Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fun in Singapore

It seems as if most of my blogs lately have just been about my travels, and that might give off the false impression that the only time I have any fun is outside the country.  So I thought I would share some interesting things that I have done INSIDE Singapore recently.

First, in mid-February, Singapore held a spectacular airshow which had many air craft, from fighter jets, to helicopters, to drones all on display for visitors to look at, pose beside for pictures, and even climb into if one was willing to wait in an extremely long que.  The show, however, was what everybody was there for.  It started with a heart pumping ariel acrobatic show with Singapore's Black Knights.  These are 6 F-16 pilots who perform death-defying stunts at incredible speeds.  My favorite trick was when two pilots would fly straight at each other and at the last second each turned the aircraft opposing ways where they would go belly-to-belly just meters apart from each other.  Other tricks included "the mirror" where one pilot flew normally while the other one flew upside down directly above him and they could stare at each other, "the helix" where one flew straight while another did loop-de-loops around him, and making a heart out of their exhaust smoke (or whatever it is that leaves the white lines in the sky).  Other displays were done by the Indonesian Air Force and a U.S. craft that can change from a helicopter to a propeller plane mid flight! It was a very cool show.

Then in early April my friend Ga-Hye and I "ran" a race here in Singapore called the Electric Run.  This was more of a party than a run, and the whole gimmick was to wear as much glowing stuff as possible and along the race, which as at night, there were different stations set up, all of which glowed of course.  Both before and after the race there were DJs to keep the party going and it was a lot of fun!

In late April, a local friend invited me to go to a Singapore Comedy show in our durian looking performing arts theatre, the Esplanade.  This seemed interesting to me because Singaporeans are not really known to be that funny, so I really wanted to check it out.  There were about 10 or so comedians and some were hilarious while others I could hardly understand anything coming out of their mouths (some due to the fact that they spoke mostly in Madarin, Hokkien, or Cantonese and others because their Singlish accent was so horrible).  I am glad that I waited until I had lived in the country for almost 3 years before going to the show because most of the jokes were cultural references that you have to have lived in Singapore for a while understand.  Many of the jokes were about racial sterotypes that exist in Singapore, some that I already knew and others that I didn't.  Also, one of the long time curiosities I have had got answered for me at the show.  Having lived in an heavy Mandarin speaking society, I have become aware at the incredible ignorance that most Americans have of the Chinese language and how it ACTUALLY sounds (for the record it does not sound like "ching chang chong").  And we are able to impersonate other languages that we are completely ignorant about, albeit completely inaccurately, just as shamefully.  This has always made me curious as to how would someone who knew absolutley NO English impersonate how English sounds to them.  The difficulty in this is obviously for anyone to enlighten me that they would have to speak English, thus disqualifying themselves from being a credible source.  However, at the comedy show, one of the comedians enlightened me on what he had been taught by his mother, who knew absolutely no English, on how Americans sound and it is equally as inaccurate as the misconception Americans have of Mandarin and equally as funny!  The closest I can get to the sound he made was something along the lines of "shnaw shnaw shnaw" haha.

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