Embarrasing Things That Singaporeans Do
March 5, 2016 8:19pm CST
Some Singaporeans engage in certain quirky and esoteric behaviors that even 3 year olds might find embarrassing. Here are a few: 1. Using tissue packets to reserve seats at eateries - if you spot an empty seat at the food court with a packet of tissue on the table, it means the seat's reserved by someone. This is how people save their seats while they go to get their food here. 2. Say goodbye to cafes because most Singaporeans grab their coffees and teas from neighborhod coffee shops known as "Kopitiams". Do not expect your drink to be served with a paper cup and a plastic cap. Instead you get them in a plastic bag with a straw to drink from. 3. There are some English words that Singaporeans mispronounce our whole lives. Shame on us because we follow the British English system - kids here take Cambridge GCE PSLE, O'Level and A'Level Exams before we enter tertiary institutions. For example the word "algae" is pronounced by most Singaporeans as "ael-gay" instead of "ael-gi". Do these sound embarrassing to you? Image Source:
10 people like this
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
6 Mar 16
Tea in plastic bag is something new for me! We too havr shops which serves tea near our house, but they give tea in a small cylindrical container if its not consumed at the shop itself. I think these are not the things that to br ashamed of. For me it sounds fine
7 Mar 16
@Ladypeace Do they keep the hot beverages in the plastic bags as well? Here in Malaysia, most local coffee shops pack the drinks that way too, but I can't remember if hot drinks are also packed in the plastic bag with straw. Usually hot drinks do not come with straw here.
7 Mar 16
Well, I don't find them embarrassing, as I think different countries have different cultures. It's always interesting to know something new about a country or culture. The plastic drinking bag is very common here as well, but I am really not sure about how hot drinks are being packed. I don't think we have packed the hot drinks in those plastic bags before. I don't know about using tissue packets to reserve seats. We usually have to sit there personally to reserve the spot. As for English, I can't comment much as I am not good in English, it's not my native language. But I think it's always good to learn and practice.
7 Mar 16
I have drank hot drinks stored in the plastic bag before with a straw and it's really hard to drink because the drink comes out of the straw really hot. Not everyone in Singapore does the tissue reservation thing but it is quite common. English is taught as the first language in Singapore, that's why we should strive to improve.
10 Mar 16
@Ladypeace Yes, I think it's not advisable to use a straw to drink the hot beverages. That's why we are not given any straw with hot drink when we drink in the shop. I heard about "Singlish", and frankly speaking I don't really like it. But, I can understand some people didn't learn English when they were young and they just can't speak English very well. Even I learned English when I was young, I still can't speak well because I am lacking of practice.
• United States
6 Mar 16
I don't find them embarrassing but rather interesting and learning about Singapore. I did not know the whole tissue packet as a way of reserving the table. Does it work in todays modern world though? And the plastic bag drinks is also common in Vietnam (some areas) I heard but I don't know as I have never been.
6 Mar 16
The tissue packet reservation phenomenon is the most embarrassing in my opinion out of the 3. Some individuals leave their umbrella or larger items to reserve their seats in crowded food places during rush hour. It's our way of life I guess. But I don't do it myself. The plastic bag one is fine for me if the drink is cold but when it's hot...
6 Mar 16
I think in every country they do have their own culture. It could be embarrassing but I accept the fact of having them. I may not be identified from my own country if we don't have silly uniqueness. In my country, we have a lot of weird things in terms of food, tradition and culture. As you mentioned about the tissue paper thing, I do the same thing. I think it is not embarrassing because you are trying to save time especially if you have scarcity of time. It is simply using the initiative to face the real world.