Sunday, May 13, 2007

Cowardice... Singapore Style

It's been quite a while since I last blogged; too many things have happened... some good, some bad. Will talk about it some time later.

But what I want to blog about is something all of us who drive face everyday, parking lots, and the accompanying hassles that come with it.

Yesterday, on the 12th of May, my wife sent E for her weekly ballet class. After having circled the car park numerous times, L settles along a lane, and waits.... quite a few car lengths behind another car. A few minutes later, a couple emerges and gesticulates to L that they're moving off. The lot? Immediately next to my car. To allow the couple's car to go off, L reverses... but only enough to let the car out.

Something unbelievable happens. Car number 1 reverses SEVERAL car lengths, sounds his horn continuously and gesticulates wildly, claiming the car park lot as his. Now.. all of us schooled in the car parking etiquette, know that the lot will go to the car nearest the lot when it becomes vacant.

My wife, L, gesticulates back... and she takes the lot. The other chap is not happy... but does not come down. L tells me that the other fellow is a family man... while she has a feeling that he'll try to scratch the car, she does nothing... after all, E was late for her ballet lesson.

Fast forward a few hours. I'm about to bring my son M for his gym class... and what do I see? A nice long scratch along the driver's side. Good thing I don't really bother if my car has a few scratches... it is a depreciating asset after all.

What gets me though is the cowardice of this man. A man whose not willing to stand up for what he believes. He cowers during confrontations, but like the man he is, he waits for his opponent to go off.. before he strikes. Key in hand, he walks along the side of the door and scratches.

With each centimeter he digs in, he grows increasing smug, satisfied that he's actually done something. Deed done, he struts off... happy to have made his mark.

My friends from other countries tells me that doesn't happy where they come from. Instead, confrontations are not avoided. Whether or not they get their way, people actually stand up for their rights.

Which leaves me wondering... is this "Singapore-style cowardice" affecting more than our parking lots? Is it infesting our attitude towards life? Is that why the average Singaporean is unwilling to speak up.. except during election time... when he think's no one's watching? After casting his silent vote, he struts off.. happy to have made his mark?

Are we all predisposed to being cowards because how we are culturalised here in Singapore?

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Blogger b o o said...

no *cowers*

11:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:18 pm  

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