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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littlegreenman
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Post by littlegreenman » Tue, 26 May 2009 6:54 pm

One thing I found really odd is that people always directly associate something that is "branded" with the highest level of quality. Many Singaporeans don't buy anything that is not branded. What they tend to forget is that branded is not a synonym for quality.

Something else that was shocking to me was the total lack of common knowledge. Singaporeans are well educated but have no interest in acquiring common knowledge and sadly the majority does not seem to have any interest in their history and heritage if it goes further than Raffles and Singapore Day.

I am amazed how often the race question comes up. You go to the doctors, they take down which race you are. What is the point in that? I am human like any Chinese, Indian or Malay, how about that for my race - human.

There are many things that were odd to me and will always be, I could go on for hours. One more thing I wanted to mention though (apart from cutting your nails in public places) is people growing long hair on their moles. Get them removed people, they are a health risk. And if you can't afford it at least DON'T grow long hair out of it. There is no such thing as a lucky mole :mad:

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Post by Saint » Tue, 26 May 2009 7:01 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
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
Totally agree, it's bad enough driving here and having to be constantly aware of all the inept driving skill here, the last thing we need is to be watching out for jaywalkers, but unfortunately we have to

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Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 26 May 2009 7:42 pm

Nath21 wrote:2. American toliets aah! (do they like water splashing on their bottoms?)
Actually, the American toilet is superior to the British toilet. The British toilet uses only a P-trap and hence, requires lots of water to flush and even then 'floaters' have a tendency to not go down.

OTOH, the American toilet is a siphon device... it literally sucks all the water out of the bowl (and everything else as well) and it does so with far less water.
6. People not wearing deoderant (this tends to be country specific and it aint Singaporeans, maybe a cultural thing);
Be careful here... what is sometimes mistaken for BO by expats is in reality the result of a diet heavy in certain kinds of spices.
9. Pushing in the MRT before people get off
This is one aspect of being a larger expat that I enjoy... barreling through the jokers who think they are going to get on while I am trying to get off. I like it even better if I am tugging rollin luggage which I can roll over their instep on the way out of the car.
10. Opening my baby's pram to look at the baby whilst coughing
No baby but... how about the store clerk who picks his nose, wipes it on his jeans, then wants to handle my mobile phone?
17 Chinese names back the front and they call my name back the front MR Nathan which I find sloightly amusing
This is nearly universal in Asia and further compounded by the way passports carry names... in my US passport I am HERBERT Wayne Vern, in my British passport Wayne Vern HERBERT.
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.
It is based upon regard for the individual... not saying that it doesn't cause problems... and it is possible to call people on the carpet and get problems resolved with causing them to lose face... this is an absolutely essential item to understand and implement if you are going to be an expat managing Asian workers.

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Post by Nath21 » Tue, 26 May 2009 10:05 pm

Nath21 wrote:
2. American toliets aah! (do they like water splashing on their bottoms?)

Strong Eagle wrote:

Actually, the American toilet is superior to the British toilet. The British toilet uses only a P-trap and hence, requires lots of water to flush and even then 'floaters' have a tendency to not go down.

OTOH, the American toilet is a siphon device... it literally sucks all the water out of the bowl (and everything else as well) and it does so with far less water.

Sorry for thread bump but no way is the american toilet better than a british toilet and im Australian. I dont care if it uses more water in Australia we have dual flush and grey water, also in my experience the american toilet water splashes on you, it blocks more easily, floaters dont get sucked down and its more in your face when you turn to flush.

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Post by littlegreenman » Tue, 26 May 2009 10:07 pm

Nath21 wrote:Nath21 wrote:
Sorry for thread bump but no way is the american toilet better than a british toilet and im Australian. I dont care if it uses more water in Australia we have dual flush and grey water, also in my experience the american toilet water splashes on you, it blocks more easily, floaters dont get sucked down and its more in your face when you turn to flush.
Correct, correct and ... correct. No way those yank long drops are better than a proper British toilet.

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Strong Eagle
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Post by Strong Eagle » Tue, 26 May 2009 10:42 pm

TOILET WARS!!!!

Image

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Post by irvine » Wed, 27 May 2009 10:49 am

I didn't say I was right, nor the driver was wrong.

I said, he could have just honked and not almost roll me down.

I am a driver and don't like jaywalkers too. However, in a street where there's a lot of people, I would be really careful not to roll too close to anyone.

So please, look at the context.

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Post by carteki » Wed, 27 May 2009 10:59 am

irvine wrote:I didn't say I was right, nor the driver was wrong.

I said, he could have just honked and not almost roll me down.

I am a driver and don't like jaywalkers too. However, in a street where there's a lot of people, I would be really careful not to roll too close to anyone.

So please, look at the context.
I have on at least one occasion (not in Singapore) driven very close to an annoying street parking attendant (very common in SA) jumping around in the road just to give him a fright.
In SG that driver would've gotten into a lot more trouble than necessary if he'd touched you. Accept that you were in the wrong and the driver had dealt with annoying pedestrians all the way along Serangoon road and he wanted to teach someone a lesson/express his fustrations (and it just happened to be you).

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Post by irvine » Wed, 27 May 2009 11:04 am

You're right, in SG, a driver would get into more trouble than necessary if s/he touched a pedestrian with the car. So would the pedestrian be. It's not going to be a pretty sight.

What would be ideal though, is to seal up that Syed Alwi Road on weekends. Have you been there on a weekend p.m.? It's a transformed place! And I'd say nobody's life should be endangered.

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Post by Jeppo » Wed, 27 May 2009 11:58 am

irvine wrote:You're right, in SG, a driver would get into more trouble than necessary if s/he touched a pedestrian with the car.
I doubt it, there was a case last year where a guy was knocked over and killed by a car reversing up a one way street (ie. going the wrong way) and the court found that the pedestrian was in the wrong because he was jaywalking. In other cases, drivers have been given a small fine and suspension of driving for 1 or 2 years for causing the death of a pedestrian, but only in cases where the pedestrian was legally crossing the road. If you're jaywalking in Singapore the law favours the driver.

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Post by irvine » Wed, 27 May 2009 3:53 pm

Who is right who is wrong - when it is killing a person, nobody is right.

Jaywalking is wrong, that I agree. However, as a driver it doesn't mean s/he should rundown or even hit a jaywalker when s/he is aware of the whole situation. By accident, I can understand. But in purpose, I don't think so.

The driver can honk, slow down, stop, or even yell at a jaywalker. But if s/he were to run the jaywalker down, do you think s/he can live happily ever after? Probably not. So don't even advocate the law favors the driver.

We all know how [insert adjective] the drivers can be.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 27 May 2009 4:02 pm

Jaywalkers who get done in by motorists received the ultimate - a Darwin Award. If the motorist doesn't do a complete job then the driver deserves demerit points for doing a good deed only half way. Fortunately, if the Jaywalker is offed, and a Darwin given, then the bad gene won't be propagated any further. :devil: :mrgreen:

Our poster should be made an honourary Singaporean as one of their finest attributes is showing up beautifully here in this thread.....When having it pointed out that they are wrong, they go on the offensive instead of accepting the truth with some humility. :-|
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 irvine » Wed, 27 May 2009 4:11 pm

Thank you for your brilliant opinion.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 27 May 2009 4:23 pm

Your welcome. :wink:
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 Strong Eagle » Thu, 28 May 2009 3:04 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Your welcome. :wink:
I think several people are putting on their large size self righteous hat.

Ya know, if someone is jaywalking Serangoon or Orchard then sure, the comments made are on the money.

But the small side streets in little India? No way... they are narrow, they are filled with drivers stopping all over the place... and the sidewalks are 90 percent blocked by the shops that consider the sidewalk an extension. I would NOT walk to the end of any block in little India in order to cross the street. Serangoon or Orchard are a different story.

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