People living in the east might know that a lot of people take the train from Tampines/Simei towards Pasir Ris during peak hours to get a seat and I am one of them. So a few days ago I did the same. At Pasir Ris, there were only reserved seats left. A girl boarded and sat down next to me. She looked about my age and was dressed for work so I assumed she is probably a fresh grad or working not long. So anyway she was carrying quite a few items including a folder and a few small bags. After she sat down, she sniffled a little and tried to sleep. She kept sniffling and I could tell that she was sick.

A few stops later, an old uncle boarded the train and headed straight to the nearest seat which was the reserved seat that the girl was sitting on. He rudely shouted at the girl to wake up, which caused her to bolt awake. She obviously realised that the uncle wanted the seat and she told the uncle softly that she was sick and running a fever and hope to have a short nap before work. But the uncle pretended as if he didn’t hear and kicked the girl’s shoe. The girl was startled and gave up her seat.

I immediately told the girl to sit at my seat but she rejected softly. She looked like she wanted to bury herself in the ground. So I ended up sitting next to the uncle, who was a pretty disturbing passenger. He kept rummaging through his small bag and ended up elbowing me many times, and also opened up his tumbler to drink coffee, which I think is not allowed on the MRT.

The uncle ended up alighting 3 stops later. Seriously? Could you not even stand for 6 minutes and let the sick girl have the seat? I told the girl to sit down again and she did so after glancing around. But I guess she was still scared as she dared not sleep and kept fiddling with her skirt quietly.

This is my first time encountering such a situation and I wondered if I could have done something different. If I reacted quicker and gave up my seat to the uncle instead, would the other passengers think that the girl was selfish? Would the girl have felt even more embarrassed if I insisted on giving my seat to her? I dunno.


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