Friday, November 29, 2013

Things You Don't Care About Living Here

Since it's Thanksgiving back in the USA right now, I've been reading a lot of "I'm so thankful for this and that and blahblahblah" posts. They're nice and all, but they've reminded me of things we don't have here (and don't care about). 

  1. Local Food. It's great in America that you can get local farm foods and whatnot, but that doesn't really exist here. I think you can get eggs and some green leafy vegetables grown here, and that's it. Everything is imported, and quite frankly, Singapore likes it that way. Why eat Malaysian stuff when you can get European cheese, Japanese or Thai rice, or New Zealand milk? I used to care about eating local in America, but it's just not possible now. 
  2. Eating Organically. There's some organic food here for sure, but it's super expensive. The only things we eat organically are generally the stuff we can't find in general, like almond milk or something. There's organic peanut butter that's pretty good, but other than that... you just can't care about eating organic unless you want to pay an arm and a leg. Singapore isn't quite there yet in the organic movement- mostly because of the first point above, and also because Singaporeans just can't pay for it. 
  3. Mosquito fogging. In America I know it's rather controversial because of pesticides and harm to children and whatever else they want to fuss about. Here it's normal, get over it. It's that or dengue, and dengue sucks way worse. 
  4. Super divided rich-poor gap based on race. It's so deeply engrained into the culture here that you don't really think about it. The Tamil Indian men are construction workers, the Indonesian women are helpers, etc. White people are normally expats or tourists-- and always considered rich. 
  5. Escalator safety. In America most people stand forwards and hold onto the railing, right? Well in Singapore couples face each other and talk/kiss. It's just a thing. 
  6. "Other people". When I lived in America I remember a very strong mentality of worrying about what "other people" are doing. There was this constant threat of "other people" stealing this or that, or harming you in general. While this mentality does exist amongst some, it's not as prominent here. This one is hard to explain, but basically people don't walk around thinking others are out to get them. There aren't super-locks or weird "keep strangers away" machines here.
Well, that seems pretty accurate. Hope my readers in the USA had an awesome Thanksgiving and ate lots of turkey and pie. Before you ask, yes, you can find turkeys here, but your oven may not be big enough to hold your typical thousand-pound saline-pumped American bird. The American club and a few hotels do a pretty nice spread, but personally I'm a fan of chilli crab!

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