Wednesday, January 20, 2010

7 ways that Kyoto beats Singapore

This is a post in response to Mr Brown's 7 ways that Taipei beats Singapore!

1. Kyoto restaurants don't charge you for tap water, but they serve you free real green tea

No, in Kyoto, they don't serve green tea brewed (is it right to use the word "brew" for the action of pouring 1 liter of hot water into a flask of 1 teabag?) from some bought-from-NTUC-during-special-offer green tea bags. Their green tea are brewed from green tea leaves and they do taste like green tea. And yes, it is free, and charging 20 cents for tap water is unheard of.

2. Kyoto buses arrive on time

In Kyoto, there is a time table at all their bus stops (or "stands" most of the time, where there is only a pole with sign), and unless it is during super peak (like when tourists from all over the world are there to see the maple leaves) where the buses might be late for up to 15 minutes (but wait, our minister said 15 minutes is considered acceptable according to New Immigrant Standard!), their buses all arrive on time. By the minute. For every single bus route, no matter how long or short.

And in order not to rub it into our world class public transport, I'm not even going to mention that their bus captains thank their passengers when the buses leave every bus stop.

3. Kyoto sales people apologise when they need to pass

It is a known fact that Japanese are super polite, but it is even more so in a shopping center in Kyoto. When a sales girl needs to cut your path, she'll apologise to you, not just try to squeeze through and only say "Excuse me" when you don't give way automatically. Oh, and the ultimate? When you walk past any sales girl, they will greet you and welcome you, not just stare into outer space. Actually sometimes I wonder whether the sales people in Singapore can actually see their (potential) customers...

4. Kyoto people don't put bags on their bus seats

There are things that Kyoto people just don't do on the bus. They don't eat and drink on the bus even though there is no big signs of "No eating/drinking or else we fine you". They don't talk loudly on the bus so that everybody knows where they intend to go for dinner. In fact, they don't even talk on their mobile phones on the bus! And the most obviously difference between a Kyoto and Singapore bus? Nobody puts any bag(s) on a bus seat.

5. Kyoto's roads are bicycle friendly and their riders don't try to kill themselves

Kyoto's roads have been there even earlier than when Raffles stepped onto Singapore but are still pretty well maintained, so bikers can ride safely without the fear of tripping or crashing into yet another road construction. Oh, their buses will not attempt to see how close can they go near the bikers without killing them.

On the other hand, while their bikers cycle on the pedestrian walkway at times, they do not try to sneak up and scare the pedestrians from behind, or ring their bells till the pedestrians give up the whole path to them. In fact, they tried to slow down when there is pedestrians ahead, something that is unheard of in Singapore.

6. Kyoto do not turn their historical buildings into gambling dens

Most of Kyoto's historical buildings are still there no matter how old they are, and no, they are not painted with ridiculously bright colors when they are restored. Some of the old buildings have been turned into cafes, restaurants or even hostels, but they still look as if a ninja will jump out of it any moment. And no, they don't turn a historical building into a gambling den just so that the landlord can earn from the rental.

7. Kyoto is really clean

I'm sorry that I've to state the obvious, but Kyoto is really clean. There is no dustbin anywhere on the street and Japanese are used to keeping their rubbish in their pockets/bags. They do not litter by nature, not because they are forced by fine, or because there is an army of cleaners to clean up after them.

So, do you know of anywhere in the world that beats Singapore in 7 ways?


Xizor2000 said...

I have always say, all these about GEMS and all that crap is bullshit. To really improve service standards in Singapore, have the Japanese start service personnel training course in Singapore.

What about failures in the course? There will be no failures. Failures can commit seppukku to atone for the shame to their ancestors. :P

Unknown said...

Good suggestion! :D

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