Monday, November 28, 2016
A World of Curiosities by John Oldale
Of course, Singapore is mentioned:
(First country I turned to too).
The Singapore section was a little disappointing, though. I mean, the 'Disneyland with the Death Penalty' quote is just so overused. (At least be creative and rephrase as USS with the death penalty or something). Besides, it sort of uses the same old stereotype. Then again, Cambodia's quote wasn't very flattering either. It seems like some of the entries focus too much on one aspect of a country and don't provide a balanced picture (countries that get more than one page don't tend to suffer from this).
And while some of the entries were interesting, I can't believe not a single thing about food was mentioned. Our Bak Kwa is famous, at least in Asia.
My disgruntlement arising from my own admittedly strong bias towards my home country aside, this book was pretty fun to read. I chuckled a few times (especially at the footnotes) and learnt a lot. If you have to get this book, I'd say buy a paperback copy because you want to be able to flip through it, and you won't want to have to rush through it, like a library book.
By the way, I found this in the section on Austria (page 19). It took me a while to realise eye = mata and then it all made sense.