Tuesday 30 July 2013

I could have died just now!

I was going to Holland Village to buy some coffee powder, and at one of the traffic light pedestrian crossing, a SUV did not stop for the red lights!!!

I have a habit of waiting for cars to come to a complete standstill before walking off at traffic lights and zebra crossings. Time is on my side and I value my life more than the few seconds saved.

Of course this habit started after a near miss traffic accident eons ago when I was a young teenager. I was too engrossed in my thoughts while crossing the zebra crossing then...

Today, the traffic light crossing is at a busy 3 lane main road.

When the traffic lights turned red for the cars, the vehicles at the first 2 lanes nearest me stopped. I started crossing. Two aunties in their late 60s followed behind me.

There were no vehicles on the 3rd outer most speeding lane. But I saw a SUV approaching us. Fast

I instinctively stopped at the middle of the road and spread out one hand to warn the 2 aunties behind me.

To my surprise, the SUV did not slow down and stop for us. It just sped past us! The driver never even glanced at us!!!??? 

When all 3 of us finally make across the road, one of the aunty was quite agitated. Scolding and complaining to her companion and me about the horrid and idiotic driver. Her companion was clearly in a state of shock.

Me? It felt surreal.

If I had been lost in my thoughts and cross without watching for signs of danger, or worst, playing with my smart phone, I could be another addition to the statistics of fatal road accidents in Singapore.  

Thank goodness for living in the moment and being aware of the here and now!

I feel relieved that I did a small part in warning the 2 senior aunties on the danger.

Roar of  the heart 

1)  Drivers who speed. I know you won't change. But just imagine the two aunties could be your grandma or mother. Or maybe your little daughter happily making her way across the road. 

2)  Pedestrians, do keep a lookout for and assist seniors and young children at traffic light or zebra crossings. Help young mothers with prams. Singapore is not a cold country.

3)  Yes, we may be in the right; but what's the point if we are injured or dead? You'll be surprised how many people cross roads while texting or watching movies on their smart phones! 

Do not take for granted all of us will return home safely after saying bye in the morning.

Every new day is indeed a blessing.

Treasure life.



  1. I hope you got the car plate and have the 2 ladies serve as witnesses. These sort of irresponsible drivers are what give the other car owners a bad name.

    At the junction next to my HDB, I had encountered events similar to yours twice. The first, I called the police immediately and I was told late they pulled him over on the highway 30 mins later (must had been lucky a petrol car was nearby).

    The 2nd time, the idiot was actually dumb enough to pull this off with a police cruiser right behind him. He must have thought it was a neighborhood police cruiser and hence "no jurisdiction" on traffic matters (don't ask me why, I realize a lot of local drivers think the same). Long story short, lights and siren came blaring immediately and the fella guai guai pulled to the side. I almost clapped in his face.

    1. Patty,

      Unfortunately I did not get the car plate numbers :(

      Just glad the 3 of us were unhurt.

  2. I drive too. But i am a pesdetrain also.
    Like SMOL says , some people walk on the road without looking but concentrate on their handphone or something. i think they expect all motorists to see them or stop for them or think that all motorists are alert with very quick emergency response. i find usually quite old man or woman does it. Hey the motorist may be a 70 years old man too. How fast can you expect him to response if you just cross the road without looking? Never mind who is in the right or wrong. You can tell when you are in Heavens or Hell!
    The Chinese has a saying, "Die already also don't know how you die"

    So all experienced Taxi Drivers will tell you when you are behind the wheel, never take your eyes off the road even for a split second. Be ever ready more on the brake then accelerator.
    Another words, a coin or a road has both sides. On either sides, we have to be alert and careful. We may take a person's life or lose our life on the road.
    i had experience of accident on traffic junction just because i miss attention of a car shooting like a rocket to beat the amber light. Of course i was in the wrong, (as i had no witness) since i was turning right. At that time there was no such thing as traffic camera. This i admit, i think i had look at some other direction for a split second, if not i would have let the rocket shoot passed me.
    And many other near accidents (thank God), because i had been alert and brake in time or had responded with evasive, defensive driving.

    1. temperament,

      I would be terribly pissed with myself if 19 months into my sabbatical, the way I go is via a traffic accident...

      When we are on the other side, who's right or wrong is quite meaningless. Just like the unfulfilled dreams and stuffs we left behind in this mortal realm.

    2. CW,

      Now that I've discovered my ikigai, waking up every morning is a joy and blessing.

      Ain't going to blow it away due to silly negligence on my part.

  3. Hi SMOL,

    Really glad that you are okay.

    Some people are really not fit to be on the road. As pedestrians, we need to be premptive. Even if we are in a rush, remember that it is better to be late than dead.

    Saying 'see' you around has some real meaning now, doesn't it? Really, glad to still have you around. :)


    1. Endrene,

      Thank you. I am glad I am fine too!

      Nothing refreshes our priorities than a near miss!

      Glad I was alert and not lost in my thoughts ;)

  4. Close shave indeed, things happen for a reason. Maybe your experience as a teenager was meant to save the 2 aunties today.

    1. blackjack,

      I am glad I did "work" for my limited time here in this realm today.

      Yes, when we look back, who we are today is what we experienced and learned yesterday.

      I guess it's not my time yet.

  5. Hi SMOL,

    Glad you're okay... I've seen a fair share of such behaviour too...totally irresponsible. I always too shocked to even remember to look at the car plate number, if not I'll surely call the police. Idiots...should be taken off the roads forever!

    That's for the drivers.

    Some pedestrians also 'one kind'. They think that once the lights are in their favour, they just cross the road with their music on or playing with their handphone. Some don't even care about the lights! There's a time that I was waiting at the lights at tampines, and when it's in my favour, a person just walk across the road. She didn't even run across, she literally took her time to catwalk across and all the cars are just horning her like mad but she don't care. WTF?

    1. LP,

      Sometimes I wonder how many stop and reflect on the fragilities of life?

      Some have this "I am the centre of the universe" mindset. Amazing!

      Sometimes there are no 2nd chances...

  6. SMOL, you should know that road is the most dangerous place, more dangerous than anywhere else, you have any idea how many are killed or injured in road accident every year, any idea?

    crossing the road, or even just stand at the road side or junction is a war zone for me, my family will get kick from me if they are not paying attention on the cars, crossing or not.

    you have to assume that every driver on the road are drunk!

    1. i know you want some praises or comforting comment (like a war hero haha), but i think you have not done enough.

      one mistake, whether your fault or not is not important, and you will regret for your life. so stop complaining about the driver, they will never stop driving carelessly.

    2. i say carelessly cos no one driver i know intentionally wanted to kill someone on the road. thats why its call accident.

    3. based on statistic calculation, all of us will get kill in road accident believe it or not if we keep crossing the road, given enough time. can be 1 second to billions and billions of years later, thats probability.

      just like trading, one mistake and up the van.

    4. When not necessary don't cross the road. :-)

    5. coconut,

      "so stop complaining about the driver, they will never stop driving carelessly."


      You comment reminded me of playing the game of passing one message through multiple players. At the end, we all had a good laugh at how the original message got distorted through each players' own "projections".

      You know what? Why I zeroed in on this comment of yours?

      Yup, it's my ego. Need to spend more time facing the wall. Ha ha!

      I made an effort not to project anger to the driver in my post as that will only distract the focus on the responsibility on my part as a pedestrian.

      It's like investors who bought into questionable S-chips or gold trading scams. Some focus on blaming SGX, MAS, Big Daddy, etc.

      That's "centre of the universe" entitlement attitude.

      Things turn out right - I so smart! Things turned out bad - it's someone's fault!

    6. coconut,

      I love your feedback. Do continue to poke me ;)

      My sword can only be hardened by the beating of the hammer against the anvil. (But not too hard! And don't hit the face!!!)

      You are right on 1 strike we can be out. It's all a matter of time. It's quite liberating once we accept what's inevitable ;)

    7. actually, without statistic to back me, i think road junctions are the most dangerous of all roads, agreed? so next time when you cross tracfic junction, walk like as though er, remember how we walk when patrolling in army time haha.

      but if you compare roads with markets, road are a lot "safer" than market in a way that there are no market/tracfic rules to protect us.

      "stop you bull, let the bear cross first" haha.

    8. coconut,

      That would be market manipulation ;)

    9. wow, for a second, i though you are FAT!

    10. coconut,

      Fat's comment that only 1% of active traders make money nowadays did give me time for pause.

      I wonder how all these fantastic retail traders are making money at penny stocks when a professional insider says it's not easy...

      Interesting contrast.

  7. CW,

    Spot on!

    Don't cross the road when there's no need :)

    I studied what Warren Buffet and Li Ka Shing DID during their journeys.

    Cash is rotting in the banks my foot!

    Cross the road for nothing and when big opportunity comes, find ourselves on the wrong side of the road!?


    1. keep cash only when you know when to release it, or don't know much about investing. (see the 2 extreme?)

      if you are in the middle, may be its good to be invested.

    2. and don't misunderstood, i keep cash becos i needed them for my trading, all of them. thats how i cross the road safer.

    3. coconut,

      I personally think that if we don't know anything about investing, buying a home we live in can be a good alternative to "too much cash" in the bank.

      Of course can still lose half the value like some Americans discovered during 2009, or buying at the peak (that's after hindsight) for Singaporeans at 96 and enduring more than 10+ years just to breakeven...

      But at least still can enjoy our "bad" or "poorly timed investment" if it's our home.

      Other investments no such consolation prize ;)

  8. i remember when i started driving not long...

    got to go lunch with my friends, tell the story later...

    1. continue...

      to tell the story short, i cross the red light without even notice it (i think), why? cos another trafic light is right ahead about 20 meters away, i mistaken it as the same tracfic light.

      so who ever say they don't make mistake or careless in their driving, boss to you.

    2. Hmm...

      Mental note:

      Don't cross the road when coconut is driving.

    3. my point is, everybody make mistake or being careless one way or another. that is why we have so many rules so as to minimize the danger and the carelessness of driver.

      there is no such thing as perfect driving.

  9. coconut you are right. There are many more people die on the road per year then more people die in the air.

    1. "roads like a tiger mouth", "roads like a tiger mouth", "roads like a tiger mouth"....

      this is the first thing we learn in school.

    2. temperament, you can't even compare the 2, i was told by someone or read that in a year, a few million people will either died or injured in road accident all over the world, not sure the number is correct but should be close.

  10. coconut,
    you are right too not all car accident on the road are due to careless driving but driver's own "shortcoming" for a spilt moment. And all motorist will have at least one or more "shortcomings". It's only waiting for you to discover what's yours if you drive long enough ( years and years of driving).
    By the way if you are a full-time Taxi Driver, you will see many road accidents if not per day at least per week. Guess how many road accidents a Taxi Driver sees involved a Taxi?
    i am sure you give the correct answer.
    And how did i know?
    You answer right again.
    Smart. Very smart.
    So i agree with you there are no perfect driver on the road. So are pedestrians. We are all the same one time or another.
    Watch out!!
    Here come coconut behind the wheel, follow by temperament and the rest perfect drivers and perfect pedestrians. PERFECT???

    1. ahmm, i had bot been involve in road accident for a very long time, not even minor knocks, can't remember the last incident already! very proud (of myself) le haha

  11. so to conclude SMOL really gain a lot in this incident, next time when he cross the road, i hope his hair are all standing up right haha, or

    he may forgotten already...

    1. You guys stop!

      I now dare not step out of the house :(

  12. temperament,


    You were "man-on-the-road" once ;)

    Would love to hear your story one day.

    These kind of typical Singaporean meritocratic stories are very inspirational.

    Note: I never say elitist. It's a pity the 2 words are now mixed together when they are different animals...

    1. what is "man on the road"? and why one day and not now?

    2. coconut,

      I leave it to temperament whether he prefers to be more explicit.

    3. SMOL,
      No problem lah. i really had been a "man-on-the-road" if that's what you mean.
      i had been a TAXI DRIVER part time on and off until one day i decided to be TAXI OPERATOR. i did it for more than 5 to 6 months. Therefore i can tell you if you are a full-time TAXI DRIVER, you will almost see everyday the after it happens accident. And i think 1:5 or 1:4 a Taxi is involved. To me it's "natural ma".
      i can tell you at times i felt i were not driving a Taxi but a box flying in "no-man-land". It became very surreal. You may feel strange i say this but i knew then it was time to go home.
      i am speaking of my experience for myself only. No offence to any one.

    4. temperament,

      Yes, it's good to listen to our inner voices.

      Knowing when to "go home" is a good trait. Keeps us out of trouble.

  13. SMOL, are you a perfectionist? perfectionist usually are quite successful people, they are good in things they do, especially things that they like to do, they don't miss any details.

    things like investing, blogging, helping people and getting good offer, wanted to do everything right, they will go all out, nothing is spare.

    and becos of that, they would becomes very stressful when thing don't go according to plan and get upset easily. they must understand that the strength is also the source of their weakness and work on what that make them successful in the first place.

    i learn that from trading.

    1. why i say trading becos its emplify all the emotion and get you really screw up, and the bottom line say it all, very clear cut.

      in life, however it is not so clear, there isn't bottom line you can judge, you simply get upset and let it ware off naturally.

      same goes for happy and excitement, its is as toxic as anger and upset especially when you think you are very the good and do something stupid.

    2. walan, got to go lunch with this idiot again....

    3. coconut,

      I am not a perfectionist. Maybe that's why I am not successful. Unmarried, no job title, live in HDB...

      I am more a "agar agar du hor" (pronounced in teochew - it's the famous refrain from Wang Sa) kind of guy.

      There is a bottom line in life - but it's not measured in numbers.

      What you refer to as "happy" during trading is more akin to joy and elation. These are fleeting emotions and will pass. And yes, I've let it mess up my trading too!

      If we are happy; nothing else matters ;)

    4. Not marry could mean still finding the perfect woman. Tio bo?

    5. CW,

      Hee hee. No need perfect - 36,24,36 will do.

      Or maybe I should get a Barbie doll?


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