Sunday, February 3, 2008

Another Day on the MTR

I was in a subway train and it was as crowded as usual, and I felt a force pushing my backpack. I tried turning my head around wondering and I decided to ignore it but then it came again a few times. Somebody was just being really annoying. Then there was just a push. So I asked who’s pushing. The guy reading the paper next to me said my backpack was in his way. I said oh, sorry and after I collected myself, I told him, “Mr., I think that instead of pushing, it would be better for you to tell me that my backpack is in your way, then I could’ve put it on the ground. It’s just not polite to push.” I said it really nicely, no in anger, enough though I felt that I was being disrespected. I didn’t use “wei,” I tried to not get a reaction but just to get my point across, that he shouldn’t be push. He looked pissed. His eyes were of hatred. He told me to stop talking and that I was bumping myself into the train first. I was freaking amazed at this guy. This is the MTR. We are being sandwiched everyday; people rush into the train every single day especially during peak hours. There were times when I couldn’t even move my arms. Several people probably bumped him as they were rushing into the train and it just happened that I was one of them and with my backpack facing him. He shouldn’t be venting at my backpack. I told him that he shouldn’t be complaining, at least you had space to read your newspaper. He came back and said something about a magazine, so I figured that he was trying to correct me that he wasn’t reading a newspaper but a magazine. He said something something and then kid (referring to me). “What did you say?” I asked but he disappearing into the other side of the subway car. It was probably good that I didn’t understand him. I was a bit surprise that he understood everything I said.

He should know about condition at MTR. He was several years older in his 30s and obviously takes the subway from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island. I have only been doing this for 4 months and I never complained and push other people about being bumped, pushed or with someone’s bag pushing against me. I actually preferred to be pressed against handbag, duffle bag, and backpack then against somebody. There were times when I felt I was being violated. The worst is when you can feel someone’s private being pressed against your butt or thigh or anywhere. It just doesn’t feel good. But you don’t push them; you know that they don’t enjoy it (unless they are super perverted in the most wicked way, humm, actually, that explains why many women prefer bus over the subway). I was second in line and I was being pushed. I remember turning around wondering who was pushing so hard, and this small woman was behind me. There’s no anger. Someone behind her was probably pushing her as well. I actually like being pushed into the train because it just isn’t me. The rush/push into the subway car means that someone behind me really and desperately wanted to get on the subway, and the good thing is, it made sure that whoever in front is going to get in, and today, it was me who was near the front. The draw back is that you get sandwiched, but I know that everybody behind me was being sandwiched too, so, it’s not a big deal. There is little if any personal space at all. I think people in the subway car at peak hours get more body contact then they get with their dates.

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