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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lost_canuck
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Post by lost_canuck » Sat, 27 Jan 2007 7:50 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
lost_canuck wrote:I have been here almost 2 months now, and carry my own tissue for napkins and watch locals for tips on chopstick, spoon use. :)
Come on now. Who do you think you are kidding! :wink: :wink: You've been here 2 months already so you have cottoned to the fact that you can use tissue packets to "Chope" seats in the local McD's or BK. "When in Rome.........." :lol: :P

:cool: sms
yes sir, I am a quick study ;) and umbrellas are not only for rainy days, and a side note, I am proud to say I have not given my custom to mic rotten ronnies on this shore, but I did fall into booger fling at IKEA and regretted it, but enjoyed the experience of wondering what the toppings were I'd never heard of, and the quick discovery that that is not just ketchup :lol:

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 27 Jan 2007 9:25 pm

lost_canuck,

you're gonna do well here! :mrgreen:

You've definitely got the right attitude I'll say that. :cool:

I used to be that way but after 24 years of it guess it's starting to wear pretty thin. :oops:


sms
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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lost_canuck
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Post by lost_canuck » Sun, 28 Jan 2007 10:59 am

SMS: Thanks :) but I can understand that, after all I spent 6 years getting to know English customs, some of it was getting thin, the whole 'good service is an exception, not a rule thing' Always felt like I had to fight to get things done, but I must admit going home to Canada things seem different too, as the saying goes you can't ever really go home.... Life marches on where ever you are...

Let me know if you find the place where life is easy ;)

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Post by MissMotivated » Tue, 30 Jan 2007 5:47 pm

- People who don't pick their feet up when they walk... scuffing...
- Hocking, and sniffing from deep in the back of the throat, where you can actually hear the stream of snot being drawn back deep into the chest! even the girls do it!!! and yet everyone carries tissues around with them?
- Getting the bill, it is brought out in a bilfold, but held out wide open in front of you and they stand there and wait for you to put the money ON it.. then they close it and walk away. Rather than discreetly putting it on the table, so you put the money IN it when you're ready.
- One for one, or any kind of promotion where you get more than one drink for the price of one, but they pour them and bring them all out at the same time so they go warm and flat.
- Wasting of paper and forms for EVERYTHING, no-one seems to recycle here?
- sardine style MRT trip and everyone pushing to get on before you get out - same in lifts as well.
- the office being COMPLETELY empty at lunchtime for at least an hour, no-one in sight



of course there are many things I love as well.... every place has it's quirks

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Now get paid for this thread...

Post by M-T » Tue, 30 Jan 2007 5:59 pm

Loved reading all these - the 'official' guide is also just out:

http://www.singaporeexpats.com/forum/su ... tml#234033

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Post by huggybear » Wed, 31 Jan 2007 7:36 am

They seem to get really confused if you do something that they have not been prepared or trained for.

my taxi cab ride came to $6.20 this a.m. and i gave taxi driver $11.20 expecting a fiver back. instead he just became flustered and confused as to why i was giving him so much money.

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Post by MissMotivated » Wed, 31 Jan 2007 10:04 am

haha yes - that's the thing I find most frustrating... 2 examples:

a friend of mine was telling me about a deal on to get 3 x tshirts for $20 (normal price was $23 for one). He wanted to get 4 of them, so asked how much for 4, thinking it would be around $27... but they said no, it would be $43! naturally he just bought 3.

buying lunch the other day I said "and a bottle of water please". Right beside the person serving me there were lots of bottles of water on display, but he said "hah??? water??? we don' have. You wan' sprite?"
I said "no, I don't want sprite, I want water." and I got a blank look and "sorry we don' have" again. I pointed at the bottles beside him, and I said "yes you do have water, it's right there!" and he gave me a confused look and said "aaaaah, mineral water??". So now I know always to ask for "mineral water" rather than just "water".

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lost_canuck
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Post by lost_canuck » Wed, 31 Jan 2007 12:36 pm

can someone explain the snorking thing to me? a lot of people do it, is it a side effect of something? the guy showing us around flats did it all the time, it is a tad gross. bleh... :???:

and I think I have offended people in grocery stores by telling them I don't need that many plastic bags in my life, I mean good lord people! 2 items per bag? doesn't make the total of the items any lighter to carry.

I have more plastic bags in my flat now, than I probably did for a whole year in the UK. (maybe a slight exaggeration, but only slight)

:lol:

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Post by huggybear » Wed, 31 Jan 2007 1:21 pm

interesting restaurant notes...


hilarious


they don't seem to do a good job of doing a running tally...and they get really confused when you order two drinks. so when i'm trying to order a lime juice and a mineral water they get really confused. it's not conceivable to them that i want two drinks. they think i either want a lime juice or a water.
and usually each person orders their drink seperately ... so then the waitstaff gets confused and the "head" of the table has to step in and say "we'll have 4 waters and 2 lime juices."

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Post by mslise » Fri, 02 Feb 2007 9:52 am

MissMotivated wrote:haha yes - that's the thing I find most frustrating... 2 examples:

a friend of mine was telling me about a deal on to get 3 x tshirts for $20 (normal price was $23 for one). He wanted to get 4 of them, so asked how much for 4, thinking it would be around $27... but they said no, it would be $43! naturally he just bought 3.
I find the seeming in-ability of shop assistants to think outside the box at all incredibly frustrating. Trying to buy some underwear in la senza the sign said "2 for $40, single prices as marked" The price on each piece said "original price $29.95, sale price $20" So I wanted to buy 3, thinking $60. But NO.. despite being marked at $20, (not 2 for $40) the SA refused to sell me 3 for $60.. she was dead set it'd be $69.95.. :roll: This sort of thing has happened a lot and just winds me up.. I guess eventually I'll get used to it!

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Post by sniper968 » Sat, 03 Feb 2007 3:28 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote: After over two decades here, I no longer have any culture shocks. I've just learned to accept that I am in a country with a 1st world infrastructure inhabited by 3rd world citizens (at least their social morals) Common Sense? :oops: I won't go there at all.
Hmmm... you haven't been yet to Melbourne have ya? Try riding our trains at night- esp in the Western Surburbs. Our 1st world citizens will eat you alive.

Now if you thought that was bad - try taking the Melbourne- Perth train with a carriage load of miners who are so pissed they piss in their seats.

Its a non-smoking carriage but the whole effing lot are smoking.

And its a 3 day journey. lol.
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Post by ascq » Sun, 04 Feb 2007 6:52 pm

lost_canuck--if you don't find it easy here, I don't know where else to direct you! :)

mslise and mismotivated--the pricing actually makes sense to me--it doesn't say 2 or more are at that price--they want you to buy in multiples of 2 (most auspicious???). It's the same at the Gap or Banana Republic. Hope this helps you feel less frustrated next time :)

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Post by MissMotivated » Sun, 04 Feb 2007 8:42 pm

In that respect it makes sense, if they want to make more money. But why bother with a sale price in the first place then?
Usually the more you buy, the lower the price.

I'm finding this very interesting. Nothing negative at all - just interesting observations that can be a little perplexing. I think you could write a positive and negative 'quirks' list for anywwhere in the world.

I can imagine that Melbourne/Perth train ride - now that sounds horrible! The Singapore MRT ride I'm sure is a breeze in comparison.
Loud drunk obnoxious aussies in packs are one thing I don't miss from Australia.

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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 04 Feb 2007 9:19 pm

MissMotivated wrote: I can imagine that Melbourne/Perth train ride - now that sounds horrible! The Singapore MRT ride I'm sure is a breeze in comparison.
Loud drunk obnoxious aussies in packs are one thing I don't miss from Australia.
You can find them here as well at OT on Friday nights! :P (and Yanks as well when the ships are in.)

Of a slightly different flavour, try traveling down Serangoon Rood on Saturday night (or Sunday Morning if after Midnight) without being in a large group. It is definitely hazardous to your health. Every City in the World has areas that are not what you would call safe zones.
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 rupertstreet » Mon, 05 Feb 2007 2:17 pm

you needn't be an expat to experience "culture shock" in Singapore. I'm local and till today, i'm still experiencing things about Singapore/Singaporeans which irk me.

1. When you signal to change lane, most drivers on the lane you wish to change to refuse to give way. Well, I don't mind if they want to speed up and let me switch only after they've passed me. But what baffles me is when they speed up and drive alongside me. How am I supposed to switch lanes then?

2. Babies who cry in cinemas. People who talk on their mobile phones in cinemas.

3. People who park their cars along Mera Saga at Chip Bee Gardens. Both expats and locals are guilty of this. For goodness sake, it's a two lane road for two way traffic. If one entire row is blocked by parked cars, it only renders one lane passable for 2 way traffic. Where's your common sense people or show some consideration please! I never fail to smile with glee whenever the parking attendants or the police appear. And since fInes do not seem to have much effect, I suggest that they should start issuing demerit points as well.

4. Drivers again! You give way to them but they don't show any acknowledgment. Someone mentioned something about Singaporeans walking and stopping suddenly, having no regard to the surroundings or the people around them. Well, you have the drivers doing the same thing with their cars. Many drivers road-hog whenever they're looking around their surroundings, oblivious to the cars behind them.

5. One of the most common habits - you hold the door for people and they walk right through, like it's that god given right to do so.

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