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Showing posts from November, 2010

Bali...and gentle people with gentle manners...

The  Balinese temple of Tahna Lot (Photo L Percy November 2010) From the time I was a child, my late father, a retired Royal Australian Navy Commodore, instilled in me a respect for people . I didn’t ever see anyone as being “different”. In the early ‘60s my father was at an officer training college for the member countries of the Commonwealth. He was joined at the college by officers  from countries as diverse as India and Pakistan, Colombo (Sri Lanka)  Malaysia, Singapore and England. My parents were great hosts and so our home became a “drop in centre” on Friday nights for many of these officers who were unable to bring their spouses with them to Australia during their training. These same gentlemen taught me to eat curry, even for breakfast, taught me to play the piano and immediately after lessons learn to correctly and politely eat rice in my fingers in banana leaves. And to never be judgemental. These same men went on through the later ‘60s to fight against each other in wa

Singapore….a city of change…and new manners

Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino I started my recent sojourn in South East Asia in Singapore with my companion from Switzerland.  A few years ago I had a full time office of The Percy Institute of International Protocol based there. The Singapore of the early 21st century was a very different place to the vibrant hub that it is today. While it was “busy” Singapore was also subdued. There were regular “Good Manners Weeks ”... in all fairness, it was fairly dull. The Percy Institute Singapore staff Today the “vibe” is different. The most marked change for me was in the superb customer service which was on full display not only in the shops but also at the Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore hotel.   Previously I had instructed on corporate and front of house manners for the Raffles Hotel group and their standards were, and remain, high. So it was really enjoyable to have great service at another hotel group. Not only was our room upgraded to a Marina Bay view without request but the p