Thursday, January 21, 2010

Singapore Notes - Shooting Missiles

I moved back to Singapore this months after 3 years in the Philippines. I'm enjoying getting re-acquainted with the city.

One learns something new every day. I thought I was pretty well up on Singapore slang, but I learnt a new expression the other day: shooting missiles.

My husband and I were in a cab and my husband commented on how nice it was to drive down such a quiet street, especially when one considered that the very next street from us was always so noisy. The cabby nodded appreciatively and said he hated driving down that busy street. Because of all the "shooting missiles."

In these terrible times, the mind goes pretty easily to terrorist activity; but I quickly dismissed that first thought since the cab driver seemed more amused than alarmed. I thought perhaps he was referring to some manner of fireworks, this being the Christmas-to-Chinese-New-Year festive season in Singapore.

But no. He explained that many pedestrians, new arrivals from a certain part of Asia, oblivious to Singapore traffic norms, would suddenly dart into this very busy road anywhere and everywhere they felt like crossing it! Shooting out into traffic like missiles. What an evocative image!

What part of Asia? That shall, of course, remain nameless though it will not be a mystery to anyone who knows Singapore - or that certain part of Asia. :)