Playing chicken.

9/7/10

When I first moved to the Little Red Dot, it took me a while to adjust to the fact that people pass on the left. I would pass on the right and often run into people, or force people to stop because I was interrupting the somewhat orderly flow of pedestrian traffic. After a while I figured out to pass on the left, but then I realized my habit of passing on the right wasn't the only problem. 

Walking through crowds in Singapore (and there are crowds everywhere; it's a small island and there are lots of people here) is like playing a game of chicken. Sometimes the other person moves out of your way, other times you inevitably bump shoulders or run into a woman's handbag. And it's worse when the person coming at you is on their phone or completely oblivious to the fact that they are walking through a crowd of people and assumes everyone will part like the Red Sea for them. 

This video is a dramatization, but shows my point of how annoying it can be to walk through crowds and not know which way to move around people. It also highlights some of the other bad manners that are common pet peeves over here. This video was created as a class assignment and used by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his National Day speech in 2008. 
Disclaimer: I must point out that not every person in public runs into us, nor do we run into every person in the mall, grocery store or MRT station. But there are some instances where it gets pretty frustrating, especially if you're in a rush to get somewhere. Also worth mentioning is that obviously these are not representations of all Singaporeans. There are tons of gracious people here, too. 

6 comments:

  1. i'm a singaporean but i found your parting like the red sea bit funny. I try to avoid crowds like the plague. I have experience people cutting in front of me to get a taxi but i just walk away in frustration.

    Love the photos on your blog...very insightful too.

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  2. I love the taxi clip in the video. That's perfect!! Great blog :)

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  3. Haha!! We've always called them "drifters". :) But you are correct - there are PLENTY of very nice Singaporeans here.

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  4. Hilarious. Loved the flick. Have experienced the taxi war :)

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  5. Hilarious. Loved the flick. Have experienced the taxi war :)

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  6. i'm a singaporean but i found your parting like the red sea bit funny. I try to avoid crowds like the plague. I have experience people cutting in front of me to get a taxi but i just walk away in frustration.

    Love the photos on your blog...very insightful too.

    ReplyDelete

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