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I am Singapore VII – Uniquely Singaporean Very Rude Meh? November 17, 2008

Posted by The Truth in I am Singaporean, Vol. II, Im Allgemeinen.
1 comment so far

So i read recently that some SMU students have taken it upon themselves to get rid of tissue paper chope.

And i want to ask a question:

Very rude meh?

Actually, i don’t see why it’s socially ungracious.  After all, isn’t it ‘gracious’ in already informing others that the table already kena chope?  As to whether a person should be left behind…how should that make it ‘more gracious’?  In fact, what IS ‘gracious’?  According to whose standards do we define gracious?  Why is it ‘more gracious’…because there’s a personal touch?  Or is it because other table-seekers feel worthless because they’ve lost their place to a measly tissue packet?  I mean, probably in Europe or such, people don’t leave such tissue packets to chope tables.

But then again, Europe also don’t have hawker centres, what.  I think it is difficult to transfer an abstract definition of ‘gracious’ into a concrete context, especially since i am strongly inclined to believe that this definition of ‘gracious’, a word used too often but never really defined, comes from the West.  Where there are no hawker centres and where the density of people is lower.  In fact, i think the tissue paper chope is already an (albeit minimal) expression of this so-called ‘graciousness’…it is more gracious than coming back with your food and saying ‘eh this table my one!’ what.

What’s more, tissue paper chope IS Uniquely Singaporean.  With the capital U and the capital S.  It’s like Singlish, in that firstly, it is one of the few things which is truly Singaporean and can be actually considered part of Singaporean identity, and secondly, because it is being persecuted by people who deem it ‘ungracious.’  Remember how the Gahmen periodically tries to eradicate Singlish for (LKY’s) RP?  Now this.  And tissue paper chope actually reflects the very nature of Singaporean life – Singaporean life IS ‘me first.’  You got to claim territory before someone else does.  Since school we have been indoctrinated into the world of meritocracy, where your failings are only yours to blame.  So of course everything is ‘me first’!

It is a very honest expression of working life in Singapore, and while it is laudable that these ‘idealistic’ (i am idealistic too, but i think ideals are absolute and don’t have to do with ‘niceness’ or a ‘more or less.’) students are trying to tell people to be ‘nicer’ to others by leaving one man behind, i would rather that this be so, because this is as honest as Singapore gets.  Almost anyone can lie, but the masses certainly don’t.  Which was why 4 million smiles didn’t really work…because there weren’t 4 million smiles.

Of course, people who hog tables during lunch rush hour should have their asses kicked.  But that’s another thing.  Oh and no, not another ‘campaign!’ Our money!!