“Hi, where are you from?”

“I’m from Singapore.”

“Which part of China is that?”

I’m here in Austin’s SXSW and you can’t believe the number of times this has happened. You feel like it’s your duty as a Singaporean to correct and educate everyone.

But what’s the point? The required geographical knowledge and attention to understand that Singapore is at the tip of the Malaysian peninsula is like…is like the first time our girlfriends pointed out where the clitoris is and our eyes glazed over. No one’s interested.

So why should we carry this responsibility on our shoulder and give ourselves hernia and Elephantiasis of our testes? I say we should just play along and have some fun. Here’s a simple guide on how to do it.

“Hi, where are you from?”

“I’m from Singapore.”

“Which part of China is that?”

“It’s the Capital.”

“Really, I thought it was Beijing or Shanghai.”

“Oh, those are the new capitals. We were the original one.”

“Wow, I didn’t know that.”

“Man is finite but knowledge is infinite.” (Say it Confucius-like.)

“Say, you speak pretty good English.”

“Of course we do. English is taught from a very young age.

And so is sex education.”

“Really? How young?”

“Oh, from 6 onwards.”

“What?! You mean you learnt about the birds and the bees at

“Oh no. Birds and bees is what you learnt in kindergarten.

At 6, we learnt where the labia minora and majora is, where specifically is the
clitoris and the vagaries of the G-spot.”

“No, I don’t believe you.”

“I can assure you, it’s pretty serious. We have tests and all.”

“You mean like Math?”

“Yes, like Math, both theory and practical. I’m Chinese right, so my textbook was called ‘The Tao Art of Loving’. The first few chapters teach you about the special properties of the Jade Stem and the Jade Gate, how to make the sky rain as you enter and rise to the moon and the clouds.”

“So there are multiple questions like…how do you open the Jade Gate? a) The vibrating key b) The forked key c) The dragon’s tongue d) The JackRabbbit Mk 5. e) All of the above. It’s a famous trick question.”

“So which one is it?”

“None, you ring the doorbell first.

And then there are practical tests on how to enter the Jade Gate. There are many ways and you learn to assess the tactical situation before deciding on the appropriate technique and force. Of course, if the Jade Gate squeaks then you fail immediately. That means you didn’t do enough prep work.

Actually, there was only one in our school who could enter without any prep and the Gate would never squeak. He could enter as many times as he wanted and would reach beyond the moon and the clouds.”

“What’s beyond the moon and the clouds?” “Uranus.” Obviously.

And if I got a Bit Coin each time I hear the name Michael Fay, I would be awash in money that doesn’t exist.
“Didn’t you cane that guy Michael Fay for graffiti?”

“Well, you know we have the most expensive cars in the world. A Toyota Corolla is about US$120,000.” Wait for reflex gag and breathing to return to normal before continuing.

“So if someone sprayed your $120k Corolla, what would you do?” “I’d grab my .45 magnum and shoot him.”
“Exactly. That’s why Clinton had to get him out quickly.”

“Otherwise, we’d cane him first and then hang him. Then cane him again to make sure he feels the pain in whatever afterworld you believe in.”

“That’s a bit severe isn’t it?”

“It is, that’s why these days they dip the cane in antiseptic so you won’t catch an infection.”

Naturally, our infamous chewing gum ban will inevitably be brought up. Look, it’s a bit dry so quickly shift it to a more interesting topic. Like explosions and shit.
“Isn’t chewing gum banned?”

“Yes but we ban a lot of necessary things too. Like firecrackers. ”

“Back in the 60s, we had this notorious place called Bugis Street. It was filled with transvestites and they’ll have a nightly beauty contest and race. This race involves them having a roll of newspaper lit and clenched between their buttocks. At least I think it’s clenched. You have to get to the finishing line before you can remove said lit paper. One night, one of them high on drugs and drink ran past the finish line and into a firecracker factory.”

Now at this point, the person should be thinking you’re smart, witty, confident and possibly an entertaining lay. And you’re doing other fellow Singaporeans a world of good. You’re promoting us better than Singapore Tourism Board ever could.

Your next move is to demonstrate the compulsory palm reading or acupressure massage that all Singaporeans learned from young. And if the person still walks away with the idea that we’re a straitlaced antiseptic Disneyland with a mall, so what? Who cares? Everyone is entitled to their perception and reality.

The truth is all that matters is the Singapore that lives within you is the one you want to live in. And that you make it so.

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