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That’s Bryan and he’s fabulous.

We’re Lab/Running/Is-It-Friday-Yet? buddies.

We’re also thinking about attending a trucker’s convention. Or a rodeo.

Maybe we’ll buy a cow.

What’s the best way to indulge after lots of hard training and running?  Come on that’s easy! Thai food @ Flying Chilies and then green tea ice cream! yummmmmmm.. And yes, I realize that I look like I’m 5, but I really like green tea ice cream, ok??  [side note: does anyone know where you can get pistachio ice cream in S’pore?]

Y’all wanna hear how we talk in the south? Bout dem biscuits and baycon and eggs and cocacowla?

Southerners are amazing.

I make fun of Singlish all the time, but the truth is, we’re just as amusing!

My awesome momma went to the NC state fair this week (hello, cultural experience) and recorded my favorite “voice” from Apex.

This guy is great – I dare you to try and watch this video without smiling:

Next time we’ll record him going on about pies.  (We got chaw-co-let pie, we got churry pie, we got pee-can pie, why we even got pee-cawn pie.  We got awl de pies!)

On a side note, have you ever seen a donut burger?  Brace yourself…

Yeahhhh that’s where I come from…

In the ongoing series, Conversations with Singaporeans, I relay some of my more entertaining Singlish exchanges with the locals.


It’s late at night and I’m in a taxi, returning from a party with three of my French girlfriends (S, B, and A).  We are trying to convince B that the guy she likes is actually a loser.

B: But I don’t understand, I thought he really liked me. He asked for my phone number.  We kissed.

S: But really, he was behaving like this with all of the girls at the party.  He’s just playing around.

A: He’s just interested in flirting and he doesn’t want a serious relationship.  He likes the chase.

B: But what’s wrong with me?

Me: There’s nothing wrong with you.  It’s just a game for him.  Don’t take it too seriously.

B: But we kissed, so that means he really likes me right?

Uncle Chua: [breaking his silence] You are just the spare tire.

[conversation stops]

B: Huh? What did he say? I didn’t understand.

Me: [Desperately trying not to laugh.  Desperately, desperately trying not to laugh]. Oh, ummm, I’m not sure…

Uncle: [impatiently] I said, that you are just the spare tiiiiire.

[it’s too late – I lose all self-control and start laughing uncontrollably]

S: Wait, attends, I can’t understand his accent!  Kiersten, tell us what he said!

Me: Ummm, I think he said that she is a spare tire.

S: [to A] Mais non, je ne comprends pas. I don’t understand.  Qu’est-ce que c’est “spare tire”?

A: Spare tire: it means une roué de secours.

[S gasps. The cab is silent. All jaws are on the floor. We all eye B, nervously anticipating her reaction]

Uncle: [laughing] You know if he have maaaany girls, and he doesn’t call you, you are spare tire. Understand?

B: [leaning forward in interest] I am a spare tire? But so what do I do then?  Should I call him?

Uncle: Cannot, lah!

B: And if he texts me tomorrow, should I text him back?

Uncle: No!  Listen.  You have to understand how the man’s brain is working.

S: Please. Tell us.  How is working the man’s brain?

Me: Oh geeze.  Now you’ve done it…I’ve had enough crazy taxi drivers to know where this is headed…

Uncle: Yes! I tell you!

Me: Oh no. Ohhhh noooo…

Uncle: Fiiirst, you have to be pleasing the man.  Twice.  Two times.  Because after one he still looking for number two.  He find other chio bu for number two.

[the cab erupts with laughter]

Me: I warned you!

S: [to uncle] Ohh really? Is that so?

Uncle: YES!

S: Please, what other wisdom can you impart this evening?

Uncle: Yes, well you have to sometimes be cooking a little bit the dinner.

B: I don’t know if I’ll do this…

[arriving to our destination]

Uncle: Why you think I love so much my wife?

Me: Girls! please!

Somebody find me an oxygen tank!  The haze from the Sumatra fire is getting worse by the hour…

[image via Straits Times]

Alright, I was a lame-o this weekend and I fell asleep on Saturday night while everyone else was out dancing.  My excuse is that I’ve been training for another half-marathon, and I was exhausted.  I know, I know – I said I wouldn’t run a half marathon again, but I changed my mind.  Besides, it’s time to get my derriere in shape again.

But I digress.  The point of this information is not to tell you about my bootie, but rather to tell you about the excellent thing that happens when you are able to wake up for an early morning run on Sunday in Singapore:

Dragon Boat Racing.

Ladies, I’ve discovered something amazing!  If you go for a run at the Kallang River Park on a Sunday morning, you can watch the dragon boat racing teams practice.

Practically speaking, this means men.  Lots of Men.  Shirtless men.  With muscles. Sweating.  Doing push-ups and sit-ups and jogging and rowing in unison.

Is it wrong that I did several laps around the park? And then an extra lap for good measure?

And yes, there are some fierce gals representing for the ladies too!  Now if only I had seen Dhani Jones…


Has anyone ever heard of light painting before?  Me neither…

Mes amis parisiens, Mickael and Remi, are incredibly talented photographers in their spare time (and incredibly nerdy during all other times) and they took some really amazing light painting pictures this week.  I was so impressed that I wanted everyone else to see them too.  Really guys, these are so cool and I’m proud of you!

WARNING: don’t try this at home.  Messieurs Geniuses set their friend’s hair on fire with a sparkler.  Apparently the house smelled like grilled pork for the remainder of the evening.  Don’t worry, the poor girl still has (most of) her hair…

But in case you decide not to heed my advice and you DO try this at home, here are some instructions from Mickael (via gchat):

5: 54PM the key is long exposure
you put your camera on a tripod
in a very dark environment
inside, or outside at night
5:55 PM then you take the picture
with a long exposure
the people need to stay still if you don’t want them to be blurry
5:56 PM and someone else take a flashlight, a sprakler or whatever
and moves the light source
5:57 PM since the light source is very bright,
the way it goes will show up in the picture
I have a remote control for my camera
I start to take the picture and stop it when I want
5:58 PM so the exposure can actually take several seconds
it makes sense?
I lost you
somewhere …


Oh yes.

All sorts of yes.

I expect this to be the greatest movie of all time.

Those were my thoughts when my colleagues asked if I wanted to go see Endhiran, the movie. I wasn’t sure what Endhiran was about, or who was staring, or even what language it was in (Tamil), but after seeing the movie poster, I was sold.  We’re going to see it this weekend.

Kiersten. “Key-er-sten.”

People mispronounce my name all the time (thanks, Mom and Dad).  Whatever, I’m used to it.   I’ve answered to Kristin, Kristine, Kristina, Kirsten, Kirstie, etc. ever since I can remember.  When I lived in Argentina, people called me Kris (“kriiiiiis”).  Here in Singapore people just call me K (“kay”).  Most of the time it’s not worth the effort to make corrections.

But I think someone has reached an all-time low on the mispronunciation scale.

I made dinner reservations at Rakuichi last night under my name, but when we showed up, there was no record of my call. “What happened?” I asked.  “I just made reservations for 5 people at 8:30!”

The defensive hostess showed me the reservation list:

Chris Tan. 5 people. 8:30.

Obviously I died laughing (so did the hostess, by the way).

And then I spent the rest of the evening laughing.  And a good part of today laughing.  I’ll probably laugh tomorrow too.

From now on I’m only making reservations under my new alias: Chris Tan.

Friends, I invite you to consider the following hypothetical scenario:

First imagine that you’re at an orientation.  Perhaps it’s for an organization you’ve recently joined, or hypothetically, it could be a work orientation.  What’s important to note, is that you are with people who will be seeing you on a daily basis for the next couple years of your life.  This is purely hypothetical, of course.

Now imagine that your “enthusiastic” Singaporean orientation leader, Terrence, has told you it’s time to play an icebreaker.  An icebreaker (in case you are unfamiliar with the term) is a game you play to “break the ice,” or help a group of relative strangers bond and form a team.

First icebreaker: stand in a circle and rub the shoulders of the person to your left.

Wait, huh?  Excuse me? This is an icebreaker or a massage parlor? I hope this guy showered today…

Now turn and rub the temples of the person to your right.

Oh god…so awkward, so awkward!  Oh no.. who’s touching my head? Yikes – I think I know his wife!

Now imagine that Terrence, or Sir Peppy-Pants as I prefer to call him, tells you that it’s time to milk the cow. That’s right, friends.  It’s time to milk the cow.

Now, to fully comprehend the trauma of this horrific little exercise, I would like to ask that you all interlock your fingers as shown in the diagram below.  Fingers together, palms out, thumbs down.

Got it?  Good.  Now, with your hands interlocked this way, walk into a room of strangers and ask them to introduce themselves to you by “pulling on your udders.”  No I’m serious.  You can’t possibly understand how horrible this is until someone (like hypothetically all of your colleagues) actually pulls your fingers this way.

Now imagine that Sir Peppy-Pants has you spend the rest of the afternoon singing “team building” karaoke songs, holding hands and playing “squirell in the forest.”

Needless to say I’m traumatized.  Hypothetically traumatized, that is.

What strange universe am I living in?

October 2010