A Quick Guide On 5 Common Quirks That Singaporeans Exhibit

Singapore is a country known as a melting pot of cultures and where every corner is characteristically different. Whether you are a tourist or an expat looking to discover something different from the typical tourist destination, you have scored the golden ticket with us!

At ST Residences, we are all about enabling our guests to enjoy what this city has to offer, not just with our incredibly convenient serviced apartment rental but also by ensuring that you experience the actual local lifestyle.

Singaporeans are indeed fascinating individuals. Our quirky perspective, ways, and habits make Singapore such a unique and energetic city. ST Residences has serviced apartments that place you right where the action is, such as our Balestier studio rent. With such convenient locations, you can easily wake up to the local scene right from the get-go. In fact, if you want to spend less time commuting, it is the ideal scenario for renting serviced apartments.

In this quick guide, we will explore five common quirks that Singaporeans exhibit. While they may take some time getting used to, you might even find them endearing with time. So, whether you are here for a short visit or sticking around for a while, we want to make sure that you are not just passing through but getting a slice of the local action, quirks and all.

1. Using items to chope tables

Singapore is a food paradise with many a plethora of delicious foods from all walks of cultures and nationalities. Our serviced apartments are conveniently located within walkable distance from restaurants and hawker centres.

If you ever visit the hawker centres and spot packets of tissues or even random items, such as name cards, umbrellas, and water bottles on the table, it means that the particular table has been choped. Chope is local slang for reserving a seat in an eatery with free seating by placing an item.

So the next time you happen to visit a hawker centre during peak hours, such as lunch and dinner time, and worry to find a seat, just chope an empty table with any item and you can be on your way to buy your food.

2. Queuing means something is good

Singapore is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world and is known for its incredible pace of living. As such, it is also one of the most convenient and efficient nations. Yet, for such a fast-paced nation, Singaporeans enjoy queuing up. If you ever pass by a queue, it is either they are queuing up for something delicious and famous or something free of charge.

Singaporeans have the mindset that if people are waiting in a line, it means that something at the end of that line is worth queuing for.

3. Addressing an older stranger as an auntie or uncle

In most cultures, one only addresses their immediate older relatives as auntie or uncle. However, this is not the case in Singapore. Anybody above the age of 40 or looks at least twice our age is addressed as an auntie or uncle. In fact, it does not come with any rude or negative connotation. Rather, it is how Singaporeans show endearment and friendliness to one another.

So, the next time you are served by someone twice your age, call that person auntie or uncle, and you might get a smile on their face.

4. Enjoying football at coffee shops

No, they are not your typical cafes. Coffee shops refer to the smaller hawker centres at the bottom of the HDB apartments, also known as kopitiams among Singaporeans. If you are a fan of football and want to enjoy it the local way, then head to any coffee shops near your vicinity.

This quirk is particularly more common during world cup seasons as you will spot a group of uncles gathering together over bucket of ice-cold Tiger Beer or Heineken and maybe plate of fried chicken wings. Not only is it a cheap activity, but it is also a convenient way to gather with like-minded friends.

5. Conversing in acronyms

If you want to know how efficient Singaporeans are, just observe their speech. Singaporeans are all about being as efficient as possible. Instead of saying “excuse me”, we say “scuse me” or even a simple “scuse”. Singaporeans are all about communicating as effectively as possible, even if it means the sentence is short.

However, what happens if we cannot shorten the word? We employ the use of acronyms! Instead of saying Mass Rapid Transit, we say MRT. Here are some acronyms you might come across during your stay in Singapore.

  • Expressways: Pan-Island Expressway (PIE), East Coast Parkway (ECP), Central Expressway (CTE), Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE), Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE), Auer Rajah Expressway (AYE), Bukit Timah Expressway (BKE), and Kranji Expressway (KJE)
  • Events: National Day Parade (NDP) and Great Singapore Sales (GSS)
  • Driving: Electronic Road Pricing (ERP), In-vehicle Unit (IU), and Certificate of Entitlement (COE)


That is a wrap on our quick guide through the charms and quirks of Singaporeans. Remember that there is no better way to experience what Singapore has to offer than to live it the way the locals do.

With ST Residences’ serviced apartments, you are not just getting a roof over your head; you are preparing yourself for a unique experience of what makes Singapore such a country to live in. You will understand our local jokes and navigate your way through the hawker centres like a seasoned player, and who knows, you might even begin to use ‘lah’ at the end of your sentences!

In addition, when you stay with us, you are guaranteed convenience, comfort, and value for money. Our rental includes a fully furnished apartment, utilities, weekly housekeeping, and access to various facilities, such as swimming pools, gyms, and BBQ pits.

If our serviced apartments sound like the ideal place to allow you to experience local life, then do not hesitate to contact our team today to inquire and get a quote!

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