60 signs you’ve been in S’pore too long & S’pore is now in you

This list first appeared on tickld.com without any attribution to anyone. But most likely an expat.

By Belmont Lay | January 11, 2017

This list first appeared here.

1. You think there’s nothing wrong with putting chili sauce on everything you eat.

2. You’ve lost your sense of irony, sarcasm, and cynicism.

3. You think that nothing makes a girl or guy more attractive than to dress exactly like hundreds of thousands of other girls and guys who all dress exactly like girls and guys in malls.

4. You know that “cum” means something completely different from what you originally thought.

5. You wait for instructions from people in authority before doing anything. Always.

6. You join queues without knowing or caring what the queue is for.

7. You know what “queue” means!!

8. You can type an SMS on your phone as quickly as you would if you had a regular keyboard.

9. Your idea of a good night out consists of having dinner at a hawker centre, drinking beer, and then going to another hawker centre and eating again.

10. You’ve lost your ability to criticize people in higher positions than you, even if they’re wrong.

11. You would buy a $20 product you don’t need if it’s on sale for $10 just to save the money.

12. You forget to say the last consonant in words like “faCT”, “aTE”,etc.

13. You think it’s okay to have only one meaningful choice on a ballot.

14. Every task you take on and every group you form is incomplete without a mission statement and a cheesy slogan.

15. You think that in a country where young people have little privacy, pornography is completely banned, music and movies are censored, students of the opposite sex in a dorm can’t stay in the same room without open doors, and everyone works so much, that people should still want to get laid.

16. “Crossing the country” means taking the MRT to the end of the line.

17. You don’t just know what “kiasu” means, you have become it!

18. You think that corn and beans are dessert foods.

19. You would cross the entire country all day to find the places that make the perfect fried noodles, or roti prata, or ice kacang, or chili crab. And none of these places would be close to each other.

20. You have a high tolerance for nagging.

21. Most or all of these acronyms make sense to you: NUS; NTU; ERP; SDU; PAP; MRT; LKY; GCT; PRC; TIBS; SBS; SMS; JB; JBJ; AMK; AYE; PIE; ECP; ISD; ISA; 5 C’s; CPF; CHIJMES; SPG; CWO.

22. You use too many acronyms when you talk, or you create new ones.

23. You don’t know what’s lame and what isn’t anymore.

24. You think that $100,000 is a reasonable price for a Toyota Corolla and $1,000,000 is a reasonable price for a bungalow, but $5 for a plate of fried noodles is a barbarous outrage.

25. You believe that not being able to get decent roti prata outside Singapore is enough to keep the best and the brightest people from leaving.

26. You see nothing wrong with forming committees of select elite people to deliberate and study ways to stimulate creativity and spontaneity.

27. You justify every argument with the phrase “in order for us to be competitive in the 21st century”.

28. You think everything should be “topped up”.

29. You have a naive belief that the war against ants will somehow be won.

30. You don’t think any dish of Western food is complete without baked beans.

31. You see nothing unusual about an organization of trade unions spending more time owning and operating supermarkets, drugstores, amusement parks, nightclubs, and financial services outlets than planning the next strike.

32. You believe that a lack of land is enough justification for the goverment to do what it wants.

33. You wear winter clothes indoors and summer clothes outdoors.

34. Durian and belachan no longer stink to you.

35. You like to have fun, but not too much fun, since you need to correctly gauge the amount of fun necessary to achieve the optimal result. Any more fun that that would bring shame to your family and your country.

36. Seven french fries with lunch are more than enough for you.

37. You forgot what a city organized around a grid looks like.

38. In a country where people use smart cards for public transit, you have no problem with construction workers riding in the open backs of pickup trucks.

39. You think paying $50 for a bottle of booze that costs $15 at home is a bargain.

40. You’re not confused by a street naming system that locates streets like Clementi Road, Clementi Street, Clementi Crescent, Clementi Lane, Clementi Drive, Clementi Way, and Clementi Avenues 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 all within walking distance of each other.

41. You think that skinny girls and guys are the most attractive of all. (How did they get so skinny in the first place?? Do you know how much oil is in nasi lemak, char kuay teow, duck rice, and your average curry??–ed.)

42. You get irritated if you don’t see a sign telling you how long your wait’s going to be for a bus, a train, or the expressway to take you where you want to go.

43. You’re certain that Holland Village is for hippie bohemian artist types and not overpaid yuppies.

44. When you cross the border into Malaysia, you automatically and deeply fear for your life and your wallet. Especially your wallet!!

45. You think that no vegetable should ever be eaten raw for any reason. Except for cucumbers.

46. No matter what you’re doing at the moment, you’d rather be shopping.

47. No matter how miserable you may be here, you thank God you’re not in Indonesia.

48. You’re impressed by high-rise apartment buildings with actual lobbies instead of bare exposed pillars on the ground floor.

49. You don’t have a problem with four different direct payment systems spread out over seven different cards in your wallet.

50. You forgot what chewing gum tastes like.

51. You say “handphone”, not “cellphone” And you think there’s no such thing as a handphone that’s too thin.

52. You’re not bothered by the fact that government cares whether you know how to use a toilet or urinal correctly. (People squatting on toilet bowls? What the…???–ed.)

53. You’re sure that the best way to change social behaviour is through consistent and comprehensive government-sponsored campaigns that permeate as many aspects of daily life as possible. And when they don’t work, you never speak of them again.

54. You think chicken floss, corn, mayonnaise, and tandoori spices are proper pizza toppings.

55. You agree that what the government thinks of your personal habits and lifestyle should determine whether you get a condo and how much you pay for it.

56. You’ve become a fan of either Arsenal, Man. U., or Liverpool when you barely knew what soccer was before you came to Singapore. And you don’t care that none of these teams are Singaporean!

57. You think a bus is incomplete without a TV.

58. You accept that expressways here are cleaner than toilets rather than the other way around.

59. You know why this list needs the following disclaimer:
“This list is intended only as an amusing, light-hearted, and exaggerated look at life in Singapore and is not meant to be taken seriously. There is no intention on the part of the author of this list to make any untrue, misleading, or defamatory statements concerning any person in particular, nor to make any statement intended to cause offense. If any such offense has been caused, the author apologizes and retracts the offending statement. In any event, the author’s NOT WORTH SUING, so don’t trouble yourself.”

60. You understand everything on this list!!


Top photo via Kevin Dooley Flickr

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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