Friday, 10th March '06

You Know You've Been in Singapore Too Long When...

Just stumbled across this when I was surfing a number of websites (everything from ChannelNewsAsia to in an attempt to do my very infrequent finding out about what's going on at home. This was on Mr Brown, who now has his own podcast by the way. Anyway, I've probably blogged too much, but the following was so damn reflective of Singapore I couldn't help reproducing it.

Some are the usual chewing gum type jibes, but the observations about the COEs (certificates of entitlement), road names etc are still funny.

36 signs you've been in Singapore too long:

1. You've lost your sense of irony, sarcasm, and cynicism.

Explains our blogosphere, then.

2. You don't know what's lame and what isn't anymore.


3. You think there's nothing wrong with putting chili sauce on everything you eat.

Heard that, Dad?

4. You wait for instructions from people in authority before doing anything. Always.

That kinda sucks, but it tends to be true. Since I've been here the number of times I've see someone do something and thought to myself "like that also can ah?" is frightening.

5. You join queues without knowing or caring what the queue is for.


6. You know what "queue" means!!

Doesn't everyone?

7. Your idea of a good night out consists of having dinner at a hawker centre, drinking beer, and then going to another hawker centre and eating again.

Don't you be dissing my Blk 85, foo.

8. You've lost your ability to criticize people in higher positions than you, even if they're wrong.

So they would hope. Wink.

9. You think it's okay to have only one meaningful choice on a ballot.

You've hit a nerve.

10. "Crossing the country" means taking the MRT to the end of the line.

All the way from Changi Airport / Expo to, um, good grief, what is it now? Jurong West?

11. You have a high tolerance for nagging.


12.Most or all of these acronyms make sense to you: NUS; NTU; ERP; SDU; PAP; MRT; LKY; GCT; PRC; TIBS; SBS; SMS; JB; JBJ; AMK; AYE; PIE; ECP; ISD; ISA; 5 C's; CPF; CHIJMES; SPG; CWO.

I know it's geeky, but I can't resist trying:
1. NUS = National University of Singapore
2. NTC = Nanyang Technological University
3. ERP = Electronic Road Pricing
4. SDU = Social Development Unit (I still like "Single. Desperate. Ugly.")
5. PAP = People's Action Party
6. MRT = Mass Rapid Transit
7. LKY = Lee Kuan Yew
8. GCT = Goh Chok Tong
9. PRC = People's Republic of China
10. TIBS = TransIsland Bus Service (I think)
11. SBS = Singapore Bus Service
12. SMS = Short Message Service
12. JB = Johor Bahru
13. JBJ = Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam
14. AMK = Ang Mo Kio
15. AYE = Aya Rajah Expressway
16. PIE = Pan Island Expressway
17. ECP = East Coast Parkway
18. ISD = ? (Internal Security Detention?)
19. ISA = Internal Security Act
20. 5 C's = Cash, Car, Credit Card, Condominum, ??? (Children? Chiobu?)
21. CPF = Central Provident Fund
22. CHIJMES = Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus (oh my word, I actually cannot complete it!)
23. SPG = Sarong Party Girl
24. CWO = Corrective Work Order

13. You use too many acronyms when you talk, or you create new ones.

KNNBCCB, for instance? Not that I've ever use that phrase, but I unfortunately know what it means. I don't even think the English language has swear words (or phrases) that graphic. Which perpetuates the crude-Hokkien stereotype, I know.

14. You think that nothing makes a girl or guy more attractive than to dress exactly like hundreds of thousands of othe girls and guys who all dress exactly like girls and guys in malls.


15. You think that S$100,000 [= US$ 57,000] is a reasonable price for a Toyota Corolla and S$1,000,000 is a reasonable price for a bungalow, but S$5 [= US$2.85] for a plate of fried noodles is a barbarous outrage.

But that's TRUE! It's all TRUE! Seriously lah, bungalows aren't even that cheap.

16. You believe that not being able to get decent roti prata outside Singapore is enough to keep the best and the brightest people from leaving.

Shit. See lah, now you make me think of Jalan Kayu.

17. You see nothing wrong with forming committees of select elite people to deliberate and study ways to stimulate creativity and spontaneity.

Would you believe this is what the interviewer asked me about in the Columbia interview?

18. You justify every argument with the phrase "in order for us to be competitive in the 21st century."

Singapore 21. What could possibly go wrong?

19. You think everything should be "topped up."

SIM card, M card, EZlink card, Cash card... yeah, you got it.

20. You see nothing unusual about an organization of trade unions spending more time owning and operating supermarkets, parks, drugstores, amusement nightclubs, and financial services than planning the next strike.

Hahaah... it's something I've tried to explain to people here a number of times. And they just can't fathom it. Ironically, I can't imagine things being done anyother way. What would we do without NTUC Fairprice, Downtown East or NTUC Income?

21. You believe that a lack of land is enough justification for the goverment to do what it wants.

What do you want me to do about it?

22. You wear winter clothes indoors and summer clothes outdoors.

Guilty as charged.

23. Durian and belachan no longer stink to you.

Durian shiok, ok?

24. You like to have fun, but not too much fun, since you need to correctly gauge the amount of fun necessary to achieve the optimal result. Any more fun that that would bring shame to your family and your country.

AHAHAHAHAHA, I LOVE THIS. Exactly me lah. Now I have an excuse when people here tell me I think too much. It's a national disease.

25. You're not confused by a street naming system that locates streets like Clementi Road, Clementi Street, Clementi Crescent, Clementi Lane, Clementi Drive, Clementi Way, and Clementi Avenues 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 all within walking distance of each other.

Did anyone watch the Amazing Race when it came here and they had Phua Chu Kang tell the poor contestants to find a HDB apartment at Yio Chu Kang, not Lim Chu Kang or Chua Chu Kang?

26. You get irritated if you don't see a sign telling you how long your wait's going to be for a bus, a train, or the expressway to take you where you want to go.

We're just too good lah.

27. You're certain that Holland Village is for hippie bohemian artist types and not for overpaid yuppies.

Don't insult my Wala Wala's.

28. When you cross the border into Malaysia, you automatically and deeply fear for your life and your wallet. Especially your wallet!!

Absolutely true.

29. No matter what you're doing at the moment, you'd rather be shopping.

Actually our shopping is overrated.

30. No matter how miserable you may be here, you thank God you're not in Indonesia.

Yeah, I do.

31. You're impressed by high-rise apartment buildings with actual lobbies instead of bare exposed pillars on the ground floor [such as are found in much government-built housing].

They're called void decks, friend. Bare exposed-ness is the essence of the word "void".

32. You forgot what chewing gum tastes like.

Alright alright, I admit it. Sigh.

33. You're sure that the best way to change social behaviour is through consistent and comprehensive government-sponsored campaigns that permeate as many aspects of daily life as possible. And when they don't work, you never speak of them again.

Sort of like, let me see:
- The Courtesy Campaign?
- The Speak Good English Campaign?
- The Speak Mandarin ("Use it or lose it!") Campaign?
- The High on Life Campaign?
- The Low Crime Doesn't Mean No Crime Campaign?
- The Have Two Or More If You Can Afford It Campaign?
- (and my personal favourite) The Romancing Singapore Campaign?

*sees all the government-types cringing*

34. You agree that what the government thinks of your personal habits and lifestyle should determine whether you get a condo and how much you pay for it.


35. You've become a fan of either Arsenal, Manchester United, or Liverpool when you barely knew what soccer was before you came to Singapore. And you don't care that none of these teams are Singaporean!

You didn't HONESTLY expect me to be a fan of Geylang United, did you? Or the Tampines Rovers? Or the Ballestier Tigers? For Heaven's sake.

36. You think a bus is incomplete without a TV.

Well, when you take a 2 hour bus ride to NUS, TV Mobile can be a pretty good friend...

en ying snapped a shot of life @ 08:17 pm
[6 photographs developed.]

6 photographs developed.


for the 5 C's, the last one you are looking for is club *lol*


ORRRHHHH. yeah, that's right. i guess i can do with 4Cs then. i'm never going to be one of those tai tais karaoking at the pine tree. if u ever see me do that please shoot me.


haha..ok, i will. =)


AHAHAHAHAHAHA. firstly, if you karaoke, i think pigs will fly. Secondly, if you become a tai tai, it hink you will die of boredom anyway. no need to shoot. waste of effort *lol*


i dun understand why every one thinks that pigs will fly or it will snow in singapore if en sings karaoke... heh. i distinctly remember en singing karaoke with us in sec 2.... and quite well too! hehe


correction - it was sec 4, it was not done well, and i distinctly remember your mum making me sing "grease". as in the frankie valli version. grease is the word wink

i'm not saying ur mum's a taitai, btw... i love your mum! honestly. she's cool.

smile shocked sad
big grin razz *wink wink* hey baby
angry, grr blush confused
cool crazy cry
sleepy hehe LOL
plain jane rolls eyes satisfied