death by paper cut

{December 16, 2005}   playing tourist

i advocate that every now and then, singaporeans should spend a weekend, or better yet, take leave for a day to play tourist.

i was more like a tourist and a tour guide when i brought my cousins around. we went to the zoo yesterday afternoon. the older boy, max studies in san diego. so when the zoo ranger found out where he was from, he candidly remarked to me, “san diego got zoo what“. max has yet to visit the san diego zoo.

i suppose in all cities, the citizens do not appreciate or visit their own local attractions.

today we spent the entire blazing hot afternoon browsing little india, sim lim square, bugis village and parco bugis junction on foot. it was refreshing for me to notice the changes in these places. of course i did my own shopping on the side while “playing tour guide”.

it was also refreshing to answer questions from a foreigner, such as the following;

1) when is the coldest time of the year? (ans: now)

2) what is the hottest day like? (ans: now)

3) where do singaporeans go to ski?
(i didn’t say snow city because the joke will be lost on them)

4) where are poor and homeless?
5) why is everyone out in town on a weekday?
6) are there street gangs?
7) you can drink at 18 but vote only at 21?
8) where can we find good food in singapore?
9) how do we order food (at a hawker centre)?

10) how big is singapore?

it doesn’t occur to us that singapore is so incredibly small. max drives to colleage which is 8 hours drive away. and here’s we’re complaining that a certain place is out of reach (and this is coming from people who drive!)


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