(Now I'm back for some serious crapping)
Went to Chinatown for Chinese New Year countdown last Saturday, and understand how stampede can occur.
We were walking along Pagoda Street which is a narrow street lined with stalls on both sides. Stalls plus crowd made perfect bottle neck, and so it was. Following the flow already took some effort, then along came this group of mainlander Chinese who sort of sticked themselves up in one big lump and came rolling down the street. Imagine swallowing one big piece of meat and feeling the food forcing its way down your throat and oesophagus... Taking refuge in the stall didn't help, and a lot of others almost lost balance. Some people did tell them things like "don't push" or "cannot like that". No effect.
Then closer to the main stage where the performance and firecrackers were at, things were worse. Most people were waiting for the firecrackers and fireworks while some were like molecules at their excited states, heading nowhere in particular or just bumping into others. (talking about zig zag motion huh?) The worst was that they forced their way through those who were waiting for the countdown. Why couldn't they just join in the countdown? If you lost your balance, that's it for your precious flesh and skin (and maybe brain juice) Oh well, most of the uncivilised were the mainlander Chinese. (mark this: it's very different from saying most of the mainlanders were uncivilised. Think.) One of the earliest civilisations that has existed on earth and yet one of the least civilised to date. Older but not wiser huh? How I wish I could have a rugby team, a phalanx of Greek hoplites or a wall of riot police.
Talking about the polce, hmm what were they doing? Zer0 crowd control. Didn't even demarcate lanes for human traffic nor zones for audience. Didn't even direct congestion. Busy catching drink-drivers huh? It's not the first time such events were held, didn't they learn something from previous years? In terms of event management, Singapore Armed Forces does a far better job. How do I know? 'Cos my unit holds big event almost every 3 months.
The next thing that disappointed me was the press. Not a single bit of the chaos was mentioned in the newspaper, only talked about the firecrackers and the politicians and just any crap that a bipedal creature can think of. Minus the bad things. When can the press really take a neutral stand on things? Yeah reporting ONLY the good stuffs makes a happy society, no wonder some radio station says "hear only the good stuffs" Wow. No wonder in some countries blogs are replacing newspaper as the news media. Well we can't say the local papers are not reporting the truths, just that they omitted it. It is like when you tell people you have eaten a plate of chicken rice, you won't tell people you drank the soup as well.
Lots of grumbling. "Hey, what a way to start a year ahead. Heya!"