Thursday, January 25, 2007

Singaporeans are picky because they're so safe?

I spoke with a woman today who had some questions about getting her cats sterilised. She had been feeding the cats in her estate and she said she left food out for them. She said that even if they didn't eat the food, other animals would, whether they be ants or insects, who also needed to eat.

I told her that it wasn't a good idea - I explained the cats might be blamed, and so would the feeder for littering. She said that she didn't understand why people would begrudge some other living things a bit of food, and that she often went to the barbeque area in her condominium and it is filthy with dumped bottles and all manner of food just left there.

I explained to her this might be the case, but people would generally feel that they can leave rubbish around - someone else will come by and pick it up (even if in the meantime it does attract cockroaches, ants, etc). It's not their fault if cockroaches are attracted to the area. However I said if there is a cat being fed, it immediately becomes the cat's fault, even though clearly the cat cannot have gone out, bought the food and left it after there after eating. The cat clearly cannot pick up after itself.

She said she understood, but she said that as a foreigner (albeit one who has lived here for 7 years), she had to say one problem she feels is that Singapore is too safe. She said she used to live in South Africa, and other areas where people getting killed or seriously injured was not uncommon.

She said that Singapore's safety is one of the best things about it, but she said perhaps if there were real problems to worry about (personal safety for example), Singaporeans would expend less energy on small things like whether there is a cat being fed in a corner somewhere. She said that it tended, she felt, to make Singaporeans very picky about small issues because there basically isn't anything more serious to worry about.

I think she may be right - and it also goes to show that we're very lucky and we're not always grateful for how lucky we are.

10 Comments:

Anonymous ej said...

True, true, Singapore are rather safe and convenience in many aspects. In north america, residences have to be on the look out for brown/black bears in their backyard and neighbourhood.
Here, some people considers community cats/dogs as nuisances and enemies and feels threathen by these harmless creatures.

25/1/07 2:31 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Or worse - getting shot by people!

25/1/07 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here very petty minded, boring people with little connection with nature. All they know is to shop, eat lots of junk, think greatly of their fast depreciating cars and little about the deeper and larger meanings of life.

Maggots will spew from the mouth is what will become of them.

25/1/07 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and worry about trans fat!

25/1/07 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think our glass bowl existence has made us very out of touch with reality. i find that small thgs are blown out of proportion because we seem to have forgotten our place in the larger scheme of thgs.

when i lived in vancouver, it was a different experience. yes, it is a city which is advanced and has a high standard of living. but it is also situated on an active earthquake faultline and vancouverites are aware that their lives can be turned upside down at any time at the whim of nature. added to this is the fact that though i wldn't call the weather particularly extreme, there is enuf turbulence, strong gales, cold winter snaps, etc, to keep locals aware of their place in nature and the world. the result? a people who are hardy and self sufficient, yet one of the kindest i have known. with the large numbers of immigrants who now call the city home, they are a true example of an inclusive society.

shortly before i arrived, a massive transport strike took place which lasted the whole summer. bus routes were affected and many ppl were cut off from the city. instd of griping and throwing up their hands in helplessness and waiting for deliverance from the govt, the ppl calmly took matters into their own hands. they car pooled, bought bicycles or simply walked, up to 2 hrs each way, to and from work, taking advantage of the warm weather to get some exercise.

no society is perfect but i saw, in my one year there, a marked difference between the attitude of the ppl in vancouver and in s'pore and it has everythg to do with each society has chosen, consciously or unconsciously, to perpetuate.

25/1/07 4:12 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

That was a very interesting contrast Anonymous. Thanks.

25/1/07 4:21 PM  
Blogger Hai~Ren said...

I wonder how Singaporeans would react if we had to deal with backyard wildlife like in other countries - deer, raccoons, skunks, coyotes and even black bear and cougar in North America; baboons and even leopard and hyenas in urban cities in Africa; much more potentially dangerous and even life-threatening than your average Singaporean stray cat or dog.

25/1/07 5:22 PM  
Blogger Profpig ^@^ said...

Somehow because we are so safe, we become ignorant of what's going on out there.

25/1/07 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are not safe. We are the Eloi who do not see the Morlock until the last moment. Chomp!

26/1/07 1:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, we do not the experience of other "backyard wildlife" as hai-ren has pointed out. If we see a large snake, it is 4-D time.
The first large snake in our house, we called the police - who fumbled a lot. We helped to get it into a sack & it was taken away. The next 10ft snake, we got into a sack & released to a unpopulated area.
Then there was a hugh bee hive, we called in the pest control (first asking if they trap cats) as the bees were all over. Is there another way if another active bee hive is around without killing the bees?

27/1/07 5:22 PM  

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