That does not mean what you think it means.

The primary language used in Singapore is English.  This does not, however, mean that people understand each other, even when they are both technically speaking English.

To wit…

Last week I bought a dishwasher.

I asked the sales woman if this would connect to my faucet…

She replied yes, that will connect to your faucet…



Luckily my handyman can work with this and he’ll be changing out our faucet to a two headed one that can run both my washer and my dishwasher, and everything will be operational by the end of the week. (I hope).

To be fair, in the US, non-installed dishwashers hook up to the kitchen sink faucet, and I’ve never seen them hook up anywhere else (because we don’t have floor traps to drain into…the only logical place for them to drain is the kitchen sink) so my assumption was logical based upon my experience, if incorrect in these circumstances.

It isn’t the misunderstanding that sucks (although it is unfortunate, and reminds me to clarify that we both mean the same thing when we use the same word), but rather that there is a zero return policy, and a full size dishwasher is basically the same price, or the same price one you figure in the cost of switching out my “faucet.”

Lesson learned, and please do learn from my “school of hard knocks” example.

This entry was posted in Expat to Expat Advice, Housing, Random Stuff, Shopping, Singapore. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to That does not mean what you think it means.

  1. bookjunkie says:

    Very keen to know how your Singapore dishwasher works. I have never tried one before and it looks interesting to me.

  2. Amelia says:

    I’m jealous! Dishwasher is what I miss most about home. When we moved in the owner looked at installing one but said he couldn’t because of they couldn’t put another connection in or something… maybe the double headed laundry faucet is the answer to our problems? Hope it works well!

    • Crystal says:

      Our handyman suggested that we just switch it out while we’re living here, and then change it back when we move…no need to involve the LL. Which is my preference as well…

      I’ll let you know. If it does, I can send you my handyman’s #.

  3. sg says:

    ahhh!! US english and British english… oh the pain when you cross the atlantic.. HAHA. sg was once part of the brit colony so its all british english here…. so no one here knows what is a faucet but everyone knows what a water tap is!! haha.. if all else fails, take a picture of the area before you go to the appliance store! it helps to explain things and the sales people in sg are generally very helpful if they get you….

    • Crystal says:

      I think what’s really confusing is that some of the time, American English is used here. I almost never hear nappies…I usually hear diapers. Ditto strollers, instead of prams. It’s hard to know which “English” is used…and while I’m enough of an Anglophile to usually catch most British English isms….this was not one I knew.

      Lesson learned the hard way.

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