Singapore is a beautiful travel destination, believes Alok Bhartia. This city-state is diversely populated with various ethnicities, and it features jaw-dropping views. The exotic and palatable exotic food is yet another plus point for this country. To enjoy the fine things, Singapore has to offer, it’s better to stay here for at least two weeks. On the flipside, there are some rules and etiquettes that you should follow, else you might be in serious trouble. To help, Alok Bhartia presents seven things you should always avoid when visiting Singapore.
Beware of the gum police
Chewing gum in Singapore is a criminal offence. Yes, you read that right. Singaporeans are serious when it comes to urban cleanliness. You can be fined $500 if the authorities find out you’ve been entertaining the sweet sticky gift of Sapodilla trees.
Non-flushers shall be prosecuted
Toilet etiquette is something that a lot of people lack. Singaporeans hate people who do not flush their ‘business’. If you’re caught with your unflushed doodoo in the pot, you might be fined $150. It just takes a push of a button, just do it!!
Littering is forbidden
Alok Bhartia loves this law and wishes India passes it in the Parliament. You will be fined $1,000 if you are caught littering the streets. Additionally, you might be sentenced to community service. So before unwrapping your candy, and throwing it casually on the street, think twice!
No smoking in public
Don’t smoke in public. It is considered rude and it also amounts to littering. You can be fined $200 if you are caught lighting-up in the Singaporean streets. Alok Bhartia had a hard time obeying this rule, lucky he wasn’t caught!
Keep your religion to yourself
Singapore is a secular country where people are connected deeply with each other, irrespective of ethnicity and religion. Singaporeans hate hate-politics and division based on beliefs. Don’t get emotionally involved if a discussion of ‘who has better gods’ or ‘who was a better president’ comes up.
Singapore does not have the ‘tip’ culture where you leave a small fraction for the waiter as courtesy. In some countries, like in Japan, leaving a tip is considered very rude. In Singapore however, it’s just not the norm.
Gifts are complicated
Gifts are reserved only for partings. You have to use both your hands to present the gift in Singapore. If someone gives you a present, be sure to refuse it three times before accepting. You also need to make sure you’re not gifting flowers, handkerchiefs or clocks since these are gifted in Chinese funerals. Moreover, white wrapping paper also denotes mourning. Avoid gifting leather items made from pig skin or cow skin.
Did Alok Bhartia miss an important point in this list? Let him know in the comments!