Monday, August 29, 2005

The Retro Bus Ride

Ever wanted to give the finger in anger? The bus stop outside my camp is right next to the construction site of a new condo... it's along Upper Bukit Timah Road. The place is called 'The Linear' The bloody construction site takes up all the space until it reaches the pavement.

Sometimes, the trucks, cement mixers and other heavy vehicles spill out onto the road and occupy the left most lane. (See the picture below) The bus stop doesn't have a bus bay and whoever wants to flag down a bus has to crane his next into the oncoming traffic.. fucking dangerous.

Uncle, be careful!...

Ever had the bus speed by you even after trying to flag it down? It's times like this I wanna stick out my finger and wave it in the wind (yes that finger). No offence to bus drivers huh.. some are really good... good customer service, very courteous. Then there are the F1 drivers.
All too suddenly, the bus I've been waiting for sped down the road, just appearing from behind truck parked infront of the uncle.

My brain reacts to bus service number,
triggers left arm to rise up. I wave it to stop.
Right hand on standby to give the finger
He didn't slow down...
I raised my right elbow and unfolded my middle finger.... (all this in slow-mo)
As it was 30% unfolded... the bus ground to a halt 10 meters infront of me.

I quickly retract my middle finger and keep it for another day.

That story aside, I boarded bus number 178 to get to Boon Lay last week and I was pleasantly surprised when I took a step into the past. It was one of those old buses from at least 10-12 years ago. They still ply the roads?

Cream coloured interior

Retrofitted with new seats and aircon, this rickety old faithful, just like my Dad's car was still running fine. However, I found the air-con trying to cope with the afternoon heat, perhaps they didn't patch up the leaks properly as this type of bus wasn't supposed to be air-con in the first place.

Who can forget the sliding doors?!

Taking a ride in it took me back to my secondary school days when I took the bus home. It used to be transit link cards and we would get printed tickets... for some reason I kept these tickers and until now, I have a stack of bus tickets. Now EZ-link cannot pay less.. ta-ma-de..

I guess most of the buses have been upgraded over the last ten years cos we have been paying more and more, Superbuses, Bendy buses etc. However there are a dying few, still going strong and refusing to retire (like Hulk Hogan), some w/o air-con... Hello service 74.. WTF are you guys doing?.. Maybe they are keeping a few bone shakers around so that there will be an excuse to raise the fare once again to totally phase out these steel beasts.... forever.

Still good enough to sleep in


At 4:21 AM, Blogger Thomas said...

The road that u described always have big lorries parked at the side of the road. Seldom do u not see them around. Then u can't help it but pray that the bus uncle will see u when they pass by...
If they don't then u're just having a sway day la. But dun think so deep la. Stay cheerful. You can always take the next bus. :)

At 3:46 AM, Blogger siyang said...

but u know la.. some of these bus drivers drive like sandra bullock on a bus laden with explosives.. knn dunno trying to chase what.. knowing that there is a bus stop approaching, they should, in any case... slow down

At 5:00 AM, Blogger Thomas said...

Dun forget that most of the time the bus stop is not being used by anyone cos its out of everyone's way. Only when it comes to knocking off time where some ppl go and take bus from that bus stop. Although I agree that the bus uncles should try to slow down when approaching the bus stop, I believe that the bus uncles are also tired after driving for so long so sometimes cannot blame them when they want to speed a bit as they want to finish their trip sooner wat.
So relax sometimes u just have to take things lightly... try not to get angry with them k... :)


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