AM ERICAN AS S O C I ATION O F S INGAP ORE
www.aasingapore.com American Association..... 1-7 Member Discounts............. 3 CRCE & Business............... 6 Community News........... 8-9 Living in Singapore.......... 10 Travel........................ 12-14 Education........................ 14 Finance........................... 15 Food, lah!.................. 16-19 Arts & Culture............ 20-21 President's Message........ 22 What’s Happening.......... 23
Food, lah! 16-19
Melbourne – a coffee-lover's paradise
All you need to know about keeping kids safe online
Four ways to reduce your US tax bill
A foodie journey around Singapore MCI (P) 071/03/2018
Racing into Spring By Cath Forte
Photo by Katie Baines
he rain did nothing to dampen spirits as American Association of Singapore (AAS) members and guests turned out in their race day finery to celebrate the first Spring Fling at Café Melba, Goodman Arts Centre on Saturday, April 14. We kept the faith and were eventually rewarded with some sunshine. The slick conditions only served to enhance the excitement of the main event: the Kentucky Derby-themed hobby horse race. AAS President, Stephanie Nash, welcomed guests and thanked major sponsor Stamford American International School (SAIS) for supporting the event before race commentator Mike Borchert took the mic. Following a parade of horses around the track, tensions ran high as Cath Forte, AAS Communications Manager; Eric Weisser, Scoutmaster with Boy Scouts Troop 07; Shawn Galey, Singapore American School alumni parent; Ray Corrigan, President, Singapore Council of the US Navy League; and Michell Sky, Membership Marketing and
Sales Executive from The American Club, raced around a challenging obstacle course, all in the name of raising funds for their chosen charities. After a nail-biting race, including challenges such as hula hoop skipping, pole weaving and, of course, a series of jumps, there was a sprint to the finish. Despite slipping on the wet grass, Ray Corrigan galloped across the finish line to take first place. Following generous donations by many betters, $884 was raised for the Fleet & Family Readiness, which supports activities for US military and US military families when they are visiting Singapore or if they are stationed here. Along with bragging rights, Ray also proudly took home a commemorative plaque and will have his name engraved as the first winner of the Spring Fling Cup, which will be displayed in the AAS office. We’re grateful to everyone who took part. Following the Spring Fling Cup, younger riders
American Association of Singapore – Since 1917
took part in a relay race around some fun obstacles. The winners received fantastic goodie bags including cute, cuddly lions, presented by Dr. Eric Sands, Superintendent at SAIS. Younger guests also made some fabulous crafts, including bow ties and hats, sponsored by Expat Dental and other horse-themed activities. No party is complete without great food, drinks and sweet treats. Café Melba served a delicious selection of fresh pizza, pasta and salad, along with classic Derby-day cocktail, Mint Julep. The amazing horse race-themed cake was a winner with guests of all ages. Throughout the afternoon we were treated to fantastic bluegrass-style music from the Downtown Mountain Boys, who kept us all in good spirits through rain and shine. We were so happy to share this new event with AAS friends, sister organizations and partners and we’re excited to see what the Spring Fling will look like next year!
2 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · May 2018
W hat ' s Tuesday
Join us for morning coffee at Privé Orchard where you’ll have the opportunity to make new connexions and catch up with old ones, too. There’s no fee to join, but attendees are required to purchase at least one drink/coffee (minimum). 9:30 – 11am Privé Orchard, Wheelock Place, (S)238880 Free of charge, but registration required. This event is open to AAS members. Interested guests are welcome to attend one Coffee Connexions event as a non-member.
Evening with Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson
$25 AAS & The American Club Members $35 Non-Members
Join us for a glass of wine and nibbles as we share an evening with Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, US Navy. The Rear Admiral will reflect on US Navy cooperation in South East Asia and strategic thinking. 7– 8:30pm The American Club, 3rd Floor 10 Claymore Hill, (S)229573
Join us for an evening of laughter as we watch UK female double act, The Kagools. Time TBC The Merry Lion, 8b Circular Rd #03-00, (S)049364 Tickets from www.themerrylion.sg Please let us know your're coming: Cath Forte, email@example.com
Bowling Night (Adults)
Join us at Kallang Bowl for a lively night of bowling and conversation. 7 – 9pm Kallang Bowl, Leisure Park Kallang, (S)397693 $15 per person + cost of shoe rental This is an AAS members-only event.
Join us for a morning of fun at East Coast Park. 10 – 11am Marine Cove @ East Coast Park, (S)449876 Free of charge, but registration required. This is an AAS members-only event.
Coffee en Español
Do you want to practice your language skills? Maybe Spanish is your first language and you crave conversation in your mother tongue? Whether you’re a native speaker or a keen student, you’re very welcome to catch up over una taza de café at Privé Orchard. 9:30 – 11am Privé Orchard, Wheelock Place, (S)238880 Free of charge, but registration required. This is an AAS members-only event.
Raising Responsible Digital Citizens
Navigating the digital world can be a minefield for adults, never mind kids. Join us for this essential talk by the experts at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) and learn how to give your children the skills to stay safe in cyberspace. 7 – 9pm The American Club, 3rd floor, 10 Claymore Hill, (S)229573 Free for AAS Members, GEMS World Academy Community & The American Club Members ($10 no-show fee applies) $30 Non-Members
Learn all about AAS, upcoming events and how you can make the most of your membership. Connect with other members and make new friends while enjoying some wine and nibbles. 6 – 7:30pm AAS office @ Thong Teck Building Free of charge, but registration required. All AAS Members welcome!
We’re adding new events and activities all the time, so please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for up-to-the-minute information, and to register for an event: www.aasingapore.com
3 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · May 2018
we ' ve been up to
We’ve been having an awesome time here at the American Association of Singapore (AAS) over the past few weeks! AAS staff and members spent a morning volunteering at Willing Hearts Soup Kitchen. From prepping veggies to packing containers of food, we had fun while giving back to the community. A hotly fought contest, our Quiz Night saw teams battle it out as Quizmaster Glenn van Zutphen posed questions on subjects including American TV shows, music and famous faces. Congratulations to the winning team, “No Soup for You,” with players Bill Poorman, Margaret Poorman, Valerio Rossi, Brian Schwender and Greg Weiss.
AAS MEMBER DISCOUNTS AAS members enjoy discounts at a range of local businesses. Present your AAS membership card at time of purchase. www.aasingapore.com/member-discounts
AAS members enjoy two hours free handyman service (valued at over $200) on their moving day when booking a move with Allied Pickfords.
Indulge in modern American gourmet burgers and premium craft beer. Enjoy 15% off when you dine at Brewerkz through December 31, 2018. Limit to one redemption per bill/table. Not valid on public holidays and eve of public holidays. Valid for a la carte menu. The management reserve the right to amend the terms & conditions without prior notice.
Taste authentic Mexican Food and blue agave tequila and receive 15% off when you dine at Café Iguana through December 31, 2018. Not valid on public holidays and eve of public holidays. Valid for a la carte menu. The management reserve the right to amend the terms & conditions without prior notice.
We were delighted to welcome three authors, Stephanie Chen, Ritu Hemnani and Annie Joseph, to discuss their writing experiences with members and guests at our Unscripted Experiences evening. Many thanks to Alka Chandiramani for facilitating the event.
Only for AAS members. Enjoy 20% off travel insurance all year round, and S$100 per couple when you book a holiday package* with Flight Centre *Package comprises of at least flight and accommodation. Discount cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Contact your dedicated travel team at 6692 9658 or visit bit.ly/FCxAAS2018 for more info.
BENEFITS Hot-desking Our first Freelancer Club was a big success, with members bouncing ideas around and getting on with business in our new co-working opportunity. Other fun activities included a bowling night, a parent and child meet up at East Coast Park and Coffee Connexions at our usual hangout, Privé Orchard.
CRCE members can use our co-working space at the office – a great way to meet other members and share ideas. Members get five hours of hot-desk space per month, which can be booked as single hour sessions or a double hour session.
Freelancer Club Freelancer Club is for CRCE Members who freelance in our community to meet, collaborate, soundboard, problem solve and create discussion before getting on with the tasks in hand.
SPRING FLING CUP 2018 Kentucky Derby
Photos by Katie Baines
CAREER RESOURCE CENTER FOR EXCELLENCE PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
“If I can impact an executive and his or her team, I can help to change the culture of an organization.” SRIKUMAR RAO
By Katie Baines
“After the honeymoon period I needed to regain my sense of purpose and I felt demoralized because I had no idea of how to do that,” she explained. “While I didn’t want the all-consuming job I’d left behind, I also needed to be more than just my husband’s wife.” Terrified of losing her identity, she sought professional advice and, within a matter of weeks, secured a book deal. The professional who changed Erin’s fortunes was a career coach. Large bluechip companies have employed their services for decades, but now individuals have also started to consult them, particularly those at a crossroads or stuck in a rut in their career. Suzanna Borst, a Singapore-based career coach, has found this trend only too common in the expat community. “We see clients across the spectrum: the majority are trailing spouses, both women and men, and parents returning to work. We see folks who are currently working, but looking to do a job change in Singapore and also a handful who are repatriating and want to start preparing for their job search when they go home.” One thing they have in common is the feeling of bewilderment and losing faith in their own strategies to move forward. “Most folks are feeling a bit anxious when they first come in,” Suzanna explained. “The tendency is to think job hunting will be relatively easy. For example: ‘English is the common language, it is a major hub for many businesses, I’ll just do here what I did at home to get my last job.’ But then they feel overwhelmed and
discouraged once they discover that it takes time and patience. “So, for those who get the lay of the land before diving in,” she continued, “understanding legislation and how to apply local best practices to their search, they can set their expectations, understand ‘it’s not just me’ and feel more in control.” Chiara Gaviraghi transferred to Singapore from her firm in Ireland, but sadly the company failed to secure her Employment Pass (EP) after she arrived. “Singapore is full of talent,” she said, “so it’s very difficult to stand out, particularly if you’re in a position like me where you don’t have a Dependent Pass and have to convince a company to sponsor you with an EP. After meeting with [my coach], I started to follow her suggestions by networking as much as possible … I actually got an interview that way. “I also started to analyze job descriptions differently,” she continued, “taking the key words and explaining in my cover letter how, from a personal perspective, my transferable skills would provide solutions for the company. By doing this, I got a reply from one employer within two hours after sending off an application.” Manager David Lewis explained his experience: “By taking along my CV, valuable insight was given to current resume content, structure and format as well as great insight to a recruiter’s thought processes and what they are looking for.” Following his session, he said, “I quickly sat down and structured my thoughts around the advice with the models and exercises as suggested. This allowed me to develop my thinking and position both my thoughts and resume towards the opportunities and career path I desired.” Is it time you invested in yourself?
Suzanna Borst has over 17 years’ experience in recruiting, people development, and human resources in both Asia and the United States. Over 13 years of her career was spent in recruiting at McKinsey & Company, a leading global management consulting firm, working in both their New York and Tokyo offices. To book a one-on-one session with Suzanna, contact AAS at firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership & Rules Director Our prestigious club is currently looking for a Membership & Rules Director. The key role is to deliver comprehensive membership support and rules advisory service to the General Manager, the General Committee, comprising 11 member-elected representatives, and the Membership & Rules Sub-Committee. (job #3636) Outplacement Consultants We are a fast-growing international human resource consultancy firm that provide outplacement and executive coaching services to MNCs. We are looking for professional, self-driven and enthusiastic senior freelance candidates to join our Singapore office for our rapid business expansion and development. (job #3637)
Investing in a Career Coach rin Tyler had a solid career spanning 12 years in the financial sector before her husband got a transfer to Singapore, but after six months of being told how lucky she was to be living a charmed existence of lunching and shopping, she began to feel utterly lost.
SPOTLIGHT ON JOBS
NEW! Hot-desking at AAS Looking for somewhere to work? AAS is opening its doors to offer CRCE members use of its new co-working space.
For more info: www.aasingapore.com/boostyour-career
Student Care Officer As the face of the company, the Student Care Officer represents our values of service, quality and innovation, so it's essential that our staff take pride in providing a welcoming environment and excellent service. Our clients depend on the Student Care Officer for student-related matters, such as rescheduling of lessons, arranging make-up classes, borrowing of books and making fee payments. (job #3638) Production Coordinator The production coordinator plays a central support role on a variety of projects by efficiently and pro-actively managing all aspects of project administration. With a confident approach and positive outlook, they enable the project manager and wider project team to deliver outstanding results and exceptional client service at all times. (job #3639) Associate Producer Our brand experience agency is currently looking for an Associate Producer to play a central support role on a variety of projects by efficiently and pro-actively managing all aspects of project administration, supporting lead project managers on specific elements of larger events and being responsible for their own smaller projects. (job #3640)
Are you an employer with an opening to fill? Did you know employers can list jobs for free on the CRCE job board? Log onto www.aasingapore.com to find out more.
Asia-Pacific Business Development Internship We are currently looking for a Business Development Intern to join our Asia-Pacific team, which provides business development and operational support for the entire region. Interns will be well placed to better understand the internal workings of the agency and will be asked to support the team. (job #3641) Head of Data and Analytics Our agency is looking to recruit a Head of Data and Analytics to play a critical role in determining the future and long-term success of the Insights Community in Singapore/ Asia. The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record of gathering, distilling, analyzing, reporting and interpreting data to help guide strategies (strategic analytics), inform decisions (activation analytics) and measure performance (performance analytics). (job #3643) Influencer Marketing Executive An exciting opportunity has arisen for an influencer-marketing specialist to join our growing Digital and Social Media agency. This position will involve meeting with clients to understand their requirements and present them with custom solutions to achieve their objectives through influencer marketing. This position will require someone who is knowledgeable and confident with content creation for both client packages and for internal purposes as well. (job #3644)
7 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · May 2018
Your AAS Needs You!
Calling for 4th of July Celebration Volunteers The amazing events we hold at AAS would not be possible without the help of our amazing members. Our 4th of July Celebration is a massive event and in order for it to be our BEST YET, we need a whole army of volunteers to help us make it happen. Do you have a couple of hours to spare on Saturday, June 30 to help out? Please email Sarah Walston, Events Manager, at email@example.com to express your interest as a volunteer.
We have an opportunity for you! AAS is looking for people to help us out with a family fun line dance at our 4th of July Celebration.
Stars & Stripes
Contact our Events Manager, Sarah Walston for full details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone for Tennis? By Charles Herman
format is played. This season our men played in the D level, competing against four other teams that have been in the STA for a few years, including SIA (Singapore Airlines), HDB Club, Filipino Tennis Club and Advantage Tennis.
With the quick support of AAS Membership Manager, Holly Kreutter, and the willingness of STA to allow AAS to “affiliate” informally initially, the first AAS Team was formed and entered in the STA Men’s Inter-Club League.
STA offers many opportunities for tennis activities. Not only organized leagues and tournaments, but recommendations for coaches, workshops to learn the rules, and training for those that want to become umpires and officials. According to its mission, STA is “…committed to promoting the continuous development of tennis and its community in Singapore." It strives to “…deliver more tennis to our whole tennis community and see the standard of tennis raised for all players.” You can find more detailed information about STA at www.singtennis.org.sg.
The format of the Inter-Club League allows teams to choose from four levels of competition (A, B, C or D). Each level is divided into sub-groups and a round-robin
The Men’s Team this spring was comprised of Chris Browne, Grant Carter, Chuck Herman, Steve Kreutter, Dan Maher and Patrik Nilsson. The team was a mix of
ou never know what an American Association of Singapore (AAS) function will cause. Recently, during the Australian Open Women’s Final Watch Party at Boomarang, the discussion came up about forming an AAS tennis team and joining the Singapore Tennis Association (STA) Spring League. But while there was plenty of enthusiasm, there was a problem. The STA requires that a team be associated with a Club. And the Club must be affiliated with STA. And the closing date for registration was only a week away.
nationalities with three Americans, two Aussies and a Swede. Since one requirement for team members is to be a current AAS member, this new sports activity added four new members to the AAS roster, too!
DO YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED? Upcoming opportunities to form additional teams are just around the corner. Specifically, STA offers individual and doubles tournament formats, as well as similar leagues. Early June sees a deadline for forming Interclub Doubles Knock-out tournament entrants; then individual Intermediate Singles / Doubles tournament in July; and the Interclub Doubles League which runs from mid-September through late October. Contact email@example.com to express your interest – we hope to see you on the court!
8 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American · May 2018
Mostly Electronic Camp Out By Ed Cox
f you had walked into Stamford American International School on a Friday in late February, you would have seen almost two dozen Boy Scouts at the school on a day where there were no classes. The Boy Scouts of Troop 10 conduct a campout each February that has become known as the Mostly Electronic Camp Out, or MECO. MECO is probably the ‘softest’ campout of the year. It takes place at the school, where there are easy places to set up tents or sleeping bags, and much of the time is spent playing video games. MECO takes place shortly after the first wave of new Scouts joins the Troop after graduating from Cub Scouts. At Scout campouts, Troop 10 performs service projects, from which Scouts can earn service hours for advancement. At MECO, the troop organized all their scouting equipment. MECO helps the new Scouts acclimate into an unfamiliar environment and socialize with the Boy Scouts they will soon
be working with for years to come. All Scout campouts involve a few ‘patrols’, groups of Scouts assigned by the troop leadership. One man from each patrol is the Grubmaster, and he buys all the food and brings it. The others cook and clean. At MECO, the new Scouts are introduced to Boy Scout cooking, setting up tents, and various other tasks previously done for them by adults. No campout, however, would be a Boy Scout campout if nothing went wrong. At MECO, it rained, and several Scouts did not show up. Also, though this went properly, many Scouts complained heavily about the service project done at this campout. Overall, MECO was a success, and the new members of Troop 10 were well-integrated into the troop. Photo by Ed Cox
Cub Scout Pack 3010’s Pinewood Derby By Lisa Krause
ub Scout Pack 3010 held its annual Pinewood Derby races at Stamford American International School’s (SAIS) Early Learning Village on Saturday, April 14. A crowd of more than 100 enthusiastic scouts, parents, siblings and grandparents enjoyed the action and treats, which were sold at the Bake Sale, the proceeds of which will benefit Stamford’s adopted charity, Caring for Cambodia. About a month before the Derby, Pack 3010 was fortunate to be able to work with Singapore University of Technology and Design, who allowed us access to their woodworking facilities for the boys to work on their cars with the parents. All Cub Scouts began their pinewood car projects with a simple kit consisting of only a block of wood, plastic wheels and nails for axles. The time-honored Cub Scout competition teaches woodworking, engineering, creativity and
good sportsmanship. Heats through the afternoon determined the fastest cars on the sleek aluminum racetrack. The fierce competition for the first, second and third place was determined by a fraction of a second! Pack 3010 is a US Cub Scout Pack sponsored by Stamford American International School, led by parent-volunteers, for boys and girls of all schools and nationalities in Kindergarten through Grade 5. For more information, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website. Photo courtesy of Mindy Bush
SCOUTING IN SINGAPORE Boy Scouts Troop 07: www.bsatroop07.org Boy Scouts Troop 10: www.facebook.com/BSATroopX Cub Scouts Pack 3010: www.sgpack3010.org Cub Scouts Pack 3017: SGPack3017@gmail.com Girl Scouts: www.singaporeusagirlscouts.org
The Taste of Tradition By Koh Xin Tian
n the first day of his new job at Singapore American School’s (SAS) cafeteria on June 20, 1966, seventeen-and-a-half-year-old Mr. Hoe Juan Jok, his sister Ms. Hoo Juan Ang, their father Mr. Ho Tee Jam, and their two helpers took a taxi to school. Walking into a tiny, sweltering kitchen, Mr. Hoe, his father, and sister officially took over the cafeteria operations, making $52. Three months later, Mr. Hoe drove into campus on his 50cc green Honda. And three years after, in 1969, his family bought a second-hand Ford Cortina station wagon. Business was booming. Preparing Western fare, as well as local recipes, the Hoe family would go on to develop a menu of dishes that the SAS community – students, faculty and parents – would grow to love and crave for over the next 49 years. Today, the Hoe family kitchens produce more than 40 Western and Asian meals, such as sloppy joes, oxtail casserole, char siew rice and curry chicken in the SAS cafeterias. Their Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys have decorated thousands of dinner tables over the years. The delicious char siew rice is one of many dishes that has become an SAS favorite and has been served every Thursday since 1966.
“Children love our food,” said Mr. Hoe, who now runs the elementary and middle school cafeterias at the school’s Woodlands campus. “What we cook, they will eat . . . The teachers and the community here are very supportive.” Recalling some of the most memorable moments of the sixties, Mr. Hoe talked about how high school students would sneak in and out of his storeroom in pairs to smoke, because it was their so-called “safe place.” As the school expanded, more members of the Hoe family came on board. Mr. Hoe’s elder brother, Mr. Hoe Juan Sim, and their mother, Mdm. Tin Kok Luan, helmed the kitchens at the Alexandra and Gillman campuses. Today, they hire and oversee more than 70 staff members across three cafeterias at the Woodlands campus. Mr. Hoe’s son, Mr. He Xian Hao, followed his grandfather and father’s culinary footsteps, studying baking and pastry making at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and gelato-making at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Italy. Spanning three generations, the Hoe Brothers have fed SAS Eagles for more than 52 years. Photo courtesy of Singapore American School
9 COMMUNITY NEWS
Singapore American · May 2018
Travel Advice Consular Section
he Consular Section’s American Citizen Services Unit wishes everyone a happy and safe spring season and would like to share the following updates and guidance:
Border crossing awareness Several US citizens have reported difficulties at the Johor Bahru Malaysian Immigration checkpoint when crossing the border into Malaysia from Singapore. You are advised to follow all entry directions, present your passports only to immigration officials and be sure immigration officials stamp your passport with the correct date upon entering and exiting. Lacking correct documentation or proof of entry into Malaysia may result in high fines and detention.
Planning a trip for leisure/business soon? Before you book your flight, check your passport’s remaining validity and visa pages. It should be valid for at least six months beyond your planned stay in the country you want to visit. It is also recommended to have at least two blank visa pages for any visas and for entry/exit stamps. Many airlines and countries in this region will deny boarding and entry if you do not meet the passport requirements noted above. US citizens in need of a new passport for any reason do not need to wait until a passport is expired to apply for a new passport. Current processing times for new passports at the US Embassy in Singapore are under two weeks – actually faster than most processing times in the United States!
Immediate travel needs If you realize a little too late that you don’t meet the passport requirements outlined above, you may be eligible for an emergency passport. As the name suggests, emergency passports are only issued in emergency situations and at the discretion of the adjudicating officer. An emergency passport has a limited validity and consists of only a few pages, but it can be issued the same day and it can be used for visa-free travel throughout the region. Emergency passports may also be issued if your passport is lost or stolen. However, a special note: if you are planning to travel to Indonesia with an emergency passport, you will need to obtain an Indonesian visa first which may take a few days. Plan accordingly, as the US Embassy cannot assist you or advocate for you in obtaining an Indonesian visa. Remember, an emergency passport is not a substitute for a full validity passport, but it may be just what you need to save your vacation.
Passport fee increase The fee for some passports increased by $10 on April 2. The increase only applies to US passport applicants using the DS-11 form, such as children under 16, first-time applicants over 16, and applicants who re-apply after reporting their previous passport lost or stolen. Information including specific advice for US citizens in Singapore, passports, appointmentbooking services and more can be found at www.travel.state.gov For any other questions please contact: SingaporeACS@state.gov.
10 LIVING IN SINGAPORE
Singapore American · May 2018
Eating Your Way Around the World … in Singapore By Faith Chanda
he exquisite combination of nationalities and cultures that make up the population of Singapore has given rise to an international foodie heaven. You can pretty much eat your way around the world right here on the Little Red Dot. Within establishments that range from cafés and restaurants to street stalls and markets, more than 30 countries and cuisines can be found. So, whether you’re looking for a taste of home or to experiment with some new flavors, there’s always a foodie spot nearby to tickle your taste buds. One place my family keeps going back to over and over again is cafeteria-style Jaggi’s (jaggis.com.sg) in Little India. It’s super-casual, seriously authentic and mouth-wateringly fresh. Certain foods can be seen being prepared in the tandoor oven at the front of the kitchen – great for keeping kids’ attention occupied. And the naan and other tandoori staples that emerge are piping hot and scrumptious! There’s not much in the way of table service, basically hungry patrons line up at the serving counter and choose which dishes they’d like to try. The serving staff are helpful, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Best of all, it’s affordable – you can feed a family of five to Thanksgiving-level full for less than $100. I asked a few other foodie folks about where else I should stop on my culinary ‘world tour’. Here are the delicious destinations they recommended: “Carnivore (carnivore.com.sg) at Chijmes is really true to its name – a meat lover’s paradise, though there is a decent salad bar as well in case you want to balance out your meal with some veggies. In traditional churrascaria style, the friendly staff circulate continuously offering a vast array of well-grilled meat for a fixed price…so my best advice is: go hungry!” – Paripurna Ghosh Srinivas, jewelry designer, foodie, homemaker and Mom “FiSK (fisk.com.sg) is like a home away from home to me. I love that they are a one-stopshop – they have everything from fresh fish to imported groceries, craft drinks, specialty products, fine dining, Sunday brunch and even cooking classes!” – Irmelin Mathilde Røhn Amundsen, Project Coordinator at the Norwegian Business Association Singapore “My current favorite restaurant is Terra Tokyo Italian (terraseita.com). It seems like an unlikely cuisine pairing, but it works with amazing results. Chef Seita imports fresh produce, seafood and meat from Japan daily and prepares it all in an Italian style.
The Japanese omakase-style menu includes dishes like bruschetta with Japanese umi paired with a dry sake and wagyu beef paired with a 2004 Barolo. This modern fusion restaurant is an adventure for your tastebuds at every bite.” – Matt Teismann, lawyer in the oil & gas industry who’s been living between Singapore and the South of France for the past 11 years “When we're missing Filipino food and we have no time to cook, Gerry's Grill (gerrysgrill.com/sg) at Cuppage Road is our go-to ‘home-away-from-home’ restaurant! Our personal faves are the grilled pork belly, sizzling sisig (pork cheek), grilled squid, garlic rice, sinigang (tamarind-based soup), crispy pata (pork knuckle) and pork barbecue. For dessert, we love their halo-halo (mix of fruits, jelly, beans, flan and ice cream)!” – Valerie Cheng, mother of three on a quest to create a happier world through food bentos, dessert tables and essential oils “For mouth-watering Greek food, we love Blu Kouzina (blukouzina.com) at Dempsey Hill. They have a broad selection of wines and use olive oil from their own family-owned farm in Greece. The inviting outside area is perfect for a relaxing meal with friends.” – Parveet Singh, corporate lawyer living in Singapore since 2016 after five-year stints in foodie hotspots Hong Kong and New York “L'Angelus (langelus.sg) at 85 Club Street is certainly one not to be missed. It is a lovely, cozy restaurant offering authentic French cuisine with an extensive wine list from various regions of France. The attentive waitstaff was happy to help us in choosing a bottle of wine to best complement our delicious entrees. The presentation of food and service exceeded our expectations and I thoroughly recommend La grande planche degustation aux 10 fromages to share. I found it to include ten of the best cheeses I've had in Singapore. Bon Appetit!” – Michelle Daly, New Yorker and blogger who’s been in Singapore for seven of the last 11 years From Scandinavian to South American and from French to Filipino, there’s a treat here for every palate. Enjoy! Faith relocated to Singapore in January 2015 with her husband and two young children. She is a freelance writer and marketing consultant and the sole proprietor of F. Chanda Communications & Events. Faith enjoys exploring food, culture, nature and design through her travel adventures and looks forward to many new discoveries throughout Asia.
Singapore American · May 2018
From Flat Whites to Long Blacks – Melbourne’s Essential Cafés By Annette Lang
elbourne, Australia is known globally for its coffee obsession. While the café scene might be deemed a little pretentious, a cup of coffee is not JUST a cup of coffee in Melbourne, it’s an opinion divider with more attitude and social force than a simple argument of religion or politics. There is one thing that unites Melbourne coffee drinkers – they believe they have the BEST cafés in the country! And if admitting that makes Melbourne seem pretty pretentious, well, guilty as charged…
Perhaps it’s the ingrained local culture, which encourages Melbournians to linger leisurely over their espresso while lounging at communal tables around town. Perhaps it’s the quirky, creatively designed dining spaces and neighborhood locations. Whatever it is, there’s something vogueish in the endless places to enjoy a perfect cup of coffee. To help you plan your java-inspired Melbourne itinerary, here is a guide to the essential cafés in Melbourne.
It’s home to more than 2,000 cafés, as well as some of the most accomplished, inventive and technical baristas (and roasters) on earth. “What we do, the rest of the world often follows,” announced one of the baristas at Proud Mary. True indeed! Melbourne coffee is a source of furious pride and intense coffee competition. Melbourne is at the cutting edge of sourcing, roasting and brewing specialty coffee. With filter-style brews and single origin beans, they regularly make the list of the world's best coffee cities, as heralded by such outlets as CNN, Huffington Post, Lifehack, BBC Travel.
Everyday Coffee in Collingwood, a collaboration between baristas Mark Free, Aaron Maxwell and Joe Miranda, is a great place to begin. Their aim is simple: to serve the best coffee and be the best roaster in town. Possibly the closest you'll get to a North American style café vibe. This simplicity is also reflected in their interior design – an old shopfront converted into a brew bar. They champion cold brews and pour overs and spend a great deal of time explaining the different bean blends.
The rich, bronze liquid with tiny caramel bubbles and a generous dollop of milk foam swirling at its head has raised the position of barista to one of the most stressful jobs imaginable. Melbourne's coffee culture is renowned for its quality, but what that reputation really means is that you could blindly walk into almost any café and get a reliably decent coffee. It's about consistency. There’s a plethora of independent cafés throughout the inner neighborhoods; with inspired interior design, artisanal menus and an eclectic clientele, these cafés follow no template, taking their character from their community. Melbourne's love affair with coffee started with the arrival of Italian and Greek immigrants after World War II. It has evolved into an art form. This obsession with the perfect brew dates back to the early fifties, when Pellegrini’s on Bourke Street introduced the neighborhood to the hum of the first Italian espresso machines. Although the traditional Italian espresso reigns supreme in Melbourne (give or take some hot water, steamed milk or foam), the last few years have seen increasingly varied styles. It’s not just about espressos and flat whites anymore, but also pour over, siphon and cold-drip coffee styles.
Also in Collingwood is Proud Mary; this sophisticated coffee shop, housed in a redbrick textile mill should be on every visitor’s list. Founder Nolan Hirte works directly with coffee farmers; he firmly believes that good coffee comes from a good farmer. If it's crazy busy, just head to the nearby two-story state-of-the-art coffee cellar door Aunty Peg's (owned by the same crew). Part roasting house, part coffee bar, part retail shop, this a great spot for espresso, AeroPress or cold brew. Teeny-tiny Patricia may be one of few places on this map to not roast its own beans, but it's surely one of the strongest at brewing them. Patricia wastes little time on fanciful extras, focusing precision on pushing water through ground beans. The end result is no-nonsense, delicious coffee that draws the downtown office crowd in droves. On the Westside Rudimentary in Footscray is a relatively new café. Constructed from shipping containers on a landscaped lot, Rudimentary is a hyper-sustainable community spot, with ecologically designed space, its own garden (which uses coffee grounds and food scraps for compost) and a rainwater collection system. Architectural impressiveness aside, head barista Emily Keats's team puts out a superb filter brew.
Singapore American · May 2018
Located in a resonant warehouse in Brunswick, Code Black is renowned for its house blends and a rotating single origin for both black and white coffee. There’s even decaf coffee and Code Black's own brand of Cocoa Jackson Venezuelan hot chocolate. Customers are immediately hooked by the quality of its fancy stone and metal fit-out. Code Black has two other locations – one on Collins Street and another in North Melbourne, both of which vary slightly. Cold brew is still a relative novelty for Australian coffee, but Code Black's is one of the best by far. In the already coffee-saturated inner north Fitzroy is Industry Beans. Founded by two brothers in a garage in 2010, it has grown to be one of the top cafés. Order a ristretto espresso for a heavenly concentrated, flavor-packed punch. Based in a splendid colonial-era building on one of Melbourne's iconic downtown lanes, environmentally minded Dukes guarantees a quality coffee. By not separating its baristas from the roasting process, the people making the coffee are consistently consulted on which roasts work for which brewing methods. In the eastern suburbs lies Axil's Coffee. Melbourne coffee power couple Zoe Delany and Dave Makin, winner of three national-level barista titles, meticulously source with a focus on sustainability and fair trade coffee. In Balaclava the new-age, crystal-healing Monk Bodhi Dharma churn out excellent coffee. With a small roasting operation in its brick shack and a focus on single origins, espresso is the strong point here. South of the Yarra lies an entire precinct dedicated to coffee, owned by Salvatore Malatesta. In a graffiti-daubed laneway you’ll find the original dumpster-chic ST. ALi; a micro roaster, green bean trader and country of origin specialist. It is one of the best places to try subtle cold-drip coffee, with its low acidity and bitterness. ST. ALi also runs the chic Sensory Lab at David Jones department store. Seven Seeds is a small micro-roaster in Carlton that sources seasonal coffee from around the world. It is owned by coffee visionaries Mark Dundon and Bridget Amor (the original owners of ST. ALi). Its quirky on-site café still makes some of Melbourne's best coffee. Cafés such as Market Lane Roaster in Prahran Market are proud of their distinctive
single origin coffees. Espresso and pour over coffee are recommended. It sells single estate coffee beans and brewing equipment and offers free public cuppings (tastings) and brewing classes that cover pour over, AeroPress and plunger coffee. Other outlets are at Queen Victoria Market, Carlton and two in the city center (Therry and Collins streets). The hipster chic Wide Open Road roaster, coffee lab and café has an industrial chic fit-out inside a converted 1950s warehouse plastered with paste-up street art. So very Melbourne. Enjoy espresso and milk, plus pour overs and cold brews, as you watch the roasters in action. North Melbourne’s Auction Rooms is a boutique coffee roaster and café that ticks all the boxes. There are great espressos, a separate coffee bar for drip and siphon coffees (all sourced from their own beans roasted at the off-site Small Batch Roasting Company). Sit on a tall stool at the casement windows with their delicate stained-glass accents or relax in the sunken living area or enclosed outdoor terrace. Other establishments worthy of a mention include Aucuba in Bank St., Auto in Lonsdale St., Dukes Coffee Roasters at Ross House in buzzy Flinders Lane, all located in the city center. Padre Coffee in Brunswick East is the roasting headquarters, sourcing green coffee from 30 estates worldwide. Padre also has the League of Honest Coffee in the city center plus cafés in the Royal Arcade, at South Melbourne Market and Queen Victoria Market. Melbourne is dotted with coffee holes in the most unlikely places, so don’t limit yourselves to the big names. Take to the streets and explore. The city’s alleyways offer unique cafés, artistic graffiti, modern and classic buildings as well as hipster bistros and the best coffee in the world! These are the cafés defining the future and giving us the basics at their very best. The only thing left for you to do is decide how you like your coffee. Annette Lang arrived in Singapore in 2002 with the expectation of staying two years. She fell in love with the culture, food and the easy and safe lifestyle that is essentially Singapore. A freelance writer, sports enthusiast and food marketing consultant, who is a passionate supporter of cooking, teaching and of course tasting, it was no wonder that she opened a culinary cooking school – Expat Kitchen, now in operation for 10 years. Photos by Annette Lang
Singapore American · May 2018
Travel Hacks By Katie Baines
ingapore has, for a long time, served as an excellent hub to bounce on to other destinations in this part of the globe. However, when it comes to checking in your luggage, space comes at a premium, with many airlines adding steep charges to your airfare for checked baggage. With this in mind, a lot of us cram what we can into a cabin case, only to find what was pristinely folded at one end becomes a mangled mess at the other. Here are some travel tips that will keep you crumple- and tangle-free.
To reduce wrinkling and save on space, roll your clothes. The contents of a badly packed piece of luggage will take up more surface area, so take a moment to prepare. By rolling your clothes, not only do you avoid fold marks but they will also take up less room (and allow you to pack more).
A glasses case is perfect for chargers and cables. It doesn’t seem to matter how carefully you bind your earphones and chargers before you jet away, unravelling them at your final destination will be like untangling the fairy lights when the Christmas holidays come around. Compartmentalizing them will save you this frustration and make them easier to locate in your luggage.
Use belts to line collars to keep them crisp. Although hotels are very accommodating at providing an iron and board, the last thing you want to do after getting to your room late is press your shirt for the next day’s early morning meeting. Roll up a belt and nestle it in your collar to keep it sturdy while you’re in transit.
Bring a power pack and be a hero for other travelers. You’ll be everyone’s best friend if you’re able to offer a lifeline to those with a dying phone. Invest in a travel adaptor with multiple USB sockets and you’ll be able to dispel scraps among siblings in desperate need of charging their devices at the same time.
On the last day of your trip to a foreign country, collect all of your loose change and give it to the homeless. The currency you bring back with you after traveling overseas, particularly in a developing country, is often rendered useless at the end of your trip. However, it could make a difference to someone less fortunate. Make someone’s day by handing them what may make very little difference to your own bank balance and save some space in your carry-on at the same time.
Top Tips to Consider When Your Child Goes Online By Jay Thompson
he world is shrinking around us; information is easier to access, devices are far more portable and people are becoming more connected. For parents this means that they have to face the dilemma of providing online access to their children at a far earlier age. However, how do you know if your child is ready and what can be done to protect them when online?
and risks of each application and website, using our own judgment to determine child friendliness.
Some key questions to ask yourself and practical ways to support your child online:
• Turn on privacy filters
Why do I think my child needs an email address/social media account?
• Add your child as a friend on social media
First, take some time to think about this question and write down some ideas. Is this pressure from your child because “all my friends already have one” or are there key educational and developmental benefits for going online now?
• Have some down time
Is my child socially and emotionally ready?
Jay Thompson is Head of Educational Technologies at GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
If you feel that they are emotionally capable of understanding both the benefits and risks of being online, then maybe the timing is right. If you feel your child is not ready then don’t feel pressured to get them online. Rushing into online access without proper consideration could put your child at risk.
Photo courtesy of GEMS World Academy (Singapore)
I think my child is ready – what steps should I take now? Begin by starting a conversation and creating two-way communication. You are then more likely to empower your child to make the right decisions and seek support when needed.
Set clear expectations and guidelines At the start of your journey it is important to sit down with your child and discuss what the benefits and risks of going online could be. Work together to create a list of mutual expectations and guidelines. The key is to discuss and be willing to negotiate.
No ‘Secret Squirrel’ While we all like to have a certain level of privacy, it is important to let your child know that Internet access is a public, family affair. It should also be made clear that no family device is the property of one person, however they are shared family items that should be open and usable by all. As parents, we should make an effort to ask them about what they are doing and take an interest in their work and achievements online.
Are certain social apps and websites safer for my child to use? There are not necessarily good and bad social apps and websites, however the way in which they are used is what is important. As parents we should evaluate the benefits
Final advice for setting up an account for your child on social media • Share passwords
Remember technology can be a powerful tool, but requires careful planning and open dialogue for all parties.
Taxes Don’t Need to be Taxing AAM Advisory
axes. Necessary, but not at the top of everyone’s list of fun things to do. However, taxes don’t need to be a complete headache. Read on for four ways you can reduce your US taxes as an expat. As always, it’s recommendable to seek suitably qualified advice about your personal situation before relying on these exclusions and credits.
1. The Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE) The FEIE allows expats to reduce their US tax bill by excluding the first $102,100 of foreign earned income from your 2017 tax return. To take advantage of the FEIE, you must qualify under one of two residency tests: • Physical Presence Test: You must live abroad for 330 out of a 365-day period. This does not have to be a calendar year. • Bona Fide Residence Test: You must live outside the US for a full calendar year, with no intention of returning there to live in the foreseeable future. You must also show that you’ve established a home in your country of residence.
2. The Foreign Tax Credit (FTC) The FTC provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your US tax liability on your foreign earned income for the tax you have paid in your country of residence. You can take advantage of this credit on income above the FEIE limit or alternatively, in place of the FEIE entirely. Remember: You can’t use the FTC on income you’ve already excluded with the FEIE. To use the FTC, you must have: • Foreign tax liability that was paid or incurred on the income in question. • The foreign tax must be assessed on income. • The foreign tax must be imposed on you as an individual. • The foreign tax must be due by you under the tax laws in a foreign country. Another benefit of the FTC is that you can carry the credit back or forward if the credit is larger than your US tax liability for the year. This means that you may carry the credit back to the preceding tax year to gain a refund, or you may carry it forward for up to ten years to offset future tax years’ liability.
3. The Foreign Housing Exclusion The Foreign Housing Exclusion helps to offset the fact that the cost of living overseas is often higher than in the US. The Foreign Housing Exclusion works in conjunction with the FEIE, reducing your taxable income by using housing expenses you’ve paid to increase your FEIE for the year. To qualify to claim the Foreign Housing Exclusion you must: • Qualify for and claim the FEIE. • Have qualifying foreign housing expenses (rent, certain utilities, insurance, furniture rental, etc.). • Have paid your housing expenses from employer-provided funds (can be designated funds paid by your employer or paid from your regular salary). • Have housing expenses that exceed the base amount specific to your location (base amount is currently 16% of the FEIE). • You can claim your expenditure in excess of the base amount, up to the maximum ceiling (usually 30% of the FEIE but certain cities have individual limits. For 2017, the ceiling for Singapore was $75,900).
4. Timely Filing of Your US Taxes In addition to the three ways above that help you save on your expatriate taxes, filing as close to the first deadline as possible (which was 18 April this year) can also reduce your bill, as any tax owed is technically due on 18 April and begins accruing interest from that day forward. If you would like to discuss your personal circumstances to ensure you choose the best option(s) for your tax situation, please contact email@example.com or call 6653 6652 to arrange a complimentary review. AAM Advisory offers complete financial planning services focused around wealth creation and preservation strategies. This article is based on AAM’s understanding of current US tax law and practice, which is subject to change at any time.
16 FOOD, LAH!
Singapore American · May 2018
My Favorite Hawker By Jayson Moy
awker centers are the core of life in Singapore. It’s where you meet your friends, bring your family for long or short meals or sample some of the greatest food that’s out there. Everyone has their favorite centers, as well as the hawkers within them. My favorite hawker center is Old Airport Road. Accessible by a short five-minute walk from Dakota MRT station, it was opened in 1973 when the government started to group hawkers together in buildings, and comprises 168 stalls, providing a cornucopia of delectable Singaporean hawker fare. If you want to truly know what Singaporean hawker food is about, this is a great place to start your journey. “When I think of Old Airport Road, I think about great food,” said PK Wong. “I live in Tampines, but I would travel every day just to eat there.” “I think of massive crowds and a huge selection of food,” said Sam Tan. “I’ve been coming here for over 40 years and always have a hard time choosing what to eat.” There are many well-known stalls here. Nam Sing Hokkien Mee is one of the most famous on the island and, as a result, the wait for their noodles can be up to two hours at times over the weekend. The fusion of the intense pork/seafood broth that permeates the noodles when cooked together gives it a unique taste. It is run by a set of brothers, each serving a different role in the operation. Ru Ji Fishball Noodles is another institution. Invited to serve its fishball noodles at Singapore Day in New York City, it’s easy to see why. The fishballs are handmade, large, springy and delicate to the bite. The noodles, when mixed with chili, vinegar and soya sauce provide the perfect complement to the entire dish. Toa Payoh Rojak offers the quintessential dish of “fruit salad” found in Singapore. Pineapple, cucumbers, jicama, bean sprouts, tau pok, peanuts and dough fritters are cut up and mixed with a deep brown concoction of shrimp paste, sugar, chili and lime juice.
Selera Rasa has a great Indian biryani, Xin Mei Xhang and Xiang Ji have superb lor mee, and the Singaporean dish of kway chap is done best by Blanco Court. It consists mainly of pork offal but you can also get pork belly or skin, tofu, eggs and tau pok.
Other favorites such as satay, chili crab, char kway teow, beef noodles, wonton mee, prawn noodles are also prevalent and delicious here. But my favorite hawker at Old Airport Road is Roast Paradise. It specializes in Kuala Lumpur-style char siew and roasted pork. The stall was started two years ago by Kai Koh and his partner Randall Gan. They wanted to bring barbecue meats to the crowd their way. “The reason I chose here is that I thought I should get a place where it is less crowded. Usually in a less crowded place there are less stalls so it’s not very competitive,” said Kai. “Naturally we were a little afraid to compete with others. But then we came to think that it’s not a bad idea to start out at a place with a huge crowd… so we decided to take a jump and took a stall here.” They started out slow, but then as their food improved, so did the crowds. And a lot of it was with help from their neighbors and the media. “When we opened we were quite lucky because food bloggers were starting to recognize young hawkers,” said Kai. “We managed to catch the attention of the media because of this. During that period of time some of the bloggers came and they actually gave us advice on how to cook things, even changing plate colors because the food doesn’t look nice, etc.” Today they have long lines every day and have opened up a second branch in Ang Mo Kio. Their char siew is juicy, sweet and tender. Their roast pork has the crispy skin without being too fatty. Combine it all together on rice or noodles and you have an outstanding meal. “The food is the key,” said Kai. “It has to be good, there has to be a standard and you have to live up to it. There are no shortcuts, especially here at Old Airport Road.” Jayson is an award-winning television/radio personality and writer, covering collegiate athletics for 20-plus years. His website jaymoylovesfood.com focuses on one of his passions – food. He aims to travel and eat his way around the world. Photos by Jayson Moy
17 FOOD, LAH!
Singapore American · May 2018
Eat This, Not That: Singapore Edition By Laura Schwartz
or most people, it’s the stomach that takes the longest to settle into a new place. Even if your mind is thrilled at living in a different country and you love trying unfamiliar food, at some point, your belly starts whining, “When can we go home?” While you can order practically anything online these days, the cost (both in time and money) of recreating your childhood favorites can add up quickly. But every problem is an opportunity in disguise, to quote John Adams, and this can be a great excuse to shake up your list of go-to meals. Below, I’ve rounded up some cheaper and/or local alternatives that you can substitute for your pricey favorites until your next trip home. Who knows? You may end up liking the substitutions better.
Instead of: Yoghurt Try: Rice pudding With much of Asia being lactose intolerant, the options for yoghurt are limited and/or expensive. A French friend commented that the average yoghurt aisle back home was 20-30 meters, as opposed to the 2 meters here. However, you may have noticed there’s plenty of rice to be found and for fairly cheap. Rice pudding is simple to make at home and is comparable to yoghurt in texture and calorie count, though you won’t get the same bacterial benefits. Also like yoghurt, rice pudding can be sweet or savory. In Singapore, the most common flavors I’ve seen are mango or coconut.
Instead of: Mexican food Try: Arabic food
Instead of: Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries Try: Mangoes, dragon fruit, mangosteens and passionfruit $12.80 for nine strawberries, anyone? This was one of my stomach’s biggest temper tantrums, since ripe berries have been a longtime pleasure for me. But paying that much for a tiny punnet of watery berries just wasn’t worth it. Fortunately, the tropics are literally overflowing with fruit and the shorter distance fresh food has to travel to get to you, the healthier and tastier it will be. Due to their spiky, scaly and sometimes fuzzy appearances, regional fruit can appear intimidating, but look to the pineapple for encouragement. It also must have baffled Westerners when it first appeared on supermarket shelves, but we think nothing of its prickly hide these days. Give other tropical fruit a similar chance. (Though if you want to skip durian, no one will hold it against you.)
Instead of: Potato chips Try: Nori (dried seaweed) You’ve likely already encountered nori as the wrapping on your sushi, but it’s also crazy tasty when in dried sheets. Plus, the health benefits leave other salty snacks in the dust. In 100 grams, nori has: protein, vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. All for 35 calories and 0.28 grams of fat. Potato chips (even veggie chips) also boast some of the above vitamins and minerals, but for up to a whopping 536 calories per 100 grams, plus a ton more salt, sugar and 23 grams of fat. Prices between nori and potato chips are comparable, too.
Another big heartbreak for me upon moving to Singapore was the scarcity of excellent Mexican food that wouldn’t break the bank. But have you ever noticed how similar Mexican and Arabic cuisines are? Compare the holy trio of guacamole, salsa and sour cream to the dips found in mezzes. According to chef Roberto Santibañez, flavors like cilantro, cumin and cinnamon wound up in Mexico centuries ago thanks to the Arabic empire’s spice routes. The most obvious overlap has to be tacos al pastor, which are directly descended from Lebanese shawarma. So, the next time you’re craving a bit of Mexican, head to the Arab Quarter and follow your nose. I doubt you’ll leave unsatisfied.
Born in Ireland, Laura Jane Schwartz (née O’Gorman) grew up in Tokyo, Singapore and New Jersey before attending Bard College in upper New York, where she majored in Japanese Studies. Her fiction and non-fiction writing has appeared in a range of publications, including: The Shanghai Literary Review, Thoughtful Dog Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She’s as voracious a traveler as she is a reader, and to date has been to over 30 countries.
18 FOOD, LAH!
Singapore American · May 2018
By Faith Chanda So, you’re up for exploring Singapore’s culinary landscape, but are your kids? Here are a few ways to get their tiny taste buds tingling in no time…
It’s great parenting advice that works in plenty of situations: model the behavior you want to see in your children. Trying new foods is no different. Let them see you be brave and they might just want to do it, too.
Studies show that offering new foods to kids shouldn’t just be a one-shot deal. Some studies suggest that exposure to a new food more than 15 times may finally result in success.
Stamford American International School (SAIS) serves multicultural lunches family-style to students up to KG2. Teachers report that students are more likely to try an unfamiliar food once they’ve seen a classmate enjoying it. Older kids may be exposed to new dishes by seeing what their friends from other backgrounds have brought from home. And playdates can provide a perfect opportunity for your child to join their friend’s family eating a meal that’s different from what’s usually served at home, without the stress of being under your watchful eye.
There are plenty of kid-friendly cookbooks and websites out there that just may inspire your mini-Gordon Ramsay to give it a go. Let them pick a recipe they’ve never tried before and help with the shopping, preparation and cooking. Being involved will give them a whole new perspective that just might nudge them in the right direction.
I will never enjoy spinach as long as I live because I was forced to eat it as a child and still associate negatively with the taste. Some people just don’t like certain flavors and forcing your kid to eat something is likely to result in immediate and potentially long-term resistance.
My son turned his nose up when we asked if he wanted to try a gyro. But a Greek taco? He was all about it… tried it and loved it. Making the connection with something we knew he already liked (tacos) made a different-sounding food more appealing.
When we brought some unique foods back from our look-see trip to Singapore for our daughter’s first grade class to try, her teacher practically did a comedy routine before the kids tasted it. First she modeled the WRONG things to do if you’re trying a new food (“Ick! Gross! This is awful! I’m gonna puke!” making crazy faces, etc.). Then she showed how she got her own young son to try new things: he didn’t have to take a full bite... instead she just asked him to lick it! No pressure – just see if you like the flavor. And finally, she modeled what the kids COULD do if they tried it and didn’t like it. She suggested the phrase “Hmmmm…. Very interesting!” and then had them all take a pretend bite and practice NOT making faces while carefully chewing and swallowing and then saying “Hmmm… very interesting!” Most of them didn’t like what we’d brought, but almost all of them tried it, and a few were very surprised to enjoy it!
Three years later, my daughter is still great about trying new foods. Every once in a while, out comes “Hmmmm… interesting!” but now we know that just means she’ll give it a try again some other day. Faith relocated to Singapore in January 2015 with her husband and two young children. She is a freelance writer and marketing consultant as the sole proprietor of F. Chanda Communications & Events. Faith enjoys exploring food, culture, nature and design through her travel adventures and looks forward to many new discoveries throughout Asia.
19 FOOD, LAH!
Singapore American · May 2018
Great Mexican Food in Singapore By Marc Servos
rowing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I shared my family’s (and the nation’s) love of home-cooked tacos and great Mexican restaurant food, too.
During the 1980s I was stationed in Germany with the US Army and noticed a distinct lack of Mexican food as I traveled in the region. This scarcity of one of my favorite cuisines was also apparent during my first stay here in Singapore (2000-2006). Despite rumors of the existence of some such establishments, I concluded that practically no Mexican restaurants could be found in Singapore. Or maybe I simply overlooked them. A handful of restaurants offered a couple of Mexican dishes, while some KFCs offered a few Taco Bell options, such as chicken items or bean burritos, but these aren’t on their menu anymore. I fixed Mexican-style home-cooked food during this time as I occasionally do today. Following a few years back in the US, we returned to live in Singapore again. This time, I found several Mexican restaurants had opened up in a number of places including Orchard area, the Civic District, the Central Business District, Little India, Clarke Quay and Boat Quay. I celebrated a significant birthday a few years ago at an old favorite, Cha Cha Cha in Holland Village. Not only have the number of Mexican restaurants increased, so have the food suppliers. Among the most commonly known Mexican dishes are tacos
and burritos. These shelled delicacies, filled with tasty meat – ground beef, shredded beef (my favorite), chopped steak, shredded or grilled chicken, pork, lamb and fish or sometimes refried beans. Lettuce, salsa, cheese are standard additions, with generous helpings of sour cream and guacamole on the side. All of these ingredients are now easy to find in the larger supermarkets, such as Cold Storage, as well as some of the specialty stores that have opened up over the island in recent years. With its origins in Mesoamerican and Spanish cuisines, Mexican and its culinary cousin Tex-Mex, is thought to have first appeared in the early 20th century in southwestern states. Over the years, it has evolved into the fusion of cultures we know and love today. If, like me, you hanker after a decent burrito from time to time, there are plenty of options to choose from in Singapore today. Don’t forget to order sides of Mexican rice and refried beans as well as a margarita or two! Marc Servos is a Hoosier in terms of his home state and Alma Mater. The Fort Wayne native is married to a Singaporean, Sherley, and has been living here for years. He has two children, ages 16 and 8.
20 ARTS & CULTURE
Singapore American · May 2018
View of the west entrance of Angkor Wat Louis Delaporte. Cambodia, c. 1870−73. Pencil, watercolor, gouache, and gum arabic on paper
Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City
Special Exhibition at the Asian Civilizations Museum (ACM), April 8 – July 22 By Dr. Vidya Schalk
n April 8, ACM opened a Special Exhibition titled Angkor: Exploring Cambodia’s Sacred City. For many of us who have visited Angkor (or plan to), this exhibition provides an understanding of what Angkor is all about. To start with, one of the misconceptions people have is the difference between Angkor and Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is just one temple complex (which is magnificent and very well preserved) that is part of a huge metropolis the size of current day Los Angeles, called Angkor. Angkor was the capital city of the Khmer Empire from where the kings ruled for centuries. Angkor got its start in 802 CE when King Jayavarman II was anointed as devaraja (King of Gods) in a sacred ceremony. From then on, the Khmer Empire grew and for the next 500 years dominated the landscape of South-Asia with far reaching influences in art, architecture and agriculture among other things. At its height, it covered not only current day Cambodia, but also parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. It was brought to the world’s attention when a French naturalist named Henri Mouhot visited Angkor in 1860 CE. After his death, tales of a lost civilization hidden in the tropical jungles of Cambodia fired up the imagination of the French public. Even though he never claimed to have ‘rediscovered or discovered’ Angkor, the myth still persists to this day. Without royal patronage, the temples had fallen into disuse and disrepair, but the people still knew about it, especially Angkor Wat to which Khmer Kings, Buddhist monks and even foreign visitors from far off places visited and performed prayers.
The exhibition opens with objects, artworks, artifacts, paintings, plaster casts, etc., that the French brought back with them. Looking at them through 21st century eyes certainly is an interesting insight into how these objects played a role in the French controlled areas of Indo-China, especially Cambodia. There are memorabilia and posters from the French Expositions that were held in Paris and Marseille in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They went to great lengths to recreate entire pagoda-like structures and temples with much fanfare. In 1874, the Commission des voyages et missions scientifiques et littéraires was founded to organize and promote the political importance of the French colonial ‘mission civilisatrice’ or civilizing mission (the idea that it was their mission to bring civilization to non-western countries, which played a role in justifying their colonial possessions). One of the fascinating objects on display is a poster from the Paris International Colonial Exposition in 1931. The Ford Motor Company advertisement (pictured) for a Lincoln luxury car placed in front of Angkor temples showcases how multinational companies took the opportunity to promote their products around Angkor. Creative product placement and branding to create an emotional response in consumers was well in use even a hundred years ago! Several military expeditions were launched by the French with a mission to survey and map the course of the Mekong River. One of the explorers was Louis Delaporte, a young naval officer who was chosen to accompany these missions because of his excellent drafting skills. His very famous book published in 1880, Voyage au Cambodge, records his impressions along with detailed drawings. The exhibition showcases several of Delaporte’s artworks, writings, drawings, lithographs and some very lovely watercolors. In addition to drawings and paintings, Delaporte also brought with him several plaster casts, some of which are on display at the exhibition. The sharpness and details even after a century is quite remarkable. These casts in many cases are the only records left of the original sculptures, which have either been destroyed or have disintegrated with time.
Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient (EFEO) was founded in Saigon, and in 1907 it was charged with inventorying and preservation of the Angkor site. Under the auspices of EFEO, several distinguished archaeologists and architects, such as Parmentier, Marchal, Laur and Groslier, made tremendous contributions; some dedicated their lives to study, expand scholarship and help with monumental restoration projects. In addition to the beautiful female deities called the Devatas or Apsaras who embody the feminine forces of the universe, the omnipresent multi-headed Naga seen in Angkor is a serpent snake that has been associated with the creation myth of the Khmer people and perhaps with Tantric Buddhism. To this day, the Cambodians regard themselves as ‘born from the Naga’ based on an ancient legend where the union of a Naga princess and a human king gave rise to the Cambodian people. Syncretic belief systems prevail in Angkor and depending on the king in power either Hinduism or Buddhism found favor. While the great temple of Angkor Wat was dedicated to Lord Vishnu by Suryavarman II (1113-1150 CE), another king by the name of Jayavarman VII, who ruled the Khmer Empire a few decades later, was a Buddhist king. The massive Angkor Thom (Great City), many times larger than Angkor Wat, was his new capital city. The famous Bayon temple with multi-faced towers, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm all reflect the Buddhist philosophy, beliefs and sculptures. The gorgeous Buddha heads, and Buddhist sculptures in the exhibition including several Bodhisattvas from the Mahayana stream of Buddhism, showcase the artistic skill and mastery over stone and bronze. Several beautiful sculptures in the exhibition dating from the pre-Angkor (Funan and Chenla period) and Angkorian period (9th to 14th century) are representations of the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva and various other deities. The exhibition explores the magnificence of Angkor that lives on through its spectacular architecture and sculpture. Many factors contributed to the decline of Angkor, including deforestation, overconsumption of resources and the complex hydraulic water management system that became too overwhelming to manage. It was compounded by the Thai sack and looting of Angkor in 1431 CE that eventually led to its demise. The exhibition also showcases the rebuilding, conservation and preservation efforts, along with capacity building by various training programs to empower and train Cambodians to protect and preserve their legacy, following the devastating effects of the Khmer Rouge’s terror regime and subsequent civil war. The final section also explores the current archaeology in Angkor and the mapping of the region, expanding the area far beyond the temple complexes to what is called the Greater Angkor area using state of the art technology, such as LiDAR. Even after 1,000 years Angkor remains one of the most important archeological sites in South East Asia and astounding discoveries are still being made to this day! Do make some time to visit this superb exhibition before it returns to France on July 22. Prior to coming to Singapore Dr. Vidya Schalk worked as a Cancer Biologist Research Scientist at Oregon State University. Since coming to Singapore, she has taken the opportunity to indulge in her passion for history and travel. She is currently an active volunteer docent at the National Gallery, Asian Civilisations Museum, National Museum and STPI. Photos courtesy of Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet and ACM
21 ARTS & CULTURE
Singapore American Âˇ May 2018
Gateway of Angkor Thom Louis Delaporte. Paris, c. 1870âˆ’73. Pencil, ink, watercolor, gouache, and scratching on paper
Louis Delaporte France, 1911. Collotype print
Ford Lincoln advertisement from The International Colonial Exposition L'Illustration. Robert Falcucci. Paris, 1931
Finial: three-headed Naga Siem Reap, late 12th or early 13th century Bronze, height 33cm
Brahma Siem Reap, mid-10th century Sandstone, height 147cm
22 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · May 2018
A message from the President... What a great afternoon we had at Café Melba on April 14 for our very first Spring Fling! As the pictures attest, everyone truly enjoyed the Kentucky Derby spirit. Congratulations to Ray Corrigan from the Navy League for winning the Spring Fling Cup. Thanks to everyone for their generous donations at the betting booth; we raised a total of $884, which will go to the Navy League’s chosen charity, Fleet & Family Readiness, which supports activities for US military and US military families when they are visiting Singapore or if they are stationed here. With Singapore’s two seasons of ‘hot and wet’ and ‘hot and dry’, it’s often hard to mark the passage of time. As the northern hemisphere enjoys some warmer weather in spring, we look ahead to summer and the holidays we will take and home visits we’ll make. As always, we’re planning a spectacular 4th of July Celebration, which will be held at Singapore American School on June 30, so mark your calendar now. More details will follow in the June issue. If you would like to volunteer your time to help out at this amazing event, please contact our Events Manager, Sarah Walston; firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have some great events planned for you in May, including a rare opportunity for our members to hear the US Navy Rear Admiral, Don Gabrielson speak about his mission in Singapore and South East Asia. This is bound to be a popular event, so book your place early. There is an evening planned which is dedicated to new members, and will be a fantastic opportunity for newbies to connect with each other and find out how to make the most of their AAS membership. In addition, we’ll have an informative talk from the experts at GEMS World Academy (Singapore), aimed at equipping parents with the knowledge and skills to help their children safely navigate the digital world. This month we say a fond farewell to two much-loved members of staff. Advertising Manager, Valerie Tietjen moves on from AAS after more than 11 years of service. Valerie and her husband, Jim, will be enjoying a break in Valerie’s home country of Malaysia before exploring new opportunities. Holly Kreutter has been with AAS for four years in a number of roles, most recently in the dual role of Office Manager and Membership Manager. I’d like to thank Valerie and Holly for their dedicated service, as both warm voices on the end of the phone and welcoming faces at so many AAS events. We are also very grateful to Holly’s husband, Steve, who has been a consistent and friendly volunteer with AAS, notably in his role with Home Hospitality. We wish Holly and Steve every success in their new chapter as they repatriate to the US this summer after 30 years in Asia. We will miss them all very much! As always, I wish a very warm welcome to all new members who have recently joined us. I look forward to seeing you soon at an AAS event. Best wishes,
SINGAPORE AMERICAN NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief: Cath Forte, email@example.com Publishing Editor: Sarah Alden, firstname.lastname@example.org
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CONTRIBUTORS Faith Chanda, Ed Cox, Charles Herman, Koh Xin Tian, Annette Lang, Jayson Moy, Dr. Vidya Schalk, Laura Schwartz, Marc Servos, Jay Thompson For AAS: Katie Baines, Cath Forte
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION BOARD MEMBERS President: Stephanie Nash • Vice President: Shawn Galey Treasurer: Michael Borchert • Secretary: Joseph Foggiato Directors: Sammie Cheston, Blair Hall, Bill Poorman, Brian Schwender, Jenn Wood Immediate Past President: Glenn van Zutphen • AmCham Chair: Ann Yom Steel The American Club President: Kristen Graff • AWA President: Rohita Rajkumar SACAC Chair: Greg Rutledge • SAS Chair: Dr. Chip Kimball Non-Voting Members: US Embassy: Tor Petersen US Military: Rear Admiral Donald Gabrielson
PUBLISHER – AMERICAN ASSOCIATION The American Association of Singapore (AAS) is a professional, not-for-profit organization established to enhance the well-being and living experience of Americans residing in Singapore and to promote relationships, both business and social, between Americans and those from different cultures and nationalities. 15 Scotts Road, #03-02 Thong Teck Building, Singapore 228218 T: (+65) 6738 0371 • email@example.com • www.aasingapore.com The Singapore American newspaper, a monthly publication with readership of 10,000+, has been published by the American Association of Singapore since 1958, with the purpose of enhancing the expatriate experience in Singapore.
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23 AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Singapore American · May 2018
HAPPENING IN SINGAPORE Any responder should make any further enquiries with the organizer or should verify the information independently if necessary.
AAS EVENTS May 7 Freelancer Club 9am May 9 Evening with Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson 7pm May 15 Bowling Night (Adults) 7pm May 20 Kids’ Outing 10am May 23 Coffee en Espanol 9:30am May 23 Raising Responsible Digital Citizens 7pm May 24 Newbie Night 6pm For more events: www.aasingapore.com
MUSEUMS May 1 – 31 All About Dogs Singapore Philatelic Museum www.spm.org.sg
May 1 – 31 The More We Get Together: Singapore’s Playgrounds 1930-2030 National Museum of Singapore www.nationalmuseum.sg May 1 – 31 Walk, Walk, Walk: Search, Deviate, Reunite by teamLab National Gallery Singapore www.nationalgallery.sg May 1 – 31 Art from the Streets ArtScience Museum www.marinabaysands.com/museum May 1 – 31 Monuments and Memorials STPI www.stpi.com.sg
ENTERTAINMENT May 4 Squeeze Live in Singapore University Cultural Centre, NUS www.sistic.com.sg May 8 Stereophonics Live in Singapore Zepp@BigBox www.sistic.com.sg May 10 – 27 Legally Blonde The Musical Mastercard Theatre at Marina Bay Sands www.sistic.com.sg
May 17 – 27 The Consultant Drama Centre Black Box www.sistic.com.sg May 18 – June 3 Dragonflies Victoria Theatre www.sistic.com.sg
EDUCATION May 2, 9 & 23 Whole College Open Morning Dulwich College Singapore 9:30am www.dulwich-singapore.sg May 4 Early Learning Village Open House Stamford American International School 9:30am www.sais.edu.sg May 11 Woodleigh Campus Open House Stamford American International School 9:30am www.sais.edu.sg May 16 Ducks Open Morning Dulwich College Singapore 9:30am www.dulwich-singapore.sg May 25 Kindergarten Chinese Immersion Open House Singapore American School 9 – 11am www.sas.edu.sg