In celebration of Singapore’s 50th year of independence tomorrow, I’ve decided to put up a list of things that I like about Singapore.
1. Our multicultural heritage
I was craving for ondeh ondeh the other day and it suddenly occurred to me that hey, it’s so wonderful to be living in Singapore! Since Singapore is a multiracial nation made up of different ethnic groups, we get to savour a multicultural mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and western cuisines. Fancy some nonya kuehs or curry puffs? You can find them easily in shopping malls or hawker stalls. If you prefer western snacks such as doughnuts or cupcakes, these too can be found easily in the same shopping malls. I think many of us take Singapore’s multicultural heritage for granted and we should all pause to appreciate this the next time we tuck into our roti pratas and nasi lemaks.
2. Food! A wide variety of cuisines at that!
I know this is like an extension of the previous point but I just want to highlight that almost every type of cuisine can be found in Singapore. Japanese, Italian, Indian, Korean, Thai, Chinese, German or Middle Eastern, you name it and we’ll probably have it. Dining out in Singapore is never boring and you need not burn a hole in your pocket to enjoy a great meal here.
3. Safe and clean city
Singapore is well known as a relatively safe city with a low crime rate and I’m truly grateful for this. I once alighted at the wrong bus stop after a late night gathering with my friends and had to walk for 20 minutes from the bus stop to my home at 2 am in the morning. The streets were dark and deserted but I never felt unsafe. I love it that I can take public transport and walk on the streets in the wee hours without having to fear for my safety.
By clean, I mean hygienic. Since the food retail industry here is heavily regulated by the government, hawkers are required to practice and maintain high standards of personal and food hygiene. This means the odds of you having the runs after pigging out in Singapore is really low. If you’ve been to other countries *cough*China*cough* and seen the conditions of their food stalls, you’d think twice about eating there.
4. Efficient and convenient
Two words – Changi Airport. I live in the northern part of Singapore and I’m able to reach home by taxi within 40 minutes of the plane touching down the runway. Those 40 minutes include immigration clearance, baggage collection and getting a cab. No exaggeration there.
I also love the convenient amenities available in most of the housing estates in Singapore. 24-hour kopitiams and convenience stores to beat the late night hunger pangs. The neighbourhood medical clinics where you can just drop by for a consultation without the need for advance appointments. Public libraries with a wide range of books and magazines that everyone can borrow. Amazing isn’t it? And the one thing that I like best is the cineplex located just a stone’s throw away from where I live. Bored at home? Just pop over and catch the latest blockbuster. No sweat.
5. Public transport system
You may not agree with me on this point but I’d say the public transport system here is pretty efficient. Yes, the MRT did suffer a major disruption recently and left thousands of commuters pissed and stranded during peak hours. People ranted and bitched about it but come on, machines do breakdown. Perhaps we’re so used to being efficient that we’ve become intolerant towards such lapses. Well, at least we can count on our bus and train services to run on schedule daily without the workers going on strikes, right?
6. Uniquely Singapore
I like the quirks and jokes that only Singaporeans can identify with. Things like Singlish. Packets of tissue paper to chope seats with. Drinking beverages (both cold and hot) from little plastic bags. Things that make us unique.
Singapore is of course, not perfect in many ways. But at the end of the day, I’m thankful and proud to call myself a Singaporean. Happy 50th birthday, Singapore! Here’s to many more 50 successful and prosperous years!
I was scouring the web looking for suitable jobs to apply for and I found this:
“Wanted – A Game Bug Tester”
Isn’t it great to be able to play online games at work and get paid for it at the same time? I’m not a hardcore gamer but I’ve always envied people who work in this line, be it as a game designer or a bug tester. What I’m saying is, working in the online gaming industry is definitely more fun than working in the marine engineering industry for example. Or the waste management industry.
Since I’m on the topic of boring industries, I’d like to share with you the worst job I’ve ever done in my life. As much as I don’t like certain aspects of my job as a HR personnel, none of my past HR roles could compare to this one – a QC checker at a manufacturing plant.
I’d just completed my ‘O’ Levels and it was common back then for school leavers to look for temporary jobs at factories or restaurants while waiting for the new polytechnic semester to start. My task at the factory was to check through bags of electronics parts for defective ones. Some days I got stuff that looked like tiny 5mm computer chips while others I got bars of plastics with metal/steel/whatever alloy pins embedded in them. To this day I still don’t know what the company sells.
I had to check every single damn miniscule item for imperfections without the use of any optical instrument. If that wasn’t bad enough, chatting with colleagues while we were on the job was frowned upon in that plant. That meant not opening your mouth at all except during lunchtime, which was a pitiful 30 minutes. At the end of each day, I had to report the number of bags checked and the supervisor would cast me this disapproving look if I’d been less efficient in my checking. Also, most of the QC checkers were middle-aged aunties and it was miserable having them as co-workers since I was then a 16-year-old teenager. You don’t normally expect 16-year-olds to bond with aunties instantly, do you?
Anyway, I lasted only one month in that factory. I guess I’ll never understand how anyone could work in that environment for years without losing their mind (and eyesight). Suddenly I feel glad that I’m in the HR line.
To those few people who still reads my blog, I’m sorry for yet another long absence. I was offered a 6-month contract job back in May and I’m now into the fourth month of my contract. The chances of me getting converted to a permanent employee is rather high but to be honest I’m not sure if I’m going to accept the permanent role. After three months in my current job, I can affirm that there’s no such thing as a perfect job in this world.
My new boss is a really nice person to work for and I now work in a team with three other colleagues. For those who know me, this is important to me as I didn’t have that kind of support in my previous job. I like the casual environment and fun culture that’s associated with the company. It’s also one of the few companies that I’ve always wanted to join. So what’s holding me back from committing myself to the role you ask?
The job itself.
Long story short, I’m now responsible for staffing and I have to say I’m not comfortable in this role at all. I have no problems dealing with candidates and new hires but the one thing I can’t do is to build rapport with the hiring managers. It’s just not in me to be out mingling and talking with people. I don’t like to be out at the front line ninety percent of the time. I don’t like having to act interested in front of people I don’t really care about. I like to be safely ensconced in my cubicle working in front of the computer without being disturbed. I’m perfectly capable of interacting with people but I don’t like to be out chatting with people all the time. Do I make sense?
The thought of having to partner the hiring managers and building a relationship with them stresses me up. It’s not something that I enjoy doing at all. I’m aware that this whole thing is ironic because I now work in great team but the role is not suitable for me. Life would be perfect if I’m in charge of a different portfolio instead of recruitment.
Moving on to a lighter note – I’ll be traveling to Seoul with the Val, Shir and Koreen in three weeks’ time. It’s going to be my first trip to South Korea and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m tempted to say I’ll do a trip summary when I’m back but well you know me. So yeah, we’ll see how it goes.