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YRC 36: Top 10 — Ways To Spot A Singaporean Abroad

You are on vacation in another country, and you are out one day surveying the sights and sounds of the place. Suddenly, you spot somebody acting and talking in a manner that seems extremely familiar. It literally hits home when you smile to yourself and say, “Oh hey, a fellow Singaporean’s here!”
Theresa Ellsworth returns to YRC to give you the Top 10 ways to spot a fellow Singaporean overseas. In recent years, more Singaporeans have been venturing abroad to either study or seek new experiences. But as they say, “You can take a Singaporean out of Singapore, but you can’t take Singapore out of a Singaporean!” Certain traits from our homeland tend to stick with us wherever we roam, and this sometimes reunites us with other Singaporeans overseas.
Theresa points out ten such traits, all amusingly true, here.

(1) The Accent
Some call it Singlish, some call it Singrish, but nevertheless, the Singaporean accent is one of the easiest ways to spot a Singaporean overseas. You can’t mistake that unique ‘walao eh’ or the countless ‘la’s people say at the ends of their sentences.

(2) Where’s the sale?
Whether it be for souvenirs or clothes, a Singaporean is going to make his or her way to the sale section. What’s better than cool foreign stuff is cheap cool foreign stuff. Or better yet, give a Singaporean something for free. They will love you forever.

(3) Aunty, Uncle
It does not matter if that stranger is not a part of a Singaporean’s family, they might still refer to them as ‘uncle’ or ‘aunty’ as a sign of respect. You might hear one of the following:
“Aunty! Take me to hawker center, can or not?”
“Okay, okay, thank you, Uncle.”
“Aunty, got bigger size for me?”

(4) What’s the Wi-Fi password?
Whether it’s a restaurant, a clothing store or a hotel, free Wi-Fi is essential for a Singaporean to function in another country. How else can we post something to Instagram or Facebook? Let’s not forget Snapchat too. If we don’t take those pictures, were we even there?

(5) That looks good! Let’s eat that!
Have you ever looked at someone’s food in a restaurant and decided that’s what you want to order too? Singaporeans have a habit of looking at strangers’ plates and asking what the order is so that they can get it too. It’s a great way to guarantee a good meal!

(6) Overdressing in cold weather
Singapore is perpetually HOT, so visiting places below 25°C often calls for layers. The cold might not bother Frozen’s Elsa, but if temperatures start to drop overseas, you might find a Singaporean wearing two thermals, jeans, gloves, a hat, a scarf, and more.

(7) No bin? I’ll just carry my rubbish ’til I find one
Good habits come from living in a city that fines littering. Singapore provides many bins, like the ones below, throughout the country. When a Singaporean travels overseas and can’t find a bin, he or she might just hold onto their rubbish in fear of being fined.

(8) Comparing prices
You might catch a Singaporean staring intently at a price tag saying something like this: “Eh, this one cheaper than Singapore. Can buy here, bo?”

(9) ‘Chope’ seats
It’s easy. All you have to do is put something you own on a seat and it’s yours. Singaporeans who innocently do this overseas, however, may find their seats lost to others who don’t understand the rule, don’t care about the rule or, worse, they may lose their stuff altogether.

(10) Buying chewing gum
We all know we can’t buy gums like Juicy Fruit and Eclipse in Singapore, so if you see someone getting packs and packs of gum overseas, you’ve probably run into a Singaporean trying to build his winter stash.

Thursday,7 July 2016 by | Blog, Catherine Khoo, Top 10 |