The City's Ugly Side

It's been almost 6 months, if you can believe how time can really fly. In the span of close to half a year, I have observed, and been a part of the culture that makes up Singapore today.

The inevitable is the kiasu syndrome. I have experienced it, blended myself in it, and finally... learnt a painful lesson from it.

There's always a rush everywhere, not many are taking their time to work, to the subway.... it's always a neverending rush hour. The few handful actually taking their own sweet time to loiter, hang around are possibly tourists - or they are just done rushing to the destination, only to find themselves waiting for another person. I've actually seen people who 

Like it  or not, Singapore is a predominantly Chinese country. And possibly its strength, is the Chinese's kiasu ways of life - which can also become its biggest weakness. 

Today I was very much in a Singaporean Chinese mode. I'd just finished gym and was on my way back. There was nothing to hurry to, except that I have not had my dinner and would like to get to my rented pigeonhole early so I can properly eat something. As I descended down the escalator, I quickly noticed that the train heading towards my place was just only arriving. So on Kiasu mode gear 3 already, I hurried down and sidestepped a couple (who are obviously tourists, from the way they took their own sweet time smelling nonexistent roses in the subway).... I misplaced my footing, stepped on the guy's flip-flops only to find myself falling forwards, almost in a comical slow-motion way.

(Digressing, flip-flops are accidents waiting to happen! It sticks to the ground even when your foot is lifted and I have seen and been through many incidents when the person at the back steps onto the flip-flops.)

Anyways, back to the scene on the subway. It would have been funny.... except I was probably the only one who thought it was funny. Nobody helped me up, everyone just looked on, from the train, from the platform. It's like a scene from a sad movie where you just feel so alone. To add insult to injury, the train door closed for a while before opening again, like to give the commuters more time to flash me a sympathetic look, but nothing more than that. 

My knee was slightly bruised, with abrasions, thank goodness my phone was ok, still clutched tightly in my hand. After the fall, though minor in all essence, I was strongly reminded again to have patience. Really, now, there was absolutely no need for me to dash into the train, the next train will probably arrive in less than 5 minutes. 5 minutes is just a small fraction of time but no, we are constantly in this mad rush.

I vow not to let this absurdity overcome me... and pray that I live through it with my sanity intact.


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