7 mistakes I made whilst in Singapore, funny list of things not to do
So a month in Singapore and I felt quite at home.
I happily would catch a bus, ride the MRT and be comfortable with finding myself where I wanted to be.
I would walk around and find a nice place to eat, and ask someone for help or directions.
…But it wasn’t always like that
Below is a list some funny, some not, of my mistakes in Singapore
My 7 mistakes
- Walking into the wrong toilet
- Catching the wrong bus
- Afraid to ask someone to take a photo
- Not giving myself enough time to apply for a visa to Thailand
- Losing my phone
- Only wearing shorts and a t-shirt when visiting the cinema
- Not checking my photos before leaving somewhere you have to pay to visit.
Walking into the wrong toilet
I would like to point out I don’t make a habit of this.
In fact during my time managing office buildings I had to deal with this type of incident many times over.
When men thought it okay to go to the ladies toilet because and I quote ” the cubicles in the men’s toilets were full”
But Asia is a funny place
But, Asia is funny and many signs are I feel are added as an afterthought.
I have seen toilets where they have a cupboard which if open completely obscures the sign for Ladies.:)
Watched with fascination how many guys just wonder in oblivious to where they are going.
For me the idea that after looking for a toilet in a shopping mall,
(you sometimes have to walk through service areas reserved for staff to get to them)
and watching a woman walk into the left hand side of the entrance was enough to automatically go right.
However, what I didn’t realize was that the women, an elderly lady was too busy on her phone to look and see that she had actually walked into the
Whereupon realizing her mistake she preceded to go into the correct toilets only to find me.
To which she then decided to shout rather loudly that I was in the wrong one.
(trying to explain that it was her fault that I had ventured into this side wasn’t going to cut it somehow).
Catching the wrong bus
“I did this several times before I figured out that it is worth checking the timetables and destination before just getting on a bus that looked like the one I catch and was in the same spot and had the first 2 numbers of the bus I needed ( Meatloaf once sang two out of three ain’t bad) so couldn’t be too much of a problem right?”
Lost in Singapore, 2017 and 2018
Firstly It turned off to the opposite direction shortly after pulling out.
Then when I thought we were going back to where I needed to be, it turned again.
The lesson here is asking the driver, most speak good enough English and even if they don’t will probably understand the place you are going to enough to say yes or no.
Afraid to ask someone to take a photo
I am sure we have all been here, you find a great place on holiday and whilst by yourself fancy taking a good photo.
Selfies just don’t cut it when you have a beautiful landscape you can stand in front of and just need someone to help.
You look around and eye up the prospective candidates, there is a few who look like they will run off with your camera if you give it to them.
A couple who look like they don’t speak English and you can imagine the fun that will be.
Firstly pointing in some Asian countries is disrespectful and secondly, you will probably look silly in the photo anyway.
Why is it us older guys just struggle to look good in photos on our own? ( a bit like Dad dancing at a wedding, we never seem to pull it off)
Then you spot the beautiful lady on her own, who seems to be enjoying the view as much as you are.
You think for a minute then decide that she may panic if you (an older guy also on his own) start walking over to her and you stop!
Suddenly imagining as she pulls out pepper spray from her bag and the next minute you are lying on the floor.
Whilst the oriental couple who don’t speak English are pointing their camera at you, suddenly happy that they have something to take photos of, other than the view.
which at the same time the 2 dodgy looking younger guys make off with your camera while you are rolling around on the floor crying like a baby.
After that brief insight into the future, you forget the beautiful scenery and walk off without trying.
Which is a shame because she can only say no, but, maybe, just maybe she is also stood there thinking the same thing (although whether she has pepper spray is still a mystery).
Not giving myself enough time to apply for a visa to Thailand
This one should be obvious, you decide you want to visit another country whilst in another country, so you go along to the local embassy of said country and apply for a visa.
Do the research, check how long it takes to apply, and how you apply before starting.
Don’t do what I did and decide a week before you want to go, that you will apply only to find out it takes a week to process it (assuming that everything goes right the first time) which of course it doesn’t.
For none Singaporeans applying for Visa’s to Thailand you need to do it online, which is that you gather all your documents and upload them after creating an account on the embassy website.
They ask for the obvious, like accommodation, flights in and out, confirmation that you have enough money to live in Thailand for the duration of your stay.
All straight forward, but here is where it gets to be fun. If you apply for a visa to go to Thailand (currently) you are applying for 60 days by which time you have to leave and therefore produce flights out of the country.
But once you are there, you can ask for another 30- day extension, which I believe is reasonable to get.
So I decided to send them an itinerary of my flights, without booking the actual tickets, because if I want to stay for 90 days then the flight out in 60 days will be worthless right?
So why book it?
They reject your visa application and email you telling you that you need to send the correct documents.
So I panic and book the flights I was going to take before realizing that not only have I now committed to staying in Thailand for a minimum of 60 days (without having my visa confirmed) but I now fly in 4 days and I have just started the whole 7-day visa process again from scratch!!!
In the end, it all worked out well and I collected my Visa the day before my Flight.
But it might not work like this every time so give yourself plenty of space … NEXT Visa application Cambodia
Losing my phone
See my post on this in September Blog Post https://www.nos.me.uk/travel-in-motion/a-story-of-a-lost-phone-an-honest-taxi-driver-and-a-beautiful-city/
Where I explain in detail how a change in clothing can have a dramatic effect on one’s life!
Only wearing shorts and a t-shirt when visiting the cinema
This may seem silly but, when the average temperature is 30 degrees and the climate is humid, you get used to wearing as little as you can.
But when you decide to visit the lovely air-conditioned cinema you need to remember that the temperature is not going to be as hot!
In fact, it is going to be very cold considering what you are used to, so be aware, they do sell however very good Hot coffee 🙂
By the way, go see Crazy Rich Asians it is a great film.
Not checking my photos before leaving somewhere you have to pay to visit.
“I am a Man, therefore I do everything right the first time… ‘was the answer I always got when I quizzed my father about checking anything”
unknown, around 1980s
He had many sayings like this but none made any sense and I always ignored him, so why did I not check that I actually took that photo I wanted before I left the place?
It is worth pointing out that both my phone and camera are new items I purchased before embarking on this trip and like all men I didn’t read the instructions as I can figure it out when I need to.
But after paying to go the Skypark observation deck on top of Marina Sands Hotel, I really should have checked the quality of the photos before coming down!
Currently awaiting my cousin to provide better shots from his camera 🙂
So there you have it! My first list of mistakes made whilst travelling, but trust me they won’t be the last:)