The man at the coffeeshop pulled out a Styrofoam box to pack up the leftovers of my beef fried rice. “You and your husband, both journalists ah?” he asked in Mandarin. “Journalism is tough, right? I guess if you don’t write about politics here it’s not too bad…”
“Oh, I write about politics.”
His eyes widened, his brows arching high above his glasses. “That’s so tough!” he exclaimed. “If you write the truth you get in trouble and if you don’t write the truth no one reads it because you’re a liar.”
It seemed strange that a guy who works way more than 12 hours a day in a non-air-conditioned coffeeshop would feel sorry for me and what I do, but he’d more-or-less summed up political journalism in Singapore.
There is, of course, much more to it than that, which is why I’m even bothering to write this.