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.
Post Reply
DaisyRae
Regular
Regular
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun, 01 Feb 2009 7:35 pm
Location: East Coast

Post by DaisyRae » Sun, 01 Feb 2009 8:21 pm

Cissiboy,

Yeah, I was kinda culture shocked about how liberated women are when it comes to dressing up. But I don't think men give them perverted looks (??) here so women are comfortable wearing erm.. less clothes.

AngryAngMo,

People here have their mouths open?? Hmm. Never really noticed that. Geez. I wonder if I do that too... I'll start observing people in the lift and the bus tomorrow!
Hindsight is always 20/20.

Cissiboy
Member
Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 12:48 pm
Location: Pasir Ris
Contact:

Post by Cissiboy » Sun, 01 Feb 2009 11:27 pm

DaisyRae wrote:Cissiboy,

Yeah, I was kinda culture shocked about how liberated women are when it comes to dressing up. But I don't think men give them perverted looks (??) here so women are comfortable wearing erm.. less clothes.
i have nothing against women's way of dressing here..i only found really odd the contrast between wannabe-perfect face, hands&feet and legs or arms not at "their par"

DaisyRae
Regular
Regular
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun, 01 Feb 2009 7:35 pm
Location: East Coast

Post by DaisyRae » Mon, 02 Feb 2009 7:07 pm

*consciously checks her arms and legs for any scars :???:
Hindsight is always 20/20.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39549
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 02 Feb 2009 11:20 pm

It's no worse that seeing perfect face with flawless skin, nails done to a T and pedicure to go with it & Hair tastefully done. Clothing and accessories perfectly kitted out and then see a flash of "Tramp Stamp" on the small of her back to totally ruin the look. :cry:
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

napalm
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon, 02 Feb 2009 11:38 pm

Post by napalm » Tue, 03 Feb 2009 12:48 am

been here for almost 3 years, here are some shocks i've had: (no offense to anyone)

- hawker/foodcourt utensils doesnt seem clean. we saw an auntie wipe the table then wipe our plates and utensils with the same rag before serving. we just laughed it off. so much for hygiene...
- some men rinsing their d__ in the urinal after flushing
- those smelly people. using deodorant doesnt seem to be a practice
- those ladies with unshaved armpits (well... i havent been to europe :P )
- some people getting angry/irritated when i say "excuse me" to exit a packed train. i was told i should say "sorry". i didnt know excusing yourself was ever offensive...
- not giving up their seats especially to old folks
- "stealing" seats in food courts that you were waiting for and just ignore you when you tell them
- those aggressive salespeople, some even talk down on you if you dont buy their sales pitch
- its very easy to get conned by shops (i always thought they have very strict laws here... i was wrong)
- people somewhat passive, even when accidents happen they just watch and wait who makes the first move. some even ignore
- there is racism but not too obvious. caucasians are mostly treated well, if you are asian its a different story (esp if you come from a "poorer" country). even if some say they hate ang mohs, they still wont get into an argument with them in person (they'll just bitch about you in their blogs).
- those people with "superiority complex". they think they're better than you just because they come from the #1/#2 economy in SE Asia and I come from a 3rd-world country (wtf?)
- prices and market standards can change very fast (rentals, fares, food prices can double in months)

note that i used "those" and "some" as not to generalize

some positive stuff:
- i've met some of the nicest and most sincere people here. sometimes just random people
- government services are very efficient
- buildings get built very fast!
- singapore seems hard to live in, yet hard to leave

i like it here generally and appreciate everything. we just have to accept that there is no perfect place. im not sure if we'd stay for good as i've seen how unpredictable this place can be. but for now this is what we call our home
Last edited by napalm on Wed, 18 Feb 2009 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cissiboy
Member
Member
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 12:48 pm
Location: Pasir Ris
Contact:

Post by Cissiboy » Tue, 03 Feb 2009 11:51 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:It's no worse that seeing perfect face with flawless skin, nails done to a T and pedicure to go with it & Hair tastefully done. Clothing and accessories perfectly kitted out and then see a flash of "Tramp Stamp" on the small of her back to totally ruin the look. :cry:
EXACTLY !!!

User avatar
Asian_Geekette
Reporter
Reporter
Posts: 558
Joined: Wed, 10 Jan 2007 4:07 pm
Location: Still based in Singapore but wanders around...

Post by Asian_Geekette » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 1:18 pm

irvine wrote: And they don't give way, expecting you to give you all the time. And the stopping at the top of the escalator taking ages to decide left or right. I once screamed "Helloooooooooo!!" at a middle-aged man for that. He turned around and glared at me. And of course, I glared back. Hahaha!
I got my big toe injured during last month's IT Show at the Suntec. I was going up the escalator and there was a massive human pile-up at the top. There was a crowd control coordinator with a megaphone exhorting people not to stop at the top of the escalator but it didn't work. I almost fell down because I was trying to sneak into the tiny available space on the top of the elevator so I can go directly to the other floors. But it was too late, somebody or several people back stepped on my toe. :( :???: :x

For me, my biggest culture shock is that... in a country so small, majority of the locals are not that "spatially aware." I mean, if there's a large weekend crowd at the mall, why stop at the top of the escalator when you know that there's a lot of people behind you? It's as if there's no awareness that there are also other people sharing the public space with you. :shock:

Despite that and other pet peeves, I like the efficiency and the predictability here especially since I travel a lot for work. I like the fact that I'm sure to always get a flight out of or into Singapore even if it's just two days before my scheduled trip. :lol: Or that the taxi drivers in the Changi Airport will use the meter and would provide me with a receipt if I asked for it.
My business is not to remake myself, but make the absolute best out of what God made. -Robert Browning

User avatar
pakjohn
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 353
Joined: Mon, 29 Sep 2008 10:46 am
Location: Jamaica

Post by pakjohn » Wed, 08 Apr 2009 4:10 pm

For me, my biggest culture shock is that... in a country so small, majority of the locals are not that "spatially aware."

lol! I saw the same thing when I was there. I call it "LSA" for Low Situational Awareness".

All in good fun though, Lord knows I'm a source of constant amusement for my Singaporean acquaintences. :)
Pakjohn

wcs
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 180
Joined: Tue, 26 May 2009 1:11 am
Location: Singapore

Post by wcs » Tue, 26 May 2009 7:52 am

Maybe it is a sign of the economic crisis but I have had two bad taxi experiences here this year.

The first time was leaving from outside Zouk on a friday night with two local friends. We were heading for supper, but the driver never turned the meter on, it was in some strange mode.

I asked one of the locals if that was correct and when she asked him, he said the meter was fine. She pressed him again why there were no numbers on it, then he was like "you pay $7"..."no, meter?"..."oh, you want meter ah?!"

I guess he thought we were drunk!

The other time was from Clarke Quay to supper with some friends from Malaysia. We got the cab from the taxi rank, all seemed fine. Our group split in two and the three who could not fit in our cab, took the one behind.

When we arrived at Selegie Rd, the meter said $4.70. Then the driver told us it was $8. It seemed a bit much, so we asked why the meter did not show it. Then he said the meter was broken.

Then our friends pulled up in the cab behind, and so one person checked their fare, it was $4.50. So then cab driver 1 speaks to cab driver 2. Cab driver 1 insists the fare should be higher cause he is from another company.

End up not wanting to ruin our night so we pay him $6.80!

Anyway, they are just the two bad eggs. I have taken a lot of cabs here and almost all are reliable and trustworthy. So much better than trying to take a cab in downtown KL.

Oh, the other peeve...people whose phone rings in the cinema, and they take the call!

Nath21
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 256
Joined: Wed, 20 May 2009 4:02 pm
Location: Singapore

Post by Nath21 » Tue, 26 May 2009 9:30 am

1. Squat toilets ahh! (Im not going there - only ina few places)
2. American toliets aah! (do they like water splashing on their bottoms?)
3. Car driving lane drifting;
4. Crossing four lanes to turn right within 10 metres of the turn;
5. Riding 20 men in the back of a pick up to and from work;
6. People not wearing deoderant (this tends to be country specific and it aint Singaporeans, maybe a cultural thing);
7. People complaining about hawker food cost of like $5 or $6 and not thinking anything of the price of cars, housing etc
8. Agree with award wining perfromance on the MRT
9. Pushing in the MRT before people get off
10. Opening my baby's pram to look at the baby whilst coughing
11. Shop ripoffs
12 Lack of cosumer protection
13 How cost much? (hate the question and the singlish)
14 Open racsim - example my landlord said I would like the place because I can hang out with my other caucasians ( I forgot we all hung out together), also every form ask what race are you? does that mean I get a better credit card if I am caucasian?
15 Hawker centres both the good and bad bits
16 Not knowing if people are men or ladies (my business put me close to orchard towers in first four weeks and now I second guess
17 Chinese names back the front and they call my name back the front MR Nathan which I find sloightly amusing
18 Face culture - I think its based on a culture of mismanagement (saving face because I stuffed up) its the opposite to western culture so its difficult to adjust.
19 related to above saying you understand yes yes but you have no clue what I said
20 Bribe culture - i.e I was investigating complaints at my company and one compliant was withdrawn and then restated. When I investiagted it was because she did not think the bribe to drop the complaint was sufficient - classic
21. Maids, cleaners and nannies couldnt afford them back home --treat them well and get lucky and your life is much happier
22 Catching taxis here is fantastic cheap, clean and quick great!
23 public transport is good here too, fast and clean and less packed compared to Australia
24 The girsl I know eat from sun up to sun down and dont put weight on - whjats their secret?
25 Price of food is expensive at supermarkets (all of them) and dont mention hawker centres where you get chiken flavoured rice or a bowl of soup with a chicken bone. Where's the meat? I would pay $10 to get some meat in those dishes.
26 Lacking great natural features its still a beautiful city it would look like an urban jungle without all the greenery.
Last edited by Nath21 on Tue, 26 May 2009 10:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
carteki
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1237
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2008 11:03 pm
Location: Singapore
Contact:

Post by carteki » Tue, 26 May 2009 3:09 pm

I think my biggest culture shock when moving here was being asked by the taxi driver how I wanted to get to where I was going (I had no clue) and I'm still not sure what the correct answer to that question is!

I have been "bumped into" more in Hong Kong than in SG and have heard that shoving the person in front of you onto the bus / MTR is expected. Actually I wish people in SG would do it more often and move to the open space at the middle of the carriage.

But all in all it is a great place to live - it has its good sides and bad sides (along with everywhere else).

bluenose
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed, 09 Jul 2008 12:12 pm

Post by bluenose » Tue, 26 May 2009 3:32 pm

The biggest culture shock for me was the driving standards...which are absolutely appalling and incredibly selfish...from basic driving to car parking.
I have no idea how a so called strict country allows it's drivers to drive at such a low standard.
I have been cut up, blocked in and out more times in 2 years here than the previous 20 years in the UK!
If you leave the correct distance...they fill it...
If an ambulance/fire engine is behind, they wont move...I only hope it is not a member of their family needing the ambulance!
If you indicate...they speed up to stop you getting in and out...
If you dont believe me....try and see!
Even more unbelievable is when they make the mistakes....they always blame you and have not got the balls for an argument, but have silly things in their windows so they can not see you.
I am not the best driver, but when I make a mistake I am big enough to admit it and I also know I DON'T OWN THE ROAD!!! :? :?

irvine
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 312
Joined: Mon, 15 Dec 2008 2:53 pm

Post by irvine » Tue, 26 May 2009 5:48 pm

Blunose, I agree and have experienced everything you said. Sigh...

I was in Mustafa the other evening with my husband. Granted the roads around that area are always crowded with pedestrians and cars, I always take caution when crossing the road, always holding my hand up to indicate 'please let me cross'.

This young chap with his girl was just at where we were crossing the road. There was a safe gap distance so we thought it was fine to cross while holding up our hands. Who knows, he just went on rolling forward and his car was so close that the bumper was like an inch from my knees. I freaked out and was yelling at that driver and the girl !@#$!@. .... And of course, they looked at me blankly, with no apologetic gesture or look in their faces, as if I were wrong.

COME ON!!

1) I am probably wrong for jay walking. Although... plenty of people cross the roads at Mustafa area. Furthermore, we crossed only when there was a safe gap between cars.

2) He could have honked at me if he were really in a hurry. Why did he allow the car to roll almost into me?

Sigh... I can only come to one conclusion: Selfish immature driver with no comprehension of what consequence he would face if he were to roll me down.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 39549
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 1:26 pm
Answers: 10
Location: Retired on the Little Red Dot

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 26 May 2009 6:22 pm

irvine wrote:Blunose, I agree and have experienced everything you said. Sigh...

I was in Mustafa the other evening with my husband. Granted the roads around that area are always crowded with pedestrians and cars, I always take caution when crossing the road, always holding my hand up to indicate 'please let me cross'.

This young chap with his girl was just at where we were crossing the road. There was a safe gap distance so we thought it was fine to cross while holding up our hands. Who knows, he just went on rolling forward and his car was so close that the bumper was like an inch from my knees. I freaked out and was yelling at that driver and the girl !@#$!@. .... And of course, they looked at me blankly, with no apologetic gesture or look in their faces, as if I were wrong.

COME ON!!

1) I am probably wrong for jay walking. Although... plenty of people cross the roads at Mustafa area. Furthermore, we crossed only when there was a safe gap between cars.

2) He could have honked at me if he were really in a hurry. Why did he allow the car to roll almost into me?

Sigh... I can only come to one conclusion: Selfish immature driver with no comprehension of what consequence he would face if he were to roll me down.
Frankly, if you were not in a crosswalk and were jaywalking you deserved to get rolled down. Just because others are doing it, doesn't mean it's right. I've seen the police ticket 15 people at once here for crossing "at a crosswalk" before the greenman came on. While they were in a crosswalk, they were crossing when they shouldn't (and I know - I was one of them - it's a $50 fine by the way). If everybody sticks their hand in the fire and gets burnt, are you going to do so as well just because they did? Frankly, had I been driving and somebody jaywalked and held up their hand like they were dog crossing any were they damned pleased, I'd have tried to run you down probably. Sorry, but this time you were in the wrong. And if I missed, I doubt if I'd have looked blankly at you. I'd have probably rolled down the window and given you a piece of my mind for being so inconsiderate in the first place by jaywalking. Maybe if you had of gotten hit, you would learn what the consequences of Jaywalking are.

Sorry, but jaywalkers just get up my nose when they think they're in the right. :x
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

User avatar
road.not.taken
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat, 06 Oct 2007 9:24 am

Post by road.not.taken » Tue, 26 May 2009 6:42 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Sorry, but jaywalkers just get up my nose when they think they're in the right. :x
Something we agree on!

The worst offenders:

people jaywalking while on their cell phones

people pushing baby carriages across Orchard Rd on a Sunday

people stopping and getting into taxis while jay walking

people holding up the damn hand like they were Moses :x

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Staying, Living in Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests