- I interviewed two nine-year-olds separately for a work assignment --- an experience which drove home the fact that interviewing children, even very intelligent, lively and articulate children, is not the same game as interviewing adults. Also, that kids relate to apps and games in a whole different way than I do. Come to think of it, when I was their age, the only computer games I'd come into contact with were King's Quest, Police Quest and the legendary Leisure Suit Larry (my cousins had it, I think, we didn't). Now they sit around and plot what to do on Minecraft, and explain to me in a sophisticated, patient tone that the Pocket Edition and iPad version of the game aren't as good as the desktop version.
- I got interviewed by Jessica Cheam, a friend and former student, about the government's White Paper on having (a ridiculous) 6.9 million people living here by 2030 and the implications for space in Singapore. The interview appeared in the Straits Times on Saturday; you can read it on their Singapolitics website, at Wild Singapore or in my Facebook album. Comments welcome! If the interview had been done after one of my interviews with a nine-year-old, for which I drove west in rush hour traffic exacerbated by the rain, I think I would have sounded properly angry instead of reasonable and calm.
- I got to see my cousins from New Zealand who made a rare trip here for Chinese New Year. It's surreal to see my baby cousin --- by which I mean he's the youngest in our generation of cousins --- not only all grown up and taller than anyone else in the family (I bet it's all the milk and good beef and nuclear-free air in New Zealand), but also married and the father of a several-month-old baby. The cousins also tell me that New Zealand has a population of about 4 million, make of that what you will.
- I chatted with a 16-year-old second cousin at one of the New Year family gatherings, and I do believe this is the first time I've ever said more than "Hello, you're so tall now!" to her. Fascinating, these young people.
- I worked on the second day of the New Year because I had to finish some interview transcripts and reports for the abovementioned interviews-with-nine-year-olds. Not so bad when I had some store-brand pineapple tarts and delicious mandarin orange chocolate fudge cakes from Matt's The Chocolate Shop and home-cooked yong tau foo to sustain me.
Thusly have I welcomed in the Year of the Snake. Both my surviving grandparents were born in the Year of the Snake --- the one from almost a century ago. Chew on that.
Edited to add (14 February 2013) the Straits Times' Singapolitics website link.