My South African friend leaves tonight on a plane.
I remember when I wrote a post in 2009, "To Spg or not to Spg" with my musings, an anonymous reader left a comment on my tag board calling me an SPG. That supposedly derogatory term never did sting me even though I am aware of the image I portrayed, but that day it stung. To see it in print on my blog.
My brothers came to my defense on my tag board, which fueled the anonymous reader, and the comments ping pong-ed. To be honest, I don't think the comment was malicious; the reader was merely stating what he/she thought even though factually incorrect. Perhaps it's my fluent language, perhaps the party girl image I portrayed, or maybe it's the happy pictures I have with Ang Mohs!
Discounting the fact that for each happy picture with an Ang Moh, i have 100 other happy pictures with Asians.
My South African friend who is boarding the plane right this moment told me 2 nights ago,
"Christine, of my 2 years here, you were 80% responsible of my happy moments here."
Now before you associate happy moments as happy endings of a dodgy massage, our happy endings were those of savoring the best tiramisu @Shots before going separate ways.
My South African friend who is boarding the plane right this moment wrote to me yesterday,
"I always felt like you were one of the only people in Singapore who cared if I was okay."
It then dawned upon me. Damn right you are,
I AM an SPG. A Singapore Promotion Girl.
When I failed thrice at being a Singapore Airline Girl, i didn't give up my aspirations of traveling. With time management and financial planning, I could travel almost every 2 months on my own accord. My father thought it was a better idea than cleaning toilets for free travel anyway.
I am so proud to be a Singaporean, so proud of my Asian roots. I so badly wanted to represent Singapore, be an ambassador that I joined beauty pageant of sorts but i didn't win. And when my job application to the Singapore Tourism Board got rejected, I found myself projecting my aspirations on…the expatriates.
Singapore, a melting pot of culture, has seen an influx of expats on our sunny shores. Just arriving in a foreign land, 99% of them spend their weekends wasted in Attica.
It is almost inevitable for the expat to get wasted on the weekend because that seems to be the only place to meet people, the only thing to do than face the four walls at home. After all, they know no one else. I remember feeling pity for this 40+ Ang Moh buying a single movie ticket for Avatar at Cineleisure. I was this close to ask if i could join him since i was watching it any way. My friend pulled me back.
Maybe it's because I've lived in a foreign land before and I had regrets not immersing in the Australian culture truly. Or maybe it's my way of seeing Singapore through an expatriate's eyes so I'll never get bored of the little red dot. I can't deny the sly motives in my evil mind.
I believe in the Heavens in making paths cross. I befriended these expatriates either through work, friends or social events. When i do meet them and we get along (none of the sleazy douche bags) the Mother Theresa in me surfaces. I feel I have to save them from clutches of
Sluttica Attica and show them a Singaporean good time.
First i introduce them to friends, showing them real friends are made not out of loud music but audible conversations.
To satisfy the need to party, i take them to party...in HDBs, to see how the Singaporeans live.
Next we go on a food trail of char kway tiao, xiao long bao, durians, frog porridge and the works. They all love roti prata but appalled at my favourite BLACK carrot cake. They asked where's the carrot cake and insisted I must have got the order wrong.
I showed them my school (Ben gate crashed my lecture in Ngee Ann Poly)
I even invited them to Chinese New Year family reunions. Teaching them the values of unity, showing them the Asian hospitality and perhaps cover them with a little warmth away from home.
I also showed them the local girls by making them play poker with a deck of FHM Singapore playing cards.
I am such an SPG that when the friend of my Australia girlfriend was coming to intern in Singapore, she asked if i could care for him because he cared for her when she was abroad.
It's like Paying it Forward! A good deed for a good deed.
I obliging did but enjoyed myself in the next 6 months where i rediscovered MY little red dot all over again!
He shared with me the wonderful encounters from Attica and his budget student life living in a dodgy hostel with foreign workers in the overhead bunker jerking off. He had a vibrating bed for 6 months. No need for Osim chair!
I took him to his first fashion show at Mandarin Gallery's opening and he was stoked.
Without my expatriate friends, i wouldn't have found like-minded local friends to do outrageous stuff like this
Or discover on Haji Lane that there's a little shop where you can play wii all afternoon ($5/hr)
Without them, i wouldn't have spend afternoons releasing my creative side, learning art from them who visit Louvre and sit for hours admiring Mona Lisa.Neither would i have discovered the nook and crannies of Singapore and find where the best alcoholic coffee (Wild Honey, Mandarin Gallery) lives.
Without them who take life less serious, i wouldn't have people to play dress up with and win best dressed (whom Brent graciously rejected splitting the prize, allowing me to have all $1000 and hotel stay).
Without my expatriate friends, i wouldn't have appreciated Singapore better, i wouldn't have exchanged life stories, i wouldn't have enriched my life's experiences.
Without my expatriate friends, I definitely wouldn't have swallowed sperm.
Or ate the gigantic tuna eyeball or newly born eel.
The odd thing was i initiated all these weird stuff and merely found partners-in-crime. In all honesty, many Singaporean women hesitate befriending expatriates. They feel that they are here for fun, they fear that they're a
hit bang-and-run. Fidelity encompasses all race and culture and my best expatriate friends have been more respectful and gentlemanly to me than any of the local ones can be.
My dear Ang Moh friends,
i admire your ability to live out of water, i thank you for making me grow through our conversations, i thank you for making me realise who i am. I love your candid approach to life, i love your take on living life to the fullest but most importantly i love you for loving me.
Eventually, they all leave. They all leave my little red dot, they all leave me. Eventually, their lust for adventures and ambitions continue. Their innate nomad nature, a new exotic destination beckons.
My little red dot welcomes you back any time, so long as it doesn't get submerged or invaded. And if you don't mind drinking toilet water in time to come.
Just so you know, i'll never say......