Thursday, August 25, 2011

On The Train (The Third Place and was dumped yet again), Aug 24, 2011


This morning I had a nice feeling moment when I heard a group of commuters were talking and laughing happily on the way to work. I would like to assume it was not because of the Eid is around the corner. 
I wrote a short note about the characteristics of The Third Place today that I picked up through my reading and suddenly I asked myself is the Komuter train service my Third Place? Let us let loose an have fun with this :)
Characteristics of The Third Place:
  • Exist on neutral and socially equal ground for its clientele
Oh yes it is natural enough and definitely no one in their right frame of mind would want to to be saying they are above KTMB or anybody else in the coach. Equal as equal can be - equally late. equally squeezed, equally mishandled and equally annoyed of the service. Really once you are on this train all the trappings that you are somebody will be stripped off automatically.
  • Primary activity in the third place is conversation
Talk about conversation! There’s all kinds of conversations occurring at the same time. In fact you have a choice of listening in different languages. Beside Malay, Tamil, Mandarin or English you could have Indonesian, Bangla, Vietnamese, Urdu, Mynamar, Tagalog, Parsi and once in a while Arabic and German. The topics ranges from football to arts. They are also groups of people that converse to themselves in their dream, to their phone like he was the only person on the train, with their ITunes or audio players. Or you would have somebody like me who diligently creating a conversation using his laptop. 
  • It is a place where human personality and individuality are displayed and appreciated
Oh my! I do not know about being appreciated but human personality definitely. Especially once you have the train packed to the seam. Animal instinct came out immediately when they just jump in thinking no body’s going to disembark first. If they got push they yell at all directions. The line when waiting for the train would be straight and decent but once the train arrive everyone seem to be asking WHAT Q??? I tell you a lot more human personality to share here. Opps maybe not not human. 
  • They are taken for granted and most have a low profile. 

The coach and train are way beyond taken for granted. With the kind of service they dish out they should be low profile but instead they strife for national attention especially regarding their breakdowns.
  • Third places normally open in the off hours, as well as at other times. 
Ha ha ha ha off hours alright. When we need them they conveniently went off the schedule.
  • The character of a third place is determined most of all by its regular clientele and is marked by playful mood, which contrast with people’s more serious involvement in other spheres.
No way Jose. This is the domain of chaos own by KTMB.
  • Though a radically different kind of setting from home, the third place is remarkably similar to a good home in the psychological comfort and support that it extends. 
Finally, to me yes it is home somewhat. How else would you think I survived for the past 8 years?
Joking a side. My conclusion the train is not the Third Place for just anybody but train nuts like me. Hey, I am on one and typing this now!
No, not again!!!!

As I was finishing this piece the train stopped at Seputeh. After about five minutes it started to go backwards and the door kept opening and closing. I ignored it at first but after another five minutes it started to reverse again. At this moment my commuting comrades around me started to recount our misadventure with KTMB Komuter train two successive Friday ago. They were conversing the kind of experience that I experienced as well. So in that way we were soul mates. They joke about the whole things and of course lamented about KTMB. I just kept quiet and listened to them as I was afraid if I say something I would be fasting for nothing. At this juncture the train really pushed back all the way back to MidValley station and the dreadful announcement came on the air that there was a mechanical problem with the doors that would not closed. We were asked to abandon the train and wait for the in coming six-car train. The station master, or at least that’s what he think he is, came on the air to ask us to moved to platform 1 for the six-car train. As if we need the exercise badly as soon we were at platform 1 he came on air again to say that platform 2 is back in service and ask us to moved back there again. I must tell you by then I lost few fasting points already by cursing them. So in the end the conclusion as always I was late yet again and thank you very much to KTMB.

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