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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My First Week

The Thais warmly welcomed me, nothing short of what they were known for, a land of smiles. 

I learned that to get a taxi driver to see you as a human being, i have to fake it like a Thai w a nasal tone and drag my speech. "Singapore embassy" should be pronounced as "Sinkapooore aaairbassii".

I learned that i can be James Bond, balancing precariously in a tuk tuk with my newly bought bowls and plates. My driver darts in and out of the Bangkok jam, sometimes going against traffic and turning 360. 

I learned patience. Their sing-song "just a moment please" and their constant glance, smile and nod when its more than a moment calms the impatient Singaporean in me. What impresses me is their resilence in making sure they meet your requests despite not understanding English. The street fashion stalls can be rude though, perhaps harden by the incessant haggling by tourists. 

I learned that tailors can come and measure you up in the office's toilet. 

I learned that you can use your staff pass but not tissue packs to reserve seats in the food court. Tissue packs will be mistakenly discarded or used by another patron. 

I learned that girls on the streets who wear surgeon masks is to mask face work, not germs or pollution (broad assumption). 

I learned to look in the eye of my receptionist, service staff and colleagues who are she-males with respect and dignity. 

I learned to give, in appreciation for help. 

I learned that there's nowhere like Singapore. Last night on my way home, i saw a homeless man masturbating while lying down under the bridge. I hasten my steps, but from the corners of my eyes, i learned that Asian men's size are not what the jokes say. 

I learned to not bat an eyelid, passing the streets lined up with stalls proudly proclaiming they've the latest porn DVD, displaying the wide range of sexual performance pills and dildos that makes me blush. I learned to operate a pepper spray ($6), an electric taser ($12) and retractable baton but pray i'll never need to use it. 

I learned that Singapore is not real and i needed to see the world. 

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