Nick and Mike were waiting for their bus. It seemed like eternity. Many impatient commuters were tapping their feet in annoyance in addition to the unbearable afternoon heat. Perspiration was clinging onto their forehead and nonetheless, they had no other choice but to wait. At last, the sight of an approaching bus could be seen. Some commuters were depressed at the sight while some were delighted as the bus slowed to a halt. Anxious commuters began to move to the front of the bus-stop getting ready to board the already packed like sardines bus.
“When’s our bus coming?” Mike said impatiently.
“I’m not sure but I hope it would come soon,” Nick replied calmly
At this time, a physically-challenged elderly man was struggling to wheel himself forward. With his mouth curled in annoyance, he hollered in a string of dialect, “Excuse me… please give way!” However, everyone seemed to put on blank-television look, having their attention locked on the oncoming vehicle. The disabled sexagenarian was quite persistent in his pleas, and choked in a dry, coarse voice, “Let me move first; be considerate people…” as he manoeuvred his seemingly heavy weight with difficulty.
“Look at the inconsiderate people…” Nick commented.
“They look as if they were rushing for the last bus available,” Mike replied.
The duo shook their heads disapprovingly at the “kiasu” people who feign ignorance to the presence of the helpless old man. Before they knew, their bus had already arrived. They were fortunate to occupy the last two seats available.
A few bus stops later, an old lady with several bags of groceries boarded the bus. At this sight, some passengers were casted with a sleeping spell with set them into deep slumber; others were more engrossed in their reading materials than before. The old lady searched in vain for an empty seat but to no avail. Both Nick and Mike felt a momentary twinge of quilt pricking them uneasily. They felt the need to show compassion and humanitarian to the old lady. Then, both of them stood up unanimously and brought the old lady to their seat. The old lady in turn thanked them profusely.
With no seat left for them, they went up to the upper deck to find other seats but they were taken aback.
“Oh my! Why are there people standing on the upper deck of the bus?” Nick questioned.
“What got into people these days? I’ve never knew that Singaporeans were that “kiasu” just for one seat,” Mike added.
They had no other choice but to stay at the bottom while they reach their destination. They reached a food court where they were greeted by many food enthusiasts. Queues were lengthening at some popular stalls. Nick and Mike were greeted by several packets of tissues too. “They used tissues to reserve seats? How inconsiderate!” Both of them exclaimed. They, too, awkwardly placed a packet of tissue and went to purchase some food.
When they met up to get back to their seats, they realised that their seat had been taken by someone else beforehand. What’s more, their tissue was lying motionlessly on the floor. Nick and Mike then went to search for another empty seat and soon were on their way home.
As it was not during the peak hours, the trains and stations were not very full. While they chatted about what homework they had the next day and about some subject tests, Nick spotted a suspicious man. Although the air conditioning was quite cool, the man was sweating all over for more than ten minutes. Also, he kept looking in every direction desperately.
“The guy in blue stripes T-shirt seems suspicious,” Nick commented.
“In what ways?” Mike questioned dubiously.
“He seems to be nervous of something. Observe his demeanour,” Nick added on.
“Good point there,” Mike nodded and replied.
Later, the man was seen stealthily pushing a bulky bag under his seat surreptitiously and alighted instantaneously. An alert lady witnessed and shouted, “Hey young man! You forgot your bag!”
“No! That’s not mine!” The suspicious man disavowed and went off even faster.
A man sitting in the opposite direction went forward to check the nag as curiosity got the better of him. “No! Don’t touch! There may be a bomb inside!” The lady previously exclaimed.
Warned, the man took a few steps back and went to the side of the door and contacted the management. Nick and Mike felt that they could not be indifferent to the severity of the situation. Mike whipped out his mobile phone and dialled for the police hotline and conveyed about the situation and he was told that the bomb squad would be summoned. The officer wanted Mike to inform all commuters about it and evacuate from the station immediately at the next station.
As they reached the next station, several guards were standing there guiding everyone to safety. Their hearts were palpitating profusely and a yell of terror escaped their lips. Screams and cries could be heard but were covered away by the sirens which reverberated in the surroundings. “I hope it’s not a bomb,” Mike and Nick prayed fervently.
As they proceeded outside the station, many shuttle buses were already on standby to ferry the affected passengers home.
Mike and Nick were all scared stiff and could not help but felt butterflies in their stomach. Mike and Nick were home and finally regained composure. They watched the news in the evening and discovered that it was a hoax after all. The duo reflected that being “kiasu” was not generally a negative side. It increases a person’s alertness towards anything which posed as a danger.
“That was a relief!” Both of them exclaimed
They chuckled and continued watching the news.