Far From the Madding Crowd

My mum would probably get a heart attack if she found out I did this but … I had an interesting time so I decided to post this up.

I was stood up by a friend one day. We were supposed to have dinner – she had called and asked me if I wanted to hang out – yet when it was time to meet up, she didn’t show up. All my texts went un-replied so I assumed something came up – she did mention that her son wasn’t feeling well – and decided to just hang out around the city seeing as I was already out.

I spent some time at this Starbucks – about an hour plus before deciding to board a bus to the town. I just sat there at the corner and watched as people boarded on and off the bus. Many of them were office workers; you could see from their attire and tired faces – probably off from their shift work or something like that. There were also a couple of students, some still in their uniforms, chatting away about their tuition class that just ended.

I love the “nightlife” – the quietness of the roads, the coolness that accompanies the night wind and the rare sightings of the stars. Sitting on the bus, just heading from one stop to another, watching the people, their faces, their body language – I was filled with this sense of belonging, as if I belonged there, with this crowd of strangers, tired and weary from their journey yet at the same time seemingly enjoying the view as well.

The strain on their faces was visible; it was a quarter past eleven then but even so, they were still … alive? Yes, that’s the word that comes to mind – Alive. They weren’t like the office people that you would see at the end of the regular office hours; jostling in the elevator, fighting for space on the roads then crawling through that space while stuck in traffic. Despite the fatigue, they seem more awake and more alive compared to their evening counterpart.

And on the side of the roads and buildings, you would see some immigrants chatting with their friends, construction workers taking a break from their jobs, and occasionally, you’d see beggars too, sitting down on the sidewalk, hoping for alms from the passer-by.

While this was a one-off thing that happened by chance, the fact that I had the opportunity to experience this was indeed an eye-opening experience. This kind of ‘night-life’ gives you a glimpse into the lives of people that you would rarely see otherwise. Some of the people I had passed by today were also commuting to work rather than commuting from it – and well, even they were weary. Probably working night shift isn’t as exciting as some thought it would be – but what I found interesting was the fact that how none of them seemed to mirror a sort of frustration on their faces.

It was as if in that moment – riding in that bus, everyone was filled with some sort of sense of belonging – everyone was lost in their own world.

Does this – whatever I just wrote even make any sense to you?


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