02 July 2008

Dinner At The Local Coffeeshop

So angry... actually not so really that angry la.... :oops:

A couple of week ago, we were having dinner in one of the local coffeeshop chain... wife placed the order for some dishes and the operator's rule is "pay first". Wife returned to the table for $$$ and at the same time felt that she had "over-ordered" so we decided to drop one dish. When we returned, the operator claim that the dishes had been keyed into the cash register and the chef had started cooking on ALL the dishes... cannot cancel. I told her we hadn't pay yet and what if I walked away then? They would be Lan Lan (Singlish: means a state of helplessness), right? The norm is that if payment is required first, food is prepared only if payment is received. Anyway, didn't want to spoil the dinner over such minor issue and we relented. It was a case of misunderstanding afterall. Come to think of it, we were partly to be blamed for wrong assumption. :oops:

When I returned to my seat, the kopi-soh (the lady who's responsible for taking drinks orders) who took my order forgot who ordered. When I made my claim, she said "respond la... I've been asking around". Wa lau! (Singlish: an expression made when one is Lan Lan) I couldn't hear her because her voice was relatively soft in the coffeeshop and I couldn't see her because she was standing behind me. I wouldn't have known if wife had not saw her and prompted me. Didn't want to argue further with kopi-soh and paid up but she didn't have a 10 cent change! :evil: What is this! It's not like I give her $50 for a 80 cents kopi-O, I gave her all the coins I had, in denomination of a 50 cent and two 20 cents... she did not have a 10 cent change!!!! :evil: For those of you who may not be familiar, kopi soh typically carries a pouch, full of coins so that she has the exact change when required. I wouldn't have been so upset if she had been polite and request that she'd return to me when she had the change - instead she asked if I have the exact amount! Of course I don't have or I would have given her the exact amount!

I was upset, no doubt about it... but more disappointed than being upset because these coffeeshop staff fit the description of "locals-with-poor-service-level" and they are the examples often quoted to justify for foreigners-with-better-service. S.......i........g.........h

Pedestrian, Cyclist and Motorists

Saw two forum letters with regards to the the rights and place of cyclist.

Bikes vs Bus (Today, 17 Jun 2008)

Cyclist v pedestrian: whose right of way? (ST, 20 Feb 2008)

My view is that the issue lies not in deciding should bicycles stay on the road or pedestrian walkway. The issue lies in how we (motorist, pedestrian and bicyclist) can accommodate each other. The issue also lies in how we view our "rights".

Cyclist should not be restricted to either the road or pedestrian walkway. Cyclist should be free to choose which path is safer for them. Having said this, I think all cyclist should exercise caution and put on protection gears such as helmets, arm and knee guard and install blinking/warning lights. Cycle in a single file and keep to the left so that motorists can bypass them. Also, if they choose to ride on pavements, they should slow down or even come down and push their bicycles if they arrive at a crowded/tight spot.

Pedestrians too, should exercise a bit of patience and not hog the entire pavement. When a cyclist rings the bell, he is trying to warn the pedestrian and hopefully, make some space for him to pass through. Pedestrian can simply step aside, make way for the cyclist to pass and continue on their leisurely stroll.

Motorists too, should slow down and overtake when they spot cyclists on the road. Tailgating cyclists or anyone for that matter, is (to me) a foolish thing to do.

What I have suggested above is commonsense and simple thing for everyone to do but why are some people so intolerant of each others' presence? and demand to know who has the right of way?

Pedestrians do not have full, absolute and exclusive rights to use the pavement, neither do the motorists have full, absolute and exclusive rights to use the road.

Cyclists, too have to be considerate to the pedestrians who have as much right as cyclist to use the pavement.

Motorists... just because you paid road tax, COE and ERP doesn't make you king of the road.

But why are we so obsessed with determining who has the rights to what? More strangely is that we seem to be always appealing to the authorities to set rules/laws to determine our "rights". Are we being deprived of rights in the first place? Or are we so naive to think that every rights has to be determined by the "authorities"? Don't we exercise our basic human rights with common sense to share the common places in this little dot that we call home? Can't we use our common sense and exercise our rights and at the same time not depriving others of their right? Or are we still behaving like little children and run to mommy/daddy to tell us what to do and what not to do.