Our priority seat story

The recent “Polite Ah Lian vs Priority Seat Aunty” saga reminded me of a small incident that happened to us back in 2009.

It was right after our Penang Trip.

We arrived in Singapore at Changi Airport after our 5 day trip. It was probably about lunch time. With our luggages and backpacks in tow and Dear2 in her 2nd trimester (Baby1), we were lucky to find one seat in the MRT on our long journey from Tanah Merah MRT station back to Jurong East MRT station.

It was the priority seat, right next to the door. There was only one seat, so naturally, Dear2 sat down to take a rest while I stood next to her. In the seat next to Dear2 was a young man. The train was not crowded at that time, with only a handful of standing commuters. Dear2 was in her 2nd trimester, so her bump was obvious but still not overly big.

Soon into our journey, one ang moh lady boarded the train. She was pregnant. Probably 2nd trimester too. She walked around, looking for an empty seat. There was none.

Then, she stared at Dear2 in her priority seat, and spoke loudly, demanding that Dear2 give up her seat. We were both taken aback. Dear2 was pregnant too, couldn’t she see that?

Before I could say anything, Dear2 had already gotten up, and offered her seat to the pregnant ang moh. She sat down without giving us a second look.

So, with our luggage and backpacks in tow and Dear2 in her 2nd trimester bump, we stood in the middle of the train. Some time during the journey, that ang moh probably noticed Dear2’s bump and looked slightly guilty, but she did not take any further actions. No one else offered Dear2 a seat and we stood for the remaining of the journey.

A few points for thoughts.

  1. We had luggage and were rather clumsy in movement because of that. Why didn’t the ang moh ask the young man beside Dear2 for his seat? Why target Dear2?
  2. Fine. So a pregnant Dear2 gave up her seat to a pregnant ang moh. Didn’t any other commuters see this exchange? Why didn’t any one else offered their seat to Dear2?
  3. How will you feel if someone asked for your seat when you needed the seat just as much as them? How would you have reacted?



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