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Kopi or teh, oppa? Korean shares experience buying coffee at kopitiam, says had to do 'simulation at home'

Kopi or teh, oppa? Korean shares experience buying coffee at kopitiam, says had to do 'simulation at home'
PHOTO: TikTok/Feliciasong09

One struggle with travelling to a foreign country is the language barrier. 

But that didn't deter one Korean man from picking up Singlish for his upcoming trip to our little red dot, and trying to order kopi-o peng with his limited command of the language. 

He's been trying to learn the language for some time already and in a TikTok video last December, his Singaporean girlfriend, Felicia Song, showed him practicing for his upcoming trip. 

At the start of the 13-second clip, Song asked her boyfriend in Korean to order coffee in Singlish

"Uncle, auntie, one kopi-o kosong peng dabao (or take-away)," he said.

While Song praised him for doing so, how will he fare when ordering from a bonafide coffee shop uncle or auntie? 

Ordering kopi-o in real life 

Another TikTok video uploaded on Saturday (Feb 18) showed this man finally trying out his Singlish in real life. 

In the 55-second clip, he confidently walked up to a coffee shop drink uncle and said: "One kopi-o peng", which translates to "one iced coffee no milk". 

There was a brief moment of panic when he had to pay as he was unfamiliar with the local currency. 

He asked Song in Korean: "So how much is it? But how much is it?"

In response, she calmly said: "They will let you know." 

The hawker later asked Song in English: "Drink here? Or takeaway?" 

And like a true Singaporean, the Korean man said: "Dabao."

The drink came up to $1.40, and this man quizzically flipped through the dollar notes in his wallet trying to figure out the denomination. 

With some help from Song, he eventually found a $2 note and passed it to the hawker. 

"So proud of being able to order coffee in Singlish, the first real-world practice after simulation at home," Song said in the captions. 


Enjoying the fruits of his labour 

After successfully ordering his kopi-o peng, this man was handed his drink in a plastic bag which left him feeling rather amused. 

"Ahh, so 'dabao' comes out like this?" he said excitedly to Song while waving around the bag containing the drink. 

In fact, the man was so pleased that he ran out of the coffee shop with his arms stretched out. 

"Look at him being so happy and getting distracted," said Song. 

Next up came the taste test. 

"You don't have to stir this?" the man asked Song as he stared at the bag of coffee. 

Then, he took a big sip from his straw before letting out several satisfied grunts. 

"It's really good!" he told Song happily.

In the comments thread, Song replied to a netizen that her boyfriend usually drinks Americano in South Korea "but now he prefers kopi-o actually".

AsiaOne has reached out to Song for more details. 

Polish woman stuns netizens with her Singlish 

In December 2021, a Polish woman went viral on TikTok after posting a video of herself ordering ice cream with a near-perfect Singaporean accent

She had patronised the famed ice cream cart located outside Ngee Ann City along Orchard Road.

In a separate video, she showed herself repeating the same line of words but losing her native Polish accent and adopting a more local one.

"One year in Singapore. Aiya I tell you ah, the bak kut teh here very shiok," she said.

ALSO READ: 'Indian Prince' in Singapore stuns with his fluent Mandarin, aims to fight stereotypes about India

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