Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Blast from the past

I think this is more effective than the series of TV ads. The tagline "The building has changed. The values remain" is short but powerful, striking a chord with the decal of the old Bonham Building on the glass facade. The old building opened for business as the United Chinese Bank in 1937,  the original UOB headquarters. It became the United Overseas Bank in 1974 when a new 30-storeyed building was declared open, exactly on the old site. The old building is more effective in evoking steadfastness than the TV ads -- one of which took some time for me to figure out -- the one with the father breaking a very precious vase to make a point.  The ad has the old Nanyang flavour, the family looks bourgeoisie -- besides expensive china, plush leather sofas, there's a chauffeur and there's a servant.  In any case, rich enough to break antique vases as a lesson for his son. Upon rather long reflection though, this message does come through -- that principles are more valuable than wealth. 

Postnote: I noticed a new ad, this time, rather "working class" as opposed to the earlier ads which show quite a bit of opulence.

Picture taken 4 October. UOB celebrates its 80th Anniversary this year.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Squares of captured time

I don't know why, but these square, translucent glass panels (with a faint tinge of green) on the floor used to be my favourite features of the old Fullerton Building, when it was still the General Post Office.  There was a whole row of them on the corridor of the building. Walking on them was such a thrill because of the feeling that you were actually walking on the roof of the basement below. Then there were those mysterious ventilation slits  -- black cast iron grills -- at the side of the brown granite walls which you could peer through, to catch glimpses of the happenings in the basement. I remember that it was lighted up with yellow bulbs -- and there were people there working quietly -- were they sorting out mail? (The glass squares shown in this picture belonged to the OCBC Building at Chulia Street. Picture taken on 4  October 2015. Are there any more buildings with such glass panels on the floor?)

Today, I look in vain for those glass panels on the floor outside the building which everybody knows, is now the Fullerton Hotel. But enough that I know they once existed. They may still be there now, just covered by the sands of modernity. I am glad I had many happy moments skipping over those little squares  -- sometimes with a little help from Dad as he helped me leap over a few squares in one great standing broad jump. And I loved to hear my parents pronouncing it as "Foo-ler-ton Bil-lor-ding" -- in thick Cantonese accent. 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Croc beats haze

This croc is having lots of fun despite the haze, at Marina  East. It is a really nice walk from Tg Rhu, with separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists. You walk about 600m till you past the Marina Barrage. Then you walk a bit more and suddenly you are on this nice open space, with the sea on your right, ships in the horizon, and some people flying kites on your left.

After a while, you will see this map. Onward, follow the narrow trodden path which will open into the vast open space. You will also see a building called Ventilation Building (whatever that is) on your left. The sea is on your right as you enter this open space.

Hazy. No nice blue skies. Next time.