Friday, April 07, 2006

Uniquely Singapore, that's for sure!

The day has finally arrived...we will hop on an aeroplane bound for Singapore at 11:45pm! Will we sleep on the plane? My singaporean answer to that is, "Die Die won't sleep, must get money's worth, watch all the shows on the tv and kapo [grab and keep] all the toiletries in the toilet!" NOT.

We are looking forward to this holiday because it has been 4 years since our last visit. It would be delightful catching up with family and friends as well as the babies whom we have never met! As part of this holiday, my parents have also very generously paid for us to go on a 3 day 2 night cruise with them and my mother-in-law who now teaches in Singapore! All one big family!

Here's an excerpt from an amusing article that I came across this morning on the internet. It's titled "60 signs you've been in Singapore too long". It had me in literally laughing and shaking in my seat! Here are some that struck a cord with me:
  • You think there's nothing wrong with putting chilli sauce on everything you eat
  • You join queues without knowing or caring what the queue is for
  • You can type an SMS on your phone as quickly as you would if you had a regular keyboard
  • Your idea of a good night is having dinner at a hawker centre, drinking beer, and then going to another hawker centre and eating again
  • You would buy a $20 product you don't need if it's on sale for $10 just to save the money
  • You don't know what "kiasu" means, you have become it!
  • You would cross the entire country all day to find places that make the perfect fried noodles, or roti prata, or ice kacang or chilli crab. And none of these places would be close to each other
  • You think that $100,000 is a reasonable price for a Toyota Corolla and $1,000,000 is a reasonable price for a bungalow, but $5 for a plate of fried noodles is a barbarous outrage
  • You believe that not being able to get decent roti prata outside Singapore is enough to keep the best and brightest people from leaving
  • You don't think any dish of western food is complete without baked beans
  • You wear winter clothes indoors and summer clothes outdoors
  • You get irritated if you don't see a sign telling you how long you wait's going to be for a bus, a train, or the expressway to take you from where you want to go
  • When you cross the border into Malaysia, you automatically and deeply fear for your life and wallet. Especially your wallet! (Most recently, your car)
  • You're not bothered by the fact that the government cares whether you know how to use a toilet or urinal correctly (people squatting on toilet bowls? What the?)
  • You think that a bus is incomplete with a tv
  • You understand everything on this list!
Here's a list of travel tips compiled by Aunty in Singapore (not related to me - it was on the website)
  1. A travel agent that doesn't give you free bags is a koo bye. That's why I always like to travel with Ken Brother Reliable Air Travel. They sometimes give you more than one bag per person. Bags are an important measure of the quality of the agent
  2. Always choose a travel agent with the word "Brothers" in their name. Because their bags are always good quality one. You must have heard the song, "It Ain't Heavy, It's my Brother".
  3. Make sure your travel agent provides Chinese food throughout your trip, regardless of the country. Especially in Europe. Bad enough you're in a chow ang-moh country, surely you shouldn't have chow ang moh food also
  4. Itinerary, itinerary, itinerary. More places, more value. How long does anybody need to stay and see a place? Five minutes is all you need to get a good idea of what most tourist "attractions" are about: they're old and last time got things happen there. See quickly, take picture and then hurry up go to factory outlet or casino
  5. Your luggage will always have the following items: Instant Noodles (one packet for each day of the trip esp. Europe); Mah-jong (esp. if your itinerary does not include casino stop over); Handphone with auto-roaming (the phones on board the plane are all si beh expensive); rice cooker (you can also cook your instant noodles in it)
  6. It is important to dress appropriately for travel. But comfort is not the only factor. We must show foreigners that we are not some obiang suah koo people. I recommend track shoes and wind-breaker. These go well with anything: jeans, singlet, business suit, cheong sum.
  7. Make sure your tour bus has karaoke set. It's especially useful when you have to travel through the night. Your tour group will always appreciate a soothing song to put them to sleep
  8. Whenever you are tempted to buy souvenirs, look around. There might be pirates around selling cheap knock-offs which will do just as well for your friends
  9. Use travel as a time for personal reflection. It is imporant to compare everything you see with that you have at home in Singapore. When you do this, you will feel a lot better about yourself and your life. Don't forget to voice your comparisons aloud, especially to locals. If you find yourself at a loss for words, just use the basic phrase, "Singapore better one". (My dad uses this all the time when he is here)
  10. At the end of every flight or tour, don't forget to lodge a complaint about something with the travel agent or airlines. Don't shy. Small thing also can. Think hard enough, sure can find something one. But in your complain, make sure you say that this was the trip of your dreams and that this thing ruined it forever, and now you must go to woodbridge [note to those who are unfamiliar: mental institution in Singapore]. You never know, you might get some discount or compensation
Fascinating. Brings back some warm memories of the many family holidays I have had with my folks and their friends...

Singapore - here I come!

5 Comments:

At 6:58 PM, Blogger REDLeader said...

Ok, I should move out of S'pore and stay in some place called the Artic.

 
At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Sue said...

I am too Norwegian, did not get it at all!!! Boo hoo! I am so used to big spaces, the last time I was in S'pore, almost poked the eyes out of the person beside me by just turning.....

 
At 10:14 PM, Anonymous JOHN AND KEVIN said...

HI MAGS AND JARED
HOPE YOU BOTH HAD A GREAT FLIGHT TO SINGAPORE AND ARE WITH FAMILY I WAS SO HAPPY TO TAKE YOU BOTH TO AIRPORT KEVIN WAS SO ANOID HE WAS NOT THERE TO SEE YOU BOTH OFF GREAT TALKING ABOUT ALL THINGS JARED HOPE YOU SLEEPED AS YOU DID LOOK TIRED AT THE END IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE BEER WE WILL CATCH UP WHEN YOU COME HOME ENJOY AND ENJOY THE CRUISE LOVE JOHN AND KEVIN HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAGS XXXX

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Magdalene said...

I am having a BLAST in Singapore! Catching up with friends and family, and of course what goes hand in hand when connecting with people? FOOD lah!

We've had so much delicious food - it has been overwhelming!

When you live in Aust, you forget about the crowds in Singapore! When we went to Marine Parade and Parkway Parade after visiting Grandma on the first day - I was just spinning on the spot. Haven't seen so many people in one spot!

Then we went to Orchard Road the following day (Sunday) - wah biang! Can faint! So many people and the entire philipino maid population must be at Lucky Plaza!

People here sleep so late! Even I no longer sleep at 10pm...I now sleep at 12midnight! Die lah - go back to Brisbane sure suffer considering there's nothing to do at night! Die die lah....

Having a mega fantastic time in Singapore!

 
At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI M AND J
WOW YOU ARE HAVING FUN ENJOY YOUR CRUISE FRIDAY PM LOOKING FORWARD TO CATCHING UP WHEN YOU COME BACK TO THE REAL WORLD (BRISBANE)
LOVE JOHN AND KEVIN XXXX

 

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