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'No amount of hunger will make me touch it': American expat says he's learned not to take the 'paiseh piece'

'No amount of hunger will make me touch it': American expat says he's learned not to take the 'paiseh piece'
PHOTO: TikTok/Zenosjake

Singaporeans have their own fair share of quirky, unsaid rules that they all try to abide by. 

One of the more known ones is the "paiseh piece", which refers to the last piece of food that people may be too embarrassed to take. 

And it seems like some expats living in Singapore have also caught on to this unspoken rule. 

In a recent TikTok video, Zenos Jake, an American living and working in Singapore, shared tongue-in-cheek how he doesn't dare take the "paiseh piece". 

@zenosjake No amount of hunger will make me touch a paiseh piece @Marlon Dance #singlish #singapore #sg ♬ original sound - Zenos Jake

"One of the things you'll learn about when coming to Singapore is the 'paiseh piece'," he said. 

In several clips in which he was having a meal with friends, he showed how the plates at his table all only had one piece of food left on them. 

"Come on guys, cannot waste food," he egged on his dining companions. 

All of them looked into the camera and shook their heads, seemingly unwilling to break that rule. 

Determined to get the plates cleared, he turned to one friend and urged: "Come on Marlon, take it." 

In response, Marlon shrugged his shoulders and attempted to reach for the food. 

But instead of letting him do so, the group of friends jokingly swatted his hands away.

"Wrong! You never take the 'paiseh piece'," concluded Zenos. 

In the captions, he added: "No amount of hunger will make me touch a 'paiseh piece'." 

The comments section of the TikTok video was full of amused Singaporeans, some of whom were impressed that Zenos knew what the "paiseh piece" was about. 

Some shared what they do in the event of a "paiseh piece". 

One netizen said they usually let each person take one "paiseh piece" from each plate so every diner can choose what they want. 

Several of the more thick-skinned netizens said they don't care about the rule and will just take it. 

"I am not paiseh to have it, I love food," commented one.  

Another netizen said that as he is the dad, it is his "duty" to take the last piece of food. 

Someone also pointed out that all the leftover pieces can add up to an entire meal. 

ALSO READ: Expat 'flabbergasted' by 'hardest Singlish phrase' during clinic appointment 

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