Time is due for another relocation post. Sometimes, I think I bash my home country too much. Feeling a little unpatriotic but I do miss Singapore and here are the things I missed about her (excluding my friends and family) and have been taking granted for.
Yes, Singapore is a fine city/country. We fined, canes, jailed wrongdoers for the slightest mistake. Jaywalkers (people who cross the road without using a pedestrian crossing when there is one in sight) can be charged and fined up to $1,000, or jailed up to three months. Repeat offenders may be fined up to $2,000 or jailed up to six months.
There’s the long list of fines we are famously known for but it is also what keep Singapore safe to walk alone in the middle of the night without the fear of harassment or robbery. I used to club and come home alone tipsy at 3am, with the taken for granted knowledge that no harm will come to me.
Yeah, young and obnoxious me.
Now living in Kuala Lumpur, I get tutted by my friends if I go out past 8pm. No more short dresses for me unless I’m accompanied by a beefy man namely my husband (hey, I may be a mommy but I still can rock in my short skirts and spiked heels).
In Shanghai, I became so wary of strangers coming right up to me (even though they might be harmless, asking for directions) because of their infamous scams. The advice the locals gave me was ‘Help No one, Speak to No Strangers and No direct eye contact’. I can’t even help an old lady cross the streets or help a child up when he fell in front of me because it might be a grand scam of scammers waiting in the shadows, jumping right at the opportunity once I touched the old lady or the child to accuse of me harming them in some ways and demanding medical compensation.
Dangers are very real in the rest of the world. Unlike in Singapore, you still are able to see wallets, phones, and laptops lying around in public areas unattended.
So for safety reasons, Singapore still come up on top of my list being the best country in that aspect.
Singaporeans are sooooo pampered that they think (and I used to think) that walking under the hot sun for 15 mins will kill us. We demand that we have bus stops within 5 mins walking distance from each other and sheltered walkways to wherever we are going. We whine about every single delay of our MRT (subway). I really miss my transportation in Singapore. I didn’t have to own a car or to be able to drive since I can get around easily (even with a stroller) from Point A to B.
No such luxury in Kuala Lumpur.
Pavements are so bad that my stroller will die on me before I get to my destination. Either that or I’ll trip on the uneven pavement or overgrown tree roots and fall to my death. Kuala Lumpur’s public transportation never brings you anywhere except when you are in KLCC (city center), really makes you think that their subway is more for the tourists than the residents.
Shanghai’s transportation systems aren’t so bad, in fact, they are pretty efficient like Singapore’s except for the smell. Even the cabs smell horrible. The cabs don’t really turn on their air conditioner in Spring or Autumn to save on diesel so you get to breathe in all the pollution that Shanghai road has to offer.
Do you know in Singapore, water can be drank directly from the tap? Lucky Singaporeans. Something I definitely take for granted.
In Shanghai, the water is unfiltered and dirty. You never thought about how important filtered water is to your daily life until you have to use mineral / bottled water to:
- cook (even instant noodles)
- make coffee / tea
- brush your teeth
- wash dishes
- water the plants
Yes, it is that horrible. Sometimes, the water comes out sandy or muddy. I worked out the sum of installing my own water filtration system, I’m better off buying huge gallons of mineral water.
Same goes for Kuala Lumpur except their water isn’t as horrible. And the water filtration system is not as expensive due to stiff competition. But we have a water shortage here every 2 months. It means to say we might not have water for the entire day, sometimes three days in a row.
If you live in a condominium with good management, they’ll install water tanks that cater to such situations and you pray hard that it is enough to go around. You may laugh about it but I have been to restaurants only to be turned away because there is no water for the Chef to cook and hotels that instruct guests not to shower because there isn’t enough water.
Singapore is well known for its efficiency in everything we do. Things are done quickly and in the most effective manner in order not to inconvenience anyone. Singaporeans when encounter a process bottleneck, we complain. Waited in the queue for more than 10 mins, we complain. When the service is not polite enough, we complain. I would say Singapore is pretty efficient but not as efficient as Shanghai.
When comes to Shanghai, I love love love their efficiency. MacDonald’s delivery is only 15 mins away. My fries are still piping hot! But Singapore still pretty good at it, beating hands down at Kuala Lumpur. When my fridge broke down, it takes 3 days for the repairman to come just to take a look to see what’s wrong despite me describing in details. And another 2 more days for him to get the spare parts to fix it.
Urgh! 5 days without milk, butter, ice cream!!
And oh, when the delivery guy says he is coming at 2pm, you can expect him to only be at your doorstep at 5pm.
Singapore and Shanghai supermarkets are awesome. I haven’t had an incident where I bought products with expired dates and had to return them. Unlike in Kuala Lumpur, you’ve got to check the expiry dates on Every.Single.Thing! Some products have expiry dates past a year ago. I had even bought dairy products with expiry date past a month ago. So it does get some getting used to.
As Malaysia is a Muslim country, pork and non-halal stuff are situated in different parts of the supermarkets. It is usually in an isolated corner and you’ll have to pay and bag your goods separately from your other groceries. It can be irritating if you don’t have a grocery list and kept going back and fro to the non-halal section which is sometimes located outside of the supermarket.
And for those who are serious in their piggies like I am, it can be hard to find certain parts of the pig like the internal organs (liver / kidney / intestines). Yes, I do eat those and make them into a delicious meal.
Definitely not for the squeamish.
There you have it, my top 5 list of the things I missed in Singapore and now being in Kuala Lumpur allows me to appreciate it even more.
What are the things you take for granted when you lived or currently living now? Do share with us in the comments below.
If you like to hear more of my views of Singapore, these might interest you:
Feeling Disappointed At Singapore’s Legal System – An Innocent Child’s Life Is At Stake
My Life: Kuala Lumpur vs Singapore
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