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Discoveries while travelling - things you didn't know before

Discoveries while travelling - things you didn't know before

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Old Jun 27, 19, 7:04 pm
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Dogs are "unclean" to Islam. Turkey has lots of street cats, though, and people love them. Every mosque has a cat.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 7:36 pm
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
1. Cream for my coffee (or even something like Coffeemate) - curious: are Americans the only ones who use half-and-half and/or cream in coffee? I don't find that milk really does the trick and this is an issue that I've found all over (Europe, Asia, South America)
2. Ice - Why don't people outside the US love ice the way we do?
In HK and Singapore and Malaysia (and likely elsewhere in SEA), you see evaporated milk and condensed milk a lot. You will also find their milk thicker than North American milk. Close to cream in some cases. That said, many Asians are lactose intolerant. Those that aren't tend to consume lots of milk products.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by alangore View Post
Dogs are "unclean" to Islam. Turkey has lots of street cats, though, and people love them. Every mosque has a cat.
I loved seeing all the cats the first time I was in Istanbul. If you like cats, definitely watch this movie about Turkey's cats: https://www.kedifilm.com/
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Old Jun 27, 19, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
2. Ice - Why don't people outside the US love ice the way we do?
They lost the recipe
RoyalFlush, 84fiero and ajGoes like this.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 12:46 am
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Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
In HK and Singapore and Malaysia (and likely elsewhere in SEA), you see evaporated milk and condensed milk a lot.
Kopi - Coffee (local version, where beans are roasted in butter) with condensed milk
Kopi C - Coffee with evaporated milk.

There is whole website how to order coffee (kopi) in Singapore https://kopi.guide/

Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
That said, many Asians are lactose intolerant. Those that aren't tend to consume lots of milk products.
You will also find that yogurt and especially cheese section is like 1/10th what you will see in american or european supermarkets, in my local supermarket it is like two shelves of 2ft long and you will only find well known brands of processed cheese there, like President. Also cheese is about 2-3x more expensive compared to US/EU. I or my wife, when travelling to US, always bring back at least 20lb of cheese from Costco. You can't get it in Singapore.

A lot of local people do not eat cheese 'as-is', but you see a lot of various 'spicy cheese sauce' used in local fast food restaurants.

Last edited by invisible; Jun 28, 19 at 12:59 am
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Old Jun 28, 19, 12:57 am
  #51  
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
2. Ice - Why don't people outside the US love ice the way we do?
In Asia people do love ice, but here surprise comes - it is not free.
I mean - if you want to have iced coffee (or Kopi, as I explained in previous post) you need to pay 50c more just for ice. One of our first culture shock after moving to Singapore was that we went to a restaurant and asked for water before bringing food. To our big surprise, waiter brought warm water (and it is 90F and 80% of humidity outside). Asked to bring ice and he said 'cannot lah'. It took about 2 min question/answer until he finally said that he can't bring ice 'for free' but he can bring it separately and charge $1 per 'glass of ice'.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 3:05 am
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I like how Singaporeans, Indonesians (and Malaysians too?), add the word "lah" to everything. "I'm busy, lah", "You look tired, lah", etc.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 3:59 am
  #53  
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Originally Posted by thebakaronis View Post
I like how Singaporeans, Indonesians (and Malaysians too?), add the word "lah" to everything. "I'm busy, lah", "You look tired, lah", etc.
Here
I dun have lah. - I really don't have it.

I dun have leh. - For some reason, I don't have it.

I dun have lor. - I wish I had it, but sadly I don't.

I dun have liao. - I used to have it, but I don't anymore.

I dun have ha. - I remind you that I don't have it!

I dun have hor. - Don't look at me; I don't have it.

I dun have mah. - It would help if I had it, but I don't have it.

I dun have meh? - You think I don't have it?

I dun have siah! - I can't freaking believe I don't have it!
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Old Jun 28, 19, 4:23 am
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
Just back from a week in the UK and it's interesting that it feels less and less different than the US each time I visit. Too many things that we have are also there.

However, there are two things that we have that aren't there (or at least not super common) and I actually missed a lot, as an American in a foreign land:

1. Cream for my coffee (or even something like Coffeemate) - curious: are Americans the only ones who use half-and-half and/or cream in coffee? I don't find that milk really does the trick and this is an issue that I've found all over (Europe, Asia, South America)
2. Ice - Why don't people outside the US love ice the way we do?
As a half and half (nationality, not cream), I would comment as follows:

British cream is much thicker than US cream. More people in the UK drink tea. Anything thicker than milk in tea is disgusting and cream in tea would be totally horrible (one of the several reasons why tea in the US is not nice). So when you add all this up, any cafe will simply serve milk. Half and half is unknown, much as in the US single, double and clotted creams are largely unknown, whereas they are common in the UK.

On ice, people in the UK tend to put one or two not very cold ice cubes in their drinks and really don't like the way the ice cube dilutes the drink. Putting more in the drink would be perceived as a) short-changing when the drink is served by volume and b) more dilutive, the latter reason being, of course, entirely dependent on temperatures, but I'm talking perception here.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 4:36 am
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
In Asia people do love ice, but here surprise comes - it is not free.
I mean - if you want to have iced coffee (or Kopi, as I explained in previous post) you need to pay 50c more just for ice. One of our first culture shock after moving to Singapore was that we went to a restaurant and asked for water before bringing food. To our big surprise, waiter brought warm water (and it is 90F and 80% of humidity outside). Asked to bring ice and he said 'cannot lah'. It took about 2 min question/answer until he finally said that he can't bring ice 'for free' but he can bring it separately and charge $1 per 'glass of ice'.
Warm water is frequently consumed here, but any restaurant will bring you cold water if you ask. It won’t be full of ice, but it won’t be warm.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
You will also find that yogurt and especially cheese section is like 1/10th what you will see in american or european supermarkets, in my local supermarket it is like two shelves of 2ft long and you will only find well known brands of processed cheese there, like President. Also cheese is about 2-3x more expensive compared to US/EU. I or my wife, when travelling to US, always bring back at least 20lb of cheese from Costco. You can't get it in Singapore.

A lot of local people do not eat cheese 'as-is', but you see a lot of various 'spicy cheese sauce' used in local fast food restaurants.
I'm kinda surprised. I remember visiting a Cold Storage somewhere and seeing a decent cheese selection (eg, more than a selection of american, cheddar and mozz). That was a few years ago though.

Originally Posted by invisible View Post
In Asia people do love ice, but here surprise comes - it is not free.
I mean - if you want to have iced coffee (or Kopi, as I explained in previous post) you need to pay 50c more just for ice. One of our first culture shock after moving to Singapore was that we went to a restaurant and asked for water before bringing food. To our big surprise, waiter brought warm water (and it is 90F and 80% of humidity outside). Asked to bring ice and he said 'cannot lah'. It took about 2 min question/answer until he finally said that he can't bring ice 'for free' but he can bring it separately and charge $1 per 'glass of ice'.
There is also the believe in TCM that cold liquids impede the digestive system. That's why hot tea is what is often offered. Personally, I prefer an ice kachang or a chendol when at a hawker center, but that's just me.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 6:53 am
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Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
I'm kinda surprised. I remember visiting a Cold Storage somewhere and seeing a decent cheese selection (eg, more than a selection of american, cheddar and mozz). That was a few years ago though.

There is also the believe in TCM that cold liquids impede the digestive system. That's why hot tea is what is often offered. Personally, I prefer an ice kachang or a chendol when at a hawker center, but that's just me.
Ah, TCM, the killer of animals not native to the Sinosphere, and completely contradicted once people start drinking/smoking.

My first encounter with its lunacy was at my school in Shenzhen, where the chef wouldn’t prepare chilies and bell peppers because “they didn’t go together.”

Fast foward a couple of years to a brief stay at the Shenzhen Kaili Hotel, where a small diagram in the desk drawer helped inform those unfamiliar with hot/cold foods (i.e. how they relate to qi) about what not to combine in a dish. Again, 双喜 goes great with EVERYTHING.

n.b. I would order ice in China if the water didn’t taste like a New York subway.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
I'm kinda surprised. I remember visiting a Cold Storage somewhere and seeing a decent cheese selection (eg, more than a selection of american, cheddar and mozz). That was a few years ago though.



There is also the believe in TCM that cold liquids impede the digestive system. That's why hot tea is what is often offered. Personally, I prefer an ice kachang or a chendol when at a hawker center, but that's just me.
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
In Asia people do love ice, but here surprise comes - it is not free.
I mean - if you want to have iced coffee (or Kopi, as I explained in previous post) you need to pay 50c more just for ice. One of our first culture shock after moving to Singapore was that we went to a restaurant and asked for water before bringing food. To our big surprise, waiter brought warm water (and it is 90F and 80% of humidity outside). Asked to bring ice and he said 'cannot lah'. It took about 2 min question/answer until he finally said that he can't bring ice 'for free' but he can bring it separately and charge $1 per 'glass of ice'.
Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
At the risk of hijacking this thread to focus on Singaporean foods, I actually like Lau Pa Sat for the convenience. It's in a area easy to meet with office teams for food. While the food might not be the greatest, you could do much worse. My only beef is the occasional tout (sorry, but that's what they are). Every place has its advantages, it's just different for everyone.
Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Ahem, any local and expats who have been living here for a while would tell to avoid these two places - food there is not particularly great and overpriced as well.

Good hawker centers are in heartlands - Tiong Bahru, Old Airport Road, Zion road. And if you wanna to see how really locals are living/eating, go to places like Khatib or Jurong.
Thank goodness for expats like invisible & visitors who have discovered and appreciate hawker centres in Singapore . Many do not and miss out . Even Newton & Lau Pa Sat have their signature stalls which likely only locals will know about . And sadly there are fewer and fewer of these as the older generation hawkers retire and the skills , etcetera are not passed on .
Likewise in whatever countries we might be in .

Am in Singapore now , thankfully , not charged for ice for my numerous glasses of extra ice for my iced water ( not just cold ) . For many who enjoy having spicy food , lukewarm water , is supposed to work best , besides the TCM - traditional Chinese medicine - bit . In recent years , many “ restaurants “ have started charging for tap water ! These we avoid .

As for cheeses , there is a wide range but obviously not all and usually European cheeses , at select supermarkets besides Cold Storage mentioned - Culina , Hubers , Jones the Grocer .. non hawker centre food is expensive .




Last edited by FlyerEC; Jun 28, 19 at 9:08 am
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Old Jun 29, 19, 4:16 am
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Originally Posted by User Name View Post
Warm water is frequently consumed here, but any restaurant will bring you cold water if you ask. It won’t be full of ice, but it won’t be warm.
They will bring, but you, well, I - have been charged for ice.

Originally Posted by StuckInYYZ View Post
I'm kinda surprised. I remember visiting a Cold Storage somewhere and seeing a decent cheese selection (eg, more than a selection of american, cheddar and mozz). That was a few years ago though.
Think about Cold Storage like Whole Foods, but more expensive. Ordinary local won't shop there, they will go to Shen Siong and Fairprice. And contrary to Whole Foods where you have bunch of things which are not available at Safeway/Vons/Albertsons/etc, at Cold Storage there is mostly the same stuff you can get at Safeway and Giant but it is 1.5-2x more expensive.
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Old Jun 29, 19, 4:24 am
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Originally Posted by FlyerEC View Post
Thank goodness for expats like invisible & visitors who have discovered and appreciate hawker centres in Singapore . Many do not and miss out . Even Newton & Lau Pa Sat have their signature stalls which likely only locals will know about .
My wife's favorite expression is - 'if you want to be an example, make sure that you are a good one'. One such fruitcake on FB group made a bragging point that for 10 years living in Singapore her family never visited hawker center or used buses/trains.
You get an idea... fortunately, such idiots are minority.
Originally Posted by FlyerEC View Post
at select supermarkets besides Cold Storage mentioned - Culina , Hubers , Jones the Grocer ..
Yes, but those are niche markets/stores, they are not mainstream like FairPrise/Shen Siong which you will discover at HDB towns.

Last edited by invisible; Jun 29, 19 at 6:27 am
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