9 Types of People You See at the CBD

Are you one of those sad people who only eat at their desks? Or someone who hustles through the CBD with AirPods firmly plugged in your ears, and a determinedly vacant look in your eyes? Then you, friend, are missing out on one of the key joys of working in the CBD – observing the catalogue of modern humanity that rushes through its streets, sidewalks, lanes and underground corridors on a daily basis. Here are a selection of ones we love (or hate-love) to spot!


The O.L.
This woman is straight up ICONIC FROM HEAD TO TOE. A true native of the CBD, with “lunch clutch”, tissue packet and umbrella firmly gripped under her armpit. Other essential accessories – the fun lanyard she got from an event gift bag, and the comfy shoes she chooses to wear on all non-meeting, non-office occasions. The best person to ask if you are lost, need to find a toilet urgently, or want to know where to go for lunch today. Variants include: The Auntie O.L.s; The O.L.s-in-training.

The Running Men
Why so fit? Why must exercise when so hot outside? We support any efforts to go from uncle to hunkle, but, damn, looking at that sweat already makes us wanna pengsan. The sight of them also makes O.L.s cringe, but not because of the sweat – which turns them on – but more because of the SUN DAMAGE. You do you, bro, just don’t forget the SPF! You can still get sunburnt in the CBD!

Ladies Who Lunch
Hmm… Sunglasses perched on her head. Printed sundress. (Or maybe linen pants and a kimono.) Pom pom sandals. Woven tote bag. Wait a minute! What do we have here? This woman is not going to work!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have chanced upon a rare and elusive creature; stepping out from her Tiong Bahru/Holland Village/Bukit Timah enclave and venturing into the CBD – the lady who lunches. See how she moves from pilates class, to that cosy café on the corner, to the cupcake place down the street, stopping midway to buy fruit from one of those weird fruit shops in the CBD that must cater only to foreigners who don’t know about NTUC and don’t dare to go to wet markets.

It all begs the question… where did she manage to find parking?

The Food Soldiers
Thanks to the app economy, there’s a very visible new breed of hustlers on the sidewalks the CBD – we’re talking about those neon-clad folk speed-walking/scooting around Raffles Place with Other People’s Lunches.

Just as the Shoemaker had his elves, the start-up-bros of Grab, Deliveroo and Foodpanda have their Food Soldiers, who are also foot soldiers in every sense of the word. Behold the industrious delivery-person, running around the place, adding to the intense crush of lunchtime human traffic, serving us much-needed boxes of Daily Cut to keep us grinding through the 9-to-5. Boon or bane? Depends very much on whether you are desk-bound that day.

The Lunchtime Lovers
Two people huddled together in a dark corner of that eatery no one goes to. Or a man with rumpled hair but a neatly tucked in shirt. Wait a minute… Is there something about this scene that does not add up? It can only mean one thing! At least one of these people is married (and not to the other person). Shhhhh… Don’t say we told you.

The Backpackers
On any given day, you’ll still spot a few tourists wandering around aimlessly. When you see them, you might find yourself succumbing to a random, compulsive burst of hostility that seems like it comes out of nowhere. But we get it – as walking reminders of the painful fact that we ourselves are not on holiday, we can’t help but take their presence as a personal affront, too. Go enjoy yourself somewhere else, dammit!

The Hiao Guys
Dude, are you ok? Cause it’s 30 degrees out and you are S.W.E.A.T.I.N.G. Did anyone tell you that you have to wear full suits to the office in Singapore? Hate to break it to you, but that’s what we call a sabo. If not, then why you so hiao, one? Just take off that damned jacket!

The Yoginis
A.k.a. the ones who exist to make us feel bad about ourselves. The ones we see swishing past with their yoga mats and make us wonder why we asked for extra curry zhap with our fan. 🙁

The Slasher
The ones who cannot be pigeonholed with a single label, these are the multihyphenates who send all sorts of confusing visual cues with their appearance. Corporate attire, but also Vans, but also Fitbit, but also slightly too-long hair… Huh? Ohhh, because he is a lawyer-SLASH-dj-SLASH-fitness instructor, you know?

Did we miss any CBD types? Have anything to add to this conversation? Let us know your thoughts at hello@junkasia.com.