Singapore Expats Forum

Culture Shock - Arriving in singapore

Moving to Singapore? Ask our regular expats in Singapore questions on relocation and their experience here. Ask about banking, employment pass, insurance, visa, work permit, citizenship or immigration issues.

Sponsored by:
Image
The Club Residences

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Sun, 19 May 2013 12:30 pm

Ok I suppose I have to respond to this, so,
JR8 wrote:
Brah wrote:....I'm not sure what axe-faced actually looks like. Probably not as bad as axed-face would though.

Curious how Aussies and Americans are suspect but not those from the UK.


So when I describe a woman, or group, as being 'axe-faced', it is something that strikes me, heavily, as different from whence I have come. They are Relative statements, rather than Absolute statements.

Why did I ponder Aus/US? Because I've lived in the US (and been to Aus a couple of times), and it's a look I associate with those countries. It is not a look I associate with Europe (after all, if it was then it would not make an impression on me as very different, would it?)

p.s. perhaps you could clarify why this topic appears to aggravate you so much, that would then allow me to take it into consideration in the future.

It was really more of an observation and request for clarification.

From what I understand of the descriptor I would say I've seen these people too though not limited to specific countries, to be honest I probably don't understand the term. Differentiation between something that Aussies and Americans share that Brits would not is something I can't quite get my head around, whereas I could more easily understand commonalities between Aussies and Brits where Americans are on the outside.

Perhaps during the Eagles thingy some so-called axe-faces will appear in the wild, should make for some interesting beer-laden commentary.

By asking for clarifications on the term and who it was directed at did not question the thread's or post's overall intents or intrinsic values, I think everyone gets that. I commented favorably on it, encouraged more, made light with my play on axe/axed, and certainly wouldn’t want to stifle the creative process in the process.

Frankly, with observations like this:

JR8 wrote:Locals holding cutlery in their finger-tips, with the utensils pointing vertically downwards

I'm quite glad to see that I'm not the only one pointing this out, as I did a few years back. It still, er, intrigues me to this day. Of course yours was more diplomatic, whereas mine IIRC made the parallel of them being doubly-effed in that they can't speak English or Chinese nor use Western cutlery or chopsticks properly.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 May 2013 12:56 pm

Fair enough and no worries, I over-read what you wrote! :)

Maybe with the axe-faced thing, and me connecting it with Aus/US, there is commonality due to mass Anglo-Saxon emigration to those countries say 200 years ago?

A parallel might be the Mennonites/Amish in North and South America; even ignoring how they dress, their physical features conjour up images of people from 200 years ago (blond hair, square jaws, big build etc).

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8335
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Postby nakatago » Sun, 19 May 2013 1:24 pm

Brah wrote: being doubly-effed in that they can't speak English or Chinese nor use Western cutlery or chopsticks properly.


Holding chopsticks like they're gonna stab someone, ala Psycho? I saw someone eat with chopsticks that way and I'm sure China-Chinese would be aghast too.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 May 2013 3:55 pm

nakatago wrote:
Brah wrote: being doubly-effed in that they can't speak English or Chinese nor use Western cutlery or chopsticks properly.


Holding chopsticks like they're gonna stab someone, ala Psycho? I saw someone eat with chopsticks that way and I'm sure China-Chinese would be aghast too.


I missed Brah's original point above...

Curiously enough the only other place I've seen people holding cutlery in such a strange way is America!

(Not trying to cause trouble, this is 100% true).

User avatar
Wd40
Director
Director
Posts: 3965
Joined: Tue, 04 Dec 2012
Location: SIndiapore

Postby Wd40 » Sun, 19 May 2013 4:21 pm

Off topic, but when I was working back in Bangalore, we had our colleagues from UK visiting us for a conference.

At lunch, Indian food was served and I pity the UK folks. They were trying to eat the rotis with fork and spoons :lol:

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 May 2013 5:24 pm

- 'Lift music' in the hotel corridors, and room doors so thin I can here it in the room (being tormented by Chariots of Fire, Richard Clayderman, and Bridge over Troubled Water, going around at least hourly.

- The super-friendly manager appearing visibly shaken when I asked if they had some other music.

- Beautiful sunny day.

- SGns appearing to have lower inter-personal boundaries. The super-friendly hotel manager asked where a scar I have came from (and it's something I didn't choose to get, so it struck me as a little odd a virtual stranger enquiring about it). My SGn mother-in-law sometimes does similar; she just casually asks things even my own parents wouldn't, and I just look at my wife like :o (slow blink) / :lol:

- At road crossings, some women hold folders (or similar) in front of their faces to shield them from the sun. Or they stand so the shadow of a lamp-post precisely shields them.

- Young women with flat-feet.

- A feeling of it being very crowded, and of people being in very close proximity. Sometimes I stop to 'let the crowd tagging on my shoulder to pass me', but when I do, the crowd never stops coming.

- Off-duty domestic maids. I pass one, with her friend, trying on a pair of sparkly shoes. She laughs in such a happy care-free way about the shoes, that I can't help laugh with her as I slowly pass by, her friend then laughs at me laughing :) A sense of a fleeting, momentary connection - we all get it, and share the moment (something you will never get with a local.

- The popularity of the Superman logo T-shirts (this seems to be a perpetual fashion in SG, rather than a passing trend).

- Artistic graphics engraved into the granite floor-tiles in MRT stations. The style could be considered childish, or caveman'ish, but instead it reminds me of the Spanish artist Joan Miro (Google 'Joan Miro paintings', if so motivated!)

- In the MRT I hear music, and out of curiosity I follow it. It is a UOB ATM with a built in (16"?) TV screen at head height, playing advertisements for UOB, and it's products. Never seen such a thing before.

- A young girl in trainers. She tilts up the fronts of her feet and starts 'roller-skating' along on her heels. I have not seen such shoes since I was last in SG.

- In the food sections of malls, lots of snacky type fried food > Chippy Happy Food, next to, The Brat[wurst], next to, Wow Tako, next to, Seoul Street Food.

- Then around the corner 'Best Fries Ever', that just sells chips (talk about charging a premium over product input costs!).

- I stand at a counter to eat my lunch, a man stops next to me a hocks up a gob of phlegm to shoot in the bin next too me. Mmmm.... appetising :(

- Hey, a rubbish bin! The only public one I've seen in SG so far.

- Pondering the contradiction of fining people for littering, but then not providing any litter bins.

- A girl wearing a pashmina wool shawl in the mall.

- The Union Jack used as an emblem on T-shirts and rucksacks.

- A child in a pram screaming (like it's being slaughtered!) randomly once every 10-30 seconds. On-Off-On-Off. The parent is oblivious. It triggers some form of instinctive feeling of distress in me. I am most unused to such a cheek-and-jowl 'disordered' society.

- I spy far away a man behind glass dressed as a chef, apparently throwing string across his kiosk. I go to look: He is unwinding a vast string of noodle and throwing it into a vat of boiling water. The noodle (rather like Japanese udon) is perfectly coiled in a spiral about 24" wide! The dish is called 'One-strand noodles'.

- Nowhere to sit anywhere public, not even in the park. Shame as I'd love to get some sun as the Vitamin D and general acclimatisation would be good for me. I sit on a bit of wall, but within a few minutes it (the wall, not the sun!) becomes too hot to stay.

- A blood-bank at the MRT.

- Youths on skateboards (something I have not seen elsewhere for years).

- A girl with a circular vaccination scar on her shoulder, and red iodine stains dripped down her arm. It creates an impression of her having been bitten by a vampire.

- A wash/hand-basin by the wet-fish ice-tray in the supermarket. This seems to suggest people are expected to want to handle them.

- Waitrose (high end UK groceries) for sale in Cold Storage.

- Another girl in a woollen shawl, in Cold Storage

- A brand of pineapple juice from London (want to consider food-miles!?)

- Ball roll-on anti-perspirant seemingly starting at $4.80/50ml. That is insanity, in Europe I bought perfectly good no-brand ones for euro 0.29, say roughly 1/10th of the price! Cold Storage seems to stock nil 'No brand' products. Pro-tip: Expats preparing to relo - bring stacks of roll-on if you can get it cheap (as above). Plan on using double what you use 'back home' in a temperate climate. Pack in shoe boxes, either around shoes, or in empty ones, and then top up with small itens of clothing so the containers *remain upright* in transit in your freight. If possible tuck said shoe-boxes away within spaces in storage furniture (chests etc), so it incurs nil incremental freight. In for say 3 years? - You could hardly bring too much! (and no I don't sweat unusually much, but I DO hate being ripped off).

- Pez sweet dispensers! LOL.... I hadn't seen these since early childhood, many moons ago now!

- Mini boxes of Sun-Maid raisins. Better snacks for children than sweets. You don't seem to see these in Europe.

- Wanting to ask a worker in Cold Storage where to find a cork-screw. Considering quite carefully whether to ask her re: a 'cork-screw' that I fear she won't understand, or more in line with the local accent, for a 'cock-screw' and fearing she might misinterpret my request. I settle on 'a cork-screw for opening wine-bottle') :)

- Super pricey discretionary products (crisps, nuts, biscuits, condiments etc) all put on the ends of aisles.

- Back at the hotel, the same Richard Clayderman track going around yet again...
Last edited by JR8 on Sun, 19 May 2013 6:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 May 2013 5:32 pm

Carlsberg Gold on 'clearance' at Cold Storage (why, it's nice, 5.5% but quite light tasting).

Almost half price, making it cheaper than even rather poor regional-beers Leo and Chang.

= Beer-purchase-arbitrage.

----------------
It only has one review on BeerAdvocate... thus
-----------------

'shigg85

Japan

3.5/5 rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought a can of this at a supermarket in Singapore for New Year's Eve (along with other things). I'm not a big fan of regular Carlsberg because I find the smell a bit metallic and the taste lacking anything to get my nipples perky. However, this Gold version (a triple-malted permanent re-release of the 160th Anniversary brew) is much more full-bodied and flavorful. I poured this into a regular pilsner glass and enjoyed it from beginning to end. Even with a cheaper beer, as this one warmed up in the room (and stifling humidity of Singapore), the taste improved slightly and became more apparent. I would gladly buy this beer again as an alternative to others that fall under the cost-performance category of purchasing alcohol.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 May 2013 5:55 pm

- The existence of super-strength beers, apparently, to get you drunk. It seems counter-intuitive, in a country where many people do not drink at all, why are there so many say 8% and ++ beers?

Drinking Carlsberg-Super in Europe is seen as pretty questionable, rather tramp like. It IS a great beer, but drinking it is seen as a little un-refined. Here you have Barrons, Anchor etc that's 8-10% (IIRC)

p.s. Yes I accept that Europe has the likes of Duvel, and Chimay, and so on, and that can be strong, but they are high-end refined brews of which you are expected to consume in place of, and in the same quantity as a wine.

--------------------

- Paying on a Visa card by waving it in front of a terminal. I've never done that before :o and I had no idea what the 'wave' logo on the card even meant, as you could not do this from whence I came in Europe.

- A huge international range of wine in the supermarket. Put it like this, in Italy 95% of the wine would be Italian, and 5% French. In Germany 95% would be German, and 5% French. In France, 100% of the wine will be French. In England you would have a similar wide range to that which I witnessed today.

- Young women walking along holding hands.

- An aquatic shop selling pet fish, styling itself as 'Aquatic Hub' :lol:

- OMG, a young girl wearing 'Ugly Betty' spectacle frames, with no lenses in. Something, again, that I have not seen since I was last in Singapore.

- No Rubbish bins. No public seating. The threat of fines for several things.

- Immaculately clean cars.

- Funky custom wheel-rims.

- A car with glossed-up tyres (IME you really have to take some pride in your motor to pimp up the tyres like this).


--------------------

Meanwhile from the hallway outiside, Richard Clayderman segues into Chariots of Fire, yet again ...

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 May 2013 6:20 pm

Wd40 wrote:At lunch, Indian food was served and I pity the UK folks. They were trying to eat the rotis with fork and spoons :lol:


Well duh! ( :wink: :wink: ), that's how we do it in England, so obviously it's the proper way yah?

:wink: :wink:

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6851
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 19 May 2013 6:27 pm

JR8 wrote:Or they stand so the shadow of a lamp-post precisely shields them.


i do that.

JR8 wrote:
- Paying on a Visa card by waving it in front of a terminal. I've never done that before :o and I had no idea what the 'wave' logo on the card even meant, as you could not do this from whence I came in Europe.


Lots of places have specials offers or discounts for using that. Up until a few weeks ago, Starbucks gave you $1 off your order. Coldstorage now gives you a free "reusable" (I doubt it will last a second use) bag. Of course, you have to deal with cashiers that have no idea how to use the stupid terminal and it winds up taking twice as long as the normal setup because of this.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 May 2013 6:45 pm

[[JR8: Or they stand so the shadow of a lamp-post precisely shields them.
ZZM: i do that.]]


JR8: Well, yes, but then you're from California :) :wink:




;;

User avatar
nakatago
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 8335
Joined: Tue, 01 Sep 2009
Location: Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Children
Contact:

Postby nakatago » Sun, 19 May 2013 6:56 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
JR8 wrote:Or they stand so the shadow of a lamp-post precisely shields them.


i do that.

JR8 wrote:
- Paying on a Visa card by waving it in front of a terminal. I've never done that before :o and I had no idea what the 'wave' logo on the card even meant, as you could not do this from whence I came in Europe.


Lots of places have specials offers or discounts for using that. Up until a few weeks ago, Starbucks gave you $1 off your order. Coldstorage now gives you a free "reusable" (I doubt it will last a second use) bag. Of course, you have to deal with cashiers that have no idea how to use the stupid terminal and it winds up taking twice as long as the normal setup because of this.


Fairly new tech; only recently taking ground.

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 19 May 2013 7:02 pm

Rightly or otherwise I have a slanted view of CA'ns.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CR2rxRMcTE
Dead Kennedys - "California Ãœber Alles" (Live - 1979)

Or The Tubes

Or Frank Zappa

Or.... or or...




------------------
Anyone with any kind of 'sensitive skin' type. I'm blond/North-Euro, and get this. Wowser,, when I arrived here it was like every allergy I had went off big-time. My fore-arms turned red and angry, my scalp has gone dandruff-nuts, my sinuses are blocked... I snore (apparently) and it's really P'ing off the wife.


I am quite 'blond/sensitive' .... but seemingly everything is tripping off here...

User avatar
Brah
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1962
Joined: Sat, 18 Dec 2010

Postby Brah » Sun, 19 May 2013 7:18 pm

JR8 wrote:- SGns appearing to have lower inter-personal boundaries. The super-friendly hotel manager asked where a scar I have came from (and it's something I didn't choose to get, so it struck me as a little odd a virtual stranger enquiring about it). My SGn mother-in-law sometimes does similar; she just casually asks things even my own parents wouldn't, and I just look at my wife like :o (slow blink) / :lol:

My better half's local friends first thing to say about anything is "...how much...:, which is nothing short than crass. Airline fares, rent, dinner, handbags, just about anything. And age, rent, and other personal things.

JR8 wrote:- Young women with flat-feet.

^big. My eyes popped out of my head about that more than a few times when I first got here. Your posts are recalling old memories...

JR8 wrote:- A feeling of it being very crowded, and of people being in very close proximity. Sometimes I stop to 'let the crowd tagging on my shoulder to pass me', but when I do, the crowd never stops coming.

There is comparatively little spatial awareness or respect for others space here. Sometimes I back up when I feel someone breathing down my neck when in a queue, then I look behind me and straight into their eyes

JR8 wrote:- The Union Jack used as an emblem on T-shirts and rucksacks.

And the Stars and Stripes (could describe a lot of flags but this moniker is attributed to the States) - for us at least this is considered disrespectful but it's still done all over and yes we know it's not intended disrepectfully


JR8 wrote:- Nowhere to sit anywhere public, not even in the park. Shame as I'd love to get some sun as the Vitamin D and general acclimatisation would be good for me. I sit on a bit of wall, but within a few minutes it (the wall, not the sun!) becomes too hot to stay.

I dunno, seems to me recently that it's hotter than I remember, I should check the records for heat patterns

JR8 wrote:- Youths on skateboards (something I have not seen elsewhere for years).

Yeah more numbers of them and more places for them to practice (there's a skate park near Somerset MRT) but I've yet to see anyone any good at it.

JR8 wrote:- A girl with a circular vaccination scar on her shoulder, and red iodine stains dripped down her arm. It creates an impression of her having been bitten by a vampire.

This was another of the things that caught my eye when I first got here - the sheer numbers of huge, near-mutilation level vaccination scars, I'd never seen that anywhere else before

JR8 wrote:- Ball roll-on anti-perspirant seemingly starting at $4.80/50ml. That is insanity, in Europe I bought perfectly good no-brand ones for euro 0.29, say roughly 1/10th of the price!

Not what I use but what I use is more expensive than that, and something I used to buy from the States and bring over, both here and when living in Japan, where it's also expensive. Gillette gel actually went MIA for a few months, then it magically reappeared.

You get to have the last word on Americans...

User avatar
zzm9980
Governor
Governor
Posts: 6851
Joined: Wed, 06 Jul 2011
Location: Once more unto the breach

Postby zzm9980 » Sun, 19 May 2013 8:05 pm

nakatago wrote:Fairly new tech; only recently taking ground.


It's actually rather old! I had a MasterCard PayPass card back in the US in 06 or 07. Of course almost no one took it. And it isn't a big deal in the US, because POS systems process charges almost instantly. They swipe your card and the receipt is coming out as the cashier is still in the motion of the swipe.

I've also seen NFC (PayPass and PayWave) readers all over the place since I got here two years ago. They just weren't promoted and no one knew how to use them.


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Relocating, Moving to Singapore”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests