10 September 2006

An Interesting Story

As I promised a few days back, I have an interesting story to tell. Well, it was an interesting event, but whether or not I can convey that same feeling is another matter. But I try my best.

So the other night I was waiting at Puduraya for my bus to Penang when I saw this group of elderly women (I'm sorry, should I be calling them 'age-challenged females'?) lugging their sizeable bags. I could see the luggage check-in tags that airlines attach to the bag's handles, so I assumed they were returning from an overseas trip. What was interesting was that there were no young ones among them. Well, there was one in her 40s, but the other five were at least in their 50s or 60s. And my heart actually ached when I saw these ladies struggle to carry their bags down the steep staircase to the bus platform.

Did I help them? Of course not! It was already so tiring to have my heart ache for them, and now you're telling me I should go and carry their bags? I prefer to be rude, thank you. Anyway, we soon found ourselves on the same bus, and I kinda rolled my eyes when I realised that. As a general rule, crowd of old women = loud talking about petty stuff. I hope all you girls don't turn into petty aunties in the future, but it's really quite unavoidable. I expect scientists to find the gene causing this trait in women soon enough.

Example of Aunty Pettiness: After they were seated, one of them wondered (quite loudly) that she had to go pee. And she continued wondering (still loudly) if it was wise. You know, just in case the bus suddenly left. The other aunties then urged her to go now. Now! But the aunty in question said that it was actually quite fine and she could hold on. Then the other aunties countered with... yada yada yada. Finally she caved in and got up to go. Two other aunties went with her as well. As she was quite old, she couldn't really walk that fast but the others still asked her to hurry up, knowing well enough that she could only shuffle, not take Olympic strides. And all this commotion on the bus! My only glimmer of hope was that old people get tired easily, and would doze off soon.

Anyway, that wasn't the interesting story.

So not long after several of the aunties went to pee, a guy came up. He's probably in his 30s, and he was holding a sling bag and wearing a cap. I didn't really notice him until he suddenly sat next to me. Then he begin speaking to me in Hokkien. I immediately perked up and felt uneasiness. I took off my earphones and strained to hear his soft-spoken words. Our conversation (more or less):

Man: This bus is to Komtar right?
Zemien: No, they stop at the Sungai Ara bus terminal now.
Man: Actually, I just came out of the prison. I have no money to go home.

I felt sympathy for about one second before his next sentence triggered my Bullshit Detector.

Man: I was wondering if you could give me the money to buy the ticket fare...
Zemien: (shaking my head) I'm sorry I don't have any money.
Man: Please, I really have no job and money. If you could just spare me a few ringgit, I'll be...
Zemien: (shaking my head and looking away)
Man: What if you asked the aunties over there for help? ...
Zemien: (shaking my head and looking away)

He left the seat and I was relieved. He then targeted the aunties. I felt a little concerned, because old aunties are sometimes more gullible. But I needn't have worried. Quite smartly, one of the aunties countered that she herself does not have enough money! The man stuck around a bit longer, probably because he thinks old ladies are more gullible as well. Finally though, he relented and left the bus, muttering some complain that society doesn't give ex-cons a chance.

As I was sitting next to the window, I saw the man walked off hastily. If he was really feeling sad, he wouldn't be walking that fast. He's probably off to find his next victim. I heaved a sigh of relief that it was safe again, but I think I still have to work on my BS Detector. I should have put up my defenses the moment he suddenly sat down and talked to me, but I guess I'm still the doe-eyed innocent boy. I just hope I don't get pwned by my new colleagues.

Anyway, that is STILL not the interesting story I wanted to tell!

So after some time, the aunties who earlier went off to the toilet came back. They took their seats, and the others related the story of the con man to them. Suddenly one of the aunties yelled, "Eh, where's my handbag?" I immediately looked up because that aunty was sitting at the exact spot where the con man was when he pleaded to the others.

Even with their aging grey matter, it didn't take long for them to piece the puzzle together. And it also didn't take long for me to understand why the con man was walking away so hastily. There was a little commotion but they knew it was too late to go after that asshole. Her Identity Card was lost, but thankfully she had her passport on her. There were also some minor accusations going around on why the others didn't look out for her, but these con men are too smooth to notice unless you were paying attention.

Then out of nowhere, one of the aunties exclaimed, "Oh no! What about our bags?" They all ran down to inspect the luggage compartment. It appears that nothing was missing, but they were worried all the same. I have to mention that the driver wasn't around this whole time. In fact, not a single staff was around the platform. What if a suicidal maniac stole the bus and drove us off a cliff? Anyway, I digress.

So the aunties wanted to close the luggage compartment, but the driver wasn't around. So they tried closing it themselves. But I've seen the driver use a remote to control the luggage door, so all their attempts were futile. Still, that didn't stop me from enjoying myself as I watched 7 middle-aged ladies pull and heave with all their might on the door. Again, I didn't go help them because all that excitement just made me tired. But after awhile I felt sorry, and I gestured to them through the window that they needed to find the driver with the remote. The driver was still nowhere in sight, so two aunties stood outstide and kept watch until the driver returned.

Moral of the story: Always be alert around crowded areas, especially when strangers approach you. Make sure personal belongings are always watched by someone (preferably not the thief). And oh, that Zemien is cruel towards all old aunties? Not sure that counts as a "moral", but you certainly wouldn't want to be old and needing my help. I'll just point at you and laugh.


Moses said...

Ayo Zemien..

why no heart at all? Its one thing to be anoying about... but being heartless and let these ealderly laddies having such a difficult is never funny. worst even if you were enjoying it. Have you ever though that your mom or grandmother could have been in the same situation? and there was "young" man like you around standing there and just watch? Maybe because being the "only" child makes you the way you are. I try to be nice, but I am totally disepointed in you. You could do better than that.

I was giving my sit for an elderly women in LRT last weeknd, and You know what? this young man-a college kid.. just bluntly sit there and ignore the elderwomen. I nearly smacked his head!

I'm seriously going to smacked your head if you ignore those who in difficulty.

No matter how tired we are.. we are young.. be considerate.. Maybe I been too hard with you in this matter. But sometimes, we need to be reminded, hard way....

ZemieN said...

After 1.5 years of blogging, I finally post something outrageous enough to cause a controversy. I must say, I'm kinda proud of myself =)

moses, I was just dramatizing my words. No, I didn't help them but I wasn't so heartless as to enjoy their misfortune.

At any rate, I was just dramatizing my post a bit. Or else all my non-existent readers will complain, you know?

Cool down, moses....