I witnessed something pretty strange today at Monument Underground station (District Line). There was a lady who stood near the train doors and deliberately tried to get caught by the doors. A staff came by and asked her to stay clear of the doors and she shouted she did not want to because she wanted to commit suicide. Unfortunately enough for her, the train doors were pretty smart and so the closing doors hit her face before they opened automatically.
Picture this scene: the unmoving lady stood at the train doors, the doors opened and closed numerous times, the Tube staff got anxious and started pacing around on the platform and the people on the Tube watched as the scene unfolded. After several minutes, another lady on the Tube went up to her, spoke to her and dragged her off the Tube.
In retrospect, I think that the lady probably did not intend to commit suicide. I mean, it is easier to kill yourself by jumping off the tracks than trying to get caught between the train doors. What she wanted was probably to get attention from anyone – from any random stranger. She wanted people to notice her presence, even if it is in a rather twisted way. She was lonely.
I am sure she is definitely not alone being lonely in this big city. It is pretty ironic, isn’t it? To be surrounded by people and yet overwhelmed with loneliness. Being in England for a little over 2 months, I find English people generally polite, funny (if you manage to catch the British humour) and private. People make many small conversations about many transient things, e.g. how their day went, the weather and the food, but people don’t like to talk about deeper things. You can have a conversation for a very long time and you still don’t know too much about the other person. You don’t know what the other person is actually thinking about.
Sometimes I think it is just rather convenient to live in Singapore because there is not so much culture in the country. You don’t really need to conform to a way of speaking/ dressing/ behaving. People might look at you strangely if you are too different from the norm but people accept you for who you are.