Culture shock in Singapore

The perennial use of cellphones/tabs/laptops and other electronic devices in the subway.

I still remember the first time I jumped into the subway and saw hundreds of bowed heads, staring intently into their phones. This was extremely new and mildly surprising. I felt like I had just stepped into an era which was slightly warped in time.

Once, I even spotted a cute chap (let’s call him Mr.X) playing something on his laptop while standing on one leg and resting his laptop on the other in a moving train. Mr. X was using one of his hands to support himself using an arm handle and the other to control his laptop. His stability was extraordinary. Two seconds into that pose, I would have definitely fallen flat on my face.

Cheers to balance and posture !

Edit: A lot of you asked me about Mr. X’s acrobatic skills. I drew a rough sketch so you can probably understand and appreciate him better 😉

Yeah, so, when I’m in Singapore I do this, haha.

You pick up the trick to it. Singapore trains are also remarkably stable on some lines, e.g. the NE/Purple line. Other lines, yeah, no.

Trick is, the trains only ever go one way (which you’ll know, because you boarded it when it arrived from a certain direction). So you lean against that direction, bend your knees very slightly, more so if the train picks up speed. It’s actually a learned skill, strangely.

Also, MRTs have this tendency when they decelerate toward the station, of jerking violently in the other direction just before they stop. Account for that and you’re good.

The back and forth rocking is a wee bit harder especially if you’re still trying to maintain personal space…curse these ingrained sociocultural rules…

The first time I was in Singapore I had to work there for a few weeks. It was a weekend evening and I decided to visit Orchard Tower with a peer, at the recommendation of another peer. We had asked for a decent place to get drinks and, well… So, after going into to the building, we picked what looked like a more quiet bar to get a beer. However, what we didn’t know is that this bar didn’t have women dancing, rather they were ladyboys… That was a shock and lesson learned. So, just because the bar is named Crazy Horse, don’t think it is like the one in Vegas.

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