I have a very close affinity with public buses.
Some of you may have read the story of me when I was a toddler. I would cry everyday when my mum comes back home from work, and will only stop crying after she take me for a joy ride on a feeder bus, to the then Jurong Interchange and back.
I memorised the bus guide when I was young, and friends and relatives will call me by phone whenever they need to know which bus goes from point A to point B. I will collect all the editions of the bus guides, and everytime I get a new copy, I will start studying the new bus routes for the next few days. I will try to rationalise why certain new bus routes were created. And also wonder why certain duplicate bus routes were created.
Being a bus driver was my first childhood ambition. Driving a bus was so cool - its machiam like driving a Harvey Davidson in my eyes. It is an expression of living freely, away from the glares of the bosses. How naive I was, isn't it? =p
I will skip tuition classes and take joy rides when I was in primary school. My mum only realised that I skipped truant after she went to the tuition centre to fetch me, only to her horror the tuition teacher informed her that her son has not went to tuition for a few months liao. =p After verbal scoldings and maybe caning (can't really remember), I went back to tuition in case she will spot check again. A few weeks later, I was back to my old ways - travelling around Singapore, feeling the wind on my hair, on an unairconditioned bus.
Shingo T - 1
Mama - 0
I win! =p
Freedom - love it or lose it. It was my dream to visit all bus interchanges in Singapore. And visit ulu locations. Imagine a primary school kid, taking a bus around the Jurong Industrial Park alone. In most cases, the bus driver was worried about where I was going – what the POOK is a nerdy primary school kid taking a bus to Tuas, with all the refineries, shipyards and factories? And had to ask me where I was going. I had to reassure them that I took the bus on purpose, and was just enjoying the scenery.
Weird kid, isn’t it?
Then there’s the time when I took the bus on the wrong direction. Yes, memorise bus guide doesn’t make you a God. And I was out of money, with 30 mins before I was supposed to be “done with my tuition class”. An old lady who lives in Bedok saved me by giving me all her shillings – which can easily add up to $5, which is A LOT in those days. I will forever be grateful to her, though I know not where and who she really is.
God bless you, kind lady!
It appears that I have to be involved with every aspect of buses! I collect bus tickets as well. I have bags and bags of bus tickets – to the disgust of my mum, because most of the tickets were picked up on the floor (some with footprints) or stuck at the bus seats. Picking up rubbish, that’s how my mum terms it. But I had no choice, I couldn’t be taking all those buses just to have my bus tickets.
I can be quite analytical, like when I can be taking bus 240 and then seeing bus tickets of bus 105 and 78 on the bus. I will infer that the bus must have been a bus from Serangoon to Jurong East (bus 105), and then later become a bus from Jurong East to Clementi (bus 78) and then somehow become a bus from Jurong Interchange to Boon Lay Place (bus 240) because Jurong Interchange was not too far from Jurong Interchange.
Life’s pretty much an adventure for me, as a kid. The innocence of a kid, fascinated with every trivial things in life that many would have taken for granted.
Such are the wonders of having a memorable childhood. It’s a cushion for the future, something you can always remember and break into a silent smile, even when things are not doing well in some point of your life.
When I grow old and retire someday, I will go cruise around the
About the Author: Shingo T should buy a bus someday.