Sunday, March 20, 2016

and all we cared about was the shopping

It has been a while since i visited the Orchard Road malls...

photo by dsnake1, taken around xmas 2015

and all we cared about was the shopping

A child was riding the train with his father. I was sitting opposite them and could not help listening to their conversation. "Daddy," asked the boy, "when the train reaches the last station, how does it turn around? It got to come back right?"
The dad was not too sure either, for he started to hem and haw.
"The train is sooo long, but it got to somehow turn around, right?", the kid persisted.
The father seemed to have an epiphany. "The driver walks back to the other end", he said.
"Huh?". The boy was not sure what his father was saying.
"There are two driver's cabins on the train, one at each end", the father explained.
"When the train ends at one station, the driver walks to the other end and starts the next journey from there."
The boy was quiet for a while, contemplating his father's answer. "I want to see the other cabin", the boy said.
Sighing, the father took his child's hand, got up from their seats and started to walk towards the rear of the train.
I smiled. Poor daddy, it would be quite a long walk...

in the train
only the children look out of the windows
at the world.


“Nothing you do for children is ever wasted.”

Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home

Shared on Poetry Pantry #294 at Poet's United.

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2016

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Blogger Gillena Cox said...

this is a beautiful story and a lovely written haibun

have a good Sunday

much love...

20 March, 2016 22:38  
Anonymous Donna@LivingFromHappiness said...

The questions of children certainly are such an inspiration! it is why i loved teaching.

20 March, 2016 22:50  
Blogger Sanaa Rizvi said...

Such a delightful read :D
Beautifully penned.

Lots of love,

20 March, 2016 23:32  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you! :)


yes, that's true. perhaps they do not have baggage like us adults. :)


thank you kindly! :)

21 March, 2016 00:25  
Blogger Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is such a delight to read. I especially love the observation in your closing haiku. So true.

21 March, 2016 00:38  
Blogger scotthastiepoet said...

Lovely sentiments... And perfect close too... Great, with you all the way on this... With Best Wishes Scott

21 March, 2016 00:59  
Blogger brudberg said...

The train becoming a universal metaphor.. there are so many truths about life we can find in a train ride... the longer the more.

21 March, 2016 02:27  
Blogger C.C. said...

Ah, Orchard Road....such nostalgia reading those words at the start of your's been a while since I visited too!! I like this haibun....the way that the title works with the piece to emphasize how well little children observe the world around them with such curiosity and inquisitiveness....that we seem to lose later when "all we cared about was the shopping" and running from here to there to get things done.

21 March, 2016 03:13  
Blogger Matthew Henningsen said...

Yes, what a lovely glimpse into a relationship. Very vivid. Could see it taking place.

21 March, 2016 04:16  
Blogger Mary said...

I love the curiosity and the persistence of children! And also a father who will show his child what he wants to know. Enjoyed this tale!

21 March, 2016 05:40  
Blogger R.K. Garon said...

Wonderful snapshot for your metaphor... and your quote from my favorite (now gone)radio show and the stories from "Lake Woe-begone" :-)
It's good to walk in a mall once in awhile; to see what people buy that we no longer have any use for :-)or can afford :-(

21 March, 2016 05:53  
Blogger Stormcat Poetry said...

The father could not take his place as the student of his wise son. The mutual exploration of the unknown will bring them into trust but to declare an unknown as truth risks everything. A lovely story indeed . . .

21 March, 2016 13:12  
Blogger Old Egg said...

We can learn a lot by having a child travel with us as they have such inquiring minds.

21 March, 2016 17:14  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

This captured me immediately. Thank you.

21 March, 2016 19:42  
Blogger Jae Rose said...

Yes in very many ways that is true - made me think of the little terminal train line here and i was very old before i figured out how it worked :~

21 March, 2016 22:29  
Blogger Carrie Van Horn said...

Lovely story....children and travel always have a wonderful tale to tell. I love the quote at the end as well. :-)

22 March, 2016 03:49  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


thank you! it was meant more to imply that children may learn more than adults as they are basically more inquisitive. :)


thank you for visiting! :)


we may learn some truths about life by what we find in a train ride (by what the do, how they dressed), but nowadays our trains are very packed at most times of the day and perhaps this is a reflection of what our society has become, a hectic, fast-paced, faceless people...

22 March, 2016 15:26  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


oh, you missed that place! well, it's still glam and in and hot, still crawling with people, to see and be seen, and is updating itself to stay ahead, though it is facing some stiff competition from the malls at Marina Bay Sands and the Bugis area, and the many suburban malls.

thank you for the analysis of the poem, i loved it! and yes, that's really what i want the reader to understand. :)


thank you! this is how a relationship should be, i guess. :)


glad that you enjoyed the tale.
this was what i actually saw and heard one day on a train. it was very heart-warming, to say, that a father can have such patience and devotion to a son. most of them would just say, don't bother me, go play with your phone/ipad. :)


your favourite radio show? oh wow! i must try to read that book.
it's good to walk in a mall once a while, at least to escape the heat in the air-con. always interesting to see what people buy. at one time, it was hi-fi i was crazy about and some of the prices were way way beyond me then (and now). :)


hi, welcome back!
well, i think they will have to mutually learn from each other. :)
thanks for your interesting comment.


yes, they do have such inquiring minds. :)


thank you! :)


well, at least you figured out how it worked. :)


thank you for visiting! i loved that quote too. :)

22 March, 2016 20:32  

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