Thursday, 3 September 2009

On civility, tipping, hostile waitress and pesky molesters in Singapore

The Oprah Show last night talked about civility or being civilized. The show had given me yet another proof that even people from developed countries can be less cultured that those from 3rd world countries. Let's just say that cab-snatcher, pesky molester, I'm-a-customer-so-I'm the-queen and touch-me-bump-me people exist everywhere, even in Singapore and the States!

Talk about civility, I just had a very unpleasant experience last week when a Malay (or was it a Bangla?) guy followed me from Bugis MRT and tried hard to have a conversation with me. It was sickening, man! But what's more sickening was when no one seemed care enough to help me. One girl who eventually helped said she was sorry for not helping me earlier because she taught we knew each other. D'oh! Something has to be done in the future to get rid of these pesky molesters... and to brush up the society civility as well. I was lucky I was taller than the guy. But what if the victims were skinny foreign maids or small-build mainland Chinese shopkeeper, wouldn't it be fatal? I just wanna say to all the foreigners out there in Spore to be careful and vigilant when an ugly-looking bangla, malay or dark-skinned* man approach you for ANY kind of reason, RUN! And if you somehow *knock on wood* got molested don't be afraid to scream for help and to take pictures of your molesters. The least we can do is to send his pictures to newspapers, have it printed and circulated island wide under the headline: UGLY LOOKING AND SMELLY MOLESTER. The statement 'low crime doesn't mean no crime' is indeed correct.

Talk about civility and the Oprah show again, during the last part of the show they talked about 'hostility' towards waitresses and the importance of tipping. I realized in most countries that I've visited tipping are somehow a must, between 15-25% of total and in Singapore however, tipping is not an obligation. Some generous uncles or cab drivers a couple of times gave me a 10 or 20 cents markdown to round down the fares. Now, hostility towards waitresses... well, in Singapore, compare to other countries I've visited, there were times when I feel that I was the one being intimidated by the waitress, no kidding! I found that some waitresses who didn't speak English or even singlish, mostly from mainland china, were the most hostile. Some were even unfriendly towards baby Rania ; once a waitress took away a plastic spoon Rania was using for entertainment purposes – well, rania was checking the earth's gravity effect using the spoon. Another time a waitress took away her baby chair abruptly without consulting me, when Rania's feet was still strangled inside the chair. She said she's gonna keep away the baby chair back since it seemed for her I was not using it anymore. Blah!

I don't know whether it's because I look foreign and Indonesian, or that's the way they behave towards every customers regardless whether they are white or copper skinned (hum, interesting...).

(*) No offense towards Bangla, Malay or dark-skinned people in S'pore. And to hostile waitresses /waiters.

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