Outsider View of Singapore

Justin sent me this NTU & Singapore Survival Guide, written by a German exchange student, which was rather funny if you can read the encyclopedia-esque rambling.

I am just highlighting this:


All you can do in Singapore is work, sleep, and eat – the eating part is national hobby. People rarely go partying, they rather enjoy good talk, meals, movies, pubs. They are more introverted than europeans and thus dislike the concept of an open party where nobody knows the other. It is generally difficult to get closer to a singaporean; aside from the girls n guys from my block, I found few open minds. People from the surrounding countries are often more open minded. You will probably end up sticking together with other exchangers as they are open by nature. My advice: Try to meet as many local people as possible, some might become good friends.In public, people view the human mass more as a natural flow then as persons, leading to strange effects. It happens frequently that people cross your feet in impossible patterns, something that would be considered very rude in euro countries. If they notice, they will almost always apologize at length. Try to not get angry (boy, sometimes thats hard). Pushing and rushing is common at MRTs (trams), rarely at buses as they have waiting lines. In general people are very polite. Violent behaviour is practically unheard of; I think the peaceful atmosphere is the major plus of Singapore.

The mindset of the people is very capitalistic and commercialized. The economic success is paid with a very competitive system where people must work extremely hard to just achieve medium success; everything major (housing, cars) is very expensive and the lack of social security produces constant angst of failure. As a consequence, few artists, philosophers or people with similar mindset can be found. Even the highly educated people (master degrees and the like) have a surprising lack of creativity (so I heard). Singaporean science is more about getting things to work than inventing stuff. The famous Mr. Kiasu (from a comic book series) is a good parody of singaporean traits.


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