When we started looking into moving to Southeast Asia, specifically Singapore, we were lucky enough to have friends of friends we could talk to about what to expect. My approach to mining these valuable resources made mountaintop removal look gentle. I will be forever grateful for the long email exchanges and Skype phone calls various folks endured, where conversations were more akin to military interrogations.
Towards the end of one of our marathon calls, I was really surprised by something a mama friend told me. She said that if given the choice between a Saturday treat of McDonald’s or chicken rice—a Singaporean staple from the hawker stands, their version of fast food that is NOTHING like fast food as we know it—the kids would choose chicken rice every time. I had trouble believing this on a number of levels.