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Why dont food courts have napkins?

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marc.favroo
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Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby marc.favroo » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 6:41 am

Hello!

Please, explain to me what is with the lack of napkins in this country?

I continue to be amazed how difficult it is to get a napkin in a hawker center...keep ruining my t-shirts as I can't wipe my ahnds anywhere..? Dont get it?! It must be a cultural thing? Or Singapore needs to import napkins so they are expensive!?

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x9200
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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby x9200 » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 6:48 am

It's because this is a domain traditionally reserved for the napkin uncles and aunties - normally there are some elderly folks waking between the tables and selling this stuff.

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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby nakatago » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 7:00 am

marc.favroo wrote:Hello!

Please, explain to me what is with the lack of napkins in this country?

I continue to be amazed how difficult it is to get a napkin in a hawker center...keep ruining my t-shirts as I can't wipe my ahnds anywhere..? Dont get it?! It must be a cultural thing? Or Singapore needs to import napkins so they are expensive!?


That's what your sleeves and collar are for.

But seriously, it's the same reason why in some places you have to buy water.

So, yeah: cultural.

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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby bro75 » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 7:24 am

I learned to bring my own.

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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 8:21 am

Napkins are valuable. If the hawker centers provide them, then what will the locals use to chope their seats. Everybody carried a packet of tissues so they can chope their seats while in line to get their food. Rude & inconsiderate, yes. Local ingrained habit? yes. Can you change it? no.

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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby nakatago » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 8:37 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote: Can you change it? no.


You can, actually.

Start a movement where everyone just starts 'appropriating' unattended packets of tissues.

:twisted:

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x9200
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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby x9200 » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 8:43 am

Yes, really, you can. Just do it. Nothing will happen. It's a different think if you leave some true personal belongings (your backpack for example) and a different thing if this is some unpersonalized piece of bleached cellulose.

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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby the lynx » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 8:47 am

x9200 wrote:It's because this is a domain traditionally reserved for the napkin uncles and aunties - normally there are some elderly folks waking between the tables and selling this stuff.


+1

Yup it works this way in Singapore or even Asia. Use the hand wash basin. There is always one in every hawker centre.

I have the habit of bringing my own too.

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rajagainstthemachine
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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 9:36 am

chapter 1 Lesson 1 understanding Singapore
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late

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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby uscate » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 7:16 pm

In addition to a few napkins, I always traveled with a baggie full of Lysol wipes in my purse. That way I could somewhat clean the table before I sat down. After witnessing time and again the local habit of spitting chicken bones directly onto the table, I figured Lysol wipes were the least I could do to sanitize my little part of the world. And yes, I also wiped down my area when I left.

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ecureilx
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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 7:33 pm

rajagainstthemachine wrote:chapter 1 Lesson 1 understanding Singapore


And Singapore is a rojak of Chinese, Malay and bit of Indian customs :)

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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby JR8 » Thu, 17 Sep 2015 9:29 pm

My gut feel (to the OP) is that they are not provided as if they were their provision would be abused. Perhaps enough people would empty the dispensers and use it at home in lieu of buying loo-roll? But I don’t know, the burger places seem to provide them, without anarchy ensuing... but maybe the ultra-kiasu’s wouldn't pay the ‘premium pricing’ of western fast food places...


Napkin aunties/uncles. I’ve very rarely seen any; maybe one in 20 visits. So, never there when I might want some. So when I’m eating at such a place, then I’m usually shopping too and hence have my daypack with me. In the smallest pocket of which is a stash of tissues. Either the little packs of thin ones from shops like Watsons etc, or full-size heavy duty ones that can buy very economically in 50-100 packs from places such as IKEA. So I usually carry 3-4 of the small packs, and maybe 4-5 of the bigger napkins... enough to never run out. The latter are what I use at places like the East Coast seafood centres where splashing curry/oil from dishes like the crab is too easy to do (and a PITA to remedy if it hits your clothes).


Nak: ‘'appropriating' unattended packets of tissues.’
I’ve done something similar. Flicked the choping tissue on the floor and appropriated the seat/s, then act all dumb... ‘Sorry, what tissues, I didn’t see any? And why would someone put tissues on a chair [etc]?’ Choping via tissues requires everyone to ‘know the code’, but of course not everyone does; You can act newbie tourist/visitor right?... so THAT person can be you! :-D Try it sometime it’s mildly amusing esp as there is toot all they can do.
'Do it or do not do it: You will regret both' - Kierkegaard

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rajagainstthemachine
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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby rajagainstthemachine » Fri, 18 Sep 2015 9:57 am

I did that when I first got here, Told a fuming lady that I assumed everyone was given a free napkin packet when they sat to eat. she walked away in utter disgust.
To get there early is on time and showing up on time is late

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kaseyma
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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby kaseyma » Fri, 18 Sep 2015 11:08 am

marc.favroo wrote:Hello!

Please, explain to me what is with the lack of napkins in this country?

I continue to be amazed how difficult it is to get a napkin in a hawker center...keep ruining my t-shirts as I can't wipe my ahnds anywhere..? Dont get it?! It must be a cultural thing? Or Singapore needs to import napkins so they are expensive!?

Yes, it is a local thing.
Another local thing is to bring your own tissue packets, which can also be used to save your table, unless some stupid angmoh sits there thinking the tissues are free for using. :P

JR8 wrote:My gut feel (to the OP) is that they are not provided as if they were their provision would be abused. Perhaps enough people would empty the dispensers and use it at home ....

Have seen home collections of paper napkins with logos of various food establishments. Usually can find small hand towels with airline logos, too.

JR8 wrote:Napkin aunties/uncles. I’ve very rarely seen any; maybe one in 20 visits. So, never there when I might want some.

When I do see them (e.g. in MRT passageways, etc.) I usually buy a packet or two for when I need them.
Now, if I can just remember to bring the packets along when I actually go to a hawker centre ....
8-[

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triste
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Re: Why dont food courts have napkins?

Postby triste » Fri, 18 Sep 2015 1:08 pm

I recently sat at a table that had been choped with a black business card. I didn't see the card, but even if I had, I probably wouldn't have realized it was meant as a chope. The young man who had left it started yelling at me, but I smiled, apologized and moved to the next table over, which I could tell dumbfounded him. Given the complete and total outrage I've witnessed over this kind of thing, I think a lot of Singaporeans don't realize this isn't a worldwide custom, and people who break "the rules" aren't trying to rile them up.

The lack of napkins is clearly financially motivated, like charging for water and wetwipe in sitdown restaurants, and no refills on any beverages. But I would never leave the house without tissue packets anyway so it's never an issue.


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