GET TO KNOW ME BETTER
THREE WORDS THAT DEFINE YOU AS A LOCAL
“Tornado” – Definition: violent rotating column of air. That’s me. Especially with people, projects and places I get passionate about. Those who know me know that I become pretty unstoppable and infectious at this stage. Clear out.
Food Hunter – I’m not sure there is as yet a term that describes this. But I am one of those who don’t like to waste a single meal when I am travelling. That means my core research before I travel includes all the must-eats in the city. On top of main meals, this also includes cafes, bread and pastry shops, must-try desserts, street food, popular “institutions”. For example, in Sydney in March 2013, this included eating at Harry’s Café de Wheels, Matt Moran’s new restaurant called Chiswick and The Grounds of Alexandria. No meal is wasted. See my review of Must Eats in Singapore.
Nationalistic (or “Asialistic”) – Country proud. And region proud. Very encouraged to witness a slow but definite groundswell of Singapore pride. Pride in our heritage, our identity. Also great to see Myanmar make huge strides in reforms and having a voice in global affairs.
IN THE MORNING, KAYA TOAST OR PRATA? KOPI OR TEH?
Prata simply for its versatility. Some mornings I feel like a "kosong" (literally means empty to denote no filling) and can dunk it in curry. Other days I take it with sugar. There are also savoury options like cheese, onion or egg that goes well with curry but plain or "kosong" is the purest form. Crispy and flaky. Ahhhhh.
If the question was altered and asked “if I was stuck on a island and had to pick teh or kopi and kaya toast or roti prata as the only food you can eat forever and ever, I would say for sanity sake, teh and prata.
BEST PLACE TO RELAX IN SINGAPORE (BEST KEPT SECRET)
Rustic Changi Village, Punggol waterway wakeboarding at sunrise.
FAVOURITE HOLE-IN-THE-WALL CAFE/DINER/HAWKER NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT
Loo’s Curry Rice Tiong Bahru for scissors rice. L’Entrecote steak and fries. And they have one of the best desserts in Singapore. Crepes suzette, waffle with salted butter caramel sauce.
Favorite secret eating place is Bee Kia. Just hop on a taxi and tell the driver “Opposite Thomson Medical Centre near Balestier Road”. Order Beef Hor Fun and Sweet and sour pork. Thank me later.
FAVOURITE SINGLISH EXPRESSION
Si beh – which means very, or extremely. But unlike the English ones, si beh gives it that extra oomph. And rather emphatic. It even adds street cred with the locals partly because it is Hokkien and partly because it’s slightly crudish, crass and bad ass.
COMPLAINING IS A WAY OF LIFE IN SINGAPORE. WHAT CAN BE BETTER?
In all seriousness, there’s nothing more energy sapping than hearing weak complaints. I’m not talking about legitimate ones. Example? Flooding in Orchard Road where people were complaining about damage to branded goods and the loss of reputation of Singapore. How silly is that? There was no loss of lives! It’s a matter of perspective really. On the flipside, that episode also showed a maturing populace that looked at the lighter side of things and comfort at laughing at ourselves (Fake posters of a Singapore Tourism Board promoting visiting Orchard on a sampan).
So what CAN be better? Gratitude and counting our blessings.
FAVOURITE PLACE OUTSIDE OF SINGAPORE WITHIN ASIA
SUPERHERO POWERS I POSSESS
Mind altering powers like Professor X, leader of the X-men. I wish...Sadly, my worthless power is the ability to crack my knuckles at will. Mind altering no. But mood and mind reading, pretty good.
YOU MUST (FILL IN THE BLANKS) BEFORE YOU LEAVE
spend a few hours at Singapore Botanical Gardens doing absolutely nothing. People watch, have a picnic, mix with locals, play frisbee or just lay on the grass. Go there with no agenda and relax.