Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2008

Merlion Kitsch

Just as Paris hawks likenesses of the Eiffel Tower, and New York the Statue of Liberty, Singapore's kitschy pride of joy is the Merlion — a huge water-spouting statue at the mouth of the Singapore River that writer Edward Peacock once memorably described as "the product of an inauspicious one-night stand by Leo and Pisces." Get your Merlion souvenir (from S$5) from the Chinatown Heritage Centre.

Another quintessential Singaporean keepsake is the national flower, the Vanda Miss Joaquim Orchid. Take home a gilded version (from S$22) from RISIS Gift Gallery.

But the most lasting memories of your trip will probably come courtesy of the Coxford Singlish Dictionary (available from most bookshops for S$11), which deconstructs the local patois, Singlish.