Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Thin Orange Line and the Yellow Stripes

Are you an avid MRT Traveller? If you are, read on. If you are not, you better read on...

The issue on the MRT came about in my usual "zombie"ish mood after going through hours of meetings and manual keying in of results and penning poetic comments for the girls of my form class. Trust me, trying to add a tinge of sarcasm while showing a semblance of being nice to look at in the report books. I can proudly announced that the remarks have gone through 3 drafts before it is finally presented.

Anyway, if you travel on our MRT often enough, you might have noticed the thin orange rubber strips on the edge of the platforms. According a newspaper report, these are meant to reduce the gap between the train and the platform and thus reduce likelihood of accidents. (Put the rubber on: be safe, not sorry.) This measure did not come cheap: a song sung to the tune of six-figures!

I would like to know what normal person cannot board the train without stepping into the "chasm" that separates the platform from the train. Someone very important (who normally does not take the train but gets driven around instead) probably made this important observation.

If only that important person was in a wheelchair or otherwise disabled. Then the MRT stations might be more disabled-friendly. Ah, but we must take the majority of users into account, shouldn't we? Most have two sturdy legs, don't they? We don't want them to get injured as they rush to work in order to feed our ravenous economy, do we? If they get injured then they might become disabled, won't they? Heaven forbid!

I think someone was mentally disabled to allow something like that to pass. You might say he/she had a one track mind. The money could have been used to fund a more useful purpose. Sponsoring a BBQ perhaps?

Anyway on to my next point on the yellow lines drawn near the entrances/exits; did you notice that there isn't a slot for the disabled/pregnant/elderly. During the rush hour, people would be standing at the edge of the line, like sprinters waiting for the start of the gun and once the train arrive, the lines miraculously disappeared in the minds of the commuters, the ugly Singaporean take place and you can see the flow of traffic in all directions. There were some commuters who stand right at the centre of the entrance like Swiss soldiers guarding the Vatican City, not budging even when rude remarks were made and angry elbows shove. They remain oblivious of the jam pack entrance and continue their conversation/ listening to their discman/MD/mp3 player / fiddling with their phone / or basically just act occupied. if you are someone who is vertically challenged , you would realised the air near the entrance extremely pungent, with sweaty armpits and BO (Chanels No. 1 to 20). Smell a whiff of fart?..

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