Revelations on a Bus

Random thoughts on a bus yesterday evening.  

So after a super long week and super short previous night’s sleep… it’s Friday!  Friday’s kind of an end but it’s sort of a beginning too.  The end of a week of “work,” or I guess if you’re lucky, a week of exercising your strongest passion in life that you also get paid for (gotta work on figuring that out).  But also the beginning of the weekend.  The week end– the end of the week.  The beginning of the end of the week?  Well that was enlightening.

Okay so it’s not just that.  It’s the beginning of…plans.  Of free time (at least, supposedly..I’ve yet to experience the meaning of those two words).  Of fun.  Of sleep.  And on this particular Friday evening, I’m on a bus–typing away on my phone, probably (definitely) looking like a stereotypical, self-centered teenager, wrapped up in the cyberworld  Right now I’m on my way to a family friend’s house.  It’s the first time I’m taking the bus to their house so I decided to count the number of stops until Merrimont Convent, where I have to get off (even though I know the name of the stop).  25.  Right now I’m at #7.  Or maybe it’s 8…Yeah I totally got this.  (Fun fact:  it can’t be 6 because 6 is afraid of 7 because 7 8 9!)  (Sorry couldn’t help it.  I would totally understand if you never visited this site again… just saying).

So the other day I was completely baffled when I saw a sign on the bus door that said:

Taking this picture without looking like a complete sketch was a feat of incomprehensible skill (I turned my camera on discreet mode, which turns off flash and all noise, and pretended to be looking at my pictures…)

Like the idea that you could actually scan your card before your stop so that you would be charged less, never even OCCURRED to me.  How am I that naive?  It’s such a brilliantly evil idea!  And after reading the sign, I pretty much thought, well no one would actually do that anyways.  It’s Singapore.  Land of the rule-followers.

And then TODAY, on stop #2, I saw someone do it!  An old man (at least I think he’s old considering he had like no teeth), simply reached back and scanned his card, but didn’t leave the bus.  People actually DO THAT?!  My mind was literally blown.  And the worst part was that.. no one DID anything.  All of us on the bus sat there, like accomplices to a crime.  Actually I’m pretty sure I was the only one to notice, because no one pays attention to anyone else on a bus (side note: that’s why whenever my friends and I get on a bus, it gets really noisy… we are pretty much the only ones talking…)  But I’ve been thinking about it, and well, that’s kind of what we’ve been socially trained to do.  Like in school, if someone finds the answers to a test online, you don’t tell on them.  If people are sharing answers on homework, you’re not supposed to be a taddle-tale.  You can’t judge.  Because then you’re not cool.  You’re not cool because you’re not indifferent.  It’s indifference that really makes everything work sometimes.  But if you can’t judge anything then how is anything right or wrong?  Plus if you don’t have a vested opinion or interest in a matter, then you get distanced from it.  And whether or not you want to believe it, the ability to not “judge,”  possibly one of the most valued qualities in society today, might just lead you down the road of simply not caring.  And when you don’t care anymore, who are you?

Stop #25.  Over and out.

When Productivity Fails: Laugh

I wrote this last night, but the horrific internet monster in our apartment decided it didn’t want me to connect to the outside world, so I couldn’t post it.  Here it is!  

When I opened my computer just now, the intention was to blog about my weekend in Thailand.  Only then, my roommate, Felicia, decided to finally act on my earlier request to push the beds against the wall and despite putting all of her body weight (which is like nothing) into moving the bed, it didn’t budge.  So then I got up to help her.  Distraction #1.  Felicia got a splinter.  So guess who ended up moving the beds?  (it was me by the way, in case you couldn’t guess).  (also, fyi, I speak parenthetically a lot.)  Back to the computer.  Only then two more of our roommates came into the room to listen to music.  Distraction #2.  You don’t want to be with the Tiong Bahru girls if you want to get anything done. (Side note: at first we called ourselves the “Girls of Tiong Bahru” but then we decided that sounded… well, you know…)  (another side note:  in the time it took me to write this last side note, I was distracted 3 times.)  Something was bound to happen.

And it did.  In an attempt to help Felicia with the splinter, our premed roommate, Elana, hovered over her with this indescribable mad scientist/surgeon face, which of course set us off.  Distraction #3 (or 6 depending on how you’re counting).  So of course our other friend, Preeti, (holder of an unofficial master’s degree in creeper camera usage) convinced Elana that she was going to take a picture, so would she kindly make this face again.

If only I could actually take credit for this awesome picture…

After the 4th or 5th time of telling Elana to please repeat the face because she “didn’t get it on camera” I finally decided to enlighten her of the fact that the camera had actually been recording video.  Distraction #4 (yes this one was my fault).   If our neighbors hadn’t heard our laughter before, it was now a certain fact that the entire block did, because we were LOUD.  Like if laughter actually extends your life, we might actually live forever.  And when Felicia mentioned the words “pillow fight,” I couldn’t resist (I mean, really, who can?).  Note:  being ticklish is not a good asset to have in a pillow fight.

This is the story of what happens in the hours of night while Anisha tries to blog and fails miserably because she has amazing friends who love to laugh.  And I guess laughter doesn’t always have the right words.  Phuket, you will just have to wait.

On my own.

I have to say, buying plane tickets and booking hotels is extremely gratifying.  A huge pain in the butt, yes.  But still, amazingly powerful.  There’s something just incredibly empowering about the fact that my friends and I can simply look up a flight online in a matter of minutes (by that I mean, long hours of flight price comparisons, splitting migraines, and frustrating conversations with parents), type in a few numbers (from my parents’ credit card), repeat the process for hotels (yup, parentheses repeat too), and soon we’re ready to travel to an entirely different country.  To become *ahem* citizens of the world (cue in booming, echoey voice).

Okay, I’m not doing a great job of convincing anyone, but still, this life is just…different.  The other day when we came back from work and picked up dinner, we plopped down on the sofa in front of the tv and just channel-surfed.  I tried to remember the last time I had done that, but failed miserably.  And I said something unsophisticated like “Guys, this is the young working person’s life!”  I know, I know– we’re not paying rent, filing taxes, or any such scary adult nonsense.  But maybe it just starts with that pasta I made last night for us (yes, I, sworn enemy of the kitchen and anything in it, made REAL EDIBLE FOOD, THAT’S RIGHT MOM).  Or the fact that at the ungodly hour of 4:30am, tomorrow morning I will be on my way to the airport to experience Phuket, Thailand, a trip that my friends and I planned ourselves, only one week after our trip to Bintan, Indonesia, and three weeks before our trip to Cambodia.  And yes on top of that, we are actually getting work done, contrary to popular belief.  Speaking of which, I should get back to that… Lunch hour is almost over!  Back to climate model analysis and more attempts to understand a world that refuses to make itself intelligible for me.

hello.

If everything had a word, life would be easy.  No misunderstanding, no complication.  But it would almost be too easy.  No intricacy, no complexity, no..beauty?  But I guess we have to give in at some point.  And so this right here is my attempt to put some words to experiences, feelings, people, places and life.

It’s one of those things I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but just got around to today because I’m home sick from work in Singapore.  Work?  Singapore?  Let me start by saying that by “home” I mean my apartment in Tiong Bahru, Singapore that I share with 5 other girls.  But when I leave Singapore at the end of the summer, I’ll be going back “home” to St. Louis, MO, where I grew up.  And then, in September, I’ll be going “home” to Cambridge, MA, to the big dome, Infinite Corridor, and Killian Court, aka MIT.

But let’s start off with a simple tribute to my MIT background: hello world 🙂