Monday, August 29, 2005


The world we live in is full of them! Full of unspeakable, ruthless people who do atrocious things. The greatest of these - war, terrorist attacks and killings, murders - I must say I am very, very fortunate to have not witnessed live. But the lesser ones...

I went for an early lunch ('brunch' - the usual word) at McDonald's (trying to make full use of the discount coupons that will expire on August 31) with 4 of my colleagues today. Some of them went to buy food, while I waited at our table with some of the other food already bought. I was almost entering a pleasant daydream in that quiet and serene ambience when suddenly, there was a loud, piercing scream. I turned and saw a young Indian lady rushing out of the glass door, chasing a man. Out of curiousity, I hurried nearer, only to hear that the young lady's wallet was snatched by the man who ran away. One of McD's staff immediately ran after the thief. Two of my male colleagues, tall men with long legs, also ran after them. Sadly, all came back empty-handed and disappointed. The snatch-thief had a bike waiting for him, and the men couldn't know which direction he went. That was just too bad, and there was nothing anyone could do.

We then sat down to our meal, and talked about the incident. Stories spilled out - one of my colleagues had been a victim to a snatch thief, her mother was robbed of a necklace, another colleague's brother was robbed, her house once broken into, my room-mate had her handbag snatched from her once, and my own grandma was once robbed of her gold necklace. My colleague read about a man who owned a high-tech luxurious car, which could only be unlocked / started by his thumbprint verification, and the greed-filled villains actually cut his thumb off to get his car. Too much, too much! Do people no longer believe in hell, or reincarnation, or whatever religion taught, to instill the fact that 'what comes around, goes around'?

As if not enough, we have loads and loads of inconsiderate and irresponsible drivers creating little atrocities by the milisecond! The worst I have experienced so far - last week, I drove into a Petronas station for fuel, and by sheer lack of luck, there were many customers at the time, so I had to queue. I headed towards a pump with a motorcycle at it (since bikes use much less fuel, I reckoned I needn't wait too long for that guy to finish refueling). Then, a green car came up behind mine. The pump directly in front of the one I was waiting at had a bike at it too, so by the standard queuing theory with the standard FIFO queue, the green car should get to use the pump in front of mine, once that biker finished as well. So there we were, waiting patiently in the queue. The biker ahead of me completed refueling and moved on. I drove in place, got ready to buy petrol, and guess what - a car zoomed past mine, to the pump in front of mine where the other biker was finishing off. And well, it's not the green car that was waiting in line with me just two minutes ago! The poor green car was still waiting there, behind me. I could hardly believe my eyes - I have seen people cut queues during traffic jams, at the highway exit toll booths - but never, I repeat, NEVER at petrol kiosks! I, even as a bystander in that incident, was cursing that #$*%$&@ driver like mad. I can't imagine how I'd feel if I were the wronged driver of the green car. Too much, too much!

Qualitative Research question for the day: How can we rid our society of such despicable acts?

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