A brief history of Singapore (in relation to me)
1994 - Michael Fay vandalizes some cars and steals road signs in Singapore, a small island on the tip of western Malaysia, causing an international incident when he is sentenced to six strokes of the cane. U.S. President Bill Clinton begged the Singapore government to spare Fay from the embarrassing and disgraceful punishment. Singapore didn't let Fay off the hook but they did allow Clinton to save some face by reducing the number strokes to only four. This is the first time that many Americans, including myself, ever heard of Singapore. The image of a clean, strict Singapore that will cane your bare buttocks if you chew gum is cemented in the minds of Americans (some of you may remember this SNL Skit about it.. and SNL was where I got my all current events news from).
2000 - I met a Singaporean for the first time in my life during my sophomore year at Rice University--Kristin Hartono (and she's not even really Singaporean). She put up with my ignorant questions like "do you get caned for chewing gum there?"
January 18, 2003 - Watched a Singaporean film called "I Not Stupid" (THANK YOU ANDY CHOY FOR RECOMMENDING THIS WONDERFUL MOVIE). A touching film (for the record, I almost cried but didn't) about three kids who struggled to meet their parents' expectations every day. It's a movie that asian-americans could easily relate to and identify with, even though it was a story that was specific to Singapore and a criticism of Singapore's educational system (which has since been reformed, apparently, according to wikipedia, and as we all know wikipedia never lies)
March 17-20, 2005 - Invited on a "recce" (slang in UK, Canada, and Singapore for reconnaissance) trip to visit Singapore for the first time to see if I would enjoy living and working there. I accepted the job offer.
Aug 23, 2005 - Moved to Singapore and thought everything was inexpensive here, except the rent (I loved the location in the middle of the city, on Wilkie Road at the base on Mount Sohpia). At that time 1 US Dollar equaled 1.67 Singapore Dollars. (I later found out though that it's not so cheap here after all). I had a lot of fun. However, I also wasted a lot of time playing world of warcraft. ok, not completely wasted.. some of it was quality time with coworkers but the grinding? that was a waste of time.
August 10, 2006 - moved into the GCTC on telok blangah road.. a place where campus crusade housed some of its staff and also the place with the cheapest rent that I've ever had in Singapore. I became known as the resident crazy, old guy who lives upstairs. Old Man Marley, they called me.. they used to think I murdered people and turned them into salt until one Christmas when a young boy befriended me and found out I wasn't really all that scary..oh wait, that was from Home Alone.
August 2, 2007 - Introduced to Carissa for the first time by our mutual friend who went to high school with Carissa but now lives in Texas. I tried using my vast (not really) knowledge of Singapore to impress her but I don't think it worked at first.
Sept 20, 2007 - shaved my head, which changed my life (I shaved my head once during my senior year of college but this was the first time I used a razor--totally different). Also see my guide for cheap shaves/haircuts in singapore.
Oct 2007 - Carissa and I started dating (after a lot of awkward meetings and following her (not on Twitter))
Jan 2008 - Started working at Lucasfilm Singapore and moved to Kembangan. '08 also marked the first year that I didn't make a trip back to the US (before, I'd go back once every year in the summer).
Feb 2009 - Moved to Tiong Bahru
March 2011 - Proposed to Carissa (in Korea, not Singapore, but thought I should mention it anyway)
Aug 23, 2011 - The 6 year anniversary of living in Singapore. I celebrated by playing Monkey Island 2: Special Edition (which was made in Singapore)
Sept 19, 2011 - 1 US Dollar = 1.24 Singapore Dollars (click here for current rate)
Dec 2011 - Moving to Sengkang
May 2012 - ???