‘Crazy Rich Asians’

The older members of our family went out to see Crazy Rich Asians on Friday night. I highly recommend it. It is entertaining, witty and very easy on the eyes.

Director Jon Chu did an amazing job, and Constance Wu was a great choice for the female lead role. Here is the trailer.

I really loved the shots of Singapore, where Mrs. T. and I lived for a few years after business school. It is amazing how the skyline has changed. I also really liked hearing again the Singapore accent, which has a unique and bouncy inflection.

If you can, one day visit Singapore and Hong Kong (where I worked and lived for a few months). Stop for afternoon tea at a hotel like the Shangri-La, Mandarin or Regent and experience an entirely different level of customer service.

Walk the streets, and you’ll feel enough Western influence but feel that the culture very much is not the West. You’ll walk by a Prada boutique in Hong Kong, and down the block, find an open-air butchery, with freshly-slaughtered hogs and poultry being hung and then cut into smaller chunks.

You’ll see vestiges of colonial British rule in the architecture and at certain institutions, but you’ll feel that you’re not in the U.K., not at all. The sights, sounds, smells and sensations are very different. There will be a Tower of Babel of Chinese in the air, from Mandarin to Cantonese to Hokkien. And, yes, each is entirely different from the others.

On the weekends, you’ll see three generations of families out for a meal, and you’ll likely find that the grandparents are living with one of their children. That is the norm, that is expected, and people live very inter-generational lives.

The subways are clean, sleek and modern, and their platforms are spotless. The mobile network is blazingly fast. You’ll find people in t-shirts and shorts walking alongside those wearing $10,000 Italian suits made from immeasurably soft wool or designer dresses from Paris.

Both countries are incredibly cosmopolitan, and you’ll find loads of expats from the US, the UK and Australia. But, the locals are the main story here, and the white people will come and go, as their companies rotate them in and then rotate them out.

And, the best meals? They’re at simple outdoor markets or little holes-in-the-wall that tourists overlook but about which locals obsess.

But, I digress.

While the movie is awesome, the book is even better. I ended up reading the whole trilogy, and it is a great addition to anyone’s summer reading list.

Summer doesn’t end Monday. It ends September 22. So, until then, enjoy the weather and the gifts of family, friends, the outdoors and healthy food!

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