Lost in the concrete jungle / Ants Kingdom (Singapore in 3 days) : day 2

Noer took me with her to the train back in the city, right after the breakfast. We walked a bit, in an easy pace that allowed us to chat in easy pace. The trip by train took sometimes to where i wanted to go, somehow we both were drown to our own silence, among the crowd in the train. Noer apologized her self saying she tends to be like she was stoned in the train, i didnt mind her as i did the same. Till we departed.

I went back to the hotel to supposedly meet my friends, just to see what they are up to, and i supposed to meet other friend that came late to go for pictures hunting. But, as i have somehow expected, no one was there, and no trace were left for me. So i went on solo. Took a little stroll around the neighborhood called Little India. India is rich with colors, thats what i love the most. The Saries they display on the shops, the flowers thingy, their sweets look intriguing, their head shake when they talk always make me smile.

I saw this 2 levels bus, with no roof, the day before, and i wanted to hop in that. So as i have decided to do some bus hopping for the day, having so frustrated with tunnels and rushing people and escalators, bus sounded more compromising. I stopped at the bus stop and tried to read some clues, which number goes where, tho i have no clue what i can expect to see even if they have road names. See! my other bad habit is that, i hardly do any research, i just go and see whatever happen, didnt try to build any expectation.  But then…that bus showed up right before i even figured out the numbers on the board, so with no 2nd thought i just hopped in, showed my mrt/bus card and asked to the driver whether i can use it (having told i can use the card for the buses too, but it is for city bus). And the bus is not city bus, it is a tour bus that i have to pay cash 33,3 SGD. I checked my wallet and took out everything that looks foreign in there and i came out with 34SGD. I gave it to the driver, with no other thoughts whatsoever. The driver said he’ll give me the ticket later, and pointed me to get an earphone and a brochure. I did what i was told and went straight to the 2nd level, with no roof. By the time i sat down, i realized what i just did, i just gave all the money i had that supposedly for my last 2 days in this city. I think that random really means “you just do”. As soon as the bus started moving and i saw my surrounding all worries were simply disappear, i sat down relax, feeling so self contented. Absorbing the view, breath in the air, peace and joy.

The distorted Singapore that i experienced the day before gradually came back in align as the bus moving circling the city, making stops for other tourist to hop in or out. Amazed by the different sight appeared at every turn the bus made. From one building to another, from one neat road line to another, some incredible malls, one even seems to be underground you can see from a fountain on a roundabout. I had my camera on my lap, but somehow i felt like i just want to sit and enjoy whatever there was, and…..absorb. The weather was cool, it rained a bit, just cooling the heat a bit, then the blue sky came back even brighter. The bus stopped at a place called Suntech Park ( i guess, stated before i am awful with places name), i supposed to hop on to another bus, but once i heard the announcement saying that i can carry on, so i did carry on. Went the city tour for one more around, and made few quick stops at few places i saw before.

After the 2nd round, everyone should hop off and change another bus, i didnt know the route, i should have read the brochure. I didnt, but i just followed white middle aged tourist hopped in another bus, thought just took another round, i knew i could do this the whole day and make more stops. But, in fact, the  2nd bus i took was taking us to a different route. And this time we went on more like the sideway of Singapore, to more fancy and neat neighborhood, I remember the name of that area is Naseem Boulevard, it did impress that much that i remember. Some fancy classic design houses are in that area. Then we passed another road called Orchad, i remember this name, coz my friends, who have been in Singapore few times, keep mentioning this road. It is a long road with a huge mall, and big crowd of people queuing on the traffic lights wants to cross the street, with fancy brands displaying on the mall walls, some interesting artwork along the way, blue and white diamond lights hanging on the trees along the road, it should be nice at night. But the general idea of this place didnt quite tempt me to come back, especially that crowd of people. The bus then took us going thru the city but from opposite direction, change perspectives, and i saw more buildings that i didnt see before. I suppose i have seen Singapore overall.

After probably 4 hours ride, i decided to stop and hopped off at Little India, where i started the trip. My headache started to came back lightly. I checked my wallet and found one piece of 2SGD and collected the coins, i got 3 SGD in total, then…walked passing the shops, i just made a sudden stop at a shop selling Indian sweets. I suddenly remembered  Ladoo, an Indian sweet mentioned in “Water” indian movie, an old widow craving for it and got it before she died. So i bought some sweets; a Ladoo and two others i dunno, i just pointed my finger, for lunch, i should be able to survive till my friend picked me later in the evening. And the sweets were….strange taste but surprisingly nice…it was indeed intriguing.

I took a nap, or tried to take a nap while waiting for an old good friend to pick me up to crash at his place for the night, in Johor Baru – Malaysia. I was imagining that we will cross the land border like from America to Mexico. Another adventure expected to happen. Contacted one of my friends, and he told me that they were at Orchad. Somehow i felt relief i didnt join them, else i might turned out to be a disturbing biacth thinking back the human crowd i saw before when passing that road.

I was so excited to see Buci picked me up at the hotel with his white old big van called Jumbo. I told him my exciting day including the fact that i didnt have any more SGD left to pass the night, but he took me to an interesting area, that i also saw before during the bus tour and i liked what i saw, called Malaysian Heritage; Arabic road. Nice restaurant with mostly middle east design line up the road. It was a bit tough to find a parking space but we did it anyway. Buci took me to this restaurant ( i think i know how to get there, but again, not the name) he said he ate before ages ago, and the meat impressed him. Found our selves seats, ordered the big package that consist probably all meat in there (beef, chicken and lamb/goat, basically HALAL), asked for bread rather than rice. And cold tab water…it felt heaven to drink fresh water. It was indeed superb meat. They are Bbq, but the sauce is just deliciouuuss. We ate, and chat, and more chat, arguing on how long ago we did first meet in Bali. We, then took a light stroll to the mosque that was nearby, an old one, i forgot the year.

Buci, did mention about having trouble with Jumbo’s battery before, and it happened, that we had to find another car to help up charge Jumbo back to life. It was pretty easy, good thing living in Asia, i believe, people are so helpful. I knocked on the window of a car that was about to leave the parking lot, and he was willingly helping us. And Jumbo back to life and we were heading to JB, Malaysia.

Seeing Singapore or the center of Singapore from sideway is amazing, those blocks where people live in mostly, those concretes, and hearing about how high the living cost, how high the taxes, makes Indonesia is a way nicer place to survive. Buci kept saying that Singapore is not a country, its a company. And the citizens are the clients. Remembering back the rushing crowd thru those tunnels catching the trains, and remembering some scene i saw in a movie, remembering the tour i took today, where in every turn there came out another different building, i couldnt think of anything else than ants in their kingdom. Perhaps…Jakarta is like that, i havent visited that city for ages. But Singapore is indeed more neat, and i felt so secure and safe when i walked alone there.  And reminiscing those lights in the speeding van driven by a good old friend did make my evening. I had such a fulfilled day.

After crossing some big road, not quite a free way, we stopped at the border, and Buci dropped me there to check in the immigration. I did my protest saying that i thought it will be like America-Mexico borders that i will get my stamps in the car, with army and guns guarding the post. But nevertheless, i followed the crowd that were dropped by the buses to check in the immigration. That was easy, after double immigration post, we were finally in Malaysia.


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