Skip to main content

Hygiene Notions

Out of desperation, I had to join the Sunday crowd at Ikea for my dinner.

Such a trendy place to hang out for families from a highly developed country, to show off that the wives do not have to do the cooking at home because they can afford to eat out.

After much struggle, I finally managed to snatch an empty seat at a table shared with a family. They had a stack of serviettes (paper napkins) on the table. When I said stack, I really meant stack. A 1-inch thick stack! How can a family of 2 adults and 2 toddlers need so many of that?

It is such a common scene that these humans will take much more than they should, when they can, even when they have absolutely no need for it. "Well, it's free", someone will tell you that.

It is also one of the many notions of "hygiene" in Singapore, well, also in many other places where humans reside. Since the extinct of handkerchief (some may not even know what it is or how to spell it anymore), the use of paper napkins is on the rise. "It's hygienic", someone would also tell you that.

Of course! And here is why they need a whole stack of paper napkins, and would go back for more:

1. Oops, spilt a drop of sauce on my little finger. I need a paper napkin to wipe it off. Chuck.
2. Oh no, spilt some juice onto the table, pass me another paper napkin please. Chuck.
3. Aww... look at you little baby, I'll use this new paper napkin to wipe that food off your face. Chuck.
4. Oops, spilt another drop of sauce on my other little finger. I need a fresh paper napkin to wipe it off. Chuck.
5. Intermission for my drinks, let me wipe my lips clean with a fresh paper napkin before I drink my juice. Chuck. (I might even need a paper napkin to wipe the side of the glass or the straw clean. Chuck)
6. I think I need to wipe that bit of food off my lips again with a fresh paper napkin. Chuck.
7. Aww... look at our little baby, stained her little face again. I'll use this new paper napkin to wipe that food off your face. Chuck.
8. Repeat of 5 and 6, probably a few more times. Chuck, chuck, chuck.
9. Finished eating, finally. Let's use one fresh paper napkin for each of us to wipe our lips, fingers, and faces clean. Chuck, chuck, chuck, chuck, chuck.

Home is where children get their primary exposure to morals and ethics. But how can we expect this couple's children to grow up having any conscience towards consumption?

Me? I tear one paper napkin into at least 4 little pieces, each for one meal. Dirty little bugger me.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

All I want for Christmas

I love Christmas, but I have much reservation about the notion that, to celebrate Christmas means that you will have to buy something for someone, and subordinate completely to commodity without much thought. Every time I feel like buying something for my friends, I tend to think that I might be adding to: Their clutter - excessive wrapper and trimmings on top of gifts that my friends may have no idea what to do with. Do they throw them away? I may feel unappreciated. Do they reuse or recycle them? That may be too much work for them. They may just throw the wrapping paper away, but it’s still an unnecessary contribution to the landfill.Their chores - things like flowers, nice. But they would have to get the water changed everyday, and I will worry about what they would do when the flowers are dead. I normally bury them, but I can’t possibly expect all of my friends to do that too.Their extreme hassle and guilt as they may have no idea what to say to me - if they totally do not like wh…

Uniquely Singapore Enbloc Fever

Just when I was talking about unethical agents and enbloc issues in Singapore, I got a text message from my agent yesterday, confirming that our flat in Le Chateau has been enbloc, and that all tenants will have to move out by the end of this month!

Less than 1 month notice, and not even a written notice! And she had the nerve to ask me to pay up the full rent for the month of July! In other countries that I have resided in before, including Malaysia and England, I have never experienced this kind of real estate moments. Whether it was a lapse of a contract, or in the event of my old landlord wanting to sell the place, I was always informed formally, given ample time for necessary planning with full refund of my deposit.

But the law here seems to be working in the owner's or the agent's favour. In most contracts you will only find rule after rule for the tenant to obey, and nothing for their benefit, for example: what would happen to them when the property is sold, or enbloc in …

Bring Your Own Bag Day in Singapore!

A few days after the routine-disturbing, too-much-to-handle-for-Singaporeans, Bring Your Own Bag Day; I went to do my shopping again, and as usual I had to shout 3 times at the cashier so I can use my own shopping bag. And guess what she said to me: 'But today is not "Bring Your Own Bag Day".'

I was speechless.