Wednesday, February 18, 2015

5 Things I Learnt About Singapore.

Hello guys! I know right? I'm actually keeping to my promise and publishing a post way before my usual one week gap. So I'm fee...

Hello guys!
I know right? I'm actually keeping to my promise and publishing a post way before my usual one week gap. So I'm feeling pretty good about myself. I think I'm all set for the rest of my life. Because now my inner voice tells me that I'm hardworking and dedicated.

Sadly, my laziness still overrides everything else. Which explains why I have yet to reply all your emails. I'm too lazy to think of good responses to some of your questions (which can be very difficult ok). Like this one here.

Sorry Josef. I will reply you um, when my brain works again. I promise to reply you with at least 100 words. Also thank you for reading my blog. I truly appreciate that and also the fact that you trust me to give you travel advice. No one ever turns to me for advice. Well, they did. And now they are no longer friends with me anymore.
(Via Buzzfeed).

Anyway, while I was on my most recent holiday to Amsterdam + Berlin, I learnt a couple of things. Not about Europe, but about Singapore, the wonderful sunny island that I call home. And now let me share them with you because I'm generous with information that way. Presenting...

#1. The Singapore Sling is famous.

(Via Flickr).

Okay. So we've all heard about this wonderful Singapore Sling. Singapore's signature cocktail containing a wonderful blend of gin, Heering cherry liqueur, Cointreau, DOM Bénédictine, angostura bitters, and a bunch of ingredients which I feel are less important as they do not contain alcohol.

I had my first Singapore Sling in 2012, on an Singapore Airlines flight to London. I assumed that they only served it because you know, SQ is Singapore's flagship carrier.
And then my second one last year on a Scoot plane to Sydney. I assumed that they only served it because you know, Scoot is also a local airline.
Then I also had it in Long Bar, but I assumed that they had it because you know, that's where the drink was created.
SO ANYWAY. I was in Amsterdam with my friend Iceland when Iceland suggested that we go to get a Singapore Sling. And I was so surprised because I had always assumed that the only people who knew about the Singapore Sling were, well, Singaporeans.

But it turns out that that isn't the case. Here are our Singapore Slings which Iceland ordered from our Dutch bartender.
And so yes. You see, the good people at the Singapore Tourism Board and Raffles Hotel really aren't lying when they tell you that the Singapore Sling is world famous. Iceland even showed me some videos of this band in Iceland called "Singapore Sling
" ok.
(Via Photobucket).

Listen to their album "The Curse of Singapore Sling" here! (Yeah, the title is wonderful).

Also yes, just in case you were wondering, I really refer to my friend as Iceland. Icelandic names can be very long and hard to pronounce you see. Like "Eyjafjallajökull", "Snæfellsjökull" and "Quesadilla".

#2. Tiger Beer is not so famous.

I always assumed that Tiger was one of the more popular brands overseas. I don't know why. Maybe i hang out too often with old uncles in the coffee shop.

So when I brought Tiger to Europe for Iceland to try he went,
"Oh, I've tried this! But I thought it was from India."
Asia Pacific Breweries aka "Home of Tiger Beer", please note that your headquarters are now in India. Anyway, I ON THE OTHER HAND, got a better deal.
Do you know what this is? IT'S WHALE TESTICLE BEER. Hoho. I was very upset when news broke and everyone started asking me if I tried this whale testicle beer when I was in Iceland ok. Which I did not as I was in Iceland last year and the beer launched on 23 January this year. However, Iceland brought 6 bottles with him to Amsterdam ok! Wow. Good Iceland.

#3. Changi Airport was modelled after Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

So as you all might know, this is what the Changi Airport control tower looks like.

And I was suprised to see that the control tower in the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol looked rather similar.
Then I was like, "Eh, looks similar right?" So I posted something along the lines of Schiphol being a mini-Changi Airport. Because well, it looked smaller. And less shiny. 

Then one of my very clever ex-colleagues whose identity I must conceal because of the highly sensitive information that he's dealing with highlighted that Changi Airport was modelled after Schiphol.
Not that I went to do any research on this but you know, he is a very clever person so I just took his word for it.

Also thanks to the very proactive Schiphol Airport Twitter, I learnt that Schiphol is 10m taller than Changi.
I blame my skewed perception on the lack of sunlight in the Western Hemisphere at the moment. But if blaming the weather isn't your thing, then I can guess you can put the blame on the architects of the project. Trust us Asians to decorate something until it looks waaaaay bigger than it really is.
(Via Vingle).

And this is why they say to always make sure you know how someone looks like without makeup before marrying them.

#4. Singapore's DFS rocks.

So, based on my extensive whiskey research, the DFS at the Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport has the most extensive whiskey collection. Check out their Laphroaig collection. Most places only carry just the Quarter Cask. This place has 4 different kind of Laphroaig, including their 25-year old whiskey going for a cool 405€.
And most places, including Berlin, Prague, and Oslo, don't carry Lagavulin. Paris carries not only the standard 16-year old Lagavulin, but also this very good special edition one!
But let me tell you why Changi's DFS is the best. Everything is cheaper. By a lot. Please refer to my Lagavulin price comparison charts for a sense of how much cheaper whiskey is over here.
Prices in SGD. Never thought I'd say this but hey! Alcohol in Singapore can be cheaper than everywhere else in the world!

#5. Singapore is very language-friendly.

So, Iceland and I went to watch a movie in Amsterdam. This movie.
(Via Latest).

Looks quite cool right? I mean firstly there is Thor Chris Hemsworth and we all know that he is good and wonderful. And also there is Wang Lee Hom. I do not know much about him, but I figured that since so many people like him, he must be rather handsome. Which he is.
(Via Color).

And it's about computers and hacking and all sorts of futuristic shit. But.please. Don't watch it. It's so many levels of bad. I'm not angsty enough to delve into the details, but seriously, just don't.
(Via Buzzfeed).

Anyway, back to my point. When English-language movies are screened in Singapore, you hear the original English track, and you get Chinese subtitles at the bottom. Which is conveninent if you are an older generation Chinese who can't understand English, or a Chinese tourist/ immigrant who has yet to pick up the language. (I hope you appreciate my politically correct speech. I put a lot of thought into my selection of words).
(Via someecards).


And when a character says something in a language other than English, English and Chinese subtitles appear on screen. I never thought very much about this. Until I watched Blackhat in Amsterdam. It had Dutch subtitles. Which I did not think much of until halfway through, Iceland asked me for a translation. And I was like "Huh? Oh wait. Chinese. No wonder I thought that my brain was taking a while to process what they were saying."  Later on, the characters also spoke in Cantonese and Malay.

Firstly, wah lao. I was very proud of myself ok. I think I was the only person in the theatre who could get through the movie without subtitles. *brushes imaginary dust off shoulder*.
(Via Buzzfeed).

Secondly, I don't think we give enough credit to all the information (signs, brochures, PSAs, etc) that have we have translated into four languages. Like this PSA on the Comcare Fund which is Also available in ChineseMalay, and Tamil.



Or this informational brochure on the Workfare Transport Concession Scheme.
(Via TransitLink).

Or like you know, MRT signs. Anyway, kudos to the linguists who have been working hard to translate important information into multiple languages in Singapore. Without you, how would the older generation apply for their senior citizen concession cards and learn about their Pioneer Generation benefits?

Also this is too serious for me to continue blogging about. So please take a break from the serious stuff and think about Chinese New Year.
And now I will leave you with a song by Singapore Sling.



Okay that's all. Goodbye!
❤ Jac.

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