Great Expat-ations

Great Expat-ations

Italian-US writer Jennifer Gargiulo has lived in Singapore for almost seven years.

Her recently-launched book, Diary of An Expat in Singapore, was the No. 1 weekly bestseller at Kinokuniya's popular culture category for three weeks after its release in August.

The book is based on a blog of the same name that she started three years ago that offers quirky details of Ms Gargiulo's experiences in the Lion City.

She lives with her husband and two children, a daughter, Eliot, eight, and a son, Alexander, 12.

1 What made you start a blog and then write a book?

I started blogging for fun about three years ago and I was really lucky that a Singaporean publisher really liked the blog and suggested writing a book based on the blog...Initially, my idea was just to answer the questions I get about being an expatriate.

2 Are expatriates integrated into local culture?

Some go out of their way to meet people and get to know Singaporeans, and then you have other people who do the opposite. You can live in the expat bubble, but then what do you learn? Or you can eat curry noodles at 10am, like my daughter. My kids are very Singaporean.

3 What do you like best about Singapore?

There are plenty of diverse and delicious food at all times of the day here.

4 Which part of Singapore culture stands out most for you?

I think the obvious ones are safety and harmony. I also certainly appreciate how well-kept the museums and parks are here. And the food, obviously.

5 What do you think about Singlish?

It's awesome, as that is when I feel Singaporean. At the beginning, I did not understand it at all. But it is part of the national identity, so you have to jump in and understand what is going on. My kids speak a bit of Singlish as well.


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