St. Patrick’s Day in Singapore

by Tabitha Kidwell

Last weekend, I met up with my friends Deirdre, Kate, Holly, Autumn, and Esteban in Singapore. Esteban needed to renew his visa, and we just wanted to get away from Indonesia for a little bit and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We mostly just walked around, checking out Chinatown, little India, and the Riverside areas…

Some people don't cross the street fast enough!

Some people don’t cross the street fast enough!

We also ate a lot of delicious food – Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, Pizza. We kinda forgot to eat Singaporean food which is too bad since it is apparently amazing. Oops.

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The best part was Saturday night (March 16th, but close enough for St. Patrick’s Day), we happened upon an awesome percussion ensemble on a bridge. We had been looking for a cheap place for a drink (which is impossible – alcohol is so highly taxed that it was hard to find even a beer for less than $10), and we noticed that everyone was just buying 6-packs from the 7-11 and sitting on the bridge. Great idea, we thought… so we joined them.

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Unfortunately, that’s pretty much it for my pictures of the trip. But fortunately, I recorded memories in a different form! I used to break out my digital recorder during tailgates on football Saturdays as an excuse to talk to strangers. Turns out the same trick works great in Singapore – even better, actually, because all the strainers here were from different countries all over the world! Here are some of the transcripts from the “interview” recordings I did while hanging out on that bridge Saturday night. This probably gives you a better idea of exactly what I was up to than photos could, anyways!

Tab: So are you guys from Singapore?
Filipino Guy: No, we’re from the Philippines.
Tab: Oh, how long are you here for?
Filipino Girl: 3 years.
Tab: Wow! Long trip!
Filipino couple: …

Tab: So, let’s see, um… your shirt’s very sparkly, do you have a comment?
Girl: What?
Tab: You have a very sparkly shirt, do you have any comments… about the sparkle… of your shirt?… I like, like it.
Girl: Thank you. Are you wasted?
Tab: No!
Girl: Drunk?
Tab: No!
Guy: Why are you doing this?
Tab: For fun!
Guy: No really, why?
Tab: I’m trying to practice my English.
Guy: But you’re from the US.
Tab: You can always get better!
Guy: No, come on!
Tab: Okay, I’m just kidding… it’s just for fun. Do you guys know it’s St. Patrick’s day?
(Blank Stares)
Guy #2: Hey, I’m wearing green!
Tab: Hey, good job!
Guy #2: But that’s because it’s the flag of Pakistan.
Tab: Ah-ha! Are you from Pakistan?
Guy #2: Yeah, I am! But I’m not celebrating St. Patrick’s Day because I don’t know what the hell it is.
Tab: It’s the day that St. Patrick drove all the snakes out of Pakistan.
(Laughs and protests from group)
Tab: Oh, I always get those two confused! No, she’s right, it’s Ireland.

Tab: How long have you guys been in Singapore?
Irish Guy: Since January
Dutch Guy: About 3 months.
Tab: So since you’ve been in Singapore, what’s the best thing you’ve done?
Dutch Guy: Go to a different country.
Tab: Oooh… the best thing about Singapore is “get the ef out of Singapore?” ouch!
Irish Guy: The best thing about Singapore…
Dutch Guy: The food, yeah, the food.
Latvian Guy: (Inaudible) crabs.
Tab: You have crabs?
Latvian Guy: Chili crabs
Tab: Ooh sounds painful.
(Drums drown out conversation)

Tab: So what’s the best food here?
Guy: No speech English.
Tab: It’s probably for the best…

Irish Guy: We’re going to the parade tomorrow.
Tab: There’s a PARADE? Are there going to be real leprechauns?
Irish Guy: Yes.
Dutch Guy: Yeah, they import them.
Tab: If anyone can import them, like, Singapore, of course they can get leprechauns! Are you one of the leprechauns?
Group: Ohh! Ouch!
Tab: To be fair, I haven’t seen you standing up yet. You look pretty tall, so I think you’re not a leprechaun. But maybe, through the magical powder.
Irish Guy: See, down from my knees, they’re fake. That’s not my real legs.
Tab: You have…? That’s…! The leprechaun union provides you with prosthesis?
Irish guy: Yeah, they subsidize it.
Tab: Where’s the pot of gold?
Irish Guy: If I told you that… Well I can’t tell you that!

Tab: So what are you studying here?
Electrical Engineer Guy: Electrical Engineering.
Tab: Electrical Engineering! Nice! Somebody’s going to make money!
Irish Guy: Not me.
Tab: He’s going to make way more money than you guys!
Irish Guy: Well, that depends.
Tab: Hey, you’re a leprechaun! You don’t even need to worry about money, you have pots of gold!
Irish Guy: See, a lot of places, though, they don’t take gold as a currency.

Tab: What about alchemy? How do you feel about alchemy?
Electrical Engineer Guy: Alchemy, well!
Tab: I feel like that could still happen.
Electrical Engineer Guy: Well, if you get a degree in it, and you work really hard…
Tab: If I get a doctorate in Alchemy?
Electrical Engineer Guy: I mean, that’s up to you to decide, if you want to work that hard, you can make some serious money.
Tab: Can I do a doctorate in Alchemy here in Singapore?
Electrical Engineer Guy: I think they offer that at NCS, not at NTU.
Tab: I’m going to look into it.
Electrical Engineer Guy: Go for it. But warnings – if everyone gets doctorates in alchemy and is suddenly able to turn lead into gold, then gold is no longer going to be valuable.
Tab: But you know what the problem is? I don’t even know where to find lead. What am I going to do, buy a billion bic pencils, that’s not even lead, that’s graphite!
Electrical Engineer Guy: I would recommend buying bullets.
Tab: Always got an idea! Signing out!

Tab: What do you think about the Dutch king? In 10 words or less?
Dutch Guy (who has a beard): He should grow a beard.
Tab: Yes! Everyone should grow a beard! What do you think about my beard? I’ve been working on it for, like 10 years.
Dutch Guy: It sucks.
Tab: I know… I’ve been trying to eat the crusts of bread, but it doesn’t seem to help. Do you have any suggestions?
Electrical Engineer Guy: Eat a lot of peanut butter.
Dutch Guy: Take testosterone.
Tab: I’m going to try the peanut butter before the testosterone.

Tab: Where’d you guys come from just now. You just appeared, as if from nowhere… are you guys leprechauns?
Leprechaun girl: We are…
Black shirt guy: Leprechaun? In a black shirt, grey pants…?
Tab: Well, obviously you’re incognito until tomorrow.
Leprechaun girl: Yeah, we stored our money safely away.
Tab: So where’s the gold? Will you just give us a hint where the gold is?
Leprechaun girl: No
Tab: Just a little hint?
Black shirt guy: It’s a secret.
Tab: You guys are so lucky. What’s your St. Patrick’s day fortune for us?
Black Shirt guy: I think it’s going to be a great time, just like every year.
Tab: That’s a terrible fortune. Do you have a better one?
Leprechaun girl: No. Can you give us an example of a good fortune?
Tab: Ok, an example of a good fortune, okay, I’m going to give a hint for a good fortune for tomorrow. I know you’re incognito, you can’t give your fortune yet, I get it, I know you have a bunch of fortunes saved up. If, IF I were a leprechaun, and it WERE St. Patrick’s day, I would give a fortune like… you’ll find the love of your life under the light of a blue moon on a sad Thursday in July
Black shirt guy: Good fortune, wow! I admire your fortune telling!
Tab: See! And I just made that up, I’m not even a leprechaun.
Leprechaun girl: You should become one!
Tab: Are they hiring?
Leprechaun girl: We are.
Tab: ‘Cause I’ve been checking leprechauns.org for like 5 years!
Black shirt guy: Well, maybe we’ll talk to our boss.
Leprechaun girl: We could try.
Tab: That’d be great. Tell them about the fortune!

Tab: … and apparently he got beat up…. What’s this going on here?
German guy: Oh, I dived from a boat into the sea, and the sea was lower than I expected it to be, so I hat the bottom, and there was a stone, and… yeah…
Tab: So you just got in a fight with the ocean?
German Guy: Yeah…
Tab: And you lost…
German Guy: Right.
Tab: You will always lose to the ocean. Remember that! Signing off.

Greek Guy:… Greece.
Tab: Huh! Really? Alpha,beta… zeta?
Greek Guy: Huh?
Tab: What?
Greek Guy: I’m from Greece.
Tab: Cool. I’m from America.
Greek Guy: Oh, you vote for Bush.
Tab: H*ll no… I vote for Obama. I love Obama.
Greek Guy: I like, who is it, the one from the north.
Tab: From Alaska?
Greek Guy: Yes!
Tab: Sarah Palin? You just liked her because she had big boobs!
Greek Guy: Yes!

Tab: What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you in Singapore?
Indian Guy: Probably this interview.
Tab: What’s the best thing that’s happened to you? Also this interview?
Indian Guy: No.

I thought that was a good time to stop. But looky-looky what I found later:

Guess this is what happens when you interview a bunch of leprechauns.  Didn't even need a PhD in Alchemy.

Guess this is what happens when you interview a bunch of leprechauns. Didn’t even need a PhD in Alchemy.

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2 Comments to “St. Patrick’s Day in Singapore”

  1. Hahahahaha great interviews.

  2. You need an audio blog! So glad the recorder made a reappearance. I see a future career in this for you…

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