Is it all ang mohs stay at Ang Mo Kio?
Caucasians, or Ang Mohs, as we are fond of referring them to as, get plenty of reactions when they land on our sunny shores. That’s right, despite running Singapore for more than a century, us average folk still look at the White Man in bemusement.
Friends or strangers alike, here are a few things that we, as Singaporeans, are likely to say when encountering an ang moh.
1. Where are you from?
We assume that anyone blonde or brunette just arrived via Changi Airport only last night. If they’re from US, the next question will be “oh, from New York/L.A.?” Our years of watching American television have paid off.
2. Why are you in Singapore?
Sequel to ‘Where do you come from?’. Simple answers like ‘I’m working’ just don’t cut it for us. Give us details! What’s your line of work? How do you find it? What’s your final aim with this job? Sate our thirst for information!
3. How long are you gonna be here for?
We’re probably asking this question to chase you guys out of our country.
Nah, not really. In all seriousness, Singaporeans have learnt the habit of time management, and would probably want fit as many things as possible into a schedule, giving our foreign friends the quintessential Singaporean experience before they leave.
4. You like it here? Seriously?
Many Singaporeans take Singapore for granted. However, with strict laws regarding everything under the sun, there are definitely some of us who would prefer to live somewhere else. Which is why we get confused when faced with someone that likes our country for what it is. Why would you like this place? What’s so good about it? I’d trade my country for yours in an instant!
5. Why do you like to sit outside so much?
The average Singaporean is an indoor person. We’d rather die than spend an afternoon working out in the sun. This is why we get so confused when our ang moh compatriots spend most of their free time out basking in the sun’s rays. We get that they might not receive as much sunshine back in their native lands, but we just don’t understand the appeal. Why? What’s the point? Do you want skin cancer?
6. Do you have snow back home?
Any mention of this magical element catches the attention of most Singaporeans, many of whom have never experienced snow in their lives. Our closest approximations are rarely-seen hailstorms, and the utterly underwhelming Snow City. It’s no surprise that we’re enthralled at the idea of snow.
Here’s a tip for any ang moh reading: tell a story about building your first snowman, and you’ll immediately have the attention of every local in the room.
7. Singapore hot right?!
On the flipside, Singaporeans can’t wait to tell everyone their qualms about our weather. It’s always hot. With daily temperatures ranging from 27℃ to 32℃, and humidity levels between 70% and 90%, Singapore truly feels like a sauna. Some foreigners love the weather here though, which is a stark contrast to what they might experience back home.
8. How is the food back in your country? Good or not?
In a conversation with a Singaporean, the topic of food will come up eventually. It’s the single biggest cultural denomination that unifies us as a people, regardless of language, race, or status. We love our food, and we’re always willing to try out new stuff!
9. You eat chicken rice/laksa/chili crab/durian before?
It’s not just foreign foods that we’re really into. Singaporeans are passionate over our own local delights, and we’ll jump at any chance we get to show it off to our foreign friends. With well-known dishes like chilli crab, roti prata, and laksa, Singapore is a foodie’s paradise.
10. That one? Not nice la, I bring you to a better place.
Singaporeans also love to be right. Despite what anyone else says, their recommendations are always the best, and you should never listen to another. My recommendations? I love the curry chicken in Queensway Shopping Centre, and the famous Boon Lay nasi lemak.
11. Do you get caned back home?
Mention ‘Singapore’ to an American, and they’ll jump onto the case of Michael Fay. Singapore is infamously known for using caning as a form of corporal punishment, in both private and public institutions. Once again, the curiosity of the Singaporean mind strikes again, wanting to know more about ang mohs and their cane-free lives.
12. How big is your house?
Singaporeans have the perception that ang mohs all live in large houses back home, and are probably housed in similar accommodation here. The truth couldn’t be further from this though, and plenty of expatriates live in HDB flats or small condominiums, similar to most locals.
– BONUS –
13. Speaking to them in a fake accent
In our ill-fated attempts to fit in with our foreign friends , we adopt the accents of whichever country our ang moh friends come from when conversing with them. Even Ah Beng who’s lived his entire life in Ang Mo Kio can suddenly develop a posh London accent. It’s just natural, yknow.
14. Getting called out on the fake accent
However, faking it usually has bad results. Most of us get spotted immediately, and those who actually make it can only keep the charade up for so long before subconsciously slipping a “leh” in there somewhere.
15. I talk to you like that you understand or not?
Which leads us to revert to our usual, Singlish-sprouting selves. We’re not perfect, but that’s just who we are.
Eh ang moh, don’t so like that la
Does this list remind you of anyone you know? Perhaps you’re one of the guilty parties yourself, falling prey to the typical Singaporean conversational tactics? Let us know in our forums at http://www.thesmartlocal.com/comm-sg/s/sgforum, and tell us the things you usually say to your ang moh friends!
Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.