Now, I usually tell people I am not 犯贱 as in, I am not the kind to treasure things and people only when I lose them, but sadly, when it comes to Singapore, I admit I only started treasuring many things up to the days of my departure.
The default response I get from people who hear that I am leaving for JP is a big ‘congratulations!’ followed by eyes of envy. Even though I tell them I am working in JP, they still envy that.
Why? Don’t most people know that JP is one of the most terrible places to work in? Lol. I will accept their congratulations if I struck lottery and am retiring in JP, hahaa.
So, what do I love about Singapore?
Number 1: FOOD (OF COURSE)
I don’t think there’s anything worth explaining here but perhaps I should specifically state, hawker centres. Cheap, good food with such variety. And we do not even stop rich people from eating at hawker centres (wth but I always felt that it should be a privilege lol). I will miss choosing between the different cuisine for my meals because I am pretty sure in JP, my choice will mostly be cook-myself or Sukiya =/
Number 2: CPF
I used to hate CPF but as I experience how people could afford houses and how Medisave and Medishield took care of the bulk of JH’s dad’s cancer treatment costs, I have to say, we have a really smart system such that even though we are not a welfare state, we are actually very well-covered for in a way thanks to a govt that fears citizens burdening the economy. And as someone who worked in the social services industry, though there are some annoying loopholes, the govt actually does provide quite a bit of aid for the really poor and needy (yes, the loopholes I was mentioning are for the quite poor and needy because they really suffer without much assistance).
Number 3: Service Style
I love how in SG, service crews in retail outlets, F&B outlets etc are generally friendly and kind. Even if they are not professional, most of them are pretty fun to joke or chat with (of course, I’ve met occasional assholes who are just pure rude or bo-chup with helping customers). I don’t see that happening in JP for sure because they are trained to be courteous but if you try joking with them, all you get is an awkward smile and obvious discomfort. But it is still better than Korea, where one can risk being scolded LOL.
Number 4: Structure and Manners
Singapore is a very well structured country with a lot of signs for everything around us. I complained about the lousy display in SMRT trains and then I came to Korea, and learnt what could have been worst. Basically, you need magnifying glass to read the train route pasted above the door in trains in Korea because the words are SO SMALL. And though we keep complaining how Singaporeans lack manners and culture, I have come to realise that Singaporeans are no longer barbaric in that sense. I still see parents and kids trying to get seats, but they no longer push or shove in trains to achieve that anymore. I think Singaporeans have really improved in that sense, that even our parents, the aunties and uncles, do not do that anymore. Koreans are a different story, though, lol. I was shoved twice within one stop in a pretty empty train. =/
Number 5: Singlish
I love Singlish and I think it is Singlish that really bring people together. Once a service crew breaks into Singlish, you feel that there is a connection. And I’ve made a lot of awkward meetings more relaxed and forged better relationship with industry partners through Singlish as well. I know it sounds ridiculous but it is true. It really is.
I realise there’s nothing much I can write about this but this is a huge improvement already, from last time when I’ll just tell you there’s NOTHING I like about SG. Of course, the one thing that makes me stuck to SG will always be the same: that sense of familiarity. I don’t equate that to Singapore though, because I would have developed that feeling in whichever place I grew up in.
So something extra.
There were times where I notice that JH has been spoilt by Japan. When some thing happens, he snaps into this you-won’t-see-this-happening-in-Japan mode. For example, there was once when we were eating late around 9+ at Long John Silvers and the outlet was in a terrible state with leaking ceiling etc and the staff was mopping the floor with bleach while we were dining in. He made that comment, because he was disgusted by the disgusting state of the outlet and the smell of bleach and had found it unacceptable. Most of us Singaporeans would probably just shrug and not gave it a second thought because it is quite normal to see people cleaning the place while we are still dining in. Then just last week when he was leaving Singapore, we went to Changi Recommends counter to get a luggage wrapped. This service crew was particularly rude because when I asked how long it would take for the wrapping to be done, she replied in a very matter-of-factly and snobbish way, “Err, now? Because do you see anyone waiting in front of you? You are the only one what.” She just needed to roll her eyes to complete her response, lol. Surprisingly, me, who has the worse temper, did not get offended at all but JH was. Again, you do not see that happening in Japan, lol.
To give JH credit, he often comments that the kind of friendly service staff we have in SG? You do not see that happening in Japan too. Heh.
And we’ll be flying back to Japan tomorrow night and I still have half a day left today to go visit some place in Korea. I went to some palace ytd, I think gyeongbokgung, so I shall try Garosugil today. Gangnam shopping was…. I shall write about Korea when I am in Japan, lol.
I’ll be back.