Readers' Submissions

Singapore

  • Written by Anonymous
  • September 17th, 2008
  • 4 min read



This is an article in response to “The Singapore Option” written by Anonymous (dated 9/3/2007).

The reason why Singapore is not an expat’s dream country is evidently due to the high standard of living. Look at the Government and the way the country is run compared to that of Bangkok, or your own, for that matter. Yes, I am extremely displeased with the contents in your article. Simply put, I am a Singaporean and just FYI, not all Chinese are in awe of farangs like you think. Hell, we consider ourselves YOUR equal. That’s why you deem Singaporean chicks “too hard a nut to crack”. I laughed out loud reading that part.

You pointed out a blogger, MissIzzy, 2 words I have for you – “has been”. Yes, she is a “has been” and a total wannabe, someone who’s clearly extremely superficial and shallow, an attention whore AKA Miss Paris Hilton. <<I would like to thank Stickman for his kind and honest comments. “Thank you Stick!”>>

I guess the reason why reading your article kinda stung was partly due to your brutal honesty; yes I have to admit that half of the stuff mentioned is true. E.g. Our clean and green country, you mentioned that Singapore is “squeaky clean”, “all thanks to the hordes of underpaid Bangladeshi blue-collar workers” we have here, (we do have a small percentage of our own working such jobs), our successful and wealthy economy, (thank you, it’s nice to know we’re that rich!), the exorbitant prices of alcohol, you were right on that part and the one about drugs! (we are that strict and there is NO SUCH thing as trying to pay your way off a fine, bribery is IMPOSSIBLE, into jail you go!)

You mentioned alcohol, let me give you another. Did you know that ONE pack of cigarettes in Singapore will set you back about 289 baht= SGD$12 = USD$8) and we are talking about a normal sized pack of a normal brand, say Marlboro, that you can get anywhere from a convenient store or a coffee shop. We aren’t even suggesting a top notch brand such as Davidoff, and the prices are standard all throughout our country. Just one pack of ciggies so to compare between cigarettes and alcohol, the latter is nowhere THAT dear. Yes, with prices like that, which backpacker is able to survive and sustain long in this city without a job. Have you ever seen a beggar in Singapore? You’re right. It’s impossible to ever find one.

Even basking is rare and it’s looked upon as an art, not as a means of survival. The reason why you knew so much about Singapore despite your short stay here is that EVERYBODY speaks English and I mean fluent English. That is our FIRST and native language – a crucial fact you conveniently forgot to mention I suppose, granted that the entire article seemed to ride and thrive on negativity.

The one thing positive that you did say was that Singapore was “really beautiful” and that “Singapore will only suit professionals”.

Before I end, Singapore is exceedingly small, it’s just a dot on the world map, however as arrogant and pompous as I may sound in my piece, I love Bangkok and am leaving my country to teach once I apply for my TEFL course. (I’ll be fighting with the farangs for the job and being Chinese, I wonder if it’s going to be to my disadvantage since everybody seems to think that farangs are all superior. Gawd, I just picked up that word “farang” and found it awfully hilarious!)

I actually do dig your article, upon first glance I admit it got me all riled up, however you seemed to point out a lot of half-truths which although might sound incredulous to the foreigner, the locals would get it. For instance, the part where you mentioned that farangs are called “ang mohs” in Singapore. Yes, that is what we call Caucasians. I’m a Chinese from Singapore, born and bred in this city. I do not even live in a HDB flat unlike you, (the author would know what I’m talking about). I reside in a private house so you would realize that I’m looked upon as being wealthier than you although you’re an expat. Having said that, most expats are notably affluent and well-to-do. Notice I used the word “looked upon”. Private housing in Singapore is ridiculously expensive (unlike in countries such as Australia) as land is sparse and houses are deemed as assets, like cars, etc.

So why leave home and fly to Bangkok? It is my love for this country, where people seem to be honest and kind and good, for no apparent reason other than just being and I for one believe in karma. I love Thailand and I love Bangkok where life seems simple. People aren’t as materialistic; possess an elitist way of thinking or showy.

Wish me luck everyone! Bangkok here I come!!!

Stickman's thoughts:

Good luck. I wish you well but I can't help but feel that the differences between Singapore and Bangkok are so great that you might find some things in Bangkok a little frustrating.