Some Pictures Of A Not-So-Small Transistor Radio


I don’t why we would need a transistor radio. But something about the largeness, and the fact that it uses “D” batteries speak to us.


Features: manual tuning, a switch that takes you between FM, AM and Off, and a handy strap. I picture old men huddling together listening to the news (before the lottery results come on), a picnic with chatter and radio transmission, a seaside date with the waves mingling with radio.


When In Taipei… : Yong Le Market 永樂市場


We like wandering around Dihua Street, and Siew resourcefully steered me to the Yong Le Market while we were there. The building houses two floors of fabric and related shops. It is a forgotten sort of place, and awfully cramped within. I thought, “Fire hazard!” but as fire hazards go, this one is rather charming, and filled with lots of things we want. You can read more about the market in the Taipei Times.




Small And Able, 6 months on


Christmas is rolling around soon. Amidst all that we have to do, I sometimes have a quiet moment and just that day, I realized that Small And Able is properly six months old. If you think about it, six months seems like quite a short period. But we are the sort to over-think and we were wondering if we have some thoughts or conclusions to draw.

Conclusions. At the start, we never were sure about the sustainability of the idea. We knew what we didn’t want to sell; we knew that selling 100 of an item that yielded $2 profit would make little sense in Singapore. We remember the astute estate agent who suggested we sell handbags and furniture instead.

Hence, the shop was started in the spirit of a pop-up. We never intended to be a proper retail shop; we don’t have the money or the will to pay someone else to sit in one place the entire day. Seems too stifling. We did try to keep the shop open for as long as possible when it first opened. But given that we weren’t banking on walk-in traffic, it turned out that we were indeed too hopeful. We slowly cut back on our hours when we figured that it didn’t quite make a difference to our bottom line. We remembered that we liked to take walks, eat brunch and sleep in. We were spending so much time on the shop that there was little time for anything else.

We have found new friends, entered strangers’ consciousness and we feel so happy that there are people out there who are wearing something we sold them, cherishing a little item they bought from out small shop, telling their friends about this space..

I am trying hard to not make this sound like the conclusion already. But well, we get asked this question fairly often and well-meaning friends and family try to give us tips. So it is a question that we think about quite often.

What Small And Able is fills us with pride. I know it is hard to categorize us or to understand why we want to do this, but we are like that as individuals anyway. I don’t want us to sound bitter or condescending. Because we truly appreciate our luck and whatever blessings we have had the benefit of. It is fitting that we spend the upcoming festive season in contemplation and being able to count our blessings.

But at the end of the day, rent is rent. We will just wait and see.