Cults in Singapore

Cults can be dangerous, socially disruptive elements in society.  As such they should be treated with extreme care, to ensure that they’re not planning anything crazy, like blowing something up or destroying the local playground.

When in Singapore, be aware that the following cults have been spotted hanging around a bakery in Pasir Ris:

The Yam Bis Cult

The Suji Bis Cult

Cosplay and Dance Routine Mascots at Tampines 1

We were walking out of the Tampines 1 mall to take a shortcut down to the lower level and heard loud music playing and saw a crowd gathering. I ran over to see what was going on and immediately got my camera out. This is kinda weird, and not something I’d ever expected to see going on as a mall promotion. I’m not entirely sure it was the mall they were promoting, though. I saw a Tampines 1 logo on one of their suits, but the wading pool in front of them had a message about renewing energy, so it could have been a mall sponsored energy conservation promotion.

Singapore - People Dancing in Swimsuits

[Update: I found out that the mall has a blog and that these guys are promoting the Amore Living store on the 5th floor, which has an outdoor pool on the roof, as part of their fitness complex.]This second group surely had something to do with a toy store. I quickly took a few pictures. Then a woman asked if I wanted my photo taken with them. She looked like she was wearing a jacket with a business logo on it so I was scared she was going to ask for money. I politely said no and then quickly retreated!

Gu Gu The Cat

My wife is a cat lover, and I’m fond of them myself. So, when my wife said that she’d heard about a movie called Gu Gu The Cat, I knew right away that we were going to see it. This was one of those times when I had to give in. Besides, it looked funny, so I figured it couldn’t be that bad.

Going to the movies here in Singapore is a very expensive outing, and will usually wind up costing about 35 bucks, including transit and a few light movie goodies, so she wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to make it. We’re getting ready for a move and our finances are tight. As sort of an answer to her prayers, her coworker won free tickets to the sneak peak showing for last night and wasn’t going to be able to attend. So, she asked my wife if she’d like the tickets and of course my wife jumped on the opportunity.

Last night we rushed out of the house at about 6pm, not sure if we were going to make it on time. The directions on the e-mail announcing the free tickets was a bit vague. It just said “GV Plaza 4.” So, she contacted a friend and asked where that was, and was told it was at Vivocity at Harbourfront. So, off we went! We managed to make fairly good time and were a bit anxious as we waited for the train to reach Harbourfront. We literally ran through the tunnel and dashed up the escalators to make it to the theater on time and sure enough, we got to the theater right at 7pm. Unfortunately… we were at the wrong theater. The sneak peak showing was at Plaza Singapura, and we were already out of time.

My wife was crushed. She really wanted to see the film. Like I said, she really loves cats! So, I consoled her by telling her that we’d set aside money and definitely catch Gu Gu at the regular opening on the 23rd. To cheer ourselves up we wandered around the mall and wound up having a pretty good time (more about that later).

Last night when we got home she started searching the internet to see if she could find a copy to watch. The film isn’t new, it just hadn’t been shown in Singapore yet. That’s nothing new. There’s a movie called Traitor that’s starting here in Singapore soon, but we saw a DVD copy from the US months ago. She found a copy on YouTube, but by then it was pretty late and she had to work today so I downloaded the files and set it up to watch tonight.

So, she was very excited and got home from work early. After we ate we got comfortable and started up the movie. For the first 15 minutes or so, it was interesting, to me at least, but after that it was painfully slow. The movie is more of a drama about life in general than about cats, and it seemed to focus more on the people in the story than on Gu Gu. Gu Gu was more there for comedic relief than anything.

Don’t get me wrong. The movie has its high points, and there’s something to be learned from it, but if you go into it thinking it’s going to be a comedy, or very cute, or happy, you’ll be let down. The movie deals with a lot of heavy themes about love, relationships and missed opportunities. It even touches on the pain and loss of death.

So, I can’t say it was a bad movie, really. It just wasn’t what I expected.

Here are a few screenshots of the movie, courtesy of AsianFanatics.net, as well as the first segment of the movie (video was removed due to terms of use violation) movie trailer that’s hosted on YouTube:

Don’t Pee in the Lift

Don't Pee in the Lift

From country to country you find a lot of laws and rules that don’t seem to make much sense to you at the time, but they’re usually laws like women having to cover themselves in public (Saudi Arabia), or it being illegal to step on the local currency (Thailand).  They even make sense, given the cultural background of the area, or in the sense that stepping on the currency could be construed as a gesture of stepping on (disrespecting) the leader whose image is on that currency note.

Don't Pee in the Lift
Don’t Pee in the Lift sign in an elevator in Singapore

I found a law in Singapore that kinda just blew my mind though.  It is unlawful to urinate or smoke in the lifts (elevators), and there are signs posted by most lifts to remind you of the fact, as seen above.  Reminding people to not smoke in an elevator is something I can understand.  It’s a matter of common courtesy to non-smokers who have to share those same elevators, possibly with children, to get home.  On the other hand, urinating in an elevator is just something that never crossed my mind.  It’s just not something I’d ever even thought of.  Are people’s mentalities really that different from country to country, that something as basic as only urinating in a toilet (or maybe in the bushes) is something a person has to be reminded of?

When I first saw these signs I was more amused than anything, but I recently stumbled across a forum where an instance of a person urinating in a lift was actually recorded on camera.  And, to top it off, it was a woman.

Saw this in Xin Ming Ri Bao (17th Nov 2008).

A Gril was caught urinating in a HDB lift and it’s caught by the hidden camera.

The girl is believe to be in her 30s.

It happen in Sembawang GRC, but not sure where. Because the offender is facing away from the camera, they can’t identify her. The newspaper report that the town council is going to put up notice with her picture beside lift of HDB (Most likely Sembawang GRC) to warn others not to do it….

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I thought only boys or some dogs will do such thing in HDB lift… didn’t know girls also so daring….

I’m actually at a loss for words on this one.  Is this just a cultural thing, or is it an individual fault?  I would typically lean towards the latter, but the fact that there are signs up means that this must happen, or must have happened before, quite often.

Cosplayers at Tampines 1

I’m not entirely sure what they were advertising, but their outfits were really great, so I took some photos.

Toy Soldier and Toy Maid
Toy Soldier and Toy Maid
Toy Soldier and Toy Maid Routine
Toy Soldier and Toy Maid Routine
Toy Soldier and Toy Maids
Toy Soldier and Toy Maids

They were even acting the part!  They would only move when someone “wound up” the key on their backs and then after a while they would stop again.  It was very fun to watch for a while!

By the way, in that third photo, the guy is totally checking out that girl’s “buttons”!  Ha ha ha!