Once again, Singapore has one-upped itself with its usual bouts of questionable events and even more jaw-dropping casual racism. Here are the things that made us go WTF in Singapore this past week.
A seemingly innocent make-up tutorial goes horribly wrong
You’d think that a make-up tutorial video would be just another among the many thousands that teach you how to doll yourself up, or the proper way you should be contouring your face. But no, popular Singaporean YouTube channel Night Owl Cinematics decided to add in some remarks that are just racially inappropriate.
In lieu of big-time US music festival Coachella (which is also surrounded by issues of cultural appropriation when it comes to choice of clothes and accessories for the festival go-ers i.e. Native American headdresses and bindis), these four decided to create a video on great festival looks. Everything is innocent until one of the cast members made comments like “I looked like an Indian sia. One little two little three little Indians,” followed by “You girls look like shit leh!” and “She looked like she’s attending Deepavali.” Cue eyeroll.
Casual racism often gets overlooked as “passing remarks” but we’re glad some Singaporeans decided to call them out on it. It’s still a wonder why anyone would even use race to describe a certain look, clearly displaying their breadth of knowledge of the English language and a depth so shallow that even the Kardashians would be offended. They’ve since taken down the video and issued an apology. What’s even more appaling: some people think that Singaporeans are being overly sensitive. People shouldn’t be able to get away with belittling the feelings of minorities. Do we need to bring up the Chinese privilege conversation again? Ugh.
Glamping in Singapore might actually be a thing
Glamping has taken the world by storm for the last couple of years, and it recently picked up again on our shores. While the craze first reared its head among tourist operators in Africa, who understandably wanted to provide an authentic safari experience to guests while retaining the same luxe amenities available at established hotels, it seems a bit off to be doing it in a metropolitan city like ours (even Airbnb is on it).
Surprisingly, some glamping service providers who operate independently here in Singapore have been receiving quite a fair bit of bookings lately. These individuals will help to pitch tents at designated camping sites like East Coast Park (yes, with the permits), and provide beddings, lightings, F&B and other amenities that are deemed “luxe” in a typical camp setting. Seems like a novel idea, but would you really want to spend more than $200 a night to go glamping in what is pretty much an urbanized park? Beats us.
Monkeys gone wild and sent behind bars
We’ve had our fair share of “fantastic beasts” making an appearance in our urban jungle, but they’ve all been pretty docile and friendly encounters, except for that one monkey in Bukit Panjang which earned itself a reputation of scaring and biting residents. Fortunately, all that monkey business has finally come to an end as the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has managed to catch the said monkey. It’s now in the care of Wildlife Reserves Singapore, who will then bring the primate to ACRES for rehab. We wonder who else should go for rehab too.
Drunk man turns into a major douchebag towards his taxi driver
Taxi drivers are usually pleasant people rich with stories about Singapore and wisdom, all ready to be imparted to you for free. But just because they’re providing a service doesn’t warrant anybody to dehumanize them in any way. Take Gary Lim for example, the boss of The Yang’s Traditional Hainanese Chicken Rice on Serangoon Road.
He got into a cab from Clarke Quay and was going to drop off at Potong Pasir. But in his drunken stupor, he tried paying for his $12.45 fare with a $1,000 note, which obviously the driver refused because he didn’t have enough change. That’s when Lim decided to get out of the cab, block the taxi driver from closing the door and start counting all his $1,000 notes in front of him (who even carries that much cash around these days?). He continued to mock him, saying that the taxi driver “cannot do big things” because he is a taxi driver. Netizens quickly identified the man and began harassing the store with many phone calls and leaving unhappy comments on their Facebook page and review pages. As a result, Lim apologized and went further to give out 100 packets of chicken rice, along with cans of green tea, to taxi drivers at both of his chicken rice outlets.
Gordon Ramsay gives his two cents on a Singaporean restaurant
LeVeL33, which claims to be the home to the world’s highest urban craft brewery in the penthouse of the Marina Bay Financial Centre, was the butt of gastronomic jokes this week, after a patron tweeted a picture to infamous British chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay, asking him to rate the dish (a thing that Ramsay has been doing a lot on Twitter as of late).
He ordered the restaurant’s fish and chips, which was priced at $17.50. Expecting to receive the usual piece of fried battered fish and fries, he was instead served eight pieces of whitebait on thick-cut slices of potato. The NTU undergraduate got a shock of his life, but later mentioned in an article that he didn’t know what whitebait was and assumed that the dish was going to be the usual fish and chips. The patron said that the tweet—to which Ramsay surprisingly replied, “That’s 8 chips & 8 anchovies @ $1 each please…. the lemon is bigger than the fish !”—was not intended to tarnish LeVeL33’s reputation.