We May Not Be Courteous But At Least We Are Honest
Recently, my friends and relatives from Indonesia came to Singapore for a holiday. Today, I brought them to Bugis Junction (it's a shopping mall) to have their lunch. One of them ordered drinks while the others ordered their food. However, after ordering drinks, she forgot to take her wallet. The queue for drinks was quite long, so you can imagine how dim the chance was to get her wallet back. When she remembered that she had misplaced her wallet she panic! She asked the auntie at the drinks stall where her wallet was. The auntie replied that she had passed her wallet over to the manager and the manager was at his office then. She asked me to accompany her to the office as a translator.
We knocked on the door before entering.
Manager: Yes, what you want?
My friend: (looks at me)
Me: We are here to claim a missing wallet.
(Of course it's for real!)
My friend: (nods her head)
Manager: So what's the size and colour of your wallet?
Me: (translates into Hokkien)
My friend: (motions her hands to form a rectangular shape) Brown.
Manager: Is it this one?
My friend: Yes. Thank you.
After our meal, my friend told me that Singaporeans are very honest. If it was in their country, the wallet would have been gone. She told me that there are some people who would take all the money, inform you that your wallet has been lost (phone number through your identity card), and asked for a "service fee" (usually it's a hefty sum, kind of like a ransom for your wallet). I just smiled at her.
So if you lose your wallet here in Singapore, most of the time, you could find it back through one of the 4 million smiling Singaporeans :)