Saturday, October 31, 2009

Weapons of Self Defense

So I am gonna reveal a very closely guarded secret of my Singaporean friends. Every one of them is expected to carry a Weapon of Self Defense (WSD). Before you get all scared the WSD is nothing but innocuous looking packets of tissue papers. For naive foreigners like me they just look like what they are – tissue papers, but before you dismiss them off as just another personal accessory, hold on!

Weapon of Self Defense

All around the island there are numerous kopitiams (Food courts) which cater to thousands of people daily. During peak hours there are close to 50 people fighting for a single table in these food courts. This is where the tissue papers come in handy.

In the hypothetical situation that you happen to confront another person standing next to one of the tables to occupy it as the guy already using it is gulping down his kimchi, both of you stand in a confrontation pose (a-la Old American West gun standoff) with one hand in your pocket, ready to withdraw your WSD. The guy who can first successfully land his tissue packet on the table moments after the earlier guy lifts his bum off the seat, gets the table. The rule of this game is simple. Once someone’s packet lands on the table you lose it and you can’t do anything to get the table. The WSD rule is so religiously followed that if you forget your tissue packet on the table, people won’t occupy it for eternity. This action of reserving tables is called “chop”.

When in Singapore do what the Singaporeans do. So now I got my own arsenal of WSDs and have been practicing the art of withdrawing my WSD from the left pocket with my right hand and flawlessly landing it on a table 10 metres away :) !!

My Arsenal

Finally, I have reliable insider information that Singaporean women dig guys with “Tissues”. Which in layman’s terms means, Singaporean gals like Singaporean men (duh?!). So men pretend to be chivalrous to women just by offering a tissue that they are already carrying as a WSD!

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