Nothing defines a country’s citizens better than the similarities you’ll find in their subconscious. What would you find if you peeked into the subconscious of the average Singaporean? Would it be full of mental notes about where the best roti prata and fish balls can be found, or would we find a running tab on our Central Provident Fund balance amounts and calories eaten?

We partnered with several eminent psychologists from Singapore who have declined to be named to find out what exactly lurks in the minds of Singaporeans. After countless surveys, overnight observations, and gigantic gizmos attached to the heads of our test subjects, The Popping Post is proud to bring to you our findings on the Singaporean subconscious, and the top five things floating around inside.

1. Is there ERP now?

The Electronic Road Pricing gantry. Credit: Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving Facebook Page

The Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) gantry. Credit: Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving Facebook Page

Love it or hate it, the ERP is an everpresent fixture on the roads, having now extended into heartland areas like Toa Payoh. It controls our traffic through a carefully calibrated series of charges that change like clockwork at well-calculated timings, depending on which of the 70+ gantries you’re going through. Unfortunately, all the average driver can see is “oh no ERP quick quick put cash card in!”

So now, all Singaporeans have this slightly wary mentality on the roads, and are ready to jump into cash-card-slotting mode the second they see an ERP gantry. Even passengers will shout “oi got ERP!” when they see one – a pre-programmed response that lurks in all of our subconsciousness.

2. Will the MRT break down today or not?

Trains. Credit: MRT Facebook Page

Trains. Credit: MRT Facebook Page

Every now and then, you’ll see a Facebook status along the following lines:

“Felt lazy this morning so decided to Uber/Grab to work. Wah heng I did ah, MRT broke down again!”

And it’ll be followed by more than 100 Likes.

It strikes a chord with us because we’re all secretly worried that the MRT will break down whenever we get on. The catastrophic rail fails have permeated our subconscious, making us worried about the unpredictability of our train system. Plus, we’re lazy. So whenever someone succumbs to their laziness and it turns out they were justified in doing so (although it’s pure luck), we applaud and wish we had taken Grab that day too.

So erm, the MRT today, how ah?

3. Is there an escalator nearby?

Even Pusheen gets on an escalator. Credit: O4Cute Facebook Page

Even Pusheen gets on an escalator. Credit: O4Cute Facebook Page

The other day, my friend Ubered from Serangoon Gardens… to Serangoon Gardens. It was a $1.32 ride, and even she herself was surprised that the driver picked her up. It’s testament, once again, to our colossal laziness. But the weather is always so humid. Can we be blamed for our desire to sweat as little as possible?

So whenever there’s an escalator, especially one going up, you can be sure to see Singaporeans thronging for it. Just take a look at any underground MRT station. There’s always a queue for the escalator, while the stairs remain free and empty. It’s almost as if people subconsciously gravitate towards any moving escalator or travellator…

4. There’s a queue there. Should I queue also?

Rush to wait, wait to rush. Credit: Yahoo Singapore Facebook Page

Rush to wait, wait to rush. Credit: Yahoo Singapore Facebook Page

So enough about our need for comfort. Let’s look at our next uniquely Singaporean trait – being kiasu. That means that we absolutely, positively, cannot get a worse deal than the guy next door. What does that mean?

It means queues. It means that whenever we see a queue, our natural kiasu instinct will kick in and our subconscious will urge us to go stand in that line. Never mind if you’re a guy and it’s a Watsons sale or if you’re a teenager and it’s an OG sale. See queue means must queue. Our subconscious dictates it. Otherwise, we’ll lose out.

5. Did he/she get more than me?

Noms. Credit: eatwithroy Facebook Page

Noms. Credit: eatwithroy Facebook Page

So the other expression of our kiasuism is when we’re queuing for food. We’ll be drawn to the amount of food on that person’s plate, and our subconscious will automatically calculate which person’s plate has more food. If the other person’s plate has more, we’re going to make sure that all’s fair by asking that our plate be as full as the person before us.

We all subconsciously believe that other people are getting better deals than us. Even if the amount of food is the same, we’ll ask each other how much their plate of cai png cost. Once, I happened to order the exact same cai png dishes as my friend. He was charged $4.20, and I was charged $4.50.

My subconscious was right.

Incarnate. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Incarnate. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

It’d be terrible if someone could actually tap into our subconscious – there’d be so many conflicting thoughts to sift through! But that’s exactly what happens in Incarnate, a horror movie about an exorcist who can look into the subconsciousness of people who are possessed. Unfortunately, that kind of means that you’re looking into the subconscious of a demon.

What would you find inside the mind of a fiend? Would it be evil Incarnate?


Credits: Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving Facebook Page, SMRT Facebook Page, O4Cute Facebook Page, Yahoo Singapore Facebook Page, eatwithroy Facebook Page, Golden Village Cinemas