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Shopping is strange in Singapore

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Cheekybeek
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Shopping is strange in Singapore

Postby Cheekybeek » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 5:36 pm

It strikes me as strange whenever I am out shopping in Singapore the endless amounts of seemingly useless products available and the products I actually want and need are seldom found.

For example:
I don't want, need or feel I will ever have a use for:
- Disposable underwear
- Tissue box covers
- whitening cream
- whitening deoderant
- OSIM Chairs
- iGallop horsey exercise thing
- Smelly Tofu
- Circus brand piles cream advertised with giant pictures of anal regions containing weeping boils
- Beijing 101
- Products that relieve hairfall

I really want but find almost unavailable:
- leg wax (although I have noticed an unprecidented amount of hairy legged women)
- fresh fruit juice that contains only fruit juice no aloe vera floaty bits, artificial or added natural flavourings (just gotta go for the fresh squeezed stuff)
- Bread that doesnt contain milk products, added vitamins etc or bread that just tastes nice
- Fresh milk
- Hotdogs with red skins containing pork
- Flat sheets
- conditioner in a bottle that lasts just as long as my shampoo
- Deoderant in an aerosol containing aluminium- c'mon no one wants nice smelling armpits but white ones are soooooo important.

Now here's your chance to enlighten me with all your amusing shopping anecdotes. Im really bored today! :o

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Cheekybeek
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Postby Cheekybeek » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 5:39 pm

Ok I just have to add that when you see the overweight male shop assistant demonstrating the iGallop it makes it all worthwhile.

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Postby Carpe Diem » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 6:51 pm

... bread that just tastes nice ....

Carrefour is OK
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Global Citizen
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Re: Shopping is strange in Singapore

Postby Global Citizen » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 8:19 pm

Cheekybeek wrote:- Deoderant in an aerosol containing aluminium- c'mon no one wants nice smelling armpits but white ones are soooooo important.


CB, you may want to look for an anti-perspirant deodorant as opposed to just a deodorant for the aluminium- ingredient.

Leg wax- surprised that it's unavailable as I've seen tons of depilatory creams. Maybe try Mustafa's as they carry just about everything.

Fresh fruit juice as in OJ only or others too? Last trip home, we got Tropicana OJ which is very good and definitely available. A little expensive but just juice and comes from the US - Florida to be exact.

Flat sheet - have you tried Tangs, Isetan and such? They are definitely available but sizes may vary from those found elsewhere in other countries.
One man's meat is another's poison.

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resm
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Re: Shopping is strange in Singapore

Postby resm » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 9:52 pm

[quote="Cheekybeek"]It strikes me as strange whenever I am out shopping in Singapore the endless amounts of seemingly useless products available and the products I actually want and need are seldom found.

I really want but find almost unavailable:
- Fresh milk

I guess "Farmers" milk from Australia is the closest you can get here in Singapore unless you want to go to the zoo.
They have some cows there, so you could try "do it yourself".

- Flat sheets

I bought one nice white pure cotton flat sheet at IKEA just recently.
They have a few plain single color ones.
PROUT....the only way out !

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Postby 4d3L » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 10:59 pm

leg wax? Get from Natural Source, they have tis wax, which is quite good... instant and aft the wax, wash away with water... and tats it :) its green in color. i think its pretty good.

If fruit juice is really freshly squeezed... then i guess it wont even last more den a day... talk about the humidity of Singapore air...

fresh milk? any fresher, u have to squeeze it from tat mother cow in the zoo...

conditioner tat last as long as your shampoo?... mayb u shld juz get the same quantity for both [ie 500ml of conditioner and 500ml of shampoo- maybe tat shld balance off...]
if you are talkin abt 100ml of conditioner and 500ml of shampoo... den tat explain why you conditioner finish much faster...?

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Postby bushbride » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 11:12 pm

Hum, good topic.

Need but can't find:

bread that does not taste like yeast.

'Metrosexual' products. I am looking for Jovan deod stick for partner....can't seem to find it anywhere!

Ginger Bear lollies. 'Natural' brand (for me, Yummy)

Glen20

list goes on....

Definately do not need product of any whitening sort, diet pills, slimming machines, expensive add on products with any service - I just want the service I asked for.

list goes on here too...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 01 Mar 2006 11:28 pm

bushbride,

I don't want to seem to be a boor but guess what......you're an expatriate and generally have to learn to do without the fripparies of home that we are used to. Generally, that's why people get "hardship" allowances, uplifts, cola's and other allowances. Unfortunately, while this country has huge amounts of imports it is still an Asian Country and populated primarily with Asians so the importers cater primarily to the majority. The companies are not charitible organizations so they only import what will put money in their pockets. It doesn't do much good to order a dozen cases of something that they will be lucky to sell in a year or two (space is as a premium so they tend to stock fast moving goods).

I love Nabisco Triscuits but have to scour singapore to find a box or two an then only occasionally. When I do find them I buy all that they have on the shelves (usually none in stock in the back anyway for the reason given)

sms

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Postby Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 6:15 am

You are absolutely right SMS. People forget that they are living in a foreign country and the items sold here are not useless at all to the local population. Except for the iSqueeze, this one cracks me up everytime.

I remember my 'aha' moment when I realised, may be a year after we moved to Singapore -- wow! you really don't need a 40ft long grocery aisle of pain reliever, you really just need a panadol. Lucky for me I spend 4 months in the US a year where I can indulge in the cavernous grocery stores, the wanton array of everything. So many kinds of Triscuits!

Having said that, and as someone who very much enjoys cooking -- this can be a tough place to find ingredients. And before someone says, oh it was much worse in Beruit, Moscow, Jakarta. Well, my response is: no sh*t sherlock :)

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 7:57 am

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:as someone who very much enjoys cooking -- this can be a tough place to find ingredients.

and that's exactly how i feel when i live overseas! now isn't that a coincidence? :wink:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 9:23 am

Wind In My Hair wrote:
Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:as someone who very much enjoys cooking -- this can be a tough place to find ingredients.

and that's exactly how i feel when i live overseas! now isn't that a coincidence? :wink:


WIMH,

yeah you right! My mom has to stock up every time she comes here or I go there as in a small farming community of 3K people it impossible to find Curry powder in quantities that are acceptable. Let alone the different types e.g., fish, beef, etc. The other spices used in asian cooking are also difficult or extremely old or expensive (McCormick). Not the same in major cities however due the the large asian populations found in the cities..

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Postby Cheekybeek » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 10:29 am

Yeah its hard to find ingredients for some things. I now make my own fresh fettucine pasta, grind the cumin myself and mix the spice mix for my nachos (the pre packed mixes are soooo expensive) have discovered Lurpak butter which is very very nice, have available countless varieties of different mushrooms including fresh shitake (almost unheard of at home). Can buy fresh watercress all the time at only 80c bunch! yum much better than the lettuce here for making salad. Am forced to buy my toilet paper in bulk packs- therefore saving me money and now I don't have to buy it anywhere near as often (less likely to forget). I remember it being difficult to get fresh duck back home- well I never have that problem here (except I have to chop the head off for cooking). There are countless varieties of very fresh fish and prawns available at every supermarket YUM! and cheap too! My partner has now tasted dozens of varieties of strange imported beers to find a couple he likes. I guess it's all the experiences you get when living in a new country.

I'm still not sure about all the massage equipment shops though (could they really be making any money?) I'm convinced they are a front for adult pleasure shops!

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Postby renter » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 10:48 am

Singapore has 4 million inhabitants living here. :cool: That explains your shopping headache, no?

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 1:16 pm

SMS, i would gladly give up curry to live on a farm someday. but i know what you mean. what is hard to find when im overseas is the kind of vegetables i like - caixin, doumiao, baby kailan - as well as what cheekybeek mentioned, fresh seafood (not tuna and salmon etc but the small bony fish found in kelongs around here, big prawns, crab etc) and thai fragrant rice. yes the chinatowns of big cities are the best bet to find anything close to what we get here but even then it's not quite the same.

still, it's all part of the experience and you get things that you can't get here that makes up in some way. i love the breads you get in europe, the fries (or 'chips') in america; fresh milk always seems to taste better in colder climes. not to mention the huge varieties of yoghurts, cheeses... and gosh i could live on desserts alone when i'm in most western countries... would look positively spherical if i lived there for too long!

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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 02 Mar 2006 5:40 pm

Cheekybeeky,

I am glad you bring up the subject as I believe many expats may have experience the same issue and here's where my Singaporean expertise comes in handy.

For example:

I don't want, need or feel I will ever have a use for:

Disposable underwear - Singapore is a very small and crowded city. To save our sanity, we have to get away and out of the country. On average, most Singaporeans take vacations overseas about twice a year and hence disposable underwear is quite a necessity.


Tissue box covers - the girls/women like to have cutesy accessories. Wonder if it is coincidence but this item is very common in US chinese households too.

whitening cream - welcome to Singapore (or Asia). You know you are in Asia when you get bombarded by whitening products. They are widely avaliable in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan. Phillipinos ladies also use a type of whitening scrub. Since time immemorable, the Asian ideal of beauty includes a porcelain white skin. In fact, actress Fay Wong was able to penetrate the other Asian markets but not Zoe Tay as the former has a fair complexion. The gossip circulating the entertainment circle is that Zoe Tay can never step out of SG due to her tan complexion.

OSIM Chairs - my sister was looking to acquire an expensive massage chair and I tried to talk her out of it. For some reason SGeans and my Chinese friends in USA have an obsession with home massage products. They like to picture themselves relaxing in their massage chair after a hard days work at the office. They like the convenience of a 24-hour on-call masseuas.


Circus brand piles cream advertised with giant pictures of anal regions containing weeping boils - unfortunately, this is a common ailment and may be specific to SE asians. Hence the need to have the remedy widely availabe. My girlfriend's (SE Asian) husband (mainland chinese) was mortified to witness his wife's and commented it was uncommon in China. May be due to SG spicy diet.


I really want but find almost unavailable:

leg wax (although I have noticed an unprecidented amount of hairy legged women) - when it comes to hair on the legs, SG women prefer naturalle and is aceptable in our society. Maybe it is because too much hassle to get rid of leg hair. I, myself, do not shave but either pluck or wax. I have not found a satisfactory home waxing kit in USA or SG. The best way to wax is to visit the Salon and the cost does add up over time. So I end up not waxing the leg area that much. I did find the cold press wax product in Watsons. It is a green color paste sandwich between two plastic sheets. It did not do a good job. There were other waxing products available in Watsons too.

fresh fruit juice that contains only fruit juice no aloe vera floaty bits, artificial or added natural flavourings (just gotta go for the fresh squeezed stuff) - I did not like that either. I pick up Florida's Natural orange juice from NTUC and Cold Storage. They are fresh squeeze OJ and to me, taste better than Tropicana. Florida's also a farmers coop company. Most SGeans get their fresh juice from the food stands. Hawker and food court foods are very affordable and SGeans tend to eat out more than they cook. And we like to accompany our meal with fresh squeeze juice. There is usually a juice vendor in each hawker center.

Bread that doesnt contain milk products, added vitamins etc or bread that just tastes nice - my father and daughters loved the Gardenia white loaf. I personally dislike it and prefer the ones from the bakery. There are many good bakeries around like the chain Four Leaves (something like that).

Deoderant in an aerosol containing aluminium- c'mon no one wants nice smelling armpits but white ones are soooooo important. - Many of my girlfriends do not use deodarent (not sure about SG men). The problem for many SG girls are darkened armpits from shaving and not so much smelly armpit. When you shave, you don't remove the roots or the dead skins. Overtime, these two would buddy up and form a dark patch. This problem is more pronounce for people with black hair but fair skin as you can see sharp contrast of the dark patch against the fairness of the skin. Not so much a problem for Caucasians as they tend to have lighter hair. In fact, one of my girlfriend is so embarassed by her dark pigmented armpit that she refuses to go sleeveless. That is the reason I wax instead of shave.


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