Singapore Survival Guide

This past week I moved to Singapore (long story, saving it for another time) and it was a quite a shift in terms of culture, people and the way things operate here. Here’re few trivial things about Singapore that I wished I knew before:

Transport and Convenience

  • Get a SIM card after the moment you land i.e., airport. There are only designated places in Singapore that sell SIM cards and if you’re new, finding those place might be difficult.
  • Install Citymapper. Along with the routes to the suggested destination it also provide the timings of the bus/Mass Rapid Transit aka MRT in short. And it’s freaking accurate. It’s truly the ultimate transportation app.
  • Get an Ez-Link card from one of the MRT stations. You are going to use this for paying the fares for buses and MRT (trains). Yes, one card for both train and MRTs.
  • Generally Uber works. But you might wanna try Grab too. However, refrain from using the taxi service since the public transportation is cheap and easy to use.
  • Always stand on the left side of the escalator (Singapore has number of these). The right side is for people in hurry or who respect time more than you do.
  • While getting into the buses, get in from the front door (don’t forget to tap your EZ-Link card) and get out from the rear door.
  • In buses, occupy the seats in the rear. The front is generally reserved for elderly.
  • In order to get down at the stop, make sure to press the stop button in prior. If no one presses that button (and none is about to get on to that bus) the bus won’t stop. The button is not for emergency but rather for more general use cases.
  • Don’t jaywalk. Cars that seem distant will run you over in matter of couple of seconds. Wait for your signal. Be mindful while crossing the roads even in residential areas.
  • “Hawker Center” is where a bunch of eating outlets are available and every residential complex has one. Generally the food available in hawker centers are cheaper than outside.
  • When considering to place an order, look for the restaurant hygiene score — usually placed in front of the shop. “A” means safest and cleanest.

Good to have

  • Get shorts. Weather is not pleasant at all and trust me, you don’t want to be in jeans outside.
  • Carry a bottle of water if you can. However, refrain from using it in a bus or MRT.
  • Smile when people look at you. But not too much or like a creep.