*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 hope I don’t get sued for my title. This post isn’t a jab at SMRT per se. You of all people should know that I try to make every single mundane part of my life entertaining. And, well, who wouldn’t want to know the tremendous amount of FUN I had on the MRT this morning? I mean, I even got to experience the adult peak hour! (Hear the sarcasm.) And no, I did not oversleep. What kind of person do you think I am?
To cut a long story short (because we all know I can write a few hundred words about Nothing, and I really want to get to that), there was some issue with the train/ track. Oh! And the silly staff. Here’s what mind-boggled passengers were hearing:
Station announcer: “Passengers going towards Pasir Ris, please board the train at Platform A. Passengers going towards Joo Koon, please board the train at Platform B.”
He said this a couple of times. So, a whole group of people surged onto the train at Platform A, even though the TV clearly said “DO NOT BOARD”. And even though everyone on the train was alighting. Maybe they just can’t read. Or maybe they watched too much Final Destination and their eyeballs rolled clear out of their heads. Whatever it was, I decided to go with the flow and ignored the literary skills my education has provided me with. I boarded the train. Then, a softer, raspier, more static-distorted voice tried and failed to fill the train. (SMRT really needs to improve the quality of its in-train speakers. Or send its drivers for voice projection classes. I’ve never quite been able to hear their non-prerecorded announcements.)
Train driver: “This train is going for servicing. Passengers, please do not board the train.”
So the multitudes poured out.
And poured back in.
And poured back out.
Me? I gave up after a while and went to grab a bun from the bakery. Then ate while waiting for the technicians to realize that they were making conflicting announcements. Now we get to the even better part: the train ride.
Since there was now half the population of Jurong West at the station (I could be exaggerating slightly here), the adult peak hour was shifted forward. It was like Armageddon. I think I whacked a few passengers in various parts of their anatomy with my bulky school bag trying to squeeze myself into the sardine can. I kid you not. (The traffic isn’t usually like this at Boon Lay. After all, it’s near the end of the line.)
When the train reached Jurong East, all hell broke loose. If you stay in the west, you probably know that there are now TWO tracks at the Jurong East MRT station for trains going towards Woodlands to pull in and out of. So the train doors opened on both sides. I thought it would be fairly easy. People on the left leave through the left-side door, and people on the right leave on the other side, right? After all, trains on both sides go in the same direction. Well, some joker took it upon himself to emulate Moses and part the human sea: he squeezed his way from the left side of the train to exit through the right-side door. He would be an interesting case study for an aspiring psychologist.
Apart from that, it’s a really good thing I don’t take boxing classes, because NOBODY has patience on the train and TWO men were trying to squeeze past me simultaneously while the rabid passengers outside were trying to squeeze on, when I’m clearly a normal-sized human being and NOT a sheet of paper wannabe. It was a classic example of brainless mob mentality.
Somehow I managed to survive being squished on all sides, only to be shepherded into a female sandwich in the centre of the carriage. I think I had it better than the people at the door, though. One of the men at the door was literally so pressed for space that he had to turn his face to one side or risk having his nose slimmed by the closing train doors. With no way to read my Bible, given the space constraints, I found myself examining the three women surrounding me.
The moment I decided to check them out (do you realize how many meanings this phrase has? You can check out someone you want to date, check out your groceries, check out an interesting specimen…), I thought: “SHINY!!!” Turned out to be Woman #1’s huge and gaudy ring. At first glance, I thought it was diamond. But, having been dragged by my mother on a diamond shopping spree (she didn’t actually buy any diamonds in the end), and having been the one to pay full attention to the salesman’s talk on the different cuts of diamond, I realized, using my insanely high-tech biological diamond detector (hint hint: they’re called eyeballs), that those were NOT the mother of all shiny stones. Cue inward giggle.
Meanwhile, on my right, Woman #2 finally decided she was sick of having her chest pressed against my arm and repositioned her shield of protection (a handbag I didn’t care to see on the cover of Vogue) between my offending limb and herself. I just wonder why she didn’t do so earlier.
Woman #3 was much less interesting, and I only looked at her because a) I had nothing better to do, and b) she looked vaguely like my grandfather’s domestic helper. Turns out she wasn’t. Oh well. And that concludes my metamorphosis into a sardine.
Since I’m fairly interested in remaining human for the rest of my life—being a squished fish is no fun, people—I’ve decided to cycle to work when I grow up. Save the trees and save humanity.