These days working in Singapore involves travelling around the region. This time my assignment is Manila. Every time I get assignments to such 3rd world places, I will go to the toilet and curse at my boss - hope he gets heart attack and die, die, die! To leave the comfort of Singapore and go to a country so disorganised is a real torture.
When I was in Manila, I got bored at night so I decided to go to the lounge of hotel to enjoy some jazz - the only thing good about the Filipines are the bands - they seem to produce so many good ones. As I was enjoying the music, some American Filipino came to chat with me. This guy went to the US as a kid and was back to visit friends and look for business opportunities. We had quite an interesting conversation as we shared travelling experiences. It was interesting we until talked about politics. I told him how excitied I was to be able to vote for the first time in my life. I tried to explain our political system to him but I don't know why he keeps laughing:
Me: "See before the elections, the govt gives us money deposited right into our bank accounts..."
American : "No kidding....."...*laugh*.
Me: "My estate will be upgraded soon because I voted for the PAP. Estate upgrading gets priority for areas with the highest votes for the PAP".
American: "This is crazy...you must be kidding..." *laugh* *laugh* *laugh*
Me: "I'm actually looking forward to the fountain they will be building near my apartment...I think they are conducting a survey for the design..."
American: *laugh* *laugh* *laugh*.
Me: "Political podcast and blogging is banned during elections so that citizens are not confused by inaccurate information...we get all our information from state TV & newspaper".
American: "I thought you were from Singapore....not N. Korea..." *laugh* *laugh* *laugh*
At this point I could sense some sarcasm from this guy. Obviously, he is envious of our highly advanced and stable political system. I see no point in continuing the conversation, I promptly excuse myself.