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.