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CNN just came out with a list of the world’s coolest nations. Not sure I agree with the rankings (really….Mongolians are cooler than Spaniards?), but interestingly they rank Singaporeans as the second coolest nationality on the planet.

(image via CNN/Straits Times)

While I agree that yes, my Singaporean friends are definitely cool, are they really cool because they “know 6 programming languages” and are “absurdly computer literate”? No – Singaporeans are cool because they’re unpretentious, unapologetic lovers of food, because they make amazingly creative DIY projects, and they’re compassionate, beautiful people (among other reasons).

Who wrote this damn article?

Moreover, are Americans really cool because they know how to surf?

And Mongolians are cool because they “line their undies in fur”?  Ok, wait, fur-lined undies could be pretty cool…

Who do YOU think is the world’s coolest nationality? Personally, I’m gonna say Argentinos…

At this point my MRT ride wouldn’t be complete without instructions on how to behave on public transportation (aka: love my ride). Now the Burger King chicken is getting in on the action:

I understand the first reference: don’t pretend to sleep so you don’t have to give up your seat to someone who really needs it. Second one is obvious too: don’t lean against the pole and block other people from holding on. Third one? Well, it’s a bit strange, but loud music and smelly farts are equally unpleasant.

But what in the world is the last quote? “Chicken say, commitment is for those without options.”

Seriously, I can’t even think of a witty comment. I’m too confused…

BANG BANG BANG! Hello! Anybody home? Inspector! BANG BANG BANG!

Yes, that’s how I was rudely awaken this Saturday morning. Inspector? Huh? Wait, the water heater was fixed last month, and I’m pretty sure all the toilets are flushing…

BANG BANG BANG! Hello? Inspector!

Oh God, do we have anything illegal in here? Is my roommate harboring illegal aliens? No no, wrong country… A look through the peephole revealed a portly older Chinese man, standing outside my front door in a uniform with a clipboard and a giant badge reading “CONTROLLER”. Well, do I let him in? He’s in a uniform. I guess we’re in Singapore. I could definitely take him down… I glanced outside my window and saw that the apartment security guards were standing downstairs, and had most likely let this man into the building, so I opened the door…

Good morning miss! Mosquito Inspector!

I nearly choked from my surprise. Especially considering the fact that I just wrote a blog post about random laws in Singapore. Maybe someone’s playing a joke on me?

Excuse me, I’m sorry, but did you say you were a…a mosquito inspector?

Miss, your neighbors have Dengue, so we are inspecting the building for mosquito nests. May I come in?

The next 3 minutes were painful as I tried desperately not to burst into laughter from the absurdity of the situation. The mosquito inspector checked all of our plants for standing water, and asked me to flush the toilet in the laundry room at least once a week. He left as quickly as he came.

Actually, I’m really thankful that Singapore takes so many measures to get rid of those horrible insects and protect us all from Dengue. I’m also really thankful that they weren’t breeding in my house.

So we salute you, Mr. Mosquito Inspector. Your work here is done. Mr. Backyard Bug Zapper Inventor has nothing on you!

On a side note: What do you think the job posting for Mosquito Inspector looks like? I mean, what kind of qualifications do you need to have for that gig?

I find myself asking that question quite a bit these days.

Well, you would too if you lived in a country with an overwhelming number of miscellaneous laws. For instance, did you know that you can be fined for ‘accidentally’ breeding mosquitoes in your home or that you must answer to the Controller of Undesirable Publications (dun dun dunnnn) for reading ‘obscene’ articles? Also, it’s illegal to be naked in your apartment if someone can see you. True story.

Which brings me to my most recent episode of: Was that legal?

It was really late, I had a lot of energy, and I was having a horrible time trying to fall asleep, so I decided to dance around my living room in my pajamas in a futile attempt to make myself tired.

But really dance, okay? To some good salsa music. I was moving my hips like JLo, lip-syncing to my iPod like a superstar, and throwing my hair around with wild 2am-abandon, when suddenly I turned around and realized that my windows were totally open. There on the balcony opposite my house were 3 young, sneaky Chinese guys, taking a break from their video gaming to smoke their cigarettes and laugh their asses off at me (because let’s be honest, I don’t move my hips as well as JLo).

Needless to say I’m now terrified to stand anywhere near the window.

Once I got over my initial horror and embarrassment, I got to thinking about my flagrant display of booty-shaking and wondered: Whoops, was that legal?

I looked into it. According to Miscellaneous Offenses Act it is indeed illegal (see Section IV, no. 27A) to appear nude in your house. However, looking through the remainder of the section on ‘rogues and vagabonds’, I haven’t seen any rules pertaining to pajama salsa dancing and/or visible gyration in the household.

So I ask you this, dear friends: Was that legal?

Sometimes living in Singapore can feel like a vacation. My job is great, I meet friendly people from all over the world, I spend January afternoons at the pool, and take fabulous $50 weekend trips to Malaysian beaches.

One downside however, and something no one warns you about, is that the international community here is highly transitive. People come in and out of your life at warp speed, and your social circle one month is liable to look quite different the next. Developing close relationships here is a risky venture, as you can never be sure how much time you’ll have with friends, lovers, coworkers, etc.

So truth be told, I’ve been bummed since one half of my favorite French duo returned home for good last week. But Frenchy #2 whirled in the door this morning, returning from her 7-year vacation at home (ok it was only 3 weeks), and bringing with her a lot of sunshine!

Green sunshine, that is! In a Laduree box! Mmmm hamburger cookies…just the thing to cheer a girl up!

S, my future dentist thanks you for the business.

On a separate note, have you ever met a girl crazy enough to pack an ENTIRE suitcase full of breakfast cookies? I have………

Yeah, I live in the red light district. And yeah, it’s amusing.

Now only one thought remains: Where can I get me some zebra spandex pants?

Actually…second thought: You’re gonna pick her up on a bicycle? Smooth.

I’ve decided that being high is the best way to enjoy Singapore.

Noooo… not that kind of high! (What, you’re trying to get me killed? That’s strictly off-limits here…come on!)

I mean, my favorite way to enjoy Singapore is on a rooftop! Last night we tried out 1-Altitude on the top of the OUB building. Honestly, each time I see the skyline I fall in love! This bar has a 360 view of the city and, according to this article, is technically the highest al-fresco bar in the world.

I’m now on a mission to try them all out. So far we’ve hit up the following (in the order of my preference):

  1. Sky Park @ Marina Bay Sands
  2. Lantern @ the Fullerton Bay Hotel
  3. Loof (top of Odeon Towers)
  4. [pre . lude] & Boathouse @ Fullerton Hotel
  5. New Asia Bar @ Swisshotel
  6. 1-Altitidue (top of OUB)
  7. Orgo @ the Esplanade
  8. Helipad Lounge @ the Central
  9. Ying Yang

And still on the Bucket List: Breeze, Mr. Punch Restaurant, and fabrika. Does anyone else have any suggestions for great views of the city with some breezy relief from the heat and humidity?

A lot of local drinks are…well…they’re interesting.

That’s my culturally sensitive way of saying that I think they’re gross.

I don’t know, there’s just something about the combination of jiggle and jello and soy and milk and green tea and sugar that doesn’t exactly inspire my taste buds to water.

So when Crystal decided we had to try “Jelly Drink,” I knew that our Ang-Mo reactions needed to be captured on film:

January 2011