A crowd is a large number of persons gathered closely together in a place of
limited size such as a stadium, a supermarket or a restaurant. In a crowd, a
person's movement is restricted and people often have to take action to prevent
themselves from being crushed.
I have been in many types of crowds and I must
admit the experience is not very pleasant. It is always noisy, hot and stuffy.
All I want is to get out of the place as soon as possible.
Once I had the misfortune of going into a departmental store during a mega
sale. Some 'kiasu' people were waiting for the door to open. As soon as the door
swung open, everyone pushed and I was pushed into the departmental store by the
sheer wave of eager shoppers. The crowd at the men's section went wild. They
leaned over huge boxes of jumbled up clothing, pulling out the shirts and
trousers. I saw an old man and a young man fighting for a pair of pants.
made a beeline for
the cashier where the queue was already a few kilometers long. I squeezed myself
in between the crowd and left the departmental store empty-handed.
Another crowd that is unpleasant is the crowd that waits for the Putra LRT to
come to pick them up. This is especially so during peak hours. As soon as the
train arrives, people jostle with one
another to get onto the already sardine-packed train. Everyone tries to squeeze
into the train, stepping on other passengers who get so mad that they shout
obscenities at the culprits.
Crowds can turn unruly if there is a disturbance, as evidenced at football
stadiums all over the world. Some over-emotional fans throw bottles at one
another, spitting and swearing all the way. Some throw paper onto the field.
There are even people who rush to the field to attack the referees. Sometimes a
stampede occurs, killing innocent victims.
Not all crowds are unruly. There are crowds that are pleasant and orderly.
For example, those at the Immigration Department or those taking part in a
procession are very well-behaved. I once went to the Damansara Immigration
Department to renew my passport. The crowd was orderly. Everyone waited
patiently, reading or talking quietly to their friends while waiting for their
numbers to be called. It was truly a very pleasant experience.
Nevertheless, I shy away from crowds whether they are ruly and unruly. Being
in a crowd makes me uneasy, uncomfortable, not to mention the odious smells and
the foul, stale air. Therefore, you will never find me at a crowded place unless
I have no choice.