I considered my last Saturday bus ride to work (uh, yes, I had to work during weekends to finish some tasks) truly extraordinary, since I know most of my Singapore bus rides are too quiet and mundane. Why out of the ordinary? Here's what happened:
Rewind back to early Saturday afternoon. I remember our bus stopped at Bedok station and some school children entered. Along with them was a scruffy looking old woman who suddenly sat on top of those counters which I would call the "baggage counter" (I call it this way because I see most locals place their things - bags, packs or shopping bags - on top of this counter) and nonchalantly crossed her leg and placed her feet on top of those seats facing backwards. Most of the people boarding caught sight of her position. Even those who were concentrating on sending / reading SMS (ok text) messages on their cell phones suddenly glanced at her astonishingly.
The bus moved on to the next two bus stations. The school children in front of me (I was sitting at the third row from the driver) were noisily chatting and laughing when suddenly the old lady became noisy and started shouting towards the kids (she was speaking in Mandarin, I think, the local language of most Singaporeans here which I would never understand at all). The last thing I knew was she threw her dirty slipper towards one of the girls. Everyone was surprised by her act. She started to talk madly in all I can say babble talk (Babel, yeah, that movie still haunts me emotionally). A minute later, her burst of anger was vented towards a school boy one seat in front of me. I think I misheard the boy saying something to the old lady only to be embarrassingly replied with a slipper aimed towards his head. I tried to look away and be unmindful of the commotion, but I can't. At the corner of my left eye, I could see the slipper hurtling towards the boy. I stirred from my seat out of reflex, thinking that slipper would be hitting me instead. My emotions heightened at the moment (I'm a dragon - the fire dragon person) thinking I could smack this person but I just stayed at my seat like a stiff statue, still mindful of the next dangerous action from this crazy person. The school children decided to move and occupy the back seats. The old lady just stared madly at them. With crossed arms, she stayed sitting in her position.
The bus stopped at the next station. Three young ladies boarded and unluckily took the front seats where the school children had previously occupied. The ladies were happily chatting with each other when suddenly (yup, again) the old lady shouted at them and seemed to reprimanded one of the ladies (for being too loud or whatever). This time she stepped down from the counter, took hold of slipper and without warning smacked hard one of ladies' leg. Next thing I knew was she spitted at the young lady (I think at the lady's leg again) to everyone's horror. What astonished me was that everyone seemed to be frozen in their seat and seemed helpless in stopping the old lady's actions. Even the bus driver could not do anything but stopped the bus for a moment and simply chided the crazy woman. The three ladies were already (I think) begging the driver to do something but amazingly nothing was done to permanently stop the ongoing commotion.
The shouting match went on between the old lady and the three women. I really could not understand Mandarin so I could not deduce what both parties were telling each other. What everyone got squirming in their seats was when the old lady slid off both of her slippers and began licking the soles. She looked at the ladies while licking her slippers, as if mocking them in a twisted way. Worse was when she began to slap her face with her slippers, sobbing and feeling for something (I would think) she had done bad in the past, and pulling up her dress to reveal her breasts.
She quickly left the bus at the Changi Hospital station, crying in her departure. She sat down beneath the waiting shed's benches. The local nurse who had just boarded the bus looked surprised and confused when she heard of the tales coming from the three ladies and their encounter with the old lady. Everyone began talking of the ordeal.
Extraordinaringly, hellavaride, nakakapanibagong bus ride ito.
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