Consumer Fair 10, Lacking A Simple System

I tried going to the Consumer Fair 10 on Saturday night at Bridex. Got there past 8pm thinking that getting on the advertised ‘free shuttle bus’ would cut time short just like what I experienced at RIPAS hospital. I had JuLeZz and Alya with me hoping to catch Mardi’s performance with his Relentless crew. When I finally parked, I wasn’t hoping to find a long queue getting to the shuttle bus seeing the ample amount of buses stopping there. There were about 4 huge buses altogether and none of them were moving. Most of the buses were filled and a huge crowd was still waiting.

The buses eventually left, leaving behind an incredible amount of people, apparently queuing. But there were no signs, no distinct lines to indicate the front of the “queue”. Those who just arrived just crowded along and joined in, standing waiting for a bus.

Almost 10 minutes after, a smaller bus came and stopped next to the crowd. Even before the people on it got off, the crowd outside were already moving towards the door of the bus, blocking people from smoothly leaving it. The three of us decided not to get on this small bus. A family of 4, who did decide to get on, managed to get 3 of them in leaving the daughter outside the door because the bus driver decided to close the door when she was about to get on. No one was there to stop people from getting on the bus, no security, no personel, no committee member.

When another bus soon came after, it stopped on another side of the parking area than the place where we were waiting. Seeing this, a huge part of the waiting crowd ran towards this bus that was just arriving, again, blocking the exit. It was every man for himself.

9pm, we decided to get out of there and go home. It was not worth it.

The public rushing towards buses which arrived at the same time.

 

The next day, we decided to try again hoping it wouldn’t be as bad. We planned to go there early to avoid a huge crowd but somehow, everybody else beat us to it. Arriving at Jerudong, there was already a long traffic. The parking area behind the old Pusing Lagi ride was already filled. Cars parked next to the main road, along dividers and even coned areas where buses were supposed to turn. Security personnels were just there to move traffic – and that was it.

Before we went there though, I thought I’d go around to BridEX and have a look if it was possible to park there. One area of BridEX was blocked, a sign said “Wedding Guests Only”. Driving towards the road leading to the Consumer Fair, a sign said “Public Use The Shuttle Bus”. How nice. No option at all for us “public”.

Eventually, we parked our car. I had to carry Alya using a carrier, seeing how ridiculous it would be to bring along a stroller onto the shuttle bus. Plus, that was the only way anyway since that sign was put up telling the public to use the shuttle bus to get to the Consumer Fair. It’s not like anybody had a choice if you weren’t a consumer fair vip or participant.

This time around, it was a different case. The weather was extremely hot. There were a lot of children with parents who were waiting for a bus. It wasn’t that the waiting time for a bus at that time was long, though it wasn’t short either, but the heat got to everyone. A huge crowd started to form under the two tents provided as a waiting area. Of course, nobody wanted to wait under the hot sun.

When a bus finally arrived, everyone ran towards it just like the night before. We thought getting there first meant that we were at the front of the queue but nobody cared and no one was there to help us care. Did they even care that I was carrying a baby? Did they care that there were children next to them? If they did, they did not show as people pushed their way to get to the door of the bus. When our bus moved, another bus arrived and when this happened, you can see a wave of people rushing towards.

Of course, you can’t blame the crowd. Who would want to wait in the heat that long?

When we arrived at Bridex, we could see another big crowd waiting under one of the two provided tents for people to wait under. I thought, that’s good, at least the other side is used for those who are getting off the bus. Getting off the bus, we made our way to the buildings but of course, we had to walk under the sun first. On our way there, I saw parents with children no older than 6 years old. I also saw a mother carry a small baby who has not even reached 1 year, all of them moving towards the shuttle bus waiting area.

The Consumer Fair this time around is bigger than I remembered. My last one was at ICC and it felt like as if it was well organized. There were even quality to those who rented the booths. This time though, yes it is bigger, but most booths seem to be selling items from the booths you usually get from The Mall or the Airport Mall. I don’t get what was so special about going there? One of my friends even told me that one of the retailers were selling close to expired items. What happened to their quality control?

I did however enjoy my time spent walking around, buying drinks, environmental friendly bags, getting scones, especially a Sunday with JuLeZz and Alya – which was all that I was looking for. We also finally got to watch our dearest friends from Relentless Entertainment perform (meant to since Friday!).

But, as fun as it was to spend time there, we obviously couldn’t stay there. Dreading the time, we soon had to make our way to the crowd waiting for the shuttle bus again. It was 2.30pm and the heat was unbearable. We made our way through the hot sun towards the shaded waiting area. Both tents were filled. Did I praise earlier how good it was that one tent was prepared for those leaving the bus? Well, forget that.

On our way to the tents, a huge sign said to make way for the elderly and children. Arriving at the packed waiting area, I saw a grandmother sitting down on the pavement, waiting for a bus. Children were everywhere, to our left, right and front. Parents were carrying their children who were complaining about the heat. A baby was with her mother standing not far from us. And the heat was not decreasing. The sun was glaring at the open spaced carpark. No bus could be seen.

We’ve been waiting there for over 15 minutes. JuLeZz’s ice cream melted not long after we arrived at the waiting area, hoping to help cool her down. I got an extremely cold can of drink from a vending machine which was reduced to almost warm in such a short period of time. Still, no bus was in sight.


A video showing the scene from when we were waiting for the buses to leave BridEX.

We were angry. People were angry. Everyone was complaining. No one wanted to be there. At that point, I could only imagine the stampede of people running towards a bus when it arrives. Not surprisingly, that almost happened when one eventually arrived soon after.

When the bus stopped in front of the waiting area, I could see how packed it was with people. It wasn’t like the bus we were on earlier. This bus was packed to the fullest beyond what was allowed of its limit. People weren’t just sitting down, they were standing up from back to the door! And this wasn’t the only bus that did do. No more than 1 minute after the first one arrived, a second bus came. Then a third. A fourth soon followed. Soon, it looked like as if all the buses assigned to shuttle the public in and out of BridEX were there at the same time. All dangerously packed.

And of course, the moment the first bus arrived, the crowd under the tent pushed and shoved their way towards the door. The next one came and more rushed towards that one, and the next, and the next. I could see people who were just exiting the BridEX hall running towards the buses, not even going to the waiting area first to queue. This of course triggered more people to run towards the other buses. No one waited for the buses to stop in front of the waiting area. Nobody cared. No one looked around for elderlies or other children. All they cared was themselves and the people with them. Why weren’t there people for crowd control?

Not wanting to be trampled over, we waited. I could see the grandmother still sitting on the pavement with her family. What happened to the children and the mother with the baby? Did they just rush through and joined the crowd?

I texted Mardi if he drove in since he performed at the event. He was nice enough to help send us to our car but not long after that, another bus arrived while the others were still waiting for more people to get on. The three of us made our way towards this arriving bus instead seeing as there was no one rushing towards it. Waiting in front of the door with a small number of people, the crowd from the other bus saw our area and made their way towards us. JuLeZz had Alya with her and seeing the number grew, I held her tight. When the bus finally emptied, the new crowd, who weren’t even there in the first place pushed themselves first into the bus, not even caring that a group of us were there first. Having had enough, JuLeZz who was in front of me shouted at them.

When we arrived at the parking area behind the old pusing lagi, the bus didn’t even bother driving towards the waiting area. It stopped next to the road and dropped everyone there. When this happened, you can see again a wave of people running towards us from the waiting area. Why was this happening? Why did the buses arrive at the same time? Why did they drop off everyone far away from the waiting areas on both places?

Finally, exhausted and furious, we got to our car. The only thing that kept both of us sane was Alya, who amazingly was cheerful and playful with us. She was the only reason why our moods changed to calm ourselves down.

The heat was unbearable which lead to everyone acting like animals. But you can’t blame the weather nor can you blame the public. Would it kill them to hire a few people to stand by and control the crowd? Still, you can’t also blame it entirely on the organizers. BridEX is a huge place with lots of parking areas. Do they really have to rent the other hall for a wedding event to take place at the same time? The parking area could have been another option for the public. Anyone in cara melayu or baju kurung could have arrived there and say that they are there for the wedding.

A lot of things could have been avoided for a much more pleasant experience. It’s such a shame that the simplest things couldn’t be prepared. You would think that after 10 cycles, always touting the amount of people coming to their event, the organizers of the consumer fair would learn a thing or two.

On a much lighter note, the following video is of Relentless Entertainment’s performance.

2 Responses to Consumer Fair 10, Lacking A Simple System
  1. [...] I arrived a bit late thanks to the event I’ve mentioned in a previous post. According to their Fac... shutterspeech.net/blog/2012/07/03/bread-bookswap-at-fun-bee-park
  2. [...] Read More Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. consumer fairconsumer fair ... bruneicare.wordpress.com/2012/09/01/consumer-fair-10-lacking-a-simple-system

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