Observations on the Train

train: me, people: me
girl: song of style

Recently, I decided to go on a phone detox, and consume less of the services phone apps provide me with (econs pun intended), and observe my surroundings more. So while I'm not at home, I try to limit my phone usage to only google maps and contacting the person I am trying to meet. In case I have been slow to reply over the past few days, I apologise for that. But instead of providing others with instant gratification, I have gratified myself by having seen and heard a multitude of interesting stuff. Like how a cute little dog was wheezing but it sounded like it was farting o.o therefore I decided to transcribe my views into prose.

I limit my journaling to only when I am on the train, because I can't type continuously while walking. I can send simple text replies on the go, but it is too much to ask of my brain to process full-length sentences while walking. I might just trip over a flight of stairs. And anw, I am supposed to be on a phone detox. I merely expanded the time of use to include train rides. And even then, I'm still observing. Some of the stories may just end abruptly. That's cos I left the train.

Sunday, 24 Aug
The time now is 5pm. I just boarded the train at Marymount, and am travelling to Bedok to meet Crystal and Ben for dinner. I got a seat alr, which means I managed to board the train before the peak hour crowd starts rushing in \(^_^)/ I'll be getting off at Paya Lebar to change trains.

It's amazing how I suddenly notice that everyone not with someone else is doing something with their phones, even the person sleeping is holding on to his phone in his hands with earpiece plugged in. Maybe they are texting or playing games or watching drama or listening to music. Idk what they are all individually doing, but I'm pretty sure they need to go on a phone diet too.

The young guy in the red shirt sitting on the row of seats across from me was sitting on the reserved seat. But when the seat next to him was empty as we approached Bishan, he quickly shifted seats. That's a good Singaporean (: or am I assuming he is Singaporean? In any case, I always believed in not sitting on the reserved seats, regardless it's the only seat left and there isn't anyone left standing in the cabin.

At Serangoon, I noticed the configuration of people in the seats across me changed. It always happens at an interchange like this one. Probably at Dhoby Ghaut or City Hall there will be an even more drastic change. But it is kind of cute how everyone in the row facing me are all wearing either red or black tops haha. This is probably the kind of little things I don't bother to take note of when I'm too engrossed with my phone.

There are two guys standing near the door chatting. They are both wearing dark blue-grey colours. I'm not purposely eavesdropping, but cos I don't plug in my earphones I seem to be able to hear their conversation. And their conversation is peppered with so much vulgarities. Can people now no longer converse with adjectives and adverbs that do not start with the letter f?

The person directly facing me just changed phones. I mean, she has two phones and she switched from using one phone to the other. Or maybe the one she was originally using was a tablet. I shouldn't assume everyone uses tablet phones like hj. But I still can't get over the fact that she would buy such a big phone. It's like progressing backwards instead of forwards.

Tuesday, 26 Aug
It's about slightly after 9am in the morning, and I'm taking the train from Marymount to school. Usually I take the bus down to Farrer Road before changing a train, but it was raining, and my parents were kind enough to drop me and sister off at the train station nearest to my house. Speaking of my sister, I actually have no idea where she is now. We are supposed to be on the same train, but I hate talking to her in the mornings because she's so sulky. It doesn't matter, I'm sure she knows how to get to her school.

The morning train is crowded, as usual. And I can't get a seat, as usual. And everyone, literally the entire row of people sitting in front of me, are using their phones, as usual. The demographics of the cabin I'm standing in seems to be of people under 45yo, except for one older lady of about 60+ years, who anw is young enough to be using an iPhone. All these people are probably on their way to work or to school. The train in less than 15mins from now will be more likely to have passengers of retired people, housewives or generally everyone else who is too free and does not need to squeeze onto the crowded train. That'll be me on Mondays.

There are two francophone travellers in the cabin as well. Probably besides people who need to work or attend class, travellers wake up the earliest to make full use of their day. I can hear them discussing their itinerary, and I think they really know how to live it authentic here.

Then there is someone carrying the NDP14 funpack as her backpack. She just left the train. And I got a seat :D but it's only two stops to my destination. I'll still sit down though, cos I'm lazy like that.

Wednesday, 27 Aug
I boarded the train at around 10.35am at Farrer Road station, and am heading to school. The train is relatively empty, and I get a seat. I wanted to wake up at 7.30am to do some work, but I guess a leopard never changes its spots. Waking up early just doesn't happen to be my thing.

My heart is pretty heavy right now. Just now as I was clearing my notifications, I happened to chance upon an article written by my friend slightly more than a year ago. Something happened back then, and I thought it was over, but after belatedly reading what she had to say to me, I suddenly felt it all over again. The pain, the heartache, the distrust and all the unhappiness from that moment.

Time doesn't heal all wounds. Time just numbs people, fooling them into believing that I'm fine because I grow stronger. But then when I'm alone, stripped of all the pretence, I am still who I am, vulnerable and touchy towards the things I care about, the people I care about, and the life I care about. Just because I talk as if it doesn't matter anymore doesn't mean it doesn't, it just simply means I don't want you to remember this episode the same way I do. I want you to remember the good, and let me keep all the bad to myself.

Painful memories probably could cause me to cry a river but I'm not about to do that on the train. I have pretended to be strong for a long long time, and I am not about to let this all go to waste. I am not going to allow anyone to pull down my defences and expose my weakness. 谢谢你们陪伴我走过那些路. 放下不容易, 但愿我们都能早日找回最真诚的快乐.