The American teenager behind the viral Marina Bay Sands online post is raising funds for a trip to Singapore.
Shaun Fontenot, 19, has so far raised more than S$300 (around US$200) out of its goal of S$13,500 (US$10,000) via a Gofundme campaign that started Sunday, days after he joked online about Singapore’s iconic landmark being located in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. His post sparked thousands of reactions from Singaporeans doubling down on his sense of humor using other famous Singapore places and faces (like referring to the Merlion as the Statue of Liberty and the Phua Chu Kang sitcom as the U.S. show Friends).
“Hi my name is Shaun Fontenot and I’m looking to travel to Singapore to explore the country, more specifically the Marina Bay Sands,” he wrote on the fundraising page. “Many of you have asked for this so here it is!”
Fontenot told Today on Monday that his post, which garnered over 18,000 comments and 15,000 shares, was meant to poke fun at his town, which he said had “nothing” like Marina Bay Sands. According to the United States Census Bureau, Chattanooga only has over 180,000 residents – which is about the residential size of Bedok’s HDB estates.
Other examples include those that compared popular flatbread prata to pancakes, the Jewel Changi Airport fountain to the Niagara falls, and the Sheng Siong supermarket to the American retail chain Walmart.
Some of Singapore’s government organizations also jumped on the bandwagon. The Ministry of National Development compared the river at Punggol Waterway Park to the canals of Amsterdam while the Singapore Civil Defence Force reminded citizens to call 995 for emergencies and not 911 like they do in the United States.
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