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Thread: putting my PR to use

  1. #1

    Default putting my PR to use

    went out with the misses the other day and had a bite to eat at a small eatery in takashimaya. we were sitting and eating and the place was becoming a bit crowded, one gentleman, a local, asked if anyone was sitting next to us (there were two seats) we told him no there was no one. the gentleman placed his bags on the chair and stood in line to order.

    shortly after an expat brought his food to the same spot where my wife and i were eating. he put his tray down and removed the gentleman's bags from the chair who had just put them there a minute earlier. seeing this, the local man told the expat he was sitting there... the expat told him "no you're not." the expat told him it is unfair for him to reserve a seat while others are ordering. to my amazement, the singaporean went and took his bags and looked for another place to sit while giving up his seat to the expat.

    the expat sat down across from me at the table and i told him "what you did was uncool... it's people like you that give locals reasons to hate expats." i don't think the expat expected anyone to speak up. he and i argued and i made it a point to raise my voice so everyone in the eatery would know how much of a dickhead he was. needless to say he left.

    this was the first time i actually saw an expat bully a local and it shocked me. what was more amazing was that no locals stood up to confront the expat. i realized something, when you don't stand up for yourself you make it easy for people to walk all over you... whether expat, employer, government, or whatever. i just hope i never see anything like this again but i figured i would back up a local and hopefully locals and expats can respect one another a bit more. we don't have to agree with one another, we just need to respect each other.

  2. #2

    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawaiisg View Post
    went out with the misses the other day and had a bite to eat at a small eatery in takashimaya. we were sitting and eating and the place was becoming a bit crowded, one gentleman, a local, asked if anyone was sitting next to us (there were two seats) we told him no there was no one. the gentleman placed his bags on the chair and stood in line to order.

    shortly after an expat brought his food to the same spot where my wife and i were eating. he put his tray down and removed the gentleman's bags from the chair who had just put them there a minute earlier. seeing this, the local man told the expat he was sitting there... the expat told him "no you're not." the expat told him it is unfair for him to reserve a seat while others are ordering. to my amazement, the singaporean went and took his bags and looked for another place to sit while giving up his seat to the expat.

    the expat sat down across from me at the table and i told him "what you did was uncool... it's people like you that give locals reasons to hate expats." i don't think the expat expected anyone to speak up. he and i argued and i made it a point to raise my voice so everyone in the eatery would know how much of a dickhead he was. needless to say he left.

    this was the first time i actually saw an expat bully a local and it shocked me. what was more amazing was that no locals stood up to confront the expat. i realized something, when you don't stand up for yourself you make it easy for people to walk all over you... whether expat, employer, government, or whatever. i just hope i never see anything like this again but i figured i would back up a local and hopefully locals and expats can respect one another a bit more. we don't have to agree with one another, we just need to respect each other.
    errr if that's the case why didn't you tell him that the seats were taken in the first place?

  3. #3
    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawaiisg View Post
    went out with the misses the other day and had a bite to eat at a small eatery in takashimaya. we were sitting and eating and the place was becoming a bit crowded, one gentleman, a local, asked if anyone was sitting next to us (there were two seats) we told him no there was no one. the gentleman placed his bags on the chair and stood in line to order.

    shortly after an expat brought his food to the same spot where my wife and i were eating. he put his tray down and removed the gentleman's bags from the chair who had just put them there a minute earlier. seeing this, the local man told the expat he was sitting there... the expat told him "no you're not." the expat told him it is unfair for him to reserve a seat while others are ordering. to my amazement, the singaporean went and took his bags and looked for another place to sit while giving up his seat to the expat.

    the expat sat down across from me at the table and i told him "what you did was uncool... it's people like you that give locals reasons to hate expats." i don't think the expat expected anyone to speak up. he and i argued and i made it a point to raise my voice so everyone in the eatery would know how much of a dickhead he was. needless to say he left.

    this was the first time i actually saw an expat bully a local and it shocked me. what was more amazing was that no locals stood up to confront the expat. i realized something, when you don't stand up for yourself you make it easy for people to walk all over you... whether expat, employer, government, or whatever. i just hope i never see anything like this again but i figured i would back up a local and hopefully locals and expats can respect one another a bit more. we don't have to agree with one another, we just need to respect each other.
    If it was me, I think it was not worth it to argue over such matters.. in some countries what the other guy did is frown upon, as that was a selfish act, since he hasn't got food yet he was reserving seat and depriving others from it.

    In Singapore, reserving seats with bags or tissue paper is in fact the norm and considered acceptable, but considered selfish/rude in some countries.

    It's ironic.

    ../azul123

  4. #4

    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    I don't think while any actual rules, regulations or even guidelines about what is 'encouraged or acceptable dining ettiquete' at Singapore makan places, it appears that just as many Singaporeans are actually quite disgusted with the tissue packet crowds as there are those who think it perfectly acceptable.

    It appears that what the local gentleman did could be construed as being the bag equivalent to the tissue packet crowd.

    Several questions come to mind:

    1) Does an individual/group have a right to reserve a seat in a public place, if no such provisions are made by the management of the establishment?

    2) If there's someone sitting at the table, and says "Sorry, all the seats here are taken", whether it be true or not, does that make it more acceptable? I'm referring in particular to people who may take 3/4 of the seats and do not like others to sit at 'their' table, even though no rights to exclusivity exists in places of public eating. Do you feel that's right?

    Note: I personally feel it gracious if someone doesn't want you to join 'their' table, one shouldn't impose ... I guess unless it's a more urgent or needy and very genuine circumstance like if you have a handicapped or very old person with you for example.

    3) What if you delete nationality/geneder/ethnicity from the original situation, or turn it around? A foreigner was the one who reserved the seat with a bag, and a local removed it, (though that would be highly unlikely to happen), but what if?

    Assuming you're a local, how would you feel if you witnessed that happening? Would you stand up for your fellow local? State if you find the idea of tissue paper reservations acceptable, and under what circumstances.

    4) What if you do include genderism into the equation? It was an attractive and courteous foreign char bo (you're a guy) who asked nicely if she could reserve the seat, and bent down, accidentally exposing her cleavage while putting her bag down? If she continues to sit there later, you might get to see more.

    5) Exact same situation as above, but the attractive char bo is local?

    6) Exact same situation as #4 and #5, but the char bo is old, fat and ugly?

    Note: Like it or not, discrimination is allowed and do exist at many levels in our country.

    At the end of the day, my feel is that graciousness is something fluid ... depending on where you are and what are the circumstances. It's also something less likely to exist in a dynamic, fast-paced urbanised society except for some places.

    Ces le vie or however you spell that.

    p.s. 'You' in the above refers to no one individual Hawaii, so please do not take it personally. ;-)
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 20th January 2008 at 08:24 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    when in rome, do like roman do. it is better to swim like a fish when in water, failing that, try dolphin, otter, duck, or at least doggy style.

  6. #6

    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Regardles, to Hawaiisg for sticking up for what should be.

  7. #7

    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Yup, when you are in Rome do what the Romans do and when you are in Singapore do what the Singaporean do. Like it or not, Right or not... if thats what the local in a country do, you as a visitor you have to respect them as thats the way they do things, questioning the reasons, logic behind is of no use too as thats what the local have done for many many years, you done go to a country and start questioning their way of life. It will take the country many years of Campaigning to see any improvement or changes. Take a look at other countries, they too have their particular way of doing things, if you dislike or felt offender by their way of living then do what I do, don't visit that country again, if of not choice but to visit there, stay in the hotel room then....
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    I am not so sure it was right to place tissue paper packets or plastic bags or umbrellas or even notebook computers (in the NLB especially) to book seats at the tables.

    Singaporeans always need a law and a fine to prod them to behave.

    Then again, Hawaiisg's immediate reaction was outrage that a foreigner can over-rule a local in public just like that.

    Who is right?
    Depends on the prevailing culture of the land.

    One thing I know, foreigners know that Singaporeans are easy to bully.

    The same foreigner would not want to try the same thing in say, Afghanistan or Iraq or Yala in southern Thailand. Because there, an outraged local like Hawaiisg will not simply argue vocally.

    The foreigner will be KILLED. Literally.
    And he knows it. So he won't pull the same stunt there.

    But in Singapore he knows it is safe to bully the locals.

  9. #9

    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Quote Originally Posted by ricohflex View Post
    I am not so sure it was right to place tissue paper packets or plastic bags or umbrellas or even notebook computers (in the NLB especially) to book seats at the tables.

    Singaporeans always need a law and a fine to prod them to behave.

    Then again, Hawaiisg's immediate reaction was outrage that a foreigner can over-rule a local in public just like that.

    Who is right?
    Depends on the prevailing culture of the land.

    One thing I know, foreigners know that Singaporeans are easy to bully.

    The same foreigner would not want to try the same thing in say, Afghanistan or Iraq or Yala in southern Thailand. Because there, an outraged local like Hawaiisg will not simply argue vocally.

    The foreigner will be KILLED. Literally.
    And he knows it. So he won't pull the same stunt there.

    But in Singapore he knows it is safe to bully the locals.
    no lah. this is just a case where people forgot to be civil to one another. Hawai already know that the guy wanted and took the seat, while its not his obligation to chop it for the local, i'm sure he would have liked the local to do the same for him. since in this case it sounded like the local was alone and had no choice. it's just being a good neighbour and being civilized. what the expat did was wrong but sorry ts i have to say that you should have spoken up earlier and say that the seat was taken as well, it would have been the neighbourly thing to do.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Quote Originally Posted by garou12 View Post
    no lah. this is just a case where people forgot to be civil to one another. Hawai already know that the guy wanted and took the seat, while its not his obligation to chop it for the local, i'm sure he would have liked the local to do the same for him. since in this case it sounded like the local was alone and had no choice. it's just being a good neighbour and being civilized. what the expat did was wrong but sorry ts i have to say that you should have spoken up earlier and say that the seat was taken as well, it would have been the neighbourly thing to do.
    Yes, it would have been better or more harmoniously to tell the expat that the seat was taken, but then in that case the expat would have not been told off and reminded that you don't push 'your' way through......

    HS

  11. #11

    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    yup, i agree, you should have told the chap that the seat was taken, but i get what you're driving at. 2 new year eve's ago, at the esplanade, a bunch of expats jumped the taxi cue hijacked the cab just before the cabstand, i got so cheesed off i stopped the cab driver and told them off. the good thing was they got off and acted like they didnt see that there was a long que. we should stand up for what is deservingly ours.

    anyway, i dont think all of us discriminate whites, but its more often the case that we are taken advantage of, even in our own country. maybe its just something that colonialism left us with.

  12. #12
    vince123123
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    If the moral of the story is to speak up for what you believe in, I suppose that is fine. However, this local practice of reservation of seats with tissue paper and what not ought to stop. For those who use tissue paper, they can just be thrown away. For those stupid enough to reserve with bags or things of value, simply remove the item to another location and watch them panic.

  13. #13

    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    maybe the ang moh didn't think he was bullying the other guy. in some other countries you buy your food first, then get a seat. and to them it's rude to "chope" a seat before you get your food.

    i'm wondering if that may be what's going on here, since you mentioned that the ang moh came over with his tray - ie he bought his food first, then he looked for a place. which is why he told the local guy it wasn't fair to reserve a place first.

    i have no idea what tone you guys were using when talking to each other. just suggesting that maybe the ang moh wasn't out to bully someone. in this case, what the local fella did is accepted social practice in singapore. but though you do your best to adjust to practices in the place you're in, maybe the ang moh just didn't know?

    and if the first (was it the first) thing you're told is "this is why ppl hate ppl like you", then you wouldn't really be predisposed to be all understanding and reasonable after that, would you?
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  14. #14
    Member BlueBull's Avatar
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    OT a bit.

    Once also at Taka food area, my wife and me were there during lunch and place was crowded. There was this table with 4 seats and 2 aunties eating. We approached them and asked if the seats were taken, they replied damn fast and emphatically, "YES!". So we hung around and eventually got our seats, ordered and finished our food and guess what, the 2 cunties were finishing their food and going off and no one took the two empty seats.

    Hmm, maybe I should have went and tell the two selfish aunties off cos if I dun, am I being bullied by them then?
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    BlueBull you are not bullied by those aunties. You kena sai by them. :P (in english: They bullshit you).
    Last edited by aryanto; 21st January 2008 at 09:05 AM.

  16. #16
    vince123123
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    I don't think that is socially accepted practice - just that it is common practice in Singapore which happens to be tolerated by others.

    I'll not really hesitate to throw away tissue packs used to reserve seats if I see them; or if unopened, maybe even collect it for future use It does appear that this practice is confined only to the CBD area lunch time crowds though - you don't really see them elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by pai View Post
    in this case, what the local fella did is accepted social practice in singapore. but though you do your best to adjust to practices in the place you're in, maybe the ang moh just didn't know?

  17. #17

    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I don't think that is socially accepted practice - just that it is common practice in Singapore which happens to be tolerated by others.

    I'll not really hesitate to throw away tissue packs used to reserve seats if I see them; or if unopened, maybe even collect it for future use It does appear that this practice is confined only to the CBD area lunch time crowds though - you don't really see them elsewhere.
    yes i think using tissue to mark your seat is rude but i also cannot blame people if they're alone, the area is crowded and they need to find a seat so they can sit down and eat. and i also agree that its stupid to use something valuable to chop the seats as well since it just invites theft.

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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Kudos to you.

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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Quote Originally Posted by garou12 View Post
    errr if that's the case why didn't you tell him that the seats were taken in the first place?
    if you read properly, the expat just came and put the bags away and sat down, the owner of the bags did tell him he was sitting there and the response was "no you're not"
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    Default Re: putting my PR to use

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I don't think that is socially accepted practice - just that it is common practice in Singapore which happens to be tolerated by others.

    I'll not really hesitate to throw away tissue packs used to reserve seats if I see them; or if unopened, maybe even collect it for future use It does appear that this practice is confined only to the CBD area lunch time crowds though - you don't really see them elsewhere.
    foodcourts all around like harbourfront does that too..
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

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