While the recent mad rush for Taylor Swift concert tickets has been a struggle for many, Sharon Au considers it an example of how we are the envy of some of her French and Taiwanese friends.
In an Instagram post on Wednesday (July 5), the veteran actress recalled a discussion with her friends over dinner about their home countries’ respective current crises or greatest challenges.
According to the 47-year-old, while the French replied that it was the “policing and racial profiling in their low-income and multi-ethnic suburbs”, for the Taiwanese it was “the storm of #MeToo allegations at the very top of my country’s political, judicial and entertainment scenes”.
When it came to Sharon’s turn, she wasn’t absolutely certain but said: “A governmental review of the rental of colonial bungalows by two senior ministers and mad rush for Taylor Swift tickets with over one million in the virtual queue”.
Turns out our concerns, seen to be relatively less severe, were a cause for envy among her French and Taiwanese friends, who exclaimed: “We want to live in Singapore!”
A comment on the Instagram post read: “Singapore’s crisis seems to pale in comparison to France’s and Taiwan’s.”
Fellow actress Jacelyn Tay also commented with four cry-laughing emojis: “Rental and Taylor Swift… Lol… Really, we have a problem here.”
Others seemed to have a different focus altogether, commenting on Sharon’s physique: “Wah! Those legs!”, “With legs will travel”.
‘Look at what happened to me last year’
Having lived in Paris since 2018 and endured a home burglary in May 2022, Sharon seems to have become a go-to person for Singaporeans seeking advice before travelling to France.
Regarding queries about safety in France, she wrote in the same post: “The country is recovering from six nights of riots since the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Nahel Merzouk during a police traffic stop, by a police[man] under no apparent threat.”
Merzouk’s death on June 27 fed longstanding complaints of discrimination, police violence and systemic racism inside law enforcement agencies from rights groups and within low-income, racially mixed suburbs.The officer involved has acknowledged firing a lethal shot.
On July 1, police fired tear gas and fought youths who were protesting late into the night.
Regarding the safest locations in Paris for tourists, Sharon added: “Safety and security are two utmost concerns to me, and I do not take these questions lightly. I hesitate to dispense any advice regarding which areas are safer. I stayed in the safest district in Paris, and look at what happened to me last year.”
She summarised her safety advice to a few points: Be vigilant at all times, monitor the media and avoid trouble hotspots where riots are ongoing.
Additionally, she reminded people to note the disruptions to local transport and to take care of their belongings as pickpocketing remains persistent.
Ending her advice, she assured those planning to visit Paris that many tourists do not experience unfortunate incidents while visiting France.
“My friends and I who live here are still able to find pockets of peace and beauty, away from the maddening crowd,” she concluded.
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