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News Reports

A black-and-white conversation

Pandas Jia Jia, four, female and Kai Kai, five, male, before leaving Szechuan for Singapore.
Jia Jia (buffing her nails): I hear it’s going to be panda-monium when we get to Singapore tomorrow.
Kai Kai (gleeful): Who cares? We’re flying SIA! Singapore Girl…Here I come..! You think I can persuade them to give us an upgrade from cargo to First Class?
Jia Jia (still buffing her nails): You can try. I hope the SIA girls can understand your Mandarin. I don’t think our China women are wearing the kebayas – yet.
Kai Kai: Never mind that. You know SIA is dressing us as plush toys in kebayas? It’s okay for you girls to look like air stewardesses…but…. I’m a full-blooded male! (gives Panda growl..)
Jia Jia (looking at her hand mirror): Hmmmm….I just know I would look good like in a kebaya. I’m sure people will pay $20 for me. You, you only deserve to get your face stamped. Fifty cents only! My face is worth $2! By the way, I hope the stamps are in colour, not black and white…Don’t want to look washed-out…
Kai Kai : Frankly, I don’t think these Singaporeans can tell us apart. But you know how efficient they are. They might give us name tags, and put down age, sex, race and nationality…Remember to pack my electric shaver. Don’t trust them to groom me…
Jia Jia (throws shaver into suitcase): We’ll just have to grin and bear it. At least they treat foreign talent well. They spent like $8million just to build our new home. And we’re going to be the first ones in, even before TOP.
Kai Kai (flexing his muscles): You think it’s going to be a shoebox apartment? I hope not. I need more than 50sqm of space to live well.
Jia Jia (throws her dinner gown into suitcase): I think it’s going to be bigger. These Singaporeans have been panda-ring to us all this while. I just hope they serve some really good bamboo shoots. You think they’ll bring us to Crystal Jade or Tung Lok to eat?
Kai Kai: Stop thinking food! You already sound like one of them! But we better know where the Chinese embassy is, in case we get abused and need to go there and hide. You have the telephone number?
Jia Jai (packing iPhone) : You’re silly. Their Prime Minister already said we’ll be well-treated. He even took a look around our new place…and said he was satisfied….
Kai Kai: Well you never know…These Singaporeans, especially those on the Internet, don’t like foreigners. I won’t put it past them to mistake us for wild boars and shoot us.
Jia Jia (pushes spear into suitcase): Look at it this way. We’re only going to be there for 10 years, then our work permit runs out. It’s not like we’re going to take up space on the MRT. In fact, I think we’re bringing in money for them. Remember last time An An and Xin Xing went there in 1990? More than 400,000 visitors in just 100 days!
Kai Kai: Yeah. They made enough money to pay the snake head and the agent and even sent money home. I heard they built a new house in Szechuan.
Jia Jia: Well, they spent only 100 days in that hot place. It will be like 10 years jail for us…You think we can survive?
Kai Kai: Maybe we should apply for PR, and later become citizens. Then our children can get into a good school and we can get more housing and health benefits.
Jia Jia (snaps suitcase shut): I am NOT letting my son do National Service!
Kai Kai: Okay. Okay. We just make money – and then go home.

Written By

An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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