Just back from reading my gf's post. Like many singaporeans who have been living overseas alike, she has a string of grievances about the host country. While she has her list of unhappiness about living in Japan, I too have my string of negatives about the countries I had experienced.
Yet when we returned to our birthplace, she rightly point out that we are reminded of the singapore frustrations that still plague us as today. Things that I have raised before -
1. Incompetent spoken English. Grammatically wrong and proud of it. Plus sounding like ah lian and ah beng even for bunch of university students who obviously should have passed GP at A levels....
2. Inability to stand one side of the escalator. I suspect the SHORT escalator length in sg has something to do with it. In HK, australia and london, the escalators are much longer and so people are less inclined to block the way
3. Lack of graciousness to hold the doors, lift, lend a helping hand for strangers.
4. Impoliteness and inability to say thank you to strangers who hold the lift door open for them.
5. The bad china habit of talking louder and louder in your face
6. Inability to maintain a clean public toilet
7. Inconsiderate flinging of water off their hands all over people around them and onto the floor
8. Inability to aim the used / soiled tissue into the rubbish bin or toilet bowl
9. Inability to correctly throw their used female products into the sanitised bins provided in each cubicle.
10. Inability to provide a CLEAN toilet seat for the next user
11. Perfectly healthy and able younger generations refusing to give up seats for the elderly and pregnant or injured people.
12. Inability to dress correctly for the event or venue, thinking Tshirts and Bermudas and fli flops are the only things invented even for higher end restauarants in singapore or overseas.
Yet despite all the national flaws as above, and my gripes about it. It does not mean I am or I want to be any less Singaporean. It is still the place where I too feel most at home, in my own skin.
Like the little note I left for my friend. No parents are perfect, and hence no countries are perfect either. However, I am not defined by their imperfections. I am the person I choose to become by my own choice. And if I didnt care about the place, the perhaps, I wouldnt have so much views and wish for the country to be a better place.
NO matter what people say about tacky TV campaigns and it having a reversal effect on the intended message, I still love my "Courtesy Singa Lion" and "Clean and Green Frog" and POSB saving Squirrel. The familar mascots in my growing up years.
Propaganda tactics perhaps but personally, I think it worked well enough for my generation, where we believe giving up seats for the needy is still our way of life. The message somehow has been lost in our younger generations...when my heavily pregnant friend was shocked to have a 70yr old man giving up his seat for her.