18 April 2013


Singapore is no place to live if you suffer from demophobia or ochlophobia. The former is a fear of crowds and the latter is an abnormal fear of crowds. I am an unsure of the difference between the two phobias. 

I am no psychologist.

I took this photograph this morning on my way to work:

The view is from the top of the escalator from the Raffles MR.T station and the picture was taken at 8.00am this morning. It was not yet peak hour.

Large crowds of commuters happen in most big cities around the world but Singapore is very densely populated. It is currently the third most populated country in the world. Population density is determined by the number of residents comparative to the land space available for residence. 

Only Macau and Monaco are more densely populated than Singapore.

Enochlophobia is the fear of being crushed and Singapore is also no place for people afflicted with this condition.

You will note the lack of smiling faces in this crowd. Geliophobia is the fear of smiling. I think that this is a fairly common condition here in Singapore.

I am not making any of these phobias up. They are real. The world is full of fears that are both rational and irrational. 

It is a scary place.

The origin of the word 'phobia' is Greek and it is derived from the term 'phobus' - which means an irrational fear or aversion. It is associated with panic and flight. Being scared is different to having a phobia. Rationality is the differential. 

A phobia is an irrational fear.

I have quite a few fears and I think that most be people do. There are things that I don't like and these include clowns, spiders, snakes and the thought of being buried alive. When I was little I remember being terrified of the thought of dying. Now that I am an adult I don't like the idea that I will die but I accept this as just the way things are. I haven't reverted to a religious conviction though to deal with this thought, I simply accept it as just being an inevitability.

I remember being really scared when I was little that my Dad was going to die when he was in the army and he was doing tours of duty in Vietnam. I don't think that was irrational though. It was a reality and I was just a little boy and I didn't want my Dad to die. 

I still don't.

The irrational fear of clowns is called coulrophobia. I don't believe that I suffer from this condition. I just don't like them. The irrational fear of spiders is called arachnophobia and for snakes it is ophidiophobia. The fear of being buried alive is taphophobia. I have checked to see if there is actually a fear of fear but alas there is not.

My most current fear is of a large and angry Danish guy whose name is Jens. This is pronounced "Yens" and he is a neighbor of mine. This fear is quite rational. Yesterday I suggested to the management of my apartment complex that he may be responsible for pooing in the swimming pool. I doubt that he is in fact the culprit but in a moment of madness I suggested to the building manager Mr. Tan that he could well be responsible for the floater that was discovered in the pool. 

With the benefit of hindsight this was probably a most unwise and inappropriate accusation.

Mr. Tan tonight informed me that Jens was asked directly by himself if he did poo in the pool and his response was one of furious denial. Mr. Tan told me that he did not name me as the accuser but I have a suspicion that one of the security guards may have told Jens that it was me.

The security guys have not forgiven me for the forbidden fruits incident that occurred over the Chinese New Year period and they gave me a funny smirky look when I arrived home this evening. Jens is an enormous and somewhat frightening Scandinavian who has already expressed his dislike to me of all things Australian. 

He resembles a deranged Viking.

If he does think that I suggested he was the pooer-in-the-pool he may well come after me seeking violent vengeance and retribution. 

I am fearful of this.

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