6 Very Singaporean Travel Habits That You May Have Forgotten About
I have a friend who once said he “travels” a lot for work.
What he really meant: he commutes a lot for work, you know, like take the MRT from Bishan to Raffles Place for a morning meeting, call a Grab to get to Tuas for another meeting, and then end the day by taking the bus to Bukit Merah for an office function.
But better not laugh too much at other people. Because now, the only kind of travelling that you and I get to do is just… well, all the above. In fact, these days, if you say that you went to Pulau Ubin over the weekend, your IG friends may think you are the true jet(boat)-setter around.
Miss travelling and all that robotic-sounding “this is the last call for flight A888” at the airport? Here’s a recap of other seriously Singaporean travel quirks that you haven’t experienced in a long time. Like, since March 2020.
1. You find every excuse to be the first in line to board
So you don’t have to wait. You will whip out every early boarding status that you think you can qualify for, including flashing your expired airmiles card very quickly, borrowing any toddler in sight and puffing out your tummy – thank goodness you decided to binge on tempura don just now! – to look like you are pregnant.
2. You find every excuse to be the last in line to board
So you don’t have to wait. Let everyone board first and wait for you to make your dramatic entrance! After all, you just had to shop at Uniqlo, Cocoa Trees, Ferragamo and even Bengawan Solo along the way to your gate.
3. You speed walk to immigration when you see/hear a massive tour group behind you
Yes, those 58 people with their tour agency GWP tote bags and flags are not going to make you wait another additional hour at the immigration counter or the baggage carousel.
4. You fly 5,000 miles away to escape your fellow Singaporeans but you love it when you hear one overseas
Just three days after you have been a foreigner in distant lands, you start to pine for bak chor mee (with extra chilli and vinegar!), Milo dinosaur… and Singlish. And nothing brings on the Majulah Singapura feels in your heart more than hearing a very Singaporean-sounding “Ah Boy, you don’t run here, run there, I tell you hor!” in the middle of a Welsh farmer’s market. Ah, a fellow Lion City-zen!
5. You exclaim “cheap, cheap, cheap”
Bulk buy Longchamp tote bags that would have cost thrice their price here and then whisper hao lian-ly: “Thank you, strong Singapore dollar.”
6. When you land, you make a beeline for…
a) The toilets at Changi Airport because they are so clean.
b) Toast Box because you have not had kaya toast and kopi kosong in 72 hours and it’s killing you.
c) The duty-free store where you hope your fellow (teetotaller) travellers will give up their purchasing rights to you.
d) All the above. Because you are so Singaporean!