Thursday, March 8, 2012

Funny facts and observations in Singapore

Well, of course those things I observed are funny to me - probably not to the Singaporeans....

  1. Like in many former british colonies, people in Singapore drive on the left side. But escalators (as in moving stairs) are usually 'ridden' on the right side.... like 70% of them. Which means the other 30% are still 'left-driven'... seems like they couldn't really decide? And I keep trying to step on the wrong escalator ...
  2. Women use every opportunity to look at any reflecting surface to straighten their hair. That's normal. But I'm used to women trying to do this very inconspicuosly. Not here - take the elevator (as in 'lift') in my office building: the doors are mirrors. A dozen people in the cabin, all going up to the 14th floor. EVERY woman looks into the mirror and keeps straightening her hair. All the way up to the 14th floor.... ok, not every woman, not allways... but most of the times.
  3. This one I really love: when people hand you something like a buisness card, they always use both hands to give it to you. Also the cashier in the supermarket when returning your credit card. This is of course a sign of respect - I only always try to do the same when giving my card to the cashier - but I just don't have two free hands (with my handbag and purse and everything). Oh well, I guess the thought counts...
  4. Singapore is multi-national, both regarding the Singaporeans as well as all the expats working and living in S'pore. So from time to time I hear somebody talking German, French or another European language I understand. But SOMETIMES... there's some people speaking Mandarin and I could swear I catch a few words, a piece of the conversation and it just sounds like Swiss German. Like actual Swiss German words.... can be quite creepy...
  5. Last but not least for today: Chewing gum is forbidden, but contrary to what I believed first smoking is actually not. How does that make sense???
There are some more Funny Facts and Observations, but I'll leave them for another post...


  1. Things that make you go hmmmmmmmm!!! Love all the observations. We are all so different and so much alike!

  2. Dear Regula
    Your observations on chewing gum ban is an interesting one. This ban probably came about when our government had to spend alot of money on cleaning up our housing estates. People stuck spent gums on anything you could think of. The problem became more acute when we rolled out our new subway (trains) - people stuck gums on the seats and everywhere in the trains. Unavoidably, the ban came about.
    I am happy with the ban because it was difficult to teach people how to behave responsibly!
    When I was in Zurich recently - as you can see from one of my FB photos - along the very beautiful Loewenstrasse street (this was how Maurizio spelt it) - it was littered with chewing gums! or at least that was I thought they were.

    Enjoy your stay in Singapore and you will find out more :))

    Warmest Regards
    HooI Yuan

    1. Hooi Yuan - you are of course absolutely right. The littering is a problem in Zurich as well, and S'pore has got rid of the problem very efficiently. But I must say - I miss my chewing gums.... ;-)

  3. You look wonderful. Asia must agree with you.
    Do you find that everyone there shops, and shops, and shops?

    1. It sure seems so - at least the shopping mall, streets and centers are always very busy. I don't know if that means people are buying a lot though...?

  4. Hi Regula, I've just stumbled upon your blog, it's very interesting and I'm glad you had a great time here and in Bali and Phuket as well. I'm Singaporean, and would like to point out that if you ever visit again, don't abstain from your chewing gum:) The *sale* of chewing gum is banned -- and if you're carrying Lots of it into the country I suppose it may be confiscated; but it's perfectly legal to chew it, my (grown) kids do so all the time! All the best to you. Nancy


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