Mustafa department store is a phenomena in Singapore. It is never closed!! Really never, so it's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. During the weekend it receives 15,000 customers who are helped by 1,300 sales persons. The store occupies 7,000 square meters spread over four floors and sells some 75,000 different products. It is a true one-stop shop. In other words: you can really buy everything under one roof. Furniture, food, drinks, household items, clothing, gold, watches, camera's, makeup, books, music ... everything, EVERYTHING you might need, you can buy there. It is an Indian shop, so there is a whole section with saris and fabrics for saris, and there is everything for the Indian customer. But I also bought a cheese slicer! Something I consider quite typically dutch;-). Because of the huge crowds it is sometimes dangerous in the warehouse, in the sense of fire and other calamities. There are so many people in the narrow aisles, that that could turn out to become disastrous in the event of a fire. The government keeps an eye out and Mustafa was recently closed 40 hours to take action. Visitor numbers have to be controlled better, and Mustafa needs to make more space in the aisles and improve fire prevention. Controlling visitor numbers is very difficult. Especially on weekends The whole neighborhood, Little India, is then flooded by some 100,000 Indian guest workers (all men) who have their day off. They fill the streets, shops and restuarants. They are standing, sitting, walking, hanging around everywhere. They do their shopping, wire money home, meet, laugh and talk, eat and drink. Many walk hand in hand, pinkie in pinkie, which is a normal expression of male friendship in India, so I'm told. Not all of the following pictures are by me and I did not succeed to trace the source. Sorry about that;-)
The women here pay much attention to and spend a lot of money on their nails: painting, decorating, gel nails. This applies equally to their toenails. My friend Celeste asked me a few weeks back if I wanted her to apply gel nails on me for her gel nail course I said no, since I'm fine with my own nails. Also, they are not holding back on or being subtle with wearing false eyelashes. Temporary or semi-permanent. In the latter case you not only get eyelashes, but you also buy a maintenance contract. With that, loose eyelashes get renewed and replaced weekly. I talked about shoes here already. You see the most extreme heights, models and materials: sky high heels, platform shoes, transparent plastic heels, you name it. It's amazing. It is said that one in twelve families here is millionaire. Could be. Walking through town, there are Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Porsches and other expensive cars driving around everywhere. Unbelievable, especially since owning and driving a car here is very expensive. Guys here often have a real 'hairdo'. In other words: their hair is over-styled, a Hairstyle with a capital K. Special 'cuts', colored, blow-dried, a lot of gel. Hurricane resistant;-) These pictures illustrate the above phenomena:
No, not revisited in the flesh, although I am definitely aiming to go back and do that too!
But for starters my Flickr-photoset is back.
Yes, , yes....it's back!!!! After being accidentally deleted (grrrrr...a week's work down the drain) the Haw Par Villa-set on Flickr IS BACK! Restored, revamped, revitalised. Bigger, better, bolder and brighter. Check it out on
While I make an effort to get as tanned as possible, in Singapore "whitening" is the magic word. You can not open a glossy or walk around in a drugstore here without coming across countless pages and articles about whitening or find shelves filled with "whitening" products. The goal is not only to get or remain as pale as possible, but moreover to have a spotless, wrinkle free skin. A fair complexion, smooth, bright, almost luminous and transparent. So that's the beauty ideal here, skin wise. Here are some pictures from the glossies that illustrate the local obsession with whitening.
The temperature here is the only constant factor in the weather, always warm, between 28 and 34 degrees. For the rest, the weather is extremely precarious and unpredictable. The type of weather that can create the most beautiful skies. The variation in sky color and cloud pattern is huge, I am fascinated. Here is a selection of Singapore sky shots:
Clouds over sea on Sentosa Island, with huge freight ships right lying before the shore.