04 October 2012


As an expat, I realized early on that I would have to adapt to another culture. In Singapore, I am constantly reminded that the way I do things is not necessarily the norm and, no matter how many times I may be frustrated, this culture is not my norm but I have to accept it. At least, that’s what I tell myself.

The people who cut me off and push people out of their way to get onto a bus or an escalator or a train are annoying, yes. And, sometimes, like this morning, I want to tap the auntie on her head, pull her back from her primo spot by the collar of her shirt and guide her to the back of the line while I wave my finger at her, tell her how it was incredibly rude of her to shove her way through me and passed an elderly gentlemen and make her wait until everyone else boarded the already crowded bus with no seats for her. Not cool. But, I get over it. It’s a small battle in a massive world. Breathe.

Then there are days like the past few when I just have to chuckle and go with it.

Two days ago I was enjoying a very productive morning. I awoke early, had a short chat with Paul’s mom (I popped in on the ongoing conversation and then left somewhere in the middle), stopped a Starbucks, met a friend at a local wet market and then stopped at my neighborhood shopping center to get the grocery items I can only retrieve from the grocery store.

On my way out of the mall, I began humming along to the song playing throughout the speaker system. “Fa la la la la, la la la la….” I was singing in my head. Then I stopped, gave my own curiously frustrated look and thought: “Oh my goodness, that’s a Kenny G Christmas!” The date was October 1. I guess when I live in a country that does not truly celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving that Christmas really is the next major holiday. But what about all the Hari Raya holidays and Deepavali? They are in October, I know they are!

The funny part is that we had just attended a neighborhood Mid-Autumn Festival two days prior. For those who follow the Northern Hemisphere’s seasons, the Mid-Autumn Festival occurred exactly one week after autumn was half-globally declared. One week after this half of the world’s autumnal season, apparently it is time for Christmas. Does anyone else understand the logic here?

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