On living and working abroad as an Asian woman, while missing home.

“In London, I am just another ‘quiet Asian girl’ stereotype.”

If you ask any of my friends, ‘quiet’ would probably be one of the last words they’d used to describe me. I’ve always been comfortable striking up conversations with people I’ve just met. It feels refreshing, as if opening a new storybook and not knowing what you’d come across.

But that happens more often back home in Singapore–the country I grew up in, where places and people were familiar, comfortable and most of all, similar to me. In London, I am just another ‘quiet Asian girl’ stereotype.

It was not…

It probably is if our only complaints are about long food delivery times, unstable Zoom connections and overpriced bubble tea.

Foreword: I wrote this back in April 2020 at the peak of the pandemic but it was always sitting in my drafts. Today, the UK is extending its second lockdown in what seems like forever, so I thought it’d be worth resurfacing these words again as a (self-)reminder to be grateful.

“The COVID-19 virus is the great equaliser.”

As the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly unfolded worldwide in a matter of a few weeks, the uncontrollable virus seemed to wreak havoc on everything in its path. Rich or poor, neither were left unscathed. …

Without them, life would be so bland. Including your newspaper graphics.

Yesterday, a poll featured in the Sunday Times has sparked some controversy amongst Singaporeans. The article featured a ranking of what 1000 Singaporeans thought of as the most essential jobs, set against a list of the least essential jobs. Perhaps unsurprisingly to some, ‘Artists’ topped the list for the latter.

I always found it funny how in typical Asian fashion, most Singaporean parents always saw it a need for their kids to learn how to play the piano or violin, and would not hesitate to spend hours nagging at them to practice. Not to mention the money spent on this…

When does call-out culture go too far?

The other day, I chanced upon a post going viral on Instagram. Some parts did not sit too well with me.

I quote:

“A refusal to post is, at its core, a refusal to give up comfort. A refusal to give up your power as a privileged individual.”

“Think about the real reasons you don’t want to publish your support. There should be no valid excuse.”

Far too often, I’ve seen posts and comments like these calling out others circulating online. They always create an internal struggle for me. Here are my thoughts.

During the entire week where social…

Nicole Ong

Musings about the things I care.

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