True Story: The Things In Singapore That Trigger Expat Nostalgia

21 February 2017

By Finder blogger: Andrea McKenna


I think a lot of our time as expats is taken up with having nostalgia about where we came from.

We miss Trader Joe’s pita chips and pineapple salsa and Target’s bundles of deodorant and sunscreen. We miss size 14-16 dresses in stores and size 9 shoes on the racks. We miss servers who ask if you want another beer before your first one is gone. It happens a lot.

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One of the biggest culprits for me, however, is when the old rock bands come into town. Nothing reminds you that you were young once more than 80s rock music.

That was where all the kids could come together and scream, sing, dance, and rock it out to our favorite radio and MTV songs. (Remember rock radio…. And MTV when they played rock videos????)

And when bands tour Asia, it’s a big deal to us expats because we get a chance to relive those glory days.

In January, Metallica hit the Indoor Stadium and was metal-tastic! Flashback to early 80s and the MTV video for the anthem “One.” Very emotional.

Next up this weekend is the tour that never was going to happen: Guns-n-Rose’s “Not In This Lifetime” tour.

It’s a miracle the band stayed together for this tour, dubbed “Not in this lifetime,” a nod to the fact that the band’s falling out in the 90s was so bad that they said, “Yeah, another tour is never gonna happen.”

But it’s happening. And we’re going!

See also: Top 5 Places To Enjoy World Music in Singapore

Rather than piling into a caravan of our parents’ cars and driving into the next major city in 1987, my gang is renting a 21-seater excursion bus, probably equipped with champagne and plans for a pre- and post-party.

We’re also desperately trying to hunt down size L and XL band t-shirts in advance of show. My husband was lucky enough to pick up one at Target six months ago. (Gotta miss that Target!)

I don’t think I’m rocking out the heels, mini skirt, jean jacket and sky-high hair. Probably the standard yoga dress with flip flops. (How the mighty have fallen.)

Flashing back to songs like “Paradise City” and “Sweet Child o’ Mine” will be grand indeed.

And I hear from other Asian show reviews that the band is tight. Gone are the days when Slash was too drunk to get the chords right for the intro solos. The guys are also “all growed up” and getting along like big-boy professionals.

And we, the fans, are ready to hold those moments when we were looking at the world with big eyes saying, “I can’t wait to drive my own car to the next show after I finish college and get my first job!”

Actually, for me, it was the moments of joy at hearing the music and feeling really good about exactly where I was and not worrying about the future. Remember that?

If you want to feel that again and if you are hankering for the 80s and 90s, tickets are still available through Sistic. Get ready to rock it out!


About Andrea McKenna

image: E. Chiau

Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.


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