We should change this custom
Letter from Mary Tan
05:55 AM Oct 08, 2009
I WAS at the food court in Raffles City Shopping Centre when I saw four well-dressed women casually tossing packets of tissue paper onto a table before heading off to get their lunch.
Soon, two European tourists who had already bought their food came by and sat at that table, moving the packets of tissues aside, I believe in all innocence.
When the four women came back with their food, they pointed out to the tourists that they had reserved the table, stating that it is a Singaporean custom to use packets of tissue paper to reserve seats.
The tourists had already started to eat their lunch, but these women sent the two tourists packing. They had to get their food back on the trays and look for another table.
It was such an ungracious, thoughtless, discourteous act. We shouldn't behave like that, whether it's to a tourist or otherwise.
Come on, fellow Singaporeans, please stop this silly behaviour. If you need to reserve a table, perhaps leave one member of your party seated while the rest take turns to get your food.
We must learn to be more gracious. Kopitiams, food courts and hawker centres are designed for public use, so some civic graciousness is in order.