Would you…

…have done what I did?

Just moments ago, the cops came to our apartment. About 20 minutes earlier, we were happily watching TV when I heard some fighting going on. At first I ignored it because it sounded like any normal fight and then it got really loud and mind you, the apartment door was closed. Then I heard their door open and the shouting got louder and a woman was screaming. Now, I don’t speak Mandarin so I had no idea what they were saying; she could have been going on and on about best accredited online degrees and her son’s results for all I know but the tone was disturbing me and Nil so I went to take a peek. I opened the apartment door a little and saw two men having a go at each other and a woman’s arm trying to stop them.

I turned around and had this look on my face. That was when the women screamed even louder and louder – it was as if she was the one who was going to get hit or something. So Nil and I called the police.

Here’s the kicker – the moment he hung up, all went dead quiet next door. They closed the door and it was as if nothing happened. When the police came, I felt so mortified at having called them for nothing but part of me had this naggy feeling that it was right of me to call them anyway because of gut instinct.

I had the same experience before in Switzerland – my neighbours upstairs were fighting at 3am (this was when I was in my third trimester and about two weeks or so before the due date) and a woman was screaming, a man was shouting and things were getting thrown around; it was all going on in Spanish and we called the police. When they arrived, the couple was still having a go at each other. And you could hear them from the entrance of the apartment block. It was very dramatic.

Anyway, Nil kept going on and on about how he shouldn’t have called the cops but I kept telling him that we should have…who knows what it could have escalated into? But still…I guess the Asian part of me is wondering whether it was right/appropriate to get involved in such a situation considering that I live next door!!!!! You know how people are over here about “minding their business” (but funny how it never applies to things like asking people personal questions about their marriage, children, relationships, salary, etc!).

What do you guys think?

ps: I was even telling the police that I should have recorded the whole darn thing on my phone. Guess I wasn’t thinking all that quick then. :/

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Mabel,

    A classic case of people regretting what they did not do and not what they did.
    You both did the right thing. I would definitely have called.
    There are two possibilities. Either they stop fighting and you blush a little when the police come or you potentially saved somebody’s life.
    Imagine if you didn’t call the police and find out the next day that someone was hurt/killed. That would be sad.

  2. Hi Mabel,

    Have to agree with durian girl above but then Its Singapore . Maybe its different there. My cousin lived in one of those condos.. ( when she first moved there). fairly uppity neighbourhood. A teenager stalked her and one day actually held a knife ( steak knife) to her neck and wanted to kiss her. She screamed and ran back to her condo and called the cops. ( Like any normal person would do) The boy’s mother later came to threaten, then begged her to withdraw her complaint to the police. My son is very smart boy, he was just under pressure of his studies, he was just joking etc now you have ruined his future. She sat at my cousin’s gate everyday begging , threatening, wailing or over a month . Finaly My cousin had to move out on the quiet , had the movers go in and pack up and they sold the condo for a big loss. She had regrettted calling the cops since. As long as shes on Singapore soil she swore never to call the cops until she’s back on Canadian soil.
    I hope I have not frightened you.

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