What’s Singapore Like, You Ask…
Truly, it is like being in a haven of shopping malls connected through the “underground” of an ever-growing expanse of sky scrapers. So, Asia.
However, Singapore is incredibly clean and perhaps more Americanized than other Asian countries (from what I have seen so far). In Singapore, you can go to an Outback Steakhouse, attend a proper Oktoberfest, grab a bite at Carl’s Junior, find yourself a Wendy’s (correction: they ALL just shut down, see: Carl’s Junior instead), go to a Chilli’s, have some ribs at Tony Roma’s, and shop almost all of your favorite brands. You can find a Banana Republic in Singapore, but you can’t find one in Sydney, for example. #IslandProblems
Wherever you go in the world, it is those mid-level stores like KMart or Target that don’t truly exist anywhere else. They do, but not the same brand. For example, Australia has both, but they aren’t the same store. They appear to sell similar items, but none of the internal brands are the same. The reason is, the signs are purchase copyrights. The contents? Not so much. Other than that, you’re always bound to find your local Pandora shop for a new charm or a Rockport store to replace those pair of shoes you’ve been wearing since 1984. yea. While Asia is always perceived as the mos futuristic place on the planet, it is also a complete throwback to the “better days” of United States culture.
I’ve been to Singapore half a dozen times, but I’ve never been-been here. The closest to a non-working Singapore vacation I’ve had was a short stay last year for the Singapore Formula 1 night race. That counts. Believe me, that counts. But, your entire life is consumed by Formula 1 things and Formula 1 experiences so much so that it would be like living, eating, breathing Disneyland for a weekend and then telling everyone you’ve “seen California.” We did step into Chinatown long enough for most of us to dine on some curry flavored frog legs, but that was my time outside of the “city circle” and it amounted to about an hour.
This time, we’re here for two weeks. For the first seven (probably more) days, we’ll be working. Both of us. We’ll be working longer hours than we usually do back home because it is end of quarter and not just any quarter, but the end of the most important quarter of the year because few companies outside of retail sales have an amazing 4th quarter. This is the quarter to carry traditional business through the end of the year. So, Stark is off chasing revenue like a boss (literally) and I’m in the hotel room cranking out webinars, blog posts, guest articles, and content that has to be perfect and ready for print before this vacation even ends.
Only two days after landing, I’ll be giving an early morning webinar on holiday marketing. You know what that means? Research! A ton of research. This is an annual thing I’ve started for myself, and in order to give the webinar, I also have to have in place and in some cases already published content that carries the company through January. This is what I’ve dedicated my entire month away to – content, editing, perfection, an tying up the lose ends of major projects that can no longer afford to be put on the back burner in order for future projects to go smoothly.
That’s difficult, however. The minute you step away to get things done, you’re suddenly being tweeted, chatted, snapped, called, and emailed for things you literally announced a big PAUSE to. But everyone perceives life as an emergency, so off to the battlefront I go. I’m hoping after tonight, things will be a bit more calm. Questions will be answered and I’ll have the peace I need in order to enter the creative realm of my marketing career – a place I cannot even visit momentarily when I am charged with an overwhelm of logical tasks like APEX triggers and CRM development. No, this is me, unplugged. After 10:30pm tonight (yup, I have a meeting at that time #internationalmanagementproblems), I’m entertaining the idea of no longer even checking email. I gotta do what I gotta do, and some of those things include more inspirational moments brought to you by actually being a bloody tourist for once!
Singapore has a lot to offer, and I’m ready to get on board with my big Mercedes fan cap and sunscreen smeared across my nose. I’m going all out with the City Hopper pass and tickets to Universal Studios. Boat rides, flyer rides, zoo safaris, theme parks, boat tours… we’re even thinking of doing a rare “dining in the dark” experience where you never see your food or have any idea what utensils are at hand. In fact, your waiters are all blind which is why they know there way around the place enough to bring you your next dish. The entire concept is an experience of senses while supporting a disability that is rarely ever employed. That’s the type of thing where Stark and I look at each other and say, “Why the hell not?” But Oktoberfest first…
We celebrated our version of Oktoberfest on what would have been my Mother’s 72 birthday if she were still with us. So in celebration of her and in celebration of my own cultural roots, there could be no greater choice than to celebrate a proper Oktoberfest in the middle of a bustling Asian city-state. In fact, you can see the proper Oktoberfest festivities from the heights of our hotel room. Tiki toki tiki toki oi oi oi. We’ll make the most of it.