when i went out to the kopitiam for lunch the lights at the pedestrian crossing by the jalan naung bus stop was malfunctioning: all the lights were out, except for the amber light, which blinked so slowly. so when i got home i went out again to the main road to look up the lta number and the serial number of the light. rang lta, but someone else had already reported it, i was told, and they would see to it shortly, so i made my way home again. there was a large butterfly with black latticed wings on the bougainvillea by the gate, slightly above eye-level, and it didn't seem to mind me, but i stood still outside our gate to watch it. there is something very clownish about it planting its legs on the pink leaves and jabbing its proboscis down the narrow trumpet of white flowers - anyhow it didn't seem to me it was very good at this nectar-gathering business, because it missed frequently. all of this, as von would say, is apropos of nothing, and might be the sort of material classed under "yi jian xiao shi" only these xiaoshis usually have morals, but this doesn't. i go.