Culture Shock


Kopi Teh at Pappa Rich, Chatswood

It’s back to Australia, back to the normal grind and in a couple of days, back to work as though that wonderful holiday never happened.

I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. I can only imagine how bad it might be for those guys that have been and currently are on exchange when you can experience culture shock after being removed from your native culture for a mere 10 days. Australia feels so strange and foreign suddenly, yet at the same time I can move through it with my eyes closed unlike Singapore where I’m constantly getting lost if Ruben or someone with more local knowledge (somehow) is guiding me.

At least, I’m glad that we were able to grab a Mr Bean plushie from the Bedok Mall special dessert branch before we departed from Singapore. That would probably have been one of my biggest regrets, apart from all the sights that we didn’t end up seeing. From the long list that we created, in the end we barely scratched the surface. I underestimated how much I would want to stop and photograph almost everything.

Perhaps a good idea though, given the constantly changing face of Singapore.

On our return, my dad wanted to take the family out to dinner at Chatswood. He really wanted to have some Xiao Long Bao at Din Tai Fung after we went to Majestic Bay with Ruben and had some amazing Chinese food. Alas, we couldn’t get inside Westfield somehow and ended up in Pappa Rich. I was more than happy to be in there, but the moment we walked in my mother stamped her foot like a little kid and angry mentioned how she had wanted to go out to dinner to enjoy air-conditioning, not sit in the sweltering heat with only some fans.

Let’s just eat and leave, my dad said and we hastily ordered some dishes which the staff proceeded to forget about and required us to prompt them before any food arrived. I got a Kopi Teh to make myself feel better, because after my mum and brother’s bad moods and party pooper attitudes I just felt like crying.

I long for the days where Ruben, my dad and I just wandered the Singapore streets. Preferrably I would have liked to do it with just Ruben, but coming home had reminded me how it could have been worse if my mother had come instead…