Thirteen years passed rather quickly. Looking back, I told myself, I would only be here for 5 years but things didn’t happen as I originally imagined it. It unfolded differently. I suppose it went on for the better. If I have a chance to go back to my younger years, I would still choose to accept the opportunity here in Singapore. There are so many things about Singapore that I am grateful about. There are so many facts about Singapore that I will miss and treasure.
I am thankful that I am and was able to interact with other cultures. If I were back home, I would only know about my own traditions and culture. In Singapore, I wasn’t able to escape exposure. I learned to mingle with people of different beliefs and religions. I learned how to eat their food. I had favorites that I am already craving for them. I wore all sorts of costumes. I attended weddings. I gained friends not only from Singapore but from all over the world.
The first time I came here, I was so scared to converse as I was struggling to understand Singlish. Phone conversations were daunting as hell as I couldn’t even read lips. As I stayed here longer, I managed to cope. I started falling in love with Singlish as it was easier and convenient to use. Where else can you find a place that, like a salad, mixes 4 languages together with sauces of “lahs, mehs etc.”? Whilst a single “Aiyoh” speaks of complete disappointment? Singlish is an art, uniquely from Singapore. It’s dynamic and it’s beautiful.
Speaking of salad, Singapore’s hawker center is among the most prominent and integral aspect of Singapore’s cultural heritage. Hawker center, just like the country itself, is a fusion of cultures. This is where the young and the old, the rich and the poor, Singaporean and foreigners mingle from then up to now.
That’s how diverse yet united Singapore is and I think, it is working very well for the country, for now. Singapore shouts culture, the Culture of Healthily Mixed Cultures! I love it!
Transportation in Singapore is amazing. It will take a long time before the capital of my country could do something like Singapore’s. It is efficient that sometimes, even food delivery services use public transport to deliver food. It may be crowded sometimes, but almost all the time, it’s frequent and it’s on time. I am grateful because I wouldn’t have known that efficiency if possible until I came to Singapore. I got so used to chaos.
Changi International Airport is really the gateway to the world or should I say, MY gateway to the world. A country’s airport really speaks about the country itself. Changi is an impression of a country as a whole. It is organized, it is improving all the time and it is beautifully and strategically constructed. The amount of budget airlines served by Changi Airport is immense, hence, even a cheapo like me started to get hooked to traveling. I wouldn’t have reached so many countries if not for (my pay in) Singapore and if not for the budget airlines in Changi Airport. By the way, if you have one day left and you’ve got nothing to do, try going to the airport earlier and you wouldn’t be bored. Lot’s to do at Changi Airport! Yeah, obviously, NOTHING COMPARES! 😉
The culture of listening to feedbacks and taking them seriously is also one thing I like about Singapore. The openness and dynamism make Singapore rich. You would see constant changes all the time. Sometimes, things still look good but they’re already changing it. Sometimes, a building wasn’t there, and like mushrooms, it’ll suddenly be there. Singapore is such a dynamic place. It’s too fast sometimes and it can make one exhausted. It’s a reality. It has its pros and cons. But still, if I were the costumer, I would be very happy as my comments are taken seriously. If in the future, I would have my own business, I would bring that openness to change in my biz. I think it is a trait everyone should have, to know when to listen, learn and act.
To get more specific, I am also grateful to my bosses, thank you for taking a chance on an FT to work in your department, to the families of my clients, thank you for making me a part of your families, to Singapore ICA and MOM for approving my work pass (though I think I will never be good enough to become a PR, it’s ok, I understand. I know you guys are just trying to protect your borders). If not for all of these, I wouldn’t have lived peacefully and joyfully in a foreign country for 13 years.
THANK YOU for taking me in and helping me have a second home. I hope to see Singapore and everyone again in the near future! THANK YOU!