Took me 7 days to finish this massive 471-page tome! The Night Tiger is a unique mystery novel set in 1930s Perak, Malaysia during the colonial era. The main plot involves 11 year old Chinese servant boy Ren’s secret mission to find and return a missing disembodied finger to his master’s grave within 49 days, or else his spirit will roam the earth for eternity. Intertwined with Ren’s story is the story of our protagonist, Ji Lin, a young woman who moonlights as a dancehall hostess to pay off her mother’s mahjong debts and her misadventures in love. Throughout the book, deaths occur under mysterious circumstances.

While Yangsze Choo expertly weaves in Chinese and Malay myths of weretigers and dream-eating tapirs, we see dual worlds in this book converge: the worlds of the living and the dead, the worlds of the masters and the servants, the worlds of boys and girls, the worlds of what is taboo and what is socially acceptable, and the worlds of dreams and reality.

One of my favourite lines is: “The European werewolf is a man who, when the moon is full, turns his skin inside out and becomes a beast. He then leaves the village and goes into the forest to kill. But for the natives here, the weretiger is not a man, but a beast who, when he chooses, puts on human skin and comes from the jungle into the village to prey on humans. It’s almost exactly the reverse situation, and in some ways more disturbing.”

The Night Tiger is very much historical fiction mixed with magical realism. I’m not the most patient reader so the book felt like a long, occasionally confusing and repetitive, meandering trek through a forest with no end in sight, observing every leaf and investigating every sound along the way.. I felt that the characters were better written than the plot which felt a little thin at times.

The story was a lot slower in pace than anticipated and at times, most of the book could have been better edited for conciseness. Having said that, Yangsze Choo is a hardworking storyteller with a vivid imagination and admirable ability to write.

Some books that remind me of The Night Tiger are: Life of Pi, Midnight’s Children and Crazy Rich Asians.

First and foremost, They Told Us To Move is an important piece of Singapore history.

They Told Us to Move is a collection of interviews, reflections and short essays about many elderly Singaporean residents who had to relocate from Dakota (one of Singapore’s oldest public housing estates) to Cassia Crescent and the volunteers from the Cassia Resettlement Team who provided support during this relocation process.

This book gives a voice to a segment of society whose opinions are often unheard and ignored – the elderly.

It provides clear insight into how the elderly are not sickly and frail people we can just cast aside and forget about.

The older generation like us have their own vivid lives and memories and connections to the community. Their lived experiences and stories are just as important as ours. And in the face of adversity, change and loneliness, they prove to be really resilient in character and are pretty hopeful and optimistic about their new lives and memories, even when their important ties to the community around them are removed, and their homes in which they have lived in for so many decades are pulled down to make way for economic redevelopment.

They Told Us to Move is a bittersweet call to arms, to think about what we want Singapore society to be, and to acknowledge and embrace the community around us and to extend a helping hand to our neighbours.

They Told Us to Move: Dakota—Cassia edited by Ng Kok Hoe and the Cassia Resettlement Team published by Ethos Books (2019)

Nuud deodorant – does it work?

I guess you could say I’m very impressionable. I bought this environmentally friendly nuud deodorant after seeing an ad on Instagram Stories, reading online reviews and reading the website. I had very high hopes because of all of the positive reviews online and numerous claims on the website.

Disclaimer: I didn’t come across any negative reviews prior to purchasing, and perhaps that should have been a huge red flag. This is my review after using this product every single day for 24 days. I did not use any other deodorant during this period of time.

First and foremost, I bought this Nuud Starter Pack from nuudcare.com for €12.95 which works out to about SGD19.71. The starter pack tube is 15ml and supposedly lasts for around 6 weeks on average. Quite expensive for what it is I think. If I’m not mistaken, nuud deodorant is from Utrecht, Netherlands.

There are also a ton of claims on the website of what nuud deodorant can do.

I’ll summarise them below:-

⁃ Environmentally friendly

⁃ All natural product

⁃ 100% vegan and no animal testing

⁃ No aluminium, no parabens, no propellants, no artificial fragrances, no chemicals, no alcohol

⁃ No stains

⁃ No clogging, healthy sweating

⁃ Sugar cane tube and biodegradable cardboard box packaging

⁃ Sustainable production and CO2 neutral free shipping

⁃ Patented formula

⁃ Odor free application from 3-7 days with one single application, prevents odor by neutralising bacteria

⁃ Exercising, showering, being active = 100% effective

Do products we see advertised on Instagram really work? I saw lots of positive reviews about how this product worked for days with a single application and was thrilled.

Sadly I don’t really think this product is for me. I’m not sure if I will actually re-purchase when this runs out. Let me go through some of the website claims versus my experience.

No stains: Ok I think this is fairly true. Deodorants that contain aluminium leave a yellow stain on certain clothing around the pits over time. This deodorant doesn’t contain harmful aluminium. Conclusion: I’ve only used this product for a little under one month and haven’t worn lots of white long sleeved shirts lately, so it could be a premature conclusion. But so far, no stains.

No clogging, healthy sweating: This means that the nuud deodorant is NOT an anti-perspirant but a deodorant. Personally, I will agree that it is not an anti-perspirant and allows you to sweat. Whether or not that sweat is “healthy” sweat per se I think is arguable. Does it clog? The nuud deodorant does leave a sunscreen-like texture on your skin. You also have to apply it to your pits with your hands like sunscreen. I also found that it would probably be advisable to wash off the nuud deodorant before using any hair removal cream as I found that applying hair removal cream directly may result in less effective hair removal results. Conclusion: no clogging to an extent, healthy sweating to an extent.

Odor free application from 3-7 days with one single application, prevents odor by neutralising bacteria and exercising, showering, being active = 100% effective: This one I disagree with almost entirely. Conclusion: For me, it lasted at most 2 days on one occasion only, and some days it lasts less than a few hours without exercise even. Nuud recommends that you apply their deodorant to your armpits right after showering. Idk that just doesn’t sit with me, after showering I like to be free of any product on my body. My experience is that the deodorant doesn’t work effectively every day, and some days you’re probably not any worse off skipping on the deodorant (maybe even worse off by using deodorant). For me the nuud deodorant doesn’t deodorise sometimes, especially living in a humid country, resulting in a lot of self-consciousness and annoyance.

I don’t think this product deodorises bacteria well and wouldn’t recommend using this if you can’t afford it and if you live in a warm country and if you sweat a lot. Just no.

Only buy this if you live in a cold country, don’t sweat much, and can afford this expensive deodorant. That’s my personal take on this nuud deodorant in terms of deodorising. Also, the website claims the deodorant is VERY concentrated and even that a pea-sized blob of deodorant can last days. I disagree with this claim. I find that for nuud deodorant to work somewhat effectively for me in 30 degree weather, I have to use about 2 pea sized blobs per pit. I don’t think the deodorant is concentrated at all. If I use too little deodorant (i.e. one pea sized blob), it simply doesn’t work at all.

Lastly, for full disclosure, I just want to add that I left a comment asking how long the “detox period” should last and saying that it hasn’t really worked well for me so far on nuud’s Instagram account and my comment was deleted subsequently by them/their supposed bot.

Whether there are any other remotely negative comments on the product which were left on their Instagram and which have since been deleted – I’ll leave that up to you to decide.

Feel free to let me know in the comments your honest views/opinions after having used nuud deodorant!

What an experience. This is my book haul today after surviving 2 hours at #sgbookdeals! It’s a book warehouse sale in an industrial park (I’ve included the address below.)

They give you a box and you fill it up with as many new books as possible for $50. I managed to squeeze in 29 books. The box must be able to be closed and sealed shut.

I calculated, each of the books pictured here is S$1.72 so that’s a pretty good deal! (The football manager and quit smoking books aren’t for me, and 1/3 of these books are my mum’s.

A random find at the packing area.

Don’t pack like this!

My wonderful stack of books! Some are for my mum, some for me, some to give to others.

Survival Tips

1. Expect crowds. Please leave your kids, babies, and prams at home.

2. T-shirt and shorts is the way to go.

3. Bring a tiny trolley, rope and hook to secure your box (optional).

4. Bring water (optional).

5. Bring your money/NETS/card and as little stuff as possible.

6. Parking space is limited so be warned.

7. Bring a hair tie if you have long hair. There are lots of big fans/outdoor aircons.

8. The place is pretty hot and not super well ventilated. So be prepared for the warmth and sweat!

9. Also FYI there is a huge delivery lift, so climbing down three flights of stairs isn’t necessary.

10. Expect obscure fiction titles, and expect to see lots of the same books.

11. There aren’t any Chinese books, but there are lots of Star Wars, Minecraft, self-help, business, non-fiction, cookbooks, children’s and colouring books.

12. Pack the books standing to maximise the box.

13. Pack the thicker books first and slot the thinner ones in after. Pack similar sized books together 🙂

Where: Pansing Building, 438 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 1, Level 3, Singapore 569619

When: 8-16 March 2019 (starts at 9am, ends at 4pm on weekdays and 6pm on weekends)

Finally had the chance to try out the new Japanese Pringles Sour Cream and Chives Instant Noodles! So was it a hit or miss? Let’s find out.

Where to purchase

As at the date of this post, you can find it at Don Don Donki at Orchard Central in Singapore. You can also find it on several local online grocery shopping sites like RedMart, honestbee, EZbuy, etc. subject to availability. There are probably a lot more places you can buy this online like Amazon but that’s the extent of my research so far.

Packaging

The packaging is very solid and good quality. And like most Japanese instant noodles, comes with a very detailed set of instructions on how to cook your noodles al dente. I have a feeling that the instant noodles were supposed to be eaten dry based on Step No. 4!

There was a tab that when removed revealed a shiny silver ventilation-like structure, but on retrospect, I think it was actually so that the soup can be poured out from the styrofoam bowl.

I’ve never seen anything quite like this so it was definitely really interesting!

Next was the most important aspect – the taste!

I suspect that I didn’t pour enough hot water… but after taking this photo I poured some more so that the noodles reached the next step in the bowl.

Taste Test

So was it nice? And would I recommend it?

The noodles were really too oily and greasy and way too buttery for me. There was a really strong greasy, buttery smell that didn’t really sit with me. To be honest I didn’t finish the noodles because the smell was quite overwhelming.

The soup really tasted and smelled more like Pringles compared to the noodles. You can really taste the same Pringles kind of essence in the soup but not at all in the noodles. But it isn’t really mind-blowing in any way.

In any case, I found it difficult to finish these Pringles Instant Noodles on my own.

I’ld probably choose to eat Pringles AND instant noodles, but this collaboration didn’t really surpass my expectations and was actually worse than expected. On the bright side, at least it didn’t smell too sourish.

For the price, I think these instant noodles were really overpriced and overhyped. I think that way more effort was spent on crafting the packaging and aesthetics of these Pringles Instant Noodles as opposed to the actual taste and flavour of it.

I would only recommend these Pringles Instant Noodles if you really are curious and really must try them yourself.

I think you don’t have to be a Pringles fan to enjoy it. But be warned, I wouldn’t say they are the best, most delicious instant noodles ever made. If you’re craving Pringles, just buy a can of those potato chips instead!

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