There’s a statue of liberty in New York. We all know that. There’s, however, also a statue of liberty in Paris, albeit 1/4 in size to the one in New York, standing on the Isle de Grenelle (on the River Seine) 1.5km from the Eiffel Tower. When I was in Paris last week, my French colleague pointed out to me that that was the original version of the statue of liberty. I couldn’t comment really, and accepted the answer as final, as I didn’t know it even exists!After some careful trawl on the Internet, it turns out that there’s yet another statue of liberty in Jardin du Luxembourg, claims to be the first model, built in 1870! This really adds to the controversy on which one is the original. But what’s not in question is the statue of liberty in New York was gifted by the French 🙂
Bought a papaya in the supermarket yesterday. When the fruit was scanned at the checkout till, a name “paw paw” appeared. At first I thought it was mistake, as coming from a tropical country, I’m very sure that papaya is called “papaya”. And pawpaw sounds like a dog, don’t you think? It just sounds funny. I still couldn’t stop laughing at the thought of this name. Maybe I have had the pronunciation wrong 🙂 Anyway, what a cute name.
UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY: Gentlemen, silence! (to Dr. Evil) NOW, MR. EVILDR. EVIL: (angry) Doctor Evil! I didn’t spend six years in evil medical school to be called ‘mister’.Interesting isn’t it, in the United Kingdom, surgeons are distinguished from physicians by being referred to as “Mister”. This tradition has its origins in the 18th century, when surgeons were barber-surgeons and did not have a degree (or indeed any formal qualification), unlike physicians, who were doctors with a university medical degree. By the beginning of the 19th century, surgeons had obtained high status, and in 1800, the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) in London began to offer surgeons a formal status via RCS membership. The title Mister became a badge of honour, and today only surgeons who hold the Membership or Fellowship of one of the Royal Surgical Colleges are entitled to call themselves Mister, Miss, Mrs or Ms. [Development of modern surgery]
Today I paid a rare visit to the corner shop just down the road from where I live. As one could easily have guessed, I went there for the milk. Although the corner shop was not a place I particularly enjoyed buying my stuff from, it was convenient for me. I bought a 2-pint bottle of milk, and it costed me the same as buying it from Sainsbury in town. I was surprised, as I thought corner shops should price slightly higher to survive these days.It’s a pity that more and more corner shops are being squeezed out by big supermarket chain, not just in the UK. I remember back in Malaysia, when I was a kid, the owner of a sundry shop used to deliver groceries to my house on a motorbike. All the goods that were delivered were recorded in a little “555” booklet, and we only needed to settle the payment once a month. In the french movie “Amelie”, the groceries delivery boy even possessed keys into apartments so that groceries can be delivered “safely” into the apartments. That was the kind of trust and relationship people had with the local sundry shop back then, which I think was lovely.Come to think about it now, after 20 years, this kind of home delivery service is now back on the menu as one of the list of services big supermarket can offer to the consumers, at a cost and without the personal touch from someone you are familiar with. For groceries shopping, it’s hard to see how this service model can gain more market share or be profitable for the supermarket, and be valued by the customers. Nevertheless for the corner shops left in the UK, which do not do local delivery, and make little effort to personalise their service, I’m afraid that their days are numbered.