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10 things I hate about Singapore

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Brah
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Postby Brah » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 10:08 am

x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:SGns, and in fact any non-Brits here are in a mine-field, as they fail to see and navigate the very nuanced linguistic minefield! There is much nuance based on word-play in English and 'Jonny-Foreigner' usually totally misses it, or worse takes it 180 degrees the wrong way, right up the jacksie, then they stick it on you!! :?

If you are talking about "hate" then I think it is pretty clear it is just a speech hyperbole.
For more sophisticated sarcasm and nuances it's probably but partly true, especially in the places like this where the whole non-verbal part of communication is missing. I see often more than one possibility to chose from and typically deciding it was not a sarcasm is more safe.
Yet another point is, that it take some language skills to respond to such speech and as I am not that well versed in English, again I often choose to react as it was just a plain straightforward message.

To your point, which is a fair one, there are varying levels of these nuances.

I remember before I first went overseas and I worked for an Australian company with a right-off-the-boat Australian team in NY, and I was the only American. They used some idioms that left me baffled but expected us to know. As it was around the time of Crocodile Dundee it was usually in good fun.

Years later working in Japan, one of my coworkers was a Liverpudlian, and the kind of foreigner who never learns the language or culture. She would throw out Cockney rhyming slang comments, as if I, or even worse, our Japanese coworkers, were supposed to know what the eff she was on about. Failing that and after she was done explaining herself, whatever comedic moment or cleverness was obviously lost. The Japanese would take it on face value, then learning it was supposed to be humor, would make their best efforts to laugh (while afterwards shaking their heads as if they were missing something); I would just wait out the painful moment.

That kind of thing is really a bit much to expect anyone is going to grasp.

Flash forward to just a few years ago, in the cinema watching The Incredibles, where the majority local audience were roaring at basically barely- or un-funny things, fillers and other things that are not really meant to be laughed at. When some clever, obscure reference would come up, and there were a few in that movie, I was the only one, wife and non-American Western audience members included, laughing.

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Postby Edroche » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 4:25 pm

Brah wrote:This thread wouldn't be this this thread without me chiming in.

Over the years we've had thread upon thread on these things, so I'm still surprised there is no sticky for it. Didn't someone have a list of 200 items that went viral for awhile? Well even so, somehow q's list is curiously refreshing. Perhaps it's because it's a fresh view on things we've become jaded about.

Among those missed was the ubiquitous disgusting one I saw yet again just last night:

Elder lady with shopping bags gets on the bus. Other older lady sitting in outside seat does the Singapore Twist, turning to force the incoming lady who wants to sit down, to have to squeeze by her, awkwardly, uncomfortably, and uncouthfully.

Thing is, this lack of class, basic humanity, common sense, decency don't even register with these people.


Just got back from travels to another Asian country. They don't do this there.


Did I just call her a 'lady'?


Totally, even better: My morning bus has 1 or 2 europeans on it, I got the Singapore twist from one! These foreigners! lol

oh and I am european also like dat.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 5:09 pm

Brah wrote:Years later working in Japan, one of my coworkers was a Liverpudlian, and the kind of foreigner who never learns the language or culture. She would throw out Cockney rhyming slang comments, as if I, or even worse, our Japanese coworkers, were supposed to know what the eff she was on about.
That kind of thing is really a bit much to expect anyone is going to grasp.


Another category that you probably are less frequently exposed to is what is being missed from the everyday culture of your country when you live outside. I am pretty much up to date but still it happens that somebody makes an idiomatic reference based on something that happened and become locally popular, could be an advertisement or a blamage of some politicians.

Brah wrote:Flash forward to just a few years ago, in the cinema watching The Incredibles, where the majority local audience were roaring at basically barely- or un-funny things, fillers and other things that are not really meant to be laughed at. When some clever, obscure reference would come up, and there were a few in that movie, I was the only one, wife and non-American Western audience members included, laughing.


I am not sure if this is the language related. They are pretty unsophisticated when it comes to the entertainment. I don't know any other developed nation where people stop walking when a TV is on somewhere on their path. How much you can talk about money and food?
Another example is the local advertising market. Majority of the local ads I can see on TV is painfully simple and if supposed funny it is always the most primitive way where i.e. these who already are using the product are laughing at those who are apparently stupid to follow some other approach.

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Postby Brah » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 9:06 pm

x9200 wrote:
Brah wrote:Years later working in Japan, one of my coworkers was a Liverpudlian, and the kind of foreigner who never learns the language or culture. She would throw out Cockney rhyming slang comments, as if I, or even worse, our Japanese coworkers, were supposed to know what the eff she was on about.
That kind of thing is really a bit much to expect anyone is going to grasp.


Another category that you probably are less frequently exposed to is what is being missed from the everyday culture of your country when you live outside. I am pretty much up to date but still it happens that somebody makes an idiomatic reference based on something that happened and become locally popular, could be an advertisement or a blamage of some politicians.

You are very right. Case in point - years ago when in Japan one of my Japanese staff said "my bad" when making a mistake; I corrected his English........

My 'new' one I got from some American TV series - saying "I'll go with" instead of "I'll go with you", or "come with" or the like. By the time I even hear of these things they're so two years ago.....

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 11:13 pm

So I made it a point to wish every one in the lift while going to work with a good morning/ gdday mate
the reactions are diverse, some express surprise and chat a bit, others pretend i was talking to myself, others wish back.
I just wish people would stop being restrictive and be their normal selves instead.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 31 Jan 2013 11:40 pm

Brah wrote:Years later working in Japan, one of my coworkers was a Liverpudlian, and the kind of foreigner who never learns the language or culture. She would throw out Cockney rhyming slang comments, as if I, or even worse, our Japanese coworkers, were supposed to know what the eff she was on about. Failing that and after she was done explaining herself, whatever comedic moment or cleverness was obviously lost.


A Liverpudlian (aka Scouser) doing Cockney... oh my word! :D

One thing you have to take into account though is Liverpudlians are often 'natural born jokers', and they love messing around, entertaining people. It's like they're brought up with that in their culture, and when other people in the UK hear their accent you just kinda expect it! :)


p.s. I was on a dive boat off Egypt doing a weeks liveaboard tour. One of the group was a hard-as-nails bailiff from Liverpool. Shaved head, built from girders (steel beams) apparently. Everything about him was projecting how hard (tough) he was. Then totally out of the blue on the last day of the trip he turned up on the dive deck dressed in a dayglo pink leotard and tutu.

Now divers often travel heavy because of all their gear. And to think he packed that especially just to pull that stunt in front of a bunch of complete strangers...

Always the comedians...

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Postby Aragorn2000 » Fri, 01 Feb 2013 2:00 pm

rajagainstthemachine wrote:So I made it a point to wish every one in the lift while going to work with a good morning/ gdday mate
the reactions are diverse, some express surprise and chat a bit, others pretend i was talking to myself, others wish back.
I just wish people would stop being restrictive and be their normal selves instead.


Asians are much more inhibited than Europeans in general. They have been brought up that way for thousands of years.
I think this "restrictive" culture deserves as much respect as European's "openess" culture. I bet you can't really tell which one is better, can you?

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Fri, 01 Feb 2013 4:26 pm

Aragorn2000 wrote:
rajagainstthemachine wrote:So I made it a point to wish every one in the lift while going to work with a good morning/ gdday mate
the reactions are diverse, some express surprise and chat a bit, others pretend i was talking to myself, others wish back.
I just wish people would stop being restrictive and be their normal selves instead.


Asians are much more inhibited than Europeans in general. They have been brought up that way for thousands of years.
I think this "restrictive" culture deserves as much respect as European's "openess" culture. I bet you can't really tell which one is better, can you?



I'm south Asian I understand the differences but I'm sure that a greeting is fairly common in our culture and its rude to not wish someone unless he appears to be busy.

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Postby Brah » Fri, 01 Feb 2013 4:45 pm

JR8 wrote:One thing you have to take into account though is Liverpudlians are often 'natural born jokers', and they love messing around, entertaining people. It's like they're brought up with that in their culture, and when other people in the UK hear their accent you just kinda expect it! :)

Now that you mention it, another Liverpudlian I worked with a few years later was always lighthearted and fun to be around. The lady however, while a good friend for the few years we worked together, while generally nice, was anything but a joker, sadly. It wasn't so much that these things were said in jest, it was her 'what are you daff' reactions when no one knew what she was on about.

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Postby iamsen » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 12:16 pm

Technically I'm still a Singaporean but I've spent the past decade in Japan, I've only been back once the entire time. I definitely feel foreign. And because of having been in Japan that long, my top annoyances are definitely just how impolite these people are in every bloody thing they do.

Regarding the rushing in to trains bit, I'm so pissed I've made it a point to push back at anyone that forces their way into the train into my path.

Another major annoyance is people walking up behind me, cutting into my path only to turn in some other direction. How bloody hard can it be to slow down for a couple of steps? Surely it's gotta be easier to slow down and go behind somebody than to speed up and cut into this path?

Westerners in Japan often complain about the locals not having any spatial awareness, they've probably never been to this country. I've never seen any people less oblivious of their surroundings than Singaporeans.

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Postby nakatago » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 5:53 pm

This country gets to you. It gets into your skin, into your system...and before you know it, you have become what you hate.

I have the seen the enemy and the enemy is us.

Are you new here? Go, save yourselves. It's too late for us now.

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Postby rajagainstthemachine » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 6:49 pm

the overwhelming abundance of hello kitty shit makes me want to stamp a cute stuffed toy repeatedly and then make a huge mountain of hello kitty products and set them on fire and dance like a madman around it

:x

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 6:58 pm

=D>

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Postby Brah » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 7:48 pm

iamsen wrote:Technically I'm still a Singaporean but I've spent the past decade in Japan....

Westerners in Japan often complain about the locals not having any spatial awareness, they've probably never been to this country. I've never seen any people less oblivious of their surroundings than Singaporeans.

While I did have that feeling while there, it is a fraction of what it is here, and left me and many other who lived there thinking about what we complained about there to be nothing in comparison.

nakatago wrote:This country gets to you. It gets into your skin, into your system...and before you know it, you have become what you hate.
It's too late for us now.

It admittedly takes effort to resist that from happening....

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Postby JR8 » Sun, 03 Feb 2013 8:17 pm

I decided that one weekend I'd experiment and not move out of anyones way.

The result was very few people walked into me. The few who did -mostly youths-, kinda bounced off me (which was interesting to observe), but they were often apologetic about it.

My conclusion was that the 'blur like sotong' shtick is a kiasu game of chicken. You move out of their way = they 'win'.

You should try it yourself.

p.s. In a similar vein.
If you are approaching a person walking towards you head-on, when about 3 yards away look say 60 degrees left: They will pass on your right. And vice versa.

You should try that too. It's clever how it works, and fun! :)


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