Embarrasing Things That Singaporeans Do

Singaporeans, embarrassing
@Ladypeace (2047)
Singapore
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:
Drink tea from a plastic bag. An imported Malaysian custom known teh tarik, literally “pulled tea,” it is made by pouring/pulling strong black tea and sweetened condensed milk back and forth between two stainless steel beakers, sometimes at impressive dist
10 people like this
12 responses
@JudyEv (129899)
• Bunbury, Australia
6 Mar 16
Drinks served in a plastic bag with a straw is a bit different! I haven't seen that anywhere before.
2 people like this
@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
It's very common here, although we do have take away cups as well.
2 people like this
@kaka135 (14066)
• Malaysia
7 Mar 16
I didn't know it's not a common practice, as it's very common here as well. I don't think the local coffee shops here use take away cups.
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
7 Mar 16
I'm half Malaysian and they do the same thing over there when I've been down to visit. But it's not everywhere, some provide cups. But I've drank hot and cold beverages with the plastic drinking bag before.
1 person likes this
@aju007 (1470)
• 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
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
I see that's interesting, what material are those containers made of? Cool, that you find those stuff we do alright.
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@aju007 (1470)
• Thiruvananthapuram, India
6 Mar 16
@Ladypeace Its a steel container. But they give it to us because we live near them. Otherwise you should bring something to take the tea with you
1 person likes this
@cacay1 (33198)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
6 Mar 16
@Ladypeace , What if the plastic has contamination?There is no problem if it is clean.
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@cacay1 (33198)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
6 Mar 16
Heheheeh, I like the pronunciation of algae, "ael-gay" hehehe, What is misinterpreted,lol.Every country has its own unique descriptions.
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
Lol, yeah I find it funny too because I make that same mistake. The plastic drinking bags we use here are brand new, so they're clean. Vendors use them because it lowers their costs. But it's unsafe to have them hold hot beverages.
2 people like this
@cacay1 (33198)
• Cagayan De Oro, Philippines
6 Mar 16
@Ladypeace Ok, in Cagayan de Oro city, some also use plastic bag for ice candy and juice.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (14066)
• Malaysia
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.
1 person likes this
@SIMPLYD (81357)
• Philippines
7 Mar 16
Here too , softdrinks are sometimes transferred to a plastic if its a take out . But i suppose hot coffee isn't placed in plastic too ?
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
7 Mar 16
Yes, some vendors do pour hot coffee, tea, milo or horlicks into the plastic bags and I've drank it recently. Most put them in styrofoam cups.
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@SIMPLYD (81357)
• Philippines
7 Mar 16
@Ladypeace Oh , the hotness would somehow melt some particles of the plastic and it would be infused into the hot beverage .
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
7 Mar 16
@SIMPLYD Yeah, that's why I avoid taking out hot beverages, luckily I mostly order the cold ones as the weather's hot.
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@boiboing (12882)
• Northampton, England
6 Mar 16
I've often thought that drinks in a bag thing was pretty funny. Actually we say al-ghee (al to rhyme with pal and ghee like the clarified butter)
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
Yes, the plastic drinking bag is a contraption that Singaporeans grow up with and don't question. And yeah, you're spot on with your pronunciation.
@boiboing (12882)
• Northampton, England
6 Mar 16
@Ladypeace I took my husband to Singapore once when I went for business. He loved the food courts and the penguin house at the bird park. He wasn't into all the big air conditioned shops.
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
@boiboing That's really nice you've been to Singapore before and our bird park. I'm glad your husband enjoyed our food courts. The locals prefer them as well.
@kevin1877uk (36964)
7 Mar 16
I don't think i would like to drink out of a bag.
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
8 Mar 16
True, it's rather odd.
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@kevin1877uk (36964)
8 Mar 16
@Ladypeace It sure it odd.
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@kaka135 (14066)
• Malaysia
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.
1 person likes this
@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
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.
1 person likes this
@kaka135 (14066)
• Malaysia
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.
1 person likes this
• 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.
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
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...
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 16
@Ladypeace So by leaving umbrella or larger items do work still in this time of day? That is so cool. Here.... it's like first come first serve. No one really puts anything to save their seat.
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@Lucky15 (33720)
• Philippines
6 Mar 16
The coffee in plastic bags...
1 person likes this
@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
Yass...uniquely South East Asian.
@Shavkat (64964)
• Philippines
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.
1 person likes this
@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
Having eccentric habits unique to our culture evoke feelings of endearment. I personally don't find it embarrassing because they're pretty harmless and also funny.
• Eugene, Oregon
6 Mar 16
Well, not really, I guess. They speak English far better than I could speak their language. Your English seems impeccable, by the way.
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@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
You're too humble, my English is far from impeccable and I do make quite a fair share of mistakes. If you have heard some of us speak with our accents, you might understand why our English kills the language.
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• Philippines
6 Mar 16
wow a small handy plastic bag coffee, juice or milk tea, that sounds cool to me. at least i won't have to carry it with all five fingers. that's one nice motivation there. well, in here i would use my bag or a Huge envelop to reserve a seat.
@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
6 Mar 16
Lol, yes we hang our plastic drinking bags on door knobs or in our car, basically just anywhere where they can be hung. I'm surprised that it isn't just Singaporeans who reserve our seats with our personal objects.