Singapore Expats Forum

What gives..? Is this the norm?

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

Aussie Person

What gives..? Is this the norm?

Postby Aussie Person » Wed, 09 Feb 2005 11:54 am

A couple days ago, I was in the supermarket with my fiance who is Chinese Singaporean.

Everyone was shopping up big for CNY.

Anyway, at the checkout one lady (late 30's/early 40s) had all her groceries stacked up and they were being scanned by the checkout-chick. She suddenly realised she forgot to get something, and left her groceries at the checkout.

While she was gone, a roll of paper-towels that she had at the checkout slid off the checkout as it wasn't properly balanced and rolled under the checkout.

The lady returned and took a long look at her shopping - as if something was amiss.

I thought to myself - she's noticed somethings missing.

She turns around and starts to head back for something else in the supermarket.

I was a few metres away, and as she approached me, I did the polite thing that isn't so uncommon back in Australia, and told her " Excuse me, your roll of paper ...."

I didn't get to finish my sentence, she pretended not to even hear or see me.

She passed right next to me, and I attempted again "excuse me, ....."

Again she pretended I wasn't there... not even a glance in my direction.

What gives? It was obvious I wasn't trying to get fresh with her or anything. My fiance was standing right next to me when I spoke to her.

I mean, it's just plain rude.

Is it because I'm caucasian, or is it because I'm male, or she can't speak english, or just plain bad manners? I'm curious if anyone else has had this kind of experience.

dot dot dot
Manager
Manager
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu, 21 Oct 2004

Postby dot dot dot » Wed, 09 Feb 2005 1:04 pm

Last edited by dot dot dot on Sun, 21 May 2006 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ExAussieExpat

Postby ExAussieExpat » Wed, 09 Feb 2005 7:14 pm

This a windup right, Aussie? Writing a whole story on it.

I was working in Nth Sydney and a couple of times in a fruit market, I said something about some fruits being too green to a couple Aussie women next to me (I being a Fem), they just looked at me & walked away. I respected that and got on with my life. Or just perhaps they were busy with their own thoughts, problems etc. They have the right since I was the one who started it and that was that.

It takes all sorts that make this world interesting. Tried negotiatin thru the maze of ppl in Wnyard (Sydney Train) Station at peak hrs & see how rude ppl can b.

Saving face, schmace.

Postby Saving face, schmace. » Wed, 09 Feb 2005 8:56 pm

No Aussie
I know you're not doing a wind-up but are just genuinely amazed.
This sort of thing is very normal here. Yes it is a bit about 'losing face' you know, it's their culture. I think its mostly rudeness. Strange and rude to the rest of the world, but hey, who cares. I usually think at least I can leave here at the end of my stint and end up somewhere in a land with people with manners.
It takes nothing to say thankyou does it.
What if she'd fallen over and tipped all the groceries. We would bend to help, but think twice, most would not thankyou for it and all you'd get in reply would be jer turned back but at least we are polite enough not to let this stop us helping people here.

Guest

Re: What gives..? Is this the norm?

Postby Guest » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 12:50 am

Aussie Person wrote:A couple days ago, I was in the supermarket with my fiance who is Chinese Singaporean.

Everyone was shopping up big for CNY.

Anyway, at the checkout one lady (late 30's/early 40s) had all her groceries stacked up and they were being scanned by the checkout-chick. She suddenly realised she forgot to get something, and left her groceries at the checkout.

While she was gone, a roll of paper-towels that she had at the checkout slid off the checkout as it wasn't properly balanced and rolled under the checkout.

The lady returned and took a long look at her shopping - as if something was amiss.

I thought to myself - she's noticed somethings missing.

She turns around and starts to head back for something else in the supermarket.

I was a few metres away, and as she approached me, I did the polite thing that isn't so uncommon back in Australia, and told her " Excuse me, your roll of paper ...."

I didn't get to finish my sentence, she pretended not to even hear or see me.

She passed right next to me, and I attempted again "excuse me, ....."

Again she pretended I wasn't there... not even a glance in my direction.

What gives? It was obvious I wasn't trying to get fresh with her or anything. My fiance was standing right next to me when I spoke to her.

I mean, it's just plain rude.

Is it because I'm caucasian, or is it because I'm male, or she can't speak english, or just plain bad manners? I'm curious if anyone else has had this kind of experience.



Dear Aussie Person... You have really been made to feel stupid by this Singporean laldy. I can understand. Your interpretation of her behaviour is not far fetched either. Her behaviour has a semblance of 'rudeness' and that's is very hurtful.....Agreed :!: You were being a perfect gentleman and it was not reciprocated by this local lady....this is not ok.

Let's get to the nitty-gritty of life in Singapore.......

First of all, not everyone here can speak fluent English especially the older generation. Secondly, sometimes Japs also look like as if they are chinese , but they are not.

Allow me to share my experience with you......

Once I was collecting my daughter from the School, on the way out I spotted my friend walking towards the bus-stop with her son. I slowed down the car and called out to her to ask her if she would like a lift?? She looked in my direction and totally ignored me. I called again but no response. Ok then I thought may be she can't see or hear me in a slow moving car. I stopped near the curb in order to ask if she would like a lift. You can guess what happened next.

SHE GAVE ME SUCH AN EVIL LOOK THAT I WAS COMPLETELY SHOCKED :x :shock: She had such a strange expression in her eyes that I thought I was speaking to her twin-sister who did not know me or her split-other , that simply had nothing to do with. These left me feeling so hurt and confused.

Later on I recounted this incident to another friend of mine but who did not know my friend no.1. This friend also saw this happen on that particular day because she was coming right behind me in her car after collecting her children from school. She knew what I was talking about...roughly.

After I finished telling her the whole gory details...she said.'It is typical of these chinese singaporeans to be rude to people especially caucasions.'

So I said to her that this friend no.1 was not chinese. She is in fact a Japanese. To this my friend no.2 replied: 'They all look the same, you can never tell chinese from the Japanese especially when they dress the same.'

The moral of this story is: In Singapore people do look the same, especially the chinese and Japs, not all but some and they can't speak English very well either or understand the mannerisms of the western people. :D

User avatar
Bafana
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun, 11 Apr 2004
Location: Singapore

Postby Bafana » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 1:27 am

Beware the Chinese Auntie...

They will make you go insane - I have found that the best way to deal with them is to ignore or treat them the same way that they are treating you.

And no - You are not a wind up merchant as this gets my goat everytime I go shopping, go to foodcourt, get in a lift, etc, etc, etc... :twisted:

Aussie Person

Postby Aussie Person » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 2:38 am

Eric from the Netherlands wrote:Hi Aussie,

First of all: Gong Xi Fa Chai to you :lol:

I do recognize your experience, in fact I could give quite some examples myself.

If you ask me what is the reason behind the behaviour you and I and a lot of non-Singaporeans would consider awkward at least:

Not to lose face.

Simple as that. The lady didnot want to be seen as someone who made a bit of a mess and who didn't act very smart.

So she simply neglects and / or denies.

But remember, it is part of a culture here, and since you are here in SIngapore, it would help yourself and the lady to just respect it and leave it like that.

Don't get me wrong here, i am experiencing these challenges on a daily basis... :?

Have a good new year ahead!

Eric


Hi Eric

Gong Xi Fa Chai to you too :)

Thankyou for the explanation. Hope you have a great new year too!

Aussie Person

Postby Aussie Person » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 2:55 am

ExAussieExpat wrote:This a windup right, Aussie? Writing a whole story on it.

I was working in Nth Sydney and a couple of times in a fruit market, I said something about some fruits being too green to a couple Aussie women next to me (I being a Fem), they just looked at me & walked away. I respected that and got on with my life. Or just perhaps they were busy with their own thoughts, problems etc. They have the right since I was the one who started it and that was that.

It takes all sorts that make this world interesting. Tried negotiatin thru the maze of ppl in Wnyard (Sydney Train) Station at peak hrs & see how rude ppl can b.


I can assure you it's no wind-up.

Giving detail was only so I could relate exactly my experience- one line explanations of what happened can be interpreted in a number of ways.

I also do acknowledge your point that people are rude whereever you go in the world - Australia included.

I guess the angle i'm coming from is that I have quite a few friends back home that I met while they were overseas students, and the friendship continued after they got jobs in Australia. I know quite a few Singaporeans/Malaysians/Indonesians.

Most are quite polite. To say they've been "australianised" would be giving Australia too much credit as I genuinely believe this is the character of the friends I've made even before they stepped foot into the country.

Secondly, I have heard of Singaporeans being "rude" , but in honesty I've never experienced it (it's my 4th visit, here this time). Most people will give you the time of day, if you say "excuse me.."

What baffled me was, what did I do different this time.... Hence the "is it because I"m caucasian, male, language barrier, plain rudeness" question. You walk away from these situations checking your breath and arm-pits for odour wondering "is it something about me...?"

Aussie Person

Postby Aussie Person » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 3:06 am

Thanks to everyone else that replied.

Enjoy your new year!!

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 3:11 am

Aussie Person wrote:Thanks to everyone else that replied.

Enjoy your new year!!


Thank you :D Happy New Year to You and your girl-friend :?

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 3:19 am

Guest wrote: 'Dear Aussie Person... You have really been made to feel stupid by this Singporean laldy. I can understand. Your interpretation of her behaviour is not far fetched either. Her behaviour has a semblance of 'rudeness' and that's is very hurtful.....Agreed You were being a perfect gentleman and it was not reciprocated by this local lady....this is not ok. '

'Let's get to the nitty-gritty of life in Singapore....... '

'First of all, not everyone here can speak fluent English especially the older generation. Secondly, sometimes Japs also look like as if they are chinese , but they are not. '

'Allow me to share my experience with you......'

'Once I was collecting my daughter from the School, on the way out I spotted my friend walking towards the bus-stop with her son. I slowed down the car and called out to her to ask her if she would like a lift?? She looked in my direction and totally ignored me. I called again but no response. Ok then I thought may be she can't see or hear me in a slow moving car. I stopped near the curb in order to ask if she would like a lift. You can guess what happened next. '

'SHE GAVE ME SUCH AN EVIL LOOK THAT I WAS COMPLETELY SHOCKED She had such a strange expression in her eyes that I thought I was speaking to her twin-sister who did not know me or her split-other , that simply had nothing to do with. These left me feeling so hurt and confused. '

'Later on I recounted this incident to another friend of mine but who did not know my friend no.1. This friend also saw this happen on that particular day because she was coming right behind me in her car after collecting her children from school. She knew what I was talking about...roughly.'

'After I finished telling her the whole gory details...she said.'It is typical of these chinese singaporeans to be rude to people especially caucasions.'

So I said to her that this friend no.1 was not chinese. She is in fact a Japanese. To this my friend no.2 replied: 'They all look the same, you can never tell chinese from the Japanese especially when they dress the same.'

'The moral of this story is: In Singapore people do look the same, especially the chinese and Japs, not all but some and they can't speak English very well either or understand the mannerisms of the western people.'

This is exactly what happened to someone I :( Dear Aussie Person... You have really been made to feel stupid by this Singporean laldy. I can understand. Your interpretation of her behaviour is not far fetched either. Her behaviour has a semblance of 'rudeness' and that's is very hurtful.....Agreed You were being a perfect gentleman and it was not reciprocated by this local lady....this is not ok.

Let's get to the nitty-gritty of life in Singapore.......

First of all, not everyone here can speak fluent English especially the older generation. Secondly, sometimes Japs also look like as if they are chinese , but they are not.

Allow me to share my experience with you......

Once I was collecting my daughter from the School, on the way out I spotted my friend walking towards the bus-stop with her son. I slowed down the car and called out to her to ask her if she would like a lift?? She looked in my direction and totally ignored me. I called again but no response. Ok then I thought may be she can't see or hear me in a slow moving car. I stopped near the curb in order to ask if she would like a lift. You can guess what happened next.

SHE GAVE ME SUCH AN EVIL LOOK THAT I WAS COMPLETELY SHOCKED She had such a strange expression in her eyes that I thought I was speaking to her twin-sister who did not know me or her split-other , that simply had nothing to do with. These left me feeling so hurt and confused.

Later on I recounted this incident to another friend of mine but who did not know my friend no.1. This friend also saw this happen on that particular day because she was coming right behind me in her car after collecting her children from school. She knew what I was talking about...roughly.

After I finished telling her the whole gory details...she said.'It is typical of these chinese singaporeans to be rude to people especially caucasions.'

So I said to her that this friend no.1 was not chinese. She is in fact a Japanese. To this my friend no.2 replied: 'They all look the same, you can never tell chinese from the Japanese especially when they dress the same.'

The moral of this story is: In Singapore people do look the same, especially the chinese and Japs, not all but some and they can't speak English very well either or understand the mannerisms of the western people.


I wrote: This is exactly what happened to me as well :!: :(

love4u

Postby love4u » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 3:21 am

Anonymous wrote:Guest wrote: 'Dear Aussie Person... You have really been made to feel stupid by this Singporean laldy. I can understand. Your interpretation of her behaviour is not far fetched either. Her behaviour has a semblance of 'rudeness' and that's is very hurtful.....Agreed You were being a perfect gentleman and it was not reciprocated by this local lady....this is not ok. '

'Let's get to the nitty-gritty of life in Singapore....... '

'First of all, not everyone here can speak fluent English especially the older generation. Secondly, sometimes Japs also look like as if they are chinese , but they are not. '

'Allow me to share my experience with you......'

'Once I was collecting my daughter from the School, on the way out I spotted my friend walking towards the bus-stop with her son. I slowed down the car and called out to her to ask her if she would like a lift?? She looked in my direction and totally ignored me. I called again but no response. Ok then I thought may be she can't see or hear me in a slow moving car. I stopped near the curb in order to ask if she would like a lift. You can guess what happened next. '

'SHE GAVE ME SUCH AN EVIL LOOK THAT I WAS COMPLETELY SHOCKED She had such a strange expression in her eyes that I thought I was speaking to her twin-sister who did not know me or her split-other , that simply had nothing to do with. These left me feeling so hurt and confused. '

'Later on I recounted this incident to another friend of mine but who did not know my friend no.1. This friend also saw this happen on that particular day because she was coming right behind me in her car after collecting her children from school. She knew what I was talking about...roughly.'

'After I finished telling her the whole gory details...she said.'It is typical of these chinese singaporeans to be rude to people especially caucasions.'

So I said to her that this friend no.1 was not chinese. She is in fact a Japanese. To this my friend no.2 replied: 'They all look the same, you can never tell chinese from the Japanese especially when they dress the same.'

'The moral of this story is: In Singapore people do look the same, especially the chinese and Japs, not all but some and they can't speak English very well either or understand the mannerisms of the western people.'

This is exactly what happened to someone I :( Dear Aussie Person... You have really been made to feel stupid by this Singporean laldy. I can understand. Your interpretation of her behaviour is not far fetched either. Her behaviour has a semblance of 'rudeness' and that's is very hurtful.....Agreed You were being a perfect gentleman and it was not reciprocated by this local lady....this is not ok.

Let's get to the nitty-gritty of life in Singapore.......

First of all, not everyone here can speak fluent English especially the older generation. Secondly, sometimes Japs also look like as if they are chinese , but they are not.

Allow me to share my experience with you......

Once I was collecting my daughter from the School, on the way out I spotted my friend walking towards the bus-stop with her son. I slowed down the car and called out to her to ask her if she would like a lift?? She looked in my direction and totally ignored me. I called again but no response. Ok then I thought may be she can't see or hear me in a slow moving car. I stopped near the curb in order to ask if she would like a lift. You can guess what happened next.

SHE GAVE ME SUCH AN EVIL LOOK THAT I WAS COMPLETELY SHOCKED She had such a strange expression in her eyes that I thought I was speaking to her twin-sister who did not know me or her split-other , that simply had nothing to do with. These left me feeling so hurt and confused.

Later on I recounted this incident to another friend of mine but who did not know my friend no.1. This friend also saw this happen on that particular day because she was coming right behind me in her car after collecting her children from school. She knew what I was talking about...roughly.

After I finished telling her the whole gory details...she said.'It is typical of these chinese singaporeans to be rude to people especially caucasions.'

So I said to her that this friend no.1 was not chinese. She is in fact a Japanese. To this my friend no.2 replied: 'They all look the same, you can never tell chinese from the Japanese especially when they dress the same.'

The moral of this story is: In Singapore people do look the same, especially the chinese and Japs, not all but some and they can't speak English very well either or understand the mannerisms of the western people.


I wrote: This is exactly what happened to me as well :!: :(


These Singas are crazy people :lol: :x :!: :D :D :D :D

Aussie Person

Postby Aussie Person » Thu, 10 Feb 2005 3:54 am

love4u wrote:
These Singas are crazy people :lol: :x :!: :D :D :D :D


No inflammatory replies please.


Anyway, I'm over this incident. Tomorrows always a new day. Life moves on....

Thanks again to those that shared their experiences.

Guest

Postby Guest » Fri, 11 Feb 2005 2:22 am

Aussie Person wrote:
love4u wrote:
These Singas are crazy people :lol: :x :!: :D :D :D :D


No inflammatory replies please.


Anyway, I'm over this incident. Tomorrows always a new day. Life moves on....

Thanks again to those that shared their experiences.


bravo :!: :D :o :lol:

agi
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun, 27 Feb 2005

Postby agi » Sun, 27 Feb 2005 2:26 pm

Aussie Person wrote:I also do acknowledge your point that people are rude whereever you go in the world - Australia included.


Agreed. When I was in Singapore recently, I noticed that people didn't usually make eye contact, nor did they thank you if you opened a door for them, move out of their way, etc.

I also got very annoyed on the MRT, when people would not move down the carriage on a busy train, and when you tried to get off there were people standing right in the doorway trying to get on the train, or trying to push their way on before you even got off.

Then, when I got back to Australia, I realised the train commuters are just as bad. Try to get on before you get off, push in front of you and don't line up behind the lines, etc. Rude people are everywhere.

But people in Australia make eye contact and smile/say hi! That part is just a cultural thing, I guess.
------------------------
DC 4 2006 F1 WDC
------------------------


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests