Tuesday, 19 August 2008

"You First, Dear. Go On"...



You know how we always talk about the importance of good manners and being polite?

And you know how Malaysia ranked somewhere in the last spots in some survey on the above (conducted by Reader's Digest, I think)?


Well, honestly, when I saw the results, I was thinking that although we obviously aren't very polite people, we can't possibly be thaaaat bad to rank so very lowly...


That was until I actually experienced Canadian politeness.



My First Day volunteering at the Ontario March of Dimes:-


I walked into the department I was attached to and introduced myself to the person I was to assist. After exchanging pleasantries, he brought me a chair and asked if he could get me coffee.

I'm like whoa...You're getting me coffee?


Wait a minute...Shouldn't it be the other way around?!?




My Second Day volunteering:-


I was about to leave the building and had just put my hand to the door for a push when the guy on the other side of the glass door gave it a huge pull and walked through. Obviously, he didn't see me.

Only after walking through did he realise I was standing there:


Him: "Oh pardon me, I didn't see you".

Me: "Oh, no worries!"


He walked back through the doors he just came through, held the door open, and said:


Him: "You first"...


I'm like ??? You already came through, it's really ok...You don't have to go back!!!




Today at the road intersection, near the grocery store:-


I walked onto the curb, where seconds ago, a car had reached. She was about to make a turn, and since she came first, I waited for her to turn before I crossed the road (no zebra crossing)...

The dear old lady inside, wound down the window, and said:


Dear Old Lady: "You first, dear. Go on"...

Wahlau...




Are these people polite or what?


This pretty much makes up for the not-so-polite immigration officer I met...;)


18 comments:

Mat Salo said...

Hmmm... this is what I was afraid of, Daph. I can see you getting SOOO enamored by that Maple Leaf Country. Ini bahaya. Takut you lupa kawan-kawan kat sini, heh.

Joking oni laar! But yes, they are polite!

And so civic conscious too might I add. One time by the curb somewhere in Texas and I saw a lady about to get in her car. The curious thing is she was going to leave the spot already but turned around and still put in more coins in the meter! So I asked her why.. she said the meter had expired by ten minutes but felt guilty so.. and just like the newspapers they sell by the machines. Put in your coins, lift the flap and grab the paper. Two or three copies if you like, but NOBODY does it!

Actually to me, the most cultured people are the Japanese. If you think Canadians are polite, Sis then Japs would smoke them out of water! One time I got lost walking around in Niigata (can't speak a word on Nipponese, of course) so I stopped at a tailor shop and drew on a piece paper. He actually closed the shop to walk me to the place I wanted to go! Lagi Wa-lau eh? In Malaysia / Singapore? You WISH!

Vicky said...

Hi Daphne. Looks like you have settled down already and really wasted no time in doing volunteer work. Way to go girl!
Aaah... with the scenery and the politeness, you make me just wanna zap myself over to Canada!
Really really makes your day doesnt it when one is being polite with each other. Sorta put a smile on your face and you would sorta be like walking on air and humming and believe that THIS is a beautiful world. Aaaahhh....
Just reading about it has put a smile on my face :) Thanks for taking time to share dear.

Queen Of The House said...

Hi Daphnie ... been reading your blog now and then and I think you've done some amazing things.

Don't we all wish our people are as cultured. I always felt guilty when I stepped off the sidewalk and caused the cars to slow down or stop ... sometimes I wasn't even going to cross the road!! But not in Malaysia lah, even when you're on the zebra crossing you run the risk of being knocked down.

Akmal said...

Wooowww :o<
Kalau kat Malaysia, errr....
Anyway, glad you've settled things up, and even started with things that you enjoy the most :)

Salt N Turmeric said...

yup, regular people would generally hold the door open for you and let you cross the road first except for most asian. iv encountered a few incidents which involved asian drivers. they hardly ever stop for you to cross the road.

another problem abt pedestrian/cyclist is tht sometime they dont care if the light is red. they would just cross the road and if you were too close to the car in front of u, habislah.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dik...

Good that you've settled down.
Those are things that hardly ever exist in our country, huh? There are so many other simple things that you will not see there but commonly practise in our country..e.g people rushing to go into an elevator when those inside it have not even started to move out yet (!!!). And of course...our people (not all) seems to only be nice and polite to foreigners. I have travelled all over M'sia but the experience I had in terms asking for help / getting directions made me concluded that I would rather be travelling in the foreign countries.

And zebra crossing - they should just abolish that in our country. A driver actually honk at me, wind down the window and cursed me because I did not stop (???) at the zebra crossing when he's the one who should be stopping!!!!

Can we do anything about that? Well,I believe we can but it's gonna take a very very long time before we can achieve that. We should start educationg our children / younger generations on the importance of good values because we cannot do anything with the older generations. Too late!!!Buluh already ma.....

You take care!

Kak Sya

J.T. said...

Oh Daphne ... politeness and courtesy is one of the first things I noticed when I first moved to the States. Of course, there are exceptions. Not everyone's perfect but majority just make you feel nice to be part of the society.

Because I got so used to it, whenever I am back in Malaysia, I get riled up. Everyday in Malaysia (when I go out), I face rudeness.
Once a young guy dashed in the bank just as I opened the door for myself, pushing me aside. OMG! I had many ideas running through my head on how to deal with him... but I don't think giving him a lecture or doing anything would have changed him. It is the attitude that he and some others either learn at home or adjust to because of society. (bully or be bullied kind of thing).

Put another person in the same situation (bank scenario above) over here - the man would have waited for me to go in first. In fact, he would even hold the door open from behind me. And because 98% of the time people treat you well, the good habit catches on. We hardly hear people using the car horns over here unless the person's car is rolling back (and the driver does not realise it). haha

Anonymous said...

Anytime you feel homesick because you miss rudeness, you should come to LA :)) If you miss being pushed/shoved on a train, drivers almost runnning you down in the crosswalk, being flipped off on the freeway, come visit me in LA.Homesickness cured instantly :((
kl_gal

the Razzler said...

Dear Daphne..

Glad to know that you are settling down well in Canada.

Take care ...!!

zorro said...

Good to know you have settled in well. In the States, a motorist will slow down to a stop (if there is no car behind him/her) just for you to cross the road. These good manners are drilled in school and in the home. Take care girl.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

yea, i'm very impressed. we sure have a looong way to go before we can shout out proudly on our courtesy and politeness. looking at the bright side, we are improving actually. hey, i'm sure designated parking spots for the disabled are available at every building premises there right? just like here, only most of the time its occupied by few motorbikes. classic Malaysians.

Sheyna said...

Yeah... I was also pretty dumb struck when I left the country. We Malaysians (delusionally) like to claim that we're "orang Timur yang beradat dan berbudaya etc." but seriously... most of us could do a lot worse than to learn from some Westerners. Not that aren't rude people overseas (as evidenced by your immigration officer), but they're definitely the exception and not the norm.

wanshana said...

Hi Daphne,

Glad to know that you're all settled, and I assume, cannot wait to start your Semester there.

In the UK, especially the elderly makcik-makcik will call everybody
"LUV". So endearing :)

But, we do get a mixture of attitudes in the UK - some are very polite, and some can be really rude (it depends on which part of the country/neighbourhood you're in really).

Have fun and all the best, dear :)

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Daphne,

I like to hear about all these wonderful episodes reflecting good manners in Canada. It is heart warming indeed. To be honest, if our education system were based on the old model, where they emphasised on character building through story telling & through civics/moral classes, we would be somewhere near there. I believe so.

Rita, where are you? I think Rita, you might see my point.

mott said...

hehehehe....it's true, people in the west are more polite. Not to say, asians are rude..I think it's just we weren't brought up to be courteous to other people. Only to senior citizens!

;-)

Anonymous said...

Malaysians cannot be blamed for being not civic minded and rude. We have to blame it on our lousy education system. That also include the religious schools which only teach kids to "parrot" learning religion instead of "menghayati."
Have you seen how teachers treat students? They talk down to them, not educate. Its all one way education over there. And don't forget must get that 17As or 25A's. Politeness is learning from examples around us and so is civic consciousness. We are still far behind the West and I think difficult to catch up now.
Our only hope is if we CHANGE...Can we?

Malaysian in Canada

Daphne Ling said...

Wahlau...

You guys really outdid yourself in this section with all the long statements/comments huh? Give me a while, I need to read through them all...

Thanks!

Puteri said...

Daphne, wait till you go back to Malaysia after having spent quite some time in Canada. You'll experience reverse culture shock! And one of those shocks will be the rudeness of Malaysians!! Heheh.

Recently in Sibu, I was crossing a zebra crossing and a car was approaching without even slowing down when the driver obviously saw me crossing. I was so mad that I angrily pointed at the zebra crossing and blurted some expletives! Hehehe, good thing I did not flip him the bird as well!