Serious about a clean subway
Perfect: never run, only strut
Not a single scratch-bomb!
All week I failed at one of the major goals I had in
Singapore: to be arrested. Yes, since Singapore is known as the police
state, I wanted to see just how restrictive it was. I wanted to live like
a lawless Russian, in the middle of lawful Singapore, and find the
invisible barrier between the ‘good’ and the ‘bad’
people of the island.
Try, as much as I could, I never even got a verbal
warning. Hell, I rarely saw a cop! The vaulted Singaporean security is
bunk! Okay, they did have signs warning of huge fines, and if you know Singaporean
values, you know they’d rather face the rattan for 100 strikes than
pay a $100 fine. Still, I saw all kinds of infractions.
When faced with a red walk signal, about 75% of the
pedestrians would wait for a green. But the other 25% and I wouldn’t even
slow down. No one yelled, as happened to me in Munich, none of the cars
speeded up, as the Turks love to do, and never did a cop pull me over for
a chat as that London bobby did. I’ve seen better light obedience in
Sydney, where you’d think the laid back Aussies wouldn’t even install
Since the island is something like 60% Chinese, I think
many rules are to break Mainland Chinese from their foul habits, like spitting.
Even with $500 fines, I saw (and heard!), several people a day spit. Now
this is a trespass I’m 100% for disciplining, and by the last day, I was
ready to do something about it.
I was staying at a hostel across the street from the
main police station and they had a big sign out front advertising for new
recruits. As one willing and able to keep public order, I jaywalked across
the four-lane road, in high rush hour, and waltzed in chewing a nice wad
of strawberry Hubba Bubba gum.
Smacking away at my oral pleasure asked the officer on
duty where I could apply for cadet school. With a quizzical look, he
listened to me tell him his island was slipping into chaos, with
jaywalkers and spitters everywhere.
Before he knew it, without my help, that one plastic
bottle that was lying on the sidewalk outside the station would multiply
to a trash heap that would sink his homeland. That the spitting would
increase from a few random people to a crescendo of saliva and phlegm. And
the people of Singapore demand a more efficient police force for the taxes
they pay to support him and his fat-bellied officer friends.
Just before he and another officer jumped over the desk
to arrest me for being an ass, I fled out the door and across the four
lanes, leaving the officers swearing at me from the far side of the
street. Apparently, constructive criticism doesn’t go far in Singapore.