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Photo Essay: 2016 Orchard Road Christmas Light-up

There’s no possibility of a White Christmas in Singapore. The next best thing for us, perhaps, would be the annual Christmas light-up along Orchard Road, which has been a staple since 1984.

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MINISO: A better Daiso than Daiso?

MINISO entered the Singapore market late last year with some fanfare and much ridicule. With a logo with the same shade of red as Uniqlo, a name that one would naturally associate with Daiso, and a tagline that looks like MUJI, on top of the fact that MINISO isn’t quite Japanese despite what they insist, one would think that MINISO wouldn’t stand the test of time in brand-conscious Singapore.

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Parting Thoughts: A Last Look at Rochor Centre

Rochor Centre

When you mention Rochor Centre, the one image that pops up in everyone’s minds is that of four colourful blocks, draped in the richest shades of red, blue, yellow and green. The place has become a popular hotspot for Instragammers eager to take their last shots before the place fades away into history.

As it turns out, Rochor Centre wasn’t always painted this way. If not for the colours, would we even bother? Perhaps.

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Christmas Wonderland at Gardens by the Bay – Mini Photo Essay

Unlike the two previous editions of Christmas Wonderland, this year’s edition charges an entrance fee ranging from $4 to $8. Call it human psychology, but Christmas Wonderland feels a little more appealing with an entrance fee put in place. You would expect a ticketed event to be better organised, with a line-up of activities and food in a carvinal-like atmosphere, rather than what seems to be little more than an over-glorified Christmas display.

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It’s Time for a Freesheet Format Change

I was at Ang Mo Kio station on a Saturday morning and a lady was giving out copies of the weekend edition of TODAY, a local freesheet. I was low on data and it would be a long ride to Beauty World, so I grabbed a copy. I went about on my merry way, reading … Read more

Sony SmartWatch 3 Review: Still Relevant in 2016

Update 17 February 2017: It has now been officially confirmed that the SmartWatch 3 will NOT support Android Wear 2.0. As such, it is difficult to recommend you buying this watch any longer.

As I write this, the Sony SmartWatch 3 (SW3) has been out for more than two years. That’s an eternity when it comes to consumer electronics, and even more so when it comes to smartwatches, an industry that has yet to come of age. And yes, the SW3 preceeds even the first generation Apple Watch.

Since the SW3’s release, we had seen a move towards more stylish (or differentiated) watches with round faces from the likes of Tag Heuer, Fossil, Casio and Nixon. Meanwhile, Sony has been unusually quiet in this regard, with little indication of an impending successor.

Still, while the SW3 may not be a looker (even with the stainless steel band) the SW3 holds its own in terms of specifications, with processing speed, RAM and storage space by-and-large on par with contemporary watches, and even features a built-in GPS, a rarity when it comes to Android Wear watches.

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Round 2 of National Steps Challenge: What You Need to Know

Yes, it tells the time too.

I previously covered season 1 of the National Steps Challenge (NSC) as part of my review of the supplied Actxa Stride tracker. I ended up with a $5 FairPrice voucher and $10 CapitaLand mall voucher, both of which I have yet to use, but unfortunately the Stride tracker got loose one day and dropped out of my wrists unknowingly, leaving me with a band and no tracker.

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Tourist’s Guide to Singapore: Getting Around

An old Singapore patriotic song goes “you can take a little trip around Singapore town, in a Singapore city bus”. That may be true 50 years back, but ‘Singapore town’ is much bigger today, and with it the number of transport options have also risen considerably. With skyscrapers and similar-looking high-rise apartments towering all around, it can be easy for one unfamiliar with Singapore to get lost in this concrete jungle. What, then, is the best way to move around Singapore for the inexperienced?

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August 2016: A Most Eventful Month for Singapore

A Chun Cui He bottle that I managed to get by some stroke of luck
A Chun Cui He bottle that I managed to get by some stroke of luck

What were we doing at the start of August this year? Well, obsessing over 纯粹。喝 (Chun Cui He) milk tea bottles. Because we Singaporeans are savvy hoarders and flippers (just look at the number of opportunists on Carousell), 7-Eleven had to limit each person to just six bottles.

I managed to get my hands on it only after the craze died down somewhat–and the milk tea tasted almost exactly like Mineshine as I remember it. Nothing too special, and certainly not up to the standards of Gong Cha or Koi. The latte was slightly better, but nothing worth queueing for.

Of course, within the same month itself, the AVA discovered that the milk tea version contained a food additive that was banned in Singapore. The latte version is still being sold sporadically, though the demand has mostly subsided.

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My 1st Jay Chou Concert — Great Start, Lacklustre Finish

Like most other Singaporean Chinese teens in the mid-2000s (or at least those who listened to Mandopop), Jay Chou was a constant in my playlist. Don’t ask me how–but I ended up having every of his albums in my iPod then.

I never got a chance to attend his concerts, though. Maybe I wasn’t that big of a fan, or perhaps his tickets were just too expensive. Meanwhile, I made do by listening to his concert CDs, which I enjoyed very much, because of the way he would try to sing the song in a slightly different way each time.

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Courage… or Foolishness?

Something the iPhone 7 can't do.

Some nine years back, I purchased my first ever Walkman phone, the W850i. It didn’t come with a 3.5mm headphone jack–instead you had to connect a dongle to the phone’s proprietary FastPort, from which you could then attach your own headphones. It wasn’t much of a big deal back then, since I also owned an iPod, and the dongle also served double duty as a microphone. Or perhaps because I didn’t need to charge my phone multiple times per day back then. Even so, the W850i charger had a pass-through port allowing you to charge and listen to your tunes at the same time.

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