What is up with English speaking in the heartland?!
SG guy here, married to a UK lady recently and moved in together in my flat in Boon Lay. Initially she thought the area was okay and was quite impressed with Jurong Point. Then she started trying to use the place and everything fell apart.
Salespeople either try to talk to her in Chinese or mess up her order when she speaks to them in English. When I’m with her they’ll speak to me and ignore her rather than let her in to the conversation.
I’ve seen her try to order dessert at the McDonald’s. She asked for two Hojicha McFlurries. The counter staff just stared at her blankly until the auntie who was with him instructed him to get one plain McFlurry and three cones for some weird reason. I had to step in and correct the order. She even used her fingers to indicate two and they gave her the wrong order. She tells me that she’s had just as much trouble when I’m not around.
I was under the impression that it was entirely possible for a monolingual English speaker to get by in Singapore. What is going on here? Are we just unlucky to live in an area where less people understand English? Will we need to move so my wife is able to communicate with the people around her? Where can we go? It’s got to the point where she’s avoiding Chinese staff and deliberately seeking out Indian and Malay staff so she can be understood.
PS. What also is up with the ladies’ toilets in Jurong Point? She’s encountered one toilet with poop backed up to the rim, another with maggots eating whatever was dumped on the seat, and has refused to use them ever since.