Singapore Adventure

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Financial Times
by venitha

Just as we are being escorted (Who can afford a car?) into the poorhouse by our US condo and by our US accountants' embezzlement taxes (and by my not working and by my excessive consumption of overpriced alcohol and by my library fines and by my mango addiction - hmmm... perhaps I'm the one driving after all), Singapore comes to the rescue in a most American fashion: a credit card.

Now, if you're in the US, you're thinking, Give me a break! I could tile my kitchen with the credit cards I've received this week alone! But this is Singapore, and despite the kitchens being teeny-tiny, our two lonely Singaporean credit cards (Jim and I each have one for our single account) wouldn't cover more than a single wall.

We have been hot in pursuit of a local credit card not in an effort to check off another one of (Cash, Car, Credit Card, Condo, Country Club: we are doing abominably against this list. Shall I change it? Child, Cat, Career, ... Well, Crap. Hey!), but in the frugal desire to avoid the 3% international fee, on top of the crappy (See! I'm good at this one!) exchange rate, that American credit cards charge. One year, several application forms, and a letter from Jim's employer later, we have captured the prize and shall commence to charge at will.

First up: Soup Restaurant (Whaddya know! It works!), where we thoroughly enjoyed the Samsui ginger chicken (cucumbers, tender chicken, and minced ginger that you wrap in lettuce leaves) and thoroughly poked at the snow fungus jelly. (Andrea: "Hmmm...three different textures, none of which I like." Venitha: "I may need chocolate to make up for this.")

Nestled in my wallet next to my shiny new Singaporean Mastercard and my well-worn American Visa is something even cooler: Australia dollars. Just like the sexy Aussie accent, Aussie cash leaves bland American dollars and pale Singaporean money crying in their beer while it seduces all the girls. Boldly colorful and indestructible, the notes are adorned with women; the coins sport kangaroos. I'm going to love this country. Or at least I'm going to love spending its currency. I'll surely spend some on an internet café, should I stumble across one; regardless, we're back on Monday.