House Of Flaming Mitres

[Preface: This is a fake flame. Fake because the author of the target post has since clarified what he meant, and I therefore bear him no hard feelings. But I’ll post this anyway because sometimes flaming is fun! (Right, singaporeslut? :P) He is, of course, totally welcome to fake-flame me right back.]

This makes me laugh. Brandon decided that because I (and a friend of his) like the Mitre Hotel, and because he doesn’t like the look of it (he’s never actually been there), this is a manifestation of “overreaching on the part of Singapore’s fashionably non-conforming youth.” Because “y’all don’t have to hang out in a shithole just cuz you’re sick of Zouk, yo.”

He discusses the issue with his friend.

They feel we fashionably non-conforming youth “duno whats cool”. (My thoughts: No one ever called me fashionable before! YAY!)

They wonder, “are they trying to rebel against the cleanliness of singapore?” (My thoughts: Dude, I’m Singaporean. Rebellion against anything whatsoever is not in my genes.)

His friend vows, “if someone brought me there i’ll kill him/her.” (My thoughts: No need. The roof might collapse and do it for you.)

And finally, “fuck them la. what they know. just sit down at void deck with 4-5 80 yr old uncles spewing stories in hokkien. everywhere oso got lor.” (My thoughts: Can! But got problem. Old uncle tells moving story in Hokkien about how he survived the war by eating cockroach exoskeletons, taught his kids to read with kacang puteh newspaper sheets, and now they are all President’s Scholars and so incredibly virtuous that none of them have even broken bond. Old uncle looks at me expectantly, waiting for me to respond. Speechless with admiration, I fumble for words, since like many young Singaporeans, although I can understand dialects all right, when called upon to speak them the right words don’t come to mind. Finally, I desperately splutter the Hokkien words I am most familiar with – “Uncle…KA NI NA BU CHAO CHEE BYE!”)

So there you have it, the real reason I go to the Mitre Hotel: I’m not welcome anywhere else.


  1. I’ve read Brandon’s criticisms of the Mitre Hotel and since I’ve been dragged into the argument I’d better clarify my position.

    I, like many other syntaxfree readers, like to get myself drunk from time to time. It

  2. perhaps some name-calling was in order.

    anyway, would you say the mitre was a place you’d like to get totally lashed in? i’ve heard the toilet is nightmarish in the way that the trainspotting movie failed to translate from the page. i’d hate to pass out headfirst into that. but so far the mitre’s premier distinguishing characteristic is filth!

    tangentially, i don’t think singapore’s reputation for cleanliness is well-deserved. even when i was around during SARS, the hourly-cleaned toilets could have been better. if i were a tourist neurotically obsessed with dirt and germs, my preconceptions of singapore would not be met upon arrival. perhaps it’s just me that’s obsessed with dirt and germs.

  3. Yeah, you bet it was in order, you…you…schmuck!

    It’s true that I’d prefer not to have to use the Mitre’s toilet, but that would apply for most kopitiams and hawker centres too. And actually, the one time I was in there it didn’t actually stink, or feature any human waste products. It just looked really old and rusty and dilapidated, but frankly, the toilets in Parkway Parade smell worse.

    Re: the overrating of Singapore’s cleanliness, I agree with you in terms of toilets and eating venues. Most public toilets I’ve used in Europe are cleaner than the average public toilet here, despite their lack of sensor flushing, hourly cleaning auntie or prolonged campaigning to teach basic social etiquette.

    Most of our streets are much cleaner than any others I’ve seen though.

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