Signs you’ve been in Singapore too long

A funny spam from my boss. Probably nothing new to Singaporeans, but as Homer Simpson might say, “It’s funny cuz it’s true!”

The following signs suggest you’ve been in Singapore too long, especially if you come from a Western country…

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

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

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

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

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

You know what “queue” means!!

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

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.

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

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

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

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

You think that corn and beans are dessert foods.

You have a high tolerance for nagging.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

You think everything should be “topped up”.

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

You wear winter clothes indoors and summer clothes outdoors.

Durian and belachan no longer stink to you.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

You forgot what chewing gum tastes like.

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

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.)

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.

You think a bus is incomplete without a TV.

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.”

4 Replies to “Signs you’ve been in Singapore too long

  1. I have to agree to almost all of the points, having lived in Singapore for about 8 years and now living outside the system.

    Thanks for the good laugh!

  2. Also:

    You think driving to Malaysia is a very long trip.

    You order warm water because too much ice water is bad for you.

    You stop having bbq’s because the food is heaty.

    You forget the proper use of the word “already” and use it liberally to replace the word “yet.”

    You greet people throughout the day by asking “taken your lunch already?”

    Suitable conversation over food is limited to (1) what the next meal will be and (2) cell phone functionality.

    You don’t think it’s rude to answer your phone and proceed to have long chats when you are dining with someone or are in the middle of a discussion.

    When the car in the next lane signals you speed up so they don’t have room to pass you.

    You are instinctively weary of people from Malaysia.

    You still call the Minister Mentor the Senior Minster and you actually know that that means and don’t think it reeks of dynastic control.

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