I’m basically a nasty person. Don’t get me wrong. I give to charity. I’ll help a lady change her tire in the snow. And more often than not, I’ll relinquish my bus seat to a gimped up geriatric. Still, outside these parameters, I’m largely a prick.
Now this is not a realization one comes to or dares admit lightly. People don’t like bastards. They tend to rub them the wrong way and so forth. Thus, confessing your alignment with an overall dickish outlook can have some negative social repercussions. Luckily when you are in fact a jackass, you really don’t care about winning Mr. Congeniality.
So why the confession? Well, as my return home is just a few months away, I’ve been trying to come up with a summation for Singaporean culture. You know, something to tell the boys back home. Since they have the attention span of a coked-out ferret, I’ll have to keep it brief. And since brevity is often a medium for douchebaggery, I thought I’d give any local readers fair warning less I offend unintentionally. (How’s that for flexing one’s natural style?)
So here goes. Singapore is like Key Club in high school. Actually I can’t be sure of this since I was never much of a joiner and have almost no idea what Key Club is, but I’ve seen them prancing about the halls and so I’ll make my comparison on the most superficial of observations.
Key Club kids are happy, organized, cause-oriented and terribly terribly excited. About what I have no idea. They can often be found wearing matching t-shirts, holding placards and pleading endlessly for your signature on a petition of some sort. Singapore is, in the most stereotypical sense, a country comprised completely of Key Club members.
Yesterday as I attempted to tick off a Santa sized list of errands I was accosted by brigade of Red Cross collectors, a battalion of sign sporting cellular sales reps, and I shit you not, a squad of squawking simpletons draped in elaborate hawk costumes who, for some reason, were desperate to have me squawk along. It didn’t happen.
I weathered the storm respectfully, keeping my comments to a series of inaudible sarcastic mutterings. But then, as I rounded the corner toward my apartment, a group of perky co-eds rushed me professing that love could change the world. Their “free hugs” signs signaled their plans for global healing. Of course I was tempted to partake, “accidentally” coping a feel in the process, but I instead, in the most deadpan delivery I could muster, inquired as to where I could find the girls sporting the "free blowjobs" signs.
Being Singaporean, she missed the joke entirely and offered an apologetic admission that she had not heard of such a group. I sighed, passed on the hug, and marched onward… one has to keep hope alive and all.