Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The train! The train!

In Singapore, you're screwed if the trains break down.

Oh, how rude of me.... A big hello to the 78 people who read my last post.

Now, where was I? Yes, public transportation in Singapore. It is very expensive to own a car in tiny Singapore so public transportation is very important as most people depend on it. To be honest, I've gotten so used to the public transportation running so smoothly for years that the idea of it not running smoothly is beyond my imagination.

On 15th December when many train stations were shut down after a major screw-up, I started to get worried. On 16th December where 4 trains failed again, I got really nervous. See, I needed the trains to be working between 17th December to 24th December for me to get to VivoCity. Not only that, I needed 3 different train lines to work.

17th December was alright for me. I took a taxi. On 18th December, after spending 13 hours at VivoCity the previous night attending to a massive crowd, I forced myself out of bed and left for the train station to VivoCity.

This was what greeted me. The station was shuttered!!! Man, I was soooo pissed. Every bad word I had learnt from the time I was born came to my head.

I went to check the signage and saw that the trains were planned to run only from 10am. Usually it starts I dunno, 6am? But it was 10am. Then I saw that 10am was crossed out and replaced with 11am. Ah.

I was directed to take a shuttle bus to the nearest bus interchange. I walked to the bus stop and it was the most horrific sight. There were people everywhere. I immediately tried to call for a taxi. Haha. I guess everyone else was doing the same thing. I could not even get a tone. The call just got dropped. I silently hated Singtel. But I kept trying.

Eventually, I gave up and queued up for a shuttle bus. Everyone in the queue wasn't really sure if we were in the right queue. It was really annoying. Somehow I was swept along and got into a bus. When it reached a bus interchange (which had another massive crowd of people), I went to check the bus info and was delighted there was a direct bus to VivoCity. I confirmed with a few people just to be sure.

When my direct bus to VivoCity came, I told the driver my destination and if I was on the right bus. He said yes but I had to alight "outside" as he did not enter VivoCity. No problem. I sat down next to a woman and I immediately asked her if she was familiar with the route. I wanted to be sure I did not miss my stop. The woman became concerned when she learnt I was heading for VivoCity. She was very sure the bus would not stop at VivoCity as it was an express bus.

I don't know what kind of express bus it was, but it was very slow. After 30 minutes, the driver stopped at a bus-stop and yelled and gestured at me to alight. I got off the bus. It was raining heavily and I looked around to orientate myself. To my horror, I realised I was opposite IMM building which is in the west. I had travelled for 30 minutes from north-west to west and nowhere near VivoCity which is in the south. The rain started to pelt down heavily - like man-size fist kind of rain drops. I had no umbrella and I felt like bursting into tears. I started calling for a taxi when I saw a green light approaching. I waved at it and the taxi stopped! How rare is that?

The taxi was a limousine so it was very comfortable. The driver made the mistake of asking me if the trains were running and I poured out all my transportation problems to him. Everything from start to end in detail. The poor guy. I think he was just expecting a yes or no.


corinna said...

you should write a book, love to read your blog.. for me it was great fun to read.. but for you it must have been horrible... Corinna

Bethany said...

Uggggghhhh that sounds like something that would give me a massive migraine....

Chris H said...

I hope the taxi fare did not cost too much!

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