Friends of Buro: SG50 interview with Natasha Chiam

Friends of Buro: SG50 interview with Natasha Chiam

Birthday special

Text: Dora Aljoofri-Shrestha

Photo: Vanessa Caitlin

What does the founder of Ice Cream & Cookie Co. appreciate about Singapore? The answer will surprise you

You know you've met a Singaporean when... they understand the meaning of a tissue packet left on a table.

My fondest memory from the last five decades is... looking at the city glittering against the night sky when touching down on a plane. As a child, that sight meant coming back for summer holidays and happy times ahead!

As a Singaporean, I really love to complain about... the heat. So original, I know.

Singaporeans should stop complaining about... the public transport. It's really not that bad! Where I grew up, sometimes the trains wouldn't even come at all.

The most underrated thing about Singapore is... this is super boring — but the tax filing system is pretty great. 

Each time I return back to our island, I appreciate... the fact that everything is pretty much within a 20-minute travel time.

The cost of our country's progress... is the inordinate amount of paperwork required to get seemingly simple things done. 

The one local dish I would pay any amount for is... steamed chicken rice! 

In 10 years' time, I would like to see Singapore... as a place where aunties and uncles no longer have to work as hawker centre cleaners or street sweepers.

Singapore is uniquely... patriotic.

Durian: Bitter or sweet? Neither, I can't get past the smell. 

Natasha Chiam, #FriendsOfBuro

Favourite local brand: In Good Company, their clothes make me feel happy and peaceful.

Related story: Shop, eat and play at In Good Company's first standalone boutique

Favourite Singlish word: Wahlao

Favourite childhood snack: Soft white toast with butter and sugar.

Favourite hawker centre: Pek Kio at Owen Road, I love that sleepy neighbourhood. 

To view more SG50 interviews with other Friends of Buro, click here