What's culture shock to you for those who live(d) in Singapore?

Discuss about life in Singapore. Ask about cost of living, housing, travel, etiquette & lifestyle. Share experience & advice with Singaporeans & expat staying in Singapore.
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frenzal
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Post by frenzal » Tue, 22 Jul 2008 11:33 am

Blue Sapphire wrote:Made a trip to Bangkok this year where we decided to try the train there (MRT sort) and it was terrible. The ticketing system and machines are not are great as spore's. People were like sardines, and by this I mean everyone's juices mixing with each other! It was so full there was no way you can prevent skin contact.

I never have any complains about the MRT here. Its nice and modern enough. Maybe people arent that courteous but there's worst sorts of people in the world. When I was pregnant alot of people offered me seats - ok maybe they were mostly indians and malays.

I'm expat of mixed race but not 'white' so I feel I get a taste of obvious discrimination. My complaint however goes to the local chinese - generally! Especially the aunties, they are rude and discriminating.

Also I notice here that they judge people here by the clothes you wear. I once stepped into a shop that sold dresses for about $1000 and the salesgirls were making bad comments about me. Saying that I must have gotten lost! I can afford such dresses but I didnt see any reason to dress up to go shopping when I live just across the road.

I also hate it when you ask how much is something and they tell you instead that 'its very expensive'. Its all just so insulting and makes me so mad!

And mind you that the way they treat you being an expat depends where you are from.
Wow, that is absolutely horrible!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 22 Jul 2008 11:51 am

Blue Sapphire, I wish I could make it different but what you say, unfortunately, is quite true regarding how you are treated and perceived "as an expat" depending on where you expatriated from. :(
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by QRM » Tue, 22 Jul 2008 12:24 pm

frenzal wrote:
huggybear wrote: Also the skin around our arses has practically no bacteria.
Really? at least I know where to clean my chopsticks next time I go for dinner.

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Post by andy21 » Tue, 22 Jul 2008 2:00 pm

Plavt wrote:I don't find people (Singaporeans) anywhere near as rude, aggressive or as needlessly provocative as they are here in London.
That's because Singaporeans are in fact a passive-aggressive lot.

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Post by boffenl » Mon, 25 Aug 2008 2:29 pm

Sorry, just came upon this topic--killing time at work before a meeting--and had to share. Most of the previous comments are hysterical--now. But at first they do wear on you.

Here's mine:

1. Staring! Now, I'm not Anna Nicole Smith or anything, but people will literally turn around to stare at me. What is up with that? I KNOW it's rude to stare at people, can't they help themselves? Seriously though, maybe I'm the first true Ang Moh they've ever seen (a REAL red-head?)

2. Taking pictures of my kid without permission. YUCK! Who needs a photo of some stange white kid? Really, what will her photo add to your memory of Sentosa. Now we just tell them, NO! and walk away.

3. O.K., ladies--who squats/stands on the toilet? Even here at the university, there are scuff marks on the toilet seat! Really, truly true. Double Yuck!

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Post by Global Citizen » Tue, 26 Aug 2008 12:14 am

Boffenl, totally agree with you on points 2 and 3 and that's coming from me, a local born!! :lol: Sigh, there's still some ways to go, no doubt about it.

As for no.1 try this next time and ask with a puzzled expression, "I notice you're staring at me. Is there something I can help you with?" Hopefully you'll embarrass them to shame! I don't think they even realise that it's rude and bringing it up to their attention may help.
One man's meat is another's poison.

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Post by Addadude » Tue, 26 Aug 2008 1:44 pm

I've taken to simply staring back with an equally bewildered, uncomprehending look. It works every time.

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maneo
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Post by maneo » Wed, 27 Aug 2008 6:45 am

boffenl wrote:3. O.K., ladies--who squats/stands on the toilet? Even here at the university, there are scuff marks on the toilet seat!
That's a seat??? :o

Just thought that people had narrow, funny shaped feet here.

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Post by pixel8 » Thu, 04 Sep 2008 10:02 am

Most do that in fear of dirty toilet seats.

Another option is to squat halfway, without touching the seat, good exercise for thighs. Or line seat with tissues. Use your imagination :D



boffenl wrote: 3. O.K., ladies--who squats/stands on the toilet? Even here at the university, there are scuff marks on the toilet seat! Really, truly true. Double Yuck!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 04 Sep 2008 1:14 pm

pixel8 wrote:Most do that in fear of dirty toilet seats.

Another option is to squat halfway, without touching the seat, good exercise for thighs. Or line seat with tissues. Use your imagination :D



boffenl wrote: 3. O.K., ladies--who squats/stands on the toilet? Even here at the university, there are scuff marks on the toilet seat! Really, truly true. Double Yuck!
Not true. Most do that because they grew up with pan toilets instead of the pedestal style. It's also more efficient to vacate ones' bowels that way although I find it's troublesome at best.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Post by Ann_Michelle » Thu, 04 Sep 2008 5:18 pm

What gets me every time is how nosy people can be. I’ve been asked about salary, rent, age of car, age itself, dentist of my children’s, etc. from mere acquaintances. So I thought I was used to very personal questions and knew how to handle them. But nothing compares to this exchange.

Auntie helping me with my coffee order asks, how long you here?

A few years, I said cautiously, trying to get the change and make a quick exit.

No luck. “So you a PR, a citizen?”

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Post by waeguk » Thu, 04 Sep 2008 7:32 pm

The 'stares' is so true. And the trains and buses, no queues in this systematic country?!

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Post by Hithnar » Fri, 05 Sep 2008 2:20 am

Before I came to Singapore I've read this thread religiously, and I believed it helped me a lot, specially with the MRT weird entering and exiting strategies :wink: I just stick to a natives back, and follow and then find myself a place in the centre while the natives are cramped in a pile near the exit ;) But the MRT is wild :lol:

My portion of cultural shock:
- Can't really find anything in shops, can't find my size, and stuff like that... I really thought that the way things are distributed in a store is universal, but apparently not.

- Lack of English in shops and food courts. I really don't know mandarin, so I usually say "yes" to whatever I hear, and so far, I always got what I wanted :lol:

- The friendliness... I was not expecting that people here are so friendly. Whenever I look confused or lost for more than 10 seconds, there is always someone ready to mentor me. The staring is sometimes a bit awkward and makes me feel like a monkey in the ZOO, but some of the staring people smile back if I smile, or greet me.


- Why the hell do Signaporeans whine so much (taxes, housing, prices, cars, public transport, ...) ? I mean OMG I feel like smacking them most of the time, and sending them on a compulsory moth trip to Poland (huhu my home country), so they could start appreciating most things they take for granted :twisted:

frenzal
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Post by frenzal » Fri, 05 Sep 2008 2:47 pm

Hithnar wrote: - Lack of English in shops and food courts. I really don't know mandarin, so I usually say "yes" to whatever I hear, and so far, I always got what I wanted :lol:
In my two months in SG, I didn't encounter a single person who didn't speak English in stores/foodcourts.
- Why the hell do Signaporeans whine so much (taxes, housing, prices, cars, public transport, ...) ? I mean OMG I feel like smacking them most of the time, and sending them on a compulsory moth trip to Poland (huhu my home country), so they could start appreciating most things they take for granted :twisted:
Why do people in Poland whine so much? I feel like smacking them most of the time, and sending them on a compulsory moth trip to Nigeria so they can start appreciating most things they take for granted.

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Post by cavalier » Fri, 05 Sep 2008 5:17 pm

frenzal wrote:In my two months in SG, I didn't encounter a single person who didn't speak English in stores/foodcourts.
I guess you don't go to the same foodcourts I go to. There are some stalls I just resort to pointing because the stall owner can't recognize numbers or the name of the dishes, at least when they are coming out of my mouth. :P

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