23 March, 2013

Singapore Soccer Culture

Lately I've had more time to visit shopping malls and take a walk around Singapore, and I realized that the "soccer culture" is getting more and more disturbing.

What do I mean by that?

In order to get from Bus Stop (Point A) to Shopping Mall (Point B), it's always like a soccer match where you have to score the football from A to B. Here's what I mean, and I'm pretty sure you'll understand what I'm talking about -

You are trying to get from the bus stop (Marked in X) to the shopping mall (the white soccer goal box). On the way, you're bound to encounter the following people who try to stop you in your way -

Red: X credit card company, and their opening line is always "excuse me are you working or student?"

Dark Orange: Person distributing flyer, sometimes they don't look at you, and the awkward moment happens when you TAKE, but that person wasn't looking and didn't let go.

Lagi worse, sometimes you don't dare to take the flyer, in case that person say, this flyer you take le have to go there, fill in form for lucky draw... it's like a bait they use knowing your soft spot.

Purple: "Excuse me, can I just do a quick survey? No? Take two minutes only! ...one minute!" You've said "no thank you" a dozen times, but even after walking 5 metres away from him/her, you still hear his/her voice trailing behind going "very quick de... won't take very long...!"

Yellow: This is honestly one of the few groups of people I have sympathy and empathy for. Those people who are busking to ask for donations.

Okay let me sidetrack abit. This afternoon I came across two buskers and I actually notice a very evil thought I have. I'm sure I'm not the only one who had this one moment of evil thought. I saw a busker sitting on the floor, and drinking a cup of soda from a certain "branded" outlet, and thought, eh can afford this restaurant de drink should be not very poor bah. Then I realized...

It's not fair to think of them that way. But it's sort of like a sudden thought people cannot refrain from getting.
It's not right for us to expect buskers to be poorly dressed in old clothings, drink mineral water, look pitiful/disabled, look unhappy.

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between a street artist and a busker (I don't wanna use the other B word). So I came up with the conclusion that.. think of our "donations" as a vote of support for them, regardless of their financial status and whatnot. If you think he/she is worth your support, or you wanna give them some encouragement, go for it. Don't judge.

Purple: The schoolchildren doing flag day. I understand that the government does some sort of picking lot among charity organizations, so each weekend day is only for one/certain organization fundraiser.

The thing is... These schoolchildren are supposed to do 3-6 hours of flag day, so they don't travel island-wide despite the permit. So turns out, they are all cluttered in the neighbouring shopping malls.

It's very awkward sometimes because along a 400m route to the mall, I pass by up to SEVEN groups of these children, and as much as I want to encourage them... I can't possibly donate everything in my wallet. But I feel bad rejecting them.

Speaking of which, are you one of those people who use the sticker as a "talisman"?

"I donated. See?"

You know what I mean.

Light Orange: Those with banners about courses, bridal promotions, roadshows, telecommunications upgrade packages, etc.

There was a pasar malam at Hougang during CNY this year, and I literally had a game of hide-and-seek with the lady for 10 minutes. I saw her approaching me, looked away, and then walked to nearby store, and she was waiting outside, so I took the other exit, and then she walked around, saw me, tried to follow up...

Yeah, you get the drift. It's times like this that you wish they understood what's NO.

Pink: Old people selling tissue/TOTO tickets. I wished I had more sympathy for them sometimes.

I do buy these karma tissues (another term coined in local context) and I usually give $2 and take one packet only. Because I think I'm going into a mall, and they would need at least $2 for a sufficient meal, like, McDonalds McChicken burger. And I don't need THAT many packets of tissue.

But you know what's discouraging?

There's an old lady I encounter in my neighbourhood who is VERY rude. She goes into food outlets, THROWS the tissue on our table, glare at us and ask for money. It's the demeanor. A few times I had no loose change, so I paid her $5, and she just left without giving me change.

Honestly, sometimes it's sad because that was my final $5 to last me that day. I don't think that's right for her to do.

And few weeks back, there was once when I saw her sitting on a bench in the mall, and emptied her whole bag of tissues on the floor. THE FRICKIN' MALL FLOOR.

And guess what I saw? She herself had used tissues placed in the SAME bag as the tissue packets she had been selling. I didn't think throwing on the floor is dirty, until me momo reminded me that people do spit on the floor, or dirtied someway or another.

I was totally grossed out, to be honest. (Note: I actually remember taking a photo of her doing that, but somehow it went missing since my phone died days ago.)

Since then I couldn't get the image of her used tissues mixed with the karma tissue packets out of my mind.

So anyway... yeah. That's my point.

In order to get to the mall, it's so fricking annoying to have to detour to siam allllll these people, especially when they don't take no for an answer.

Do you feel the same?

Most annoying soccer culture barricades I've encountered to date:

(1) Pasar Malam

There's this facial product booth, and there's a few guys standing with a small container of white cream. So when you walk past their booth and take just ONE glance at their poster on the table, they come forward, and use their FINGER to BUAAA the cream on your cheek, asking you to try.

(2) XXX credit card company at Dhoby Ghaut

There's a few OLs just outside the MRT tapping area, and then they start asking you random questions, and continue even after you say no, even when you're already on the escalator.

(3) AMK Hub B1 XXX store

The few employees wait for you to walk by, and keep asking you to try a certain bottle of product in their hands. Sometimes, they say it very bluntly like "want try this for your dark eye circles?" "this is good for your pimples"

If you feel like OMG YES IKR!!, please share your story. Let's share the... horror... of the soccer culture.