Sunday, August 1, 2010

Stranger in Singapore?

Michel with D'arcy, who has grown 5 times in size since the last time i saw her

Having spent year in Bangkok now and recounting all the strange happenings in Bangkok, I have surprisingly detected myself feeling more and more like a stranger in Singapore. Not that I don't remember the way around anymore, but I start to feel like a tourist (which I technically am). This might be an indication that I am getting accustomed to life in Bangkok, which might be a good thing, but don't worry, things are still strange over there and I will continue to share them with you.

However, I plan to do a complete turnaround this blogpost as Singapore has inspired me with its utter strange-ness this time round.

  1. During my taxi trip home from the airport, the driver told me the population in Singapore has exceeded 5 million according to the latest reports. How Singapore can have a low birth rate and grow at such a frenetic pace really baffles me. The last time I knew, foreigners contributed to 50% of Singapore's service industry. From my experiences in the departmental stores and 7-11s this time, I am quite sure this proportion has swung greatly in the foreigner's favour.

  2. Floods! I remember I was very shocked yet mesmerized by the floods around my office in Bangkok last year. I was quite pissed and even did a blogpost this year to complain about it. Now, the Venice of the East has clearly changed its location, because Bangkok has not had a flood yet, and it floods everytime there's a heavy downpour here in Singapore. I can't help but have a weird uneasy feeling about this, because in my 28 years here I have not seen a flood, not even 1. Looking at the bright side of things, if this makes Singaporeans more prepared and aware that they are not immune to the forces of nature, it could be a blessing in disguise.

  3. Construction, construction, construction. I can't really count the number of construction sites there are, let me just put it this way. Singapore feels like 1 massive construction site to me. I was taking a bus from NJC back to my place in Toh Yi, and along the whole road, i was flanked by construction barricades. This did not stop until I walked into Lorong Kismis. Upcoming elections and an ever-increasing influx of foreigners might have caused all this, but I can't help but wonder whether there will be any price (see point 2 and point 4) that will be paid at the end of all this reconstruction.

  4. I was just walking out of my compound when I heard some commotion in the trees. I looked up and saw a monkey in a tree tearing off flowers and eating some fruits. I have stayed in Kismis Court for 20 years and it was the first time I saw a monkey in our tree! To my astonishment, another monkey was crossing the road and soon joined his/her counterpart. They could either be from Bukit Timah Nature Reserve or Bukit Timah Hill which are both not too far away, but it must have taken some huge mischief or push factor to force them to leave their natural habitat.

    Could it be that they are just a nuisance to their community and were thus forced out? Or could it be a sign of worry for us? Too much construction and noise going on that it was impossible for the monkeys to stay where they are? I guess we will see more and more signs in the coming months and years that will give us a clearer picture, but it's getting really really strange around here now.

That said, though I am really quite sick this week, it still gives me a sense of satisfaction to not only complete another milestone in my wedding preparations, but also to have some really great fellowship and bonding time with my CG-mates all throughout the week, be it in usual CG activities, helping out in 40-day PDL decoration, cooking for Wenguang's family, visiting Michel or having a late-night Teochew porridge supper.

I fly back to Bangkok tomorrow knowing that I will be back in a month's time. Take care my friends, the Stranger in Singapore will be back soon.

1 comment:

  1. You're not alone. I felt like a stranger in my own country when I came back and at times, I still do. Experienced only 1 flood in 28 years and suddenly in the last few months, apparently Singapore flooded a few times! - Min


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