Fun in Singapore
By Fun Researcher # 74 Francis Heng
My recent visit to Singapore has not just been an inspiring one but especially a fun one! Located in the southern tip of Malaysia, this small little country and city is hometown to me. If you have heard about this place, you probably would have heard things like, "Singapore is a clean country! Singapore is a FINE country!"
Talk to more Singaporeans and they will tell you more stories about their busy life. Most of them will tell you how stressful Singapore is and how irritating the weather is. But are Singaporeans all the stressful? Is life really THAT stressful in Singapore? Hey, we Singaporeans do have our ways of having fun.
Let's see...how about some fun breakfast? If you visit local hawker stalls, you will find a lot of fun there. One particular stall that you have to visit is the Indian Roti Prata store. Roti Prata also known as Indian Fried Pancakes, are one of the best delicacies of Singapore. The Roti Prata Man uses a dough, spread it evenly on the oily surface, presses it into a little flat circle, and starts "flipping" the dough to make it even larger! (This is no small feat. To make a nice Roti Prata, you really must have some "flipping" skills.) If you can try to do this at home, it will be a really oily fun! Not recommended for grease haters and health freaks.
Well, let's carry on. I recently embarked on a journey to discover what kind of fun Singaporeans really have. What do they do to have fun during their free time? Let's explore this "stressful" city.
Most Singaporeans generally starts working at about 8am in the morning and gets off work at nearly 6pm in the evening. So where do all the fun goers seek their fun? Well, Singapore's nightlife is something that I am really proud of. If you are a food lover, there's ton's of fun that you can enjoy. From hot steaming satays (Meat on Bamboo skewers dipped in delicious peanut sauce) to delightful drinks like Teh Tarik. (Check it out yourself on the web) Singaporeans love to eat and that is just one of the fun activities they do everyday, wondering where to eat. Then, you have the fun seekers who love to sing karaoke! Don't expect top quality American idol singers. Most Singaporeans go to karaokes to de-stress and have fun with friends, singing is not a priority.
As I asked more people about what kind of fun do they have during their spare time, AI do get quite a few funny answers. Let's see.
- Playing Mahjong (A Chinese Tile game)
- Ogling at pretty girls down Orchard Road (Orchard Road is the equivalent of downtown)
- Shopping (A delight to most girls I asked)
- Singing Karaoke
- Visiting neighboring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia
- Surfing the Internet
- Watching Movies
- Watching Birds Sing (This is a hobby in Singapore where bird owners gather at one place early in the morning to "showcase" their bird's singing abilities. The better a bird sings, the higher the value of the bird.)
- Night Safari (This is Asia's very first night Zoo)
You will probably find that these activities are very similar to what is available in North America. However, this is not the end yet. There is something more that Singapore has that a lot of countries do not. This special thing is culture.
Singapore has a very rich culture mix and the government of Singapore has spent a great deal of time trying to recognize every major culture in Singapore. Where there is culture, there is fun. During Chinese New Year, Singaporeans will gather together at each other's house during New Year's Eve and count down together. Then, they will head down to the Chinese New Year fair at midnight to shop and have fun! People at the fair are not just Chinese but also a good mix of all the other races as well. They are other festivals like the Chingay Parade, Deepavali, Hari Raya Puasa, Mooncake Festival and more! Most importantly, these cultures allow people to have fun together.
I like to emphasize on a point here though. Many people have different ways of having fun. Different ethnic groups, different races, different people from different countries have their own way of having fun. However, I find that one of the most rewarding kinds of fun is to be able to interact with others, knowing what kind of fun they have and sharing their kind of fun.
Having been in Canada for more than three years now, I discovered fun in a very fascinating way. Occasionally, I like to buy flowers in the early morning and try to walk past the older ladies on the streets. Why? Because they will stop by and say, "Oh, you have such lovely flowers!" Isn't that fun to be given such attention? For a moment, I felt like I am some kind of hot shot to old ladies but who cares!
If you really want to have fun, you just have to be yourself. Sometimes, when you do some things that people think its stupid, its ok. At the end of the day, feeling good and happy is your priority. Like me, everyday, I spend a couple of minutes making stupid faces to my wife or even imitate SpongeBob to make her laugh. It's a way of making yourself happy.
Whether I am in Singapore or Canada, I will always remember that fun comes from myself and your fun will come from you.