Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tampines Bus Interchange, 7 p.m.

This is a poem which I have posted very earlier on in my blog. I made some minor revisions and repost it. (yes, ran out of ideas again)

The photo is not a shot of the Tampines terminus. Probably taken in the early sixties in Singapore, at Outram Park. The present Tampines interchange is nothing like this. It's a busy, bustling place, with crowds, shopping malls and a train station.

For all those foreign friends who are wondering what is an "interchange", think of it as a converging point where all trunk route buses are terminated, and the passengers are dropped off to take connecting rides on "feeder" buses to their homes in the town. Sounds efficient, but to us communters it does cost more, haha.

Outram Park, 1960s
(image enhanced by dsnake1), author of photo unknown

Tampines Bus Interchange, 7 p.m.

Off the #10 bus
the driver thought
he was transporting
instead of passengers
the aircon was THAT cold

           of course my lenses fogged up
           like an atlantic mist
           as i walked into a wall
           of incessant chatter
           pneumatic drills yammering away
           on roadworks that lasts forever

crowded bus terminus
people hurrying to
who knows where
or bored in queues
trying to read papers
clip nails

as smoky behemoths
rumbled obscenely close
to berthing platforms
the PA screeched in hokkien
exhorting tardy drivers
to their vehicles

           & glib touts
           tried to sell me xxx vcds
           no go pal, bad mood
           tough times, burnt pockets
           still stacks of bills
           THIS high to pay

at the post office
again bored in queues
trying to decipher TV ads
ogled at girls
scratched stubble
staying alive

           as the growl in my belly
            goading me to the KFC

revised 13/10/06


Blogger polona said...

i love this one, dsnake!
i can almost feel all the hustle and bustle of the place.
can relate to the aircon episode, too :)

23 October, 2006 03:21  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

it's a busy place, i try to avoid going there, but sometimes there's no choice. :)

24 October, 2006 00:25  
Blogger Bluesky_Liz said...

They call it a bus station in some other countries. :) I saw one in Washington, it was rather bare bones compared to ours. Not much of sheltering and it wasn't quite clear where the different buses go. The rides were more expensive, the service is not so regular (they come at scheduled times but sometimes they don't come at all, according to a local), the routes aren't as extensive and the bus is smaller by half. Well, most people drive their own cars to get around anyway.

I remember this poem posted earlier. The scene is the same at all other bus interchanges -- now that you've mentioned it, I do notice there IS always a KFC just around a corner. :D

24 October, 2006 10:55  
Blogger Plus Ultra said...

I like this and the haiku, I wished the things that are dirty, soiled could be washed by the moonlight, the reality is that I have to wash them myself, unless of course if you are using disposables......lovely, always happy to be visiting was the one on Tampines published anywhere, sounds vaguely familiar

24 October, 2006 11:07  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

is it in D.C. ? we use to gripe about the bus service here, until we see and compare the services in other countries!
the KFC is just behind the post office.

thanks for the kind words.
i posted this earlier in this blog about a year back, maybe you have read it in the archives. i made some minor revisions to this piece. :)

24 October, 2006 15:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, in DC. But generally, overseas bus drivers tend to be friendlier.

The major complaint I have about our buses here is the cleanliness. I have sat on ones that have cockroaches crawling around between the seats. Or mosquitos. Or something smells like there's mold in the air con.

Some air con buses get leaky when it rains, and the upper deck literally floods because of the drainage inefficiency -- water sloshing back and forth under your feet.

- Liz

25 October, 2006 13:42  
Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

I love this one. Very well told, can almost feel the claustrophobia creeping in! I have been stuck in a bus before, sitting on the inside part of the double seats and a roach strolled jauntily in front of me. Worse part is I couldnt escape cos the bus was so packed. could only continue being stuck in my seat and pray the roach doesnt decide to have any friendly intentions and approach nearer.

25 October, 2006 14:54  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Dsnake, this is great!! Took us all the way to KFC, one of my favorite traps!!

25 October, 2006 19:38  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

i think the newer buses are very much cleaner (probably they are new!), but overall, cleanliness is a problem. And most of the drivers are not too friendly. :)

hey medusa,
now i know why you have a car. :)

thanks! KFC is one of my favourite traps too. :)

26 October, 2006 00:16  
Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

The newer buses ARE cleaner, and the drivers spiffier and polite too! The driver plying my street is very friendly and waits for slower passengers to run up to the bus; he's such a nice young man he makes taking the bus an almost joyful experience..kekeke!!!
My husband commented just the other day that bus drivers nowadays look very executive-like with their long-sleeved shirts and sitting on their cushy big driver seats. I think it's good to elevate the image and salaries, the driver uncles of yesteryears are mostly so...disgruntled ah peks and ah bengs; you never know if you're gonna survive thru some bus-trips from hell!

28 October, 2006 00:43  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

there's still the grumpy ah peks and ah bengs on the bus route i take. :(

29 October, 2006 12:35  
Blogger sigmund fraud said...

I think the earlier version you posted in Sept 2005 was equally good.

08 November, 2006 23:00  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hi sigmund,
thanks for visiting!

09 November, 2006 21:54  

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