Mum and I was on our favourite playground at the weekend and the queue was long for the swings. There are only two swings in our area but we need more! Did the government put them up as a teaser or to encourage us to be more "active" than just hanging in the swing? It's nice for Mum when I'm not active for even few minutes and I get to enjoy the swing so it's a win-win situation. Back to the long queue, we are waiting while two kids are put into one swing and they start feeling uncomfortable after the first swing. The boy starts crying and the girl (who is a bit older) starts shouting at him and their granny tells them to stop crying/shouting/moving so that she can release them. Granny is having a hard time so another parent helps her. Mum couldn't help at that time because I was eyeing up the swing and getting all fidgety in her arms. Mum felt sorry for the granny but I felt happy to see that empty swing!
The regulars who frequent that playground knows that the boy and girl mentioned are a bit of a trouble-maker and their grandparents can't handle them. While on the swing, I can see them hassling a bigger kid for his tricycle and his dad carries the bigger kid and the tricycle and heads off somewhere else. Then they start on another girl who wants to play on the slide but both of them are sitting on it and teasing her so her mum takes her to the other end of the playground. Why are the parents not saying anything to the Granny or the boy and girl? I guess that it is more civilised to turn away from the problem but for how long can they do that? I'm sure Mum would do or say something if I was being bullied. Her weakness is not able to speak in Cantonese but her angry face is enough to scare anyone and I'm just talking about the adults here!
Mum is nodding "hello" to the other parent swinging her kid on the next swing and compliments how cute her kid is. The other parent just gives a smile...without a "thank you". There's a lack of common courtesy in Hong Kong and Mum should be used to this by now but she's not. She says a lots of "thank you, please and sorry" and she kind of expects other people to do the same and also nags Dad to take up the good habit but he says that "thank you, please and sorry" are for distant people - it doesn't have to be used with closed friends and relatives. Blame the bollywood movies especially "Maine Pyaar Kiya"..one of the movie's famous dialogue is "Dosti Mein, No Thank You No Sorry" which means "In Friendship, No Thank You No Sorry". Mum makes the extra effort to tell my helper to say "thank you, please and sorry" when needed because I'm with the helper more than Mum&Dad. Mum even told her nieces and nephews to get into that good habit. She spares no one! God help me with my growing days!!