*The Pointless Writer*
has a life you're completely uninterested in. But it's okay because I can write. No abbreviations. No shoddy grammar (though I'm not immune to mistakes). Just quality writing on sometimes completely pointless topics.
UnPoints of Note
1. I write when fancy takes. Sometimes, fancy takes many months of leave.
I had quite an interesting experience a few days ago, which caused me to reflect on Singaporean public transport culture.
Now, I’m sure those of us who have taken the MRT regularly at some point in our lives know that most commuters squeeze their way into any gap possible to get ahead, be it to get on the train or to get through the gantry. I, personally, try not to squeeze my way past other people to get on the train as I find it akin to queue-cutting, which annoys me greatly. However, I find that edging myself into any gap that opens to make my way through the gantry facilitates human traffic flow, and that the need to speed up the flow of people through the gantry outweighs the need for polite queuing, especially since many people enjoy running for the trains pulling in.
So I saw an opening near the gantry and automatically slid into it to quickly tap my EZ Link card before the gantry could close after the person just in front of me, as is common practice. Horror of horrors, I was unexpectedly elbowed by a Caucasian woman behind me, who proceeded to exclaim, “How rude!” whilst complaining to her companion, another Caucasian lady.
I was more stunned than sorry, I must say. It isn’t everyday you get scolded for doing what every other commuter is doing, after all. It did prompt me to wonder, though, if this is what ex-patriots or tourists who chance upon the peak hour think of us Singaporeans.
Presumably, the lady was retrieving her EZ Link card. Still, with the gap she’d left between herself and the gantry, I’d assumed she was giving way to others while she looked for it, as most of us commuters do. It was quite a large gap, considering that I managed to slip in with my bulky schoolbag without jostling her. And I kind of wish I could explain this all to her so she doesn’t have such a terrible impression of Singaporeans. We just have a different set of commuting etiquette than she’s used to, but it’s etiquette that people follow nonetheless.
I recounted my experience to two friends, and one was vehement that I had done nothing wrong while the other agreed, though less heatedly. It makes me wonder, though, if foreigners find us rude. Not very good for tourism, is it?