Monday, May 30, 2005

Of Lazy Bums and Smelly Arm Pits

My sons love LRT rides. When we are out of ideas on what to do during the weekends, we just take them on the LRT from one end of the line to the other, and they will be happy till the next weekend.

Last weekend, we took the LRT again. This time with more purpose and objective; ie to teach our Bibik how to take the LRT to KL Sentral and switch to the Komuter, all the way to where Bibik's hubby is for her monthly weekend off.

This train ride however, was not so pleasant. While we normally are very early to take the LRT, last week, due to last minute plans, we were stuck right smack with the weekend crowd.

I noticed that the advertisement on teaching "masyarakat Malaysia" to be more "perihatin", was not so untrue and that Malaysians still have a lot to learn. There we were, 5 of us, Bibik 1, Bibik2, Me, my 4 year old, N junior and 3 year old, Baby N. In western countries (I normally HATE to use western countries as examples), when people see such an "entourage"; people would immediately get up and offer their seats, like its the most propoer thing to do, just like brushing your teeth in the morning. To my dismay, the Malaysians that I am normally so proud of are not like our Western friends. Good manners, on the LRT, I am horrified to announce is NON-EXISTENT.

We got on a coach at the Setiawangsa Station, that was packed to the brim that there were hardly any poles and rails or whatever to hold on to. All the seats were taken by healthy looking Malaysians, who looked like they were capable of standing up and opening their mouths to offer us seats. And yet, they just looked at us non-chalantly, and I know they were looking cos I could see them glancing at us from the corner of their eyes. (And I bet in their minds, they were could see re-runs of that LRT advert on TV). I would have liked to think and believe that the LRT commuters were all blind and that they could not see us, but that's not true, they might as well have been though! No one offered us seats, and no one offered us poles to hang on to and we ended up doing our level best trying to stand, trying out balancing acts, so that we wouldn't end up flat on our faces in the KL LRT.

I felt utterly and downright disgusted. Is this the masyarakat penyayang that Malaysia has been harping about? Is this is our Vision 2020? We should have wardens on those LRTs with a rotan. Yes, just give those lazy asses a whip or two, teach them a lesson. Better still, we should have those electric-buzz-shocker things and get some wardens buzz-shock people off their seats for being so inconsiderate.

In the end, just like in the advert, an old Chinese lady stood up, walked up to us and offered Baby N and Bibik a seat. We were just one stop away from KL Sentral, so we declined, thanked her and got off.

I am not done.


On the same ride, I was stuck right smack under the arm pit of some man (which is normal, due to my rather "petite" height), who smelled as though he hadn't taken a bath for two months. This was not the first time. I have had many experiences like this, not only in LRTs but in the office, at the malls....everywhere! I know it's a hot country and I know that to sweat is only human. But someone invented deodorants for a reason and Malaysians need to discover the use of it!! Normally, when I am stuck in such situations, I'd move places, switch seats to some place where I can breathe. But this time, I had no where to run! I just held my breath for what seemed like the longest time and prayed that he'd get off soon. He did, but the smell seemed to linger on and for the rest of the day, I had to nurse a really bad migraine.

N Junior, was less tolerant than I was and being "loud" as he is; he just said "HEY MAMA, WHY SO SMELLY? WHAT'S THIS SMELL???" very loudly, while BABY N just scrunched up his nose, looking very, very ill. (I know..I know.. I have to teach N Junior better manners!)

As I write this, I can still smell, the smell of the LRT man. He is not the only one for there are millions of others out there who need to be "educated" on this. How do we teach our people to make an effort to smell nicer?

Maybe our government should make deodorants a free-issued thing? Maybe we should include this as part of the curriculum in schools?? Maybe, the next time I take an LRT ride, I'll bring some spray-type deos and a rotan with me in absence of my electric-buzz-shocker-tool.

Can someone please tell me where I can buy an electric-buzz-shocker-thing??



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Anedra,

"Cute" idea taking the children for a LRT ride. I should apply that whenI've children one day :-P


4:47 AM  
Blogger Sunflora said...

Gosh you're funny ;) Yes sometimes I do wish that somehow we can make it compulsory for people to use deodorants before using public transport! Especially during weekends! One thing that I am beginning to appreciate here is that the locals practice "fumigating" themselves with sweet smelling perfumed smoke before going out. In the heat its a life saver!

7:02 AM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

its hot in london now, and the smell in the tube lingers sticks to your hair, clothes, etc. and while they are good at giving up their seats, they are not so, what shall we say, take their smell with them. Dua hari depa tak mandipun cukuplah!

8:09 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

Aske': Yes, you should definitely try. Its quite educational too, each time get off or on at a different stop, or when lazy just go from one end to the other and back! one coming ke??

Sunflora: And where exactly are you at? I am contemplating on moving to that nicer smelling place!

kakteh: hmmm.. i remember the smell too. Only, that the smell is more of a sweaty smell, not sweat PLUS onions. well, at least you'll be giving the tube a break now huh?

5:23 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

train rides... i hate to agree with you and the ad on tv (that became the debate of our MPs).. yes, when i was pregnant with placenta praevia major no-less, u think people would offer me seats? Hah! I actually shoved my tummy under these peoples noses and they would either suddenly tidor (the men) or pening kepala complete with minyak kapak (the girls).

Sometimes i gave up my seat for another fellow preggie, because other people were just too @#$%^^&**@@ (all the names of animals in the zoo).

My advise, give up on deodorants and toothpaste, stink to high heaven, then you might get seats!

8:45 PM  
Blogger OOD said...

oh i cant open some of your entries. I would get a flash of them, sesaat maybe less and that was it.

why la why la

8:50 PM  
Blogger narfnarf said...

oooooh...I know exactly what you mean by the smell lingering all day. It's nauseating. Maybe a nationwide personal hygiene campaign.

9:02 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

ood: I thought you went cuti-cuti for some kenduri in Pilah? Was about to comment in yr blog that my kampung (where my grandma is on dad's side) is at Pilah too!

Me, Stink?? Will have to cut of my smelling senses to do that to myself. Plus, I am sure N Junior and Baby N will just throw me out of the house if I do!

Don't know lah why u can't open. I am very buta with all this IT stuff. Only yesterday I discovered what an I-Pod is, from my 4 yr old! Kak Teh is my Blog administrator on all the tech stuff, she does all my links etc..etc! She's far away, I know, but she does it for free! Maybe we should ask her!

Kak Teh HELLLPP Please?

narfnarf: Yes..a nationwide campaign, and have some demerit system for those who still stink despite all the campaigning!

9:16 PM  
Blogger faux diamante said...

anedra: i guess a lot of people don't know how to wash up properly these days.does not help that ppl wear synthetic materials as shirts.

no deodorant can help if one does not wash the armpits properly.lagi tengik ada...

next time, ask for the seat if u need it. sekolah tak ajar kot kena give up seat for the needy. the needy in their books are themselves.

nak bibik you satu....

10:51 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

nazrah: yeah, and if they don't get up after I ask them to, I will SIT on them!

Nak bibik I satu?? Sila..sila..ambiklah, silakan. Train depa betul betul on how to scrub and clean and disinfect (cos I hear you are numero uno on this!), lepas tu pulangkan k???

12:25 AM  
Blogger atiza said...

hahaha..that's why i wear high heels, to be higher then the arm pit level..

but about malaysian being ignorant, that's in fact true to core. they just don't care whether you're incapable, with kids, old or pregnant. these ignorant people will just close their eyes pretending to sleep or read newspaper or chatting/smsing on the latest mobile phone.

there's this one day an old lady was standing beside me. seeing that nobody took notice of her frail body, i ask the man in front of me to stand and give the poor lady a sit. i felt glowing afterwards (like after having s*x) ;)

hehe..i wrote a lot, am i?

1:48 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

atiza: you can say as much as you want and whatever you want (but only very very nice things about me! heheh!) in this blog!

I'd take your advise on the heels thingy, but me and heels don't jive. I only ever put on a pair to kenduri kendara etc. My current shoes are pumps and they're a max of 1 inch high. That ain't gonna help aye? I shall bring some kapas tho, and sumbat in my nostrils!

2:01 AM  
Blogger MassyLassy said...

You entry is soooo Funnny!!!! Huagh! Huagh! Huagh!!! Sigh! Reminds me of my ex-colleague who, after he came back from lunch, stung the room soo bad that I felt like puking in his face!!! The smell just kept linger in the room until the end of the day! The girls just felt like we should present him this thing that's invented - DEODERANT!!! Sooo BUSUK you!!!! But here, jarang we smell any stench from anyone... All sweet smelling!!! Except those drunken people! Phwahh!!!

3:51 AM  
Blogger MassyLassy said...

Also! Some of the Singaporean pun bedebah semacam ajer!!! Pretend to sleep, pretend baca & tunduknya sampai about to touch the ground, & bermacam-macam pretendlah!!!

3:57 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

massylassy: we have a colleague in the office who smells too. Being Malaysians all of us are too polite to tell him to remember to shower before coming to office! And thus, we just tahan the smell!

ya know, i thought I had it bad on the LRT. APparently, a friend of mine had the misfortune of being on the LRT with an old man who had a "loose bladder" problem and leaked on his seat. The seat kan is plastic, so it trickled down the bench! So EVERYBODY got up and stood instead. Yang bestnya, this guy, buat tak reti je! TAlk about top form acting skills huh?

5:08 AM  
Blogger Ms.B said...

Good post!

(1) The selfish Malaysian - have so much to say about this. It's getting WORSE by the day, no matter what the government tries to do (which isn't nearly enough, in my books) .. and the worst thing is .. bad manners, selfishness and lack of civic consciousness seems to apply to Malaysians across the board. Oklah, I can "bagi chance" to the less educated/less exposed ones, .. but I can't help but GAWK and shake my head in dismay when I see the same traits in professionals and those with lots of money (which supposedly is to make them more classy lah, so it seems). Sad to say, even some of my acquaintances are like this, and when I do pucker up the courage to comment (in jest of course), they will throw back some sordid answer/justification that just REALLY makes me wonder about them sometimes. *sighs*

On "smells" - this was the reason why back in 1997 I was willing to go hungry and short on cash .. to pay for a Kancil rather than encounter the KTM Komuter in the mornings and the Metrobus in the evenings to and fro Subang/KL!! But yes, it is funny how some people can be completely obvlivious to how they smell. STRANGE!! I remember how me and some of my ex-colleagues couldn't figure out HOW a colleague of ours could date and THEN marry another colleague who *pardon the phrase* STINKED to high heaven!!! I mean, he was a nice chap and all, but OHHH, the SMELL!!! We thought that perhaps after marriage, she'd DO something about it, but I am to understand that he continues to "smell" to this day. Perhaps *gulps* she likes it?? Haiyoyooooo!!! Give me a fat, ugly, balding man ANY DAY over a smelly one!! :p

5:11 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

Blabarella dear, you are damned right about what you said. We are losing our values by the day. I wonder what the world will be like in the next 10 years? Scary!

People say, love is blind, so fat and ugly and bald (oh..I find bald men a complete turn on) is very much acceptable if coupled with great personality. But the smell? Surely that can;t be tolerated, especially if all it takes to make it go is a good long shower, a scrub and some deodorants and perfumes eh??

5:31 AM  
Blogger shidah said...

anedra: once i ws pregnant like 3/4 mnths... i gave a seat to a lady who looks tired & pregnant too but bigger tummy - to which she reply.... "err.. saya tak pregnant cik" duh malu aku!!

and i try not to take any lrt during peak hours.... even if i have to, i'm lucky coz i'm quite tall.... :)

6:23 AM  
Blogger OOD said...

shidah, that was real major meltdown.. aminkan my doa please, God, please dont let people think i am pregnant still. (I know my tummy looks like i am..)

blabarella, during my growing up years, i musuk too. I didnt know, i swear. Until a friend ask me, what perfume i use, POISON ka? Trust me, sometimes kita bau busuk orang but not our own armpits. Cakap from experience ni. Sekarang i wangi dah.

anedra maam, i cuti besok. Apply awal lah. hehe... oh you dont know ah? Kak Teh is not a real person, she is a smart help-desk computer generated programme. I too use its service.

8:13 PM  
Blogger anedra said...

shidah: if i were that lady, I wouldn't have offered an explanation! malu!!!

ood: Hmmm, so that explains why sometimes KakTeh tu macam blur. Maybe there was a system breakdown huh?

10:19 PM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...


1:52 AM  
Blogger nyonya glenmarie said...


do you remember a certain handsome maths teacher back in STF? it'll be jahat of me to write down his name here, but he's got BO problem and i remember i had to hold my breath everytime he came near my table to check my work (urrghh... i was kinda one of his fav students lak tu :P pasal skima sangat duduk depan :)

i don't know why certain people are more smelly than others. maybe they don't trim their armpit hair, or eat stuffs like garlic and certain spices too much... hmmm.. so far my solution is to just hold up my breath, and yes - try my best to get away from the stinking source too

5:39 AM  
Blogger anedra said...

Nonya LM : HANDSOME math teacher???? How come I never noticed?? Why? Why? WHy? What did I miss? Well, certainly not the BO lah, kan?

1:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home