Sunday, August 07, 2005


i) I hardly see a motorbike here. People either walk, cycle or drive a car. And if you do see a motorbike, it is almost certainly one of those modified type. You know, those modified exhaust type we hear during the death of the night in our HDB void decks. Nice way of putting it is enthusiast. Not so nice way is ang moh beng.

ii) A high proportion of cars here are four-wheel drives. Much like a high proportion of cars in Singapore are Mercedes.

iii) There are many U-shaped trees here. I mean that literally. It's to let the power cables pass over the trees safely. They sure look unnatural and maybe even inhumane. I haven't seen an
O-shaped tree yet. Sorry, no camera, so no pics to post here.
(Edit: Pic added on 22nd September thanks to digital camera borrowed from Dan)
iv) When they say "see you later", later can mean tomorrow, next week, next month or never. But most of the time, it doesn't mean later today. I remember getting quite a few "see you later"s during my first few days here whilst asking for directions. I had to do a double-take several times.

v) Everyone's a mate over here. I always attach the meaning of that word to the "Significant Other" in the animal kingdom (read regular sex partner) and have difficulty disassociating myself from that. Especially when a girl says it to me. Opposite effect when it is a guy. Come to think of it, it is usually a guy who uses that word. *Shudder*

vi) My name becomes a single word here. The second word of my name gets "ignored".

vii) Actually the second word of my name doesn't get ignored. It becomes my surname. I find it a little irritating after a while. If we have the courtesy to know which words of their name is the first name and family name, surely they can return the favour for our case.

viii) You can change your movie tickets here, e.g. from the 9:45 to the 9 o'clock show. A case of better service? Oh, and it is free seating here.

ix) Aussies get paid weekly or fortnightly in my case on Wednesdays or Thursdays. Which is why opening hours for Thursday are longer than usual (by maybe an hour or two). But they're still pretty early by Singapore standards. I find that a little irritating as well. So BORING here at night.

x) Haven't seen a stray dog or cat yet here. Insects, especially houseflies and cockroaches come out in droves when it starts to get warmer during Spring. Very little litter even though I seldom see road sweepers. In fact, I would say Australia is a cleaner country (in terms of its people) than Singapore. It is the older pavements and power cables (just realised I haven't seen an exposed power cable in Singapore since I was a boy) that make it look untidy and hence "dirty".

xi) To have a "good one" usually means to have a good weekend.

xii) Jackie Chan movies are rated M (for mature audience only) because of violence. At least they (the censorship guys) are being consistent.

xiii) Australians are greener, that's for sure. They have two garbage bins, one of which is for recyclable stuff. Even their plastic bags are made of thinner material. I remember two months after moving to this suburb in the middle of 2003, the town council launched a movement to reduce the amount of plastic bags used. This comes in the form of selling reusable green bags, and yes, they are coloured a very gaudy green, much like the NTUC ones launched recently. I was one of the first to get one here. Surprisingly, after about 2-3 months, almost half of the pedestrians I see on the roads are using these bags. All the more surprising because these bags cost AU$2 each. I don't foresee that kind of participation ever happening in Singapore. I am glad to highlight the fact that I hardly ever have to throw away any plastic bags now (but only when I am in Sydney). (Edit: Pic added on 24th October thanks again to digital camera borrowed from Dan)
xiv) Australian coins weigh a ton. Their twenty cents is like the size and weight of our dollar. The fifty cents coin is the KILLER one. Absolutely humongous. Sometimes, I'll get a false feeling of being rich just from the weight of my pocket alone, only to be disappointed upon opening my coin pouch as I find just a couple of those huge fifty cents coins. And strangely, their two dollar coins are the smallest and pretty lightweight too.

xv) And there is no such thing as Australian-style food or cuisine.

Akan Datang: Australian ambulances are kings of the roads, and off them too!

236 days to go.


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