Wednesday, 19 December 2007

I Saw Santa...Queue Jumping

He's gaunt, bewhiskered and eternally vegetarian.

A string of Thai love beads on a soiled string adorns one wrist.

From the surreptitious scratching below his belt that is probably not the only thing he got in Thailand.

As luck would have it I have the only vacant seat and he sits languidly beside me, completely devoid of intelligent conversation.

This, on one of the few days recently when the 95 bus offered is clean and relatively new.

"Bus" is probably a bit of a misnomer, more like a refrigerator on wheels. There is something uncontrollable about Singaporean buses and that something is more often than not the air-conditioning. It is either like sitting in a blast freezer or a sauna and rarely an ambient temperature in between.

The irony is that on the dirty buses (which are in the majority on the 95 route) my fellow passengers are well groomed and spotlessly dressed Singaporeans. On the one day the bus is clean, my companion is a 'shop-soiled' and dishevelled European.

On the subject of transport, the prices for taxis in Singapore has risen, particularly in the central city. The theory is that if the take is higher for the cabbies more of them will venture into the CBD at peak times.

The verdict is out as to whether this is actually working in practice.

Last Sunday while we were passing the taxi queue a jolly and rotund Santa (again of European stock) and a small green elf of doubtful parentage rushed to the front of the line on the pretext of getting to the next Mall appointment.

Needless to say this did not go down to well with those who had waited patiently for their turn.

So much for the spirit of Xmas.

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