Previous entry Next entry

Debbie’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 13 Nov 2008

Location: Singapore

MapSingapore ......things that make me go hmmm hmmmm..........

A 'Bikebulance" - I just cracked up really. But then I thought maybe this is the islands answer to a motorbike tow truck? Not bad idea considering how many acco's bike riders have here courtesy of car drivers!!

Very 'SAFE' Singapore....ahhh, daily open tray trucks commuting with as many human workers as possible tucked in with no seat belts/barriers? Some even lounge and sleep on plastic outdoor chairs! But thats okay as they are just foreign workers (malays, indians, filipino's, indonesians)????

Average wage rate if your lucky $12 sing an hour.....even less in retail could be as low as $4. Singaporeans begrudge working for this type of money so they don't.....the foreign workers do.... lending the Singaporeans to winge and complain they can't speak good english and provide very bad service??

The 'Aunties' and 'Uncles' (Grandparents to us) are employed by fast food outlets as the youngies don't want to cook fries and clean tables! Good for the Aunties and Uncles as with no pension in Singapore they need to keep working. But nonetheless a bit unusual being served by a wrinkly granny in a McDonalds outfit!!

After sales service. Doesn't exist......

The 'dumb look'.......SUPREMELY mastered by Singaporeans when they are confronted to deal with answering a reasonable question, explain a products capability, or, provide information or service when they don't want to.

No speak english......when it suits. Refer to above!

Harmonious multiracial country?......Racism exists bigtime ....there is a pecking order of course. Who is exactly a singaporean? Decent from Chinese, Malay, Indian relatives.......Hmmm

They complain about spitting in China.......I complain about BO in Singapore.......Deodorant? Whats that??

Its against the law to be 'gay' in Singapore. Modern, democratic, international, first world asian country? But its okay to give sex workers from other countries a 2 week WORK VISA to bonk themselves silly here!!! Whats that??? Wonder if they pay tax?

Fuel stations don't display price boards. Price Boards generally show a 10% off unleaded (in small print not visible to the naked eye) ONLY, if you use a specific plastic card of course!! Price of fuel, who knows, they let you know when you probably helps to have a calculator in the car and a folder of every credit card available to man!!

Houses and units are sold by a square foot price. Ie If you want to buy a 2000sq foot, 3 bed unit in a condominium, the sale price is advertised as $1000 sq ft. Meaning total price circa $2million.
Takes a bit to get use to, but I can tell you, you don't get much for $1000 sq ft!! And, 2000 sq ft with no back or front yard ain't that big baby......This price may not even include an oven in the kitchen!

Electricity is deathly expensive.......I mean deathly........but phone and mobile is relatively chirpy cheap cheap.

There are taxes on taxes on anything good. Wine, food, restaurant eating, holidays, yada yada. Nothing is cheap here, but you do have variety. Anything that is cheap is well, generally not the greatest quality and yes, that includes food. it really. Its not always comprehensible, actually hardly at all...but....its quite a straight to the point style of language with just one simple word meaning a whole sentence! 'can' - meaning Yes I can do that or I know where that is or okay then.....'cannot' - meaning I have no clue, I don't know where that is or just plain 'f*#@k off' in a nice way! 'lah' - meaning OMG or really, no way or what a cack or so amazement! 'Makan' - meaning lets get some food or lets get something to eat.

The love of all asians of anything cutie pie in their cars (sometimes the inside of the car looks like a kids room or lounge room!). Winnie the Pooh is big! Closely followed by fluffy pillows, and disney character tissue box covers.....

When your waiting at the pedestrian crossing for the green man and everyone has to push the button which has already been pushed by everyone already waiting just to make sure the green man will show up??

The sensationally perfected 'Slideways the Shoulder' move which is cleverly done just as your about to collide head with the person coming towards you because they are unwilling to move out the way and, or, they have no idea anyone else exists in their world! They also call this 'Kiasu' behaviour.

'Sorry Sorry'.........the frustrating and rage producing words said after they have slammed into you or cut you off because they don't F*@#n look where they are going!!

The myriad of lost in translation moments. ie
Me...Sorry Ms Helen for all the ironing you have half my husbands wardrobe there...
Ms Helen....with a big smile.....Your husbands birthday today Ms Debbie?

Classic liners from mates here;

Elsie (Singaporean Chinese)- so many china people here taking jobs and they can't talk english.....not good!

Olivia (Indian) - I have to go to Delhi...I hope I don't get delhi belly!

Sabina (Italian) - I don't want to go home to....... Milan!