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7 Malaysian Characters You’ll See on Every LRT

There are the 'Smartphone Zombies', the 'Sleeping Beauties' and more!

7 Malaysian Characters You’ll See on Every LRT
Image: Winona Rajamohan
With the new LRT line extensions being opened this year, getting around with public transport has gotten a whole lot more convenient. Hand in hand with this, we’ve seen an influx of passengers hopping onboard. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the Ampang, Sri Petaling or Kelana Jaya line; you’ll see one of these typical passengers on the train regardless. In fact, let’s see how many of them you identify with. Here are the seven types of Malaysian passengers you’ll see on every LRT...

1. The Smartphone Zombie (No, this train is not headed to Busan) 

Image: Winona Rajamohan
Let's start things off with the most common type of passenger – the ones who have their eyes staring down at their phones throughout the whole ride. It’s no secret how much we, Malaysians, love being on our phones, and the LRT is the perfect place to see Malaysians who aren't kaypoh about anything. AT ALL. They’re so fixated on their phones, they wouldn’t even notice a zombie apocalypse happening. A train full of expressionless faces glued onto their little screens, doing nothing at all with it besides staring and scrolling. Did he just read something funny on Twitter? You’ll never know. Did she just see a picture of a really hot guy on Facebook? You’ll never know. Did he just catch another Rattata? Okay, you’ll probably be able to tell if that happens. 

2. The Sleeping Beauty

Image: Winona Rajamohan
Bangun pagi, gosok gigi... and go back to sleep – is that how the song goes? We, Malaysians, love our sleep. Mouth hanging open, head bobbing from side to side; you can be sure to see us sleeping just about anywhere. You’ll see our many sleeping beauties make an appearance regardless of the time – whether you’re on your morning, afternoon or night commutes. Semua pun ada! If you’re particularly lucky, you might land a seat next to one and do the deed of becoming a good headrest! And since we love our free stuff, let’s throw in a bag of free snores, shall we?

3. The Pasar Malam Enthusiasts 

No, we don’t mean that the train is becoming a place for you to buy and sell your vegetables. But some people speak so loud you wonder if they think the LRT is a moving pasar malam. The LRT is usually pretty quiet, but there’ll always be those two noisy friends, that one group of loud kids or the most dangerous of all, the chatty aunties and uncles who you would never dare go up against. One attempt to shush them and you’re going to end up having your whole life story becoming the topic of discussion.

4. The No-Chills

Image: Winona Rajamohan
Of course, with every long queue in Malaysia comes those impatient Malaysians waiting for their chance to ‘cut the line’. In between the two rows of people at either side of the train door, along comes someone who decides to create their own line right in front of everyone else, completely oblivious to glances being thrown at them. And when the train arrives and the door opens? They rush right in without even waiting for the people onboard to get off! 

5. The Panel... Of Judges

Image: Winona Rajamohan
These are the people who give you 'that look' the entire time you’re on the train. That judging look. You can’t tell if they know you or not. You can’t tell if they don’t like you or not. Do you have something caught between your teeth? Something on your face? The only time you can quickly whip out your phone to check is when they choose to blink. For some odd reason, Malaysians have this habit of observing people and situations very intently. So intently sometimes, it’s worth being stuck in a two-hour jam.

6. The Music Junkies

Image: Winona Rajamohan
Headphones in, world out. Many people on the LRT would have their headphones plugged in, but a music junkie in particular is always easy to spot. He or she would usually be moving their head along to the beat, occasionally mouthing the lyrics of the tune they’re listening to. Fun tip! If you’re ever bored on the train, you could always try to guess what they’re listening to! Kidding, please don’t stare at strangers and try to read their lips.

7. The ‘Deep In Thought’

Image: Winona Rajamohan
Here’s to ending the list with another common character that we usually see on the train. We’ve all probably been this type of passenger at least once. These are the people who look at train rides as a sort of escape, using the time to do some good thinking. Feels relaxing getting around without having to stress about being stuck in our signature 24/7 terrible traffic, are we right?

Now, let’s be honest here. You’re lying if you’ve never come across at least one of these. How about this – which ones are you?