Whose way is it anyway?

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Dillion
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Whose way is it anyway?

Post by Dillion » Wed, 08 Mar 2006 11:40 pm

I have only been in Singapore for a couple of months and am quite fond of the place so far.

One thing ceases to amaze me though. The average pedestrian here is totally inconsiderate. One does not move out the way when walking past, instead preferring to charge at you (at a snails pace) and battle to the end. Is this a national sport - guessing who will give way first? I find this obstinate behaviour rather uncivilised. Someone help me understand - please.

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Saint
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Post by Saint » Thu, 09 Mar 2006 12:03 am

Welcome to Singapore, unfortunately that just the way it is :lol:

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 09 Mar 2006 6:38 am

Agree with Saint, this is the way it is. Best advice: try to realize that it is not done (for the most part) out of malice or mean-sprititness, that it is simply not part of the street etiquette most cities share.

Asian cultures in general have a vastly different idea of personal space which is why you find:

the sidewalks difficult to negotiate,
the guy sitting next to you in economy is not only hogging the arm rest but is eating his meal in your arm pit,
and the people behind you in the queue at any store shoving their stuff toward the cashier and into you face/space before you have had a chance to pay.

You'll get used to it just in time to discover something else equally as annoying and mystifying... :)

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Post by tiki » Thu, 09 Mar 2006 1:48 pm

You know if folks just adhere to the unwritten rule of keeping left, I believe we would have 'safer' walkways. If all else fails, go for the low tackle.
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Post by earthfriendly » Thu, 09 Mar 2006 3:06 pm

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:

Asian cultures in general have a vastly different idea of personal space which is why you find:
Very much agree and probably the only exceptions are the Japanese. Extremely considerate and when taking the escalator to the bullet train, our tourist guide specifically instructed the SGean tourist group to keep neatly to the left so we open up the right path for people who want to pass. It is the unspoken rule that all Japanese abide by but sadly, this has to be spelled out to the SGean tourists.

I heard good things about Taiwan too where people are courteous and yield to oncoming human traffic.

So welcome to SG and get ready for some shoulder rubbing (I mean it literally).

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 09 Mar 2006 3:26 pm

earthfriendly wrote:
Mary Hatch Bailey wrote: Asian cultures in general have a vastly different idea of personal space which is why you find:
Very much agree and probably the only exceptions are the Japanese. Extremely considerate
I'm glad you agree earthfriendly but again, this is not really in the spirit of what I said at all. Its not a matter of being considerate or inconsiderate. I don't believe it is done on a conscious level at all, and -- here it goes... (someone call the flog team) its a very western attitude to say as tiki did (even though I totally agree with his statement, that it would remedy the situation and heck, I even agree with the tackling part):

'you know if folks just adhere to the unwritten rule of keeping left, I believe we would have 'safer' walkways.'

That seems like the logical answer, since it works so well where tiki is from, but it is also superimposing western ideals on a non-western place that has its own way of doing things and its own ideals. I think in truth, this pedestrian traffic chaos works for 90% of the population, in other words, Singaporeans.

I totally abandon this entire notion however when I see a child without a seat belt or car seat.

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Post by earthfriendly » Thu, 09 Mar 2006 4:29 pm

No worries MHB. I was not trying to interpret your "spirit" nor did I interprete your post to imply SGeans are inconsiderate.

Was just making an independent comment.

Actually, looking back, I really did not quite mean to use the term "inconsiderate". It is the way of doing things. Japanese are extremely discripline and organize the way they run their lives and hence this system of keeping to left is second nature to them. The general public is willing to abide by this unspoken rule as they share this sense/culture of "discipline" and "being organized". Ooops, sorry for the muttering. I am just thinking aloud. Oh wow, you just help me organize my thoughts now. I was a little muddle-headed when writing my previous post. It is all clear now.

It is very late in CA now and I better go get my beauty rest (or maybe not, hubby has a very naughty look and devious grin on his face while propped up on his bed). Good nite everyone. Will talk to all tomorrow.

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Thu, 09 Mar 2006 4:39 pm

earthfriendly wrote:Actually, looking back, I really did not quite mean to use the term "inconsiderate". It is the way of doing things.
Now you're talkin' :wink:

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Post by Dillion » Thu, 09 Mar 2006 9:42 pm

There's some interesting thoughts that i've taken onboard from this thread.

I'm particularly refreshed to hear the experience of earthfriendly while in Japan. I think the "imposing western ideals" here is a bit of a skewed view considering the Japanese reference.

Anyway, it looks like a few visits to the local osteopath need to be looked into.

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Post by earthfriendly » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 3:07 am

Dhillion, I don't think it is skew considering 90% of Asian cultures do not practice it while most Western cultures do.

Please don't worry so much about using the right term or being politically correct. Let's call a spade a spade. That's the only way we can have a meaningful conversation, pinpoint the problem and put our heads together to get issues resolved.

Cheers to all asians and westerners :wink: .

Just deleted the last paragraph so I don't sound so silly :wink: .
Last edited by earthfriendly on Fri, 10 Mar 2006 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 6:51 am

Dillion wrote:visits to the local osteopath
Yes because you've probably met all the psychopaths on this board you can handle... :wink:

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Post by Dillion » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 9:42 am

Earthfriendly, it's quite unnecessary to infer that I am being politically incorrect - speak for yourself. Also, if you care to read and absorb what has been said - without inference - you may just grasp what is being said.

I was pinpointing that "imposing western ideals" here seems pretty absurd when talking about Japanese behaviour. They are Asian ideals - not western, hence the comment. I didn't mention "90%", that's your imaginative statistic. Where was that one plucked from?

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Mary Hatch Bailey
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Post by Mary Hatch Bailey » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 10:04 am

Dillion wrote:I didn't mention "90%", that's your imaginative statistic. Where was that one plucked from?
Actually it was mine. It's the rough figure for the amount of non-Singaporeans living here. Granted its an old stat, but stat nonetheless. Anyone know the real figure?

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Post by Vaucluse » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 11:03 am

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:
Dillion wrote:visits to the local osteopath
Yes because you've probably met all the psychopaths on this board you can handle... :wink:


OI! :-s


Time to enter this debate. We call it spatial awareness, or a lack thereof. For those of us who have been living here a while it is now a matter of pretending to not look where you walk and (due to the generally larger size) it is like Moses parting the sea. [eople will make way to avoid a head-on collision, but they will take the chicken-who-blinks-first to the end.

It's not a bad thing, it's just this way. I found it quite funny and frustrating when I first arrived to try to pass people - and they would, for no apparent reason, sway to the left or the right, effectively blocking you off. Not on purpose, but it's like there was a guidance system in-built. Driving habits are more planned and aptial awareness becomes spatial staking of claim.

In reference to Japan = Japan is NOT Asis and they are NOT Asians. everything they do is different.

We tend to see it like this:

Walking down a busy street in Hong Kong = result is bruises
Walking down a busy street in Manila = result is missing wallet
Walking down a busy street in Shanghai = result is bruises and missing wallet
Walking down a busy street in Tokyo = result is . . . reaching your destination.

Loooove Japan
......................................................

'nuff said Image

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Post by Carpe Diem » Fri, 10 Mar 2006 11:15 am

Mary Hatch Bailey wrote:
Dillion wrote:I didn't mention "90%", that's your imaginative statistic. Where was that one plucked from?
Actually it was mine. It's the rough figure for the amount of non-Singaporeans living here. Granted its an old stat, but stat nonetheless. Anyone know the real figure?
It is more a 80/20 split. Check http://www.filmo.com/sgwklife.htm#Population:

(don't forget maids are foreigners and count into the statistics too... :wink: )
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