Getting up early to catch 6:50am bus is never found to be easy. Perhaps my usual breakfast (a small bowl of rice, soup and a can of tuna) is inadequate to increase the glucose levels in my blood promptly or the heel that I climb to the bus stop feels like climbing Mount Everest. Nevertheless my brain never seems to be functional until 7:30am at least.
This is how the story starts. I was at the bus stop and waiting for either 602x or 612x bus. When the bus approaches, quickly assessing whether any seat is available or not is only logical but somehow I miserably failed to execute this routine exercise. The moment I stepped on the platform of the bus, I realized the chance of listening to 2NE1’s voice has gone beyond recall or desire – ouch….. undoubtedly there was no seat to sit on.
I decided to position myself near the disabled seats which would give more space for an ’emergency maneuver’. I saw a student of North Sydney Girls Selective High School on the disabled seat, who was busy with working on her assignment. Soon I sensed a strong disturbance in the force, and the phrase “Excuse me” invaded my ear drum in the most unpleasant and irritating fashion. I looked at the subject who just spoke and started to analyze her based on her appearance.
Perhaps I was influenced by my friend Phillip who recommended watching the ‘Mentalist’. For a moment I pretended to be Patrick Jane – about 5″8′ tall, late 20s , blonde hair, excessively thick eye liners and contrasting eye shadows, and thick foundation suggest that she seems fashionably conscious yet to develop her own style. She was carrying an outdated LV tote which is probably borrowed from her sister because she could not afford it with her salary. How did I know this? Do you recall wearing a ID card on your neck in public when you started a new job? Yes, she started a new job because the neck strap holds the ID is new and untainted.
I cannot recall exactly what she said but the substance was ‘giving your seat because you are a student who travels with a free bus pass’. While what she said is valid but it can be circumstantial and it matters how the message is delivered. The bus was full and the student wasn’t sleeping or playing with her mobile phone but focusing on her assignment. Immediately packing her belongings and giving a seat away seems impractical and counter-productive at that time yet the angry woman continued to demanding the student to release her seat in condescending tone. The poor student had no choice but to start packing and continued saying “I am sorry”. People around her said nothing and did nothing.
I immediately thought of what Edmund Burke said “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” which provoked me to take a decisive action. I took out my bus ticket and gave it to the student and said “This is your ticket and you paid for it, and you have the right to remain on your seat.” I turned to the angry woman and said “As you can see demanding her to release the seat has been revoked effective immediately.” She was emotionally compromised and repeated “This is ridiculous”. I answered “Yes, which is your attitude. Picking on a weak student and expressing an impulsive comment in public that often misfires and ends up humiliating yourself.” She spoke no more afterwards.
Just right before getting off the bus, the student said “Thank you very much for helping me Sir.” and I answered “You are most welcome. However, I strongly recommend to complete your homework at home as the word suggests, not on the bus.” I walked to the driver and bought another ticket to complete the transaction.