The Ugly Side Of Life

I brought my mother along for the recent Ipoh trip even though she has difficulty walking due to her degenerating knees. One of our members booked the seats for us but Grassland didn’t tell her that it was a doubledecker coach. Hence all our seats are assigned upstairs and the flight of stairs up was steep and narrow. So you can imagine my mother’s situation… getting up the coach, coming down for SG customs, getting up after SG customs, coming down for MY customs, getting up after MY customs, getting down for a toilet break and refreshments at Yong Peng, getting up after Yong Peng, getting down 3/4 way towards Ipoh for toilet break, getting up after toilet break, and then finally getting down at Ipoh. That’s a total of 10 times up and down the steep flight of stairs.

There are only 4 seats at the lower deck. 2 single seats and 2 seats side by side. On our trip up to Ipoh on last Sun night, we asked if my mother could be seated at the lower deck after the SG customs and get down at MY customs. No one showed any compassion and needless to say, initiated to change seats with her. The 2 single seats were 2 single able bodied young men, while a couple took the 2 seats. When approached the couple, the lady showed the face of disgust but the man was kind enough to stand at the back and let my mother sit on his seat temporary till MY customs. But after that, all was quiet, no one said anything. So I told my mum to take her time at the steps as the coach will not move till everyone is seated. (There’s a cam upstairs)

On our way back from Ipoh this morning, a lady with 2 of her young daughters (around 8-12 years old) took the 2 seats and 1 single seat, while a middle age man took the last single seat. When we approached the man first, he said he didn’t want to change and said that he will feel dizzy sitting on the upper deck. So no choice we had to ask if the lady wants to change 3 of her seats with our 3 seats upstairs. (We has 9 seats together) But her immediate reply was no and said that she has 3 seats together. So I thought she didn’t hear me clearly, hence I repeated that we had 3 seats upstairs also, so if they are willing to change, it will convenient my mum a lot. She then said the same thing, “3 of us are sitting together here”… Shortly after one of her daughters said,”Sit upstairs so troublesome!” Immediately I knew how her daughters are being brought up. Hence I told them it’s ok, no need to change. My mum just have to do it slowly and painfully up and down the stairs. Then when we were upstairs, I could hear her talking to the man still, (we’re seated beside the stairs) saying that it’s so inconvenient getting up and down the coach if seated upstairs and she even said that I was being rude. At that moment, I almost went down the stairs and slap her so hard in front of her 2 daughters that might rearrange her already distorted face… Don’t want to change seats still talk so much for what right? But I kept my cool…

At that moment I thought about why we showed so much compassion to the orphans in these idiots’ hometown, and we can’t even get a little back from them? Is that why there are so many orphans in Ipoh because there are even more self-centred people there? Whilst we have completed our charity stint in Ipoh, it doesn’t mean it stops there. Forgiving people works hand in hand with charity because by doing so, we’re giving them another chance to learn from their mistakes. So in this case, by seeing my mum struggle up and down the stairs in front of them, I really hope the lady and her daughters will realise when it is so troublesome for them to sit upstairs, how many times more troublesome it is for an old lady with a walking stick and bad knees? Maybe they will learn now, or much later when they have bad knees or walking problems themselves?

The lady has 2 sisters travelling in the same bus also and they were sitting in front of us on the upper deck… Little do they know that we could have arranged for them 5 seats to sit together instead of separately. So you see, sometimes a little consideration will bring you good returns! But in this case, good riddance! 🙂

With gratitude,

Big Roy

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