[tiān yǒu bù cè fēng yún，rén yǒu dàn xī huò fú]
The above Chinese idiom which is commonly used to suggest that human misfortune just like the weather is unpredictable.
When you leave your house or flat, you notice that it’s very hot with a fiery sun staring at you. So you thought it’s a hot day. Suddenly somewhere after you left your home, you got yourself drenched in a heavy thunderstorm.
I always carry an umbrella with me whenever I walk from my office at Tanah Merah MRT station to the nearby Simpang Bedok for my meal break. It’s about 10 mins walk cutting thru the private estate. In case of raining, I could still come back. I do not want to get stuck in the rain and miss taking over my train.
Whenever I come back to the office with the umbrella my colleagues would usually ask me if it’s raining or ‘hujan’? In my line of work, we are very worried of rain especially heavy rain.
We would have to drive the train manually and enter the station at a slower speed or else the train will ‘over run’ and not stop at the station. Since they are inside the crew room, my colleagues won’t know if it’s raining outside.
My colleagues always laugh at me carrying an umbrella on a hot sunny weather. But then it’s better to be prepared than regret later.
Human misfortune just like the weather is unpredictable. When we leave the house, we won’t know what could happen to us. Even though we are very careful, disaster or misfortune could befall on us. A car could just knock us down even though we wait for the bus at the bus stop. Or a tree could just fall on us and cause us misery.
Recently, it was widely reported in the media that a lady passenger sat on a MRT seat and got her buttock burnt by sulfuric acid. She thought (meaning she knew) it’s just plain water so she just sat down. It was so bad that she had to undergo surgery for skin grafting. It’s now a police case. Hopefully the police could solve the mystery.
But then why should one sit on wet surface? I usually check before I sit down. This is common sense. See where you are walking. See where you are sitting. See what you are eating etc. We always inculcate our children from young all these basic common sense.
Can the above Chinese idiom describe the misfortune which befell on the unfortunate lady passenger?
Who is to be blame?
Her own carelessness?
It is an offence to bring any inflammable substance or acid into the train. Some trains – not all – do have camera installed. It might help if that train had camera. Hopefully the culprit who left the sulfuric acid accidentally or otherwise will be apprehended soon.
In the meantime, we better watch out when ride on the train. Never ever sit on a wet surface. You can never know what will happen to you if you are not careful. We better take care of our own safety.