I have realized I have perfected the art of spotting a Singaporean.

Now 5 years ago, this wouldn’t be an art. This would be common sense and this article will be laughed all the way home. But fast forward 5 years with the myriad of Burmese, Chinese, Indians, Malaysians and Filipinos and now we are having trouble.

Fret not!

Let me teach how to identify those born into the authentic blood of Singapore.

1. They use “la” even for one syllable replies.

“What would you like to eat?”

“Anything la.”


“Would subway be sufficient for you?”

“Can la.”


“What is the sixth pitch of the regular music pitching?”



“Damn right it is, put it there buddy!”

(local ah beng will then high-five smartass expat and they will not head to subway, but to kopitiam for lunch)

2. They must, must have chili/ extra spicy for everything.

It is like your dish isn’t even real unless it has a tongue-scalding factor of 6/10 at least.

Even then, 6/10 is a disgrace my god, man it up and go snort some chili powder before coming to me. Then maybe we’ll finally go eat laksa as your reward.

3. They will be queuing

For literally anything.

What was once a polite act has been taken onto our nation to became a sport. Do you know there are jobs on Gumtree that offers $12/h for folks to help them queue overnight for their stuff? (usually concerts and launches)

One day we’re going to start queuing even to breathe and let me tell you – the sick ones will truly love it. 

You queue-lovers make me bleah.

4. They will fight over priority seats.

This is irrelevant.

But anyway, if you ever see an auntie making a din over losing a priority seat, she’s a Singaporean! If you ever see a man spitting at an old man in a priority seat, he’s an (asshole of a) Singaporean!

They also quarrel even long after the supposed victims get their seats, because yknow sometimes people are slow and they take a while to generate a smart alec reply.

When that happens, count to ten, flick their forehead, and run.


5. They have the Stomp app on their phone

20110804.091533_stomp.jpg (430×280)


… I don’t even want to delve into this.

If you have a friend with STOMP, THE APP ITSELF, on his/ her phone, run. Hide your wife, hide your kids, hide your dogs, and hide your wi-fi. He/ she is going to jokingly take photos of your incidents and pretend it’s all in good fun.

The next day he/ she will treat you to a suspiciously nice dinner at Laksania and before you wonder why, your phone will beep from friends going “YOU KENA STOMP LEH HAHAH”.

And you forehead flick that person, you go gurl/ dude.

There is plenty more exclusive traits but why divulge them all.

Half the fun is guessing who’s a Singaporean before the habits – tissue on the table, tapping the whole bag for the ezlink card reader and rushing home to catch the 7pm show – and smiling to yourself thinking about what a genius you are.

Or maybe that’s just me.