A career, friends, family, and place to call home–I gave up life as I knew it for the possibility of life as it could become. Five years later as a seasoned and serial expatriate, I've lived in four countries on three continents and currently reside in Singapore. So far, it's been a wonderful ride!
When Singapore first popped on the radar as a possible destination for my little family, I did what anyone would do–took to the Internet to educate myself on all things Singaporean.
Prior to consulting Wikipedia, I knew little to nothing about the island-country other than it was somewhere in Asia, banned chewing gum, had an almost mythical airline known for good service, and that some stupid American teen had been caned for vandalism back in the 90s. That’s it. That’s everything I had heard about the country in my entire life.
In all the excitement about the potential move and despite my ignorance, I knew in my heart of hearts that Singapore had to be fabulous for one simple reason: You don’t need any commas when addressing it.
“Huh???” you are thinking at this moment.
Hear me out. If someone were to ask me for the address of exactly where I lived in 2006, I would reply “Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S. A.”
In 2010, I lived in Barcelona, Spain.
In 2012, I was going to be living in Singapore. That’s it. Just Singapore.
Do you see the trend I was also seeing back then? The bigger and more exotic the place, the less commas are needed to pinpoint exactly where it is. The only exception to this theory is, of course, New York–which is technically New York, NY– but I believed the redundancy was only to emphasize the fabulousness of the most amazing city in the world.
Singapore. In my mind, it was right up there with the great ones–Cher, Madonna, Beyoncé, Prince, and Liberace. Just like these artists were bigger and more famous to need something as trivial as a surname, Singapore didn’t require silly things like cities or towns or commas.
At least, that’s how I saw it then.
Today I actually live in Singapore and know more about it than basic Wikipedia facts. Slowly, I am coming to understand the intricacies of the city-state and its unique culture. But while I am enjoying my time in this beautiful, modern, and international hot spot, I gotta be honest with you…
It ain’t no Tiffany.
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