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Living with roommates of different nationalities: what to expect

April 7, 2018

roommates different nationalities

Just like Singaporeans are known for being competitive and kiasu, people from other nationalities also have their unique traits and characteristics. In this article, we take a look at a lighter look at situations you might encounter if you live with roommates of different nationalities!


They’ll complain about how small the food portions are.


If they bump into you, they’ll apologize. If you bump into them, they’ll also apologize.


If they’re home, they’ll be suntanning in the balcony, 90% of the time. While everyone else will be moaning and groaning when the temperature creeps up to above 30°C, they’ll be loving every minute of it.


They’ll tune up all the clocks in the house so that they’re accurate, down to the very last second. If you make plans with them, make sure you’re on time… or you’ll have an angry roommate on your hands!


If there’s anything negative your Japanese roommate needs to bring up to you, you can bet that the conversation will be a long-drawn out one…

“Mike, how’s work been lately?”

“It’s good, I suppose. Why?”

“Nothing much, I just noticed that you’ve been coming home later than normal.”

“Yeah, been putting in some extra hours at the office.”

“I see. How terrible for you!”

“Nah, it’s expected of everyone, we’re pretty much used to it.”

“I see. When do you think you’ll be able to get your schedule back to normal?”

“I’m not sure. Why?”

“Oh, it’s just that the walls in our apartment are pretty thin, and I can sometimes hear you when you come back at around midnight…”


They’ll take trips to nearby countries (Batam, Bintan, etc) every two weeks or so. It’s not the actual holiday that they’re after – it’s the duty-free liquor.


If queueing were a legit sport in the Olympics, Singaporeans would be a formidable contender for the gold medal. You’ll find that your Singaporean roommate spends a lot of time queuing up at the latest eatery in town (our bets are on the upcoming Hong Kong eatery Tsui Wah set to hit our shores), for limited edition items and just about anything under the sweltering tropical sun!

What nationalities did we miss out on, and what would having them as roommates be like? Let us know in the comments below!

PS: This is a tongue-in-cheek piece which isn’t meant to be taken as a hard-and-fast 101 guide to sussing out your roommates! 

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If you found this article helpful, recommends 7 renters in Singapore share their worst roommate nightmares and 19 crucial questions to ask before moving in with a new roommate.

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