Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Of Rice and Men - Fugly Foreign Educated Mushrooms

We have always been complaining about foreign talent coming to Singapore, taking our jobs, homes and schools. But you know what is even worse? Singaporeans who return from overseas and act as if our soil is not good enough for their feet.

I was "suay" enough to have encountered a few specimens. Two of them in particular were rather offensive. Specimen No 1, returning from London where he complained that he could not get a job there "because of the locals there not wanting to give him jobs after his Masters, prefering their own people or other Europeans" (I think his results are not that exemplary enough, and hello, you are foreign talent there. Since when do people welcome foreigners? Just see what happened to the Red Indians after they welcomed the white settlers. *roll eyes*). At the sushi restaurant, when we first met him after he came back, he began moaning and groaning of the lack of respect for personal space in Singapore. "Those aunties", he ranted, "stood so near me on the train. They don't respect personal space. In England, people are gracious, they understand personal space. People are polite there, not like Singapore so uncultured... blah blah" I stopped listening and reached for the sushi going past on the conveyer belt.

The second fugly Singaporean? Quite fantastic as well. So we were having dinner (hmm, all my conversations seem revolved around food) last week, and he decided that the service was bad because the wait staff refused to seat us at the comfortable seats. Reason given to him was that they wanted to reserve the seats for a table of ten, but later they split up the seats for different parties instead. Not sure what he said to them, but they were very slow with the service. In fact, they served water to the tables next to us but not to us, which was quite horrible since I have a nasty sore throat. Do not worry because he took revenge at the payment counter. When they offered him discount coupons (I find it intriguing that apologies for the service are preprinted on the coupons, which is very telling), he said, "No. That would necessitate my coming back here, and I don't want to."

I agree with him on that but not what he said during dinner. My companion opined that service in Singapore was horrible, and that he had experienced excellent service in Australia. I was surpised. I mean service is bad, service is bad. Implies don't go back to the restaurant. What does it got to do with the country?

He reluctantly acknowledged that he did encounter some unpleasant experiences in Australia, but said that the locals wouldn't bully you if you don't feed the stereotype. Another friend didn't do well academically here and has decided to move to Australia to further his studies. He has informed me that he would not likely return after graduation.

Frankly, I was also very annoyed by that Neil Humphreys' column last Saturday about how glad he was to come back to Singapore where people were uncaring. Where does he get off, slagging off Singapore when we have provided him a home? Instead Singapore ends up as excellent fodder for him to bitch about in his books and articles. To him, as well those persons who think that foreign countries are so much better than Singapore, I would like to say,

"If you think that the foreign country is so great, stay there. Don't come back." (I notice that Neil Humphrey, who is English born, has migrated to Australia with his family. Goodbye and good riddance. But it seems that he is still slagging us off...)

I am sick of them picking on the country that they live in, or even worse, are born in. I am not expecting nationalistic fervour, but if you cannot even appreciate the country you are born in, then move on and find one you can be loyal to.

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