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vozzie
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Postby vozzie » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 3:23 pm

WHY? It is rather a common local behavior so you should have this answer. The understanding does not help and doing nothing you contribute to the problem, biggie or not. The last part being truly universal.


As I said ... you deal with it however you like, but as you asked the question ... here's how I deal with it (in the long hand version):

Why is Auntie fingering every apple on the shelf or going through every 10 pack of toilet paper, to find just the right one (as I've witnessed)?

Because she has been taught that "you must have the best and you shouldn't let anyone else get a better one than you".

Do I agree with that? ... No
Do I have a snowball's chance in hell of changing that culture? ... No
Do I get angry at her because she was taught that way? ...No
Will it kill me if I have to wash every piece of fruit when I get it home? ... probably not

So, now, I understand why she's doing it and why it annoys me. That makes it a bit easier to cope..
I also have decided that it's not that big an issue that I should commence a one-man campaign against Kiasu

Therefore, I have decided that it'll probably still annoy me sometimes, but I can live with it... and, most importantly, I'm not stressing myself about it.

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Postby vozzie » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 3:36 pm

... and to deal with the other issue raised ...

Why isn't that school kid standing up for the old guy with the walking stick?

Because he hasn't been taught manners sufficiently by his parents and teachers.

Do I agree with that? ... No
Do I have a chance of changing that culture? ... Well, yes
Do I get angry at him because he wasn't taught properly? ...No

But, I might decide to suggest to the kid that he might get up for the old man.
There ... I'm happy, the man's happy ... and the kid has learnt a bit of a lesson and next time he might act differently

And, again, I'm not stressed out over it.

P.S. My rather big point is ... these people aren't doing this to get up your nose. They are doing it because they were taught that way. That's why understanding does help.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 3:53 pm

Sorry @vozzie as you came up with this idea again... no, I am actually not asking you for an advice but I am trying to understand your perspective. Some things are universally wrong and it is also universally wrong not to react. Funny, I bet majority of Singaporeans would agree that this (what I mentioned for example) is wrong yet the social inertness makes them to do it. The fact almost everybody is like this and hardly anybody reacts is the essence. And just because I prefer to be a bit less passive and not accept some things I should leave this country.
Besides, I don't think your aunty is the same category. You wash your fruits anyway.

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Postby vozzie » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 3:58 pm

No advice intended ... just my thought processes.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 4:01 pm

vozzie wrote:P.S. My rather big point is ... these people aren't doing this to get up your nose. They are doing it because they were taught that way. That's why understanding does help.

I'm sorry again, but I really think this is obvious. Everybody understands this. It helps, but not too much. You said it earlier, we are only humans. My initial response to your post was to understand why you seem to condemn people who don't want to adapt to this reality (in some places at least). Happy to hear that you react sometimes.

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Postby vozzie » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 4:15 pm

you seem to condemn people who don't want to adapt to this reality


Bloody hell ... when did I say that ???

You can do what you like ...

Adapt
Adopt
Scorn
Change the World
Cringe
Leave the Country
Put your head in the sand
Whatever ....

I neither applaud nor condemn you .... you have to find what lights your own fire ... what gets you through the day ...

It would be arrogant of me, or anyone, to judge anyone else's coping mechanisms.

All I'm saying is that, for me, adapting where possible and appropriate ... is the most satisfactory method of coping with a new cultural, personal and professional environment.

P.S. Do you really think it's obvious to most people that irritations aren't put there on purpose ... just to cheeze them off? Not in my experience.

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Postby JayCee » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 4:25 pm

vozzie wrote:... and to deal with the other issue raised ...

Why isn't that school kid standing up for the old guy with the walking stick?

Because he hasn't been taught manners sufficiently by his parents and teachers.


Nope, not buying that one. The sheer number of people that manage to fall into a deep coma-like sleep on the train or bus but miraculously wake up just in time for their stop would suggest they know exactly what they are doing and know that it's wrong, but are just too selfish to care
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Postby vozzie » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 4:37 pm

but are just too selfish to care


Does that not show a lack of upbringing/parenting?
Which is teaching ... by another name.

I think my point is still valid ... it's what has brought them to this state of being(for want of a better word) that is the problem ... not the person.

The challenge remains ... is it possible, in any particular circumstance, to change that "imprinting"?

If not, you can either live with it or bitch about it.

And, perhaps that bitching might even help change the imprinting ... perhaps not.

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Postby poodlek » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 6:13 pm

vozzie wrote:... and to deal with the other issue raised ...

Why isn't that school kid standing up for the old guy with the walking stick?

Because he hasn't been taught manners sufficiently by his parents and teachers.

Do I agree with that? ... No
Do I have a chance of changing that culture? ... Well, yes
Do I get angry at him because he wasn't taught properly? ...No

But, I might decide to suggest to the kid that he might get up for the old man.
There ... I'm happy, the man's happy ... and the kid has learnt a bit of a lesson and next time he might act differently

And, again, I'm not stressed out over it.

P.S. My rather big point is ... these people aren't doing this to get up your nose. They are doing it because they were taught that way. That's why understanding does help.


1. Funny, I have a Sg'n friend who posted a photo on facebook of a young woman doing this exact thing (well a girl had her shopping bags on next to her on the reserved seat), under the caption "why do people do this??" or some such thing. Her other Sg'n friends all weighed in on how terrible it is, offering suggestions like "you should have photographed her face and sent it to the paper" and "people like this have no conscience" etc. I made the point that maybe she was in fact completely oblivious and the gentle thing to do would be to point out to her that somebody had a greater need of that seat than her shopping bags and suggest she move them. But I know nobody here would do that, they'd all stare and mutter under their breath and judge but would never risk a confrontation by actually addressing the issue. I think people here also like the feeling of being superior to someone else (part of being kiasu?) so they're on the lookout for stuff like this.

2. Interestingly enough, over the months this past year that I was obviously pregnant, my husband had opportunity to evict dozens of folks from reserved seating on buses and MRT, and only one of them got offended. It was rather funny, actually, he glared at us all the way from Tanah Merah to Outram Park, even after another seat nearby came available and my husband invited him to sit down before he did, he refused it.

3. I have had the opportunity to ride public transit in many cities, including NYC, London, Rome, Madrid, Shanghai and Beijing and the only place I've seen such obvious disregard for social cues like barging and refusing to offer seats to those who need them more has been here in Singapore (despite fully expecting it to be worse in China, it was quite civilized). Two years ago on an impromptu trip to London in December after having spent three months in Spain (on my way back to Canada) I was inappropriately dressed for the weather in a heavy sweater and scarf under a spring jacket. The effect was it made me look about 6 months pregnant when in fact I was not. It took me a few tube rides before I realized that people weren't offering me their seats because they liked the look of my face, LOL, but I was kind of embarrassed to explain so I just sat :-D

4. My take on dealing with annoyances: I see this assignment here in Singapore as just another life experience, for me there is only one place I truly call home. If I planned on raising my kids here I might get a little more uptight about certain things but in the grand scheme of things I'm only a visitor here, so while these things grate on my nerves, they're really something to laugh about. Especially with other expats who have had the same experiences. :-D

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Postby JayCee » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 6:39 pm

poodlek wrote:2. Interestingly enough, over the months this past year that I was obviously pregnant, my husband had opportunity to evict dozens of folks from reserved seating on buses and MRT, and only one of them got offended. It was rather funny, actually, he glared at us all the way from Tanah Merah to Outram Park, even after another seat nearby came available and my husband invited him to sit down before he did, he refused it.


I find this incredible, that someone could get offended by being asked to give up their seat for a pregnant woman! What a real low-life, your husband is a better person than me I would have had a go at him rather than offer him the next available seat
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Postby JayCee » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 6:41 pm

vozzie wrote:
but are just too selfish to care


Does that not show a lack of upbringing/parenting?
Which is teaching ... by another name.

I think my point is still valid ... it's what has brought them to this state of being(for want of a better word) that is the problem ... not the person.

The challenge remains ... is it possible, in any particular circumstance, to change that "imprinting"?

If not, you can either live with it or bitch about it.

And, perhaps that bitching might even help change the imprinting ... perhaps not.


You might have a point about the teaching thing, although I get the impresson that people know what they're doing is wrong (hence implying they were taught that it was wrong) but they don't care anyway, like flaunting the 'rules' is a little victory for them in nanny-state Singapore even when it's at the expense of those less fortunate or more needy than them.
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Postby poodlek » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 6:44 pm

JayCee wrote:
poodlek wrote:2. Interestingly enough, over the months this past year that I was obviously pregnant, my husband had opportunity to evict dozens of folks from reserved seating on buses and MRT, and only one of them got offended. It was rather funny, actually, he glared at us all the way from Tanah Merah to Outram Park, even after another seat nearby came available and my husband invited him to sit down before he did, he refused it.


I find this incredible, that someone could get offended by being asked to give up their seat for a pregnant woman! What a real low-life, your husband is a better person than me I would have had a go at him rather than offer him the next available seat


Haha I can only imagine what he said about us on his internet forum ;-)

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Postby Brah » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 10:16 pm

Hafta agree with JC, but that's only one example.

I'm still shaking off the levels of high consideration one gets accustomed to from living in Japan, to what seems the opposite here. And I'm reminded of this every time I go back there or to the States.

Having said that, in Japan as many would stand around gawking if someone fell off their bicycle as would do something to help.

And, some kids there also don't get up for seniors. But I never saw them pull the eye mask ploy.

Don't get used to them - question them, put it in their faces. Accept and you become something less of yourself. I also agree with x9200 about '...doing nothing you contribute to the problem, biggie or not...'

I once tapped on the window of a bus I had already stepped off to tell the young lady sitting to give the old lady standing in front of her her seat. She was taken aback, but with all the eyes on her, she relented what she should have done 3 stops earlier. I was too far inside the bus to get at her then. But this was not a local, she looked to be a maid.

JayCee wrote:I disagree in part about adapting/accepting things here.

When I consitently see 70-80 year old uncles and aunties struggling to stand up on the train or bus when some 20 year old student sits there pretending to sleep or is too engrossed in their iPhone, that sort of behaviour isn't something I want to get used to or adapt to. Some things are just wrong, regardless of culture. I get used to them (sadly) but I don't accept them.

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Postby JR8 » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 10:34 pm

longstebe wrote:Different people, different types of lists.
It's having the ability to adapt and accept, if not, don't slam the door behind you when u leave.


If LKY is on a lifelong mission to turn SG into a gracious society why should my standards be any lower than his?

I wonder where the line is drawn on 'adapting and accepting'? You go on holiday, the hotel service is crap - but that is typical of the area so you should just accept it?

In SG someone is trying to queue jump in front of you, but there are many SGns like that so you should just accept it?

I think PoodleK is also a bit off-mark in her point 1), plenty of people have mentioned here how they intervene to enforce graciousness.

Vozzie, do you never let anything annoy you (apart from things that have been set to intentionally annoy you)?

Edit to add:
My earlier post with the laundry-list was of course facetious, although it does represent some of the things that get to most people over time. I had no intention of this thread turning into us vs them, or 'What I hate about SG'... though maybe I should have known better...

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Postby poodlek » Wed, 13 Jul 2011 11:28 pm

JR8 wrote:I think PoodleK is also a bit off-mark in her point 1), plenty of people have mentioned here how they intervene to enforce graciousness.



Yeah but we're the expat minority here. I don't think intervention is the norm.


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