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Thread: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

  1. #61
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Triazolium View Post
    I bumped into an old classmate (during my school days in the USA) and she asked me, "Are there gas stations (i.e. petrol kiosks) in Singapore?" I wanted to slap her. Singapore isn't so backwards! She thought that Singaporeans lived in tepees!
    You should have told your ex-classmate."yes, we've got 2 gas stations! - natural gas. We use petrol in Singapore and the traffic is horrible. so many cars until we have to put in ERP gantry!" Don't bother explaining what ERP means....

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert View Post
    I guess my attitude towards them is also partly due to many incidents years ago when I was studying in New York. When we (International Students) were invited to various local gatherings and customs (eg Hannukkah, Thanksgiving, etc), the Singapore and Malaysian Chinese students were chided for joining the Americans, by the largely China-population of the International Students Association. They said their (American) ways were dysfunctional and against Chinese customs etc. And I thought that one of the aims of studying abroad was to have a better understanding of the people and culture, and experience them first hand. Eventually the Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese were treated as outcasts, for not conforming to their ways. Well, it never hurt us a bit for not joining them - in fact we were glad we did not stay with their narrow ways.
    I certainly agree that when you are overseas, you do need to mix around with other cultures, instead of sticking to your own. What's the point in studying/staying overseas if you just stick to your own group? You never get to learn about other cultures and the locals unless you mix with them. In fact, keep active with both groups, if possible. However, if you just want to keep to your own group, you might as well study locally. Its not just about getting that piece of paper qualification. Its about the experience. Many Asians made the mistake of sticking to their own groups and lose out on the experience of an overseas education.

    My wife is here with me in the UK, and when she goes to the local gathering with our two girls, people usually ask," I thought you chinese only allowed to have 1 child?"

    The funny thing is, we are chinese, but we are also singaporean. Singapore is very different to China. Its not because we are ashamed of being chineseor that there is a China that we have to keep explaining that we are chinese singaporean. Its rather that Singapore is often forgotten as a country in SEA, and a great place too! When we stay overseas, we are bringing a part of Singapore outside and sharing it with the world. All our efforts in international relations goes down the drain when people assumed that Singapore is in China! Its also an insult to the multicultural society we live in and to the other races in Singapore.
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  2. #62

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    When I was in Europe travelling, I always had Chinese staying there pushing "Fa Lun Gong" newspapers to me. Never bothered about the sect, so just threw it at the next bin.

  3. #63

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    I've lived in the States for 15 years total and I have seen millions of examples of Americans' ignorance of Singapore...

    However, here's one that stands out:

    "Where are you from?"
    "I'm from Singapore."
    "Is that in China?"

    Another one along the same vein:

    "Where are you from?"
    "I'm from Singapore."
    "Is that far from Shanghai?"
    "Yes, it is VERY far from Shanghai."
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  4. #64

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by Triazolium View Post
    I've lived in the States for 15 years total and I have seen millions of examples of Americans' ignorance of Singapore...

    However, here's one that stands out:

    "Where are you from?"
    "I'm from Singapore."
    "Is that in China?"

    Another one along the same vein:

    "Where are you from?"
    "I'm from Singapore."
    "Is that far from Shanghai?"
    "Yes, it is VERY far from Shanghai."
    They see yellow skin straight away assume China. I was at LAX airport taking Singapore Airlines.

    "Ah you are taking Singapore airlines, going back to Malaysia?"

    At least Malaysia is closer than China, so geographically the local missed by a few miles, & historically missed by a few years.
    Last edited by foxwagon; 15th June 2008 at 04:46 AM.

  5. #65

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Well put it this way. We ARE a little red dot compared to the rest of the world. Aren't we being a little bit too self-centric to expect others to know what Singapore's like?

    Put it this way, if someone told you they were from California would you automatically assume they're from LA?

    Likewise, how many of us here can point out where pedra blanca is?
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  6. #66
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    peapilot: Salutes to you , self-centric is the perfect term

  7. #67
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    tell them pilots have a hard time landing on our shores, we use micro LEDs for our tiny runway!

    A380 have to fold its wings when taxi-ing!

  8. #68

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by peapilot View Post
    Well put it this way. We ARE a little red dot compared to the rest of the world. Aren't we being a little bit too self-centric to expect others to know what Singapore's like?

    Put it this way, if someone told you they were from California would you automatically assume they're from LA?
    I understand what you're saying. There are many people who are ignorant of geography beyond their own continent. My husband hasn't even heard of Brunei! It's important for everyone to be tolerant when it comes to different cultures.

    Many clothes at The Gap and Texas Instruments computer chips are manufactured in Singapore. Shouldn't more people know about Singapore then?
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  9. #69
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by peapilot View Post
    .....how many of us here can point out where pedra blanca is?
    Pedra Blanca is something the waitress put on the table in an Italian restaurant?

  10. #70

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    i'm in china - shenzhen now. Quite a few interesting encounters. When i speak english to my frenz then chinese to the shop owners, they are so happy to noe us and are so shock tt why i noe how to speak "pu tong hua". They want to noe me even more. Got free Bak Jang somemore, will say hi to u in the morning when u pass by their shop...

    For the factory operators, i told them my grandma and grandfather are from china. then i told them i'm from singapore. Pure singaporean. But they insist that i am a china chinese and singapore is china but different geographical location tt's all I dont want to argue w them and i say..."ya true.."

    my customer from USA tot i'm another china chinese. Jus react and talk to me normally when we are heading to the restaurant for dinner. Then jus b4 dinner, i mentioned tt i'm from singapore. immediately, his eyes lit up and began to talk to me almost 95% of the time during dinner where there are 2 local chinese who can speak fairly gd english.

  11. #71

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Yankee: Where are you from?
    Me: Singapore.
    Yankee: Where?
    Me: At the southern tip of Malaysia peninsular.
    Yankee: Pardon me, Where??
    Me: 1 21'N 104E
    Yankee:
    Me:WeNguyen Tuong Van and Micheal Fray.
    Yankee: Ahah....I know you....and your fine city. Is Bikini legal in Singapore?
    Me: Depends. At Sentosa, yes. At your HDB window, it is Illegal.

  12. #72

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by damienster View Post
    i'm in china - shenzhen now. Quite a few interesting encounters. When i speak english to my frenz then chinese to the shop owners, they are so happy to noe us and are so shock tt why i noe how to speak "pu tong hua". They want to noe me even more. Got free Bak Jang somemore, will say hi to u in the morning when u pass by their shop...
    "Zhi zi ren" (own people) lor

    When I was stationed overseas, a few words of my failing-grade Chinese (a genuine, certified F9 too) was enough to change everything when ordering in Chinese restaurants

    Then another time on a bus overseas, kana lecture by the ang moh about "human rights", "social equality", and "freedom of speech" once I mentioned I'm from. I've spent enough years overseas to see what they REALLY mean about the top 3 things and I think they can keep it where it belongs. It is nowhere near as rosy as what they preach. (and you should see, they don't even do what they preach anyway!!)
    Last edited by sloth; 15th June 2008 at 06:30 PM.

  13. #73

    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    It seems like the participants of this thread are predominantly Chinese...yes?

    I'm a Singaporean studying in Canada...
    And last term a bunch of Singaporean exchange students came by, and during a residence welcome BBQ session they kept taking more servings of the food and "encouraged" other people to do so, giving the reason "We're from Singapore, so we're kiasu. We have to take as much as we can." -.-
    Seriously... *shakes head*

    The sandwich lady stared at me blankly when I asked her for "capsicum". Since then, I've always said "green peppers".

    Also I get the "Oh you speak English very well! Are you sure you've only been here for 1 year?" After which I have to explain that I've been speaking English all my life...

    I've since learnt that you can't expect everyone to know where Singapore is, just like how you can't expect everyone to know where British Columbia is (no it's not in the UK).

  14. #74
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by lennyl View Post
    About 15 years... and I know better than to order mee siam mai hum

    (had to google for that one to figure out what that was about though - so lost touch with some Singapore pop culture..)
    nice
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  15. #75
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Why nobody seems to think that this could work both ways? If we behave badly, we would be giving China a bad name... If we curse a lot in Hokkien, we give Taiwanese a bad name... If we curse a lot in cantonese, we give HK a bad name... . Maybe just as i am typing, someone else in Chinese/Taiwanese/Hong Kong forums are cursing at Singaporeans for tarnishing their reputation...

  16. #76
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by idor View Post
    Why nobody seems to think that this could work both ways? If we behave badly, we would be giving China a bad name... If we curse a lot in Hokkien, we give Taiwanese a bad name... If we curse a lot in cantonese, we give HK a bad name... . Maybe just as i am typing, someone else in Chinese/Taiwanese/Hong Kong forums are cursing at Singaporeans for tarnishing their reputation...
    idor.......
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  17. #77
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by haagen_dazs View Post
    idor.......
    What... Don't tell me you really did all those things in the east coast?

  18. #78
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by idor View Post
    What... Don't tell me you really did all those things in the east coast?
    you stay put in the west
    dont disturb me in the east
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  19. #79
    Senior Member redstone's Avatar
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by idor View Post
    Why nobody seems to think that this could work both ways? If we behave badly, we would be giving China a bad name... If we curse a lot in Hokkien, we give Taiwanese a bad name... If we curse a lot in cantonese, we give HK a bad name... . Maybe just as i am typing, someone else in Chinese/Taiwanese/Hong Kong forums are cursing at Singaporeans for tarnishing their reputation...
    Curse in Singlish?

    "Wahlao *insert vulgarity* why u so liddat?"

  20. #80
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    Default Re: It's tough being a Singaporean overseas sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by idor View Post
    Why nobody seems to think that this could work both ways? If we behave badly, we would be giving China a bad name... If we curse a lot in Hokkien, we give Taiwanese a bad name... If we curse a lot in cantonese, we give HK a bad name... . Maybe just as i am typing, someone else in Chinese/Taiwanese/Hong Kong forums are cursing at Singaporeans for tarnishing their reputation...
    Heh, good point - there are way more mainland Chinese and Taiwanese than Singaporeans. Though I think the ones who probably curse Singapore Chinese for giving them a bad name are the Malaysian Chinese

    idor, which part of Northern California are you in? I'm over in the East Bay.

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