Thursday, February 25, 2016

Observations in Singapore ...

No Jumping Jax

I've been here nearly six months and the shine of Singapore has worn off so there are some things I am noticing that I had not noticed prior. 

No cars broken down on the freeways. Mostly the cars on the freeways are relatively new. Owning a car in Singapore rise costly and requires a Certificate of Entitlement (COE) which represents a right to vehicle ownership and use of the limited road space for 10 years. Anyone able to afford a car is certainly going to make sure it's clean.

No dirty or old cars. With the exception of work trucks all the cars are clean. My guess is that the PDWs are washing the cars in the driveways because I also don't see commercial car washes.

Filipino Domestic Workers (FDW) have a uniform. It's shorts or capri, thongs, and an irreverent or nonsensical tee shirt that says something sassy, like "I like [picture of a banana] because it has no [picture of a bone]."

No mailboxes. I can never find them. How do you mail a letter here?

English as the spoken language is kind of a lie. If you are in the grocery store and doing check out that's the level of English is okay. "NETS or Visa?" when you hand them your card. Even if you ask for something like where the coffee is they can help you. But as soon as you ask for something new, like a 10 dollar gift certificate when they only have 20 and 5 dollar gift certificates the level of English isn't there. It's a very broad shallow level of English. They teach English in the schools so I am not sure why this is the case. It must be a generational thing because I hear the children on the trains speaking English. 

It's a mantra here of how hard everybody works. The taxi drivers preach this the most but everyone says it. I think it's because there is no such thing as social security here so citizens must plan for their retirement. Not that social security in the US takes care of us by any stretch in the US, so maybe Singaporeans are comparing their retirement to Europeans. But at 5 o'clock the streets of Orchard are packed on a weekday with people not at the office. 

Nonsense is cool. There are not only a lot of nonsense tee shirts, but there are nonsense bags and coffee cups with sayings that make no sense, Asian phrases translated poorly into English.

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