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7 Funny Singaporean Habits You Wish You’re Not Stuck With


It’s amazing that in the 51 years that passed, there are so many things that have changed in our nation and society. We’ve gone so far – and the rate things are going, we’re still going to achieve so much more. But, as they say, some things never change, like some quirky habits that we have as Singaporeans that just never go away. Below are some of our funny habits that we wish we’re not stuck with – or at least, never be stuck with for a long time.

1. Joining a long queue. In fact, the longer, the better.

What is it with us, Singaporeans that the moment we see a long queue – be it in restaurant, a shopping outlet or a smoothie bar – our instinct is to join the queue and spend a long time waiting for our turn? So the product is really good. Great! But let’s admit it, some of us find great thrill in queueing regardless of what awaits us at the end of the line.

2. Just about every meal, we douse it with chili.

We love our chili. No question about that. We mix it with rice, noodles, even snacks on certain occasions. While others might find this weird, we find this natural. The thing is, there are some meals that are best enjoyed as is. You douse it with chili and you dash every bit of flavourful goodness that comes with it.

3. Eating ‘hawker food’ even if we’re not at a hawker centre.

It’s our thing. Whether we’re eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant or a foreign café that serves international dishes, we still somehow gravitate towards ordering some of our local favourites – be it otah, laksa or bee hoon. How about when we’re at a hawker centre, let’s order hawker food. But when we’re at an Italian restaurant, then skip that mee soto and opt for risotto instead.

4. Keeping a “Kiasi” attitude.

“Kiasi” is a term we use to describe the attitude of being overly afraid or timid. Yes, it’s a common habit. Sometimes, we’re too afraid to try something new. Take renewing car insurance, for example. Many drivers automatically renew their car insurance without being 100% sure if they’re getting the best deal and the right policy. This is wrong. If your current insurer doesn’t offer customisable policies and speedy, personalised customer support, then you definitely should be afraid as, in the end, you will find yourself losing out.

5. Keeping a “Kiasu” attitude.

Closely related to “kiasi” is our “kiasu” attitude or being overly anxious not to miss an opportunity. We always like to get ahead, be the first. While this could be good to a certain extent, we know that it also has its bad effects if done excessively. The key is to strike a balance. Following our example on renewing your car insurance, choosing one that doesn’t require you to pay excessive premiums and offers faster claims processing with the help of a personalised claims specialist is definitely a winner.

6. Rushing for nothing.

Here’s a fun fact. We Singaporeans are the #1 fastest walkers in the world. This is according to a study done by researchers from The British Council. We’re only followed by Coppenhagen, Madrid, Guangzhou and Dublin (in that order). To this, the logical question is: what are we rushing for? Not only in walking, we also rush in driving. In a small city where speeding will not get you very far ahead anyway, it’s funny that we still do it all the time. How about driving safe instead of driving fast from now on?

7. Complaining.

Yes, this can be funny – at times. The things we find reasons to complain about can quite amazing. But seriously, while we have almost elevated complaining into an art form, it’s high time to get unstuck with this habit. More often than not, it does us more harm than good.

Feel there’s still more that we missed? Don’t complain. Sound off in the comments section below and let’s get the conversation started!

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