~ gentlemanship… or lack of ~

01 June 2007

this evening, i was by myself on my way home from dinner with friends. i waited for my bus at the bus stop near the Youth Park. all the bench were taken, so i stood up for a while until a young girl offered me her seat. what i noticed is that about 50% of the seated people were guys — some are young (teenager to 25-ish), some are a little older (30 to 40-ish). and none of them would give up their seat to an obviously pregnant lady.

the bus that i took was quite full, even the alley, so i was sorta stuck at the front of the bus, couldn’t get any further back. my right hand was hanging on the overhead railings, and my left hand was holding on to the top of a back seat. i’m short, so even though i hung on to the railings, i kept getting swung left and right. that’s why i had to hold on to the seat with my other hand.

on that seat, there was a middle-age indian guy sitting. i think he was sleepy, so at one point, he laid his head to the back of the seat and felt there is my hand on the seat. he looked back at me and gave me a nasty look. i think he wanted me to take my hands off the seat so that he can lay his head down. but then, he glanced down to my 9-month pregnant belly. then, he immediately look away and never turned his head again to look at me.

on busses in Singapore, the first 8 to 12 seats are supposed to be reserved for “elderly, women with kids or pregnant women”… at least that’s what the sign says. but as i noticed, most of the seats were occupied by guys, and they’re not moving. finally, a Filipino lady offered me her seat. all those guys didn’t even budge.

during all 9 months of being pregnant, there was only one guy who offered me his seat. and at that time, he was with his pregnant wife (who was sitting next to him). other than that, i only got seat-offering from women.

i guess i should’ve known… even before i was pregnant, i’ve noticed that most of the guys in Singapore are not the gentleman-type. heck, most of them are not even the considerate-type of person.

in trains, i’ve seen seated guys pretend not to notice that there is an old, shaky lady standing in front of them. they just keep sitting and playing their PSP. worse, there was a young guy who ran to get to a seat, and on the way, pushed a pregnant lady aside.

sadly, i don’t think those guys realize that those kinds of behavior make them look lame.

~ comment (13) ~

wow… that really is very inconsiderate not to offer you a seat! i see people give up their seats all the time here in boston, and i have given mine up plenty of time when a pregnant woman or elderly person comes on the train/bus. that is very sad that men will not do that in singapore.

reese | 2 June 2007 - 06:53 | reply

what a pity, it’s really inconsiderate, is the culprit education at home?

mimi | 2 June 2007 - 07:13 | reply

singaporean (young) male AND politeness + courtesy is an oxymoron, isn’t it?

avianto | 2 June 2007 - 09:13 | reply

Welcome to $ingapore where courtesy only exists when there is financial benefits for both parties.

You should have yelled at the guy. Most of them would play sleepy anyways so why can’t we yell? Or take photos of them and post on the web.

Masindi | 2 June 2007 - 11:52 | reply

hehehe i know how it feels. Have you read my experience?

Rani | 3 June 2007 - 10:37 | reply

woops your website does not allow HTML hyperlinking.. my similar story is here www.indrani.net/2005/02/36th-week.html

Rani | 3 June 2007 - 10:38 | reply

I’ve been following your blog for the past few months and I love it. I think you’re very talented. This story that you told made me very angry. Sad but true, most of the guys nowadays have no manners, much less a gentleman (especially Asians).
Girl power to you and bext of luck.

Cilipadi | 3 June 2007 - 04:22 | reply


Menyedihkan sekali. Tidak peduli atau tidak mau peduli.

yoel | 4 June 2007 - 10:01 | reply

I had a bad experience once. Dulu pernah ngasih kursi ke ibu-ibu tua di bis, eh pas gue berdiri, ada seorang bapak-bapak langsung duduk di tempat gue. Sempet gue tegor, eh dia malingin muka, belaga gak denger…

Chandra Marsono | 4 June 2007 - 03:22 | reply

ternyata ga lebih baik drpd di Indonesia ya :(

yanti | 4 June 2007 - 05:10 | reply

wah, imho, generally sih masih mendingan indo daripada disini…

thalia | 6 June 2007 - 03:33 | reply

nggak pernah ngerasain hamil sih ya tuh cowok2?! mungkin seharusnya ibu2 hamil itu punya ‘mantra’! sim salabim! semua cowok yang ignorant hamil 9 bulan dlm sekejap! PUFF! Blendung!

cynthia | 4 June 2007 - 10:23 | reply

Actually, it’s the same thing here too. Guys will pretend to be asleep or listen to their mp3s with their eyes closed. I scold them when I don’t have a seat to give, and I see a lady who needs it more. Really. I might end up killed one day. Tsk.

Amy | 7 June 2007 - 11:48 | reply