The most phenomenal product in my life is definitely Whatsapp. It changes, I believe, millions of lives even when they do not realize it. Whatsapp is a well-thought design because of its ultimate function, simple and easy interface, high affordability. It creates revolutionary changes about communication as well as it has thought well about different kind of users. Whatsapp makes itself a versatile product for different types of users.
Day 1 – Sunday, 26 February 2017 (with gadgets)
- 630am. Woke up with the phone’s alarm.
- 700am. Showered, checked phone.
- 730am. Going to church by bus and MRT. Using phone to chat with my mom and friends, to browse random stuffs on google, to check time.
- 730 to 830am. In the bus & MRT, listening to the music in the phone.
- 830 to 1100am. During church, I was checking my whatsapp and Instagram for several times so I wouldn’t get bored. I took note of the sermon using my phone too. After church, I uploaded a picture to my Instagram.
- 1100am to 100pm. Strolling around Star Vista and Jurong Point, and chatting in Whatsapp at some points of time. I checked emails and made an online purchase. While shopping at Watson, I checked the online price of a product before deciding to buy it from Watson.
- 100 to 200pm. On my way back to the bus: listening to the music and chatting.
- 200 to 230pm. Lunch at Hall Canteen without using phone.
- 230 to 450pm. In my room, I was checking Instagram and whatsapp, editting a photograph on my laptop. I was listening to youtube all afternoon, and watching videos sometimes. I uploaded a blog post on Tumblr.
- 450 to 600pm. Home cardio exercising while turning on the music from youtube and I used my phone’s timer to set time limit.
- 600 to 630pm. Resting after exercise while chatting with a foreign friend on Instagram. I used Google translate in order to talk to him.
- 700 to 730pm. I was preparing dinner while checking on my phone some times.
- 730 to 10pm. I was browsing instagram, watching a live runway show by Dolce Gabanna, while listening to music on youtube with my laptop. I was watching a makeup tutorial video, checking on my email.
- 1000 to 1100pm. Writing this Day 1 report on my laptop and reading the reading material.
- 1100pm to midnight. Answering some chats and was ready to sleep.
I never realize how a sidewalk could be an important identity of a city, or a place until I read this passage. As I was imagining HCMC through the eyes of the author, I was reminiscing the sidewalk of the city Bandung in Indonesia. The sidewalk of a road called Cibadak is well-known for the night food vendors. And indeed, their existence has added irreplaceable color to the tourism of the city as well as the life of the people. It was pretty sad when a lot of the vendors have to move in into a special vendor space, near the original street but not at the sidewalk, but under a building. It feels different. It feels just like any other food court. I am thinking, did Singapore has any of this sidewalk scene too? I think Lau Pa Sat could tell a little bit of this story about Singapore sidewalk. At night, Lau Pa Sat ‘expands’ their satay vendor stalls to the street, where people would eat satay at the sidewalk. I think this is a reenactment of the past. I was there once, and it is very nostalgic but out of Singapore. Modernity of a city, if being ‘let loose’ like a wild dog, would kill the essence of what made the city. Modernity indeed often kills identity, because modernity in Asia is actually about following what the western culture perceives as good. it is like copying someone else’s identity.
- How to retain the sidewalk vendors without making it messy? Disorganized? When the disorderliness is the authenticity of the place but it opposes the idealism of a good city.
- How to keep the ‘mixed use’-ness of a sidewalk without losing the main use of the sidewalk: for people to walk?
The Hawker Experience: Tourist vs. Locals
Singapore is known for her hawker centre – similar to a food court but much more down-to-earth and an open space without aircon. The food stalls are run by individual owners, unlike foodcourt’s which can be managed by a bigger company. The food in hawker centre have a really wide variety: chinese, malay, indonesian, indian, western, korean, japanese and many more. The largest and most famous hawker centre would be Lau Pa Sat, located at the heart of the Raffles Place CBD. When I was still a tourist in Singapore, I used to visit Lau Pa Sat and did not really consider to eat at other local hawker centres. However, after a few years living in Singapore, I realized that the experience that Lau Pa Sat offers to the customers are so different from many other hawker centres, even the famous ones too.
Photos of Lau Pa Sat
Photos of Clementi Hawker Centre
Observations: Comparing Lau Pa Sat and Clementi Hawker Centre
What I can conclude from the observations is that Lau Pa Sat is a ‘special breed’ of hawker centre. It is much more ‘advanced’ that it is similar to a food court rather than hakwer centre. Clementi hawker centre is really similar to other hawker centres such as Newton Circus, Holland Village Market, and many more. If Clementi and Lau Pa Sat were persons, Clementi would be someone who lives not to impress anyone, and while Lau Pa Sat would be a person who is very well well-groomed in order to please new guests. In fact, Lau Pa Sat is really famous among tourists and I think it is designed and managed so well – more variety of food, cleaner, less noise, arranged, decorated – in order to give a good impression about Singapore to people who have a leisure travel here.
PS: And, after I did further research on the internet, Lau Pa Sat has undergone a lot of renovation and no wonder it looks like a super pretty hawker centre! here is the original Lau Pa Sat before the decoration. Even the chairs and everything are changed, the metal engraving at the ceiling are painted, and the color of the place is changed to be made more coordinated. I cant see Lau Pa Sat as a true representation of hawker centre anymore.
But to be honest, I did enjoy Lau Pa Sat more than Clementi to be a place for me to have meal on a Friday. Thanks to its good interior, ambience, hygiene and excitement – I tried the Costarican food, not bad really (food photo in the gallery)
From this comparison, the concept of a hawker centre is an eating place for public in an open space (not indoor, no aircon). And indeed this is very Singapore.
Improvements for Lau Pa Sat
As a designer, I thought of improvements while was doing some research. I realize there is no main entrance in Lau Pa Sat, and all ends are exits to different roads. It would be great if there is ‘directory’ or signage showing which one is to which road. This would ease the flow of visitors.
But again, I really think this Lau Pa Sat’s shape and floorplan are originally like this since the 19th century. Well, even though it has undergone renovation, I think the government still want to retain the authentic aspect of this place.
Improvements for Clementi
It is a classic example of hawker centre in Singapore. I don’t feel like suggesting any improvements because this is one of true identities of the society. Probably to make it better, the local governor or leader could start a campaign of ‘putting back your own tray’ because there were really a lot of trays and plates left on the table with no one cleaning them up. Probably, there is short of manpower or the cleaners are on breaks, but it would be great if the costumers could do such an easy task to improve the experience of eating in a local and classic hawker centre.
You want to go to the places? here are the address:
- Lau Pa Sat: 18 Raffles Quay, Singapore 048582
- Clementi Central Market and Food Centre: 448 Clementi Ave 3, Singapore 120448