An expat called me a Singaporean slave yesterday.

Warning: I’m not writing this post to spread hatred. This was an isolated incident that happened to me. I have met tons of expats in Singapore who are amazing people, with good intentions of being here. Do not use this post to advance your xenophobic agenda; I do not condone that.

I went out with yesterday with a few people, and some of them were expats working here in Singapore. We had a couple of drink, had fun. But then some of them got to the point of drunk where they start to let everything out.  The type of drunk where you start speaking your mind.  I was talking to one expat about how he likes Singapore. His answer was just as standard as that question. He said he loved Singapore because it is safe and clean, etc.

He then followed up by asking me how I liked being a Singapore servant. It was the alcohol that influenced him to ask me that. I remember having decent conversations with him earlier during the night when he was slightly less drunk.  I responded in shock and confusion, saying “what did you just say?”

He then said, “Oh I’m sorry, I meant Singapore slave.”At this point, I knew this guy was looking for a fight, a verbal one, not a physical fight, cause he wasn’t that type. I wasn’t going to give it to him; I wasn’t going to ruin my night.

Me, like most people being in my 30s, have got a pretty good tolerance for douche bags.  My younger self would have gotten into an argument with the guy, which would have been pointless.

Experience had thought me not to engage people like this. Do not let them suck you into their game.  It’s a lose-lose situation.

Was I angry? I was, but I just brushed it off?

Now, while writing this post, I do have a slight bit of regret. I should have asked him what he meant by calling me a Singaporean servant or slave? Why would he say that?

Some of you may be thinking that this may just be a huge misunderstanding. He might be asking me how does it feel to be a government servant? Maybe he just didn’t use the right vocabulary.

But no, firstly, I’m self-employed, and this guy knows it well. Secondly, this guy is very well educated, speaks perfect English. Third, the term government servant is also used in his country to describe people working for the government.

And lastly, it was the way he said it. He had that smug look on his face when he asked me that question.

Maybe I didn’t ask him what he meant because deep, deep, down inside I knew what he meant. However, I’m not going to analyse that now.

I need to tell you that I’m not xenophobic. I love how we have people from all over the world visiting and working in our country. We need foreign talents, and I’m 100% for them to be here! Why we do need them? I’m not going to make that argument here today.  I’ll save that for another time!

Just because one expat behaved inappropriately, does not mean that all expats are the same. Generalising a group based on one individual is ridiculous.

I had met many expats who love Singapore, its people, and the culture. When they come here, they absorb it all and leave loving this place and the people.

Then there are some who come here and think that they are better than Singaporeans. Don’t get me wrong; not all Singaporeans are perfect as well. I’m sure there are some Singaporeans who go overseas and think that they are better than the locals there.

I gave two years of my life to this country, just in case anything was to happen, I would be prepared to defend it and the people in it.

I have gone through four cycles of my reservist. I have one more coming up soon in a couple of months. Last year during one of my RT session, I got injured, but I brushed it off like a f***ing man.

I juggle work and serving my nation.

I’m one of out of hundreds of thousands of men and women who will need to leave everything behind when the time comes to defend this nation with our lives, for everyone living in this country.  And yesterday, some punk who doesn’t owe me or Singapore a living called me a Singaporean slave?

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