The Singapore Showdown

There is an odd phenomenon that occurs almost daily in and around Singapore. It doesn’t seem to matter your location, gender, age, or ethnicity.

Around town (read country) the sidewalks are often fairly narrow. Sometimes barely allowing enough space for two people to walk side-by-side without angling their bodies. Another feature these sidewalks seem to share is that they tend to border the street or shrubbery leaving little to no room if you happen to run out of space on said sidewalk; like, for instance, when you encounter “The Singapore Showdown.”

“What is ‘The Singapore Showdown’?” you might ask, we’ll it’s quite simple really… Think of it as a game of chicken. You know in the movies when two cars face-off in a race towards each other and the first one to swerve (obviously to avoid the impending head-on collision) looses. Well, it’s kind of like that, except the cars are people and the street is the sidewalk.

“The Singapore Showdown” occurs pretty much daily. I suppose when faced with a sidewalk barely big enough for one person this game of chicken is somewhat understandable, maybe even acceptable, since there really isn’t anywhere else to go. But this phenomenon occurs in the roomier places as well. People (locals and expats alike) walking two, three, and sometimes even four across, will come to a head with an approaching pedestrian trying to get by and NO ONE in the bigger group MOVES! It doesn’t matter if you have a stroller, a kid, if you’re pregnant, or an elderly adult. It’s crazy! Especially when there is literally nowhere else for this person/people to go (unless you count oncoming traffic or the ditch next to you). So you are left with a choice. Do you risk delving into the shrubbery, ditch, or street? Or, do you stand your ground and see who flinches first?

Let the Showdown begin!

Singapore Sidewalks

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