Technology Addiction - A Subway Story
A personal foreword is necessary here: I am over 7 months pregnant. I carry around a big, bulky, round pregnant belly. And although I am (or like to think I am) relatively agile given the circumstances, thanks to a daily practice of yoga or swimming, I am still big and bulky – it is difficult not to notice that I am carrying a baby - and I am somewhat unstable on moving platforms, like the subway.
Having given up my beloved motorcycle for these nine months, I currently use the subway every day.
Notwithstanding the fact that in Hong Kong there is a big clear poster in all subway trains asking to give priority seating to, among others, expecting women, during the first few months of my pregnancy I was proud and strong and did not actively look for seats.
But now, I have given up my pride and accepted safety and comfort as priorities: it is hard and tiring to stand for my daily half hour ride. The busier the subway is, the more people tend to ignore me or pretend they haven’t seen me (how funny that is!). Usually, however, if I start looking around with a helpless, frustrated, sad face (I took some acting courses in my teens) a kind soul will eventually get up and offer me their seat.
Today, I stepped into a not-too-crowded train: there was an empty seat. Great, I thought, no need to look around for ten minutes with pleading, desperate eyes. I walked towards that seat as fast as I could, and when I was almost sitting down (my left leg was already brushing on the edge of a seat) a young, hip, well-dressed woman in her late twenties, typing on her blackberry while at the same time listening to her ipod, slid past me in a rush and sat down. She did not look up. She did not raise her head. She did not notice what had happened even as I stood there, looking at her in disbelief. She kept typing on her blackberry.
Kindly, two other kind passengers who had witnessed the scene offered me their seats.
In the meantime, she kept typing on her blackberry, and listening to her ipod. She never raised her head once.