Invading travellers who try to be local

In one of our last posts, we featured some numbers in relations to the movement of people on this planet for leisure purpose. By now we are wary of calling it travel or touring. As you know there IS a difference in the minds of some! Fine.

Mel recalled a semestral course he did on social pyschology many years ago. “Verstehen” as a concept introduced to him as a young student (yeah we were young once too!) meant to put yourself in another person’s shoes so to speak – to understand deeper, ie from the perspective of that person.

So applying this concept, it is interesting to theorize how the local folks who live in some of the world’s most sought after leisure destinations feel about the ‘non locals’ that appear in their midst – sometimes attempting to be like a local (Read Chiseche’s post here on ‘the settler’).

You know, in every country the local language has its own colloqualism, slang, whatever. In our little red dot, the locally mangled form of English (fondly called ‘Singlish’) can be dumbfounding, weird or downright hilarious to those native speakers of her majesty’s tongue. Such examples include the use of the word “lah” in daily speech.

Defined as a slang rightly or not, it is used lavishly in many (not all lah) sentences uttered by the local Singaporean. However, lest you think that it is simply attaching it at the end of any sentence, think again. Listen very carefully (ok read), for we shall only say (write) this once : the use of “lah” is a linguistic evolutionary development of the highest order in our opinion.

Like the F word which is most versatile, “lah” can be used to emit a range of emotions and meanings through emphasis, perhaps these are examples (not perfect):

  • Don’t be like that lah (frustration)
  • Ok lah (it’s alright)
  • Cannot lah!! (possibly upset)
  • No lah (disbelieve)

If ever you are in Singapore and plan to stay longer as a “traveler” who thinks you have become a local, do refrain from using lah too often. It’s just too strange! LOL.

We are sure you have local expressions that that are versatile like the ‘lah’. Care to share them?

Funny business

The Europe atlas

We had previously written about airport names here and how they are the same, yet in very different parts of the world.

Well this post is about weird town names. Do you reckon Middlefart is a swear word or the name of a town? No prizes for guessing it’s the name of a town. But where would you guess this town be found?

When reading this article quite some weeks back, we cannot help but to write more about our own experiences with funny town names…But we highly recommend that you read the article because there is an atlas mapping out the offending names across the world. And the one here is just a sample for Europe. And a very recent one too here. Poor guy ended up with T-Shirts facing a blizzard…

Seriously though, who made English the default way to pronouce city names anyway? LOL. If you take that with a healthy dose of salt, then it is really hilarious. Will you want to go Puke (poo-kay) in Tonga? Nah, we’d rather keep it in! But we found out that the word actually means ‘to be sick’ in Tongan, an uncanny similarity to the English word…or perhaps it was a borrowed word from some passing sailor?

Have you visited places whose names sound bizarre in English? Tell us!

Poster Funnies

Neon signs work, until they don’t.

This Daily mail article (here) shared some hilarious neon signs that were defective to say the least. Best one in our opinion is: bad-signage

Closer home to Singapore, we had this on the bus:


Yes we are aware that Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world, but we shouldn’t have to bust our ass to open windows right?

And finally, our favorite photo bomb of all time:


This fella must be the leader of the pack!

Have a wonderful mid week!

Anything is Possible at a Chinese Airport

Sometimes, when you least expect it. Some one comes up to you and says – Surprise! We’re bringing you through airport security in a zippy! Nope this’s not candid camera…

Isn’t that a happy thought? Just when you have almost lost all sense of hope of ever connecting to that flight whose gate was due to close…reminds us of our recent incident in Beijing! Except there wasn’t such a man with a neon sign. Read Issac and Olena’s near harrowing ordeal. You’d love the happy ending!

Living (& teaching) in China Blog

Isaac and I moved to China in July 2016 in hopes of discovering Asia and traveling as much as possible. During our first 5 months here we visited Shanghai many times, took a train up to Beijing, explored an ancient water village and hiked in a rain forest during a typhoon just to mention a few of our many adventures! Until recently, however, we hadn’t experienced Chinese airports…

We booked our flights with Southern China airline from Shanghai to Phuket and then from Bangkok back to Shanghai way back in August. Using Skyscanner we got a great deal and only spent about $250 on two round-trip flights with one layover each way. It was a bargain!

Leading up to the flight, the agency that we booked with, Vayama, kept changing our flight times every two or three weeks. We didn’t think much of it, until the week before our flight…

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The vain goat?

Yet another fun animal picture that we could not help to share while we were leafing through our photo albums one afternoon.

Water Palace36
K-pop star?

In a journey to Bali some years back, we were walking around the water palace of the last Karangasem King in the eastern part of the island. It was a beautiful day and there was virtually no one else here.

So we walked where we pleased and were enjoying the sights of the palace when we scanned the horizon and noticed something odd.

There was this little goat shed and it seemed out of place. So we approached it gingerly, but then these guys started braying loudly, most likely because they thought we are coming to feed them (and goats are said to eat anything we are told).

Turns out these goats are a unique breed. They appear well groomed too! See how this fella has his hair combed like a Korean boy band star?

Where’s this rock star to be found? Go carry a poster of him and wait at: