Kiasu Singaporean wannabe

Still in the spirit of Chinese New Year, I decided to do another CNYish thing: Buy a Hongbao Toto ticket.

This will be the very first time I’m buying the Hongbao Toto so it’s an event for me. Besides, I need to get a ticket for the Goonfather if I want him to win $10 million for me (since he’s not free to go queue up).

I decided to go to this Toto outlet in Yishun, listed in the Singapore Pools website as the top winning outlet in Singapore, having produced something like 18 winning tickets in all.

Yes, there are some theories on how winning outlets get that status only because stupid people like me flock there in the hopes of getting “luckier” tickets. This increases the outlet’s sales, which in turn increases its winning chances.

Balls to that, I said.

I want to be where all the kiasu people are!
I want to soak in all the kiasu CNY atmosphere before CNY ends!
And I am very prepared to queue up for it in true Singaporean fashion!!

But…

I WAS NOT AT ALL PREPARED FOR THIS.

Where the heck did all these people come from?

This was 3 pm.

You all don’t need to work one ah??

Here is what the queue looks like from a bird’s eye point of view (not to scale):

I gathered, on a very modest estimate, that there had to be at least 200 people in the queue. Maybe 300.

I really underestimated Singaporeans. I had expected maybe 50 people in the queue. The Hongbao toto is on sale for nine days altogether, so I thought the queue would be reasonably spread out over nine days, and over the thousands of outlets in Singapore.

But it seems like the whole world decided to buy tickets from this particular outlet. No wonder it keeps producing winning tickets!

Of course, the Hello Kitty queues in the year 2000 were much, much worse. But I make allowances for that because those were once-in-a-lifetime kitties. $10 million? Pfft. You get a chance to win that every single year. Big deal.

Anyway, I didn’t join in the queue. It was simply too intimidating.

I wouldn’t have minded if I could have read a book while queuing. I’m perfectly willing to stand around for hours waiting for nothing as long as I have a good book.

But because Singaporeans (especially Toto-buying ones) are a superstitious lot, I was afraid the people around me would give me the evil eye for doing an “inauspicious” activity while standing in the fortune line with them.

(For the benefit of my non-Chinese readers: “Book” in Chinese is “shu”. And “shu” also means “to lose”. So any word sounding like “shu” is automatically inauspicious.)

I had consulted the Goonfather early this morning.

I said, “Later when I go queue up for Toto, do you think if I read a book while queueing, the other people in the queue will keropok me?”

His reply was, “Why you wanna do such a thing?!?!?”

Sheesh.

So I didn’t bring my book and I didn’t get in the queue and I didn’t buy my ticket to win $10 million.

I think I shall forget about soaking in the kiasu CNY atmosphere. Looking at today’s queue was plenty enough atmosphere for me.

Tomorrow, I will just go buy tickets from the most ulu outlet I can think of.

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22 thoughts on “Kiasu Singaporean wannabe

  1. Added: It was very common to find singaporeans squeezing all their means in 4D, toto, soccer, mahjong, etc, as long as they can earn extra profits, they don’t mind talking countless leaves or standing endlessly in the hot sun for the luck to become rich.

  2. Hehe, welcome to my neighbourhood. Chong Pang has always been a wonderful place to visit.
    If you have a PDA phone, you will be able to do tat without earning any stares. :)
    Hehe, I learnt my lesson regarding the “book” many years ago. I got murderous stares from all around me. Since then, I never bring along a book with me to such places.
    If you had noticed, no one is reading any newspaper either.

  3. QY: The queue at the Singapore Sweep outlet outside my office (down the road from Uncle’s place, on the right side) seemed pretty manageable this morning – 9am and around 10 people in the queue.

    Can’t promise you that the queue will be short tomorrow though, never underestimate the kiasuism and last-minute-habits of Singaporean aunties and uncles :P

  4. Hmm….. Why did I suddenly have this feeling that I am a superstitious uncle? I think if you should look at Silver stuff, such as bracelet, cup, spoon, fork…… “Kan yin” hur hur…..

  5. Wa!!! The queue sooooooo long!!!
    /sayang QY..

    That place brings back memories man.. I had my wedding shots from a bridal shop near there and I love the nasi lemak there!!!

  6. Starlandliu: Yeah, I’ve seen long queues outside Sg Pools outlets before. But never as long as this one. :P

    Sunny: Hey, good idea! Now I’m very very tempted to buy the Sony Reader when it comes out!

    Ely: Haha. I think the queues will probably be longest on Friday before the draw. :P

    Mooiness: No thanks, I value my life. I don’t want to be beaten up for nothing.

    PMG: Have lah. Like I said, the whole country decided to buy at the famous winning outlets, so the rest are quite empty. Yesterday at Raffles Place 9am, empty. At Bedok market 11am, empty. Today, I went to Marine Parade NTUC, 12pm, also empty! Managed to buy my tickets there. HEHE.

    Goonfather: Ok, I waiting for you to buy silver stuff for me. :P

    Wang Wang: REALLY? Why you go all the way to Yishun to take photo? Heh!

  7. Reading a book is inauspicious ‘cos it rhymes with “shu”. And looking at silver is auspicious ‘cos it rhymes with “ying”. Ok, bring your book & read in the queue. If anyone makes noise, show him/her a piece of silver & explain that since one is bad luck & one is good luck, they will cancel each other out. LOL!!

  8. Aiya. Should come down to Braddell to buy. Don’t think it’ll take you more than 20 minutes to queue tops. Then we can la kopi or something while waiting for people to start recognising you and asking for your autograph.

  9. no2slack: Haha, yeah. Got many ATMs there. :P

    PMG: You mean you never knew? I thought Singaporeans were famous for queuing under the hot sun for the privilege of spending their money. :P

    Derrick: Uh… somehow I don’t think that will appease people. I think people tend to believe more in the power of bad luck than good luck, lol.

    lancerlord: Huh? No lah, I can’t promote myself all the time can I? Haha.

    Sunny: I’m not surprised… looking at the number of people queuing there the whole week.

    Alvin: I finally bought at a place I didn’t even have to queue for a second. :P

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