Sunday, September 6, 2009

How to spot a Singaporean on a Plane

Other than the Singapore Girl, there are loads of other reasons to fly with Singapore Airline (image source)

Cashmere posted a comment on my post on How to Spot a Brit on a Plane and suggested that it might be way easier to spot a Singaporean on a Plane. Sure enough, it didn't take me long to come up with a surefire way of spotting a Singaporean even before spotting his bright red passport.

The next time round when you step into the airport waiting area, don't spend your time looking for the Singaporean for he will never be at the gate early. Even if he has spent all his foreign currency in the duty free shops, he would tempt fate by rushing to the gate at the last possible moment. Believe me, he gets a kick doing so. At least I do.

The moment he steps into the waiting area, his eyes darts around furiously, looking for an empty seat. Failing which, he positions himself where he will have easy access to the gate - the sole reason so that he'll be at the front of the queue when the call for passenger boarding comes.

Now, you will find it curious as the Singaporean does so even if the flight comes with allocated seats and there isn't really a need to be right up front. There's where you're mistaken for there are really practical reasons for being among the first to board the plane. Born and bred in one of the most densely populated city (or city-state if you prefer), the Singaporean is equipped with the innate ability to come up front of the pack.

The boarding call was made and he is right up at the front of the queue. He can't help but relaxes (but only for a bit) as he knows that it'll be a smooth flight ahead. He has his boarding pass checked, gives the air stewardess a hurried smile before stepping into an almost empty airplane. As he has previously checked in online, he needs no direction from the crew and knows exactly where he'll be sitting.

Being among the first, he has a full selection of the free dailies arranged just outside the cabin door. As he reaches his seat, he has the luxury of leisurely arranging his hand-carry on the top compartment while others are still trying to figure out where their seats are.

He's all set. Settles down comfortably back into his seat with a novel slotted in the netting of the seat in front. He'll never touch that novel for the duration of the flight - it serves only as a backup should the inflight entertainment system fails. Anyway, if that happens, he will rather sleep instead. But carrying a novel with him just seems right.

The Singaporean will be the last to switch off his handphone during a flight for that is his lifeline. He would quickly send a message to his loved ones, send a final tweet or even quickly adjust the time so that it would reflect the timezone of his destination.

Even before the plane take off, he will be twiddling around with the buttons of the inlight entertainment system (IES). It finally starts! He lets out a silent cheer. Darn, if only the earphones are handed out at the onset.

He will stay glue to the IES for the duration of the flight with one eye keeping a lookout for inflight catering. He's never bored of the array of movies. In the unlikely event that he is, there will always be games in the IES to occupy him. In fact, the extensive IES is one of the main reason why he flies with Singapore Airline in the first place.

Once the plane lands, he will be the first to release his seat belt even though there was express instructions by the lead air stewardess not to. Once the plane comes to a halt, he'll be the first to stand, switches on his phone and tremendously relieve that he is once again connected with the world.

Ah, it's great to be home. He thinks to himself while planning where to have a sumptuous meal once he gets out of the airport.

There you go. It's not to difficult to spot a Singaporean on a plane isn't it?

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SheR. said...

Hey CK.
Are you still displaying all the Singaporean traits while travelling on the plane?

Dutchie said...

Oh dear, it sounds like the epitome of kiasu ;-s

Hubby n I tend to be the last few to board. That way we could avoid the packed aisles, with passengers busy stowing their hand luggages.

I supposed if u r the first, it's not a problem n u do get the choice of ur newspapers. If the supply has ran out, we just borrow them from our fellow travellers.

Ditto when disembarking bec there's no point in rushing to the luggage carousel when the baggages r still not in circulation !

Does this mean, I'm not ur typical Sg'rean on a plane *wink* ?

drcrab said...

Hey CK
I'm back! this is too funny...:)!!!

And no, I can't say I do any of that... I can't, not with a toddler whose favourite words are now, 'ma ma... uh oh...'. hm. We've had a very interesting round trip on SQ this time round!! lol.

Reeta said...

I agree with Dutchie. I'm always the last to board the plane. It's not going anywhere and seats are all pre-arranged.

The last thing I wanna be doing is sitting in a claustrophobic economy class seat for 30mins when I didn't have to.

Anonymous said...

This is really cold humour as i don't find it funny at all 'cos there's really a lot of singaporeans aren't like what you had discribed. Any people from any part of the world can act like this without being a singaporean so may i suggest you not to be so styrotype about this. cheers.

C K said...

Well, I do love the IES dearly and I measure the length of flight by the number of movies I can finish. lol.

Come to think of it, I've not tried borrowing newspapers from the others as yet. I can hardly tear my eyes away from the IES!

Oh dear, you are definitely not of the typical ones. :)

Hey, welcome back! Can't wait to hear about your trip back home.

And I'm assuming that you arrived at the gate way earlier..? :)

But seriously, I would loath to be stuck in the plane as well... that's why I tend to go for aisle seats. Gotto go for that short walk every now and then.

Oh, with regards to your latest post, I can do lots during that 24 days. In fact, we're spoilt for choices with just the UK alone. That, I'm sure you'll agree as well.

Hey there, thanks for stopping by.

You're absolutely right. I shouldn't be stereotyping. I mean, not all Singaporeans prefer to get on the planes way early on, and not all Singaporeans take themselves too seriously.


Emm said...

Great posts (this one and the English one). I'm certainly not a South African flyer - South Africans like to talk so loud that everyone can hear them and they conduct conversations across the plane with long lost friends that they just happen to have met for the first time in the queue.

I am always the absolute last person to get on a plane and if ti is a long haul flight I often try fall asleep before the plane takes off. Woe betide the air hostess that tries to wake me up for meals if I have a no disturb tag on my seat!

C K said...

Ahhh, now we know who's making a din on long haul flights. lol.

I find it difficult to doze off on planes. Perhaps I should get one of those Bose noise cancelling headphones. Hmm.

Cashmere said...

Yeah, now that's what I call a true blue Singaporean..Kiasu! And not forgetting that Singaporeans love to complain and typically impatient.. haha!

C K said...

Mainly because we are are crammed into that tiny piece of rock. Know what? It's gonna get worse. Patience? hah, get real. :)

Usha said...

HAHA...So true!!!!