Depressing signs

I’m putting here pictures of three that I came across and snapped in the past few weeks.


The first one below was taken at Ikea, and it just cracked me up when I saw it.



Probably laughed way more than I should, but I was just so tickled by it. I was thinking, why the hell is such a sign necessary? Why would anyone think that a toilet bowl in a showroom is a functioning one, and why would anyone there want to use one in the open in the first place?

Then I thought, ahh okay, it’s for those crazy parents/grandparents of young kids who I’ve seen before letting the kids relieve themselves in public, like into a drain. And hey, these days, even in Singapore it’s not just the kids anymore, going by the stories in the links below.

So, yes, that sign (complete with acrylic sheet covering the whole toilet opening so nobody can insist on peeing or shitting into it! haha!) in Ikea is sensible, I guess. I shudder to think if such signs were originally brought on by any smelly messy incidents, whether in Singapore or in any of their hundreds of stores elsewhere in the world. Eeww. Poor cleaner.



A blogger I follow, Laura of Texas on Thames, who is an expat in Singapore, featured a similar Crime Alert sign in a post just recently where she wrote about staying attentive in Singapore even though we have a low crime rate. I was just commenting on her post about how such signs seem to be appearing with more frequency, which is worrying.

So when I came across this yet another new one just last week or so, it’s such a bummer. I mean, these signs themselves are great because they serve such an important purpose, but at the same time when they start to seem more common to me, it does seem to point to an increase in crime, generally. And, ugh, ‘obscene act‘. What is that, like a flasher? How rude. My sympathies to the victim, and I hope the authorities apprehend the offender soon. I think usually I see the alert for ‘shoplifting‘ or ‘housebreaking‘ or something like that.

By the way, this Crime Alert sign was placed outside Botanic Gardens MRT Station, Exit A. (for if by any chance anyone reading this was at the time and place and saw something,)


The third sign I snapped made me sad too. It was captured on a public bus.

“No assault on bus captain.”

(Perhaps for another post on another day, but by the way why are bus drivers in Singapore called bus captains? To give the occupation a fancy name? If so, why? And would that mean we look down on bus drivers, so much that we need to give them a fancier sounding name, to make the job look better? I just think that would be friggin’ ridiculous. Driving a bus is not just an honest and decent living, but honorable. The safety and lives of hundreds of passengers are in your hands every single day.)


There must have been some ugly incidents for the bus company to deem such a sign necessary, and the thought is just depressing.

Just a couple of weeks after I saw the sign above and wondered about it, I read about how in Penang, Malaysia last week, a bus driver was stabbed by a female passenger, for not acceding to her request to stop by the roadside. Please be warned that the photo of the victim contained in the following linked article is graphic, showing blood: Rapid Penang bus driver stabbed by a passenger.

Damn. Imagine being attacked and injured so seriously, but as the driver you still need to think for everyone’s safety, so you have to struggle to stop the bus safely even as you’re struggling to fight off your assailant.

Looks like Malaysia should follow Singapore’s example and put up “No assault on bus driver” signs to remind passengers to control their temper if riled up by the drivers, if they haven’t put up such signs already. How bloody screwed up, that all these signs are necessary.


Update 17 October 2014: Related: Unemployed man jailed for punching bus driver ( – 15 October 2014)

Warning and other signs

I was at Sentosa Island today taking a walk with a Swiss tourist friend. He made an observation that there are so many signs around. What to do, what not to do, this is allowed, that is not allowed. So many rules. It feels a bit like a nanny state where the people are not trusted to do the right thing, or not trusted to use their common sense, so they have everything spelt out for them.

And while talking about that, he mentioned he noticed that when he waits for a train at an MRT station, there are many announcements blaring from the speakers. Give way to alighting passengers! No eating! Report suspicious people and articles! I laughed because it’s true. There are many announcements, and I think most times they come in all four official languages, so yes sometimes it can seem a bit much and annoying.

The discussion of this subject started when we were at Sentosa because we were taking photographs at what looks like this Gaudi-inspired place near the Merlion, and he remarked the following pesky “Please do not enter the pool” sign spoils the view and photo-taking. The same sign was at various points along the whole stretch of the sculpture and water feature.


I had to laugh and agree with him. At first glance it looks silly. Who on earth would jump into the fountain? But we later decided there would be people crazy enough to jump in and play, kids and adults alike, including to pose for photos. It may look harmless but people may forget it takes just one slip on the wet slippery tiles to knock one’s head against the surface and that’s it. Nasty bruises, if not a lot worse. I’ve actually been there a few times and I recall the signs not being there before, so I won’t be surprised if they were put there after accidents had actually happened. So, it’s ugly, but safety before aesthetic, I guess. Just that it’s a pity that it’s necessary, if really so.

Two of the other signs we came across.



I guess some admin staff of Sentosa could have felt the same way too about the signs and made an attempt at a sense of humour with these. I didn’t find them very funny, but they did draw out a smile and a sad chuckle from me.





Day 40 of ‘100 Happy Days‘.

Happy meter: tickled