Canadian asks to see sunny Singapore; she gets warm welcome

Canadian Michelle Christine and some of the about 100 people who met her in Singapore. She leaves with great memories of the country.
Canadian Michelle Christine and some of the about 100 people who met her in Singapore. She leaves with great memories of the country.PHOTO: COURTESY OF MICHELLE CHRISTINE

First-time visitor who tried to find a tour guide impressed by country, kindness of its people

A Canadian woman visiting Singapore for the first time turned to online forum Reddit to ask for a tour guide for a day - and was taken around the island in the course of a week-long trip that she called "mind-blowing".

Ms Michelle Christine, a 30-year-old comedienne, told The Straits Times yesterday that she was here for a week "to see the sights and do a comedy show" en route to Australia.

"I thought I would like a tour guide for a day, so I posted on Reddit and to my surprise, I got a bunch of students saying they would help," said Ms Christine.

She posted on Reddit on Jan 13, and landed in Singapore on Jan 17.

She met up with a local university student, who took her to see Marina Bay Sands and Gardens By The Bay and to a hawker centre where they had chicken rice. They were joined later by another person responding to her post.

In all, Ms Christine met about 100 people through Reddit, most of whom turned up for her two free comedy shows - called 50% Canadian, 100% Crazy, Let's Laugh! - held over the weekend at The Merry Lion comedy club in Circular Road.

She is leaving Singapore today, but not before she squeezes in brunch at 11am with one more person she is meeting through Reddit. Before this trip, she had never had a tour guide take her around.

She leaves with great memories of Singapore. "I would say it exceeded my expectations. People here are so nice," she said.

The Canadian, who has done comedy for 5½ years, said she had decided to come to Singapore as she was on her way to Australia for comedy festivals, and wanted to see if people in Asia liked her brand of comedy. "And they did," she said.

Ms Christine said the favourite part of her trip was visiting Gardens By The Bay, which she had seen in BBC documentary Planet Earth 2.

"The supertrees were absolutely stunning," she said. "I would totally come back. Singapore blew my mind. I was so impressed - the food, the people, the nature, the architecture, the friendliness, the open-mindedness, the ability to help a stranger from Canada see their city out of the kindness of their hearts."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 24, 2018, with the headline 'Canadian asks to see sunny S'pore; she gets warm welcome'. Print Edition | Subscribe