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What do locals think is appalling behaviour from expats?

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Postby Global Citizen » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 6:20 pm

Sierra, black is acceptable at Indian weddings.
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Postby sierra2469alpha » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 7:09 pm

Black clothing at an Indian wedding. I stand corrected, in some way.

[Edit: clothing]
Last edited by sierra2469alpha on Mon, 27 Oct 2008 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Global Citizen » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 7:10 pm

ozchick wrote:Mm...good thread this one. Wish a few Aussie visitors who swear or speak unnecessarily loudly in public places here would try to imitate the generally unobtrusive Singaporean. Whenever I'm on public transport here, I don't get bombarded with loud conversations. Back home, on a train or bus we're all forced to listen to Mr or Miss Loudmouth who seems to want everyone to know their business. Gee I don't miss that.


I still have difficulties adapting to just how loud and in your face some nationalities can be.

Another thing that I find distasteful and lacking is basic hospitality. One eg. My son was invited to a barbeque at a friend's (parent's) house when he was living in Canada. He was told to bring his own meat for his share of the barbeque meal much to my shock! This wasn't a pot luck thing amongst friends either as the boy's father and some other family were also present. Why invite the boy if you can't or won't accomodate one portion of food! This would never happen in an Asian household!

Or how about the time an invitation was issued to us by an Asian friend where it was potluck this time. The guests were a mixed group of Asians and Westerners. At the end of the evening, the Western couple not only took back the remaining liquor left but also the remaining food they had brought! The polite and sensible thing would have been to let it remain unless invited by your hosts to bring it home. It was all so embarrassing and very disgraceful behaviour!
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Postby road.not.taken » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 7:19 pm

Global Citizen wrote:Or how about the time an invitation was issued to us by an Asian friend where it was potluck this time. The guests were a mixed group of Asians and Westerners. At the end of the evening, the Western couple not only took back the remaining liquor left but also the remaining food they had brought! The polite and sensible thing would have been to let it remain unless invited by your hosts to bring it home. It was all so embarrassing and very disgraceful behaviour!


I have seen this many times. I thought it was very strange too, but you can't call it a local custom for one group and not the other, right? This is the custom they have and this is how they do it. You thought it was embarrassing and disgraceful, but it was business as usual for them.

I used to be feel the same way when I'd see local men (of course men!) actively, enthusiastically digging in their noses here in Singapore. It's gross to me, but not to them.

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Postby Global Citizen » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 7:59 pm

road.not.taken wrote:
Global Citizen wrote:Or how about the time an invitation was issued to us by an Asian friend where it was potluck this time. The guests were a mixed group of Asians and Westerners. At the end of the evening, the Western couple not only took back the remaining liquor left but also the remaining food they had brought! The polite and sensible thing would have been to let it remain unless invited by your hosts to bring it home. It was all so embarrassing and very disgraceful behaviour!


I have seen this many times. I thought it was very strange too, but you can't call it a local custom for one group and not the other, right? This is the custom they have and this is how they do it. You thought it was embarrassing and disgraceful, but it was business as usual for them.

I used to be feel the same way when I'd see local men (of course men!) actively, enthusiastically digging in their noses here in Singapore. It's gross to me, but not to them.


R.N.T. - The point here is that the couple is living in Singapore, hence the protocol would be to be respectful and aware of social etiquette practised in Singapore when invited to the home of a local. In my son's case, he brought his share of the meat as was advised.

As for the nose digging (and even flicking of boogers which I've seen). No contest. Disgusting behaviour all around and not one I'd ever subscribe to or defend. edited to add: This is not a local custom like belching is at the end of a meal to denote pleasure in some other cultures; just appalling manners/habit on the part of some locals.
Last edited by Global Citizen on Tue, 28 Oct 2008 7:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Forks » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 7:59 pm

ozchick wrote:. Back home, on a train or bus we're all forced to listen to Mr or Miss Loudmouth who seems to want everyone to know their business. Gee I don't miss that.


You should ride my bus to work in the morning, plenty of that sort, thank goodness for the music player.
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Postby Plavt » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 8:12 pm

Global Citizen wrote: For instance, the removing of one's shoes before entering someone's home. Not too long ago, I recall reading an expat's post on a different board of how outraged he/she was at having to do that. WTF!?


Curious a good many of us don't wear shoes in our own homes to avoid soiling the carpet. Visitors with an ounce of decency will remove their shoes and those that can't can always carry overshoes. A friend of mine with expensive Persian rugs wont let anybody in unless they observes these 'formalities'.

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Postby Global Citizen » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 8:18 pm

Hey Plavt, you're welcome at my home anytime! :)

edit: typo
Last edited by Global Citizen on Tue, 28 Oct 2008 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Global Citizen » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 8:19 pm

sierra2469alpha wrote:Black clothing at an Indian wedding. I stand corrected, in some way.

[Edit: clothing]


Sierra, no worries. I got it the first time. :wink:
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Postby micknlea » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 10:05 pm

Plavt wrote:
Global Citizen wrote: For instance, the removing of one's shoes before entering someone's home. Not too long ago, I recall reading an expat's post on a different board of how outraged he/she was at having to do that. WTF!?


Curious a good many of us don't wear shoes in our own homes to avoid soiling the carpet. Visitors with an ounce of decency will remove their shoes and those that can't can always carry overshoes. A friend of mine with expensive Persian rugs wont let anybody in unless they observes these 'formalities'.


However if you did the same in most homes in Australia the people would think you were a bit strange, and look at you rather oddly. All for the same reason, it is not common practise to take off your shoes when entering a home there. Obviously not one of the things we inherited from the Brits along the way. :wink:

I agree on the "face" bit, I can still never quite get the hang of it despite being around Asia for quite a while. Just when I think I have it, someone does something that brings my understanding all undone again.
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Postby Saint » Mon, 27 Oct 2008 10:24 pm

road.not.taken wrote:
Global Citizen wrote:Or how about the time an invitation was issued to us by an Asian friend where it was potluck this time. The guests were a mixed group of Asians and Westerners. At the end of the evening, the Western couple not only took back the remaining liquor left but also the remaining food they had brought! The polite and sensible thing would have been to let it remain unless invited by your hosts to bring it home. It was all so embarrassing and very disgraceful behaviour!


I have seen this many times. I thought it was very strange too, but you can't call it a local custom for one group and not the other, right? This is the custom they have and this is how they do it. You thought it was embarrassing and disgraceful, but it was business as usual for them.


Sweaties by any chance? :lol:

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Tue, 28 Oct 2008 1:55 am

Whoa, 5 years ago a thread like this would have me writing an entire thesis! Now all I will say is that most expats I've met are really decent people, and don't deserve to be painted with the same brush as the very few appalling ones. So I will desist and happily welcome you all to Singapore and hope you stay long long! :D

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Postby Global Citizen » Tue, 28 Oct 2008 7:12 am

Saint wrote: Sweaties by any chance? :lol:


What does that mean?
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Postby Saint » Tue, 28 Oct 2008 9:13 am

Global Citizen wrote:
Saint wrote: Sweaties by any chance? :lol:


What does that mean?


Scottish!

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Postby local lad » Tue, 28 Oct 2008 10:07 am

A friend of mine invited me to his housewarming party. Since my friend is a Chinese local, I was told by my parents not to use clocks as a housewarming present. They told me the host might be offended as it signifies some farewell gift to the dead :o . I guess the Cantonese called it ' Sung Zhong '. I bought him a fruit juice extractor instead.

ps:- to those who are unsure what 'face' means, it refers to the respect given to the recipient.


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