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In Asia, it is a well-known fact that there are ladies whose sole aim is to marry a white man and move to the West. Singaporeans call such ladies SPGs, but I’m not aware of any other cultural nickname for similar women in other Asian countries. The SPG typically drinks, smokes, hampers after materialistic goods, likes showing off, and acts like a brazen hussy. These girls like hanging around pubs and bars in Singapore trying to find a white guy to hook up with. Not only that, they secretly despise their Asian heritage and turn their noses up at fellow Asians when they have bagged a white boyfriend/husband. Thus, they are often derided and looked down upon by the Singaporean locals.

Now they are not in the same boat as Thai/China mail-order brides, just to be clear. Thailand and China (and other poorer Asian nations) are countries that do not offer ample opportunities for many girls to further themselves and achieve success in academics or in well-paying careers. The Singaporean education system is comparably better in that regard.

Singaporeans, whatever their race (and there are 4 recognised majority ethnic groups in Singapore), are by no means poor compared to poorer Asian countries. We may argue that poverty does exist in Singapore (I have seen it), but it is simply not the same level of poverty as seen in poorer Asian countries. The social welfare support that the Singaporean government offers to poorer Singaporeans is still better than what you see in poorer Asian countries, although not as good as the welfare package offered in Western European socialist states such as Sweden. Singapore has one of the highest GDPs in the world, is the 2nd Asian country after Japan with the highest standard of living in the world, and ranks 6th on the chart for the world’s most expensive real estate markets – for comparison, London ranks 3rd.

I can understand why girls from poorer Asian countries seek out white men from the West as husbands, because this is probably going to do a lot for them in terms of improving their living standards. But for Singaporean girls, who grew up in relatively high living standards countrywide, there is seemingly no real compelling economic reason why they would want to marry a white Western guy. The only probable reasons why they seek white husbands are shallow ones,  perpetuated by stereotypes of Caucasian males in Asia, which I will go into more detail below :

1) the stereotype that Caucasian males are more romantic.

Unfortunately, this is mostly false. The 70s English comedy sitcom Only Fools and Horses reflects perfectly the reality of a working class English male. That show is not just a caricature of real life. It is a mirror of it. Guys like that as far from romantic as you can possibly get, and I have met quite a few of them.

In any case, I heartily recommend people to watch Only Fools and Horses – easily available online or on YouTube. Guaranteed to make you laugh.

2) the stereotype that Caucasian males have larger dicks and therefore are better to have sex with.

Let me say this once and for all. IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT DICK SIZE. Truly good sex is dependent on technique, and men with large dicks with no technique whatsoever botch up in bed. If all a woman cares about is the size of the sausage, then she will probably be happier doing it with a courgette. At least there won’t be any messy human relationships involved in shagging her courgette, and she’d never have to worry about her courgette laying eyes on that other SPG “slut” across the dancefloor on one of her typical night-outs pub-hopping in Clarke Quay.

3) the stereotype that Caucasian men are rich.

Once again, not true. Well, not if you’re a Singaporean anyway. Most white guys work in average jobs earning average pay and any SPG who is thinking of depending on such guys to give them a life of luxury is dreaming, especially with the high cost of living here that will quickly offset any earnings made. She’d be better off marrying a Singaporean guy who can at least provide her with a maid to help with the housework and childcare!

There are no equivalent of maids here in Western countries, and most maids who are brought over to England by their Asian bosses run away at the earliest opportunity because they realise they can earn at least £10 an hour as a cleaner, compared to the SGD$500 they used to get for doing cleaning AND babysitting in Singapore as maids.

High levels of taxation (much higher than Singapore), high costs of childcare and cleaner services in England mean that only those Caucasian men who earn at least £100,000 will be able to afford to pay for their SAHM ex-SPG wives to have childcare and househelp.

Besides, if a man is a truly rich and capable one, he’d be smart enough to choose a more gorgeous trophy wife than an SPG. Let’s be honest here – Singaporean girls who are nearly 10 out of 10 in the looks department and/or have successful careers do not end up as SPGs. SPGs are normally girls who lack the brains, the drive or the looks to make something of themselves on their own merit. So it’s more likely than not that most SPGs will never be able to marry a rich Caucasian.

4) the stereotype that having children with Caucasian genes makes the children more attractive.

I guess I can’t disagree with that, as many mixed-race children I’ve seen are certainly good-looking. Still it seems to me terribly superficial to marry a guy based on how good-looking one’s children will look. Surely if all one wants are “designer” children, wouldn’t a woman be better off just having sex with a good-looking attractive man of whatever race she fancies, and then raising the child on her own without having to be bound together with that man by marriage? Shouldn’t personality and commonality of interest or attitudes mean more in a marriage partner than the possible appearance of mixed-race children one was going to have with any guy?

I heard people say that SPGs only existed in the 80s to the noughties, and that they don’t exist anymore these days. From anecdotal reports, I am assured that the SPG phenomenon is still alive in Singapore today, though in keeping with the times, the way they dress themselves these days look very different from the sarong-clad girls in the 80s, and obviously the way they present themselves too. The SPG of today is more tech-savvy, more aware of Western cultural norms and values, are well-exposed to Western media, and may be better-educated than the SPG girls of the past. The SPGs of today are also probably more selective in the kind of white guys they would like to meet. I’d hazard a guess they are very unlikely to go for guys who are unattractive by Western standards now. So out with the fat/balding/older-by-15-years white guys that yesteryear’s dogs went for. They only want young white males, fit and not too fat, not older than 30 in terms of looks, preferably streetwise/cool.

If you’ve spent a long enough time living in the West, you’ll find it is very easy to meet these real-life SPGs of yesteryear – or rather, ex-SPGs – as most, but not all of them, will quickly shed their previous image within the first few years they start living in the West with their “trophy husbands”. They will start trying to dress modestly and cull their previously wild behaviours so they can look more like respectable ladies. Nothing like what they used to be when they were out in pubs and bars trying to fish a white “trophy husband” acting like a harlot, letting these guys fondle them all over in public, slobbering kisses for all to see. Their FB statuses are about their latest purchases, but their real lives may be quite different. (I know because I know some of these ex-SPGs personally) They have to keep all of their hardships to themselves, afraid to reveal anything bad about their lives, because life in the West turned out to be not as great as they thought.

I had the chance to see how it was like on the other side of the bargain. My Western nationality in Asia made me the counterpart of the white guy in Asia with the Western passport. When I was living in Asia, I was seen as hot property by some of the guys simply because I had a Western passport. Subtle clues gave their intentions away, for instance, if a guy wasn’t initially interested in dating me, his attitude completely changed once he learnt of my passport status. I never felt flattered whenever I encountered one of these guys because my main aim whilst in Asia was not sex but to live a good, meaningful life. But I can certainly see how a Western male on holiday in Asia would be met with a string of Asian girls all keen to get with him. I can see how he could use and abuse this “power” he had over them – all because of his nationality.

It’s obvious that even in a country like Singapore, where people aren’t really living in poverty, the chance to immigrate to a Western country is still an ideal. A dream for so many. But is England really better than Singapore? The saying that “the grass is always greener on the other side” is true and many Singaporeans soon learn this once they’ve spent a few years abroad.

Europeans and British people are not typically very open and warm to non-locals. Singaporeans moving to Europe for living or working are usually well-educated and learnt English as a first language, but despite the lack of a language barrier, Singaporeans can still find it terribly hard to break into English social circles.

The speed of officialdom in getting things done is slower in England than is the case in Singapore. Often much slower. Although both England and Singapore adopt the left-hand drive system of traffic, the driving styles of both countries differ greatly. In England, it’s all about defensive driving these days. If someone crosses the road recklessly but you the driver could not manage to stop in time, then it is you who will go to jail.

“Health and safety” is a big one in England, with lots of inane rules to follow. The most recent one is where all school children are banned from wearing goggles during school swimming lessons. The reasoning behind this stupid rule is that children could get hurt from bumping into each other with goggles worn, and that if kids start pulling the goggles away from their eyes whilst wearing the goggles, it could spring back and snap onto their faces, causing injury. Unbelievable, isn’t it?

And another difference between Singapore and England is how the criminal justice system works. In England, if a burglar enters your home and you catch them red-handed, it is advisable that you refrain from causing injury to the intruder in any way. This is to prevent yourself getting sent to jail, as was the case with English farmer Tony Martin. In fact, some time this year, Tony Martin found another burglar in his new home, but because he had been sent to jail for killing a burglar before, he decided this time to just confront the burglar and let the burglar drive away afterwards. Smart man.

Can I tell you about the ridiculous laws here which penalise anyone who tries to clear the snow and ice off the pavement in front of their homes during winter? Even schools and businesses are affected, so many of them would rather not go to the trouble to clear snow and ice off the school entrances and pavements in front of their offices, for fear of litigation. Insurance companies are actually advising businesses to avoid clearing snow and ice off the pavements, in case they get sued. A theoretical risk of getting sued, yes. But in this Health and Safety gone mad country, many people would rather not take the risk. Walking around England in winter when it has been snowing can be a very beautiful experience, but treacherous too. All the black ice.

Another thing Singaporeans can find hard to get used to in England, is difficulty in accessing their favourite Singaporean hawker stall dishes. Unless they live in or near London, restaurants that serve authentic Singaporean or Malaysian food are few and far between. Many Singaporeans can’t cook because of the easy availability and lower cost of eating out in Singapore, but when they come to England, they almost always have to learn to cook from scratch, as eating out in England tends to be very expensive compared to say, America. Singaporeans who miss their favourite Singaporean foods have to either learn to cook them from scratch(which can be a very steep learning curve as many traditional Singaporean foods are technique more than recipe-based, and thus very difficult to do right for the non-chef, or just give up on Singaporean cuisine until they return to Singapore for a visit.

But if you’re a current SPG reading this, I’m sure my advice won’t be heeded. So I wish you all the best and I hope that if you do eventually get sick of living here and want to go back home, your husband would be willing and rich enough to pay for your move back to Asia, since it would be very unlikely for you to have the financial means to do so yourself. Even if you do decide to take on jobs whilst in England, it’d be highly unlikely you’d ever end up in a well-paid job with your lack of qualifications and local connections. After all, there is one more thing you will have to get used to whilst living in England – the Old boy network – which will never work to your favour career-wise. Unless you are married to an “Old boy” yourself – i.e. you bagged a goldmine. In which case, do re-read point 3 again above.