This Is Something Different
I know there are probably thousands of forum posts, blog entries and stories about the general “issues”, foreigners feel they have to deal with here in Singapore.
Those are namely the infamous topics of “Burping and Body sounds in most unpleasant situations”, slow AND in line walking, escalator blocking and MRT storming, unusual communication behaviors and other misunderstandings that are unavoidable if it comes to the clash of two or more so different cultures.
Well, this post is not about these things since they have been and will be discussed much enough already. People have to learn that its them visiting another country and that its them who have to adjust to the local customs…
HOWEVER… there are some little things that surprise and confuse me on a daily basis, I would simply like to get off my head…Continue reading for some strange things you (maybe) only find in Singapore.
Why Do You Queue 30 Minutes For Coffee, In The Morning?
Every morning I arrive at Raffles Place I see queues of people literally lining up at special Coffee Shops for eternity to grab a 90 Cent Kopi you would get 10 meters later in less then a minute.
How can people spend so much time in the morning (before going to the office) queuing and why do they do that? Is this especially good coffee? Is it 10 Cents cheaper?
Why Do You Request That ATM receipt Every Time, Just To Throw It Away?
I find myself wondering while waiting in the ATM queue, why people request this unnecessary receipt from the ATM machine if 80% don’t even look at it after it got printed out, just to simply throw it away in the nearby bin?
Is it because it comes for free, is it because people want to destroy the rain forest?
Why Do You Laugh About Unfunny Things In The Cinema?
Ok, this is a real brain-breaker. Whenever I watch a (supposedly) funny movie (last one was Detroit Metal City) I almost turn nuts because the people simply laugh at the “wrong” places or at scenes my six year old brother would find his joy in because its some simple, silly slapstick comedy (Someone gets smacked in the face, looks funny, stumbles over his feet and falls into a swimming pool, wow, haha).
On the other hand, when it comes to wordplays, mimic comedy or real situational comic, no one even dares to smile…WHY?
Why Don’t You Ever Say “Thank You”?
There must be a reason why the Singapore government sees the need to start an official “Kindness Movement Campaign” tomorrow in Singapore.
A huge part of my domestic education was to obtain and follow some general social and behavior rules, the curious person can find summarized in a book called “Knigge Guide”.
In Singapore you hold the door for other people, you pick up something if they drop it, you stop the elevator from closing if you see someone who wants to come with you, you safe someones life and other unimportant things… But in almost (and its sad but true) 95% of the cases, You wont get a “Thank You”, You wont get acknowledgment, hell, You wont even get a nice look of sympathy at all.
Sometimes it annoys me so much that I loudly say “You Are WELCOME, always a pleasure” after the person I just helped. The confused look that comes back gives me the satisfaction I need to obtain my positive thinking through the rest of the day. Why?
Why Are You Leaving So Early?
I attended many Dinner and Dance, events, company celebrations etc. which almost all have the obligatory “Grand Draw” for prices at the end.
(Read: 5 Best Tactics Of How To Crash Singapores VIP Events)
Very surprising I remember how I unbelievingly rubbed my eyes after the Show Master announced the final number and everyone fled the room. Sudden emptiness.
The event hadn’t finished yet, drinks were still given out, the soup was still warm and the music just started. But left on the dance floor were only Ang Mohs and some used napkins. (During later DAD’s the organizers even went so far to give out more prices for the first 20 people on the dance floor just to be able to keep the party going).
Same goes for other social gatherings, people show up for the (mostly free) food, and when it comes to the point of Smalltalk and relaxed sitting together (which is the original reason why you are there, its called “socializing”), they leave with some strange excuse… Why?
Why Are There So Few Bins In Singapore?
This is more of a general question, but I am always curious about it. You have the state Singapore on the one hand who wants to be the cleanest country of all, but then you don’t find a bin to throw away your chopsticks in a range of 2 Kilometers, huh?
Even more confusing is the fact that you wont find bins in any MRT station (and I’m not talking about “inside” the station where food, drinks etc are obviously forbidden anyway) but I’m talking about the space before entering the MRT.
How the hell can I keep the station clean if you don’t give me the option to throw away the Slurpie I just bought at 7-11 before coming in?
There’s Much More And I Really Need Your Help!
I have numerous more questions about Singaporean customs and behavior I want and need to understand but the post would get too long. I will write about them later.
In the meantime, please help me to understand the above and post your knowledge and ideas in the below comments! Your help is pretty much appreciated!