Sunday, September 2, 2007 ;
2:30 PM
Had to post abt this:

Just received a call from CDAC (Disease Center of USA), asking if I can participate in their study of children under 4 and their immunizations. It's to help in their research of vaccines and what nots. So I said yes, because I remembered begging people during my honours year, when I needed the numbers for my results/ thesis. That's also why I always fill in surveys for the JC students doing their Project Work even though I may not teach them, and despite being very busy.

Anyway, she wanted full details of my family and then my kids' health and immunization records. After verification, I started answering her Qs. I did tell her that we are from Singapore, and did she want only results from Americans? She said no, the more diversity the better. So ok.

Asked about race, age and income and education level and so on. Then seemed surprised that both my kids had all the vaccines she asked me done, and I was able to give her all the exact dates for every single jab (DPT, Polio, Hib, BCG, Hept B). Well, I had their health booklet with me, so... She did ask about chicken pox and flu, but my kids didn't have those, and I said no. And she asked if they ever contracted pox or flu since they weren't vaccinated, and I said no.

Then she asked for the hospital/ clinic's name the kids had their jabs, and then the tel and add. I gave her. Then after I stopped at Bt Timah Rd, Singapore. She asked further, "Singapore, Japan or Singapore, China?"

I was like, huh? At this day and age?

So I replied, "Singapore, Singapore actually". And then followed by "Singapore is a country, a nation by herself." When she hesitated.

Then she laughed and said, "Oh! I didn't know that, well, I am learning something new everyday!"

I was thinking, I better start promoting more awareness of Singapore. This is not the first time. If it was someone who lived in the suburb, never read newspapers, and never had much education or worked in a large corporation, then it's still understandable. But someone from CDAC?

I've been to Sydney and other parts of Australia, they all immediately can relate to me, once they ask me where I am from, and then I reply Singapore. I've been to Europe, and it's similar there. Most people say nice things, some say "Oh, nanny state" or "Oh, where chewing gum is banned" or "Oh, where you get caned for drawing graffiti?" as the things that count as not nice.... But at least, they know Singapore.

here? it's odd, have encountered this several times already.

No wonder there's this group on Facebook called "I'm from Singapore and it's not part of China". Maybe too many people have asked them the same thing.

So how about all of you in other countries? Have you experienced this before?


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