Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hasty thoughts

This happened today in MRT while travelling on my way back to AMK from Jurong. The priority and the second seats were taken by a young Chinese couple while the third one was occupied by a young Indian guy. The couple were well dressed while the guy clearly looked like a labourer working in some construction site. As the train stopped somewhere in Bukit Batok (dont remember the station exactly), an old chinese Singaporean man of around 70 years boarded. Since the priority seats, meant for people like pregnants, old & disabled people, were occupied by a couple, he walked straight towards the Indian guy in the third seat. The old man hurried to the guy without even turning around. The act makes one think as if the guy has taken his seat. But the guy stood up immediately and offered the seat to the old man very modestly. I felt very bad over this incident. Bad I meant the behaviour of the old man. Why didn't he ask the couple for the seats? Is it because the couple is neatly dressed and the guy is not? Or is it because the couple is Chinese and the poor young guy is an Indian? Why did the man behave so strangely? In a country like Singapore where human discrimination on the basis of race is hardly heard or rarely seen, this incident in train disturbed me a lot. Yet I could not conclude on the exact reason.

As I was lost in various thoughts, the train approached a station and the couple got up from the priority seats. Ghosh! The woman was actually a pregnant which the old man has probably noticed while entering the train and hence didn't approach them. May be even the woman must have sighed to offer the seat which the old man must have refused. Also the guy must have offered the seat and all these I failed to notice. I was trying to re-evaluate my understanding about the old man but was astounded by him again. As the couple left the place, he immediately kept his left hand on the second seat as if he is reserving it and asked the same indian guy to sit there.

How ignorant could I have been? I had misunderstood the old man not knowing the truth completely. All my wrong calculations about the old man shattered in seconds.

Friday, January 9, 2009

9-1-1

Last night I was doing some experiment with my mobile and came across a strange thing. I could dial the numbers 911 and 112 (emergency phone numbers in US and UK) even when my phone keypad was locked. Wow! How wonder is that?

Later learnt that this facility is there in almost all the GSM mobiles.

I already knew that these numbers can be called even when your new SIM is not activated or you are roaming abroad, outside your network coverage, even when your roaming facility is not enabled (during which case the call would end up at the local emergency numbers like 100 in India or 999 Singapore).

Good feature, indeed.