Thursday, May 14, 2009

Keeping the Company of Strangers Pt II

The other day I reported back that, despite being here in Singapore on my own, I find myself in the company of strangers. I have worked out that consistency is the key. If you attend a place on a daily basis, it is incredibly likely that you will develop a decent rapport with the person that always serves you. It is more likely that you will get served by the same person each day in Singapore because there is no such thing as "casual employment" (unlike in the US or Australia where people are engaged on an hourly basis, with rostered 4-5 hour "shifts"). In other words, people who serve at food outlets are just as committed to their work as those who work in the offices. Its a full time job for them.

Here is my new stranger-friend at Mr. Bean. Mr Bean was the fastest growing franchises in Singapore for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. It serves only soy products - soy drinks, soy pancakes, soy ice cream, soy yoghurt.... if its soy, its sold there. Every morning, I pay SGD$2.50 for my Icy Banana Soy Milk (always with no plastic bag to carry it in, for environment reasons). The lady in the picture is always serving and so she shouts out my order when i join the queue, not necessarily when i make it to the cash register. So its often waiting for me when its time for me to pay!

Here is my stranger-friend from Raffles Place Boost Juice, where each day, I order my toasted ham and cheese wrap, a salad (with balsamic vinegar on the side) and a bag of cut fruit (2 watermelon slices and 1 rockmelon slice). I was overjoyed to find a Boost Juice franchise in close proximity to my office. Not only does it give me the fresh fruit and vegetables that I have been desperately craving since leaving Australia, it is also supporting an Australian-born franchise that is going so wonderfully internationally. It really is the best place in Singapore to guarantee good quality fruit and good quality service.

My third stranger-friend is my concierge man at my work. Each morning when he sees me scrambling on into the building foyer, in my aussie flip flops (and business suit!) and my 2 bags full of sporting gear, he gives me a big grin and says in his brightest voice "HAP-PY [INSERT DAY OF THE WEEK]!!!!!" It is a great and funny start to the morning and i usually enter the lift up to my floor with a grin on my face.

Just a few more people to add the brightness to my day. They have no idea that they brighten up my day but they do - and they make being away from home a lot easier, in their own, individual way.

1 comment:

  1. I love these pieces of your day,gee you see things differently to what others would take for granted. Sounds as tho you are making some interesting friends. mum.