That strange Singaporean bond


Singaporeans are a funny lot. Possibly because of our cultural values and traditions, we’re a mixed bag of contradictions. We’re humble, yet competitive. We’re kind, but we’re wary of strangers. We pursue luxury, but we work too hard to give ourselves time to really enjoy it.

As a result, we come across as aloof. We do what we have to do and then we retreat within ourselves. Random acts of kindness are more exception than norm because we’re too shy or wary to interact with other people.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t feel any connection with our fellow countrymen. We’re just a culture of people who don’t often say or show what we feel. It takes certain special occasions to have this bond manifest itself.


Hello Kitty queue


One of these occasions is when we’re overseas and we miss our homeland. We might chance upon the familiar cacaphony of the Singaporean accent and suddenly feel delighted for the chance to demonstrate our bond with the source of the voices, even if we’ve never met them before.

Once, I was in Hong Kong with my friend, Elyxia. We were making our way through a busy market chatting animatedly when, suddenly, a voice came behind us, “Excuse me, are you Singaporeans?”

He was a smiling guy dressed in smart clothes. He introduced himself and told us he was a Singaporean working in Hong Kong and couldn’t help recognising our accent. We stood there and chatted for five minutes, thrilled by the chance encounter.


Sheylara in Hong Kong


You’d hardly catch us in Singapore stopping strangers in the streets to chat for no reason.

Recently, when I was in England for a long holiday, a Singaporean blog reader studying in London contacted me and said she’d love to meet me. We’d never had any contact prior to this.

We got along immediately, as if we’d known each other for ages.

We ended up meeting twice within a week, spending two whole days together, even though we were staying almost three hours apart from each other.


Limin and Sheylara


In Singapore, we wouldn’t travel three hours to meet up with a fellow Singaporean, assuming Singapore’s big enough to require three hours to travel anywhere.

It must be the Singapore spirit, that invisible cord that binds us together, manifesting when we least expect it.

PM Lee noted last year during the National Day Rally that the Singapore spirit is about “shared loyalty and commitment to Singapore; shared responsibility for one another and pride in what Singapore has built together; as well as shared memories, dreams and aspirations”.

I think it’s really true. We might be outwardly aloof, or we might have petty quarrels, but we really love our fellow countrymen deep down inside.


Love blossoms anywhere


National Day is another time that this kinship we share reveals itself in full glory under a fireworks-lit sky during the birthday celebrations of our nation. Especially at the National Day Parade, you can see faces well up with pride and belonging when the National Anthem is being sung.

Actually, now that National Day is nearing, it’s a good time for us to reflect on how every individual Singaporean, since independence day in 1965, has worked and fought hard to help make what Singapore is today.

Playing the new Facebook game Lion City on the NDPeeps Facebook page put me in the mood.

In the game, you’re given an island to populate with people and improve with infrastructure and decorations. It’s not a challenging game or anything, but it kind of makes me feel nostalgic about a past which I never knew — the beginnings of Singapore.


Lion City


You start off building attap houses and farms and puppet shows, which is so retro it’s cool. And while doing that, you kind of gain an insight into the kind of tribulations, as well as joys, our forefathers must have experienced building a new city from scratch.

No matter that they all came from different parts of the world, the shared challenge must have helped forge a national identity.

I like to think that our country’s origins and multicultural background make us a very unique people, and that’s something we can take pride in. Despite all the times people annoy me (like kiasu people in MRTs) I know I do love my fellow Singaporeans and will always be proud to belong to Singapore.

“Singapore is a young nation, but it distinguishes itself by its people, who are forward looking and idealistic as well as dare to transform themselves and the city repeatedly,” PM Lee had said.


Love blossoms anywhere


Indeed, the people are the Singapore spirit. Our common goals bind us together and help us identify with each other.

And that’s why we can always recognise a Singaporean abroad.

Okay, the accent helps very much.

But that’s what makes us so very special!

What do you think defines the Singapore spirit? What does being Singaporean mean to you? Share your thoughts at the NDP website and NDPeeps Facebook page!

Photos from Resorts World Sentosa

The Goonfather took me to Resorts World Sentosa last night despite only like 5% of the place being open for business.

I wonder why they opened it when hardly anything was ready for visitors.

It was fun exploring, though. No crowd!

This is the carpark:

Resorts World Sentosa

Pretty right???

It’s really huge, too!

Well, okay, not the whole carpark is pretty like this, only the part near to the entrance. The rest of the carpark is plain, but that might be because construction is not complete. We saw many workers at different parts of the carpark drilling and hammering away at stuff, making a din.

I made the Goonfather take a photo of me in the carpark:

Resorts World Sentosa

His photo not pretty lor! I think I need a real photographer to tag along with me wherever I go! It’s a bit hard to self-camwhore scenic shots.

Entrance into RWS from the carpark:

Resorts World Sentosa

Looks like some deserted shopping mall.

But then you step in and, WOAH, grand city!!

Resorts World Sentosa

And then you look to your right and it’s, like, LOL, still under construction!

Resorts World Sentosa

The whole place is still under construction, basically.

The casino looks nice!

But it’s got a row of turnstiles looking almost like those in MRT stations, which makes it look like an MRT station.

Resorts World Sentosa

Next to the casino is a tunnel leading to the hotels of RWS. The tunnel is the nicest part of the whole place!

Resorts World Sentosa

As you walk through this tunnel towards a set of escalators, you can hear the soft strains of music.

The music gets louder as you enter the realm of escalators. It is majestic and inspiring and there are sound effects of fire and birds corresponding to the light displays above the escalators (the curved strip of light).

Resorts World Sentosa

It’s a really magical feeling.

You go up this set of escalators and there’s another up there.

Resorts World Sentosa

Quite quickly, though, it’s over, and you’re back to normalcy.

Resorts World Sentosa

Resorts World Sentosa

After the grandeur of the tunnel, this part looks positively blah.

But the Goonfather says Festive Hotel is supposed to be the “budget” hotel in RWS, like what First World Hotel is in Genting.

Outside the hotel, lol.

Resorts World Sentosa


Resorts World Sentosa

Not nice…

Resorts World Sentosa


I like the flower signboards! They have pink ones, red ones, purple ones, yellow ones!

Resorts World Sentosa

Hard Rock Hotel was a distance away. We walked through pretty garden paths to get there.

Resorts World Sentosa

I totally forgot to take photos of the nice interiors!! I think I was too excited about visiting the Hard Rock Shop!

I only remembered to photograph the restaurant, which isn’t exciting at all.

Resorts World Sentosa

Sometimes my brain short circuits for no reason!

In the end, I didn’t see anything I really liked at the shop. Maybe the cap. But then I didn’t feel like buying a cap.

As we walked through the unfinished gardens, I thought of Farm Country and Country Story (Facebook games), which I have quit! No more farming!!! (Well, except for Agricola.)

Resorts World Sentosa

I love the flowers they planted all over the place. Very pretty colours and placements!

Resorts World Sentosa

Resorts World Sentosa

Connecting the hotels are rows and rows of boutiques. Very atas boutiques. All the big shots!

But most of them are still under renovation.

Resorts World Sentosa

Back indoors, we came across this structure that reminds me of a furnace. Hahaha.

Resorts World Sentosa

Surrounding the pillar inside is a round sofa, which I can’t show since all the people standing around there wouldn’t stop standing around there.

Random interior decor pic:

Resorts World Sentosa

These grand steps (okay not so grand steps) lead up to a spa and a restaurant. It was at the restaurant that we ate.

Resorts World Sentosa

I wouldn’t recommend it at all. Called Fiesta, it’s a Brazillian restaurant with a very limited menu. You can only order a set meal (at $39+++) which comes with choices of soups, appetisers, salads, main courses and dessert.

Resorts World Sentosa

I didn’t like anything at all there.

This is everything on the menu! LOL.

Resorts World Sentosa

Well, maybe there will be more stuff later on when the whole place finally opens. But then nothing tastes good now, so I don’t hope it will get better.

One thing I liked in RWS was that there’s staff all over the place. They’re dressed in a dorky cute uniforms and they make eye contact with everyone, smiling and greeting people as people walk pass.

How cool is that? I mean, that is such a rare sight in Singapore!

Resorts World Sentosa

Resorts World Sentosa

There were both male and female staff. It just so happened that when I thought to take some photos with them, I only saw females, lol.

Well, that’s all there is to see at RWS right now. I guess it’s gonna be a pretty cool place to hang out at when it’s all ready but, at the same time, I’m scared of crowds that will come later!

Still, I’m glad Singapore finally has a nice theme park! =)

30 hours, 11 stops, 1 tireless shopper


If you were to embark on a 30-hour journey around Singapore via a cushy car, where would you go?

I would go shopping!


Right. Don’t roll your eyes yet. Hear me out.

Say you’re given this car to drive around Singapore for 30 hours and you can choose to go anywhere and do anything.

Volkswagen New Polo

Any sane girl would go shopping, obviously. That’s what the car is for! It will take me to the less accessible malls in Singapore and carry all my shopping!

Wouldn’t that be a perfect weekend? For a girl, at least.

Sheylara and Minou

I’ve planned my non-stop weekend route at the Volkswagen Singapore New Polo microsite.

30-hour Route

There’s a contest going on, actually! Design the most interesting 30-hour non-stop weekend and win ZoukOut tickets!

Volkswagen New Polo

I don’t know if mine is the most interesting, but it’s something I’d want to do. You can view it in the users’ entries page by clicking my name.

I call my route the Suburban Shopping Escapade, filled with nothing but eating and shopping, at malls I normally don’t go to because they’re inaccessible and the Goonfather would flip if I asked him to drive me around for shopping.

Well, if you’re in the mood for a less bimbotic journey, how about checking out Mr Brown’s route?

Mr Brown, together with Ryan his sidekick, will literally be doing the 30-hour thing this weekend (Nov 21-22).

Mr Brown and Ryan

He will drive the New Polo around Singapore for 30 hours. His route is clearly mapped out on the microsite, so fans will be able to meet him at any of his stops for photographs, autographs, chats and goodie bags!

(Maybe some diehard fans might even tail him the entire journey. Haha.)

Oh, if you catch Mr Brown and Ryan at any of their stops and pose for some photos, your photos might appear on the microsite! Most of his stopovers are at carparks, so you can drive over to meet him. And maybe trade geeky opinions about cars, I don’t know.

Mr Brown's route

Anyway, why not try out the route planner and share your favourite spots in Singapore? It’s really easy to use. Just drag the cute New Polo icons onto specific spots on the Google map provided, then type what you’re going to do there and when you’re done, submit!

Route planner

You will be given a unique URL for your created route.

After you’ve done that, do come back here to share your route. We can talk about cool places to go around Singapore with a cool car!

Click here to step into the New Polo now!

Bitching about Singaporean women

I suppose the men will be really happy.

This week in Star Blog, we were told to write about the best of Singaporean men and the worst of Singaporean women. Which is probably a one-way-ticket to flame wars.

I think the male Star Bloggers probably had an easier time writing this.

It was tough for me because stereotyping is very much against my nature, unless it’s meant as joke, in which case I’ll laugh about it but won’t really buy it seriously.

Oh, well.

Come read what I wrote and observe how wars are started!

I will always come home to Singapore

I suppose you can say that I have a love-hate relationship with Singapore.

There are so many things to dislike about Singapore and Singaporeans. We all know what they are: The kiasu-ism. The lack of civic-mindedness. The complaining mindset. The endless comparing and judging. The greed. The rules and fines.

I always believed I would one day emigrate. So why did I change my mind?

Sheylara loves Singapore

Read on…