10 unusual reasons why Singapore is Unusual.

People always say “Singapore is a dead-city”, or “Singapore is so boring”. But if you observe closely enough, you find that Singapore is more than that. In fact there are certain things unusual about Singapore.

1) No Natural Resource

Without its own natural resources, Singapore has managed to climb up the economic ladder to be one of the richest country in the world according to Forbes.

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Most other country on Forbes list of Richest Countries have their own natural resource, but Singapore has none and can only depend on its human resource.

2) Green green green

The moment you touch down on Singapore’s airport runway, you are flanked by rows of greenery as you taxi down the runway to your gate.

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Drive down from the airport to Singapore’s city and you see even more flora on the expressways.

It’s little wonder why they call Singapore the Garden-City.

3) We take our food seriously

At every nook and cranny of the island, you’ll find a restaurant, café or hawker centre. Singaporeans really take their food seriously, and there’s more than one dish that has put Singapore on the world map.

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Chilli Crab, Laksa, Chicken Rice and Fish Head Curry are just some of the dishes that foreigners have tried at least once on their trip to Singapore.

4) We’re Resourceful

Talk about hawker centre, you would definitely walk into one and see packets of tissue paper on the tables or seats and you start to wonder what they’re for.

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No, they’re not for you to pick up and use after eating. But they actually belong to someone who has ‘chope’ (reserved) the seat while he or she has gone to buy their food.

Other things that have been put to good use: name cards, foldable umbrellas, newspapers.

5) Everyone is your Uncle and Aunty

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Regardless of age, race or religion, everyone is known as an aunty or uncle. You find locals calling shop owners or hawkers uncles and aunties.

Even on public transport or taxis, you would address the drivers the same.

It’s just a very affectional and casual way of addressing someone whom you think is older than you.

6) Taxis and Uber

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There are no shortage of taxis on the street, it’s not hard to find one when you need one…technically. Just don’t try to look for one when it’s time for Taxi drivers to change shifts, then you’ll find that there are empty taxis on the street but none want to stop for you because they are on the way to change their shifts.

But this has changed a bit with the entry of Uber and GrabCar services, making it easier for you to catch a ride.

7) The labour movement is unusual

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Besides having Rank-and-File workers in the union, the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) is also extending its reach to Freelancers and Self-Employed such as the Uber and GrabCar drivers and sports coaches, PMEs and also workers in the Small and Medium Enterprises.

And to better cater to the needs of these diverse group of workers, the Labour Movement will be expanding its suite of services and grow its network in order to adapt to changing business landscapes and worker demographics. This is to be done through professional development, training placement and networking.

“The interests and needs of our rank and file, professionals, managers, executives, part-timers, freelancers and even the self-employed are all different. Hence, our services for them must be similarly diverse,” labour chief Chan Chun Sing said.

8) The labour movement has a lifelong commitment

Besides serving its members through workplace representation and career progression, the NTUC provides a holistic suite of products and services to meet the lifecycle needs of Singapore’s population through the NTUC Social Enterprises.

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The social enterprises aim to provide affordable and accessible services for young children all the way to seniors.

9) Singlish is the de facto national language

Come to Singapore and you start hearing words like “lah”, “leh”, “lor”.

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These words has become a part of the Singaporean identity and heritage. It even appeared in advertising campaigns for SG50.

10) Queuing is a national hobby

You queue for Hello Kitty plush toys at McDonald’s, I queue for the latest iPhone model.

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Singaporeans love to wait in line for the next big thing. Some can even wait in line for days just to get their hands on the latest tech gadget.

So there, 10 truly unusual reasons why Singapore is unusual, or maybe, Uniquely Singapore.

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Arthur Lee

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