The Great Singapore Sale is back! This once a year event has two main goals: 1) Separate tourists from their money, and 2) Keep them away from other shopping destinations like Dubai, Paris, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and 1Utama.
While most Singaporeans don’t give two hoots about the Great Singapore Sale, hordes of Malaysians brave their way there every year to buy things they don’t need. All Singaporeans know this of course, but don’t say anything, as long as we bring in the money to fund campaigns like this:
Having said that, if you’re planning on heading down south in the next few days, here are a few things you should consider:
1. Double what you’re planning to bring
This seems like a no-brainer, especially since the current exchange rate is SDG1.00 to RM2.57. Some of you might remember when the exchange rate was one to one, but that was a long time ago, in another time and place. Since then, we’ve allowed Singapore to increase their currency so that, as a tiny nation, they have the means to support themselves.
Oh alright, who are we kidding? Going to Singapore these days makes you feel poorer than a Bangla with 8 kids, and 11 unemployed family members to support. At least the salespeople all know how to smile when they take away your children’s food money.
2. Have a strong stomach
Apart from the expensive joints, there are very few good places to eat in Singapore. In fact, it’s probably easier to find a virgin in New York City than to find a decent plate of Nasi Lemak in the Lion City.
But if you have to have eat something, you can’t go wrong with Redhill Food Centre. PM Lee drops by the place every once in a while. We understand he likes to order chicken wings, and we’re guessing only right wings as he can’t stand the left.
(Editor’s note: None of these brands (including PM Lee) has paid us to promote their products. Although maybe we should send them the invoice anyway!)
3. Develop strong leg muscles
Singapore is not Singapore without queues. Especially during the period leading up to National Day. As such, expect to line up for quite a bit during GSS. Note that the queues are not due to Singaporeans queuing up for The Great Singapore Sale or anything. It’s just one of those rituals which all Singaporeans do at least twice a day, sale or no sale.
4. Check out the local sights
At some point, you’ll either get fed up of the GSS or run out of money or both. Good thing then that Singaporeans have gone the extra mile to make Malaysians feel at home by having the same exact thing in Singapore.
We’ve got F1. They’ve got F1.
We’ve got Malaysian Eye. They’ve got Singapore Flyer.
We’ve got Genting casino. They’ve got Sentosa casino.
We’ve got Mount Kinabalu. They’ve got, well, Bukit Timah.
5. Or wait for the real Singapore Sale
And finally, the real reason why Singaporeans avoid the GSS is that there is another, lesser known sale in Singapore. It’s the period for immediately following Christmas and CNY when retailers try to get rid of all the excess festive stock they couldn’t sell. You might not always find what you’re looking for, but you’re sure to find some pretty good bargains. Now you know. You’re welcome.