Courtesy begets courtesy

I stayed in Montreal, Canada, for a few months last year and was very impressed by the courtesy and consideration shown by most of the people there.

I agree with Professor Tikki Pang's views on courtesy (Some simple courtesy goes a long way; March 17).

In buses and shops in Montreal, almost everyone greets one another with a wide smile and a "Bonjour" before every transaction and a "merci beaucoup" (thank you very much) afterwards.

Accustomed though I was to being reserved and undemonstrative in Singapore, in Montreal, greeting others became second nature to me.

Giving and receiving greetings throughout the day as I interacted with people perked me up, and I am sure the feeling was mutual.

I also encountered many unsolicited acts of kindness from strangers there. These spontaneous acts of kindness inspired me to reciprocate.

People whom I interacted with were curious as to where I was from and they were often effusive in their praiseabout Singapore's economy, infrastructure and standard of living.

But, as my experience attests, what may be most memorable is the courtesy and kindness one experiences.

Maria Loh Mun Foong (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 21, 2017, with the headline 'Courtesy begets courtesy'. Print Edition | Subscribe