Things I like about Singapore

In celebration of Singapore’s 50th year of independence tomorrow, I’ve decided to put up a list of things that I like about Singapore.

The place I call home

1. Our multicultural heritage

I was craving for ondeh ondeh the other day and it suddenly occurred to me that hey, it’s so wonderful to be living in Singapore! Since Singapore is a multiracial nation made up of different ethnic groups, we get to savour a multicultural mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and western cuisines. Fancy some nonya kuehs or curry puffs? You can find them easily in shopping malls or hawker stalls. If you prefer western snacks such as doughnuts or cupcakes, these too can be found easily in the same shopping malls. I think many of us take Singapore’s multicultural heritage for granted and we should all pause to appreciate this the next time we tuck into our roti pratas and nasi lemaks.

2. Food! A wide variety of cuisines at that!

I know this is like an extension of the previous point but I just want to highlight that almost every type of cuisine can be found in Singapore. Japanese, Italian, Indian, Korean, Thai, Chinese, German or Middle Eastern, you name it and we’ll probably have it. Dining out in Singapore is never boring and you need not burn a hole in your pocket to enjoy a great meal here.

3. Safe and clean city

Singapore is well known as a relatively safe city with a low crime rate and I’m truly grateful for this. I once alighted at the wrong bus stop after a late night gathering with my friends and had to walk for 20 minutes from the bus stop to my home at 2 am in the morning. The streets were dark and deserted but I never felt unsafe. I love it that I can take public transport and walk on the streets in the wee hours without having to fear for my safety.

By clean, I mean hygienic. Since the food retail industry here is heavily regulated by the government, hawkers are required to practice and maintain high standards of personal and food hygiene. This means the odds of you having the runs after pigging out in Singapore is really low. If you’ve been to other countries *cough*China*cough* and seen the conditions of their food stalls, you’d think twice about eating there.

4. Efficient and convenient

Two words – Changi Airport. I live in the northern part of Singapore and I’m able to reach home by taxi within 40 minutes of the plane touching down the runway. Those 40 minutes include immigration clearance, baggage collection and getting a cab. No exaggeration there.

I also love the convenient amenities available in most of the housing estates in Singapore. 24-hour kopitiams and convenience stores to beat the late night hunger pangs. The neighbourhood medical clinics where you can just drop by for a consultation without the need for advance appointments. Public libraries with a wide range of books and magazines that everyone can borrow. Amazing isn’t it? And the one thing that I like best is the cineplex located just a stone’s throw away from where I live. Bored at home? Just pop over and catch the latest blockbuster. No sweat.

5. Public transport system

You may not agree with me on this point but I’d say the public transport system here is pretty efficient. Yes, the MRT did suffer a major disruption recently and left thousands of commuters pissed and stranded during peak hours. People ranted and bitched about it but come on, machines do breakdown. Perhaps we’re so used to being efficient that we’ve become intolerant towards such lapses. Well, at least we can count on our bus and train services to run on schedule daily without the workers going on strikes, right?

6. Uniquely Singapore

I like the quirks and jokes that only Singaporeans can identify with. Things like Singlish. Packets of tissue paper to chope seats with. Drinking beverages (both cold and hot) from little plastic bags. Things that make us unique.

Singapore is of course, not perfect in many ways. But at the end of the day, I’m thankful and proud to call myself a Singaporean. Happy 50th birthday, Singapore! Here’s to many more 50 successful and prosperous years!

My F1 Grand Prix & Linkin Park weekend

After making their fans in Singapore wait for four long years, Linkin Park is finally back on our shores! Needless to say, I’m going to watch their performance at The Padang later tonight. In fact, I’ll be there real early with my fellow LP fanatics in hopes of getting our hands on the coveted wristbands that would allow us to hustle up close to the stage. Yes, I know I’m going to hit 31 very soon but what the heck, it feels surprisingly good to behave like a 17-year-old fangirl again. It’s fun to do silly things once in a while I suppose.

In any case, I’m so psyched to see LP perform again. Can’t wait.

F1 Singapore Grand Prix Access Passes
The 2011 F1 Singapore Grand Prix 3-day passes – My first F1 experience

Speaking of silly things, I really had fun hanging out with Ling and May over the past two evenings at the Singapore Grand Prix event. There were the Korean acts which left all three of us bewildered on the first night and the supposed-to-be-Shakira-but-turned-out-to-be-Shaggy performance last night. That was such a surreal experience. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d see Shaggy aka Mr Boombastic perform live. For starters, I didn’t know he had so many hits. Anyway, after this F1 experience, I’m so glad that I have the girls to do these “silly” things with. Even though they didn’t know who the acts were, they were still game enough to attend the events. I don’t know, it just makes me feel so lucky to have them as my childhood friends.

Here’s to an awesome Linkin Park performance – the perfect way to end my first F1 weekend.

A spooktacular Halloween

Halloween is two weeks away and thanks to Ms Niyo, I’m going to scare myself silly at Sentosa Spooktacular this Friday!

Ghost galore at Sentosa Spooktacular
Click the picture to get a clearer picture of the ghouls.

I used to be such a huge fan of horror movies that I’d stay up till the wee hours of the morning alone to watch horror shows on TV. That was until Sadako appeared in “The Ring” back in the late nineties. The funny thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever watched that movie in its entirety and certainly not that final scene where Sadako showed the world her freaky eyelashes-less eye. My fear of ghosts with long black hair crawling awkwardly on the floor while emitting eerie croaky groans stemmed from the silly prank emails that were widely popular back in those days. Remember those innocuous emails that come with image attachments or website links where you’re supposed to spot something in the pictures/videos? Yeah? And before you could spot anything, a picture of a ghost would appear right in your face and scare you shitless. After being subjected to a few such scares, I’m now reduced to a wimpy scaredy cat when it comes to pictures or videos of anything supernatural.

Having said that, visiting a theme haunted house (houses, in this case) is a different thing altogether. I hope it’s going to be fun and that I won’t embarrass myself by squealing too much. Tickets go at S$28 for early birds who book theirs before Thursday, 21 October 2010. If you wish to subject yourself to some scares as well, you can visit the official website and buy the tickets online here.

Happy Halloween!