Buy black clothing. Or at least Angela can’t. According to her mom, black is an inauspicious color and should only be worn in mourning. When I found this out, I told her that I must be a very unlucky, because at least a fifth of my “work clothes” are black.
Drink cold water. Or, again, at least in Angela’s household. According to her mother, cold beverages are bad for the digestive system, so all of he water in her house is double boiled (kill those microbes!) and then left in containers on the counter. I, for one, cannot figure out how, in such heat and humidity, Singaporeans can stand to drink tepid, room-temperature water, but for the time I was there, that’s what I drank. No ice cubes, nothing. And forget about getting a cold beverage with any take-out meals. They don’t even offer beverages at the food counters. To get a drink, you have to go to a completely separate vendor. Apparently Singaporeans don’t need napkins to wipe their hands at mealtimes, and they don’t need any beverages to wash their food down, either. Being American, however, I do need some sort of liquid to whet my palate as I consume food products, so in order to avoid being a major annoyance every time we sat down to a meal, I carried a bottle of tepid water with me 24/7. Apparently that’s a normal enough thing to do; Angela carried one, too. She just didn’t drink hers at mealtimes.
Escape military service. If you’re male, that is. Upon turning eighteen years old, every Singaporean male is required to serve two years in the military. He may then be called back into service at any point in time, at the government’s discretion, up to the age of fifty or so. This on-call service include re-training, combat, etc.
Protest. Four people plus one sign equals a demonstration. Demonstrators are arrested. You want freedom of speech? Move to America.