Drawing the line

I thought long and hard about writing this. I wanted to, but hesitated; would it be wise to add more fuel to the fire?

I’ve read many comments and responses since my post on Yahoo! Singapore was published. I am simultaneously an opposition blogger and a PAP lapdog. I am a “Pretender” (it comes with the capital) and I disregard the hardship that my fellow countrymen have been through. My husband is a foreigner.

The last one, at least, is more or less correct (we’re not married yet), although I cannot understand its relevance.

This is, somehow, meant to be an “understandable” reaction.

This is, somehow, meant to be an “understandable” reaction.

These comments are easy to take. Even expected. What really bothers me, though, are the other comments. The ones that claim that there is no xenophobia here at all, no racism. That this is an “understandable” reaction from frustrated Singaporeans, and that we should not call them out for their language and behaviour. That they use such language just so that they can have their anxiety heard by the Powers That Be. We should excuse their reaction, and turn the blame on to the PAP and their policies.

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A week in Abu Dhabi

Skyping CalumWe’ve never been big on couple selfies anyway, but over the past two months all photos of us together have really just been Skype or FaceTime screencaps. (I don’t know if Calum screencaps calls like I do, but sometimes there’s just a nice shot – the odd moment when Skype isn’t being weird and pixelated – that I want to keep.)

For one week, starting tomorrow, it’ll be different.

Tomorrow I’ll be on my way to Abu Dhabi. It’s a budget airline and I have to spend seven hours in the airport in Mumbai doing goodness knows what (I’ve filled up my Kobo Mini) before actually arriving in Abu Dhabi, but I don’t care. As long as I get there, I don’t care.

Calum asked me to write a blog post before my trip. He asked me to write about what I expect to find in Abu Dhabi, a city he finds at once interesting and depressing and puzzling and fascinating. He asked me to write about what I hope to find, so that I can look back when I write about what I’ve found.

I started this post this morning. I wrote it bit by bit, making a word appear on the screen before hitting ‘delete’ on my keyboard and watching it disappear again. I went to lunch, then came back to it. I went to dinner. I packed my bags, I vacuumed my floor, I worried about paperwork I don’t need to worry about until at least a month later. Now I’m back, making words appear and disappear in this post again.

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Race, xenophobia, discrimination and inequality – presented in Storify

How often do we properly discuss race, xenophobia, discrimination and inequality in Singapore, especially in a somewhat formalised setting? Not very often, is the answer. Which is why I jumped at the chance to attend the panel discussion organised by SMU’s Wee Kim Wee Centre and ONE (Singapore).

I was going to take notes and write up a report on the event, but ended up live-tweeting it instead. I’ve put all my tweets together in a Storify just so it’s easier to read. I’ve also added some notes to elaborate on certain tweets, links to provide more background information on issues and some tweets I received during the talk with people sharing their thoughts.

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