All posts tagged: Singapore

Places I love

As a Third Culture Kid, I’ve had the honor of both living and visiting a multitude of places in my lifetime. The following five photos represent places I’ve discovered that remain near and dear to my heart. This is “my five.”

A non-American American

I don’t think anyone ever saw it coming. The creation of a non-American American. In other words, me. Third Culture Kids often mock Americans for thinking that they are the center of the world. But few will admit that the statement is absolutely true. American dominance is prevalent in every corner of the globe. From Microsoft to Britney Spears to Barack Obama, the rest of the world is indoctrinated into American culture. But while the lasting value of American cultural exports is difficult to measure, their international institutions offer a very quantifiable example of their influence. As a consequence of this globalization, you don’t need to set foot in America to be an American. My family is from Hong Kong. I grew up in Singapore. I spent less than three months in America before moving to Chicago for college four years ago. Yet, “I thought you were American!” was one of first things Americans would say to me. That usually came after an introduction (“Hi, I’m Steph”) and a qualifying statement (“I am from Singapore”). …

Part 1: TCK goes to college

I was 17 when I started college in Florida; just months away from being able to legally enter, but not drink at, a club or a bar. Because I had been living in Shanghai the last four years, I didn’t have a driver’s license – only a passport, and my American diplomat card. I got away with acting like a dumb freshman girl who “forgot” my ID a few times, but when my friends and I attempted to go out dancing one night, my ego was completely shot. “Where’s your ID,” the bouncer demanded. “Well, I have this,” I took out my diplomat ID. “My birthday’s right here.” He looked at it puzzled, squinting at the Chinese characters. “What is this? Don’t you have a driver’s license?” Um, no sir, that requires the ability to drive. “My birthday’s right there,” I pointed, hoping maybe he’d just let me in. “No, I can’t take this, I can’t even read this.” He threw it back and me and took the next person in line. I was furious. …