20 July 2012


Did you know that Sydney is part of Asia? I was under the impression that Australia was its own continent but, obviously, I was wrong. Sydney is actually in Asia. I know this because everywhere Nicola and I went, we were surrounded by everything Asian – crowds of Asian people greeted us around every corner, smells of Asian foods and signs boasting noodle dishes filled the streets and shopping malls and, of course, Chinatown was just down the block from our hotel.

At first we thought it was funny, and slightly interesting. But, as the week went on, it was almost frustrating. Nothing against anything Asian – I mean we live in Asia, eat the food, have Asian friends and love our Singapore home. But, when we planned a trip to Australia, we expected to get out of Asia and experience yet another culture.

One of the funniest parts of the trip, in my opinion, happened while Nicola and I were ambling around Darling Harbour. We spent the morning at an animal park (tune into the next post for some outstanding photos) and wandered around the harbor until our bellies were ready for sustenance.

We had walked all the way around the harbor and, when we reached the end, we turned back to face civilization and go in search of food.

Walking along an area bordered to the left by water and the right by a little park, we found ourselves in the middle of a dock path. There were several meters to our left and just as many to our right as we walked down the center of the path. Then, we saw her.

She was the epitome of a true Singaporean right there in front of us, walking in our direction: a beautiful 20-something-year-old woman, petite, with long, straight, jet-black hair. Her complexion was flawless with slightly more tan than often seen in our neighborhood.

She was dressed professionally, wearing a skirt, nice top and trendy jacket. She wore stylish heels. On one arm she adorned a Louis Vuitton handbag; in the other, she carried a Louis Vuitton shopping bag. Two Apple-white cords draped from her ears and connected to the iPhone in her hands on which she was completely focused.

In a matter of seconds, she approached and, without looking up, walked immediately in between Nicola and me, separating us and breaking our conversation.

“OH MY GOSH!!” I said, and I began to laugh. “Could that have been more Singapore?!”

Beautiful girl dressed to the nines, iPhone receiving all attention, plenty of room on either side of us, yet she chose to not look up and, instead, plastered right into us.

Sometimes I get annoyed when people do not acknowledge on-coming traffic (a.k.a. me and, usually, my grocery bags), do not move out of the way or do not bother to say they are sorry for running into me, but this time I just found it amusing. To me, this one person represented absolutely everything about a large group of Singaporean people – beautiful, fashionable, label-obsessed, luxurious and focused on nothing other than one’s self. Now, this is not to say that Singaporean people are self-obsessed or pompous – they just, as a culture, do not put any real focus on anything outside of their immediate goal. 

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