What continues to shock me the most is how prudish Singaporeans are (well, the media is) in terms of censorship of sexually related material. It’s really at odds with what is otherwise a pretty worldly sort of place.
They pixilated the word “ass” as in “kick ass” on a blackboard in the background of some Jamie Oliver show I was watching on TV, yet advertise violent movies before the feature when I take my kids to the cinema. Bizarre!
I’m definitely pushier on the train here than I used to be, but I do swear a lot less. I walk slower, and therefore sweat less. I’ve lost my Australian phobia for queuing up, and have started assuming that if there’s no queue, there’s no point.
I’m also better at working out if sales promotions offer value for money, and care more whether they do.
I use acronyms more, but don’t know what they stand for. I have found myself walking around while texting; no major accidents yet though. And I lower my voice when talking about the government.
I don’t carry an iPad. I don’t really need to spend more time in the attention deficit world of screen-based media—I get too much of that anyway between my laptop and smartphone (I need to own up to an Xbox also, I guess).
I prefer to be less connected and spend more time reading a paper book, cooking something or trying to get some sort of exercise.
If I could, I would produce either a TV series or a video game rather than write a book. I reckon the best kind of storytelling is a drama series a la HBO. Sustaining characters and stories over 10 hours of content per series really gives depth and detail that is substantial and satisfying, as well as a depth of involvement that’s very immersive.
People who use the guru word, or even allow someone else to use it about them really make me cringe! Brand gurus seem to be a dime a dozen, and the implication that there is some kind of secret enlightenment that only the guru can offer devalues the significance that brands can have.
The bullshit factor in this industry is very high. So many people claim expertise in “brand,” and most of them confuse having something useful to offer with buzzwords, a clever PowerPoint deck and a punchy insight or two—normally something to do with digital media or what makes Gen X/Y/Z tick.
When it comes to first impressions, if you look like a buttoned-up suit then order a Pina Colada, that would get a laugh out of me. If you look like a tattooed skate punk, then a cup of tea might be a nice counterpoint. Just not a Diet Coke. That’s a drink with zero credibility in my books!
I stay curious and fresh by pushing myself into new things. No good brand is static, and people are just the same. Having a predictable spiel isn’t good—you need an unfolding narrative, not a worn-out one-liner.
Happiness is a successful new business pitch in the afternoon, followed by a dinner out with the family, including a nice bottle of pinot!