2004-08-04

Mail from a foreigner in Singapore

Dear Wendy,

I had great respect for you. Your hilarious blog entries never fail to leave me in stitches - until I saw your Singapore entry. I'm not a "kantang" as you put it. I'm not even Singaporean. I'm not even Asian. I'm a New Yorker. A 16 year old teen who was forced to live on this little island with my father.

I grew up in Manhattan. And in case you're wondering, I have done Marijuana. And pot. And I regret that. Drugs are baned effectively here, somethingwhich I support. BUT, in terms of culture and lifestyle, Singapore is boring and restrictive. Back in nyc, almost once a week, you can see groups of people marching down 32nd street waving banners proclaiming their supportfor Aids funding or shouting out their views about the cuban missle crisis. Here, it's so quiet.

The first day I arrived here and chewed gum I got stopped by the police. I knew such a law existed, but I wanted to find out just how keen eyed the yare to spot people chewing gum. I wasn't fined (thank god for that) but Iwas ordered to throw it away anyway.

Maybe you are not widely travelled, I don't know. But I suggest you drop by nyc, when you can. THAT will open your eyes to what sort of place singaporeis.

regards,
Chelsea

btw, the dvd of kill bill vol 1 is banned while its sold at every videostore in Bangkok. Says a lot doesn't it?

ps, in case you're wondering, yes I wanna get out of this hell hole as soon as I can.

My Reply


Right Chelsea,

If you are not a local, then I do not blame you for not liking Singapore of course. What I would like to say is this - you are not aSingaporean, and you did not grow up here, absorbing in its unique(albeit boring) culture, and surrounded by all your neighbours and friends, while celebrating the past 20 (for me) National days with ur
loved ones; cheering as your country grew from a cheap labour land to
the successful country we are now, cry as crises befall upon us.

I can understand if u do not like Singapore, for you do not truely belong here.

But pardon me - I will not say anything bad about my country, because it gave so much to me. You will never understand, and thus, I must also say you have no rights to judge whether we Singaporeans should love our country or not. Love - it is not based on whether we have the new DVD of Kill Bill and whether gum is banned. It's this land's soil that we have grew up with, and I love it with all my heart, and I will lay my life down to protect it. It's not about how the Government rules us either. It is about everything familiar to me here, and every laugh I had on this tiny island, or every tear I shed that formed our humid Singapore air.

While people can criticize my country, I do wish they will not do it in front of me - rather like you will not like me to insult your father, even if it were factual criticism.

I wish you best of luck to get out of Singapore, for I am sure she would not want you to suffer on her as well (and yet she can't change herself to accomodate your likings, nor everyone else's).

Love,
Xiaxue

*****

I hate everyone Singaporean who hates Singapore. MEI LIANG XIN! Yuck! GO DROWN YOURSELVES LA, UNGRATEFUL PRATS!

p/s: I am not THAT widely travelled, but I've been to Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taipei and of course the usual Indonesia and Malaysia. I still love Singapore the best. Cheers.

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