We've all been there. Getting lost in a foreign country where no one speaks the same language you do, it's all part of the adventure.
But for one tourist, the language barrier may have taken a toll on her as she vented her frustration at a Singaporean youth because he couldn't speak Mandarin.
In a viral Twitter thread posted on Tuesday (March 12), 22-year-old Singaporean Timothy Bon shared his story of being told off by a tourist from China after she approached him for directions.
The tourist wanted to go to 海湾舫 (hǎi wān fǎng), which meant Bayfront. Timothy, who was not familiar with the Chinese names of MRT stations, asked her if she meant Harbourfront, Bayfront or Admiralty -- and that's where it all started going downhill.Photo: Twitter/Timothy_Bon
Exasperated by the question, the tourist flared up at him, "华人不会讲话(华)语，你好意思吗? (You are Chinese but you can't speak Mandarin, aren't you embarrassed?)"
Upon hearing the comment, Timothy decided to send the tourist on her way to the other end of the island -- Tuas Link.Photo: Twitter/Timothy_Bon
Timothy then explained that he had tried his best to help her despite only achieving a C6 in the Chinese language due to dyslexia. But the tourist's patience wore thin as he took a long time to decipher the location in her question, hence her crude remark.
His story seemed to resonate with many on Twitter, gaining thousands of retweets and likes since he first shared it on Tuesday.https://twitter.com/eighteentails/status/1105771683107893248 https://twitter.com/rchlpw/status/1105787955094806529
The tale also reminded one Twitter user of her encounters when she worked in Orchard Road.https://twitter.com/syzzlyn/status/1105633109133783041
Unfortunately for Timothy, his experience may just be taken as a classic example of "好心没好报 (those who help often end up being resented by those whom they help)".