Rantings of the day

Give up your seat

Now that I’m in my 26th week, my tummy is much more pronounced. Lately when I take the train, I’m offered a seat most of the time. So I guess kindness does exist among some train commuters. There’re still selfish assholes out there who can’t be bothered. And don’t tell me they’re not feeling well and they need the seats. If they’re well enough to play games and watch videos on their iPhones, they are capable of offering their seats. Worst are those who take up the reserved seats for pregnant lady, old folks, the sick or those with young children. A number of them just refuse to budge

Let me recount this incident that happened to a friend who was heavily pregnant. She got into the train during the morning rush hours, and nobody offered their seats to her. So she had to stand and hold on to the hand rail; a mentally disabled woman standing next to her looked at her and then at the row of commuters sitting in front of them. She then signaled to a woman who was sitting in front of my friend to give up her seat but the seated woman ignored her. My friend told the mentally disabled lady she was ok to stand but the latter refused to give up and continued to gesture and asked the seated woman to get up for my friend. Finally the seated woman couldn’t take it, glared angrily at her and reluctantly gave up her seat. Can you imagine, a person who may be of lower IQ has much better sense of consideration and kindness than a so-called normal person?

Anyway the other day, something similar happened to me too. I entered the crowded train, and was also standing and holding on to the hand rail. This young lady standing next to me gestured to the woman sitting in front of us to give her seat to me, and she did so immediately. Women tend to have more empathy compared to men who can be bloody jerks. But yesterday it was a man who offered the reserved seat to me and not 2 freaking desperate women who just grabbed the seats when they were available.

Dystopian comedy or comic dystopia?
My husband drives me home from the train/subway station in the evening, when previously I would take the connecting bus. The bloody buses tend to be damn crowded; everybody would rush to board when they arrive. It’s just crazy!

Recently the Minister of Finance announced the budget of the year which included S$1.1 billion (US$880 million) that goes to purchase of buses to alleviate the overcrowded situation, and for operational cost such as drivers’ salaries, and these are all for the public transport companies. What really irks the public, especially the netizens, is that there’re only 2 public transport companies who run sectional monopoly routes, and they’re both listed on the stock exchange and making good profits every year. Basically public transport (including train service) is provided by these 2 profit-oriented companies who don’t face competition, and almost every year their request for fare increase is approved by the Public Transport Council. You would think the service level/standard is high, but the opposite rings true. Yet this funding from the taxpayers doesn’t seem to come with any conditions other than the companies having to up their service level.

Did I mention that the 2 public transport companies majority owned by the sovereign wealth fund or a government-linked organization? But the dividends don’t flow back to the public/taxpayers, the organizations keep them for their own investment purpose. The government defended the funding that the companies are making losses in their bus operations. So? And there’re no other ways to reduce cost or funnel investment from other money-making operations? But no, the companies claim that revenues from other businesses cannot be used to subsidize the loss-making one. The whole arrangement just stinks to high heaven. Anyway a blogger, Yawning Bread, whom I’m following, has recently written a pretty good article on this abomination of taxpayers funding purchases for profit-making transport companies, PAP Government in messy affair with new sweetheart. I can go on about the dysfunctional and twisted systems in this country, but a blogger, Molly Meek, described this place best as a ‘dystopian comedy or comic dystopia’ in her brilliant post Transportation Woes: Manifestations of the Singaporean Rot.

Baby, baby
Baby Alex must be undergoing athletic training in preparation for the Olympics, he’s practicing various swim strokes, muay Thai kicks and punches, and probably even push ups and sit ups. As he gets bigger, his movement gets stronger and more frequent. Though the CBE instructor told us during class that we usually feel the movements at night when we’re more aware. Alex makes sure I’m aware at all time. There was once when I woke up in the middle of the night and was kept awake by some thought, Alex was also awake and practicing his gymnast moves. My husband told me to sing lullaby to him, but I don’t think that’s a good idea because Alex will be kicking me to stop singing. Anyway my husband is able to hold a tune better than me. So now he will tell Alex during bed time to go to bed and let mommy have her rest.

Alex has turned during my last scan, in that his head is now facing downward. But gynae Loh told me the placenta is at the side of the tummy, and hopefully it’ll move up. Otherwise there’s a risk of caesarean. Anyway because of Alex’s position, his head is butting against my bladder. My husband told him, “if mommy is naughty, give her a head butt!”


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