I put a question mark in the title because I do not necessarily agree with the news article.
It's one of those days when you click to read the online Newpaper, and some articles just leave you snorting away, just like this one did. I wont go as far to say this article is overdramatic, but it certainly doesnt carry a powerful voice. Of course we must remember, we are all entitled to our own opinions.
Going on holiday? (Read original news article here)
Leave these S'porean habits behind
THE 'SINGAPORE IS BETTER' MENTALITY
When we are in Singapore, everything is bad. When we are overseas, everything in Singapore is better. Weird, huh?
>> Actually, from my experience of living away from Singapore, i DO THINK Singapore is better in many ways. Of course we have our failings for sure, and despite whatever issues one may have with the govt, like it or not, many things in our country is run better and smoother. So i do not think its weird or a nasty habit to think so. In some ways, its national pride perhaps that shouldnt be doused with one sweeping statement. the only thing that should be said as a bad habit is Singaporeans should STOP saying CHEAP CHEAP in another country. That is rude.
No one knows why we pat seats.
>> Is this column writer close to grandparents or this person must be very young? For the fallacy that NO ONE KNOWS WHY, I hate to contradict but there are people out here familiar with the old folks tales - enlightening WHY people pat seats.
For one, there was a misconception that one can get piles in your arse if you sit on a super warm seat immediately after the previous occupant leaves. So the pat was an alleviation to cool the heat from the surface to "reduce" the heat. The hand is kinda acting like a thermomter to gauge when it is "safe" to sit, while some thinks that patting will "clear" piles contamination. (false of course) .
FANNING AWAY CIGARETTE SMOKE
We love inhaling clouds of dust from dirty seats, but we draw the line at nicotine
>> I think it is NO rocket science to clearly distinct that dust differs from nicotine smoke. While inhaling a short bust of dust doesnt exactly kills you or irritate your organs, cig smoke does. I have yet to hear of any reports that says a puff of dust will warrant bronchitits and damage your lungs( there are contant pollutant in the air anyway), but 2nd hand cig smoke has been told specifically harmful to non smokers. So we do NOT LOVE inhaling clouds, but we definitely SHOULD draw the line at nicotine.
Fanning away the smoke is not necessarily a true act of getting rid of smoke but rather, previously was an indicator to an unware smoker that his smoke is getting to someone. So he might want to put the distance. Of course overtime, the non smoker gets ruder with added commentaries, and smokers just got tired of rude non smokers that this fanning business seemed rude.
There are lots of smokers in HK and it is terrible standing in Q for mini-bus and have a smoker before you. However, I dont fan, I keep a wider distance and that normally does the trick and the smoker either move away more or he quickly puff more and butt it out. See, its not the act itself, its how u interpret the act. Then again, this is a personal opinion.
'CHOPING' TABLES WITH TISSUE PAPER
Another Uniquely Singapore trait, it is an honour code forged in the war zones of lunchtime Raffles Place.
>> While it seem annoying at first glance esp for hungry lunch people, step back and look at it in new light. It means that our society is CIVILISED enough to understand this hidden code. Its our own culture so why take such a bad light of it. A pack of tissue vs another colleague sitting there to book the table. What is the difference? End result, the table is still taken, except that with tissues, everyone can head out and buy their lunch quickly, eat quickly and leave, vs the one guardian being slower and the whole table has to wait for him/ her, hence resulting in longer waiting Q for others.
I honestly do not see the vice of this tissue culture to book seat. It only means that we are polite enough to understand the table is taken, since there isnt a paper and a pen for us to write reserved and person gone to line up for food. It sure is handy when you are alone and you know you have a seat to return to after a long line up for your food order. Surely, it only means our society has evolved enough not to fight over tables?
What is annoying however for potential table hunters, is not tissue to "chop" (reserve) seats. From past experience, the TRUE culprits are those who have finished eating but decided to linger on and hog the table to chat, despite knowing its busy lunch time and there are people waiting for empty tables. THOSE are inconsiderate behaviours that should be highlighted, not the tissue paper culture. These people didnt place tissues there for fun to prevent people from having tables, its for people who need to get their food since we are not table served by the stalls.
Incidentally, I am not a tissue culture groupie. I dont ever carry tissue. The other alternative is to get stranger next to me to hold the seat for me. Tried it, it worked. And honestly, except for the added "excuse me" and "thank you", I fail to see the difference between that and a tissue "stamp".
Then again back to topic at hand, I have NEVER seen any singaporeans doing that out of Singapore. So it really isnt a big deal. Singaporeans are NOT that stupid to assume other nations know our habit. Give our people some credit.
>> I like to point out, this is NOT only peculiar to Singapore. I have seen long Qs, overnight or not, in HK, Tokyo, London. Have u seen a crazy Q during sale in HK? So Singaporeans are rather placid by comparison. And how does joining or forming a Q ever do any harm to anyone? What's the big fuss? Kiasu is not a trait only Sg have, everywhere in the world, there are. Its just we dont live there, we dont see it. Period.