Singapore can be a really depressing country, especially when you’re waiting for a bus at 1.30pm and the bus shelter’s shadow doesn’t cover the bus stop’s seats, so you have to decide if you want to sit down in the sun or stand in the shade (stand in the shade of course). Or if it’s one of those super sunny days with a light drizzle so you get burnt and drenched at the same time. So what really gets our goat as Singaporeans?

Here are six things that get Singaporeans really depressed, especially if you’re in the mad hot weather when any of this happens (seriously, what is up with the Sun these days?!).

1. Having to queue 45 minutes for your lunch… when your lunch break is 1 hour

Long queues for lunch at Maxwell Food Centre. Credit: Getting Lost Facebook Page

Long queues for lunch at Maxwell Food Centre. Credit: Getting Lost Facebook Page

If you’re like any regular officer worker, your lunch break is usually an hour. In reality most of us take 1 hour 15 min to 1 hour 30 min, but if you’ve got one of those penny-pinching, micromanaging bosses, you can be sure that your performance review will take a hit if your take 61 minutes or more for lunch.

The problem is, if you have that type of boss, then you can only go for lunch at 12.00pm – like everyone else. This usually means the queues are insanely long by the time you get to the hawker centre, forcing you to wait for up to 45 minutes if the stall is good. Double that time if it’s on the Michelin Bib Gourmand list, because there’ll be a long queue and each person will be ordering for 10 other people.

Good luck coming back to the office by 1.00pm.


2. Finding out that yet another public utility/service/necessity has gone up in price

Our water supply. Credit: PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency Facebook Page

Our water supply. Credit: PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency Facebook Page

You need to sit down for this one. So here’s what gone up/will go up so far:
Parking charges have gone up since December 2016
Electricity charges have gone up since January 2017
Gas prices have gone up since February 2017
Service and conservancy charges have gone up since June 2017
Water prices will go up in July 2017

Everything okay? Taken your blood pressure medication already? Haven’t thrown away your mobile phone in frustration yet? Good… because that probably means you’re pretty depressed.

I mean, with real wage increases forecast at 2.9% this year, it’s hardly enough to cover everything that has gone up in price.


3. Reading food articles with many grammatical errors

A very apt ad on the bottom right. Credit: Screengrab from

A very apt ad on the bottom right. Credit: Screengrab from

Sometimes it’s depressing to find a food article with gorgeous pictures… and terrible writing. Like this one. The title is already a depressingly convoluted “11 Omakase Sets Below $80 In Singapore To Trust The Chef With Your Money” – it’s like if our title was “6 depressing things in Singapore to trust your browser in depressing your moodiness”. Yes, you get the gist of it, but it’s definitely getting you an F9 in O-Level English.

This Facebook Page charmingly tracks down all the terribly written articles that plague food blogs. If you think you could write better, please write in to them and let them know. Or you could also sign up to be an English tuition teacher. Or you could start a Facebook Page correcting these articles.


4. Reading articles from The Straits Times with typos 

"More stricter". Credit: Facebook

“More stricter”. Credit: Facebook

Sometimes, The Straits Times has the most hilarious typos, probably because their social media staff are overworked. Like the one above. While it might still be acceptable for food bloggers to have odd English, it’s downright upsetting to see a national newspaper have typos everywhere. This Facebook Page archives the silliest ones of them all, and makes you die a little bit inside whenever you read a new post.


5. Banging into the paywall on The Straits Times website

I guess it means we've got to use private browsing mode now. Credit: Screengrab from The Straits Times.

I guess it means we’ve got to use private browsing mode now. Credit: Screengrab from The Straits Times.

We’re not sure why Today Online and Channel NewsAsia don’t have paywalls but The Straits Times does. Well, actually, we do – read “SPH Q1 net profit down 43.8%” if you haven’t reached your monthly quota of 15 free articles from The Straits Times! It’s depressing to see this paywall for several reasons.

Firstly, if you’re the type who gets news updates from online sources, then you would be savvy enough to just open a private browsing tab to defeat this restriction.

Secondly, you could always look for a similar article on Today Online if you really need the information on it.

It’s like putting a very very low fence to deter people from entering a garden. If it works, you’re sad that the people of Singapore can be so easily stymied, and if it doesn’t work, you’re sad that the good folk at The Straits Times thought this was a good idea.


6. Not being able to get the latest Hello Kitty in a McDonald’s promo

That Samsui Kitty is so cute! Credit: TODAY Facebook Page

That Samsui Kitty is so cute! Credit: TODAY Facebook Page

One of the great Singaporean past times is to collect complete sets of Hello Kitty toys from McDonald’s. But sometimes, demand exceeds supply, and you’re left with one last Hello Kitty to complete your collection. So you’re forced to sell that incomplete Hello Kitty set on Carousell as you contemplate the true meaning of life without Hello Kitty toys.

Suddenly, that Happy Meal isn’t so happy anymore.

Mad World (一念无明). Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Mad World (一念无明). Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

However, all these First World Problems in Singapore can’t compare to the true and tragic depression felt in Mad World (一念无明). In this film, a father (Eric Tsang) and his bipolar son (Shawn Yue) must cope with the loss of their mother/wife (Elaine Jin). As the tension and anxiety builds in their tiny Hong Kong flat, they learn that pain comes in many forms.

Catch Mad World (一念无明) if you want to know what true depression is all about.



Credits: Getting Lost Facebook Page, PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency Facebook Page,, Facebook, The Straits Times, TODAY Facebook PageGolden Village Cinemas