Saturday, December 05, 2009
[Sights and sounds on public transport...]
Saw this woman on the bus yesterday...
She was holding the tissue to her nose the entire time. She wasn't sniffing, there weren't any bad smells on the bus, so I can't think of the rational reason for her to be doing this. The only conclusions I can draw are:
1) She's a Germophobe.
2) She thinks the tissue paper is some sort of biological and/or chemical filter.
3) She's crazy.
In all cases, I have the same advice for her. Stay home.
On a different bus ride, heard a kid talking to his father in Chinese. His father said very loudly that he didn't understand Chinese and wanted his kid to speak to him only in English.
I'm no fan of the Chinese language myself. I took Higher Chinese when I was in secondary school and hated almost every minute of it. On some level, I think Higher Chinese actually dragged down the results for all my other subjects (because I had to go for HCL lessons in another secondary school twice a week which really drained me). There's been a lot of discussions about how the Chinese language was taught wrongly in schools. I don't want to get into that.
What I believe is that, in the long run, English is probably the more useful and important language. Let's face it, English is the language of commerce, science, and technology. People always talk about how important it would be to speak Chinese due to the rise of China. I say this - the whole world is speaking English, instead of having the whole world learn Chinese, perhaps the people in China should learn English.
Having said that, I still think that it is important to be able to, at the very least, speak conversational Chinese. My ability in this area has been going south in recent years, being unable sometimes to convey what I mean to my parents and asking my sister for translations for certain English words or expressions into Chinese.
Of course, for me, the impact is perhaps not that great. After all, I am no longer in school. But for the kid, he looks to be still in primary school. His father is probably creating the wrong mindset in his son - that Chinese is not important at all. While he, as a father, may have failed in his mastery of the Chinese language, his son should be given a fair chance and not be discouraged from doing so.
Some people are not fit to be parents.
On the same bus journey, I overheard another conversation between a red-neck type mother and her young son. I didn't catch everything, but it went along the lines of the son wanting to buy something which the mother did not approve of, and she chided him loudly on the bus, saying things along the lines of having found him in a dustbin, that he can go and work as a coolie (?) for money if he wanted to buy the thing he wanted, etc etc.
What does chiding your child in public accomplish? And for that matter, the coolie comparison? Com'on...Join us in the 21st century.
How would the child feel? Probably not very happy with the public humiliation. Wouldn't it be better to speak with him and explain to him nicely in private? And telling a kid that he or she was found in a dustbin can psychologically scar them for life. Who wants to be disposed in a dustbin?
Such people should not be allowed to reproduce.
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