From The Straits Times    |


When we travel abroad, we tend to bring our habits and practices along with us. These words and actions make us easily identifiable to our fellow Singaporeans overseas. If you haven’t been paying attention, then the next time you are on your travels, look out for these 6 things Singaporeans find themselves doing that are so-Singaporean!

Looking out for sales


Singaporeans love a good deal. Getting your purchases at a discount almost serves as a mission for us. We often compare the prices and try our best to bargain (if possible!). After all, the highest achievement you can get while travelling is saving as much money as possible. Spot the Singaporeans going on a crazy shopping spree and bonus points if they’re discussing in their Mother Tongue, so the sellers can’t understand them!


Photo: Shopback/ shahib amin/ Flickr

Not on sale? No worries! Singaporeans are born to bargain, it is better to try your luck at asking for a discount than regret not trying at all. Even if you are not the kind to bargain, we bet that there is someone in your travelling group that will step up to help you ask for a better deal!

Joining a queue

Photo: Shopback/ Jezhotwells/

If there’s a queue, it has got to be good. Back home, we join queues. On our vacation, we join queues. Maybe it is in our ‘kiasu’ nature to have to be part of the crowd. After all, if we don’t join in, we might miss out on good food or good deals! We’ll probably give up the rest of our itinerary for the day just to be part of that queue.

Speaking Singlish

Image: Giphy

We are not ashamed to admit that our English accent isn’t the poshest sounding accent in the world. But hearing it in a noisy crowd overseas is somehow comforting. You’ve probably instantly recognised fellow Singaporeans based on their accents alone! However, when we do use Singlish to converse with the locals of the country we’re visiting (especially in Europe or America), we will find that it can be difficult for them to understand what we are saying.

“Are they even speaking English??!!!”

Photographing the food before eating


Thanks to Instagram, this is getting more and more common. But boy, do Singaporeans love taking pictures of their meals before eating them. Everyone knows how important food is to the average Singaporean. It’s just part and parcel of documenting our experiences overseas!

Looking for free Wi-Fi


We’re a society that loves to stay connected. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter –  without an internet connection, how else are we going to let our friends know how we are spending our time overseas? We’re not sure if people of other countries do the same when they travel, but we are definitely sure that if you’re a Singaporean overseas, then you will be asking for Wi-Fi at every pit stop you make. Cafes, shopping malls, accommodations and all the other tourist destinations, we always speak the magic words ‘do you have Wi-Fi?’


The original version of this story was published in Shopback on Feb 1, 2017.

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