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Five years in Singapore - reflections

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Postby katbh » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 2:33 pm

Thighs are the best. Acknowledged not only in Singapore. Far more flavour and when chicken now days is so flavourless, you need to go for all you can get.

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Postby PrimroseHill » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 2:36 pm

Going to BPL games as a season ticket isn't cheap anymore. I miss the ability to watch the European Championship unless I want to wake up at 4am.

Manners and courtesy - I find it to be really haphazard. A lot of the times, the most unexpected people are the ones that are really nice and kind. Then you have the rather rude and devoid of manners, like slamming their chair into mine on Saturday, without a word of apology. I returned the favour and he was shocked, "omg, why why why would you slam into me?"

Driving - shocking. Ultrally shocking. How did these people pass their driving test in the first place?

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 2:51 pm

My take regarding courtesy in Singapore is that Singaporeans, over the years due to heavy censorship, restrain themselves from their natural instincts probably more than any country in the world.

The restraint is both on the positive emotions as well as negative emotions. The restraint on negative emotions is what makes it such a safe city. The restrain on positive emotions is what makes them look like they are the least expressive or least courteous.

So there are positives and negatives. Most of the rage incidents I hear are those involving foreigners especially westerners. There was one Barclays analyst who verbally abused construction workers and another Australian cyclist recently at vivo city area showing road rage. One American punched a taxi driver on the face. Thank God Singaporeans are not like that.

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Postby Barnsley » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 3:01 pm

PrimroseHill wrote:Going to BPL games as a season ticket isn't cheap anymore. ?


I notice that folk call the Premier League BPL or EPL or some such over here.

Are Barclays still the sponsor hence BPL?

I guess I am lazy and just assume everyone knows which Premier League I am talking about if I say Premier League :D
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Postby PrimroseHill » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 4:12 pm

Yup, Barclays are still the sponsors and I had been used to referring it as Premier Leagus but here it is called BPL.

Things to do - yes and no. It depends. You can do as much or as little as you want, it doesn't matter if you are in SG or somewhere else.

Rubbish tv in UK and here. There are just too much reality tv on the box these days.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 4:24 pm

Fortan wrote:
JR8 wrote:Come on people, chicken thigh has 5 times the juiciness and flavour vs breast.

It took a while to persuade my wife, but after a a few rendangs and curries, she won't be going back to chicken breast.

p.s. if you want to get really picky, you could argue a case for chicken breast providing a scale/size that allows things like, opening and stuffing with cheese, and so on .... but still the meat is nowhere as good as thigh meat.

Visual vs factual. What matters most :)


I still prefer boobs to thighs..... :shock:


For chicken, I agree.

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Re: Five years in Singapore - reflections

Postby x9200 » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 4:41 pm

singapore eagle wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Fortan wrote:
singapore eagle wrote:General courtesy of the people


What secret part of Singapore do you live in? :???:


You beat me to it. I was about to ask the same question. :lol:


Come on guys, I hope you're pulling my leg. Singapore is very civilised for a big city. When did you last see any yobbery?

I struggled myself for a while with this and eventually I think it is something different than courtesy. They are simply nice at first (and sometimes also later) contact. Majority that speaks reasonable English is polite. Hardly anybody is openly aggressive even if approached sort of offensive way. But this is not a courtesy. Everyday courtesy is all about small favors, respect and thinking about other people. Giving way at the door, showing on time, etc etc. Some are, vast majority I think is not.

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Re: Five years in Singapore - reflections

Postby Barnsley » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 6:07 pm

x9200 wrote:
singapore eagle wrote:
sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Fortan wrote:
singapore eagle wrote:General courtesy of the people


What secret part of Singapore do you live in? :???:


You beat me to it. I was about to ask the same question. :lol:


Come on guys, I hope you're pulling my leg. Singapore is very civilised for a big city. When did you last see any yobbery?

I struggled myself for a while with this and eventually I think it is something different than courtesy. They are simply nice at first (and sometimes also later) contact. Majority that speaks reasonable English is polite. Hardly anybody is openly aggressive even if approached sort of offensive way. But this is not a courtesy. Everyday courtesy is all about small favors, respect and thinking about other people. Giving way at the door, showing on time, etc etc. Some are, vast majority I think is not.


Ah yes .... the old Singapore time....
Life is short, paddle harder!!

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Postby morenangpinay » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 6:25 pm

singapore and courtesy in one sentence??? :???:

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Re: Five years in Singapore - reflections

Postby JR8 » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 6:27 pm

singapore eagle wrote:Singapore is very civilised for a big city. When did you last see any yobbery?


That'll be because (rather than despite of) the government run national 'courtesy campaigns' twice a year I expect :)

Yobbery. Yes true, you see very little here. But 'courtesy' runs more than skin deep. What I think is lacking here is basic natural courtesy. It is a difficult thing to define. I'd recognise it in the UK. It's the sort of thing you'd experience if shopping at John Lewis or Peter Jones.

In places like New York you can recognise the spray-on version of courtesy ('Have a noice day now!!'). I think there is a genuine, natural courtesy, but I'm not sure it is a thing, that if lacking, a society can be taught.

So yes, on one hand, you'll witness little yobbery here*, but I don't think you'll see much selflessness, like taking a moment to simply hold a door for someone, and so on. A comparative is New York City. It's meant to be rough and brutal place (or used to be), but my God the people have a heart. In comparison SGns are mostly just blur/blah (just completely 'kin oblivious to anyone else, both consciously to gain advantage, and subconsciously becuse they're in a daze) ... no one else exists... trying to go through same door as me, who are you, I go firse ... why should I care?

* You won't see much of anything here: Personality, yobbery, individuality, flair, talent. We all bow to the state, and anyone who has made it and drives a dayglo orange Lamborghini, has probably learnt to keep his mouth shut, well and truly shut.

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Postby singapore eagle » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 6:38 pm

You guys are way too harsh.

I'm not going to pretend that people here can't be selfish. I mentioned the determination never to give way when driving. And I agree that your average Singaporean will take any opportunity that presents itself to jump a queue.

On the whole, though, I find people here are courteous and respectful.

This is especially noticeable in the younger generation. Are the people disagreeing really saying that your average 18-year-old Singaporean is less courteous than your average 18-year-old in the west?

If there is a problem here, it's one that becomes more obvious with age.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 8:13 pm

No, it reduces with youth.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 25 Nov 2013 8:41 pm

singapore eagle wrote:You guys are way too harsh.

I'm not going to pretend that people here can't be selfish. I mentioned the determination never to give way when driving. And I agree that your average Singaporean will take any opportunity that presents itself to jump a queue.

On the whole, though, I find people here are courteous and respectful.

This is especially noticeable in the younger generation. Are the people disagreeing really saying that your average 18-year-old Singaporean is less courteous than your average 18-year-old in the west?

If there is a problem here, it's one that becomes more obvious with age.


When I was here 5 years I pretty much felt the same way. When I was here 10 years I pretty much felt the same way, but now that I've been here 30+ years, I see the truth for what it is, and the people I now see in the harsh glare of daylight and it shows up their 3rd world mentality and manners in direct contrast to the 1st world infrastructure.

Don't worry, the new will wear off your chandelier eventually as well and you'll join the rest of us. Oh, and I've been married to a local for 30 years, but she had the benefit of being born and raised from birth through adulthood by the British in Seletar Camp for 50 years so she's somewhat of an enigma when comparing her with her highly educated brethern here in Singapore who wouldn't know basic courtesy if it slapped them in the face. The only other Singaporeans who seem to have courtesy are those who were sent overseas for schooling while still in their formative years up through university. There is a marked contrast to a Singaporean with a foreign degree and a local with a local degree.

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Re: Five years in Singapore - reflections

Postby BedokAmerican » Tue, 26 Nov 2013 4:11 am

singapore eagle wrote:It’s just dawned on me that I arrived in Singapore five years ago to the day. I thought it might be interesting to capture what I’ve come to like and dislike in this time.

Disclaimer: since I have been here this long, and plan to stay for the foreseeable future, you can take it as given that I like the place. Please don’t take offence at anything I write below.

The good

General courtesy of the people and feeling of safety/comfort you get here
The food, especially hawker centres and coffee shops
Public transport. The folks here really don’t know what they have.
The efficient way in which day-to-day stuff just gets done (so long as you don’t request anything out of the ordinary)
The gateway that Singapore provides to the rest of Asia
The climate

The bad

Singapore is fundamentally a dull place. Options for new things to do dry up very quickly.
Lack of live sport
Rubbish TV
The patronising local newspapers
The standard of written English
The climate

The curious

Singaporeans’ willingness to believe old wives tales and rumour-mongering
Singaporean driving, especially the unwillingness to give way ever
The obsession with branded handbags
Tuition centres
Chicken thigh meat
the National Day Parade
Singaporeans’ apparent inability to walk up stairs
Artist impressions of new condos
Home catered buffets



I agree with some of the things you mentioned, such as the climate being both a good and bad thing and the safety aspect of Sg. However, Sg is not a place where one can get things done efficiently, at least that's my opinion.

For example, go to a big grocery store to do shopping and it'll take half the day. Forget frozen/perishables because they'll melt by the time you make it home. Stuff like that must be purchased from the condo convenience store. The shopping ordeal often involves going through a large shopping mall, parking several floors up in a garage, waiting for a lift that'll accommodate a shopping cart, etc. if you take a bus or train, you can only buy what you can carry or wheel along so you can't buy too much. A cab involves waiting (and more waiting) for a ride home because it rains so often. To top it off, many employees aren't familiar with the merchandise at the stores they work. Efficient is finding a parking place on a surface lot, getting in, stock people who can point you to what you're looking for, getting out, and getting home in about an hour or so. I know that some people will say a maid could do shopping......but not everybody has a maid and not everyone wants to be bothered with the trouble of having one. However, I do give Sg stores credit for the $1 shopping cart fee because that cuts down on run-away grocery carts.

Another example of inefficiency: driver licenses and vehicle registration. This involves a trip to the LTA, going to a private business to get a plate made, showing up in person to register for the driver license test, taking the test another time, getting a photo taken at a separate place, going to a police station to get the license made. Optional study guides for the test must be purchased at a bookstore or downloaded off the internet, etc. This whole process involves about 7 trips that I can think of. Not very efficient. In the US, all that stuff gets done under one roof in one day in most cases.

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Re: Five years in Singapore - reflections

Postby IronMac » Tue, 26 Nov 2013 4:11 am

singapore eagle wrote:Come on guys, I hope you're pulling my leg. Singapore is very civilised for a big city. When did you last see any yobbery?


There is a police board downstairs right now that say "Snatch Theft".


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