~This is for all the commuters who suffer daily like me~
I am sure most of us have whined about this, cried about this, and dread the thoughts of commuting to work or school or wherever we need to be via our public transport system. I am not talking about the non-peak period. I am talking about commuting between 6.30am-9.00am and 5.00-7.30pm.
I live in Singapore and commute on a daily basis to Labrador Park so I have to board the train to Jurong East, change to the East West (green line), alight at Buona Vista and then change to the Circle line. Yes, this is Singapore- small but complicated. It takes me all of about 1.5 hours to get to work and that 1.5 hours of stress is enough to make me feel tired even before starting work. I am sure all commuters are aware of being in “sardine-packed” buses and trains in the mornings and evenings! So as bad, as the commuting may be, let me state the top 10 Dont’s of how to never behave in PUBLIC transports.
1. Carrying your backpack as if you are the only one on the train.
For God’s sake, when the trains and buses are packed, why don’t you use your brains and put your backpack down. You can remove the backpacks and hold it downwards. I know it’s heavy, you know why? Because you hit every passenger, who is behind you and who has to walk past you to either get on the train or off the train. And when the train jerks, you bang into the person behind you. Please bear in mind, we women are mostly well-endowned so can you imagine the pain? Students stop laughing, this goes out to you too.
2. Reading your newspapers or books and holding them out
I am all for reading. Heck, read while you are walking for all I care. But trying to squeeze in a read, while people are trying to fight for that inch of space, is the most selfish act ever. Can’t you read when the train is less packed? Is the newspaper going to fly out the window? No, it isn’t!
3. Turning on your music to the loudest as if you are in a club
I love music. I love cranking up the volume and tuning the world out. BUT.. not in a train when you are an obstacle to everyone around you. Imagine, trying to get out of a train and saying “EXCUSE ME” three-four times before finally having to tap you to move! It’s times like this when I wish the song “Move B***H” will be aired in the trains.
4. PDA- Public Display of Affection as if you are never ever going to see him/her again
I am not a touchy-feely person but I still have my sense of emotions. BUT, in the mornings, I do not need to see you groping her butt or kissing her like there is not tomorrow. Granted, that you are smacked against each other as the train is packed. Come on, how is that even a turn on, when you have people all around you who are perspiring and smelly due to the lack of air conditioning in the trains!
5. Cutting The Queue
We Singaporeans are a automatic bunch. Wherever we go, we automatically get into queues or rather we form queues. It is like a genetic code that is ingrained in our minds. Fine, so we create queues to manage the ridiculous human traffic. So, people at the back, please have the decent courtesy to respect that. If you are late, so are we. If you have no grace, please read the tonnes of signs on the train doors, it will tell you how to be gracious!
6. Scolding fellow commuters who accidentally bang into you because of the jerk-ing movements
Hey sexy lady, don’t think for one second that I am trying to hit on you, not literally at least. Yes I am writing this as a woman to women. I am not dirty. In fact I am much cleaner than you because I shower daily. If I bang you accidentally and say sorry, be gracious and accept. Don’t brush your arms off like I have some bacteria eating flesh disease. And no, I don’t think you are hot, for me to bang you. OOOPS…
7. Pretending to sleep
I know, everyone wants to sleep more. It is like our number one agenda. But.. please give up your seat to the elderly or the pregnant. Pretending to sleep is really bad, especially if you can change your music or read your mails in between while “sleeping”. It is a true reflection of how selfish you are. So come on, be gracious. Pity the elderly and the “mind-the-bump” ladies.
8. Cutting your nails/ Picking your nose
This is one horrible habit that happens even during off-peak hours. Seriously, grooming yourself in public is embarrassing but cutting your nails and letting them fly about is disgusting. Nobody needs to see your dirty, filthy nails on the ground and nobody needs to see your “stuff” from your nose being flicked about too. Use the toilet if you have to. I am sure there is no pressing need to cut your nails or dig your nose in public.
9. Falling asleep and lying on the next person’s shoulder
Exhaustion is a pain. I totally understand. Sure i do. I am the most conscious sleeper ever. I don’t expect that of people. BUT… if you have been woken up by the next commuter because you had laid on their shoulder, get your act together and stop doing it. Stand up if you have to! AND not continue sleeping and just conveniently laying on their shoulder. MEN or WOMEN, no excuse.
10. STOP PUSHING!
I know, everyone needs to get to work or school or home or wherever. Pushing gets you nowhere. It makes you angry, causes high blood pressure and worse, you might even be hit by the doors. So why not, wait your turn, and stop pushing. Imagine the number of people who curse you everytime you push them. Really, think about it.
This is my observation and definitely my experiences in commuting publicly. Sometimes I wish I was Dorothy and I could just click my shoes three times and get to wherever I need to be.