Thursday, April 16, 2009

Singapore Science Centre

When we organised our quick trip to Singapore, the first place the kids wanted to go was the Singapore Science Centre (the 2nd was Little India). This was our 3rd visit and we were entranced as usual. There were many new exhibits as well as a few old favourites.

This was an Earth exhibit, the girls wrote postcards which were then displayed up on a huge wall with their photos. Can you tell which postcard GJ wrote (hint, he was channelling his mate Stumpy)?

The kids had hours of fun in the Human Body area.

This was the new Nano Technology exhibit, where the kids created horror movies.

Here are some previous posts on the Science Centre

The only down point of the day was at the end waiting to get a taxi back. Unless you can manage to order a taxi, you need to walk up to the main road and flag one down. There are lots going by, so usually not a problem. There were quite a few groups doing this. Most of us realised who was first there and waited for our turns. Over the course of ten minutes two separate groups came out, looked at the waiting people, and then walked 20 meters up the road and hailed cabs and bypassed the queue. One couple pushed in front of a family group with babies and small kids!
When we became first in the taxi group someone tried to grab the cab I had flagged down.
I was so p'd off by then I calmed walked up, opened the door and got in, climbing almost under their arms (no eye contact of course lol) and took what I believed was rightfully mine.

This is my cultural background, ie one of queuing, wait for your turn, first in first served etc.

But it is not the culture of many Asian countries; especially where we live, Indonesia.

Are you allowed to get upset when things are different, after all I am living in someone else’s country, why should I expect them to do things my way?

On the other hand are some customs, such as queuing, waiting for your turn etc, common courtesy not cultural beliefs?


Indonesia for Kids said...

We also loved our trip to the Singapore Science Center, but didn't have so much trouble getting a taxi back to the city. Perhaps that's because we left a little earlier in the day. Anyway, I believe lining up is common sense, and has nothing to do with culture. I do think the reason things are different in Asia is simply because of the larger population compared to say Australia.

Tanya said...

This is typical practise in Singapore despite numerous government run campaigns to try and get people to be more polite- which includes saying please and thank you, holding the door or lift for the person directly behind you, queueing etiquette (including not standing over the shoulder of the person in front of you at an atm), not hogging the footpath/escalator/road etc. They try to explain it using 'kiasu' (literally fear of losing) but even the government thinks it's just plain rude. Since it strongly pervades their entire lives from almost the moment they are born (enrichment classes at 1 1/2, intense pressure to 'do well' in exams which start at the beginning of school, having the child wearing the most labels or the most expensive clothing at an event etc)you really do have to feel sorry for them. According to a Singaporean friend of mine they know how it looks to non singaporeans ie rude and a bit pathetic and they dont like it either but they cant not do it...lose face you see.
They're a funny bread the Singaporeans!
PS we were in Singapore at Easter time too!

nur said...

greeting from jogjakarta

what a nice blog that you have and i love to read it...

even though it is quite hard to build the culture of queuing in Indonesia, honestly me myself try to practice it on my daily life and I'm sure other Indonesian youngster now practice it too...