Topics to Avoid Talking about

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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nakatago
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Post by nakatago » Thu, 14 Feb 2013 12:17 pm

Strong Eagle wrote: I can't remember the number of Singaporeans that have asked me, "How much you make?" or "How much you pay?" when referring to my house, my car, my motorcycle. My typical answer is either too low, too high or to ask them the same question..
I remember a college teacher mentioning intellectual masturbation in one of his philosophy classes. I wouldn't call what these Singaporeans do intellectual but it certainly is masturbatory in the mental and/or psychological sense.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Sergei82
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Post by Sergei82 » Thu, 14 Feb 2013 12:19 pm

nakatago wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote: I can't remember the number of Singaporeans that have asked me, "How much you make?" or "How much you pay?" when referring to my house, my car, my motorcycle. My typical answer is either too low, too high or to ask them the same question..
I remember a college teacher mentioning intellectual masturbation in one of his philosophy classes. I wouldn't call what these Singaporeans do intellectual but it certainly is masturbatory in the mental and/or psychological sense.
Other name for those kind of conversations is "mental chewing gum". :)

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nakatago
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Post by nakatago » Thu, 14 Feb 2013 12:21 pm

Sergei82 wrote:
nakatago wrote:
Strong Eagle wrote: I can't remember the number of Singaporeans that have asked me, "How much you make?" or "How much you pay?" when referring to my house, my car, my motorcycle. My typical answer is either too low, too high or to ask them the same question..
I remember a college teacher mentioning intellectual masturbation in one of his philosophy classes. I wouldn't call what these Singaporeans do intellectual but it certainly is masturbatory in the mental and/or psychological sense.
Other name for those kind of conversations is "mental chewing gum". :)
Now, now...we all know chewing gum is practically banned in Singapore.
"A quokka is what would happen if there was an anime about kangaroos."

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Post by Steve1960 » Thu, 14 Feb 2013 12:21 pm

Sergei82 wrote:Talking abt sex is just as appropriate/inappropriate as everywhere else. .
Unless it's a Saturday night in Glasgow after Rangers have beaten Celtic. Forget politics and religon, don't even go there, stick to talking about sex only

:)

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Post by zzm9980 » Thu, 14 Feb 2013 2:27 pm

nakatago wrote:The following topics are safe:

* the weather
* food/makan places
* shopping
* soccer/football
* dining out
* sales

...ad nauseam...

:P
To add to that list:
- How expensive property is

And if you're a caucasian male in a taxi:
- Geylang or Orchard Tower - driver starts this conversation in at least 50% of taxi rides that aren't to/from my house (e.g. driver thinks I'm a tourist)

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Post by x9200 » Thu, 14 Feb 2013 6:00 pm

Sergei82 wrote:Talking abt sex is just as appropriate/inappropriate as everywhere else.
Ok. Go to Clark Quay or similar place and tell a girl that she has nice boobs. Just once. Repeat it every day for say 2 weeks. Then ask your solicitor to report results here. After you finish your legal matters in Singapore and pay for all the LV stuff, take a break and go to some European country. Find similar touristic place and repeat the ritual. Report after your face is not any longer swollen (if the case).

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Post by WanWanWan » Thu, 14 Feb 2013 11:21 pm

Sergei82 wrote:Don't talk with SGreans about foreigners, housing prices, politics and alike.
We can't talk about housing prices? That's a surprise. Not even the kinds of things they put in the newspapers? I'm not exactly going to talk about my own finances.

Not talking about foreigners might be hard since I am one and people are sure to comment :?

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sundaymorningstaple
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Post by sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 6:45 am

Take all the responses with a grain of salt. I talk about anything with anybody. Been doin' it for 30 years. Never had a problem with it. A lot has to do with how you talk to them.
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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Mi Amigo
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Post by Mi Amigo » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 8:45 am

^^^ +1
Be careful what you wish for

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Post by Sergei82 » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 9:27 am

WanWanWan wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:Don't talk with SGreans about foreigners, housing prices, politics and alike.
We can't talk about housing prices? That's a surprise. Not even the kinds of things they put in the newspapers? I'm not exactly going to talk about my own finances.

Not talking about foreigners might be hard since I am one and people are sure to comment :?
They mostly blame foreigners for expensive housing, so if you talk about that, you have a chance to get a stare no better than that of baboon in a zoo before mating. Better avoid.

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Post by Sergei82 » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 9:31 am

x9200 wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:Talking abt sex is just as appropriate/inappropriate as everywhere else.
Ok. Go to Clark Quay or similar place and tell a girl that she has nice boobs. Just once. Repeat it every day for say 2 weeks. Then ask your solicitor to report results here. After you finish your legal matters in Singapore and pay for all the LV stuff, take a break and go to some European country. Find similar touristic place and repeat the ritual. Report after your face is not any longer swollen (if the case).
Of course, if you do like that, you may have a chance to get to know Singaporean police force closer. But after a small chat when the wall is broken, nobody will stop you from discussing anything. Any country is like that, I guess. I didn't have issues here, but I witnessed a "He touched my boobs! Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!" scene at Clarke Quay once. Dun wanna be at the place of that poor guy. :)

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Post by rajagainstthemachine » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 9:34 am

Don't talk about the himalayas ,or the great rivers, or about white water rafting, or waterfalls or real safaris in real jungles or about driving long distances to the middle of nowhere for fun cause that will invite only jealousy and bitterness ( in short don't brag about all the things which are normally possible in other countries which cannot be done here)

oooh and not to forget elephant rides while to spot tigers in jungles :D

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Post by Brah » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:27 am

Strong Eagle wrote:Shit. I can't remember the number of Singaporeans that have asked me, "How much you make?" or "How much you pay?" when referring to my house, my car, my motorcycle. My typical answer is either too low, too high or to ask them the same question.
+1

To add, I've been asked my age a number of times, often by the same Malaysian Chinese co-worker despite my telling her repeatedly that it is considered rude in my culture to do so. And she is not the only one.

As if this is anyone's effing business....

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Brah
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Post by Brah » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:52 am

Sergei82 wrote:
WanWanWan wrote:
Sergei82 wrote:Don't talk with SGreans about foreigners, housing prices, politics and alike.
We can't talk about housing prices? That's a surprise. Not even the kinds of things they put in the newspapers? I'm not exactly going to talk about my own finances.

Not talking about foreigners might be hard since I am one and people are sure to comment :?
They mostly blame foreigners for expensive housing, so if you talk about that, you have a chance to get a stare no better than that of baboon in a zoo before mating. Better avoid.
+1 - see the salary point SE raised - people try to determine your salary by how much rent you pay, it is not an exact science, but can provide a ballpark idea. I don't tell anyone my rent except select closest friends and only for specific reasons, or, other friends who need help with their own rental decisions.

Variation on a theme - people ask your Chinese Calendar animal. Right, nice try. (see above post re Chinese Malaysian female coworker).

I find people here are very quick to surrender personal information.

Try this - ask them their age, rent, salary; and when they ask you for yours, tells them that's private, sorry!. Then maybe they'll learn the lesson about being nosy.

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Post by mummy mantras » Fri, 15 Feb 2013 11:28 am

WanWanWan wrote: I had heard of the "don't openly criticise the government" thing before, so the reminder does well to reinforce this. I suppose this falls under politics anyway.
Ha! Reminds me of something my Singaporean mum-in-law told me shortly after my marriage...

One day, she took me aside and said that now that I was a part of the family, she would tell me something very important. Then, she turned on her radio really loudly and, over the booming music, whispered that I should never openly criticise the government because they might be listening. Then, she pointedly opened her front door and said very loudly and firmly, "Ours is the best government in the world!"

Then, she happily closed the front door, turned off the radio and gave me a little wink and tapped the side of her nose. It was oddly hilarious.

Only 10 short years later, did she and the majority of her neighbours vote for an opposition party in her ward. \:D/

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