumped at the chance. This provision shop is over 50 years old. It’s very tricky running a cafe in this old space because the power to the unit is about half what it is in new places. We have 30 amperes to run the entire cafe and the espresso machine alone takes up 20! So we had to modify a lot of our appliances to make it all work.

Of course when we moved in, we knew the space would eventually be torn down. But we thought we would still have 15-20 years. Then one month after opening, we heard the news that the Dakota Estate would be closed down in 2016. What to do? We’re still hopeful that the schedule will get set back and we’ll have a bit more time. It is the realisation of a dream to run this cafe.”

16 September 2014
"My family moved here from China when I was 7. I don’t tell many people that. I’ve lived here for 20 years and am a citizen. I’ve been through the school system, I work in the government, my accent and mannerisms are local… and I’ve never considered myself anything but Singaporean. 

But I’m always afraid that someone will say I’m not Singaporean enough. I wonder: ‘What is enough?’ Is it enough to go to school here? Do you have to be born here? Do your parents have to be born here? It has made me afraid to embrace my Chinese heritage. But as I get older, I’m starting to feel I need to explore that aspect of my identity and learn to accept it as part of myself.”

"My family moved here from China when I was 7. I don’t tell many people that. I’ve lived here for 20 years and am a citizen. I’ve been through the school system, I work in the government, my accent and mannerisms are local… and I’ve never considered myself anything but Singaporean.

But I’m always afraid that someone will say I’m not Singaporean enough. I wonder: ‘What is enough?’ Is it enough to go to school here? Do you have to be born here? Do your parents have to be born here? It has made me afraid to embrace my Chinese heritage. But as I get older, I’m starting to feel I need to explore that aspect of my identity and learn to accept it as part of myself.”

"I started with the tats about 40 years ago and just didn’t stop."

8 September 2014
Culture & Sub-culture

Culture & Sub-culture

8 September 2014
"I’ve been living in Japan for 5 years. And I also lived in Toronto for a while. When you live abroad, you see what a skewed impression people have of Singapore. Only the weirdest Singapore stories go viral. And then those stories get mutated beyond their original weirdness. So people in other countries can have very strange ideas about what life is like in Singapore."

"I’ve been living in Japan for 5 years. And I also lived in Toronto for a while. When you live abroad, you see what a skewed impression people have of Singapore. Only the weirdest Singapore stories go viral. And then those stories get mutated beyond their original weirdness. So people in other countries can have very strange ideas about what life is like in Singapore."

7 September 2014
Does whatever a spider can… if he catches the bus on time.

"We’re friends. Actually there’s one more. But Spidey 3 is late."

Does whatever a spider can… if he catches the bus on time.

"We’re friends. Actually there’s one more. But Spidey 3 is late."

7 September 2014
"What I like about my character is that she seems really innocent but actually she’s mischievous. And her bear is evil. He kills people."

"What I like about my character is that she seems really innocent but actually she’s mischievous. And her bear is evil. He kills people."

6 September 2014
"I’m a bit slower getting on and off…. Now I used to be able to cycle with a basket full of groceries and holding an umbrella with one hand! I was very fit. Ah but now… shoulder sore here, leg hurts there. I have to take it easier now. Really you should have seen me when I was younger."

"I’m a bit slower getting on and off…. Now I used to be able to cycle with a basket full of groceries and holding an umbrella with one hand! I was very fit. Ah but now… shoulder sore here, leg hurts there. I have to take it easier now. Really you should have seen me when I was younger."

6 September 2014
The Nightfest at Armenian was fantastic. But The Substation always has a lot of cool stuff going on. And it’s where a lot of the punk guys hang out. What’s great about those guys is that they are not judgmental. They take people as they are - no racism, no judgement. That seems to be a big part of their philosophy: “no hate”.

The Nightfest at Armenian was fantastic. But The Substation always has a lot of cool stuff going on. And it’s where a lot of the punk guys hang out. What’s great about those guys is that they are not judgmental. They take people as they are - no racism, no judgement. That seems to be a big part of their philosophy: “no hate”.

1 September 2014
I got the idea to collect food for old folks homes 18 years ago. There was a lot of need and few people helping them.  At first I just did it on my own. I would collect food out here in the open every Saturday. People thought I was a bit crazy. But more and more helped out. Then after 3 years, the mayor created this shelter for us so we can collect food rain and shine. Now the whole neighbourhood pitches in and we support 8 homes. Some give oil, others rice, noodles, fruits & veg…  whatever they can. It’s a community effort. Many of the nearby stall holders give food. Some of the wealthier supporters have bags and bags of supplies sent over from the NTUC next door. We even have an English guy who comes here every week to help lift things… he’s a small guy but very strong! And without fail every week a little old lady comes - she can barely walk and is not rich. But she always contributes something. The generosity of people is very heartwarming.

(You can find the Food & Friends project every Saturday morning at 21 Old Airport Road)

I got the idea to collect food for old folks homes 18 years ago. There was a lot of need and few people helping them. At first I just did it on my own. I would collect food out here in the open every Saturday. People thought I was a bit crazy. But more and more helped out. Then after 3 years, the mayor created this shelter for us so we can collect food rain and shine. Now the whole neighbourhood pitches in and we support 8 homes. Some give oil, others rice, noodles, fruits & veg… whatever they can. It’s a community effort. Many of the nearby stall holders give food. Some of the wealthier supporters have bags and bags of supplies sent over from the NTUC next door. We even have an English guy who comes here every week to help lift things… he’s a small guy but very strong! And without fail every week a little old lady comes - she can barely walk and is not rich. But she always contributes something. The generosity of people is very heartwarming.

(You can find the Food & Friends project every Saturday morning at 21 Old Airport Road)

1 September 2014
"I’ve always loved Cowboy and Indian movies. But I like the Indians better. They had good hearts… and more honour."

"I’ve always loved Cowboy and Indian movies. But I like the Indians better. They had good hearts… and more honour."

31 August 2014
"I’m just in Singapore for 2 weeks with the show. I grew up in Guinea, West Africa. Ever since I was a kid, I loved doing acrobatics. And I love horses. I’m 23 now and living my dream. I know most people work for money - they have to. But even if they didn’t pay me, I would do this. It’s what I love. I think it has always been my destiny."

"I’m just in Singapore for 2 weeks with the show. I grew up in Guinea, West Africa. Ever since I was a kid, I loved doing acrobatics. And I love horses. I’m 23 now and living my dream. I know most people work for money - they have to. But even if they didn’t pay me, I would do this. It’s what I love. I think it has always been my destiny."

31 August 2014
"By day I’m a mechanic."

"By day I’m a mechanic."

22 August 2014
"I fly here 3-4 times a year for work. I’m coming from Holland and the usual route is right over the Ukraine but this time we detoured. The plane crash was really hard for us as a country. We lost a lot of people. It has really made us rethink our place in the world and whether we are as safe as we believed. Personally it shook me up too. I’ve flown over that war zone plenty of times. It could just has easily have been me. And I’m not ready to go. I still have a lot of living to do."

"I fly here 3-4 times a year for work. I’m coming from Holland and the usual route is right over the Ukraine but this time we detoured. The plane crash was really hard for us as a country. We lost a lot of people. It has really made us rethink our place in the world and whether we are as safe as we believed. Personally it shook me up too. I’ve flown over that war zone plenty of times. It could just has easily have been me. And I’m not ready to go. I still have a lot of living to do."