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Things I've yet to understand about Singapore

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Cheekybeek
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Things I've yet to understand about Singapore

Postby Cheekybeek » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 10:54 am

OK I've only been here 3 weeks, and have never been anywhere else in the world but some things still leave me feeling bamboozled. :???: (this is just my lighthearted opinion about my very limited experiences in this country)

1. dress code for men in the swimming pool. C'mon speedos OK but boardshorts are out??????

2. infinite amount of plastic bags, soooo bad for the environment. Don't think I have seen a paper bag since I have been here even McDonalds uses plastic. And drinking from a plastic bag????? And the questionable looks I get when I decline a bag- It is OK to carry stuff without a bag.

3. Karaoke ads for dengue???????????? Ok so ya looooove karaoke.

4. Extension cords don't seem to exist and my bathrooms have no power outlets. How is one to dry her hair?

5. Milk with 3 weeks expirary date that tastes sour the day you buy it. OK I am not a fan of marigold am sticking with the imported Aussie stuff.

6. Not a single homewares/kitchen shop in the entire jurong point shopping centre. Spent several hours on my first day here trying to find sheets, towels, dinner sets knives and quality kitchenware left empty handed and slept on some dodgy dirty sheet left here by the last tenant. Was eating off paper plates for a while there.

7. and no top sheets on the bed?????????


OK can anyone shed any light and I know there is a whole lotta fantastic stuff about this country but some things just leave me puzzled.
Last edited by Cheekybeek on Fri, 04 Nov 2005 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Re: Things I've yet to understand about Singapore

Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 1:07 pm

Cheekybeek wrote:OK I've only been here 3 weeks, and have never been anywhere else in the world but some things still leave me feeling bamboozled. :???: (this is just my lighthearted opinion about my very limited experiences in this country)

1. dress code for men in the swimming pool. C'mon speedos OK but boardshorts are out??????

2. infinite amount of plastic bags, soooo bad for the environment. Don't think I have seen a paper bag since I have been here even McDonalds uses plastic. And drinking from a plastic bag????? And the questionable looks I get when I decline a bag- It is OK to carry stuff without a bag.

3. Karaoke ads for dengue???????????? Ok so ya looooove karaoke.

4. Extension cords don't seem to exist and my bathrooms have no power outlets. How is one to dry her hair?

5. Milk with 3 weeks expirary date that tastes sour the day you buy it. OK I am not a fan of magnolia am sticking with the imported Aussie stuff.

6. Not a single homewares/kitchen shop in the entire jurong point shopping centre. Spent several hours on my first day here trying to find sheets, towels, dinner sets knives and quality kitchenware left empty handed and slept on some dodgy dirty sheet left here by the last tenant. Was eating off paper plates for a while there.

7. and no top sheets on the bed?????????


OK can anyone shed any light and I know there is a whole lotta fantastic stuff about this country but some things just leave me puzzled.


Unfortunately, I can not clarify at all. I can, however, add fuel to the fire:

1. How about the people at water parks in their Pajamas?? I'd prefer speedos to that anyday. There a re double standards here, as there a re every where. They are more obvious as you learn the ropes.

2. Singapore is obsessed with the 'carrier'. Even local coffee comes in bags. Simply say 'no carrier' with a smile. Don't worry if they look puzzled. Some places are worse than others. Cold Storage Gourmet, for instance puts one or two items in each bag and I repack it all in front the cashier. Bags are literally killing the local mangroves.

4. There are extention cords at every DIY but no outlets in bathrooms since people can not be trusted to operate electronics and be in the bathroom all at the same time.

5. Always buy fresh Australian milk. It's better.

6. Not all shopping centers are as westernized as you'd like. Stick to the biggies if you want to accomplish all that in one go: Tang's, Takashimaya, Robinson's or IKEA.

7. No top sheet? Sure there are -- they a re sold with sheet sets, so someone is using them. I could never understand why some people choose not to use a top sheet. So much easier to deal with than a duvet when it comes to laundry.

You'l get the hang of it, don't you worry. :wink:

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Postby micknlea » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 2:26 pm

Yes, it takes a little getting used to, but its fun learning the ways, and some of them although a little peculiar are actually quite logical and useful.

I am still having problems with the multitudes of plastic bags you get when you go shopping. I thought HK was bad until we moved here. One day I counted 23 plastic bags from Cold Storage, and believe me I didn't buy that much, just that they gave me some stuff with three bags around it! :shock:

They do have the "green" bags etc here now, but just be prepared that when you try to use them the check out people look at you as though you are from another planet!

As for finding the shops with all the things you need. Hmmm, that is a hard one and time consuming. Only by talking to people who live here, and asking questions on this forum, will you find out where everything you need is. That is a big plus, so many people being happy to help out. I am still searching for everyday type things and we have been here since January. Sometimes they are very close by, just not very obvious to the naked eye!

Electrical leads etc can all be bought at any of the DIY hardware type shops around the place, just ask if you can't see them on display.

I too miss the plugs in bathrooms...but here it seems that the bathrooms are rather wet places all over not just in the shower/bath and tend to flood easily, so perhaps they are right and it's not a good idea.

Not sure about the boardshorts in pools, my boys (including husband) wear them and no one has ever said anything. OMG are we doing something wrong here? Mind you I hope not as I wouldn't want to try and get a 14 year old to wear speedos!!!

Glad you are enjoying yourself, it is a great place to live...but hee hee, wait until you start to drive here...a whole new world awaits you if you do!
:P

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Postby scoots » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 2:59 pm

All good stuff, 2 weeks here and am finding very similar issues...

Plastic bags is a big concern - I am working with a company to try and change this...although changing behaviours embedded in cultures is a tedious and long project, could take 100's of years!!!!
:o

Another one that has got me is other 'tourists' asking me for directions :???: But being a down-to-earth Aussie of course you have to help, even jump in a cab with them to show them the way (even if you dont know)....very strange!

Another one for unsuspecting expats is the old 'takeaway' not being 'takeaway' at Hawkers....you have to say 'Bag It', really quickly...'bagit'...could explain the reason everyone uses plastic bags really :-|
go hard or go home....

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 3:10 pm

scoots wrote:Another one for unsuspecting expats is the old 'takeaway' not being 'takeaway' at Hawkers....you have to say 'Bag It', really quickly...'bagit'...could explain the reason everyone uses plastic bags really :-|


I have had to get used to 'take away' here because in the States it is always 'to go'. Never heard 'bag it', and frankly seems rather counter productive considering...

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Postby Cheekybeek » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 3:11 pm

Not sure about the boardshorts in pools, my boys (including husband) wear them and no one has ever said anything. OMG are we doing something wrong here? Mind you I hope not as I wouldn't want to try and get a 14 year old to wear speedos!!!


Yup, in my condo at least... there is a sign by the pool stating that the only acceptable swimwear for men is speedos and tight bike short type swimmers or wet suits. I was told by my cable guy that this is law in public pools etc. not usually put in place in condos etc. I have never seen any male in my condo wearing boardshorts- its speedos all the way but boyfriend is wearing inconspicuous black boardshorts and we are only swimming at night lol... trying to avoid the meany looking security guy ogling us from his desk by the clubhouse.

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 3:18 pm

Cheekybeek wrote:
Yup, in my condo at least... there is a sign by the pool stating that the only acceptable swimwear for men is speedos and tight bike short type swimmers or wet suits.


This is a new one on me. Perhaps the condo Management is, shall we say, 'a friend of Dorothy's'?

:wink:

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 4:43 pm

cheekybeek,

you've got some great answers from the previous posters. one thing amused me though: "to go" or "takeaway" in hawker centres here is "PACKET" (pronounced PACK-CAT) not "bag it". :D

the plastic bag issue is worrying, i agree and personally decline them. but pure economics dictates their use until affordable options are found. paperbags are offered only by the more upmarket and pricey outfits at the moment. maybe if enough expats and some locals start asking for paper bags and refuse to purchase anything unless it comes with paperbags then things will start to change?

btw i love your avatar. looks a lot like my first cockatiel Fauna!

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Postby micknlea » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 8:24 pm

Wow, thanks for that info Cheekybeek.

I will have to do some investigating. I would hate to be "breaking the law" and having them suffer for it! We have not noticed any signs to this effect at the local pool (we don't live in a condo and frequent the local public pool) which is where the boys wear them. At least there is no "burly" (or should that be girly) security guard checking them out there! :wink:

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Postby jag78 » Fri, 04 Nov 2005 10:35 pm

Hi Cheekybeek,

Okay, I did a little checking and apparently, it's not stated in the rules and regulations at the public pools that boardshorts aren't allowed. I spoke to someone at the Singapore Sports Council and it seems some people (like that cable guy) think that's the case because a few swimmers wore their boxers in :wink: so boxers are a no no. But she says it's okay to wear boardshorts or any swimming shorts for that matter, as long as they aren't boxers. She did add that it's not advisable to wear shorts not made specifically for swimming because of hygiene reasons-for eg, speedos have an extra layer sewn in. Hope that helps!

Jag

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Postby uncle_james » Sat, 05 Nov 2005 2:47 am

for point 2:

I believe, most of the family should have a large collection of plastic bag.
Properly authorities should set the rule to against misued of plastic bag like (Cold Storage, NTUC or 7-11) charging 5cents for every plastic bag requested by the consumer.

So,it force the consumer to bring along few plastic bags when doing their purchasing.

However, this will never work out in singapore.... :cry:
: )

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Postby uncle_james » Sat, 05 Nov 2005 3:10 am

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:
scoots wrote:Another one for unsuspecting expats is the old 'takeaway' not being 'takeaway' at Hawkers....you have to say 'Bag It', really quickly...'bagit'...could explain the reason everyone uses plastic bags really :-|


I have had to get used to 'take away' here because in the States it is always 'to go'. Never heard 'bag it', and frankly seems rather counter productive considering...


perhaps nextime, you should try to use our dialect
"dabao"

i bet is commonly usable for all races :twisted:
: )

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Re: Things I've yet to understand about Singapore

Postby earthfriendly » Mon, 07 Nov 2005 1:10 am

Cheekybeek wrote:
7. and no top sheets on the bed?????????


OK can anyone shed any light and I know there is a whole lotta fantastic stuff about this country but some things just leave me puzzled.


We usually have a think blanket or a thin duvet. We don't use sheets as the extra layer just make it hotter. And most people will also sleep with a bolster, a sausage-shaped body pillow.

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Postby yoongf » Mon, 07 Nov 2005 9:20 pm

I am so curious..

As a typical local grown up with plastic bags, I reuse the shopping bags to dispose of my daily garbage. There is no massive buildup of bags in my home.

I would think it's a real mess throwing stuff down the chute without bagging them. Isn't that the standard practice among the expats too?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 07 Nov 2005 10:24 pm

yoongf wrote:I am so curious..

As a typical local grown up with plastic bags, I reuse the shopping bags to dispose of my daily garbage. There is no massive buildup of bags in my home.

I would think it's a real mess throwing stuff down the chute without bagging them. Isn't that the standard practice among the expats too?


Actually, I've stayed clear of the plastic bag discussion for exactly the same reason. If you use the NTUC plastic bags for your garbage they fit just nicely into the standard refuse chute in your flat. If we don't get them shopping then we have to actually pay for the things. They could use biodegradable plactic bags however.


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