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This is a common expression in Asia, Same Same. It’s expanded on for Gringos like us to be Same Same, but Different. I guess for us Same Same might be like 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of the other. Our adventures involve a lot of Same Same, but Different….

This weekend found us exploring some new neighborhoods and checking things out. It also involved a trip to the movies to see Thor (in English, with Chinese sub titles)

Tidbit #1, movie theatres here have assigned seats. When we to buy our tickets, the girl says “You’ll be 10 rows from the screen, in the middle, is that OK?” Um, yes? I guess? But it worked out just fine. The seats were OK, and we saw a lot of people pre purchase tickets so we’ll look into that.

Tidbit #2,  we took the bus over to the movie theatre area. Amazing idea, but you pay the bus fare based on the distance traveled….unlike DC you pay a flat rate regardless of if you go one block or 12 blocks. Here you tap your EZ link card when you board, and you tap when you get off, depending on how far you go that’s how much you pay.

Tidbit #3, you have to hail the bus. But you don’t stick you hand out like a cab, you call the bus, like you do people. In Asia, it’s rude to point at someone to call for them. Instead, you put your hand towards them, palm down, and pull your fingers towards your palm, and flutter them to call them over. When the bus comes, if it’s your bus number, you stand on the side of the bus stop and extend you hand palm down and call the bus. We missed our bus the first time, not knowing this. Luckily a little while later a 9 yr old boy and his dad showed up. The 9 yr old boy was kind enough to show us the way.

Tidbit #4. We don’t order enough food. We went out last night, but this has happened several times. We place order and we get these looks along with the question “Is that all?” Last night we had Thai food, and there was a table of 4 young Asian girls. I could see out of the corner of my eye they were pointing out at us and then pointing at their plates. Finally they started giggling a lot, and I looked over and they were pointing and comparing our (2) measly plates to the numberous plates they had stacked up. Oh well, the food was good and we were full afterwards.

Oh, Tidbit #5, Paul just reminded me. We have a washer dryer on our balcony (yes, outside) which in and of itself it odd, but the kicker is that there is only ONE outlet. So, you plug in the washer, wash them, then put clothes in the dryer, unlpug the washer, plug-in the dryer and then dry your clothes….so much for doubling up your loads. Most people hang their clothes to dry anyway, but we don’t have the poles (or the ability to use them) to hang laundry out to dry.

Lastly we are learning our neighborhood is really quite nice in terms of being close to everything. Our apt is super close to the MRT, I get to walk to work, and we can walk to Chinatown, and are close to 3 different Hawker Centers, and a grocery store (like Safeway) and a Wet Market (fresh fruit, live fish, dead fish, meat hacked while you wait, unlike Safeway) so we are really liking it.


2 responses »

  1. We’re really enjoying your travails in S’pore. I knew about hailing a bus or anything or body–never put your hand palm up toward the person. One of my golfing buddies (retired pathologist and Indian) told me about S’pore. One thing he said was he saw no overweight people. Sounds as if they’re way ahead of us tecchnologically (bus fare based on distance)

  2. I want to see a video of you guys hailing a bus 🙂


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