36 signs you've been in Singapore too long, especially if you come from a Western country

[During the past few years, I've received various versions of the following via e-mail. Despite what the first two statements below claim, it's clear that at least some Singaporeans haven't lost their senses of humor. For more local satire, see the satiric site, Talking Cock. [GPL/]

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

2. You don't know what's lame and what isn't anymore.

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

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

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

6. You know what "queue" means!!

7. 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.

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

9. You think it's okay to have only one meaningful choice on a ballot.

10. "Crossing the country" means taking the MRT tothe end of the line.

11. You have a high tolerance for nagging.

12.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.

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

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

15. You think that S$100,000 [= US$ 57,000] is a reasonable price for a Toyota Corolla and S$1,000,000 is a reasonable price for a bungalow, but S$5 [= US$2.85] for a plate of fried noodles is a barbarous outrage.

16. 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.

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

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

19. You think everything should be "topped up."

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

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

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

23. Durian and belachan no longer stink to you.

24. 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.

25. 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.

26. 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.

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

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

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

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

31. You're impressed by high-rise apartment buildings with actual lobbies instead of bare exposed pillars on the ground floor [such as are found in much government-built housing].

32. You forgot what chewing gum tastes like.

33. 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.

34. 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.

35. You've become a fan of either Arsenal, Manchester United, 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!

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

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV [Politics] Singaporean Literature

Last modified: 23 July 2003