Tuesday, March 20, 2018


Shout out to the team at Two Writing Teachers for hosting the 11th annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Magic happens when teachers who teach writing, write themselves. Joins us. Link up everyday in March or on Tuesdays throughout the year.

A recent hand phone* conversation:

12:16 a.m. 

Buzzz, buzzz
My Singapore phone vibrates. My son is enroute from the states, so I answer immediately—- sending a prayer up as I do.


“Good morning, lah.”

“Good morning.”

“Did you know you are missing your Singapore American School card, lah?”

“Oh, no, I didn’t. Did it fall out in the cab?” I think about how my badge hold has a small split on one side— the tropics are tough on plastic. I think about how. I have money I might have on my card at the moment. Our ID cards work on campus and off (for the bus and train).

“Ahh, yes, lah. Can I get it back to you?”

“Yes, you can give it to security at the school or at the condo if you are in the neighborhood.”

“Can. Give it to security at your condo, Lah?”

“Yes, yes. Can. Thank you.”

“Okay. Thank you! Bye, Bye.”

The cab driver called back just a few minutes and said if I was not yet sleeping could I come get the card.   So, of course, I did. 

Imagine leaving or losing something in a taxi cab and having the driver call you, notify you and return it to you.

This is Singapore. 

I try not to make a habit of losing things, but I once left my cell phone in a cab. The driver brought it right back to my school (where he’d dropped me off) and now tonight’s escapade with my school i.d. card. 

If you’re going to lose something in Singapore, you’ll likely find out that things here are always found. 

* Singaporean English (Singlish) has some unique words and sayings:
Hand phone for cell phone.
Can - used like yes (and cannot, like a no can do)
Lah—added to the ends of phrases and sentences— I am still investigating lah, leg, lot,  moe mah and meh— as well as some sounds like a deep aahh — her’s hoping  Lah is not the equivalent of  a Carolinian’s “bless her heart.”


  1. One would like to imagine that this would happen anywhere, but probably not. There's a certain kindness in this gesture -- of spending time returning that which has been lost.

  2. That’s wonderful. I am certain that isn’t the norm here, but there are glimpses of caring. Thanks for the glimpse into Singapore life.

  3. My son talks in awe of how it is the same in Korea- he feels totally safe and knows that nothing can really be lost.

  4. I so enjoyed your story. I like that you included the phrases and then the key at the end. Mostly, I liked reading about good things happening in other parts of the world.

  5. I love that you told this story with dialogue and used the language of the cab driver (I enjoyed figuring out the meaning of some of the words) and then seeing your notes at the end. Thank goodness for good people the world over!

  6. A great tale! Love this line and this truth: "If you’re going to lose something in Singapore, you’ll likely find out that things here are always found." I'd say, if you are going to lose something, it is best to do it in Singapore!