I went to the Singapore Garden Festival while I was there for about 2 weeks recently. I hadn’t been to a Singapore festival until then! When my friend had discounted tickets, I had to grab the chance. It mostly consisted of a maze of indoor and outdoor floral displays throughout the Gardens by the Bay, which usually has many beautiful flowers anyway.
Some of the fancier displays:
Moving to a new country is never an easy thing. I sometimes think about how both my parents came to the USA with no English, and very little resources. I don’t think today that I would ever do that! Are you thinking of whether to move to Singapore? I hope this helps!
My parents moved because they knew there were opportunities in the States that they would not have at home in China. So, whatever your reasons are for thinking about for a move to Singapore, remember that it’s your unique situation and your own decision to make. And of course, if you are bringing your family with you, that also changes things. (One thing to be aware of is that Singapore has weird visa laws regarding children born in Singapore. If you don’t earn above a certain pay grade, you’ll have to constantly renew the child’s visa until something more long term can be worked out.) Continue Reading
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.