Caucasian tourist asks: Where are the friendly Singaporeans I used to know?
Posted by temasektimes on May 11, 2012
Mr Nelson has visited Singapore several times in the past 25 years and he observed lately that Singaporeans on the street appeared to be unfriendly and rude nowadays.
“Another observation is that nobody smiles or returns a greeting any more. Taxi drivers, particularly, used to be a wealth of information and eager to point out areas of interest but are now, mostly a surly lot,” he wrote.
He is also disappointed with the service he received in shops and restaurants where many of the staff are unable to converse in simple English:
“Service has also deteriorated in shops and restaurants, where many of the staff can hardly speak English, are rude and abrupt. As for the words “please” and “thank you”, they do not exist.”
He wondered if Singapore’s ‘soul’ has been taken away by the rapid economic progress:
“It will not be long before it becomes just a rat race, like in many other cities. Has progress taken away Singapore’s soul, the essence of being human, of recognising one another? Your city is beautiful, your buildings tall and proud, yet to walk along the streets and see the surliness of a face is disheartening.”
Mr Nelson cannot be more wrong – it is no longer a ‘rat race’ in Singapore, but a race for basic survival. When Singaporeans don’t even have enough food on their table and are constantly worrying about paying the next loan or bill, they can hardly be expected to smile at visitors.