Sunday, July 28, 2013
From Wee Cheng's Son We Learn Vice-President Biden Is In Singapore Buying Fresh Lime Juice
Wee Cheng is a Singapore native of Chinese descent. Wee writes and speaks English, in addition to Chinese. Singaporean English is known as Singlish, due to the way the locals mix Singapore in to their version of English.
My lessons in Singapore culture came from Wee Cheng back in the last century.
My first website was birthed in the mid 1990s. In either late 1994 or 1995. My first website was called Dialing Doctor Durango. At that point in time Doctor Durango was sort of a know it all blowhard soliciting questions from people seeking answers to any type of question. Being a know it all blowhard was a real big stretch for me.
Most people got the satirical sarcastic nature of Dialing Doctor Durango. But, two things happened that caused me to stop being Doctor Durango and change my website in to The Durango Files.
One of the things that happened was a Munich, Germany medical university's website listed Dialing Doctor Durango among the Top Ten medical websites on the Internet. Soon after that I got a very earnest, very serious gynecological oncology question from a lady in the UK.
After the gynecological oncology question I decided it was time to shut the Doctor Durango clinic.
Now, what does any of that have to do with Wee Cheng?
Well, back when I was still enjoying being Doctor Durango Wee Cheng emailed me asking for lovelorn advice. Lord knows I am the go to guy for that type advice. Wee Cheng's former boyfriend, Teck Seng, was returning to Singapore from an assignment in London. Teck Seng wanted to see Wee. Wee was reluctant. Wee's mother thought she should give Teck another shot.
I agreed with Wee's mom.
During the course of the following years Wee and I exchanged emails constantly. Wee asked for my phone number and called me a couple times while I still lived in Washington and once or twice after the move to Texas. Wee mailed me cool stuff, like antique Singapore postcards, that I webpaged. Those postcards must be in this abode, somewhere. Wee mailed me a cool silk sarong type thing she got in Japan.
When Wee was in Japan she went into a Walmart where she got something called Easy Cheese. Disgusting fake cheese sprayed from a can. This delicacy was not available in Singapore, so Wee asked me if I could ship her some Easy Cheese. I bought 3 cans of the stuff and shipped it to Singapore. If I remember right it cost about 10 times more to mail than the Easy Cheese cost.
I don't remember if it was before I moved to Texas, or after, but, I got an invitation to Wee and Teck's wedding. I did not make it to Singapore for the wedding.
Wee continued emailing me until just before George Bush invaded Iraq. Prior to that Wee told me if America invaded anymore Asian countries she was done with all things American. I then asked if that meant she'd be giving up using the Internet.
After that exchange I did not hear from Wee again for years, not til she sent me a Facebook friend request. After Wee Facebook friended me I was quite pleased to see that she was now a mother with two boys.
It was one of those boys who provided me Facebook amusement this morning with the following...
Yap Wee Cheng
Son: Mum, do you know US Vice President is in Singapore?
Mum: Yes. Not bad yah, you know about it. Do you know the reason for him to be here?
Son: For good food lah, he went to hawker center to buy fresh lime juice.
Mum can't help but laugh hysterically.
"yah" and "lah" are examples of the aforementioned Singlish.