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Thread: Culture Shock

  1. #1
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    Culture Shock

    Well, I left Los last Thursday for a few days in Singapore and I must say, that after not leaving the country for 3 and a half years, the culture shock was enormous.

    First off, I decided to fly Tiger airways as a friend often flies them between Sing and Bangers and never complains.

    Well, as we were barreling down the runway on takeoff, there was an almighty screech and shudder as the plane came to a complete dead stop from full speed and skidded down the middle of the runway to come to rest for several minutes.

    Now this was no mild throttle back and come to a smooth stop and proceed to idle off the runway onto a taxi way, this was a panic type full braking maneuver, the type you do when someone pulls out in front of you or you are about to rear end the car in front.

    During those few seconds I had envisioned a plane, maybe some indo plick on a one two go plane pulling out of the taxiway without looking left then right then left again before crossing the street and we were about to plow up the arse end of a jet that just entered onto the runway for takeoff. It was that kind of emergency full stop.

    After about a minute stationary or so the captain came on and told us we had a bird strike and had to return to the parking area for an inspection.

    Having 2 kids with me and my darling little girl next to me who I grabbed hold of and pushed back into her seat, I had serious thoughts to get off the plane and cancel the trip. I was shaking and I am not one to be scared of flying being a pilot myself of several questionable incidents, but the father of 2 children and I was terrified for them at that moment.

    I thought seriously to ask to get off the plane when it stopped in the parking area for the inspection, they had a ladder and I only had carry on luggage, so no real drama for them. I talked myself into waiting and bargained that if the plane had to be swapped for repair, I would get off and go home, if all was ok then I would continue.

    It was ok and we departed an hour later.

    Problem now was that I had these thoughts the whole time, a very bad feeling about this flight and I have often had these premonitions before and some come true within the next day or so. So now was I just having these thoughts because of this incident or was it for real. If something happened and I did not get off, I would be responsible for any outcome that was bad and I could have changed by simply getting off when I was so wary of the flight.

    Add to this that then I was thinking that ok if this flight carries on ok, my feelings of doom may be intended for some other leg of the trip, maybe while in Singapore or maybe the flight home. Happy to say that it all went well and returned home safely.

    So, having not been away from Los for a reasonable period, I was amazed at the prices of everything and the simple politeness of people in other countries and helpfulness. It took me the first day to get over saying ‘khup’ after everything and realizing I could actually ask the taxi driver a question and get a clear answer and even advice and good help in return.

    The budget terminal at Singapore certainly is that…budget…Spartan is another word…

    By the way, how do real fat bastards go to the toilet on a plane, I was in there with my 3yo and it was a squeeze, we had 2 jumbo double seaters on the plane, the type that would not be content with a whole turkey and a loaf of bread for lunch. Surely they just cannot get in there ?

    Cost of everything was overwhelming, hotels I had to pay amounts I had never ever paid before for a room. I like nice hotels, I dislike 5 star hotels, so 4 star and even some 3 star which are deserving of 4 star status are what I like unless I decide to really rough it in bungalows or cabins somewhere. So $4.50 for an ice cream, $9 for a sandwich, $50/60 for a steak, $35 for some satays and octopus and fried rice, $35 for pizza and cheese bread etc etc. and these are not hotel prices. $3 for a fcuking kit kat for fcuks sake.

    Also as a hint for anyone traveling to Singapore, forget the online booking deals for hotels, I have used the airport info hotel booking desk 3 times now upon arrival and each time it has been a lot cheaper than anything available over the net or directly with the hotel. I stayed at the Orchard Parade hotel and on the net the cheapest available was $270, I booked through the airport for $140 for first night and $170 for subsequent nights. This has been my experience with this desk each time and even though you run the risk of perhaps not getting your favourite hotel, if you are flexible you will get good rates. Orchard Parade is my favourite and I have managed to get it each time.

    Had a great time at the Jurong bird park


    and at Sentosa,

    that has changed so much since I went there 15 years ago. My son managed to come a gutser off the luge ride, did not stop at the corner and ended up upside down in the bushes. All highly recommended, although the underwater aquarium and the dolphin show were kind of ordinary. The cable car and the chairlift were good though.

    Immigration was kind of fun on departure also considering myself and my 2 kids only have Australian passports, yet my daughter was born here and not traveled yet and my son had a new passport with no stamps in it and Mum was not present. Also I managed to right a little indiscretion where I had not done any 90 day reports for the last 2 years. This despite 2 visa renewals, 2 transfer of stamps into new passports, 4 ‘come back in 30 days’ stamps and 1 re entry visa and 1 2 and a half hour interrogation and computer info database upgrade. My 90 day reporting is now all back to normal and I saved myself 5000b….mind you I spent 70,000b in 4 days to save 5k….but the bastards will not be able to fine me 5k now, nor put their little black mark against my name, nor trying to trick me I think by making me go through 3 x 30 day ‘still under consideration’ stamps just to see if I lodge a 90 day report me’s thinks. I showed em.


  2. #2
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    Wow! You've got kids? Who'd have thought it?

  3. #3
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    yeah and I have taught em well....they both have 30 day tourist visas now.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty
    By the way, how do real fat bastards go to the toilet on a plane, I was in there with my 3yo and it was a squeeze
    Of course it was a squeeze that's what you're meant to do in there.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty
    By the way, how do real fat bastards go to the toilet on a plane, I was in there with my 3yo and it was a squeeze
    I suspect they adopt a similar tactic to the guy in your avatar, just fill any empty space with as much blubber as possible.

  6. #6
    Hansum Man!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty View Post
    So, having not been away from Los for a reasonable period, I was amazed at ........ the simple politeness of people in other countries and helpfulness. It took me the first day to get over saying ‘khup’ after everything and realizing I could actually ask the taxi driver a question and get a clear answer and even advice and good help in return.
    That's what we found as well . . . Friendliness without an ulterior motive . . . friendly sales-staff, nice cabbies . . .

    LoS? Perhaps. Fruiendliness? Nah . . .

  7. #7
    SE Asia somewhere
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    Is it really S$3 for a Kit-Kat?

    I will have to investigate this one later.

    You can get an ice cream at McDonalds for 50 cents

  8. #8
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    haha. $3 for kit kat is robbery

    as for mac, i believe they increased the price to $0.60 cent now.

  9. #9
    I am in Jail
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    I find Singapore quite a good value actually,

    better western food, nice hotels, a lot of nice walking around, all at a bargain compared to Europe

    5 stars hotels online were also quite cheap, and you can have walking rate below 150 SGD in 5 stars hotels over the week-end for some reasons,

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nawty
    During those few seconds I had envisioned a plane, maybe some indo plick on a one two go plane pulling out of the taxiway without looking left then right then left again before crossing the street and we were about to plow up the arse end of a jet that just entered onto the runway for takeoff. It was that kind of emergency full stop.
    OI!


    Did FBS manage to catch up with you for a beer? Or is it only me he avoids?

  11. #11
    Pedantic bastard
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    Hotel SINGAPORE Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen: hotel reservation in SINGAPORE

    Stayed here a couple of times, about $150 per night. Clean, smallish rooms. Don't book breakfast (expensive), but loads of good eat places nearby.

  12. #12
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    [/quote]Anyone not with the family should try a Hotel 81. I ajways use the one at Geylang Lorong 18, getting a little bit worn now ( I was first there in 97) but for S$70 per night it is a good deal. And it is perhaps nota place to impress anyone but a large Tiger in a Geylang Rd chinese eating house is S$6, as against S14 and upwards in Orchard Road and Boat Quay.
    The Sportsman on Orchard Road is S$10 for happy hour, I think that is for a pint of draught not a large bottle. Can't speak for anywhere else.

    If you want 4 star quality in Singapore you need very deep pockets

  13. #13
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    ^ they still allow rental of the rooms for 1 or two hours at a time in Hotel 81s?

  14. #14
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    Currently in Singapore

    Possibly for a European Singapore is not so expensive. But, for we Americans this place is very expensive. Many of the hotels, in my opinion anyway, are way overpriced and the rooms are closets. Having looked at some of the 3 star hotels I wouldn't stay in on a dare. There are some pretty good 4 star hotels. I'm staying in one. It's the M Hotel (Mellenium Group). The M equals the Hampton Inn in the states. I wouldn't stay in anything less than this for comforts sake and I recommend this hotel 100%. We are paying $160 per night through Agoda. their normal price is about $210. Singapore itself is very expensive for just about everything. As expensive if not more expensive than New York or London. At least in New York most of the restaurants are inexpensive and you can get a pass to ride the subways for half the price of Singapore.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hittheroadjack
    Many of the hotels, in my opinion anyway, are way overpriced and the rooms are closets.
    Totally agree.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    I find Singapore quite a good value actually,

    better western food, nice hotels, a lot of nice walking around, all at a bargain compared to Europe

    5 stars hotels online were also quite cheap, and you can have walking rate below 150 SGD in 5 stars hotels over the week-end for some reasons,
    You're coming at this from a European prospective, a place where everything is outrageously expensive and the Europeans live with it. From an American prospective just about everything in Singapore is pretty expensive. I paid $160 a night for a 4 star hotel and that was through Agoda's steep discount. The regular rate was $210. This was US dollars not Singapore dollars. 5 star hotels were all in the $300 US dollars and above category. The price of just about everything else was at least double what it is in the States. Now, I know you might compare Singapore with New York City and hotel prices there. However, Singapore is not NYC and shouldn't pretend to be. Nor is it London or Paris.

    I am in noway complaining about Singapore and its amenities. I chose to go there and I knew what to expect. I do like the place as I tend to like clean and modern facilities. It is definitely an architectural and engineering marvel and is also managed very efficiently.

    My observation is tied mostly to pricing.

  17. #17
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    per·spec·tive /p r-sp k t v/. n. 1. a. A view or vista. b. A mental view or outlook: "It is useful occasionally to look at the past to gain a perspective on the present"
    pro·spec·tive /prəˈspɛktɪv/ [pruh-spek-tiv] adjective. 1. of or in the future: prospective earnings. 2. potential, likely, or expected: a prospective partner

    I went to Singapore a few years ago. They wouldn't let my "date" into the hotel.

  18. #18
    Fresh Seaman CaptainNemo's Avatar
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    ^
    Chinese are the most obnoxious and ridiculous prudes.

    ^^
    Islands tend to be more expensive, though, don't they...

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