The REALLY important things you shouldn’t do are:
- Ignore chope-s on tables – a pack of tissue paper, an umbrella or stack of necklace-worn building access badges (even to highly classified government bunkers!) all mean that some party already reserved this seat. Yes, synchronisation of totally independent queues (food produce and table usage) has no mathematical / logical reason. If you find a way to overcome this, – let me know.
- Wear backpacks on MRT (in trains or buses) – please take that huge 50L house of yours down and keep it tightly between your legs, even if it’s barely filled up train. Personal space on public transport is sacral in Singapore.
- Use speakerphone and talk loudly – please buy those 3$ headsets instead. It’s a really busy place, and while everyone understands you got friends to video-call, when you’re in the public place, please don’t try to beat street noise level by being the noise yourself.
- Assume 100% Oxford English everywhere – instead, simplify your communication, and use shorter, easier words (foundation of Singlish by the way). When you don’t understand someone’s pronunciation or accent, smile and ask “Say again please?..” . Just keep on smiling and asking to say again.
- Give exact address to taxi drivers – instead, tell them a landmark, mall name, hotel or monument nearby or use your Google Map to tell what’s the closest large junction. Like “Indian Temple on This-And-That Street”. First, chances are you won’t pronounce Chinese or Malay street names correctly, and everyone will get confused. Second, Singapore has a really dense (2x times more dense than Hong-Kong) street network, while only Singapore citizens (not Permanent Residents, not Foreign Workers) are allowed to drive taxis (for both security and job protection). So, it’s nearly impossible to institutionalise cabbies profession like in London where there’s a navigation exam. Just help them by requesting addresses smarter.
- Freak out when taxi driver doesn’t pick you up – quite a wasteful emotion, remember: they do have a car and you don’t, in the end. They may or may not have change in shift. They may or may not need to pick someone up from scheduled booking somewhere else. They may not like you by the way. Just don’t freak out! Flag again.
- Eurasians (and blondes) – freak out when people want to take pics – especially if you travel with young (and blonde) children. Expect that someone will try to even touch your daughter’s/son’s hair. While Singaporeans probably wouldn’t be the ones doing it, in this multinational multicultural city there are always so many other tourists (same places you’ll be, probably) this would be inevitable:
As you see, these are the minor things that are oftentimes invisible for tourists.
That’s what makes Singapore 99.999% brilliant touristic destination!
Welcome anytime, you are always a welcome guest in our home!
Please don’t hesitate to ask more questions about visiting Singapore or life here ontopic!