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Singapore on a Friday: Riding with Mark Mobius, Father of Emerging Markets

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The Galfromdownunder rides with the Man from All Over in Singapore First published 10/6/2009, with updates below STORY:  Mark Mobius on a Friday   (Internet archive - be a bit patient as it sputters and loads, some content preserved here) Singapore on a Friday (Internet Archive link - cross fingers it still works) MOVIE: Meeting Mark Mobius in Singapore   PHOTOS:  Photo Gallery   (Arrrgh, made with the now-defunct, Flash-driven JAlbum - guess I'll have to reformat the shots. Sorry). I've just landed in Singapore and hit the ground pedaling, meeting and riding with customers Mark Mobius ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Mobius ) and Richard Piliero from Franklin Templeton  (the "Gain from our Perspective" people). So who is Mark Mobius, and more importantly, what am I doing hanging out with the likes of  him? Mark is considered "The Father of Emerging Markets," credited with coining the phrase that refers to investing in "developing"

Ka-chingle bells: why we’re paying through Rudolph’s nose for a Xmas tree this year

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2020: The year a Xmas tree costs more than a NY cocktail... STICKER SHOCK isn’t something  the average New Yorker complains about day to day, let alone at Christmas.  As demonstrated by the fabled ”New York Meter” (a man ka-chinged his way around NYC to prove the cheapest day is spent holed up in a cinema watching back-to-back movies) everything is so hyper-inflated that a $16-not-$18 hamburger is considered a bargain.   But this year, what’s causing us to drop our $6 pumpkin-spice latte in the snow? The price of Christmas trees.    I’m not talking about the $6500 Rockefeller center lookalikes destined for cavernous corporate lobbies and Tribeca penthouses. I’m talking about the modest, 3-4-footer for the typical Manhattan studio or 1-bedroom apartment.  This kiddie size – still taller than a child who still believes in Santa - enables you to slide 3.5 gifts under it and hang more than a single  Charlie Brown red bauble without it falling on its tinseled tush.  And the Covid Christm

Still rolling after all these years: the Kosta Boda snowball

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The Kosta Boda snowball: the classiest affordable gift of the 80's, born in 1973 FOR THE BENEFIT of those D ownunder: last month  was Thanksgiving, the day when 'mericans down tools and celebrate the "the blessing of the harvest and the preceding year," according to Wikipedia . It's more like the blessing of the buffet, and generally not a day to bear gifts except for oneself, what with stores now opening on the actual day of thanks...is nothing sacred?  As an advertising/marketing pundit I use retail therapy to keep abreast of product design and retailing strategies (ok that's my excuse). My destination? The  TJ Maxx outlet in Wilton, Connecticut, where I'm visiting for the holiday.  Today it was empty. One explanation:  TJ's  merchandise is always on sale, so there's no real reason to make a beeline for it on  Black Friday.  "You're the first customer to acknowledge that," said the bored attendant at the jewelry

88 Ways I Know I'm Chinese: Redux

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The breakfast-fest known as dim-sim...aka Chinese tapas It's the Year of the Rat so... First, here's a fab field guide to dim sum , because that's what every self respecting Chinese does at some point (maybe months earlier or later), to celebrate Chinese New Year. To get you into the spirit, here's an old chestnut exhumed yet again, the fabled 88 Ways to Know You're Chinese . Google that phrase and you'll come up with all kinds of variations, but this one dates back to 2002 so is probably more original (it mentions a Walkman). I've taken the liberty of annotating them based on my own upbringing. The 89th way: you eat durian without holding your nose (or drawing blood)  If you're Chinese, see how many fit you, divide by 88 and  multiply by 100 to get your percent-Chinese rating. (But being Chinese and good at math, I didn't need to tell you that, right?). If you're not Chinese, try it and see how good a Chinese imposter