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

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maneo
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Post by maneo » Sun, 07 Sep 2008 11:27 pm

Hithnar wrote:- 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.
You might think it's staring, but how else are they going to figure out that you need help unless they keep an eye on you?
:wink:

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Post by Hithnar » Mon, 08 Sep 2008 2:32 pm

Actually I recently catch myself staring as well :oops: But I guess I am excused to some point :lol:

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Re: What's culture shock to you for those who live(d) in S'p

Post by angelica000 » Wed, 10 Sep 2008 12:39 am

Cuchu wrote:Am wondering what is culture shock to you and what kind of things that shock and how you overcome these shocks during your stay in Singapore.
English. I can't forget the way I digest every single word on my first few days of stay here.

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Post by shihna » Thu, 09 Oct 2008 12:44 pm

Pet peeve, taking the MRT or the buses during peak hour.

MRT - speaks for it self. The shoving and pushing to get out/get in, for people to get in, those inside will have to leave first - simple logic. But Noooo..they think that they can defy the laws of physics and think to create space magically if they are persistent enough.

Also, those standing at the doors. I understand why some people choose to do that, but it'll also be nice if they could shift around a bit so that others are able to share the limited space. I do that too because if you're in the middle of the cabin, and alighting a few stops away, chances you probably won't make it out in time because those who are in the way feel its too much trouble to step aside so that others can get out, add to that the tide of people trying to get in - you're pretty much drowning.

There were a few times I had to twirl around like a moron only because I had to get out and the statues in front of me (at the doors) refuse to budge! Is it so hard to take ONE freaking step so that the person behind you can get out, or maybe they just like being forcibly shoved to one side.

I remember I got kicked in the back by this little old lady. We were at cityhall station and most people were leaving the train. Of course, there were people trying to get in at the same freakin' time, so there was some pushing and shoving. The doors started beeping and I was already outside the train but I couldn't move any further because the people in front weren't moving either, (HUMAN JAM) and that's when I felt the kick. It was seriously a WTF moment, I looked at her and she glared at me. She freakin GLARED at me because I wasn't moving fast enough.

There are just so many stories that I seriously do not know to laugh or cry.

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Post by stacey » Tue, 18 Nov 2008 10:58 am

this thread was very helpful, thanks to all that've contributed :)
scary and funny at the same time.
Funny now, scarier later!

But what's with these "aunties" i'm just learning about?
Is it a complete different species? They sound pretty common and scary, and I had never heard of this phenomenon before...

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Post by snowqueen » Tue, 18 Nov 2008 1:32 pm

I read this thread earlier in the year when I was still living in the UK and reading it again has really made me laugh.

I've been here 3 months now and have experienced most things that people have mentioned. Moving here wasn't so much of a culture shock for me as I had visited my dad a few times in Hong Kong. My pet peeves so far have been:-

1) The fact that Priority Seats are always taken up by young people (aged 35 or below), mostly pretending to be asleep. I rarely see people give up seats for pregnant people or elderly.

2) I'm 6 months preganant and I think I can count on 1 hand the amount of people who have given up a seat - usually a main seat, not a priority one. Those 21 year olds sure need their sleep, bless them. Even when I've thrust my pregnant belly into the face of a young man in the priority seat, they still haven't got the hint, yet I've often given up my seat for someone who needs it more than me.

3) Being followed around stores even when I've asked them not to. They kind of take 2 steps back but still watch my every move. Shop assistants don't understand the art of shopping - I quite like to just browse through rails - I don't need you to find my size in every item I just want to look at!

4) The snorting thing is just gross. There are 2 kinds. The one which comes up through the back of the throat, then there's the one that comes up the nose - what happens next - do they swallow it? I got followed around a woman in furniture store who snorted the whole time. I was very vocal about it to my husbuand saying "it's bad enough she's following us round the store, but do we really have to listen to THAT!!"

5) Women clearing their troats into the sink in public toilets. Swishing their mouth out with water then spitting into the sink. Gross!!!

6) Back to the MRT - people not waiting for you to get off before getting on. I make no bones about sticking my elbows out or ramming people into the side of the train door.

7) People who just stop at the top of escalators deciding whether to go left or right.

8) Seeing scuff marks on toilet seats where people have been standing on them. It would be so much easier to just sit on the seat. Personally I squat over the seat.

9) Why do supermarkets have to pack your shopping for you (it takes ages) and why do they need to use so many bags. Are they told to only put 4 items in one bag? I got given two jars of cooking source, double bagged - it really wasn't that heavy.

In spite of all this, I do love it here and it's a small price to pay. I do get homesick sometimes becuase I'm missing family and friends but our quality of life is so much better. I wouldn't change anything.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 18 Nov 2008 1:39 pm

And to think, when you were reading this thread back in the UK you though we were all crazy as well. Right? :P

Welcome!

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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 positano » Tue, 18 Nov 2008 2:47 pm

seeing yellow phlegm spat on the ground close to my table at a hawker centre.

bones and used tissues strewn on tables at hawker centres.

people picking their nose in public, people picking their ear wax in public, trimming their fingernails on public transport and old men plucking hairs off their chin using two coins.

direct comments from anyone incl people you don't know about your personal apperance whether it be size, skin colour, race of your spouse, etc

staring :o

bad aggressive drivers, drivers general inability to signal, drivers ability to drive in more than one lane even though the lanes are very wide here.

for such a controlled and structured society, i am shocked that people can't queue or give way esp on the mrt and buses. i've had seats stolen from right under my butt on the mrt. eg. when i am about to sit down and my butt is at about a 45 degree angle ie almost on the seat, i've had people slide in sideways and sit under me.

aggressive sales people. sales people following you around the shop, supermarket and even chemist. products and services being sold as an "offer" or "package". eg. manicures, facials, airconditioning servicing. its as if they think you won't return unless you sign your life away.

people here don't smile

the lack of good customer service when paying the compulsory service charge

the amount of school work and stress children who study through the local system undergo. streaming them into different categories from a young age

the practice of drinking warm water in this heat! what the?

women wearing knee high boots and turtlenecks in this heat!

questions of a personal nature from people who don't know you eg. taxi drivers and shopkeepers. questions often relating to money. i am so sick of people asking how much everything is especially when its none of their business and they have no other reason for knowing other than to satisfy their own curiosity.

for a multicultural society i thought Singapore would be more tolerant of different races and cultures, but like one of the other posters, i too feel that you are treated better or worse depending on where you are from and what your appearance is. some of the shocking comments i have heard during my time here would be considered in breach of discrimination laws in my home country.

lack of consumer rights

lack of human rights

the lack of debate in Singapore parliament

the lack of questioning in general by the citizens of this country.

i am sure there is more...but that is all from me for now

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Post by stacey » Tue, 18 Nov 2008 3:56 pm

I can deal with them all to some degree...

the last four are what gets me... but it is what it is... so let it be... (?)

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Post by positano » Tue, 18 Nov 2008 4:26 pm

hi stacey,

i can deal with all of the things mentioned to some degree. some days i can deal with it better than other days. however, when i first moved here all of those things really shocked me and jolted my system.

re my last 4 points, i agree that "it is what it is" but i don't agree with it (ie i don't like the way it is) if that makes sense.

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Post by stacey » Tue, 18 Nov 2008 4:58 pm

hi positano...
yes i think I understand what you mean... i think that's how id' feel too.

also, sometimes you gotta like it even if you dont like it too...

would it be a crime to compare it to a first-class resort-style prison :)

All in all, I believe I'm going to like it there, that I'm convinced...
I just wish I would 'love it' too, but that I'm not convinced of yet...
There's a lot of things I would love there much better than NY, but not on the overall score...

I just wonder what is SG's soma...

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Post by Zeenit » Tue, 18 Nov 2008 7:22 pm

snowqueen wrote:I read this thread earlier in the year when I was still living in the UK and reading it again has really made me laugh.

I've been here 3 months now and have experienced most things that people have mentioned. Moving here wasn't so much of a culture shock for me as I had visited my dad a few times in Hong Kong. My pet peeves so far have been:-

1) The fact that Priority Seats are always taken up by young people (aged 35 or below), mostly pretending to be asleep. I rarely see people give up seats for pregnant people or elderly.

2) I'm 6 months preganant and I think I can count on 1 hand the amount of people who have given up a seat - usually a main seat, not a priority one. Those 21 year olds sure need their sleep, bless them. Even when I've thrust my pregnant belly into the face of a young man in the priority seat, they still haven't got the hint, yet I've often given up my seat for someone who needs it more than me.

3) Being followed around stores even when I've asked them not to. They kind of take 2 steps back but still watch my every move. Shop assistants don't understand the art of shopping - I quite like to just browse through rails - I don't need you to find my size in every item I just want to look at!

4) The snorting thing is just gross. There are 2 kinds. The one which comes up through the back of the throat, then there's the one that comes up the nose - what happens next - do they swallow it? I got followed around a woman in furniture store who snorted the whole time. I was very vocal about it to my husbuand saying "it's bad enough she's following us round the store, but do we really have to listen to THAT!!"

5) Women clearing their troats into the sink in public toilets. Swishing their mouth out with water then spitting into the sink. Gross!!!

6) Back to the MRT - people not waiting for you to get off before getting on. I make no bones about sticking my elbows out or ramming people into the side of the train door.

7) People who just stop at the top of escalators deciding whether to go left or right.

8) Seeing scuff marks on toilet seats where people have been standing on them. It would be so much easier to just sit on the seat. Personally I squat over the seat.

9) Why do supermarkets have to pack your shopping for you (it takes ages) and why do they need to use so many bags. Are they told to only put 4 items in one bag? I got given two jars of cooking source, double bagged - it really wasn't that heavy.

In spite of all this, I do love it here and it's a small price to pay. I do get homesick sometimes becuase I'm missing family and friends but our quality of life is so much better. I wouldn't change anything.

I agree and giggled with all snowqueen said, and yes I love it here as well.
But it was funny :P :D
Zeenit

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Post by EADG » Wed, 19 Nov 2008 12:03 am

and mine

I wonder how much business is lost from morons standing outside their shops saying "...xxx for you?..." even before I know what they're selling

as if that would make me consider something I wasn't considering

not sure of the logic there, all I know is for those shops, where I might have done business, I don't because I don't like being harassed and I don't reward such idiocy with my patronage

snowqueen wrote:My pet peeves so far have been:-

3) Being followed around stores even when I've asked them not to. They kind of take 2 steps back but still watch my every move. Shop assistants don't understand the art of shopping
Ape Shall Not Kill Ape

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Post by snowqueen » Wed, 19 Nov 2008 3:57 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:And to think, when you were reading this thread back in the UK you though we were all crazy as well. Right? :P

Welcome!

:cool:
Yes, absolutely barking but then that's probably why me and my husband fit in so well.

The thing with old men picking their hairs with two coins really made me laugh - I have never seen that. And as for the staring, I just stare back :o

I did have an instance yesterday when I was standing in a queue for a shuttle bus and this man came and stood right in front of me and dumped his wife's shopping. I just stepped over it and resumed my place in the queue - how rude though.

Do people here get through allot of shoes and trainers. The feet shuffling thing really annoys my husband but it doesn't bother me too much. When I see people running down the East Coast on the balls of their feet - it must really hurt but also, they must get through a serious amount of Nike shoes.

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Post by jez » Wed, 19 Nov 2008 4:44 pm

Only one complaint as love the place so far - people walking far far far far too slowly maaan that can drive you up the wall trying to get past them!

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