Friday, the 13th – The Bad Stuff

14 Jan

In my previous post, I blogged about the good stuff that happened on a day that the superstitious among us would deem as an unlucky day. In this post, I will elaborate on the unpleasant incident that took place on the MRT ride home.

We live in the suburb of Jurong East, which is about 20km from the city centre. It’s quite a commute but it gives us the opportunity to observe Singapore’s society on a daily basis.

So yesterday, at approximately 1030pm, we boarded the East West Line from Tanjong Pagar. As usual, it was packed. We hopped into the sardine can and started our journey home.

Our carriage had a mix of locals and foreigners of different nationalities. One that I would now highlight for the purpose of this post is a passenger who was travelling with a rather huge bag, which he propped up as close as possible to the hand rail which was at the centre of the carriage.

A few stops later, a man boarded the train and squeezed past the bag, knocking it over in the process. It grazed my leg, but I paid no heed as it was really packed, and I didn’t think it was a big deal anyway. However, what happened next was totally unexpected.

The owner of the bag bent down to set his bag upright again, and passed a remark at the man who knocked it over.

“Cannot see ah?”

He didn’t really sound angry. Just mildly annoyed. So that was why the reply that came out of the other man’s mouth made me fuming mad.

“F*CK YOU LAH! YOU…YOU…PUT THE BAG AT THE ROAD! F*CK YOU!”

The chatter in the carriage came to a sudden stop and everyone looked at the man with the bag, wondering what he would do next. Admirably, he did not react.

Now what made me mad was the fact that the man with the bag was trying his best not to obstruct anyone by placing his bag as close to the hand rails as possible. No one else had problem getting in and out of the carriage before this uncouth man stepped in. So that outburst was totally uncalled for. (And, if you want to yell at someone, at least try to use the right word.)

I suppose I should reveal now, that the man with the bag was someone whom people would classify as an unskilled worker. A labourer who has come to this land of opportunity to work, and support himself, and maybe his family back home. And the man who knocked the bag over, was someone in his late 50s or 60s, one whom people might classify as a general office worker, with some form of education.

Now I wonder, if the bag had belonged to someone of the other class of foreigners, those of the expat variety, would he have been subjected to the same outburst?

Disclaimer: I’m also a foreign worker here and I’m not implying that everyone in Singapore have the same attitude towards foreigners. 

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