We have been here for the best part of a year. Three quarters of a year, to be exact.
As such Singapore has become more familiar to us and things which we found unusual 9 months ago are now common place, so my series of “Unusual Singapore Things” hasn’t had an update for a while.
Here are some things that once seemed unusual but now seem normal:
- using blinkers/indicators appears to be optional;
- as does sticking to the one lane on the road. Feel like straddling both lanes? No problem!;
- men riding unrestrained in the open back of trucks. This is how labourers are generally transported to their work site;
- beef mince at the supermarket costing $35 a kilo;
- the smell of durian. I still don’t like the smell but it’s now a normal part of the fabric of Singapore;
- fast internet speeds with no download/upload limit! You pay for line speed not data allowance;
- monsoon rain arriving seemingly out of nowhere;
- the wonderful (and seemingly harmonious) mix of cultures;
- being able to “pop overseas” for the day;
- travelling to pretty much any part of the country by public transport;
- not finding clothes to fit my Western butt;
- when grocery shopping filling my shopping trolley with food from pretty much every continent on earth;
- on forms I am asked my race. For the record I tick “other”;
- there is rarely a queue of more than a couple of minutes at the airport’s passport control counter;
- to have air-con running the majority of the time;
- writing addresses the “wrong way” around. Here it’s name, street address, complex name, unit number.
There are also some things that will never, ever seem “normal”:
- child car restraints fitted to the front passenger seat;
- children not wearing any restraints in cars at all;
- government owned media. Print, radio and television are all government owned and I will leave you to join the dots on that;
- Cheezels produced in Malaysia;
- bread enriched with sugar;
- and then there’s this:
What a great list. My favourite difference in California is FREE internet EVERYWHERE. And the fact that my son’s list of birthday party invitees is full of names and faces from around the world.
All very very interesting..and the last one…umm. No, don’t think so. Love the internet connections speed. I was at a small morning tea with Australia’s Minister for Communication & NBN amongst other things..Senator Conroy from your state in Aus….and I implored him (as you do) that we need to be up to “speed” pun intended. He blamed Telstra and the copper wires. Really? Is our country dependent on this monopoly still?
Ah well, it’s around another 1-3 years for us in our suburb, so I’ve paid for a 4G mobile device and am connecting that way here. I do not have the time and patience for this ADSL1 rubbish.
The seat belts & driving thing…how’s the driving going for you now?
haha! Great post! I’ve got one working that is similar. It’s fun to take stock of how far we’ve come and what is still so foreign. 🙂 And might I add that I’m so thankful for VPN’s. At least one area I feel like I’m not being watched 24/7.
The road rules/safety situation would not endear me, though it does not surprise me. Whole chunks of Asia get away with transporting entire families, babes in arms included, on one rickety old motorbike, sans helmets.
As for sheep’s placenta skin products- you know, I get the feeling the only difference in Singapore is in the ‘TMI’ labelling, not in the contents. Collagen has to come from somewhere, right?
Yes, yes, I know collagen comes from mammals and it is totally the too much information labelling that turns my stomach!
Never eat a Cheezel, Tim Tam or Twisty (well those ones might be called Fonzies) produced in Malaysia. Sorry if I didn’t provide that advice earlier 😉
OH, yes, you told me but I was dazzled by the blue pack with the yellow writing saying “Cheezels”. I was alarmed by the vibrant orange colour and further alarmed when I tasted them. Happily, the Tim Tams here are REAL Tim Tams and I have introduced my American friends to the joys of using them as a straw.
I’m so with you. Having only been driving here for a month, the lack of blinkers to indicate lane changes is still new and irritating (and you know my position on the whole car seat thing).
I recently had my mind blown at a mall in Woodlands when I saw 8 (EIGHT) people get into a mid sized sedan made to fit 5 if you don’t mind being squished. One adult in each of the front seats. Three adults in the back. Two children in laps. The maid in another lap. My jaw just about had to be scraped off the ground…totally understandable given how expensive cars are here, but it was like watching a live action game of tetris
Ha ha, so true! Great post. 🙂