05 Aug '11, 10am

Welcome to Singapore. Sorry, this seat is taken!

Welcome to Singapore. Sorry, this seat is taken!

Ian sent me this photo of a bunch of “very literal” tissue paper packets. I’d like to credit the person who made this cultural artifact because it sums up one of the most uniquely Singaporean traits I’ve seen so far. Choping is a cultural phenomena where the locals have self-established as a form of social cue to mark their territory, for the purpose of reserving a place (e.g. dining table or seats) simply because they are hard to come by in our crowded country. Some common items used for chope-ing include tissue paper packets and the daily newspaper which this particular blogger has no problem using for his own (haha!). I believe that to effectively chope a seat, you need something that’s handy and of low value. Anything expensive would simply be stolen. Choping has been around for a long time, but it’s only through personal blogs that I’ve managed to see the extent of it...

Full article: http://theory.isthereason.com/?p=1306

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