Jamaica Jamaican in China

The Singapore Seating Puzzle

Now, you know I’m not one to cause trouble, but I need a little help with something I saw while I was Jamaican in Singapore.

As an enlightened, ever-advancing global society, we’ve all agreed that there are people with severe disadvantages and life situations who require our sympathy, and pity, and furthermore, as a public show of our condescending attitude towards such individuals, we offer them a tiny seat on a bus or congested subway system so they can at least be comfortable (and clearly identifiable with a big arrow pointing towards them) while they wallow in their obvious, understandable and pitiable misery at being different from the rest of us normal people. I support this.

So, with that said, this is a reserved seating sign on a train in Singapore.

Singapore seating puzzle
Reserved seating sign on Singapore MRT

You with me? So far so good.

Now, here is the same sign upon closer examination.
Singapore seating puzzle
Reserved seating sign on Singapore MRT; the plot thickens

Additionally, as the afore-mentioned advanced society, rather than waste valuable ink using words and sentences to describe the types of people we want to put in the “look at me I’m different, debilitated, or otherwise dependent or desirous of special consideration” seating, we use graphic  icons.

These icons are cleverly designed to be universally self-explanatory–given our increasingly global, multi-lingual and culturally diverse society–and I’m proud to say, being the intelligent and sophisticated world traveler I am, I’ve been able to figure out most of them. They’re rather easy, really.

Singapore seating puzzle
Please give your seat to men with
argyle socks, carrying dinner trays
(Don’t YOU prefer to sit if you have to eat on the subway?)

Singapore seating puzzle
Please give your seat to men with
ill-fitting dresses, or women who are obviously
hiding stolen items beneath their skirts.
(presumably so the Singapore police can
easily locate and deal with both these types of social deviants)
Note: I also support caning.

Singapore seating puzzle
Please give your seat to men
with ventriloquist dummies
on their laps, or to Mike Myers
and “mini me” should they happen to visit Singapore.
(we must make our artists and celebrities comfortable)

See? Like I said, fairly simple. However, here’s where I’m a little perplexed. I seem to be having a little trouble with the next icon, and this is where I need your help.

Singapore seating puzzle

Could you tell me what exactly is that, um, thing that appears to be originating, protruding and hanging out from this man’s crotch area that’s causing him to be noticeably pulled forward?

Like I said, I’m not one to cause trouble, but IF I’ve deciphered this icon correctly–being a Jamaican man, you understand–I’ve always considered such a condition to be rather advantageous rather than debilitating to tell you the truth….

However, had I known this before I left Singapore….

About the author

Walt F.J. Goodridge

"Once upon a time, there was a Jamaican civil engineer living in New York who hated his job, followed his passion, started a sideline business publishing his own books, made enough money to quit his job, escaped the rat race, ran off to a tropical island in the South Pacific, and started a tourism business so he could give tours of the island to pretty girls every day....and live a nomadpreneur's dream life."