Beep beep beep.
Your alarm sounds exactly at 6.00am. You switch that evil thing off and force yourself to get up immediately because you cannot afford to be late in a country where being on time means getting there 10 minutes early. You turn on some music to pace yourself in the morning. 1 song lasts about 3 minutes – so it should give you a gauge as to how much time has passed while going about your usual morning routine.
Wash up. Shower. Get dressed. Head down to the cafeteria and have your breakfast. Make small talk with the other people living in the dormitory. 7.30am, head out. Wait for the 7.41am train at the same platform you wait at everyday.
When the train arrives, it’s a strange thing to say this, but from here on, you actually know who you’ll see and what to expect on your way to work.
There’s the middle school student who speaks to his imaginary friend on the train. On your left, there are two students studying English. And the sloppily dressed high school delinquent with his bags placed all over the floor standing at the train door. Sometimes, he pretends to care about his English homework but all he does is scribble nonsensical answers, then folds his homework and shoves it into his pocket. At the next station, there will be two old men who rush into the middle of the train, rudely pushing everyone out of the way. From time to time, you get to see that beautiful elegantly dressed lady board the train and all the men sneaking glances at the pretty little thing. She pretends not to notice, often seeking shelter by looking at her cell phone or to the ground. As you exit, you’ll see the same pretty guy waiting at the door.
When you arrive at the lobby, you greet everyone you pass by. Even the security guard greets you on your way in. You feel like your presence is acknowledged, but you also acknowledge the fact that salutations here are an obligation and they probably don’t really care if you had a good morning or not. Still, it feels pretty good.
You enter the lift, and you recognise the people taking the same lift with you. You see them every morning, to the point where you can enter the lift and without speaking a word, they’d press the lift button to the floor you’d always go to.
Everyday, on repeat.