Archive for December, 2012

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2012

The world didn’t end in December so Merry Christmas!

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From Bigbus and the Harbottle hamster gang!

Toh-sai

December 19, 2012

When we kids, our parents often scold us that if we don’t study hard, we will grow up to be a “toh-sai”. “Toh-sai” in Hokkien means to be a night soil carrier. Whenever we visit my grand aunt living in Chinatown shop houses, we hated to use the toilets. The shop houses back then do not have modern sewage system. The toilet is a cement platform with a hole in the centre. Under the platform is a bucket to collect all the pee and poo. It stinks. My grand aunt would often tease us and dare us to use the toilet. The human wastes are collected by night soil carriers via the back lanes :

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Each of these workers will go from door to door carrying a stick on the shoulder with two buckets hanging at both end :
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They will remove the full bucket and replace it with empty ones. Before they remove the full ones, they will cover it with a wooden cover. Quite professional, they did the job without spilling the waste on the way. The full buckets were then placed into compartments of a specially built truck. Each truck has 32 compartments for the buckets, look something like this :

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Toilets nowadays are so efficient of getting rid of waste. In some countries, the toilets are not just implements for waste removal, they came with added features :

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Didn’t understand what was on the control on the side. Tried pressing one of the button and a jet of water shot out. Ooops, that is for washing the butt.
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This is another one with music button :
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Sometimes, during discharge of bodily waste, a foul pocket of air gets ejected accompanied with a loud decibel sound. To drown out such inappropriate noise, use the music button by the side :
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One needs to be considerate and make the visit to the toilet a joyful experience!

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Eagle that lost its wings

December 13, 2012

In the past, I used to see a lot of these Singapore American School (SAS) buses passing by my house ferrying workers to office. The school has a fleet of buses operated by a number of school bus owners. All of them paint their buses in red and blue stripes with white overall, colours of the flag of USA. Proudly displayed near the front door are various version of the American bald eagle:
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After September 11 attack, all the pictures of the eagle were removed:
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A year later, all the buses were repainted into other livery. What livery? You guess (no more red, blue & white colours).

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Tradition

December 5, 2012

During a visit to Okayama city a few months ago, it was a surprise to find that Uno Jidosha which operates bus services in city still stick to the tradition of using topedo shape marker lights on all their buses :
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A closed up of the lights installed at the front :

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Such marker lights were also introduced here by STC’s Japanese built Isuzu buses in the 1960s :

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Local bus builders soon followed and by the 1970s, all the buses were built with such marker lights. Many were knocked off by tree branches and eventually, many of the bus companies stopped replacing them.

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