Asia

Blue coffee mug Coffee at Rocket cafe in Bangkok

Bangkok in contrasts

Bangkok is changing very rapidly, just like any other major city in Asia. The interesting thing about Bangkok is that you’ll find areas that have become something entirely cosmopolitan overnight next to others that aren’t changing at the same rate (or at all).

Two sides, same coin

Two sides of a lightrail train station in central Bangkok
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Sunset over the ocean

Young white male asks me for money. Thoughts on #whiteprivilege from a tropical island

I feel like I almost got scammed. I was waiting to get on the ferry off of the island in Thailand to make my way back to Bangkok to catch a flight.

While sitting on a bench, a young white male comes up to me and starts talking to me. At first I don’t understand what he saying, partly because he has an accent and partly maybe because he was speaking quickly. He repeated himself, “Could you give me 100 baht for the ferry…”

My gut immediately refused him. I said I’m sorry but I don’t have any change. Sure, 100 Thai baht is little more than 3 US dollars, but I didn’t feel compelled to give this young white guy my money. Why should I when this person, just by luck of birth, has all the advantages in the world. Why should I, a young, poor, female, minority (in my country) student, give him, a young, seemingly healthy, white, man, my money?
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Pizza with bacon, cheese shavings, arugula or rocket, and egg in the middle The English Breakfast, $24 SGD

[Review] Skinny Pizza (Westgate Mall, Jurong East, Singapore)

Pizza! I couldn’t live without it. Recently, I shared a pizza at Skinny Pizza in Singapore (Westgate Mall, Jurong East). This is my Skinny Pizza review.

Its style of pizza uses a crunchy, cracker like base instead of the doughy base that pizza is known for. This is probably what makes it so “skinny,” because it will have fewer calories than a traditional pizza crust (even thinner than thin crust). I’m a New Yorker, so I’m a little tough to impress when it comes to pizza.

Skinny Pizza restaurant sign

Skinny Pizza in Westgate Mall in Jurong East, Singapore


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brunch menu on wooden table Ambience was nice at W 39 Bistro, I'll give them that!

W 39 Bistro review (Clementi, Singapore)

The nice part about living in a new place is finding little things tucked away that make you feel like you know a secret. W 39 Bistro is one of those things. It is smack in the middle of a residential area (landed properties, aka houses, which are not that common in Singapore). It is in the West along the East-West line, the nearest train station is the Clementi MRT station.

I went to W 39 Bistro on two occasions: once for brunch, and once for dinner. The brunch wasn’t a real brunch, because we only ordered coffees and the bread basket. The dinner was a light one, where we only ordered appetizers and tapas and no mains. I had some issues with feeling really cheated on one dish, but overall the experience was ok.
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Feet in yellow shoes tiled floor Taking a look at myself

Women wear what they want to in Singapore, or How awesome it is that there is no catcalling in Singapore

Sure, you have heard that Singapore is a safe and clean city. Or that it’s the most expensive city in the world to live in. (This is mostly skewed by the price of cars, which are not essential, but that is another story.) But what you may not know is that women wear what they want to in Singapore. It’s remarkable, and simultaneously a sign of old stereotypes/gender roles and a sign of hope in the face of gender issues in Singapore. There are a few things that I really like and admire about Singapore, and this is one of them.

The recent video of a woman walking in New York City has gone viral because it shows just how much harassment a woman can receive just by walking around in NYC. I’m glad that they are drawing attention to this issue, because this is at the root of what I don’t like about NYC. Catcalling is nonexistent in Singapore, which one reason why I think women can have the freedom to dress as they wish.
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What should the next theme be? #morethemeparties

It’s that feeling of things aren’t quite right. It’s not hard to live in Singapore, but it isn’t perfect. You’re not exactly depressed, but you can’t call it happiness either. I’m calling it the Singapore Slump.

Why is this happening to us?

My friends and I have narrowed down some of the reasons to be the price of alcohol and the incessant heat and humidity. It isn’t a city that is very friendly to people without very much money, which I’ll discuss in more detail in an upcoming post. We’re trying to make the most of it by working hard when we need to, and then getting creative with more theme parties. Otherwise, it is easy to fall into a state of routine where your mood is at a constant low.
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headstones on the grassy hill Bukit Brown Singapore Bukit Brown cemetery in Singapore, August 2014

[Photo Journal] Walk through Bukit Brown

Bukit Brown is an old cemetery in Singapore. It is one of the more natural areas on the island, but is under heavy construction now to build a highway through it. I went on a walk through it with some friends a few months ago, and it was really cool to be in such a quiet and secluded place. So if you are looking to escape the crowded malls, try going there for a walk or a jog.
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Hug deprived in Singapore

Me and my roomie hugging at our '60s party

Me and my roomie hugging at our ’60s party

Hugs are great! Give me hugs!!

More hugs please!

One thing I wish was different about Singapore is that friends hugged each other more often. This is just part of Singapore culture. When I went back to the USA for 3 months earlier this year, I really liked hugging friends again, either when we first saw each other or when we’re parting ways. It isn’t a big deal, but no one does that in Singapore.
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Pirate face, my recent surgery, and healthcare in Singapore

Sorry I haven’t been around the past few months! It has been a bit of a strange period of time, but I’ll explain later.

I’ve had the pleasure of experience healthcare in Singapore, now on 2 occasions. I fractured a few bones in my right hand last year, and a few weeks ago I suffered a collision during an ultimate tournament that resulted in facial fractures.

My face is broken

It’s called a zygomaticomaxillary complex fracture. Basically, there were some fractures in the parts of my skull supporting my eye and the tissue around my eye. The tissue under my eye was shifting or falling downwards because the bone there (orbital rim) had some slight displacement. Some of the bones to the side of my eye were fractured, and then there were some fractures in the lower part of my cheek (at the level of the bottom of my nose).
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Art display at the Esplanade in Singapore

Dear Charmaine…your email was not spelled correctly

Hi Charmaine,

The email address you entered was not going through, so I hope you see this! This is in response to the questions you sent through the contact me page. I still wanted to answer your questions, so I’m putting it all in this post! Continue Reading