Sunday, May 20, 2007


I am going to start writing a series on Singapore. Now before you yawn and turn away from this blog, let me say quickly that this series is not like a guide book or travel booklet and will not contain the usual information about the World famous Zoo, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park, Sentosa sights and so on. Anyone who has done the usual “guided tour” comprising three nights and four days or whatever would have seen these places plus the famous little India district with Mustafa Shopping Center forming a part of the age old “Visit Singapore Circuit”.

I will write about experiences of living here and write about places that are not visited by foreign tourists usually. I dare say some locals haven’t been to some of the places that I plan on writing about. Not because these places are any less interesting but Singapore has been packaged mostly as a tourist destination involving the previously mentioned “circuit”. Locals don't have much time (popular excuse, although a generalized statement one may add). In all fairness, let me say that the sights mentioned in the circuit above are really good and does merit a visit by a visitor. But, there are lots more to this tiny Island than the eye can see. Bah Humbug you say? Well let me debunk the myth that there’s nothing to see or do here other than the above in my series.

In this series I will attempt to make observations of life around here, how the natives and non-natives lead their lives and some parts of it may also appeal to Singaporeans, PR holders (Permanent Residents), EP holders (Employment Pass) and WP holders (Work Permit). Singaporeans love short forms and acronyms. They’d love to shorten everything like in a sms. It won’t be my intention to make fun of the locals (many of them are good friends of mine and fine people they are) but some aspects of the way they do things may evoke some laughter from time to time.

SInglish (Singaporean English) is a language that they speak and first timers find it very tough to get what they are saying to you or among themselves. You’d think ”wait a minute, it sounds like English, but why do I not understand a word they are saying? And what’s this flipping word ‘Lah’ they use at the end of every sentence?” Sometimes the sentence ends with ‘Leh’ and ‘Lor’ as well. Just a matter of knowing your P’s and Q’s in Singlish!

Anyway, don’t worry lah; this series will attempt to add humor wherever I see it. Sometimes something that I may find humorous may not appeal to the reader as being funny. When that happens, just slap your computer and I’ll get the message. Some of the language that I will use may not make sense to non-Singaporeans but just bear with me; I am teaching you a new language! And, I won’t stop blogging about aviation as and when a story breaks out or something silly happens in the industry and that happens more often than you think, I'll be there to write about it.

To make this interactive, I am willing to go on assignments in this country and look up places or things to do, if the reader so suggests that I should look something up for him or her, as long as the endeavor does not take too much time, effort and is essentially inexpensive (read cheap!) OK lah, time to sign off and start my series from No 2, can?


pingcat said...

Looking forward to this series as my nephew and his wife are either WP or EP's. Already learned something as I was unaware there was a difference although they were very clear with me that they could never buy property there. Your information will help we "wow" them when they get to North America for a visit - at least they will know I give a FRA as to where they live etc. You write so well so I know I will enjoy this.

Cynical Consultant said...

Cant wait Lah !!

Anonymous said...

Such a long article yet nothing juicy yet......

When will you start huh ?

I am waiting for the juicy parts leh.....

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

That part about Singlish sounding like aelian langauge to outsiders is completely true! I can understand American language better than Chinese...I remember when my cousin talked to her friend and she was talking so strangely that I honestly believed that it was a different language and it took me sometime to understand that it was english! Then, she switched over to 'normal' english and explained that the people here find it hard to understand if we don;t use their accent. Anyway, I am really looking forward to the series about Singapore. I loved Singapore, sir, but I haven't really seen anything other that Mustafa, little India, Jurong Bird Park and the zoo. I would love to learn more about your country.

Capt. Anup Murthy said...

Pingcat, thanks, BTW, foreigners are eligible to buy apartments/condos/houses in Singapore.In fact, they can get a PR if they invest in a home!

Cynical Consultant, thanks, I'd have to make you wait just a bit longer. Ok Lah?

Anonymous, there will be articles on my experience, not all of them juicy, so please put up with me, wha!

Lakshmi, like I mentioned, there'sa lot more to Singapore than the places that you (and I) have mentioned. Thats going to be the interesting part. My Singy readers are going to groan, especially those who have been around with me and already know the sights! Singlish is a slight variation and accented as you mention. My Singy friend who taught computing in Bangalore told me how he had a tough time making his students get used to his accent and usage of certain expressions that are so Singaporean. It's all fun and they are a bunch of nice people and easy to get along with. At least thats what I think so.

n.murali said...

Hello Capt Murthy. I am a singaporean who is buildig a resort in the andaman islands and wish to arrange charter flights to port blair soon. they are generally very expensive. Perhaps you could show me a"tiger"or Airasia" type route to make it viable for people here to visit India's most beautiful islands?

anugama resort