Your views

This article is more than 12 months old


Singaporean-ness on view at coffee shop

The other day I went to my neighbourhood coffee shop for dinner, as I usually do. I decided to eat Western food and the stallholder greeted me politely.

The other stallholders, even though they would have recognised me because I order from them regularly, took no notice of me.

Here's the thing - they will greet you or even just smile only if you order from them. Otherwise, they will not acknowledge your presence.

This is typical of Singapore. The hawkers see you only as a source of business, not as a person. You are never a friend, only a transaction.

Then something else, equally typical, happened. The parking warden came around and I noticed the drivers of a brand new BMW and a Mercedes quickly running to their cars to avoid being fined.

They could afford $250,000 cars but were trying to avoid paying for a 60 cent parking coupon.

Funny, don't you think? But this is Singapore.

E-mail your views and photos to

You can also write to us at 
The New Paper, 1000 Toa Payoh North, Level 6, Annexe Block, Singapore 318994

For verification, we need the writer's full name and contact number (preferably a cellphone). We reserve the right to edit letters. By your submission, it is deemed that you have granted us the right to archive, resell or reproduce the letter in any medium.

Food & DrinkCarParking