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What do locals think is appalling behaviour from expats?

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earthfriendly
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Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 05 Nov 2008 7:09 am

road.not.taken wrote:
earthfriendly wrote: I am afraid SAD (seasonal affective disorder) gonna set in anytime :o .


Does that mean more mucoidal musings ? :o


Muahaha, if you go back and read my post, my body is less efficient nowadays. :P

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Postby Hactar » Wed, 05 Nov 2008 7:30 am

Whoever told you to give money with two hands? I'm guessing it was a well-meaning expat who misunderstood local customs as usual. There is much misinformation going around. Good that you checked with your colleagues.


It is discussed as well in the first page of this thread, and it keeps popping up in books and on website. They had me convinced for a while :).

What Singaporians find also annoying: Expats bringing their own sandwiches as lunch, because they dislike eating local food for lunch.
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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 05 Nov 2008 8:00 am

Hactar wrote:It is discussed as well in the first page of this thread, and it keeps popping up in books and on website. They had me convinced for a while :).

Ah, I see. Oh well. Ask a few locals, since we're not a homogenous bunch anyway. But if the majority tell you it's ok to pay with one hand, it's ok.

The only exception I can think of is when giving angpows (red packets) during Chinese New Year or birthdays or any other formal occasion. Then yes, it's more polite to give with both hands, even when giving to children.

Hactar wrote:What Singaporians find also annoying: Expats bringing their own sandwiches as lunch, because they dislike eating local food for lunch.

No lah, this is ok. Even Singaporeans have started to bring their own lunch for reasons of health or economy. What may be offending is the reason given by the expat when queried about his packed lunch. It's what he says, reflecting disdain for local things, that may offend. The action itself is fine.

In general, people here don't take offence to the little individual actions. We know that as a foreigner you are not familiar with how things are done here. So don't get stressed over having to comply with a thousand unknown customs. What annoys us (read all the posts by Singaporeans on this thread) is the high-and-mighty, I-know-best-so-do-it-my-way, locals-are-so-disgusting-stupid-smelly-and-ugly ATTITUDE rather than any specific action.

If you have the right attitude, all will fall into place. People will fall all over themselves trying to help you adapt and figure out how things work here. But if you think the world of yourself, people will ignore you and let you fumble through on your own.

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Postby EADG » Wed, 05 Nov 2008 10:55 pm

hi EF, I know and knew that about you, and sorry if my response was curt, that's not how I meant it, and thank you

earthfriendly wrote:EADG, just having a friendly conversation with you :) . I mentioned you since you probably know a lot more about the Japanese food culture than the average forummer here, as pointed out by your posts.

And nope, I am not here to tell you what to say or how to think. I am not the internet police, you know.
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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 06 Nov 2008 2:14 am

QRM wrote: my wife thinks stepping out on the balcony without slippers is unhygienic so that idea, along with the coffee beans that needs to be shat out of a small animal,is on the back burner.



Hear yah, hear yah. My idea of cleanliness learnt from SG (or my mom) is a bit different from Americans. I am phobic of dust, and my body can detect its presences by sneezing. And americans more tolerant of it. Maybe because I grew up with a mom who is constantly dusting the house and washing clothes and laundry. When she visits relative, she may check out their curio display with the one-finger test. She would slightly sweep her pointer finger across the object just to see if it has been kept dust free. When she visits my sister's house, she would volunteer to wash her futon couch cover by hand (too heavy for washing machine). Maybe she thinks it is smelly :P . Or could it be due to the fact that she used to work as a maid ?

Whereas I could tolerate water marks on the mirror, Americans dislike that. It has to look sparkling clean.

I remember reading an article where they asked SG kids where does milk come from, and the response, it comes from the fridge. And where does it come from before it gets to the fridge, they say , it comes from the supermarket :P . Amusing, to say the least. That's the outcome of over-urbanization and lack of exposure to nature and wild life.

Based on the recommendation of her Qigong instructor, my sister took her kids out in the morning to walk on the dirt barefooted. Many well wishers would approached her advising her against it as they think the dirt is dirty and it is unhygenic to do so. They probably think it is child abuse :o .


QRM wrote:Dim sum needs the long ivory colored plastic chopsticks, preferably with stained ends, hot Chinese tea and a menopausal waitress serving it. (Wine is a real no no)



I have finally decided it is cruel and unusual punishment to take my husband to dim sum restuarant. I enjoy eating squab, eyes, head and all. The whole thing. Poor birdie. A bit of a canibilistic experience but yumilicious :P . One time I was chowing away with squab dangling out of my mouth, I noticed he was not eating it. I lifted my head and with my eyes :o I asked him why not. :P

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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 06 Nov 2008 2:17 am

EADG, no worries. And do not let me prevent you from saying how you really feel. :)

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Postby QRM » Thu, 06 Nov 2008 11:29 am

earthfriendly wrote:Hear yah, hear yah. My idea of cleanliness learnt from SG (or my mom) is a bit different from Americans. I am phobic of dust, and my body can detect its presences by sneezing.


This Automysophobia or Koniophobia does seem to be very prevalent out here, I see it a lot at playschool art classes, local kids get a bit of paint on their hands and the mum gets all flustered and charges in with wet wipes to clean it up.

If I try and open the car window to experience the great engine noise and the wind in what little hair I have, I get an ear bending from the misses about letting all the dust in.

The funniest moment, my wrinklies have a thatch cottage in the boonies, we had to collect fire wood from the forest. Everyone's grabbing big stacks of wood off the forest floor, wife was there with a twig between two fingers and the grimace look said it all.

I worry a bit about our kid, the other day she could not walk along a path until I cleaned off the dead leaf that was sitting on it :shock:

Maybe its hereditary? I actively encourage our kid to play in the bushes and sand and mud. When she comes home with twigs, stones and dead bugs I can see the other half is really biting her lips.

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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 06 Nov 2008 11:48 am

QRM wrote:
Maybe its hereditary? I actively encourage our kid to play in the bushes and sand and mud. When she comes home with twigs, stones and dead bugs I can see the other half is really biting her lips.


I don't know the answer myself either. It took me sometime to unlearn it living in USA. Now I encourage my kids to look for insects, snails, bugs and play with mud (downside I am the one doing the laundry :P ). I even encourage them to share their corn with worms :o . Yeap you hear me right. I like to go to this particular farmstand where they sell you corn with the top chunck eaten off by the worm and you would buy the corn together with the 1" long and fat worm nibbling away. And I have them chop off the top. Mr. was a bit pissed when he saw the corn. But the worms are so cute.And I don't mind sharing my food with them. I don't know. Maybe I am trying to overcompensate. But I seriously view it as an educational opportunity to teach the kids to live in harmony with the ecosystem, something that I started to miss out during my SG childhood as it became more urbanized.

So glad you brought up this conversation up. Kudos to you.

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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 06 Nov 2008 11:59 am

Or maybe it was taught and handed down from generations to generations. It may have existed for a good reason when it first originated and lost its relevance but then people just follow it blindly, treating it like the truth. Doesn't it sound all too familiar :lol: .


I don't know if you heard the turkey roasting story.

http://www.snopes.com/weddings/newlywed/secret.asp

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 06 Nov 2008 12:40 pm

Most every American has heard the Turkey version at one time or another as we usually cook two birds a year. (One coming up in a couple of weeks - the other at Christmas)

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Postby earthfriendly » Thu, 06 Nov 2008 12:48 pm

SMS, are fresh turkeys readily available in SG? I remember in the old days, American expats would order cooked turkey from Denny's restuarant, where I worked.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 06 Nov 2008 4:46 pm

Nah, only frozen birds. Can find up to around 7 to 8 kg only. I actually hand carried a frozen 22 lb bird from the US a couple of years ago but I don't think we can do that anymore. (It cost me US$3.94 there and the same size here would have cost me over S$85 here). Used an igloo & surrounded it with frozen venison from my farm. Good eatin' that!

Can get them (either Norbert or ButterBall) at most major's but Cold Storage is ridiculous & so is Jason's. I usually get them at NTUC or Carrefour. I bought my stove here based on the size of the oven just for cooking 20 lb plus birds.

Some of the guys here are getting into deep fried turkeys as well.

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Postby EADG » Fri, 07 Nov 2008 1:01 am

earthfriendly wrote:EADG, no worries. And do not let me prevent you from saying how you really feel. :)


of course, no one has succeeded in that yet!

but since you mentioned it:

earthfriendly wrote:My idea of is a bit different from Americans......Americans dislike that


well, sounds silly, it's just too big a place and there's too many of them to say what all of them like or dislike

timely comment given the new president.....


on a side note, you mentioned a friend's Chigong teacher, if you have more information please PM me, I want to get back into that
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Postby earthfriendly » Fri, 07 Nov 2008 1:29 am

EADG wrote:
earthfriendly wrote:My idea of is a bit different from Americans......Americans dislike that


well, sounds silly, it's just too big a place and there's too many of them to say what all of them like or dislike

timely comment given the new president.....


on a side note, you mentioned a friend's Chigong teacher, if you have more information please PM me, I want to get back into that


I hear yah. It is a observation about general behaviours and not an attempt to stereotype. I shall contact my sister for the qigong contact :) .

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Postby earthfriendly » Sat, 08 Nov 2008 3:18 am

Yesterday, my kindergartener told me her classmate used the word "toilet", in a giggly tone. I asked what's so funny? She said Ms. T (her teacher) said it was not a good word. I told her people in SG use the term "toilet" all the time.

I can't help but give her a smile, the kind that only a mother would give. I see so much potential in her :wink: .


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