April 30, 2019

Cine Lux and the Ahp

Ciné Lux built in the late 1930s has closed down. I used to cross the busy intersection here to reach my home at street 172. They always showed Thai or Khmer horror movie - I learnt about the Ahp (a South East Asian ghost in the shape of a floating woman’s head with internal organs trailing behind, also knows as Krasue in Thailand) via the posters here. It could be an excellent location to shoot a horror film now. Maybe there is an Ahp inside.

Cine Lux in Phnom Penh

Cambodia Phnom Penh Movies
April 16, 2019

Tags: Saigon, Travel

She is prettiest at night

I have a lover, and she is prettiest at night.

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

Saigon at night

March 16, 2019

Egg and onion prata in Singapore

Once in a while it is good to be in Singapore and try the local food.

Egg Onion Prata

Egg Onion Prata

Food Singapore
March 8, 2019

Forced patriotism

So I read that Indian Airlines is being asked by the government to end their announcements with a patriotic slogan Jai Hind” (hail India). Reminds me of the time in my school in India of 1980s. The latecomers and other offenders in our school were made to stand in a row with their palms outstretched. The discipline teacher would then walk along the row, striking the palms with a cane. It hurt, especially in the winters.

I had developed a strategy to make this experience less stressful whenever I happened to be in the offenders row for the day. Though often getting into trouble for questioning the wrong map” of the nation in our geography text, just as an ardent atheist turns religious before an exam, I too would pretend that I was a patriotic spy who has the misfortune of being captured by the enemy. As the cane weilding teacher came closer to me, I would imagine that she was the enemy interrogator.

Teacher, raising the cane and ready to strike Will you be late to school again?”
I imagined the teacher as a Chinese or Pakistani secret service interrogator. I subtitled her word as Tell us the secret of your country”
The cane come down and struck the palm…
Me wincing in pain nevvverrrr”. I followed it up by inaudible mumbling I will never tell you the secrets of my country, Jai Hind”. The hail India” at the end gave me just enough strength to bear the pain.
As the teacher moved on to the next offender, our brave and patriotic spy remained defiant, only to plot the next anti-national mischief.

Patriotism indeed is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Forced Patriotism

A few years later, after I had watched the James Bond movie Octopussy, I used to mumble Generel Orlov’s last words whenever I was admonished by the teacher, But tomorrow, I shall be a hero of the Soviet Union”.

March 5, 2019

Better late than never, the physical dual SIM Hong Kong iPhone

I dislike having many gadgets, charging plugs and cables. But as a frequent traveler, I end up carrying two phones to accommodate the home and travel SIM cards. I know there are Android phones that have had the dual SIM for some years now, but I am stuck to Apple because of some apps that do not have Android equivalents. Also, I can’t stand the bloatware that comes pre-installed on Android phones. So I was happy when Apple introduced the dual SIM phone last year. The dual SIM models released in most countries supports one physical SIM and and an eSIM. The Hong Kong, Macau and China versions of dual SIM iPhones; however, feature physical dual SIM. I exchanged my old iPhone for an Hong Kong iPhone XR. I avoided the eSIM version as I am sure the carriers will try to lockdown the eSIM and make it difficult to switch lines.

I got yellow

Dual SIM iPhone from Hong Kong

The double sided SIM tray Dual SIM iPhone from Hong Kong

Under the settings, I can choose what SIM I want for data. Both the SIM can receive and make calls. There is also a switch to turn off the SIM, say after you have come back from your travels. Unlike some Android phones, you cannot install two sets of social media apps, but I do not care for that feature.

Dual SIM settings on Dual SIM iPhone from Hong Kong

Overall, it is a decent and simple implementation of dual SIM.

tech Apple
March 3, 2019

The kitten that rescued us from the humdrum

I was walking around downtown Saigon and I saw a strange sight. It was a cardboard box moving by itself and it was making crying sounds. Upon closer inspection, I found that it was actually a kitten that was dragging the box, trying hard to extract itself. I bent down and tried to pull the box away but the kitten cried in pain. There was a layer of glue covering the inside of the box that was stuck to the poor animal’s fur. A nearby fruit vendor spotted me. She came running and offered her knife. We tried to pry the fur but the glue was too strong. Another drinks vendor came to inspect our operation. She offered us a bottle of water to help clean away the glue. The water did the trick and within a few minutes, we were able to get rid of the box. As soon as the kitten got free, it darted away. The drink vendor refused my offer to pay for the bottle. The fruit seller went back to cutting her fruits. I love this city, something interesting always happens.

We did not rescue the kitten. It rescued us from our humdrum.

Cat in the box

Saigon Cat