Come back soon and have a nice day!

San Diego Comic-Con

I haven’t written properly here for awhile, and much as I loathe blogging about blogging, there are some days, every day in fact, that I struggle to think about what to write here.

So many things have happened in the past months that it’s been difficult to make heads or tails of it. And I only know that I am lucky to have had so many great opportunities to do fun things and call it work.

But to try to blog about it presents difficulties, or something.

So I looked into the archives and dug out the first entry I blogged as Mr Miyagi. And I find that all I did was cut and paste something T. E. Lawrence (he of Arabia) said:

“You wonder what I am doing? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That’s the feeling.”

So, I got all pensive and introspective and all that, then I said ah fuck it because I’m here in San Diego and trying to soak it all in.

I last visited the States in 1981 or thereabouts, and I remember being bewildered as a 12 year old would, eating fast food (MacDonald’s) for the first time, realising the difference between carrot cakes here and those that are fried in Singapore, and going ape over the Hotel Bonaventure L.A., where we stayed, because it was the building they used as the Earth Defense Directorate HQ in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

There was also Disneyland, and then going to San Francisco, Vancouver and Toronto with my parents, my sister and brother. I remember the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and falling on ice for the first time, and very nearly cracking my head open. It was probably the first time I felt as if I had travelled (not the falling and cracking head bit), and I remember having difficulty understanding the way people spoke, and how I was often gobsmacked for a response, even if I thought I spoke English then.

Living in Australia for 8 years did allow me to experience the same disconnect a little – trying to comprehend Australian English is a challenge even some Australians find troublesome. Ask any Aussie who Emma Chissett is, and you’ll know why.

I don’t know whether it’s because we’ve been so Americanised – bloddy television, bloddy movies – that this time round, coming to the States presented no such problem. Everything was smooth, conversation-wise, and no one had to excuse themselves and ask the other to repeat what they’d just said.

Maybe it’s because I spoke ‘Good English’, then. Yay. I speak good english, and so I’m sure to make it good here, and everywhere else.

Then I found something else striking. You go to any shop and buy something, or ask something, and the person serving you serves you, thanks you, then tells you to “have a nice day”. And they sound like they mean it.

That’s the one Americanism that’ll stick for this trip, I think.

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24 thoughts on “Come back soon and have a nice day!”

  1. Only when you’re out of the country do you realise how incredibly dismal and depressing Singapore’s service industry is. Never fails to hit me.

  2. Only when you’re out of the country do you realise how incredibly dismal and depressing Singapore’s service industry is. Never fails to hit me.

  3. Do Americans say “bloody” something? Haven’t heard so far. heh. like i wrote in the other blog, if you guys are ever in LA and want some travel suggestions (or in dire need of chinese food), email me and we can hook up. 😉

  4. Do Americans say “bloody” something? Haven’t heard so far. heh. like i wrote in the other blog, if you guys are ever in LA and want some travel suggestions (or in dire need of chinese food), email me and we can hook up. 😉

  5. 6 years away for me… 2 in the States and 4 in Australia and I know what you mean about the service… Well Ben…thank you for writing, “have a nice day” and Write soon…

  6. 6 years away for me… 2 in the States and 4 in Australia and I know what you mean about the service… Well Ben…thank you for writing, “have a nice day” and Write soon…

  7. Thanks for the add on Flickr.

    If there’s one thing I do like about living in the U.S. it’s the courtesy people practice. Whether it’s just because they’re following societal rules or they’re actually sincere, it’s better than being shoved out of the way while trying to board a lift or the subway.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip! And um, I wouldn’t bother with McDonald’s anymore. It tastes so much better in Singapore!!!

  8. Thanks for the add on Flickr.

    If there’s one thing I do like about living in the U.S. it’s the courtesy people practice. Whether it’s just because they’re following societal rules or they’re actually sincere, it’s better than being shoved out of the way while trying to board a lift or the subway.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip! And um, I wouldn’t bother with McDonald’s anymore. It tastes so much better in Singapore!!!

  9. welcome to North America, miyagi. i fully understand the disconnect that you had experienced as a child visiting North America when you were 12; I too, experienced that feeling when I moved back here as a teenager.

    but, if you stay in the US longer, you can feel certain things that you don’t feel/see elsewhere: the Christian Right movement and their oh-so-lovely television programs, the underlying racial and social class divide; ghettoization of neighbourhoods…

    have fun tho (though i’m sure you are). SD is a luver-ly place!

  10. welcome to North America, miyagi. i fully understand the disconnect that you had experienced as a child visiting North America when you were 12; I too, experienced that feeling when I moved back here as a teenager.

    but, if you stay in the US longer, you can feel certain things that you don’t feel/see elsewhere: the Christian Right movement and their oh-so-lovely television programs, the underlying racial and social class divide; ghettoization of neighbourhoods…

    have fun tho (though i’m sure you are). SD is a luver-ly place!

  11. Did you try KFC yet? Be surprised, the KFC chicken prepared in Singapore is the only one different from all other countries. The chap who started it all here got special permission to vary the cooking process because he told the francise holders Singaporeans prefer the meat different (firmer). What Mr Loo did was to cook the chicken at a higher temperature for a shorter time. Plus, outside of Singapore, the KFC chicken has stuffing, and comes off the bones more easily – thus the finger licking line.

  12. Did you try KFC yet? Be surprised, the KFC chicken prepared in Singapore is the only one different from all other countries. The chap who started it all here got special permission to vary the cooking process because he told the francise holders Singaporeans prefer the meat different (firmer). What Mr Loo did was to cook the chicken at a higher temperature for a shorter time. Plus, outside of Singapore, the KFC chicken has stuffing, and comes off the bones more easily – thus the finger licking line.

  13. My version of Emma Chisset goes like this:
    Cab driver to my friend, first time in Perth, “Did you come here today?” (in strine, of course)
    My friend, “I didn’t come here to die, I came here to study!”

  14. My version of Emma Chisset goes like this:
    Cab driver to my friend, first time in Perth, “Did you come here today?” (in strine, of course)
    My friend, “I didn’t come here to die, I came here to study!”

  15. hate to burst your bubble, but the whole “have a nice day” only happens on the West coast (and maybe the north-east) … other places like baltimore, new york … not so much.

  16. hate to burst your bubble, but the whole “have a nice day” only happens on the West coast (and maybe the north-east) … other places like baltimore, new york … not so much.

  17. hey john, the post about your friend and cabbie was hilarious! there are very few things more funny than a honest to god singaporean making his way in the world sometimes. croc dundee minus the croc. i busted a gut laughing. thank you, the image of both your friend’s and cabbie’s faces was priceless.

  18. hey john, the post about your friend and cabbie was hilarious! there are very few things more funny than a honest to god singaporean making his way in the world sometimes. croc dundee minus the croc. i busted a gut laughing. thank you, the image of both your friend’s and cabbie’s faces was priceless.

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