Saturday, 11 June 2011

Public transport

Perhaps i spend a lot of time indoors. It seems that whenever i take public transport, i get amazed by the things people do in their everyday life. It is seriously eye-opening.

So the story goes like this, I was making a surprise visit to my husband who is on-call this weekend. I had to make a few train changes to get to KL Sentral. Let me tell you the trains and the stations were packed like sardines, and it was little wonder. It was after all a Friday after work time when everyone can't wait to start their weekend off.

It was so bad, the people in the train carriages could not get out! Some really stupid people were trying to get into the carriage before the people inside could come out! Go figure. Me and a few other people who saw this was heckling at those silly people who were trying to push their selves into the carriage while blocking the passage of exit of at least 10 passengers who wanted to come out. I was on my way in. Even our rather loud verbal reminders did not deter the selfish imbeciles.In the end i had to physically pull the offending object from continuing to block exit and entry path for more civilized beings.

In the train itself the condition was worse. The three stops felt like an eternity. Imagine practically having only the space you stand. You can't move left,right , front or back. You cant even scratch your bum if you have an itch! That's how packed it was. Things got worse at the Midvalley stop when teens were trying to push into the already full carriage. Cue shouting and scolding.

Once in the carriage, i was standing next to a 'mak cik' (auntie) who was encouraging her daughter to' push them back'! Okay the teens were a little too eager to push into the carriage, but once they are in the carriage we are all equals right? Wrong. The mak cik's daughter who is herself also a mother with a young daughter, started bullying and pushing those teens for fun retaliation sake.The thing is her push was more like an abrupt severe shake. I unfortunately had to be standing behind her. So every time she shakes her body, i 'kena' la!

Once out of the train some ladies were cutting que (ie pushing) at the turnstile. The 'i see this everyday' KTM personnel had to just shake his head indicating he probably sees this everyday at rush hour.

During lunch a well dressed and pretty Indian lady was talking very loudly and proclaiming that she earns RM14,000 per annum. She spoke good English, thus eliminating my false impression that everyone with good language skills earn good money.I think perhaps my hospital cleaners with primary school education  only can equal her pay.I'm not being rude. I'm just saying it opened my eyes.

Sigh, at the central train station it was even more bizarre. I was sitting among a lady in her 50's and her teenage son. I was playing angry birds Rio to pass the time And once i started playing the son asked to change seats with his mom who was originally sitting beside me. (He was sitting opposite) When he started talking to me i immediately assumed he wanted to play Angry Birds too (arrogant city folk mentality). He politely declined.Instead he just wanted to talk. He was talking normally at first telling me how he and his mom had traveled to Kedah from Pahang to visit his father who was working there (why don't they just relocate to Kedah ?) and are currently waiting for their train back to Jerantut, Pahang. In fact they had been in KL Sentral (the central train station) from morning till 8pm when i met them. Wow! I though to myself 'What a nice young man.'

He then started asking me to go to Kedah and Pahang for a holiday. Now this was when things got weird. His voice started changing. I mean he started talking in a weird game show host type voice, urging the intrepid traveller to visit holiday destinations. All right, even though i felt it extremely weird (brings me back to the times i had my psychiatric posting, clerking schizophrenic or manic patients) but i played along. Previous experience at conversing with psychiatric patients rendered me able to talk to him without bolting in fear. Obviously i had to ask what holiday destinations these two places had. And he told me Kedah had a magnificent and outstanding , utterly posh and classy .... wait for it...... hotel. And he added 'The price is cheap too.' Just in case you were wondering the hotel is called Sri Mutiara?*scratch head* Maybe he runs the hotel? So he is saying i should visit Kedah for the hotel?

And in Pahang he recommended me to go to... the zoo! I asked him if it was as nice as Taiping Zoo, and he was stumped. I told him i've been to Taman Negara in Pahang. And he says the zoo is better?! Since when is animals in captivity better than when they are free? And all this while he was in his exaggerated game show host voice. He would then change back to his normal voice when talking about himself. I think i need my two shrink in the making housemates to asses him.

Well after a while i got really bored at the bizarreness of it all and had to say a polite goodbye to him and his mother.

On a happier note, i had lots quite a few cheap finds in KL Sentral. Having to spend 3 hours there waiting for my train, i rediscovered the wonders of cheap goods. Who says cheap things can't be cute?

Here are some of my happy buys. It made my waiting time so much shorter.

First up ear phones. I've seen this online, but had no idea they were so cheap. Forgetting to bring my i=phone ear phone were a blessing in disguise. There was a whole array of ear phones and head phone going for RM 10 (US$3.3 ) in many cute designs! There were some of cute rabbits with a similarly designed cord organizer, smarties inspired ear piece, Doraemon and many Japanese comic inspired ear phones, purple mickey mouse shape with polka-dots, etc.. I had to choose something a bit more befitting of my age. Hence i chose this.

It is seriously comfy and plugs into my phone without a hitch. 

Similarly for RM 10 i bought a 2 dimensional all white watch. I initially wanted to buy the odm, inspired one but it was too big for my small wrist. My watch looks like a toy seriously.

Just after i bought the watch, i see a whole array of traditional spa products purported to have healing properties. I was however just interested at how wonderful smelling they were.I refrained from buying out the whole make-shift store and just bought a bar of mangosteen soap.( I stopped using shower gels after rediscovering the joys of soap. I'm old school like that.)

The home-made looking soap.

The bove pictures don't really do it justice. As you can see it's a lovely see- though maroon colour with flecks of what should be mangosteen seeds in it.

I'm definitely going back to buy the lemon grass one.

Taking public transport once in a while is great for realization that not everybody leads a cushy life.It puts a lot of things into perspective.


~mEm0RiEs~ said...

KTM users are always so inconsiderate to me... I felt they are just so selfish thinking about themselves to get on board. and afraid to moved aside when other passenger is trying to board. My impression towards KTM is really terrible.

Luckily, majority (notice i use the word "majority".. which means there's still minority.. LOLx~) of the LRT users are not like that. I remembered my experience with the LRT users... Even though there's lot of people squeezing in. But the would still give way to those passenger who is trying to get on board and also get off the train.. which means LRT users are much more considerate than KTM user..

But, the best choice is always avoid taking the train before and after working hours.. >.<

saltvinegar said...

I feel the same way too! The only reason i can think of is tht the frequency of KTM trains is too few, and thus the passengers are worried shitless that they can't get on the train.

I'll definitely try to avoid those times if i can..

Anonymous said...

Carol.... Taking the ktm taught me how to scream at rude people and shove them around... aih

and I also speaks decent english but my annual pay just slightly better than the lady which is only 20k aih the life in Malaysia...


saltvinegar said...

Johnson! You? Screaming? I find it hard to believe! Shoving i can understand :p

And seriously the pay in Malaysia is just... not enough. Daniel is complaining to me everyday too..Do you hear Singapore calling??

Anonymous said...

YES!!! I was mentally screaming at those people who didn't let me in, but somehow it just came out of my mouth!!!! everyone got stunned at the door and I manage to get out!

Yes again, I hv quit my Malaysian job so now searching high and low for a job in SG....


saltvinegar said...

Oooh.. good luck with the job hunting! How does it feel to finally go back to JB?


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