SINGAPORE: An Australian woman, Chloe Baradinsky, asked her TikTok followers, “Who is in the wrong here?” after standing her ground when a man yelled at her for taking the table he had reserved at a food court.

While chope-ing your particular dining space is a norm in Singapore and elsewhere in the world, this isn’t necessarily the case.

TikTok user @chloebaradinsky uploaded a video about her encounter with the man earlier this month, which has since gone viral, getting nearly 600,000 votes.


Keep in mind, he was away from “his table” for 15 minutes getting food

♬ original sound – Chloe

Ms Baradinsky said the incident occurred during “peak lunchtime” at the food court when there were no free tables.

However, she saw a notepad on one table where no one was sitting, which she thought had been inadvertently left behind by someone.

She sat there with her bowl of laksa and left the notepad where it was, as its owner might come back to collect it if and when he or she found it missing.

But while she was having her meal, a man in his 50s came back and “rudely” told her, “I’ve reserved this table.” Shocked, she answered him back by saying it was a food court, where people aren’t allowed to reserve tables.

The man then told her, “I put my notepad here to go and order my food, and now I’ve come back.”

“Keep in mind, he was away from ‘his table’ for 15 minutes getting food,” she wrote in the caption. When Ms Baradinsky again told him that this isn’t how things are done at a food court, he asked her, “Are these your rules?”

She then offered to share her table with the man, saying he could sit on the other side of the table. But he told her,I don’t want to sit with you.”

“I guess you have to find a new table then,” she answered. She also wrote in a comment to her video: “I now have a very kind lady sitting on my table because she needed a seat.”

Many people commenting on her post agreed that tables can’t be reserved at food courts in Australia. They commended her for standing her ground, answering her question that she was not in the wrong in this situation.

Many commenters also told her about the chope situation in Singapore, where it’s common to reserve a table even with just a few napkins.

“Very common in Singapore, is called ‘chope’ the table with Tissue Paper, Water Bottle, Umbrella and etc,” wrote one.

“I live in Singapore and you’re right! That’s how we do it here. It’s by no means to be rude, but just generally how ppl indicate they’ve reserved a table and went to buy their food,” agreed another.

“You’ve clearly never been to Singapore,” a netizen wrote.

Other commenters said this is done in Japan and Norway as well, but some TikTok users said that if anyone left anything in the food courts where they live, the item would be gone by the time they returned with their food. /TISG

Read also: Swiss woman says, in SG, queueing, chope, Singlish, calling people “Uncles & Aunties” are ‘bizarre Singaporean habits’


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