Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Warm, Fuzzy Feeling at MRT Stations

I am not sure about you, but I wonder if you feel what I often feel.

Each time I am at an MRT station, it gives me a fuzzy feeling of warmth and security whenever I hear the announcements, "Please do not go beyond the yellow line".

It makes me feel like a seven year old child who is well loved and protected by her parents whenever I hear the announcements, "Please mind the gap".

It makes me feel like a responsible lady and resident on this little island, when I am reminded to dial 999 if I should spot a strange, unattended parcel in the vicinity. The announcement is in the four main languages - English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. So no one can feign ignorance. Most people by now know that "oompedeh, oompedeh, oompedeh" means "999" in Tamil. Once I was thilled when I saw a familiar face on the screen, that of Mr. Aziz Mustajab, who is the Lieutenant Governor (Marketing) of Toastmasters International District 80, as well as one of the volunteers in our Speechcraft at Changi Prison. The first time I forgot myself, "Hi! Aziz!", waving to the pleasant personality on the screen, much to the amusement of some commuters.

It makes me smile when I see on the screen, "Train approaching", and when the train arrives, a cute, cartoon figure will bow and welcome me into the train.

It makes me filled with a desire to want to learn and improve all the time when I read words of wisdom or quotations on the screen.

It makes me appreciative when I hear the annoucements, "Eating or drinking is not allowed in the train". I understand the great necessity for keeping the trains spic and span, and if everyone cooperates, we can enjoy all this cleanliness. I am glad that chewing gum has been banned. It is so irritating when someone just sticks his stinky remnants of chewing gum onto the seats or walls of public buildings, etc. Morever, a person who chews gum somehow does not look smart, no matter how well-dressed he gives him an air of indifference and nonchalance. Self restraint on the part of all commuters will ensure we do not have to wade through a sea of litter.

I feel I am moving forward with progress and hope whenever I am walking on the travelator at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station. I think of the kids in Nepal, India, Thailand and other parts of the world who have to walk miles and miles to school over cowdung-filled paths under the hot blazing sun or with the cold wind beating against their skinny frames.

I smile when I see the Authorities reminding passengers with signs for passengers to vacate their seats for an elderly folk, an expectant mother or someone carrying a child. It reminds me not to fall asleep, especially when I am seated on the priority seat. Being alert means I can be on the lookout throughout the journey. If I were tired I would go for the middle seat so that I can catch my forty winks.

Life is complicated but happiness is really simple, and I would not be surprised if some people wonder why I could be made so happy when waiting for the train.

I am not sure about you; I wonder if you have felt what I have often felt. If any reader thinks that I am pro-PAP, and that I suck and I stink, I guess, as a young senior citizen of 55 going on to 56, I am entitled to my views because I have .....ahem, travelled round the world, visiting some 38 countries and 175 cities. Believe me, the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. Hence, do not take things for granted. Enjoy the present, the "now". Let your eyes see; your ears hear and most importantly your heart feels. Let us all count our blessings, and name them one by one, including this warm, fuzzy feeling at MRT Stations.

Gan Chau

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