A Travellerspoint blog

Singapore vs. USA

Little things that make a huge difference

View NUS Exchange on Cassi's travel map.

As I have only been here a few days, there is alot to get used to in Singapore. Some of the things are obvious; the culture, the rules, the food, the time change and so on. But there are many things I never considered that differ from the US in small ways, but that really stand out.

The top ones I've noticed so far include:

Light switches are upside down Mostly my fan is on in my room and my lights are off, but when I'd like to turn the lights on I always pick the wrong switch.

Restaurants don't have napkins I've eaten out every meal since I have arrived, and have yet to receive a napkin. I have seen some signs that you can buy napkins at the restaurant, and you get charged per number of napkins used. The best rate I have seen is 25 cents per napkin.

There are no knives You cut your food with a spoon or the side of your fork, which makes things very difficult to eat. When eating at Hawker stands they have every other utensil possible (forks, spoons, chopsticks) but they don't have knives.

No plastic bags When you go shopping here, at IKEA for example, they do not ask paper or plastic, but rather would you like to pay to use a bag or carry your items as are. It is a big movement to cut down on the waste. I believe the charge is 10 cents per bag.

There are no bugs Unlike the southern areas of the US, the warm air and humidity do not seam to produce the same number of bugs. I have yet to see a mosquito, or really any bugs for that matter. I expected there to be a billion everywhere, but there are about zero.

Cars will not stop for you In most major cities, if you are still on a cross walk when the light turns from red to green, the cars will not begin moving until you clear the way. Here they begin to go and honk at anyone left in the way. They just do not stop for people, and I will probably get hit by one before I leave. They also drive on the opposite side of the road and I always look the wrong way.

These are all very small differences that I never thought about, but have really stood out as I do day to day activities.

Posted by Cassi 01:08 Archived in Singapore

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