Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly In Woodlands!!

Many of my readers are probably wondering why, after a blog or article almost every night from Aussie Pete, all has been quiet for a number of days. Unfortunately, I met with an accident that put me 'out of action'. This article is not to focus too much on all the details, but to highlight the good, the bad and the ugly of people around me here in Woodlands.


On Thursday evening, I decided to declare war on a ghecko lizard that had snuck into my bathroom. Upon chasing it to the roof, I was standing on the side of my bathtub. That's all I remember. Next thing, I am on my back on the tiled floor after sustaining a fall. The doctor suspects I must have had a short blackout, as I remember nothing about the fall, just the landing.

After I came back to my senses, the pain was not immediately forthcoming, but began vomiting and suffering chills.

Unfortunately, my wife and baby are still on vacation visiting our in-laws in Shanghai, so I had no-one around me to offer the pity that I probably deep down desired.

I forgot about the lizard (his time was yet to come), and went and laid down in bed. After some hours, the chills continued, and the pain had begun to come over me, mainly in my foot, elbow and ribs. At around 3am, I jumped a taxi to the hospital emergency department for consultation and xrays.

The damage - greenstick fracture in a bone in the foot along with some tendon damage, bruised ribs and elbow. Nothing life threatening, and I even managed to hobble to work for an interview with a candidate for an open position in my organization at 10am on Friday morning. Then went home to feel sorry for myself again.


So many of my friends and colleagues, showed me a sign of themselves that will not easily be forgotten. I have had offers of support and condolences, offers to drive me places, anything I need people have opened themselves and their time. I even had one friend and his family deliver food for dinner to my door on Friday night. These people are true friends, and I hope one day that I will have the opportunity to thank them all for the caring, compassion and hospitality that they have shown to me.


Although I've had so many offers of assistance, this afternoon (Sunday), I thought it would be ok if I were to 'hobble' just the one block away to Shop n Save at Admiralty MRT to get myself some food and drinks (and smokes), and then catch a taxi back home, rather than burden friends with the task of driving me around or shopping for me.

Clearly limping and hobbling, with one foot plastered up, I eased my way to Admiralty, stopping once at the bus shelter for a rest half way. Upon arrival at the outside of the MRT, a girl was wheeling her bike out of the bike parking area. Without looking, she almost wheeled directly into my leg. No real problem, as I saw it coming and quickly grabbed the back of her bike to avoid the collision. Not that I should be surprised, but there was no apology or even recognition that she had almost collected my busted foot with her bike.

Next, I got a shopping basket at Shop n Save, and as I entered the store, an old auntie looked at me up and down, looked down again at my injured foot, and like a true Aussie Rules player, 'hip and shouldered' me to get past me to the fruit and vegetable section. Once again, no apology, in fact her actions were in my eyes completely intentional. I was too worn out from the hobble to the store to say anything or offer my dissatisfaction.


Now things took a turn for the worse!! After getting a couple of drinks and some food items, I was lining up in the aisle to pay for my goods, when another auntie not only nudged me out of the way, but stood completely and squarely on my injured foot, in order to push her way in front of me in the aisle. This time, the move was acknowledged - the lady proceeded to look me directly in the eyes, and give me the 'evil eye' as if to say 'get the hell out of my way', regardless of my howls of pain.
The staff in the store were very helpful, and one of them had some harsh words with the auntie... good work Shop n Save!!

Next, I proceeded to the taxi stand to find none available (surprise?). I called the taxi pickup number to find no taxis available right at that time in my area. So I began the short walk (limp) home, only to have a man barrell straight into me as he ran across the intersection to beat the timer countdown for pedestrians. This time, I was knocked to the ground, with my shopping strewn across the road. This guy continued on his way with no apology. With a busted foot, I could not chase him and offer him the face full of fists that he deserved (and would have got if I was able bodied). - Thankyou to the good samaritan that helped me pick up all my things and make it to the other footpath.

Finally, as I walked home (very slowly), I was contemplating what a disaster this whole 30-minute shopping trip turned out to be, when I looked up just as a bike came burling down the footpath at a great rate of knots. Riding on the pedestrian pathway illegally, he was continuously ringing his bell to tell me to move off the footpath and let him pass. I could not physically do this, due to my injuries. He then slowed his bike next to me and offered me some of the worst abuse that I've ever heard since living in Singapore. This was enough for me. I placed my shopping on the ground quickly and tried to grab him. Unfortunately, he saw this coming and knew I would not be in a position with a plastered up foot to give chase. So he pedalled hard and got out of my reach. Then he had the hide to turn back and offer more abuse. Where I come from, this is very close to being deemed a 'sucker punch' and one of the most gutless acts that one can perform.


The last 4 days has shown me some of the most caring and passionate people I have ever met. It has also shown me some of the ugliest people and behaviours I have ever encountered in my life. What is this world coming to, when there is absolutely no respect for someone who is clearly injured and keeping entirely to himself. This sort of behaviour should be abhorred, and I sincerely hope that we can eradicate this crap from our society. It is completely unacceptable!!


Brown Sugar said...

Mate that just sounds horrible. Too bad tasers are illegal here. Get well soon and as always, holler if you need anything.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, your experience reflects the true spirit of the "heartlander" of Singapore.
A few years back I crashed my car at the PIE. I fell asleep at the wheel. I had to limp all the way to a nearby factory to get help. Nobody stopped even though I tried waving at the traffic. Evening rush hour you see,
Singaporeans can be horribly selfish and unconsiderate.
It's better to expect nothing and be surprised when something nice happens.
In this country, actions of generosity comes with an obligation to return the favour. Nothing is altruistic.

Anonymous said...


You need to get a cane! (walking stick) That is what its for. Grandpa's have been using it for generations to thwack nimble little grandchildren.

Don't forget this adds cool pimp points

Seriously though, sorry to hear about your experience. People are people the world over I guess.