signs of midnight

images by J

Twice a week, J and I take a walk from our 15th storey flat to the midnight world of ground-level HDB void-decks and post-upgrading inter-block "connectors". For our cluster of flats, we have a tarred 700m jogging track lined with bushes and the occasional family of benches.

Midnight or past midnight, the mini-casino of geriatric chup zhe kee players at the void deck have disbursed back to their bedrooms. A majority of windows are dark. From one particular 2nd storey flat with flourescent tube lights there is always the sound of mahjong (yes, good combat against senility).

Except for the occasional chap who is on his way home from a long day at work, the domestic help whispering her love and troubles into a pay phone, or teenage gropers scrunged on the benches, there's not much public human activity on our safe island past midnight.

We are accompanied on our walks instead by other creatures.


Cockroaches scurry across our path. On the wall outside the "East Zone 1 Senior Citizens Corner" the lizards like to congregate - but we have not figured out why. If it had rained earlier, half the snails that had tried to escape the rain-soaked earth would lie crushed on the jogging track. The luckier half decorate the tar with their slimy lines. Every 100m or so, a cat or two would sit or lie with their usual awake-but-pensive stare. They don't bother scattering when we walk by. At one spot, J has spotted a dark, ominous toad. Twice.

Our destination is a yellow recycling bin that is part of our nation's half-hearted recycling attempt.

Half-hearted because there is no deep education on what should or can be recycled. The bin does not quite tell users what should be recycled. The bin (which is actually just a metal cover for 4 green plastic trash cans) does not encourage users to separate their trask. Of the 4 flap openings, only 2 are accessible. It is always overflowing - and sometimes with stuff that already smells like it has moved on to another state.

Every week, we ask each other - "do you think the company that collects this actually sorts and recycles the stuff?"

Sceptical J thinks not. I am more naive.

More recently, J pointed out this really interesting article in "Greening the Grocery Store" in Design Observer. And all this while, I had thought that the triangular symbol formed by 3 arrows meant that the material could be recycled! Ah.

The Resin Identification Code, friends. The Society of the Plastics Industry will tell you what it symbolises.


Anonymous said…
hey guys, thnk you for the RIC thing (thought it meant recycable too)! also, can amps recommend something from the arts festival so we don't have to plough through the list? terrible i know, heh.
ampulets said…
Aiyah, it's already the last week of the Arts Fest! I'm watching "Ah Q" this week, curious to see what the South Koreans make of Lu Xun and in dance. Also "Amjad", by Canadian dance La La La human steps, which I heard was great the last time they were in Singapore. Didn't buy tickets for this, but Singapore's Cake Theatre opens its "Temple" this week as well.
Anonymous said…
just came back from hol mah, no choice. thnks so much for this!

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