M'sian City Life #6: I Took The LRT Alone For The First Time And I Cried By The End Of It

"I started tearing up, but I thought to myself that I should be thinking straight, so the tears stopped."

Cover image via Kiew Ting Yi

Do you know what it feels like to take the LRT or public bus for the first time in KL?

For secondary school student Kiew Ting Yi, it was an eye-opening experience. She had never taken the train unaccompanied before, until one day, she decided to take the LRT to attend an all-school event a few weeks ago.

Image via Kiew Ting Yi

"My parents were being protective, so I never knew things like taking the train alone without any guidance or help," she said.

"One day, I needed to head to an all-school event, and since there were no representatives from my school, I decided to take some risk and learn the ways to take the public transport alone."

"I've used the public transportation before, but never once on my own. Since I knew, sooner or later I would have to take it alone anyways, I decided to kill two birds with one stone," Ting Yi said.

The 17-year-old was off to a good start as she managed to get a free ride to the LRT station nearest to her school, as she had planned to walk there initially

"Right after school I headed out the back way to the Maluri LRT station and I was already trying not to be covered with sweat," Ting Yi said.

"I noticed a black car stopping in front of me and turns out, it was my friend's mom! She offered me a ride to the LRT station and boy have I never felt so thankful."

Ting Yi was queuing up at the Maluri LRT station to buy a token when she realised that she needed some small change as the machine would not accept bigger notes. Right when she was starting to panic, a stranger came to her rescue by offering her two RM1 notes.

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

Image via Stock Clip

"I got anxious as there were people waiting for me in the queue, so I turned to them and wanted to ask if anyone has a small change."

"Just about then, this girl standing behind me offered her RM2 and when I asked her to exchange my bigger note for her smaller note she brushed it off and said that it was okay."

"Never have I felt so blessed. Even when we were strangers, she offered help."

Everything went on smoothly until she had to head back to Maluri to attend a badminton training that she had been looking forward to.

"I did what I needed to do and I bought another token to head back to Maluri, and this was when it all started to crumble."

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

Image via Sinar Harian

There was a train that was arriving when she reached the LRT platform, and seeing so many people rushing to catch the train, Ting Yi followed suit without realising that it was heading towards a different direction.

She was supposed to get on the Ampang line train but she hopped onto a Sri Petaling line train instead.

"I thought everything was going on well but the train went to Cheras instead of Miharja."

Ting Yi got so caught up with the whole situation that once she reached the Cheras station, she quickly exited the station without a second thought. So she had to spend money to buy another token to get back to Maluri.

"I had to spend another RM 1.50 because of my silly action."

Not wanting to miss her training, Ting Yi headed back to the Chan Sow Lin station knowing that she could easily interchange trains there. However, in a rush, she ended up boarding the train that was heading to Sri Petaling, for the second time!

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

Image via TripAdvisor

"When I arrived at Chan Sow Lin station, another train arrived as well. I did not read the sign properly again, as I was racing against time. So I found myself to be in the Sri Petaling line once again."

"I let out a sigh of frustration, I reached Cheras for the second time but this time, I didn't need to buy a new token."

"When I reached the Chan Sow Lin station again, I made sure I read all the notices properly this time, and waited patiently. I started tearing up, but I thought to myself that I should be thinking straight, so the tears stopped."

Despite injuring her toe, Ting Yi carried on because she had to reach her school on time

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

Image via Business Insider

"I was wearing leather shoes while running and walking too quickly, so I sort of injured myself. Although I could feel that my toe was injured, I pushed myself to go on."

"Once I got to the school, I met my friend and I don't know why, I just cried. She hugged and comforted me, and I eventually stopped crying to tell her what really happened."

Photo used for illustration purposes only.

Image via Tom Maddick / Rossparry

At the end of that day, Ting Yi was completely overwhelmed but she knew that the experience taught her something

Ting Yi at her school's prefect farewell party.

Image via Kiew Ting Yi

"I felt so overwhelmed, having so many feelings rushing in and out of me. I was just so relieved and yet so frustrated, proud and stunned."

"I would really like to do this more often, because what's the point of studying so hard when you don't even know the basic emergency necessities such as taking the public train, bus or taxi? It truly opened my eyes, and I shall never forget it in my life."

"I hope that many Malaysian parents would learn to let their children take public transportation. It was an amazing experience no doubt!"

Living in the city ain’t a piece of cake but it could also be exciting and adventurous. How are you coping? How are you making the best out of things? Do you have a story or experience to share?

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Stay tuned for the next episode!

Previously on M'sian City Life #5, Nicky Lim shared about his encounter with a prostitute and how it transformed his life:

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