Friday, February 12, 2010

Public Transport is... intolerably fascist.


There must be no greater annoyance to the impatient Singaporean as to be waiting 15 minutes at the bus stop doing nothing than listening to his iPod. Even the song Let It Be can't calm his nerves when he thinks of the opportunity cost of taking a bus. Then when the bus comes, he realises that he is up for a long ride... with a catch - standing! Suddenly he remembers all the Hokkien swear phrases that he learnt back in NS while managing Hokkien pengs. KNNBCCB!

Then he goes on the bus, he realises that he has to change onto the MRT to get to his house in Tiong Bahru. KNNBCCB! Another stop, another jam, another wait. He is sibeh shagged oredi, he decides to eat a coffee flavoured sweet as a pick me up. So he eats it. A few minutes later, a train station officer comes to him and says, "no eating! I fine you $30!" KNNBCCB! He lan lan has to pay.

The fable of this typical Singaporean is one that we have all experienced. There must be nothing worse than waiting, and then having to go home in discomfort, then not being allowed to eat or drink. The protagonist is not me, but it does reflect some of my woes with the public transport system.

Riding a bike is freedom. The basis of this is that, no matter how non-riding people might imagine bicycle commuting is a proletarian pain, it is still the most basic form of private transportation. Comparatively, on a bike you never have to wait to go different places, you can go directly to where you want to go, and you can eat, drink, smoke, etc. It's your form of transportation - it's your rules. As long as you depend on others, you have to play by their rules.

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