Uncommon courtesy


Escalator – by Mr Wabu

This evening, Naomi and I went to the airport with her Mum so that we could dine at the only Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits Famous Fried Chicken Restaurant in Singapore. Oh, and for Naomi’s Mum to catch a flight.

On the way up the escalator to the restaurant and observation level in Terminal One, Naomi and Mum were standing side by side, talking about how many pieces of chicken we should eat without being too full for comfort. Out of the corner of her eye, Naomi’s Mum saw that there was a woman one step below them, so she looked apologetically at the woman and moved one step up and in front of Naomi so that the woman could have a clear lane to overtake if she so intended to.

“Wow, that’s really considerate of you”, said Naomi to her Mum, who nodded and said, “You’re supposed to do that. I do that all the time in Taiwan (where she’s from)”.

“Well, it doesn’t happen very often here”, said Naomi.

The woman who was behind them didn’t intend to be in that much of a hurry, and was surprised enough to say, “Oh yes, that’s true. It doesn’t happen very often here, but other cities, yes”, and when she composed herself further, said, “I didn’t expect that, you gave me a bit of a shock, actually”.

Remember the old campaign in the 70s and 80s exhorting the citizenry to “make courtesy a way of life”, complete with stickers for kids that kids ended up sticking all over HDB void-decks and lamp posts? Looks like it’s culminated in this level of expectation, as well as a revamped campaign called the Kindness Movement, still headed by Singa the Courtesy Lion.

I think it’s time for that cat to put some pants on and do something about this. Better still, retire the lion and introduce Kelly the Kaypoh Krocodile or something?

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30 thoughts on “Uncommon courtesy”

  1. Talk about Singa the LIon~!!

    I remembered that we had to practise that Courtesy song during our music lessons in primary school…

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me

  2. Talk about Singa the LIon~!!

    I remembered that we had to practise that Courtesy song during our music lessons in primary school…

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me

  3. I beg to differ that this scenario is an uncommon sight. I personally give my way at such situation not because I did it out of “courtesy” but rather because I didn’t want to inconvenient others.

  4. I beg to differ that this scenario is an uncommon sight. I personally give my way at such situation not because I did it out of “courtesy” but rather because I didn’t want to inconvenient others.

  5. precisely, i don’t understand how people can be so “bochap” and inconsiderate, jamming the traffic, really frustrating when one is in a hurry. furthermore there is no obvious signage educating, informing and reminding people of that. (mrt stations are the best example).

    to all residing in singapore, our escalator’s rule is “stand on your left, let the people pass on the right” not the other way round…

  6. precisely, i don’t understand how people can be so “bochap” and inconsiderate, jamming the traffic, really frustrating when one is in a hurry. furthermore there is no obvious signage educating, informing and reminding people of that. (mrt stations are the best example).

    to all residing in singapore, our escalator’s rule is “stand on your left, let the people pass on the right” not the other way round…

  7. i juz came back from taiwan. was amused by everyone keeping to their right on the escalators at the train stations. till i noticed a sign… if one does not keep to their right, they’ll be fined. lol!

  8. i juz came back from taiwan. was amused by everyone keeping to their right on the escalators at the train stations. till i noticed a sign… if one does not keep to their right, they’ll be fined. lol!

  9. Unfortunately this is true.

    I always thought that the main reason that people don’t keep to one side or another was that most of the population doesn’t drive. If you’re a driver, you are used to keeping to one side of the road. If it works on the road, where we have to keep to one side to avoid running into oncoming cars, and we keep out of the speeding lane so that faster cars can overtake.

    In Singapore, I’ve learned not to make eye contact with oncoming pedestrians – the second you do, the other expects you to get out of their way!

  10. Unfortunately this is true.

    I always thought that the main reason that people don’t keep to one side or another was that most of the population doesn’t drive. If you’re a driver, you are used to keeping to one side of the road. If it works on the road, where we have to keep to one side to avoid running into oncoming cars, and we keep out of the speeding lane so that faster cars can overtake.

    In Singapore, I’ve learned not to make eye contact with oncoming pedestrians – the second you do, the other expects you to get out of their way!

  11. Question about some Asian cultures.
    I was attending a five day conference in Toronto, Canada where we waited in a cafeteria line for meals with attendees from all over the world. Each meal, several groups of Asians would inch up the line, passing others, when everyone stepped forward, until they were getting their food ahead of thirty of more people who were still patiently waiting their turn. It would have been more honest for them to just go straight to the buffet rather than to pretend to wait their turn.

    Sorry, I don’t know what country they are from, but they were not from India.

    I have always wondered how any culture can function with this behavior. They would not get far doing this where I come from! Are there societies who do not even attempt to live by the golden rule? How can they function?

  12. Question about some Asian cultures.
    I was attending a five day conference in Toronto, Canada where we waited in a cafeteria line for meals with attendees from all over the world. Each meal, several groups of Asians would inch up the line, passing others, when everyone stepped forward, until they were getting their food ahead of thirty of more people who were still patiently waiting their turn. It would have been more honest for them to just go straight to the buffet rather than to pretend to wait their turn.

    Sorry, I don’t know what country they are from, but they were not from India.

    I have always wondered how any culture can function with this behavior. They would not get far doing this where I come from! Are there societies who do not even attempt to live by the golden rule? How can they function?

  13. Yes, it boggles the mind. In their culture, groups of people keep inching up lines and pass each other ad infinitum. No one gets to the food. Quite a spectacle. Buffets have been banned as a result.

  14. Yes, it boggles the mind. In their culture, groups of people keep inching up lines and pass each other ad infinitum. No one gets to the food. Quite a spectacle. Buffets have been banned as a result.

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  16. Here's the lyrics to the song..

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me.
    It makes for gracious living and harmony
    Giving a friendly smile
    Helping out where we can
    Trying hard to be polite all the time

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me.
    It makes for gracious living and harmony
    Living could be a treat
    If people are awfully sweet
    Courtesy could be our way of life

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me.
    It makes for gracious living and harmony
    It is rude to be abusive
    Just to prove we're right
    Instead we could be nice about it if we tried

    Make courtesy our way of life.

    Name of Artist : J.J de Souza
    Title : Make Courtesy Our Way of Life

  17. Here's the lyrics to the song..

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me.
    It makes for gracious living and harmony
    Giving a friendly smile
    Helping out where we can
    Trying hard to be polite all the time

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me.
    It makes for gracious living and harmony
    Living could be a treat
    If people are awfully sweet
    Courtesy could be our way of life

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me.
    It makes for gracious living and harmony
    It is rude to be abusive
    Just to prove we're right
    Instead we could be nice about it if we tried

    Make courtesy our way of life.

    Name of Artist : J.J de Souza
    Title : Make Courtesy Our Way of Life

  18. I’m also looking out for the last two verses, please help, I am trying to teach my 3 yr old our old time favourites…

    Courtesy is for free
    Courtesy is for you and me…….

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