living in caucasia

On the subject of incredible customer service…

This is a potentially delicate topic, but it makes a difference that I’m caucasian. It seemed to make a difference on the flight, and it has made a difference here on the ground.

Yesterday, I found myself third-in-line behind an asian couple and a teenager in a grocery store queue, and the clerk pointed at me and waved me ahead. It was a little embarassing, and I tried to refuse, but that became even more awkward.

Some of the vendors in the food court at the Singapore Airlines office regularly wave me to the front, regardless of how many people are ahead of me. It’s not something I’m comfortable with. I wouldn’t say it’s the general practice here, but it’s happened a handful of times.

I suppose there’s a small chance I’ve imagined it, which would suggest a kind of narcissism I don’t want to own up to. In any case, my observation is validated by a certain self-professed SPG, who refers to Singapore as…

“…a society where Asian men have to wear dress shirts to prove they can afford lunch at Chez Chic and white guys can go in dressed in sandals… Asian men, generally, just look more destitute in the eyes of their own race, no matter what they wear. Blonde hair, blue eyes and an over-sized nose (frankly, no one I’ve dated has an oversized nose, and thank God) is nearly as good as a Zegna suit.” [read the actual post]