Twitter trending: Helpful Singaporean scolded by impatient Chinese tourist

Social media stirred up by tweet of dyslexic Singaporean who helped Mandarin-speaking tourist with directions only to get scolded for his limited Mandarin knowledge.

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Photo: Twitter screengrab

Singapore – A tweet about a sour exchange between a tourist and a Singaporean has gone viral in the past few days since it was first posted.

Twitter user and blogger Timothy Bon posted the following on Mar 12 at 9:38 pm:

Photo: Twitter screengrab

In case you can’t download the above image, the popular tweet read:

“y’all so this china lady at the train station asked me for directions to “海湾舫” & i didn’t know if she meant bayfront, harbourfront or admiralty.

so while trying to clarify it w her, she snapped at me and said “华人不会讲话语,你好意思吗?”

i sent her b*tch*ss towards tuas link”

Living in a country full of world-class destinations, Singaporeans are used to tourists asking for directions. But, imagine being scolded for being too slow in replying or getting insulted for not understanding a certain language during your conversation with the tourist.

In Bon’s case, the rude Mandarin-speaking Chinese tourist he met at a train station was looking for directions to what she described as “hai wan fang” (海湾舫). He wasn’t sure if she meant Bayfront, HarbourFront, or Admiralty. So, he tried to clarify her intended destination.

We all know how complex the language can get.

However, for some reason, the Singaporean taking too long to reply annoyed the tourist who said, “华人不会讲话语,你好意思吗?” Thanks to netizen @dailydosei for translating the tourist’s reply which was along the lines of “You are Chinese but you don’t know how to speak Chinese? Are you not embarrassed?”

Photo: Twitter screengrab

Ouch.

Bon was not having any of it, however. The local instead sent the tourist to Tuas link which is at the extreme west end of the island city-state.

Bon’s tweet has garnered over 5,000 retweets and 4,000 likes in just a matter of two days.

Replying to comments from fellow social media users, Bon explained that his Chinese proficiency level was only at the ‘O’ Level grade of C6 (for scores just over the 50% mark) and yet, he was genuinely trying to help the tourist before she got impatient.

Photo: Twitter screengrabHe also wrote, “[and] yes i just realised i typed out 话语 instead of 华语…. so y’all know I’m not lying when I say my Chinese C6 huhu.”

He also asked for leniency from those grilling him and correcting him.

Photo: Twitter screengrab

Bon shared that he had dyslexia which makes learning a language filled with over 50,000 characters extra tricky.

“I have dyslexia, which is a b*tch when it comes to learning languages. I genuinely tried my best to learn Chinese, and for what it’s worth, C6 is pretty damn decent,” he wrote.

Photo: Twitter screengrab

Netizens speak up

The online community was quick to support Bon and applauded him for his quick thinking in sending the rude lady somewhere else.

Others such as Island Diva, who worked in Orchard Road and frequently got asked for directions, also shared their experiences:

Photo: Twitter screengrab

Brooke Thio admits that she speaks pretty decent Mandarin yet still can’t remember all the Chinese names of stations. Completely understandable.

Photo: Twitter screengrab

Another netizen recalled how she had spent a good 25 seconds conjuring up the proper terms when a Chinese friend asked her for directions. In the end, she was only able to reply “Wǒ bù zhīdào” (我不知道) which means “I don’t know”.

Photo: Twitter screengrabRead the thread below: