Tuesday, July 12, 2005

my brain don't function singaporean

as I've said before, the finer points of Singlish escape me. Sure, I know where and when to use my lah, meh lor, hors, but sometimes, some appropriations elude me.

I didn't learn that "gum" meant "really close" till I was about 14. (From Canto or English I have no idea) and I only learnt "powderful" when I came over and had Singaporeans teach me the word.

Today's confusion was brought to you by the words "standard" "kns" and "knnbccb".

Ok. I was joking about the last one.

But how am I supposed to know that Singapore's great love for trimming everything down into Asian-bite-sized pieces extended to Anglicised-Hokkien? Or is it meant to be Malay-Hokkien and thus Kena Sai? hmmm.


Kanah Sai.

***

Anyway. I was at the Student Flights on Swanston (nice people despite the sometimes-crazy capacity) and had a travel agent with ex-Singaporean parents. We were chatting about stuff in general, and then she said,

"so you holidaying in Singapore? Should be fun in this weather"

and I replied

"Yeah, but mainly to help my mum out"

she barely hid a sympathetic smirk. I smiled back,

"Yeah I know, typical Asian parents"

she laughed.

"I was about to say that but didn't dare! So typical! Oh you're here. Great. Make yourself useful"

I laughed too. It was true. Not only that, they wouldn't let you out either, will get all cranky if you come home past 10 at night, and get really really upset if you're in bed past 8am. If you do both, they'll tell you off to something along the lines of "no night no day". I'm going to have fun when I hit them with the reality of the media industry whenever it is I start working back in Singapore. They'll be seriously tut-tut-tutting at how an entire industry can be run on "no night no day-ness".

***

I have to pay $20 to be shouted at. Nice one Ms new student coordinator.

***

Cafe SMXL is the coolest place. Everything's organic, baked fresh everyday by the owner's brother-in-law, and (most importantly for the Singaporean readers) has won awards from the Herald-Sun for best sandwich place as well as writeups in The Age's Epicure. mmmmmm.

I was talking to Ronnen, the owner, today and as it turns out, he's family friends with one of my colleagues. He's one cool dude. He's like a suburban cafe owner in the city. It used to be a co-owned joint with his Julia Louis-Dreyfuss lookalike sister until she got pregnant, so he's continued running the stores on his own, AND a graphics design firm.

Say whoa everyone. And he designed the stores himself! (I suspect he designed the website himself too)

And when he's willing to give me free salad with my jaffle, waving his arms around in the background as his staff serve me, telling me "I can't help it! It's the Jewish-mother in me!" of course I'm more than happy to give him a (non-kosher) waffle with strawberries and chocolate made fresh every morning over at my place too.

Perving on: that Wolfgang Gorny everyone's talking about. (Oh, Hansel, he's so HOT right now!) <-- yea, I just lost ALL my Singaporean readers with this one. Watch Zoolander people. If you can uh, run away to Indonesia to watch it.

aiyah, he's not that cute lah. It's that Brit-Singaporean accent along with quips like

Which female celebrity do you find terribly sexy and gorgeous?
Sexy: Angelina Jolie. Gorgeous: Jennifer Aniston. Well done, Mr Pitt


and that fact that he actually uses big(ger) words without fear of being chopped down by Singapore press. Good boy.

Listening to: Sohne Mannheims- Und Wenn Ein Lied

4 comments:

Asthrysia said...

heya.i wud love to check out that cafe and i wanna go on a food hunt.heh~

Anonymous said...

wolfgang is gorrrgeous. my god. and i didn't realize there were so many smxls around. we gotta go there! i'm sure you'll have tons of recommendations for me

lancerlord said...

I guess kena-sai is a mix of malay and hokkien. You know rojak? Singlish is like that. Words mixed into a blender to churn out 'colorful' words. :)

Ah_Hock said...

Not true! Us enlightened singaporeans have ways and means of getting our grubby little paws on Zoolander DVDs... Relax!