Saturday, November 25, 2006

Transport woes

After our dinner, it was 9.15 pm. We walked to the bus-stop after Carrefour Supermarket to take bus number 36. We waited for 10 minutes before a bus came. It was packed. There were more than 10 people waiting for this bus, but only 4 could board.

Chris & I decided to wait for the next bus which came after 10 minutes, but it was also packed. Two people managed to force themselves up the bus. By this time, more than 20 people were waiting for bus number 36.

I told Chris to take a cab but he insisted on waiting for the bus. "The next one should be less crowded," he said.

The 3rd bus came after 15 minutes. This time, some angry commuters were very determined to board the bus. The bus driver tried to get the passengers on board moved further to the back of the bus. He tried to squeeze in more passengers as more people pushed themselves up the bus. It went on for more than 4 minutes. I should have taken a photo.

The bus was really packed. The people who have been waiting for half an hour for their bus were angry. The passengers on the bus was angry too. It was almost 10 o'clock and people were rushing home to their families. Nobody wanted to give way.

There was no way we could get up the bus. I dragged Chris away. I decided to take a cab at the opposite side of the road. We waited outside the Centennial Towers. There were many taxis waiting around, but all of them have a 'On call' sign. We waited for 15 minutes before walking to the taxi stand in front of Centennial Towers. There was a Caucasian guy in front of us. 5 minutes later, two Korean ladies with thier 5 kids queued behind us. We waited, and waited and waited. During the 20 minutes, 9 taxis came, but they ALL have 'on call' signs on them.

Chris was so mad. We decided to walk to the taxi stand at Millinuem. As we approached Conrad Hotel, a taxi had just dropped off a passenger. We finally got our cab. The road towards ECP was jammed, all the way from Temasek Boulevard. We had to take Nichol Highway.

We arrived home, at 11.15 pm. The kids were asleep.

For the past three weeks that I was helping out at the shop, I realised how bad our public transport system was. And how badly I had wronged Chris.

Our shop close at 6.30 pm daily. If we drive, it takes only 25 minutes. Chris reaches home every day past 8pm. It gets me into a rage sometimes because I would be waiting for him to drive me to the supermarket. If I wait for him to shower & have his dinner, it would leave me little time to shop for food & groceries. If Chris takes the MRT, he would come back 10 minutes earlier. Not much difference.

By taking the bus with him these few weeks, I discovered that it was impossible for him to board a bus before 7.30 pm, despite he having a choice of two different buses to take. We wait for half an hour for the bus, when it arrives, it's packed. You either pushed yourself up the bus or you wait for the next one. It would also be packed. And if you managed to get up the bus, you would have to stand all the way to Marine Parade before you get a seat.

There were a few times, Chris & I had to sit at Ya Kun Coffee stall, drinking tea for an hour before waiting for our bus at 8pm. Now we have decided to extend our opening hours so that Chris doesn't have to waste his time waiting for buses.

It would mean less time for the family, less time to rest, less scoldings, less meetings.

So, now you guys know why Chris cannot have a drink with you after work? I was keeping time on his journey home every night!


  1. I didn't think that transport was that hard these days. But i did remember that taxis were alot harder to get . .unless you booked them in advance.. especially during the holiday season. I prefer the MRT .. to be honest.. but it took an hour to get home.. if i took the MRT.

  2. I hate taking taxis. I try not to take one unless I'm pressed for time.
    Our MRT is getting too crowded for comfort. And the obnoxious smells.....yucks. I prefer staying at home.