Captivating Singapore street vendor

Captivating Singapore street vendor

Wandering around any large city you are bound to bump into new sights and sounds that make you stop a moment and gaze in wonder.

hula hoop vendor

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Faces & PLACES: Fancy a twirl by Karnjana Karnjanatawe


I happened upon this elderly gentleman as I was strolling down Orchard Road in Singapore one Sunday afternoon and at first I couldn't work out if he was exercising or performing a bit of street theatre.

As the 67-year-old expertly gyrated with this strange-looking contraption, a small crowd gathered to gape. Onlookers were forced to keep their distance, though, for fear of being struck by what transpired to be wooden balls strung together to fashion a sort of hula hoop.

Oh Ow Kee calls it a "woodball woola chain" and told me later that he makes them himself based on a prototype brought from China by a friend more than a decade ago. He claims to have lost 15kg after exercising regularly with it for two years. And it was this weight loss which gave him the idea of making more for sale

In the photo he is whirling around with two intertwined chains, each one-and-a-half metres in length. He makes it look like child's play but a single woola chain weighs some 2.5kg. There's also a 2.1m model plus a monster, 3.7m-long, 5kg chain which he says is much too cumbersome to demonstrate safely on the street.

Prices start at S$70 (about 1,600 baht). I was tempted to buy one - creativity deserves recognition, after all - but then I couldn't think of anyone who'd thank me for such a gift

(Source: Bangkok Post, Faces & PLACES, Fancy a twirl, 9/12/2010, Karnjana Karnjanatawe, link)

captivate - do something interesting so that people can't stop watching you, catch people's interest, fascinate ทำให้หลงรัก,  จับใจ,ประทับใจ, หว่านเสน่ห์, ทำให้หลงใหล
wander - walk around with a destination or goal เดินทางไปโดยไม่มีจุดหมายที่แน่นอน,  เดินเล่น
bound to - will happen for sure
bump into - meet by accident, happen upon, come across, encounter (here the person does not actually "bump" into or make physical contact with something)  à¸žà¸šà¹‚ดยบังเอิญ
gaze - looking at one thing only for a long period of time, stare, gawk, watch closely and intensely มอง, เพ่ง,เพ่งมอง, จ้องมอง
gaze in wonder - gaze in a way that looks like you are surprised or do not believe what you see

fancy - to like something (example: She fancies butter with her toast.)
twirl - to move in circles or make something move in circles
happened upon - accidentally met or encountered, met by chance, bumped into by chance
elderly - older people, over 65 สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก
strolling -
walking in a leisurely way (not rushed or in a hurry)
Orchard Road -
a famous road in Singapore that is the most important entertainment and shopping area on the island (See Wikipedia)
street theatre
- when people perform a play (theatre) outside in a public place such as the sidewalk so that everyone can watch (See Wikipedia)
gyrated - move round and round in a circle
contraption -
strange machine
gape - stare look at for a long time (with surprise, with eyes wide)
keep their distance - stay away from, don't get very close to something that might be dangerous or unpleasant
transpired to be -
happened to be, it turned out they were
string - to pass string through several things to make a chain of those things
strung together - when several things have string passing through to connect them into a chain
fashion - make
hoop -
a ring or circular band, loop  ห่วง, à¸ªà¸´à¹ˆà¸‡à¸—ี่มีลักษณะเป็นวง
hula hoop - a large plastic ring around a person's waist that a person keeps in motion and rotating by waist moving around and around, a form of exercise (See Wikipedia)

chain - a long series of connected rings (usually metal and used with prisoners to prevent their escape) โซ่
prototype - test version of a new product before producing in large quantities
decade - a period of ten years ทศวรรษ, ระยะเวลา 10 ปี

whirl - move around and around fast in a circle หมุนเวียนรอบอย่างรวดเร็ว, วน, หมุนรอบ,
intertwined (adjective) - when two things are twisted together or connected together
intertwine
(verb) -  connect together by twisting together interweave, interlace สานเข้าด้วยกัน
child's play - it is very easy to do 
monster - very large in size (like a big creature or monster)
cumbersome - very complicated, difficult, inefficient and slow
demonstrate - to show something and explain how it works สาธิต
tempt - make someone want to do something (they maybe don't really want to do), attract, allure, seduce, entice ทำให้อยาก, กระตุ้นให้อยาก, ยั่วให้อยาก, ยั่วใจ,ล่อลวง
tempted  - something made you want to do something
creativity -
using the imagination to create new ideas and other things, being original ความคิดสร้างสรรค์, ความสามารถในการสร้างสรรค์, ความสามารถที่จะสร้างความคิดใหม่ๆ ที่ให้ผลในทางบวก
recognition - when people know and remember someone for doing or being something knowing and accepting something as true  or as a fact การรู้จำ

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