If there’s one thing Singaporeans love, it’s a queue. Whether you’re waiting for the train, ordering your food or claiming a freebie, nothing gets the locals wide-eyed than seeing a queue. Join the line and not cut it, or you’ll receive some unwanted attention and disgruntle.
Do mind your manners
We’re not your mums and we shouldn’t constantly be reminding you of this: look everyone – servers and locals alike – in the eye and say ‘please’, ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’ and ‘excuse me’. When it comes to volume, try not to shout when talking, and for crying out loud, don’t spit in public.
Don’t even think about tipping
Here’s a tip on tipping: don’t bother. You’ll notice that this isn’t big here, anyway. Ask for the bill and you’ll find a fine print that says ‘GST’ (goods and services tax), as well as ‘service charge’ which is basically synonymous with tipping.
Do carry cash
We’re not telling you to bring stacks of cash. But it’s super helpful to carry some in the wallet. We get that it’s 2018 and every business is expected to accept cash, but hawker centres and street markets are pretty much old school, so cash is king. On a slightly different note, tissue packs on tables and chairs at hawker centres mean the seats are taken.
Don’t use public transport during peak times
If you’re travelling in groups, taking the trains or busses during peak times (around 8am-9am and 6pm-7pm) might run the risk of being separated. And if you don’t the city at the back of your hand, you might just find yourself lost. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
Do treat the elders like family
Everyone here is your uncle and auntie, and you can simply call them that. It’s a form of respect and courtesy, and instead of being offended, you’ll be greeted with a smile instead – give it a go!