In the spirit of not drinking and driving/riding, I took public transport to a Christmas party last Fri evening.
While going down the escalator toward the train platform at Serangoon MRT station, I took out my phone to reply to a message that had just come in.
Just as I reached the platform, I heard a brusque and brutish voice behind me shout, “Excuse me! Excuse me, sir!”
I was all ready to whip around and be like, “What the f-awrawrawrawrawrawr do you want, man?”
I was angrily wondering whose toes I had stepped on to get him all riled up like that. To the best of my knowledge, I hadn’t (knowingly) offended anyone at the station.
I turned around only to face a young man (about 16 or 17 years old), who came up to me and said, “You dropped your money.”
Words cannot describe how shocked I was.
For one, I’m quite a careful person, and I seldom make mistakes like that. Apparently, the money had fallen out of my pocket while I was taking out my phone, and I had walked on toward the train platform like an oblivious boss.
(In other news, I need a money clip, but this is in no way encouraging anyone to get me one.)
For another, I hadn’t expected this.
(Before I left the house, I grabbed all the cash that was in my wallet and stuffed it into my pocket. I didn’t count how much I’d brought out, but after some calculations on hindsight, I realised I had brought $98 out. I don’t usually bring out so much cash because I prefer to pay by card, but I knew I was going to be taking quite a lot of public transport that evening.)
I’d brought quite a bit of cash out with me and I hadn’t expected this act of goodwill; I’d assumed that I was the only altruistic person alive and Singaporeans were all evil and would’ve just taken the money they’d found.
So I stood there staring at him for about two seconds like a stunned mullet before I blurted out, “Wow. Thank you so much.”
And grabbed the cash from him. As I fumbled to rearrange the notes and put them back in my pocket, I noticed something amiss – a missing blue-coloured note.
That’s it, lah, I thought, still assuming that Singaporeans were untrustworthy bastards. The $50 note is gone.
As I paced around to check if the note was anywhere on the ground, the train chose to arrive at that opportune moment.
Between searching for the cash and not wanting to miss my ride (because I was late), I decided to abandon all hope and enter the train.
And just then, this old lady in an orange shirt, came up to me, smiling, and handed me the $50 note.
I think my jaw must have dropped open right then, but I recovered, thanked her hastily, and ran into the awaiting train.
I always thought stuff like that only happens in the movies, but I guess I was proven wrong that day.
And I’m glad I was proven wrong about Singaporeans – there still is some good and graciousness left on this island.
I hope this story has touched you one way or another, so if your faith in Singaporeans has been renewed as well, please pay this good deed forward in any way you can.
On my part, I’m going to keep on being altruistic. I’m also going to take part in the Letters Under Umbrellas project and leave a letter at Serangoon MRT station to encourage more people to keep on doing good deeds.
Merry Christmas, everyone, and see you back here on Wed!