Sunday, November 28, 2010

What You See in Me?

I received my Singapore work visa last week, and this is how they identify my origin.

Whereas my Alien Registration Card in Korea, aka my ID in Korea, presents something a bit confusing.

Situation in Sweden is the same as Korea. As they do not offer anything like ID, this was what I had back then, a statement of my Personal Number. They identify Taiwan ROC as Republiken Kina (Taiwan). Kina is China in Swedish.
I do not have my Hong Kong ID with me now, however, nationality is not stated on the ID anyway(THUMBS UP HONG KONG!).

Soul Sister

video

For a period of time, this was the song that came to my ears when I stepped into MokDong Hyundai Department store. It just gives me the uplifting mood, and also it reminds me of numerous beautiful memories dining, shopping, and hanging out there with Casey.

Play it loud. You'll love it.

有段時間,這是我一踏進木洞現代百貨的Young Plaza會聽到的歌。當時許小臉用他的nexus one裡的一個application查出這首歌,是Train的Hey, Soul Sister。這首歌的歡快氣氛,伴隨著我們在現代百貨裡吃喝玩樂的美好回憶,以至於每回聽到,總會不自覺掛上一抹微笑。

我知道穿著薄內衣的歐吉桑不是太養眼,但放大聲點,你會喜歡的。

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Place that Harbors Dream

(source)
身為一個臭老九,曾經我也是隨雞起舞的說什麼香港沒文化深度,直到2005年香港好友Calvin(從banker變成超帥的A-Sir啦!)帶我上太平山賞維港日景,我才領悟到,維港的川流不息,原來就是香港奔騰的文化血脈。大學畢業後到香港工作,每當心情低落,一定會到尖沙咀,靜靜眺望著維港兩岸;那時我總可感受到,思緒在光速般不停往來行進的匆忙裡,默默的凝止了。晃晃悠悠的天星小輪能讓我想起廣華醫院開院前,九龍的貧民們為了到港島的東華醫院接受免費義診,也是這麼一搖一晃的抵達彼岸(詳情見我們的書);暢通而開闊的維港,讓我堅信自己的夢想可以順著它的河道,最終和世界連結在一起。因為這一切是那麼的深刻,它寫下了我人生中絕無僅有的青春時光的美麗回憶,以至於光是想起維港景致,心跳便會加速、看了維港照片,眼淚甚至要奪眶而出。

會想到這些,是因為前天下班後,跟辦公室的姊妹到新加坡河周邊走走。曾經我也覺得它是多麼美麗的(特別是在Esplanade樓頂看夕陽),現在的我卻覺著哪裡塞住了一樣,好不通暢,悶。它本不是一個開闊的水域景緻,加上周邊越蓋越高的酒店和大樓,足以入目的河岸風光自然越嫌擁擠。實際的地理環境是一回事,可能更多的反映了我現在的心境寫照,也許我開始對於夢想有一點點的害怕、失望、也許我開始假想自己會否在寫字樓裡終老。大概是太過壓抑,極度現實的我今晚竟跟許小臉大發了一番夢話,我說,你進你的華爾街,到時我只要可以到這裡上班,當個小秘書都可以。

Friday, November 19, 2010

Asian Destiny (我們的完美人生)

吃晚飯的時候,電視上剛好播放著今天韓國舉辦大學聯招的新聞。內容大概是說這個一日定終生的考試對韓國人的重要性,連上下午的英文聽力考試時間,為顧及鄰進考場考生的權益,飛機的起降都被禁止。新加坡新聞煞有介事的報導韓國大學聯招,讓我有種荒謬的喜感,連同樣文憑主義掛帥的新加坡人都嘖嘖稱奇,可見韓國聯招確實不同一般。

我想到許小臉也是這麼過來的,當年的他也是把六、七十萬考生踩在腳底下,這麼多年以後來看,不過也就是這麼回事。念了名校著實給他帶來無比的社會資本,但又如何? 他出了韓國,SKY的學歷還有人鳥嗎(科科,我們NTU的國際排名還比較高咧)? 這些東西不過能在韓國自high用而已,當你不想留在韓國自high,你終於驚覺原來這個教育體制浪費了自己那麼多年的青春。我是很恨NTU的,但我知道它浪費我的青春畢竟沒有許小臉的學校浪費他的青春來得嚴重,而且許小臉一學期的學費幾乎可抵我4年學費。
 
Matt Ridley在TED的一場演講"When Ideas Have Sex"裡,提到手斧和滑鼠的差別標示了人類文明的演進。同樣易於人類使用於手掌,手斧可由個人獨立製成,但世界上恐怕沒有人知道如何從無到有的製造出一個滑鼠。滑鼠公司的老闆知道怎麼經營公司,生產線的工人只知道如何組裝,他們都不知道怎麼去開挖製造滑鼠用的石油。他進而說明為什麼自己不太參與IQ的辯論,因為人類文明的演進並不取決於個人的聰明才智,而是取決於社會裡的個體們如何有效的交流意見、相互合作。我想這解答了為什麼亞洲可以孕育出一堆神童,卻不代表社會的進步、國家或產業的發展程度,可以超越歐美國家,而且神童們一般還得到歐美受教育,才能繼續發展。亞洲培養出的神童要到培養不出神童的國家才能有所發揮,這說明了"神童崇拜"其實是個很弔詭的概念
 
亞洲人迷戀神童也不是三兩天的事(以前看過研究中國古代神童的生活之類的文章),在有限的將來亞洲孩子們還是得繼續靠著聯考維繫人生目標;出了社會,就賺錢、買房買車、成家、養孩子。這難道不是生活在亞洲的人們,多麼目標明確的完美人生嗎。

Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Haven't I Told You, Norway is Definitely NOT a Fashion Icon"

A Swedish hottie once told me how she thought about Oslo, Norway, after coming back from her business trip, "Pizza's damn expensive. Also, I can't believe they are still wearing crochet!!!"
曾有位瑞典正妹跟我說她出差到挪威奧斯陸的心得 : "Pizza真貴。還有,他們不知道是怎麼穿衣服的,竟然會土到穿針織衫!"

So when I came across this on a Taiwanese fashion magazine (introducing a collection by a Japanese girl brand iimk), a corner of my mouth curved up.
然後我在雜誌上看到這個,左邊的嘴角不禁上揚。

(source)
I know the Scandinavian countries are famous for their design. However, when it comes to fashion, Sweden is the only Nordic country famous for being fashionable nation-wide. Not Norway. And not even anywhere close to the Arctic Circle. Please, sister.
我知道北歐設計很有名,但北歐唯一和時尚扯得上邊的是瑞典,不是挪威,更不是北極圈一帶啊,お願いします!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This November ( 家門風景 )

What I see when I go down the floor right now.
這是我現在下了樓第一眼見到的景像。

This is what I'd see when I open my door in Seoul now.
這是我在韓國一打開門看到的景像。

An island of only one season, time freezes, coz without calendar, there's no hint while time passes you by. Whereas in a place where cherry tree comes in full bloom in spring, pouring rain drenches you in summer, fallen leaves pave your walk in autumn, and winter snow calms your nerves, you've always got to sort out your apparel and moods, with the change of time, alert.

在四季如夏的新加坡,時間是凝止的,如果不看日曆,總是可以過著不知今夕是何夕的日子,年復一年,不為所動。而在那春天有櫻,夏天有雨,秋天有楓,冬天有雪的地方,人總是被迫著變換衣著與心情,深刻的感受著一年四季的遞嬗。

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Rightful Voyeurism (合法意淫)

Local guys appreciating
SNSD's dancing
Unanimously, electrical retailers island wide love to repeatedly play Girls' Generation's Oh! and Gee, and once in a while Goto Maki's Some Boys! Touch, on their LCD products. I strongly recommend that you click on the songs' links to view these MVs. I guess the stores understand that nothing can be more eye catching than young hotties in their shorts shortest ever shaking boobs and butts.

Hey you know Singapore is still Asia, nothing wrong about women being eyed by men. But there's still some discretion; at least they don't produce, they just consume. It's Korea that produces and performs. For those gender-sensitive readers, I know you get what I mean.


最近經過這裡的家電部門,一排排電視連續又重複播放的老是Girls' Generation的Oh!Gee,有時是後藤真希的Some Boys! Touch (拜託,這已經是4年多前的老歌了耶)。大概他們也知道,貝齒美目的少女們穿著短得不能再短的褲子扭腰擺臀,還有比這回頭率更高的嗎。新加坡畢竟是亞洲,女人給男人看,沒什麼不對。不過此間還是有點差別,新加坡只算個消費者,製造商可是韓國啊。對性別議題敏感的人,知道我什麼意思吧(眨)。

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Etude House in Singapore - Doomed to Go Back Home?

Etude House store in City Link, Singapore
Obviously, things Korean are considered of good quality and fashionable in Singapore. However, I don't see this fact a justifiable reasoning behind such overpricing of Korean products. A Etude House nail polish worth 3000 won, SGD$3.5, is priced at almost SGD$12. Not just that, products on sale in Singapore are even things already taken off the shelves in Korea. Now you guess where their inventory goes! Same situation applies to other brands like the Face Shop, and other locations, such as Taiwan.

Etude House just opened its first store in Singapore last year, which means consumers are yet to be familiar with this brand. Sooner or later they'll realize, for the similar price as The Body Shop's, Etude House products underperform to a great deal. And the worse thing is that, hey, they are buying Korean people's leftovers! When this day comes, Etude House is doomed to wave good-bye.

韓貨在新加坡是有種時尚且品質優良的形象,但也不代表可以賣比韓國售價高2~5倍、且早就下架的過季品給人家吧! 這樣搞的還有The Face Shop,賣的也是不知道韓國哪年的過季品。我在Etude House裡看到一款指甲油(而且已經油水分離了),和我半年前在首爾買的完全一樣,當時大清倉50% off,所以我以1500 won入手。它的原價是3000 won,大概才3.5新幣,在這裡卻賣到近12新幣,是當O.P.I. 賣嗎! 拜託,那指甲油慢乾、不易塗勻,50% off我都嫌貴。賣到12新幣,我只能說是良心事業啊!

Etude House去年才進入新加坡市場,消費者尚未有足夠時間去熟悉這個品牌,再過些時候,他們將會意識到,自己以和The Body Shop差不多的價錢買Etude House,卻只能享受充滿人工香料且表現遠差一截的產品。到時就算有哪位韓星代言,也無濟於事。話說回來,從頭到尾,我都不理解這些韓國品牌在國外的市場區隔在做什麼!